Melees

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EpicentrE
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Re: Melees

Post by EpicentrE » Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:34 pm

If I may be more constructive for a second;

It seems to me there is no one tournament format that will adequately fit the desires of both people who's main enjoyment comes from fair, balanced competition, and people who's main enjoyment comes through other means (for example, diversity, having as many fights as possible, seeing different machines win often, etc.)

So let me present a radical concept for a second - and let me clarify that I'm not necessarily suggesting that we do this, I'm just throwing it out there as an alternative to the options presented thus far:

We hold AWS events with the same regularity, but they now alternate between two different events. The AWS becomes the main "tournament" on the circuit. It's rule set, arena, and tournament system are designed and decided by the people for whom competition is the most important aspect to be as fair and as balanced as is possible. The purpose of this event is to find the "best" fighting robot.

The other half of what was the AWS transforms into a new event. This event is designed to give people as many fights, and as much to do, as possible. There is a combat element, but it's just one of many events, maybe with restrictions such as only one robot per team, single elimination, melees etc. It is understood that this is not the main spectacle of this event, and so may not be as fair or as balanced as the competition at the AWS. Alongside this - and possibly with multiple things running concurrently - are things like melees, tag teams, obstacle courses, races, football, etc. With so much going on, most people in attendance should have something to take part in for a large portion of the day, and all the various different events will produce winners from a whole host of different and interesting robots throughout the day.

I'd be interested to hear thoughts regarding this.

Thoughts?
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Re: Melees

Post by joey_picus » Wed Nov 04, 2015 5:38 pm

I think what we really need is the Reading Robot Club back :( to elaborate slightly, I'd be all for more and a greater diversity of events, as I've said multiple times - the Ant Freeze was brilliant and I wish I'd been able to go to the previous ones, and I think we need to get back to having at least three and preferably more events a year that aren't so competition focused, where you can play football, pinball, speedway, gauntlet, and other events (sometimes even with antweights!) and just have a lot of robot based fun.

I'd be up for organising something of that sort on an annual basis, or at least helping with a venue (Dave, if you're reading, I'll happily pay for the Brize Norton scout hut if that helps, that way everyone won't have to come up to Lancashire!)
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Re: Melees

Post by razerdave » Wed Nov 04, 2015 6:12 pm

I'd love to host another event at some point, I'll discuss that in detail with you another time Joey.

Scott: Not sure I understand your comment about the FW champs being unfair? The way I see it every robot gets 4 fights and the robots that have had the best consistent performance move on.

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Re: Melees

Post by Remote-Controlled Dave » Wed Nov 04, 2015 8:34 pm

Simply having more events doesn't work for us. We sometimes struggle to make 3 a year, let alone more. Scott, I understand you said have the events the same frequency (so still three a year) and to alternate between the types, but getting to an event costs us hundreds of pounds and I'd be less enthusiastic to go shelling out just for a fun and games event. I'd rather just have a more fun/different format to an AWS, even just occasionally, but people don't seem to want that. There's this stubbornness to run EITHER an AWS OR a "fun one" when we could just combine the two. But there we go, I'm obviously in the minority.
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Re: Melees

Post by razerdave » Wed Nov 04, 2015 11:30 pm

I'd like to see the experiment done just to see how it's taken in practice. If it didn't work that well, we go back to normal format at the next one.

The point of me doing ATC's or Insecticide (all insect weight classes) is just because I don't fancy doing an AWS; I want to do something different without that name hanging over it.

Would be nice to do more games and stuff at AWS's, I'll ask Dan if he'd be cool with me bringing the football table :).

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Re: Melees

Post by Remote-Controlled Dave » Thu Nov 05, 2015 6:24 am

That was my initial point Dave. Trying something different for an AWS format and if its poorly received or people prefer the standard, then we go back to that instead. The title AWS hangs above events like an overly-serious weight, and Dave isn't the only one who's said "I'll run an event but I don't want the pressure of an AWS". The 'pressures' all stem from the rigid format - time constraints, double elimination, fairness, the pressures to use technology, streaming etc etc.
The flip side of that coin is that it is up to us to take our hobby seriously and prioritising a fair competition over a fun one definitely allows us to at least create an illusion of doing something proper and serious and important. Which is a good thing. But its just getting ever so slightly...dull, I guess.
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Re: Melees

Post by Hogi » Thu Nov 05, 2015 8:51 am

i would be fine with it if Dave wanted to bring the football arena to the AWS however it's unlikely that we would have time to run a propper football competition. might be nice for people to have the option to have the odd game each between battles or with robots that drop out of the main contesg early. if we really wanted to try out melees at this AWS i could probably draw up some kind of pen and paper melee system to try the concept out with but the decision would need to be taken sooner rather than later as i don't get as much free time to do these things these days.
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Re: Melees

