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Unread 03-02-2012, 10:57 PM
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Possible strategy for early weeks

I see balancing on this bridge in early qualifications isn't very popular, so I came up with a viable strategy to use this.

Essentially, after evaluating your opponent's abilities to get on the bridge, you decided if they can balance or not. If not, then after autonomous mode, two of the weaker scorers on your team go to the blue bridge and balance (maybe after 30 seconds to a minute). The other robot scores balls the whole match.

With the low balance rate I've seen, the average match scores, and the points of one decent scoring robot coupled with two robots balanced, the combined score should be enough to win the match.

Example math:

One good scoring robot: +8 points (an average)
Two robots on your bridge: +20 points

At total of 28 points, which is higher than many scores I've seen.

What do you think?
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Unread 03-03-2012, 12:34 AM
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Re: Possible strategy for early weeks

Judging by the average scores of a few of the regionals so far (Kettering - 17, BAE - 24, and Smoky Mountains - 15.) I'd say it's quite viable.

What happens if this is your main plan of attack, but a ball gets suck under the bridge and you can't lower it. Should you A.) Play defensively, B.) Try to feed your scoring bot, or C.) have your balancing robots attempt to score?
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Unread 03-03-2012, 02:16 AM
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Re: Possible strategy for early weeks

Many robots can remove balls. If not, you can cross the coopertition bridge and go lower the bridge on the other side. If that's blocked, you can cross the bump. If all four bridge sides are blocked and you can't cross the bump, that's pretty amazing. And, of course, you'd be kind of screwed anyways. In that case I'd just have partners play counter-defense or feeding duty.
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Unread 03-03-2012, 07:38 AM
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Re: Possible strategy for early weeks

It's a very viable strategy. The problem is convincing the other two teams on your alliance to do it if they're not among the top half-dozen or so competitive teams at a regional. The majority of the students aren't even aware of how qualifying points are awarded.

I've found that the vast majority of high school students are convinced that their robots are scoring monsters, even though it's their 8th or 9th qualifier and they haven't scored a point yet. They're convinced that they've "adjusted" it in the pits and they're going to score 50 points this qualifier. They've spent 6 weeks building the thing, this is their only regional, they probably didn't even get to even run it before it had to be bagged, now they want to play with it!

It tends to make for an "exciting" low-scoring game with a bunch of robots driving around the field trying to score. Then in the last few seconds they try and fail to accomplish the function which would have easily won them the qualifier.
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Last edited by 45Auto : 03-03-2012 at 07:50 AM.
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Unread 03-03-2012, 07:39 AM
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Re: Possible strategy for early weeks

Deleted - double post
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Last edited by 45Auto : 03-03-2012 at 07:46 AM. Reason: double post
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Unread 03-03-2012, 12:16 PM
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Re: Possible strategy for early weeks

Yes, to what everybody has said. It's all true. The point of the strategy is to give the teams time to balance. Remove balls if needed, feed to the scorer if they can, etc, but the strategy gives them time.
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Unread 03-03-2012, 01:01 PM
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Re: Possible strategy for early weeks

As much as possible, it is up to the veteran teams to talk to the rookies (as well as the younger-non-rookie teams) about the importance of strategy and planning in winning games. Most of the games I've seen* so far appear to have almost no coordination between robots.

The number of fender-scorers who are completely uninhibited by a defensive robot is astounding, given the number of robots that can't score effectively in the first place. When you have three robots on your side of the field and only one or two are capable of scoring at any meaningful level, at least one of your alliance partners should be on the other side, either defending the fender (if necessary based on other robot designs) or by using passive defense -- that is, picking balls up off the ground and feeding them onto your scoring side of the field.

...and bridges, bridges, bridges. At no later than 30 seconds, every robot should be looking to balance... Except in cases where 10 points is enough for a win. I've seen* quite a few games where 10 points would have resulted in a win, and failed 20 points resulted in a loss instead.

