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View Full Version : Week 1 Impressions of Rack 'N Roll


Pavan Dave
03-02-2007, 08:20 PM
What do you think about the actual regionals that you have seen, the web casts and the other aspects of the game in competition this year along with how everything is presented and done this year? Also what do you think about how the regionals have played out so far and do you think that the later regionals will be similar or dissimilar in the amount of points scored on average. What do you think the highest scores will be this year based on what we have seen?

Andrew Blair
03-02-2007, 09:01 PM
Currently, my view on the state of the game is disappointment. What seemed to potentially lend to a fast paced, strategy dependent game(for better or worse) has, from the webcast's anyways, become, currently, another volume based game, but hugely shifted towards one side in most matches. I've been disappointed in the amount of rack scoring, defensive initiative (from what I've watched), and seemingly moderate use of ramps.

As for alliance scores, most are ~ 30 points or less, with a few that jump out, like 116's matches. However, there is not a good point distribution for everyone else- that 60 points is a big, attainable point raiser that doesn't seem to been attained often- though I concede that this is for a variety of challenging reasons.

At VCU, most matches I watched had a ramp bot for both alliances. If you started the match with a bot 12 inches up, and left the other robot to play defense for most of the match, then got them up with a liberal amount of time left, it appeared that ~80% of the matches could be won. With close to zero effort. Matches are slow, matches are clumsy, matches are kinda boring.

Now, I've gotten down on the regionals too much at this point. It's the first week, which always needs some time to get up to speed, and I think game dynamics are playing out in a different direction for alot of people than originally anticipated. And BAE and NJ seem to be having a better go at it as well. But in my opinion (after watching a large portion of VCU and a bit of NJ), we are not nearly up to the speed that we were at in 2005 during the first week. I'm confident that finals will pick up tomorrow!

Hieb
03-02-2007, 09:24 PM
What I've been most surprised about is the lack of spoilers. I haven't seen a single spoiler placed all day (although I haven't seen that many matches, being in the pits and all). Even in matches with several good scoring bots, I saw a team allow a row of 7 without even entering a spoiler on to the field. They simply added another to their own row, where a well placed spoiler could have changed the score from 128 to 16.

George A.
03-02-2007, 09:34 PM
I'm going to have to agree with Heib, the lack of spoilers on the rack is astounding. In the one match were 25 had the wrap around, and then some...a simple spoiler placed in the right spot could've been very detrimental.

I think during the elimination rounds we'll see more spoilers.

vadyr
03-02-2007, 10:02 PM
i would definitely have to agree as well....we personally thought the spoilers were going to be a great thing, but now we are seeing that nobody even picks them up! i do believe that you'll see them used in finals...i mean if 3 scoring teams were able to get a wrap around, or maybe even a double wrap around....a spoiler or 2...or 3 or 4....could really kill them

Sean Marks
03-02-2007, 10:05 PM
I will also agree. I believe there will be more used tomorrow as the matches get later into the rounds. If will become more important to knock out big rows of rings. Our team is starting to plan spoilers into our plans for things. They will really help.

Sean

dpc131
03-02-2007, 10:08 PM
From the NJ regional, one thing that was interesting is that the game play has really varied throughout the day. At first no one was playing defense and you had all offensive matches like the 260 and our 236 match. Then, it was just defense in the middle of the day, no really high scorers. Finally, the offense kicked back in at the end of the day, since teams were going out and blocking the defenses.

As far as spoilers, since most of the matches are fairly low scoring (i.e. <100) It appears to be better to score another ringer instead of spoiling the opponents. I think at the nationals with 6 very good offensive robots and a nearly full rack, the spoiler will decide some games.

artdutra04
03-02-2007, 10:08 PM
It's unfortunate that first impressions can often leave negative lingering feelings. These are only first week regionals! Remember when we said last year how no one was scoring any balls during week one, or how two years ago no one was scoring many tetras or three years ago how no one was hanging?

Like a great wine or cheese, let this game age to perfection. It's definitely got a lot of potential, and only needs time for teams to gain enough drive team experience to make it fun and enjoyable. By the time week three or week four regionals come around, there will probably be much different opinions of this year's game. ;)


Here are some stats from the regionals so far: (gotta love Excel)
NJ Regional:
Average Score per Match: 22.027 points
Average Non-Zero Score per Match: 29.369 points
Standard Deviation: 38.422 points
Five Highest Scores: 260, 236, 128, 98, 76

VCU:
Average Score per Match: 15.731 points
Average Non-Zero Score per Match: 21.521 points
Standard Deviation: 19.558 points
Five Highest Scores: 108, 84, 64, 64, 62

STL:
Average Score per Match: 19.490 points
Average Non-Zero Score per Match: 23.116 points
Standard Deviation: 26.733 points
Five Highest Scores: 128, 128, 128, 100, 66

PNW: (only limited data set of only 16 matches available)
Average Score per Match: 18.031 points
Average Non-Zero Score per Match: 22.192 points
Standard Deviation: 19.435 points
Five Highest Scores: 77, 60, 45, 34, 32

Edit: No results from BAE available.

Dan Petrovic
03-02-2007, 11:05 PM
The thing about spoilers is that if an alliance notices an opponent with a spoiler, they are going to play merciless defense. It will be quite a feat when a team is capable of scoring a ringer, especially when you've got multiple robots pushing you to the side or into the rack.

overlord
03-02-2007, 11:21 PM
I'm going to have to agree with Heib, the lack of spoilers on the rack is astounding. In the one match were 25 had the wrap around, and then some...a simple spoiler placed in the right spot could've been very detrimental.

I think during the elimination rounds we'll see more spoilers.

Thats what I was asking myself today when the time was ticking down and alliances needed to play catch up. Hopefully we will see the spoiler come into play more tomorrow? One can only hope....



By the way, seeing as this is my schools first FIRST FRC competition ever, I would like to say I have no regrets about ever joining the robotics team. :) All of you guys out there make it an amazing event and definitely a great time. I really wish we can go to other regionals or maybe nationals. :)

platypus
03-02-2007, 11:29 PM
My Impressions After A Day At GSR:


1. The bottom row is almost all that matters, game after game after game. This makes a lot of sense if you think about it; it's the easiest way to significantly alter the score of the game. It takes almost no time at all to lift a tube 2.5 feet, and there's no risk of collapse.

2. Lifting is about the only way to make the bottom row not matter... much. As far as I could tell, a successful 12" lift won every match that it occurred in... except for once (and my team was on the alliance that beat the lift :D ). Unless an opposing alliance scores more than a 5 in row, 30 points is generally enough.

3. Lifting is hard and rarely successful. It wins games, but it's hard. Only robots that have well thought out lifts have been successful, and lifting 2 robots (enough to outright win nearly every game played today) has happened maybe 1-2 times in nearly 50 matches. Additionally, if an alliance doesn't devote significant time to getting over to the lifting bot, they're liable to be blocked from ever getting to the home zone.

4. Spoilers don't get used. They. Just. Don't. It's sad from a strategist's prespective, but teams tried to place them maybe 1 out of every 10 matches... and were promptly blocked from ever putting them on. I'm actually not surprised at all as I predicted this; placing spoilers is a very reactive strategy as opposed to proactive ringer placing. Its often worth more to double the score of your longest row than to split your opponent's row into two. Furthermore, placing ringers doesn't set off the red alerts in defenders like picking up a spoiler does.

5. Since spoilers are never successfully placed, spoiler removal capability is kind of meaningless. It's possible that it might matter once in the eliminations somewhere, but I wouldn't count on any more than just seeing a few spoilers placed.

6. Autonomous is a bust, which is kind of sad but completely unsurprising. One keeper was scored today. Just one. As a software guy, I know that it's not an easy autonomous to write this year. Last year, you could use the light to align a shooter and fire from the starting position. This year, you have to move while tracking the light, and move a manipulator to the proper height. This is not easy, and there really isn't much incentive to make it work. Since spoilers aren't used, keepers are basically ringers (and even if spoilers were used, it wouldn't matter very often as spoilers would break the row on the ringer next to the keeper). That's 2 whole points for your trouble, which is why teams just aren't bothering. (My team for one instead focused on an advanced teleoperated control system with preset postitions recorded into EEPROM, and relegated autonomous to that bottom part of the software todo list that never sees a share of the limited integration time.)

7. This is the year of the KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid) method of arm design. You want a simple, efficient arm that grabs a ringer from the floor and places it on the low row as fast as possible. Really that's all you usually need to focus on to do well against the field.

8. Everything else beyond scoring on the bottom row is a bonus, especially lifting. If robots can easily get on to your lift bot for a 30-point bonus, you'll get into the elimination rounds without any difficulty at all.

9. Ultimately I guess I have to agree with that earlier poster that called this a game of volume rather than strategy. It favors the efficient, and the simple strategy is the best.


I guess in general, I'm disappointed by what I saw today. When I first saw the game in January, my first impression was that the rack would rarely reach 2/3 capacity, spoilers and automous were red herrings, and that lifting was the magic key. To my dismay today, I was right on two of these and too optimistic on 2/3 capacity thing (it's more like 1/3 to 1/2).

I expect that we'll see the game evolve quite a bit over the next few weeks, as teams are barely scraping the surface this week.

