Look Back: Week 2

Week two is in the books, and several new and exciting chapters were penned for Lunacy. We saw more upsets, more field issues, the rise of some strong teams, and an evolution of strategy.

Finger Lakes had, perhaps, the worst field troubles of all. A number of teams were unsatisfied with field faults and connection issues. It felt comparable to a week one event in many ways.
On the field, 188 was clearly the best. Blizzard’s drivers were on the ball, and even without camera guidance, they were easily the most accurate and deadly shooter thus far. Their quick fire rate and accuracy helped overcome their relatively small capacity. 1507 seeded first and selected 188 and 174. The Warlocks played smart, drove well, and mastered the movements of the empty cell. Despite both the quarters and semis going to three matches, the #1 alliance emerged victorious, topping the triple-headed assault of the #7 alliance (340, 1511, 316) in the finals.
610 etched what might be the most memorable and unfortunate moment of the regional though, when they declined the #3 seed’s (1765) invitation. They were ranked 12th, and ended up one spot away from becoming an alliance captain, and missing the elimination rounds as a whole because of it.

Team Overdrive came in as the heavy favorite in New York after dominating New Jersey in week one. It didn’t take long for their undefeated record to fall, as they lost in qualification match 3 (their first match of the event). They went 5-2 in qualifications, and were selected by the undefeated #1 seed, team 375. The 375, 2753, and 555 alliance was stopped in the semi-finals though by the eventual champs. 56, 1807, and 1796 cruised through the eliminations, going 6-0 in route to winning it all.
2344, who was also on the winning NJ alliance, jumped from the very last selection in Jersey, to the #2 alliance captain and finalist. They also became the highest numbered team to ever win a Regional Chairman’s Award, and did so in only their second year.

Boston had as much parity as any event so far this year, with several teams, including 155, 190, 61, and 1153, having legitimate arguments why they should be considered the best. It was also a bit more offensive in the eliminations than most other regional this weekend, surprising for a New England event. That’s not to say that defense wasn’t a definite factor, but a lot of the pinning and contact was focused more on help to score rather than to shut down the opposition. The #3 alliance of 61, 190, and 1099 ultimately knocked off the top seeded unit of 1100, 155, and 1474 in the finals to secure gold.

In Oregon, 1318 and 1983 paired up, and brought in 2635 with the final selection, to win it all. They out drove and out strategized the other alliance in route to the victory. 1318 and 1983 were the two most consistent scoring machines after lunch on saturday, and both had enough “explosiveness” to put away matches.

The closest any one team came to individually winning a regional came in San Diego. It wasn’t 1332 or 341 either, it was 2543 and their tremendous defense. 341 provided consistent scoring, and 1332 the big point dumps, but 2543’s ability to shut down the opposing alliance’s scorers is what elevated this alliance. 2543’s ability to pin and bully 968 and 1538 crippled both opposing alliances, who were not able to overcome the lack of their primary scoring machines.
1622, who 968 selected first overall, couldn’t perform as well against the quicker and better driven bots in the eliminations as they did in qualifications, and was not able to pick up the slack. 968’s alliance, in particular, had their offense flow through RAWC, as 968 would often spend autonomous and the beginning of matches filling up via their human player. When 2543 entered the picture, that no longer became viable. RAWC would still score once or twice per match, but they were smaller payloads and more balls would end up on the floor.
Without a regional win to help fundraise for another event, 968’s season appears done despite averaging 84 points/match through the end of the QFs.

Kettering was perhaps the deepest field this weekend, despite being the second smallest event. 245 earned a deserved #1 seed, and selected team 70 and 2619. 70 was a solid scoring machine, and clearly outplayed their twin (494), but their autonomous scoring is what set them apart from many of the other machines. 2619 provided solid defense, which helped this alliance overcome some strong offensive opponents.
The Huskie Brigade struggled with a bit of inconsistency and balls not feeding properly from their hopper their scoring mechanism. But their offensive potential and upside were only matched by 245 at the event, and there was no way they should have been around when they were selected (second pick by the #6 alliance). They stepped it up during the eliminations, and were the primary scoring threat on their alliance (which reached the finals). Both of their alliance partners were “on the bubble” in terms of reaching the Michigan state Championship. But the tremendous performance on this alliance essentially locked up both teams (and 65 will likely only need a few more points) for a spot. [FiM Standings](http://www.firstinmichigan.org/staticpages/index.php?page=Results_Overall)
Funny fact, 27 is currently ranked 27th.

Week two saw the emergence of defensive specialists, the continued need for secondary scoring, and a reduced roles for super cells. Fewer third picks were dedicated to running empty cells and more concentrated on shutting down the primary threat on the other alliance. How these strategies will fare against one another is yet to be seen. Lunacy is far from the final form of competition, and while defensive specialists will be important, don’t bet the farm on them yet.

Well worded, as always.

Seems like Week 2 was fairly competitive, with an “improved” strategy from week 1? Can’t wait for Week 3 Looking Forward.

