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Mission 12 (Design & build): stacking vs side-by-side

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  • Mission 12 (Design & build): stacking vs side-by-side

    Hi everybody,

    we had out 1st meeting discussing all missions this week and there was some healthy debate about understanding the three examples in the game guide for mission 12.

    After we all agreed on the rules, one kid asked a simple question: for scoring is there any advantage to stacking vs just placing separate building units partially in a circle?

    I believe the answer is no, placing 2 tan units side by side would give you 10 points each, but so would stacking 2 tan units for a height of 4.

    Obviously once a circle is filled with single units, stacking will allow score more ( a good opening to talk about why there are so many high rise buildings in cities?).

    Is that everyone's understanding too?

    Thanks,

    Florian






  • #2
    Scoring for 2 tan units side by side is 10 points for color match and 10 points for stacking (two stacks one unit high). Scoring for 2 tan units on top of each other is 10 points for color match and 10 points for stacking (one stack two units high). It is a wash.
    Last edited by Dean Hystad; 09-02-2019, 07:54 PM.

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    • #3
      Our team reached the same conclusion. Seems odd that they would put that much effort into making these blocks stackable and then make the point system not reward it. Any thoughts on why they did that?

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      • #4
        I think it far more odd that you get an entire bag of parts to build a structure not much bigger than four 2X4 bricks snapped together. There is no benefit at all to building any kind of innovative architecture, just compact and easily integrated with your robot attachments architecture.

        Smaller footprint is the most obvious answer to why you would want to stack. Two stacked blocks are more likely to be completely in the circle than two blocks side by side. There are also strategies about mixing colors as shown in the example pictures. I could arrange blocks such that only one color of block is completely inside circle (10 points for color match) and multiple other independent stacks are partially in the circle (points for stacking). As in all FLL missions the goal is to have teams, not FLL, provide reasons for how a mission is solved.

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        • #5
          In our meeting to discuss Mission 12 strategy, we came to the same conclusion. No advantage to stack vertical. It was a good exercise for the kids to read the rules carefully to understand this - as their intuition/instinct was to build vertically.

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          • #6
            Thanks for confirming everyone. I'll make the kids re-read the rules until they can convince me

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            • #7
              Originally posted by criddle858 View Post
              No advantage to stack vertical.
              This item from Dean seems like a significant advantage for stacking.

              Smaller footprint is the most obvious answer to why you would want to stack. Two stacked blocks are more likely to be completely in the circle than two blocks side by side.
              It improves the chances for mission success, by reducing the required accuracy for placement ... as long as the stack doesn't fall over.
              FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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              • #8
                What are your thoughts on what is "Flat Down"?

                In Mission 12, color-matching, the rules require that the color-matching Unit be "Completely In, and Flat Down on the Mat"
                The building units have gray plates on what kids are presuming to be the bottom. In the Game Guide, page 6, the photo on the far right depicting the 40 points with color match and 6 levels toatl shows the red Building Unit with the gray parts on the mat. Nothing says what is up or down for a Building Unit and nothing says the gray is the bottom.
                The same photo shows the white Building Unit at level 2 and 3 with the gray to the side. The tan Building Unit has the gray up and the blue Building Unit has the gray to the side.
                But, the same photo has the level 1 white Building Unit with the gray down on the mat.

                Here's why this becomes a question, the Note under the scoring for Height states:
                "A Stack is one or more Building Units with Level 1 touching Flat Down on the Mat, and any higher level touching Flat Down on the level below."
                When it says level 1 must touch flat down, does that mean the gray must be flat down on the mat as depicted in the 40 point photo or, could white level 1 in that photo have been turned so that the gray was to the side which could earn 5 more points?

                The Note says that the higher levels must touch "Flat Down on the level below" and the photo shows a white on the side so it appears that Flat Down does not mean gray down.
                The rules already require that the stacks be "independent" so the addition of flat down does not seem to add any more requirement beyond having a stack resting in a manner that is not tumbled. It would seem that if a stack has at least one side fully flat on the mat or on a lower level, that is "Flat Down." If so, than the red Unit in the 40 point photo could also be turned gray to the side or gray to the top (ok, yes, it would tip over, assume it doesn't or another level keeps it up Jenga style,or there is a blue unit tucked under it) and the same points would be earned, just as long as the side resting on the mat is in full contact with the mat.

                The intent seems clear, avoid a dump truck dumping a jumbled pile in a circle.

                As a side note, why all the capital letters for all the terms when they are undefined in the rules?

                FLL coach Trash Trek on, State 4x, World 2x, ref, judge advisor.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by DJR View Post
                  What are your thoughts on what is "Flat Down"?
                  I think "flat down" means that one face of the building unit must be in complete contact with the mat. I do not take 'flat down" to require that be the gray "bottom" of the building.


                  As a side note, why all the capital letters for all the terms when they are undefined in the rules?
                  That is an excellent question. FIRST does not seem to use any technical documentation conventions regarding use of capitalization.
                  FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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                  • #10
                    The scoring sheet for FLL only gives points for levels, not blocks, unless they are the same color as the circle. Thus Stacking seems the only way to go to get additional points.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by peter schuyler View Post
                      The scoring sheet for FLL only gives points for levels, not blocks, unless they are the same color as the circle. Thus Stacking seems the only way to go to get additional points.
                      Stacking is not necessary to get maximum points. This is a confusing mission for many.

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                      • #12
                        I think we need to be a bit careful on this thread...teams should be figuring out what the optimal strategy is and what configuration of stacking is best for them. :-)
                        Mentor: FLL 51 2011-2018 (retired, World Festival Champion's); FRC 8027 (2020-)
                        Judge: Western PA, World Festival, Razorback Open, Mountain State
                        Head Referee: Western PA Championships

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by sseshan View Post
                          I think we need to be a bit careful on this thread...teams should be figuring out what the optimal strategy is and what configuration of stacking is best for them. :-)
                          Thanks for the reminder.
                          FIRST LEGO League Mentor and Referee/Head Referee since 2011.

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                          • #14
                            Even though the topic of this is stacked vs. side by side, which implies scoring, nobody is dealing with the very confusing issue of how points will be awarded for this mission. I have finally received a very clear understanding from the lead Ref in our region when nobody on this thread helped. 2 cases: 1). four 2 story buildings all laying flat on mat inside the circle - scored 8 levels. 2) four 2 story buildings stacked six levels high - scored 6 levels.

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                            • #15
                              I don't think anyone found the scoring confusing. Count up the height of each independent stack and add them together. The real question is, and the question of the original post, is why is there no scoring advantage to stacking? Seems like a stacking mission should reward you for stacking.

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