Our qualifying regional tournaments have all finished so we are now starting to think of how the game will play at Worlds and Nationals (US for us) this year. My team members and I have been on the forum frequently and have seen some great robots that can do everything i.e. 2915A, 2941, 323Z, 4886A and others at Asia Pacific. In the last couple of regionals the teams that hadn’t qualified from our club and others in Wisconsin tried to make renditions of those style of robots but they didn’t qualify. Another type that they weren’t very good did.
In the last three regionals the champions had a team on their alliance known to as a push bot. They were usually in the lower half of the rankings and consisted of a powerful drive and ability to dump a lot on one trough and protect it. The main capability of this robot was in its name. All it did was push.
The champions were usually the top team at the end of qualification matches and they would select a team that strength was to be a push bot. Then in the playoffs they would use that bot to execute a block autonomous on the better team on the other alliance then during the match the push bot would take that robot out of the match either by blocking it, trapping and pinning it legally, or just making itself like a wall. This strategy then allowed the robot that could do it all on the have to beat a robot picked by the other alliance as a second selection. It was usually the #1 team against the 4th,5th, or 6th best team and the number one team could just beat them by descoring faster and scoring points faster every time and the 2nd best team (which was us a couple times) was compromised in a corner and couldn’t do anything.
Would this strategy of be feasible like the wall bot and NZ bot paring last year at the big tournaments or is something else going to be better at winning.
I think an elite alliance consists of a large dumper that can rescore very well, and a good strong defensive robot that can descore and push. I also think that both robots need to be able to go under the trough, that way they can sit under them and guard (you must be able to do this if you want to win. We found this out at our last tournament).
I don’t think robots with low capacity will be very good at Nationals or Worlds. If you can be fast and score a lot, you will have a good chance at winning.
In every tournament we’ve won we have picked the 2nd seed, or the best robot (in some cases they had bad luck and lost 1 or 2 matches) and then as a 2nd pick, we try to pick a robot which can descore, any amount is good, and that can basically cover our trough and block the other robots. At worlds, since this year it was much harder to qualify, I think all the robots you pick should be able to have a good score and descore, with blocking. There are always those robots that can have bad luck all day, but once they fix a bug, it can turn into a winning robot.
Although this is an effective strategy at regionals because lower ranked robots often cannot score quickly, I believe worlds will be a different story.
A well-made efficiency bot can block effectively. My robot can’t push anyone, but it can cover the trough extremely well and if it turns sideways the high traction wheels are incredibly difficult to push.
Good defense is an important quality, but a “normal” robot can accomplish this minus the pushing. A “push bot” is better than a robot with a sub-par intake that can only score a few sacks and can’t play good defense (ex: clawbot), making it a decent choice for regionals, but I doubt we will be seeing one picked at worlds. Even if it can mostly shut down one of its opponents, it is unlikely it will be able to entirely, leaving its team at a disadvantage if the two other robots can both play the game equally.
The best strategy is to have two robots capable of scoring and descoring very effectively. Then your opponents cannot really block your attempts to do either. This was the case for many matches that my school played in. We are able to essentially empty the field and empty a trough in less than three seconds so many other teams attempted to block us but, could never do it effectively with two of our teams allianced.
I think at the worlds level, if you put a push bot against a very high efficiency scoring bot (with a good drive team), they will be able to defeat the push bot. For example when ever we practice at school we always have a push bot (10 motor drive on High speed mode) playing defense on us. Though it does slow us down, in most cases we end up going on to the other side of the field, and getting around the push bot. I mean this strategy might work in the regional level, but i think if you put a push bot against 2915 or 2941 it wouldn’t slow them down that much (considering they are super skilled drivers).
Several pushbots competed in Michigan this year, but I’ve observed that 2 high-efficiency robots can usually outplay one high-efficiency robot, even when one of the 2 is being harassed by a pushbot. And, if your alliance partner has been taken out of the game, and you can’t 1v1 the other opponent, you can always resort to defense against that opponent and force a 0v0. If your ally can get a few points, you can win.
Watching videos from APAC, and other examples of offensive gameplay, I will note that the ability to defend your goals and stop your opponent from descoring is almost as important (if not more important) as the ability to descore. I’ve seen great scoring/descoring robots be defeated quite decisively by mass-dumpers that can defend their mega-pile of sacks.
i still think a really good “blocker” style bot with a skilled driver can NULL an entire efficiency bot.
if the “block” bot just drive parallel to the troughs creating a “moving wall” between the efficiency bot and the troughs, i dont see how the efficiency bot can get close to the troughs to score or even cross to the other side?
and thats assuming both robots have extremly talented drivers and “dukeing” around isnt an option
and the “blockbot” can just be a typical efficiency bot playing defensive maneuvers… not necessarily a only-defenceive design
For the sake of the competition at worlds and nationals, I sure hope that the amount of ramming is down significantly from last year’s worlds and nationals. The ramming really decreased the enjoyment for a lot of teams last year, my team included.