There’s been a noticeable lack of discussion around what sort of strategies will be the most competitive this year, namely how much will strategies focus on rings versus goals, so I’m starting this topic to change that.
First lets take a look at the actual point values for each item:
- 20 points for being in home zone.
- 40 points for being balanced on the platform.
200 points available using just goals, if you somehow balance 5 on the platform.
- 1 point in the base of a goal
- 3 points on low branches and alliance goal posts
- 10 points on high branches
it’s a little bit harder to determine how many points are available just from scoring rings, for the sake of discussion I’m going to assume that 4 rings can fit on each branch and 8 rings on the alliance goals, and that rings in the base of a goal will be ignored altogether because it’s obviously not worth your time to do that.
so with that in mind I’m going to say 280 points are realistically available from rings. (108 for high branches, 324 for low branches, 16*3 for alliance goals)
I think it’s pretty clear looking at these values that the goals offer the biggest point values for the time spent, however rings also have a lot of potential for points.
my current opinion is that a robot needs to be able to control a few goals, but should be spending most of the match working on rings. Here’s my reasoning why:
if you can gain possession of the tall goal during auton, that’s really valuable. I think it’s a good idea to grab and hold onto that goal for the entire match. Both because it deprives your opponents of the goal and all it’s potential pointage, and because it has the potential to earn so many points for your alliance.
I think that you should be able to stack rings onto the tall goal while you’re carrying it around, that way you never have to set it down and risk it falling over or your opponent stealing it. I also think that you should be able to externally stack on alliance goals while still carrying the tall goal, that way you can still score some points once you’ve filled up the top and possibly lower branches on the tall goal. The reason why alliance goals are important is because they’re safe points, and a fair amount too. if you can fill up both your alliance goals with 8 rings each, that’s a good 48 points. not a ton, but still decent.
I don’t think the two short neutral goals are very useful for stacking rings on, since you won’t be able to do it internally if you’re carrying the tall goal, and if you do it externally your opponents can just steal the goal and all your points.
I also don’t think climbing the platform is actually that good of an idea. I think that instead you should be lifting goals onto the platform from the side, for a few reasons. First of all, you have 30 whole seconds where you can do this without your opponents being able to descore the goals. That’s enough time for you to put up both your alliance goals and potentially a neutral goal. Also not climbing means you just don’t have to deal with pulling it down, and fiddling around on it, trying to get you and possibly your partner to balance on shaky, pivoting platform. And it means you have extra time during that end game period where you can score more points, or take away points from your opponent. If both your opponents are busy parking during the last 30 seconds, I strongly believe you can gain more net points during that time just by yourself than both of them would from their parking bonuses.
Now, it seems like a lot of people are thinking about going for a goal-exclusive robot. I think this is a perfectly viable strategy, it’s obvious that goals are worth a ton of points for something seemingly easy to do. Except I don’t think that it will be easy to consistently win matches with a goal only strategy. The biggest problems I have with ignoring rings is the logistic challenge of carrying 4 or 5 goals around, and the massive risk this strategy has. If you can get 4 or 5 goals up on the platform, then great, you win. But how exactly are you going to be able to do that against an opponent that will try to stop you? With a goal only robot, it’s a hit or miss strategy. All your points will be earned in one maneuver, collecting most of the goals and bringing them up the platform. But if one part of that maneuver goes wrong, your strategy fails. If your opponents end up getting to the goals before you do, if they succeed in blocking you from climbing your platform, or even if you by yourself fail at completing the maneuver, all is lost.
But if you distribute your points in many different ways, by scoring rings on both the neutral goals and alliance goals, bringing goals onto the platform, and into your home zone, and having the option to steal points from your opponents at the end instead of balancing means that if one part of your strategy doesn’t go to plan (and lets be real, this almost always happens) then you have plenty of other sources of points to still have a good shot at winning. And because of the wide array of viable designs and strategies this year, I think the winning robots will be the ones that can adapt to any opponent and score points in the most possible ways.
But this is just my thoughts on the strategy for this game, I made this topic for the sake of discussing the many strategic options this season offers, what do you guys think about the importance of rings versus goals in your strategy?