Is specialization a viable strategy for Deep Space?


Higher level alliances might have robots that are equally good at hatches and cargo, so picking a 3rd robot that does cargo only may allow for a more defensive approach to the game. The 3rd robot could be more defensive in the beginning of the match, and come back to fill up any unfilled slots on the rocket/cargo ship with cargo in the last 50 secs of the match, while the two higher level robots prepare to climb to level 2/3.


I have no evidence to back this up; but I think that you are overestimating the level of hindrance that the cargo will be. You may be right though. :man_shrugging:


The high level team that can do both will likely be better at one than the other unless they are the absolute best in the world at both. It makes sense in elims to do what your best at and pick another high level team that can do the other one really fast. If the rank 1 high level team is the best hatch robot(that is also really good at balls) and there is a really good ball specialist who is the best at balls, it makes sense to pick the ball specialist.


You obviously need to pick robots that compliment your own. However, you will have a robot waiting for a place to score cargo unless you are using the null hatch panels. Which will then make your sandstorm less efficient (during elims).


You are right that null hatch panels will most definitely want to be utilized with that alliance composition. That said, I’m not currently convinced null hatch panels will ever stop being useful. Not saying that’s what will happen but I could see a meta where they are used even on Einstein. You don’t have to use all 6 either. You could use say 4 and the cargo specialist can take care of filling those while the designated hatch bot(s) set up the scoring opportunities.


Is this 254’s secret robot design??? '^)


If an alliance places 5 panels on the cargo ship, that’s worth 25 points. One cycle is worth two if you can place a panel on the cargo ship during sandstorm. This is clearly the better meta.


Since we are assuming 2 robots having 2 hatch autos starting from level two, then yes the meta definitely shifts. I’m doubtful every division would have that though or that an alliance like I just described couldn’t beat that double 2 hatch auto alliance.

Since we are talking that high level, lets assume ball specialist has a 3 ball auto for example. That’s 1 less point than what a 2 hatch auto robot can do. Sure you lose the opportunity points of the null hatches but maybe it will turn out to be better to play a more defensive game than trying to get a max score. That’s really what will determine whether a ball specialist viable at the highest level. At regional and district events though, I can easily see ball specialists being a first pick and winning events.


specialization is not viable, everyone needs to be really good at everything to be competitive


Our team has chosen to specialize in descending from the second level of the HAB during the SANDSTORM period. /s


There are already two bays on the front of the cargo ship that will always have cargo in them, so even in the 5 hatch panel sandstorm scenario you can leave three cargo ship bays with null hatch panels. Given that you can’t score more than 5 hatch panels in Sandstorm there is an argument to be made that the most efficient use of the Sandstorm period would actually be to score cargo in null hatch panel bays with the remaining time, since there is nothing else that can be scored. If we do an even split of game pieces the third robot on an alliance could be scoring one preloaded hatch panel and one cargo from the depot in Sandstorm. On an Einstein alliance maybe you even see a three game piece Sandstorm of two hatch panels and one cargo by a single team.


Speaking as someone who competed in 2004 (yes, before 1678’s rookie year), dodgeballs in any sort of quantity are a nuisance to drive through unless you have something to knock them away or intake them–a fact that at least a couple teams exploited that year in auto. I’m not sure if the bumpers will help or hurt the situation–it may depend on the robot. The balls being larger this year will likely help somewhat as their center will be loosely speaking around the bumper zone.

I wouldn’t discount the ability of the cargo to foul things up. I suspect one or more robots will end up on top of one, with varying degrees of mobility and/or game-piece damage resulting, but that’s based on recollections of a long-ago game.


I can see low only specilaised teams succeeding in the same other teams succeeded last year, with the only vault+switch strategy. Only cycling with hatch panels can be viable, beacuse of their importance. Teams that would only be able to do only cargo would probably be useless, but i might be wrong about that. All in all i think that having a specilized strategy can work really well depending on weather you compete on a regional or a district. If your team is part of the district system, you might have problems having somone that would cover your weak points in the earlier competitions, but you cant know.


Bumpers certainly don’t help… especially with cordura (traditional bumper fabric). I’ve done a few different tests with bumpers at various heights with robots of varying weights and it almost doesn’t seem to matter… if you have non-slippery bumper fabric, your robot will ride up onto the Cargo. This game is going to be a disaster for teams that can’t figure out how to handle this issue. Slick bumper fabric seems to help a lot.


Personally I would think it would be best to be flexible if you are looking to be a support robot, basically saying when a team asks if you are able to do something you can say yes,doesn’t mean that you have to do everything in a match because top seeded teams will look for the best support robot or robot in general. Our team also has the same situation as you do with specialization, try doing all lower levels and level 2 climb but if you can try doing low/mid levels and level 3 climb, try it so that you can have some backup strategy in case if the lower levels fill too quickly, level 3 is nice although try shooting for it as a goal otherwise try level 2


Why not a level 3 specialist? Weak cargo, weak hatch panel but very fast and reliable tipple level 3.


tbh I think people are drastically underestimating the difficulty of HP collection/placement, and one of (if not) the leading strategies during Wks 1-3 will be to separate the 3 scoring platforms (1/robot), with 2 robots soloing the each of the rockets and have the 3rd robot cargo exclusive in the Cargo Ship/rocket lower level.

Sure you give up the 2pt for each Cargo Ship null HP, but instead you gain an extra pt for each placed game piece and you prevent cargo from spilling out onto the floor and making a mess.

I don’t expect this strategy to work to well Wks 6-9.


Well that’s a part of the design challenge this year. Any robot who can’t deal with this, wasn’t designed to properly play this game. In 2016, we had a ramp to push the boulders out of our way (luckily it was also able to handle some of the defenses for us). There may be a way easier way to handle that this year. :man_shrugging:


That is a good point. I’m not sure if any teams will be able to have a 3 cycle sandstorm. But the only way to have a 5 panel sandstorm is to score a preloaded hatch panel. This would therefore not be a “cargo specialist”. The point that @Rangel was trying to make was that a #1 alliance could very well pick the cargo specialist as a first pick in events and that we could see them on Einstein. I just disagree with the validity of a “cargo specialist”.


There won’t be any stray cargo on the field during Sandstorm and that is the opportunity to capture cargo in the cargoship, so Anthony’s point about scoring 5 points with panels unimpeded during that period is valid. A cargo specialist would have to score 4 extra cargos to make up the shortfall of not scoring 2 panels during Sandstorm.