NEforecast: Week 1 Granite State Event, February 28 - March 2
Who is your favorite of this week’s Top Teams?
NEforecast would like to welcome everyone into the 2019 Destination: Deep Space competition season! Although we’re professional forecasters, we were impressed by the amount of snow and bad weather that teams were hit with this year. It doesn’t seem like it’s done much to slow down the excellent group of teams in New England, though, as we’ve been pretty impressed with all of the robots we’ve seen so far!
As is tradition, the New England competition season is kicking off with the Granite State District Event, now located at Salem High School. While GSD has had a pretty constant pool of teams over the past few years, as the only Week 1 competition in New England, the team list became significantly more daunting for the 2019 season. As a result of this powerful team list, we expect to see a few instances of completed rockets during the late qualifications and elimination rounds. It remains to be seen how defense will play a role in the development of teams’ strategies as the day goes on, but expect teams with less-effective manipulators to still find themselves playing a key role on qualification alliances as they work to defend opponent rockets. As far as rankings are concerned, we feel pretty confident that those with successful HAB Level 3 climbers will find their way towards the top. Not only for the amount that 12 points will contribute to an alliance’s total score, but for the ease of gaining the bonus HAB RP that will come with it. An interesting case study to look at is Team 58, who managed to get to second seed at Week Zero (and win the competition) by spending their matches climbing onto Hab 3.
On that note, let’s take a look at some of our worthy competitors for Granite State! Who do you think will come out on top? Who do you think will have a design that shocks the competition? Let us know down below, and see you at the competition!
95, Grasshoppers: Everyone’s favorite CD-Blogging team is hopping into the competition early this season and looking to continue their trend of excellent performances. Their two-pronged hatch manipulation system is one of the best we’ve seen so far, and they have the practice to back it up. We’re not sure if their Hab 3 Climber will be up and ready for GSD, but even so, the Grasshopper’s floor pickup for hatches and balls will see them cleaning up the field on their way to a deep eliminations run.
6329, The Bucks’ Wrath: Perhaps one of the most dynamic young teams in New England, 6329 has put out their best robot this year. A fast elevator paired with a 4 bar linkage arm gives the Bucks’ Wrath the ability to quickly take down any rocket they choose. They also feature an extra-wide floor intake for cargo, and while a velcro hatch system may surprise some, this team makes it work very well. With the impressive ability to secure a Level 2 climb by simply #SendingIt onto the platform, 6329 will secure some extra rank points and be an invaluable part of any alliance.
1519, Mechanical Mayhem: 1519 is just one of those teams that will always have a spot in our Top Teams list. Powerful starts is the name of their game - for the past 5 years, Mechanical Mayhem has made the finals at their first event. Many teams will think 1519’s newest robot looks familiar, and it certainly seems to have drawn heavy inspiration from their Stronghold robot, Lady Launch-A-Lot. With a wide, boxy cargo intake, a two-pronged hatch manipulator, 4-bar based L3 climber and an 8 wheel pneumatic wheeled drivetrain, this team will be able to easily collect game pieces and move anyone out of their scoring path.
5687, The Outliers: One of New England’s strongest competitors is back at it again. Known for being Outliers from the norm with their out-of-the-box style of thinking and designing, 5687 is ready to have another strong year. A 148-inspired elevator and a suction cup system make this one of the more out-of-the-box robots at GSD. They made a name for themselves after winning the New Hampshire week 0 event by focusing almost exclusively on cargo in the elims. Their strategy of choosing to load up the cargo bay with null hatch panels and focus on scoring the more valuable game piece could set an important precedent for the way Deep Space is played in the early weeks.
6328, Mechanical Advantage: This team never fails to impress, both on and off the competition field, and they’ve produced a robot that has our interest piqued. Mechanical Advantage seems to be fielding a low-focused robot with one of the few confirmed Hab 3 climbs going into Granite State. This bodes well for a deep eliminations run, as their propensity for extra RPs will allow them to build an alliance to complement their skills on the cargo ship, and we can’t wait to see what this robot is up to late on Saturday.
4564, Orange Chaos: Building on the success of their efficient elevator robot last year, Orange Chaos is making their 2019 debut, and looking to start off strong. A fast, passive, Hatch Panel floor intake, coupled with an adjustable 3D printed scoring mechanism will make scoring hatch panels a breeze for 4564. A pinch bar style cargo manipulator on their elevator wrist should make short work of stuffing cargo into the rocket and cargo ship. This team usually gets off to a fast start each season, winning their first event of 2018, and it would be no surprise to see Orange Chaos causing a ruckus deep into the playoff series.
88, TJ(Squared): As a winner of a 2018 Week 1 competition, Team 88 is striking early again in Destination Deep Space. A low-oriented strategy has seen TJ(Squared) create a robot with a speedy pneumatic hatch grabber that can only place on the low positions, yet a scorpion-like cargo manipulator allows them to place balls at any height. An eliminations pairing with a strong hatch-focused robot would play to Team 88’s strengths and allow them to contribute a lot of points.
3467, Windham Windup: In a return to form, Team 3467 has produced an excellent cargo-oriented robot that will be able to quickly score cargo in any position on the field. In addition, they’ve chosen to use a fixed hatch mechanism to pick up hatches from the human player station and score on level one, using a unique wheeled system. Rounding out with an intake borrowed from 319’s design to quickly hop onto Level Two of the HAB platform should allow the Windup to find themselves placed well come the end of qualifications.
4761, The Robockets: This team will be fielding one of the more minimalistic robots of Granite State, yet it still has the potential to score big points. A low-focused hatch mechanism will allow them to quickly score on the cargo ship, and mantis-like arms coupled with large pneumatic cylinders will rocket themselves onto the Hab 3 platform at the end of the match.
811, Cardinals: Who ya gonna call when you need a solid alliance partner heading into eliminations on Saturday? This high flying team from New Hampshire. At the official Week 0 event, the Cardinals proved they have the ability to reach up high and score hatch panels on the rocket. A highly maneuverable drivetrain allows them to strafe into position, so lining up on the cargo ship will be no sweat for 811.
4905, Andromeda One: If you think this robot looks really familiar, you’re probably thinking of 1058’s AARMageddon from 2018. Taking 1058’s design and making lots of improvements, 4905 has managed to create a strong hatch and cargo scoring robot with the ability to score out either side of the robot and at a multitude of heights. If they can improve on their software from Week 0, they’ll be an important part of any Saturday alliance.
Special rookie shoutout to Team 7416, Northern Horizons, Team 7907 Spartan Robotics, and Team 7913 Newfound Bears.