Robot Wars S10E06 Part 1: The Wild West Of Robot Combat, AKA The Ten Way Melee

And so the time has come, for the greatest melee of all time to grace our screens. Not 3, not 4 robots will be facing off against each other, but all of the second and third place robots will be squaring off in a battle to the absolute death. After five heats, that means 10 robots will be smashing, shredding, flipping and ramming their competition out of the competition. There is no time limit to this battle, meaning it truly is a battle to the death, where only one robot will be left standing.


Sabretooth Apollo came out of the first heat, which was won by Behemoth. Whilst Sabretooth were busy getting their ass kicked by Donald Thump and aggravating some floor spikes, they did manage to sneak into the 10 way after dispatching of clusterbot ‘The Swarm’. Apollo meanwhile looked in fine form, defeating The Swarm and Apocalypse in their initial melee before dispatching Sabretooth in the semis, but suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Behemoth in the heat final, going route one down the pit.

Big Nipper Eruption were next to join, coming from heat number two. Big Nipper suffered the unfortunate feat of dying after just one blow from Gabriel 2, but recovered well enough to show what the robot could do, punting one half of the clusterbot Crackers N Smash into the arena lights and shattering Aftershock’s hopes and dreams to reach the 10 way. Eruption were tossing out robots left, right and centre, including both Crackers and Smash, and Aftershock, in their melee. They did, however, come unstuck against reigning Champions Carbide, leaving the 10 way as their only hope of reaching the final.

Track-tion Terrorhurtz were the representatives from the third heat. Track-tion are probably the luckiest team to have made the 10 way, having fortuitously been benefactors of Apex self-destructing, and Vulture withdrawing completely in their 3rd place playoff, in-between Raid tossing the out of the arena not once but twice, with one of those taking just 6 seconds to complete. Terrorhurtz had a much better run, smashing up Apex and Vulture with their axe, before putting up a brave fight against Rapid in the heat final.

Iron-Awe 6 Concussion represent the fourth heat, a heat that was full of shocks and twists. Iron-Awe got into the 10 way without a working flipper, somehow winning the melee when Tauron got beached on debris, then later repeating their fortune against Androne in the 3rd place playoff. Concussion went about this the hard way, getting their wheel bashed in by Nuts 2 and then getting stuck on Androne 4000’s crusher, all in the melee. They did get to show how deadly they can be by dismantling The Kegs and Iron-Awe 6, but Nuts 2 came back to haunt them and their makeshift ‘Nut Busters’ in the heat final.

Expulsion Thor finished off the list of competitors in the 10 way melee, coming in from week 5. Expulsion seemed to spend most of their time on their back, but benefitted from technical issues suffered by Push to Exit and Coyote, which allowed them to sail into the 10 way via the 3rd place playoff. Thor had a much more entertaining path into the playoff, including a couple of good wins against Coyote. However their weakness was also exposed a couple of times, with both Matilda and Magnetar ripping into the CO2 delivery system, the latter leaving Thor to drown in a dense fog of its own CO2 in the heat final. Now they’re here, and hoping to put it all behind them to claim a place in the grand final.

As they all are.


Apparently there weren’t enough robots in the arena as it was, so we have a couple of house robots bundled in there too. And it is the mainstay duo of Sir Killalot, and Shunt! It’s the wild west out there, let’s get ready to duel.

It’s hard to know exactly where to start with this battle, which is a recurring theme. Thor are certainly the quickest movers from the start, making a dash towards Ironside, whilst Eruption pretty much don’t move at all. Considering there’s no judging in this fight, and it is a battle to the end, that isn’t the worst move to make. Thor, for all its fast start, actually ends up driving into Sir Killalot.

A Party of Axes
A Party of Axes

There is essentially just a lot of driving around early on, with nobody quite knowing whether they should hold station or just dive in there and risk it, hoping for the best and not to come out a mangled mess. But amidst the chaos of 10 robots roaming around the arena, some actual damage is done when Concussion drive into Track-tion, tearing one of the tracks off with their drum.

Track attack
Track Attack

Big Nipper, sporting the claws instead of the drum spinner, try to attack Apollo, but instead just drive up the side of them, but soon turn their attention to the stricken Track-tion. On the other side of the arena, Eruption have been holding still and waiting, but finally get their first visitor when the still flipperless Iron-Awe come to join the party.

