Greater DC Preview 2018



But I don’t care. It was a slow day at work and I don’t want to go through all of the social media for every team attending again trying and failing to find find out what team’s actually built. (So many teams don’t have it linked on TBA)

For better information you will find an article with the top 5 or something from the Maryland week 0 event. And maybe a quick preview update right before the competition.

So Here goes

“Gone are the days of Marylanders Waiting until the Wednesday or Thursday Before an event. All of this waiting for some more of that CHS Virginia Bias to be shoved down their throats. We here at The Old Bay are happy to announce the first article coverage of ANY event this year bares the name of the spices that makes our state so special. Old Bay Crab Seasoning.”

Everything North of the Potomac. (Honestly DC was just stolen from the TRUE Maryland so the congressman could make a city where rules don’t apply to them.) Maryland Ranked Teams are in Bold

TechFire decided to come and make this event harder than it needed to be
York, Pennsylvania, USA

449 (MD Ranking- 7)
Flag Guy

Silver Spring, Maryland, USA

1111 (MD Ranking- 4)
The Power Hawks are too humble to be salty about being ranked too low so I have to call this out for them

Edgewater, Maryland, USA
Shooting? You guys are shooting? I hope it works out for you all. It’s a high risk strategy. But if you can pull it off…
Video of shooting (unmounted)-

1389 (MD Pre-Ranking- 5)
The Electric Slide

Bethesda, Maryland, USA

Man this name totally peaked in 2016
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

1629 (MD Pre-Ranking- 2)
GEICO can save you 15% or more in car insurance
(Low hanging fruit)
Accident, Maryland, USA

California Wildfire 2.0 will be started by an Elon Musk flamethrower
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

I guarantee the live action Lion King will Be worse than the original
Sykesville, Maryland, USA
Bot Preview- Looks like a low cycle specialist with a pneumatic pickup. I love to see teams going low as there is substantial value in specializing there.

2377 (MD Pre-Ranking- 6)
Cube Company
(I totally called it right?)
Pasadena, Maryland, USA

2537 (MD Pre-Ranking- 3)
Space Invaders
(If you miss this branding opportunity this year I will be sad)
Columbia, Maryland, USA
Bot preview- Well I have no Idea what to think beyond that linear actuated high place looks nice. The ramp on the other side? But the ramp won’t get the other bot 12 inches off the ground. Maybe there is a climber that’s not mounted yet supposed to lift both bots? Maybe I can’t see? This picture is with 9 days left so maybe they will surprise me. A team that normally goes simple might be trying to do it all.

C4 is actually a more effective explosive.
Oxon Hill, Maryland, USA

What’s The Vector Victor? What’s the Clearance Clarence?
The White line is for loading and unloading only. The yellow lane…
Also Brother Bear was a bad Movie.
Columbia, Maryland, USA

Happy Feet
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

The Pink Panther
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Tony The Tiger
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

The Crimson Tide pretends they are national champions when it’s really the undefeated FSU
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Bringing down the HAMMER on the competition!
Smashing their way to victory!
Also Marvel movies are holistically overrated.
Ellicott City, Maryland, USA

3793 (MD Pre-Ranking- 9)
If they canceled elims they would be 2017 CHS district champions.

Frederick, Maryland, USA

Disco-Tech Robotics
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

DC is really just part of south MD tbh.
Washington, District of Columbia, USA
(Posting weekly updates so wait for more info)

I wonder if this team remembers their 2014 alliance at Greater DC. They are all here. Same with the finals alliance that almost beat them.
Greenbelt, Maryland, USA

Dang it I should have made my Eagles puns here umm…
Q: What do you call a sick eagle? A: Ill-eagle! (Wait that’s terrible umm…)
Q: What does the eagle say to his friends before they go out hunting for food ? A: ‘Let us prey.’
Also the Ravens have 2 rings in like 20 years of existence so…
Owings Mills, Maryland, USA
Looks like they are going high, linear with some hybrid drive. No link because picture is old, but we will see week 0.

4638 (MD Pre-Ranking- 8)
Q: “What would you do if you weren’t playing football” Blake Bortles. “Probably work construction and smoke Cigs”

Germantown, Maryland, USA

Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Yea i’m getting tired of the NFL references.
Riverdale, Maryland, USA

The Circle of LIFE
Gambrills, Maryland, USA
Is that a swerve? No, no it can’t be… If it is best of luck. Also the intake looks like it’s probably decent.

:zap: Baltimore Bolts :zap: (no adjustment necessary)
Baltimore, Maryland, USA

**Other Historically Notable teams. **

That Red team
Falls Church, Virginia, USA
Driver Practice-
Looking solid enough. Not sure how effective that grabber arm will be but we will see.

