Strategy Coming Into Play

As I watched the kickoff, I think I jumped the highest when I realized that this game can potentially be heavily dependent on strategy.

Of course, a good robot is always necessary but with 6 robots on the field with mandatory offensive and defensive plays, a good strategy may make the difference between a good match and a great match.

For example, if each robot goes about doing their own task, the match will be active but not nearly as heated as it would be if teams have distinctly planned out specific offensive and defensive strategies as an alliance and not just as individuals.

Last year I noticed some matches where each robot was doing their own thing and capping as much as possible. Other matches, however, were a combination of capping, defending, and making it difficult for the opponents. Although I loved to see a “whole lotta capping going on” (ignore the corny allusion), I really got excited when I saw some serious thinking come into play.

What do you think? Do you think strategy will be important? What do you plan to do on the big day?

If you can’t tell, I definitely feel that strategy will be important and may be especially interesting during the autonomous round. It’s all about a coordinated effort and a nice deal of research ahead of time. Are we up to it? We shall see =).

[edit: i noticed a strategy thread had come up before but it was more about what strategy the team planned on using, I am emphasizing more on how important it may be in the big picture]

definately! it will be challenging as well as fun [as usual =)]

on ‘the big day’, we’re probably going to strategize from the stands as well as from the alliance stations (no surprise here) and we will try to talk to our alliances before-hand, to see if we can come up with a strategy. After that we go out, and do our thing! :yikes: :smiley:

Yes i think stratagy and scouting are two key roles this year i think many teams will form final alliances not just on individual robots but how they work together such as rolling boxes will be good for blocking small goals and keeping defenders off main shooters and herders with back feed functions will be good for both side goals or into shooters loaders when side goals are blocked// what ive come up with is that on D block the small goals from herders and let the outsiders shoot but if there are no little goal shooters block the shooters/ i think the compotitions will be all about strategy and working together.

I honestly don’t know how many times I have said:
A poor robot with good drivers playing on good strategy will whomp a good robot with poor drivers running on poor strategy any day.

I don’t know where people get this notion. Maybe it’s just a romantic fantasy. But in my experience, truly good robots always win out in the end.

That has been proven incorrect. Our 2005 robot frankly was not designed to cap like crazy. After a LOT of practice and fine tuning we got our drivers to the point where we did not waste even a fraction of a second. Our coach kept a good lookout for strategy and we capped ONLY WHERE it mattered. We have outscored MANY good robots this way. Although, truly good robots are truly good only when they have truly good drivers.

Sorry for replying so quick /AIM’ing the boards, but…
I get that notion from the experience I have had on the floor, almost 325-350 matches sais a lot.
Also, notice I only said “poor” and “good” robots. There is almost no chance a poor or bad robot will win against a great (which is what I believe you were referring to with “truly good”) robot, no matter the driver.

I don’t exactly agree. I really feel it has to be a package deal. For example, what if a robot is solely meant for defensive strategies? In a game like this, that might almost be advantageous! That robot could push other robots around during the opponent’s offensive round and during its own alliance’s offensive round, it can clear the way for its partners by holding back the opponents robots that are on defense. The robot doesn’t have to be extraordinary, just good at what it needs to do. If things are planned out well (with good strategy), then this robot might be on a winning alliance.

Now this may not happen in real life but I’m just trying to show that it’s not just the stuff you have, it’s the brains behind it. They go hand in hand, and I personally feel, if anything, the brain might be more useful in a game like this.

I believe that strategy will be paramount as well as everchanging. As the competitions go on, people will start to see predominant strategies come about, and will take corrective action against them. This game promises to shift as experience rises.
Also, strategy will be dependent on the particular makeup of the alliance/opponents. The drivers/HPs will have to quickly adapt to many different styles, strengths, and atone for any weaknesses.
Lots of Xs and Os, and not just for Valentine’s Day. It wouldn’t surprise me to see some chalkboards in the pits drawing up plays a la basketball or football.

As a previous driver on 279 I can tell you that strategy is what makes a match. Before every match we go and get the updated scouting information for or alliance members and opponents. Then based on that information we devise an easy to understand strategy. Then we find our alliance member’s drivers and have a meeting in our secret locations at each of the regionals (there are some great places at GLR) and tell them what our strategy is and if they have any suggestions. Scouting is very underestimated. Just like in today’s real battles, half of the battle is fought with information and not force. Careful planning and good strategizing can turn a match into an easy win. Please remember that if your alliance has a plan, STICK TO IT! it is imperative that the plan is followed and in a game like this years, there will be a huge need for planning. Remember the more information you have the better.

I can’t really think of a game where strategy didn’t play a huge roll.
As a driver/coach in several off-season events over the last two years, and with a subpar robot (well it was once it got the crap kicked out of it) in 2005, I can tell just how important strategy is. Which robots went for which goals, who played defense, zone defense vs. man-to-man, etc etc etc have all won and lost 116 matches during my membership on the team. Our better coordinated matches have tended to be victorious, while our “do what you can, Ill do what I can” matches have typically been losses. Even with teams like 173 on our alliance in 2005, we had a “let’s just go out there and do what we can match” we managed to lose. Strategy is essential to victory.
I’d even surpass what was already mentioned, and say it is QUITE possible for an “average” bot to beat a “great” bot with proper strategy and driving.

Strategy is ALWAYS the most important part of a match. The second most important thing is being able to execute your strategy and have your alliance partners do the same. 2 other robots against your 3 opposition robots are a lot to think about, but as long as everyone does their job, an effective strategy can take out any robot, dream team or not. There can never be one monster robot to dominate the match. 3 marginal robots against 1 amazing robot and 2 fair ones, or 2 good ones and 1 poor one can still pull out a match. 188 has learned this through thick and thin, when our robots performed wildly beyond our expectations or even when they didn’t. Last year was a crystal clear example of this. Our gripper, when performing flawlessly allowed us to totally dominate, but on some occasions where it couldn’t be counted on, strategy let us make the most out of the situation, by focusing on things that we knew we could do 100%.

You should always ALWAYS go to your alliance partners for the next match and work out a plan with them. Have effective scouting, COMBINE your resources, DO your homework about the other teams.

I respectfully disagree with Phrontist. I have witnessed many many occasions where the favoured team has gone on to lose due to efficient and relentless strategy on the part of the opposing alliance. The big name teams know this as well. Not only do teams like Beatty, Stang, or the Martians create great robots, they weave great strategies to maximize their robot’s potential. (except when they forget to charge a battery or double check connections ;)). The possibility of a single perfect robot dominating a match is a lot to think about. There are always weaknesses. Never think that a match is un-windable.

I was joking with my fellow alumnus and ex-head of strategy from last year, yesterday about how during competition, the team organizational chart turns upside down and the strategy sub-team overrules anyone, even the mentors :). (This is also well known by everyone on our team during the 2004 championships, something which the mentors have not let us forget about either!)

Rage '02 with Joel Johnson on the sticks. A perfect example of how great strategy and an amazing driver can still beat out “truly amazing robots”. I wasn’t there but I have seen the videos and I truly believe that without Joel on the sticks and without their awesome strategy, there is no way they could have gotten as far as they did. I mean they won Nationals, do you need anymore evidence :stuck_out_tongue:


Another part of ‘strategy’ is being smart. Last year I saw a number of very good robots lose because they didn’t pay attention to all of the rules, and were killed on penalties. While I think this year may easily result in very high scoring matches, a 5 or 10 point penalty could be enough to give away a match.

Don’t get caught on a penalty during the matches, make sure to know what is legal and what isn’t, for example, pinning and ramming. If you do that, you just removed one roadblock on the way to beating those better robots.