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Unread 04-29-2002, 08:52 PM
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Unhappy Depression-driven Tractor Pulls

The Championship Event was an up and down ride for team 007 (Einstein). We came in as NJ regional winners (3rd seed) with an 88% or so win percentage, and had full expectations for a run through the eliminations. The first day of competition went okay, FIRESTORM 4 went 4 and 1, but averaged only 65 or so QP's. I know it's a cliche thing to say, but I truly did feel that we had less-than-par partners for the first day.
Day 2 went well at first: we won both matches and beat an awesome alliance of Wildstang - 111 (seeded 4th at the time, I think) and team 88 (seeded 8th, I think) for a good 100 or so point round. That took us into 14th place or so. We thought we were looking pretty good with a record of 6 and 1 in Disney(and the fact that we had two goals every match except one).
As we finished our last match, the team scrambled to sell our robot. I could see right away that it was gonna be tough, just because of the shear number of teams that were all courting only 8 top teams (I know how that feels too!). Apparently we didn't do too well.
Alliance selection was nerve-racking, as each captain called number after number, none of them "7." It felt like a shot to the heart.
We made our way back to the pits, depressed and confused, wondering what we didn't do to sell ourselves that many other teams must have.
With the season officially over, and being seniors and all, a group of us decided that it was time to play. We tethered FIRESTORM 4 and headed outside. On the carpeted test patch, we pulled a single goal containing 6 people and controls (an estimated 1050 lbs.) for several yards before running out of open space.

This is a question for those teams that were selected into the Einstein finals... What exactly did you do to sell yourselves?

I suppose we tried to let our performance do too much of the talking, but at least we know to not rely on that next year.

Congrats to Beatty Beast and company for the awesome win, you guys looked great.
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Last edited by HotWheels2002 : 04-29-2002 at 09:17 PM.
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Unread 04-29-2002, 09:02 PM
Jeff Rodriguez Jeff Rodriguez is offline
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We weren't in the einsteim division, and we didn't need to sell ourselves, but i think that having flyers of your robot really helps. If you can make a good one that captures your attention, and the information on it is demonstrated on the field, then you have a better chance. And try to point out one strength of your robot more than all the others.
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Unread 04-29-2002, 09:13 PM
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Thats a great idea Ogre, but we did. We brought 100 detailed fliers with pictures down to give out and had to make 100 more copies while we were there!
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Last edited by HotWheels2002 : 04-29-2002 at 09:16 PM.
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Unread 04-29-2002, 10:17 PM
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Actually, I asked one of the picking teams in Einstein why you guys weren't picked. The answer I got was "too slow." So perhaps that was it. I personally think the flyers don't particularly help much but that's just my opinion.

Matt
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Unread 04-29-2002, 10:26 PM
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well, at about 4 f/s, I can see that being a valid complaint...but I also think that the speed that we sacrified for torque was well worth it. We've never had an instance in which our speed was enough of an issue to overshadow our goal-manipulation abilities. I think that we would have been a great choice for either the 201/303/ ??? alliance of powerful goal grabbers or the 111/16 alliance of excellent ball manipulators (we could provide the two goals for them to dump in on a consistent basis.)
I just think that the merits of FIRESTORM 4 went largely unnoticed, probably due to problems with our politicking. Though we didn't qualify absolute top (though in the top 16), we did win consistently (though not alliance captains, we were never taken out of an elimination match in NJ. We swept eliminations there), and thats what matters in elims.

Thanks for the info Matt.
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Unread 04-30-2002, 10:26 AM
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Hey, know just how you feel. We also figured that since our robot was doing such a good job of showing how strong we were, there wasnt much need for politicking. ex: holding gorillas against the wall, keeping a goal still while 116 and another bot were trying to steal it from us so 121 could dump balls.... YOu and me know that Firestorm is an awesome bot....we'll show those guys next year.... no, wait, change that. We'll be doing the picking next year!!
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Unread 04-30-2002, 10:40 AM
Dave Hurt Dave Hurt is offline
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Well, I know how that can be... my first year I drove the robot to 6-0, but we were overlooked in the selections.

