# Ball Capacity? How Much is Too Much? And Can You Use It For A Strategical Advantage?

In my infinite hours of thought I’ve come across a question. How Many balls can your team possess and how many is too many?

My team should able to possess about 20 balls at a time. But I thought to myself are we ever going to be able to use all of those balls? Can We score them Fast Enough? Which Then Led me to think of how ball possession and how many you possess can play into your strategy.

In Lunacy there are a limited number of balls. Each team is given 20 to start with (Up to 7 in a robot) and after they’re scored they cannot be reused (unlike 2006) which would mean that if you could hoard all of your opposing alliance’s balls and hold onto your own you could effectively limit their scoring capacity.

Or there’s always the strategy of passing balls between alliance members. Seen in this video at about 3:50:
http://www.thebluealliance.net/tbatv/match.php?matchid=620

Discuss.

(The intent of this thread is to discuss theoretically strategies only. Not any in depth robot capabilities beyond theoretical ball capacity.)

I don’t believe there is any limit to the number of balls you can carry (other than the limit on empty cells).

There is definitely a possibility of a strategic advantage by hording balls. Every ball you possess can not be scored against you. However, if you aren’t using the balls, and are simply holding them, then all of those balls can’t be used to score FOR you either. The advantage would come down to the other robots on the field. If the other team has a bunch of very accurate scorers, and the robots on your team are not as good, it would be a good idea to prevent the team from getting those moon rocks.

However if your team has some excellent scorers then those balls aren’t helping you any. If you have some way to pass the balls to your teammates however, they can help you, but bear in mind that it takes time to pass the balls. Is it quicker to pass than to have the other team collect them on their own?
If you can hold on to some and then give them to your teammates later on when orbit balls are likely to be scarce, it could provide a nice scoring boost at the end of the game and be a huge advantage.

Also consider how many balls you’ll be able to get a hold of. Remember that at the beginning of the game you can only hold 7 in each robot, and the human players get the rest. So there are no free balls on the field. If lots of the balls get scored, you may never be able to reach 20 or whatever your maximum ends up being. There will be 5 other robots on the field, who may also all be trying to pick up more balls. Is it likely in a given match you would be able to pick up 13 more balls? Probably. Is it practical or the best use of your time? Maybe, maybe not.

20!!! Dude, we only hold like…2 at a time! =O

Guess we’re screwed…

Yeah he knows there’s no limit to holding balls. And yes, their machine does collect balls that fast in real life…its beast.

We should only be able to hold 15 when the robot’s done. It will be able to shoot them out at 3-4 balls per second, so it should take 4 or 5 seconds to empty our entire helix into an opponents trailer. Though personally, I think we’ll be shooting them too often to ever have a completely filled helix.

We are looking at around eight or nine… 20 is a ton… Are you going to shoot them! or dump them that is alot of balls to shoot!

If the balls fit in semi-ideally, we should be able to store 35-40 balls in our hopper, plus a few more in the conveyor belt system. The way I see it, your alliance starts out with 60 balls. If each robot on your alliance starts out with 7, then that leaves 39 total balls left with the Payload Special1sts. If your robot is the one your alliance wants to do the majority of the scoring, that could be 40 balls from just your alliance going to your bot. Plus all the balls on the ground floating around, having a lot of storage could end up being a competitive advantage. Honestly though, I have no clue how this game is going to play out, here’s to watching the week 1 webcasts!

10 Balls.*

If you are storing 20+ balls you’re making the dangerous bet (IMO) that you’re going to be able to score them all in the last seconds of the match.

*thats our capacity.

In 2005 (Triple Play) we were silly enough to think we could stack 3 or 4 tetras on the base of our robot and drive around scoring them. This was in New England (where we tend to get away with more defense), but still. When you have lots of game objects, you become a target. Sure, this year is a little different in that if you’re opponent blocks you in you become a scoring target. But, I think anyone who thinks they’ll be able to dump in 20 balls at a time is sorely mistaken.

I think it’s really driven by how quickly after autonomous you can dump your starting load. It’d be a shame to miss balls you could’ve easily collected because you had yet to dump your original seven.

Oh, and if the A-Bomb makes a comeback (and we get to see it more than like twice) that’d be awesome.

Highly doubt anyone’s strategy is to dump all at once when they are holding that many…it certainly isn’t 816 idea. (I helped with strat and design) You fail to point out where he says to “dump in 20 balls at the same time.”

The point is to just hold all of them at once in bulk.

Holding all of the balls may make you a target and people will try to play defense on you. BUT if you are a short range scorer, if people are willing to come near you, aren’t you at the advantage assuming you wont get out maneuvered, that is our line of thinking. We are looking to get closer to people to to score, as a more reliable way of scoring. We are looking to a pin and a complete dumping massacre on th other team. the more balls we are holding he merrier.

However if you are a long range scorer you may be in trouble if people are getting near you. or maybe you just shoot over them into there trailer as they attempt to pin you.

Can hold ~18 can dump/shoot ~18 in ~2 seconds, key is the quick unload as it will be hard to get your apponent to stay still

the question is though is 18 too much? maybe but there is no minimum compacity to most designs i’ve seen posted thus far.

I’m estimating around 25 balls for our storage capability.

Its all about your own teams strategy and robot design. Some teams are going to choose to hold ~10, and score, and pick up, and score…etc.

Others are going to hoard a TON of balls, and then hope they can get them in 1 decent sized swoop.

We’ll see what works best for teams soon enough…

Just a thought on this, there are 3 areas on the field a robot will NOT want to go, namely near the opponents HPs. If there is a short range dumper with ~20 balls that essentially adds another place they dont want to go. Field control will be key this year. If you can force your opponent to go where you want you will have a competitive advantage. Point being, there are many ways to play a game. I foresee this game being a lot like a FPS, some people favor long range play with strategic shots. Others go in guns blazing. Both strategies work they are just different ways to play the game.

That being said, I think 397 is looking into holding a decent number. Probably between 10-20.

Ours will be estimated at 22 maximum, plus whatever lucky ones don’t fall off the top of the pile. Our pickup mechanism will make it look like popcorn when we get that many. However, the hopper’s main purpose is to catch the balls from our PS rather than storing a huge amount of them. For our strategy, I don’t believe there is a distinct advantage in having that many at once. Hmm, except maybe for our ‘spray and pray’ mode, where we send the shooter turret on a random rampage…

Our strategy aside though, I believe that it will take teams alot longer to fill their hopper than they think. The game doesn’t start with 120 balls on the field, and I’m sure it will take no less than 20 seconds to get them all out there. In addition, there will be a lot of pinning this year. When you’re pinned, it doesn’t matter if you have 1 ball or 60 balls in your hopper, or trying to fire them or collect them; you’re dead in the water until you’re released.

Except maybe if while your being pinned, you start to fire into the trailer of the robot thats pinning you… That may be enough to get them off your back for a bit.

Agreed, if it’s the right type of pin.

Exactly. It’s looking like our tracking shooter will be a defensive weapon this year! Come too close and you get scored on.

Speaking of defense, it’s looking to me more and more that defense will be very important in this game. Strategies will be deep and layered, and commanders will have to look several moves deep, like a chess player. I’m beginning to think that ultimately strategies will come to be centered on keeping the opposing alliance from running empty cells. Then you will get attack escorts for the empty cell runners, and so on. Winning alliances may have to field three empty cell runners (with attack capability perhaps) to ensure a decisive edge.

Here’s my personal theory on Ball Capacity:

For many, if not most teams, gathering balls should be much easier than scoring on an opponent’s trailer. (Assuming there are balls to be gathered) This means that it’s going to require more effort and time to score than it will to gather balls. So, I believe that it’s better to hoard as many balls as your design allows and then score as many as you can in one instant. IE, instead of scoring 5 balls 4 times why not try to score 10 balls twice? I’m not saying that my team is going to try to gather 20 balls and then score them at one time but if the opportunity arose we would jump on it.

Also, another scenario that pops into my head is this:

You pin an opponent down, and you have 17 balls in your robot. The opposing robots pulls away from you and you’ve only managed to score 8 of the balls in your robot. You now have 9 more balls you can score once you track another trailer down. This plays into the game very well because as the match goes on there will be fewer and fewer balls available due to scoring.

Here’s my basic rule, Any ball in your robot can’t be used against you but can be used against your opponent.

In our team’s design review, we felt that the robot should at least be able to handle every moon rock given to the team at once. (7 starting plus 13 in the player station)
If your robot could only store 7 balls, say, then if a scoring opportunity doesn’t arise, the robot can’t do much. It has to try to reach an opponent or else it can’t do anything. If a robot has larger capacity, it can spend time during a match collecting more balls to prepare for scoring opportunities. And there’s also the point of needing to reload more with less capacity.
Our robot should be able to hold around 24 balls.

I am under the impression that the number of balls you have does not mean anything. What you are capable of doing with them is what matters.

For example, one team could hoard all of the balls but end up losing because they are unable to accurately fire them into opposing trailers.

I would be shooting for accuracy, not quantity in this competition.