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Unread 05-09-2004, 02:37 PM
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Observation about Selecting Alliances

At PARC, I witnessed the alliance selections and I wondered, how do teams go about selecting other teams? Do you pick teams that are ranked high, or teams that you have played a match with, or do you go around and talk to teams to see what they can do and if they are operational, or do you actually watch the qualifying matches and pick out teams that have a good robot, good drivers and actually performed well in a match? Because we performed well at PARC. It was actually the best we have ever done during qualifying matches, but we got paired up with a few teams that could not do much and lost many matches by one ball so therefore we didnt win any of our matches. But if you watched us you would have seen that we capped and hung in multiple matches and some teams were picked that could do neither. Now, please dont get me wrong, i am not saying that we should have been picked or deserved to be picked over any other team, I was just wondering how people went about choosing what teams to pick.
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Unread 05-09-2004, 02:42 PM
D.J. Fluck
 
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Re: Observation about Selecting Alliances

Friday night we'll gather together a bunch of people in a hotel room and we usually sit and talk about what kind of a team we want as our partner. After we figure out what our ideal partners would be, its time to dig out the scouting papers and talk about the robots that fit that description. Our scouts usually take pretty good notes, so we take into account what happens in a match like say bad partner support, no partner support, of if they just played a bad match. In some cases we've had a team down in the lower rankings higher then a team that was currently in the top 8 just because we know how a team works or personal friendship too. I really don't think rank should matter in who you pick. I've seen the last seed picked at a regional before and they ended up on the winning alliance. Overall, it should be who is best for you.
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Unread 05-09-2004, 02:56 PM
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Brandon Holley Brandon Holley is offline
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Re: Observation about Selecting Alliances

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kel D
At PARC, I witnessed the alliance selections and I wondered, how do teams go about selecting other teams? Do you pick teams that are ranked high, or teams that you have played a match with, or do you go around and talk to teams to see what they can do and if they are operational, or do you actually watch the qualifying matches and pick out teams that have a good robot, good drivers and actually performed well in a match? Because we performed well at PARC. It was actually the best we have ever done during qualifying matches, but we got paired up with a few teams that could not do much and lost many matches by one ball so therefore we didnt win any of our matches. But if you watched us you would have seen that we capped and hung in multiple matches and some teams were picked that could do neither. Now, please dont get me wrong, i am not saying that we should have been picked or deserved to be picked over any other team, I was just wondering how people went about choosing what teams to pick.

I think I understand where you are coming from with this statement. We (team 11), broke our hanging mechanism in our 3rd qualification match. For the rest of the day all we did was drive. We luckily got picked by 25. I'm sorry you guys didnt get picked ... You are a very good team (saw you at palmetto)...I guess it just wasnt your day
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Unread 05-09-2004, 02:58 PM
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Re: Observation about Selecting Alliances

During an Off-Season, since there are not too many teams, we know what each robot does, and therefore select who we feel will work best with us. Ocassionaly, friendship also comes in the way of picking alliances.

At PARC, a part of our robot arm was damaged, so we picked our good friends, 1403 as our alliance(they have a good bot too). When it came to picking the third alliance, we hardly had anybody left, so we saw the team sitting next to us(in the stands), Team 11, and we picked them.

However, during a seasonal competition, if you have come with some spirit of winning, it is important to have accurate data of all teams and sit with your teams and pick alliances as D.J.Fluck explained.

Depending on the scouting data, and how well each robot performs in their functions, we select an alliance.
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Unread 05-09-2004, 04:25 PM
Ryan M. Ryan M. is offline
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Re: Observation about Selecting Alliances

IF we had been a top seed, we would have chosen teams which complemented out robot's abilities, and had been seen in action to be able to do the things they claimed they could do.
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Unread 05-09-2004, 05:00 PM
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Re: Observation about Selecting Alliances

When we're in drafting or near drafting position, we always make a list of 24 (+/-) teams, and put them in order of who we'd like to be with based on their performance and how well they'd compliment our robot. For example - at Midwest Regional, we knew we needed a robot that could move balls for us, so we went with 469. Of course, the list can change based on performance on Saturday... and it does, the friday night list just really gives us an idea on who we should be watching closely.
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Unread 05-09-2004, 05:12 PM
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Re: Observation about Selecting Alliances

As the "strategy pro", I was a major contributor in picking our alliances at Nationals. Our first pick was good robot that we had worked with before and actually decimated our opponents. The second pick was a little shaky. Of course, I was the one to push for them. They had won a regional already and had a pretty good robot. And of course, the choices were limited. I didn't know at the time that they could be easily pushed around. O well, there is always next year. Anyways, my mentors said that the best resource is a person who could remember many aspects of the robots in consideration. It is even better than actual scouting data. Scouting data is thrown out the window when it comes to elimination rounds.
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Unread 05-09-2004, 09:43 PM
OneAngryDaisy OneAngryDaisy is offline
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Re: Observation about Selecting Alliances

