Starstruck is the 2016/17 VEX Robotics Competition Game. It is played on a 12'x12' square field configured as seen below. Two Alliances – one “red” and one “blue” – composed of two teams each, compete in matches consisting of a fifteen second autonomous period followed by one minute and forty-five seconds of driver-controlled play.
The object of the game is to attain a higher score than the opposing Alliance by scoring as many Stars and Cubes in your Zones as possible and by Hanging your robot on your Hanging Bar at the end of the match.
There are twenty-four Stars and four Cubes available in the Match. Some begin in designated locations on the field, while others are available to be entered into the field by the teams during the Match.
Each Robot must start the match smaller than 18"x18"x18" and begins a match on one of their coloured Alliance Starting Tiles. Each Alliance has two Zones across the Fence to Score into. Alliances also earn points for having one Robot Hanging from their Hanging Bar at the end of the Match. A bonus is awarded to the Alliance that has the most total points at the end of the Autonomous Period.
Download the full Game Manual here
Experts view - Chris Calver, Education Manager at Rapid and VEX Robotics Competition referee gives his opinion on the 2016/17 challenge.
"Where do I start? Starstruck is a massive departure from Nothing But Net in so many ways which means teams will need totally different design strategies to last season.
In Nothing But Net, there were 104 balls for teams to score with and once these balls were scored or had left the field, these objects were out of the game. Towards the end of the season, we were seeing teams clear the entire field and there were occasions where all objects were scored with 30 seconds left to play.
Starstruck only has 28 scoring objects but is a “back-and-forth” game where the objects are always in play and always scored one way or another. The only time that this is not true is when the Stars are on top of the fence. Any objects that leave the field of play are returned. This means that the game will need to be played frantically until the last second with teams trying to minimise the number of objects on their side of the field before the time runs out.
Hanging returns to Starstruck and this is something that will be familiar to anyone who took part in Toss Up a few seasons back. Only one robot on each Alliance can get points for Hanging, so this leaves the other robot to continue defensive duties until the end!
Expansion is back, that means that whilst a robot must start the match within the 18x18x18" size restrictions, they can expand in any direction to any size once the match begins. Will anyone dare to attempt to build massive defensive “wall-bots”?
The other thing worth noting, especially for the more experienced teams, is the addition of Autonomous Points (APs) to the tournament ranking systems. Previously, teams that had the same number of Win Points (WPs) in the ranking table were then separated by Schedule Points (SPs). SPs will still be used to separate teams with the same number of both WPs and APs and for me, this is a welcome addition as it further rewards teams for putting effort into their autonomous routines.
Finally, the objects are BIG! The Stars are 350mm across and the Cubes are 320mm across. Although they are huge, the Stars are foam and weigh about 270 grams which is half as much as the Cubes in Skyrise. This definitely makes them open to being catapulted good distances. Their irregular shape could mean that some of the traditional intake methods for collecting objects will not work well here. The large Cubes in Starstruck weigh a massive 760 grams which means throwing them could be a big ask!
Good luck to everybody for the season ahead!”
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