Strategy during Final at Einstein

We were watching Einstein live from home. The first match spread was 8 point and the second match’s was 10 points. Very exciting and good quality matches by all teams.

After the second match, my daughter and I agreed that 1690-2056-1405 should change from a defensive game to a strategy where all three teams go on the offensive.

The reason for this is math. For 1690-2056-1405 with two robots scoring and one on defense, the scores were roughly equal to 120-2481-330 with their three robot offensive. Say the defensive strategy impaired 120-2481-330 to strength of 2 1/2 offensive power. Then doesn’t it make sense 1690-2056-1405 were good enough with two scoring robots, that a third robot on offense could have taken the third match?

Additionally, a defensive strategy was where downside risk of fouling dwelled this year.

1405s defense is why the scores were close. With out the defense the 330 2481 120 alliance would have pulled very far ahead.

Their strategy was correct, in my opinion. In fact, after their first Quarter Final match, I thought that they should switch to a defensive strategy … and they did.

It served them well to get to the Final matches.

I agree with the above two posts - defense wasn’t their issue, it was a huge benefit to their alliance. In fact, I’m surprised that more Einstein alliances didn’t play defense like Tesla’s alliance did with 1405 (direct defense), or like Hopper’s alliance did with 2990 (defense through boulder management).

1690 and 2056 could score quite a lot of balls on their own. If it were 2v2 versus 330 and 2481, I think 2056 would have won. 1405’s defense was less good against 330 and 2481 because 2481 could line up and shoot quickly and 330 was a tall batter shooter, but it was still their best chance and undefended the Carver alliance surely would have run up the score. 120’s offense and hanging made a huge difference.

Their defense was, without a doubt, necessary. Without it, the scores would’ve been separated by a larger margin. 1405 typically stopped quite a few shots.

However, one thing to note is how vulnerable 1405 was to defense, and how easily Einstein Finals could’ve been won in 2 matches.

1405 typically made some close calls in regards to when they left to capture. This was clearly evident in Einstein Finals 1, where the blue alliance failed to capture due to 1405 not making it to the batter. In Einstein Finals 2, 1405 was able to get to the batter by 8 seconds, leaving at just under 30 seconds. The red alliance, at 30 seconds, could’ve simply flipped the courtyard roles, playing defense on 1405. They would aggressively prevent them from reaching the SP for as long as possible. The result? Pretty scary for 1405. They can’t leave through a defense, because the red alliance would be close by, and contact would result in the blue alliance being fouled. You could extend this defending of 1405 until past 20 seconds, but as this point you could raise concerns/debate in regards to if you’re trying to draw a foul (of course, you’re not, you’re just trying to prevent a capture).

All in all, if you held them until 20 seconds, based on how long it typically took them to make it securely to the batter, the red alliance would have achieved a capture, and the blue alliance would not have.

Just like that, Einstein Finals would be over in 2 matches.

I can assure you that they made the right call going defense against us. In fact, I was hoping they would have made a change to all offense because I knew that was a favorable match up for us.

With 120 in our lineup, we averaged 229 points.

In matches our alliance was left undefended, we averaged 243 points.

On Einstein, when facing defense, we averaged 215 points.

Tesla averaged 221 points with 3015 in their lineup (more offense)

  • if you remove their worst match outlier of 165.

Tesla averaged 213 points with 1405 in their lineup (heavy courtyard defense)

  • that’s only a delta of 8 points of offense sacrificed with the potential of reducing our potential offensive output by 28 points down to 215.

213 vs. 215


221 vs. 243

Which situation would you want?

Going with 1405 on defense put them essentially even with us on the potential scoreboard, and that was represented in how close the final matches played out. These matches were essentially a coin flip in this scenario. Letting us run wild on offense would have been a much more difficult scenario to overcome.

With that said, we did just enough in the midfield to slow down 2056 so they couldn’t get that 1 more ball that would have made the difference. Any time we saw them in the midfield, we looked to make them work for it. Anything to cost them an additional second or two. Over the course of a match, that can add up to potentially be the difference when it’s so close. Turns out, that’s exactly what happened and 1 foul was the difference.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, we’re both champions in my book. #2champs a year early.

I would agree wholeheartedly that the defense played by 1405 was necessary in the finals against a team with as much offensive power as the Carver winners. My reasoning is this:

  1. The effective use of defense more or less shut down 120 in their attempts to shoot high goals. Furthermore, 330 preferred shooting from or near the batter, which is much easier (and safer) to defend against than 2481’s consistent outerworks shot, but is deadly if left alone.

  2. The offensive capability of OP and Orbit was certainly enough to go shot-for-shot with the opposing three robots while they were inhibited by defense, so the alliance wasn’t losing much offensive power to a member playing defense.

  3. The most important thing to do against that Carver alliance was to slow them down, which was done well by 1405. When left alone, I noticed that 2481 was winning nearly every neutral zone “Boulder battle” that they entered, and Carver could’ve quickly beat out Tesla using a choke strategy. However, since 330 was taking a few extra seconds to shoot every time they cycled, this gave OP and Orbit the time they needed to grab the balls before 330 and 2481 could get to them.

