Robot Wars S07E11 Part 2: Going In Hard

Heat K rolls on, with some very good looking robots entering the second round of battles. The seeds Bulldog Breed are joined by Kat 3, Hard and Mantis. But, as is tradition with the second part to the recap, we have a special event waiting first. I almost feel sorry for the second parts of my recaps; The first part gets the melees, where all competitors are introduced, and the third part gets the heat final, where we see who rules supreme in that heat and moves on to the semi-final. the second part, meanwhile, has to make do with whichever gimmick battle it is left with. We didn’t even have one of those a couple of episodes ago.


However, the special event is here to stay (For this series, anyway). Now we just need to find out what it is. Any guesses? It’s not another World Championship qualifier, nor a featherweight fight. It’s not spinners or flippers or axes in exclusivity either, we’ve already had those. No, this time we’re bridging the gap between feathers and heavies, and having the Middleweight Final! Yet another *New* event to add to the list.

First robot out onto the floor is Typhoon. Yes it’s just like Typhoon 2, just smaller. A cone shaped full body spinner, Typhoon shares many characteristics with its big brother, it just weighs about half as much. The outer shell of the robot can spin at speeds up to 100mph, but as a trade-off the robot has no self-righting mechanism, which leaves it vulnerable to flippers.

Then we have Phoenix, a box shaped robot with a front wedge, coupled with a lifting arm for a weapon. At 42kg it is lighter than Typhoon, and it looks significantly less deadly too, but looks can be deceiving. It has two very exposed wheels at the back of the robot, extremities that may very well be targeted by the likes of Typhoon.

Finally, the third robot in this final, we have Steel Sandwich. An incredibly low robot, Steel Sandwich is about the width of a credit card and probably about as dangerous. It looks vaguely similar to Phoenix, in the sense that it has a front wedge and is driven by two rear wheels, though they are significantly better protected than Phoenix’s. And they are heavier than Phoenix too, the same 48kg as Typhoon. The weapon is a small spinner, but I’m not convinced about how good it’ll be.

So now we have the competitors, let’s find out who the house robots are.  In one corner we have the hound from hell, Growler, and in the other we have Dead Metal! Let’s get this three way throw down underway!

Unfortunately for the other two robots in there, Typhoon manages to steer clear of trouble long enough to start spinning (Although they almost drive into the Refbot). When Typhoon spins, that means trouble is coming. Phoenix decides the best plan of attack is to ram them head on, but Typhoon dodges them, leaving Phoenix to overshoot and drive all the way into the CPZ behind Typhoon. Steel Sandwich has better luck, but even with their incredibly low wedge, they can’t get in underneath fully.

Steel Sandwich keeps up the chase, but Typhoon is both more agile and faster, and they manage to get round and land a hit on SS, knocking them back. Now Typhoon is not exactly Typhoon 2, and the damage this time is minimal. Phoenix have rejoined the fight, but now Typhoon seems to have a problem spinning up. And when they aren’t spinning up, they’re vulnerable. Despite this, nobody really seems to want to attack them. Infact, nobody seems to want to fight anybody. The most interesting thing right now is that Typhoon is smoking.

A Trail of Smoke
A trail of smoke

Looking to actually make this an entertaining contest, Refbot takes measures into its own hands and pushes the pit release button. Now all we need is for somebody to actually launch an attack to push somebody down there. What’s this? Typhoon had started spinning up again? Finally!

And, as the only robot seemingly happy to attack, Typhoon goes in on Phoenix and flings them into Growler, finally another attack. Unfortunately for Phoenix, that hit is all it takes to knock them cold, with the looming figure of Growler in the background, ready to inflict some hurt.

He's Behind You
He’s behind you…

Whilst Growler is contemplating the best way to dispose of Phoenix, Typhoon turns its attention to Steel Sandwich, getting a couple of blows in there before the other robot could do anything themselves. As has happened before, attacking other robots has stopped Typhoon from rotating, and they’re once again vulnerable.

Or they would be, but Steel Sandwich has also stopped running properly, one of the wheels seemingly seizing up, meaning now all they can do is run it in circles. Typhoon can at least drive properly. Phoenix meanwhile is being counted out by Refbot, to nobody’s surprise. I’m sure if Growler could salivate, he would, because he’s ready to pounce once the Refbot hits 10.

And when that happens, Growler takes Phoenix and places them straight onto the floor flipper. Meanwhile Typhoon is trying to get Steel Sandwich down the pit, which is proving difficult. Typhoon were built to rip thing off other robots, not push them. Steel Sandwich isn’t helping by being just alive enough to make things awkward.

Phoenix’s journey is completed by the floor flipper, which practically launches them into orbit. It’s just too heavy to be launched out of the arena, instead coming to rest against the side wall, in a CPZ on the opposite side of the arena. A spectacular way to end.
And as soon as that is over, Typhoon finally manages to get Steel Sandwich into the pit! They’ve won the Middleweight Championship!

It’s almost like we’re trying to foreshadow something here.


Now onto the main event, or rather the first battle in the second round of the main event, and hopefully a more entertaining battle at that. We know who has gone through (Bulldog Breed, Kat 3, Mantis & Hard), but who will be paired up against who?

Well our first battle see’s the 12th seeds Bulldog Breed come up against fellow flippers, Hard! And if you hadn’t guessed Hard was going to be one of those robots from my title, then you must be new here. Either way, it’s going to be fascinating to see how the battle of two very different flippers unfolds.

Your house robots for this battle are Matilda (Feels like a long time since we’ve seen her) and the ever fearsome Mr Psycho! Let’s get the flipping frenzy underway!

Both robots try to attack each other, but they also both miss, as the first gets off to a quick start. The problem that Hard is going to have all fight is very quickly exposed, with the two wheel drive system meaning the robot tends to rear up every time it accelerates. And with that problem, Bulldog Breed have no trouble getting underneath them. Hard squirm about, trying to free themselves, but Bulldog Breed stick to them, before firing the first flip of the contest, tossing Hard back out into the arena wilderness.

Hard do come back on their own attack, looking for a quick comeback, pushing Bulldog Breed into the side wall, but they can’t get underneath to flip, and Bulldog Breed free themselves fairly easily. The tables turn again, and now Bulldog Breed are behind Hard, trying to push them.

Push And Shove
Push and Shove

And now pushing behind them, Bulldog Breed also manage to get underneath enough to flip Hard, but they won’t go over the edge of the arena! So close, but not robotic cigar. They crash back to the floor, but something doesn’t seem right. They’re not really moving. Bulldog Breed flip them again, but still can’t get them out of the arena.

But Hard are not moving, that’s for certain. Something is wrong.

It doesn’t stop Bulldog Breed from continuing their relentless assault, something they’re more than happy to be a part in. Despite this, and the inactivity of their opponents, Bulldog Breed’s flipper is not powerful enough to get them out of the arena. It just won’t do it.

