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Old 05-13-2013, 06:34 PM
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Lightbulb VEX Toss Up Strategy Discussion

It seems this year a main focus will be on having a high-speed robot that can quickly and efficiently score the stash goals. While robots with the ability to descore the stash goals are legal, I imagine they will be few and far between, at least in the early season. So being able to stash your objects in the stash goals before the other alliance will be key because if you do, you deny them a large amount of points, which they will have to make up with either a large amount of scoring in the goal zone or hanging, or a combination of both.

So as far as strategy goes this year, the main strategy that I can image many teams going for goes as follows:
  1. Having a quick autonomous, knocking some large balls in the goal zone, or possibly scoring Bucky Balls in the stash goals.
  2. Quickly gathering up their color Bucky Balls and scoring them in the stash goals.
  3. Playing mad defense by hoarding (up to a max of 3) of the other alliances' Bucky Balls and putting them in the hanging zone.
  4. For the end game, either scoring the large balls on the stash goals, or hanging.

Any thoughts on this, or strategies of your own you imagine developing in Toss Up?
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:49 PM
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Re: VEX Toss Up Strategy Discussion

Sounds good so far. I would say that "capping" the goals will not be happening that much because teams will fill up the stash until it is overflowing.

I don't see hanging as key right now in a match. In Driver/Programming I do.
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Old 05-13-2013, 06:59 PM
Complexity Complexity is offline
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Re: VEX Toss Up Strategy Discussion

Since hanging counts in autonomous, and the autonomous bonus is so significant, I can see hanging being a pretty big part of the game. I have a few ideas for hanging, but they're either one way things or sacrifice other subsystems.
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Old 05-13-2013, 07:54 PM
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Re: VEX Toss Up Strategy Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jesse323Z View Post
Sounds good so far. I would say that "capping" the goals will not be happening that much because teams will fill up the stash until it is overflowing.

I don't see hanging as key right now in a match. In Driver/Programming I do.
As stated by Complexity below, hanging could be used by some robots since it counts towards autonomous. Whether or not it will be a common tactic however, probably not. You do make a good point with overflowing of the stash goals though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Complexity View Post
Since hanging counts in autonomous, and the autonomous bonus is so significant, I can see hanging being a pretty big part of the game. I have a few ideas for hanging, but they're either one way things or sacrifice other subsystems.
Yes, hanging is a very difficult ability to build into a Vex robot, and I expect few teams will get it 100% right without sacrificing the ability to do something else in the game. Still, it is worth a considerable amount of points considering how low-scoring of a game Toss-Up is.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:04 PM
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Re: VEX Toss Up Strategy Discussion

i could see some disruptive play by placing bucky balls on the barrier. Teams with scoops, top rollers, and linear lifts will probably have issues removing those balls if they were built like past years.

also, to counter hanging, i could see teams placing a large ball in the corner and storing 3 bucky balls of their opposing alliance in their intake system. including the size of the large ball, and the volume of the robot, teams will need super long hanging systems just to try and score. Though i'm aware of a dq risk for a team who executes this strategy, most hanging systems can be nullified through something like this

I can also see de-scoring facilitated around endgame because a large number of large balls will start pouring in

Another tactic that may be considered is rolling bucky balls, rather than shooting them. it may be a way to quickly pass objects, kind of like using the pass off system in gateway

another thing to consider when hanging vs stashing large balls, your robot becomes a column goal when you hang. Whether it's worth the additional 5 to 10 points can depend on your hanging system. But by combining this with storing 2 of your opponent's bucky balls in your intake, your 15- 20 points can easily turn to 21 to 26 net points. With your ally wrecking your opponent's trying to stash, you may get an edge. But of course engineering difficulty should be considered. whether it's easier to develop a system to hang, or a system to protect your large balls, we'll only see

Another thing i'm curious about is whether 2 robots can hang at the same time.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:11 PM
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Re: VEX Toss Up Strategy Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by DracoTheDragon View Post
i could see some disruptive play by placing bucky balls on the barrier. Teams with scoops, top rollers, and linear lifts will probably have issues removing those balls if they were built like past years.

also, to counter hanging, i could see teams placing a large ball in the corner and storing 3 bucky balls of their opposing alliance in their intake system. including the size of the large ball, and the volume of the robot, teams will need super long hanging systems just to try and score. Though i'm aware of a dq risk for a team who executes this strategy, most hanging systems can be nullified through something like this

I can also see de-scoring facilitated around endgame because a large number of large balls will start pouring in

Another tactic that may be considered is rolling bucky balls, rather than shooting them. it may be a way to quickly pass objects, kind of like using the pass off system in gateway

another thing to consider when hanging vs stashing large balls, your robot becomes a column goal when you hang. Whether it's worth the additional 5 to 10 points can depend on your hanging system. But by combining this with storing 2 of your opponent's bucky balls in your intake, your 15- 20 points can easily turn to 21 to 26 net points. With your ally wrecking your opponent's trying to stash, you may get an edge. But of course engineering difficulty should be considered. whether it's easier to develop a system to hang, or a system to protect your large balls, we'll only see

Another thing i'm curious about is whether 2 robots can hang at the same time.
As long as the balls aren't shoved in the corner in the last 30 seconds, I don't think there is a risk of DQ. As far as two robots from the same alliance hanging, I believe only one is worth any points. I'm pretty sure Karthik clarified it in a thread, but I can't be bothered to hunt it down.
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:18 PM
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Re: VEX Toss Up Strategy Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by 944_Gabriel View Post
As far as two robots from the same alliance hanging, I believe only one is worth any points. I'm pretty sure Karthik clarified it in a thread, but I can't be bothered to hunt it down.
Pretty sure that is to do with one large ball only counting towards high hanging with a ball for one robot, not only 1 robot counting. If you can fit 2 robots on that bar....
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Old 05-13-2013, 08:21 PM
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Re: VEX Toss Up Strategy Discussion

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Originally Posted by tiger View Post
Pretty sure that is to do with one large ball only counting towards high hanging with a ball for one robot, not only 1 robot counting. If you can fit 2 robots on that bar....
This is correct. Even the scoring app allows for 4 robots to be hanging.
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Old 05-13-2013, 10:55 PM
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Re: VEX Toss Up Strategy Discussion

Quote:
Originally Posted by DracoTheDragon View Post
another thing to consider when hanging vs stashing large balls, your robot becomes a column goal when you hang. Whether it's worth the additional 5 to 10 points can depend on your hanging system. But by combining this with storing 2 of your opponent's bucky balls in your intake, your 15- 20 points can easily turn to 21 to 26 net points. With your ally wrecking your opponent's trying to stash, you may get an edge. But of course engineering difficulty should be considered. whether it's easier to develop a system to hang, or a system to protect your large balls, we'll only see
Well you're allowed to possess any number of large balls, so hoarding 4 of those and 3 of their buckyballs works...

Also, consider controlling the buckyball's position on the field without possessing more than 3 at a time. Take 3 of your balls out of a busy area and stash them in a corner while you try scoring another 3. Then it's less likely that opponents will go all the way over to hoard them.

If a team can knock a large ball off the barrier and score in the goals, would it be unlikely that they can't pick their buckyballs off the bridge if you put them there? Still, it's a good way to descore without carrying them all the way back to the hanging zone.
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:02 AM
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Re: VEX Toss Up Strategy Discussion

I'm seeing some good "tactics" ideas in this thread. But because this is a thread about "strategy", I would like to encourage contributors to do the extra work to move from discussing disjoint scoring methods and circumstances to fleshing out true strategies. Your teams, your allies and judges perception of your team will all benefit if you do it.

A true play-an-entire-match strategy has to be able to answer the "How will we respond" question in all situations you expect to encounter.

Some examples are:
- How will we respond when our opponent is faster than us at putting buckyballs into the hexagonal/cylindrical goals?
- How will we respond if we are behind by X points when there are 30 seconds left in the match?
- How will we respond if both we and our ally need to hang in to be effective?
- How will we respond if we are far ahead after 60 seconds into the match?
- How will we respond if our ally is squarebot with a plow?
- How will we respond if our ally is absent or doesn't move?
- How will we respond if an opponent is dedicated to defending defending/harassing us for the entire match?
- Etc.
Until you follow all of these sorts of branches in the tree of possible match situations/events, you don't really have a strategy (or you only have a trivial one) that can/will guide your actions as the match unfolds.

You might have some good thoughts (and some thinking is certainly better than showing up with none, and playing every match by the seat of your pants); but you won't have a true and complete (and really valuable!) strategy yet.

A good mental image for what you want to create is that of a (USA) football (or baseball) coach holding a game strategy outline on the sidelines during a game. For every important situation that coach expects to face during the game, they will have a set of plays listed that their team on the field has practiced; and they will choose one from that list to send into the huddle.

An example would be
- When its 4th and long inside the opponents 30, kick a field goal.
- When 3rd and goal, but outside the 5, and the other team has their pass defense in, run and option to the side opposite player X.
- If you receive the ball with less than 2 minutes to go in the first half, and are ahead, just run out the clock.
- etc.

A football team won't succeed if they say "Our strategy is to run the ball and play tough defense." Those are good things, and are the beginnings of a strategy, but they aren't a strategy yet; and a football team needs a start-to-finish-of-the-game, complete strategy.

When a football team, or a VRC team, does have a cohesive plan that answers the important questions about what they are going to do in all of the situations they to will see in their games/matches; then they have a strategy.

And, like I said above, when a VRC team has a true strategy, they, their allies, and the impression they will make on the judges, will all benefit.

So, continue this good tactics discussion, but don't stop here. Use what is here to help create your actual strategies.

Blake
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