BBnum3
03-03-2007, 12:12 AM
I know we're judging the game really early, as there has only been one day of regionals, but one thing sticks out in my mind. There have been quite a few 0-0 draws, from my count around 9 or 10 of the matches that have scores up. I don't know if the reason for this is poor team strategy or overall difficulty of the game but I don't like it. Maybe the GDC decided that it was too easy to get a 25 point ramp bonus last year, and it was too easy to score 10 in the lower goal in autonomous. This game seems harder. I know it's early, but I wouldn't have suspected so many 0-0, 2-0,4-0 etc. type of scores. Most robots are easily defended, and most ramps haven't been successful, either. This makes for low scoring (read: boring) matches. I hope something changes in teams' strategy over the next month to change this trend, because as of now it doesn't seem like this game is going anywhere. I have my faith in the GDC that they wouldn't give us a game that would end up like this, and I'm optimistic about Rack 'N Roll's future.

sanddrag
03-03-2007, 12:29 AM
For all of you disappointed about not seeing any fast paced rack scoring action, just wait until LA. ;)

EricH
03-03-2007, 12:35 AM
For all of you disappointed about not seeing any fast paced rack scoring action, just wait until LA. ;)Seconded--and I can think of two other teams who can third and fourth this comment.

Karthik
03-03-2007, 12:36 AM
Here are some stats from the regionals so far: (gotta love Excel)
NJ Regional:
Average Score per Match: 22.027 points
Average Non-Zero Score per Match: 29.369 points
Standard Deviation: 38.422 points
Five Highest Scores: 260, 236, 128, 98, 76

VCU:
Average Score per Match: 15.731 points
Average Non-Zero Score per Match: 21.521 points
Standard Deviation: 19.558 points
Five Highest Scores: 108, 84, 64, 64, 62

STL:
Average Score per Match: 19.490 points
Average Non-Zero Score per Match: 23.116 points
Standard Deviation: 26.733 points
Five Highest Scores: 128, 128, 128, 100, 66

PNW: (only limited data set of only 16 matches available)
Average Score per Match: 18.031 points
Average Non-Zero Score per Match: 22.192 points
Standard Deviation: 19.435 points
Five Highest Scores: 77, 60, 45, 34, 32


Here are some additional stats. With the standard deviation being so high, the average isn't as much of a tell tale stat as the median.

New Jersey
Median Winning Score: 23
Median Losing Score: 4
Overal Median Score: 8

VCU
Median Winning Score: 22
Median Losing Score: 2
Overal Median Score: 8

St. Louis
Median Winning Score: 30
Median Losing Score: 2
Overal Median Score: 7

I'm known for having very low scoring predictions, but even I envisioned the bar being higher than this. It will be interesting to see how these trends play out as the season goes further along.

Hieb
03-03-2007, 01:26 AM
This makes for low scoring (read: boring) matches.

I'll respectfully disagree with this, at least the boring part. Maybe it's because I'm a soccer fan and can enjoy 1-1 tie more than a 100 point win, but I saw some very exciting matches today, including one we lost 13-15. Just because teams aren't consistently scoring 100+ points doesn't mean it's a boring game.

BBnum3
03-03-2007, 01:39 AM
I'll respectfully disagree with this, at least the boring part. Maybe it's because I'm a soccer fan and can enjoy 1-1 tie more than a 100 point win, but I saw some very exciting matches today, including one we lost 13-15. Just because teams aren't consistently scoring 100+ points doesn't mean it's a boring game.

I'm a huge soccer fan as well (see the sig) and I understand what you're saying. One of the most exciting matches I've ever seen was a 0-0 draw. There's a difference between two extremely evenly matched alliances duking it out and two struggling alliances failing to score. I should make a distinction that not all low scoring matches are boring, and that it depends on the type of match being played. Anyway, I think the matches will get more exciting as everyone figures out the best way to play the game.

Joel J
03-03-2007, 01:45 AM
I'm going to wait until the end of the elimination rounds tommorow before I say anything. That is, I'm hoping that things will pick up little bit tommorow.

av11d
03-03-2007, 10:44 AM
I like the game. I think the elims are going to be a LOT of fun. That's when spoilers will matter.

The main problem I see with this year's game is the lack of an "easy" way to score a point or two. Like if there was something to do that could score you one point that would be cool. It'd mix the scores up a little at least. There are too many ties right now. I know 75 has 3 ties already with 1 qualifying match left. Ties = Pretty boring.

Alex Cormier
03-03-2007, 10:47 AM
The game is lame.
untill the eliminations come around then the game gets exciting again! I am sure that ATL will be totally diffrent then the regionals.

Jack Jones
03-03-2007, 10:54 AM
The game is lame.

Please Alex! Don't hold back; tell us what you really think. :D

Alex Cormier
03-03-2007, 10:56 AM
Please Alex! Don't hold back; tell us what you really think. :D

that's susposed to be a huge period at the end. :P

Joel J
03-03-2007, 11:16 AM
I dunno. Its picking up, it looks like.

d.courtney
03-03-2007, 11:20 AM
Rack N' Roll is a very great concept, but thats all it is, there are too many quirks that weren't worked out, and many factors which killed this game. I have to say I very much was looking forward to this game when it was released, I expected many excellent scoring bots, after all the lessons we learned in '05 in what works and what doesn't. But when the game died for me was here on CD, when I saw 3 out of every 4 teams were a ramp bot, compromising scoring in order to be able to have teams climb up a 30 degree ramp, something even their robot couldn't do. So here is what I believe killed the game:

1. Lack of a central focus. Lets face it teams have tried everything this year, they make a robot with a ramp, and a scorer, thus equally compromising each other, then most of them don't have enough weight to make a 6 wheeled robot or track drive to drive up other ramps and can't compromise the lift they need in order to drive up one, so they settle to have a low clearance robot that others can drive on. With a vast majority of teams doing this, we end up with a lot of compromised robots. I respect the fact that some teams can do everything in the game and very well, but not every team can accomplish this, what we needed to do was K.I.S.S.

2. Not enough emphasis on autonomous. Ask anyone within FIRST and those with the most effective autonomous 9 times out of 10 have the most effective robot. With this year having little gain to have an effective autonomous, teams put it on the back burner worrying solely on mechanical, well a lesson we all need to take from, is that a well programmed average robot usually outperforms a poorly programmed engineered robot. Point is Autonomous not only scores you a few points, but teaches that programmer many things that they can bring back into their operator control, such as PID loops and sensors.

3. Spoilers mean almost nothing in the game. Chances are if you have to place a spoiler on a teams tube as to break up that row of 8 you don't have a good enough scorer to begin with as you should have stopped it by placing your own tube ages ago. Then if its evenly matched it makes more sense to double your points instead of play with the other teams tubes, something they are more liable to take note of and defend. Had FIRST instead said that a spoiler reverses the side said tube counted for, then it would have more uses in the game and we would see it played much more often.

4. The last thing that killed the game is the "random" schedules. This takes half of what FIRST is and throws it out the door, instead of having it so that no team is against any other team, playing with one match and playing against the next, we find many teams playing the same team time and time again. It also punishes the teams on the receiving end of a "stacked" side when they may have a very capable robot worthy of a top 8 placement. This is the only thing I feel FIRST can do for this game.

Travis Hoffman
03-03-2007, 11:32 AM
I am more than mildly amused by alliances that ramp and score 60, daring the other non-ramp alliance to get a row of 7.....

Or even score 30 early, and send the other robot to harass the 3 offenders.

Seen it a few times.

geowasp
03-03-2007, 03:19 PM
well, i think a quick fix of the game is to simpl8y extend the period of the main phase, giving teams more time to put on tubes, 2:30 to get tubes on AND get on a ramp is just too little, teams are retreating too early, too often to get on the ramp bot, sometimes making the last seconds very boring for the audience, where one simply sees a couple of bots struggling to go up some ramp. in addition, lowering the bonus for the ramp would also have encouraged more teams to go for more of a offensive bots, making it more of a "rack and roll" than "roll on the ramp". For those who watch the NBA, u may have noticed a recent influx of offensively minded teams, due to new rules against perimeter defense, creating a more exciting game to watch. A more exciting game = more people to watch = attracting more kids to join FIRST = good thing

Andrew Blair
03-03-2007, 03:38 PM
I am more than mildly amused by alliances that ramp and score 60, daring the other non-ramp alliance to get a row of 7.....

Or even score 30 early, and send the other robot to harass the 3 offenders.

Seen it a few times.

Definently. It seems to be very effective- at least during qualifiers.


I'm a huge soccer fan as well (see the sig) and I understand what you're saying. One of the most exciting matches I've ever seen was a 0-0 draw. There's a difference between two extremely evenly matched alliances duking it out and two struggling alliances failing to score...

And see, this is the problem I see. I play soccer, and when there is a great player, you know when he's making a great play. You can tell when an awesome rip comes inches from the goal post, and you can tell when a striker and stopper go down together in the mud.

In Rack&Roll, from the web-casts anyways, you can't really tell. It looks like a lot of fumbling around much of the time- not an offense vs. defense struggle. On the field, I'm sure it's a different matter, but from the viewers perspective, it's pretty bad. In 2006, you could tell that teams were jockeying for position to shoot, and spectators were rewarded when a defensive robot pushed a team around, causing a volley of balls to fly overhead.

Much of this apparent fumbling comes from what appears to be indecision. Last year, teams would be scoring or defending. The last twenty seconds, teams would either make a ramp attempt, or continue to score. Maybe there would be a commited, last second try to get up the ramp. This year, teams seem to be just kinda driving around the field at times, and at the end of matches, teams often don't seem to have a good idea whether or not they're going to climb a ramp. Sometimes they make a half hearted attempt, then drive back onto the field to push around a few tubes. It looks clumsy.

I also think that it will get better with time, but right now, it's not real good.

Beth Sweet
03-03-2007, 04:16 PM
First off, I am terrified that the inefficient "random" alliances are going to control the game and teams who might not bring much to the table may end up in the top 8 because they had the same good partners for 8 matches and that good teams will miss out because they were paired with partners who didn't compliment them. I seriously hope that there will be some sort of adjustment to this system, because as is, I think that this system can completely run the regionals.

