The MARtian: 3rd Time's The Charm

Week 2 Recap

Apologies for another late thread; didn’t want to risk a red card by posting too soon without the green lights on.

As Week 3 draws near, the gears of FIRST STEAMWORKS are now in full spin. Week 2 events thankfully worked out a lot of the issues that arose during the game’s debut. Teams are busy refining strategies and mechanisms to help them reach the top.

  • Down at the CHS Greater DC District Event
    , The Gearheads lived up to their name and earned their first win since 2010. They seeded 29th out of 39 and were picked to round out the #2 alliance of 4242 and 1885. They lost their first final match by over 100 points but were able to pull out the win in the second match, forcing the series to three. In the rubber match, just as it looked like 102’s alliance was going to lose by 1 kPA to alliance #8 with all 6 robots hanging, 3650, the backup bot called in for alliance #8’s captain right before Finals 3 falls from the airship, giving 102’s alliance the win. Doesn’t get much feta than that.

  • Meanwhile, up north, **4954 **
    competed at the NE Southeast Massachusetts District Event this weekend, ranking 13th out of 42 teams but falling to the second round of the draft. They ended up the second pick of alliance #5 along with captain 6201 and 1831. Palindrome’s alliance lost to the winning alliance #4 in the quarters, but not before pushing it to three matches.

Back in MAR, teams competed at the Mount Olive and Westtown Districts.

Mt. Olive

Quarterfinals

  • At the 6th annual Mount Olive MAR District Event, **293 **
    secured the #1 seed with a 11-1 record in the qualification matches. They selected a second gears-and-climb robot, 222, to join their alliance, and **2554 **was the final pick of the draft. With the ability to hang two gears in auto and score 150 takeoff points, this alliance was a strong contender for the gold. They won their quarterfinal series against 5992/1089, 3142, and 2600 in two matches despite facing aggressive defense.

  • 2000 and 2012 World Champions **25 **
    captained alliance #2 and picked the 22nd and 23rd seeded teams, **303 **and 1923, to play with them in the elims. If it wasn’t clear already, the #2 alliance’s easy victory in their first quarterfinal match proved that 303 and 1923’s seeds were no indication of their actual capabilities. The second matchup between alliances #2 and #7 was closer, with the blue alliance captained by last year’s Mount Olive victors 5624 losing the match just one gear away from getting all four rotors spinning.

  • 747
    ’s consistent climbing and overall smooth functioning bot earned them the 5th seed spot, and **222 **joining 293’s alliance placed this new veteran team in the prime position of alliance #4 captain. Flight Crew picked 9th seed 75, who had been demonstrating a solid grasp on gear retrieval from the floor all through the quals. For their third robot, they picked up 1403 who slid to rank 29. The #4 alliance won their first quarterfinal but lost their second, even though their opponents on the #5 alliance scored the same number of points in each. The third quarterfinal was neck-and-neck at the halfway mark, but Flight Crew and their alliance pulled away with a 3rd rotor spinning and 747’s high goal shooting, earning them a spot in the semifinals.

  • The #6 alliance was captained by hometown heroes 11
    , who asked 219 and **1811 **to join their alliance. In their first quarterfinal matchup, all three red robots climbed successfully. They earned the event high score of 435 points in their second quarterfinal win, though their top class performance was aided by 150 points in G13 tech fouls on 1228.

Semifinals

  • In the semifinals, Alliance #2 again played the strategy of having 303 focus on fuel in auto to give them the leg up on an otherwise closely matched opponent, and won their first semifinal match thanks thanks to a last second climb by 25. MORT played shutdown defense on 25 in the second match of the series and displayed mastery of pinning within the game rules, but #2 still won by foul points and secured their spot in the finals.

