Battlecry Strategy...

Has anyone started to think about the different strategies that can be used at battlecry…

Since it is now a 2 on 2 game, i am sure that the game will be played completely differently.

If you haven’t seen the rules, check them out - http://www.wpi.edu/+battlecry

Hope to see you all there

Tom Schindler
Team 177

Hmmm…

Your right, the game will be played completly different.

  1. DEFENSE: Maybe the veteran teams will be able to adapt to playing the role of defense easily, but rookie teams could have a whole lot of trouble adjusting.

  2. CONTACT: With 2 vs 2 comes alot of ramming and blocking. Not only is earning points essential to winning, so is staying in one piece. Many teams decided not to build strong frames and reinforce parts due to this years game.

  3. NEW RULES: The teams that know the new rules fluently will definatly have the upper hand. I predict that like the regionals, the first few matches for each robot will be slow, and unproductive.

  4. NEW SCORING: 1.5 multiplier for a robot balanced (with or without a goal) on the bridge. 3 multiplier for 2 robots balanced. That could help teams that can’t balance goals on the bridge have a chance for a high score, no matter their partner.

Overall, it should be fun to see how each team deals with the new rules.

Of course, RAGE will be back to defend its title :wink:

Steve Prairie
RAGE 173

I don’t like the rule that says once someone is on one of the bridges, no team can make contact with it in any way, shape, or form.

I can see why that rule is in place–no one wants to see a robot wrecked (the bridge is rather dangerous–especially for the big robots).

It just takes away one of the major challenges, balancing. Also, ramp bots can just control a bridge mercilessly, but it also reduces their effectiveness (can’t hinder balancing bridge…etc.).

Actually, now that I’ve really thought about it, its not a bad rule, but one I still don’t care for all that much. But I can see the reasons why.

Feedback is very welcome.

I don’t think i like the no-touch rule either… a robot can ‘camp’ on teh bridge, and there is nothing anyone else can do about it. It sort of removes the real defense from the game.

It is there for good reason though… a team that has an arm would not allow anything to be balanced if they allowed moving of the bridge once a robot is secured up there. It could make the game rather boring, since the arm bot would just hold the bridge in the unbalanced position…

also… i am wondering what will happen if a team balances a goal on one bridge, then races over and either has their ally balance on the other bridge, or they balance on there… then the other team is stuck, since they can’t get to the endzone or get on either bridge…

just my thoughts

Tom Schindler
Team 177

since I’m on the other side of the country I won’t be there, but I can say that because of the rules about robots on the bridge, limbo-bots will be very critical.

…One robot starts at the player station, the other on the other side of the bar (the teams get to choose who goes where).

This should be an interesting competition…

Whenever I sit down to think of strategies our team could use, the only thing I can come up with, is the “push & shove” defense mechanism we used in the '00 season.

  • Secure at least one goal, for the HP’s to fill, and one ramp, for the goal to be balanced on. If anyone tries to take it, defend it religiously.
  • Be sure to learn how to balance your robot on the ramp without goals, as this might become useful in matches in which something does not go according to plan.
  • Robots able to balance one goal, versus two, should be favored.

Thats the “DUH” that keeps recycling itself in my mind. Additions would help me as well.

I just want to say right on. I wish that the rules allowed a little more defense. But I know BCry took a lot of flack when they went to two on two. My thinking about 2 on 2 this year and the attempts to do it has made me realize one thing. The 4 v 0 style of play has created a situation that I think really underminds what this whole thing is about…engineering.

Hear me out for a second. Basically…this year teams didn’t have to build for defense, they didn’t have to worry about getting rammed, etc. Consequently a lot of teams…even vets…built weaker, less robust, not quite as well engineered machines. Defense adds a whole layer to the design/build/engineering process which I think is part of the fun. Not only do u have to get your machine to do whatever it needs to but u have to do it in a way that will allow another robot to drive over you and keep working.

Quite frankly I like that challenge, and I think any of the teams who aren’t up to designing a robot for a little defense…well they shouldn’t be in first in the first place (wonder if I could make a few more FIRST puns). Anways…I’m sure i’ll take some flack over this one.

