Last Year's Game
FIRST STRONGHOLD is played on a 27 ft. by 54 ft. field. Each alliance commands one tower, five defenses, and a ‘secret passage’ which allows their robots to restock on ammunition, called boulders. One defense in each alliance’s set of five, the low bar, is a permanent part of the field. Three defenses are selected strategically by the alliance prior to the start of their match. The final defense changes periodically by audience selection.
Each FIRST STRONGHOLD match begins with a 15-second autonomous period in which robots operate independently of human control. During this period, robots attempt to cross opposing defenses and score in the opposing tower. During the remaining 2 minutes and 15 seconds of the match, called the teleop period, robots are controlled by student drivers from behind their castle wall at the end of the field. Teams on an alliance work together to cross defenses, weaken the opposing tower by scoring boulders in it, and finally surround, scale and capture the tower.
Alliances are ranked by a combination of their Win-Loss-Tie record, breach success, and tower capture success. A win is determined by comparing total match points between alliances at the end of the match and earns an alliance two ranking points. Ties earn an alliance one ranking point. Capturing an opponents’ tower at the end of the match earns each team on the alliance one ranking point. Breaching an opponents’ outer works by crossing four of the five defenses twice earns an additional ranking point. Ranking points are the primary way teams are ranked during qualification rounds, so are very important. Note that while only one alliance can win a match, either, both, or none may capture a tower or breach outer works.
To learn more, check out the Official FIRST STRONGHOLD Manual
2016 FRC Game Animation
Visit the FRC YouTube Channel for more information.
Our Design Process
As part of our efforts to become a more competitive team, 2228 has re-imagined its design process from FIRST principles to increase efficiency, mirroring the processes used in the engineering industry. Beginning long before build season, our student leadership decides on our Team Goals and Robot Design Goals to determine our grand-scale objectives for the year.
When kickoff finally arrives, we begin by brainstorming strategies on the bus ride home. Members contribute their wackiest ideas about how to play the game to a strategy brainstorm list. The team votes democratically to prioritize the strategies we pursue in each portion of the game. Then we break the chosen strategies down into their most basic behavioral details, e.g. degrees of freedom, range of motion, and maxima and minima. When it comes time to design the real robot, we have a solid theoretical basis for our design decisions. The team breaks into three or four focus groups called satellites that are responsible for designing the mechanical and electrical details. Satellites stay together until the whole robot has been designed. Their efforts are coordinated by the Mothership, or systems engineering committee, which is composed of all of our sub-team leaders. The process mimics matrix management and system engineering strategies used by real-world businesses to create their products.