At Nationals, I noticed that most (if not all) teams in the high school division raced to fill their 30 inch goals or fill the center 30 inch goal as fast as possible, with about half of the teams ignoring the 20 inch goals and almost all of them ignoring the 11.5 inch goals until later in the match.
The question is this:
Why does everyone seem to want to do this if they can score more points with the same number of objects if they score first in the lower goals? Obviously, one can double a 30 inch goal for more points, but the way I see it, one has to be really careful placing the doubler and half the time the points are cancelled out by the negation barrel.
(for this reason, I understand the use of the isolation 30 inch goals, but the immediate filling of the center goal still goes over my non-strategy oriented head)
RoboDesigners is right: Bonus points, and points in general, don’t need to be got early if you know you can get them later.
The ones you should be getting early are the ones you have to fight for: the centre 30" goal and the two 20" goals. If you have an opportunity to score in your opponents’ 11.5" interaction or 30" isolation then these should also be a much higher priority than filling your ‘safe’ goals.
Because there is no descoring in Gateway, average scoring rate is much less important than it was in Round Up or Clean Sweep. The game is about who can protect the goals in their territory while scoring as much as possible in opposing and neutral territory.
This doesn’t fully explain what you saw at nationals:
These guys were just doing strategy wrong, pretty much. This might work (and might even be a good strategy) if you are a slow team playing against other slow teams, but it won’t work when the teams are good.
To extend other people’s points, when we did some scrimmages against some of our other teams, we would always start in the isolation zone, while they started in the interaction. They always won, because they filled up those first, and then went deeper into their territory.
When we scrimmaged with our teams, we would always start in the interaction and in the first 5-10 sec we filled up the center 30". If you get that filled, and your isolation 30", double one, and protect the other, you have a good chance of winning.
At US Nationals my team started in the Interaction every match. 5/7 matches we played we either scored 6 objects in autonomous in the center 30", or got the robot directly over the center 30" to score in Driver Control. The other two times we had our robot drive into the center stack to block the other interaction bot from scoring in the 30".
I found this happening a lot at Nationals. At least in the Middle School division. Multiple matches, robots where hitting the center stack, and then getting off track and touching the opponents starting tile. I saw this happen in three matches.
Correct. That’s why I say it’s difficult if not impossible. A carefully driven robot with no obstacles in the way can make it from one starting tile to the far 11.5" goal without crossing the plane of the opp starting tile.