Secondly, I am a bit disappointed in the lack of ramp action. I barely saw any ramping until the tournament (VCU). I am rather surprised by this. I wonder if this will vary by regional.

Third, I too am surprised that the spoilers are so unused. Perhaps as the weeks progress and teams go to second and third regionals this will improve.

MarsBOtkid
03-03-2007, 04:25 PM
Battle of the ramps.

Beta Version
03-03-2007, 05:38 PM
I for one, actually really like the game this year. I think, yes it may be low scoring, but I think it's much more spectator friendly. In every other game in the past three years I've seen, I have never been able to follow who was winning. I'd just sit there bored until the screen showed who had one. This year, you can really follow who is winning and get excited during the matches.

However, I do think there was a lack of autonomous incentive, and its painful to see so few robots (including are's) not participate in one of the collest parts of the game. Autonomous could have been better.

Joe Matt
03-03-2007, 05:55 PM
I've had my worries about this game from day one, but now I feel confident that we have a great game on our hands. Is it perfect? No. I still think Aim High was as close to perfection in a game we have ever come to, but I see this game more as a new Stack Attack, while the scoring on the field is important, the end-all-be-all is the end scoring/ramp.

Scott Perry
03-03-2007, 06:20 PM
The first week is always very clumsy. Making any lasting judgement until the next regionals would be premature.

Eventually, we should see successful platformers that will be in dire need of competant scorers who can block and stack. I also hope to see bonus-dependant alliances begin to be beaten by a team of robots that really hang the ringers quickly.


I do agree on two things. So far, the ring scoring has been a disappointment. Also, the radomizing algorithum has needed a VAST improvement for years.

Uberbots
03-03-2007, 06:31 PM
The lack of autonomous scoring was quite a disappointment. i mean, i know that it is difficult to an extent, but i still would think that some teams would have been able to get it a lot better than i saw.
it was also surprising how much impact that a good defensive robot had. seriously, alot of the 0-0's were a cause of high defense.

Rich Ross
03-03-2007, 06:36 PM
Lets get real. This game<decent. At least so far.

My thoughts...

1. A robot should really need to do more than unfold (mind you, i love the unfolding robots and i would build one given the chance now. Imagine a robot that unfolded across the entire home zone... it wouldn't even need drive wheels!!) Even the best ramp bot should need to play some defense or do something besides open up.

2. Spoilers should matter. Nuff said.

3. Keepers are not valuable enough. Teams dont care that much about it. Last year, teams had incentive. This year? not so much. Until MANY teams score spoilers, the keeper just isn't that big of a deal.

4. I do not want to play against the same team over and over again. I dont care if its a great fight every time or not. more randomization is needed. ASAP

5. if there arent more serious scorers, the ramps are going to be the difference. Three ramp bots could easily win a regional (based on what's happened so far) if the opposing alliance doesnt have a ramp. 45's vistory came not because of tubes, but because they had a strategy that integrated the ramp of their teammate (my apologies to 45's alliance partners. I beleive they are 1444 and 829)

Grats on the regional wins for those teams and also grats to all chairmans and other award winners.

wilsonmw04
03-03-2007, 06:46 PM
Wow, i just can't get over the amount of negativity there is about this game. Today at VCU, the crowd was going wild. The game is great in concept and good in practice. The only thing that I would love to see changed before next week, would be that more yellow flags be issued for, how shall i put it, "Aggressive Defense". If we want a more exciting game we need to give the scoring bots a bit of protection. We had great scoring bots at VCU (1086 and 384 come to mind) who couldn't play their game because of aggressive defense. Having a robot who's job is just to keep folks from scoring is not what I feel FIRST is about. We had robots breaking, being slammed into the rack and being flipped by ďdefensiveĒ play. Only 2 yellow flags were given. The Refs need to start letting those yellow flags fly. Defense is too strong, we need a clarification of what is allowed for defensive play.

Travis Hoffman
03-03-2007, 06:50 PM
The only thing that I would love to see changed before next week, would be that more yellow flags be issued for, how shall i put it, "Aggressive Defense". If we want a more exciting game we need to give the scoring bots a bit of protection. Defense is too strong, we need a clarification of what is allowed for defensive play.

You already have a very clear clarification - no ramming, no wedging, and no tipping.

Teams must be egregiously violating the rules to warrant Yellow Cards. I believe the rules are clear on what constitutes legal defense and what is over the line. I thought the refs did a good job this week of letting teams display both styles of play.

The scoring bots should give THEMSELVES protection by designing in the ability to hold their own against or maneuver around a defensive push. Many veteran offensive teams have learned how to do this effectively. It's something that comes with experience.

It's all part of the original design challenge. Remastering the rules or referee guidance as the season goes on to favor one style of play over the other is not a good idea.....

wilsonmw04
03-03-2007, 07:02 PM
You already have a very clear clarification - no ramming, no wedging, and no tipping.

The scoring bots should have given THEMSELVES protection by designing in the ability to hold their own against a defensive push. *cough* 25 *cough*

It's part of the design challenge. Remastering the rules as the season goes on to favor one style of play over the other is not a good idea.....

I not asking for a "remastering of the rules", i'm asking for a clarification. When is defense too agressive? I saw one bot go out there and play defense and get one of the few yellow flags of the event. The next 10 matches I saw multiple robots use the same tactics not get a flag. "Defense" is taking the rack out of play for most of the matches. If we really want this game to be called "rack N roll", we need to get the rack back in play or it's going to be a battle of the ramps.

Dan Petrovic
03-03-2007, 07:16 PM
I don't find this game boring at all.

It is definately one of the most edge-of-your-seat games I have seen. A lot of the time, no one was completely trounced, but then again. A lot of the time they were.

Autonomous isn't a very big bonus, but it is certainly exciting to watch a robot (or two... it happened!) score in autonomous.

The stragety of the finalist team was to score in autonomous, play defense and let one robot to the scoring.

One of the most exciting matches was a semi-final match, I believe, when an alliance won 2 to 0. What made this so intense was that it was original 2 -2 because of such rough defense (It's New England, what do yo expect?). The fact that a team was outside of the 6x6 box ended the match there.

I like this game. It's quite exciting.

overlord
03-03-2007, 07:26 PM
The finals today during the NJ Regional were a completely different story. Spoilers became a more common thing in the elimination rounds. A big turn was Hawaii taking away a 256 wrap around from team 25 by placing one spoiler. I am sad that my team is so tight on budget and cannot go to any other regionals. I think that Rack 'n' Roll got off to a slow start but ended up being a huge success especially in the NJ Regional Final. Maybe the NYC and Philly finals will have more success.

Tomasz Bania
03-03-2007, 07:35 PM
To clarify a few posts that i've seen and from what i've heard (Haven't been to a regional yet this year) FIRST no longer uses HATCH's algorithm. I've heard some complaints about hatch from last year, but I thought that for the most part it was decent.

Anyways...

This years game is slightly more interesting than I thought it would be. I thought it would be a complete failiure. Autonomous is fairly pointless this year. The Telooperated period is pretty good as it is a little more competitive than i thought it would be. End game is basically a battle for the ramp. This years game is focused on 2 things: Ringers and Ramps. Nothing else in this years game has any real need. Keepers are fairly useless and Spoilers are more of an accessory rather than an important part of this years game. Just my thought...

(Click_Here)
03-03-2007, 07:36 PM
It was simply the exact opposite of what I expected!

WaterFreak
03-03-2007, 07:38 PM
Having spent 3 days watching matches & fixing robots, I am BLOODY exhausted!!!!!

Guess I have to agree on a couple of things....

#1 The Autononomous should have had a higher encentive, make it worth the effort it would really take to get it working. In MOST of the matches I saw, basically nothing happened in autononomous time. Even in the finals, only 2 of the 6 robots made any attempt to hang a ringer. Perhaps if a hung rung counted as a full vertical row or double points for any row it was part of, perhaps that would have triggered more effort into it.

#2 Ramping was a pretty huge thing, at least in the qualifying rounds. Come the playoffs, the teams that did well were ones with 2 good scoring robots & 1 ramper, with the ramper playing defense for the first portion of the match.

#3 The top row was pretty much not in play, all three days. Again, this could have used some incentive as the risk to attempt to hang rings on the top is pretty big.

#4 The spoilers ended up almost never being used. Seems that most teams were focused on attempting to score and not paying much attention to what the other team was doing.

#5 Lastly, seems the "best" thing to have done was pick ONE of the two things (ramps or scoring) and focused on them. Most of the robots that I saw that tried to do both suffered from compromise disease and ended up really doing neither one with much effeciency. The teams that won in NJ had 2 goods scorers (no ramps) and 1 ramper (that really only played defense). The finals was somewhat of a letdown, IMHO, both matches were pretty one-sided.

While this is NOT my favorite game, it is also NOT my LEAST favorite game. They always present challenges for teams to attempt to solve and expand the mind, think it has achieved that.

John Gutmann
03-03-2007, 07:47 PM
It is deffinately more exciting to watch then I origonally thought.

Chief Samwize
03-03-2007, 07:54 PM
i can't wait until Detriot, our first competition. After seeing the game this past weekend I'm really excited to see how we match up to the competition.
I love the game but i was suprised with the no spoiler thing.
Anyway...
Congrats to all teams this past weekend and good luck to everyone else.

s_forbes
03-03-2007, 08:10 PM
After watching the practice matches, I had some doubt about the possibility of high scoring matches. But after watching the eliminations at VCU and New Jersey, it looks like high scoring matches will be fairly common later on (I can't wait to see nationals...)

platypus
03-03-2007, 08:39 PM
After watching the eliminations, I'll add to what I listed yesterday:

1. The ideal configuration is two scoring bots and one lift bot, but I could have told you that 1 minute into strategy discussions at the beginning of build season. Yet, this simple statement makes a huge assumption: the lift bot must be reliable. At GSR, there was one truly reliable lift bot, and it was a simple bot that let out a platform at one side and a gradual ramp on the other, with no manipulator. It was second-round picked by the 1st seeded team, and was climbed for 60 points every round.

