Alliance Selection Picking


If your alliance can score more points with a “ramp” robot than any other available robot then yes. I imagine successful “ramp” robots would most likely be picking or already be picked by the second round.


I suspect that this statement will prove to be an oxymoron this year.


See I actually disagree a bit with your analysis. I think the top top teams will be getting both the rocket rp and Lvl 3 climb in quals, but they will definelty be picking cycle bots for 1st pick, or look for someone who can Lvl 3 climb as well so they can continue cycling at the end game. If you look at what cycle times are going to be, it is pretty safe to assume that anything over 10 cycles is going to be pretty rare. (150-15 sandstorm - 10 for climb=125/15 second cycles =8 1/3 cycles per match) keep in mind that in 2017 the best teams would max out at 10, and often those included stolen gears, and dropped gears as well (Granted full field cylces vs. like half). So assuming you can figure out a way to do 9 cycles with your top 2 teams on your alliance, that means 18 placed game objects out of a total of 30 objects you need to place to fill up your side after sandstorm. That even says that you somehow got 5 full cargo bays in sandstorm.

so 40 total spots to score on field, - 10 in sandstorm = 30 in driver between 3 teams
I just find it highly unrealistic to look at scoring the whole field until 3 of the best cyclers are on the same alliance.
So that leads to the question, why even do the rocket in playoffs, its worth the same points and is more difficult to get to. Lets break it down so there are 24 spots to score low and only 16 to score high.
24 - 6 objects placed (more realistic than 10) in sandstorm = 18 to still place low that would still mean 6 cycles per team, plus climbing that’s still a lot, but I could see it happening in playoffs.

In conclusion, I find it highly unlikely we will be seeing more than 1 team per alliance working on rocket in playoffs. Teams that cycle quickly low will skyrocket in priority in playoffs and if teams miss out on this I could see some upsets. Then again maybe I’m wrong and teams will do 20 cycles in a match score the entire field and climb, therefore making defense necessary. Its probably too early to figure out what exactly is going to happen, but I know one thing, this year is going to be a blast.


The game will evolve depending on the level of competition, the lower levels the high volume low bots will dominate early, but as teams learn to play around defense the low goals will fill up quickly and the rocket will then need to be utilize for more scoring opportunities.


At Top levels all 20 scoring areas will max out. So an alliance makeup will assuredly have a mix of bots to ensure that happens. 60% of the mid and High areas require elevation. So at least two robots will have elevators and be mid/high cycle capable, The third robot will be able to handle all low areas. At least two robots will start at L2.

For endgame all robots will be able to finish at L2 or L3. At least one robot will be able to play defense IF they finish maxing out scores.

This alliance will be tough to form… so don’t expect to see this common until championships rather lesser alliance makeups until then


Couldn’t disagree with you more:
Single level 3 climb is 12 points. Say everyone can get a level 1 which is 3 points. Delta is 9 points.
9 points is 4 cycles worth. I would say it takes 20 seconds (that is generous but let’s go with it) to get that level 3 climb. 4 cycles in 20 seconds is 5 seconds a cycle.
Most teams will target 1 cycle in 10 seconds because that is what it takes to get a full rocket in a match. Therefore you are doubling your cycle speed with a level 3 robot.
What happens if you can do a double level 3? Now that is 8 cycles over 30 seconds…

Point is - you gain quite a bit of points from your climbs. Do not underestimate them. Do the math and figure out point differential, not cycle times.

Note: I made some assumptions, yes. But you’ll be able to do the math for your available teams with decent scouting data. Just avoid ignoring level 3 climbs in favor of fast cycles for elims. DO THE MATH


Defense will be a real thing in this game. At the level where alliances are able to do 20 32+ scoring cycles (in the absence of D), it will be critical. Being able to play effective defense (getting back in the frame perimeter and having a low CoG) will also be an important feature in at least one pick.


Defense is critical this year because if one team does not plan on playing defense that would put 4 robots on one side of a already small field. On top of that the defense bot will most likely go to the side with 2 robots trying to score which puts 3 robots on 1/4 of the field which will practically bring things to a stand still and only allow the one side of the field to be scored on, reducing your scoring options significantly.


Not necessarily. I agree with the “Scout for offense” point. However, there are some teams that will design their robot to be extremely effective at defense (i.e. blocker bot) and I could see them being a very effective 2nd pick for any alliance.

Also, driver ability is almost just as important as the drive base. A team that has a bad driver with a good robot will not be a good pick if you’re going the defense based strategy. At some competitions, once you get to the 2nd picks, there are slim pickings and you might be able to get a diamond in the rough when looking at defense bots.


If I was picking a 2nd bot that could play defense I’d definitely want to see some ability of that robot playing defense. Can the driver get in the way of the opponents and can the driver get out of the way of their own alliance. A robot in qualifications that wants to separate themselves from all the 2nd pick teams would better their chances if they did play defense, even in the matches where the alliance they were on were overwhelming favorites.