Amidst all of this, Thor push the pit release button. And down the pit goes… Now there really is fun to be had.

The pit almost catches out Concussion, which swerves right over the edge before driving away, just as it goes down. No, the honour for first robot to go down the pit in this fight belongs to Expulsion, who just end up driving straight into it, with no coercion whatsoever. Perhaps not the way you would want your 10 way melee debut to be remembered, but there we go.

Leap of Doom
Leap of Doom

Back in the arena, Track-tion are having to endure some punishment by Terrorhurtz, which is warming the axe up nicely. Apollo, perhaps seen as the biggest threat due to being former Champions, start getting ganged up on. All of Concussion, Big Nipper and Sabretooth join in, circling round the helpless Apollo. It’s Sabretooth that deliver the big blow, using the drum spinner to toss Apollo high into the air, where they come back to land on their flipper. Fortunately the flipper works, and Apollo survive.

Meanwhile Iron-Awe, whose flipper does not work, instead hit the pit release button, giving everyone Carbon Dioxide poisoning as FOG OF WAR erupts into the arena, blinding everyone. The only good this does is that it gives the legion of axes to team up, and push Track-tion down the pit. Not a good melee for school teams, admittedly.

The fog of war subsides, and Apollo gets underneath Iron-Awe, sending them on a wild ride through the air. Luckily for Iron-Awe, they land on their wheels.

Airborne S10 Melee
Airborne

Unfortunately, that’s about all that happens before FOG OF WAR is back, blinding everyone once again. John Reid is suitably confused by the goings on in the arena.

In the confusion created by the fog, Sabretooth get punted into the arena side wall by Apollo, whilst Eruption finally get involved in the fight when everyone else gangs up on them and bundles them into Sir Killalot. Apollo seem to be having the time of their lives out there, with Thor becoming their next victim. All robots targeted have so far survived, however.

Iron-Awe, for the second time in this fight, hit the release button, but instead of FoW, this time we get Rogue House Robots! This ramps the chaos factor up to 11, leading to Eruption doing somersaults whilst being pursued by Big Nipper, and everyone else getting bulldozed by Sir Killalot. Iron-Awe then hit the button AGAIN, and I think we all know what’s coming next.

FOG OF BLOODY WAR.

Karma kicks in straight away, because Iron-Awe wander over the floor flipper, which tosses them through the air. This time however they land upside down, which is the end of them. It wouldn’t have been if the flipper had worked, but apparently who needs a weapon these days? (Iron-Awe. Iron-Awe did). Concussion drive them into the pit, probably just to get them out of the way more than anything.

Apollo starts getting ganged up on again, and again by Sabretooth, with Big Nipper in tow. After the former pair dice and duel, Big Nipper actually slide under Apollo, lifting them out of the way with their claws. Classy.

Raise your claws
Raise your claws

Concussion don’t last too much longer than Iron-Awe; Thor, whose axe hasn’t worked for a while now, use their superior pushing power and some good angle work to gently push Concussion towards the pit, which they slide straight into. They had done well Concussion, but the arena takes no prisoners.

Eruption and Sabretooth have a face off against each other in the corner of the arena, with Sabretooth chipping away at the flipper of Eruption, but come away relatively unharmed. Terrorhurtz, always trying to get into the action, end up coming across the ever rampaging Apollo, and get flipped over. They do right themselves, eventually, though it takes a while for them to swing the axe.

After righting, Terrorhurtz are right back in there again with Sabretooth, and actually end up jumping over them when they swing the axe. Eruption, battling Big Nipper, get caught by Sir Killalot and smashed into the side of the pit release button, which activates the Rogue House Robots! Shunt emerges, and has a little play around with Eruption before slamming Apollo into the arena side wall. Ouch.

Internals
Internals

Whilst all of that is going on, and completely out of nowhere, Sabretooth does its best impression of Expulsion and drives straight into the pit. They did try to turn around right at the end, but it was just too late to save it. Ah well boys, next time.

So robots are beginning to drop, but the drama has only just started to begin. Rogue house Robots get activated once again, right after Eruption flips Terrorhurtz into Sir Killalot. Naturally, this angers Killalot, who picks Terrorhurtz up by their axe and drives them over to the side of the arena. John thinks Killalot is just going to twirl Terrorhurtz around, but how wrong he is. Instead, Killalot drives over to the arena side wall, and starts dangling Terrorhurtz over it, trying to throw them out. Cries of “That’s not right!” ring out, but still Killalot tries to evict them.