  • In the second semifinal series, 747’s alliance faced off with the #1 seed. The three meet-ups were intense and well-matched, with #1 taking the first match with 2 climbs against 3, proving that the auto rotor bonus really can make a difference. #4 then went on to win the second match, 3 climbs to 0. The rubber match was close, with SPIKE’s alliance about to win before 2554 took a last second fall, costing their alliance the series, and advancing the #4 alliance.

Finals
The finals featured six highly seasoned MAR teams; between them, they’ve now appeared in the finals a total of 64 times. The traditional handshakes were spiced up when 25’s drive coach Shaun McNulty reached into his iconic yet mysterious backpack to pull out sunglasses of his own to rival 747’s new aviators.

  • The first final match was riddled with tension for alliance #4. Between 1403’s gear slide breaking with over 100 seconds left in the match, 303 playing effective defense on 75 near the red airship, and 1403 ending the match unable to make it all the way up their rope, even captains 747 regaining comm just in time to complete a climb was not enough to grant them the win. In an attempt to regroup themselves, alliance #4 called a timeout before the second match on top of the automatic field timeout.

  • Finals 2 started with a blue lead after Raider Robotix delivered a gear to get their first rotor spinning in autonomous. During teleop, both alliances focused on getting their rotors spinning. At the end of the match, red and blue had 2 touchpads lit up and 3 rotors turning and the victory came down to the autonomous lead. 1403 was inches away from activating alliance #4’s third touchpad, but unfortunately, they were unable to complete the climb and instead earned their 7th finalist trophy along with 747 and 75. 25
    , 303, and **1923 **took home the gold, setting the bar high for the remainder of their FIRST STEAMWORKS seasons.

During the Mount Olive awards ceremony, both the Engineering Inspiration and Chairman’s Award winners earned that #clingbling! **75 **took home their 11th Engineering Inspiration Award after a year-long drought while **303 **earned their 4th Chairman’s Award in as many seasons. Shout-out to the always great George Ackley for gracing Mount Olive with his amazing MC skills, and Eric DelSanto continuing his great GA match commentary.

Westtown

Quarterfinals

  • After only losing a single qualification match, **4342 **
    locked up the #1 seed at the 2nd annual Westtown MAR District Event. For their first pick, 4342 selected the mean, lean, green 365, with tough defenders **6226 **as the last pick of the tournament to finish off their alliance. With MOE’s autonomous high boiler shooter and quick gear cycles, 4342’s help getting the rotors started, and 6226 slowing down the #8 alliance of 3167, 1370, and 433, the #1 alliance was able to easily advance to the semifinals. 4342’s rope broke with 3 seconds left in QF1-1, but they were able to get all three robots up in QF1-2 with 6226 activating the touchpad in the last second.

  • The #2 seed, 3929
    , then picked the 6th ranked team, 834, to join them on the field. These two speedy gear cyclers then added tall robot **1495 **to their alliance, and went up against 1712, 1143, and 2729 on the #7 alliance. In their first matchup, it appeared that #2 had pulled ahead with three rotors in teleop after starting their first rotor in autonomous, but the #7 pilots had failed to activate their second and third rotors until there were just 15 seconds left in the match. Blue got two last second hangs, but with all three robots up #2 took the win. When these two alliances met again, 2729 on blue died with 95 seconds left in teleop and 1712 failed to climb, allowing #2 to move on to the semis after again getting all three robots ready for flight.

  • Due to picking within the top 8, the 10th ranked team, 816
    , moved up to captain the #6 alliance. They were able to get two quick gearers and high goal shooters as their alliance partners - **1391 **and 1640, who somehow fell to the 11th pick of the serpentine. Although 816 lost comm from 115 seconds to 75 seconds and again from 58 to 22 seconds left in teleop of their first quarterfinal match, their partners were able to activate three rotors over red’s 2, beating the #3 alliance of 4637, 316, and 5938. Their second match was a nail-biter, with both sides getting 2 rotors going and all 6 robots at the top of the ropes. In the end, #6 won 266-265, with the winning point coming from the one fuel that 1391 scored in the high-efficiency boiler in autonomous, pushing them on to the next round.