From experience that I've had, flyers and such help out some, but it's what someone sees on the field that helps them choose partners. Talk to a team, make sure you stress any unique things you do, and try your hardest to get them to watch your bot in action. That is the best way to prove yourself.
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Unread 04-30-2002, 11:29 AM
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getting picked in some ways is like running for class president. You have to be good but... it's also about who you know & who really knows you. What you have to do is figure out who the "Real" scouts are for the selecting teams. Get to know them & you've got a better chance. Lastly... it's all about luck, if you're in the right place at the right time & the right person see's your good match you may have the edge. Just my 2 cent.

Thanks to 329 for selecting us. If you ever need anything... we won't forget what you did by picking us.
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Unread 05-02-2002, 12:09 AM
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don't tell teams, show them

I have never put much faith in flyers that tout a robot's abilities. It's not that I think teams lie, but they just like to accentuate the positives and ignore the negatives. If a team wants to prove that they will be an asset to an alliance, they shouldn't hand out flyers, they shouldn't suck up to the people in the pits, they should prove their abilities on the playing field and make sure the scouts from other teams see them perform.

FYI, most of the scouts & strategy people for each team aren't in the pits, they're in the stands watching matches. If you tell a member of the pits how well your robot performs, they most likely will not forward it to the proper people.

Your best shot at getting picked is to perform well in the qualification matches. This doesn't necessarily mean winning matches. It may involve showing off a particular ability or strength of the robot, something you can do better than anyone else in the division. High seeded teams aren't always good elimination bots and low seeded teams are sometimes the best picks for the eliminations.

Teams who are out to prove a point are the reason I fear matches on Saturday morning. Powerful goal grabbing teams who aren't in the top 15 have nothing to gain by getting high QP, but have everything to gain by showing how strong they are. That's why I was worried about our latch match. I knew we were in for a touch match against 7 & 9. You proved your power but unfortunately the picking teams either weren't paying attention or found a weakness in your bot.

As rees2001 said, you should also talk to the real scouts for teams and tell them to watch your upcoming matches. Talking to them at 11:45 on Saturday doesn't help much because they have most likely settled on their top picks already.

Since I always try to be honest with people, I'll tell you why we didn't pick you. I'm the anonymous source Matt mentioned in his post. We knew that if we wanted to beat 308 (and 71 if we won the division) we needed a fast bot that wasn't afraid to slam into the center goal and disrupt them. 7 was too slow for that role so we chose the goal bot we thought had the best combination of speed (no more than 3.5 secs to the goal) and power / anchor ability. Of course 180 was first on our list, but unfortunately they weren't overlooked this time like they were at KSC.

Mike
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Unread 05-02-2002, 08:33 AM
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Yea.. your right.. i don't think much picking is done in the pits.. but it does play some part... a lot of people are out on the field watching and see'ing who performs well. From there.. they take their data and talk to those teams to see how well they'd fit. To help with our info.. we built a little kiosk lookin thingy.. it had video, info, and much more on it. Theres a pic attached. It was a good idea... had a big projection screen in back and it was light... made of PVC... easy to travel... Hardest part was transporting the IMac in the middle... But it seemed to be efficient. Though.. nothing speaks louder than a superb play on the field or consistant stragety that works...

For your speed prob, try a tranny.. we had a 13 f/s gear and a torquey, like..4 or 5 f/s gear... It worked well..
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Unread 05-02-2002, 10:42 AM
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Re: don't tell teams, show them

Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Soukup
Your best shot at getting picked is to perform well in the qualification matches. This doesn't necessarily mean winning matches. It may involve showing off a particular ability or strength of the robot, something you can do better than anyone else in the division. High seeded teams aren't always good elimination bots and low seeded teams are sometimes the best picks for the eliminations.
We were never only trying for the win in the qualifications- we did try to keep control of opponents score, but often were screwed over by opponents who chose not to go home or became disabled at the end. We kept getting 60-70 point rounds, which kept us in the middle of the pack before we beat you guys and 88 in the last match (when we moved into the mid-teens). Not once in the past two events that we attended this year did we have a problem getting the center goal, even against insanely fast teams and three-goal grabbers (we beat MOE in elims at VCU).

