Sacrificing a State Championship for the Cause???

I have been watching the Michigan State Championships with some interest.

First of all, the seeding points these guys are racking up are giant. I have not done the numbers, but after attending 2 regionals (Chesapeake and Long Island) and watching online the other weeks, I am ready to say that Michigan is the cream of the cream of the crop*. And I am not just talking 469 here. There are monster scores being put up over and over and over.

Here is my question for you. As has been discussed elsewhere on these fori and in many many FIRST circles around the country since the Cass Tech District competition, 469 is the real deal. They have come as close to a lock on the Championship as any team has ever come.

So… …suppose you are at a pre-Championship competition with them. Suppose you have been battling with them for #1 seed. Suppose you edge them out. Do you pick them and be virtually assured of another trophy (all be it, not FIRST’s Grand Championship in Atlanta) OR do you pick another offensive powerhouse and a team to be named later in an attempt to find out PRIOR to the Championships if ANYONE can beat them?

Tough choice, high stakes.

Would you give up a near certain Michigan State Championship (the win of a lifetime for many teams) in order to probe the limits of a team that you may face in Atlanta?

Think about it. Let’s hear what you have to say…

Joe J.

*I have predicted privately and now I predict online for the first time, that I believe that 4 of the 6 teams playing the last match on Einstein will be Michigan teams. The bottom half of the Michigan teams are the same as the bottom half around the country but the higher you go in the percentiles, the more distance the Michigan teams put between them and the rest of the country. I am far from unbiased on this matter but I think it is true.

As far as I am concerned it has already been proven as possible at the Troy district event when 33/910/288 tied 217/469/1188 and the tie was due to a penalty on 33/910/288. I wish I could remember the specifics of the penalty. Unfortunately some mechanical failures on the 33/910/288 side prevented them from finishing the deal up.

Yes, I know that situation is not the same as beating them, but it is appreciably close that I would wait until I was forced to beat them and not go handicapping myself.


I can understand exactly where you’re coming from in your post, and after reading it, and thinking, I’d have to say that if the decision were up to me, I would skip picking a 469 type robot, and pick another offensive powerhouse. (Assuming we were of the caliber to seed #1 at an event like MSC)

It’s not that I have anything against the game that 469 plays, or anything against them as a team, I just would like to try and roll the dice and see if we could beat them with a conventional strategy. After seeing videos of the Defense that 1310 played on 1114 & 2056, I am sure that 469 can, and will be beaten with a similar style of defense, it’s just a matter of when.

You have brought up an interesting point here. It seems that a by product of the Michigan District system is an overall higher level of teams coming out of the State. I haven’t seen any events with scores that can even compare to those of MSC. Teams are coming out of the Michigan District System with between 40 and 60 Matches on their records, before the Championship, while most Teams are lucky if they play that many matches in 2 or 3 seasons. I’d say a large portion of the success of Michigan Teams at the Championship will be because of this experience…

At the Mich state competition, there are so many good teams that the second ranked will still be very good and possibly take down a 469 alliance. The 4/5 winner will probably give them a good run for the money and maybe even win. The top seed will pick 469, but the second alliance will be 67/33/1918. A combination of 2 of those, especially 67 and 33 will be a good tag team to go after 469. The only reason I say 33 and 67 is because they can both get the last second hang in for 4 points, and that could be the deciding factor. A 469 and 1918 alliance with another good bot just to push balls in will be hard to stop.

I would not say 469 is the ultimate bot yet, I think someone else has a chance to win at the state competition, but it will be an epic finals!

Assuming the HoT #67 manages to keep the number 1 seed (I have not heard since 7 this morning). I believe they will pick 469 and get a decline. They will then pick either 217, 27, 33, or 910. 469 will then pick 217 if available and if not pick one of the other 4. Then after all is said and done they will pick a powerhouse defense. Juggernauts anyone? Or the team at Troy whose number I can’t remember that simply had to nudge a robot to flip them right over (not supporting flipping just saying, that 6 wheel drive bot had some major push).

The point is, if they can break the cycle quickly, they can beat 469. The only hard part is in fact breaking that cycle or keeping it from happening.

The best way to beat them is to block the tunnel in autonomous and wait until the balls from auton come back down the ball return, then leave and go play a real 3v3 game. If 469 doesn’t have the initial cycle it becomes very slightly more difficult for them to walk all over the competition.

Good call Kyle. Although I really do think that 469 will do whatever they can to get 217. They may not be the best pick, but they are really good and the two have had a lot of play time together.

Give yourself the best chance to win at the event you’re at by picking the best possible alliance partners available - always. Teams work too hard and there is never a guarantee you’ll ever be in that position again.

As a third party observer, however, yeah Joe, I’d like to see a pairing that could give em a run.

I haven’t seen a ton of Michigan matches, but is 67 significantly worse than the other 4? If not, then I don’t see why 469 would decline their invitation. I would be very very surprised if they declined 67.

67 is an absolute beast however something tells me that 469 would rather stick to having 217 on their side.

Do you think 217 would be around for 469 to pick as the 4th seed?