2. This is a HIGHLY proactive (offensive) game. If you can score, you should never defend. Simply put, the proactive plan of doubling your score by adding to the row that you're completing tends to be more effective than preventing a single opponent from doubling his score for 20 seconds. Use PROACTIVE DEFENSE, by scoring in places that prevent your opponents from scoring.

3. The ideal basic strategy is to start by placing ringers on two side spider arms to set up a row of five. This prevents the opposing alliance from ever having a chance to make something big of the bottom row, which is the easiest to score on by leaps and bounds. It's proactive defense.

4. If in the rare case you have a reliable lift bot on your alliance, audible your typical strategy for the following:
-Use your scorers to proactively defend by placing ringers in places that stop your opponents from scoring a row longer than 3.
-Have your lift bot set up way in advance (25-30 seconds left in the game) so that your opponents cannot possibly stop him from getting to the endzone in time.
-At about 15 seconds left, you should have less points on the rack, but neither score will be even close to 30 points. Send both your robots to be lifted. If even one is, you will win.
This strategy was used over and over again by the winning alliance. Their opponents really never had a chance.

5. Some people thought that spoiler use might pick up on day 2... they were wrong. Proactive defense is the way to go. Spoilers are not proactive, and teams' abilities to place them suffer from the instant outcry from the announcer that, "OMG, THEY'RE GOING FOR THE SPOILER!!!!!!!!!"

6. There is much debate on this thread as to whether or not this is an exciting game. My conclusion: it really depends how deep you personally analyze these games. The general audience loves this game, as, unlike last year, it's easy to understand exactly what's going on, and it's very fast-paced (because proactivity is the key).
As a analyst myself, I thought this game was boring. The games were often all the same, where one team got control of the majority of the bottom row and it was all over with 30-45 seconds left on the clock. The only question mark was whether or not a lift bot would set up, and whether the other robots were capable of climbing it. In most games, there wasn't even a lift bot and most lift bots were not reliable (thus if you know the lift bots at all from scouting, you already know the outcome 9 times out of 10). If you see past the fast-pace, the game is deceptively shallow. I really hope that this changes as the season moves forward...

Bongle
03-03-2007, 08:45 PM
If you see past the fast-pace, the game is deceptively shallow. I really hope that this changes as the season moves forward...

I haven't watched any of the video yet, but do you think that as regionals move on, teams will start heavily defending against lift bots? As you said, they are essentially the game-deciders, so blocking or trapping your opponent's lift ability may be worth it. If you sacrifice one lifted robot to stop their lift robot from ever lifting, then you're still doing better than your opponents.

Mike Starke
03-03-2007, 09:23 PM
Let's just say I'm super excited for FLR this weekend!

Joe G.
03-03-2007, 09:23 PM
From what I saw at BAE today, this game is one of the best I've seen, particularly as a spectator game. Some of the the good things about Rack and Roll:

-Huge variaty of designs (arms, elevators, ramps, lifters, pure defensive
robots, and combinations.) Aim High 80% of the robots were pitching
machines on wheels, and Triple Play there was only one real task for
robots to do , so all the designs were kind of similar

-Game can change at any moment. One of the things I did not like about
Aim High was that 2/3rds of the time, the winner of autonomous would win
the match. This put a fair amount of teams at a disadvantage if they, for
whatever reason, did not have experienced programmers avalible, even if
they had a very good robot mechanichally. With Rack and Roll, the
outcome can change with one ringer at any moment, and this will
probably be even more the case as the season progresses and spoilers
become more of a factor.

-Lots of defensive opportunities. Although not quite as important as in Aim
High, this game encourages defence. A fair amount of teams have had the
strategy of repeatedly ramming the rack, which is quite effective against
all but the most experienced drivers. Opportunities for a team to score big
with one maneuver occur quite often (adding to a large row in a close
game, ramps, spoilers,) and for an alliance to do well, they must be able
to block at least some of these.

-Teamwork between alliance partners is required. Since defence is so
crtical, counterdefence is also quite important. Also, there have been
several instances of teams helping other teams up ramps, teams trying to
tip teams that have been tipped failing to climbing a ramp, etc. Along with
this, alliance partner selection for the finals is much more complicated, as
teams have to consider the two distinct elements of the game, and how
the three robots will work together to get the 60 points in the endgame.

-Spectatorwise, the game is great. No matter who you want to win a
match, you always seem to find yourself rooting for teams to score in
autonomous, just because it is so impressive. The action around the rack
it quite intense, and as mentioned above, the score can change at any
moment. If needed, teams often put on great defensive displays, and the
ramp climbing at the end is as exciting of an endgame task as the
endgame was in 03/04.

That being said, there are also some definate negative aspects of the game, but as others have said, a fair amount of these will probably improve as the season goes on and the rack gets filled up more.

1. Spoilers are not that useful. True, it is almost always more advantageous to score a ringer instead, but as the season progresses and the rack becomes more filled, expect spoilers to play a more important role. So far, most scoring has only been on one level per match, but in a situation in which both large horizontal and vertical rows have been created, a situation that will start happening more and more often, a spoiler placed in the middle will reduce scores by large amounts. Also, the lack of spoiled spiders was not so much due to them being completely ignored, but due to extreme defense played on teams possessing a spoiler, since they were usually only brought into play when an alliance had a 5-6+ row

2. Keepers do not give much of an advantage. I believe that as the season goes on, the importance of keepers will increace dramatically. As more of the rack gets filled, keepers will be used strategically as the middle of large clumps. This will make clumps like these harder to spoil. Still, keepers could use more incentive, like making them multiply rows they are in by something, or an additional 10 points or something just for having it on the rack, regardless of its placement in rows.

3. The top row is ignored. As teams become more practiced and used to the game, collums will become more important, and the large horizontal rows we have seen so far less so. Therefore, an ability to score up high will become a desired ability as the season goes on.

1. A robot should really need to do more than unfold (mind you, i love the unfolding robots and i would build one given the chance now. Imagine a robot that unfolded across the entire home zone... it wouldn't even need drive wheels!!) Even the best ramp bot should need to play some defense or do something besides open up.


I really didn't see many ramp robots doing this at BAE today. (may have been different at other regionals though) Most ramp robots would ram the rack/push other robots for the first minute, and then go and unfold with about 45 seconds left

However, one problem that not many have mentioned is that a human player can inadvertantly shut down their own robot scoring wise. Several times, a ringer thrown by a human player got wrapped around some long, tall part of the robot, dissallowing it from picking up other ringers. Unfortunately, I can't really see any way to work around this problem other than for human players to be more careful. Also, the "random" alliance issue really needs to be fixed.

Joe Matt
03-03-2007, 09:46 PM
If you see past the fast-pace, the game is deceptively shallow. I really hope that this changes as the season moves forward...

I LOVED your analysis of the game, but I find a big flaw with this statement. You're assuming a few major things with what you say...

1.) You can ONLY score one ringer on each spider leg. This is not true, anyone can go over what you put, but ONLY ONCE. Two can fit on. This is a proactive way to negate a large score. This adds a MASSIVE amount of new strategy to the game that only boggles the mind. Even though it's harder to see on the other side of the field, any scoring on the sides can be well seen and changed.

2.) You igonre the ramp bot quite a bit and fail to realize it's potential to act on defense during the match. If the robot has a good latch system and drive train, some pushing and ringer moving would give the other alliance enough of a headache to gain a small advantage.

3.) You fail to address the unpredicable nature of the tubes. These aren't sure fire scoring objects like balls, they are like bins, very unpredictable.

4.) The rack multiplication goes up and down along with side to side. A sqauare of 4 would get you the same amount of points as 4 on the bottom, but would be harder to break for the opposing alliance due to visibility.

I see this game as lacking certain aspects of previous year's games, but not to the point of being shallow. There's a lot there.

Oh, and I disagree that last year's game was hard to understand, by far, it was one of the easiest for new people to understand (shoot balls in the goals for 3 points, side goals for 1, 4 game periods, ramp at end) compared to other years games (balls fall, humans must shoot, can cap, only counts in colored goals, bots can hang, etc.)

Here's some things I agree on...

Spoilers- pointless at the current time, I think their inclusion was a test by FIRST, much as the inclusing of having robots interact with other robots to score (aka the ramp).

Keepers- they seem to lack any significant value during the qualifications besides making your team stand out, as we progress to The 4 and beyond (aka the 4 Championship fields and Einstein) they will be priceless, especially if they can score them on the sides of the rack, not just the part facing them.

Auton- will win games just like the ramps. If you get those 3 up there, that's just 2 more to put up till you negate a robot on their side. JUST TWO. One more would negate the max 60 points they can get by raising their robot.

dbell
03-03-2007, 09:46 PM
At GSR, there was one truly reliable lift bot, and it was a simple bot that let out a platform at one side and a gradual ramp on the other, with no manipulator. It was second-round picked by the 1st seeded team, and was climbed for 60 points every round.

That is 1824 that you are talking about. 172 (the pink one) was also a very reliable lifter. there may be others too.

If you can score, you should never defend
No. We (1519) could have scored 2 or so tubes, but, with defence we were able to stop the aliance from scoring much more than we could have scored.