Terrorhurtz make it out alive… Just.

That's not right!
“That’s not right!”

In the chaos of that move, we’ve lost another robot. The pit is filling up nicely now, with Thor being dumped out of the melee by Big Nipper. Big Nipper then get pushed down by Eruption. Oh, and Dead Metal has also joined the battle for the house robots, because there wasn’t enough of them to begin with.

So now we’re down to just 3 robots- Eruption, Apollo and Terrorhurtz. The battle is taking their toll on all of them, but they have so far survived. Eruption take aim at Apollo, only to them get assaulted by Terrorhurtz. That battle continues for a little while, although Terrorhurtz’s axe seems to have busted itself. Eventually Eruption backs them into a corner, and launches the flipper. Terrorhurtz flip over, landing right in the gap between the side wall and the arena’s pit release structure.

Essentially, they’re trapped.

So now it’s a battle of the flippers. Eruption strike the first blow, launching Apollo half way across the arena. Apollo land on their wheels, and are free to continue, but Eruption has other ideas. They come in for a second strike, and this time Apollo are turned over. They don’t have enough gas left in the flipper, and now they’re unable to self-right. It’s over.

End of the End
End of the End

Eruption have won the 10 way rumble! They’re going through to the 10th Wars Grand Final, where they’ll join Behemoth, Carbide, Rapid, Nuts 2 and Magnetar. Now we know our finalists, the quest for a Champion has well and truly reached its final stage.

 

 

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Robot Wars S10E05 Part 3: The Fog Of Thor

The fog of war- a divisive yet unique addition to this war, which shrouds the arena in a dense fog, which seems only to serve the purpose of blinding everyone watching. That includes the roboteers, the audience, the judges, and people watching at home, including yours truly. What the back end of this episode gives us is not the fog of war we know, but an entirely different, competitor version. But all that to come later.


Semi-Final 1: Thor v Coyote

SF1 S10E05

First up on the semi-final tour, the ever effective axe of Thor faces off against the gripper/crusher and chainsaw combination of Coyote. I’m not sure if the chainsaw is actually effective, or just a decorative piece on the back of the robot, but it’s actually been ditched for this fight, in order to fit a front scoop instead. Coyote had to get themselves through a robot redemption after Thor helped defeat them in the opening melee, so now they’re looking for a little spot of revenge.

Your house robots for this fight are the metal machine of mayhem, Dead Metal, and a former of a chainsaw, Matilda. You all know the drill by now, FIGHT!

Both robots dance around each other at the start, dodging the other when they would make a charge towards them, until Coyote goes head first into Thor and, despite their own scoop, go straight up their front, and get a mighty whack from the axe. Thor have taken this as their invitation to really go in on Coyote, and go strike after strike.

Hammer Time 2
Hammer Time

Thor back Coyote into a corner, and continue the assault. Coyote don’t really have a response at the moment. But it’s OK, because Thor start doing the work for them; Whilst trying to push Coyote into Dead Metal’s CPZ, they get caught instead. As Dead Metal has hold, Coyote hits the pit release button, and Rogue House Robots are unleashed! Thor is released by Dead Metal, and proceeds to drive straight over the floor flipper, adding some acrobatics to the display.

As Thor recover from being tossed by the flipper, they try to escape the madness. In reality, all they end up doing is driving straight into the wandering Matilda, catching the end of the flywheel and getting tossed over to the side of the arena.

Malicious Matilda
Malicious Matilda

But to make things worse, Matilda just so happened to tear into Thor’s weapon system, and now CO2 is venting everywhere.

In a cloud
In a cloud of gas

Thor has been reduced to a pushbot, but thanks to that low front end, they can still do that effectively. It’s scoop versus scoop, and even now Thor still look like winning. Thor push them into the side wall, then try to get them in with Matilda, but Coyote manage to make it out. Next is the floor flipper, but Coyote escape that too. Regardless, it’s all Thor right now.

This continues for a while, with Thor completely on top. Coyote do have luck on their side, with the robot narrowly avoiding the spikes on not one, but two occasions, and then managing to evade the floor flipper too!

Eventually time begins to run out, as it does for us all. The clock hits zero with both robots still mobile, which means we’re going to the judges! Now Thor were definitely the more aggressive, and for the most part more controlled. The question is, how badly does the hit by Matilda affect Thor’s chances?