I can see why you guys would be dissapointed, we were fortunate enough to be able to pick first. This allowed us to select a 'workhorse', as i call them- and in this case our workhorse was 175. They consistently scored 120+ pts every round by themselves, so we wanted our third partner to be a consistent hanger, and that's where 357 came in. I can tell you, if we were seeded lower we would definitely had to consider other options, such as a partnership with a team like yours where we collect balls and you cap, then we both hang. Some calls at PARC were questionable, yes, even the Galileo #1 seed and National Finalists got overlooked. That happens everywhere, in fact I remember many selections at Philly and Nats that just blew my mind, for example our robot practically got destroyed at Nats but we still were selected 8th, even though there were many teams that performed eons better than us there. In the end it all depends on who is picking and what they know of you, I must say that familiar teams and names definitely play a role in selections, so just promote your team and try to spread the name, it could definitely pay off one day.

[/end rant]
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Unread 05-09-2004, 10:50 PM
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Re: Observation about Selecting Alliances

We generally pick based on individual robot qualities and performance, not rankings.

At the 2003 NATS we picked the 17th and 65th ranked teams to be our partners, because they complimented what we do and won a regional together. I am sure people were laughing when we picked the 65th team. But, that selection helped us get to the National Finals.

It is all about alliance Chemistry!
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Unread 05-12-2004, 02:25 PM
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Red face Re: Observation about Selecting Alliances

Thanks reassuring us about the alliance selections. We were really down/bitter after we didn't get picked, but your replys have helped us alliviate the pain of being one of the four teams who didn't get picked. I guess 433 has a curse at PARC.
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Unread 05-12-2004, 06:29 PM
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Re: Observation about Selecting Alliances

While I agree that ranking shouldn't take on too much importance in selecting a partner, a certain amount of respect and consideration should be given to those teams that just find a way to win. Even if a team has had the softest schedule in the competition, winning enough matches to rank highly is still a tough job. It may be due to some intangible that this team is winning, and it is often the intangibles that win champoinships (in any sport).
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Unread 05-12-2004, 08:31 PM
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Re: Observation about Selecting Alliances

To me it doesn't really matter about rankings. If you work well with a certain team and their robot they are a good team to have. Also i look at dependability, and what their game plan is and are they reliaible in their game play.
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Unread 05-12-2004, 08:41 PM
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Re: Observation about Selecting Alliances

At nationals, we scouted for all of Friday and Saturday, plus some of thursday. We had scouts assigned specific team numbers so that every team got scouted for, plus we had some general scouts. We met on Friday night, but didn't get a lot done. Finally, right before the eliminations, we compiled a list of the teams we wanted. I don't remember a lot about it except 782 was first and 365 was second (we wanted teams that could cap and hang to complement our small balls). However, at the last second, one of our drivers called up our human player who was making the selection and told her to pick 27 instead.
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Unread 05-13-2004, 03:24 AM
RyanMcE RyanMcE is offline
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Re: Observation about Selecting Alliances

This was team 492's first year picking at regionals. We had the following information:
1) We were a ball manipulating robot that could not hang.
2) In qualifications, we won every match in which we were paired with a hanging robot
3) Our highest scoring match (170) was with a hanging robot (1031)
4) Our last match, a very narrow win, was against a very tough hanging robot (1031)
5) Our excellent scout had kept track of every teams hanging attempts and successes, among many other things. At the top of the list in terms of percentage and total hangs was an excellent partner (1031).

Since we had first pick, we (obviously) chose 1031. The rest of our list was sorted, roughtly, based on how many times the team's robots got to hang in an actual match. As the number one seed, many teams talked to us and tried to convince us they would be good alliance partners. We entertained them all, but this really had minimal effect on our choices - since we had excellent scouting, we really had all the information we needed ourselves. We went to a quiet place and ranked the teams that we wanted for first choice, then all the possibilities in order for second choice. Admittedly, we got very lucky with 957 - we had some lemons on our list above them that got picked, because we ran out of time to flesh out the list.

Thats how we did it, at least.
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Unread 05-13-2004, 06:43 AM
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Re: Observation about Selecting Alliances

We figured out early on that our best alliance would be with a hanger. We could control the mobile goal, cap both goals, and sometimes hang (didn't always have time). We needed teams who could consistantly hang, and who agreed with us as far as strategy (robots who compliment each other well are worthless if your alliance can't agree on strategy). At Buckeye, we were the first pick by first seed (340) and then picked another great hanget (1126). Since we not only had great robots, but also a great strategy, we plowed through eliminations 6-0. So, it's not only important to have a partner that compliments your robot, but also an alliance you trust. If you end up with a partner who won't strategise with you or follow your strategy, you almost might as well be playing by yourself.

So, ranking really has nothing to do with it. Heck, there could've been a team with no robot that seeded by luck alone, while a great bot could've lost every match. It's about going with a robot that compliments yours, and a team you trust.
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Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are solely those of the poster and do not reflect the opinions of team 67, FIRST, or any affiliate or subsidiary of the two.
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