Slow Climbers + Fast Pyramid Shooters

I imagine that this could become a point of contention among teams during match play.

There are many teams that have decided to build dedicated 30/50 pt. climbers, but are slow in achieving the task. Some may take the entire match period before getting to full height. Others take half that; the best I’ve seen so far may take 45 seconds.

The are also some teams that have optimized for shooting from the far-side of the pyramid. It gives a known distance and angle for your robot to use while firing.

It seems likely that the slower climbers are going to physically block these shooters; and it also seems likely that doing such will be a detriment to the overall performance of the alliance.

Thoughts? I expect that a lot of teams this season, moreso than in many of the past, will be very insistent on performing their function, even when that function hurts their alliance overall. I’m not really excited about having those discussions on the field.

That’s one of the reasons we choose to shoot from the front wall and not the back of the pyramid. We want to give all the time and space we can to our climbing friends.

I think alliance selection will be very interesting. Will the elite teams that shoot from the back of the pyramid skip over some really great inside climbers to keep their shots clear. Does this mean the 5-8 alliances might get some robots with much greater point potentials than in previous years?

Teams should have more than 1 location that they can shoot discs from. What if your with another robot who likes the same location as you, you both can’t occupy the same location at the same time.

I agree though that teams who can only climb and/or dump for the extra 20 points will want to do it every match in hopes of getting picked.

I think that in the early qual matches the match strategy should be decided by the alliance but later quals on Friday and Saturday should be more of a “the team with the higher ranking gets to choose the strategy, provided that the higher ranked team has a legit chance of seeding in the top 10.”

Something else to keep in mind - there are 4 sides of the pyramid. A smart alliance would make sure their climbing robots are clear from the side(s) that the frisbees will be flying through. I believe the front/back of the pyramids will become popular climbing positions for teams who shoot frisbees around the sides of the pyramid, and the sides will become popular for those who shoot through the pyramid.

This is a great point, and one we considered in our design as a dedicated climber.
We plan to climb the side of the pyramid, not the front or back, to make it easier for our operators. Due to the slim profile of our robot, even though we’ll be on the inside, we won’t be blocking too much space.
For robots that climb the outside of the pyramid, if their teammates are shooting through the pyramid, they will be clear.

Is everyone neglecting the fact that shooters can easily shoot at the pyramid goal with their coloured discs if their shooter shoots straight? This could easily reduce the effectiveness of a climber/dumper

No we just realize its allot harder to shoot discs in the goal then “dump” them in. I’d rather be guaranteed 20 points from a dumper than a 10% chance at making 1 out of 6…

Although I understand where you are coming from, I think you will be surprised at what a low-power shot at point blank range can do for accuracy on top of that tower.

I think it’s more that we just haven’t seen it. My team shoots from about 74" off the ground and can get really close to the tower. We’re hoping to be able to test pyramid shots before our first event. So far we have seen little to no video of teams making pyramid shots from the ground.

No question if their is a robot that can go up for 30 and that is all they do and they do it each time. They should be drafted. If they can get 50 I will say it right now. I WILL DRAFT YOU.

I think the bigger assumption in that statement is “do it each time”. Fast (sub 1 minute) and consistent 30+ point climbers are more than likely going to be rare. So there may be teams that are hesitant to draft a team if they only make it up 50-75% of their matches. This would leave potential big points for the later alliances.

I am not sure how this addresses the fundamental point of the discussion I was hoping to start.

You will draft a team that, by climbing, interferes with you or your partners ability to score and, consequently, are willing to score fewer points as an alliance than you might otherwise?

If an event has 2+ shooters of equal caliber, but few 30+ point climbers, there’s merit in drafting the climber even if they lower your overall possible score if, by doing so, you reduce the overall possible score of any other combination of robots. That’s a pretty specific set of circumstances, though, and I’m more interested in learning about how people think these situations might play out during qualification matches.

For most low profile pyramid shooters, there are about 3 robot widths across the pyramid. As long as your teammates climb on the sides, or even the back (side closest to you) there should be at least one spot to shoot from along the back of the pyramid.