  • Equally as close was the first matchup of the #4 and #5 alliances. The #4 alliance of 1989
    , 486, and 3151 were able to deliver a gear in autonomous mode giving them the lead, but a G13 foul on blue gave points back to the #4 red alliance of 272, 4750, and 5407. A foul on red evened things out, and with both alliances getting 3 rotors and 3 activated touchpads, #5 came out on top 311-310 due to the 3 shots into the high-efficiency boiler made by 486 in teleop. During the second match of the series, 1989 failed to move after autonomous, with #5 only getting 2 rotors and climbs while #4 got 3 of each, forcing a rubber match. The tiebreaker match was even up until the 30-second warning, with each side delivering enough gears for 3 rotors. Ultimately, it came down to climbs, and with red getting 2 compared to blue’s single robot ready for flight, #4 took the victory.

Semifinals

  • In SF1-1, 365 was able to not only maneuver around the robots on the #4 alliance, but push them across the field at will as well. MOE was also able to score 10 kPa for the #1 alliance, and with 5407 just unable to activate the third touchpad for blue, #1 got the win. Their second matchup was reminiscent of the first, and with red getting 2 (almost 3) robots up their ropes while all 3 of blue’s robots failed to get off the ground, #1 was easily able to claim their spot in the finals.

  • 816’s comm issues followed them into the semifinals, where they lost comm in SF2-1 from 122 to 82 seconds and 62 to 22 seconds left in teleop (It should be noted that both of these comm losses lasted about the same amount of time and occurred after a hard hit.). 816 did regain connection with just enough time to climb their rope and join their #6 alliance partners 1391 onboard the airship, but were defeated by #2 getting a third rotor and climb. #6 fought back in the second final match, winning by over one hundred points with 3 blue climbs vs. just one on red. The rubber match started with both alliances getting their first rotor started in autonomous and was equally match until ropes were deployed. Just when it looked like #6 would win due to a 1391 scoring one kPa in autonomous, 816 was unable to activate their touchpad, leaving #2 victorious by 49 points.

Finals
This traditional finals matchup between the #1 and #2 alliances was far from traditional. The #1 alliance captain, 4342, had reached the finals just once before in their rookie year, while 365 has made the finals 18 times in their existence, and 6226 had never made it past the semifinals in their 2-year history. Meanwhile, the #2 captains, 3929, had won both of the previous times they had advanced to the finals, with 834 having 5 finalist knockouts in the past and 1495 also winning both of their prior trips to the finals.

  • In Finals 1, #1 was able to get two gears to the airship while #2 delivered one. It took just 60 seconds for #1 to spin their 3rd rotor, and 365 then decided to shoot fuel while 4243 and 6226 played defense. Despite being slowed down, #2 was able to activate their third rotor with 35 seconds left. After 6226 got stuck on the davit, each alliance ended with two climbs, but the 14 kPa scored by 365 gives #1 the win.

  • Autonomous went the same way in Finals 2, with #1 getting two autonomous gears and #1 placing one. But, just 5 seconds into teleop, 365 died in the red retrieval zone, blocking their own partners from obtaining additional gears. 4342 and 6226 were able to get two rotors started and each to the top of their rope, but #2 beat them with one additional rotor and climb, bringing the finals to a third match.

  • Both alliances were able to deliver a gear and get their first rotor started in autonomous in “winner-takes-all-unless-it’s-a-tie” Finals 3. With 6226 getting a gear stuck in their robot until the 45 second mark and 4342 dropping a gear mid-field, #1 was left just one gear shy of spinning the third rotor. On the other side of the field, #2 started their third rotor with 80 seconds left in the match. A last-second climb by 3929 put #2 ahead, with the match ending with all 6 robots ready for flight. After all was done, the #2 alliance was crowned the champions, with 3929
    , 834, and 1495 earning the gold. 834 took home their first blue banner, while 3929’s and 1495’s streaks of winning every finalist appearance continuing to live another day.

