I was fortunate enough to encounter an actual field today at a kickoff event in Elkhart, and I must say I wish I did FTC this year. As for likely team/robot strategies, here are my initial thoughts:
There are two combinations of events that teams could potentially do in order to score a lot of points in auto - (1) Drive down the ramp, knock over kickstand, score in center goal, or (2) Drive down the ramp, score in a moveable goal, move the goal into the parking zone. #1 would score 110 points, #2 would score 70, 90, or even 120 points based on if the robot pushed 1 or 2 goals. I personally would prefer method #1 since it scores more points if you do it right, and sets up the field for an effective teleop.
Teleop is interesting this year because during the 1:30 before the endgame, scoring balls in moveable goals is the only way to earn points. Therefore, EVERY COMPETITIVE TEAM WILL SCORE IN THE GOALS, most of which will likely be the 90 cm goal. If a team can make a way for the robot to collect and score balls from the floor without continuously using a lift of some sort will be able to score 5 balls every few seconds, making an effective teleop. Note that a team may not collect balls from the center “cascade” dropper and score them, i.e. the balls must contact the floor prior to scoring for the score to count (GS2). The wiffle balls will be crucial to scoring the most points the fastest, but since 80% of the balls are golf balls, all of the competitive teams will probably aim to collect them as well. I also noticed that there are little holes in the moveable goals, perfect for a robot to latch onto and drag around the field as it picks up balls to score.
Endgame provides many options. For the moveable goals, you can either have them in the parking zone or lifted off the ground, but not both. Since lifting provides 30 points, while parking is only 10, I think it is safe to say that teams that CAN lift WILL lift instead of parking. Robots themselves will most likely be parked, and many teams will build a robot that can lift other robots. If an alliance has one robot that lifts a goal and the other robot, who is also holding a goal, then the total score I believe is 110 points. Finally, most teams I think will attempt to score at least one ball in the center (if they did not in autonomous) since that first ball will score 180 points. (Can someone tell me I’m wrong? This seems awfully high )
So, the “optimal” robot will be capable of knocking away the kickstand and scoring balls in the middle goal during autonomous, scoring balls in the 30cm goal without continuously using a lift up and down, and lift a goal and/or robot during endgame. A single robot that does this could easily score over 300 points alone, I feel, so I imagine an alliance that is 1 offense/1 defense could actually be very strong this year.