In our club discussions about the nature of this game it became apparent that drive teams will need to do a lot of calculations to make decisions in the last 30 seconds of the game to decide next moves in terms of placing cubes in towers. So I cranked out a quick google sheet to show the impact of adding a cube of a particular color. It is help to decide which color cube is most impactful in terms win/loss, but the point spread.
This is really cool. Figuring out what the best move for your team is mid-match is mathematically non-trivial. Unlike many previous games, the answers aren’t as simple as “score more cubes” or “put a tall stack in the 10pt zone”.
It wouldn’t surprise me that much if by the end of the season it was commonplace for driver coaches to enter the current field state into some software on a phone/tablet which then provides advice as to the best way for each alliance to score points.
Cool - I hadn’t noticed that question yet but definitely worth asking to be sure, especially if teams were prohibited from using devices at the field altogether at worlds this year (I can attest this wasn’t an issue in Engineering, but something may have come up in another HS division). <G7> seems pretty clear that using devices during a match is fine as long as communication features are turned off.
The nuances of <G7> haven’t been that important in previous games. There wasn’t much incentive to use computer strategy aids because it’s usually pretty easy to tell what you need to do. So some refs may have simplified <G7> to “no devices at the field”, which isn’t correct but is much easier to enforce than the actual rule. Teams, in turn, may have been less likely to fight refs on that point because there wasn’t much advantage to be gained by using devices field-side.
This year, the big potential advantage associated with using a <G7>-compliant device during a match means that refs and teams will have to be extra careful about enforcing and complying with the rule exactly as written.
The question came about because it was reported that at HS scoring apps were specifically prohibited at Worlds. I am not sure if this was at all divisions, but it did give me pause and decide to post the question on the Q&A. It will be interesting to me what the response will be.
James Noble has added a graphical interface to the scoring tool so you can see which towers are in play. @roboticblackbelt added decscore and stacking functions. Nice to see community extending this proof of concept into something meaningful!
This keeps tally of current state and then gives you outcomes of different choices. Pretty sure there is a lot of thinking you need to do on your feet to figure it out quickly in your head. Does it make sense to have a tool to help? or to do it in your head?
That said, this also helps teams visualizes the game differently… is it all about towers or stacks? Certain assumptions may be flawed and made visible with this tool.
This is why I like about the tool to work collaboratively with a lot of people thinking about this problem who can improve how we thing about it. Feel free to add suggestions to the calculator, or add new functionality! Best way is to make a copy of the sheet and play around with it and when ready to add new functionality, do so.
aesthetically pleasing addition… When the tower checkboxes were added, a fourth, non-operative checkbox was added - I think just for visual balance - those gray tower check boxes and the red/blue in the alliance tower have no effect on scoring.
That would be an interesting approach to have an automated scorer. Unfortunately, you would want to have a means of keeping track of the cubes hidden from the camera’s view. The cube not in the field of view could be off the field, or behind a stack of cubes, or a robot.
Given the importance of keeping track of score, it is worthwhile to make sure you have a trusted team member doing this for you.