First In Michigan Week 1.

The 2016 FIRST In Michigan season starts off with four events. Teams competing in week 1 that finished in the top 50 in the district ranking system from 2015 are listed in the form Team#(2015 Rank), Team Name.

Kettering District 1:
70 (18), More Martians.
4384 (30), Benzene Bots.
5114 (49), Titanium Tigers.

Southfield District:
548 (2), Robostangs.
573 (6), Mech Warriors.
1025 (22), IMPIS.
3604 (36) Goon Squad.
2960 (50) automation nation.

Standish District:
107 (17), Team R.O.B.O.T.I.C.S.
1918 (20), NC GEARS.
1502 (33), Technical Difficulties.
3602 (34), RoboMos.
3618 (41), Petoskey Paladins.
862 (48), Lightning Robotics.

Waterford District:
1023 (1), Bedford Express.
2137 (3), TORC.
33 (4), Killer Bees.
67 (9), The HOT Team.
1189 (11), The Gearheads.
3098 (15), The Captains.
1718 (25), The Fighting Pi.
245 (35), Adambots.
5048 (39), Spartronics.
4003 (46), TriSonics.

Good Luck to all teams competing in week 1!

Mind explaining the logic behind the color coding? My brain has slowed down due to severe sleep deprivation, and I find myself incapable of figuring it out.

Gold = 2015 State Champions
Silver = 2015 State Finalists
Bronze = 2015 State Semifinalists

Correct, I apologize for not clarifying that in the original post. It is quite impressive that in week one we have:

2/3 State Champions
2/3 State Finalists
4/6 State Semi-Finalists

Also impressive that 24/50 of the top teams are competing this week. Should be a great weekend of competition.

Waterford is looking quite stacked. Looking forward to playing this weekend.

Wanted to post a few thoughts before we get started with the season tomorrow. Unlike most years, we get to have seen a full competition play out before week 1 has even begun. Let’s use that to our advantage.


What happened at Palmetto? Breaches happened about half the time, and captures were very rare (didn’t occur at all until playoffs). The average team scored about 13 defense points per match. Let’s look a bit more in-depth. Here’s a chart of quals breaching % versus defense points per match:

You can draw a lot of conclusions from that chart. First off, I find it impressive that even the lowest scoring teams were averaging most of a breach (kudos to the GDC on a very playable game!). The next thing I’d draw your attention to is the teams at or above 45 defense points per match. These teams were getting breaches in about 3/4 of their matches. Even really good teams can’t guarantee breaches - 179 was excellent, but still breached in 6 of 8 matches.

Michigan is a game of district points, and the easiest and most consistent way to get points is through seeding. Many teams will ask themselves “how can I maximise my seed?” Well, here’s how teams at Palmetto did:

I’ve checked the correlation of points scored per match by method with ranking points accrued per match. They tell us something that seems obvious, but isn’t always true: the most common scoring methods had the strongest correlations with ranking. Defenses were about half the points scored, and that had the strongest correlation with ranking. Auto scoring was more correlated with ranking than you’d expect from its point output, but having autonomous scoring says a lot about a team’s preparedness. Neither scaling/challenging nor goal scoring proved an effective predictor of ranking.

However, these are past conclusions. Maybe goal-scoring is a poor method for ranking well, maybe there weren’t effective goal-scorers at Palmetto. I would expect goal-scoring in particular to improve significantly (in volume and effectiveness) as the season goes on. Defense points will never correlate as well with ranking as it does this week. Scaling won’t make a huge difference in rankings at any point this season, but it’ll make the difference in many elimination matches once captures become more common (for now, it’s something to do for practice).

Low Bar Bots

This has been a hot topic on Chief Delphi all season. How many teams are going low? Ugh, why so many? Let me say right now, I’m just as terrified as Karthik (maybe more). The proportion of robots going low is way off.

Let’s make a comparison to 2012. At the highest level in 2012, an elimination alliance very nearly required two of its three members to be widebots to go far (there was only one 4334). Many teams didn’t realize this, while others overlooked the importance of triple balancing. The result was lots of longbots and lots of good longbots not playing saturday afternoon.

Now let’s take 2016. You mostly need one of your three robots to be low. And the low/tall dichotomy is pretty much spelled out in the rules. True, it’s for all of qualifications, but it’ll be hard for multiple robots to consistently use the low bar (not to mention that’s a great way to not breach). So mayyybe 50% of teams should go low. But because it was obviously incentivized, the actual proportion is a lot more.

I highly expect every top team in Michigan to go low. 33 doesn’t tend to go too far out of the box. 67 is struggling with the loss of Adam Freeman and I therefore would’ve guessed they’d go with a pretty conventional design. This has been all but confirmed in another thread (they’re making one of those all-in-one arms, which isn’t much of a surprise for anyone who saw them in 2012). 469 certainly goes out of the box at times, but usually as an afterthought (those cangrabbers last year, their entire upper structure from 2010).

The most prominent Michigan teams that have revealed their bots (2054 & 68) are both low. 2054 tends to get creative, and their 2016 robot certainly is, but they didn’t buck the low trend. 573 is low as well. 4003 is tall, so that’s cool. If I had to bet on one great Michigan team that went tall, I’d guess 1918 or 1025. But realistically, the chances any particular great Michigan team went tall are pretty low.

Defense Selection

Alright, so the low bar is definitely damaged. How do I wreak havoc on my opponents’ strategies? TBA comes in clutch yet again.