Westtown’s Engineering Inspiration Award went to first-timers 1712, while **272 **won their second Chairman’s Award, and first since 2004. Special shout-out to Sarah Fogwell, who was tasked with MC-GA double-duty on Sunday and did a terrific job.

Week 3 Preview

Bridgewater-Raritan

Top Teams

  • **56 **
    (hey, they’re playing this week!) tends not to be flashy, but their record includes 10 regional/district wins and 4 finalist titles, as well as being the World Championship Finalists in 2005. They’ve won a MAR District Event every year but 2015, when a last-second rushed attempt at a capped six-stack cost them the Bridgewater-Raritan District finals. While they have been the #1 alliance captain at the Mt. Olive District for the past two years, they’ve only made it as far as the semifinals, but a new strategy mentor may give them the edge they need. Their robot appears to be lacking any fuel capabilities at first glance, but based on their history that would seemingly be Xtremely unlikely.

  • While **303 **
    may have ranked 22nd at Mount Olive, they were far from the 22nd best robot at the event, taking home a winner banner as the first pick of the #2 seed. They look to claim their third, yes, third, blue banner of 2017 while playing on their home court this weekend.

  • With their high-goal fuel shooting and consistent climbing, **747 **
    just missed out on earning their golden wings at Mount Olive. You can bet that the Flight Crew will be turning on the afterburners come Sunday afternoon to soar above the rest.

  • After five finalist appearances, **834 **
    finally got their first blue medal at Westtown as the second pick of the draft. At last year’s Bridgewater-Raritan MAR District they ranked 2nd, but didn’t make it past the quarterfinals. Will their newfound momentum keep the SparTechs on a roll?

  • 1257
    was the first pick of the #1 seed at Hatboro-Horsham but met a hasty defeat in quarterfinals. Their loss was not for lack of a capable robot though, and their focus on just gears and climbing earned them the Excellence in Engineering Award. Last year, Parallel Universe seeded 1st at Bridgewater-Raritan and ended as finalists, and they hope to do one better come this weekend.

  • There have only been 4 Bridgewater-Raritan MAR Distirct Events, and **1676 **
    has won it thrice. As the lone MAR team to get picked at an out-of-district event in Week 1, Pascack was able to practice their gear cycles and climbing, but these Pi-oneers have yet to fully blaze a trail to the boiler.

Up and Comers

  • **1403 **
    had a tough time at Mount Olive, only winning a third of their qualification matches. They were the second pick of the #4 alliance and advanced to the finals, but you could almost see the “Bridesmaid Curse” pulling the Cougars down, stopping them from getting the climb in both of their finals matches. They were able to get their first win at Bridgewater back in 2014, and hope that history will repeat itself this weekend.

  • Semifinalists at Mount Olive, **219 **
    is now looking to secure their second ever trip to the finals since their inception in 1999. Their capable, agile robot ranked 8th overall in last week’s competition and ended quals with the third highest cumulative rotor score. Pay close attention to where this team gets picked at Bridgewater - they are sure to have a big impact on their alliance’s performance.

A New Foe Has Appeared!

  • After knocking 4954 out of the Southeast Mass. NE District Event, **2168 **
    has followed them south to MAR. Fresh off a New England District Championship win as a second pick last year, they are certainly a force to reckon with this season, using their floor pickup to pick up a win as the #4 alliance captain at the Southeast Mass District Event on Sunday. How well will the Aluminum Falcons fare in MAR gameplay?

Sleepers

  • 193
    , last season’s Hopper finalists, will be trying to improve upon their early exit last week. At their home event last weekend, MORT Beta ranked 13th and were picked up as the third robot of 5624’s #7 alliance but were knocked out in the quarters by the eventual competition winners. They may not score any fuel, but Beta makes up for it with their ground gear intake, climbing ability, and their determination to “Just Keep Swimming.”