Flip flip and flip again
Flip, Flip & Flip Again

Bulldog Breed soon realise this and pretty much give up, allowing Refbot to take over and start counting Hard out. And, amidst the glow of the flame jets, that’s exactly what happens. As soon as the Refbot’s count hits 10, Mr Psycho’s hammer comes down, though Hard hardly has the best shape for a good connection, the hammer practically slides down the wedge. The next hammer blow hits the top of the arena side wall. Giving up on the hammer, Psycho decides to just pick them up instead.

Problem Carrier
Carrying your problems to the grave

Of course, Psycho then drops them, as only Psycho can. So now he’s down to just pushing them across the arena, which is one thing Psycho does well. And where to push other than onto the floor flipper? The crowd chants, baying for destruction, as the flipper launches Hard into the air. It doesn’t fly particularly far, but lands in its side and starts doing cartwheels across the arena. In the end, it comes to rest in much the same place Phoenix did!

Mr Psycho then picks them back up, and drives them over to the drop zone. Ah yes the drop zone, with its wide variety of household appliances to drop. This time? An oven! And as always, the oven came off so much worse than Hard. All of the outer panels of the oven flew off, and Hard was barely scratched!

With one final hammer blow, Hard is out of the competition.


Bulldog Breed are going through to the heat final. But who will join them, Kat 3 or Mantis? Find out next time…

 

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Robot Wars S07E11 Part 1: Cats, Dogs & A Praying Mantis

Heat K. We’re really getting through the alphabet now, and we’re certainly steamrolling through the rest of the heats we have left in this series. Sooner or later we’ll have a full semi-final line-up ready to roll. But we’re not quite there yet, so let’s stick with the heats. Continuing with the theme of decreasing even seeds, we’ve moved from Thermidor 2 (14) onto this week’s seed, number 12 Bulldog Breed. Both experienced, animal based flippers. Interesting that.

Along with Bulldog Breed, and continuing the theme of household pets, we have a cat in the arena. Specifically, we have Kat 3, another veteran of the wars. They’re joined by Infernal Contraption, which is exactly what its name suggests, along with Hard (Yes, that robot is back again), Velocirippa, T-Wrecks, Mantis (Yes, we’ve seen them before aswell) and Jabber. Jab jab jab. Eight robots in with a chance of surviving this heat so that they can fight it out in the semi-finals, so let’s see how they line up for the first hurdle to success- the melee.


Robot one for melee one is Mantis, a robot we saw earlier on in this series during the battle of the crushers, in which Pinser spontaneously combusted to great effect and Mantis went on to win. This is their actual heat though, so the challenge is all the greater. A robot that looks like it was made out of wire fencing, Mantis features a grand total of 3 thin wedges at the front of the robot, two of which also work as lifting forks. This is coupled with a large hydraulic crusher, used for crushing things (Naturally). Despite the scaffold look, Mantis weighs the full 100Kg and goes at 14mph, but it has very, very exposed wheels.

Next on the list is Infernal Contraption, which is a fun yet odd robot in its design. It almost looks like a discount Stinger, except somebody took off the mace and gave it a spinning drum instead, making it look all the more… squashed. Regardless, the 16Kg spinning drum still ran at 1000rpm, enough to cause plenty of damage to any unsuspecting opponents, in theory anyway. Much like most robots designed in the same way, Infernal Contraption can be somewhat difficult to control.

Third we have our seeded robot, Bulldog Breed. Seeds are automatically the favourite for the heat (Unless you’re Ming Dienasty), and Bulldog Breed comes packing. Being here since the 3rd wars makes Bulldog Breed a veteran of the arena, but it is a robot that has not yet been to the lofty heights that its 12th seeding would suggest, having reached just two heat finals in the main competition. They did, however, win the Tag Team Terror event in Extreme II with Robochicken, something that no doubt helped their status. For the robot itself, Bulldog Breed is a T-shaped flipper, and everything is put into that flipper.  The armour too is fairly unique, in the sense that it gets tougher the more hits it takes. A winning solution?

And finally, we have Jabber, a newcomer to the 7th wars. Invertible, triangular shaped and armed to the teeth with a spinning bar and several sharp colours, it’s ready to rock and roll. The bar spins at 1500 rpm, and the robot has some heavy looking armour, but it weighs just 91Kg and has a high ground clearance, which isn’t ideal. Especially not with Bulldog Breed lurking…

Your house robots for the opening fight of the night are Sgt. Bash and Mr Psycho! Let’s begin!

The fight begins, and whilst most people seem to want to avoid each other, Mantis does the opposite and drives straight into the side of Refbot. In the first competitor contact, Infernal Contraption and an blow on Jabber with their drum, giving the other robot some brief air time. Bulldog Breed are biding their time, but they’re certainly not running away from anything.

All of the robots start to congregate in one section of the arena, giving little room for manoeuvre. Infernal Contraption bounces off Bulldog Breed and lands drum first, causing a little bit of damage to the arena floor, but it’s nothing that can’t be polished over for the next fight. Bulldog Breed seem to have picked Infernal Contraption as their primary target though, and start to chase them around. IC uses the gyroscopic forces to do some nifty one wheel turns as an escape attempt, but end up cornered, and Bulldog Breed very almost flip them out of the arena.

Flip Dog
Flip Dog

Meanwhile, on the other end of the arena, Mantis have managed to grab hold of Jabber, and now have them trapped in their crushing pincer. Mantis drive them over to the arena side wall, perhaps hoping that they can get them out, but they aren’t positioned just right to be able to do it, so they abort.

Infernal Contraption, perhaps owing to their unique design, have a very uncontrollable robot. Said robot is still stuck in the CPZ, and can’t get itself out. Bulldog Breed wait for their moment, then drive up and flip their opponent up into the air! IC comes down with a bang, landing on the back of Bulldog Breed before trying to make an escape- an escape halted by Sgt. Bash.

Mantis still have hold of Jabber, and are refusing to let them go, instead just driving them around. Bit shit if you’re the Jabber team, because there is literally nothing you can do about it. This isn’t Battlebots, and Mantis don’t have to let them go. Bulldog Breed decides to join in on the fight, leaving Infernal Contraption to battle Sgt. Bash. That is until they come steamrolling into the back of Mantis. Does nothing much in terms of damage, but it counts for aggression.

Apparently this inspires Mantis to drop Jabber off in Sgt. Bash’s CPZ. Great for Jabber, but really Mantis wasn’t doing anything except carry them around. Unfortunately for Jabber, they don’t really see to be going anywhere, and now Sgt. Bash can have a field day with them. No sign of Psycho yet this fight though. Infernal Contraption, meanwhile, are still driving around like maniacs.

Bulldog Breed and Mantis start having a back and forth between them, though Bulldog Breed can’t quite get underneath enough to get a flip in. They do have pushing power though, and push Mantis into the pit release button. At the same time, something falls out of Bulldog Breed… Something that looks a lot like netting.

