NEforecast 2020: Week 1 Granite State

NEforecast: Granite State Event, February 27 - February 29, 2020

The Blue Alliance: https://www.thebluealliance.com/event/2020nhgrs
Webcast: https://www.twitch.tv/nefirst_blue

Which is your favorite of this week’s Top Teams?

  • 5687
  • 133
  • 501
  • 95
  • 319

0 voters

Welcome to the 2020 season of NEforecast! Kicking off the Infinite Recharge season in New England is the Granite State District Event, hosted at Salem High School. This year’s team list looks to be the most competitive since GSD became a district event, with many teams having taken home multiple event wins in just the past few years. The field is quite deep, even given the already high level of competitiveness in New England - and that only means a more dramatic and exciting playoff bracket come Saturday.

Infinite Recharge has already seen significant strategic evolution and new discoveries have emerged in the two weeks since the FIRST official Week Zero event. No matches at the ISR District Event 1 saw any alliances capable of attaining or even nearing the Ranking Point from Energizing the Shield Generator - an indication of just how difficult scoring 49 power cells and manipulating the control panel may be. In addition, the Shield Generator Operational RP (earned once an alliance reaches 65 endgame points, either via 2 robots hanging level or three hanging), was only reached 12 times in qualifications out of 118 possibilities at ISR 1, and never by both alliances in a match. As the game is still quite young, we predict this is the target most teams will have their sights set on for Week One, especially given the high value of climbing while teams work to refine their power cell scoring abilities. Expect many matches to be decided on climbs, and qualification seeding order to be heavily weighted in favor of teams capable of balancing with partners. The threat of defense will also be a huge deterrent for teams that prefer scoring from unprotected zones, as we have already seen. It also is a very easy way to rack up foul points quickly if executed carelessly, so teams, be on the lookout for where you (and your opponents) are when defending!

Top Teams:

5687, Outliers: The Outliers have won their last 6 district events in a row and have won the Granite State District Event for the last three years. Need we say more about why they’re our top pick for this event? Team 5687 showed off their stout robot at the Official Week 0 and was quickly scoring from the far initiation line into the 3-point inner port goal. With complicated but robust software control, an upgraded shooter, and loads of drive practice, The Outliers will be scoring deep into the elimination bracket Saturday afternoon as they go for four wins in a row.

133, B.E.R.T: After a stellar 2019 season saw the Bonny Eagle team land on Einstein, Team 133 is undoubtedly one of the strongest New England powerhouses in the game. You might even look at their 2020 robot and mistake it for their 2019 entry! The wide green elevator for climbing the generator switch looks quite familiar, but this tall robot is sporting an extremely fast over-the-bumper intake, simple belt-driven indexer that somehow doesn’t use sensors, and a hooded flywheel shooter that will be sure to nail the inner port. It’s simple yet effective, and that’s how B.E.R.T. has been sweeping up blue banners for the past 4 years.

501, PowerKnights: With an impressive showing at the official Week 0 scrimmage, Team 501 locked in a spot as a top team at the Granite State District Event. Their simple strategy of running short cycles between the human player station and the control panel proved that the “long shot” is a viable strategy and is key on a winning alliance. An upgraded vision tracking system will see their accuracy increase, and with two weeks of more practice under their belts, it’s no doubt that 501 will be a “power”-ful contender right out of the gate.

95, Grasshoppers: Looking to get an early jump on the competition, the Grasshoppers are starting off their season per usual at Granite State. Chances are you’ve seen their excellent build blog, so it’s common knowledge that Team 95 will be fielding a tall robot with a wide over-bumper collector and hooded flywheel. Their climbing mechanism is much more out-of-the-box, however, using a spring-loaded deploying hook and single pneumatic cylinder mounted in the center of the robot. Combined with a stalwart drivetrain, 95 will be a well-rounded pick this weekend and their climber will be sure to entertain late into the day on Saturday.

319, Big Bad Bob: Team 319 has become a perennial powerhouse in New England, hoping to continue their history of picking up district wins in 2016, 2018, and 2019. With a conservative design strategy, BOB has opted to go for a tall robot with a turreted shooter, over-bumper intake, and belted indexing system. Paired with a falcon-powered 6WD and telescoping climber and 319’s history of sound strategy, Big Bad Bob is in a fantastic position to take home the blue this weekend.

Honorable Mentions:

1519, Mechanical Mayhem: After making a stylish return to the Granite State event in 2019 by climbing their way to a blue banner, Team 1519 is looking to establish a GSD win streak of their own. An over the bumper intake feeds into a circular ball storage system, leading to a turreted shooter giving them the ability to score from almost anywhere, sealing the deal with a telescoping climber. If everything goes to plan, you can expect 1519 to be playing till the end this weekend.

4909, Bionics: Gaining momentum as an up and coming team in the district, 4909 is looking to start their success early. The Bionics 6 falcon drivetrain, belted indexing system capped by a vision-based turret, and out-of-the-box climber could easily come together to create a scoring powerhouse that will be scoring in the outer and inner port from all over the field.

1058, PVC Pirates: Opting to build a no-compromises robot focused around trench power cell cycling, the PVC Pirates have the potential to be one of the strongest on the field. Featuring a mecanum roller intake, U-shaped ball indexer and telescoping climber, expect 1058 to seed high and play late in eliminations come Saturday.

