Here I am, finally getting around to writing the recap for the fourth week, and penultimate heat of Robot Wars the 10th wars. After three heats that have brought us the weird and the wacky, and two new heat finalists in the shape of Rapid and Behemoth alongside current champions Carbide, the fourth has its own group of challengers looking to get through to the grand final, with that shot at glory. Concussion have been there before, but they face some stiff competition to make it through again. Iron-Awe 6 come in as the successor to a well known robot from the original war, and a robot that has won UK Championships on the live tour. Nuts 2 & Tauron have been here before, but last series couldn’t make it past the first round, whilst Androne 4000 & The Kegs are brand new robots, looking to cause a stir. It’s a wide range of weapons with a wide range of experience, so shall we get started?
Melee 1: The Kegs v Tauron v Iron-Awe 6
The Kegs are a pair of clusterbots that come from the same Greenpeace centred mind that gave us Terror Turtle, John Frizell. Much in the way he worked professionally, his robot is made out of recycled parts, namely the metal beer keg that was split in half to make the two different clusterbots. The Kegs are identical, with each of them possessing a 10kg spinning bar and running at a respectable 12mph. However, naturally, the robot’s defences are somewhat limited, and the armour thin. Could be an issue against powerful competitors.
Tauron met an unlucky end in the 9th wars, having been knocked out after just one blow, but come back with a drive to succeed and a robot that stays true to what it wants to be. A blocky, cuboid style chassis is just the base of a robot that has a fearsome weapon. An 18kg, 3,600rpm vertical spinning bar that runs on a pivot, allowing the robot to be invertible. After such a short run last time, can Tauron make more of their undoubted potential?
Iron-Awe, one of the ancient wonders of Robot Wars, is finally back! Whilst not the most successful robot in the original run of the show, Iron-Awe did at one point flip Bigger Brother out of the arena. It was away from the TV where Iron-Awe was successful, winning two UK Championships on the live circuit with Iron-Awe 5. Now they’re back with Iron-Awe 6, with a full, ramp style flipper as the weapon, and not an axe in sight. They also have several anti-spinner devices attached to the side of the robot, which honestly look like TNT sticks.
Now we have the competitor robots, time for the house robots. The one robot you don’t want to come up against in this fight, it’s Sir Killalot!
Everyone uses the first few seconds to get the weapons up to speed, well at least those that have spinners. Iron-Awe get the first brief hit from Tauron, before Tauron hit one of The Kegs into Iron-Awe, tearing off some of the anti-spinner dynamite sticks. Iron-Awe get stuck over the flame pit for a while, before escaping, but those anti-spinner devices are quite possibly the most useless I’ve actually seen this series.
Tauron go to attack Iron-Awe again, and actually end up mounting them, but Iron-Awe doesn’t fire the flipper. As we find out, that’s because the flipper doesn’t actually work. Infact not much is going right for Iron-Awe so far, because their next play sees them drive straight into Sir Killalot. Not really the smartest of moves.
Iron-Awe and Tauron seem to be having quite the battle. The Kegs are trying to get involved, but aren’t really doing much. But Tauron and Iron-Awe are really going at it, and Tauron tear some more of the anti-spinner sticks off, proving they aren’t anti-spinner at all.
Tauron then turn their attention away from Iron-Awe and onto The Kegs. They come across, targeting one of the robots. But when their bar spinner connects with the bar spinner of The Kegs, it shatters the connections and fires The Kegs’ spinning bar all the way across the arena, breaking something and scaring Dara O Briain half to death. They may not be built very well, but they sure break apart spectacularly. Like a discount Apex.
The other Kegs bot activates the pit release button, which lets loose the Rogue House Robots! And Sir Killalot, right next to the button, try to take out that machine first. They evade, and Killalot instead jams Tauron into the wall, but only for a brief moment, before Iron-Awe becomes a target. Now free, Tauron goes after one of The Kegs and connects well, sending them spinning through the air.
