paper: 4607 Power Up Strategy

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4607 Power Up Strategy
by: Ginger Power

The document is 19 pages with a bunch of miscellaneous strategy thoughts ranging from plays in 4607’s Power Up Playbook, to what information we’ll be looking for while scouting.

The document is 19 pages with a bunch of miscellaneous strategy thoughts ranging from plays in 4607’s Power Up Playbook, to what information we’ll be looking for while scouting. There are a lot of assumptions in the paper and it’s primarily meant to show teams what types of things they can be doing strategically to prepare for an event.

4607 Power Up Strategy.docx (2.82 MB)

I’ve spent far too much time strategically analyzing FIRST Power Up and it has gotten to the point where I need to have some smart people tell me how wrong I am.

The linked paper is a 19 page collection of my strategic thoughts regarding FIRST Power Up written with team 4607. I would love to hear some feedback regarding the ideas in the paper.

I would also love to hear what others are thinking regarding strategy in FIRST Power Up!

This is absolutely incredible, thank you for saving me a ton of time. Our strategy is mainly about scale control, and your switch should be pretty easy to maintain. Our endgame strategy is an accurate slide climber, getting us up quickly while leaving room for another robot to climb easily.

One thought I had was to levitate every single time; not only does it guarantee 30 points, but it allows another robot to get some last second cube placements. which could be a game changer.

But watching week one could lead to a complete strategy reversal.

Analysis by paralysis :slight_smile: nice read

We came to many of the same conclusions, I calculated 97 seconds as the “chokepoint” key assumptions matching auto/ (levitate)+Climb . Then nothing else matters.

This game certainly is about cube starvation (including embargo), and cube placement to win it. The alliances are evenly matched as in chess. Its the moves and counter moves that make the difference. Takes discipline.

So my thinking is not settling on one set of strategies rather breaking each game into 20 second scoring acts and needed disruption. Then appropriate response in each act not memorized rather decided by the field at that point in time. The 20 seconds corresponds to selected opportunity times between powerups. Calm under pressure.

Since the game is so dynamic, any strategy I feel has to be simplified to allow for appropriate moves at key times, its all about cube efficiency and appropriate usage not any one platform , even the scale. Two switches = 1 Scale. The more disciplined and dynamically orchestrated alliance will win most of the matches. I don’t think home switch dominance is a given either. Creating confusion wastes time on alliance members with a set way of doing things.

Scouting is going to play a key part going into matches, tendencies.

We plan to have a cube counter/intel human player unpowered system devised with the HP placement to aid in far end decisions.

Very impressed by all of the work here. This document will guide a lot of strategy discussion throughout my team. Thank you for publishing this resource! I am also looking forward to seeing team 4607 at Duluth!

I have a feeling that I’ll be rewriting a lot of this after week 1!

I think this is definitely where the game will eventually go in the Playoffs. I’m not so sure about Quals though… have a flexible strategy in Quals depends on you trusting your alliance partners to be able to change what they’re doing on the fly. In general, I don’t trust my alliance partners to be able to do that. So my Quals strategies need to be fairly straightforward and easy to understand. In the Playoffs, things are going to change because you’ll have some time to really go deep into the strategy with your alliance partners. Your thoughts about switching on the fly and being adaptable will work much better at that point in my opinion.

Glad to hear the information was helpful! I’ll be sure to stop by 4741’s pit so we can talk!

By the end of competition season, those functions which are only 9/10 will turn into 6/10 relative to other robots who keep improving. Seems like you want to aim for 10/10 on something. Also, the Everybot is probably more like 6/10 on the switch. In 33% of matches it can’t see its far target, and for the close switch target it can’t go from the ground directly to the switch.

Interesting tidbits though.

Yeah after hearing your rationale I completely agree that the Everybot should be docked on the Switch. In hindsight, I really should differentiate between the home Switch and Away Switch. I didn’t put a ton of thought into the ratings themselves, or the robot archetypes in general.

I would recommend to teams not to take my ratings/archetypes, but to instead come up with your own that make sense to you. I’m definitely missing a lot of potential robot design concepts. The more archetypes you have, and the more possible alliance combinations you have, the better strategy you can select for a given situation. If you want to go really crazy, you could characterize your alliance partners like I have in the paper, and also characterize the opposing alliance robots.

Also the idea of not being able to see your scoring objective on the opposite side of the field in 1/3 of your matches is a dynamic that I didn’t really consider. You also won’t know if you’ll be able to see or not until the match begins. I’m guessing that means that you’ll need to have a few contingency plans going into a match that are dependent upon how the lights change. This will make any strategy that involves attacking the Away Switch susceptible to the lights. I hate contingency plans in Quals because nobody ever sticks to the plan.

