AWS55 - 30th June 2018 - Dunchurch Village Hall

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cmalton
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Re: AWS55 - 30th June 2018 - Dunchurch Village Hall

Post by cmalton » Sat May 19, 2018 8:47 pm

I have mailed Gary again - it's almost certainly disk space issues on the server again....

cmalton
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Re: AWS55 - 30th June 2018 - Dunchurch Village Hall

Post by cmalton » Sun May 20, 2018 9:20 pm

All being well, we've fixed that again (and hopefully permanently).

Please either PM me, or email me: chris (at) arc-robotics (dot) org (dot) uk if you're still having problems.

cmalton
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Re: AWS55 - 30th June 2018 - Dunchurch Village Hall

Post by cmalton » Mon May 28, 2018 5:27 pm

Hi everyone,

Following my trip to the venue yesterday, I'm pleased to confirm that power will not be a major issue in this venue as there are more sockets than we know what to do with (near enough). Not quite as many sockets as we had at AWS53 - but it'll still be relatively easy to find power. Space will also not be an issue provided teams don't take up more than half a table each. We're limited to about 40 teams maximum with the configuration of venue we're in. There's also loads of parking (~60 spaces) - so should be no real issue for a few teams to arrive in 2 cars if they need to.

The arrangement of space also means that the arena will basically be in the middle of the room and therefore should be easy for all teams to see, but nobody should be more than a couple of seconds walk from the arena :)

Last I looked we were 22 teams - and rising. I would therefore ask anyone who has not signed up yet to please do so as soon as possible. I might be able to make space for a few more. We only have space for around 30 more robots (~75 total) before I will start asking teams with 4 robots to consider dropping down to 3 (otherwise we have scheduling issues!).

My arena is *nearly* there (I need some polycarb for the inner arena boundary - which should arrive this week) - I just need to build it back up in my flat so I can work on it again having relocated it from the team's workshop which involves carting it up 3 flights of stairs (something it wasn't designed for!).

Regards,

Chris

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DieGracefullyRobotics
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Re: AWS55 - 30th June 2018 - Dunchurch Village Hall

Post by DieGracefullyRobotics » Mon May 28, 2018 6:54 pm

Chris, why are you limiting it to 75 robots? We used to run AWSs with well over 100 bots on double elimination fine in a day. I don't see why there would be "schedule conflicts" when there's only one competition to cater for. Surely the point of an AWS is not to limit it?

The reason I haven't signed up yet it because I'm not sure what I'm bringing but I have forked out a lot of money for flights, rail and hotel. If I'm then told my entry is going to be limited, I'm not sure that's on. You set a date for when we had to be signed up by without mentioning any form of limit.

I don't understand. Do you just need some help running it efficiently on the day? It shouldn't be a problem and it really shouldn't be limited where possible.
Dave
Die Gracefully Robotics - Barely Even a Proper Team.

cmalton
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Re: AWS55 - 30th June 2018 - Dunchurch Village Hall

Post by cmalton » Mon May 28, 2018 7:33 pm

I have emboldened the important line in this post - but the TL;DR is "Don't worry, I am not going to close sign-ups early unless we are going to reach a situation of things costing far more than they currently do or I would have to breach a legal requirement."

I don't want to put (soft) limits in - but I don't have a lot of choice. If we are going to hit 40+ teams I probably will have to go and renegotiate the insurance at £25 admin fee + the increased cost of premium as the insurance is based on number of people on venue (and seemingly solely that figure).

Here's the explanation as to why I have had to put these limits in:
  • AWS53 was a struggle to finish on time and get out of the venue on schedule with 77 robots (we were late, but got away with it).
  • From what I remember of it, AWS54 was tight for time too with 83 robots.
  • I cannot get into the venue before 8AM on the Saturday morning to set up (and there is ~1 hour of setup to do - primarily putting out tables in the right places to leave the appropriate clearance for fire exits).
  • We have to be fully clear of the venue by 6PM, arena out, tables packed away and floor swept otherwise it will cost me an extra £70-80.
  • I am allowing 1 hour for the out - so on that basis we have to be finished by 5PM.
  • We are unlikely to start before 10AM at the earliest with 75+ 'bots to check in - I am working on ways to hopefully streamline this process with multiple check-in desks.
  • I would like to allow for at least a 30 minute lunch break in the middle if we can so that myself, Al and Rob actually get a break (which I legally have to give them the option of - even if we don't take it).
  • I have to work within what are safe limits for fire exits and access requirements. The venue's shape, size and fire exit locations dictate this (which were not fully known until yesterday morning). This has limited valid configurations of tables and causes me to be tighter for space than I was anticipating.
  • I was not anticipating the entrants list growing as quickly as it has. While many of the teams appear to be returning teams, there are new teams as well and if the list continues to grow at the rate it has done there will be a potential problem.
Double elimination with 128 robots (the limit which is hard coded into Antlog) requires 255 fights, it decreases from there. With 128 robots, there are a maximum of 765 battling minutes which = 12.75 hours. While I appreciate that many battles do not last anywhere near the full 3 minutes, we have 7 hours to get through approximately 150 battles if there are 75 robots, which is 7.5 hours if all battles run to 3 minutes. We cannot afford to overrun with the event and teams are always pushed for time as we get towards the finals which will inevitably lead to battles running late there so we need to do our best to be ahead as early as possible. That will also (hopefully) allow time for Nanos/Fleas etc at the end. None of this takes into consideration gaps between battles.

