NEforecast: Central Mass Event, March 29 - March 31, 2019
Who is your favorite of this week’s Top Teams?
- 78, AIR STRIKE
- 88, TJ^2
- 95, Grasshoppers
- 125, NUTRONS
- 126, Gael Force
All eyes should be on this stellar New England event as we enter into Week 5. The Central Mass district event is sporting some pretty hefty names who already have a stocked hardware shelf from the Destination: Deep Space season, and we know they’re looking to add even more shiny trophies and blue banners. Just look at our Top Teams list for this event - of the five teams we’re featuring, four of them are on their third (or fourth) play! Because of the incredible amount of experience and strategy being brought to this event, Central Mass eliminations may very well be an early taste of what the NEDCMP will be showcasing in two short weeks.
The metagame of Destination: Deep Space has evolved over the past two weeks exactly as we expected - as teams continue to fill the cargo ship faster and faster, rocket scoring has become an important aspect of a winning alliance’s strategy. With a few stellar rocket-oriented robots at Central Mass, this will be on full display, and robots who can accurately score hatches above Level 1 will be in high demand. We’ve also noticed that defense robots are continually improving as the weeks continue; with the best areas to play zone defense becoming more clear, high-scoring robots are coming under heavy fire and need to learn how to maximize their scoring opportunities while being pushed around.
Thanks to the amazing data that Caleb Sykes and Alicia Bay compile and graph, we were able to create this visualization that shows some interesting information about each team’s average scoring contributions going into Central Mass. Thanks to both of these individuals for all of your hard work!
78, AIR STRIKE: They’ve just beat the New England record for most district points going into the District Championship (154, previous was 152), so AIR STRIKE’s dominance this season on and off the field is unmatched. Their over-the-top cargo intake allows them to consistently fill the cargo ship with enough time to slam 2-4 more cargo balls into the rockets, and a ~6 second Hab 3 climb means they can score late into the match. Smooth driving, consistency under defense, and winning strategies make Team 78 a menace on the competition field this year, so they’re the undoubted top contender in Central Mass.
88, TJ^2: After showing all of New England how to really rack up the cargo points early in the season, Team 88 is returning to the competition after 3 weeks of rest. We expect that this time off was spent giving their sliding hatch mechanism some TLC, because if it starts working consistently, they’ll quickly open at least 4 more scoring opportunities for the dominant scorpion arm. We’re excited to see what TJ^2 brings to the field this time around for their third play, and maybe it’ll feature a Hab 2 or Hab 3 mechanism?
95, Grasshoppers: The Grasshoppers are one of the definitive do-all teams of Destination: Deep Space. After a win at North Shore secured them an easy-in at the DCMP, they’re traveling down to Central Mass to further refine their robot and add more capabilities. We all know their hatch mechanism and cargo manipulators are top-notch and allow them the flexibility to score anywhere, so they only thing they’re missing is the Hab 2/3 mechanism they’ve had in the works for a while. While they’ll be a top contender regardless, adding a climbing mechanism would certainly put them over the top.
125, NUTRONS: The NUTRONS robot is really coming together and it shows in the blue banner they earned at their home event of Greater Boston. As the season progresses, everything on this robot has become faster; their hatch manipulation, their cargo pickups, and their ability to whip around defenders are steadily increasing. Now in their 4th event of the year, 125 is firing on all cylinders. They can grab game pieces from anywhere, drop them anywhere, and finish the match on Hab 3, so watch out!
126, Gael Force: If you’re a data junkie, then you’ll be glad to see Team 126 in our top teams list. As a very cargo-centric robot, they put up the highest component OPR for cargo so far in New England with an average contribution of 15.4 points.They’re speedy in sandstorm and love to destroy the cargo ship, and as they learn how to handle zone defense, they’ll continue to be one of the top cargo scorers around. We definitely expect to see this team running cargo for a top alliance who already has a Hab 3 climber.
2877, LigerBots: This team is a great example of how to use a slide drive to its fullest capabilities. Their speedy drivetrain allows a dual-use hatch and cargo gripper to quickly align to any scoring element and make clean drop-offs, making them one of the faster cyclers in the competition. If you leave the LigerBots undefended, you’ll be sorry, because you’ll be hard-pressed to match their scoring output.
58, The Riot Crew: After almost making it to the finals of SE Mass, Team 58 is still looking to repeat the success they found at the official Week 0 event. An excellent climber and an elevator that allows them to score both game elements makes them a very versatile member of any alliance, so if they can speed up their cycles to match those of the top teams, they’ll be a high pick once again.
190, Gompei and the H.E.R.D.: After getting rocked by defense in the quarterfinals of Rhode Island, Team 190 might be flying under the radar going into Central Mass. They’re certainly one of the best cargo scoring robots at this event, so they don’t have a ton to improve upon and just need to catch a lucky break. Watch out for whatever alliance snatches up Gompei and send your best defender to keep them at bay!
7438, Brain Busters: We don’t often feature rookie teams in our analysis, but the Brain Busters certainly deserve a shoutout after leading the 7th alliance to the finals in their first event! This team rightfully earned the Rookie All-Star award, and their robot is quite the all-star as well. An elevator and cargo intake is a successful recipe that team 7438 followed, and wherever they go, cargo will be rapidly scored.