Can you more elaborate on why exactly you are discounting entirely attacking the opponents switch. This strategy will surprise most alliances in early weeks. It will force them to make calls on the fly and throw them off the original plan. Just putting 3 on the opposing switch may cost them a power up. The game will evolve to make this a key part of strategy.

I’m definitely not discounting attacking the Away Switch at all. 2 of the strategies in the paper focus on exactly that. The “Blitzkrieg” strategies as I defined them were focused on taking the Away Switch and the Scale and largely ignoring your home Switch after Auto/the first few seconds of Teleop.

Attacking the Away Switch is my preferred strategic concept for many of the reasons you mentioned. I actually wrote that whole section before Everybot came out… once that dropped, my affinity for that strategy grew more. Every alliance should have an Everybot.

Edit: Wait, do you mean committing all 3 alliance members to scoring on the Away Switch?

It has been brought to my attention that one of the statements in my strategy paper could be taken the wrong way. I wanted to clarify that statement, provide some background for the paper, and make my intended meaning clear.

The statement was as follows: “It will be hard to adjust strategies on the fly in quals because our alliance partners will be dumb”

When I wrote the paper, I had no intention of making it public. I shared it with a few of the teams that I work with closely (I’ll be honest and say that number is around 15 teams…) and I had really positive feedback on it.

It was suggested that I should release it publicly, and I figured that other teams might find it useful. So I posted it online without really considering some of the phrasing in the document.

That’s why I worded some things the way that I did. Looking back, I would definitely rephrase that statement to reflect what I actually mean by it, which is that Quals strategies should be simplified when compared with Playoff strategies. This is true for many reasons including that you usually have less time to prepare for Quals matches, you haven’t formed the alliance for a specific strategy, and you haven’t likely worked with both drive teams before - so you don’t know what to expect.

I want to be clear that the phrasing wasn’t directed towards any particular team or event.

I apologize to anybody who felt as though the statement comes off as un-GP. I definitely didn’t mean to rub anybody the wrong way.

With that said, I hope the paper has been helpful to teams. Even if you think the analysis itself was worthless, I hope it was valuable to see another perspective on Power Up strategy.

You don’t really touch on accuracy vs speed in regards to cube placement. Do you think that it will be a non factor this year?

Cube placement will absolutely play a role in some matches this year. In general, I would say strategic cube placement is more important later in the season and earlier in a match.

I expect earlier events to have a greater disparity between the top teams at an event in terms of cycle time. The greater the difference in cycle time, the less important strategic cube placement will be. At later events, when there are more teams with similar cycle times, cube placement will have a greater effect on the outcome of the match.

I think the time when cube placement matters most is in autonomous. The teams that can accurately place their cubes on the edge of the Scale in autonomous will have a significant advantage over teams that can’t. I would say that an autonomous that can accurately place a cube on the edge of the Scale provides more value (utility for your effort) than an auto routine that attempts to deliver 2 cubes to the Scale randomly. If neither alliance has a Scale auto then the placement of the first few cubes of teleop will be important (actually this will be the case with or without Scale autos).

I also believe that strategic placement of cubes in the Switch is important… but in a different way. The Switches are going to fill up in some matches. That means that the alliance that can fit more cubes on the Switch will have an advantage. If you notice in the MCCC matches, there were instances where one alliance had multiple Cubes partially resting on the outer wall of the Switch. These Cubes weren’t fully contributing to the ownership of the Switch. The alliance that can more effectively avoid those situations will put themselves in a better position.

Every team MUST preload a Cube even if that means just setting it on their bumper and letting it fall

By this, do you mean you’d rather the cube be free-range in the quarter-field closest to your alliance station than in the portal across the way?

GP = Gracious Professionalism = Ginger Powers!

Thanks for posting!

I probably should have stipulated that statement by saying that “depending on your strategy, it makes sense for all alliance partners to start with their Power Cube”. The logic behind biasing towards always starting with your cube vs. leaving it in the Portal is that when the cube is in your possession to start the match, it’s closer to 3/4 of the scoring elements than it would be when it’s in the Portal.

If your alliance has an Everybot, and your strategy involves focusing on the Away Switch, then it might make sense to leave a Power Cube in the Portal.

In most situations though, I would think an alliance is better served by starting with all 3 cubes on their side of the field.

Thank You for the resource, very well put together paper and strategy guide.

Now that we’re mostly through week 3 of the competition season, and strategies have started to develop, I’m looking for some feedback on this strategy guide.

Did you/your team read it, and did it provide useful information? Is this strategy guide something that you would like to see more of in the future? Is there any information that wasn’t included in the strategy guide that you would want included next year? Is there information in the strategy guide that you disagree with (bear in mind that it was written in the first few weeks of the build season)? Would you want to see an updated version released after the competition season has started?

Any feedback would be appreciated.

Of course 3 cubes in possession is a good start.