Is the Boiler worth it?

I can’t seem to figure out a reason why you’d wan’t to go for the steam over the gears. You gain points in a much more efficient manner with the gears. If you get all the rotors started you get a minimum of 120 points with a qualification point in teleop. With the steam, you get something like 40 points and a ranking point for 120 balls shot in the high goal. With a processing rate of 5/s, that comes out to 24 seconds of just processing and that’s not accounting for the chance of you missing and collection time. It just seems extremely inefficient compared to the gears. Is there a maximum on the kPa you can have?

There are two main answers:
-In higher level (and perhaps slightly above average) matches, you don’t need all robots on gears. You only want to devote the minimum resources necessary to the gears, and capitalize in other ways for points (balls or hang).
-You get a ranking point for 40kPa. Ranking points are immensely valuable, as I’m sure that you’ve recognized if you’ve looked at FIRST STRONGHOLD. This RP might even be achievable in autonomous (if you are a high goaler with a speedy shot) by triggering a hopper and shooting, as the point values are boosted. Regardless of if you don’t quite make it, this gets you in close proximity to the needed 40kPa.

tldr; Ranking points are important, slightly above average alliances don’t need all three robots on gears.

Additionally, while the kPa visual counter maxes out, their is no maximum to kPa you can earn.

So then can you earn an additional ranking point if you can manage another 40 kPa?

The fastest way to get the boiler up will be to dump 50 balls into your robot from a hopper and stream them into the high efficiency goal during auto. Not easy, but fast. I think some teams will do this; i.e., the teams that go to Einstein.

No, there is not a maximum. BUT:

  1. What’s going to settle the score when both alliances get 12 gears delivered?
  2. If your alliance doesn’t offload scored fuel, your opponents get it back.
  3. If your alliance doesn’t offload scored fuel into one of your robots, your opponents effectively get it back.
  4. You’ve got all this room and still 6 weeks!

Unless you’ve got some ultra-niche strategy, I fail to see how a team can 100% disregard fuel.

No, there is only an RP for when you hit 40 the first time (discussed on other thread).

Also, the gears have a diminishing return. Assuming all in teleop:
Rotor 1 = 1 gear = 40 pts/gear (60 in auto)
Rotor 2 = 2 gears = 20 pts/gear (30 in auto)
Rotor 3 = 4 gears = 10 pts/gear
Rotor 4 = 6 gears = 6.667 pts/gear

Additionally, you have to deliver all but 1 gear, so that’s 12 gears to deliver through the match, which may take a little while (average rate is about one every 10 seconds in teleop to get all 4 rotors). Factor in defense of various types, and you’ll need to be pretty good at gear transport to get 4 rotors turning.

Oh, and if you deliver 11 gears, you may as well have stopped at 6.

The boiler can be important because if you get 40 kPa you get 1 ranking point. It takes 120 balls for high goal to make that 40 kPa. It also takes 360 balls to make it as well. But when in final they are then worth an additional 20 points.

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As said earlier, ranking points are king. The better you seed, the better your playoff alliance will be. If you’re very good at getting that 40 kPa, you’ll seed very well.

There is one small but VERY important mistake here.
Rotor 4 = 6 gears = 6.667 pts/gear + 1 RP (qualify)
Rotor 4 = 6 gears = 23.33 pts/gear (playoff)

One thing I’ve realized over the years is that relying on your qualification partners can be risky business. Unless you have a constant stream of information from your scouters throughout the tournament, many teams over estimate their ability. That said, we have been evaluating how our team can hold our own in matches.

It is significantly more feasible for a single robot to max out the pressure on the boiler, only needing one or two cycles depending on the robots fuel capacity and accuracy. A single robot is going to have a very hard placing the 12 gears needed to get the rank point for the rotors on its own. Assuming one gear could be placed in auto, that leaves about 10 second per gear cycle, while still leaving 15 seconds for a climb. A robot is going to have to move quick and avoid all defense. A boiler robot can guarantee the rank point on its own and has more protection while doing so. The tricky part is determining how many rotors need to be spinning to get enough points to guarantee the win as well. Arguably winning is more important than losing but filling the boiler. But being able to solo fill the boiler is also a very valuable alliance partner in playoffs.

Don’t forget, to deliver a gear you’ll almost always have to traverse the field. Fuel will be available in the hoppers and likely on the ground. Less travel time.

The boilers also have no upper limit. Once you’ve delivered 12 gears your done with them. If you don’t have anyone in your alliance working with fuel you’ve capped the total number of points possible.

Saying the average is a 10sec/cycle is a little deceptive. Even if they’re not scored in autonomous, if you can get the preload gears on a robot that can peg them eventually, you’re only “cycling” 9 gears from retrieval. (1+2+4+6)-1-3=9. This is where the strong dedicated gear robots will shine particularly in quals: the ability to either floor load or accept (via cheesecake or otherwise) the other preload gears means that your other alliance partners only need to run 3 gears total if you’re on the upper end of 2013’s cycle times.

It is going to suck when you do 3 preload + 6 cycles and your other 2 bots can’t manage 3 collectively though. Be ready to bag out early. In fact (if you’re playing with this level in mind), that’s among the most important uses of fuel: when your coach is looking at the clock ticking down and realizing you’re not going to finish that last rotor. If you need points before endgame to pull out the win, running insufficient gears is literally a waste of time.

"likely on the ground’? That’s an understatement.

This is my reasoning for doing boiler. I expect that in higher level play we will see 4/4 rotors spinning in most matches for both teams. That means that the boiler and climbing are going to be what decide the matches.

The fuel is the only method of scoring in this game that has no limit. In higher level of play, the rotors will get capped out with some time left. After this, the determining factor is the fuel. Whichever alliance can put in the most fuel into the boiler is how the winner will be decided.

Gears are bursts of points, boilers can get you points in the background while you go around and do other things. Both are worth it, you should ask what you want to prioritize more. In all honesty I look at all the objectives on the field and most of them can be accomplished with minimal moving parts. I imagine some of the best robots out there are going to be insanely simple designs augmented with active mechanisms to make them run more efficiently but that is a different conversation.

This game kinda reminds me of cookie clicker, Star Craft or Age of Empires in regards to resource management. If you only do one or the other you are going to have a ton of down time where you aren’t scoring and if you aren’t scoring you still need to be doing something.

I’m confused as to why one entire method of scoring game pieces would be invalid for use?

Scoring in the Boiler gives you one RP in Quals, and that RP can be guaranteed in the autonomous period given kPa is equal to each fuel in the High Efficiency Boiler. That means that you can do both.

That being said, there still can be a case made that the Low Efficiency Goal isn’t worth it.

Absolutely… RP and difference maker

As for LE goal depends on design…if you can ensure a cycle of 50 dumped…that nets 5+ points per cycle… if you can do 7or 8 cycles that’s a RP that would require both hopper load and super fast floor pickup. The advantage of LE is its semmingly higher probability then HE for many teams. That being said HE is the way to go I think in terms of fuel especially in auto.

Put simply - steam in auton, gears in teleop