Strategy matters. Tactics matter. It doesn't even matter if you understand the difference between the two: have a plan, and do your best to execute it. If it starts to disintegrate, make sure you have a backup plan and that all drive coaches know it... And for each match, have one drive coach coordinating any changes to the plan with the other two; decide who will be the decision-maker when you plan the game.

*obsessively watched
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Unread 03-03-2012, 03:00 PM
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Re: Possible strategy for early weeks

Quote:
When you have three robots on your side of the field and only one or two are capable of scoring at any meaningful level, at least one of your alliance partners should be on the other side
I've been trying to get that across to our alliance mates since 2006 - Good Luck!
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Unread 03-03-2012, 05:24 PM
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Re: Possible strategy for early weeks

I ran some numbers for the four regionals that have started so far - the average score per alliance is 15. So Supernerd's two-bot balance strategy would win most matches, and should be doable for most alliances. And, of course, a third shooter robot would be icing on the cake.

That said, I haven't watched many qualification matches, so I could be wrong about how easy it is to balance the bridge.
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Unread 03-03-2012, 05:29 PM
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Re: Possible strategy for early weeks

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Originally Posted by Randomness View Post
I ran some numbers for the four regionals that have started so far - the average score per alliance is 15. So Supernerd's two-bot balance strategy would win most matches, and should be doable for most alliances. And, of course, a third shooter robot would be icing on the cake.

That said, I haven't watched many qualification matches, so I could be wrong about how easy it is to balance the bridge.
Hey Christopher, wanna try this strategy at SVR if we're ever allianced together? If we're only allianced with a team we can't beat with that strategy, it may be one to leave for a practice match.

Team 100 is looking pretty good this year.
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Unread 03-03-2012, 05:46 PM
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Re: Possible strategy for early weeks

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Originally Posted by SuperNerd256 View Post
Hey Christopher, wanna try this strategy at SVR if we're ever allianced together? If we're only allianced with a team we can't beat with that strategy, it may be one to leave for a practice match.

Team 100 is looking pretty good this year.
I would be up for it, although hopefully we'll both have bots that can score >10 points apiece Oh, and have you seen our bot? Either way, thanks.

On a more serious note, I definitely think that this strategy will win matches, even if scores drift upwards as teams work on code and gain experience. It will be interesting to see how common it becomes, as I agree that many teams will try to score, even if they really can't.
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Unread 03-03-2012, 05:50 PM
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Re: Possible strategy for early weeks

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Originally Posted by Randomness View Post
I would be up for it, although hopefully we'll both have bots that can score >10 points apiece Oh, and have you seen our bot? Either way, thanks.

On a more serious note, I definitely think that this strategy will win matches, even if scores drift upwards as teams work on code and gain experience. It will be interesting to see how common it becomes, as I agree that many teams will try to score, even if they really can't.
I've seen your robot. It's pretty good. We have a similar design. VERY similar, though I think we're a different configuration than you (PM me for details if you don't want to share this publicly). The only thing I'd take note of: In your robot unveil video, you didn't seem to be too strong of a scorer. Of course that was a while ago and I expect you've improved much, but that's just something I wanted to bring up.

Great job, and I would love to see my strategy be used by team 100 (call it the SuperNerd strategy. Maybe it will get spread around )
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Unread 03-03-2012, 09:24 PM
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Re: Possible strategy for early weeks

Just from watching a few matches online, I think we can conclude that scoring 3 baskets in autonomous will take you to the finals.
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Unread 03-03-2012, 09:44 PM
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Re: Possible strategy for early weeks

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Originally Posted by ChristopherSD View Post
Just from watching a few matches online, I think we can conclude that scoring 3 baskets in autonomous will take you to the finals.
Not necessarily. A lot of elimination alliances can score >18 points, or even >38 (if you get a 20 point bridge, which should be easy enough in eliminations if you devote enough game time to it.) That said, getting 18 in autonomous, a few baskets in teleop, and a 20 point bridge gets you to the Week One finals. And getting 2 autonomous baskets and a balance will win you 2/3 of qualifiers.
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