Net Trail
Net Trail

With this netting caught underneath Bulldog Breed, they head into Sgt. Bash, and very briefly have a skirmish, but get away fine. They just miss Infernal Contraption and hit Jabber, flipping them over. But, as the clock ticks down, Mantis comes along and grabs them, hoisting them into the air.

The clock hits zero, and every robot is still alive and kicking. But who will win? Mantis had good control, especially in the grab. Infernal Contraption had no control, but the drum did do some damage. Jabber did nothing, so they’re going out. Bulldog Breed were aggressive and got some good flips in, but what about that netting?

Well, as it turns out, the netting was placed inside the robot to protect the cylinders from damage by other robots. Now netting or other mesh like materials are outright banned, so Bulldog Breed could be in big trouble….

As it is, they get away with an official warning (Much to the team’s displeasure). But they are going through, alongside Mantis!


And so, the second melee rolls around. Four more robots looking to smash and crash their way into the second round to join Bulldog Breed and Mantis. But who are they?

Well first on our list is Hard. If that name sounds familiar, they were in the last heat as a qualifier for the Third World Championships. It won that, but then it wasn’t facing fully functional opposition. This time may be different. For the robot itself, Hard comes equipped with a flipper, and can run both ways up. The wheels are somewhat unique, and incredibly wide, which is one of their assets. Perhaps their biggest asset, as their name suggests, is their armour, which is as hard as a rock. But no robot is perfect, and their wheels are exposed.

Next is Velocirippa, another robot from stalwart Trevor Wright. Despite having entered in ever war since the 3rd, Velocirippa has yet to win a competitive fight. Yeah… Regardless of whether this fight is going to be different, Velocirippa is still dressed to kill. Dressed as a Velociraptor’s head, that is. In terms of weaponry, it has a double deck of ramming spikes and a lifting scoop. And, whilst a Ferrari it is not, Velocirippa is both rear wheel drive and has just front wheel steering. Wild.

And onto the next robot, the wacky and wonderful T-Wrecks. In the same sense that Velocirippa is based on a Velociraptor, T-Wrecks is a wonderful name pun on the vicious T-Rex. Whether the robot is as terrifyingly destructive as the dinosaur is yet to be seen, seeing as this is its first fight. It was supposed to fight in S3, but that’s another story. The actual robot itself is cylindrical in design, with several teeth around the edges to inflict damages. It is at this point you scream “Active weapon rule!”, and you would have a point. But fuck the rules, right?

Finally, we move onto the opposite of Bulldog Breed, Kat 3. This kitty kat has been around for a while, and this version has been around since the 5th wars. An orange and black version of Dominator 2, Kat 3 is shaped nearly exactly the same probably because it was a successful design for an axe, which is the weapon of choice for this robot. A powerful, pointed axe, it can strike around 50 times in a fight, and cause some hefty damage along the way. Quite probably a killer kat you want to stay away from in the arena.

Your house robots for this battle of infinite kitty power are Cassius Chrome, and Mr Psycho is back too! (Let’s face it, he barely did anything in the last fight, might as well use him now). Fight!

The start is tentative. Everyone got away well enough, but nobody seems to want to commit to an attack, so for the first few seconds everyone is just driving around. This doesn’t last too long, with everyone piling into one corner shortly afterwards. Hard into T-Wrecks, then Velocirippa driving into them both. Kat 3 were the only robot to hang back, but they get their own opening and fire the axe down on Velocirippa, getting a glancing blow before the dinobot drove right up their wedge to escape.

T-Wrecks meanwhile has incurred the wrath of psycho Psycho, and has the perfect shape for that hammer to and on. And it most certainly makes a landing. Bang bang!

Hammered
Hammered

T-Wrecks just about manage to get away from Mr Psycho before the hammer can come down a second time, but end up running into the battling Kat 3 and Velocirippa, which has once again mounted their opponent. Velocirippa put the robot in reverse and get the hell out of there before Kat 3’s axe can hit them.

Instead, Kat 3’s axe strikes the arena floor, and gets 100% completely jammed. I think the cat has just lost one of its lives.

Nail in the coffin
Nail in the Floor Flipper Inspired Coffin

Whilst they’re stuck, Velocirippa have decided they need to mount someone else, that robot being Hard. As we saw in their World Championship Qualifier, Hard doesn’t really have the most powerful flipper, and it can barely lift Velocirippa into the air. It still does, just about. They then drive them over to the arena wall, trying to get them out of the arena… Except this time the flipper can’t lift them at all. There is a third flip, but Velocirippa escape for a few seconds before we rinse and repeat.

Kat 3 have now been freed, either by virtue of Refbot or some kind of divine intervention. They rush over to the action, before missing completely with an axe attack aimed at Velocirippa. They’re all backed into a corner, so Cassius Chrome comes shooting out to disperse the crowd, and collects Hard along the way. Velocirippa, with incredible speed I may add- careers straight into Refbot, thus earning itself a yellow card. Not often we see many of them handed out.

To compact this, they then drive straight back up Hard. Hard once again can’t toss them through the air as they’d like, but can still use the flipper to tip them off. I’m certain all Velocirippa has done in this fight is drive up other robots. That is until it comes across T-Wrecks, now finally spinning around on this spot, and drives into them. Instead of going up, they go flying off. I suppose it has the same end result.

Velocirippa respond to this by running away and into the pit release button. Hard have taken over with T-Wrecks, and their robot is much less compromised by the spinning spikebot, so much so that they’ve actually bent in the spikes that adorn T-Wrecks. Hard? You bet. Velocirippa meanwhile are still using their super speed to piss people off. They drive into Mr Psycho and back again before the giant house robot can even bring the hammer down. If Velocirippa actually had effective weaponry, it would be one hell of a force.

Everyone is once again congregating in the same area, and this is working well for Hard, who have managed to get underneath T-Wrecks and flip them around a bit. Kat 3 (Yes, still here) have done almost nothing of note for a while except miss several axe attacks, and this hasn’t changed. There is a good reason for this- the tip of the axe blade has come off! I suspect it’s still embedded in the arena floor.

Hard have now managed to get T-Wrecks off of them, and behind them instead. With T-Wrecks pretty much propped up against Hard, with no wheels on the ground, they are powerless to stop Hard pushing them ever closer to the pit. It’s unstoppable, and they can only watch as T-Wrecks falls into the depths of despair! They’re the first robot out of this, but what about the other three?

Eyes of War
Eyes of War

Kat 3 are still wandering about, but Velocirippa, who seemed to have so much speed to burn before, have stopped moving. They’ve overplayed their hand. And it is left to Hard, by far the most impressive robot in this melee, to take them and push them down the pit too.

Hard deservedly through. Kat 3 survive, but they’ve used up a good few of their lives, and now they’re skating very close to the edge.


