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From: Frank Pittelli <frank-at-rctankcombat.com>
Subject: Re: With great power comes great responsibility [TANKS]
Date: Sun, 18 Sep 2005 21:07:41 -0400
Reply-To: tanks-at-rctankcombat.com

Sigi wrote:
> up to the formula1 rc tankcombat!
> nicky lauda on tracks....
> are there any rules for maximum speed for the models?
> since there are rules to build only production type tanks,isnt it also 
> wise to use the speed that the original had? (in scale)
> otherwise everybody is aiming to build the fastest tank around, it will 
> end up with speed racing around each other trying to outflank each other!  
> is this the new way rc tank gaming will go to? ( i hope not!)

It's real easy to add more restrictions to the rules ... the hard part 
is determining if restrictions are actually needed.

It's clear that the Cromwell moves faster than anything else and that in 
the hands of a skilled operator, it is a formidable weapon.  But, it is 
also clear that one vehicle cannot win the war.  In fact, at one point, 
Rick and I decided to take the Cromwell out of the battle and we offset 
his speed and turning advantage by using basic team tactics.  Yes, it 
was hard work because of this technical advantage, but technology alone 
can't win the battle.

Furthermore, there are always trade-offs with each engineering choice. 
At this time, we don't know all of the trade-offs involved, but 
certainly cost, reliability and maintainability must be considered.  If 
you make a mistake with a $250 proportional speed control, you can write 
off the entire day and then can write another check for $250 to replace 
it.  Make the same mistake with a handful of relays and you can swap 
them out over lunch (or even during a battle) and be back on the field 
for some more fun.  And, if you depend on speed as an advantage, what do 
you do when you're no longer the fastest on the field?

Now that we've been battling regularly for 3 years, I can honestly say 
that the "differences" between the vehicles makes every battle 
interesting.  In the first battle, Joe and Steve (using EVs and drill 
motors) had basically the same 2X speed advantage over John, Will and 
myself (using KCMs), but they got destroyed more often than not. 
Similarly, the Cromwell received as much damage as it was giving out 
yesterday.  Steve clearly doubled his fun by engaging more targets, but 
he didn't reduce the fun of anyone else because of that.

Yes, everyone kept their eye on the Cromwell, but we kept our eye on the 
T-34 when Steve operated that as well (which was the fastest vehicle 3 
years ago).  It's not the speed, it's the operator.  Steve has always 
been a pain-in-the-neck on the battlefield because of his aggressive, 
close-quarter battling style.  No rules can restrict that and none should.

I'm sure we'll see other vehicles increasing their top end speed, as 
well as other technological improvements in a variety of subsystems. 
Will that cause an "imbalance" in the hobby?  Perhaps yes, perhaps no. 
Will higher speeds cause safety problems?  Perhaps yes, perhaps no. 
It's very hard to predict the impacts, positive or negative, of any 
change in the hobby.

So, my preference has been and will always be to watch closely and be 
prepared to take action *if necessary*.  If negative impacts are seen, 
everyone will see them and everyone will want to take actions to reduce 
those impacts.  With such consensus, it is relatively easy to craft a 
rule that takes care of the problem.

        Frank P.