Championship Wager: John V-Neun vs. Steve Rourke

Last year I begrudgingly surrendered C$20 to JVN to settle a friendly wager over the style of play on Einstein. I won’t go into details. Let’s just say I was flat wrong, and JVN has twenty bucks with my signature on it to prove it.

This year, it’s double or nothing…

Steve’s position: The winning alliance on Einstein will have one 'bot whose role is pure defense (defined as scoring less than 10 points for the alliance per match – the same way The Triplets have won 3 Regionals)

John’s position: Steve is wrong. All 3 winning Robots will score >10 points each

Will I get my money back, or am I going to continue to contribute to JVN’s net worth???

Steve Rourke

all 3 will score at least

Do they have to score more than 10pts in every elim match? Strategies change based on matchups. Is it an average?

The first 2 teams on the alliance would definitely be terrific scorers, and the third is where I would bet a more defensive bot would come into play. That said, there is still an offensive period where playing defense (usually) is not necessary. Even a herder should be able to push in 10 with the sheer number of loose poof balls out on the field, and I’m willing to bet that the winning alliance will have more than just a herder for their third team.

Sorry Steve, looks to me like JVN will have some extra cash coming in again this year.

I have to go with John on this one. The first thing and the way i still view the game is that you have to have 3 good offensive robots to win.

It depends on the concentration of offensive quality in a division. If, by the second round, there aren’t many shooters left, then clearly there will be a purely defensive robot on Einstein.

I think 3 shooters is the way to go, personally. Nothing stops most robots (whether they be shooters, herders, or boxes on wheels) from playing defense.

But not all robots play defense well… I think that a robot such as our own would compliment any alliance. There was but one team, Rage, that we couldn’t push sideways at philly. Well, we could push them, but only at a rate of about an inch evey 6 seconds… and because of their awesome shooter, that didn’t help much.
If we had trouble pushing them… 9 out of 10 shooters will as well.

I’m going to go with Steve on this one, and not just because he used to be my boss. Here are the factors which make me think the 3rd robot will be defense only. Just a caveat that Steve didn’t address, the 10 points do not include any ramp points.

  1. The serpentine draft.

By the time we come back to the picks of the top 3 seeds, we’ll be looking at the 22nd through 24th picks in the draft. Will there be a competent shooter (see later point about herders) available at this point? Maybe, but not competent enough to be chosen over a defensive robot. At the Great Lakes Regional, an event known for it’s depth, when it came back around to 1503’s second pick, there were no shooters available who could rival a defensive stopper.

  1. There are some dominant defensive robots this year

Teams such as 753, 4 and 67 have shown that certain teams can completely shut down shooters. For example, at Great Lakes, team 67 made the switch to pure defense. They were able to effectively neutralize offensive powerhouses such as 66 and 469. Would you trade the ability to even partially shutdown the lead shooter of an alliance, for a mere 10-15 points? I don’t think this is the way to go.

  1. Herding can be a dangerous thing to do, against good shooters.

If I’m playing 254 or 968, do I really want to give them more scoring opportunities. The trade of 1 point for 3 points just doesn’t seem worth it, especially early in the match. Herders are very effective most of the time, but not against teams who human load, with large hoppers and have an accurate shooter.

…and not all robots capable of only defense end up playing defense very well. I will agree that there is more to this than the mere defensive/offensive bias of a particular robot.

Defense is king in this game. Every regional I’ve seen has had a primarily defensive robot on the winning alliance. 1743 at Pittsburgh, 1726 at Sacramento, 4 at SoCal, 865 at Toronto… the list goes on. Expect to see a ramp shooter, a floor shooter, and a bot to protect them winning on Einstein. Sorry, JVN.

1281 at Waterloo

i think i’m going with Steve on this one, after seeing how 1114 and 1503 won their three regionals.

Lets look at this this way, it’s gonna be almost mandatory that everyone will have the ability to score in autonomous on Einstein, and since defence always is taking chances in auto, its more likely that everyone will try to score. I’m with John on this one, I think everyone will score at least 10 points, everyone may not score 80 points, but they’ll help out.

Do bonuses like getting on the ramp count? Say your the defence bot and your the third one on the ramp, your the 15 point robot, I think thats a score.

i must agree with steve, after all 1568’s orignal shooting strategy didnt work out, and we played pure defense in boston…we were regional winners thanks to two very good accurate shooters 121 and 233.

Defense will be key, especially for backbots. I’m thinking that any defensive bot that does its job well and can effectively get itself and other robots onto its ramp will go far at the Championships.

Then again, he is JVN…

The problem with this bet is the pure logistics. Three shooters is the way to go, but it isn’t going to happen the way the draft is set-up. The formula this year is two shooters and one defensive bot. If any of the divisions are stacked with enough good shooters to get three on one alliance, then they are the clear favorites in my mind (so I agree with John); but no division will be that stacked (so I agree with Steve).

By the way, I will be running for office in 2008 …


Paul, do you need Steve to add another option just for you? I’m not sure that I can vote for a flip-flopper, but maybe some others can :wink:

Being from Indiana, where we can actually make a decision (notice we decided after just 30 years of debate to go back to dalight savings time), I will choose just one of the options and - **I go with Steve ** (who, by the way, I don’t even know, but maybe can meet in Atlanta or somewhere, but that is irrelevant to the question.)

ps - Paul, glad I am in Indiana and will not have the pressure of wanting to vote for a friend, while knowing it is probably the wrong thing do do for the best interests of society as a whole… :wink:

EDIT - I just noticed we are in the same division as 217. OF COURSE I would vote for you, Paul… :slight_smile:

I would even go further than Steve in asserting that a team with a solid “ALL_ROUNDER” like a Triplet, 229 or 217 AND 2 “EXTREME_DEFENDERS” like 1305 with a high percentage autonomous mode on the part of the shooter could WIN it all.

We almost did in Toronto!!! (1680, 1305, 1419 and 1620)

P.S. A Sprocket, A Sprocket… My Kingdom for a non-frangible Sprocket!!!


I would tend to agree with Steve, but the 10 point value he used makes me swing the other way. Defensive bots almost always, and most likely will, have some scoring capability, even if it is just the corner goal. Because bots can start with 10 balls, they should have very little problem scoring 10 points during their offensive period (then returning to defense for the majority of the match). Also consider that the 10 point “corner dump” is one of the hardest to defend plays in this year’s game, especially during autonomous.
Beyond that, herding can be the best “bait” for a defensive bot in this year’s game. Remember what 45 did against 1503 in Q93 in GTR? When 1503 went to reload near the HP station, 45 locked them in, and it took 1503 the rest of the match just to get back across the field with 45 hounding them. That is defense a back-bot can play as well. This also can work in reverse, and result with the defensive bot being pinned in when they herd though…

And nothing against the triplets, who were AWESOME this year, and their alliance structuring obv works, but they could have had a better combination. Imho, a triplet with a ramp shooter > 2 tripelts (ei the 159 points match with 703 and 1503). :stuck_out_tongue:

So, does the few balls 522 scored go over the 10 points to have John lose the bet?