The Not So-Secret Secret End-Game

I think this might have been an end game that was cut last minute. I feel if the game was changed significantly from kick off that would set a bad precedent. Teams who work hard to get a design quickly would be punished. It would also change people’s strategies and make the initial brainstorming worthless.

The team drawings have in the past left out perfectly viable strategies available with the real field, or been such poor facsimiles that successful teams needed to build something closer to the real field.


2010 Breakaway, Team drawings used 2x4 wood for the vertical supports of the tower. If you wanted to hang from that vertical member (a la 1114 and many others), you had to build something closer to the real field.

2012 Rebound Rumble, Team drawings of the bridge resulted in a bridge that was considerably lighter, and behaved totally differently to the real bridges.

2013 Ultimate Ascent, Team drawings of the pyramid were not really realistic, especially in the corner areas. Corner climbers would have had to build a mockup closer to the real pyramid.


So, why can’t the goalie be the first assist and then go back to goal tending?

Perhaps they were donated. I remember seeing them around arenas in other areas a lot in recent years.

It has to take down its arm, with the defense only robots of late, could take several tens of seconds. Then it has to be able to pass, which I am guessing many teams that use the defense bot as a training tool for younger members (Normal Team: Elders, Defense only: Freshmen learning shop skills) is not going to be able to do well. Having a dedicated goalie is a major detriment, rather you buy into this theory or not.

I suggest the posters saying that the game feels “incomplete” really sit down with their teams and imagine how the game will be played. There is a lot of underlying depth to this game that I feel some of the posters in this thread aren’t really grasping.

I really doubt that an entire new challenge would be added to the game mid-season. Such a move would only tell teams not to trust the game rules in the future.

So far I thought this thread was hilarious, until I realized these folks are serious…

I think what Big J just wrote should be re-read until it is understood.

The ball is as big as the robot, +/- a few inches in one dimension or another. Adding a climbing element after week 1 (or even after 72 hours) would fundamentally change the design (and potentially the entire strategy) of any launching robot. This would essentially cut the build season short by 1 week and also potentially waste money on the teams who’ve actually put in much work in the first 72-168 hours of the build season. It would also reward teams who waited for 72 hours before putting in a lot of effort into breaking down the game & designing a robot.

I bet FIRST knows better than to pull shenanigans like that.

Until we see something official, this thread is really just some Nobody inciting speculation.

(edit - man, just a minute too late - durn you Sithbusters!)

As one of those posters, I do agree with you that this game has much more depth than we give it credit for. I think I understand some of the uses of the far HP’s and the low goal.

That said, it just feels like a very 2011 game, not one that follows in the footsteps of the last few years. Maybe they are shaking things up intentionally. If so, I can’t wait to see how this game develops!

While im not fully on board of the secret endgame. I dont think they would do this, but I will agree that the game is missing its special oomph. That both rebound rumble and ultimate ascent had. Maybe we over-speculated and are living in the past hype or maybe we are secretly correct and FIRST is holding back. The world may never know (unless they tell us)

If you can drive, you can heard the ball into the next zone where it can be picked up by a alliance partner

I really don’t know what to think about this. I’ve seen that number somewhere before…

At first, I dismissed this thread as some crazy theory that somebody came up with. The game this year seems a little boring. After two easy to explain, crowd pleasing exciting games, this one seems, well, a little dull. We thought the GDC learned their lesson with relying one alliance partners in 2012, and hard to explain games in 2011. Try explaining the assist system to an outsider, or how cycles work. If a robot e-stops, dies, breaks etc…, then no points for that alliance. To be the minimum competitive concept, you need to be able to pick up balls, drive, and put them in goals. The most competitive robot, will do the same three things.

My first explanation for the truss was that it originally held something, but for some reason, the GDC decided against this. Then, I watched the video. Even though I’m fairly certain that this is just me fantasizing about getting a different game (I don’t like this one), Woodie’s sentence struck me as being really weird during the kickoff, and there’s no explanation. Usually, FIRST wants to spend as much time showing sponsors, scholarships, or inspiring speeches, and Woodie’s sentence doesn’t really mean anything besides for in this context.

Woodie says
“launch this year’s madness. We’re always trying to come up with new ways to keep things fresh and push the boundaries, so we’re doing things a bit differently this year, making changes throughout the season from kickoff to championship”

He’s not talking about one (possible) change for just championships, he’s talking about changes for ALL parts of the season.

I don’t think it will be that easy. These balls are really light and slippery. I think even a slight tap(with a 150 pound robot), let alone “herding” (as defined in the rulebook) will send them off very unpredictably and fast.

This kickoff was just plain weird. From the talk of failure, to the talk of changes, it just didn’t feel normal. I am starting to not think that this will be an addition, however I am not thinking this was meant to be an addition. As others have mentioned the concept of backup games, this game feels like it comes from a first gone by. It will be interesting to see, if my crazy theory doesn’t come true, how this will turn out.

We did do some testing with the balls on our 2013 robot. Those thinking they are going to control the ball by just hitting it with the bumpers are plain wrong. We have had the ball go under the wheel pinched and stuck, over the bumper, to the right and get pinched, to the left and pinched, off and up, and (surprisingly) forward. You are going to need a cow catcher to control this thing.

I think that this game is not so much about the technical challenge as it is about the strategy that will going into maximizing your efficiency. Personally, I see the 3 zones breaking down into ‘jobs’ that the robots are essentially assigned by virtue of position. I highly doubt that every robot will be able to do everything, so planning out the match in advance will be key. Of course, there are many different ways this could play out. FIRST only makes the rules, it’s really us who decide how to play the game. I don’t think Aerial Assist lacks challenge, it’s just a different kind. Last year it was simpler as to what we had to do, the challenge was doing it. This year strikes me as the opposite.

Quoted for truth. If you think this year’s game is simple or boring, you clearly haven’t thought it through very well. Playing this game well is going to take flexible strategies and rapid tactics changes.

I’m guessing the people who think it’s simple figure they’ll grab a ball, pass a ball, ???, ???, their allies score, and start the cycle over. As with basketball, movement away from the ball is going to be critical for success here.

Also, given the outrage and ruckus that’s come from MINOR ruling changes late in the season, does anyone really think the GDC is going to drop an entirely new endgame challenge on teams in the middle of build? Please give them a little more credit than that.

Finally, I think you guys are misinterpreting that statement. Try understanding it like this: “launch this year’s madness. We’re always trying to come up with new ways to keep things fresh and push the boundaries, so we’re doing things a bit differently this year, making changes to all parts of the season from kickoff to championship”. That sense of the statement has the dual advantages of being true and also not insane.

To add to the conspiracy, look at the bolts holding the “guides” onto the top of the truss in the video, there is 1-2" of thread exposed, very sloppy for a field element, seems like the guides were a last minute addition.

Having that much thread exposed is generally considered a safety hazard and the field elements are usually very refined

That makes a ton of sense, and I am doubting that my original theory has any validity. However, I don’t get how they added anything this year at all. I have seen nothing particularly new, format wise, this year that would justify that statement