Apparently not much, because Thor are going through to the heat final!


Semi-Final 2: Expulsion v Magnetar

SF2 S10E05

Now onto the other two robots in the semi-finals, and a battle of the spinners. Magnetar’s ridiculously powerful drum spinner plays out against an Expulsion robot perhaps lucky to be where they are, and reliant on Push to Exit’s reliability issues to progress (After beaching themselves via the floor flipper). On paper, it is perhaps a mismatch. But Robot Wars is not fought on paper…

Dead Metal retains his/her place on the house robot roster, but Matilda is on the way out, with Sir Killalot back and ready to guard the arena with his life. Battle time!

Expulsion’s tactics are fairly obvious from the start- hit the pit release button and see what happens. What happens is the Fog of War, the merciless mist that descends on the arena. Whether this is what Expulsion wanted or not, all it really does is give Magnetar the time to spin that drum up to speed.

When the fog clears, Magnetar’s drum is close to breaking the sound barrier. They charge in, smashing head first into Expulsion, sending them flying across the arena, barrelling through the air! Expulsion land hard, and bounce straight onto the floor flipper which tosses them against like a pinball! Up, down, up, down, all in one phase of battle. And when Expulsion finally come to rest, they are definitely dead.

Tumble Dryer
TUMBLE DRYER

So, no turn up for the books this time then it seems.


3rd Place Playoff: Coyote v Expulsion

As is the way this series, the 3rd place playoff will determine one of the entrants to the ten way melee, which runs in the beginning of the grand final. With two slots left, it is certainly filling up, and now one of Coyote and Expulsion will be making up the numbers. But how will they both recover from their earlier losses?

Your house robots are the returning Matilda, and the ever present Dead Metal! With a place in the ten way up for grabs, let’s get down to business!

The robots start, with Expulsion spinning up and narrowly missing driving into Matilda, before swinging it around and crashing into Coyote. Somewhere in that collision, a piece of robot flew off. Coyote then turns things around; With Expulsion driving into the arena side wall, Coyote come up and pin them against it.

Power of the pin
Power of the pin

Whoever is driving Expulsion, probably could do with a bigger arena, because Expulsion continue to clatter into the arena barriers, but at least the robot works well as a bumper car. Coyote take advantage of this lack of control and catch Expulsion, before pushing them all the way across the arena.

But then, without any warning, Coyote stop. They just stop working. This is good news for Expulsion, because they now have a sitting target. Except they miss the target and instead plough into Matilda. Because why not?

Soz Matilda
Matilda’s fireworks

Matilda take their revenge, battering Expulsion with the flywheel and flipping them over, before using the tusks to flip them again. So now Expulsion are over and stranded. Fortunately for them, Coyote got stranded first.

And amazingly, whether they deserve it or not, Expulsion are into the 10 way melee!


Heat Final: Thor v Magnetar

Final S10E05

So here we are, the heat final. Magnetar and Thor have definitely been the most impressive of the robots in this heat, but only one of them is getting a place direct into the grand final. Will the drum or the axe win out?

Your house robots for this final battle are Shunt and Dead Metal, and it’s time to get down to the finale!

Thor, clad now in several metal wires that should act as entanglement, try their best to catch Magnetar at the start, but Magnetar is too agile and escapes the attacks. This also helps Magnetar spin up their drum, with the power increasing with time until it is up to full speed. So when the two robots collide, Magnetar makes sure they’re going in drum first. Thor is flipped straight over by the drum, landing upside down, but manage to recover even with the attention of Magnetar.

As Magnetar come down from their attack, Thor takes revenge, getting behind Magnetar and pushing them into the arena side wall, hitting them continuously with the axe in the process. A persistent attack like that does not do Magnetar any favours, and they just about manage to wriggle themselves free of Thor’s grasp.

Driven
Into the wall

Thor try to get back on the attack, but Magnetar now have time to spin back up to speed, and tear off one of Thor’s entanglement wires without it being able to do anything. So much for that defence then. It doesn’t help things that Thor also decided to drive over the floor flipper, and had to self-right. But the battle continues.

As Magnetar continue to go on the rampage, Thor are starting to suffer. Another attack hits Thor’s back corner, right where the wheel is, before they’re thrown through the air by another attack. And this time they land right next to the floor flipper, which Magnetar can see, and one more attack is all that’s needed to guide them onto it.