My thoughts on the game as a whole are this:
(this is my opinion, and I havn't seen a lot of rouds because I've been in the pits a lot. )

1. I would have liked to see more importance for the autonomous mode. The keepers didn't make muck difference. this auto mode reminds me of 2005.

2. spoilers sound like a good idea to lower the opposing the other teams score, but.... And often it would make a lot of sense to do this instead of adding another tube to your own row, but, the other team will probably stop that from happening with defence.

3. the human player involvment is good. once I saw a HP throw a tube onto a spider:D .

4. ramping can ba a huge thing or it might not. it depends a lot on the teams in the match. sometimes when each alliance has a few tubes and about the same number of points the ramp can make all the difference in the world. or sometimes 2 very good tube scoring bots can get a row of 6 or more and the ramp won't help. i think that this make the game interesting.

5. the bottom spider is too important. (my opinion)

just my thoughts

VEN
03-03-2007, 09:50 PM
I think that there is too much defensive play this year and less that involves completing a certain task. Also, with the creation of the game a choice was given to create a ramp bot or a bot that scores and as it turns out many took the path of the ramp bot cause the game play to be violent and sometimes pointless.

Overall, from what I saw watching the New Jersey webcast, the game IS exciting and there are many sweet robots out there

wilsonmw04
03-03-2007, 09:58 PM
Also, with the creation of the game a choice was given to create a ramp bot or a bot that scores and as it turns out many took the path of the ramp bot cause the game play to be violent and sometimes pointless.


Exactly what i was thinking Ven.

Andrew Blair
03-03-2007, 10:07 PM
I LOVED your analysis of the game, but I find a big flaw with this statement. You're assuming a few major things with what you say...

1.) You can ONLY score one ringer on each spider leg....




Um, not true. Once you have placed a ringer onto a spider leg, that leg cannot be scored upon by the opposing alliance. It's value can be negated by the placing of a spoiler, but once it has been scored by the other team, you can't ever get it back for your alliance.

Please refer to rule <G15>:

<G15> Double RINGERS - a RINGER can not be placed on a SPIDER LEG on which a RINGER is already HANGING. If a ROBOT HANGS a RINGER on a SPIDER LEG that already has a HANGING RINGER from the opposing ALLIANCE, the second RINGER will be ignored when calculating the match score. If a ROBOT HANGS a RINGER on a SPIDER LEG that already has a HANGING RINGER from their own ALLIANCE (for example, to prevent a SPOILER from being placed on the SPIDER LEG), the two RINGERS will cancel each other and both will be ignored when determining if the SPIDER LEG is SCORED.

Hieb
03-03-2007, 10:43 PM
I LOVED your analysis of the game, but I find a big flaw with this statement. You're assuming a few major things with what you say...

1.) You can ONLY score one ringer on each spider leg. This is not true, anyone can go over what you put, but ONLY ONCE. Two can fit on. This is a proactive way to negate a large score. This adds a MASSIVE amount of new strategy to the game that only boggles the mind. Even though it's harder to see on the other side of the field, any scoring on the sides can be well seen and changed.


You better check <G15> on that. Double ringers are either ignored or negate your own score.



A few other issues:

1. I don't entirely agree that the bottom spider is the most important. While it may require the least lifting, it is also the easiest to defend regardless of the size of your 'bot. A long arm, on the other hand, can reach over the top of a defending 'bot and still score.

2. Depending on the alliance, a good defense ("proactive" or not) can be very important. If the opposing 'bot can easily score 4 or 5 ringers undefended and I can hold him to just 1 or 2, I've made a big difference in my alliances chances to win. Similarly, if I can "defend" my alliances scoring 'bot by not allowing the opposing defense 'bot to interfere, I've done the same. As far as not being meeting the goals of the game--perhaps not the way you want to play it, but that is something I love about FIRST. Every year I see solutions to the problem that I never even imagined. We specifically chose a gearing that would allow us to to do well in pushing matches (I can't remember ever being out-pushed) and would also allow us to power our way up a ramp. This turned out to be very important, as we fried 3 banebots motors on our arm before switching to pneumatics and then finally abandoning offense.

3. How do you define "agressive defense"? Constant pushing and shoving to keep a team from scoring seems to be very much in the intent of the game, especially with the bumpers that protect the bot while giving a weight advantage over teams that chose not to use them. High speed ramming and similar acts are spelled out in the rules and punished accordingly (sorry Channel Cats--our all out autonomous dash across the field in high gear was a programming error--and the penalty also cost us the match).

I think overall there are many more aspects to the game than I originally thought, and some of the things I though would be important turned out not to be. I really wish we had another opportunity at it, but now I'll just have to sit back, get some sleep, and then see how the rest of you handle this game.

Good luck to all.

Andrew Blair
03-03-2007, 10:57 PM
Something to note: the regionals seem to display greatly different competitiveness. I had focused mostly on VCU, but after watching a few BAE matches, the game is much faster paced and exciting in Manchester. I think the teams at the regionals will control the play for awhile.

Neo3One3
03-03-2007, 11:09 PM
4. The last thing that killed the game is the "random" schedules. This takes half of what FIRST is and throws it out the door, instead of having it so that no team is against any other team, playing with one match and playing against the next, we find many teams playing the same team time and time again. It also punishes the teams on the receiving end of a "stacked" side when they may have a very capable robot worthy of a top 8 placement. This is the only thing I feel FIRST can do for this game.
I agree greatly with this. During the BAE Regional we faced one of our opponents four times throughout qualifiers, and another three times. Truly, something needs to be done about this scheduling.

JoeXIII'007
03-03-2007, 11:27 PM
Seeing what everyone is saying about this year's game, I really cannot wait for GLR, Buckeye, and ESPECIALLY the championships... no... really... I can't wait. I just hope there is some more good scoring than I have heard/read of.

:D

-Joe

PS: That said, I am anticipating a more dynamic game as the season progresses.

Not2B
03-03-2007, 11:52 PM
I just want to say thanks to all the teams that "went first" this weekend. I'm sure next week will be different, because all of us other teams are now adjusting our thought patterns, and stratagies.

Things will adjust as the season goes on... don't sweat it.

Jack Jones
03-03-2007, 11:54 PM
Iím convinced that this game calls for a defensive ramp bot that scores tubes.

If you canít lift your alliance, then maybe none of you can. You run the risk of losing out on the bonus points, and thereby loosing qualifying matches.

On the other hand, you can expect to see semis and finals where both sides can, and will, get the 60 points. So youíd better hang tubes.

However, no matter how well you score, there are always teams thatíll be just as good or better. No matter how well you score, a strong defensive robot can shut you down if you canít out maneuver and/or out push and/or out run them. Besides, once youíve got the opponents outscored, itís unwise to give them a chance to catch up in shootout. So, the drivetrain is every bit as critical as the ramp and the scoring mechanism.

No offence to the week one teams, we saw a lot of good robots; but you havenít seen as many in one place as you will at GLR. I predict that many of this gameís detractors will form a whole new opinion once they see that show. Iím pretty sure that the idea that defense, and ramping, and scoring are mutually exclusive will go right out the window.

LocknLoad
03-04-2007, 12:09 AM
I found the Granite State Regional to be very exciting and entertaining. There were a vairety of robots competing and it discourages me when I hear of teams tying at 0-0 at others.

Watch some of these videos, especially those with teams 501 or 40 in them.

http://soap.circuitrunners.com/2007/movies/nh/

Even though you can't hear the crowd you can be sure their teams were cheering their heads off. Hopefully this will bring some light to this so called 'booring' competition.

VanMan
03-04-2007, 12:43 AM
At first the game seemed silly because teams were not scoring too much, but this year defense is key. Our robot was a crazy defense bot. We could stop any team from scoring ringers. According to the stats the ramps gave the most points for the rounds. We also had incredible ramps that did not fail. Currently we are trying to get the money to go to Championship. So overall I really like this years game.

Ben Piecuch
03-04-2007, 01:29 AM
This is week 1 of a very dynamic game, where the robots (and their drivers) need a bit of practice, and a better understanding of the game. The Thursday practice rounds practically put me to sleep, saved only by the slew of ringers thrown around the field. I was shocked by the 2-0, 0-0 scores in Friday's rounds. But Saturday and the eliminations, whoa! If anyone thinks that this is a one-dimensional game, I suggest you watch the QF rounds at BAE. Seeing the #1 seed alliance play the game perfectly, made me a believer!

I'm now excited for this game, and can't wait for our chance to play during week 3. By then, autonomous will be much more prominent, rack scoring will be a vital part of the game, and 2x 12" lifters should have all their bugs worked out. History has shown that week 1 is always a low-scoring, defensive stand-off. But by the end of the regionals and the championship event, the game has played out as it was designed, with plenty of offense, defense, and amazing plays.

My prediction for the finals in Atlanta: 2 opposing 2x 12" lifters, and a shoot-out around the rack with 4 bots who can each place 5-7 tubes (be it keepers, ringers, or spoilers.) This will require the use of all 3 levels of the rack and tubes from both sides of the field. You can count on a lot of scoring, and the most excitement we've seen since FIRST Frenzy. Get ready!

BEN

razor95kds
03-04-2007, 02:37 AM
i see this game as starting slow but will definitely pick up at nationals, just like triple play. Tube scoring will be important as the rack will be filled and ramps will be less important and will seperate the good from the great alliances.

dbell
03-04-2007, 12:47 PM
i see this game as starting slow but will definitely pick up at nationals, just like triple play. Tube scoring will be important as the rack will be filled and ramps will be less important and will seperate the good from the great alliances.
Reply With Quote

I agree that the game will pick up at nationals. but when the rack is full that sometimes means that the ramps will make all the difference.

