On May 18 & 19th, the Aluminum Falcons competed in WPI Battlecry 13. Arguably the most exciting post-season competition in New England, Battlecry is indistinguishable from most regular season regional competitions. Forging forward from the semi-final upsets at New York City and Hartford, FIRST Team 2168 was ready to dominate at Worcester. Upgraded with faster shooting, the team fought fiercely to become the number two seed, defeating some of the toughest robots in New England along the way.
For the final elimination rounds, the Falcons were picked by the number one seed 1519 Mechanical Mayhem, and an amazingly fortunate random selection brought 125 NU-TRONS to complete the winning alliance. While 125 played defense and recovered balls from the opposition, the Fat Swan along with 1519 consistently put up 3-pointers averaging a 37 point spread over other alliances.
The Falcons have performed well all season, but disaster always seemed to strike in the semi-finals. But this time, not even a short-circuiting fuse or 125's drivetrain breaking down would stop the Aluminum Falcons. In the first game of the semi-finals on Saturday afternoon, the Falcons' alliance were behind at the end of the 15-second autonomous period. The opposing alliance led by 190 Gompei and the H.E.R.D. scored a near-perfect 40 points autonomous to our own 18 points; the situation did not seem well and each team member felt an all too familiar sickness in our collective gut.
Pursued by the demons of the past FIRST Team 2168 was not ready to give up. With Tim and Niral playing their best match of the season, it ended 99-70 in favor of the Falcons' alliance. In the second semi-final game, a smart maneuver by 1519 shut down 190's "perfect autonomous" play, and the hybrid ended with a much less daunting 4-point deficit, 18-22. The final score of 80 to 56 sent the alliance undefeated into the finals, finally!
With the shorted fuse found and fixed, the Aluminum Falcons were ready to fight in the finals, facing the 11th seeded alliance of 175 Buzz Robotics, 716 WhoCTEKs, and 1058 PVC Pirates. Contrasting with the semi-finals, this alliance put up a seemingly impenetrable defense keeping the winning score 49-30 in the first match. The second match in the best-of-three finals, proved to be memorable with all three alliance partners (even the limping NU-TRONS) showing skill and effective maneuvering. A final score of 70 to 18 set the victory in stone.
Leaving the competition victorious with a (15-1-0) record, this moment is one that the entire team has fought for the entire season. Through all the ups and downs, the Aluminum Falcons have never given up hope. From beating the number-one seed in the quarter-finals of last year's Battlecry, to becoming the number one seed and defeating every alliance that they faced, this is another turning point for the team. With Beantown Blitz and the national invitational IRI to come the Aluminum Falcons will only soar upward.
"The FALCOLN's dominated today. During finals your alliance outscored the opposing alliances by an average of 37 points. Flawless performance by the robot and especially the drive team. Very proud of all of you"-Edwin Lee (USCG, Mentor)
"Congratulations 2168 for winning Battlecry 13! I've never been more proud to be apart of anything in my entire life"-Zoë Yopp (Business Captain)
"Aluminum Falcons, Fitch robotics, just won Battlecry 2012! I have not been this happy in a long while" -Matt Gentry (CAD Captain)