CHS Platter - Week One - The CHSy Dip

CHS Platter - Week One - The CHSy Dip

Week One of the FIRST Chesapeake District brings us to Southwest Virginia and Northern Virginia.

In the 2017 FIRST Chesapeake Season, the CHS Platter is eager to observe how teams prepare for takeoff using lessons learned from the 2016 season. Teams in other regions have been quick to adjust to the new competition format of districts-- for example, a re-emerging middle tier has significantly raised the quality of play in FIRST in New England. How will traditionally lower-powered teams use lessons learned from the region’s top players last year? Will the veteran and rising powers of the region be able to maintain their edge? The first look at how well this CHS has aged after one whole year under districts will be witnessed this weekend.

Scouts from the Platter have waded into the CHSy depths of the refrigerator and witnessed two seemingly opposing developments. First, the few ambitious teams that chose to capture the tower with complex robots last year ended up with a taste of moldy CHS, leaving ample room for simpler low-goal-oriented robots to rise to the DCMP finals and claim the championship. Now, we are seeing teams of all ranges of age and resources employing a simpler design approach, designing strong gear mechanisms and consistent climbers while their consideration for fuel is as nonexistent as dairy products at a vegan Thanksgiving.

The curious development, however, is the large number of teams (who previously stormed 2016’s outer works with tank drive) choosing this year to drive with mecanums – known among the CHS Platter as “vectored intake wheels.” We are puzzled by the near-majority of teams from last year’s top 20 who will bring omnidirectional drive to the fields. Will these teams slide around defense, or will they still be the stinky cheese of picklists?

Just like swapping out provolone for pepper jack, FIRST Chesapeake district events will be bringing some spicy new foreign flavors this year. A dozen teams from the Mid-Atlantic, Indiana, and North Carolina districts will take the field in Chesapeake events, with the overwhelming majority hoofing it out to Blacksburg, VA. As out-of-state teams stick their toes in the shallow end of FIRST Steamworks, how will the hometown heroes playing for points work with their guests? We predict a lot of unfinished robots in Blacksburg will keep fuel scores low and alliance selections zesty.

Extra Sharp Prediction: CHS will see zero 40 kPa matches.

Northern Virginia
Number of Registered Teams: 39
Event page:
Event stream:
TBA page:
CHSyness: 45 (+8 above CHS average)

The Favorites:
2363 (87 CHSyness) - Triple Helix ranked 1st at their two District Events last season but ranked 46th and 40th at the DCMP and CMP. We expect them to continue their dominance in this early event but will that carry over to the post-season this year?
1731 (83 CHSyness) - Fresta Valley played in the finals of Newton and placed second in both District Events. They can be expected to place high this year and advance to DCMP and St. Louis, with strong performance in the offseason as well.
1418 (76 CHSyness) - Vae Victus won every single one of their CHS events last year, including the DCMP. Like last year, it seems that they finished their robot early and have gotten in a lot of drive practice. This should provide them a major advantage in the early matches while the other teams are still getting the feel for their robots.
346 (65 CHSyness) - Robohawks are returning to Chesapeake play after a top 5 finish and unfortunate exit in the finals of DCMP last season. 346 will have its eyes on the high goal early, this time sporting a dual fuel shooter.

Others to watch for:
1610 (64 CHSyness) - While the newly-rebranded Blackwater Robotics may yet again bring the event’s 24th-best robot, expect this team to be a de-facto captain of their alliance and play late into Sunday afternoon.
4242 (64 CHSyness) - Last year, this team was a FRESH surprise to come out of College Park and into World Championship in St Louis.
623 (64 CHSyness) - After making it to semifinals at both of their District Events and quarters at DCMP last year, 623 is likely to once again establish a steady trend in 2017. Expect a well-rounded performance that continues into the offseason.
1137 (64 CHSyness) - Rocket Sauce is notable for their incredible and consistent record of improvement over the past four years. Our CHSyness Score confirms that this small community-based team has improved more in this period than any other CHS team. 1137 will maintain their high performance this season with an all-arounder robot based on the KOP chassis.

Southwest Virginia
Number of Registered Teams: 38
Event page:
Event stream:
TBA page:
CHSyness: 48 (+11 above CHS average)

1629 (82 CHSyness) - Garrett Coalition’s average rank over the past 3 season has not been outside of the top 15% at their regular season events. We don’t expect that to change this year either. 1629 will be in a picking position yet again at their first event of the season.
836 (79 CHSyness) - Last year The RoboBees avoided putting a shooter on their robot until the DCMP (until they decided to take it off again). This year it seems they have gone with a similar strategy of no shooter. Last year it won them all three of their CHS events… who are we to argue?
1262 (73 CHSyness) - Consistently above-average robots put the STAGs in the running yet again. Finalists at this event last year, look for 1262 to seed highly again. We’ve got our eyes on you.
1676 (73 CHSyness) - Although The Pascack PI-oneers won their two district events last year they were not putting themselves in the picking positions they are used to. Making their return to Virginia for the first time since their back-to-back Virginia regional wins in 2010-11, they’ll be using this event to practice for their own MAR events and get a leg up on the home competition. As one of two teams at the event already booked for St Louis, they have the long haul in mind. Pascack won’t be earning any points but expect this team to be near the top Sunday afternoon.