Post by EpicentrE » Thu Nov 05, 2015 9:26 am

I don't think I have any more to add to the subject of what should or shouldn't happen at AWSs - especially as I'm not in competition at the moment - but in response to Dave Weston (and because it may be relevant to further discussions);

First of all, melees are unfair. As we saw in some of the fights, especially those with powerful flippers or spinners, the prevailing tactic to get the most points if your robot is not overly offensive itself, is to run away, let your opponents eliminate the competition, and just try to stay in the arena until the time runs out. Also, the way that some robots had to fight the same robots multiple times in their melees, while others didn't, reeks of a lack of proper organisation. There were enough robots there that I am confident that it would have been easy to ensure that no robot had to fight another one more than once in the melees. In addition, the system meant that - as we saw with Tormenta - situations could arise where a robot may or may not qualify based on the result of a fight which it isn't even involved in. Not having a set threshold for how many points were needed to progress is just an awful idea, as there were a huge group of people with no idea where they stood in the competition as it was so unclear.

Beyond the first round, the latter stages were also terrible. As I described earlier, using a single elimination bracket with a losers melee for the losers of the fights is just abysmally bad, as it means that a robot may lose all it's one on one fights, but win the melees (which are in themselves unfair), and progress further than one that happened to lose twice in a row. Having more or less chances to progress in a competition depending on when your losses happened is terrible, as it means that the "luck of the draw" plays a much higher role. Coming across harder opponents earlier in the competition actually makes you less likely to be eliminated than coming across the same robots later in the competition, which is illogical; the chance should be the same no matter the stage of the tournament.

And that's just the tournament system, never mind the terrible ruleset and arena. Flippers being given opportunities to get themselves out of the pit in an arena which already heavily favours them? Beauty being allowed to be almost completely rebuilt just because the event "happens" to be held near their workshops? Drivers repeatedly not being penalised for hits and aggression after the time has run out? Judges with absolutely no spines who couldn't make important calls?

You know, it's very easy to get caught up in the atmosphere of such an event and think it's brilliant; I did when I was there. I was very excited to jump into Solidworks and get working on my featherweight based on what I'd learned during the four days. But I got home and reflected on it and realised that it wasn't an organisation I wanted to be involved with.

Edit 21/01/2016: At the time when I wrote the above post I was not in the best of moods for reasons which I cannot remember. I don't retract the points that I made above; as someone who would like to promote fairness and competitiveness above all else I still think they are valid complaints; but why I wrote them with such vitriol and insults is beyond me. Please accept my apologies. I should have been constructive in my feedback.
Last edited by EpicentrE on Thu Jan 21, 2016 2:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Melees

Post by Remote-Controlled Dave » Thu Nov 05, 2015 12:58 pm

I think this is why I'm quite happy to suggest trying new things because none of the things Scott has brought up about the feather champs bother me. And that's not a gripe at him, I think he is right in almost all the ways he mentioned. But if that was me at that tournament, none of that would bother me, I'd just enjoy it for what it was.
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Re: Melees

Post by peterwaller » Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:15 pm

Besides not being a fan of melees in the full AWS events I think after all the work Gary has put into Antlog it would be wrong to change it now.
Having read the arguments there doesn't seem to be that many people in favor of the change anyway certainly not a majority.

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Re: Melees

Post by Remote-Controlled Dave » Thu Nov 05, 2015 2:30 pm

You're absolutely right Peter. If I feel it's getting dull, that's my hang up.
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Re: Melees

Post by Hogi » Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:19 pm

so the general concensus is to keep the double elimination head to head format?
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Re: Melees

Post by Lincoln » Thu Nov 05, 2015 4:35 pm

i think that we should try some form of melees however my problem is that people will get ganged up on, melees my make more interesting fights but will loose all the fun as soon as you loose a fight dew to being ganged up on
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Re: Melees

Post by Rapidrory » Thu Nov 05, 2015 10:07 pm

Despite all Scott has said, I still found the featherweight champs the most enjoyable event I've been to all year. While the feather champs may not use not the best system, the most competitive robots still were able to work their way to the top spots just fine, with most of the top 18 being made up of very competitive machines, and the group stages successfully filtered out most of the less reliable and less serious ones. The system performed it's purpose fine. I'm more of the same opinion of Dave in that I don't worry if a comp 100% fair as long as it's enjoyable and you get some good fights. Even if they're not 100% fair, the top bots'll nearly always make their way to the top, and melee fights allow for underdogs to work their way up through the comp more often. They also for a change in tactics which as I said before makes a nice change from the monotony of round after round of one on one. I agree you can have too many melees (Heavyweight world champs being a prime example :L) but I think they're quite enjoyable when used correctly. I'm not saying that we necessarily have to use them at an AWS, just defending their existence :L
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Re: Melees

Post by Remote-Controlled Dave » Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:21 am

Just to be clear to Dan, we're not running your upcoming AWS any differently. You just concentrate on the classic format and getting everything in time alright. :-)
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