  • Despite 2 DQs at Mount Olive due to yellow cards assessed against them, **1279 **
    ended the qualifications as the 6th seed and the alliance #5 captain. Their ground gear acquisition device was finicky, but fear not - this robot can also retrieve gears from the human player. Look out if this team can find a way to decrease the time it takes for them to latch onto their rope, as their climb is fast and smooth. In the playoff matches, Cold Fusion played the role of defense captain in the midzone, working to prevent the eventual finalist alliance of 747, 75, and 1403 from hanging gears. Though they were out in the quarters, they forced 747’s alliance to a rubber match, so don’t count them out as contenders this weekend just yet!

  • **102 **
    brought home their first gold medal in 7 years last weekend all the way from D.C., with their heads focused on the gear-game. Their climb is a bit slow, but they’re looking to be hanging up top this weekend to reach a two-banner season.

  • The first pick of the #8 alliance at Hatboro, 1807
    ’s dedicated gear-and-climb bot helped upset the #1 alliance in the quarterfinals. Their only trip to the finals was when they won the New York City Regional in 2009, but these Redbirds are far from fowl.

  • **1989 **
    captained the #5 alliance at Westtown, but lost their second and third quarterfinal matches after winning the first by a single point. Will their slow-and-steady approach land them in red bumpers in the eliminations this weekend?

Dark Horses

  • They made the finals three times last season, but at last weekend’s Mount Olive District, **41 **
    went unpicked. Despite this, these warriors aren’t going to go without a fight. With some tweaks and improvements in consistency, 41’s bot has the potential to go far.

  • 223
    turned the heat all the way up last year at Bridgewater-Raritan, claiming their first event win in their 18-year history. They got some STEAMWORKS practice down in Virginia back in Week 1, but will devoting some of their resources to the the revival of their beta team 265 end up leaving them scorched?

  • Finally leaving their nest for the 2017 season is 1626
    , 2016’s Seneca District Event winners. They captained the #5 alliance at Bridgewater-Raritan last season and the #4 alliance the year before that, and took home the Innovation in Control Award at both as well.

  • While ranking 13th but not getting picked until the second round by alliance #5 was somewhat (Dr.) awkward for **4954 **
    up in NE last weekend, Palindrome is traveling from Bridgewater back to Bridgewater for their first ever Bridgewater-Raritan MAR District Event. Will their gear floor pickup leave other teams in need of a doctor?

Chairman’s

  • **1676 **
    has already punched their ticket to the 2017 World Championship in St. Louis by earning one of 4 2016 World Championship Division Engineering Inspiration Awards, but you would be remiss to believe that they’re resting on their laurels. With 8 EI and 3 Chairman’s Awards since the creation of the MAR District in 2012, these Pi-oneers are outreach veterans. They’ve started their awards season strong with an Entrepreneurship Award and Industrial Safety Award at the CHS Southwest Virginia District where they were ineligible for culture changing awards, and you can bet that they’ll be giving their awards game their all this weekend.

  • Mount Olive’s Chairman’s Award winners **303 **
    are looking for an Engineering Inspiration Award to complement last week’s blue clingbling. They’ve been refining and expanding their outreach program, TESTing out new projects like hosting a STEAM Fair to teach kids about STEAM. With 6 EI and Chairman’s Awards all within the past 4 seasons, 303’s outreach is on the rise.

  • 3142
    , who earned the Entrepreneurship Award at Mount Olive, have been spotted hanging out with fellow Bridgewater contender 1676 at the state fair and at the Pi-oneers’ NJ Advocacy Conference. It’s been 2 years since their last EI win, but could this be the year that Aperture takes home their first Chairman’s Award?

  • The 2010 NJ Regional Chairman’s Award team, 1403
    , earned their second ever Chairman’s at their home event last season, but they walked away from the Mount Olive District last weekend empty-pawed when it came down to judged awards. Don’t count on these cats to do the same this week!

