Attack 2 or Attack 3

Basically I’m wondering if there is ever a strategic reason to go into a match with the objective of holding onto all 3 Switches/Scale? Assuming you’re playing an alliance that is roughly even with your own in terms of cycling, I would think it’s fair to assume that your alliance won’t be able to maintain control of all 3 scoring elements for the duration of the match. I would argue in those situations, that your alliance will be benefited most from targeting 2/3 scoring elements to focus a majority of your effort on, while also working the Exchange.

The way the scoring works, if you hold either Switch and the Scale for the duration (or close to it) of the match, you will have a 100+ point advantage on your opponent. That is likely going to be challenging to overcome, especicially if you can match the opponent in climbs.

Obviously there will be the argument that if you’re only targeting 2/3 scoring objectives, the opposing alliance just needs to place a single Power Cube in that scoring objective to hold it, and then they can match you on the 2/3 that you’re working on - giving them a distinct advantage. I would counter that by saying most alliances aren’t going to adapt on the fly (or expect you to just ignore one of the scoring elements) which means they will waste their time filling up a Switch that you have no intention of using - at which point they are trying to defend 2/3 scoring elements down 1 robot.

I’m sure there are holes in my logic, but what are they? Is it ever worth trying to hold all three scoring elements or is it a better idea to target two of them?*

*I’m thinking mostly in terms of Week 1/2

If Everybot is adapted as a strategy by 25% of teams, then holding one’s own switch will be impossible or unlikely. In such a case, focusing on the scale and the opposing switch seems wise. I sincerely doubt, though, that Everybot will show up very often. I’m tempted to say that if my team’s current design doesn’t pan out in the next couple weeks, we should do an Everybot. I bet there will only be two or three at our week one event, and that they will do great.

I think it entirely depends on how the other alliance is playing on whether you attack all three. Assuming there is at least one scale scorer on each alliance, battling for the middle is a given. Whether you attack or defend your switch depends on the capabilities of the other alliance as well as your own. If I’m facing a fast portal cycler(like 118 everybot) for example, I would be more inclined to have my alliance attack their switch and give up our own. If I feel they are a stronger scale alliance, it’s worth attacking and defending switches in order to try and pull their attention away from the scale in hopes of taking it back.

Overall though, attack 2 will be the more optimal choice most of the time. But there is no sense sticking only to 2 if you notice that one of the ones you are focusing on is a lost cause.

In general owning 2 of 3 will net a win. However 2 of 3 does not necessarily need to be a switch and a scale. You can still net out a win controlling both switches. Its sort of like RISK, you can bolster one area then be swiss cheese in another.

Its a very binary game when you look at the strategy, a series of haves and have nots.
I think driver game intelligence will be critical this year and ability to play all 3 and know when to field a cube or lock it in the vault

The scale is twice as powerful as either switch when concerned with point differential. So controlling both switches and not the scale (assuming equal time) puts you equal with the opposing alliance in control points, leaving auto/endgame to decide the match. There are a lot of assumptions in this analysis, but holding both teams even other than strategy, you’re net even.

Personally, seeing how dominant a fast portal cycler is when holding the enemy switch is scary. I think the game will converge to an unstable equilibrium where one robot will be dedicated to each element, until someone subverts this partway through an elims run to try and adapt faster.

This is probably the truest statement about this game (as played in mid-level matches) I’ve seen. I 100% agree.

I think an attack 2 on both switches would be a good week 1 or 2 strategy. Scale bots will not be up to par quite yet, so a well planned offense/defense will be pretty powerful. On the off chance I did have a scale bot on my alliance, I’d have one robot start on the vault just to get a few extra points on the board and depending on the opposing alliance, I’d go for force if they also have a good scaler to give room to regain possession, or boost if they don’t.

If you do not, at least, threaten their switch then you are giving them close to 165 points for just dropping 1 cube during auto.

I believe you need to, at least, make them believe that you will flip their switch, otherwise you will be playing at a disadvantage for the entire match.

Why? The scale is worth the same points as a switch.

The logic is that a switch is good for either +1 for you or 0 for you (differential of 1) and that a scale is good for between +1 you and +1 opponent (a differential of 2).

IOW, taking control of the scale from the opponent causes a swing of 2/second, while taking control of your switch is only a swing of 1/second

Think about how you gain points relative to the other alliance. If you control their switch, that’s 1 point/s that they’re not getting. If you control your switch, you are gaining 1 point/s. If you control the scale, you are gaining 1 pt/s and there is 1 pt/s that they are not gaining.