Thor are thrown into the air by the flipper, and come to land right on top of Magnetar’s already rotating drum. And by a miracle of all miracles, the drum tears into Thor’s weapons system in the same way Matilda did, but even more devastating. Thor explodes in a pressurised cloud of CO2, coming to rest upside down amidst a fog of its own creation!

The beginning of the beginning of the end
The beginning of the beginning of the end
Fog of Thor (Article)
FOG OF THOR

The fog eventually subsides, and now we can see Thor stranded. With no gas, they cannot self-right, and they are counted out of the fight. Magnetar, the ridiculously powerful reworking of Pulsar, have definitely proved themselves in this heat. They’re going through to the grand final!


No we know our 5 heat winners- Behemoth, Carbide, Rapid, Nuts 2 and Magnetar. But there is still one place left to fill. The 10 way melee awaits….

 

Robot Wars S10E05 Part 2: Pushed To The Exit

It’s Robot Redemption time! Whilst Magnetar and Thor have safely navigated their way through the opening melee and into the heat semi-finals, there are still four other robots fighting for their life. Coyote, Hobgoblin, Push To Exit and Expulsion must now battle to gain a second chance at progression, but two of them are going home for good.


Redemption Knockout 1: Coyote v Hobgoblin

RK1 S10E05

The first of these knockouts sees egg beater Hobgoblin face off against the wily Coyote. Whilst Hobgoblin faltered after one flip from Push To Exit, Coyote went all the way against Thor, but lost out in the judges’ decision. Still, if Hobgoblin can get the beater working, it could still be a force to be reckoned with.

Your house robots, and the favourite pairing of the series, it’s Shunt and Sir Killalot! One stays, one leaves, let’s battle!

Coyote start as they did in their melee, driving head first into Hobgoblin, though this time they bounce off as opposed to latching on. Hobgoblin have the egg beater going at full power, but Coyote do well to avoid it, instead getting round to the side of Hobgoblin. Now, for all the power Hobgoblin seems to have, it has a very big, square frame, which makes it easy for Coyote to grab it.

Coyote break off from Hobgoblin, but the Goblin seems to be having control issues all by itself, and isn’t exactly the most mobile robot inside the arena. That always could just be how the robot actually is. But it gives Coyote basically all the time they need to plan their next attack. It also allows Coyote’s minibot- Roadrunner- to drive over to the pit release button unobstructed, and activate the pit.

Roadrunner Nation
Roadrunner Nation

Coyote and Hobgoblin continue to grapple, though Coyote are doing most of the hard work, but Hobgoblin continue to evade the pit, and are continuing to survive. Coyote aren’t exactly doing much damage either, but are winning plenty of Aggression and Control points.

Coyote navigates Hobgoblin away from the pit, and towards the CPZ of Sir Killalot, which also resides next to the flame pit. So Hobgoblin now get to enjoy that attention, and a light roasting. However, as much as Hobgoblin have struggled to get a foothold in this battle, they’re apparently still deadly enough to bend Sir Killalot’s claws out of shape when they make contact with the egg beater. So we know that works.

Killalot basically runs away, and Shunt comes in to take over the house robot duties. Hobgoblin get pushed right into the corner of the CPZ, where Shunt can pin them down, and strike with the axe. And they strike six, seven, eight times, hammering down with each hit. But, like Sir Killalot before him, Shunt eventually becomes victim to Hobgoblin’s beater, with the axe shattering on impact with the weapon. Talk about lethal.

Shatter Axe
Shatter Axe

But for all their house robot destruction, Hobgoblin have actually been immobile for a while, which is only compounded when Shunt uses to scoop to turn them over. They are counted out, and Coyote are going through, but what a way to go out!


Redemption Knockout 2: Push To Exit v Expulsion

RK2 S10E05

So with Coyote going through, we now need to see who will make up the final slot in the heat semi-finals. We know Push To Exit worked, with them flipping over Hobgoblin, but then got pulverised by Magnetar, so questions remain over the robot’s reliability. Expulsion we didn’t really get to see much of, seeing as they were punted over in the first few seconds and immobilised straight away. Really, it’s anybody’s fight.

Your house robots for this fight, because Shunt and Sir Killalot are currently nursing injuries sustained by their battles with Hobgoblin, are Dead Metal and Matilda! Fight time!

