Uncooperative Alliance Partners

4935 just competed at our first event this year. In one of our matches, we had an alliance partner who was uncooperative and did not assist in completing the agreed on strategy. This strategy was made prior to the match by all three teams, and this alliance partner even agreed to it; however, they changed once the match started and would not be convinced to go back to the original strategy. The strategy involved 4935 scoring on the switches, our alliance partner scoring on the scale, and the other alliance partner (the one who changed their strategy) to score into the vault.

We end up losing this match. What could have been done in this situation? They seemed fine with the strategy before the match.

The Do Not Pick list is for teams like these. It’s super uncool to break strategy like that.

Honestly it seems like you guys did all you could. If they agreed to the strategy before the match and decided to change it mid-match there isn’t much more you could do. You can obviously go over there and ask what they are doing or tell them to focus on the plan during the match, but if they don’t listen that’s it. You can’t force them to listen to you.

You could talk to them about why they changed their strategy and why it wasn’t the most beneficial in order to win. Whether that’s talking to their drive-team or mentors, it’s up to you. This is so they can learn.

Yep. Put them on the DNP list. I rather pair up with a box-bot with a drive-team that is cooperative than a decent bot with a drive-team that is unwilling to listen.

It happens. Good communication between drive coaches during matches helps with this, but doesn’t always solve it.

What’s more important is what were they doing instead of the vault? Were they having controls/hardware issues? Playing defense? Or were they trying to do what others were supposed to do?

In the end, its team performance that matters more than place in the rankings. If you team shows that it is a good team player, and can compete well in all conditions (even when you’re down an alliance partner), you catch the eye of the higher ranked teams.

Our strategy in every match was to do what needed to be done…scale, switch, opposing switch, vault, climb. The only sure thing, is that we won’t be able to stick to some specific pre determined strategy, because the game is so dynamic.

I’d need more info before deciding that your alliance partner did the right thing, or the wrong thing, or did they best they could in that specific match.

There is not much you can do if an alliance member fails to follow a strategy.

You can try to modify the tasks, you taking on their task. You can try to convince them to follow the plan (didn’t seem like that worked).

You can choose to ignore them when it comes time for playoff selections.

This. Without hearing their side of the story (or a determined silence), it’s impossible to tell whether they had a problem, or are one.

It’s also important that when talking to alliance partners, that they don’t feel bullied or forced into a particular role. When I talk to teams, I like to open up with “What do you guys like to do”. Even if I know ahead of time from scouting data, asking for their input will make them feel more part of the strategy and discussion. If they feel they are being ignored or left out of the conversation, there is a decent chance they won’t follow through with the plan. Not saying that’s what happened but something to think about.

We had a match where our partner was doing a better job of defense against us than our opponents.

We’ve played that match many times, over the years.

Well, it is easier. All you have to do is break down in your alliance’s (inappropriately named) null territory.:rolleyes: Also, they’re not usually expecting it as much as the opposing alliance.

I call those type of team Anchor Teams. Their only purpose is to drag you down in the standings.

When I started out in high school we were the sh**head team that wouldn’t listen to our alliance partners. We literally had a negative OPR.

It probably would’ve helped if someone calmly told us our actions would affect when we would be picked. For some reason just because we had a under 1000 number people would pick us anyway so putting us on a DNP for your alliance wouldn’t really get through to us. It wasn’t until we went totally unpicked that we truly realized we were being idiots.

I know it sounds silly but somehow our actions and our outcomes just didn’t link up in our minds.

+1. I’ll emphasize this post. It’s always good practice to prompt them about what they feel like they are good at. It’s good at starting a conversation and making them feel engaged. The goal is to make sure they are in a role that they are most comfortable with and most beneficial to the alliance.

I whole heatedly agree on the DNP perspective. I really don’t care if you have the best robot at the competition and will help us win during elims. If you can’t agree with the group consensus, then we simply can’t trust your team to work well with us for more than one match.

I’ve been a bit tough sometimes with teams this year but its only in the instances where I just watched their prior match to see them get 100+ penalty points. They responded super well and we’re awesome with what they did in the matches. (Thank you 4160 & 6755 in San Diego!)

Honestly, I try to shut my mouth as much as I can to let the data / video footage do the talking. :slight_smile:

+1. Pre-match uncooperativeness can be largely eliminated by showing said team scouting data of their robot.

I didn’t originally want to say too much, just so this team’s identity could be protected. However, considering the fact that we only lost four matches (so anybody could easily figure out the team I am referring to) and the desire to discuss this further, I will say this:

We chose this team in our alliance and this was the tiebreaker QF match. We played one qualification match with this team; however, they were experiencing robot issues, but still tried to fulfill the strategy (the same one used in eliminations).

This team traveled to the other side of the field to play defense, but incurred two technical fouls and scored no cubes into the vault. As a result, we only received two cubes preventing the levitate powerup.

(With this said, I’m not attempting to flame the team or anything).

We printed off data and used it. Their strongest point was scoring into the vault, as most of their matches (and in elims) their lift was broken.

It’s almost like there was a human at the controls.

People get excited and do silly things. I mean, I never do… I always stick exactly to agreed upon strategy and play my role perfectly, of course… but those OTHER people. Sheesh!


Ugh. I don’t understand teams who don’t follow strategy. I had two matches in a row this year where the agreed upon robots for vault never paid attention to it. We didn’t get a single cube in!

It’s always important to make sure you aren’t forcing your alliance partners into anything. Always ask where and what they’re most comfortable with. This is about teamwork, people!

On that same note, that’s why I was so frustrated! I had made sure to ask what they wanted and they decided on the vault.

Just try to make sure that everyone is on the same page. Sometimes partners are just stubborn, try to avoid working with them again if you could.