At ‘The Meeting’](https://www.chiefdelphi.com/forums/showthread.php?threadid=163123), it was said that WOW did not have the infrastructure to become a district. Most took this to mean things like a 501©(3), business plan, etc.
However, WOWnd believes the true missing ingredient is a recurring semi-anonymous preview/recap post on Chief Delphi. We intend to rectify the situation here and now. Unfortunately, we only thought of it pretty much here and pretty much now. We apologize to all the teams we were not able to discuss throughout the season.
Nevertheless! We are excited to give everyone a preview of what West/Central PA, OH, and WV has to offer in the next few weeks. WOW teams headed to Champs are in bold :
How They Punched Their Tickets
The well traveled Hall of Famers :
We lead off with a team that has the bluest banner of them all, last year’s Championship Chairman’s [St. Louis], 2614 (MARS). Southern latitudes seem to suit this team, as their robust martian-red scale scoring machine brought blue banners from Palmetto and Smoky Mountains home to West Virginia this year. On frigid shores at Buckeye, they were the #1 selection, but were unable to turn it into a third banner (having to “settle” for their third regional Industrial Design trophy on the year instead). Could the next trip north bring more hardware for the Mountaineers?
Traveling in the opposite direction, 120 (Cleveland’s Team) is the only WOW team headed to Houston. In their namesake city, this nimble bot had no trouble soloing the vault - requiring only half the match to do so. That left plenty of time for switch attack and their low-profile hook to tack on a climb. They captured the Einstein title as a second round pick in 2016. They’ve built a robot this year which can certainly follow that same recipe for success.
Maybe black powder coating is the secret :
While the top contender from West Virginia is the black-and-red bot discussed above, one of the top contenders out of Ohio sports black-and-purple. Featuring an autonomous that, if you squint, reminds one of a black-and-blue bot from out west, is 4028 (Beak Squad). They brought the innovation in control award and, after a hard fought three round finals, a Wildcard spot out of MVR.
Like UMBC over UVA… but with robots :
The Beaks’ autonomous powered them to the #1 seed at GPR. Having put up the regional high score with this team in qualifications, the Beaks confidently picked fellow avian enthusiasts 217 (Thunder Chickens) [FiM]. The #1 alliance rounded out with 5740 (Trojanators), a highly capable everybot-style switch attacker that already had a ticket to Detroit from Engineering Inspiration at MVR. Reminiscent of the Chickens’ trip to GPR last year, the Quarterfinals were not without controversy, and some bad luck. The first match’s autonomous saw the Chickens score to the wrong switch side, and the Beaks to move to the wrong side of the scale. Did the FMS send incorrect switch/scale position data? In any case, combined with a critical break to the Trojanators’ gripper, the top alliance was not able to recover. They lost two straight to alliance #8. But, all three members of GPR’s alliance #1 will come into Detroit with repairs made, autonomous modes tuned, and ready to make a statement.
4028 - [the #] 1 [alliance] = 4027 :
With the #1 seed out, the race at GPR was wide open. In the #2 position, 303 [FMA] decided to TEST the waters of western PA by selecting 4027 (Centre County 4-H). Matching it’s arcade-game silhouette, the 4-H team’s machine was putting up video-game like numbers on the scale. With the second selection, the alliance added an O to pair with Centre County’s W (get it… WOW) and selected 6032 (Pirate Robotics). An ultra-low center of gravity vault/switch bot, they looked to be the first Pirates to win a title in the city of Pittsburgh since 1979 (sorry Bucs fans).
Speaking of City of Champions :
The GPR playoffs featured teams that were qualified (or would qualify) for Champs up and down the bracket. 4522 (Team SCREAM) [MO] was looking to win a regional on the #3 alliance for the second time this year, after triumph from that same spot at Heartland. But the #6 alliance had other plans plans. Their first pick, 3504 (Girls of Steel), was ready for another deep run after capturing the #3 ranking (and a Wildcard spot) at MVR. The GoS rock-solid scaler can go toe-to-toe with any and all challengers and powered through quarterfinals. In a 3-game semifinal, the #2 and #6 alliances both scaled to the brim. It all came down to the vault, with the Pirates of the #2 alliance making the difference to capture the win. But the Rosie inspired team wasn’t done riveting the GPR crowd yet, as their winning Chairman’s video was the one to roll at the end of the event.
Back on the field, on the other side of the bracket, the #5 alliance sported an impressive resume of their own. Fresh off a win with MARS in South Carolina, 5472 (Stallion Robotics) [FL] gladly accepted an invite from 4145 (WorBots) of Columbus, OH. Like the Girls of Steel and Centre County 4-H, the WorBots WorDown opponents with a stream of cubes up on the scale. The final member of the alliance, 337 (Hard Working Hard Hats), was also keen to capture the GPR prize. The last time they did so (2015) was their opening act to Carver Division win in St. Louis. With the Hard Hats putting in workmanlike effort on the vault, the #5 alliance went on the WorPath, securing a sport in the finals against alliance #2.