The real problem comes up in a few situations:

  1. Multiple teammates trying to climb the pyramid. In this case, our bot would have to take “the long route” around the pyramid and shoot from the front rather than from the back.
  2. Dead robots. Bots that die on the ground aren’t a problem for most because they can be pushed, but bots that die in a position where the pyramid keeps you from being able to push them out of the way (like a bot extended to climb from the inside) could cause a similar issue to those above.

For us (in qualifications), we would still likely opt for a 30 point (or 20) climber partner than nothing at all. It will slow our shot time down, but we have the ability to score from any side of the pyramid.

For elims,
Our first pick will hopefully be a robot of similar caliber to ours. (Good disk scoring, auton, quick 10/20 point climber)
But for a third pick, I would want a bot that plays defense rather than a bot that climbs the entire match. (we think we have some ideas how a defense bot could do more damage than 30 points) Also, the third pick is a very valuable asset in stopping any full court shooting bots.

All that being said:
If you are an (inside) climber only bot, you better practice climbing on the sides of the pyramid.

I am not sure how this addresses the fundamental point of the discussion I was hoping to start.

You will draft a team that, by climbing, interferes with you or your partners ability to score and, consequently, are willing to score fewer points as an alliance than you might otherwise?

If an event has 2+ shooters of equal caliber, but few 30+ point climbers, there’s merit in drafting the climber even if they lower your overall possible score if, by doing so, you reduce the overall possible score of any other combination of robots. That’s a pretty specific set of circumstances, though, and I’m more interested in learning about how people think these situations might play out during qualification matches.[/quote]

What was implied by Shaun’s post, in regards to your original scenario, was that we aren’t relying on shooting solely from the far side of the pyramid. If an alliance partner insists on using their climbing function for most of the match, we’ll let them and organize our shooting game around their position. Another benefit to letting them start the climb early (besides the potential points they’ll earn for a successful climb and/or dump) is that it’s one less robot creating traffic on the field as you run cycles to collect discs.

However, I recognize this may not be the case for all teams, especially those who did optimize for shooting from a particular spot near the pyramid where a climber might interfere with their positioning. In such a case I would probably defer to our scouting data and give priority to the team that is most likely to score more points with their given function.

I think during qualifications, scouting will be extremely important on how you approach this question. Scouting will tell the team members which person has scored the most points previously and how consistently they were. Whoever has the best record should get the priority on the pyramid.

If you simply listen to the people on each team, they will all tell you they can score 100 points and that their robot is the greatest thing since sliced bread. If you can produce your scout sheet and show that you know that they are greatly exagerrrating, it greatly improves your negotiations.

I would also think that any shooter worth its salt will have at least a couple positions it can shoot from.

We tried shooting at the pyramid goal on a practice field and made 3 out of 4 a couple of times with little effort. So I believe shooting them in is very viable which I would not have believed had I not seen it.

Was defense being played on you?

Also how many teams designed their shooter to shoot at such a high angle? I know we didn’t…

Our team also got a similar result, 3/4 reliably with just humans eyeballing the angles. I’m not sure if we got video of it. We’re touching the pyramid while making the shots, so defense is a non-issue.

Then again, we’re designed specifically short-range and can run our shooter at any angle, so YMMV.

Our shooter is attached directly to our climbing arm, so we can actually shoot 90° from the floor.

More to Madison’s point (What time is it?), the tricky bit will be if you are a 4/5 seed and can shoot from a number of positions, but have to pick from a field of potentially limited shooters (shooters that require a certain position) and a compatible climber. Assuming there is still a 30/50 point climber left (that takes the full 2 minutes), which do you pick first? I assume the climber first, and hope for a shooter on the way back, but how can you be sure your 2nd pick is compatible with your first?

Alliance selections are going to be /very/ interesting this year.

Last year, 1st pick was a good scorer, and 2nd pick was usually a triple balance partner, D bot, or an ok scorer. This year, there are many more things to consider. It will very much be a game of shooters vs climbers for the top seeds, and it entirely depends on the overall regional’s capabilities.

I already posted this, but you must not have seen:

4143 will be climbing and scoring 5 point goals in under 30 seconds. We weren’t even trying for speed in the video. I’m sure there will be other similiar outside corner climbers.