T3_1565
03-04-2007, 01:06 PM
I will be shocked to see a full rack. I mean it might be done if there were no defence, but from what I have seen defence is becoming very important. It seems fairly easy to stop a bot from scoring all round and winning through that method. But Week 1 has had some nice matches, but expect so better ones to come for sure!

dangerousdave
03-04-2007, 01:19 PM
It was a little disappointing to see a few robots that just unfolded in their alliance zone without even playing a little defense.

Concerning the on-screen scoring and timing; I would like to see a return of the actual number of seconds left in the match instead of or in addition to, the little green line indicator. Granted the announcer usually told us how many seconds were left but it would be nice to see the actual time.

As others have said here, the lack of autonomous mode scoring was disappointing.

However, the game was exciting especially in the playoff rounds.

Dave

Travis Hoffman
03-04-2007, 01:25 PM
Concerning the on-screen scoring and timing; I would like to see a return of the actual number of seconds left in the match instead of or in addition to, the little green line indicator. Granted the announcer usually told us how many seconds were left but it would be nice to see the actual time.



I wholeheartedly second this request. I'm surprised it wasn't a natural part of the original scoring software design.

dpraedan
03-04-2007, 01:26 PM
I agree greatly with this. During the BAE Regional we faced one of our opponents four times throughout qualifiers, and another three times. Truly, something needs to be done about this scheduling.

Indeed, we faced you guys four times, and it seems like you were either facing us or 172. We have some alumni who were volunteering during GSR and we learned from them that the alliance selections are actually not random. There's an algorithm that is essentially dependent on the team numbers themselves, and it pitted lower number teams against one another and vice versa, with the idea that the more experienced teams would be performing better than the newer teams. This, of course, is quite untrue, but that seems to be the way it played out.

meatmanek
03-04-2007, 01:50 PM
6. Autonomous is a bust, which is kind of sad but completely unsurprising. One keeper was scored today. Just one. As a software guy, I know that it's not an easy autonomous to write this year. Last year, you could use the light to align a shooter and fire from the starting position. This year, you have to move while tracking the light, and move a manipulator to the proper height. This is not easy, and there really isn't much incentive to make it work. Since spoilers aren't used, keepers are basically ringers (and even if spoilers were used, it wouldn't matter very often as spoilers would break the row on the ringer next to the keeper). That's 2 whole points for your trouble, which is why teams just aren't bothering. (My team for one instead focused on an advanced teleoperated control system with preset postitions recorded into EEPROM, and relegated autonomous to that bottom part of the software todo list that never sees a share of the limited integration time.)


I have to agree that autonomous isn't worth as much as it could be. At St. Louis, maybe one or two spoilers were placed ever. I thought we would be spending most of our time working on autonomous, when in fact we spent most of our time working on perfecting our teleoperated code. We do plan to write an autonomous mode, but we think it will mostly be for show.

This year, more than ever, a sophisticated teleoperated mode is incredibly useful, particularly on 868's robot. Our tube handling system has 3 separate controllable parts, and a simple switch-on-the-OI system would make the job of the operator incredibly complex. Fortunately for me, depending on the job at hand, there are only a few distinct setups that the system should have. (The grabber should never be open when the arm is up in the air unless you're trying to take off a spoiler, or you've hit the rack)

Eldarion
03-04-2007, 02:55 PM
As a programmer, I am very disappointed by the lack of emphasis FIRST placed on autonomous. 2 points is something that can be gotten far easier by making the arm a little faster, playing a little better defense, etc.

According to the scoring for this year's game, the most important thing is to lift two robots 12". Problem is, everyone decided to make a ramp bot, with a few exceptions. This makes it difficult to get ramp bots on top of other ramp / lifting bots, and as an added 'bonus' decreases the amount of scoring on the rack.

I think that the autonomous period should have been emphasized much more strongly (maybe a 15-point bonus per autonomous keeper? This would have made autonomous worth almost as much as lifting, and would have decreased the amount of ramp bots out there in my opinion.)

Also, a little note as to the rack. There are several times when the rack was moved such that both lights were out of the field of view of the camera. There probably should have been lights above all 8 columns, not just the four columns. This would also have allowed semi-automatic scoring during manual mode, and may once again have increased the number of ringers and spoilers placed on the rack. 90 seconds or less is not much time to be able to manually place more than a couple of tubes! (I am assuming a minimum of 30 seconds to be able to set up to lift / drive into position to be lifted)

So, there you are. I don't mean to bash this year's game, but to offer constructive criticism of it in the hopes that next year's game will be better.

PandaMan
03-04-2007, 03:00 PM
Although autonomous may not be as vital as it was last year, a dependable autonomous can play a key role in winning heavy defensive matches. (We tied our last qualification match 4-4; an autonomous cap would have been very nice at that point). Also, autonomous makes it much easier to start building a ring, as opposed to starting from scratch during the teleoperated period. I agree that autonomous should be given more importance like last year, but it isn't a total bust this year.

Eldarion
03-04-2007, 03:05 PM
Although autonomous may not be as vital as it was last year, a dependable autonomous can play a key role in winning heavy defensive matches. (We tied our last qualification match 4-4; an autonomous cap would have been very nice at that point). Also, autonomous makes it much easier to start building a ring, as opposed to starting from scratch during the teleoperated period. I agree that autonomous should be given more importance like last year, but it isn't a total bust this year.

Yes, but the mechanical team can probably improve the scoring rate during the teleoperated period in less time than it would take to fix the broken autonomous mode! :D

And they would be right in sacrificing autonomous for other mechanical improvements; autonomous usually works at best 75% of the time due to the random rotation of the rack, whereas a faster arm or better defense will work 100% of the time.

In a perfect world, the robot could be perfected mechanically to be the fastest it can possibly be, and then programming could add that extra tube in automomous, but it never works out that way because there is only so much time in the fix-it windows and the practice field.

PandaMan
03-04-2007, 03:12 PM
Yes, but try telling that to the members of your team who could mechanically improve the scoring rate during the teleoperated period! :D


I was talking about teams in general. :yikes:


And they would be right; autonomous usually works at best 75% of the time due to the random rotation of the rack, whereas a faster arm or better defense will work 100% of the time.


Even so, Having an autonomous that works 75% of the time would have made a huge difference in many of those 0-0, 2-2, 2-4 type matched. In such cases, similar to last year, low scoring matches can be greatly affected by autonomous.

Frinkahedron
03-04-2007, 03:36 PM
I agree greatly with this. During the BAE Regional we faced one of our opponents four times throughout qualifiers, and another three times. Truly, something needs to be done about this scheduling.

612 played 611 in every single qualification match at VCU on Friday and early Saturday.

Render
03-04-2007, 03:42 PM
1885 played 1895 in every qualifying match as well...

Eldarion
03-04-2007, 03:45 PM
I was talking about teams in general. :yikes:

So was I! :) Judging from what I saw (one or two robots had autonomous out of the entire regional and lots of fast, effective arms), I think a lot of teams may have had a similar discussion.

Even so, Having an autonomous that works 75% of the time would have made a huge difference in many of those 0-0, 2-2, 2-4 type matched. In such cases, similar to last year, low scoring matches can be greatly affected by autonomous.

I will concede that point.

henryBsick
03-04-2007, 03:57 PM
Of the many thoughts that I have had, two stick out.
1)New 'randomization' algorithm for qualifiers sucks. Plain and simple.

2)I was very dissapointed at the lack of offensive-defense that I saw at NJ. Think Connect 4 people!!!

Predictions:Teams with a consitant arm and RELIABLE dual 12" ramp systems will enjoy victory. (Teams like 67 and 179 pop into my mind) They are rare, but there is one spot out of 3 on an alliance for one of this type of team. Couple that robot with two amazing tubers and you have yourself a win.

Madison
03-04-2007, 04:28 PM
I guess I'll start with my gripes so that I might end with some positive comments.

The bad:

Someone, somewhere needs to do something that'll stop these first regionals from being guinea pigs for everyone else's benefit.
It seemed like enforcement of the rules was phased in throughout the day Friday and through Saturday. On Friday, our lifts were never measured once deployed and we were awarded a 30 pt. bonus. On Saturday, during the elimination rounds, our lifts were measured every time they deployed and we found that there were circumstances that resulted in our partners dipping below 12". That's an important bit of information to know before starting the elimination rounds. Enforce all of the rules all of the time.
We were penalized once for exceeding a 72" x 72" box outside our home zone when the corner of our one, deployed lift passed over the tape. I didn't see anyone actually measure anything, though. I can't eyeball 6' within one or two inches, so I'm happy that FIRST found some volunteers that could.
The match generation algorithm is simply terrible and needs to be changed before the next set of events. It's not fair to anyone.
We were disallowed from testing an autonomous mode that used about 3/4 of the practice field because it interfered with a side of that field that folks were using to practice throwing tubes. I get that FIRST's not about robots, but can we all agree that the robots are just a bit more valuable to the message than the human players?
After alliance selection, the practice field was closed and packed away. With so many different sorts of ramp/lifting robots around and a match generation algorithm that ensures you won't play with a majority of the teams at the event, we felt that making sure our partners (that had never played with or against our machine) knew how to get atop our lifts was important and the practice field makes doing that a lot easier. Let's keep the practice field around until the elimination rounds start next time.


