Preload Cargo or Hatch Panels?

Hi everyone! I’m trying to figure out exactly what other teams will be doing before the match regarding hatch panels vs cargo. As you probably know, each team can place 1 cargo or 1 hatch panel in each of two cargo bays. I’d appreciate if you could take this quick survey:


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My evaluation for this would be that it really depends on the overall strategy for the alliance from match to match. I know that really is true for a lot of decisions but the conclusion that I reached was that if it is not feasible to get the rocket ship for the match then you preload cargo and place hatch panels on the cargo ship in sandstorm. The was predicated on the limited number of cycles that a robot would reasonably be able to accomplish in a given match. We figured that a good match for a robot in qualification match , which is the most common use case would be around 6-8 cycles.

Because of that you would then focus on the low goal options for the cargo ship and the lowest level of the rocket after all the cargo ship has been filled, being what we determined as the most efficient strategy for scoring points. With this emphasis on scoring in the cargo ship first, placing cargo as your preload and putting hatch panels on during sandstorm to insure that those preloaded cargo gets scored, reduces that amount of work that you have to do during teleop.

If however you believe that is would be feasible for your alliance to get a completed rocket ship but then not have sufficient time to also be able to fully complete the cargo ship, which given the approximated number of cycles would probably not be possible, then you would preload null hatch panels on the cargo ship in order to reduce the cycle time necessary to score the cargo in the cargo ship, after the completion of the rocket. Since scoring cargo is more point efficient and the added benefit in reduction of cycle time to score said cargo this would be the most beneficial use of the the preloaded game pieces for this scenario,

It will really depend on your overall strategy within the match.

Ideally, an entire alliance will preload cargo, but if there are cargo bots that can get cargo into the cargo ship significantly faster than they can do hatches, or if they have to start with cargo, I would assume the alliance would decide whether to preload the cargo or hatches in order to reduce cycle times so more points can be scored within the match.

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Am I too late for the “It depends” option?

It depends on who my alliance partners are, what their known capabilities are, possibly what my opponents can do… You get the idea.

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Let’s mix it up and say hatch panels.
Cargo isn’t scored without hatch panels with the exception of the null panels

If you don’t feel confident your entire alliance can score more than 6 hatch panels on Cargo Ship AND a single robot feels confident in scoring at least 2 cargo on the cargo ship THEN it makes sense to place two null hatch panels on cargo ship instead of CARGO.

If you feel confident as an alliance getting 8 Hatch panels on Cargo Ship placed THEN preplace Cargo

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What is the new angle on the cargo in frc deep destination space

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What do you mean by “angle” on the cargo?

The below assumes a robot that can do equal speed cycles for both Hatch Panels and Cargo.

The optimal “for points” strategy is to place cargo in all slots you place hatch panels during sandstorm mode, and null hatch panels on all other locations. Scoring a hatch panel onto a cargo bay with cargo inside is worth 5 points. However, cycles to the cargoship after sandstorm mode starts will only yield 2 points for areas that started with cargo in them, as opposed to 3 points for areas equip with null hatch panels. Thus, to maximize scoring potential, one must only load cargo into areas they can get a hatch panel to in sandstorm mode.

Max Hatch Panels in Auto
It is important to recognize that the maximum number of hatch panels available in sandstorm mode is 5, 3 pre-loaded into each robot and 2 located in the feeder stations. Thus, by the above, an alliance should never have more than 5 cargo balls pre-loaded, and the rest should be null hatch panels.

Game Theory and Hatch Panels
If an alliance has a 50% chance of getting 4 hatch panels instead of 3, then should an alliance preload 3 or 4 cargo? We can use game theory to determine this. If we make the following chart:


We see that is seems that there are no downsides to pre-loading another ball, however, this chart does not account for 2 things. The first is that by preloading a cargo and not scoring the hatch devalues a future cycle. Also, assuming that a robot is capable of scoring a cargo ball instead of a Hatch, then 4 cycles can still be valuable. Our table becomes the following:


By adjusting our percentages, we can find using a similar chart that if there is an equal outcome for an alliance able to score the 4th hatch 33% of the time. Thus, if an alliance has a 33% or higher chance, they should go for the 4th cargo piece.

There are definitely different values one can apply to the above algorithm, so do your own analysis and determine what the probabilities are for your own team.

The Rocket Blues
Can’t quite get that rocket finished in time? It’s possible to slightly increase cycles by preloading cargo near the rocket, and letting it fall out during the match, thus decreasing cycle time to get the cargo in these areas.

Shout of to RoboTigers7892 who spend 20+ minutes waiting for me to reply!

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I would feel very unconfident about scoring 6 hatch panels on the Cargo ship before sandstorm mode is done, because there is only 5 hatch panels available to place.

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@UnofficialForth Entire match

The exception to this would be a match with such super-good robots that the alliance thinks they will run out of places to score. In that case, they’d want to load cargo and just let it roll out, in order to score the extra 2 points for placing both a hatch panel and cargo on that bay.

While you to have good reason to believe points are “lost”, you have to remember that would assume an alliance was capable of at least 34 cycles. Cargo cycles are always worth more than Hatch panel cycles, so one would rather complete those than Hatch Panel cycles. Also, Cargo is the first tie breaker after rank points, so an alliance is much more incentivised to finish those. Even if you are an alliance clearly capable of this ability, why risk giving up those cargo points?

Granted an all low robot alliance would have to only do 18 cycles, but that still seems quite optimistic. Why not just play defense after scoring all possible cargo points?

Going to be a little offtopic here but,

I’am sorry for those replies that we’re posted here a couple ago, those were from one of our members over the time being, as I was out, and had no control over them. I talked with the member, and went ahead, and removed the replies.

Sorry for any concerns, and issues caused. It won’t happen again.

~ Daniel


And what do the other two robots do? Victory spins?

As long as they are on the hab platform, yes. :slight_smile:

I think it all depends on what you are capable of but if you look at points per cycle you would rather be doing cargo cycles than hatch.
Any chance you can share the data from the survey?

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