Four robots through to the next round, and plenty of stories brewing too. Bulldog Breed with the netting controversy, Kat 3 with the lack of an axe point. Mantis and Hard there too, very tough competition for the favourites. Who lives, who dies? Until next time…

 

Robot Wars S07E10 Part 3: Wedge Wars

It’s the third part of Heat J, 10th heat in the 7th wars, and things are starting to fly. Thermidor, the 14th seed, are responsible for most of those that have flown out of the arena, dispatching The Kraken in the previous fight. But now we have another flipper ready to cause havoc and end another robots dreams in the shape of Kronic The Wedgehog. But they have a mini yet mighty robot standing in their path- Mighty Mouse.

It’s a fight between a full blown flipper bot and a nimble rambot (with some discs to satisfy the rules, but I’m not sure they’re its main weapon). For the mouse, however, there are many issues to overcome. After burning out a motor in their first fight, they have to hope the new one actually works.

Your house robots for this glorious encounter are the dastardly duo themselves, Mr Psycho and his god from hell, Growler. Let battle commence!

The battle starts, and Kronic heads straight for Mighty Mouse, looking to get the first attack in. They go in head on and fire the flipper, but they miss. Not only do they miss, but almost all of the yellow foam spikes come flying off!

Abandon Ship
Abandon Ship!!!

Kronic starts going in circles, trying to get back on track and back on the scent of Mighty Mouse, but the mouse makes some good dodges to avoid the flipper for a good few seconds. Kronic does eventually regain their bearings though, and slam Mighty Mouse into the side wall before flipping them over. MM of course has the top roll bar to make sure they (almost) always land on their wheels. Kronic comes in again and throws Mighty Mouse into the side wall, bouncing them off it before the mouse escapes.

Mighty Mouse is now pretty much running around, trying to avoid Kronic as much as they possibly can. They do have one advantage, in Kronic’s supposed inability to get underneath them if they launch a frontal assault, which they do a couple of times. Eventually MM get backed into a corner, allowing Growler to spring from his cage and push the mouse across the arena, collecting the pit release button along the way.

Danger Close
Danger Close

Mighty Mouse go back to what they know best- running away. This includes running into the Refbot by accident. What they don’t account for is the fact that Kronic have now managed to trap themselves in the CPZ, and Growler is ready to play with them. Is there a turn up happening here?

The Look of Despair
The Look of Despair

Kronic have now definitely stopped moving. Growler plays around for a bit, but has the knowledge to know when enough is enough, and to let the Refbot move in and take over proceedings. Sure enough, Kronic is counted out. Who saw that coming!

Psycho & Growler have a little nudge and get Kronic out of the CPZ and back into the open, ready for further punishment. This comes courtesy of Mr Psycho, who brings the hammer down (Second attempt though mind), then drives up the robot! They can only get so far before the tracks loose purchase with the ground, but it must still hurt Kronic. Their fight is over.


So, after that shock fight, we now have our two finalists. Thermidor 2 have been oh so impressive, whilst the mouse has survived against the odds. But only one can go through to the series semi-final. Will the seeded favourites prevail, or will the underdogs (Or should that be undermice?) add yet another robot corpse to their collection? It’s time to find out!

Your house robots for this clash are boxing beatbot Cassius Chrome, and the OG of the house, Sir Killalot!

Mighty Mouse make use of their awesome top speed and instantly run away from the menacing red lobster that wants to toss them like a rodent sized pancake. Unfortunately running away takes them only so far as Sir Killalot, who isn’t best pleased to see another robot disturbing him. As Mighty Mouse backs away, Thermidor come in and get a slight flip on them, but not enough. So they try again, and again only make slight contact. It’s proving hard to get ahold of the mouse.

Thermidor we know has to be careful because of its limited CO2 capabilities, so all of these missed flips really isn’t helping it. Mighty Mouse aren’t really causing any damage themselves, and the rear discs have been next to useless. But they are a tenacious robot. But, so are Thermidor, and eventually they catch up enough to get underneath properly and flip them over.

The Eyes
All About the Eyes

Mighty Mouse recovers well, escaping the glare of Cassius Chrome, and then decides to try and replicate their Kronic fight by driving right into the flipper of Thermidor 2. Except this time, they go straight up the flipper, and are duly tossed through the air.

Launch Pad
Launch Pad

Mighty Mouse’s next trick is to start running in circles around the Refbot, something that works about twice before Thermidor catches onto what’s happening, and starts going in the other direction. Mighty Mouse are doing a good job of hanging on. Another flip, and Mighty Mouse once again roll over and back onto their wheels, but this time they roll into Sir Killalot, who is so slow that he can’t actually catch them before they run away again. Speed merchants. But it doesn’t last for long, because Sir Killalot always catches up to you. Now Mighty Mouse is stuck on the house robot with nowhere to go.

Killalot's Dick
Killalot’s New Dick

Mighty Mouse is now actually stuck on Sir Killalot. Properly stuck. Killalot tries desperately to get them off, ramming them against a side wall and angle grinder, but to no avail. They only get free when Thermidor intervenes and flips them off, leaving Mighty Mouse to run away… Once again.

But Thermidor comes in with a flip. And another one. They’re certainly more aggressive, and that could yet play a big role in the outcome. But then something curious happens; Mighty Mouse seems to lose the ability to turn right, signalling the potential for them to have lost drive in their left and right controls, and meaning that they are now spending the fight driving up and down the arena sidewall. Almost like they’re being attracted by a magnetic pull.

Killalot are taking full advantage of this situation, and take things a step further by picking Mighty Mouse up, using the lance to pick the mouse up by its roll hoop, before toasting it over the flames and flinging it across the arena. Thermidor opens up the pit as the clock finally counts down, but Mighty Mouse survive to take it to the judges!

But, well, I don’t need to tell you that it was a fairly easy decision to make for the judges. On aggression alone, Thermidor had it in the bag, and so Thermidor are going through to the series Semi-Finals!


So there we go, another finalist in the bag (And another flipper too). Whenever I end up doing the next recap, we’ll be moving onto Heat K and the 12th seeds Bulldog Breed, who are facing up to mortal enemies Kat 3. I can’t believe it’s coincidence that a dog based robot and a cat based robot were put in the same heat.

But that’s for next time. Until then…

 

Robot Wars S07E10 Part 2: Under The Sea

Usually I seem to do these things on a Thursday, but I’m going away tomorrow so here I am a day early. I’m not sure when I decided I was going to do these once a week but I’m quite enjoying having the space between articles, so it stays until the new series begins.


So, after some very entertaining first round fixtures, we know who is going to be going through into the heat semi-finals. Thermidor 2, Mighty Mouse, The Kraken and Kronic The Wedgehog. They are now split into one on one battles, with Thermidor 2 v The Kraken, and Mighty Mouse v Kronic The Wedgehog. I hope the title to this article helps with deciphering which of those battles is going to appear in this article.