If we do not put a ceiling on the number of robots and teams we will be in breach of fire safety limits for the venue and probably short of hours in the day for battles. The numbers I have given were the numbers I used to pick an appropriate size venue and I believe are reasonable numbers for the number of teams expected. Neither of these limits are hard limits at this point in time, and if we go 1 team over, or a few robots over, we can probably still make it work and be within all of the constraints. However, what I cannot be doing is having 50+ teams in a venue that was targeted at 40. Equally, as an EO, I have no idea how many teams are going to sign up until I've chosen and booked a venue. It is a chicken and egg problem.

Where possible I will do everything I can to accommodate as many teams as possible and I am aware, in Dave's case, he has flights and hotels booked - I am not going to spoil his trip. Similarly, if there are other teams who have booked hotels already but not entered on Antlog, I would ask that they please let me know ASAP so we can make sure we adequately plan for it.

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DieGracefullyRobotics
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Re: AWS55 - 30th June 2018 - Dunchurch Village Hall

Post by DieGracefullyRobotics » Mon May 28, 2018 8:19 pm

None of these points are alien to an AWS though. We always operate within those timelimits (10 til 6). It's only been a problem once and that was for reasons of obvious delays (the pits were in a different room to the arena with no way to communicate between the two, ha.)

Chill out a bit dude. All you need on the day is to crack the whip a bit. Make sure the next 4/5 fights have been called out and people are listening and it'll be golden. Sign-ins don't take long. Form a queue, on the scales, in the cube, tick, next. We can be there at 8am if you want a hand putting out tables, setting up etc. and stay til the end for clean up. There's no way we're going to let you get in any trouble with the owners, don't worry.

If sign ups go truly stratospheric then we can compromise but, until you know if they actually show up or not on the day, you can't do much about it. I know it's a bit of a stress when you're the one who has to answer to venue people but we'll all help out if you need it. It'll all be fine, promise.

I'll try and gather myself and sign up in the next couple of days but I'm bringing 4 robots and I'm definitely coming :D
Dave
Die Gracefully Robotics - Barely Even a Proper Team.

cmalton
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Re: AWS55 - 30th June 2018 - Dunchurch Village Hall

Post by cmalton » Mon May 28, 2018 8:45 pm

I will put a call out for a team of volunteers nearer the date to assist with things like tables etc. I would far rather have a handful of people helping than everyone piles in and tries to help. The venue has very specific requirements regarding how tables, chairs, etc are stacked.

As a heads up to people (and I'll put the call out next week once my world is less "on fire" than it is now in a separate thread), I will, however, need the following:
  • 0800-0900 - 2 x Venue Layout team (Mainly tables)
  • 0800-0845 - 2 x Arena Crew (Likely to be me + 1 if my arena)
  • 0830-1000 - 1 x Car Park
  • 0845-1000 - 2 x Front Desk (Check-in)
  • Throughout day - 5 x Judges - You cannot judge your own fights so 5 are needed as 2 judges may end up fighting each other
  • 1700-1745 - 2 x Venue Layout team (Ideally same 2 as morning)
  • 1700-1745 - 2 x Arena Crew (Likely to be me + 1 if my arena)
If you can help with any of those duties please wait for the thread to go up next week once I confirm exactly what I need.

As an aside: Anyone who knows how I run events knows that I "worry" about everything until I know it can't be an issue any more. It's in my nature, and it's virtually impossible to get rid of it from me. I like to have everything planned down to the last little detail, and I don't like to leave anything to chance. In reality, I've had too long to plan AWS55 and it's allowing me to worry about stuff. It's possibly a mild form of OCD. Maybe it's because I used to run a competitive paintball venue where we had to run a really tight ship, I don't know. What I do know, however, is that, yes, I am obsessive about perfection (to a point) - and I want to know I've done as much as possible to limit the number of things that can go wrong. I have a lot going on personally as well at the moment, *probably* shouldn't be running AWS55 - but I will because, a) I said I'd do it and, b) it takes my mind off the other stuff that's going on.

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DieGracefullyRobotics
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Re: AWS55 - 30th June 2018 - Dunchurch Village Hall

Post by DieGracefullyRobotics » Tue May 29, 2018 6:12 am

You're doing fine, my friend. Give yourself time to breathe and don't worry. When all is said and done, if you have a room, an arena and Antlog running, and everyone turns up and listens, then we can run the event fine. You've already finished the hard bit. We can carry you over the finish line if needs be but I'm pretty sure it won't come to that.
Feel free to get in touch if you need help with anything specific too.
Dave
Die Gracefully Robotics - Barely Even a Proper Team.

cmalton
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Re: AWS55 - 30th June 2018 - Dunchurch Village Hall

Post by cmalton » Fri Jun 01, 2018 9:30 pm

So there's some good news for those who haven't entered yet......

After an evening spent playing Tetris with 6 foot and 4 foot tables I've managed to find physical space on the venue for 56 teams (and now I've run out of tables, but have some spare physical space).

I'm therefore not going to close sign-ups at this point in time. That said, we have a hard cap at 128 robots (i.e. 52 more entrants) - I can't work around that as it's a limitation in Antlog.

cmalton
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Re: AWS55 - 30th June 2018 - Dunchurch Village Hall

Post by cmalton » Sun Jun 03, 2018 8:51 pm

Call for volunteers is now open: viewtopic.php?f=9&t=2739

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