NEforecast: Southern NH District Event, March 15 - March 17, 2019
Who is your favorite of this week’s Top Teams?
Week Three in the New England district focuses largely on the northern half of the region, with the Southern NH District Event in Bedford, NH and the North Shore District Event in Reading, MA. As a result a lot of this week’s usual players have been shuffled around, with three of the four Top Teams at SNH this year competing at the North Shore event last year. This makes for a slightly more shallow field than in past weeks and especially compared to the Granite State Event, but that definitely won’t stop the increases in competitveness we’ve been expecting as the season plays on.
The value of the Hab 3 climb is still quite strong, and after Week 2 it’s obvious that there is a strong correlation between a team’s hab climb performance and their ranking. That said, the value of being able to solo a rocket is also growing steadily given the increased frequency of the rocket Ranking Point, with teams nearing and passing 3-RP averages during week 2 in several events. Expect defense to become a primary factor in less offense-focused teams’ qualification strategies this week as the top offensive players become hungry for their fourth Ranking Point from the rocket.
133, B.E.R.T. : If you haven’t seen videos of this robot in action, you’ve been missing out. As always, 133 has managed to keep their robot mechanically simple yet deadly effective, and it shines through in their ability to quickly acquire and score both hatches and cargo. A very clean Hab 3 climbing system is tucked underneath their drivetrain and will allow them to end each match above the pack and gain an extra Ranking Point. With all of these impressive engineering feats packaged into one robot, it’ll be no surprise when B.E.R.T. soars to the top of the rankings and goes deep into the elimination rounds on Sunday.
319, Big Bad Bob: Coming back from a little vacation in Pennsylvania, Team 319 has been field-tested for impressive performances. With a robot that looks like 254’s 2018 robot with a 95-style hatch mechanism, Big Bad Bob has taken inspiration from the best and integrated it into a machine built for fast cycles. Team 319 has also inspired others - their elevator design, which allows for the intermediate stage to pass through the bellypan and act as a lifting stilt, has been mirrored by many teams. With all of this scoring potential, all Big Bad Bob needs is the right alliance partners to take home a blue banner.
1058, PVC Pirates: After what could be considered an off-year in 2018, the PVC Pirates are looking to bounce back with a rather unorthodox design. While the cargo intake and 3D-printed hatch mechanism they sport are all well and good, the really interesting features of this robot all reside in their climbing strategy. A unique triangular lifting device allows Team 1058 to propel themselves onto Hab 3 easily, but what they do once they’re up there… well, we’ll have to wait and see if it works. If it does, the PVC Pirates will be riding the high seas to a high seed.
1729, Team Inconceivable!: An early out at Granite State may prompt you to overlook this robot, but that would be a mistake. With a great cargo intake and a floor hatch pickup that was showing some promise, as well as a Hab 3 Climber, Team 1729 has all of the makings of a high-tier robot. There are still some mechanical and code bugs to work out, but once Team Inconceivable starts firing on all cylinders, they’ll be leaving behind a path of high-scoring matches and lots of bonus Ranking Points.
131, C.H.A.O.S. : Sporting one of the coolest arms we’ve seen this year, Team 131 has a robot that we can’t resist writing about. The extending arm, paired with a wild-looking PVC cargo system and a small hatch mechanism, is both out-of-the-box and effective. With some practice and some further controls refinement, C.H.A.O.S. will be able to hit the field and lay down some serious cargo and hatch scoring.
4041, Iron Tigers: In their first event of the year, Team 4041 is looking to utilize their unique claw to make their way to the top. Their three-pronged claw opens to grab the inside of hatch panels, and can open wide and then clamp onto unsuspecting cargo. A 3-stage elevator allows the robot to reach extremely high, and a HAB 3 climbing system opens the Iron Tigers up to a lot of extra Ranking Points. If they’re consistent with their climbs, 4041 will surely be leading the pack come eliminations.
166, Chop Shop: This team also took a vacation, but went all the way down to Georgia to do so! In their first New England event of the year, Chop Shop will be scoring left and right with their flip-over elevator dedicated to hatch panels. The metagame is currently focused on cargo, though, so while Chop Shop will be one of the best hatch scoring robots at the event, we’ll have to see how this affects their ranking and eventual eliminations alliance.
126, Gael Force: This team is sweeping into Southern NH with a… shark? Sporting a 6-wheel plaction drivetrain and a cargo claw on an elevator, Gael Force will fit right in the with cargo-based metagame we’ve seen the past two weekends. They’ll also be capable of playing some excellent positional and pushing defense, so Team 126 will be a very valuable addition to any alliance.