In my experience, going exclusively for defense has generally been a wasted pick. Recall that even the most hard-nosed, effective defensive bots (see 2655 at champs last year) had some offensive capability. In any case, at most events, it’ll be pretty rare to have an obvious defender/specialist fall into your lap in the second round. I suspect scouting captains will be spending most of their time sorting between 5-6 meh robots with largely ineffective elevators.


I don’t think saying 7000 bots are likely to break is a fair statement. Many second year teams are quite skilled and able to build durable, competitive robots.


I disagree. This is a game where you are trying to save one second each cycle. If you were to add defense into the mix, that can add a second or two per cycle.

Also, don’t forget about the ability to block an entire scoring area by sitting in front of the rocket which effectively shuts down most of their scoring potential. Especially if the have already put hatch panels on it.


I don’t know that level 3 climb or defense are going to be all that valuable for eliminations this year. There are no bonuses for completing the rocket or completing the level 3 climb in elims (ranking points are for quals only).

The level 3 climb is worth a few extra points in elims, but the high seed captains probably got there because they have the level 3 climb themselves, so they probably don’t care too much about that in an alliance partner. If a level 3 climber takes 20 or 30 seconds to do it, it might be more valuable to have a fast cycler that can get those same number of points by completing a few more scores and then parking on level 1.

Defense is probably going to be less of a factor in elims in the early weeks. A hatch or cargo is worth the same number of points no mater where you put it, and a defensive bot cannot possibly block all the scoring locations - even on one side of the field. So, until all the scoring locations are basically used up and you are forced to go to a particular place to score it, the defense will not be all that effective. As the scoring gets better in later weeks and champs, defense may become more important. But it will still be relatively late in each match that the scoring locations will become limited to the point where defense can be really effective, so a pure defensive bot is not going to be all that valuable. A bot that can score low and play defense on the other hand might become a valuable pick.

I think fast cycling will be the highest priority with at least one robot that can score high.

But, I am excited to see how the game is played. There might be some different strategies out there that turn out to be pretty effective in elims that can defeat the main strategies.


I see eliminations at the highest level being a combination of maxing out all 20 scoring areas, starvation of the opponent (means defense) and two L3 one L2 at habend.

People vastly underestimate defense : Half field play , two lanes , three robots is already crowded add in a fouth harassment bot and that could top the balance with two efficient cyclers home free on other end walk in the park


As always when it comes to picking I would say it greatly depends on who the other robots that you would be going up against and what you would need most in order to be able to effectively counter them.

For example if you are #1 and are able to pick a second robot that is extremely effective in scoring, and taking into account that most likely effective scores will be fairly non existent by the time your second pick comes around, then picking a defense bot fits fairly well in this scenario. Ideally you would already have the 2 most effective scoring robot, so if your third robot was hindering the ability of the other alliance to score that should be enough to prevail.

If however you are a lower ranking captain then it becomes more of a utility calculation about what the best available robot can do the most efficiently with regards to scoring. Would the robots ability be more efficient slowing down the other alliance or would it be more efficient in helping your alliance score points. It really depends on who is still available to draft. Being that you are a lower seat you probably have better option than the #1 ranked team for your second pick, so it would really depend on who is available and what their abilities are.


I’m curious how teams are going to double Lv3 HAB. Maybe the elite teams are just keeping this design close to their chest at this phase of the season, but I sure haven’t seen anything on here about how people planned to accomplish this feat. There isn’t enough room on the Lv3 platform for 2 individual robot efforts. Someone is going to have to go piggyback.

I know our climber prototype was very quick, but we need 100% of the Lv3 HAB platform to complete the process for ourselves.


I see this very much the same discussion as last year for climbing on the bar. Most teams developed a way for them to climb the bar themselves. A much smaller number of teams developed a way to climb with a very limited footprint on the bar, allowing other teams who developed a mechanism with a similar small footprint to also climb the bar. And then you had the smallest subsection of teams that developed a way for them to climb the bar and lift another robot(s) with them.

With the way the rules are written regarding only being supported by that level and your bumpers being above that level, it leaves room for teams to come up with creative solutions to climb with a small footprint on the platform while allowing room for another team to take up most of the platform.


And in weeks 1-6, these will likely be minor in elims. At DCMPs and CMPs, I expect the teams who found the time to do a triple L3 climb (and ALSO did fast scoring cycles) will be the keys to being “post season” champions.


Personally, I think that the the top few teams are going to be able to complete a rocket and get a Level 3 HAB and the lower picking teams are going to be able to fill up a rocket and get a Level 2. If I were a #1 seed team, I would–most likely–pick the fastest cycler with the most points possible. If I already had a Level 3 HAB then I wouldn’t prioritize an L3 1st pick. If I couldn’t, I would consider an L3 1st pick a little more. If an L3 team can do rocket just as good as–or a tiny bit less than–an L2 team, then I would pick L3. If I had a lower pick number (#5-#8) most good–good at other things–L3 teams will be gone. Then I would take the best at rocket and L2 HAB team I could have…