Team Update: Drive Team Placement in Playoffs

Searched and surprised to not find a discussion on this:

Team Update 2015-02-03
The higher seeded ALLIANCE will always be assigned to the Red side of the FIELD. Additionally, ALLIANCE CAPTAINS will always be assigned to the center PLAYER STATION, the first pick will be assigned to the station to their left while they’re facing the FIELD, and the second pick will be assigned to their right while they’re facing the FIELD. If a BACKUP TEAM is in play, they will be assigned to the PLAYER STATION that was assigned to the DRIVE TEAM they’re replacing.

In past games, the 1,3 (left,right) positions weren’t as differentiated as they are this year. Also, I think their placement varied between Playoff (Elimination) matches.
The 3rd (right) position has a higher potential for drive team vision issues as totes accumulate on the platforms nearest the driver stations. Which they may for yes, chute door, loaders.
The 1st (left) position has the best view of the “aisle” between the stacks. for negotiating the “traffic” between the stacks.

Am I overthinking this?

I don’t think you’re overthinking this at all. For the first time we will see position correlate strongly with your pick. I’m glad they made this change as it will allow for more interesting alliance selections and more consistent team planning. Having set stations for elims is something I’ve been wanting for years.

I’m really curious if we will see a trend of first seeded landfill bots tanking their last match or two in order to get into that left driver station.

The potential effects for scouting adds a level that I don’t even want to begin to parse. :eek:

Seems like a better choice would have been to let each alliance captain declare which slot each team is in–but it would apply to all matches (vs. having to deal with logistics of informing FTA each match)

I really like the set positions. The alliance captain’s coach should be managing the entire alliance, and this is most easily done from the center station. Additionally, since the playoff schedule is already known (5.4.4), queuers won’t have to be scrambling so much to tell teams that their match is coming up and which alliance station each team owns.

I don’t really like that the higher alliance is red, since red is at a disadvantage when placing robots for autonomous. At lower levels, this effect will be negligible, but I could see it giving blue a leg-up at higher level competitions.

If order placement of ROBOTS matters to either or both ALLIANCES, the ALLIANCE must notify the Head REFEREE during setup for that MATCH. Upon notification, the Head REFEREE will require ALLIANCES to alternate placement of their ROBOTS, starting with the Red ALLIANCE.

I still don’t understand why the order of placement would matter. But going back to the point, I like that the alliance captain gets the center driver station for easy communication, but this would have made more sense in Aerial Assist. For Recycle Rush, the position of your driver station could very well effect your strategy, and having the stations assigned makes it rather tough.

For well-practiced teams, it shouldn’t.

Order of placement matters for alliances planning on battling for the center recycling containers in autonomous. It has nothing to do with being “well practiced” or otherwise.

What does alliance station position have to do with robot placement on the field?

It doesn’t. See the quote in Caleb’s post above.

While this is an interesting point I hadn’t heard anyone make yet, I don’t think alliance station placement will shake up rankings or picking too much. While it would be ideal for certain robots to be at certain stations, the difference with good drivers should be small.

I could, however, see a team that is between two different teams to pick making their decision between the two based on alliance station placement.

I see. I was confusing “order placement” as 2-1-3 in the driver station rather than the intended order of robots across alliances placed on the field. My mistake.

For alliance captains 6, 7, and 8, I absolutely agree. Especially at larger events.

Definitely for the 8 seed. They have the ability to pick who goes where if they pick intelligently.

As Caleb"s post points out, it looks like highest seeded alliance (red) is no longer a desirable status?

“If order placement of ROBOTS matters to either or both ALLIANCES, the ALLIANCE must notify the Head REFEREE during setup for that MATCH. Upon notification, the Head REFEREE will require ALLIANCES to alternate placement of their ROBOTS, starting with the Red ALLIANCE.”

Why would the GDC give such a potential advantage for auto set up to the Blue alliance? Or am I misinterpreting something?

I think you read it right, as it stands the GDC is helping out the underdog alliance in this case.

Since it’s part of an update, I imagine they intended to write it so the robot setup advantages favor the higher seeded alliance and they will fix it later. If it doesn’t change before week 1, well, whatever.

The static placement of teams based on intra-alliance standing is a boon for logistics at the team, alliance, and field operation levels. Drive teams always know where they are setting up, alliance captains are always at the best station for coordinating, MC and GA always know which team will be the alliance captain by just looking at the field, as will spectators, etc.

Here is a thought: if you are an alliance captain, how much stock are you putting into HP placement? Do you want the 2 HP to be next to 2 station, 3 HP next to 3 station, and your HP running some tactical function like the 2011 HP not at the slots? You could even say there might be an opportunity if the 2 and 3 HPs are similar enough to the 1 HP that your 1 HP could be coached up on helping to coordinate 1 Drive Team while 1 Coach operates as a field marshal of sorts, understanding and accepting some obvious tradeoffs with this move.

It depends on the alliance captains robot. If they are a slot feeder, they will have their trained HP at the slot. It’s like 2013, you don’t want just anybody feeding your robot.

I mean, teams that made their robots almost idiot proof w/ regards to catching a pass from an HP (from literal targets to software compensation to "just throw it in this large hole, you can’t miss it) in 2014 were fine. You want someone who can tell your robot is properly aligned or within an acceptable range of degrees of the slot before they start opening the chute door, but the chute this year is so much slower than the 2013 chutes having a fast HP is almost not even a real thing.

You are making a tradeoff if you pull a familiar HP for the purposes of better coordination between teams, and I don’t even know if it could be worth it yet. It’s just something I’m going to simmer over for a bit.

I hope this isn’t an attempt to level the playing field by dragging the top down (like the serpentine draft).

This is something that I would like to ask in the Q&A but it also seems inappropriate for Q&A since the rule is incredibly clear. Is there a forum for asking “Why did this rule (about red placing robots on the field before blue) get made when it clearly gives a disadvantage to the higher seeded alliance even though they earned the right to have the advantage?”?

Did they, perhaps, give the advantage to the lower-seeded alliance in an attempt to balance the play? That seems particularly rough in the Finals matches and/or at high levels of play where both sides will be vying for the center containers.