The Kegs are now dead, and Iron-Awe are being chipped away at by Tauron’s bar spinner, which is relentlessly looking to cause damage, especially as Iron-Awe has no working flipper. But none of the blows cause any real, serious damage and Iron-Awe continues to function well enough to run away. But they also do some of the chasing too, and one of those chases end with Tauron driving right up Iron-Awe, and getting stuck. Sir Killalot has to separate them but when they do, both robots seem to have stopped working properly.
Iron-Awe moves, just, then stops. Tauron doesn’t move at all. Eventually both robots are as still as the rest of the arena, and a countdown is called. It’s so, so close, but as Iron-Awe were the last of the robots to stop working, they’re going through to the semi-finals. Not bad for a robot without a flipper.
Melee 2: Concussion v Nuts 2 v Androne 4000
Well Iron-Awe may have somewhat lucked their way into the semi-finals, but there are more robots and more challengers lying in wait. Now they must also fight it out to determine the one robot going straight into the semi-finals.
Concussion are one of last year’s grand finalists, but they suffered a premature end to their championship aspirations. Now they’re back with a polished, sleeker machine to try and boost those aspirations. The weapon has been improved to spin at 7000rpm, 1000rpm more than it did last series. The armour has been updated and their removable link is custom 3D printed to lower the chances of it falling out. There are new internal parts too, giving Concussion a full rework for this series.
Here’s something we don’t see particularly often in Robot Wars these days, a full on crusher! The original series saw robots such as Tiberius, Ming and, most famously, Razer. But the reboot seems to have a distinct lack of crushers, probably due to the advanced armours competitors now use. So now I give you, Androne 4000, an honest-to-God crusher. It not only has a cool name, but it also has a couple of front wedges to draw robots in, and a 4000psi ram crusher. Will it work? Well, Androne could certainly cause a stir.
Nuts 2, the evolution of everyone’s favourite flailbot Nuts, suffered in the first round of the 9th wars when one of the wheels failed, and they got drop kicked out of the arena by Matilda’s flywheel. Now they’re back with a robot that’s gone from adorable to brutal. Using a technology called ‘Meltybrain’, Nuts 2 can both spin on the spot and move forward, making it a full body spinner, spinning at over 500rpm with 3m long flails acting as the teeth of the spinner. Plus, they also have a pair of wedge minibots to assist. Is this the start of a new, more deadly Nuts, or is it still just cannon fodder?
Now to see who will be the invited guest of the arena, the house robot. Straight from the scrapyard, it’s Dead Metal!
Whilst Nuts get up to speed at the start of the fight, Androne charge straight for Concussion, ramming into them before the drum can get up to speed, then sticking to them as they try to get away. As Concussion run from Androne, they run straight into Nuts, and the flail strikes them, hard.
At first, it’s hard to see what damage the flail caused. But on closer inspection, it’s clear to see that one of the flails hit a bullseye on Concussion’s wheel, completely deforming it and rendering it useless. Concussion are now limping on one wheel.
Androne are still particularly interested in Concussion, especially now they’ve been wounded, but Androne seems to lack the control to really get Concussion under control and get the crusher in. Meanwhile, one of Nuts’ minibots takes a ride on the floor flipper. Because why not? As Androne and Concussion battle, it draws them back into Nuts, which lands another blow, though this one less damaging. Androne and Concussion then take their battle to the floor flipper which, after a slight delay, tosses them up into the air, and actually turns Concussion over.
This gives Androne even more of an imperative to actually score a good hit, and eventually they actually do. The claw is slow to come down, but it comes down and pierces Concussion, trapping them together.
But with them both trapped together, they stop moving completely. Not even a couple of harsh bumps from Dead Metal can get them to break apart. And, with no movement, the judges have no option but to count both of the robots out.
Which means, perhaps surprisingly, Nuts 2 have won the melee! And they’re going all the way to the semis, no stops along the way.
Nuts 2 and Iron-Awe 6, perhaps not the semi-finalists that were expected but the ones that are there. But that means that some powerful robots are in danger of going out earlier than they would have like. Much earlier.