Is capping posts worth it?


I think the title pretty much says it all, but I would like to get some community feedback about capping posts for this year’s game. I want to first off say that trade offs are always interesting to see in how these games develop, but it seems capping posts is going to be somewhat similar to high hanging in starstruck as not worth it when it comes to tournament game-play. The simple single motor arm beater to descore the capped posts requires much less resources than a mechanism to cap the post itself. For driver and especially programming skills capped posts are much more valuable, but should a younger/inexperienced team worry about that compared to a ball shooter. Giving up 6 points in skills doesn’t seem as valuable as focusing on well tuned shooters and a strong drivetrain and feeding system. Hopefully there can be some good strategy discussion on this.


No it’s not. It’s a lot of time wasted for only one point. However having s motor did a lift might still be worth it di you can descore and then rescore caps placed by your opponents


It’s 2 points for scoring on a post.


But you already have 1 just for it being on the ground so in the end you really only get one point


True. But if you can descore and rescore as your color something that’s already on the post, that’s a swing of 4 points.


Yes which is why I think it’s still worth it for at least one robot per alliance to have a lift. However it might be more worth it for the other robot to use that motor to enhance shooting


Capping posts is pretty good. Just be enlightened when scoring them and you will be fine


I would say it is. Teams could almost let their opponents do their work by scoring the caps, then come in to flip them (since the longest part of scoring a cap is getting it to the post). If the arm and flipping mechanism are both well tuned, it’ll be much faster. Fighting over caps wouldn’t be worth it though (i.e. if the opponent is playing defense, just go find another).
If you could only do one though, then I’d say flags, and use a beater for descoring.


There are 2 types of robots you could try. A cap bot that can’t do balls is one option, or you could build a well rounded bot that can’t high score caps. For a cap bot, I’d build a 6-8 motor chassis, linear lift, and cap flipper. Basically the strategy is just to put 2-3 caps on the posts, put the rest on the nearby floor tiles (though not in the corner so you’re not hoarding!), and guard them. Alternatively, you could do a well tuned ball bot with a 1-2 motor descoring arm for well rounded play.

Good luck!


Don’t forget to consider autonomous. It is unlikely that both robots on an alliance will have a flag autonomous, and you shouldn’t assume that your partner will do a cap for you during auto. By building a robot that can’t score caps, you cripple your autonomous before even creating it. A robot that scores caps and flags will also do much better in skills and makes you more attractive to alliance captains to be picked. De-scoring a cap with a simple lift might take slightly less time than it does to score it (especially at the start of the year), but it is still important.


I don’t think the autonomus bonus will be that swayed by non cap bots assuming they can quickly flip the two caps and then go for the middle post’s flags. Giving up the two additional points for the post cap is an interesting trade off though. I think the cap flippers will not work quite as well as simply the other teams just won’t score on the high posts. The defending cap bot is really intriguing though, my worry with that one is during qual matches they could lose to flag alliances. With the 8 motor v5 limit, v4 connections issues(b01), and this being a back and forth game the trade offs are pretty big. Lots of great points in the thread so far thank you everyone.

Another point(might make a new thread for this) even though it isn’t always thought of is how would it impact the judging. Having been a judge during events which my teams do not participate in, many judges do not like it when a team completely ignores a portion of the game.


I don’t think scoring caps on posts during autonomous would be worth it - even though it is a potential 4-point swing, it might be challenging to collect the cap, line up with the post and score it consistently in autonomous. Besides, shooting a high flag on the column closest to your own team would be a 4-point swing by itself already and is probably much easier because of the preload.

Even for a robot specializing in balls, it is definately still important to at least be capable of flipping low/ground-scored caps very rapidly. I’ve seen some teams do so using their roller intakes. A descoring arm (“beater”) like that on 8059D should also be able to do so fairly well, with the added advantage of being able to descore the posts. It might be easier and more time-efficient for such robots to simply flip two caps on the ground instead of scoring one cap on the high post, especially since they can do so very easily along the way when moving into position to shoot balls.


I think at least in the early season balls will be important. Towards the end it will come down to being able to do both objects


Only scoring flags will always limit your autonomous. There is no room for two robots to shoot close range shots, so one will be shooting full field. This may be possible with a preload, but I would argue that after collecting a second ball, it is just as hard if not harder than scoring on a post. Given the incredible programming skills routines we saw this year, I believe that scoring two caps on posts will be commonplace for experienced teams. 15s is plenty of time, and careful design that incorporates built in lineup will make posts in auto easy. I don’t believe in a cap only robot, but think that doing both is necessary.


I would strongly agree with this portion of your quote. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if a beater arm becomes the “meta” rather than just a cap arm and a shooter. With the beater arm you can descore the cap in half of the time it takes the other team to score it, and in that extra time you can get ahead in the flag battle. In the end, you will have the advantage in the flag game and you can make sure there are no caps scored at the end of the match.


While this sounds solid right now im sure that robots that do caps will somewhat adapt if the descoring things become popular. If a robot wants to heavily focus on caps then it could possibly play defense really hard to keep the descoring robots away from the poles.

Also an interesting point brought up by Lachlan from team 240P:

Teams build robots to score caps -> teams build descoring arms, caps on poles are now useless -> teams take off descoring arms because nobody is scoring caps -> teams build robots to score caps -> etc etc

The way i see it this game is either going to get stuck in that cycle or teams will just always keep descoring pieces so caps are never scored on posts, unless they change something about caps on poles it will be more difficult to score them on poles (and have them worth something at the end of the match) then at first glance.


This cycle has already started and it excites me lol


It is worth it


Single-bar descoring mechanisms almost definitely cannot get caps off the high posts, so you could lock up four points that way.


Enclosed is a picture of 8059D’s robot. As you can see, their robot can knock a cap off of a high post.
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