The good:

The game is great fun to strategize and play. I can't speak to how things appear from the stands, but the field gets pretty crowded at some times and coordinating between three teams to stay out of everyone's way and still play effectively was challenging.
The 'random' matches meant that we played against team 492 (another group from near Seattle) in every match. As a result, they got consistently better at defending us each time we played and we had a great time trying to find better, more effective ways of playing defense while trying to avoid being trapped on the other side of the field.
We're exceptionally happy with our robot and strategy. As the weeks pass and teams get better, it will become increasingly difficult for lifters to dominate completely, but I think they'll be an integral part of winning alliances.
Blair has called our robot the "White Wonder". We like it.
The random placement of the Rack isn't nearly as giant a variable as it seemed at first. Some teams were able to consistently score during autonomous mode.
30 pts. of penalties for sitting in an opponent's end zone was a large enough disincentive to stop most teams from opting to try such a strategy. Those teams that did lost as a result every time I'm aware it happened.
Congratulations to Eric Stokely for winning the Regional Woodie Flowers Award
Congratulations to team 1540 -- The Flaming Chickens -- for winning the Regional Chairman's Award. Our kids would love to know more about your presentation so they know how to better prepare themselves next year.
Having a functional robot means we got to do more to help other teams.
The referees were great about addressing questions from our students, even if we weren't always happy with the answers.


My gripes, excepting the match list and consistent use of rules, are all pretty inconsequential. The event ran well, we had a great time, the volunteers all did a great job to keep things running smoothly, and we like the game and think that it's dynamic, challenging and fun to play. We're really looking forward to heading down to San Jose, CA in two weeks to see how things have changed and we hope our machine is as effective and valuable then as it was this weekend.

Athleticgirl389
03-04-2007, 04:33 PM
The game is lame.

I am in total agreement with you Alex. There is no excitment in watchin this game WHAT SO EVER. There is some in playing it, but it is dull. Unlike last year, you did not know who won until the very end; this year you know when that fianl buzzer goes off. Suspense is good and it is deffinately missing this year.

wilsonmw04
03-04-2007, 05:30 PM
I wholeheartedly second this request. I'm surprised it wasn't a natural part of the original scoring software design.

There was a count down during each match. It was posted in the middle team's control area for each alliance. It counted down the two different periods of each match. Now if you are only talking about the big screen, then you are correct.

Noah Kleinberg
03-04-2007, 06:22 PM
To the people who think autonomous mode isn't very important this year, don't think of it as two points, scoring is exponential. especially if more than one robot on your alliance scores during autonomous, you're at a pretty big advantage for the human control part of the match.
I also noticed several times in autonomous that teams would position their robot perfectly to score, but not release the keeper; it's not too hard to use a timer and just make sure that at the end of autonomous mode you drop your keeper no matter what.

Also, while the game can be boring during qualification matches, I thought it got pretty exciting during eliminations. One tube can change the score by a lot, compared to for example one ball last year.

Duke_of_Hazard
03-04-2007, 07:14 PM
Well, from my point of view, the outcome of matches is not going to be decided from robot design as much as from driver skill. This game demands coordinated drive teams and precise movements. If you watch, the really dominant teams not only had a good robot, but

1- the base driver was in a class above, out-maneuvering the opposition with ease (and also didnt fall off of ramp-bots as much)
2- the operator had a good sense of timing to release the tube and score
3- both drivers new what each other was about to do, and were able to change tactics on the fly

Last year it wasnt as obvious, with the balls *literally* flying, but in nearly all the games from FIRST, if you look in the background, and not the pretty robots(though its hard not to!), its the more skilled and coordinated alliances that win.

Sgraff_SRHS06
03-04-2007, 07:28 PM
Not only looking at the final scores, but also looking at how the bots played, I'm a bit disappointed, especially because of the way the game is being played so slow.

It's like watching a match between 2 very poor alliances virtually every single match in Triple Play.


Sure, there were lots of teams that compromised. But something has to be done about match pairing. What should happen is that everyone should have either played with or against everyone else. And based on what happened, it did not necessarily happen.

But I think the real fault is the failure of the game to have any kind of loading zone. It would at least save half of the confusion of this game (with projectiles being thrown everywhere).

A bot that can be dominant in this game is...truthfully speaking...going to have to go through match play like there's no tomorrow and score as many as possible. Speed more than brute force is going to win this game.

wilsonmw04
03-04-2007, 08:09 PM
A bot that can be dominant in this game is...truthfully speaking...going to have to go through match play like there's no tomorrow and score as many as possible. Speed more than brute force is going to win this game.

I can't disagree more. Big bots who play D will be able to control the rack. Defense is going to win games, not offense. The best alliance will be 1 ramp bot (with 2x12" lifting), one scoring bot ( needs to score 2-3 ringers with heavy D) and a good defensive Bot. Winning matches will be in the 68-76 point range.

Pavan Dave
03-04-2007, 08:11 PM
I think I'lI think I'll answer my own questions now.

After my initial reaction to the game I have had a COMPLETE change in mind toward the whole thing thanks to a couple of people, (you know who you are...I hope).

From the regionals I have seen I thought that it is slow. The game seems to last forever if there are not as competitive teams on the field, but if there is a tube on a robot constantly, and the drivers are great, it makes for a great match up. This will tremendously change though because of the technologies that are present that teams can utilize (See this topic! (http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=55244)) I expect to see two full turns scored around the racks (2X8) by two teams by the end of championships.

I also think that the minor disappointments I have with the use of certain game pieces (spoilers) will dramatically change throughout the course of the season due to teams learning from others' mistakes. Although they will not be used as much in qualifying rounds I think that by Lone Star and Las Vegas, that there will be at least six spoilers placed per regional at the end of the days and definitely at championships there will be six to ten placed a day.

Besides the slow start I believe that this game holds a giant opportunity for teams to work together in a different sense. Instead of trying to win or lose I believe this year more friendships will form due to the nature of this game and the different interactions throughout game play. My only rant for this game is the "initiating end sequence" thing which really got annoying for me after a couple of matches, but I guess I can live with it!

Peace,
Pavan.

sovierr
03-04-2007, 08:12 PM
I'll respectfully disagree with this, at least the boring part. Maybe it's because I'm a soccer fan and can enjoy 1-1 tie more than a 100 point win, but I saw some very exciting matches today, including one we lost 13-15. Just because teams aren't consistently scoring 100+ points doesn't mean it's a boring game.

I guess there is a difference between low scoring due to good defence or low scoring due to poor offense. The former can be quite exciting, while the latter is sure to be a snooze fest!

sovierr
03-04-2007, 09:36 PM
Also, a little note as to the rack. There are several times when the rack was moved such that both lights were out of the field of view of the camera. There probably should have been lights above all 8 columns, not just the four columns.

There are 4 lights on the rack, not just 2. There can't be an orientation that prohibits a bot from seeing all 4. Also, if there were 8 lights there would be times that the robots saw 3 at the same time - and possibly even 4. This would increase the programming difficulty quite a bit.

ldeffenb
03-04-2007, 09:42 PM
As a programmer, I am very disappointed by the lack of emphasis FIRST placed on autonomous. 2 points is something that can be gotten far easier by making the arm a little faster, playing a little better defense, etc.

I'm also the team programmer and we didn't bother to even THINK about the emphasis on autonomous. We used it to drive the team to implement a controllable, reproducible, reliable tube handling mechanism. That enabled autonomous scoring but truly benefited the operator-initiated robot operation even more.

Also, a little note as to the rack. There are several times when the rack was moved such that both lights were out of the field of view of the camera. There probably should have been lights above all 8 columns, not just the four columns. This would also have allowed semi-automatic scoring during manual mode, and may once again have increased the number of ringers and spoilers placed on the rack.

Our experience is that you will ALWAYS see at least ONE light if you point your robot at the center of the playfield. If you look straight down the side, you might not see any, but if you angle the initial placement towards the center of the field, no matter how they translated or rotated the rack, at least one light would be visible. But then, we also changed the lens on our camera to a 90 degree wider angle.

I disagree with 8 lights making it easier. That would have just made more cases with multiple lights in view which (at least in our implementation) is a much more difficult autonomous situation to solve.

As for semi-automatic scoring in manual mode, I'm going to go public with a hint from Team 386 for the upcoming Central Florida Regional. Just a single word, EasySCORE (tm). Watch for us at UCF!

Lynn (D) - Team Voltage 386

Gene F
03-04-2007, 09:45 PM
I like this years game! I agree that some of the low scoring was not what I expected but this is the first weekend of competition. The quarter-final matches at VCU between #2 and #7 are what would expect to see more of as the weeks progress.

Scores were 48 to 68
92 to 32
and 100 to 62.

Each alliance had a good defensive ramp, each had two robots that could score. Both scoring robots could also get onto the ramps reliably. What's left... scoring on the rack makes the difference. Which means offence, defence and counter defence all come into play. This makes for some very exciting and fun to watch matches as the members of the alliance switch roles throughout the match. What decided the matches was the rack. Both alliances knew that winning the rack was paramont to winning the match to the extent that they risked (and at times lost) not having enough time to get on the ramp reliably.

As teams become more confident in their ability to score offensively, defence will fade a bit but will remain a major part of the game.

Priyadarshy
03-04-2007, 10:07 PM
yeah those three matches showed how important the rack was and the ramp 612 removed their ramp for the tournament to improve visibility and it paid off but the rack is crucial the ramp WAS the outcome in qualification matches but in the tournament it was a whole new game

Eldarion
03-04-2007, 11:50 PM
But then, we also changed the lens on our camera to a 90 degree wider angle.