For once, PtE don’t drive straight into the arena side wall, and actually are quite tentative to start. But they do land the first blow, of sorts, by driving into Expulsion and knocking them back across the arena- although Expulsion do say on their wheels this time. However, it soon becomes clear that the same kind of problem that has befallen robots such as Iron-Awe 6 before has befallen them now- the flipper isn’t working.

Expulsion get knocked around a bit by Dead Metal, though once again not knocked over, and escape via the flame pit to continue the attack. The two competing robots clash again, but this time Expulsion drive up Push To Exit’s flipper. But of course the flipper isn’t working, so they just sit there for a while.

Up the ramp
Up The Ramp

Expulsion manage to escape, but Push To Exit are looking worse for wear. Expulsion get around behind them, giving them a hefty whack and a half. Expulsion continue to push the ailing robot, which keeps cutting in and out, and guide them around to the floor flipper. Unfortunately for Expulsion, they are on the wrong side of Push To Exit, and they are the ones that end up getting flipped. So now they’re the wrong way up… Again.

Over and Over Again
Flip Flop

PtE manage to gain some mobility for a fleeting few seconds, before they once again cut out and grind to a halt, whilst Expulsion are sitting on their spinner. They spin the spinner up, showing the robot still works, but it doesn’t get them anywhere. With both robots being counted out for immobility, there is no choice. It has to go to the judges.

Who wins?? Well, having gone over the fight with the assumption that both robot have been rendered immobile, the actual fight is under scrutiny. And with that in mind, your winner is…. EXPULSION!


So now we know our heat semi-finalists. Magnetar and Thor are now joined by Expulsion and Coyote. Next up, is the fight for victory, and passage to the Grand Final.

 

Robot Wars S10E05 Part 1: Astrophysics 101

Been a while, hasn’t it? I basically burnt myself out in the final days of NaNoWriMo because I had quite a lot to complete in a short space of time, and in the aftermath I didn’t feel like writing anything again for a while. I suppose that was always a risk I was going to take doing both that and this side by side. But, even though I’m now quite far behind everything, I will at least try to get somewhat back on track. The operative word here being ‘try’.


So week 5, the final heat of the series and the final introductions to new and returning competitors. After this heat, 5 of the 6 Grand Finalists will be known, as will the makeup of the 10 way robot rumble that will determine the final spot. There’s always a danger with the final heat that it gets forgotten about quite quickly and pushed aside, which was remedied last series by putting Carbide and Apollo into it, and this series it kind of looks as if this was done purposefully. Let’s just say it’s not the most enthralling of heats compared to some of the crazy episodes we had earlier, although it does still have its moments.

Plus, there are some heavy hitters to look out for, and this heat is full of returning robots. Magnetar is the evolution of Pulsar, and looks even more deadly (If that was possible), whilst Thor, who are always there or there about, are back too. Coyote makes a return after being decimated by Carbide last series, as are a very different looking Expulsion. Then there are the cases of Push To Exit Hobgoblin, which both made first round exits last series, and are looking to show what they can really do.


Melee 1: Expulsion v Thor v Coyote

Melee 1 S10E05

Expulsion S10

School team robot Expulsion is back and looking very, very different than before. Whilst the old version looked like a centipede and was easily knocked out by Foxic and M.R. Speed Squared, it had outlived them and converted into something a lot more compact, but still keeping the expanding spinning blades that made it such a unique robot in the first place, long with a different, three sided spinner. With spinners at such different weights, Expulsion could be anywhere between 70kg-110kg depending on the configuration. The new robot now almost looks like a ball on wheels, or a curved pyramid, which could hopefully stop any invertability issues. Whether it will actually be damaging enough to go far, we have to find out.

Thor S10

Thor, one of the best axe bots in the business (Alongside Terrorhurtz), is back again. After only finishing as runners up in their heat last series, Thor wants to get back where it belongs. The robot is fairly similar to the one entered last year, but the scoop now features a great number of angles and sharp points, whilst the firing rate of the axe has been increased too. Thor is still one of the fastest robots in the competition, pushing 30mph, and is a force to be reckoned with.

