1293 finally needed a pick list meeting this year, and while it didn’t yield banners (out in quarters at Palmetto and Smoky Mountains, both times as the captain of the lower seed) it was fundamentally sound.
First thing we did was scouting. Our spreadsheet calculated each individual robot’s contributions in a match, which in hindsight could’ve also stood to have an unweighted cycles-per-match column. (We could see the cargo and hatch breakdown and calculate it, that just meant math.)
If you weren’t putting up 6.00 points per match (that is, crossing the auto line and getting back on Level 1), you were at the very bottom of our list. No discussion, no thought, just the bottom.
If you were on our drive team’s Does Not Play Well With Others list, you were probably just ahead of that first group. I think we sussed out one team to be a little higher at one event, but still lower than they would be on raw performance.
Then we started to discuss our main needs and where teams fit in. We were good on the cargo ship, reasonably ambidextrous between hatches and cargo, and could cargo the rocket. So our shopping list included higher-level Hab climbs and rocket scoring. Once we got the obvious top-tier out of the way, we’d sort out that middle tier we were also occupying. That often meant shifting down robots that were in the category of “quality scorer, but playing the same game as us”. With how we shifted to defense at Smoky, we probably shouldn’t have put as much of a penalty on that attribute.
From here, it’s a lot of sorting out based on the spreadsheet, and a lot of debating whether one team is better than the other. And sometimes, it really comes down to making it an A-or-B conversation, then repeating. It’s tedious, but necessary to ensure someone isn’t missed. Eventually, we would get worn out from staring at it and paste the remaining lower-mid-tier in points contribution order. (Not ideal, but hey, honesty.)
Every single team wound up on our list, even if at the bottom, to ensure we didn’t miss somebody.