Doing Everything

I understand doing everything in this game is indeed possible, and probably really advantageous if you want to win with bad alliance partners.
But as far as winning tournaments go, especially at world’s, is it better to try and do everything or just specialise in one aspect of the game? (for example, making a really effective catapult)
For the time being in smaller local competitions I think we’re going to go down the do everything route, but I’m interested to see what direction specialisation in designs will go this year.

I think doing everything at worlds will still be a better bet. The only situation I think it would be conceivable that this is not so is in vex U, since the teams make both robots on their side.

Whenever this topic comes up, I always think of Round Up.

At the Auckland regional competition, Eagle Engineering (visiting us from California) wowed the audience with their technique that they used to climb the ladder. It was very unique and it worked very well. However, it took quite a while compared to the method that most NZ teams were using which simply raised the arm (mostly 4 bars) and hooked a latch to the top, followed by pulling themselves up by lowering the arm. I (and probably others) considered the NZ method so effective for climbing the ladder that it didn’t really occur to me that the ladder may not actually be the most effective way of winning. The NZ method was so good, that I assumed we were doing it faster than the GDC could have imagined. Therefore we must be getting more points than we could be expected to if we focused on other activities. The flaw in that logic is that it assumes the GDC has assigned the perfect points value to every activity in the game. For Toss Up, I’m not certain that the GDC has assigned the perfect points value to every part of the game.

At the Round Up World Championships, many of the top NZ teams did very well, but in the end, the winning alliance included 44 Green Egg Robotics. I believe this was partially if not primarily because they had a robot that didn’t attempt to climb the ladder. This meant they reaped the advantages of designing a robot that could do one or two things exceedingly well.

I believe that the winning alliance for Toss Up will include at least one robot that is very unique and which is probably unable to win a match by itself. I imagine it will be paired with a more common style of robot that is more reliable than most of their opponents.

The other thing you have to consider is the fact that you can’t just “do everything”. You have to “do everything well” Often by trying to do everything, teams will build a less successful robot than a simpler one that was well within their means.

  • 1 to all of that.