Today FIRST revealed our new challenge, STRONGHOLD. This game combines a mix of defence, assault, and adaptation techniques. Throughout the different matches our robot will have to adapt to different defence configurations, as the audience is allowed to choose the defense elements. This will be hard, as there are over 10,000 different combinations! At the very end of a game, you and your alliance can choose to scale the enemy’s castle to gain extra points. Alliances also gain points by shooting boulders into the opposing alliance’s castle.

For the full game manual, click here.

 FIRST Describes the game as:

“FIRST STRONGHOLD is played by two alliances of three teams each. Alliances compete against each other to breach their opponents’ defenses, known as outer works, and capture their tower. They score points by crossing elements of their opponents’ outer works, scoring boulders in their opponent’s’ tower goals, and surrounding and scaling their opponents’ tower itself.”


In the beginning of the game, there is a 15 second autonomous period where the robot will run off of a pre-programmed set of instructions. We can gain points by shooting a boulder in the high tower goal, shooting a boulder in a low tower goal, crossing a defense, or reaching a defense. After that there is two minutes and fifteen seconds of teleoperation, or under the control of a human driver. During this time our drivers will have to work with our alliance to score as many points as possible to win the game!


Examples of defense systems:



Now our team faces the challenge of building the best robot to complete the challenge at hand in six weeks. As soon as this game was released the Chief Delphi forums, a communication board for FRC teams, blew up with comments and chatter about this game. The overall consensus is that it is a fun looking game, but difficult with its many objectives. Even new members of FRC teams are interested in this game. One member of Firebird Robotics (#3019) commented “Looks complicated, but I really like it! This is my first year with FRC, so I’m pretty excited to be a part of it!”. Wish our team the best of luck as we move to complete this challenging, fun, game!