**Week 3 Recap: **
HERDING, BULLDOZING, and yellow cards, oh my!
In Week 3 the Hampton Roads event was headlined by questionable rules interpretations. HERDING was called any time a drive team even thought about touching a second cube.
For example, see QM57 where team 3389 is given a red card for BULLDOZING two cubes a few feet at the end of the match when not already CARRYING a cube. G22 blue box example clearly states:
In the highly trained opinion of the CHS Platter, 3389’s actions were clearly BULLDOZING, not HERDING. The cubes only moved a few feet, and the movement was obviously not strategic. This is not the only example of less than stellar HERDING calls, simply the best example.
While the Platter does not aim to blame any volunteers who so graciously donate their time, we do place blame on FIRST HQ for this problem. The GDC has put referees in a bad position by writing ambiguous rules and telling teams that “Repeated violations of this rule are likely to escalate rapidly to YELLOW or RED CARDS” while not defining exactly what “escalate rapidly” means until a Q&A Answer after the conclusion of week 3 events. From talking with teams that frequented the question box about HERDING fouls, the referees were calling penalties the way they were guided by HQ. This is the first instance to our recollection of penalties or warnings transcending multiple matches.
We encourage all teams competing in week 4 and beyond to ask your head referee for explanation and demonstration of G22 fouls during your event’s drivers meeting so that there is no confusion. Consistency is key across the event.
Now, back to the robots.
The Hampton Roads event saw a shakeup at the top of the rankings with 6334 Aluminati’s new and improved robot storming to the top after competing in NC last week. Their upgraded intake stole cubes from other robot’s intakes and nearly stole the show as well, seeding #2 and shaking up alliance selection before making a run into the finals. The common thought until now was that alliances needed two strong scale bots as the first and second alliance member, but switch-only captain 6334 was somehow able to select two scale bots in 5546 ART and 977 Cometbots. In the end the #2 alliance wasn’t quite strong enough to fend off the #4 alliance of 5724 Spartan Robotics, 122 NASA Knights, and 2028 Phantom Mentalists. Both 5724 and 2028 picked up their first ever blue banners.
In Southern Maryland, the #1 alliance of 5587 Titan Robotics and 1885 ILITE went down in the semis after 1885 broke their elevator gearbox, opening the door for the #4 alliance of 623 Cougar Robotics, 611 Saxons, and 5115 Knight Riders to take the win against the #2 alliance of 612 Chantilly, 888 Robotiators, 2914 TIGER PRIDE, and 2900 The Mighty Penguins (called in as a backup for the final match). In the finals, 612 outpaced the 623/611 combo on the scale but it wasn’t enough. This marks 611’s first ever blue banner in their 18th season.
Interesting CHSy Fact: Three of the six event winners picked up their first ever blue banners in week 3.
CHS Platter - Week Four - HERDING
The final week of CHS district events brings us to the annual CHS Platter DCMP district points cutoff estimate: 55
Assuming a 60 team DCMP as stated in the manual, teams with 55 or more district points should be safely qualified for DCMP. The shakeup in Blacksburg may drive this number down a few points if some teams are unable to compete at the new location, or teams playing their 3rd event are added as fillers. Teams finishing in the 52-54 point range may be at the mercy of others declining their DCMP invite.
The #1 seeds will likely have problems again this week at both competitions as neither event will have any notable teams around for the 24th pick. We hope this week’s teams can prove us wrong. Other teams needing those coveted district points will be working hard to rank high or be a 1st round pick to have a chance to compete again next weekend.
Number of Registered Teams: 32?
TBA page: https://www.thebluealliance.com/event/2018vabla
Extra Sharp Prediction: This event will feature a first time Chairman’s Award finalist.
Mother Nature: This event has been relocated to Richmond due to a forecast for a foot of snow in Blacksburg, pending 28 teams are able to attend. Yikes. We hear the event in Asheville, NC, has some open slots. If only inter-district points were available.