That's the difference--we used the stock lenses with about a 60° field of view. With the 60° field of view, there is one rack orientation in which neither light is visible, even when you are pointed directly at the center of the rack. Darn, that was frustrating! :) (Of course the lights were always in our field of view after the arm broke! :D )

I disagree with 8 lights making it easier. That would have just made more cases with multiple lights in view which (at least in our implementation) is a much more difficult autonomous situation to solve.
Oops, I forgot for a second that everyone else is using the CMUCam. We have a vision system that is capable of seeing up to 6 objects simultaneously with ease :) (www.falconir.com -- I know it's just a teaser, that will be 'fixed' in the coming months.) If you do a search for 'Team 81 progammers teaser explained' here I think you can find my other threads describing the first hardware rendition of this system.

dangerousdave
03-05-2007, 12:06 AM
There was a count down during each match. It was posted in the middle team's control area for each alliance. It counted down the two different periods of each match. Now if you are only talking about the big screen, then you are correct.
Yes, I was talking about the big screen being viewed by the vast majority of people. We were unable to see "exactly" how much time was left in a match. We were left to guess by looking at a green line.

platypus
03-05-2007, 12:22 AM
To the people who think autonomous mode isn't very important this year, don't think of it as two points, scoring is exponential. especially if more than one robot on your alliance scores during autonomous, you're at a pretty big advantage for the human control part of the match.


I have to respectfully disagree here. You've made the general statement that I imagine most justifies autonomous, but at the same time, you've missed the point that I've tried to make.

Yes, autonomous is a good thing to have -- after all, it does score points, and when is scoring points a bad thing. The point that I have tried to make is that it doesn't score enough points to be worth the effort that most teams would have to put into it.

It's a difficult autonomous to code for, and most autonomous modes are not 100% successful, with this year being no different. The reality is that autonomous integration has a serious opportunity cost for all but the most efficient teams, and an unrealiable chance to score an extra ringer (since spoilers aren't used, that's what it is) was hard for most teams to justify when they were being delayed by typical mechanical setbacks and even atypical mechanical setbacks (think Banebots). Even the software teams have better things to do, like program a particularly complex control system.

As a good yardstick for the value of autonomous, compare this year to last year. Last year, the team that won autonomous won the game at least 75% of the time, and that's a conservative estimate. There isn't much data to make similar estimates this year because of the lack of autonomous scoring, but I can say from observation that it really didn't make much difference. Maybe in the national eliminations, alliances will score 3 in a row in automonous and it will matter, but realistically, the GSR eliminations sported an alliance that once scored two keepers, only to lose to the steamroller of the top alliance. Last year, if two teams on an opposing alliance had unloaded their clip of nerf balls for 40+ points + 10 more points for winning autonomous, it would have taken an act of god to beat them (or at least a DQ from one of them for placing a robot part into the side goal).

Autonomous is always nice, but it isn't worth what it needs to be worth this year.

Nawaid Ladak
03-05-2007, 04:16 AM
That last QF match at VCU was probally the best match i saw so far this weekend.
I think of this as football.

There are three parts to the game

Offense
Defense
Special Teams

there will be alliances such as

The Indianapolis Colts: The best defense is a god offense, never back down and keep on filling the rack (sort of like the winning alliance at NJ)

the Baltimore Ravens: Defense is going to be key, you stop your opponent from doing anything on the rack, with minimal offense, you are sure to win the match

The Chicago Bears: Special Teams, in this game the special teams are pretty much the the autonomous and ramp part of the game, couple that with the spoilers and you fill the missing peace to a great alliance partner. someone who can play some of both offense and defense

so what do we learn from this

To succeed in this years game you must have, A KISS B have alliance partners who specialize in your weaknesses, for example if your a defensive robot, then be sure to have a team who can ramp and or atonomus, plus a team who can score,

that i think will determine the championship this year

Another thing i noticed, and i think this is for every year. defense is disregarded at regionals, we all want to see offense, like a famous saying goes "offense brings the crowds, but defense wins games" or in this case, regionals.

Teams in the top 8, (most likely offensive matchines) will need to do A LOT of scouting and choosing, because one wrong move, could cost your team a trip to Atlanta in April.

GaryVoshol
03-05-2007, 07:01 AM
Yes, autonomous is a good thing to have -- after all, it does score points, and when is scoring points a bad thing. The point that I have tried to make is that it doesn't score enough points to be worth the effort that most teams would have to put into it.
True. I haven't seen any of the games yet, but right from the beginning I thought autonomous was the least important aspect of this year's game. Yes, you can have that non-spoilable keeper, and if you arrange your ringers properly so that the keeper is in the middle of a row, it gives you a boost of points. But those same points could also be scored in teleoperated mode. I know a ringer could be spoiled, I know you would "waste" 15 seconds of play time without autonomous. But a good fast scorer, especially if it is a spoiler-remover bot, can overcome the lack of autonomous. Teams without a spare robot at home to practice with, and code for, probably made the best investment of time in perfecting their ramps and teleoperated arm operation.

As a good yardstick for the value of autonomous, compare this year to last year. Last year, the team that won autonomous won the game at least 75% of the time, and that's a conservative estimate.
I've heard a variety of statistics and guestimates as to the value of last year's autonomous. Part of the reason the autonomous winner won the game so often is that the way to score points won in both portions of the match was exactly the same. If you could put 10 balls into the air in autonomous, you could also score a lot during teleoperated, assuming you had an effective way of reloading. I also think that teams that use the light to aim during teleoperated had a bigger advantage last year than this, because last year the target stood still. This year you can use the lights to guide you during teleoperated, especially while on the other side of the ramp, but most teams will still have driver control over placing the ringers, not pure programming control.

The value of this year's autonomous is more similar to that in Triple Play. There, we had a truly hard task which gained you very few actual points. If you capped the center goal with the vision tetra, you got points for scoring that tetra plus the two that were given to you on your corner goals. You didn't automatically get any row points - just like this year the keeper by itself is only worth 2 points. It's what you do to augment the autonomous scoring that makes the biggest difference in your final score.

Andrew Blair
03-05-2007, 08:39 PM
The trouble is, the only reason a team would spoil your row is if it is seven or longer in length- and therefore extends into their viewable portion of rack. A keeper only protects that row if it is placed where the opposite alliance will want to spoil- or in other words, the HARDEST POSSIBLE SPOT TO PLACE IT! The opposite side of the rack.

The keeper's special advantage is lost on this year's game. You score a keeper, and you're just one ringer up effectively. Nice, but not super special.

Ahnxlazyman
03-05-2007, 09:15 PM
I think only 2 spoilers were ever "used" in VCU, the first one was on Friday, In which a Human Player Successfully Threw it onto the rack, the only problem, It landed on an empty spider leg making it pretty much useless, the other, was a robot trying to get a SPoiler on their but they failed (out of time, or fell out of their grasp)

I saw A lot of Ringers accidentally being tossed onto robots...They would be tossed by Human players Towards the robots but would be caught by a protruding Objects like Flag holders or tall arms, It made the robot Useless (offensive-wise)
I didn't enjoy that (even when it wasn't our own team)

Ramp Bot's are nice (especially when they can raise 2 up 12") but they take the fun out or the match, all they do is drive and line up in their zone, drop their ramps, and sit for the last 1:50 seconds, It's rather boring.

And I also have a question, In autonomous, do alliances that scored the most points in autonomous get an extra points for winning that period?

EricH
03-05-2007, 09:16 PM
And I also have a question, In autonomous, do alliances that scored the most points in autonomous get an extra points for winning that period?No. I wish they did.

Azure
03-05-2007, 09:25 PM
I think only 2 spoilers were ever "used" in VCU, the first one was on Friday, In which a Human Player Successfully Threw it onto the rack, the only problem, It landed on an empty spider leg making it pretty much useless, the other, was a robot trying to get a SPoiler on their but they failed (out of time, or fell out of their grasp)

Team 345 tried to use a spoiler in our quarter-finals match and they nearly were successful. Also, when I was doing some scouting on Thursday, I saw a couple spoilers being used in the practice matches.

lol talking to peeps from my team on Chief Dephi is kinda weird, but whatev.

Frinkahedron
03-06-2007, 07:50 AM
Team 345 tried to use a spoiler in our quarter-finals match and they nearly were successful. Also, when I was doing some scouting on Thursday, I saw a couple spoilers being used in the practice matches.

lol talking to peeps from my team on Chief Dephi is kinda weird, but whatev.

http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/4717/mainphpg2viewcoresz6.jpg

That was the only serious spoiler attempt I remember from VCU, would have destroyed our 100 pt string if they got it on in time.

teenmisfit
03-11-2007, 12:14 AM
he ramps will win championships. Having a ramp/defensive bot will keep the other team trying to score tangled up but at the end those ramps mean 60 point. team 1824 was solely a ramp/defense bot and he won us sooo many round just because of the ramps. everyone gets sooo good at scoring tubes in the finals it comes down to bonus points to win rounds. You need a well rounded alliance to win. not a solid offensive won. I will stick by my word that the two teams i went to finals with at BAE (175 Buzz, and 1824) was the best alliance and teamwork i have seen in four years of first. Nothing equates to how we all did our job flawlessly everytime and us mere "kids" showed professionalism and sportsmanship both to the opponents and our alliance.
We may not do that good at nationals as we did at the BAE but Buzz and 1824 will. They are valuable, cooperating teammates that just work everytime.

we were the only team i saw at BAE that effectively could put on a spoiler and take it off. we did so with ease (but only in the practice rounds on thurs.)

+()c|D
03-11-2007, 12:37 AM
I feel that the idea of getting all 8 around is not that hard.

Also, rampbots are a HUGE deal in this game... you could not score any ringers and still win with a good rampbot on your team!!:D

wolfj
03-12-2007, 03:38 PM
I think that too many points are given for robot elevation. It seems as though an alliance that gets any bonus is a winning alliance. This seems to be a common opinion. It takes six in a row to cancel out a good rampbot's lead. But, I hate to criticize, since the FIRST game designers are doing an amazing job, and probably have creative capabilities we could only dream of. (But then again, we do build robots. :) :rolleyes: