2016 Kickoff

by | Jan 24, 2016 | Build season | 0 comments

The energy was high as hundreds of high school students and mentors gathered together at Orange High School in Hillsborough, NC, and eagerly waited to watch the 2016 FRC game broadcast. Everyone was anticipating what the new challenge was all about, using the teaser video FIRST released a few months prior. After a long introduction and several teasers, the new game was revealed: Stronghold.

Stronghold is a game where two alliances composed of three robots work to conquer their opponent’s alliance’s kingdom. On each side, there is a castle tower with goals both at 9-feet and right on the ground. Each alliance has the option to start off with a total of three “boulders,” which are 10-inch diameter foam balls. With those boulders, the alliances score by launching them into the high goal for 5 points or rolling/pushing them into the low goal for 2 points. Of course, there is a twist. As robots are scoring down field, opposite where their drive stations are, they are required to shoot the boulders from their opponent’s courtyard, a section by the goals they are shooting into. To get to the opponent’s courtyard (the other end), robots have to cross a row of assorted “defenses”, which are obstacles. When a defense is crossed twice in the right direction, it become “damaged”; once 4 defenses are damaged, the alliance has “breached” the “outer works” (row of obstacles) and points are scored. In the last 20 seconds of the game, robots can score extra points and climb on a bar nearly 7 feet off the ground at their opponent’s castle. For a more detailed explanation of the game and animation, check out the official game reveal video below.

After the video was played, our team quickly gathered together to read the rules and started developing strategies. We also joined a few other teams in a brainstorming session. By the end of the day, we had a general idea of we wanted to play the game and were very excited to get working on a robot for Stronghold!