1262 (18.60) - After picking up their first #1 seed in team history at Deep Run, 1262 has their eyes on the prize this week but will have stiff competition in Blacksburg. Reliability claimed the STAGs the top spot two weeks ago but they need to make faster cycles to stay at the top this week and earn their first banner since 2013.
346 (15.20) - The original CHS bird team, this cube shooting robot will soar to the top of everyone’s pick list after winning Deep Run from the #6 captain position. No more flying under the radar after debuting a same side scale/switch auto and dialing in shooter speed to not bounce cubes out of the scale.
Others to watch for:
401 (16.20) - When it works, it’s fast, if not they’re still an excellent exchange bot, which led these ex-Hokies to their first blue banner in 13 years at Deep Run. If Copperhead can keep their elevator fixed they will be a top player at their home event.
384 (16.00) - Sparky needed a weight loss regimen at Deep Run to get their climber working, but their elevator is still fast. 384 will easily seed high again at their second event and will secure their spot at DCMP just by showing up.
Honorable Mentions: We normally wouldn’t list this, but these team’s performances this season outweigh their current CHSyness rankings. At the smallest event in the district this season there are potentially more accomplished scale bots than any other event in CHS.
3072 (#1 seed in HR)
5724 (winners in HR)
1086 (we couldn’t leave ourselves out!)
3274 (winners in NOVA)
Number of Registered Teams: 40
TBA page: https://www.thebluealliance.com/event/2018mdedg
Extra Sharp Prediction: Maryland teams will take home four blue banners at this event.
**The Favorites: **
836 (20.20) - The automatic cube pickup was nice but multiple misses slowed down cycle times at Deep Run. The Bees didn’t utilize their over the top scoring mechanism nearly as much as they should have at Central Virginia. Known for making major design shifts mid season, we’ll see if they show up to Central Maryland with a trick.
1629 (18.60) - A multi-cube switch autonomous led this team deep into the finals of Greater DC. Not only can this bot switch bot as well as most switch bots, it can also put up a respectable fight for the scale. Look for them to set the metagame that everyone else has to respond to at this event.
Others to watch for:
5115 (16.80) - Winners last week in Oxon Hill, the Knight Riders will qualify for the DCMP by just showing up for this event but they’ll pad on the points looking to secure their first trip to the WCMP.
2537 (14.60) - Space RAIDers moved up into the #6 captain spot at GDC but were herded out of the playoffs in the quarter finals by the eventual winning alliance. They need to put up another good showing to make sure they make it to the DCMP this year.
4456 (12.20) - 30th: that was Mech Cadet’s rank after Greater DC qualification matches. Yet the rank was hardly indicative that the robot was capable of going toe to toe at the switch against two high-performing scale bots in GDC finals 3. Throughout the elimination tournament, 4456 absolutely demolished opponent switches, and even put a clutch cube or two on the scale. If they can further develop their autonomous routines, look for this team to seed high, play late on Sunday, and possibly bring home a second blue banner.
339 (8.00) - CHSyness score aside, one of the top scale bots at Central VA in week 2 boasting a same side scale auto, Kilroy was the 3rd seed and obvious #1 pick to the Platter scouting team but were passed over by the top two alliances. Searching for their first blue banner since 2002, can Kilroy work their way into the winning alliance this week?
Season Platter Prediction Results:
For the third year in a row, a rookie team is on the winning DCMP alliance.
An out of district team wins an event (900 isn’t coming this year).
At least one team will be a first time DCA winner.
The #1 and #2 seeds do not pair up in this event. (vahay)
In 2014, 225 & 1731 beat 1885 & 1418 using a thinking-outside-the-box strategy. The favorites will pair up again with possibly different combinations. Look for big strategies to play out in any match with two or more of them in it.
One alliance will contain 2 teams with the numbers 1XXX and another alliance will contain 2 teams with 3 digit numbers
VAPOR will have the highest success percentage among CHS district events with Face the Boss rank points and the lowest success percentage in the district with Auto Quest rank points.
The winning alliance will feature two first-time district event winners.