Coyote S100

After being dismantled by Carbide last time around, Coyote is all new and all improved, even coming with a brand new copper finish to it. Infact, the frame of Coyote now consists of copper pipes and steel bars, whilst the chainsaw is back having destroyed itself last series. The main weapon, however, is of course the front crushing jaws, which are as much to clamp as they are to actually crush. Coyote were actually a reserve going into the series, but got a last minute call up. Can they make that chance count?

The resident house robot for this battle, and long time admirer of circular saws, it’s Dead Metal!

Straight away, Coyote drive straight into Expulsion, punting them like a football right into the arena side wall, and then continuing the assault into the claws of Dead Metal. Unfortunately for them, Expulsion get kind of pushed aside, and it’s Coyote that end up in the claws of Dead Metal, and then paraded over to the flame pit, and then attacked with the saw. Tough break.

Spark Shock
Spark Shock

Coyote are left free, and Expulsion are next on Dead Metal’s hit list. It’s about as much entertainment Expulsion are going to get, because they’ve beached themselves in the CPZ. So much for not having invertability problems. Dead Metal, being the one track robot that it is, does exactly the same to Expulsion that it did to Coyote.

Grabby Hands
Grabby Hands

As Expulsion are left to rot, Coyote have managed to get themselves stuck on the pit, which has accidentally sunk and has to be brought back up to free Coyote. Thor, perhaps sensing an opportunity, hit the pit release button, but instead activates the rogue house robots. Dead Metal runs out, pushing Coyote out of the way and instead going for Thor, pinning them against the wall. Thor escape trouble, but it’s the first sign they can be rattled.

It’s now all Thor against Coyote; Thor strike the first few blows, landing some good axe hits on Coyote and pushing them around, with the front scoop getting under fairly easily. But Coyote strike back, grabbing hold of the front of Thor and pushing them into another CPZ. Thor break themselves free, and break off a piece of Coyote in the process. It goes backwards and forwards like this for a while, but Coyote are starting to feel it more than Thor.

Rogue House Robot finds itself activated again, although all Dead Metal seems to be able to do this time is drag Expulsion’s minibot, Roadrunner, around. So much for that. And Thor apparently decides it wants revenge, and attacks Dead Metal! They actually land a good hit, before they are swatted away. And because why not, Coyote comes in to join the party, grabbing hold of Dead Metal’s claw!

I bite
I bite

After separating from Dead Metal, Thor and Coyote charge at each other, and smash head on! Coyote again comes off worse, this time with the front jaws breaking! No more jaw, no more weapon. Thor go to town with the axe, but the battle has now run its course, and we go to the judges!

Coyote or Thor? Well considering Coyote ended up shedding body pieces and has a broken jaw, I think there can only be one winner. And that winner is Thor!


Melee 2: Push To Exit v Magnetar v Hobgoblin

Melee 2 S10E05

Well that was one way to start. But now we move on from the less common in terms of weaponry, and move into the more conventional spinners and flippers, but with no lack of extravagance and experimentation.

Magnetar S10

If you thought Pulsar looked incredible, just wait until you see Magnetar. It isn’t just an upgrade, it’s an entire overhaul. It’s a mashup of experimental tech and radical ideas, including brushless motors and the highest voltage battery (50V) on the show. The actual robot looks pretty much the same, but yet still has that look of evolution. The weapon is still as powerful as ever, weighing 21kg and spinning at 8,500rpm, making it essentially a rotating launcher. And, as is so necessary these days, the middle finger style self-righter is back once again. Oh, and it has a cat shaped wedge piece on the front of it, because why not?

Hobgoblin S10

Hobgoblin is back, having fell over backwards and died after about 30 seconds in the last wars. This time the robot features one major difference, being a set of wheels on the top which supposedly stop that from happening. The egg beater weapon is still there, hoping this time to be able to cause a great deal more damage than it could in the 9th wars, with the 25kg beater spinning at 2,500rpm. The top speed has increased too, to 12mph, and overall the robot has been given a bit of a bump, performance-wise. Whether that bump will be enough, we will have to find out.

Push To Exit S10

Bringing forth the only front-hinged flipper since the reboot, Push To Exit is hoping to put the disappointment of being one hit KOed in the 9th wars behind them. The bright blue, long nosed robot is much the same as it was last year in design, featuring a low pressure flipper that also acts as its self-righting mechanism. The robot is pretty speedy too at 24mph, but also has had control issues in the past, which they’ll need to get over.

Shunt is in the arena for the house robots, because apparently the arena isn’t complete without an axe in it. Time to battle!

