As the season progresses, TOWERS may become fortified to increase their starting STRENGTH. While the starting STRENGTH of a TOWER will not change between weeks of Regional or District Competition play, the starting STRENGTH of a TOWER may be changed for District Championship and/or FIRST Championship play. Teams will be notified of changes in the starting STRENGTH of a TOWER no later than the scheduled Team Update prior to the date of the event.
District Championships are fast approaching and 2 districts have even finished all of their district qualifying events. As we prepare for our District Championships, I’m sure everybody is wondering what the new tower strength is going to be. At many events, capturing is becoming very easy for some of the top teams, and some events are even seeing towers with a strength of as low as -10. How much will FIRST raise the tower strength to make capturing the tower a very difficult task once again?
I don’t think they do. Sure, capturing is easy given three robots scoring goals without defense, but it becomes difficult again when there are robots playing smart defense, and it’s also difficult sometimes because robots can’t make it back to the batter.
The matches with the incredibly weakened towers have all come in matches with no defense played on the scorers. In matches with smart defense, scorers might naturally put a few less balls in goals, and also miss more shots due to the defensive pressure.
Additionally, capturing is STILL a difficult task in qualifications, when partners are random and less predictable. These partners often fail to score the necessary goals, or they fail to make it back to the batter. Sometimes teams are focused on breaching and not scoring balls.
If there’s anywhere where we should see almost all qualification alliances get captures, it’s district championships, but it won’t happen.
Given the variation in district strengths (compare the FIM juggernaut against, say, North Carolina), I would be surprised if FIRST made the number higher than 10 for DCMP play. Might not even change it at all, depending on their analysis of the smaller districts. Considering the FRC Chief Referee is situated in one of those smaller districts (North Carolina), it’s safe to say they have those data points.
For Championship, I would be surprised if FIRST made the number any less than 10.
I don’t recall the GDC actually changing the point value assignment for the games. I think the rule is largely in place for games like Logomotion that was essentially a minibot race. For those not familiar with Logomotion, the end game was racing minibots up a pole. The point value for winning the race was way overweighted. Our first trip to worlds was largely because our partners having the fastest minibots. (Thanks 71 & 48). My recollection is the point adjustment rule was added after that game. So my completely uneducated opinion is the GDC will not change the tower strength.
I disagree. This game is different in that we’re counting down to zero from an arbitrary starting number. In the other games, the idea was to balance the relative value of different tasks. I could see them changing the values for this year’s game if they want to keep things interesting at the end of the matches.
You are correct; the option started appearing in 2012 but has never been invoked.
The arbitrary starting number is means of controlling the balance of scoring, particularly in the playoffs where there are 25 game-swinging points at stake. This is why I think they’ll bump it in St. Louis.
The tower strength of 8 is critical to the balance of points this year. To change it would dramatically change the flow of the game.
Right now, 8 low goals + capture = 16+25 =41 points
8 high goals no capture = 40 points.
To have these values so close but with the capture coming out slightly ahead, is surely no accident. If the point values were changed or the tower strength increased. It would change winning strategies drastically.
The only way increasing the tower strength makes sense is if the capture bonus was also increased accordingly such that n low goals+capture > n high goals no capture.