How Common are Pre-Chosen Alliances?

So, my team averaged 11th place this year when participating in tournaments of 40-60 teams. Not high enough to be a winning alliance when choosing, but not high enough to be picked by the really high-up teams.

It was my first year as captain of a relatively inexperienced team, and I foresee us doing a lot better next year. My question is how should we approach alliance selection? For the past few years, we have always gone around and talked to teams that we think might pick us, depending on what place we end up in. How often are alliances pre-chosen alliances of teams they’re friends with, or from the same school? Should we even bother asking other teams to pick us? My team and one of our other teams will be trying to work with us more closely next year, but we will definitely be the better robot, as there is yet another experience gap.

On another note, how often do the 1-5 seed teams coordinate with each other before selection? On the chance we get to a high seed, I don’t want to be blindsided and lose the good position we may be in. Thanks!

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I try to talk to teams online and build connections WAY ahead of time. If we both do well, we might pair up. Makes it really easy to talk to them and stuff. At my last comp, I had a couple of teams looking at me, and I was looking at another couple of teams down the line.

Pre-comp scouting makes this pretty easy. I like to talk to my friends and their teams early on so that I don’t accidentally blend in with the alliance-beggars. (Who I actually love to talk to)

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Yes, yes, a thousand times yes. Only the most well put together teams do much methodical scouting. And a team coming to talk with a story about why their performance in one match or another was substandard has a better shot than a team that falls over but doesn’t go tell the top alliances that they added an anti-tip at lunch. (For example.) It also gives you an opportunity to show off that your drive team understands the game and can work with a partner to produce a winning strategy.

And as for how you should choose your Alliance partner when you’re in a position to pick, it depends on whether winning or playing with your friends is more important to your team. If you care about winning, just pick the bot that you think will be the best partner, and don’t worry about whether it’s your friends from your club’s other teams driving it or not. That being said, wanting to play with your friends is a perfectly valid desire, but do be sure that everyone is on board with possibly sacrificing some of your shot at winning to play with a specific team.


How would I start building relationships with other teams online? Sorry, I’m a bit new to being the “social butterfly” of the group.

I’m the driver and main builder, so we should be ok on that front. Thanks!

Like you are right now. I’d reach out to teams in your area via the forums for starters. I’m on an Ohio Discord (Ohio is too OP), and there might be something similar in your area.

Between end Qual and before selection, I tell my teams to talk to the teams they want to pick and to the teams they don’t want picking them. These are usually teams they have been talking to all season. During Qual rounds is when they lobby other teams. These are usually teams the don’t know well. If you wait until just before selection you won’t have enough time to convince a team you’re good enough to be picked. Most EPs only leave 15 minutes for negotiations.

I was really light on manpower at my last competition (only me…), so I used a connection of mine who did some spectacular scouting (shoutout to 2011C!), but ended up going with the team right above us because our autons worked well together.

I can’t find any discords for the state of Georgia. Maybe I should create one? Glad to know I’m on the right path.

Good to know, thank you. I’ll make sure to start out early, then.

I might try to reach out some more first. Maybe ask on the big Vex Discord to be sure. But, if it still doesn’t exist, go for it! It’ll really help to get your name out there!

I’ll try to become a bit more active on the forum first, as I made this account a week ago. I’ll hold off on making the discord for a little bit, in that case.

One of the things teams do when they are not sure who to pick is look at OPR, DPR, and CCWM on Vex Via. The teams I mentor don’t have as good of scores as the could since they play the SP game to control their rank. They are very near the top but usually not 1st. (You should play the SP game at tournaments you think you can rank high…top 4.) If they drop in likely rank (loose more than one match) they revert to dominate as much as possible to boost those ratings. If you’re not a great AP team just dominate as much as possible.

The other thing teams look at is Skills Driver score. For this game you can score 17 points without shooting a high flag or placing a high cap. So teams that can get at least 21 points must be able to hit 2 high flags (and therefore pick up balls) or score multiple high caps fast. With these higher points you also know they have a good driver and a fast robot.

If you’re good at either of these, make the teams you want picking you aware early on.

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Maybe also the Skills Programming score - if they have at least 6-9 points in TP, that indicates they are likely to have a decent scoring auton in the regular game. The more skills points for programming they have, the more likely it is they likely have multiple autons for the game (from what we’ve seen).

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Agreed, but I would want to see a 10 or 11 since you get 6 for center parked. And most teams are probably running the first part of match auton from the left red starting square followed by a park. Since hit flags from the right red square is harder, I’d be more interested in a team that can to that w/ a alliance park.


also if you can find a good team that consistently does well at comps that you see a lot, it can be extremely valuable to build up a good relationship and then you guys can team up at every comp. And of course, the more well known your team is the better. make your pit stand out. make good connections.


Make sure you keep track of how you are performing on all aspects of the game. Track this event to event and see how you are changing over time. Having this knowledge is useful for talking to other teams to “sell yourself”. Example - our girls built a pretty well rounded robot this year. It moves faster than in previous years, They have a pretty good shooter and are decent at shooting. However they have a pretty high scoring auton. Since January, they are 76% in auton wins, and 92% in the last two matches. Using actual stats with performance at the match to back that up, you can get noticed. Way too many times, our team has been told one thing from a partner but actual performance of the partner was way different.

This year, they printed business cards with a blank back. They used this back to write stats on their robot and capabilities so they can hand potential partners something to keep their number in front of them.

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Agree. Make sure your team is known and remembered with a booth, business cards, handouts, etc. Earlier this year we got wristbands made and we just got stickers printed with our logo so hoping these get stuck on other teams shirts and such.

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Check your PMs, I sent you a link to the GA discord. In Georgia, at least among the better teams, alliances are chosen almost exclusively beforehand.

Here in the small state of SD 90% of our alliances are just with the other teams from your club. 8410C and 8410B tend to ally, same as 9050 teams ally with each other.
This is a common strategy here so Pre-Chosen alliances are the majority of alliances.