After competing and watching this years game ,Nothing But Net, it seems that the majority of teams choose full courting their scoring strategy. For the most part this strategy has work out very well for the beginning part of the game since the point values where so low. However I think as the season gets closer to Vex Worlds full courting doesn’t seem necessary as it seems and this is why. First off the counter proposal strategy would be for two robots to just run cycles on the from the human feeding station to the goal once the field is clear. This may seem crazy to some but eventually the field will be clear within the first minute of the game (this is already starting to happen) this gives both teams time to run 3 cycles each in 1 minute or more which is plenty of time and could potentially increase overall accuracy of teams scoring. Second you can dedicate more resources to others subsystems such as lifters, better intakes, or other subsystems which I think is more valuable as it could make robots better at clear the field which are the only not guaranteed points or just get more free points such as lifting. Again this is my personal opinion on the subject I have been waving on both sides of the idea until now so please feel free to help point out flaws in my idea or pros from the other point of view thank you for your time.
Using DCLs is very important for winning matches, but I agree that it definitely isn’t enough in most regions anymore. I would say that the minimum at this point, is to have it be a field scoring robot as well. Your robot should be capable of scoring with 2 of the 3 methods in this year’s game (DCLs, Field, and lifting). In an alliance, you should try to have all 3 aspects between the 2 robots. Preferably, the trait you should have in common is field scoring. In my opinion, this is the best that can be done this year.
I think it goes without saying (and please don’t say “Then why are you saying it?”) that the object of the game is to obtain the highest score possible. Given the limited time per match, this directly translates into “score as many points per second as possible.” Some of the highest scores I have seen with a suitable alliance on each side are in the range of 310 or 320. Since there are 120 seconds in a match counting autonomous, this averages to about 2.6 points per second. Given that many high-end teams are able to achieve fire rates of match loads of 0.5 seconds with 90% accuracy, they are scoring an average of 9 points per second, which is about 3.5 times the average score. Sure, @PuppetMaster_Boopington, maxing out the field of field balls is quite possible, but I believe there was an error in your timing logic.
Well, there’s actually only 1 minute and 45 seconds of driver control, which would mean that with the field cleared in a minute, there would only be 45 seconds to shoot all of the match loads and elevate. Even the most effective elevation systems can only elevate in 4-5 seconds, not to mention that both teams on the alliance need to drive over to the loading zone and preferably leave a bit of breathing room so that a minuscule driving error doesn’t cause the alliance to lose 50 points. Even the fastest drive bases can only drive across the entire field in 3-4 seconds, and, even with only 5 seconds of breathing room (still cutting it pretty fine), this adds up to about 12 seconds to elevate. Since 45-12=33, there are now only 33 seconds to score all of the driver loads. 3 seconds to actually load the preloads into the bot plus 3 seconds to drive across the field plus 2 seconds to shoot the four preloads plus another 3 seconds to drive back is 11 seconds per cycle, which means that it would take exactly 33 seconds to shoot all of the preloads. However, remember that it is possible to play defense, the two robots on the same alliance run a risk of bumping into each other, and the two robots on the same alliance can’t both be shooting preloads at the same time because there is only one position right up against the “bar.” Basically, even if a mathematically ideal team can somehow run a consistent 11 second, 4 preload routine on a practice field, they have no chance of replicating it under competition conditions.
It is definitely true that extra motors and pistons can be devoted to other subsystems on the robot if they are not being used to assist full field shooting, but how necessary are these subsystems? I’ve never seen a competition launcher using 1 motor, so let’s assume that your “layup- shot launcher” runs off of two motors, while other full-field mechanism use 4. V Baffle’s shooting mechanism is able to achieve an 0.25 second fire rate with very high accuracy and only 3 motors, and other similarly insane launching mechanisms will continue to emerge as we move closer to worlds, but that’s beside the point I’m trying to make. This means that you only save 2 motors. 2 motors! Are you really willing to decrease your preload firing rate by 550% to save 2 motors? I mean, is there really an intake out there that is cleanly better than top rollers but requires 3 motors rather than 1? What about an elevation mechanism that can’t possibly use a transmission that gives it 4 motors from the launcher but can somehow run off of 2 regular motors? These subsystems simply do not exist.