Others to watch for:
3314 (72 CHSyness) - This week kicks off a brutal run of 4 events prior to the MAR DCMP. Hopefully the Mechanical Mustangs don’t run out of horsepower before the end of the season.
401 (69 CHSyness) - 401 looks to double down on complex drivetrain philosophy this year, opting for an octocanum system for locomotion. Will the host team be sliding around the field with a finished robot and end up picking on Sunday afternoon, or will they be needing some CHScake to get themselves in the game?
5279 (67 CHSyness) - The Bionic Eagles used multiple off-season events to train a completely new drive team. This young team found success last season and look to return with another sturdy bright red bot, but we’re concerned that their climber may be too far inside their frame to be effective
1086 (63 CHSyness) - Like 401, current world champion 1086 is bringing an octocanum robot with questionable completion to the Southwest Virginia event. Unlike 401, they already have their ticket punched to St Louis. How will these cheeseheads approach this early event with a new drive team and a locked up Championship bid?

Extra Sharp Prediction: CHS will see zero 40 kPa matches.

I think this will be wrong. I hope it is.

To clarify, that prediction is only for this week.

Looking forward to seeing everyone this weekend!

Didn’t realize you were coming to SW. Good luck!

hes busy this weekend

didnt you hear the nintendo switch is coming out

It’s funny because when I think of the Chesapeake bay I think of seafood, not cheese…

For the rest of the story - see you Saturday!

Please, our drive is the simplest thing we have on this robot :stuck_out_tongue:

Wrong link, Steve.

Extra Sharp Prediction: CHS will see zero 40 kPa matches.

Northern Virginia Match 45. #MissionAccomplished

Well Done 346!. I too did not believe 40 kPA could be done in our district this week. It is hard for me to believe that FIRST did not put more stock in fuel points. You accomplished something has only been done 4x on week one so far; less than any other task to be completed during steam works and you received minimal points for it in comparison to gears (4 gears happened 6x). I believe even with this tremendous feat you did not win match. I don’t understand how this can be! It is obvious the point values this year are a bit out of whack, however I don’t believe we can change them at this point in the game. With that being said it seems again that simplicity and consistency with gear handling and climbing will win you matches at the district qualifiers. IMO one gear placed in auto, and one more placed in tele op for a total of two rotors along with a climbing every time will be enough to win most matches. It will be interesting to see how teams adjust over the weeks. I don’t think the value of 346’s shooter will fully be realized until district championships where good partnerships and evolving shooters will allow for gears and shooting to be displayed in the same match. I predict winning alliances at the championship will have 3 climbers, 2 rotors during auto, 4 rotors total or 40 kpa bonus but not both based upon what I have observed from my the live feeds.

Good Luck the rest of the weekend all teams! It was fun to watch.

2363 - Finalist, #3 in OPR, 1st pick of #4 alliance, set high score in Q49
1731 - Winner, #2 in OPR, captain of #3 alliance, **set high score in Q49 and then matched it in F3 for the win
**1418 - Quarterfinalist, 1st pick of #1 alliance
346 - Semifinalist, 1st pick of #2 alliance, 40kpa achieved
1610 - Quarterfinalist, 1st pick of #6 alliance
4242 - Quarterfinalist, 2nd pick of #7 alliance
623 - Finalist, captain of #4 alliance, set high score in Q49
1137 - Quarterfinalist, 2nd pick of #6 alliance

Winners predicted 1/3 * 1.85 weighting
Finalists predicted 2/3 * 1.11 weighting
Semifinalists predicted 1/6 * 0.56 weighting
Quarterfinalists predicted 4/12 * 0.19 weighting

Prediction score 5.4/10

1629 - Quarterfinalist, #1 in OPR, 1st pick of #3 alliance, set high score in Q55
836 - Semifinalist, captain of #4 alliance
1262 - Quarterfinalist, 1st pick of #2 alliance
1676 - Quarterfinalist, 1st pick of #8 alliance, set high score in Q55
3314 - Not picked
401 - Quarterfinalist, captain of #3 alliance
5279 - Quarterfinalist, 1st pick of #5 alliance
1086 - Finalist, 2nd pick of #7 alliance

Winners predicted 0/3 * 1.85 weighting
Finalists predicted 1/3 * 1.11 weighting
Semifinalists predicted 1/6 * 0.56 weighting
Quarterfinalists predicted 5/12 * 0.19 weighting

Prediction score 2.6/10


Last year: Field 0, 900 5
This year: Field 2, 900 0

Seriously, the field fell on our robot multiple times and broke it… That’s egregious behavior by the field and should have lead to the field being disabled since that’s what happened to us last year… Very uncool field, very uncool.

You missed the 4-rotor qual match!

Though rumor has it that it happened in spite of, or because of, members of that alliance not following the pre-determined match strategy. This may be a tell for how future weeks will play out. Rumor also has it that the rotor was hard to spin, leading to some shenanigans that broke the field, which is why some in the audience saw gears go flying. The pilots may not be at fault though - this field is a pain in the butt.

It was pretty cool to see nearly every SF+ robot do something in auton. Most were at least able to attempt to place a gear.

What is SF+

We had a great time playing with all of our Chesapeake friends again this weekend. Huge thanks to all of the volunteers who had to put up with the constant field issues and match delays. If anyone’s interested, Team 1676 has uploaded all of our full-field match footage and videos of the Alliance Selections and Awards Ceremony from the 2017 Southwest Virginia District event to our YouTube Channel: