We are running our first event this week and saw a few single robot balanced bridges. It is a shame that the balancing of a single robot is worth the same as a not balanced one. Any chance we could get a new scoring category? Maybe 10 points for a single balanced.
My take on this is that it would be against the spirit of the teamwork game.
IMHO the most common reason for a single robot balanced isn’t a robot mastery, but rather the fact that many teams practice alone and then are not prepared to cooperate with their alliance on scaling the ramp.
I have seen too many matches where one team claimed the bridge quite early in the match, balanced it and triumphantly put their controller down, ignoring, or not understanding their alliance partner cries to let them on. The game this year is very well designed to promote the teamwork and such a modification would undermine this achievement.
I like your take on it nenik!
I agree that we shouldn’t need to reward a single robot parked balanced on the ramp while competing in alliance.
However, I feel this year’s game failed by assigning too high of point reward for double parking balanced. Because of the relatively high score of balancing two robots on the ramp, I am starting to witness more and more matches where all the players do is spend 1 minute to balance the robots - and not attempt to do anything else.
It makes sense for them to do this since their robots is limited, but it completely destroys the game. Tournament officials are even stopping the match with 30 or 40 seconds remaining because both drivers have parked and put down their joystick.
Are you seeing similar behavior in your area?
YES! That is exactly our problem with this year’s point system. It is very aggravating to have your team spend hours of time designing and practicing with a robot that can score high goals and then be beat by an alliance with a Clawbot that doesn’t ever touch a ball but hangs out waiting to park balanced. I truly think the heavy point value of the balanced double robot parking encourages teams to almost bypass working with balls altogether in favor of parking. We now spend the majority of our alliance practice time between matches working on bridge balancing and the question of “what can your robot do with the balls” has become practically irrelevant for all but a few heavy hitters. IMO, this defeats the spirit of the game and vastly limits alliance team strategies. At this point, I don’t think I’ve seen a match where anyone has done anything other than mess with the wall balls and then park, and often it is only 1 of the teams messing with the balls.
I personally really like the point system the way it is. The top robots WILL be able to do both. I really like how the design process has to take into play how to balance the ramp with another robot. From the beginning, we have encouraged our teams to (a) figure out how to balance the ramp. (b) figure out how to balance the ramp with any other robot © figure out how to manipulate balls (d) figure out how to score balls (e) figure out how to manipulate the ramp. I also like how the clawbot is able to do all of these things, which leads to an easy entry point for new teams. But, without modification, the teams that are only using a clawbot will not raise to the upper tier of robots. I personally feel this game is MUCH harder than last year’s game, but I see that as a benefit. It has really pushed my teams to innovate and discover new ways of doing things.
I’ve gone to 4 tournaments (as a coach) with a team that can consistently score 65 in driver skill (by themselves). In 45 matches, they have yet to score more than 63. Their average tournament-winning score is 50, and their average match score is 38.
I may be seeing this from the other side of the bridge, but yes, I agree that the bridge is worth a very large number of points. It’s impossible for a team to do well by themselves, unless they can cooperate with their alliance.
I wouldn’t change a thing.
I really like it they way it is.
I don’t want a team to have an incentive to not get both robots on the bridge. They have no incentive to give up on their alliance partner.
It is a much different game this year between the teamwork matches and the skills matches. I have a group that can score all of the hexballs off of the fence into their respective high goals, which is working well for skills, but for teamwork they are struggling with what to do with the extra time because they are not good with the hexballs on the floor.
Parking is the ONLY thing that you have to do with your partner, and must be worth a lot because of it.
It is good the way it is. I think much consideration has gone into strategy and teamwork.
As with all previous games, each robot/design is good for something and how the team uses it is part of strategy. It is well exemplified by the experiences above.