Topics of Discussion:
Indiana teams are broad and deep. There were quality teams found throughout the St. Joseph event. Case in point: only two teams in the top 8 were selected to join an alliance - the 6th and 8th seeds. Conversely, 6 teams that ranked in the top 25 did not play in eliminations. There are a lot of ways to play this game, and the diversity of design and strategy was evident.
The second and third levels of the rockets were almost completely ignored, in both qualification and elimination play, at St. Joseph Week 2. As we had predicted, Indiana teams focused nearly exclusively on the cargo ship, moving to the rockets only when they were full. These savvy teams follow the game points and the ranking points; they played for the win and for the HAB climbs (more on that later).
It’s later! There was a definite priority for HAB climbing in robot design and strategy. There were nearly 2% more HAB3 climbs in Indiana than the Week 2 average; Indiana got to HAB2 more consistently as well (4.3% more in quals, 10.1% more in playoffs). It should be noted that in several matches, teams went to HAB2 simply because HAB3 was already inhabited by their alliance partners.
The St. Joseph champion alliance of 3940, 4103, and 5484 came from the 7th seed, which means they had the toughest imaginable route to the win. They had to defeat the 2nd alliance, then the 3rd alliance, then the 1st ranked alliance in order to secure the victory. They did it with a well-choreographed ballet and clear tasks for each individual team. 3940 focused on placing the cargo in the fully-null-hatched ship; 4103 filled one rocket while 5484 worked on the other. In addition, their plan to capture the pre-placed cargo in the ship gave them an early lead which forced the opposing alliances to always be playing catch-up. Even with all this strategy and execution, they would have lost both Finals matches if 234* and 1501** could have secured their double HAB3 climb. If this is our baseline, future Indiana events promise to be incredibly entertaining as designs get refined and strategies evolve.
*Finalists at Rocket City Regional
**Winners, Safety, and Quality at St. Louis Regional
135 - One of the strongest teams through their home event, these Chairman’s winners did not advance as far as they would have liked. Tippecanoe looks as if it will provide a deeper (if smaller) field than St. Joseph did; we like the Black Knight to be playing late Sunday.
1747 - This team already has one blue banner under its belt, as the first pick of the winning first alliance at Peachtree District. They’ve got some refined features, possibly a surprise or two - we expect HBR to continue Their success from last year.
4103 - The first pick of the 7th alliance was a rock-solid performer through eliminations. They were one of the top hatch/cargo placers at St. Joseph, but strategically ignored climbing the HAB. Will the extra time spent scoring game objects work out for them, or are they going to miss the points from ascending the HAB?
5484 - Coming off a win at St. Joseph, 5484 is looking to keep piling on the district points. One of two Indiana teams playing all district events, the EI winners continue to stake their claim as one of the up-and-coming perennial contenders.
–Both the first and second pick of the winning alliance deserved recognition as being ‘In Orbit’. They traded shots for top scoring team on their alliance, with captain 3940 outscoring them in only one match through all of the playoff rounds.–
Ready for Blastoff
461 - Another of the four Purdue FIRST Programs expecting big seasons this year. They were bounced early in Week 2 when they ran against the winning alliance in Quarterfinals. With a little bit better luck, the sky could be the limit.
1720 - These low-scoring spec1al1sts with an automated HAB3 climb proved their value, earning the 3rd seed at St. Joseph. There’s no doubt they’ve got some moar tricks up their sleeve; to what heights can they climb at Tippecanoe?
3940 - Captain of the 7 seed with an impressive underdog win at St.Joe through strong scouting, alliance member selection, strategy, and an extremely consistent HAB 3 climb. Cybertooth is either the team with the bullseye on their backs, or the team you want to be picked by. INsight expects to see strong improvements in teleop scoring over their week 2 performance to propel them to the next level.
71 - One of the most consistent teams - nearly all their qualification matches scored over 50 points - they swerved their way to a 4th place captain Week 2. Now that the drive team is getting more comfortable and confident in their swerve drive, expect their productivity to soar.
868 - The TechHounds are playing this season exceedingly close to the vest. They’re a riddle wrapped in an enigma clouded in rumor and doubt. The last time we saw them on an official FRC field, they were playing on Einstein after sweeping through Indiana. That should tell you all you need to know.
1646 - As long as they can keep the gremlins at bay, the Precision Penguins will be a popular partner who are excited to put on a good show as first time event hosts.
4272 - The fourth PFP team playing here will surely be flexing its refined armavator.
6498 - One of the hottest young teams at St. Joseph, the team from Castle will continue to support its claim that they deserve to play at the State Championship.