Up-and-Coming Culture Changers

  • If you were at Mount Olive last week, you would have noticed Imagery Award winners **5310 **
    staffing several tables for on-site outreach. One of the booths held buttons and fact sheets to promote lupus awareness and another had a red chair where event attendees could have their pictures taken to take a stand for computer science equity. The 2014 MAR Championship Rookie All Stars have come a long way, and we can’t wait to see where they fly to next.

  • 56
    has never won a culture changing award, but one look at their website will show that it’s not for lack of community outreach. Between ongoing projects, annual events, and their recent involvement in the NJ Advocacy Conference, 56 has been Xtremely effective in following their guiding principles of teaching and inspiring others in STEM.

Springside Chestnut Hill Academy

Top teams

  • **225 **
    won every MAR event they attended in 2015 and 2016 as a first seed or first overall pick, including the District Championship. Their robots have grown as elaborate as they are successful: a dual flywheel shooter on a moving arm last season and an arm that grabbed multiple landfill landfill totes at a time in 2015. This year, they plan to start a Firestorm with active gear placement, floor fuel pickup, and a wide high-efficiency boiler shooter. Techfire will definitely be bringing the heat to Springside-Chestnut Hill this weekend, especially if they finally dial in that 40 kPa autonomous mode.

  • **2590 **
    has never won at Springside Chestnut Hill before, but that’s probably because they’ve never competed there until this year. They were the third overall pick at Hatboro-Horsham, but lost by just five points in the fourth finals match due to a G13 penalty. You’ll certainly want this Nemesis and their three-ball-wide shooter to be your friends this weekend. (How many times have you heard that joke?)

Up-and-Comers

  • **103 **
    has largely flown under the radar the past few seasons, but that is no longer the case since their win at Hatboro-Horsham two weekends ago. They swerved across the field, dodging defenders to deliver gears to their airship. With autonomous fuel giving them a handy edge, they took semis to three matches and finals to four and emerged victorious, ending 2590’s four year long HH win streak.

  • **3974 **
    got the equation right at Hatboro-Horsham, captaining the #3 alliance all the way to the finals. While it looks like they still have a bit left to figure out, these 2013 and 2015 Springside Chestnut Hill District finalists are on the path to success.

  • With a qualification record of 11-1, **4342 **
    secured the #1 seed at Westtown and made it to the finals for the first time since their rookie year of 2012, also at Chestnut Hill. Their trapezoidal robot earned them the Industrial Design Award, and the Demons will be back for more at Springside Chestnut Hill, where they captained the #8 alliance to some close quarterfinal matches last year.

Fell Short at their First Event

  • This will be 341
    ’s third time competing at Springside Chestnut Hill, winning it in both 2012 and 2013. They captained the #2 alliance at Hatboro-Horsham, but even after partnering with Peddie Miss Daisy’s petals fell in the semis. Watch for their sweet turret and gear-centering mechanism to be in full bloom this weekend.

  • 708
    ’s Knight Rider rode through Hatboro-Horsham with a 9-1 qualification record, securing them the #1 seed. But, they were upset in the quarters by the #8 alliance. They made it to the finals at Springside Chestnut Hill last year, and plan to throw their hat into the ring again this season as they continue to shoot high.

  • **1218 **
    only won 4 of their 6 qualification matches at Hatboro Horsham, but their maneuverability and quick climbing got them picked by the #7 alliance. While Vulcan failed to jump through the quarters, these 2015 Springside Chestnut Hill District winners to live long and prosper as the season continues.

Handy Second Picks

  • They might have fallen to be the penultimate pick at Westtown, but **1495 **
    held their own in claiming a win for the #2 alliance last weekend. One of the few tall robots in MAR, the Red Devils used their height to their advantage when blocking their opponent’s sightlines to robots in the loading lanes. Winners at Springside Chestnut Hill in both 2013 and 2014, they have emerged victorious every time that they have made it to the finals, and don’t plan on losing that streak now.