That Yellow Team
Marshall, Virginia, USA

And the Chairman’s award goes to…
Haymarket, Virginia, USA

Lowkey just a Fraternity disguised as an FRC team
Herndon, Virginia, USA

Three Letter Acronym Team
Burke, Virginia, USA

That Loudoun Team
Leesburg, Virginia, USA

That team that Ranked #1 at both 2017 events and got swept in the quarters both times. I wouldn’t call their rankings upsets however. Not trying to throw any (Steve) Shade.
Alexandria, Virginia, USA

But really… Who’s Here

From a Maryland perspective this is probably about as close as it gets to a state championship even though it takes place in Virginia. The only team missing from my flawed top 8 is the number 1 seed, 836- Barry Bee Benson. If you look forward to CMD you have numbers 1,2,3,6 and 7, so that similarly will also display some of the best Maryland tallent right before the DCMP.

DC has their two best teams on display in 4242 and 4456.

As far as the out of state teams go, you have 4 fairly consistent worlds qualifiers (Techfire, Red, Yellow, and Purple) along with the four likely worlds contenders listed below them.

It’s hard to disagree that techfire is the best team at the event. (Knowing virtually nothing about what the teams do) They are an out of district team, so if they happen to be on the winning alliance, the top points haul at the event will almost definitely go to their top partner.


Obviously this is a strategy oriented game. I will quickly parrot the CD talking points of “The alliances and teams that can make the best decisions behind the glass” and “have a flexible strategy with contingencies built in” will win the matches. Alliances without organization will lose matches.

The real thing I want to discuss is how the teams that are attending will affect the match play and ranking. Of course we’ll have a better idea after weeks 0 and 1, but I want to make some early predictions so here goes.

Looking at the 7 ranked teams (lead by GaCo, The Space RAIDers, and The Power Hawks), 2 DC teams and 8 out of state teams mentioned, I would bet maybe one to three of them at most are incapable of placing at least 1 cube high after the first match or two of technical issues. For sake of argument, let’s say 3. Say 5 out of the 25 other teams at the competition can place at least 1 high. That’s 50% of teams. Even it’s lower than that 50% number, the odds of having matches with only 1 high bot out of 6 are still somewhat low. Now things obviously go wrong, but I’m optimistic about these quals matches being somewhat competitive on both sides a lot of the time. I’m not saying there won’t be a match or two where no one gets any scale points however, this is of course most team’s first full event.

Obvious Insight One- Hold your switch and the scale for almost the entire match and you win. Like more than 99% of the time.
There is, however, a huge difference between high place proficiency and effectiveness. Likely less than half of those 20 proficient teams will regularly enough exceed 2 high a match. These 5 to maybe 10 effective high place teams will dominate the rankings

Insight Two- Just because you can place high doesn’t mean you always should. Even though this is a district event.
Although the Scale is more valuable than the switch in matches where the other alliance can score high (because by holding it you are denying them points), high bots that can flexibly play both high and score low effectively will still be valuable. Versatility mixed with good execution will be a good thing.

Insight Three- Auto RP will be extremely valuable.
Just look at the team list. Many of these teams had working gear autos at their first competition last year. I would be shocked if there aren’t at least a decent number of teams that can pull of a switch auto a few times in quals. Based on the Regal Eagles Preseason event, it looked like more teams had some kind of cube auto being tried on field than could consistently hit one cube high. Expect the team with a consistent both switch auto to rank very well. Expect the top teams with this both switch auto to be going around to all of their quals alliance partners and helping them finish that cross line auto if it doesn’t already work. The value of getting that RP almost every time is far greater than the theoretical disadvantage of having more teams that can cross the line and help your opponents get that ranking point. Also helping other teams is nice.

Insight Four- Triple climbs will be rare feats. An elims alliance will work it out semi- consistently before district champs, but likely not here.
Now of course you “only” need two climbs and 3 cubes in levitate to get this RP. But these are the steps necessary.

  1. Have a compatible combination of robots on the same alliance that are all willing to attempt it
  2. Get all of the 3 cubes in the exchange while still prioritizing the win(2RP) over the triple climb (1RP)
  3. Manage the clock well enough to either line up both climbs and execute them while still prioritizing the win, or execute a ramp deployment/ climb scheme with all robots necessary
  4. Have no climbing technical failures on any participants part

Maybe if the 2537 Ramp or some other ramp surprises me we will see this, but otherwise it’s not in the cards.

Insight 5- Winning elims
I see two of the really effective high placers (or shooters no judgment) pairing up in an early round and winning the event with an effective low specialist. Interestingly enough the value of effective auto decreases substantially when you get to elims, so you won’t see selection based much on auto performance. Unless the amount of high autos surprises me. (For lazy teams it’s one less thing to scout) Alliances with the best value picks in the later rounds will do well as effectively cycling low is absolutely critical.

Insight 6- CCWM will be better than OPR this year
Both stats will have a bad year in general though. Somewhat useful but not as good as before. I’m waiting for someone to make an algorithm that calculates OPR for climb and auto points while calculating CCWM for everything else in the match. This would be ideal.

Better onew will likely be released right before the event
Out of the 7 ranked MD teams, one will not make elims
Out of the 7 mentioned VA teams, one will not make elims
Out of the 2 top DC teams (4242, 4456) both make elims
The #6, #7, and #8 alliances will be taken out in the quarters
There will be a few teams capable of single climbs
There will be no rankings upsets
No triple climbs.


I can relate to this.

Also I’m waiting for that week 0 review. Living in SC does have a few downsides.