NEforecast 2017: Week 5 Hartford

NEforecast: Hartford Event, March 31 – April 2, 2017

Team List: https://www.thebluealliance.com/event/2017cthar

Webcast: https://www.twitch.tv/nefirst_blue

With week 5 finally upon us it’s time to look at what many consider to be New England’s premiere event; The Hartford District. Some of Connecticut’s finest are stepping up to the plate this weekend and with arguably the deepest field in NE we’ve seen so far. Four rotor matches are becoming increasingly common, and we may start to see how these qual matches will affect the rankings. That being said, teams who can achieve four rotor matches will have a hard time keeping up in RP with the fuel bots who can hit 40kPa. Expect the top fuel scorers to seed highly this weekend.

Elims lately have come down to an alliance getting 4 rotors, or an alliance trying to stop their opponents from getting 4 rotors and winning off of tie breaker points. As the fields of gearbots get better, defending the 4 rotor strategy will be a harder feat to accomplish, especially with G10 being called pretty heavily at RIDE. Alliances may have to look for other ways to come out with a win in tiebreaker points to advance in the bracket.

Top Teams:

177 Missing only one climb at Waterbury and being taken as the overall 1st pick, The Bobcats have shown that they understand how Steamworks is supposed to be played. Despite featuring one of the best roller gear intakes in NE, the true test for 177 will be getting their dual shooter system honed in for the weekend. If they can overcome the issues they’ve been having it could give them the added value they need to stand out in a field of other great gearbots.

195Even though they lost in the semi-finals at both events they’ve attended, you wouldn’t know it by watching their robot. The CyberKnights tend to shine the later in the season they get, and with one weekend before district champs they could start hitting their stride at this event. Averaging 46kPa per match at TVR, 195 has their shooter dialed in and knows how to get after that bonus RP, and with a new attachment to their gear intake they might finally capture that 4th rotor that’s evaded them in their past two elim runs.

230Though not achieving the on the field success we’re used to seeing from the Gael Hawks at this point in the season, they are still one of Connecticut’s oldest, strongest, and smartest teams. Choosing to go with a mecanum drive, 230 consistently hangs gears thanks to their strafing ability. They’ve also made a name for themselves by being a very impressive fuel scorer, something that if they get nailed down, could prove pivotal in elims for them.

236Simply put, the key to success in Steamworks is consistency, and few teams have been able to reliably place gears, climb, and even shoot for a few kPa if they need to, better than the Techno-Ticks. When coupled with their incredibly strong drive team, 236 is a force to be reckoned with. If they can find a way to up the ante from their performance at Waterbury the Techno-Ticks could find themselves in the winner’s circle for their second straight event.

558The Elm City RoboSquad made a name for themselves last year when, after winning their first event, made a complete redesign on their robot, only to go on and win their next event because of those changes. Rumor has it though that they’ve gone and done it again, even if their bot only made a “small” change. A zippy machine that is able to drive over gears and intake them seamlessly, 558 could see themselves being the fastest gearbot at this event, if they can overcome the issues that come with performing a redesign.

2067Finishing as the 2nd and 5th seed at both of their events this year, 2067 has shown that they can play all aspects of this game proficiently. Even if they suffer from a bit of an identity crisis between focusing on hanging gears or shooting, they are still one of this events strongest teams. Not to mention, in the right application their swerve drive could be the difference maker in a strategy revolved around stopping the opposing alliance from getting their 4th rotor.

Honorable Mentions:

175Buzz has a long road ahead of them before Houston but has plenty of experience under their belts to improve their gameplan to push further into the elimination bracket.

228GUS has decided to join the roller gear intake club in what seems to be a solid improvement from their previous gear mechanism. Not to mention, a climb from the top of their robot should allow them to elude the climb issues they faced in the elims of Waterbury.

2170It’s never too late for KISS to be effective which is where Titanium comes in this weekend.  Tuning their few systems to be more tried and true will make them a valuable partner.

1991Winners of the WPI District Event the Dragons are a team that no one should underestimate. A solid gear scorer, climber, and a really effective fuel shooter, 1991 can add something to any alliance.

4557The FullMetal Falcons is a team whose gone under the radar so far this year, they were one of the fastest gear scorers in Waterbury but suffered from a few consistency issues. Supposedly that’s what they’ve been aiming to fix though, with an improved gear intake and climb consistency 4557 is a team every scouter should be watching out for.

Chairman’s Top Teams:

230 – Winning New England District Championship Chairman’s last year and a District Chairman’s win in 2015. Team 230 is continuing to enhance an already strong Chairman’s winning program. With STEM Night at their high school, mentoring FRC & FLL teams, as well as volunteering at an FLL qualifier,  230 has many solid points that could take home this blue banner.

558 – With consistent District Chairman’s wins since 2014 and a NEDCMP Chairman’s win in 2015, Team 558 is a competitive contender for the Chairman’s Award. By starting their Rent-A-Mentor program, mentoring FLL teams, hosting an FLL event, and doing much more, we could see Team 558 win the 2017 Hartford Chairman’s Award.

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