I keep posting these things months after the event. I gotta stop doing that.
This was my first time going to NERC's smaller fall event, which is held at the Franklin Institute in Philadelphia. I had originally planned to re-build FireArrow and build a new beetleweight for this event, but due to a lack of time ended up only bringing FireArrow v2 again. The antweights were kind of put on the backburner due to how many big bots there were (this was the largest FI ever) so I got to hang out most of the day without fighting, which was cool.
Also there was the BattleBot SubZero, which had been set up on display for the day. This was my first time seeing one of the television robots "in the flesh", and it was definitely a highlight of the day.
For this event FireArrow v2 received some minor last-second changes. The problem with the motor mounts I had mentioned in my last report had been fixed, and I decided to replace the UHMW wheelguards with some titanium horns to keep robots from driving up and over my wedge. I also stuck two spare screws out of the back end to keep FireArrow from being high-centered.
Match 1: FireArrow vs. Physique Black
Physique Black was a tough little drumbot built by Ian McMahon, who flew up from Texas to compete at Franklin. His bots are always super hard to fight so I knew this would be a tough one. I went in head on at first and drove him around for a bit, but eventually he got to my wheels and tore them off. Knockout loss for the wedge. Physique ended up winning the entire tournament so I wasn't too upset about this loss.
At this point was where they decided to sideline the ant bracket until after the museum closed, so I didn't have another fight for about 7 hours. There were some truly amazing fights in the bigger classes, and it made me wish I had finished my beetle in time.
Match 2: FireArrow vs. Justice
Justice was another Revelation Robotics bot, a solid overhead spinner which had already won a fight or two before this match, but the brackets were weird so it was my first loser's bracket match. This match was super close, with both bots trading hits. There was one point where Justice got under me and tore into FireArrow's bottom armor, actually separating some layers of the garolite. It didn't crack anything, it just peeled the layers apart. Really strange. Anyway, the two minutes ran out and the judges gave FireArrow the win on a close decision.
Match 3: FireArrow vs. Ferocious
This would be my second time fighting Brandon in a one-on-one fight, and also my second time meeting Ferocious in the arena (it was also in the rumble at Motorama). It had a pretty solid lifter, so I knew i'd need to aim for the bent pieces of his wedge and keep him from flipping me. This worked for a while, but eventually Ferocious got underneath and drove me over to the wall, where I realized I couldn't move! I got counted out on the wall, and inspected what happened: I had managed to get high-centered between my wedge and the screws I added to keep from getting stuck! It was such dumb bad luck that I had to laugh at it.
All in all FireArrow v2, the flawed design it is, ended up doing well enough that I wasn't upset at all by only going 1-2. It was still a fantastic event. Any chance I get to meet up with other bot builders and have a good time is a day well spent in my book.
See you all at Motorama again this weekend!