Capabilities Needed to be Picked at Champs

What capabilities does a robot need to have in order to ensure they are picked to an alliance at champs? I suppose being a third or fourth robot doesn’t really matter as it’s highly likely that most 4th robots will see the field due to the nature of Stronghold.

What are teams looking for in a 3rd and 4th alliance member?

  • Consistent auton that puts a ball in the tower, high or low
  • Penalty free
  • Does their task at a high level

What else? What’s a high level?

Another question as well, can a defense-dedicated robot be selected, or does it make more sense to take the top available scoring machine and cheesecake on a blocker? How about a defense robot with a scoring autonomous mode and a climber?

The one thing I’ll point out is in regards to your comment about “highly likely most 4th robots will see the field”.

Yes, Stronghold is a brutal, brutal game. Yes, I’ve seen a ton of posts on Chief Delphi from people warning to tighten all your bolts, check all your electrical connections, bring spares of everything.

“Because you WILL break down”, I’ve seen said.

But I’ll counter with this: it’s very possible to build a robot that can withstand the rigors of this game. It’s absolutely prudent to be prepared, of course, but I wouldn’t go in expecting that everyone else will break down. Many teams didn’t, and going into Champs I expect that proportion will be even higher.

A robot that:

  1. Does not get stuck on Defenses
  2. Does not have connection problems
  3. Does not break down (performs reliably)
  4. Does not tip easily
  5. Good driver
  6. Round out defense crossing abilities

Another question as well, can a defense-dedicated robot be selected, or does it make more sense to take the top available scoring machine and cheesecake on a blocker?

The Alliance captain could be looking for a 3rd shooter, and a Defender for the 3rd and 4th robot. A 3rd shooter that can also play defense would be a good choice. If you have 2 of those (defense capable, but not necessarily defense only) gives the alliance the most options.

How about a defense robot with a scoring autonomous mode and a climber?

Scoring (crossing) during Autonomous is a requirement. Shooting during autonomous and climbing would be a reason to pick your bot over another defense bot that could not.

At the Wisconsin Regional, no backup bots were called up for service. Although, our 3rd alliance partner did break it’s frame playing defense. It was able to be patched and continued to play.

a good reliable defender that has a scaler will not be left unpicked

#1 Get on the Batter

#2 Don’t roll off the Batter.

If you don’t get on or roll off the batter (even just once) you will probably fall way down the pick list.

IMO this is the biggest responsibility of the 3rd or 4th robot. It’s 30 points lost if you roll off or don’t get on.

Did you mean that 3rd and 4th alliance members score a boulder autonomously? Or that the team has a consistent autonomous mode, and also puts boulders in the tower during teleop?

Most divisions won’t have anyone who can score a ball in auto by the 2nd or 3rd round (or at least they shouldn’t if there are competent scouts). The biggest things are to easily be able to traverse the field, get on the batter, never break down, and have smart drivers. A scaler or good shooter is extra.

  1. Cross at least two classes of defenses reliably in autonomous
  2. Score a ball, ideally in auton, but if not, then quickly at the beginning of the match
  3. Speedy drivetrain
  4. Intelligent, penalty-free driving
  5. Consistency in whatever you do

Other things (like an effective intake, ability to scale) are all bonuses, but those five requirements seem like the most important things alliance captains will be looking for at Championship.

More than anything else, captains are going to want teams that get to the batter at the end of every match. This means avoiding teams that break down, get stuck on defenses, suffer frequent radio or roboRio reboots, or who simply roll off the batter or get stuck on the batter dividers too frequently.

There will be multiple avenues to distinguish yourself from other competitors. However, if you fail at challenging consistently, most captains will cross you off their lists right away.

I meant scoring a boulder autonomously. I think I’m overestimating the number of teams with this ability.

You definitely are. Keep in mind the divisions divide talent. If you look at some of the teams picked late last year at champs, there are some that can’t do much of anything after can burglars, and some who can do a lot more than expected. This is due to division strength and scouts doing their jobs. So will someone who can score an auto be around that late? Depends on if there is a strong division where someone slips through.

