Genius and Flaws of the Game

Posted by Scott Strickland at 1/17/2001 10:19 PM EST

Engineer on team #21, ComBBAT, from Astronaut & Titusville High School and Boeing/NASA.

I am becoming more and more intrigued by this game… There are many parts of it that are genius. There are also flaws that can corrupt the intent. The Genius I want to celebrate. The flaws, I hate to publicize…

The Genius:

  1. Every team will make a cart for their robot. The stretcher will make a great one!
  2. Teams can practice with each other and not worry about giving away strategy or robot-to-robot combat.
  3. The game is anti-battlebots. Brute force does not win.
  4. Gracious professionalism moves from the pits to the field.
  5. The scale of the stretcher, goal, balls, etc allow for many robot mechanisms to perform multiple tasks.
  6. Fragile/intricate mechanisms that would have been unthinkable in the past (due to robot contact), can now be created.

The Flaws:

  1. In the later rounds there may be an opportunity for a team to “throw” the match in order to improve the seeding of another team (who might pick them).
  2. Last year we had alliance partners who stopped trying to score once they knew a win was out of the question. Why? To keep the winner from getting the points. Why? Meaness? Jealousy? Childishness? Who knows. This could again be a problem this year.
  3. Many of the tasks are so difficult, we may see the same match over and over and over. Put balls in goal, robots go to other side, stop clock.
  4. Unless you have an hour, you can’t explain the rules to anyone. This does not help FIRST from a publicity stand point. But hey, Chess is a great game.

Do you see other genious/flaws?

Posted by Dodd Stacy at 1/17/2001 11:39 PM EST

Engineer on team #95, Lebanon Robotics Team, from Lebanon High School and CRREL/CREARE.

In Reply to: Genius and Flaws of the Game
Posted by Scott Strickland on 1/17/2001 10:19 PM EST:

: I am becoming more and more intrigued by this game… There are many parts of it that are genius. There are also flaws that can corrupt the intent. The Genius I want to celebrate. The flaws, I hate to publicize…

: The Genius:
: 1. Every team will make a cart for their robot. The stretcher will make a great one!
: 2. Teams can practice with each other and not worry about giving away strategy or robot-to-robot combat.
: 3. The game is anti-battlebots. Brute force does not win.
: 4. Gracious professionalism moves from the pits to the field.
: 5. The scale of the stretcher, goal, balls, etc allow for many robot mechanisms to perform multiple tasks.
: 6. Fragile/intricate mechanisms that would have been unthinkable in the past (due to robot contact), can now be created.

: The Flaws:
: 1. In the later rounds there may be an opportunity for a team to “throw” the match in order to improve the seeding of another team (who might pick them).
: 2. Last year we had alliance partners who stopped trying to score once they knew a win was out of the question. Why? To keep the winner from getting the points. Why? Meaness? Jealousy? Childishness? Who knows. This could again be a problem this year.
: 3. Many of the tasks are so difficult, we may see the same match over and over and over. Put balls in goal, robots go to other side, stop clock.
: 4. Unless you have an hour, you can’t explain the rules to anyone. This does not help FIRST from a publicity stand point. But hey, Chess is a great game.

: Do you see other genious/flaws?

This is a great foundation for nucleating direct and succinct feedback to FIRST. I encourage others to add to Scott’s lists. Nicely done.

Dodd