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Stronghold is a medieval tower defense game in which two alliances of up to three teams each compete to score points by breaching the opponent’s outer works and capturing the opponent’s tower. Before the match, teams and the audience select defenses to fortify the alliance’s outer works. Teams receive two ranking points in the competition standings for a win, and one ranking point for a tie.
Each match begins with a 15-second autonomous period where robots act on pre-programmed instructions. The match then transitions to a 2-minute and 15 second teleoperated period, where robots are driven by the drive teams.
Robots begin in the neutral zone with the ability to hold one boulder each. However, alliances may assign a “spy” robot to start in the opposing alliance’s courtyard. Alliances earn 2 points for reaching the opposing alliance’s outer works and earn 10 points for crossing them. Any additional defenses a robot crosses in the auto will not decrease a defense’s strength, or give points to the alliance. Once across a defense, a robot in autonomous mode can score a high goal for 10 points or a low goal for 5 points.
Robots retrieve boulders from either their secret passage or the midline, overcome opponent defenses, and score goals in their opponent’s courtyard. Robots may transport only one boulder at a time. Each time a robot crosses an undamaged defense, they receive 5 points. Robots earn 5 points for scoring a high goal and 2 points for a low goal. In the last 20 seconds of the match, robots race to the opposing alliance’s tower to either park on the batter, earning them 5 points for a challenge, or hang from the tower’s rungs, earning them 15 points for a scale