Thursday, January 23, 2014

Day 20: Strategy and Tactics

Lots of CAD work today and we worked out some dimensions for our wings that will help us catch the ball and also maintain position of the ball. Not to much to show but instead we wrote down some of the strategy and tactical ideas that the team has been kicking around the past couple weeks.

Questions we're asking ourselves
What percentage of teams will be able to catch a pass over the truss?
How can we make it easier for teams to catch our passes?
How can we avoid defense on our passes?
How can we speed up the truss/catch process?
What killer features will the best robots have?
How can we be better at rebounding? / How can our alliance be better at rebounding?
How can we play smart defense when we don't have the ball?
How can our alliance best utilize its time?
What's the best way to communicate within our alliance?

Some possible alliances in Aerial Assist

Standard FMI
Forward/Attacker/Striker - Last with the ball. Scores in the high goal. Possess in the alliance colored zone. Hopefully can catch a pass from the midfielder.
Midfielder - The ball handler. Takes the ball from the inbounder and is normally the robot that trusses. Should have consistent and accurate passing options and the ability to quickly acquire the ball from another robot. Possess the ball in the white zone.
Inbounder/Defender/Back - Takes the inbound pass from the human player. Hopefully can catch the pass directly but also could take the ball off the carpet. Extremely important to cycle times, must be able to secure the ball quickly and get it to the next robot as fast as possible. Should play smart defense against the opposing teams. Forward once they don't have the ball. Possess the ball in the opposing alliances zone.

This alliance would play the game in a very smooth motion, with all three robots playing critical roles in amassing the most points possible for the team. These positions are possibly playable by many of the same robots so teams can be flexible in which position they play in a given match. The midfielder robot has a lot of options in this alliance; once they pass the ball they can either help the Forward by playing Full Back or retreat and help the Back slow up the opposition alliance.

Super Goalie + 2 Forwards
Super Goalie - This goalie robot is able to play lock down defense against the opposing alliance while also taking the inbound passes and goalie kicking them over the truss to one of its two alliance forwards. 

This requires a very unique robot, but it could give a big advantage the alliance that can pull off this formation. The super goalie is able to move the ball half way down the field in the air and has the potential to throw to two different robots making it much harder for the defending alliance to predict the location of the throw. The forwards will have to learn to pass to each other if they want to maximize their cycle points. 
A similar system could be played by the standard alliance if their Back robot has the ability to truss the ball at all.

Super Star + Double Back
Super Star- Take the inbounder's pass, throws to itself over the truss, & scores in the high goal.

This alliance will definitely exist at events, especially in matches where alliances might be shorthanded and only playing with two robots. If the Super Star robot can truss and high goal 3 times as fast as the opposing alliance can cycle they are guaranteed to at least keep pace with the other alliance. That's no easy task but when the other alliance has to deal with two defending robots it might be possible.

There will be plenty of other alliance structures, post your ideas in the comments.

- Spectrum

"Tactics mean doing what you can with what you have." - Saul Alinsky

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