But, before any of that happens, we’re back to the world of special events. And we’re revisiting the 3rd World Championships with yet another qualifier. This time it’s New Zealand versus Belgium, not two countries you might expect to be facing off against each other, but here they are anyway.

First into the field of battle is Riptilion, representing the team from New Zealand. A fairly flat, dome shaped robot, Riptilion is armoured in what all good reptiles are armoured with- green scales. In terms of weaponry, Riptilion has a small spinner at the front of the robot, with sharp spikes on the other side. It has a top speed of 27mph, making it super speedy, but it is the perfect shape to get bludgeoned by an axe, and it has no self-righting abilities whatsoever.

On the other side we have Hard, a robot hailing from Belgium. Riptilion’s worst nightmare, Hard is indeed a wedgebot with a flipper. Named “Hard” presumably because of its ultra tough, stainless steel armour, it also featured a custom-built locomotion system which allowed it to run both ways up (Two wheels on the top, two on the bottom. But they’re independent from each other, unlike a lot of invertible robots that just have the same wheels going from one side to the other). However, it doesn’t actually have the most powerful flipper, which leaves it low on attack.

Your house robots for this fight include the one-eyed Cassius Chrome, and the dog from hell, Growler. Two mean machines, though one somewhat meaner than the other. Time to battle!

The battle starts off, well, slowly. For a robot that can supposedly run at up to 27mph, Riptilion looks incredibly sluggish. It’s such a big robot, and it does not look very manoeuvrable at all. This all plays into the hands of Hard, who can come in and take control of the battle. Riptilion attempts to spin on the spot, as it claims it can do, but it is ineffective. Hard get underneath a couple of times, before finally managing to get their first flip in, pushing Riptilion up against the arena side wall.

Hard has a taste for battle now, and continues to push Riptilion around. Hard’s flipper isn’t the most powerful, but Riptilion is an easy target, and Hard can get some more flips in before Cassius Chrome arrives on the scene. Riptilion are trying to attack, but their weapon is just not powerful enough to do any damage. So Hard continues the assault.

Hard has now pushed Riptilion into a CPZ, so Cassius Chrome makes a return. But with Hard there too, Cassius rams into both robot, sending Riptilion over Hard’s wedge and into the air. As everything settles down, Cassius Chrome is still there, landing robo punch after robo punch.

Angry Boxer
Boxbot Supreme

This attack has taken its toll on Riptilion, who are now struggling just to get out of the CPZ. And because they’re still stuck there, Growler can come in too! And Riptilion is quite a nice shape for Growler, who can get those jaws nicely into the robot. Just like a dog with a chew toy.

Dog with a chew toy
Dog with a chew toy

Riptilion are no longer really moving, and so Refbot comes in to count them out. Hard makes this a rather difficult process by continually attacking Riptilion during the countdown, but nonetheless they are still counted out anyway. A disappointing end to a disappointing robot. But not the end of the battle just yet, because Growler has a second bite at Riptilion, clamping on to move the robot onto the floor flipper.

And off it flies.

It doesn’t actually go very far, mainly because of how Growler has put them on the flipper but also because of how big they are. Needless to say it doesn’t matter much, they’re still out. Hard are through to the 3rd World Championships.


So now we can move onto the first battle in the second round of this heat, between The Kraken and the 14th seeds, Thermidor 2. It’s a flipper versus a crusher, and not such an uneven contest if The Kraken can make that crusher work. The problem for them is that it didn’t seem all that powerful in the opening battle, and Thermidor is an experienced robot.

Cassius Chrome is back once again in the arena, along with the monster that is Mr Psycho. Two heavyweights ready to make war. And war we shall have!

Thermidor waste no time in launching their first attack on The Kraken, first getting around their side before just about wedging the flipper underneath. Then BAM! The flipper goes off and The Kraken are on their side. Now, honestly, the battle could have been over at this point. The Kraken can only really self-right when it’s on its back, but on its side as it is now it is basically doomed. But Thermidor want to continue the fight, and flipped them again. Now The Kraken can self-right. The battle continues!

Unfortunately for The Kraken, the skirmish has now resulted in their first crushing beak being completely bent out of shape, and rendering it useless. But The Kraken persevere, and they’re not out of this yet either. They can get underneath Thermidor with their front wedge, trapping them, but there is no weapon to use.

Thermidor are soon back on the front foot, and The Kraken very almost go flying out of the arena, but just about survive. And so that continues for most of the next minute, with Thermidor basically playing around with their opponent, and The Kraken have no reply. And, in the midst of that, Thermidor press the pit release button. Because why not? But when they try to get them down the pit, they accidentally flip them over it and almost drive in themselves!

Near Death Experience
Near Death Experience

The battle continues in much the same way as it has beforehand. Thermidor flip The Kraken, The Kraken self-right, and repeat. Repeat several times. Thermidor are well on top, and The Kraken haven’t ever looked like doing anything worthwhile. So Thermidor come in one last time, and flip Kraken right next to the pit. And this time, not making a mistake, they push them down.

Actual Death Experience
Actual Death Experience

And finish. What a fight.

 

 

Robot Wars S07E10 Part 1: The Kronicles Of Robot Warfare

Coming up with the titles is one of the best parts of doing this. Seriously, I love it.

We’re now back into the realm of normality, with the previous episode changing things up by not having a special event. And now we’re onto the back 8, we’re starting to count down the seeds, until we get to seed number 2 in episode 16. Short way to go before we get there though, it has to be said. For now we are onto seed number 14, which is the ever loveable red lobster, Thermidor 2. A robot that either does very well or very badly, and not usually anywhere in-between.

We’re joined by a variety of other animal based robots in this heat as well, including Mighty Mouse and Cobra, but I’m pretty sure you could also count Kronic The Wedgehog and The Kraken on that list too. Other than them, we have Mobot, 8545T 2 (BEAST 2 if you want to try and convert the numbers into letters, so that it makes more sense when you think about it) and Pinser- a slightly cuter version of Tiberius. I say that only because the bolt holding the hydraulic ram in place makes it look as if the robot has eyes.

Now we know the robots, time to know who is facing who.


So the first heat, and the first robot we are introduced to is Mighty Mouse, a robot that is unsurprisingly modelled on- you guessed it- a mouse. A small, compact robot, Mighty Mouse seems to be more about agility and tenacity than just smashing its opposition into little pieces, and as a consequence it weighs little over 80kg. It does have weapons in the form of some ramming spikes and a couple of rear spinning discs, but its 23mph top speed is its main asset in escaping any oncoming danger. It also has a roll hoop on top, with the express aim of righting the robot should it be flipped. Like I said, tenacity.

Next up we have Mobot, one of the wackier entries to this series, and certainly the most interesting design of the heat. It’s almost like an optical illusion in the way that the robot is horizontally long on one end, then vertically tall on the other end. It does have a nasty sounding rotary blade for a weapon, weighing in at 20kg, mounted underneath the robot PP3D style. The team behind it, however, don’t seem to give the robot much of a chance, which is perhaps why they fitted it with a petrol driven motor. I’m hoping to see flames.

