Another year, another trip over to small town rural Connecticut for the annual Suffield Shakedown Scrimmage. Arguably the original Week 0 event, Aces High (FRC176) has been hosting this event for over a decade and they do a fantastic job.
Due to the number of teams ready to compete the event organizers and volunteers decided that there would be no set schedule and everyone could access the field via a filler line. They also adjusted the match time to 5mins, giving drivers more than double the stick time. Due to this, the teams who were ready to play showed marked improvement over the day as the drivers warmed up to their machines.
So what did we learn from scrimmage this year?
- The snow and changing of the style of play has greatly effected robot design and completeness (at least here in NE).
- Teams will need to think more about strategic placement of the stacks as they complete them.
- Tall elevators are everywhere… along with some questionable robot center of gravity aka lots of tall robots are tipping.
- Quickly and accurately retrieving totes from the landfill is more difficult than many teams seem to have expected.
- This field is small, and gets smaller throughout the match.
- Litter, Litter, Litter… it gets everywhere and it has a negative impact on the already cramped robot mobility.
- Litter will be cut, broken, and all over the field.
- Your partners will knock over your alliances stacks.
- Coordinating an alliance will be difficult.
- Gameplay will be slow in most cases.
- Co-op points will be more than ½ a teams score on average.
- The game does not engage the audiance unless a stack is huge and it falls over, or 4+ yellow totes end up at center field.
You can keep up to date on what other have learned and are saying over on ChiefDelphi. Overall this game has potential. Potential to have really unique robots be very successful is scoring points. However this game does lack a lot of what has made the last few FRC games great. The pace. This game is slow, and to an outsider may be about as interesting as watching paint dry. In conclusion; amazing engineering challenge, bad spectator sport.
Article Content Gathered/Provided by: Justin Foss (FRC558 Mentor)