I think we tried to let our robot speak for itself too much, a decision which we ended up regretting a lot.

Congrats on getting as far as you did, you guys had an awesome robot.
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Unread 05-02-2002, 06:24 PM
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WE had the same issues as team 007 apparently. We never dropped below 12th in Einstein and we were 4th most of the time untill our last match agains bomb squad where they were able to pick up 34 balls and beat us by 5 points. They got alot of QPs that time. Anyways after that match we dropped to 10th just out of being picked. We were all dissapointed that we didnt get picked after being in the top 8 most of the tournament. After reading the posts our robots sound simmilar so i guess we were "too slow" as well. O well we are still happy wiht our finish.\





Andrew
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Unread 05-03-2002, 11:20 AM
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We have been there, friend

To say we were thrilled to be picked at regionals and at nationals would be a HUGE understatement. 3 years ago we finished nationals at 19th when the top 16 qualified - we had been in the top 16 all week until the last match - and we didn't get picked. We were confident going into the draft and stunned coming out of it. This year we had to sweat it until the second round both times because every team was picking the best available 2 goal bot in the first round. We really felt (and still feel) that the only way to ASSURE that you make the eliminations is to be a top seed - everything else is totally out of your hands.

We didn't have any cute fliers or marketing techniques, I think we were just dominant in one particular area and got noticed. We're still not sure if we got picked by subliminal suggestion (someone on our team yelled out "180" after 311 called 190 who was already picked) but hey, we'll take it any way we can get it. Wildstang mentioned they worry about the saturday morning matches when middle-of-the-packers aren't worried about score but demonstrating there robot - I guess we'd have to plead guilty to that several times over the past couple years. It also helps to have been teamed with one of the top seeds during a great match.

Thank you 186 and 311 (and 343 and 308) - we've been losers and we've been winners, and I'd have to say (probably ungraciously) that winning's alot more fun. And team 7 - you did have a great robot and have nothing to be depressed about.
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Unread 05-04-2002, 12:52 PM
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I have to concur with my esteemed team mate.

We've been on the short end of the selection process quite a few times. Don't let it get you down. The first year of selections ('99 ?), we came away with one very important lesson. If you're not doing the picking, then it's their loss that they didn't pick you. You can't let it get you down.

You guys could have rounded out just about any of the alliances in Einstein.

Being one of the lead scouters for our team this year, I agree that what you need to do is find the scouters in the stands and let them know what you can do and when your matches are. Maybe next year, I'll make up some special scouting buttons so that teams can find us easier. That's assuming that we get to pick.
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Unread 05-05-2002, 11:15 PM
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Re: don't tell teams, show them

Quote:
Originally posted by Mike Soukup
I have never put much faith in flyers that tout a robot's abilities. It's not that I think teams lie, but they just like to accentuate the positives and ignore the negatives.
Mike
I agree. Although our team did hand out flyers, mainly we felt it was a way to get our Name out there.

I found it funny, but one of our strongest points we chose not to include on our flyers. I'm referring to our "Magic Carpet" dubbed tethers by other teams. It was quite ingenious, and it worked every single time in the Champsionship that we used it. (we had a 80% success rate in the regionals) Our was basicly a peice of plastic that rolled itself out in the last few seconds of the match.

To clarify a comment posted higher, we actually seeded 7th, not 8th.

A second point i wish to comment on, I believe our alliance choices were pretty much nailed down Friday night. Our Stragey group reconviend about 11:00 on Saturday to make our final descion.

I don't know what the choices were, or the order that they were placed in, but I do know that the teams that we wanted, we knew were going to be picked early.

I don't speak for our team, but I personally like being that we scored high enough to pick, but I feel we do better as a Picked team, rather than a Picker.
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