Alliances in touble?

Posted by Chris Orimoto.

Student on team #368 from McKinley High School and Nasa Ames.

Posted on 4/13/2000 6:51 PM MST

In Reply to: Alliances in touble? posted by Chris on 4/12/2000 7:05 AM MST:

I’ve read through most of these posts about the
alliance problem and I think that most teams aren’t
angry at the alliances themselves, but angry at the
fact that they didn’t get picked for the elimination
tournament. The top 8 teams (16 nationals) are up
there for a reason, therefore they deserve to
participate in such an event as a tournament to decide
the final champions. The alliance thing allows teams
to get to know other teams well, which definitely aids
the alliance picking process.
Now for the scoring system. I believe that getting 3x
the losing team’s score adds the aspect of strategy to
the game. This way, big offensive robots can’t kick
the crap out of little ones and make out big.
Versatile and consistent robots become much more
valuable over ‘super-robots’.
All in all, I hope that FIRST keeps consistent with the
idea of alliances and strategy, and also that they
continue to devise complicated games for us.

Posted by Brownscombe.

Other on team #49, Delphi Knights, from Buena Vista High School.

Posted on 4/14/2000 10:16 AM MST

In Reply to: Alliances in touble? posted by Chris on 4/12/2000 7:05 AM MST:

: The problem if there is one at Nationals is that in the seeding rounds a team will only play with a very small percent of the total robots. At even the largest regional teams played with 25 or so teams out of 60 or about 40% of the teams; where as at the Nationals we played with only about 7% of the teams present. If a team attended two regionals and the Nationals they would have played with about 21% of the teams at some point in the competition if there were no duplicates. The way FIRST makes random choices seems to lead to about 3 or 4 teams being paired in the same games at the regional so the percentages are off slightly.

The Parings at the Nationals could be enhanced if the teams were placed in groups of about 60 teams that play among themselves on all the fields. These groups should contain teams that have not been together before this time. The Top teams from each group could then select alliance members (from the entire group of robots present) for the finals. The minimum number choosing should represent about 10% of the teams present so that almost a third of the teams will be represented in the finals. Also since teams will be selected from each group teams that end up playing in groups that are strong defensively or in groups where scoring is low will not be penalized. This is from a team that averaged 23 points a round and won 6 out of 7 games at the Nationals but placed 109 in the rankings.

The last comment of a long suggestion is what an incredible Game.

Posted by mike graser.

Engineer on team #174, Arctic Warriors, from Liverpool and Carrier.

Posted on 4/14/2000 11:43 AM MST

In Reply to: Re: Alliances in touble? posted by Brownscombe on 4/14/2000 10:16 AM MST:

I agree with this suggestion for a number of reasons.

  1. 268 teams is too many to pick from, too many to scout, too many to know. People pick on
    scores and reputation.
  2. Do you know what its like to finish 268th in the seeding rounds? If there were groups of 64 the
    worst you would finish is tied for 64th out of 254.
  3. People might root for their section or region to win the championship.

To add to the original suggestion:

Regions could be assigned stages on a permenant basis, always on Einstein or Watt for example.
This would make predicting the match schedule easier.

To make regions fair assign each region an equal number of rookie teams and split up the old-timers, Delphi’s, UTC’s etc…

Alliances are good. But the goals should be:

              1. Maximum number of matches for all teams
              2. Maximum sense of accomplishment for all teams
              3. Strengthen sense of partnership and co-operation
              4. Make real friendships and bonds

One last suggestion:

When showing a match on the screen - post the match number on the screen.
Have a board that shows what match is going on - for each stage.

Posted by Brownscombe.

Other on team #49, Delphi Knights, from Buena Vista High School.

Posted on 4/14/2000 1:36 PM MST

In Reply to: Re: Alliances in touble? posted by mike graser on 4/14/2000 11:43 AM MST:

: The problem with using one field is that there are slight differences in scoring and interpretation of rules on each field. That along with the fact that every space affects the performance of a team would keep a team from appearing on Einstein only in the Finals for the event and being overwhelmed.

The other suggestions are right on!

FIRST should not be so afraid of publishing results. We all could learn from them. (I realize that winning is not all there is but building better robots is and how an idea functioned against others provides proof)

Posted by Nate Smith.

Other on team #66, GM Powertrain/Willow Run HS, from Eastern Michigan University and GM Powertrain.

Posted on 4/14/2000 2:27 PM MST

In Reply to: Alliances in touble? posted by Chris on 4/12/2000 7:05 AM MST:

: Any thoughts? Does anyone have any ideas as to how to improve the system? Does the system need any improving? Please share your thoughts.

Thinking back to when alliances came into being last year, along with the fact that not everyone would advance to the elimination rounds, I remember a few of the different things that came up. The majority of the comments below this one seem to be pointed towards the fact that the ‘new’ game structure isn’t good because such-and-such a team didn’t make it, despite their performance. While I was on one of those teams that, deep down, thought that we had put on a good enough showing to make it into the finals as a chosen ally(our 23-6 solo win on Friday comes to mind), we have to look at how much the competition has grown in the past few years. As Dean said at closing ceremonies, this is growing at a rate of 50% a year…which means that, eventually, it will simply not be possible to accomodate all the teams at nationals, and the regionals will act as qualifiers for the national competition. I believe(and a few other people did too, if I remember the discussions last year correctly), that the fact that not everybody advances was put into place by FIRST to prepare teams for the year that, for the first time, you DO have to qualify for nationals.

People have made comments about how not making it to the ‘big show’ detracts from the goal of inspiring the students. However, on years when a sports team doesn’t make it to the state finals, you don’t see half the team dropping out. Instead, they plan for how they can do better next year. Also(speaking from personal experience now), for the past two years, I was with a team that, while we thought we had a good machine, never quite pulled off making it into the finals. However, after 2 yrs, I’m still here, and more involved with FIRST than I ever was. So, rather than saying that a loss causes a loss of interest, I believe that it causes MORE interest, as the students who came so close in years past push even harder to get to the top of the heap.

Just my thoughts…