Overall, while defensive penalties proved to be their eventual downfall, I believe that the strategy Tesla took was certainly appropriate for the opposing one. Frankly, I was just relieved to see defense being played on Einstein at all, because I noticed that many of the alliances ended up being three high-goal shooting robots. No offense to these alliances by the way, I just prefer to see a varied strategy on an alliance. Good job to all and special regards to the Carver Division Alliance!

If 3015 and 1405 didn’t play defense, they would have likely lost to Archimedes… in quarterfinals. Defense was definitely the right call, and I’m very impressed that 2056 had the foresight to pick up 1405.

I would hypothesize that 3015 had something to do with it. Both 3015 and 1405 competed at the Finger Lakes Regional, where 1405’s defense skill helped their 5 alliance with 20 and 639 upset the 4 alliance, the 1 alliance, and the 3 alliance. The 1 and 3 alliances definitely could outscore 5, but 1405 gave them the defensive edge to take home banners. 1405 plays superb defense, and the Tesla 1 alliance was lucky to be able to pick them up.

2056/1690 actually announced both picks simultaneously, so there wasn’t any lobbying from 3015 (as far as I know). In fact, they were some of the fastest decisions in the Tesla selections overall :stuck_out_tongue:

I was surprised that 330-2481-120-1086 didn’t employ much defense against 2056-1690. OP in particular was really vulnerable as they were doing mid-court shots that they could not have gotten away with under heavy defense. Had their been defense played against OP I think their ability to score would’ve been dramatically inhibited and I doubt the finals would’ve gone to 3 matches.

There were discussions, but it’s hard to argue with the results from Saturday.

As we’ve seen before, OP can basically shoot from anywhere. Their percentage may have decreased, but that’s no guarantee, especially over such a short sample size. In that situation, it was probably better to let both 120 and 1086 play offense, which is a more comfortable role for them based on their prior experience.

This pretty much sums it up.

Team 1405 played awesome defense and really slowed us down. It could have been anyone’s victory in the end. It was one of the greatest battles of all time. Fortunately for us we won! It could have gone either way. Both alliances were fantastic and did not disappoint the crowd.

Congratulations to everyone for a hard fought and memorable showing on the final Unified Einstein World Championship. What a great way to end an era!

That’s where OP was shooting while undefended, but they were very capable shooters from the outerworks, as well. It would have neutered a chunk of our offensive output and probably not impacted 2056 much, if at all. They would have just backed up and shot protected with their intake out to create space and probably draw some fouls. Plus, 120’s robot wasn’t particularly built for playing defense. Their drivers also let us know that they didn’t think they’d be as effective at it. If we were going to go that route, we would have needed to sub in 1086. That meant we would have also taken the climb points off the table in the endgame which was really helping us stay afloat with 330’s climber issues lingering following SF2. 1086 also let us know earlier that the new Einstein balls may mess with the accuracy of their shot, which they had tuned using worn down balls. That proved to be true based on the accuracy seen in SF1 when they were on the field with us while 120’s intake was being frantically repaired. We would have needed that autonomous shot to hit to offset the lost scale points. Even if 120 was getting shut down, that was still pulling a lot of the defensive attention away from us and 330.

Defending OP had to be done in the neutral zone. In match 1, we got a couple good blocking and slow down plays on them as we were chasing down boulders. In match 2, they did a great job avoiding those situations. In match 3, we again managed to find them a couple times and did just enough to be a nuisance.

I just want to point out that match 1 could have very easily gone the other way if either of 2 things happened in the endgame. If 1405 was able to get on the batter that would have been an additional 30 points and the score margin widens significantly. If OP would have gotten the scale, that would have been 10 more points and they win by 2. If both happen, that’s a 40 point swing and we lose by more than a capture bonus. In match 2, they basically got us by an auto ball. Match 3 was essentially a draw. These finals were crazy close, obviously. Completely swung on just a few plays.

That’s not true. OP essentially lost their ability to do outerworks shots after GTR East, if you watch Waterloo, Windsor, and Tesla that’s very apparent. And while obviously the 330-2481-120 won my argument is that it would’ve been a much easier victory for them if they had use defense against OP.

I am still confused as to why 1690 went undefended for the majority of Einstein. In the matches in which they faced defense at Tesla, their offensive output dropped tremendously.

I actually do believe defense was the right way to go for Tesla alliance. However, I do agree that overall, triple offense was the bread and butter for most Einstein teams. For one, it’s just a lot more consistent. Sure the scores can vary by a couple boulders but when you dedicated one of your robots to defense, that defensive robot regardless of how high of skill they are, can go from shutdown defense to not very effective at all. I think for the sake of consistency and confidence in scoring is why most Einstein matches were shoot outs. It’s sort of why I think the game this year falls a little short at the highest level. That being said, I think Tesla realized throughout the course of Einstein matches though, that they were unfavored in a shootout and switched it up.

That’s about right. The loss of accuracy was based on me forcing my drivers into shooting at an angle they hadn’t practiced much. In my mind, I didn’t want to clog up the middle of the field where 330 and 2481 were shooting. If I had to do it over again, I would have had us go under the low bar and park in defense 2 or 4 for the shots. We did lose a bit of length from our shot with new balls, however, length wasn’t our issue. We had the length, but not enough practice finding the right spot and angle on the side goals.

I know a coach and a few drivers that would love to do that match over again. Live and learn, right?