-Justin

a completely agree with justin on this issue
mike who is very much in favor of more head-on-head competition

*Originally posted by Justin *
**The 4 v 0 style of play has created a situation that I think really underminds what this whole thing is about…engineering.

Hear me out for a second. Basically…this year teams didn’t have to build for defense, they didn’t have to worry about getting rammed, etc. Consequently a lot of teams…even vets…built weaker, less robust, not quite as well engineered machines. Defense adds a whole layer to the design/build/engineering process which I think is part of the fun. Not only do u have to get your machine to do whatever it needs to but u have to do it in a way that will allow another robot to drive over you and keep working.
**

I’m going to have to disagree on this one…while I’ll admit, having a 2 v 2 (or any directly competitive style for that matter) forces you to build a “tougher” machine (for lack of a better word,) I think that the 4 v 0 this year helped create more robust machines. Think about it this way, rather than having to deal with the mindset of “we want to do this, this, and this, but also need to reinforce everything so if we get rammed, it won’t break…all while keeping it in the weight limit,” you only had to worry about actually doing what you wanted it to do, thereby not “wasting” some of the precious weight that we are given to work with.

Not only that, a certain degree of strength was required this year, as I considered that bridge this year one of the most diabolical (no pun intended) parts of any game I’ve worked with since I got started with this back in '98. Just look at the number of machines that tipped over, trying to navigate it. Did they survive? Not everybody, but as long as there’s a chance of falling over because of the field design, having to build a strong machine will be a part of the game. You don’t need to be ramming into another machine to need a strong machine, when that group out in Manchester comes up with a field like this year’s…
:wink:

It happens… I agree with Justin! wow!

The deal is, that engineering isn’t always just about building the most ‘engineerly-finesse’ thing… as it is about building something that can last… Timex… Ford… etc etc…

And in the game… 2v2 adds a layer to the game and engineering style more than 4v0 does… versitility because more of an assest in 2v2 I think… as well as having the overall package… you don’t just need to move quickly, push hard, and take the hits… you need to outwit, outskill, outmove, outdo your opponent.

I think there is just so much more depth to the game, and robots, when it’s 2v2. I think some of the best engineered robots came out of those days because tough, reliable, and unique devices were what won. To me, robots were never meant to be ‘precious cargo’. But in any case… it’s like the quarterback in football… they’re delicate and are better off not being hit… but they are best suited if they can take it!

As for BattleCry2… the anti-bridge rule was decided so that all teams built for a FIRST2k1 could fairly compete… If someone could just hit the bridge once someone was balanced, there would be no use for 2-goal balancers… and no use trying to balance really… this adds to the game…

Check for some possible new rules/changes coming soon… I think there may be some in the works :slight_smile:

–colleen

i’ll always be a fan of 2v2… can’t wait for BCII!!:smiley:

*Originally posted by colleen-t190 *
**It happens… I agree with Justin! wow!

Check for some possible new rules/changes coming soon… I think there may be some in the works :slight_smile:

–colleen

i’ll always be a fan of 2v2… can’t wait for BCII!!:smiley: **

Rule changes as in Battlecry rule changes? Thats fine, just dont do it the day of competition…we have a 2 hr drive and we’ll prob need an hour in Watertown to get everyone there & ready, so most of us wont have time to check the computer.

with 2 vs 2 you have to design youre bot with added factors like durabilty in mind. it also adds a level of strategizing to the game that isnt reached in 4 vs 0. in this years competition everyone realized pretty quickly that there was only one strategy that was consistently a high scorer, and so everyone used that particular strategy. when its 2 vs 2 you have to strategize around the fact that youre opponent is gonna do everything he can to make youre life harder. you need to plan for youre strategy to fall apart and have back up plans. there is also far more improvisation that happens. this year, if the plan fell apart, everyone hauled it over to the end zone and hit the button.
on the other hand, when its everyone for themselves you dont have to coordinate with someone else. you do for 2 vs 2. so maybe last year first achieved the perfect balance, and overdid it this year.
then again, i think someone mentioned a while back that we arent neccissarily limited to 4 vs 0, 2 vs 2, etc. as they pointed out the number of bots competing is skyrocketing so maybe next year there wont be time for everyone to get in an adequate number of qualifying rounds. in that case maybe 3 vs 3 or even 4 vs 4 might work. i think a game along the lines of alliance a gets 130 to do something, then alliance b gets 30 seconds to undo everything, then switch up. this way 8 teams would get in 2 rounds in 4 minutes, with hardly any time needed for introductions and stuff since each team only needs to be introduced once at the beginning
of course, it could also be that i think too much about these things

