Contested Containers

This year the red and blue alliance may not be competing directly against one another match by match, however the are still competing for the Containers in the center, how do you thing those four contested Container will affect the game?

Will the majority holder score highest 10%/20%/30% of the time?

How will these four Containers shape Recycle Rush?

The containers on the step will be the key to the game this year. I think many teams will have an autonomous mode to get them, rather than get the autonomous points.

Depending on how many robots are able to get containers in auto, we may even see The Container Agreement happening in non final matches. This would only really be a thing at champs if it happens at all.

That is what I am thinking. Part of my team (including me) wants a three tote auto however I am woundering whether the ability to grab the totes is going to be more important. Using my quick brain math if you pull the three tote auto off you get 20 points plus what ever your other teams can do most likely move so that would be a 24 pt auto. However is you could grab at least one Container you could get up to 30pt because you choose that instead. But that is with a six stack if you do a five stack it becomes a 26pt bonus and with a four stack it is a 22 pt bonus. Those are calculations done assuming you get a litter and I was not counting the 2 pt per Tote. So with out liter the profit drops down to, six stack= 24pt, five stack= 20pt, ect.

So my additional question is, should you go for 3 Totes during auto or the Containers?

For the top alliances and high scoring matches, the containers may prove to be the scarce resource. A weaker alliance against a strong alliance may find it beneficial to get the containers simply to deny them to the opposition.

That being said, getting containers in auto mode is not trivial. If totes are not moved out of the way, a long reach will be required.

One mentor suggested just a wedge sweeper mechanism to literally just wedge alll the upside down totes out of the way and throw all of the bins in the center onto your side. Because that’s a passive component, it’s definitely possible to have two or more of these robots on your team to grab as many bins as possible during auton.
Even though your seed is determined by your points, in elims the good teams will need more than three bins. Denying the bins to your opponent is pretty much a win, or at least a very severe blow, so being a second or third pick bot with a sweeper could work.

Do you guys really think that that many Totes will be stacked. I mean the 30 at the feeder station plus 28 in the landfill. Thats 60 totes by itself. The time spent stacking all of those could be spent on stacking up to 7 recycling bins resulting in many more point. Also throw in the coopertition and i think that stacking 60 totes, unless a team develops some huge machine that can stack a tote a second etc, will be unlikely at most of the regional events. I do think that going in getting the recycling bins in autonomous could be very beneficial.

My prediction of this game is that the Containers on the step are going to be very important in Saint Louis. I truly think that there are going to be teams who can get 2 or mabye even 4 Containers off the step during AUTO, and place them in the auto zone (those are worth points aswell!?). If your alliance has 7 Containers and your opponent only have 3, it’s going to be very hard for them to beat you. Looking forward to see this strategy, but i think you won’t see it in most regionals.

Einstein is going to be decided by a race for the RCs in the middle.
At that level, stacking high is going to be commonplace, so they are going to be worth bundles of points. Also - teams at that level will run out of RCs every match. Between 6 high-caliber robots, the 10 most potent scoring items on the field will be scored every single match. The team who controls the most will win (a majority of the time).
Disallowing your opponent from using the most efficient scoring item alone is worth it - giving it to yourself is doubly worth it. Each one is worth potentially 6 points for the Litter score plus the height value - which is as much as 24. So there is 120 points in the middle of the field that could swing either way. Of course, not every one will be used to its maximum potential - but it is obvious to me that that many points is easily worth compromising other autonomous tasks.

My team doesn’t see that the containers on the step are crucial, due to the fact that games are based on points and not wins and losses. Can somebody give a detailed explanation of the importance of the step containers?

During seeding matches the step can will not be important.
During elims very few teams will go for them.
When team reach worlds the further they go the more important they will become.

It’s all about maximizing your point score. High points are high points whether at a regional or at Champs.

I can’t quote everything you said enough. The game here is resource management and it is so well designed that the resource management changes and adapts to the level of play. This game is a mixture of optimization of a task and short vs long term rewards. Burst out points up front? Let the points mature with multipliers? I hope you don’t mind this is going to be thrown at a certain team I work with.

Some people on my team used that argument for some other stuff, and I think it’s highly fallacious. If you allow every other team to get an extra 30 points, then you have 30 point less than everyone else. You can’t just give your opponent points like that, or allow them to grab the higest-scoring items in the game.
Secondly, in elims, to advance you need to have more points than your opponent. Meaning if they can’t get points, you are more likely to advance. This is where the can (and can denial) matter because a high-seeded teams with good scouting will see that you have a good can plucker.

I was honestly considering just a giant plastic plate with holes big enough for cans, that snapped down at the start of the match over the cans and pulled them in. Then you bring it back up and drive slowly and carefully while making small stacks of totes around the field, or pushing totes from the player station to the scoring zones. At the higher levels I fell that this would be a very useful strategy.

What happens if your robot has an autonomous “can plucker” and you place your robot in front of a particular can prior to the match. Then a team on the opposing alliance places their robot in front of the same can with the intent of stealing it before your robot can. So you move your robot to another can, and the other team does the same, and so on. I think this is similar to the goalie placement last year, which was covered by a rule. Is this addressed in the rules this year?

I noticed this gap in the rules, as well. Hopefully they will resolve it before it becomes a problem. This is a great Q+A submission.

From section 5.1 of the game manual:

If order placement of ROBOTS matters to either or both ALLIANCES, the ALLIANCE must notify the Head REFEREE during setup for that MATCH. Upon notification, the Head REFEREE will require ALLIANCES to alternate placement of their ROBOTS, starting with the Red ALLIANCE.


Getting control of the cans on the step quickly will be the key to seeding well in quals and winning in playoffs. Can grabbing mechanisms will evolve as the season progresses, and its going to look like the mini-bot arms race in 2011. Whatever is good enough in Week 1 won’t be good enough as the season progresses. Good can grabbers will get copied, and new ones will be developed. Teams will use their 30lb. withholding build the latest and greatest. Bots will be broken and flipped as they perform an autonomous tug of war over contested barrels. It should be fun to watch.

That awkward moment when you are so busy with robots and school work that you forgot you started a thread. :smiley:

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