2018 Build Season is Ending, so What’s this Season About?

Hey guys! It’s crunch time for all FRC teams as the build season reaches it’s end with about a week left to go and lots of tasks to finish! Things are getting stressful as we try to put the finishing touches on our robot.  After the build season ends, the Sprockets have two upcoming competitions/events: one at UOIT on March 2nd and the other at North Bay on March 29th.

For those of you who aren’t up to date on the new 2018 game, this blog post is all about this season’s game and the different components in it. This year, there is a big focus on strategy as there are lots of different routes you can take throughout the season.

This year’s FIRST Robotics Competition game is about 2 alliances of video game characters. They are stuck in an arcade game and to get out, they must defeat the boss.

Overview of FIRST 2018 POWER UP Game:

Power cubes are used to control switches and scales and they are passed through the exchange for Power Ups (see below). Robots also climb the scale to “defeat the boss”. Power cubes are located in a pyramid shape in front of your switch, on the opposite side of the Switch in a line and in each Alliance Portal. Up to one power cube can be preloaded onto the robot. The plates of the switches and scales are randomized before each match so you have to be ready for either side. During the first 15 seconds, the robots are autonomous and they try to cross the Auto-Line and put Power Cubes on Switches and the Scale for points. Then the Tele-op period starts, which lasts 2 minutes and 15 seconds where the robots are controlled by humans. The robots have to try to gather Power Cubes to place on the Scale and Switches to gain Ownership, so that they earn points for each second. From the exchange, Power Cubes can be collected, reloaded back on the robot or placed in the Vault for any of the 3 Power Ups, Levitate, Boost and Force. You can choose when, during the match, you want to activate the Power Up. At the end of the match, if all three members of the Alliance successfully climb the Scale (by getting 12 inches off the ground), you get one Ranking Point and 30 points for each climb. The Alliance with the most points wins.

Game Pieces:

  • Power Cubes
  • Plates
  • Scale

Playing Field:

The playing field consists of 2 Plates, on either end of the field and the Scale in the middle. There are also power cubes placed in certain places in the field.

There are 3 ways to defeat the boss and earn points:

  1. Get Power Ups – By getting your robot to deliver Power Cubes through portals on the playing field, you can then place them in the Vault. This earns Alliance Power Ups. These can be used to gain advantages in the field. The three Power Ups are Force, Boost, and Levitate. More on Power Ups below.
  2. Climb the Scale – If your robot can climb, at the end of the game, it can climb the scale and if it gets 12 inches off the ground, it wins a ranking point.
  3. Control the Switches and the Scale – Your robot collects Power Cubes and places them on the switches and scale. It’s considered owned by your Alliance if the switch or scale is tipped in your favor.

Power Ups:

  1. Levitate – You need 3 cubes to activate this power up. An additional climbing robot, with a max. of 3 robots credited to the Alliance at the end of the match, is what the power up gives.
  2. Force – If there’s one cube in the Vault, the Alliance gets ownership of the Scale no matter what position it’s in. If there’s 2 cubes in the Vault, the Alliance gets ownership points no matter what position it’s in. 3 cubes means ownership points for the Switch and Scale.
  3. Boost – With one cube, it increases the points if you have ownership of the Switch from one point/second to two points/second. If you place 2 cubes in the Vault, the points increase from one point per second to two points per second fro the Scale and finally, with three cubes, both the Switch and the Scale’s points per second rate increases from one to two.

Points During the Match

Ranking Points:

  • Facing the Boss: Either all 3 robots in your Alliance have climbed or two robots have climbed and one robot has used the levitate power up.
  • Auto Quest: By completing three Auto-Runs and having ownership of the switch at T=0 of the auto stage, you can earn a ranking point.
  • Winning or Ending with a Tie: If your teams final score equals or is greater than the opposing team, you earn a ranking point.


  • 2, +2 points per second for switch ownership and scale ownership
  • 5 points for crossing the Auto Line or the Auto-Run


  •  1 point per second for switch and scale opwnership
  • 5 points for each power cube in the vault
  • 2 points per second for the boost power up
  • 5 points for being parked on the platform
  • 30 points for a successful climb


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