There’s two good pieces of information here: which defense was picked more often, and which team’s struggled with more. Let’s go category by category.

A: The real portcullis is much nicer than the one teams expected (a guillotine). I suspect teams would’ve picked the CdF more often if it was available all the time/they weren’t afraid it would break. It’s harder and less of a burden to look past (although, again, the real portcullis is easier to see through than the team version). Both success numbers will increase as teams realize that having an A mechanism is pretty valuable and a good way to stand out from the crowd.

B: Not really unexpected. Both the moat and the ramparts are harder than they look at first glance. I’m sure many teams said “2.5 or 3 inches? That’ll be super easy.” But it’s not! The moat might be harder to do, but I think teams take more time on the ramparts. Could rationalize choosing either.

C: With so many low bots, alliances can pick one defense to not do. This was that defense. The most effective way to do Category C is working together, which doesn’t happen much in early weeks. Alliances that failed another defense and had to go for C had to work together under time pressure late in the match - that’s rarely a good proposition. Instead, I’d suggest teams do category C right at the start of a match. It can be done in seconds, less coordination is required because you’re choosing to do it right away, and you can take your time on the tougher tasks.

Also, teams picked the sallyport more. Because it hurts their viewing angles less. Great choice.

D: Turns out the rough terrain is really easy! Don’t pick it!

What should my strategy be?

We know breaches happen about once per match and captures almost never. That will affect your strategy.

Well, let’s ask who you are first. Look again at that Palmetto chart. You’ve got those top 6 teams in the top right, then you have a large group of above-average teams scoring 39+ defense points per match, then there’s everybody below that.

If you’re one of the top 6, a breach is mostly a given for you. If you don’t breach, it was probably a fluke accident. Once you’re certain you’re in that group, you should stop worrying about it and go for bigger goals. Since captures probably aren’t happening, go for the win. Maybe that means scoring fewer balls in the high goal (vs. more in the low goal) for more points, or maybe it means convincing your partners to play some legal defense.

Let’s say you’re in the second, “above average” group. You probably have mechanisms to do things other than go over defenses, and you want to practice them. Don’t do it until you have a breach. Don’t do it until you have a breach. If you play your cards right, you’ll be an alliance captain. You must guarantee the breach to do that. Getting over the hard defenses will help you to stand out while also maximizing your RPs.

Finally, the bottom group. Your goal is to play on Saturday afternoon, and you really don’t care where you seed. Find something you do relatively well, and do it a lot. Pick one or two categories you can do, and do them every time. Play defense if asked, because that’s a role that will be selected for.

If the “leaked” picture from 33 that went up a few weeks ago is real, 33 is a low bot. Also the teaser for 67 indicates that they will be a low bar bot as well.

Our robot is low, but our hopes are high! We can’t wait to play this game. Looking forward to the Standish-Sterling event this weekend (hitting the road in a few minutes. Woohoo!)

does anyone know if the districts are streaming and were to find them

Rumors are that Rush 27 is a tall bot. :ahh:

Webcasts for week 1:




Nothing yet at these. I’m watching GTC, they’re starting Q10 now.

On a partially off topic note.

Anybody know whats wrong with 33? 3 matches and they have yet to move…

I know nothing. However, twitch chat includes some mention of CAN issues in their code. 33 is very good – if the problem were something simple they’d have found and fixed it early.

They were dead on the field in their first three matches. Never moved at all.

So can someone tell me whether or not the tower must be fully weakened before scaling the tower? Due to watching the Stream, we noticed that teams were climbing the tower before the tower was fully weakened? By our understanding we thought that the tower must of been fully weakened before scaling?? So unless there was something in the updates that we must of over looked (Or manual) we are at a bit of confusion?? :confused:

Andrew: Alliances can earn SCALE points regardless of TOWER strength, but to earn a CAPTURE the TOWER must be WEAKENED.

Re: 33 at Waterford – it is very good to see the robot working well now. It makes quick work of the defenses.

We are a rookie team and played in an alliance with 33 and 3773 and it was such a cool experience… We played the second highest score match of the day and had a blast !!!

This Waterford event is awesome ! i knew we wee to have fun, but this is outstanding !

Hey there! We’re the weird blue ones!
Waterford was one of the most totally awesome things ever. Everyone was super nice and helpful and we broke a bunch of stuff and fixed most of it. Can’t wait to see ya’ll tomorrow and good luck!

Popping in to say that the Michigan streams have been stellar this weekend. Southfield is really high quality video and the announcing on Waterford has been the best of the events I’ve been watching.

Also clutch match by Wings of Fire in qualification 74 at Waterford. Scoring a high goal boulder with 1 second left to win by 4, watch the replay when it comes up.

Correct me if there has been a higher score at another competition today but it looks like the highest score in the world is now 185 points, scored by the 1st alliance at waterford: 67, 33, & 4003 in quarterfinal 1-2

There was a 185 at Northern Lights also, in the semis.

A quick look at the TBA Insights tabs for Week 1 events shows that Greater Toronto Central teams were favoring the low goal rather than the high. Results: 8 pts higher average score with a higher rate of breaches and captures, compared with the next best field (Waterford).

GTC: Low Goals 552, High Goals 125
High score 161 (QF 2-1), Average match score 78.24, Average winning score 90.35, Breach 117/166, Capture 15/166

Waterford: Low Goals 293, High Goals 299
High score 185 (QF 1-2), Average match score 70.57, Average winning score 82.45, Breach 110/186, Capture 10/186