Next on our list for this melee is the seeded robot themselves, Thermidor 2. Like a less destructive version of Dead Metal, Thermidor combines a set on grabbing pincers with a second, more powerful weapon. In their case, however, the second weapon is a flipper. A robot that reached the semi-finals in the 4th wars, but then dumped out in the first round of the 5th and 6th wars, it could well be time for a lobster revival. Or not. Who knows? (I do but that’s not the point). It can run at speeds up to 15mph and the flipper is very powerful, but the robot can’t store that much CO2, making every flip valuable. See also: Exposed wheels.

Last on this list is 8645T 2, also known as Beast 2, a nightmare of literacy but a decent robot on its day. It’s wedge shaped with a powerful flipper, but a flipper connected to a rear facing axe. When the flipper fires upwards, the axe comes down, giving it duel weaponry to be used on demand, through the same system. Has a rather cool paint job too, just to scare everyone away. However, despite being a flipper, it still has problems self-righting.

So we now know the robots, and we’re ready for battle. But there are two more robots to introduce, those being the house robots for this battle. So here’s to the guardians of the arena for this fight, Sgt. Bash and Dead Metal. BEGIN!

Mighty Mouse, owing to that mega top speed, is right in the fight instantly, connecting with Thermidor 2 before backing out and running away. Thermidor instead turns its attentions to 8645T, getting in underneath the robot and flipping them up onto their rear end, but the robot is able to get back onto its wheels. Mobot, trying to stay out of the way, is then targeted by 8645T, which manages to get a slight lift on it out of the flipper. Nothing that’s going to set the world alight though.

Mighty Mouse, after their first escape, have now driven straight into Dead Metal, which manages to get the claws around the roll hoop, a fairly easy target for Dead Metal because of their shape. But the mouse survives and escapes, just as Thermidor and pushing 8645T towards the arena side wall. They flip them, pinning 8645T on its side and against the arena wall.

Upturned Beast
Upturned Beast

8645T 2 is now beached, on its side with no way of righting itself. Good, I never have to spell out that name again.

On the other side, Mighty Mouse is taking on Mobot, who is still in one piece. Granted, there aren’t many robot here that can do great damage to it, so I don’t think it’s going to be coming out of the arena in a bin bag, but it’s still an achievement. What isn’t an achievement is the fact that the spinning disc attached to the bottom of it seems to do not very much at all.

After Mighty Mouse is done, Thermidor 2 goes after them next. I talked earlier about Mobot having an odd shape, well that odd shape in the end is what finished them off. Thermidor 2 get the flip in, and the Mobot then proceeds to bounce OVER the arena side wall, and out of the competition. A more sensible shape and I honestly don’t think it would have gone over. But hey, it was fun to watch.

Mobot
Mobot? Mo More

And just like that, we know who is going through to the next round. Admittedly Thermidor did most of the work, but Mighty Mouse helped out where it could. And now that Thermidor aren’t crashing out in the first round, does this mean they’ll make the semis?

For now, Thermidor is more concerned with taking on Mighty Mouse, and they actually manage to flip them over and pin them in the CPZ. It doesn’t matter because 8645T were immobilised first, and they’re now being counted out. Once that happens, Thermidor actually rights 8645T, prompting a mad run around the arena versus the house robots hunting it down. Eventually they drive over the floor flipper, which then sends them flying backwards across the arena. Stunned but alive, they then drive themselves straight into the pit. Great fun to watch, even if they ultimately won’t be going any further.

Crash Landing 2
Crash Landing

Thermidor 2 and Mighty Mouse going through.


So our second melee now, and a chance to see the other four robots in action. A couple of crushers, a flipper and a snake. Sounds entertaining enough to me.

First in the arena for this fight is Pinser. Its first foray into Robot Wars, Pinser is like any other crusher in many way. Strong titanium armour over a triangular wedge shaped body, which can entice another robot into its grasp. The crusher itself if hydraulic powered, something that we’ve seen once backfire on them in the “Crusher Crunch-Up, where the robot basically exploded after the hydraulic fluid caught fire. It weighs the maximum 100kg, and is one tough robot (Barring any hydraulic based explosions). It does have other flaws though, including a low top speed and a high ground clearance.

Next we have Cobra, not to be confused with the Cobra which entered the 9th wars, which is a box shaped robot with angled sides, just to make it a little bit different. It can run both ways up, but that’s about the only good thing it can do. The weaponry is a ramming spike concealed by a plush snake mascot that rides the robot, but the spike can only perform up to 6 attacks per battle, and even then it doesn’t seem worth it. Also the perfect shape for a crusher *Cough* Pinser *Cough*.

Thirdly is The Kraken, another robot that features a crushing arm, but this robot has some interesting details that set it apart from opponent Pinser. The fact that the robot is black is possibly the least important of all of them. More importantly, The Kraken features two crushers- a pneumatic one to grab an opponent, and then a hydraulic one to crush then. The shape is different too, with the robot somewhat elongated horizontally compared to Pinser, with a long lead in ramp. However, the robot looks lightly armoured, which could make it a target.

Finally we have Kronic The Wedgehog, based on a certain blue video game hedgehog, a robot that is no stranger to Robot Wars. Having been through several iterations since its inception in the 4th wars, Kronic is now a mad flipper complete with yellow foam spikes that often catch fire. It actually has two flippers, with the side flipper meant for self righting purposes, but actually being faster to flip than its sister flipper. The wheel guards however ate gone, leaving the wheels somewhat exposed. It’s not had amazing success so far, can it go any further this time?

Your house robot for this battle are Mr Psycho and Sgt. Bash. Here’s hoping for some flames for those yellow foam spikes. Begin!

Kronic is straight in at a sluggish Cobra, instantly getting underneath and flipping them over. They go round the other side to look for another attack, but this time all they flip off is one of their own yellow foam spikes. Having decided against staying with Cobra, Kronic go after Pinser, but they turn out to be a lot harder to get underneath, and the flips miss their target.

The Kraken, barely touched upon so far, are struggling to get to grips with Cobra in the background, but the main event going on now involves Pinser, who have now managed to grab hold of Kronic, and are bringing that hydraulic crushing arm all the way down, pinching the flipper. Hard.

To catch a hedgehog
To catch a Wedgehog

Pinser move their catch over the a flame jet, just as the other two robots come to join them. Kronic is burning, and going nowhere, until The Kraken comes along and separates the two robots. So now it’s a 3 way fight with Cobra to idly watching them. That leads nicely to Cobra becoming a target again, although they’re too busy being wedged into the arena side wall to do anything about it. The Kraken come in and, for the first time, are able to bring the hydraulic pincer down to do some damage. Entirely cosmetic damage, but still something.

