3rd robots

In most every match I’ve seen today, whenever teams go to balance, 2 robots get on the bridge, and the 3rd robot…stays there. Or drives around, and doesn’t do anything. I’ve seen times when there are 4 robots on bridges, and the 3rd robots of each team do nothing, for anywhere from 30 seconds to almost a whole minute. 3RD ROBOT! Y U NO DO SOMETHING??? In many matches I’ve seen, if the robot not balancing would have made a few points, the alliance would have won. There is almost no opponents on the field. You have for sure 15 balls to yourself (3 for another robot that’s not balancing to hold), and the hoops are open. Why don’t you take that opportunity to make some points?

So why are teams letting their 3rd robot sit for the whole end of the match?

Well from what I saw if the third robot that is not on the bridge is capable of scoring they are usually scoring. However if they are not capable of scoring then their isn’t really much for them to do besides play defense if the opposing alliance is scoring. If the third robots from both alliances can’t score I would much rather have them sit there instead of meaninglessly drive around with the potential of getting penalties or unbalancing bridges.

This made my day.

Our team has been that 3rd robot before, during Kansas City. While it is true that we could have been out there scoring points, our goal was to attempt and aid in the balancing process.

Sometimes it’s more advantages to do everything in your power to get those bridge points, even if it means putting your shooting game on hold.

Example. Both of my alliance partners are attempting to balance and we’re down by 15 points with 40 seconds left. There is currently not enough ammo on my side of the field for me to score.
I have a few options:
I can (A): try to jump to the other side of the field, collect, and get back to my side so I can score. A task which would be time consuming for most bots.

(B): Go play defense, but put our alliance at risk of penalties.

or ©: I can sit as close to our bridge as possible and wait for our services to be needed. In this position we could help steady the bridge, or replace a team mate who has fallen over early on in the balance.

Obviously, C isn’t always going to be a good idea. I’d even say that it’s poor strategy 7 times out of 10.

So to really answer your question, I’d say one of two things is happening.
Either the team in question is doing C, OR the remaining team’s drivers are watching the balance and not paying attention to what their bot could be doing.

I would say most of them are doing the later.

I think this demonstrates either a lack of depth at a regional, or more likely, a lack of scouting by teams and sometimes a lack of strategy.

If you have three robots, if you want to succeed all the robots should be at least doing something during the match.

At the very least, get that team on the bridge to have the ten points in the bank if you need it [later on you might need them off the bridge, or part of a double balance if the score calls for it].

But if you want to pick a decent third robot, and there’s no great shooter left in the field, my suggestions are:

A small robot - look at 522, who just won NYC. Thanks to their size and manipulation, they could triple balance.

Some way of crossing the field - preferably bump, but a bridge manipulator too. Let them guard the lane/block the fender and disrupt the opposition.

Quick intake/manuevrability - Pick up/move those balls, and if you can, plop them over the bump. Especially effective against key shooters, as you can guard the lane and then steal any rebounds. I think if you want to watch an example of great possession defense in this game, QF 3-2 at WPI by 1687 is the best I’ve seen so far. They starved the opposition [the eventual winners] to take the upset in the second match and send it to the third.

Ideally you want a consistent autonomous, some way of shooting, and bridge balancing skills too, but if you’re a high seed especially, sometimes that’s hard to get.

EDIT: I also agree to what the person above said. It might not necessarily be a case of being a bad robot, but unclear team strategy, or a team strategy that’s not very pretty but more effective.

Because they’re afraid if left with the choice of doing something it’ll mostly be something that causes a penalty. Idle match time are the red card’s playground.

What do you mean? How can they get a red so easily?