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Judging - DCSA system
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decalkins



Joined: 31 Aug 2004
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I know this post and my previous will start a lot of arguements...

On strategy: It's rarely used after the first 3 seconds. Sure, the top 10% think about getting the other robot to do turn a certain way, so that they in turn can take advantage of it...

But for the most part, most matches I've seen are High School Playground Boxing Matches. Two people go out at it til one of them stops.

I dream* of the day when all drivers are so good that strategy is actually used in the average match. But from my POV, the use of a clearly defined and properly executed strategy it's the exception, not the rule.

Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 2:09 pm 
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Knightrous
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Actually, I read your guide before RoboWars 4 when I was building Schmackhed, and it definately helped. I practised probably close to an hour each night after work and had the robot tested fairly well before the event. I also spent a few hours battling Andrew with OffSet to simulate battles and it was really helpful event day.

Since my robot Schmackhed doesn't have a weapon, I had to rely entirely on Control & Aggression (Meaning I had to be able to drive properly to do that), which surprisingly, I won a fair few matches because of it. I also learn how to drive with only one wheel working, because that happened in the two battles Smile

There was still a few teething issues that didn't really show up till midway through the event (drive motors didn't have enough gearing, which made them get hotter and worked the batteries harder, to be fixed for the next event), so maybe for the next robot, I'll be close to being "fully" prepared.

OT: Dave, what has been your more favourite match that you have had to judge so far? And what was the worst? Razz
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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 4:00 pm 
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assassin



Joined: 27 Jun 2004
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Puts hand up!!! Who do you think one this boring match?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfRgk4n1GZ4

You can answer to my PM if you want. I'm heavy bias as I'm the owner/driver/builder of one of the bots. Razz
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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:15 pm 
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Knightrous
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O boy... Can O worms... Rolling Eyes
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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:24 pm 
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Rotwang
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Joined: 15 Jun 2004
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quote:
Originally posted by assassin:
Puts hand up!!! Who do you think one this boring match?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vfRgk4n1GZ4

You can answer to my PM if you want. I'm heavy bias as I'm the owner/driver/builder of one of the bots. Razz



Not really relevant as Robowars has different judging criteria.
And judges being only human can be influenced by other matches in the event as in if one bot had a number of close decisions go its way and the other breezed through with a lot of KO’s.
Obviously I have bios as builder of the other bot.
Also if one of the bots is noticeably slower or less active in the relevant match compared to its performance in earlier fights.
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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 5:47 pm 
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Nick
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quote:
a good driver trumps everything - regardless of what the driver is driving.


Oh well, I'm furked then Laughing! Perhaps I will just rename Jolt to LTFD mark 2...

More seriously, it seems most people think of strategy differently to me. I keep a "tacics" folder for each competition with a page for each competitor. It has a photo, recent history, design notes and most importantly, a very concise tactic such as: stay clear of the weapon / flips easily / try & lose gracefully, etc. Anything more than that is too hard to remember as Dave said.

To me, strategy is all about longer-term decisions affecting the whole of the competition, such as:

Which bot to take?
Optimise to destruction or survivability
What spares are likely to be needed.

That sort of stuff has to be in place before I leave for the event; there is no way I will remember it later on Smile
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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:23 pm 
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Knightrous
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My strategies are pretty simple ones.

First, I look at the opponent, what is their weakness? Once I identify that weakness, that is what I aim for. Then I look at their strengths, and look at how I can minimise that against me.

Second, I look at my robot, what is my weakness? Once I identify that, I aim to hide that Smile Then I look at my strengths, then I see how I can maximise that.

Example:

Schmackhed VS Jolt:

What is Jolt's Weakness? Not invertible, Easily box rushed, Low driving skills (Not sure if it's robot or driver . Laughing )
What is Jolt's Strengths? Big weapon! Moderately armoured. Spasmodic driving (Can be hard to predict when attacking)

What is Schmackhed's Weakness: Exposed rear wheels, light armour on the rear, drive train underpowered/burns out most of the time....
What is Schmackhed's Strengths: Extremely good front armour, very low to the ground.

So against Jolt, I wanted to keep my front end pointed at the weapon at all times, keep in close to him when attacking and try to stall the weapon as much as possible. Because that's where my strengths are. I also periodically backed off and put some distant between us so I could give my drive a rest, as not to burn it out early, I also tried to keep the back end hidden at all times.... And lucky for me, this tactic seemed to work. I won Smile
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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 6:46 pm 
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Spockie-Tech
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I'm not sure if you were asking Dave or for general opinions Trent, but after watching that video, heres my opinion for what its worth..

