NZ Starstruck Event Thread

Hi all,

For the past few years I’ve been writing up reports on Auckland Scrimmages to try make what happens here a little less secretive. In the past NZ, in general, has provided some of the strongest robots in the world and we hope that this year will be no different. This year I wasn’t going to post information because there seemed to be a lack of interest from the community and I’d rather not fill up the forum with posts that people don’t care about. However, at the same time, there is a lot of information I share about scrimmages early season to try help out other teams, volunteers and EP’s to try get their own events running more smoothly. So I will continue to post for the time being and if I feel there is a lack interest as the season progresses, I will stop.

To start with I’d like to look at a couple of the big changes to the season: Skills and APs.

Skills at this stage is still tricky. As the official manual isn’t due out for another few weeks, most of this will be speculatory, however it isn’t baseless. We’ve already seen the thread about how the awards appendix has been updated to show that programming and robot skills score will be combined to determine the winner. With this in mind plus what has been said over the past week at the EP Summit, this looks to be true. Whether this is our top individual score from multiple events or top combined score is still unknown. Both have their pros and cons, but I’m not going to talk about those. What this means is that completing both sets of skills is, all of a sudden, much more important. This is the kind of change that should create more balanced robots and I for one welcome the change.

The inclusion of APs are the other big change from previous seasons. Just like the combination of skills I feel it is an attempt to create a more balanced robotics program and puts more emphasis on the parts of the competition that REC feel has been lacking. Once again this is a change I personally welcome. I feel the old system of ranking off SPs was broken so a change is good. In terms of what this has changed at scrimmages I have already seen teams that usually don’t attempt autonomous at all have basic autonomous functions in an attempt to climb up the rankings ladder. Having all robots actually move during autonomous even at small early scrimmages is nice to see.

Moving on from these points I’ll try put our scrimmages into a bit of context. Early Auckland events are small events with 12-30 teams. This year all Auckland events prior to Nationals will be held at schools, last year we had use a of a University space, which allowed events up to 50 teams. Unfortunately, we could not get access this season. The big team names that I mention all the time have changed. We have a lot of new students coming up and trying to fill big shoes, so at the moment there hasn’t been any stand out teams. I don’t see this as a negative, I believe that the fact there are constantly new students coming through is positive and I’m sure they will challenge each other so that we will have World Champions again soon.

At this point in time we’ve had two scrimmages.

The first of which was held at Onehunga High School. This was a small event with 13 teams competing. On top of this we had an overseas visitor, Justin (ex1615 Worlds Finalist in Sack Attack and now VEXU BNS) so it was nice to catch up with him. The event came down to a third match final with the 4th seeded alliance of 2900 (Onehunga High School) and 2918E (Glenfield College) beating Second seed of 7682 (Wingus & Dingus) and 2915D (Lynfield College) 23-18. As I said this was a small scrimmage and there was a fair bit of prototyping going on. Congratulations to the winning alliance and thank you to Onehunga for hosting.

The latest Scrimmage was held at Kristin School today. 26 teams competed from 12 different organisations. There was a bit of a debacle at the end of the semi-finals with a DQ being given and then reconsidered and removed. George will touch base on this as he was head ref and feels there are some parts in the rules that should be examined carefully to avoid slip ups. Despite the mishap here The blue alliance (Third seed) of 2900A (Onehunga High School) and 2918F (Glenfield College) won in the third match of the finals 23-16. Finalists were 2918E (Glenfield College) and 2915D (Lynfield College). The majority of designs that made it through to the finals were back dumper robots (similar to those seen in Singapore). Thank you Kristin for hosting.

A few things I’ve noted from volunteering:

  • Reset is quick this year.
  • Scoring can be a bit complicated at first. I recommend splitting up groups of stars as they are much easier to count apart than in a group.
  • Stars bunch up really quickly at the base of the fence.
  • There are a lot of minor non-match affecting rule breaks. This includes crossing onto the other side of the field. Please design your robots accordingly.

Just a little note as well for competitors: all the people running the event are volunteers and are trying their best. As with today’s mishap, mistakes happen. We try to take it on the chin and do our best to fix any errors on our parts. Your patience is greatly appreciated, especially in the early season when we’re still learning ourselves.

Lastly, I’d like to thank our dedicated group of volunteers, who without these events would not be possible.