4905, Andromeda One: Week One success is largely dependent on being ready to show up and play, and having a working solo climb that can keep the bar level gave Team 4905 a big leg up at Week Zero. Their low-capable robot with a consistent initiation line shot has the potential to be one of the best cyclers at Granite State, so keep an eye out for Andromeda this weekend.

Special Rookie Shoutouts this week for Team 8046 LakerBots and Team 8421 CRUSADERS!

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its gonna be a tough yet interesting competition

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I am so excited to see the playoffs at this event. I’ve said this in multiple threads but i’ll say it again; this is one of the deepest district events this season, not just in NE. Good luck and may the district point be ever in your favor.

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Nice to see these return. Will there be a post for Northern CT?

Glad to see NEforecast back. I’m really excited to see the greater variety of teams here this season, and I think this will be the second best NE event to watch this season, only behind the district championship of course.

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The analysis is always fun; thank you! GSDE looks like it’ll be a great Week 1 event! I’ll also toss 131, 1729, and 4761 into the ring of “honorable mentions” that are likely to be relevant players during alliance selection and as Saturday afternoon wears on.

I was intrigued by some of the hype people were tossing onto the event - indeed 7 of the top 24 teams in New England at the end of 2019 (by district points) are competing at GSD… so I glanced at the team lists for the rest of the New England events and was a bit surprised that there is a lot of parity (even distribution of high-performing teams) across most NE events. That said, I think Hartford will have a slightly more competitive field… and will bring markedly higher average scores, RPs, etc, due to being late in the season.

1519 has been working very hard since Week Zero, with a bunch of kinks worked out / improved and some key SW features integrated. Best of luck to all teams!

One thing I’ll be very interested to see develop is the dynamic of how often teams climb in the middle (to balance solo) vs climb in a position to potentially result in balanced with a climbing partner… particularly because - being Week 1 - often one team may not come through resulting in a single mis-balanced climb.

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3467 is not attending GSD, although a number of Windham mentors and students are volunteering at the event or coming to spectate.

I will be interesting to see how much the absence of bag day will lead to improvement in overall play from week zero

Thanks for correcting me! I edited my post now…

Very excited to see these rookies compete! They were in great shape during our rookie road trips and I would not be surprised to see them rank high with their simple yet highly effective bots!

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3 Climbs>auto>>>>teleop anything

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This list of teams aged interestingly.

Having now seen how upset prone this game is, I think we’re in for a very interesting season here in NE!

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On behalf of the 501st, I want to thank our alliance partners 4909 and 7822 for an amazing run. The group effort that went into rebuilding 7822’s climber from broken to match-winning in under an hour was an insane experience to be a part of.

Thank you to the semi-finalist alliance of 319, 3566, and 151, along with the finalist alliance of 663, 6933, and 1517 for giving us insanely close matches. It felt like playing finals twice.

Not always! (Finals 2, Semis 2-3, Semis 2-2 :wink: ) But yeah, being down a climb had us in a very tough situation.

We have a lot of upgrades on the way…

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An interesting story: for 3566, we have played with/against 1519 for 6 games in a row: the last two qualifications and 4 quarterfinals (one was replayed). Before QF started, I am 100% confidant that they will steal our two balls during Auto and have 5687 do trench Auto. Therefore, I have improvised an risky Auto where we preload two balls, quickly pick up three trench balls, and full speed forward to ram 1519 under the color wheel and back off and shoot. I never had the chance to actually deploy this in game, but otherwise this would turn out very interestingly.

Thanks to our alliance partner 319 for their reliability and 151 for their amazing defense, as well as our opponents 1519, 5687, 4761, 501, 4909, and 7822. The 7 QF’s and SF’s we played are all insanely close.

I would say that reliability and quality is key. Semi 2-3 was definitely the most dramatic, we jammed our shooter early after auto and failed to score almost anything, then during endgame, both alliance failed the triple climb…

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We were super impressed with your performance! Congrats on being semifinalists!

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What a competitive weekend! Can’t stress enough how impressed I was by how deep the field was at this event. Lots of great teams and interesting robots, congratulations to the winners and finalists! And great job to all who competed. On to Pine Tree!

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You still need to get the power cells to get close enough if you’re against heavy shooters, whether it be a lot in auto or a fast cycle-er. Agreed though, that 3, level climbs is a game changer pretty much every time, a solid 90 points!

I have to say thank you to our amazing alliance partners 319 and 151. This event was my first time going up there and doing alliance selection, especially as the alliance captain, which was a very stressful process. I am glad that I was able to choose 319 and 151 as we successfully performed triple climb in rounds. I have to say that I was not expecting that we were able to upset against the 2nd alliance. I watched 1519 and 5687 winning and dominating the whole event last year. I think a part of the reason was that this year, in playoffs, 2nd pick becomes more and more important as a triple climb and good defense seem to be pretty important. That allows for an upper hand for the lower seeded alliances as I would anticipate more crazy upsets in the following events. Anyway, it was a wild run. Thank you all the teams to make this event such an entertaining and awesome event. Good luck to all of you!

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I couldn’t agree with you more! This was a tough competition with strong robots throughout the lineup. Our team learned a lot about our robot and strategy and look forward to growing and learning from our missteps in preparation for Week 5 Southern NH Event.

A special shout out to Team 133 B.E.R.T. and Team 6153 the Blue Crew for competing with us! It was unfortunate we were not able to advance to the finals but we gave it a good run!

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