Agression: Reboot - Rob spent much more time attacking you than you did him
Damage: Reboot - Scratches in your Armour count as higher damage than flips to an invertible bot or no-effect wall rams do
Control: Split - Reboot was a little wobbly when upside down since he was without his flip function, but your limited amount of movement/attacks balanced it out to about even.
Style: Reboot - I'm biased against featureless weaponless wedges, especially when compared to fast-moving bots with effective weapons like Reboot.

Looked like a faily clear call to me.. Even if the style point went the other way, its still a win to Reboot with a Reboot/Reboot/Split/Elanor in my opinion. Sorry.. Confused
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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 7:01 pm 
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Daniel
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Joined: 30 Aug 2005
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I believe that Dave told my brother in India that American judges don't rely so heavily on their judging system as some of us think they do. They watch the fight, decide who won from their point of view in much the same way that the an audience member does and then fudges the points to make their choice stick. The points and guide lines are there for us builders, who are way too picky about such things.

We don't like be told that most judging is highly educated decisions from very experienced judges. It should be done from the gut, not from guidelines written on paper that can't take into account every possible situation. If Avenger looses a wheel it almost becomes dead,if Scarifier looses a wheel it can still drive like nothing happened. Yet the guidelines say that it should be counted as extreme damage in both cases and inexperienced judges who follow the words mark them the same. That should not be the case. I think the guidelines are for training, but not word for word on how every fight should be judged.

Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 7:40 pm 
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Spockie-Tech
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I'm sure theres a bit of temporal-reverse-engineering going on in every judges mind based on gut decisions.

But the guidelines are there to ensure the judge can at least semi justify their decision.. Otherwise you might get judges who prefer spinners awarding a match based on one big hit vs control of the match at all other times by its opponent.. or perhaps they think that launching a robot 6 feet in the air is more impressive than putting a lot of scratches in an opponent (assuming no other damage is done on landing) if they like flippers, or rocketing randomly around an arena at high speed missing the opponent most of the time, or.. you get the idea (no prizes for guessing my preferences Wink

Whats *your* gut feeling on who won that match then ? Razz
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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:13 pm 
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kkeerroo
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Joined: 17 Jun 2004
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I must say now that I don't like the whole judges guidelines bit because it seems to me to be biased against flippers and wedges. If I have a wedge and am constantly controlling my opponent by keeping him out of the center of the arena and against the walls (my general strategy for 90% of matches) or use a flipper to roll him over and thus keeping his wheels off the ground and control him that way it is all classed as "minimal" to no damage. But if my opponent puts so much as a scratch on my robot then it is argued that he has done all the damage, and since the emphasis is placed on damage and not dominating your opponent then the wedges and flippers will always lose.
It doesn't make sense.
The dominate robot should win whether it causes damage or not.
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Last edited by kkeerroo on Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:44 pm; edited 1 time in total

Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:40 pm 
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Knightrous
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Trent, you better get some body armor Cool
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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:43 pm 
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Knightrous
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quote:
9. Don't Let The Judges Decide The Match For You.

I judge matches based on the full 3 minutes. The first minute is as important as the last. The fact that you kicked ass the last 20 seconds doesn't make up for the first 160 seconds when your competitor was mopping the floor with your rivets. You want to avoid narrow losses? Want to avoid a screaming match with the officials because they didn't share your belief that your completely out-of-control robot was actually using a strategy? Want to see me taking naps and drooling all over the horrible jacket they make me wear?

Simple. Go for a knockout. Don't let the match go to the last second. Design your robot and operate it so that you kill the other robot. So the referee counts him out. Keep your fate in your hands, don't put it ours. In judging matches, we're painfully fair and unbiased. The problem is -- you're not unbiased. You want your bot to win and the other team's bot to lose. I don't care who wins. I'm not picking on you when you get the loss, nor have I been bribed to give the other guy the win. It's just that in a close match, we make the call. Both sides think they've won, but only one of them will be correct.

Avoid hating me. I really am a nice guy. I don't want you to lose. But if the other guy did a better job, he's going to win. But my opinion doesn't have to matter. All you have to do is knock him out. Do not hesitate. Do not get him unstuck. Do not try to avoid extra damage. You are there to win. There's only one way to absolutely ensure that you win.

Go for the knock out.
Every single match.


Problem solved Razz
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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 8:52 pm 
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Nick
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Trouble is, going for the knock-out is the domain of spinners (and possibly good flippers). Even the best wedge is hard-pressed to go for a KO unless the opponent is badly made. You could even argue that when a a wedge faces a powerful spinner, it's often the spinner defeating itself rather than the wedge creating the KO.

I like to build spinners, but at the same time I think Trent should have won more matches...
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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:05 pm 
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Knightrous
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He only lost to one robot... It happened to be Reboot twice Smile Then again, I only lost to one robot, that happened to be Elanor... Twice Razz
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Post Mon Mar 05, 2007 9:13 pm 
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