fun with strategy...

Hello again everybody…

There’s been quite a bit of discussion about robot types and various strategies that one can use in SACK ATTACK. There seems to be more interest in offensive strategies ( or a mix of offense and defense) instead of purely defensive robots (which really makes sense).

The question is this:

What about the high goals? I’m assuming that what what most people mean by a mix of offense and defense is a robot that can score AND descore with ease. So wouldn’t it be more effective to focus more on descoring an entire enemy scoring area, as opposed to placing one or two on the high goal?

I’m not trying to negatively judge the use of the high goals, I’m just trying to see what other people might think about it.

Did you compete in cleansweep?
If not watch this video of the science division finals


my middle school team 918 couldnt score in traingles
Green Egg could
That year Green Egg wasnt that much better in the traditional sense than most teams but they could “descore” everything and score points most people overlooked.
If you see people on the forums talking about this will turn into cleansweep because most teams wont do it but the good ones will. They are talking about this type of match. Also teams that are talking about high goal are not planning on losing any descore capability there trying to do everything.

I would suggest focusing on the troughs early in the season then see if you can keep your bot at max efficiency while improving or adding a mechanism that can assuredly score the high goal, but do this at your own risk because I don’t think scoring only one or two up there is a great use of time this year.

Remember though, the triangle goals in Clean Sweep couldn’t be descored, whereas the high goals in Sack Attack can.

That said, its worth considering that if the high goals take more time to score than the troughs, they also probably take more time to descore, and they will also be very easy to overlook and forget about.

I can’t give a definitive opinion on whether I think scoring the high goal is “worth it” or not, because I haven’t seen the difference in efficiency at scoring the troughs between robots that have a capability of scoring the high goal and those that don’t. At the moment, my team’s robot is scoring the high goal.

I agree that Green Eggs’ ability to score in the triangular goals did make a big difference, but the mechanism used to do so was a secondary add-on that didn’t subtract from their main pursuit of points: picking up and dumping objects. I don’t think the high goal this year should be completely ignored, but it also should not be the main focus of your design and strategy.

Yet, the next year they couldn’t score on the high goals or hang, and absolutely demolished all other competition. I think it really depends on the game, and we haven’t had enough experience with this game yet to fully determine what is going to be the best strategy.

GER couldn’t score on the high goals in Round Up? That seems illogical to me. Once they had dumped all of the low goals, what did they do?

I was also surprised to see that Fred IV didn’t have a cheater-tube mechanism…

I see what you a re saying and agree that it would be better to descore a lot rather than score a little in a high scoring area.

But I think a big thing that you are missing is that it is entirely possible to score way more than just one or two in a high goal. Based on the tests that my team has done, a robot could easily put 10 or more sacks in the high goal and still protect them.

They didn’t really need to do anything except block. And yes, they used the cheater tube sometimes.

Well, once they had scored and protected all of the low goals… I assume they just won.

I agree completely. Also I think you may be overlooking the fact that some bots will be able to score and descore the troughs just as quickly as anyone else, and score the high goal as well. This is what the ideal robot will look like.

Also it is worth mentioning that to descore the high goal, an opponent will need to be able to drive under the trough and reach thirty inches. While some robots will be able to do this, many will not.

Permanent points, people.

When Green Eggs scored in the Clean sweep high goals, those were permanent, and couldn’t be dumped back onto their side of the field. When they put the bases in the ladder, that was effectively permanent too so no one could descore them and they gained a 7-13 point leg up on the other team. In Gateway… well their wall bot stopped people from getting access to their goals, but there was no descoring so it was more about initial resource acquisition than keeping those points scored.

This year, there’s not too many sources of permanent points, except the autonomous bonus and the parking bonus, but they’re just so small even in comparison to the game scores at a mediocre level. 10 pts is 2 sacks in the trough, or 1 bonus sack, or 1 sack in the high goal.

Now the question is: how is it possible to make the points that you’ve taken the time to score, permanent?

after they scored and dumped all the movable goals, its pretty much GG
they just descored the remaining high goals and let their partner score some

This is an excellent question.

I did compete in clean sweep and I do agree that permanent points are the way to go, if it’s possible. I think the closest someone could get to having permanent points is to grab a bunch of objects, and then dump them all in a scoring area in the last second (to minimize descoring). Of course, the guys from 1107B know all about that…

Anyway, I was thinking about it, and I don’t think it would be that easy to descore the high goals. That piece of plastic separating the two high goals pretty much means you have to either go under the bridge or reach across at a really weird angle…

We all agree that re-scoring points from trough to trough is a good strategy, but what about re-scoring points from high goal to high goal? That would be pretty impressive, especially if it could all be done from your own side. Meaning you wouldn’t have to fit under 15".

Fitting under 15" is a good idea for reasons other than the high goal, though. If you can’t go under the troughs, then your opponents could come to your side of the field, pick up as many of your bean bags as possible, and then they’d go back to their side. Then, they’d have all the time in the world to clean up their half of the field, while you are effectively starved of objects.

This is only true if you’re either assuming that the robot that cannot go under the trough also cannot descore, or that your opponent will be dumping everything at the end. Otherwise, they could just take sacks out of their opponent’s troughs and score them. However, if your opponent is planning to score all the points at the end, then being able to go under the trough would be valuable.

It will be an advantage in some situations to go under the trough, and although not a game breaker, why not be able to do it if you can? Although, if that extra three inches can get you something to descore your opponent’s high goal from your side, it might be worth it.

The opponents wouldn’t really need to hoard to dump, so they could just leave piles of sacks on their side of the field (completely inaccessible to you) and then score these piles one at a time. One could score in the trough, and the other could vigorously defend from descorers.

I think it is perfectly possible to build a robot that can descore the opponents high goal without going under the trough while staying under 15". Is this really necessary though? If you build a robot that is fast enough you could easily slip under the through and descore from their side then go back and score on your side.

I have to agree with PaulR here, it is going to cost quite a bit of weight on the end of the arm to extend/fold out a de-scorer, then also consider that if you drive to their side you can keep the objects you de-score, which saves you the time it would take to intake all the objects up there of the ground, the only time it would come in useful is if a bot were playing dedicated defence on a stack of 10 or so (incredibly well balanced) sacks on the high goal.