Any advantage to going to district week 1 or week 2 event in 2020?

#1

From a purely competitive standpoint is there any reason to go to early events now?
If you sit back to a week 4,5 or 6 event you get to look at top tier robots, their mechanisms and how they operate then have plenty of time to try and duplicate those mechanisms.
Teams with really good ideas that would give them a competitive advantage for a much longer time under the bag rule lose much of that advantage if they reveal at early events.

Slightly off my own topic - what about reveal videos. Of course, most would wait until bag day for reveal videos. Smart to do that now? If so, when?

I’m almost thinking there needs to be bonus points added to distract state qualifier points for earlier events. Earlier you go to an event the more bonus you get.

#2

Early events will give you a “real” perspective of how your robot operates as well as giving your drivers a good feel for the field.

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#3

My team always goes to a week 1 event to get to be one of the first teams to play…the field is technically very even at that point beyond what drive practice you can get on your own.

I think next year… should things be the way I am aiming for them to be. We will attend a week 1 regional event, and then go to our two district events in the weeks later in the season.

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#4

I love Week 1. If you can finish your robot early, get some driver practice in, and figure out the game before everyone else, you have a huge advantage.

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#5

I think there is an advantage to going to early events still. While the robots will likely be more complete than they would be with the bag rules still intact, the strategies for playing the game will still be in their infancy. Week 1 events will be an opportunity for strategy-savvy teams to prove that they strategized better than the others. By the time the middle of the competition season rolls around, all teams will have caught on to which strategies work and which strategies do not, and modified their designs accordingly.

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#6

Ignoring this year (darn questionable design decisions) 4513 has done historically well at early events, mainly because we have a bot completed and “tested” (read: anywhere from we made sure it wont break in 2015 to actual drive practice in 2017) along with an experienced driver since 2017. If i had it my way, we’d do a similar setup to this year: Week 1 event, then a week 3/4 depending on what was available. This gives us time to sprint out of the gate early (or fall on our face if it doesnt work out) while still giving time to go and fix issues if they come up between our first and second event.

If you know what youre doing, its easy to get a head start with early weeks, and i think many teams will be led astray by the idea of “10 weeks before a competition” and find they have no time to fix issues since their next comp is less than a couple days away.

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#7

If you’re a team who thinks they will struggle with time management without a bag, then go to a week 1. It gives you the earliest deadline possible, so you will have to have to robot done by then. If you go to a week 3 or something similar, the deadline will seem less there and you may procrastinate more. Plus, at week 1, you all have had the same amount of practice, making it so no one has a competitive edge in actual match practice (at our first event, the top 2 teams and the teams that won, 33 and 1025, were on their second event, giving them the edge in driving time over other good teams there).

#8

Particularly this coming year - Week 1 2020 events will look most like Week 1 2019 events, as there is the least change in the lead-time to prepare for them.

While it’s true that teams could be motivated to keep good ideas secret until later competitions, there is still pride and value in showcasing your work. You just have to do so creatively.

#9

If we must ship to worlds immediately after our last competition, I’d do week 1 and week 5. If we can ship when we want to, I’d do week 1 and week 3. The other mentors on our team aren’t necessarily cool with that.

#10

I guess what made me think of this question was looking at 27s lvl 2-3 climb this year.
We knew lvl 3 climb was critical so we spent a lot of our 6 weeks working on it.
And it worked very well. But it was complex and heavy. We did not have a level 2 and that was because we ran out of time to try and develop it.
Then we saw the week 1 climb of 27 and realized we missed a very clever mechanic.
We would have loved to change to something like their much simpler mechanic but no time to do that especially when we had something that worked.

But, I suspect that under 2020 rules we may have totally replaced our climb with a design like theirs since we would have had plenty of time to do it. Would have saved us weight, complexity and given our climb more speed and lvl 2 out of the gate. As it was we didn’t have lvl 2 until the Michigan district championship.

