What do you see as the ideal alliance?

What do you see being the best alliance structures at regional/district and champs level? From what kinds of robots will captain, 1st pick, 2nd pick, and be a 3rd pick. How do you see elims playing out and what kind of bots will counter these top alliance structures?

Edit: with this being very early in the season, it’s mostly speculation

I see the captain being a team that is able to score at least 30 balls on their own, hang, and auto level. Their first pick (second robot) is going to be a teammate that can help them score balls and hang as well. This robot also likely has the capability to run the wheel of fortune (WoF). The second pick (third robot) HAS to be able to climb. In my opinion, we will see a repeat of 2017 at the district/regional level, where Alliances 4, 5, 6, are going to pick up the last climbing robots, putting Alliances 1, 2, 3 at a disadvantage. Additionally, the third robot should be able to spin the WoF, play defense, and help send balls down the field to their teammates.


At the district level, this is what I am hoping for

First 2 robots can score in multiple locations on the field, and can hopefully fit under the trench if need be. Not going to put a number of cycles on it at this point in the season.

Third robot on the alliance is able to play shutdown defense, and if possible can feed one of the other 2 alliance partners during autonomous (like some teams did in 2012). Also at later (week 5/6) districts, I would hope they could do the spinning wheel of death while their alliance partners keep scoring.

Oh, and ideally all 3 can hang level. Worst case scenario, 2 hang level.

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It’s really hard to answer this question so early in the season… but if I had to guess:

Captain: Tall robot with effective climb balancing mechanism and effective short and long range shooting abilities

1st Pick: Reliable climb that doesn’t mess up the captain’s balancing mechanism, tall or short doesn’t matter but ability to put Power Cells in the Outer/Inner Port is everything.

2nd Pick: highly effective at moving Power Cells but not necessarily efficient at scoring them. Tall robot with 12" extension at max height for optional defense, reliable climber.

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Three kiwi drive bots with very high centers of gravity that are unable to fit under the trench. Also they only can pick up from the loading station and score in the low goal.



You meant ideal to win not watch…


Silly answer: 3x254.

Assuming some constraint of reasonability on your question…

Conservative answer: No idea, we’ll have to see how the season plays out.

Speculative Answer at Regionals: First and foremost, excellent communication will be required for successful climbing, fuel cell passing, defense, and counter-defense. After that: Consistent full-team climb will be most important. Ability to roughly keep pace on points from power cells will be next, though someone has to be able to do the control panel with reasonable efficiency. Someone who can play good defense.

Speculative Answer at Worlds: Same as regional, except that climb and control panel is a forgone assumption - all alliances can do it equally well. Differentiation will be provided by the collective ability to rapidly nail 3 point shots.

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To win a regional or a district, the overall alliance need to be able to score at least 49 balls, spin the wheel of fortune, at least have a balanced 2 hang and at least one low bot.


  • At least a 5 ball auto in outer/inner goal
  • 25 balls in teleop from different positions
  • Be able to balance the climb
  • Will have the ability to do the wheel of fortune, but will not use it because he is the best scorer

1st pick:

  • 3 balls auto in inner/outer goal
  • 20 balls in teleop
  • Be able to climb
  • Short

2nd pick:

  • 3 balls auto in low goal
  • 10 balls in low goal in teleop
  • Be able to climb
  • Able to spin the wheel of fortune and select the good color
  • Strong drive train to do defense while scoring balls

Ideal alliance would be:

A reliable cell bot that can climb level solo, or with others (very close to or the weight limit so it’s easier to climb level) and has a ground pickup.

A bot that can do both stages of the wheel and climb level with others (also about 125) and can either play defense or score reliably.

Another bot that can climb level with others, and score power cells reliably, possibly do wheel also incase something goes wrong with the other bot.

3 of these robots: 254, 1678, 118, 148, 1114, 2056, etc.


However these skills are distributed, the following attributes:

  • All can cross the borders of the field generator smoothly, and at least one can run the trench.
  • All can intake and move power cells efficiently, at least two can score efficiently in the high goals.
  • At least one can manipulate the CONTROL PANEL reliably.
  • All three can hang, and at least one has a balancing ability, or two are essentially the same weight and can do an “equals on the ends, odd in the middle” balance.
  • At least one can block shots (pushing height limit, preferably outside of FP)

I see the first pick and captain being interchangeable, but I think one being a long range shooter and one close/midrange range is going to be very popular. They should both climb and only one will need to manipulate the wheel as part of their cycles. The last pick will change as competition gets better. At the beginning we will see a decent drive train that can move power cells to steal and play defense. As weeks go on we will see last picks be able to climb and by the end most likely be able to help shoot in the high goal with balls stolen while on defense. I don’t think we will see much defense on shooters, but on the human player stations just to slow down cycle time and starve recourses. There will be some very limited 2014 defense only in the fringe case where balls are low between offensive cycles. This strategy seems to be the best way to keep robots from interfering with each other. The way to beat this strategy is just to have a better robot on one of the positions. This might be something like a balanced triple climb or a 8 ball auto. The cycle times will reduce quickly as alliances get weaker so depending where the climber cut off is will almost directly determine how many alliances in elimination have a reasonable shot. The higher alliances will obviously have a much higher percent because the climber drop off will need to be in a certain range to disadvantage them. Even if it is in that mid range they will still have enough fire power to approximately offset those points so those matches will be very close and it will come down to the better practices teams. The last factor will be teams who have 2 shooters with similar cycles which will decrease the effectiveness of both and may knock strong alliances out due to an oversight during the selection process. If they are both significantly better such as some of California’s robot pools then it won’t matter but at more evenly distributed completions all of these will play major factors to who comes out in top.

The autonomous feeder role needs to know where to go, so I’ll pose the question:

Teams planning to shoot high, where will you be at on the field?

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To add on to what everyone else has been saying…

Ideally there would be just one robot (captain / first pick because hopefully they would end up being a top cycler) that cycles through the trench run (without having to leave to score points) and also has a control panel manipulator.

Also, if you want to be picked, you better be able to climb.

I see the ideal being as follows:


  • Auto - 6+ balls in the inner/outer goal. Adapt to alliance partners autos.
  • Tele - Go under the trench, shoot 20-30 balls in the inner/outer goal, either from front or back off trench.
  • Endame - Climb level, able to change position/CG to adapt to partners

1st Pick:

  • Auto - 3-6 balls in the inner/outer goal.
  • Tele - 15-25 balls in the inner/outer goal, either by being on the wall (vertical) or the line.
  • Endgame - Climb, level climbing would be a plus

2nd pick:

  • Auto - 3 balls in any goal or pass balls into another partner (think 1717 style in 2012)
  • Tele - Effective defense blocking shots, able to do the control panel, shoot balls from loading station to team downfield.
  • Endgame - Climb, Park without hitting a climbed robot. At champs, being able to block a climber ( similar to 498 in 2019)

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