Why Winners Win?

Many years there appears to be a very large number of very competitive robots at the top, where any one of them could take championships. What makes some of them the best? I would love to see an analysis of each year individually.

For one specific case, in 2009 how did 254 get knocked out in Division Quarters?

This robot, easily looks as good as any team on Einstein.

Or another example, this year 1114 was almost identical to 254.

Perhaps you should check out video of the quarterfinal matches: http://www.thebluealliance.com/event/2009cur

Lets clarify your question. Which are you asking?
a) What type of robots win? (this would require year by year analysis)
b) What type of teams win? (this allows for answers of a broader time-spectrum)
c) How do teams win championships? (This can be answered with a JVN quote:
"Winning an FRC World Championship is not about luck.
Winning an FRC World Championship is not about skill.
Winning an FRC World Championship is not about hard work.

Winning an FRC World Championship is about working hard to get as many of the planets into alignment as possible and having the skill to make sure you’re ready to go all the way if you get a little luck at the right time.")

I’ve watched the QFs on TBA. I vastly prefer videos from FIRST video archive (much better quality). Unfortunately all of curie division appears to be corrupted.

I was shocked when I heard 148 was knocked out in the qtrs this year, shocked. After watching the videos it was clear that the opposing alliance had 3 great robots that worked extremely well together on the field.

Any robot can do something off the field but it won’t mean a thing if you can’t do it in a match consistently.

b), with an addition of, for any given year what made the winning team special?

Indeed, The Poofs always build an incredibly beautiful robot, but of course in every game there are more variables in any given match than how polished is your machining.

In the example you give here, 341 learned by playing 968 in the semis at San Diego that while a power dumper was the best strategy of design for Lunacy, what was even more potent was a tall dumper that could direct shots over a pin. While this machine is incredibly awesome, it could also be pinned and left powerless in the match pretty easily. This also gives some insight into why 254 and 1538, a similar design that year, were not able to come away with the win at Las Vegas that year. If you read The New Cool, you can read a step by step story of the intense and important process of strategically designing for the game and playing the game with varying strategies, based on that specific newly created alliance.

It always depends on both your machines design as well as the strategy you employ when selecting your alliance and how well you employ that strategy in each situation. What I love about the FRC game each year is that the role of the rest of the alliance and how well the teams work together is so huge. One team can’t win an event alone, no matter how amazing. There are so many variable to make that dream come to fruition and so much of it is based on how strong are your group dynamics and how creative your collaborative problem solving.

Please understand that I absolutely loved 254 and 968’s design in 2009; but I also want you to realize that you can never over emphasize the importance of the alliance and game strategy.

Could you post the link to those videos? I missed all of those matches live.

Yes, 254 did not make Einstien in 2009, but thare are usually plenty more than 12 Einstien quality robots each year. While 254/111/973 made Einstien from Galileo this year, 1114 and 469 (and probably others) were also both Einstien worthy. There is a lot of luck invovled at the Championship.


Great point! Even this years FRC Top 25 teams were all capable of making it to Einstein with several more teams not on that list!

In that case, the ones that work hard.
And by work hard, I mean all the time… They work to hard to build a smart, strong team. They work hard to get students on their team, to get funds to run a team, to get a shop, to make a practice field, to… etc. All the have-nots say that the “Haves” are only good because they have the resources, the students, the support… If your team works hard, you too can get the resources, the students, and the support.

My example: UPS builds (in my self-critical eyes) “eh” robots (I have big goals and high bars). This year we put in a lot more time and lot more work, and created something that was much more competitive.

When you have multiple strong robots with comparable operating specs, it all comes down to strategy and luck.

Dustin Benedict A.K.A. thefro was driving in 2009 agaisnt the poofs. That might be why. :smiley:

254’s alliance didn’t seem to work very effectively as a team.

The 2009 game really required good teamwork. 254 was a devastatingly effective robot that year, easily better than each of the three on the other alliance. Clearly, the teamwork won though.

Things just have to click to let an alliance win. All three robots have to have something to contribute, and all three have to do it well. That’s critical, one team that’s lacking a little bit can kill the alliance.

Also, I believe drivers have a lot to do with it. Probably the most to do with winning aside from the robot design itself. Even with the best robot, it takes a skilled and practiced driver to use it to it’s potential. The drivers have to be able to know the strategy, implement the strategy, avoid penalties, and make the most of every situation without wasting moves. Being a driver myself, it’s tough. You have to be able to take in the entire match in the blink of an eye, and make split second decisions that could determine the match. The best drivers offer a massive advantage to a team I believe.

I’ve talked to Dustin many times about this situation Adam. He basically told me that the main objective was to shut down the Poofs because, like you stated, they had a really good robot.

Dustin has mentioned the story to me a bunch of times though so I had to put it in as a joke. All aside from them, that alliance had a great strategy and pulled together all the stops they had to beat the Poofs.

Amen to that. Teamwork wins, that’s all there is to it. The only reason I participated in my only regional win thus far was the amazing team work between 1569, 488, and 1425 in the Seattle Regional in 2009. Each team had a specific role they did flawlessly, and that won us the tournament. It’s the same thing here, 254 just couldn’t work with their alliance nearly as effectively as the opposing alliance. Teamwork trumps individual robots when it comes to Championship matches it seems.

This was really the biggest thing. Although going back, we likely would not have built quite the same robot, excellent teamwork is the biggest reason why we lost to the other alliance which worked together quite well.

This year, we ended up on awesome alliances at both of our regionals and a dream alliance at the championship. The results showed.

I was a driver on the alliance that beat 254 in the quarters. The strategy was to pin 254 from the side, while 245 and 816 cleaned up the field. 254 had a long robot that year, if you pushed them from the side they were basically immobilized. Then 217’s alliance used a similar strategy on our robot in semis, knocking us out.

Was pinning allowed that year? I applaud some very good strategy and execution.

254’s bot in 2009 was awesome, and it was incredibly dangerous if left alone.

That being said, it had one major ‘flaw’ - the same flaw that all long based robots had that year, which was the inability to spin out of certain pins. Going into the Championship, most teams with long based robots knew of this flaw and tried to avoid a ‘RAWC Pin’ if possible, because it was basically a guaranteed lose for the team that was pinned if the pin executed correctly.

We were also a bit of a wildcard on Curie that year, seemingly coming out of no where and going 5-1-1 and playing as the captain of the 6th seed thanks to some smart play, a decent schedule and a bit of luck. Going into the QF’s against the Poofs and Buzz who were playing from the 3rd Seed, we knew we were out gunned if the Poofs were allowed to score. Because of this, 816 as the alliance captain, decided the best strategy would be to ‘remove’ 254 from the match, leaving the 3rd seed with 1 scoring robot and 1 defense robot effectively giving us a 10 to 15 ball advantage, if not more.

In Match 1 I wasn’t able to get a good hold on the Poofs and our alliance played a bit sloppy. After a lot of yelling, jumping and high-fiving, we came back to win Matches 2 and 3 without too much trouble.

In retrospect, that sort of upset probably wouldn’t have happened in any other game or if there had been pinning rules in 2009.

Here’s a picture of us executing a RAWC Pin in one of the Curie QF’s: http://www.chiefdelphi.com/media/photos/33886