  • 1811
    ranked 30th of 37th at Mount Olive, but as alliance #6’s second pick, these gear cyclers helped advance their alliance to the semis. FRESH hasn’t made it to the finals at an event, but that’s never stopped them from trying.

  • 4454
    was selected to round out the powerful #2 alliance of 341 and 5895 at Hatboro-Horsham, and played defense like it was an art. They’ve yet to make it past the semifinals at an event, but with their ability to keep opponents at bay, they should be launched to the finals sometime soon.

  • They qualification matches as the 27th of 31 teams at Westtown, but **6226 **
    was a wise second pick of the #1 alliance. These Blue Devils were on top of their opponents like bats out of hell, and aided their alliance to silver medals. While their ranking may not show it, this sophomore team is a great addition to any playoff alliance.

Sleeper

  • 5181
    made their debut as alliance captains at Hatboro-Horsham, leading the #8 alliance to an incredible upset of the #1 alliance in the quarterfinals. These speedy gear cyclers can put up a fight with even the most seasoned veterans, and how many teams do you know that are sponsored by a funeral home?

Dark Horse

  • 2015 MAR Champs winners **203 **
    are playing STEAMWORKS for their first time at Springside Chestnut Hill. Will they have a TUFF time adjusting to the field, or will they cook up something reminiscent of years past?

Chairman’s

  • 2012-2013, **321 **
    won 4 Engineering Inspiration Awards; 2015-2016, they won 4 Chairman’s Awards. 3 of those awards have been at the district championship level. The RoboLancers have been a perennial contender for culture changing awards since the inception of the MAR District. Though they left last week’s Westtown District with no awards, 321’s success in bringing STEAM to students in the Philly area is unlikely to go unrecognized this weekend.

  • **708 **
    won the Chairman’s Award earlier this season at the Hatboro Horsham District, so like 303, they’re now seeking an Engineering Inspiration Award. While they’ve never won EI before, Hatters Robotics’ vast impact within their community makes them a strong candidate for a second culture changing award this season.

  • **1218 **
    has a 4 year streak for earning the Chairman’s or EI Award at the MAR Championship. They didn’t win either Week 1 at Hatboro-Horsham, but their 2015 season is evidence that just because they go without a culture changing award at their first district does not mean they don’t have a shot at their next two.

  • Hatboro-Horsham’s Finalists and Entrepreneurship Award winners, 2590
    , aren’t just about the robot. They also have a formidable outreach program that has earned them 3 Chairman’s Awards and 1 EI Award since 2012. Will this be the year that Nemesis finally earns the District Championship level award to send them to the World Championship in St. Louis?

Up-and-Coming Culture Changers

As always, amazing insight.

I’d just like to call attention to this line right here:

Apologies for another late thread; didn’t want to risk a red card by posting too soon without the green lights on.

I know inter-District play is legal, but how about District->Regional roasts?

Great recap, with safety glasses on and bad techno music playing loudly it was almost as good as being there!!

Thanks for help spotlighing how great MAR is!

What a great read and a fantastic, detailed post. It answers every question except one… who IS the MARtian?

I had a few thoughts of my own to add…

My team will be attending Sprindside-Chestnut Hill for the sixth straight time and each event has had some wild excitement through the years. The debut of Tech Fire’s full-court shooter in 2013 brought the eyes of the FIRST Nation to SCH and brought Tech Fire their first ever blue banner. In 2014, a wild upset of alliance #1 by alliance #8 was the beginning of elimination rounds that saw all but two reach a tiebreaking third match.