Thats only TRUE if you own your own Switch as well. Otherwise its net even

I think that if you’re playing against a really smart alliance this is correct. But would you feel comfortable with a single cube advantage? Knowing that at any moment the opposing alliance could overtake that Switch… I’m of the opinion that alliances (in quals) will not be motivated by high level strategies. More often than not, they’ll assign 1 robot to each scoring element and tell them to hold it. That’s the easiest division of labor. There will be very few matches in which an alliance has an advantage for 135+ seconds with 1 cube in a Switch. So given the low level strategies that will drive most quals matches, implementing a smart/strategic strategy should always provide an advantage.

Let’s assume 50% control of Scale in teleop (I’ll use 134 sec). At the end teleop, each alliance had control for 67s. So points from the Scale: your score 67, opposing alliance 67.

Now let’s assume 50% control of opposing Switch. At the end of teleop, each alliance again had control for 67s. Points from control, Your alliance score 0, Opposing Alliance 67.

Net even, but you’re able to concentrate all of your efforts on loading up a single scoring element while the opponent is spread much thinner…

There aren’t three scoring elements, there are four. The Exchange (vault) is worth 95-115 points if completely filled (45 for cubes, 30 for a levitate, 20 for a double-force, and up to 20 for boost), and I’ll bet that a lot of qualification matches won’t go much higher than 200, especially in weeks 1-2.

The scale is the killer – if you control it and your opponent doesn’t, you’re almost definitely going to win, but that “almost definitely” is predicated on at least some level of detente between the switches.

…but I can see situations where a dedicated vault-bot fills the vault, Everybot plays defense on your opponent’s switch (and bashes around their dedicated vault-bot, if they have one), and one bot divides time as necessary between your scale and switch (depending on what your opponents are doing.) Your opponent starts with up to fourteen (more likely eleven) right next to your switch–but you start with nineteen (inc. the ones on your robots), ten (thirteen) of which they can’t touch unless you let them.

Assuming one goes on the scale and one goes on the switch in autonomous, and nine feed the vault, that leaves you eight against your opponents’ eleven without having to run across the field to get more…but if they’re using all eleven to hammer your switch, that’s that many fewer to fight your scale-bot with their scale-bot.

I think that the right strategy, assuming one scale-bot and two non-scale-bots, is to have the non-scale bots tackle your own vault and switch with the nearby cubes while the scale-bot tackles the scale with cubes from the portals, hitting your opponents’ switch on the way by as a target of opportunity to keep them from ignoring it altogether (if they can afford the time.) Once the vault is full, vault-bot goes full-on harassment of the opponent’s switch, then two bots go to climb while vault-bot keeps on harassing.

I think.

Both alliances have only 3 robots

At best one on each for “division of labor” so the concentration would be even…if you overload your switch putting say 2 bots on it , the other alliance may let you and aquire your switch by overloading it wih nearby portal eand at risk eventually pyramid cubes. Net even

Then there’s the cube starvation (Vault/player station) to contend with.

You can’t rob Peter to pay Paul= 3 robots… 3 plates…60 cubes (18 to fill Vaults)

I hate saying this on CD, but I’m hardly the only person who is making the connection, plus everybody will forget about this post/thread within a few weeks.

There is a game breaking strategy in FIRST Power Up… kind of. If you hold the Scale in autonomous all the way through the end of Teleop, no matter what your opponents do (assuming both alliances use Power Ups effectively) you will be either ahead or tied in terms of points per second. So in theory, if you hold the Scale, do your own Switch in auto (and then ignore it and just rack up points until the opposing alliance gets there), fill the Vault, and triple climb, there’s no way for the opposing alliance to catch up.

Now I don’t feel bad saying this strategy because it’s not something that a single team can pull off. It requires being proficient at the hardest task in the game. But knowing this strategy does highlight just how important the Scale is. I don’t believe a dedicated Switch robot will ever make sense as a first overall pick. If you hold the Scale, you control your own destiny in every match.

I was under the impression that an alliance could gain points from controlling the opponents’ scale. Now I get it.

…as long as you can dominate the scale, controlling your switch for however long until your opponent turns it off and ignoring your opponent’s switch while packing your vault is the big winner. If they keep their switch all game and turn yours off one second into teleop, and pack their vault, and triple-climb, you still win. Thus, an ideal alliance is two brutally good scale-bots and one brutally good vault-bot. Then again, once they’ve turned off your switch, if they know you’re ignoring it from then on they can go beat up on your vault-bot with impunity, and possibly make up points there.

It should make for some really fun to watch and fun to play scale-fights, with the peripheral scoring still enough to (forgive the pun) make up the balance when the scale fight is not too (forgive the pun) lopsided.