The Curious Case of The Litter

So from watching Week 0 events and just pondering about all the possibilities since the game was revealed, what are your thoughts as to the good, the bad, and the many different ways to utilize the Litter (pool noodles)?

Litter in the can seems to be just about the best way to use it. Extra 6 points per RC. Then there’s the query of chucking the noodles as far as possible via Human Player onto the opposite side of the field. Given this will result in 4 points per noodle, most of the time (excluding the rare events in which there is a mega awesome HP with supreme noodle throwing skills), especially after the noodles have been run over and chewed up dozens of times, the noodles probably will not fly any further than your own side of the field, resulting in annoying obstacles that will get caught up in wheels and temporarily disable a robot, or, in the worst case, render a robot completely useless.

So, what seems to be the best approach to this tantalizing situation? :ahh:

First off, I would like to say that it is not as hard as people think it is to throw litter to the other side of the field, people are just going about throwing in the wrong way. Most people think the answer is throwing the litter as hard as you can will get it across the field when really you want to use about as much force as it takes to wave at somebody. It is also important to bend the litter to make them straight again before throwing however, sometimes a small bend helps so when you hold it to throw it the litter flattens out as opposed to making a downward facing U. At week 0 we had many differrent people who tied out being human player and found that anyone with 20 minutes to spare could learn to throw litter across the field as good as anyone, regardless of strength. Our human players sometimes ended up scoring more than the robots, worse case scenario the litter ended up out of the way in the landfill or the step. For this reason I would say only go for litter in a recycling container if 1. a robot has a specialized mechanism to do so 2. a robot can not stack well but can move a recycling container to the human player station for loading through the litter chute and prepare it for their alliance partners to stack.

Great Title.

Human Player roles, in the past, have ranged from negligible, to incremental, to significant, to paramount.

This year, loading totes, noodles in the Container, throwing litter, is serious business.

Tote loading requires good kinesthetic skills as well as working with the drive teams on your alliance to align the Robot.
There will also be fouls called here when the HP gets too excited and touches the tote and the chute door at THE SAME TIME. (yes, chute door)

The litter requires some tactical calculation.

You don’t want to throw any before coopertition stacks are made. It really messes with getting to the step.

You have ten.

It’s considered unprocessed = 4 points if ANY part of it is outside your opponents landfill. Pretty easy if you ask me.

Four noodles = 16 points > Autonomous (Robot + Tote Set) or (Robot + Container Set)
Five Noodles = Autonomous Container Stack.

It’s a great way to interfere with the other teams access to the landfill. But, this game is meant to discourage that approach.
Maybe if you’re facing off against another team that you want to beat for the sake of ranking…

Cant wait to see how this plays out this year in playoffs and at the CMP.
…Game Theory rocks this year.

I think the point of this thread is that noodles are going to get really torn up during the competitions and will be extremely hard to throw once they lose rigidity and get sliced up.

Correct. At the start of each competition yes the noodles should be pretty easy to throw with the right technique, but when it gets to the Playoff matches, the noodles will more than likely be a close relative of spaghetti.

Oftentimes, FIRST uses a new set of game pieces for the elimination matches. A recent non-trivial example was Rebound Rumble where balls lost rigidity during the first few qualification matches but eventually plateaued for the second half or so of them. They replaced them and the cycle started again for elimination. Of course, the correct solution was to make a shooter where the ball ‘squishy-ness’ didn’t matter.

This did not seem to happen to any of the noodles at the week 0 competition we attended, but I do agree that it is a possibility for noodles to become “a close relative of spaghetti” after a long run at a regional as the game manual says nothing about replacement due to loss of rigidity.

LITTER will be removed from play if, in the judgment of the Head REFEREE,
the LITTER is unsuitable for gameplay. Examples include but are not limited to: the length shortened, or a chunk more than approximately
1.5 in. deep and 3 in. long removed. Small cuts or small pieces removed will not cause LITTER to be replaced.

I considered that as well. Won’t know till we cross that road… However, if they do not replace them till the Playoff rounds, the noodles will have lost a great amount of rigidity by the time we get to the all important final Qualification matches.

My point is that projecting noodles just can’t be a consistent strategy. To be a majorly competitive team, there will need to be a better strategy for noodles than hoping they will make it all the way to the opponents side at all times.

Working SCRRF Pre-Bag Scrimmage, we only shredded about 5 noodles in 2 long half-days. Several more were bent a bit.

Even with that, teams were picking up 10-20 points/match just off the Unprocessed Litter score. Only one or two teams even tried for the can with a reasonable degree of success.

My prediction: Litter will be important during early qualification matches, but by selection time, the stacks will be higher so it won’t make as big of a difference.

Week 0 events were a good preview, but I wouldn’t hold much confidence in their results… Nothing quite like an official Week 1 event. We will all learn quite a bit from Week 1. ::rtm::

This:). Almost disappointed they changed the rules to avoid the Noodle Agreement. Was sure the GDC introduced it on purpose to test the effects of gracious professionalism on the prisoners dilemna model.

Au Contraire, mon Frere.

It won’t make as big of a difference in the score, but it will make access to the landfill more problematic in the playoffs.
This will reduce the other alliances average QF or SF score lower, improving your chances of advances.
(Sorry for the poor grammar, feeling poetic this morning)