The GPR finals lived up to the scale-battle hype, with neither alliance having more than a 1 or 2 cube lead at any time, and multiple late-game back-and-forth tilts. In the end, the teeter tottered to the #2 alliance, and they walked away with the banners. #5 didn’t leave feeling too bad though. Between the Wildcard and the Hard Hat’s Engineering Inspiration win, all three members would be headed to Champs.
Creativity in Cat-tion :
All this talk of GPR risks overlooking 2018’s WOW dynamic duo, starting with 379 (RoboCats). Though they can place cubes on the scale with the best of them, the RobotCat’s claim to fame is certainly their climber. Able to take two bots along for the ride, the RoboCats racked up the highest average qualification ranking score (2.96) of any team in the WOW region. Ranked #1 at MVR and #2 at Buckeye, the ‘Cats had their pick of the litter for a first alliance partner. Both times, they called on the services of 291 (CIA, Creativity in Action). Employing an effective and unique design (they appear to be the only championship-bound WOW scale bot without Andymark’s compliant wheels, for instance), the CIA frequently spied 2 cubes up on their scale in autonomous.
Having seen the potential of their scale synergy and climb cooperation in a Saturday morning MVR qual match, the pair was ready to roll in the playoffs. However, the semifinals saw them fall to a stiff alliance #4, featuring two FiM teams who would go on to win 3 districts between them. Undeterred, they got the band back together on the #2 alliance at Buckeye. Again they faced a strong Semis challenge, featuring the quick over-the-head style vault filling of MVR Chairman’s winners, 3324 (Metrobots). But it was the Cats/CIA teamup that moved to the finals.
Wildcards secured for all finalists, the last matches at Buckeye looked to determine only medal color - but it was a classic nonetheless. Having fallen just short one week prior to a WOW/FMA teamup at GPR, the WorBots were back in the finals with a partner from the east of their own, 3314 (Mechanical Mustangs) [FMA]. The only team to see playoff action at all three WOW-footprint regionals, the WorBots were unfazed after losing the first finals match. The second match saw win for the wors, and a breakdown of alliance #2’s vault robot’s gripper. Tagging a team off the reserves to handle vault duties for the final match, the RoboCats and CIA couldn’t quite get in sync with their new partner - and the #4 alliance claimed their hard-won banners.
Get Your Game On, Go Play :
The WOW field rounds out with three teams who missed regional playoff action, but could be called up as championship teams look to add vault/switch specialists. First, 5413 (Stellar Robotics) has a robot capable of placing on the scale, but like the Metrobots, they’ve found their over-the-head cube manipulator does it’s best work near the alliance wall. Capturing Engineering Inspiration at Buckeye, they’ll look to hone their vaulting skills and possibly add in a climb while they’re at it.
WOW’s pair of rookie representatives leads off with MVR All-Star 6936 (Beaver Bots - Vault 6936). With vault in their name, they decided to throw a changeup and play the switches most matches. Driving more confidently in each outing, they’ll look to keep the momentum going in Motor City. In Buckeye, the low-profile 6964 (Upper Arlington) took the All-Star award. Focusing on the vault, this team looks to continue pushing down their cube cycle times in their second-ever event as a team in Detroit.
How They Punched Their Tickets (In Far Less Words)
120 (Hall of Fame)
291 (Buckeye Wildcard)
337 (GPR Engineering Inspiration)
379 (Buckeye Wildcard)
2614 (Hall of Fame, Palmetto Winner, Smokey Mountain Winner)
3324 (MVR Chairmans)
3504 (MVR Wildcard, GPR Chairmans)
4027 (GPR Winner)
4028 (MVR Wildcard)
4145 (GPR Wildcard, Buckeye Winners)
5413 (Buckeye Engineering Inspiration)
5740 (MVR Engineering Inspiration)
6032 (GPR Winner)
6936 (MVR Rookie All Star)
6964 (Buckeye Rookie All Star)
Our sincerest apologies for whichever awards (or entire teams) we inevitably missed
With roughly 400 teams in Detroit, 12% will captain an alliance, and a further 36% will be selected. We’ll wave our hands and apply those ratios directly to the 14 team WOW contingent. The result is 1.7 captains (let’s be optimistic and round up to 2) and a further 5 teams selected :
Alliance Captains: 379, 2614
First Rounds Picks: 4028
Second Round Picks: 291, 4027
Third Round Picks: 3504, 4145
But, those projections are “qualification power rankings” as much as anything. If an alliance is in the market for a compact vault or switch attack specialist, look for 6032 or 3324 to make the bracket over the scale specialists above (ditto for 120 in Houston).
Will WOW be able to make some noise on the fields in Detroit? Can WOW capture a Championship Chairman’s banner for a second consecutive year? Did we violate Chief Delphi’s terms and conditions by making an unverified anonymous account? Will The MARtian be the one writing for a quarter of these teams next year? Find out all this, and more, next time from All WOWnd Up!