Alliance Selection Picking


How do you think that alliance selection picks will play out this year? Do you think that picking three robots that can score will be more common than having two robots score and one playing defense? Will a level 3 climb be more prioritized than having a higher scoring average? If you were the number 1 seed, what type of robot are you picking? Will that be different if you were the number 8 seed?


Any* robot that can move, can play defense. Scout for offense, scout for penalty avoidance, pick the alliance that can adapt.

*yes, even the mechinium drive robots can play defense, because defense this year is simply getting in the way of other robots. If a team can make itself a nuisance to the opposition without racking up penalties, then it is playing useful defense.


For the #1 team, I think it’s best to pick whoever is the next best overall robot. For a 2nd pick, it’s best to pick a good, maybe specialized, robot. I go by that every year, but I think it could be especially important this year.


Different alliances will be crafted as the season goes on (duh). For weeks 1-3 I am confident the winning alliances will be all offense. Picking a team for defense has almost no impact. Also, if you’re looking for a 3rd level climb bot as your 2nd pick, keep your back up ticket close to you at all times.


Wow I couldn’t disagree with almost every statement in this post more.

Defense is going to play a huge role early in the season. I think it will probably be a major factor at all levels of play at some capacity. There is also no way you’re going to find a level 3 climb with your 2nd round pick. Teams that can successfully climb to level 3 reliably will be picking you.


I think its truly going to come down to the depth at a event, if there are a lot of good robots defense may not make sense unless you are going to run out of scoring opportunities. However, at low depth regional and District Qualifiers especially 1-4 alliances a kit bot with a driver may be all that available, in such a situation you either need to cheesecake something or send them to do defense, neither are great options but in that situation I would likely lean towards using them for defense.


If I’m picking, my first pick is the fastest available cycler.
My second pick is the fastest available low cargo bot.

The ability to quickly Lv2 HAB is a bonus, since my team will be doing the Lv3 HAB. All offense all the time.


My last sentence was more of a joke, there is probably a <1% chance that if you’re ranked high you can even pick a 3rd level climb bot as your second pick in the early weeks. I was joking that if you do pick a 7000 team that can “climb” to the 3rd level the whole robot will probably break and you’ll have to call a back up.

As for defense, I can give and say if you’re playing 254 or 148 in the finals then you should probably slow that team down as much as possible. But, at an average event in the early weeks, your impact points wise from defense is going to be the same as scoring like 3 hatches if you think about cycle times.


I think it’ll be like last year with picking a good “scale” and “switch/defense” bot, but in this case, “rocket” and " cargo ship." So 1st picks will be a “rocket bot” and 2nd will be a “cargo ship bot.”

I also think 3rd climb will be the make or break for some alliances, while 6 points doesn’t seem like a huge impact for points, we haven’t had a “low” scoring game for a few years, so it might actually make quite a difference.

Also, (based off top alliance captains picking each other) level 3 climb might be the reason why some robots are higher in the qual rankings, so alliances 1&2 could possibly have more options of just one robot constantly doing level 3 climb.


This all depends on the depth of the event you are playing at, at a regional with 70 teams thats likely the optimal strategy, as events get smaller there is a lot more making do with what you have that has to be done.


Sunny makes a strong point, but also pick teams that compliment you well. At Miami Valley we ranked 5 and captain the 5th alliance and we picked someone we had a couple practice matches with and had some experience working with them in previous competitions. It also helps to pick a robot that fulfills a section of the game that you aren’t willing to do, examples defense, climbing and such


Depends on what event I’m at and how deep the scoring-capable robots go (and if there are X-factors like triple level three climbs and the like). At the 1-position, I would be more likely to draft for defense on the 2nd pick than the 8th position. First pick at both positions would most likely to get the most points/potential point options, 2nd pick would be a robot that slots nicely into an unoccupied scoring zone on the field or plays defense.

On the rare occasion, I’d draft for defense on the first pick if they had some very useful x-factor skill I couldn’t get in any other robot.