If there are any questions about the events or how we run things in NZ I’d be happy to answer. I will not post any footage recorded during events as that is a teams prerogative if they wish to share.

Besides dumpers, were there any other designs that was seen in the competition?

Thanks for the update, really good to have.

Robots will break the plane of the fence into the neutral zone (as drawn out in the game manual). However, isn’t it only an infraction if your robot make contact with the tiles in your scoring zones? Is that what you saw?

Keep the updates coming from NZ!

Thanks Jamie for the post-scrimmage write-up, and thanks again to Kristin School too for supplying the venue.

I just want to address a situation that arose today, as well as some observations on what teams should watch out for when it comes to the rules, from today’s refereeing experience. For reference, this was my first time refereeing a Starstruck event. Just like the beginning of every other season, it can be challenging to translate rules scenarios into practice, particularly some things more than others. As such, I expect teams to get things wrong a fair bit, but I also hope that teams accept that referees also need a bit of time to get things perfect.

Firstly, there was a situation in a match where there was a violation of <SG6>. This was originally ruled as egregious by mistake, and we corrected this before proceeding with the next match. I have had my own experiences with wrong referee decisions (thinking of a particular division finals game, but let’s not dwell on that), and so I wanted to make sure everything was correct and fair. Everyone seemed happier and at ease afterwards. Whilst it was originally a bad call and I sincerely apologise for that, I am glad that we recognised the mistake and took action accordingly. Everyone makes mistakes sometimes, especially when we’re learning!

To describe the situation, a robot drove under the fence, and touched their near zone on the opposite side. They didn’t drive far into the near zone – only a matter of a couple of inches, by mistake (as a result of a particularly aggressive piece of scoring/pushing battle with an opponent). In the process of doing this, they pushed multiple stars with them. The final score was 19-17, and hence it was ruled as match affecting. What I did not see was that the stars were already scored (placed in both neutral and near zones) – I was struggling to focus on everything in detail between refereeing and commentating. Hence, as they were already scored, the <SG6> offense did not gain the team any points in itself.

Secondly, I wanted to address some rules that were not followed particularly well today. I know everyone is still new to some of these, and so I hope that these points will be a useful heads-up for teams to know what to keep an eye on. These notes below are in the same order as how they’re listed in the game manual, available here.

Drive Team Member definition: There are only 3 drive team members allowed at the field per robot. In addition, all of these must be students – no adults.

<SG4>: Introducing the driver control load (extra cube). This was probably the single most violated rule today, as teams were very often loading the cube onto robots that weren’t quite touching their coloured tiles, and sometimes even just onto a neighbouring grey tile. It needs to be either gently placed on your robot while your robot is touching your coloured tile at your alliance station, or onto your coloured tile at your alliance station.

<SG6>: Robots are not permitted to touch the near/far zones on the opposite side of the fence – this was generally accidental, often in the midst of a battle between robots at the fence pushing stars underneath, but regardless of that, robots still aren’t allowed to touch those zones. In addition, to make things really clear, edges of a scoop are still part of the robot, and as such also cannot touch these zones.

<T01.b>: Questions for the referees need to come from a student drive team member. That is, not adults, or other spectators. Questions should also be within 2 qualification matches, or immediately after the score is announced for an elimination match.

I hope everyone enjoyed the scrimmage, and I look forward to seeing you all on August 13th.

Yes, basically. They touched the scoring zones, which was seen as pushing objects into a scored position via an illegal action, when the objects were in fact already scored. As I said above, it was difficult juggling multiple tasks, and it was just an error that resulted from this. I’m confident this mistake wouldn’t happen again.

I just wanted to comment on how you perceived a lack of interest. I can’t speak for other forum members or teams, but personally I was thrilled to read this post and learn a little more about the Starstruck game. Congrats to the scrimmage winners, and thank you for sacrificing your time to create this resource!

There were a few differing designs. But none as effective as the dumpers.

Yes, sorry. Busy day yesterday plus me rushing to get something posted due to other commitments, meant I probably brushed past a couple things a bit more briefly than I meant to. You’re absolutely right with the rule and that’s what I meant to say.

With the new forum layout the only way you can realistically guage interest is through replies. I felt that later in the season there wasn’t enough replies to show interest in what I was saying. On the old forum it would tell you how many views a thread had so you could still tell when people were reading, but you just can’t tell anymore. I wouldn’t really say I sacrifice time, just sleep. :stuck_out_tongue:

It shows you how many views there are to the right on the inside of the thread right above the timeline. ->

So it does, I’ve never noticed. Guess I have something else to guage interest off again.