Another thing to keep in mind is many of the ball scorers use the low bar, which can make a team not very useful if there auto conflicts with someone else’s.

i predict the winning alliance on Einstein will be composed of:

captain : 2 ball auto/ low bar capable high goal cycler
1st pick : 1 ball auto/ scaler, scores high goals while breaching
2nd pick : crosses in auto, or scores as a spy, can score low (maybe high) and play good defense
3rd pick: good defender, can cross in auto

2 robots in the alliance will be able to scale, maybe one with some cheesecake

Of course i’d love to be wrong :wink:

From watching the webcasts, I’d argue that the most important thing for a 3rd or 4th robot is having a competent, capable drive team, and performing reliably and consistently. Any robot/team that is picked in the later rounds will probably have to adapt their usual game plan to fit their alliance (as will every robot). A skilled drive team will be able to quickly learn the alliance’s strategy, consistently execute that strategy, and change it on the fly, mid-match, when something inevitably doesn’t go according to plan. The converse of this is also true. This is no different than any other year in this regard, and though having extraordinarily capable robots is a wonderful thing, the only way to get the most from your machine is to have skillful students at the helm that, along with a smart coach, can work with any alliance to achieve success on the field. The high seeding teams (almost always, and especially at championships), will already have this trait in their drive teams, but selecting teams that also have fantastic drivers is critical to any alliance’s success.

Addendum: this will be especially important on this year’s seemingly crowded field.

If we were to end up captaining an alliance in our division, I’d pick teams in the following order:
1st pick: 254,1241,987,best unblockable outerworks shooter.
2nd pick: Best high goal shooter available. Doesnt matter if they are defendable.
3rd pick: Best low goal robot available that has good drivers.

The reason for the 3rd pick is to play defense and feed balls to shooter bots crazy fast. 1st and 2nd pick is for triple offense focused play with robots that take turns defense mid match when balls are not readily available. The specific teams I listed in the first pick are there to force defense to be played on them making it 2.5 shooters vs 2 in a match. The reason the shooters are chosen first is because the weakest one still needs to be able to bring it to the best in case one of the top two break and needs to sit out a match. Of course all this is subject to change depending on teams in our division and what most robots in the division lean towards.

Different alliance captains are going to want different things. But there are some universal traits that all teams will have to get picked at world champs.

  1. They have a consistent crossing auto.
  2. They do not break down, or get stuck on defenses.
  3. They can cross at least two classes of defenses.
  4. They have experience with getting and staying on the batter. Meaning they’ve done it for most if not all of their matches.
  5. And most importantly, they have good drivers. If you’re the third or fourth robot on an alliance chances are you’re playing defense, which means that your driving ability is what will get you higher on most lists.

If you gave the controls of 254’s robot over to someone who didn’t have any experience with the robot, chances are it would not perform well at all. What makes a team successful in matches (among other things) is the amount of practice a drive team has.

So if your team is consistent, gets on the batter, has a decent auto, and has good drivers, you should have no problem getting picked.

Again these are just my predictions/opinions…

What about robots with spy box high goal autonomous routines? It would make more sense to pick one of these because it contributes to the hardest thing to get (capture) and still scores 10 points. As opposed to a robot that has a 10 point crossing autonomous, which is less valuable (IMO) because the breach is going to happen anyway.

At the extremely competitive level that champs will be played at, I don’t think the top teams will have a problem getting 8 balls into the tower, an extra one won’t make/break a match. Crossing a defense will be more reliable, and it’s what is more achievable for teams around for those picks.
Again, some alliance captains might disagree with my opinion, but I’d take the robot that crosses, because it’s probably going to be a safer bet.

Where do you think a robot that could do 6 high goals (none in auto), cross 2 classes of defenses in auto, and scale (no foot print scale) would get picked?