Teamwork Strategy for Scoring

It seems to me that teamwork between robots might emerge as an important strategy this year. Two robots, working together, should be able to easily overpower an opposing alliance robot, push it into range of a payload specialist, and hold it there while the payload specialist fills up its trailer. What do you think? If all teams adopt this approach, it could get interesting, with teamwork counter-strategies for defense.

You do that. I know right where I’ll be scoring with my robots.

I can see a lot of robot pile-ups happening this way… it tends to happen like this every year. In those instances, the robots that can avoid the pile-ups tend to be the ones with the advantage.

That, too, will be interesting. It’s not clear to me yet how easy or hard it will be to defend against a scoring robot on that slick surface. That is, the third robot on the alliance might be able to hold off two robots attempting to score on the two robots holding the one for the payload specialist to shoot at.

Further, the two teamwork robots holding or pinning the robot being scored on will be close to their own alliance’s payload specialist, so any opposing robot coming in to score on them will also be in range of the alliance’s best shooter.

Uhh I have a different opinion on this matter. This overpowering of which you speak is in other words pinning a robot. After doing some quick math I truly believe that pinning a robot this year is going to be harder than one thinks.

I think two robots can probably hold a single bot down near the player stations even with the added carpet traction however those two robots would be sitting ducks for the other teams remaining two bots to go score happy on. It’ll be interesting to see how well some teams work together this season, especially those teams that work together on a yearly basis.

This seems like a bad-ish idea to me, using two of your robots to make one of your opponents robots sitting ducks not only takes 66% of your team “out of the game” leaving only one alliance robot to pick up balls, ceding the field to the two unpinned bots, it also makes the two pinning robots sitting ducks for the two unpinned bots. Plus the math seems to say that pinning is going to be hard.

Here’s another teamwork scenario that occurred to me:

Two robots (say, blue) work together to push one red alliance robot into a blue corner (best alliance shooter). Then, one blue robot could hold that red robot there. Even if the red robot has two wheels on carpet for more traction, as soon as it gets all four back on the regolith, it’s only even in pushing force with the blue holding robot. With good driving, blue can probably hold the cornered robot for enough time for the shooter to fill up its trailer. If a red alliance robot comes to the rescue, it too is vulnerable to the human shooter.

I’m not under the impression that there is really that much difference in driving on carpet vs. regolith- the rover wheels are a much bigger factor than floor surface.

This is true. When people talk about rover wheels on carpet I just think of those nifty little hard plastic furniture sliders that slide super heavy furniture on low pile carpet.

Back to strategy though… I think more often than not you’re going to want to keep your alliance’s robots moving. This would pretty much make the strategy of having 2 robots pin one down pretty ineffective. What would be good though, would be if one robot pinned down an opposing robot and then their alliance member ran some kind of interference to protect the scoring robot from being score on by another robot.

Or another thing we may see is a robot pinning another robot and then scoring in it but then not moving until it’s alliance partner gets to the robot to score on it. This would basically make it so that both robots don’t have to track down their respective targets.

Something that will probably happen in a lot of matches is seeing two teams on the same alliance chase down the weakest robot on the other alliance. They could use the advantage of having two robots worth of traction to pin the opposing robot and then one robot leaves and continues moving but leave the other one there to score.

Regardless, good communication within an alliance will be key for victory. One of the discussions I’ve been having with prospective human players is that they’ll be giving balls to other robots that aren’t ours but on our alliance. Also the HP will have to make the decision of who to give the empty/super cells to and there 66% chance that it won’t be their teams robot.

Yes definitely. The payload specialists are going to have to be just as keen on strategy as the commanders, considering there is also a 67% chance they aren’t going to be remotely near the commander in any given match. I think that payload specialists and commanders should probably do their “training” and their pre-match strategizing together so they’ll always be on the same page, because we’ll see a lot of payload specialists operating on their own a lot of the time.

Some good ideas there.

I really do prefer the dumping method over the rest because you have multiple chances of scoring rather than just that one shot.

I really dislike this years game, because of it’s human player abilities. Where is the talent in your robot when a human is shooting the ball? I would like to see the ratio for robot to human scoring and see how much more the human will score. This is more of a athletic game with a moving robot.

I feel that using two robots to hold another in place is justifiable, especially with a good systematic approach. After a certain number of balls, the trailer will start to fill up and it will become too costly to try to score again on that opponent. So take 2 robots (Bots B1, B2) from the same alliance and have them pin an opponent(Bots R1) next to a payload specialist(PL1). The remaining bot(B3) runs interference/ replenishes cell supply.

After they dump balls in and give the specialist a chance to load up the trailer, they move to the next opponent robot(R2). B3 and B1 engage R2 in front of a different payload specialist(PL2), whose ball supply will not be depleted. B2 runs interference to keep R1 and R3 away.

Repeat process for R3.

Ideally this would occur in front of corner PL specialists, to increase the effectiveness of the third robot out running interference.

You got it. I think teamworking alliances will dominate this year.

I disagree - with the robot off, if we hand-push the robot on linoleum, the wheels don’t turn the transmission gears. If we hand-push the robot on carpet, the sprockets turn. The wheels are grippier on carpet than they are on regolith.

Well yes, I realize they are grippier on carpet, but from what I’ve heard about people testing their robots in both situations, its not as much of a difference as people are speculating. A situation I see described a lot is one of a robot pushing match where a weaker robot gets pushed by a stronger robot onto the carpet, where it regains so much traction that it overcomes the stronger one and gets back onto the regolith, then gets pushed back, etc. I don’t think this is going to happen as much as people predict- there are other driving dynamics, such as the trailers, the robots slipping around each other sideways rather than a strictly linear pushing match, and the real difference in pushing power of the robots compared with how much traction the carpet will add. I’m not saying the dynamics of carpeting and regolith are identical, but rather that I don’t think they’re as astronomically different as some people thought (especially toward the beginning when not much testing had been done).

Having given it some more thought after a couple of days, it seems to me that super cell scoring in the last 20 seconds will decide a large number of matches, if not most of them. This would seem to nullify any objections to vulnerability to robot scoring while pinning an opposing robot while the PS scores.

That is, during the last 20 seconds, it’s not likely that there will be enough time to feed super cells to robots to then score, so the real danger will be from the fueling station PS. The key tactic will be to recognize which PSs have super cells and then take offensive/defensive action as necessary. It’s a great opportunity for two alliance partners to shove a robot/trailer into a corner while a sharp shooting PS easily scores two super cells. I think we will see this tactic performed again and again, and then we will see coordinated defenses evolve to defeat it.

This is a very general statement that is true every year. Last year, we had alliance plans down to which ball each team would get, which lane to score in, and who would play defense. If you do not work together before a match, it really shows on the field.

Here is another thought;

It will be much easier to stop a robot for a few seconds somewhere on the field than it will be to push a robot into a position to be loaded by your payload specialist. This is a large part of why I have been an advocate for the “mass dump” scoring strategy. My thought is; 1. fill a robot with a quantity of balls. 2. chase an opponent’s trailer till he runs into something or your partner “sets a pick”. 3. dump your whole load while the opponent bot struggles to extricate itself. 4. go get more balls and repeat.

I’m excited to see how the game really plays out.

Matt B