Pinser, perhaps jealous, come in and take Cobra away, but once again it repeats the fatal error of driving over the flame pit. Now there isn’t quite the explosion we had last time, but there are certainly flames coming out of the robot. Hydraulic fluid fuelled flames.

Up in flames
Up in flames

The thing is, because Pinser was latched onto Cobra when the hydraulics set alight, the robot is now stuck there. The arm won’t retract, so Pinser is stuck, holding on to Cobra, which is also not really going anywhere. Mr Psycho takes a look at the pair, sizing them up before actually driving over Cobra. I mean that’s what you get for having angled sides.

Refbot comes over, has a look, and then promptly counts out both robots at once, allowing Mr Psycho to come back in and start raining hammer blows. I’ll admit, the hammer never looks quite as impressive as I’d like it to when it comes down, but I’m sure it packs quite a punch when it lands on a robot.

Not content with just the hammer, Psycho moves both robots onto the floor flipper. If you though that would be a way to split them apart, then you’d be wrong, because even as they fly through the air, they remain coupled. Next up? Drop Zone. But as is often the case, the falling TV does more damage to itself than to Cobra, the robot it lands on. In the end it doesn’t matter- both robots are out, Kronic and The Kraken are going through.

Deathbed
Reality TV

So there we have it, our eight have been cut down to four. The seeds Thermidor 2 are going through, along with Kronic, The Kraken and Mighty Mouse. *Animal theme intensifies*. But which one of these will take their place in the series semi-final?

Until next time.

 

Robot Wars S07E09 Part 3: Nerves Of Steel

I’ve had a rather nasty cold for the past few days, but I don’t want to go more than a week without writing an article so here I am! I’ll try and stay alive long enough to finish this.


So, when we were last here we’d just seen the rampaging Storm 2 go all the way with Trax, an interesting robot but ultimately one that lacked traction and pushing power against Robot Wars’ most powerful full body hammer. This leaves two more competitors vying for a place in the heat final, Steel Avenger and Rhino. It’s an experienced axebot versus a not so experienced flipper, where only one can reign victorious!

Mr Psycho and Growler make quite a pair, and they’re once again in the arena together, ready to cause some mayhem! Let’s get this fight underway!

Both robots seem instantly attracted to each other, though Rhino miss their first attack with the flipper, giving Steel Avenger the chance to bring their axe down, not that it does too much visible damage. The axe then comes down again almost straight away, and this one does put a dent in Rhino’s armour.

Rhino are trying to get out of there and away from that axe, but not before Steel Avenger put a hole in the top of the robot’s armour. That, and Rhino’s attempted escape leads them right into Growler- and in trying to evade them, the arena side wall. Steel Avenger come in once again, but this time they start swinging at nothing and miss 3 or 4 axe shots. Rhino can now get in under Steel Avenger, but the flipper is weak and can’t actually lift them over.

Now it’s Steel Avenger’s turn to take back control, and get under Rhino’s flipper before the other robot can bring the flipper back down, and now they have the perfect push point. That and they can bring the axe down once again. And again. Now there’s a nice big dent in the side of Rhino.

Axe Mad
Axe Mad

They eventually decouple, and Steel Avenger go and hit the pit release button, once again tearing it into several different pieces like Storm 2 had before it. Then the past repeats itself- Rhino go in for a flip and miss, allowing Steel Avenger to get underneath that flipper and gain some leverage. Rhino get away, but they are moving very, very slowly now. It’s not hard for Steel Avenger to catch up, and push them towards Mr Psycho.

Unfortunately, Mr Psycho misses with the hammer. So much for that.

Steel Avenger don’t miss with their next attack though, and Rhino is starting to resemble something akin to Swiss Cheese. Any more holes and there wouldn’t be much of Rhino actually left. But in their attacks, Steel Avenger have now managed to push Rhino very, very close to the pit. Surely it’s only a matter of time before they go down?

Death Trap
Death Trap

Well, Steel Avenger almost shot themselves in the foot, trying to use their rear flipper to get Rhino in, and almost going in themselves! In the end, Steel Avenger take things nice and slowly, because Rhino aren’t moving at this point. They could probably have left Rhino and let Refbot count them out, but as it is, they tried a frontal assault. Rhino, despite not moving, did still have a working flipper, and they got one last attack in before Steel Avenger push them down!

Oh how different things could have been. Steel Avenger through.


Well, now we have our final two for this heat. The ever impressive Storm 2 against the axe wielding knight of honour, Steel Avenger. You would think that Storm 2’s superior pushing power would give them the edge, but they are the perfect shape for Steel Avenger to land that axe on full blast…

Growler makes a return for the house robots once again, although Psycho has been dropped from the line-up in favour of the dastardly Cassius Chrome. Let battle commence!

Both robots start of quickly, circling each other and looking for an opening. Storm 2 is the first to make a move, rushing underneath Steel Avenger so fast that, when Steel Avenger try to bring the axe down, Storm 2 are already long gone. Not only that, but the axe strikes the arena floor, hard, where it subsequently gets stuck.

Nice one guys.

Dropping The Anchor
Dropping the Anchor

They eventually manage to wrench it free, but of course Storm 2 is already ready and waiting, and instantly pick them up and ram them into the arena side wall. I’m honestly amazed that Storm 2 haven’t actually driven themselves or another robot through the arena side wall yet, they are that powerful. My god.

Apparently Storm 2 decide that now is the perfect time to forget about Steel Avenger, and go after the Refbot instead. I’m not sure why they try, but they’re more than capable of doing it, if only for a few seconds before turning their attention right back onto Steel Avenger. This time, instead of the arena wall, they send Steel Avenger into Growler’s CPZ, but the axebot is able to make an escape. Of course, only so that they can be targeted by Storm 2 again.

Storm 2 most certainly aren’t letting them get away, following them at every turn. There’s another trip to Growler, who to be perfectly honest has been quite useless in this fight. Then again, it’s not Growler’s fault that Steel Avenger is too tall to fit in its jaws. So Steel Avenger escape again, but when Storm 2 attack this time, they’re aiming for another corner.

It’s a long way from one side of the arena to the other, and in the process of traversing the distance Storm 2 get quite a speed up, so much speed, so much momentum that when they slam Steel Avenger into the arena wall, they bounce up AND OVER!

Yes, Storm 2 drove Steel Avenger into the arena wall so hard they went out of the arena!

The moment
The moment before fate took hold

What a way to go. Storm 2 are heat winners, and they’re going through.


Well, that’s all from this heat, and what a heat it was. There’s a reason I liked Storm 2 so much. Hopefully my cold will clear up soon, and I’ll be back with the next heat. Until then.

 

 

Robot Wars S07E09 Part 2: A Sinking Ship

Yes, I dedicated an entire article last week to Storm 2’s opening melee, I know. But I can get away with it because there’s no special event this episode, which is going to make this a little different. First off we’re going to have the second melee of this episode, and then the first of the second round one on one battles. After this everything gets back to normal. So, without further delay, let’s get on with melee number two.


