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Unread 03-18-2005, 09:07 PM
Joe Johnson's Avatar Unsung FIRST Hero
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Fun Game...

Last week I was a judge at the Great Lakes Regional. I had mixed feelings about the game. Lots of activity but too much to watch, impossible to score.

This week Chief Delphi is in Detroit and I begged my wife and my boss to go. Both gave me the nod :-)

So...

I have to say two things have changed.

#1, I am much more adept at knowing who is up or down in the winning/lossing dept. I attribute this to folks having fewer penalities (to be honest, I think it is a matter of teams playing better and a small amount of ref's letting things go if they are "tickie-tac" fouls) AND to teams playing much smarter. Oh, yeah, unlike at Great Lakes, where the screen was on the left of the field, the Detoit Venue has the screen on the back wall behind the field, this makes it much easier to glance up at the Real Time Scoring and see what is going on and then get back to the action. The RTS is often wrong but it is mostly correct and it does allow me to quickly to get back into the action after I watch one robot too long.

#2, the Style of Play has a TOTALLY different character. Teams are getting smart about where they put tetras. It is VERY exciting to watch Team 245 play. I can tell you that I NEVER saw them put a tetra on a goal they already owned unless there simply were no other places to put them. To watch them methodically cap cover their home row, then get a few goals in the middle row, and THEN ATTACK THEIR OPPONENT HOME ROW. I am telling you, it was a HOOT. Most oppenents have a total panic attack the minute they see them coming to raid their home row. Many others are catching on. It makes for some very fun matches.

Bottom Line: This Game is perhaps the best FIRST has had. By Atlanta, I think there will be few doubters.

Comments, counter points welcome.

Joe J.
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Unread 03-18-2005, 09:44 PM
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Re: Fun Game...

I agree that I had reservations about this game at first, but now there's no doubt, from behind the glass, it's a blast. Mostly however, I would like to thank you for the compliment to our team. How do you build a winning robot? Make it simple, very, very, very simple. We've been capping goals since week 4, every machine out there is capable of greatness, but are their drivers? Last year's game was a testment to human player skill, this year it's all up to the drivers.

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4 times < 1 sec from a score over 100..., Arg.
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Unread 03-19-2005, 12:35 AM
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Re: Fun Game...

I liked last year’s game better for two reasons: balance and robot diversity.

Balance:
First Frenzy had the most completely different ways to score of any game since 2001 (which was a 4 player co-op point fest, for the newer FIRST members). You could have the Human Player score small balls. You could put a mobile goal under the small ball drop to score small balls. You could cap a filled goal with a large 2X ball. You could hang off the 10ft center bar. This made a game where strategy was crucial and changed based on opponents.

This year you can only pick up and score tetras (granted there are multiple way to do that) and go home. One great thing about this year's game is the large point swing from changing rows. One problem with last year's game was a lack of good things to do in autonomous.

Robot Diversity:
With great balance comes a diverse array of competitive robots. There were small ball catchers, small ball herders, large ball handlers, climb and hangers, floor hangers, and bar blockers. All robots had one or more of these traits (and Beatty seemed to have all of them ). Building a superior robot is half the competition; the other half is executing your strategy. It is an engineering competition after all.

This year, the robots are all basically the same. I am not as interested in the Robot Showcase forum or walking around the pits as I usually am. The most notable difference in these robots is single tetra grabbers vs. multiple tetra grabbers.

Not to say that I don't like this game, I have to admit it's growing on me. I am just not ready to call it the best ever at this point. Guess I'll just have to wait till Atlanta like Dr. Joe said.
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Last edited by The Lucas : 03-19-2005 at 12:40 AM.
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Unread 03-19-2005, 05:19 AM
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Re: Fun Game...

I have to agree with Joe....245 definitely has an awesome robot this year. I also agree with him that especially for our team, the game has totally changed, I think that it is now the way that FIRST intended the game to be played and is very exciting. I do believe that now, since my team is at a competition the game is a lot better than I thought it would be. However, I do think that this years game lacks something that the others do not. My team and I were talking about this and agreed that it lacks that "awing" move at the end of the game. Last year there was the fight for the pipe with 15 seconds left, 2003 had everyone fighting to get to the top of the ramp, 2002 didn't really have one, but 2001 had everyone trying to balance the ramp and hit the button as fast as they could. This game is just stack stack stack as fast as you can with a great strategy. I think this game is more about strategy rather than the certain elements of the game like last year, a good strategy can make or break your round this year and I like it. My2 cents
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Unread 03-19-2005, 06:41 AM
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Re: Fun Game...

i too liked last year's game better. there were so many different robots. there are a few cool ones that i've seen but most of them look the same.

it does sit better than i was originally expecting it too.
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Unread 03-19-2005, 10:11 AM
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Re: Fun Game...

I like the game, but I would agree with what is said about robots being alike. We do not plan to do any scouting in the pits this year, only from the stands because all the robots are designed to do the same basic maneuvers, but not all the drivers will be able to perform these maneuvers well.
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Unread 03-19-2005, 11:31 PM
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Re: Fun Game...

I was skeptical of the game at first. The only way I could describe it to people who hadn't watched the kick-off was "This game is like Tic-Tac-Toe Gone Wild!" Having been behind the drivers stand though... it's growing on me.

The outstretched simplicity of this game is part of what makes it so alluring though. The reason I say that is because of 2 separate things: ROBOT scoring and actual MATCH scoring. Although there's a limited amount of physical tasks to complete, referee scoring and penalties make it much more complex. As competitiveness increases and strategies change throughout the competition season, it gets more and more fun to watch and participate in.

I'm grateful for this years game. It's a refreshing twist. Overall, I give it an A-, due to the lack of robot diversity that was previously mentioned.
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Unread 03-19-2005, 11:48 PM
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Re: Fun Game...

I love this years game....and mainly for one main reason:

an even playing field

Almost every alliance has a chance to take down another alliance. At the NJ regional, teams 56, 237, and 303....were well on their way to repeating as NJ champs ( they scored a 100 points one match in the finals )...but the #2 alliance held strong, even after going down 1-0, they came back to win the finals and the regional. It was truly a cinderella story and its stuff like that, that makes people want more.

In years past, with the right alliance, you could easily dominate...which of course is possible for this year, but even a team that can just drive can eliminate the threat of a team that can cap 10 tetras a match...that is pretty sick ( in a good way )
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Unread 03-20-2005, 12:00 AM
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Re: Fun Game...

I will admit this year i under estimated the challenge and the excitement of this game, in the begining

My Story:

First day, after watching the kick-off. I adresses my team :" This year's game is simple, there is one thing to do; stack those tetras on the goals. There is only one goal!". Third day talking with my Mentors and team i realised that this game held an immense need for strategy and driver skill. And that is when we started thinking about strategy and designed our robot accordingly. However, even the day we found out that we can easily cap higher than 8 on the Center goal; i never beleived that the game will be as fun as "First Frenzy" or "Stack Attack". I watched the first regional's webcast with some members of my team. That thursday i was very disappointed, the whole event lacked excitement. On the friday the game showed glimpses of excitement. However, it was not untill the saturday that we all decided that this was for sure one of the best games FIRST has ever designed. With each passing regional my excitement to compete at the GTA regional is increasing. I Love this year's game and my team does too!
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