Springside-Chestnut Hill looks to be a much younger event than it has been in years past, as recent antendees like 11, 272, 365, 816, 1391, and 1712 will not be present this year. Six of the thirty-two teams have three-or-fewer years of experience in FRC, but almost all of these younger teams have had success over the past few years. For instance, 5181 helped upset the #1 alliance two weeks ago at Hatboro; 5404 competed on Archimedes last year; 5407 have two district wins to their name; and 6226 are fresh off a finals appearance at Westtown last weekend. At SCH, youthfulness will certainly not mean inexperience!

The favorites must be 225. Tech Fire has won four straight SCH events and two straight MAR Championships. They’ll be one of four teams at SCH competing for the first time, so quickly adapting to the challenges of Steamworks will be absolutely essential for Tech Fire to rise to the top of the rankings yet again.

341 and 2590 are classic MAR powerhouses with something to prove this weekend. Members of the #2 and #3 alliances, respectively, two weeks ago at Hatboro, but both were eliminated before securing a blue banner. Another similarity between Nemesis and Daisy? Both improved dramatically from Saturday and Sunday at Hatboro and have the experience and engineering skill to improve even more going into SCH.

The two hungriest teams this weekend have to be 708 and 3974, the teams that, interestingly enough, claimed the two higest OPRs at Hatboro. Owners of a combined 8 finals appearances with no wins, 708 was upset in the quarterfinals at their home district event this year while 3974 lost by 5 points in the fourth finals match. Both boast quick gear mechanisms, solid autonomous, and quick, consistent climbs.

103 took the victory in that previously-mentioned fourth finals match at Hatboro as their scary-fast swerve drive allowed them to be one of the quickest gear-cyclers at the event.

The wild card this weekend may be the home team. 1218 was relegated to a defensive role for much of their last competition and bumped decisively in the quarterfinals. Don’t expect Vulcan to take that disappointment lying down; there is a reason they’ve brought home thirteen blue banners over the past five years!

Several other top-tier machines will make this a much deeper event than it may look like on the surface. 4342 was the #1 seed at Westtown. 486 have some of the highest autonomous and rotor OPRs in MAR, and they deserved a ranking higher than #9 last weekend. 433 can climb as consistently as any team at SCH. 1495 is looking to win back-to-back events and have already taken home two blue banners from Chestnut Hill in the past four years. 423 is looking to rebound from their first competition, where they ranked dead-last and missed eliminations, but featured an OPR in the top-15 and are a much more flexible gearbot than those results show.

In a small event where only 8 teams will miss eliminations, the key will be for one of the under-the-radar teams to show consistent climbs and defensive/gear cycling flexibility to be desireable to the top seeds as a late pick. 203 and 2234 seem like prime candidates for this. If that doesn’t happen, Springside-Chesnut Hill looks like an event that is very ready for some wild upsets.

Is there a Pulitzer Prize for posting? I nominate the MARtian.

George Ackley’s team introductions before the finals were amazing and only touched on a small part of the history of these six teams. It reminded me of Dave Verbrugge’s Einstein introductions circa 2006, minus the headstand. :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye: Speaking of which, someone pointed out to me how all three members of the winning alliance have previously made trips to Einstein. :ahh:

Seconded. These have become my favorite posts to read on CD. Detailed, witty, accurate.

I second, these are always a great read

Dang that would’ve been a great piece of trivia to throw in there. With only so much time to intro each time I try to focus on the Cinderella aspect/“holy cow that’s awesome” aspect to team’s history. And you’re the first one to catch on. Dave was definitely an inspiration to my Finals MCing philosophy these teams fought hard to get to this point, and who knows when they’ll get here again so I like to make it special. His encyclopedic knowledge of the teams is awe-inspiring. And while I can’t really do a handstand, I borrowed Mark Leon’s roll and Karthik’s kick.

Seconded. These have become my favorite posts to read on CD. Detailed, witty, accurate.

Agreed 100% I’d like to volunteer to be a contributing member of the writing, but I fear that I might bring the posts down!

This is the type of in depth analysis I look to The MARtian for.

Great post again. The weekly recaps are very useful.