Robots able to balance one goal, versus two, should be favored.

I obviously will not be traveling up to WPI for Battlecry…but I wish I did, for many reasons. One being the fact that, although originally designed to balance two goals, my team’s bot worked best balancing only one. We maybe would have done better. Oh well. Just a thought…

~Angela…the “what if” Fish

My view on some things:

I don’t think the argument that 2vs2 makes for better enginered bots really stands. Think about it this way…
Compare a B747 and a F-16. Which is the better plane? One is a combat craft; fast, agile, expensive. One is a commercial giant; slow (for a jet), reliable, can move hundreds of people across oceans in mere hours. Which one is better? Is the determining factor which one would win in a fight? I hope not.You can’t really compare the two equally. It’s apples and oranges. Neither craft could do the others job, yet both are wonderful machines.
Maybe a lot of this years bots can’t handle getting rammed a lot. How many of last years can haul and balence 2 goals, handle 2 diffrent size balls, and do it all while working with 3 other teams? The two games just can’t be compared like that. Neither 4vs0 or 2vs2 adds or subtracts from the engineering aspect of the game IMHO.

The strats involved are diffrent, but no less complicated. When the game took away the need for defense, it was equalized by adding more complexity to the scoring options. If you didn’t have to worry about opposing teams, you had to worry about organizing 4 teams in 2 minutes to play a very complex game. I for one, saw a lot of diffrent game plans. They were all subtly diffrent. Choices like who goes over the ramp first in a tandem transfer could make the diffrence between a 500 pt match and a 300. I didn’t find this out till I was put in charge of our summer drive team and had to set up these strats. It’s more challenging then I think some people relize. When you add the layer of defense/offense to the game, something has to go. Like the wonderfuly comlicated scoring or the fast paced deplomecy. True to, our team is busy trying to come up with new strats and plans for WPI, but we are hindered by having to use a specilized machine for something we never thought we could. This is valubale in its own right and is something that all teams should do. But still, in the end, the games are equally challenging but in diffrent ways.

Which kind of game is more fun? Thats subjective and I’m not going to touch that, but we get what we get.

-Andy

I don’t think it was ever said that the robots from 2000 were better robots than the ones from 2001. What was said was that 2000 (and earlier) required more robust robots. To use your analogy, is it easier to design a Boeing 747 or an F-16? The F-16 is much harder because it has to go through rougher conditions. Basically, as far as robustness goes, the F-16 has to be able to withstand everything the 747 can and then even more (combat conditions). The connection made was that 2v2 required more robust robots which are harder to design and which therefore makes the competition harder. There was also the conjecture that a harder competition is a better competition.

Matt

As the only professional engineer to respond to this thread thus far I feel obligated to make a few comments.

First the 747 vs F16 analogy is a good one. They are designed for different tasks and more importantly different loadings with different safety factors.

But I wouldn’t say that the F-16 was harder to design than the 747. In fact I believe the structural design team for the 747 was much larger than the F-16’s. This is because FAA flight certification for commercial service is a very complicated process and involves many more factors than the Air Force’s. Which is not to say that the Air Force’s is easy. It’s just that for commercial service you have so much more to prove.

Also aeroelastic effects (changes in aerodynamic performance due to changes in the structure, like wings bending under load) are much more important for the 747, those long flapping wings don’t you know. ( Don’t think they flap? try watching one in flight, particularly in turbulence)

The F-16 with it’s short stubby wings doesn’t get much of that. Though the loadings are higher, there are fewer numbers to deal with and fewer conflicting requirements.

*Originally posted by ChrisH *
**As the only professional engineer to respond to this thread thus far I feel obligated to make a few comments.

First the 747 vs F16 analogy is a good one. They are designed for different tasks and more importantly different loadings with different safety factors.

But I wouldn’t say that the F-16 was harder to design than the 747. In fact I believe the structural design team for the 747 was much larger than the F-16’s. This is because FAA flight certification for commercial service is a very complicated process and involves many more factors than the Air Force’s. Which is not to say that the Air Force’s is easy. It’s just that for commercial service you have so much more to prove.

Also aeroelastic effects (changes in aerodynamic performance due to changes in the structure, like wings bending under load) are much more important for the 747, those long flapping wings don’t you know. ( Don’t think they flap? try watching one in flight, particularly in turbulence)

The F-16 with it’s short stubby wings doesn’t get much of that. Though the loadings are higher, there are fewer numbers to deal with and fewer conflicting requirements.

**

The wings of a 747 don’t bend under load. F-16s do (the AIM-120Cs…the Mavericks…the Sidewinders), but yet they are stiff because of their relative shortness compared to those of a 747.

What you don’t see is the 747 going through 12 g’s of acceleration (which would lead to black out if people aren’t trained).

That doesn’t mean its harder to design. It just means that the 747’s wings don’t flap under load…they just flap. :smiley:

I may have opened a can of worms… who’s wings flap more really isn’t importent here.

It’s just that you have to think about what is important to the bots we make. In past years, having a hardy bot that could take broadsides was nessecary, that was part of the game.

This year, thats just not important. Thus we spend more time and resources on adding more functions and more flexiblity. Being robust just wasn’t important, it was a none issue. Why waste the resources on covering our chains when we don’t need to? If we had added that extra strength, we would have had to give up some function, we bearly made 130 as it was. In the end, all the bots are just as enginered as any other years bots, they can just do diffrent things.

The game has just as much to it as anyother game FIRST has put out. When you give up defense playing, you gain in other areas.

So thats why I’m a little reluctent to play a 2 vs 2 game. It just seems to me that you can only change the game so much before its not the same game anymore. Bassicly, we might be putting our 747 into ww3 and expecting it to win. Not to say it won’t, we may just throw a couple hundred chains before we do.

-Andy

Matt,

Actually a 747’s wings deflect several feet on takeoff. They continue to deflect more or less throughout a flight. Just sit near the wing and look out the window of any commercial jet and you will see the wings “flap” up and down. This deflection is enough to noticably affect the aerodynamic performance of the wing. Hence the development of the discipline of aeroelastics.

While an F-16s wings do flex it is not nearly the percentage of span that you see in any commecial liner.

But all this is beside the point I was trying to make. What I was trying to say was that the severity of the load is not a good indicator of the difficulty of the design. Once a good model is built sizing for a 120g load is no more difficult than sizing for a 1.2g load. The hard part is building the model correctly and asking for the right information from it.

Having worked both commercial and military programs, though admittedly not as a structural analyst, my observation has been that the loadings of commercial structures are more complex and they seem to have more load cases to deal with. This means that there are more things to consider in designing a commercial structure than a military one. Thus the design process for a commercial aircraft can be more complex and go through more iterations than a military one to get the “best” answer.

How do I know about all these iterations? because every time the structures guys and gals make a change I have to see how it will impact my tool designs for making the part they are designing.
So while I am not an analyst I do find myself in an awful lot of meetings where structural problems are being worked on and I need to be fairly fluent in what they are talking about.

Just as a point of reference the one of the most complex design solutions I have seen in the past several years was an aircraft that is 6" long and weighs 2.7oz. The wings flex for passive gust alleviation so it can fly in windy conditions. Without the passive alleviation it would be too much for the pilot to compensate for and the bird would be unflyable in all but calm conditions. Actually early models had just that problem.

I could go on but I’m typing too much like an engineer and am probably way over most of your heads. If you have any questions about what I mean with any of this I’ll be happy to try and explain. After all I do it all the time with my team anyway.