# Zone Scoring Strategy

Consider a scenario where you end a match with:

• 1 Mobile goal in the 20 point zone (no cones)
• 2 Mobile goals in the 10 point zone (cones)
• 1 Mobile goal in the 5 point zone (cones)
• Cones on stationary goal

Would this be the most effective strategy for zone scoring? By focusing on putting all cones in the 5/10/stationary goals, you have the possibility of getting 3/4 highest stack bonuses. This would be better than putting 3 goals in the 10 point zone and having 0 in the 5 point zone because you are giving up that highest stack bonus and potentially letting the other alliance take it. Also, by getting the highest stack bonus in the 5 point zone you are making it equally valuable as putting it in the 10 pt zone, and you also theoretically make it easier to stack cones and score the goal because you don’t have to score over the bar. Does this logic make sense?(let me know if my explanation isn’t clear)

Assume that the 10-zone bonus has already been decided; moving the goal from the 5 point zone will not earn the 10-zone bonus. Then, you and your opponent have the same decision: whether or not to move the 5 point goal. This results in 5 scenarios.

Both move the goal into the 10 point zone:
10 points for both.

You move the goal, they leave it in the zone (autozone!):
10 points for both, assuming they have cones on their goal.

They move the goal, you leave it:
10 points for both, assuming you have cones on it.

You both leave the goal there:
5 points for both, 5-zone bonus is disputed.

Thus, you cannot achieve a net loss of points by moving your goal into the 10 point zone. You can lose points by leaving your goal in the 5 point zone, as your opponents may choose to fight over the high stack 5-zone bonus.

So basically, you’re sacrificing the certainty of those 5 points for the chance to deny 5 points from your opponents, and the time it takes to score over the bar.

You aren’t considering the decrease in your opponent’s score if you take the highest stack bonus.
Say opponent has a certain stack in the five point zone and you have a higher stack that you can put in the five or ten point zone.
By your logic, you should put it in the 10 point zone because you would get the same points as if you put it in the five point zone. However, if you put it in the five point zone instead, yes your score would be the same, but your opponent’s score decreases by five.
So if you actually have a higher stack it definitely can be worthwhile to put it in the five point zone.

@Highwayman 100% agree. And also @puzzler7 that’s what I was trying to get at in this thread.

Right, my bad, I wasn’t very clear.

By moving the goal into the 10 point zone, you give up the opportunity to challenge your opponents for those points. All scenarios except for where you both have 5 point goals result in ties. Thus, by moving the goal into the 10 point zone, you gain the certainty of a tie by sacrificing the chance for a victory.

However, for a victory on one side to happen, one robot must be better than the other (which is almost always true). By game theory, if the worse robot is paying attention, they will always put their goal in the 10 point zone to force a tie and avoid a loss, meaning that the 5-zone bonus ~should~ never be contested.