Personally I think my number one pick would be a team that could do the most cycles on the level 1 hatch/cargo for both rocket and cargo ship, as it not worth it to complete a rocket immediately since no bonus after qualifications. If possible get a team that could either double team the 3rd level or get 2nd level of the Hab zone would be a second preference. In a competitive environment where it may go to who has the higher levels filled out, I would probably pick a strong cycle bot who could do high, but again it situational.

For second preference, likely a bot who could play a mean defense without accumulating any fouls, or possible a remaining good cycle runner. If possible an good addition would be good if they can at least get to the 2nd level but I’ll be fine if they just get to level 1. If for someone reason there a level 3 climb out there still and we didn’t get one as our first pick I would definitely steal that boy.

As for a backup bot, I’d likely go for alright cycler who can play defense, It would probably be a bot that could takeover if something wrong were to happen and robot couldn’t be fixed before the next match. Essentially a versatile robot. That way all teams have a backup available on our alliance.


I think the 6-8 seeds this year are gonna finally be really good. Also best alliance would be a high scorer and two low bots, the lower bots tend to be a lot faster and usually play def. more aggressively. I don’t see climbing being huge come playoffs cycles and defense is all you need and penalty avoidance.


I expect this to be a relatively common high seed (1-4) alliance:
Captain: low cycler with reliable L3 climb
First pick: high cycler
Second pick: low cycler/defense

I expect the climb rank point to allow a lot of teams who focused on climbing with a relatively simple/quick low cycling mechanism to seed quite high. Then, it seems logical for them to pick a high cycler due to the additional scoring potential. Second pick is going to be a low cycler/defense robot to fill that niche and also because that is probably what will be left by the time the serpentine comes around.


I think that in the earlier weeks, defence might be more important, as some robots will be better at playing defence than in their cycle time, so I could see a good defence bot become an 8th alliance 1st pick or an early 2nd round pick.

In later weeks, I don’t see defence being as important because alliances will be more focused on getting not only the 2 RP from HAB and Rocket, but the extra points that can be gained from having all 3 robots score points.


I’m inclined to agree with you here. Just parking a robot in front of the opponents’ rocket is really effective because it prevents the placement of hatch panels and cargo alike. Stopping the other alliance from scoring while cycling HPs and cargo on your side of the field is a surefire way to get the win (at least early on, teams will probably adapt to defense as the season progresses)


My take for 2019:

With relatively few exceptions, the first two bots on an alliance will be the primary scorers, with each likely assigned one side of the field to work on. The ideal pick here is straightforward, pick the highest-scoring robot available, with perhaps a slight bias towards those with a lower centre of gravity. Don’t overthink this choice; even if you already have a HAB3 climb on your alliance, picking a team with one will not only bring redundancy to your alliance if yours stops working, but also means that there will be one fewer HAB3 climb available for other alliances to pick.

The role of the third bot is somewhat of an open question and will likely depend on an individual team’s strategy for the game. I’m guessing a majority of captains will send the third bot to the other side of the field to play defense, as I have a hard time seeing three robots productively split time at the feeder stations due to the narrow field geometry. A three-pronged offensive attack will be hard to pull off, especially at earlier events, so I would likely go with the best drive team still available. However, it’s important not to discard offensive capability completely when going with a defensive bot, as you’re most likely hosed if one of your primary scorers goes down and your defensive pick can’t score. Ground pickups also may come in handy here (if they work well enough), as robots equipped with them can help clear the field for the primary scorers, and come in behind to fill up bays that have had hatches applied to them.


In my humble opinion, the first pick should be a robot that can score the most points in a match out of all the remaining robots. I don’t care if that’s through cycling hatch covers and cargo, climbing the HAB, or both. For the second pick you weigh your options, can you pick a team that can score more points by scoring hatch covers and cargo than they can take away from playing defense. If there still exist robots that meet this criteria you pick the third robot based on the same criteria as your first pick. if such a robot does not exist, pick whichever robot can score the most HAB points and have them pay defense.


What about ramp bots? Do you think that they will be available/worth picking with a second pick?