Its all good My alliance really appreciate the call change and the fact you listened to us and our argument.
we all understand that it is stressful especially with the cluster of stars robots etc.
So thank you guys u are great. Keep it up.
Team 2918f

I started following the NZ scrimmage thread since George was writing the updates (since sack attack?).

It is something that i have always look forward to reading.
Yes… there is no robots to see or matches to look at.
But it is really good to know how far ahead NZ teams are, and how much we need to work :slight_smile:

And really… we have lots of fun speculating on the robot designs based on the updates.

Please keep it up. The forum users might not have mentioned it, but the thread is definitely well received :slight_smile:

PS… in fact, this thread inspired me to write a similar updates for SingVex :slight_smile:

Usually there’s a 7682 video here and there

Definitely. 7682 is one of those teams that readily share their design. And thank you so much :slight_smile:

But I am specifically referring to the NZ scrimmage thread. Normally it is a speculation game while reading the updates.
And when 7682 revealed the robots (or snippets of matches), we will be like - See! I got it right (or wrong)! :slight_smile:

Hey everyone,

This past Saturday we had our third scrimmage of the Starstruck season. 35 teams competed, from 14 schools/groups - a nice steady increase from the past two scrimmages, as more teams get robots ready to compete. Despite some delays early on in the day with field control issues (and resulting in the temporary use of a manual competition switch for a while), we still managed to get through 44 Qualification Matches - 5 games per team.

First rank after the Qualification Matches were team 2904A - Lakebots A, from Westlake Girls. This team had a nice robot, it was great to see them do well at this scrimmage. Second rank was 2900A - SymbiOHSis A, from Onehunga High School, and third was 2918E - GCEC E, from Glenfield College.

Finals were played between the first seeded alliance (2904A and 2900A), and the second seeded alliance (2918E and 2918F). The first seeded alliance won the first game, however in the second game the second seeded alliance pulled out all the stops and won, resulting in a third deciding match which they also won. Congrats to the 2918E and 2918F alliance, both robots have proven to be quite strong in both scrimmages I have attended so far. Congrats also to 2904A and 2900A for putting up a good fight, especially when you were down to only 1 robot in the second game.

There were some catapults which were nice to see, although most of the action still seemed to be focused around pushing stars under the fence.

Some quick stats:

  • Highest score by an alliance was 58 points, by 8757B and 2918E
  • Highest combined score was 64 points
  • No skills scores
  • Maximum number of stars scored in a single far zone was 12, by 2900A and 2901D
  • In about 16% of games, more stars were scored in the far zone than near zone
  • There were 4 hangs in total, 3 of which were high

Thanks to Lynfield College for hosting the scrimmage, and the other fellow volunteers for helping to make these events possible to run.

Thanks! We definitely enjoy hearing about what’s going on in Singapore. :slight_smile:

I’m a bit surprised about there being only 4 hangs. We have had a close to working mechanism for weeks

There were more attempts that were just a bit too late in the game, as well as teams who just chose not to, but I think a lot of teams aren’t hanging in games because it can be a poor strategic move, since they would no longer be able to defend. In all the games where there was hanging, the hanging alliance already had a comfortable lead, and would have won without hanging anyway. Even a quick/after-the-buzzer hang could take a while with all the lining up on the post, especially this early in the season when teams haven’t had much practice yet.

You have to realize that most teams don’t have as much experience as you. :slight_smile:

It’s a bit harder to elevate, but think of how few high elevations we had in Arizona even at the end of the season.

I believe it is easier to hang this year than it was to lift last year though.

George’s explanation males a lot of sense though since it would basically be 2v1

I did mention that elevating is harder, but I suppose I was a bit unclear. :slight_smile:

I don’t think a one-robot advantage for 10 seconds is going to be as huge as a 12-point lift, especially early on, but that could change later on. Fast lifting is key!

If all of the stars are sitting in a far zone, sending 3 stars into the opponent’s far zone negates the hang. If all robots have identical fire rates (let’s assume a 1-star catapult for simplicity), that fire rate must be less than 1/3 stars per second (one star per 3 seconds) to make the high hang worth the 10-second 2 vs. 1.