what to do if the other alliance reneges on coop

I looked at http://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?t=135738&highlight=coopertition, but didn’t see any discussion of this, and I got asked this question by another team’s drive coach/mentor at Gull Lake…

What is an appropriate post-match response when the other alliance reneges on their half of an agreement to do coopertition? This wasn’t a “they tried and failed”, but a plain old “no visible effort” (confirmed by scouts in the stands)?

My advice was to go over, smile, and ask politely “urm, what happened?”, listen, smile, and walk away (at least you called them on it!), but I’m searching for a better way to handle it.

I understand that ignoring it is an alternative, but darn, I hate it when people don’t even try to make their commitments…

What else can you do, really? Take them off your pick list and move on.

Call your local Don and have them bust a few kneecaps.

OT: You really can’t do much. All we do is just tell our scouts (who then put a black mark by their name) and make sure that we use the information to benefit us in the future.

Definitely go to the source to get an understanding of what went on: only the coach and/or drivers really know what happened. Here’s some insight from our experience in Pittsburgh.

Coop this year is so sticky. It shouldn’t even be discussed until after autonomous for both sides has been figured out for all 6 robots. There are multiple possibilities for where yellow totes end up after autonomous. Then the alliances need to figure out which teams work best at HP loading or field loading the totes as they’re planned to be for coop. At that point, the inter-alliance Coop discussion should happen.

If anything goes out of order with this discussion, it seems like a coin toss has better odds of getting Coop. Even with a solid plan though, RNG has a lot do do with it. If anything like HP loading goes wrong, RC’s get knocked over next to the yellow tote, the landfill gets messed up, the wrong noodle goes into the wrong place, or the intended coop robot’s drive train or mechanism doesn’t respond as-intended, then coop may not even be attempted. It could also be that the robot who’s trying Coop has never HP loaded before since they’re landfill-centric - and when the first chute tote falls over they abandon coop altogether.

Scouts can’t tell a team any of this. I don’t think it means the team is scratched off a list - especially if it’s early in the event. Our scouts evaluate a team for its performance and potential all the way to the end of Quals, unless I tell them I can’t work with another coach for specific reasons.

We had that happen to us at Indy week 1. In our second to last match we played against a team who in the final seconds had the last yellow totes above the step but didn’t lower them. Because of this match our average score lowered.

^This. You shouldn’t immediately black-mark a team unless you know for a fact that they told you they’d do co-op and then never do during the match, then they laugh it off when you ask why they did it. Although I find it hard to believe there’s many teams that would practice that kind of unprofessional-ism. They should at least be able to give you a reason prior to the match why they won’t do co-op.

I’d rather pick a team that is beneficial to my alliance in the eliminations where co-op means nothing.

How do you know they actively avoided putting the totes on yours? Did you ask? Did there robot have communication or power issues that caused it to stop?

There’s not much you can do. We had co-op planned for just about all of our matches at Reading but it was only completed maybe half the time for various reasons. Sometimes our alliance failed to deliver the first set of totes and sometimes it was the other for varying reasons.

Robots break, litter gets in the way, bins move into orientations they can’t get to or prevent them from getting there, they might be waiting for you to place yours if there was a communication breakdown, etc.

The best thing you can do is talk to them to find out if something went wrong or to apologize if you were the link in the chain that broke and move along. Try not to assume the worst of your partners or opponents and if you do truly feel they stood you up don’t stress over it and hold a grudge. There’s not much you can do after the fact and by the time alliance selections come around you should both be on the same page and work together like professionals.

I really appreciate when teams talk about what happened with co-op post-match. It does no good to mark a team off your pick list if there is a reasonable explanation for what happened.

I felt bad after a match in Pine Tree where we failed to get the 4th Co-op tote up, I explained to the other alliance that we had an unmitigated disaster on our side of the field with stacks getting knocked over and totes getting dropped that we had no control over. We couldn’t get to the yellow tote in time to score it.

We’ve also dealt with litter getting dumped all over the coop area from our alliance or the other alliance, making co-op an exercise in futility.

In general its a good idea to actually talk to a team about their robot and its performance rather than just going based upon on-field scouting, for a variety of reasons.

