Re: Einstein 2014
I usually don't make predictions, but this'll be my first time attending champs, so I might as well put some fun into this whole predicting thing.
The divisions are powerful this year (though they are every year), and due to the dynamic nature of this year's game and the inclusion of a fourth robot on each alliance at champs, I will not even attempt to hazard a guess at the third pick for each team.
That being said, on to the alliances. 4 divisions, 12 teams.
Archimedes: 33, 2056, 1662
Curie: 254, 469, 865
Galileo: 67, 148, 766
Newton: 1114, 610, 5188
Archimedes: They truss, they shoot high, they maneuver with finesse, and they have very powerful and experienced drive coaches. 33 and 2056 are two very different robots who know how to play the same game very well. For the most part, there is nothing that one can do that the other can't, and they will abuse this ability to switch roles between and sometimes even within matches to create an intense mind game against their opponents, making them almost unpredictable in both their movements and their strategies. Like all alliances, they are going to look for a third partner who can start an assist cycle quickly and simply, but unlike most alliances they will also want their alliance member to be able to play multiple roles just like them, to further increase the versatility of this alliance. Because of this, the Michigan and Canadian powerhouses will pick 1662, Raptor Force Engineering, from Lodi, California. With 1662's flat body and simple intake, they will easily be able to inbound from the human player and quickly feed their partners in any way possible. However not only does Raptor Force have a high potential for inbounding, their shooting abilities are also powerful, and if they can launch the ball before an opponent knocks it out of them, their versatility could provide a great unexpected truss shot to a human player or even a high goal score.
Curie: People thought Curie had a great chance last year, and an even greater one in 2010, but nobody can deny that while we all know better than to expect the curse to magically go away, there's something with the lineup this year that gives us all that one thought, buried in the back of our minds, that maybe...just maybe....this'll be the year. While the division is(double) stacked, the winning alliance will be headed by Team 254, The Cheesy Poofs. Dubbed the "winningest team of all time" (and for a good reason), the Poofs and their robot Barrage will bombard the competition with their highly versatile style of play and their 65 pt. CheesyVision™-assisted autonomous. While the team with the most swag usually finds success as the run and gun scorer of the alliance, as seen at Waterloo they are well versed in any position they play in, including trussing machine and defensive beast. That being said, I can still see their preferred alliance role as the catcher and scorer of their alliance, and they've been itching to abuse their sweet catching system. Their pick is going to be a machine that will be able to play just as many roles as they do, but can also assist (no pun intended) them in their goal of as many cycles in as little time possible. For that, their answer lies with perennial Michigan powerhouse 469. The Las Guerrillas machine is simply made of magic and innovation, because if you look closely you can't find much else holding the machine together. Despite not being as aesthetically pleasing as 254's robot, the 469 beast is going to be one of the most well-engineered machines on the field, and their abilities to work well with 254's robot will make them an excellent alliance partner. Rounding out the alliance will be 865, Warp 7. Warp 7 won the Waterloo regional with 254 just a few weeks back, and while many other teams won't see the use in them, 254 will know from their experience in the cold, cold north that this team will be an amazing steal in the alliance selections. 865 will play the usual 'start the cycle' strategy that many second picks are often seen doing, and just like at 'loo they'll surprise everyone with their ability to start quickly and end quickly.
Galileo: The division of the father of modern science will be filled with just that - modern science. The big teams here have been around since the beginning, but are still the ones making the next big things for us all to be amazed by. Luckily for everyone one of the many inventions that utilizes the physics brought around by our friend the Italian scientist is the air conditioning, which will be needed greatly because this division will be hot, hot, HOT. That's right, 67 is back in Galileo after a 5 year absence, and they're ready to repeat their victory from 2009. High power, high scoring, and the knowledge and experience of 3 world championship titles are going to launch the HOT team high into the rankings and heat up the competition. Of course the only thing to compliment the heat is more heat, and that can only be found in Texas. Contrary to popular belief, the dark side isn't cooler - it's hotter, and this is further proven by the red and black aura of 148's decadrive drifting, dual saber-wielding robot Vader. These two teams will put the pressure on their opponents while they play a high-paced and fast action game. The only way this heated alliance can raise the temperature will be to go to the west coast and enlist in the assistance of 766, making an alliance that nobody on Galileo will be able to bear. 766 has proven itself as not only a great inbounder, but also time and time again showcased their ability to shut down opponents with a style of defense that ain't too familiar to us west coast folk. The team from Menlo Atherton High School will only multiply this alliance's already searing strategy by putting their friction to the test as they shut down one of their opponents turning the game into a 3 on 2. This alliance will be one of the hottest on Einstein. There will be burnt motors and magic smoke.
