PCH District: Columbus Predictions

Given the rise of all the informers and platters, we thought that it would only be fit for us to have a PCH Informer for the Peacthree District.

A Note About Districts

When districts were announced for the state of Georgia, people’s reaction were a bit of a mixed bag. Many people welcomed the change while others saw the district model as an unnecessary burden on teams. If you’re still on the fence, consider the following:

  • Success breeds success. Last year, of the 12 major banners (winners, chairman’s, and EI) that were handed out in the state of GA, only 4 of these awards were given to GA teams. As GA teams secure the 30 major banners available this year, their success will serve as a catalyst for growth and inspiration in the entire state.
  • Practice makes perfect. Many teams in GA only ever get a chance to attend one event. Now, all teams will compete in at least 2 events, with a majority of teams having the chance to compete at 3. That means that the team whose robot just didn’t make the shot at the first event will be deadly accurate at their second event; the team whose robot had a hard time moving around at the first event will be zipping around the field at the second event. If this doesn’t excite you from an “inspiration” point of view, think about how this will increase the level of play in GA.

Looking at Week 2

It was really clear in week 0.5 that the baseline for success in this game is breaching. It didn’t matter which defense you crossed, it didn’t matter which way you went over the defenses, and even whether your robot was still working at the end; you had to breach. With the RP points on the table in qualifications and the bonus points on the table in eliminations, breachers were kings in week 0.5.

However, this game is evolving extremely quickly, and week 1 showed that the breachers of week 0.5 will find their way into the top 8, but the teams that work towards captures reigned supreme.

With Columbus being the first event of the season for our district, we expect that breach-focused robots will do extremely well. However, later in the qualification rounds, and maybe even earlier, capturing will begin to shape the eliminations landscape.
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The Early Bird…**

There’s a saying that goes something like, “The Early Team gets a Banner.” These are the teams that hit the ground running from day 1, surprise teams with their consistency, and walk away with an event win.

1261 - In the past two years, 1261 has won a banner at each of their first events, and this year’s game, which features shooting, vision targeting, and drivetrain agility, plays right in 1261’s wheelhouse. This year, they’re featuring a two-sided shooter with a pneumatic DT, and if they can get out of the gate with the same dominance as Palmetto 2014, they’ll quickly rise to the first seed and won’t face much of a challenge on their road to another regional win.

1648 - In the past four years, 1648 has seen a rise; one that culminated in their first regional win in Perry last year. 1648 always appears to take a cavalier approach to the game, which pays off in the early going. However, as the game evolves and the level of play increases, 1648 has struggled to adapt and falls behind the competitive curve. This year, 1648 features a flexible drivetrain, a strong intake, and a powerful, although unproven, shooter. If 1648 can establish a strong level of play early, we’ll definitely look for them in the finals of Columbus.

1746 - Typically, we wouldn’t characterize 1746 as an “Early Bird.” 1746 has shown great adaptability and actually improves as the season goes on. However, this season, the team finished their robot well before bag-day. Their strategy is bold, but tested. Breaching and low goal-ing is the name of their game, and while other teams will hope to establish a solid level of play, 1746 will unbag a tested, practiced machine. While we can comfortably say that 1746 will be in the top 8, their success of winning Columbus will highly depend on their ability to team up with a shooter to form a strong, well-rounded alliance.

Warming Up…
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2974** - In 2014, 2974 struggled with their shooter for the entire season, but they still managed finalist finishes at 2 events. In 2015, 2974 featured a simple design, but their consistency landed them the banner at the Orlando Regional and a Semis finish in the Archimedes Division. This year, 2974 has features a pneumatic shooter, which can be tricky to nail down, but extremely consistent once dialed in. Consistency will be key to 2974’s success. We have no doubt that they’ll find their way into eliminations, but how far they go is entirely up to them.

2415 - 2415 is one of those teams that always has the sleekest, most sophisticated designs, but in the past two seasons, they never really seem to get settled in and live up to their potential. This year, however, things might be a little different. They’ve opted to go with a small robot that’s using a pneumatic powered shooter, which we hear is already tuned in and features an “unblockable” shot. However, the key to 2415’s success is also consistency and getting settled in early. If they manage that, they’re going to team up with the next best shooter and blaze a path to the district win.

Up and Coming…

4468 - Many people don’t know this, but last year, 4468 made a massive effort to add an intake to their robot and become a strong landfill machine before the 2015 Peacthree Regional. Their adaptability was their strength. 4468 features an extremely powerful two-wheeled shooter that doubles as their intake. If this game was about shooting across the field, we would say that 4468 is a lock for winning all of their events, state champs, and worlds. But it’s not, and if 4468 is going to see success, especially at Columbus, they’re going to need to adapt their robot to the better suit the core game mechanics.

4188 - Last year, 4188 was one of those teams that no one really saw coming. They had a poor showing at Perry, but then turned around and won the Peacthree Regional. This year, it’s not hard to find what 4188 is up to, and while we can’t speak to how well the robot works, it’ll be one of the best looking machines on the field. When it comes to awards and robots, 4188 represents the most potential for what’s possible. If they have the chance to expose this potential early, this’ll be the year that 4188 establishes themselves as a GA powerhouse.

Love the predictions. It will be interesting to see how teams fare at Dalton and Albany after Columbus… I feel like some teams in GA will have to learn the hard way that robots need to be built as robustly as possible…