It was a bright, cold morning as everyone gathered to the local Kick-Off in Lubbock, Texas. Ice was on the ground, kids were groggy, but people were constantly trying to guess this year’s game Challenge for “FIRST Stronghold!”
Minutes ticked by as the tension grew amongst the crowd. A cover over Monty Python and the Holy Grail could not have been more perfect for the theme of this year! It was hysterical for many (only for the puns). Dean Kamen, Woodie Flowers, and Frank Merrick all took their turn to discuss interesting facts about FIRST in a course of an hour. Hope was almost lost until they finally displayed the Game Reveal!
For those of you who are new to FIRST, this is one of the most challenging fields yet. In the past, there has been different components each alliance had to endure through. However, this time some of the components are interchangeable. These pieces are known as the OUTER WORKS. This is the alliances’ defense system. There are 8 platforms of which 1 from each group must be on the field. 1 set stays the same the entire time. Each alliance has to prepare a strategy to keep their opponents from BREACHING their defense, and this is the cool part; you are awarded for completing tasks. Another task the alliance can do is CAPTURE their opponents tower/flag. Because FIRST is known for using resources, it is advised to research past competitions to obtain information that can assist your team for this year’s competition.
There is so much more to this game than what I have mentioned. If you haven’t read the Game Manual, you should! (Game Manual: http://www.firstinspires.org/resource-library/frc/competition-manual-qa-system).
Until later, good luck on this Build Season and may you find ways to defend your Stronghold!