What are your views on strategies for Sack Attack? Score high in autonomous for the bonus, or hoard a ton and score at the last minute? Park on the starting tile at the end, or score/descore/defend instead? Score in the high goal, or in massive trough dumps? Sack Attack provides plenty of strategic dilemmas for us. What will you do?

I feel that having an efficient descoring system will make the parking bonus irrelevant to the match, and I can see a robot now that’s only purpose is to periodically clean out the opponent’s trough. Although the parking bonus can mean the difference between victory and loss for a team, descoring’s going to be bigger.

Personally, though, I think that we’re going to do something mostly offensive, with descoring capabilities.

I feel that the amount of points that the autonomous and parking bonuses give are not at all proportional to the amount of points a standard match could see.

In a game like Gateway where final scores were in the early twenties, 10 points was a lot. But in a game like Sack Attack where it’s possible for both teams to score over 250 points and ties are unlikely due the amount of game objects, 10 points isn’t that much of an incentive. So while I can see the majority of teams ignoring both bonuses (though mainly the parking bonus), I feel that just like the triangle goals in clean sweep, some of the best teams will do well because they use what others ignore. But then again I could be wrong. We’ll have to see.

My guess is that we will be surprised how low scoring the game is, with how easy it is to de-score compared to pick up then score, you will either have to build a super sacker that can de-score, or accept that most of your objects will be de-scored. If anyone makes a sacker that lifts even 20 objects, and has a strong de-score, you better hope you have the power to stop it at the end of the game (assuming someone finds a way to balance 20 sacks in 1 section of a trough).

Did you get the field and test how many the trough can hold yet? I would like to know because I think the troughs are bigger than we think.

We just got a field and the troughs were a lot wider than I thought it would be.
We didn’t test how many it could hold, but they can probably hold over 20.

It can hold all 21 of our sacks with room to spare. Now we just need to get our robot to score all of them.

I think alliances will find it much easier to win if they only scoring in one of the middle troughs, and always have one robot guarding the trough (by parking underneath) from descorers. The robot not guarding the trough could easily feed itself from the opponents troughs on either side of the guarded trough. Such an alliance would only need to score at half the speed of their opponents to keep the totals equal, and the scoring robot would have far less distance to travel to gather points than the opponents who wouldn’t have their sacks delivered to them.

The easiest way to get around a one trough strategy would be to score everything in the last moments, but such a counter strategy is inherently high-risk to begin with.

We got an entire field set in a week ago and we have some statistics to post based on our testing so far:
Each trough can hold well over 35 sacks
The most we’ve stacked in a high goal and left alone was 25 sacks.
The most we’ve stacked in a high goal whilst applying pressure from a single sack at the top was 30-something sacks.
A sack can be flung at the high goal from the alliance starting tile
A sack in the high goal can hang off the edge by more than 50% of its surface area.
Sacks do balance easily on the white barrier between troughs.
And the sacks will most likely never be placed on the field perfectly flat, instead they will likely be dropped on the field in order to make reset faster.
Hope this helps clear some things up!

If you care to share, was this in a reasonable time frame, or were you guys just testing overall stacking ability?

  • Sunny G.

For both of these tests, we did not time ourselves and likely it took us 3 or 4 minutes to create the stacks because we had to find a stool and whatnot to place some of the sacks. We did conclude later after more tests that a robot can get 20 sacks during the autonomous period, plus 1 preload and 4 matchloads which would allow them to create a super stack.

25 sacks in the high goal = 250 points.
Could such a robot win a match on its own?
The remaining sacks scored in the troughs would be 385 points. 1 or 2 super dumpers would have the stacker beaten (unless the stacker had a trough-capping ally).

or a descoring ally (more common)

A descorer would be somewhat ineffective against two super-dumpers.