Team 1629 had the coop responsibility most of the time for our alliances, so we ended up negotiating before the matches on how things would “go”. We did a three tote autonomous, so the totes were already close, even if the other alliance didn’t want to coop, we still stacked our totes on the platform, to “show” that we could. We are a landfill bot so we had to go over there anyway. And if there was a team that said they could coop with us, and then didn’t/couldn’t after all, we would set the yellow totes close to the platform if by some chance they would make it at some point. That determination was made about 10-15 seconds after autonomous. We also had some teams outright tell us that they were not going to coop with us due to them being the #1 ranked robot and they had no one else on their alliance that could score like them and they didn’t have time to do coop, which made no sense as it is a guaranteed 20-40 points depending upon the stack.

I guess how we handled it, was to do our thing no matter what another team did. Some teams want to help, some don’t. We ended up the 9th overall seed of the tournament, then moved up to 6th during the draft selections, picked the 33rd and 16th ranked team, and won the whole thing, eventually beating out the #1 and #2 qualification match ranked teams.

To sum it up, “Do your thing, the rest will take care of itself”

Stuff happens. As long as you tried, we’re not going to remove someone from a pick list for a botched co-op attempt unless it’s a consistent tote-dropping problem.

We let teams know that we’ll be able to deliver somewhere between 1-3 yellow totes, depending if the auto works (really averages out at two). If we’re only able to deliver one, I won’t be too broken up if it doesn’t get done.

There are a thousand reasons, especially at a lower level competition, why the other alliance might fail to come through on a coopertition agreement… We simply can’t worry about it: Similar to a team mentioned above, we’ll do our autonomous stack and immediately scoop up the totes to bring them to the step. We can have the three yellows on the step about 10 seconds into teleop. If the other alliance puts one on top: Great. Most teams will find that to be a very good use of their time (40 pts. in a match is more than 90% of teams could pull of individually anyhow). If not, we really haven’t lost much as we’d have to be moving the stack out-of-the-way anyhow.

We are far more frustrated when alliance partners go back on pre-match strategy. Those teams are marked off our pick list.

The context of my suggestion was after the poster had already tried talking to the team after the match and asking what had happened. With no satisfactory explanation given, it’s too much of a liability to pick a team that has already demonstrated that they at best won’t listen and at worst will actively lie about their intentions. Not on my alliance.

If they tried, sure. If they didn’t try and they have even a decent explanation, might be a little annoyed, but whatever.

Taking them off your pick list isn’t always an option at districts if their robot is good/okay/not terrible (there were only 30 teams at PNW Mount Vernon, and 7 of them were really… not the best options…)

I don’t see the exact point of blacklisting or pulling the team off your picklist, unless it’s just the principle of the matter. Even still, if they are constant in other areas of the game, they are still a valuable asset. Our scouters will run information to us about the other alliance’s track record for co-op. If they are inconsistent at it, we may request they do their portion first.

If a team says they’ll do something, doesn’t do it, and then won’t tell you why they didn’t do it when you ask later, it demonstrates they are poor communicators, poor listeners, and unreliable. Are those qualities you want in an elims partner?

Again, even something like “I forgot” or “it ended up taking us too long to do Task X” or “we knocked a bin over in front of the step” would be fine. The key part of the interaction that drove that post for me was when they didn’t offer an explanation.

True, though the other half of that is where you are in the draft/what alliance you’re looking to build. Someone not finding you after the match to explain is one thing (that might be alright on some pick lists); not answering if you ask appropriately is quite another. If you’re a lower seeded captain, you may really need the type of team/coach that’s got the former initiative. But if you’re up at the top/have two of the best robots already (yourself and Pick 1), you might be able to get by with someone who you have to sort of ‘babysit’ in terms of communication, provided that they’ve got the other qualities you want …particularly this year. That said, I fully support your allusion that communication is almost always paramount for winning banners.

Definitely don’t cuss at them. I had another mentor do that to me once during Rebound Rumble. Left a bad taste in my mouth concerning that team and mentor ever since.

One thing our team does is scout how well other teams stick to the strategy. We just keep a side not of that on our scouting forms, and take input from the drive team on whether they did or did not like working with said team and the reasons why.

When it comes to the other alliance, we prefer to do the top 1 or 2 totes on the coop stack so that we can put up some points before doing coop. With this it allows us to make sure the other alliance follows through with their half.

On a side note, if it seems unlikely that you can make the stack, at least go for the set: https://youtu.be/qXDckIvE2YY

Good points. If there was a clear explanation then I wouldn’t write them off either.

That comment, Holy s**t!