Autonomous: Starting from the side and ending on Charge Station

So, this thread is part sanity check and part PSA for teams without several auto modes. Based on reveal videos, week 0 streams and talking with teams, I’m shocked to see the amount of teams trying the auto mode where you start from the side, score game piece(s) and then driver over the center onto the charge station. Am I missing something or will these auto modes get in your partners way if they want to do anything other than score a preload?

These auto modes will certainly have value in certain situations and teams will win events (especially early in the season) with them. But I’m getting worried seeing middle tier teams who only plan to have one or two autos, investing time in these autos. Pre-match auto discussions can be tricky but they become even more tricky if you want to run an auto that prevents your partners from pretty much doing anything other than scoring a preload (I still remember the team in 2018 that required both their partners to add delays so they did not get in their way).

My suggestion? Make sure you have auto modes that stay in your lane. The robot that starts in the middle handles the charging station while the robots on the end can attempt multi game piece autos. If you have those modes down, then 100% add the more fancy auto modes that can score more points.

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Maybe you’ll see more attempts over the charge station rather than to the side once some have more real field experience. That would seem to be an advantage for an alliance to make 2-3 gamepieces plus engage from the middle position. Then your partners could do 2-3 gamepiece autos from the side positions without interference.

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Just wanted to bring this up again after competing for the first time and dropping teams in our picklist who only showcased doing the charging station starting from the side positions as they were not compatible with our auto modes. As the season progresses and charging station autos for 3rd robots become more likely, I think being able to handle the charge station from the middle position will be very important if not a requirement.

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