NEforecast: North Shore District Event, March 15 - March 17, 2019
Who is your favorite of this week’s Top Teams?
Now in its fifth year, the excellent North Shore District event held at Reading Memorial High School in Reading, MA is shaping up to be one of the more interesting and unexpected events of the season. This Top Teams list is definitely not one we expected, but it will surely make for an interesting elimination bracket with younger teams shaking up the usual bunch of strong alliance captains. The field at NSD this year is mostly focused on cargo-oriented robots, increasing the value of strong hatch-masters especially in eliminations.
The usual increases in competitiveness as seasons play on are likely to show themselves this week, as level three climbs increase in frequency while the number of teams seeking to complete rockets on their own (or with assistance) also increases. The value of the Hab 3 climb is still quite strong, and teams with purely level one scoring abilities and reliable L3 climbs can still find themselves in a high seed. Teams looking to distinguish themselves for second-round picks will be able to play defense without incurring fouls or impeding the ability of their partners to score points. Elimination alliances that choose to not have a partner play defense will see an earlier out especially at NSD with the shallower field.
4761, The Robockets: When it comes to low robots in Destination: Deep Space, Team 4761 is sporting one of the best. Their wide cargo claw allows them to have some very fast cargo ship cycles, and their low hatch-panel mechanism opens up even more cargo scoring opportunities when necessary. Their consistent Hab 3 climber saw them almost earn a tiebreaker in the finals of Granite State, so all the Robockets need are few lucky breaks to convert their success into a blue banner on Sunday.
95, Grasshoppers: This team makes our lives so easy, because we always know what they’re up to! After a very strong performance at GSD saw them leave in the semifinals, the Grasshoppers went right back to upgrading their robot. Extra play in their well-known hatch mechanism and some improvements to widen the effective intake range on cargo will only make a great robot even better, so we know we’ll be seeing the Grasshoppers in an alliance captain position on Sunday.
4905, Andromeda One: The claw on a stick has returned and is ready to score even more cargo! Their time at GSD saw Team 4905 assume the role of filling the cargo ship, and they did so very well when retrieving from the Human Loading stations. They’ve also been furiously working on a Hab 2/Hab 3 climber, so as long as 4905 continues to speed up their cycles, they’ll play even deeper into eliminations this time around.
238, Crusaders: As a solid performer in New England every year, Team 238 is making their 2019 debut in Reading. Their usual black and yellow paint is back, but this time, on a relatively short elevator, with a long reaching 4 bar arm. As Destination Deep Space progresses week after week, we see teams in need of fast cargo cycles, especially up high on rockets. If 238 can get their cargo mechanism tuned in and fast, they will be sure to play a role in the elimination matches to a good alliance.
157, AZTECHS: This group is going to be especially fun to watch due to their unique climber. The AZTECHS have a motorized waffle-top belt on each end of the of the robot, and by flipping them up and down, can crawl their way up to Hab 3. Combining this with a solid elevator and cargo intake gives you Team 157’s robot, so they’ll certainly be an important player come eliminations.
4929, Maroon Monsoon: After an early out in the quarterfinals at the Granite State District event in week one, 4929 is trying to bring a monsoon to North Shore and make their way to the New England District Championship, with the ability to climb to level 3 a critical part of this team’s strategy.