Newton: The antithesis of the Galileo alliance, Newton knows cold, and they're not going to be afraid to use it. While it took 3 competitions to get things just right, 1114 and Simbot Evolution will hit the ground at champs running at full speed, and they don't plan on stopping anytime soon. The Simbots have ditched their much loved surgical tubing punch that many teams have adapted from SS for a sleeker and more refined wheeled shooter, and this is going to separate them from all of the other SS-inspired designs. That being said, I see SS Jr. playing very much like his father before him and shooting large exercise balls over a truss. Yup, 1114 knows strategy, and they know how to maximize points in their alliance. In order to do so, they want a robot who scores better than them, and luckily they know of one who is only a little over 112 km away from them. That's right, another powerhouse from the north, Team 610 is going to compliment the 1114-lead alliance quite nicely. Their multi-axis intake alongside their accurate and fast shooting will allow the 1114 alliance to shoot to a human player, quickly load it into 610, and have that ball scored within a matter of seconds. 610 is looking for a back to back championship win, and this is looking like one of their best bets. Unlike a lot of these alliances, 1114 and 610 won't just be going for speed, they'll also be going for raw power. Both the Simbots and the Coyotes know how to push robots around and get through tough defense, and this ability will set them apart from the rest when it comes down to Einstein. Because of this, they need a third robot who has years of experience with high power offense and high power defensive play. Unfortunately 469 is in Curie, but not far from Michigan is a rookie team from Terre Haute, Indiana, who is mentored by 3 recent 469 alumni. 5188 is going to fly under most team's radars being a rookie who only attended one event, but what many won't see is that they not only won highest rookie seed and RAS at the Crossroads regional, but they also took home the gold at the event as the second pick in the second alliance. With a professional-looking West Coast Drive driving a 469-style robot, this team has the power and experience that 1114 and 610 will be looking for to round out their alliance.
There are no clear victors here, and I expect most if not all matchups will go to three matches. That being said, here is what I see as a possible outcome:
Archimedes vs. Curie - 33, 2056, 1662 vs. 254, 469, 865
This will be a tough one, as the first two robots on each side are equally powerful. This is going to come down to the third robot on each alliance, and unfortunately 1662's flat design will allow the ball to get knocked out of their possession at a crucial time, losing them the matchup.
Curie wins in 3 matches.
Galileo vs. Newton - 67, 148, 766 vs. 1114, 610, 5188
The killer here is going to be defense played while offense is played, a tricky combination that will only be successfully executed by the Newton division teams. It will be a tough match in the beginning, but with 1114 blocking 148 midfield while trussing to their human player and 610 counter defending 766 while scoring the balls they get, things will quickly swing towards the blue alliance side.
Newton wins in 2, maybe 3 matches.
The final matchup: Curie vs. Newton - 254, 469, 865 vs. 1114, 610, 5188
The Curie alliance won their last few matches against Archimedes because of the solidity of their robots even though offensively the alliances were equal. The Newton team took their victory against Galileo because of their ability to defend and score at the same time. However here there is an equal match in those regards. To be honest there is no way I can even compare these two alliances, let alone determine a winner, so I cannot accurately predict a winner. Because of the nature of this game and the fact that it is indeed Aerial Assault, I'm gonna have Curie break the curse and win because of a foul.
First two matches are very close, first one going to red alliance, second one going to blue alliance, result is Curie winning the final match because of a sketchy call of G12 that nobody will be able to prove but won't be redacted, being the sole reason the curse is broken. 254 and 469 get their second championship wins, and 865 gets their first.
Well, that's all I have to say about this whole thing. Lunacy was an inside job. Karthik for President. Water Game.