Hmm now that they results are posted.

1918 picks 469 - accept
67 picks 33 - accept
573 picks 27 or 217 - accept
70 picks the leftover or 910 - accept
1718 picks leftover - accept

just my thoughts. All powerhouse scorers will be gone fast.

Well the Alliance are as follows:

1918 2834 469
573 1023 51
2612 67 217
33 1718 308
2619 226 2337
2137 70 910
2771 397 1711
201 27 703

Personally, I think that 67, 217 and 2612 will take this one. No disrespect to the first seed, but I saw 217 steal balls from 469, and this time, they can just get it one zone over, where 67 will be eagerly waiting to score.

Nice props to 201 and 27 getting together and 33 1718 are also a force to be reckoned with.

I still say we don’t have nearly enough unbiased data to make this claim. Michigan has always been tremendously successful because of the caliber of teams from the state (stemming from incredible sponsors, teachers, and mentors concentrated in that area). See this thread I wrote after championship.

I agree with Sean here. The number of matches does play a part in how well these teams perform. But even in the early district events, Michigan teams (not just the top dogs we all talk about) were putting up numbers and performing well enough to be top contenders at any other regional. There are “lower end” robots in Michigan who could easily take down alliances from other regionals or put up significant fights.

A big part for the higher ranking scores is they way they are playing.
I dont see much defense played at all.
Either 1 or 2 teams in the home zone and either 1 or 2 teams in the middle.
I saw a lot of alliances leaving the far zone empty with the mentality that we will outscore you, IMO. A true coopertition strategy in the race to the top of the rankings.
For many that ARE playing defense, they are doing things that a real goalie would never do.:wink: Thus, ineffective.

The bold prediction of Einstein will depend a lot on where teams are placed in the divisions at CMP. It’ll be very highly anticipated in addition to Looking Forward’s post.

Would anybody have considered (had they seeded first) not picking 1114 for Overdrive? Would anybody have considered picking somebody over 67 in Lunacy? I don’t think so. Both of those teams were dominating in their respective years, and everybody was focusing on how to beat them. Eventually, both of those teams ran into a wicked alliance and then we got to see just how tough they were. The same thing is going to happen with 469 this year. They will be put to the test, and we’ll see what they’re made of.

If your goal is simply to see if 469 is mortal, then the MSC is not the best place to do so. The level of opposition you can bring against them at MSC is simply not as great as what they’ll face in Atlanta. If you could pass over them and bring the toughest opposition they’ll face all year, it might be worth not picking them. But since that’s not going to happen, it’s certainly not worth the sacrifice. If you think that 469 is the best team available, it would be foolish not to pick them.

469 is beatable and here is how I think someone can beat them: as you saw in MSC 217 blocked a lot of the 469’s “shots.” If 217 had a ball magnet and shooter on the side of the robot 469 would never be able to loop balls. they would just catch them and shoot them to their goals. The reason 469 wins is because they still have another robot in front picking up and scoring the balls that are blocked.

Let me say this about that…

First, both 217 and 67 have 2 World Championships from Atlanta behind them. While most teams in Michigan would consider a chance to win the Michigan State Championship as the chance of a lifetime, I think that these two particular teams are more focused on what it will take to get their 3rd World Champion under their belt rather than winning another MSC. There is a 1 in 4 chance of being in the same division in Atlanta. If you are going to explore the weaknesses of 469 how many shots do you get? Not too many. Do you wait to test your plan for Einstein? I think you take your chances where and when they come. If I were a team ranked above 469 at the MSC, I think you might decide to try your Einstein strategy in Ypsilanti.

Second, I don’t accept that the competition will be tougher on any stage in Atlanta save Einstein. I believe that the competition in Ypsilanti was head and shoulders above the divisions in Atlanta. I am not saying that there will be no great teams added to the mix in Atlanta but I AM saying that from top to bottom, the competition in Atlanta will not be as strong as what I just saw at MSC. It was a real showcase.

The why is a complex mix of the quality of the teachers, sponsors, mentors, the new district/state championship format, etc…

Joe J.

Didn’t 1918 get to test strategies against 469 just by watching how 67 and 217 played them?

Well, we were almost in the exact position proposed in this thread (* except we made a critical tactical error in match #108, resulting in a DQ and losing #1 seed).

Myself and our entire scouting team were trying to decide who to select between 217 and 469. About half of us were for 469, arguably the most dominate robot this season. The other half for 217, a x2 Champion and our best chance at defeating 469.

In the end, 469 was at the top of our list. The reason? They would have given us the best chance to win the event. Even as a x2 World Champion, we very much wanted to win the State Championship for a second straight year. We were not willing to sacrafice it to test an anti-469 strategy.

Unfortunately, we did not get that chance and we did get the opportunity to attempt to defeat them.

I will say this about 469, they are incredibly tough to beat. They took our hardest shots and came out on top. Our matches were extremely close and could have gone either way with a little swing of luck.

If you want to defeat 469, find video of the Finals from MSC. 217 showed a perfect strategy on how to defend them. But, even then the other robots will need to execute 100% to win.