I agree completely with LF here. 188 was simply amazing. Their driveteam was ridiculously accurate, seemingly never missing shots. It was really a treat to watch as the stalked their opponents, patiently waiting for the perfect moment to strike. This team is going to be a force at both GTR and Atlanta.

Interesting how Oregon gets 3 lines… I guess its better than usual.

I think one os the hardest things about learning from other regionals is that there is no guarentee that something you saw work at one place will have the same affect asgainst a different team at your regional. To me the little things that you see can become huge strategies if you repeat them enough times throughout the season. And stategies can form off of other teams accidents (not that we know of any;) ). And this is always a helpful guide to understand different strategies because I can’t see every regional, I barely saw any this weekend.:frowning:

I felt so bad for 610. They were one of the better robots on the field and the entire regional would have been played completely differently if they accepted or did end up a seeded team.

I guess we just left them speechless Fe Will :wink:

Does anyone know what happened? Was it a miscalc or deliberate(broken bot)?

You’d have to ask them to get the real story…but I can guess that it was a miscalculation on their part. Their robot was working the entire regional so I’d be surprised if their bot was bust.

Maybe they didn’t see Q56 Dave:cool:

As far as 610, if you are invited, accept graciously. Anything else is a crap-shoot.

I did enjoy that match, perhaps they missed Quarters 1 Matches 1-3, Quarters 3 Matches 1-3, Semis 1 Matches 1 & 2, and Finals Matches 1 & 2… :cool:

For those that want to watch the username is guest and the password is guest… http://www.bpsepaa.com/video/

If Finger Lakes had worse field issues than Oregon, then they must have had a really hard time running, Oregon took 40+ minutes to start Qualifying 1, Match 24 was played 4 times, and QF2-1, 3-1, and 4-1 all had replays due to field issues.

I think LF doesn’t get alot of information about Northwest regionals, so there isn’t much for him? to say.

Portland had some great competition, and was alot of fun to watch.
My highlights:
1983’s Skunkswerve was even more impressive in person than their videos showed.
955’s revolving ball chamber looked amazing, and had a very clever Geneva mechanism to keep it aligned. Too bad it seemed to have some minor ball jamming.
488’s hopper is HUGE, and it’s impossible to keep track of how many rocks they possess - until they hit you with them all.
2951’s small pusher was FAST. Expect more from this team in the coming years.
A few teams scored in autonomous with the robot, among them, 192, 2046, and 1318.

Things certainly got more exciting in the Elimination matches. 2915, 488 and 2471 were at a big disadvantage bringing a double G14 penalty into SF1-1, ultimately helping Alliance #1 into the finals. The first finals match was a nailbiter right up to the last 30 seconds, and in the end 1318, 1983 and 2635 took home the gold. 1571, 2898 and 2046 were quite an alliance, and I look forward to seeing 2898 and 2046 in Seattle. Everyone in Oregon did a great job.

I don’t know about the reduced Super Cell info. If it wasn’t for the SC the 7th seed alliance of 340, 1511, & 316 would probably never had made it out of round 1 let alone to the finals. 188 was a great team but they tended to play a bit agressive. It may have cost them in quals and almost cost them the in elims. I saw many teams play a simple & safe strategy & make it far. Stay out of the hot zones, pick your attacks, & you can do well. Doesn’t hurt if you can get a Human Player who can knock down 2 half field super cells. :yikes:

I still have the idea that soon teams will realize that the best thing is not to toss out all of the moon rocks human players are given until the last 40 seconds of the game. Imagine how much different the scores would work if for the first minute not a single robot could pick a moon rock from the floor.

Interesting thought Evan…definitely something to put in the play book.

Or simply not miss, payload specialists are making and breaking the game. Our alliance partners in the Quarter finals lost 9-10 balls per each match which really hurt us.
Not to knock them, but in the qualifying matches our team got a great boost from the almost guaranteed 10 balls (out of 13), and they didn’t want our outpost specialist, they wanted their own. (We have one for corners and one for the outpost)

So be sure that you either hold on to the moon rocks until later in the match, or have a really accurate payload specialist, whichever works for your team, because they’re really helping offensively and somewhat defensively by not allowing floor loading bots to restock.

My team’s coach was standing next to the 610 coach during the alliance selection… From what he said it sounded like the 610 coach thought he was ranked number 11 instead of 12 and had a good shot at picking an alliance… Too bad for the miscount. I remember 610’s robot being a very good machine.

The key lessons here are** scouting**, strategy, alliance teamwork and determination. Picking 2543 was not a random selection. We talked it over carefully with our partners and we believed that The Titans were our best chance to win.

We could not have won without the Titans, but we also could not have won without a plan.
Thank you 1332 and 2543. You are awesome!

Hats off to your strategic power play. While it was heart breaking to watch 2543 bully 968 across the field, you proved the point that scouting and strategy wins matches.