As for “other subsystems,” I’m not really sure about a design that needs a subsystem that can’t score any points. As far as I have seen, the only necessary subsystems are a lift, an intake, a drive, a feeder system of some sort, and a launcher. As far as defense or turrets go, they may help a little bit, but they can’t possibly grant such a huge advantage that they are worth sacrificing 550% of the fire rate. This is especially true for a robot that can only shoot “lay- up shots,” as a turret is then completely useless because the robot isn’t able to shoot from anywhere else on the field anyways.
At the end of the day, you brought up some interesting points. And I think it is definitely true that one robot on an alliance that can’t shoot full-court isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But it’s simply inefficient to score preloads from the lay-up zone, even with an extra two motors to devote to other things. In my opinion, worlds will be a mixture of lay-up shooters and base-tile shooters that can all elevate and play the field. That will ally with each other in elimination. But the idea that being able to shoot from the base tile removes a huge advantage of improvements to other subsystems is simply not one supported by evidence from match scores and awards.
Sorry for the excessive length of this post; it’s 1 AM as I’m writing this.
This is a very good point and something I have been wondering as well. In case you haven’t seen our robot, it is DEFINITELY a base shooter at the time. However, I have run practice rounds at home and have personally near cleared the field by myself… this is back when we had a two motor drive. With our sister team at home we can consistently clear the field and fire off our match loads (although they can be inaccurate thanks to used balls). It is not my intention to brag in this respect because I know that many teams are able to achieve this; however, what I am trying to say is that the lay-up match loads I believe is at least viable. If you think about it this way, imagine four dedicated field robots on the field, two of the robots only have to make two trips to the bar while the other two only need to make three (after autonomous). That is not very much, especially with these ridiculous drive speeds showing up! In the end I think this is a very possible although to ensure winning in qualifications when paired with robots that cannot clear the field, your robot should be able to wipe the field before anyone can get there, or be able to base shoot as well. Lifting would also be helpful, although the real powerhouses are the launchers right now, but I expect to see more lifting capability coming soon.
I don’t think full court shooting is going to win games, but it is still super important. the important part of robots this year (in my opinion anyway) is accuracy. being efficient with the limited number of balls and not wasting any. so by the time you get to worlds most teams will be pretty accurate, say 80-90%
and by the time you get to the high levels at worlds maybe 90-98% with those percentages, the base shooters will score almost the same number of points. that is, full court shooters will contribute equally to each team, and their scores will more or less cancel out. so who wins comes down to how you do on the field, but you still need to do the full court shooting
I think the simple answer to this is that well balanced alliances are finally important.
No. Only full court shooting even with feeding is not fast enough to fight for ball possession early in a match.
From what I see, the choke hole strategy right now is to score more points with balls on the field, provided that both alliances can easily score most of the 24 cross field shots.
If one alliance gets more balls into their goal than the other and they get equally as many driver loads scored as the opponent, they are mostly guaranteed a win. That’s why you see all four bots going straight for movement and come back for full court after the court is cleared out.
However, elevation is still not very common to see at this point. Don’t know how well that will affect the game.
I’m starting to think about the best alliance build now. Bots can’t do everything, and admit it, it is quite hard to do reliable full court, close court and elevation lift on one robot. Not every team is disco or 118 or simbots, what have you.
So my thinking is that, all bots need close quarter dynamic scoring. In addition to that, it’s wise to make a decision between adding an elevation lift or full court launching ability. Bots with full court will score and farm better in quals than bots with elevation, but they need elevation bot as well in elimination.
It might be a bad idea to build a robot that does only elevation and full court launching.
All theoretical reasoning and hypothesis.