First robot to enter the arena is Shredder Evolution, which we have seen before in this wars, in one of the many special events. As the name suggests, Shredder Evolution’s goal is to shred its opponents, which it attempts to do with two front facing spinning discs, which run at 1500rpm. The robot itself is a low box shape, but it’s speedy at 25mph and agile enough to skate across the arena, but the exposed tyres are a risk. Can the discs do the damage? Only time will tell.

Next up we have Trax, a robot whose name is even more self explanatory than Shredder Evolution, at least in terms of its locomotion. Not many robots run on tracks, other than Sir Killalot, but Trax makes use of them. It’s maybe not surprising to hear that the mad hammer man of Robot Wars, Shane Swan, was a part of the team behind this robot. In terms of weaponry, Trax makes use of a lifting arm coupled with a low wedge at the front of the robot, with the arm firing forward a la Firestorm style. A unique robot for the 7th wars, that’s for certain.

Up next is Sub-Version 1.1. If you read between the lines of what is an unusual name for a robot, it’s fairly easy to guess what this robot is supposed to resemble. Yes, the Sub is shaped like a submarine. It has a periscope that acts as a self righting mechanism, along with some front spikes and a rear cutting disc for weapons. Personally, I think Sub-Version 1.1 looks a little out of its depth.

And finally, we have Steel Avenger! Probably the most well known of the robots in this battle, Steel Avenger is a robot that has entered in wars 3, 4 and 5, but without the success it would want, having never gone further than the heat final. An almost triangular prism shaped robot, Steel Avenger has a rock solid front end and a deadly axe on top. The odd shape can lead to some perilous positions if it’s turned over, and to that end it possesses a couple of side axes that can wither function as weapons or turn the robot back over. Probably the favourite to come out of this melee in one piece.

So now you’ve met the competing robots, meet the house robots that will be presiding over this fight- Dead Metal, and Sgt. Bash!

Sub-Version 1.1 become instant targets with the battle underway, first doing a running jump over Trax before getting a side slam by Shredder Evolution. Steel Avenger soon joins the fight by going after Shredder, but the speedy robot manages to escape to the other side of the arena. With Shredder away, Steel Avenger goes after Trax, but like Sub-Version they drive up the wedge, where Trax use their reverse lifting arm to push Steel Avenger over and onto their side!

Who did that
Who did that?

Steel Avenger can of course self right, and they do so with ease, but it’s a sign of intent from Trax. Sub-Version meanwhile is once again under attack by Shredder Evolution, which is exploiting the sub’s weak armour to do some extensive cosmetic damage. Then comes a little switch around with Steel Avenger going after Shredder, bringing the axe down and jamming it into Shredder’s wheel, stopping it. Meanwhile Trax are now after the Sub, but can’t quite get them high enough up the robot to use the lifting arm.

Now that Steel Avenger have full control of Shredder Evolution, they expertly position them over the flame pit, letting the robot roast. Sub-Version, meanwhile, have a very close call with the lowering pit, one which would have been fatal had they not managed to pull a last second escape. All the robots are now congregated around the flame pit, which is still busy torching Shredder Evolution until Steel Avenger finally lets them go. They are limping but alive, and certainly alive enough to rip through the front of Sub-Version in their next attack.

Trax go after Steel Avenger, the only robot they’ve so far managed to flip over, and do it all again. Once again, however, Steel Avenger is more than able to get back on its wheels, and then launch an attack of its own- but theirs on Shredder Evolution, the axe making good contact with their opponent’s robot.

The clock is now counting down, and it looks like all four robots are going to survive to take it to a judges’ decision… Until Trax gets a hold of Sub-Version, and then drives them all the way across the arena, and down into the pit with two seconds to go!

Last Man Down
Last man down

Of course, now the judges only have to make a decision out of three robots, but a decision they still have to make. Shredder Evolution was good against Sub-Version, causing some hefty, albeit cosmetic, damage. Steel Avenger was good against Shredder, landing a good few blows and getting Shredder rather Chargrilled. Trax was good against Steel Avenger, utilising their weapon well to tip them over a couple of times, and they put Sub-Version in the pit.

It’s a tough decision. But in the end, a decision has to be made…

STEEL AVENGER & TRAX!


We now know our four, and they are four very good robots. Storm 2 and Rhino come in from the first melee, with Steel Avenger and Trax moving through the second battle which we just recapped. But who is facing who? Well Rhino find themselves up against Steel Avenger, but first we have Storm 2 against Trax!

Two pushing powered robots in Storm 2 and Trax, which means this could well end up being a push and shove contest. The difference is that Trax has a front hinged lifting arm, whilst Storm 2’s is a *more conventional* four bar lifter. So on the occasion that they might have the chance to use their weapons, both do it in different ways, and I think Trax has the advantage in tipping Storm 2 over. But, we shall see what happens (Like we don’t know the result already, ha).

Your house robots for this magnificent battle are Mr Psycho and Growler, the terrible twosome! And of course, Storm 2 is the perfect shape and size to fit in Growler’s jaw. Let battle commence!

Both robots start fairly tentatively, sizing each other up. That is until Storm 2 manages to get around the side of Trax, ramps up the power to maximum and slams them against the arena side wall so hard that they catch air. That’s followed up by another instant attack, which pings Trax straight into Refbot, and then another one sends them front on into the arena side wall! It’s relentless!

Taxi
Taxi Service

Trax try to compose themselves and get away for a breather, but the tracks themselves can’t seem to get any real traction, and the robot is sliding around all over the place. This is perfect for Storm 2, who can just wait to line up their perfect opportunity. It doesn’t take long before they back again, this time actually getting underneath Trax as they push them, allowing them to use the lifter as well.

Major Lift
The lift

Trax can doing nothing about it, the robot suddenly looking weak and uncontrollable in comparison to Storm 2. Storm 2 of course is a much smaller robot as well, which just adds to Trax’s image as a cumbersome giant. Storm 2 just keep coming and coming, exploiting every opportunity they can find. But no killer blow as yet, unless you count their demolition of the pit release button.

Now Storm 2 are looking to end this, preferably by way of the pit, but Trax aren’t making it easy for them, weaving and ducking away as much as they can from Storm 2’s attacks. They still seem to have next to zero grip, but that’s working more in their favour right now, making them a slippery customer. Although, it does lead them to almost getting hammered by Mr Psycho as they try to escape, the hammer inches away.

The clock starts to count down, and Trax are going to survive right to the end. They almost goad Storm 2 to try and catch them, luring them to the pit, but Storm doesn’t bite, instead letting the clock run down.

It goes to the judges, sure, but there can only be one winner from this. STORM 2 ARE GOING THROUGH!


So who will Storm 2 face, Rhino or Steel Avenger? Well, that’s what we get to find out next time… Until then.