So my though is that, in this example, this would lessen 27s competitive advantage of their clever design by revealing it at such an early competition.

#11

I avoid Wk1 because far too often major game rules still haven’t been fully massaged out to their midseason form (2014 hp tech fouls, 2017 pilot yellow cards, some of the defense/field interaction rules from year to year), but usually the rules are all squared away by Wk2. And everyone’s gotten a chance to see the game be played by Wk2, so you can go in with a basic gameplan of what will and won’t work.

And as long as you can go in with most of your robot working, you’ll have a significant advantage over a fair portion of the rest of the field.

#12

On the teams I’ve been involved with most recently, that wouldn’t be a problem. What’s more important is having a good event early in the season. That cleans up a lot of questions such as whether we need to book travel for DCMP or Worlds.

The amount of district points you get from winning a Week 1 competition is the same as what you get from winning a Week 5 competition, but winning a Week 5 competition is potentially more difficult and offers less of a window of time to book travel. I’d rather get it over with Week 1, use Week 5 as a tuning event, and then go all-out at DCMP to snag a Worlds bid. I think this works for Regionals even more, since you can book your Worlds travel as soon as you get a bid from your Week 1 event. This is a lot of breathing room compared to stressing out at your second or third regional.

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#13

If all the smart/good teams are going to week 4-6 events, going to week 1-3 events increases your chances of winning those events :stuck_out_tongue:

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#14

If you can build a robot in 4 weeks and have 2 weeks to practice/iterate you will be so far ahead of other teams that take 5-6 weeks to build and you can practically write your ticket to DCMP and/or Worlds. You’ll then have 6-8 more weeks to see the game and do more practice/iterate before DCMP or Worlds to stay even without all the pressure to come up with something and have it work the first time.

You don’t have to reveal everything your bot can do in week 1. Cargo bots with lvl 3 climbs were winning weeks 1-2 but multi HP sandstorm, solo rockets and multi lvl 3 climbs dominated weeks 7-9.

#15

There advantages and disadvantages to going to a week 1 competition.
Advantage: level of competition is lower because teams are still working out bugs to their robot
Disadvantage: competition is slower because staff is still working out bugs to the field system

Advantage: quick and easy way to debug ur robot.
Disadvantage: especially for district model teams, any mistake could literally cost u the season.

Our team personally doesn’t do week 1 comps because our robot isn’t competition ready by then. We take more time to perfect the bot and practice before competition.

#16

Week 1 and Week 2 events won’t have any third-play robots “stealing” points from you.

#17

Unless they are out-of-district teams taking a third play early.

See Indiana St. Joseph District 2017. Ten Michigan teams in a field of 34, Week 2.

#18

I liked the only Week 1 event I have been to before because we were less behind teams that could practice with a second robot. Plus I liked playing the game “raw” when the metagame hadn’t fully developed yet.

I still would like to do an early event, now to enforce an early deadline to finish the robot. We also won’t meet at build season pace for the extra weeks we now have without bag day, so we will have less time to fall behind relative to other teams at an early event.

#19

If you have the time to duplicate the best mechanisms, you can bet everyone else has the time do so as well. You have to compare your team relative to other

Teams with novel ideas are better served playing earlier, so that their novel ideas have more of an impact, unless their idea is literally so novel and impactful that no one who plays earlier comes up with them. I think most novel ideas were revealed by the end of week 2 this season. In short, I think that point is overstated.

I think the best is to go to one event as early as possible, and a second event as late as possible (assuming exactly two events). That way you get the maximum amount of time between your two “real world” tests. If you only have one event, then maybe later is better, if only because it’s more disheartening to lose when your robot is not working than

#20

I think that next season week two events are going to be incredibly soft. There are going to be a ton of unfinished or barely finished robots because teams will struggle with planning out their build season timeline. I have been pushing pretty strongly for our team to consider a week two event to get a leg up on the competition.

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