On January 7th, 2012, the Aluminum Falcons attended the 2012 FIRST Kickoff at Dominion Millstone Power Station. Along with several other FIRST teams including 1699 Robocats, 2067 Apple Pi, and 3719 STEM Whalers the team viewed the Simulcast with an audience of over 100 eager FIRST participants. The questions among the room were: What would the new field look like? How would the Kinect be incorporated into this season? and What would this year's game be? Although, there were technical difficulties at the beginning of the simulcast, thanks to the cooperative spirit of the room it was returned shortly. After hearing speeches from FIRST spokesmen Woodie Flowers, Bill Miller, and Dean Kamen, the game was revealed:
In this game each Alliance competes by trying to score as many basketballs in the hoops as possible during the 2 minute and 15 second match. Balls scored in higher hoops score Alliances more points. Alliances are awarded bonus points if they are balanced on bridges at the end of the match. In matches where opposing Alliances work together to balance on the white bridge, all participating teams earn additional valuable seeding points.
The team later reassembled at the Groton Public Library to discuss game rules and fouls. Carefully analyzing the manual, the student members began to formulate their design for a championship-winning robot. The next day the team met again at Fitch High School to discuss their game strategies and robot designs along with all of their mentors. Each student presented their design strategy and simultaneoulsy answered their peers' questions. Common strategies among the team were to score high and replace the Kinect system during the Hybrid period with a reliable autonomous mode. The team then finally went through a group discussion about the important concepts of the game and percentage estimates on different gameplay strategems. The Aluminum Falcons, FIRST Team 2168 are ready to rebound and rumble for the 2012 season.
"FOOTBALL-er-I mean BASKETBALL!!!!"