Rebound Rumble First Impressions

It’s that time of the year again when all of us robot nerds go into seclusion from “normal” social activities and geek out building a robot for a new challenge.  If you don’t know what this is all about I really wonder why you are reading this blog in the first place, but I will still indulge you.  Below is the game video for this year.

I know that everyone is probably overwhelmed with ideas and discussions about the best robot to build here is some more food for thought and some of my impressions after day 1.  No real order just a brain dump.

  • This is a game for veterans teams who normally compete at a relatively high level.  Rookie and Mid-level teams are going to have a serious problem accomplishing all the game objectives.
  • There will be many matches this season where the majority of the points for an alliance will be penalties committed by the other team.
  • There are many subtle challenges to this game, that seem easy but are actually very difficult.  To paraphrase Shrek this game is like an onion, many layers, most of which will make some teams cry.  Don’t underestimate anything on the field, no matter how easy it seems.
  • Some games look hard but are actually easy, I don’t think this is one of those games.
  • Motors – FIRST realized that there inspection teams were not capable of catching the differences between many versions of the same motors so they just made them easy.  Too much choice exists, and while you can basically do whatever you want with motors this, restraint  will be key.  And btw if you use that rare motor  where exactly do you think you are going to find a replacement…oh that’s right FIRST cut a deal with junk yards…WHAT?!
  • Banebots already has a 6 business day delay in shipping parts out….C’mon Man!
  • The GDC put in a rule that they reserve the right to change a rule for championship, atleast this year we know it is coming.   Any takers on my bet already that they lower the ramp points?
  • There will be many robots on their backs this season, half on the ramps, half on the barricade.
  • I like the cooperation bonus, it allows you to make up for a loss in ranking.  I still don’t think it will happen much at regional events, it will surly happen at championships.
  • Double balances will be rare. Many will try few will be successful.
  • Triple Balances will be extremely rare.  Probably less than 50 times the while season.
  • Many teams will forget that the ramps self level and won’t put a device which changes the direction of the ramp on their robot. They will either have to brave the bump with their kitbot or stay on that side of the field.
  • I was really hoping for a multi-game piece game and was really excited when they were teasing all the old game pieces.
  • Why were Kate and Colin in Elf costumes during kickoff? Did they loose a bet?
  • Thank god there are no mini-bots



I am tired, and that is enough. I really don’t mean to sound like I don’t like this game, because I think it has potential. I just think that the challenge is going to be a bit much for many teams.  I have always found that being stressful is a way better lesson to the kids on my teams then trying really hard and failing. Both are valuable lessons, but the goal is inspiration not de-motivation.  Take 2001 a bad game by many people’s standards, and 2006 the best game according to many, mix them together and you get this game, which undoubtedly be somewhere in the middle.


I am also not sure if I will keep up this blog, there is a big hole in the FIRST blogs left by someone who’s name sounds like 12:00pm, but I don’t know that I have the dedication and enough interesting stuff to talk about.  Let me know if you want me to keep this up.





About: Greg Needel

One thought on “Rebound Rumble First Impressions”

  1. The comment about teams getting points from penalties in some matches cracked me up but in reality it may be funny at first but in reality it will be a sad sad sight to behold. Bad teams will accumulate penalties like crazy because they don’t read the rules and will repeatedly attack opposing teams in the key and I bet some time this year you will even see some real brain dead team try to knock teams from the ramp late out of desperation. I’ve seen teams vapor lock at events before like this.
    Is there ever a FIRST game that the elites do not dominate? I think where teams will fail is trying to be the Jack of all Trades and master none. Better to be useful at one skill and master it than to take on something you don’t do well and fail miserably. If you can’t do it be honest with yourself and focus on what you can reasonably design and work with it. There is a place in the modern three team alliance FIRST for teams that do things well and use them smartly.

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