Push To Exit, continuing right off from where it left off in the last series, drives straight past Hobgoblin and into the arena side wall. Old habits apparently die hard. But they recover, and drive back into the action, getting underneath Hobgoblin and flipping them over. THE FRONT HINGED FLIPPER WORKS! Hobgoblin fall onto their spare wheels, slide into the arena wall and bounce off. They then, er, stop.

IT FLIPS
IT FLIPS!

Magnetar, having hung back, then joins the action, getting up close to PtE and actually managing to drive underneath them, drawing them into the drum and sending them skywards! Push To Exit crash back down on top of Magnetar, which rips apart some of the entanglement devices (Not that entanglement devices have done much this series, let’s be fair).

Unfortunately for Push To Exit, whatever’s happened with those attacks, the robot has stopped working. Or at least the flipper has stopped firing, which means they can’t self-right. It is, unfortunately, over.

Fuuuuuuu
Fuuuuuuuuuuuuuck
KO Blow
KO Blow

Magnetar still push them into Shunt, who then axe them before pushing them back out into the wilderness, but PtE can no longer fight back. For Hobgoblin, they’re still moving, just very, very slowly. They’re immobile enough. Magnetar start to celebrate, gyro dancing in the middle of the arena, because they know that they’re going through.


So there we go. Perhaps as expected, Thor and Magnetar are going through!

 

Robot Review: Tauron (S10E04)

I’m currently without the use of iPlayer because my laptop apparently hates it, which makes it a good thing I still have a couple of these to do, because there’s no way I could do a recap right now.


Tauron, so cruelly defeated in the opening few seconds of their melee in the 9th wars, are back with an improved machine, looking to take revenge for their early exit and show the world what they were all about. The major features remain, with the body of the robot still a fairly standard box shaped design, but the front housing the weapon of mass robot destruction. The robot has been made more compact for this series, but can still run both ways up thanks to the pivot on the weapon, allowing it to be positioned depending on which was up the robot is. The weapon itself is an 18kg vertical spinning bar, capable of spinning at up to 3,600rpm. However, as with all powerful spinners, the gyroscopic forces are a pain to keep under control.


To test out whether the improvements would actually allow Tauron to have an extended run in this series, they entered a melee along with spinner based clusterbots The Kegs, and the old hand of this heat, Iron-Awe 6. 

And Tauron actually start the battle as the better robot, getting hits in on The Kegs and Iron-Awe. IA seem to be their favourite target at first, especially aiming for the ridiculous excuse for an entanglement device they have. Even when Tauron mount Iron-Awe, Iron-Awe can’t do anything. Tauron soon end up turning their attention to The Kegs, and this is where the weapon really shines. Taking a run at the front end of the first clusterbot, Tauron connect, and tear the spinning bar clean off! But that’s not all, because after a brief encounter with Sir K, they then turn onto the second Kegs bot, and send them barrelling through the air!

Air Roll
Wash-Dry Cycle

After that, it’s mainly back to Iron-Awe 6. And with Iron0Awe having no working flipper, it’s up to Tauron to continually chip away at the robot, and not get pushed around, which they manage quite well, even though they don’t cause any critical damage. But they’re on top in the battle, and then quite literally when they get stuck on top of Iron-Awe’s wedge. Sir Killalot breaks them apart, but when that concludes, Tauron isn’t moving.

They’re stuck.

And with Iron-Awe managing a brief moment of translational movement, Tauron are the ones that find themselves being counted out. It’s an unfortunate situation for Tauron, who were well on top, but that’s the way it goes.


Fortunately, this is exactly what the Robot Redemption round was introduced for, and Tauron have a second chance against the yellow coloured crusher, Androne 4000. A completely different challenge for Tauron, this one.

And for Tauron, this battle starts much differently, with them on the back foot throughout the opening phases, unable to cause much damage to Androne and finding themselves pushed around, including into Sir Killalot. Twice.

But Tauron are not a robot you can keep down for too long, and with a little bit of help from the arena spikes, they manage to land their first big hit, tearing away one of the armour panels from the body of Androne 4000, even though Androne still have them in a grip. It’s a backwards and forwards exchange for this part of the fight, because after they’re separated, Tauron end up with some company in the form of Dead Metal.

Rotate
Etching

Nobody could claim Tauron don’t have a powerful weapon, because the more hits they score on Androne, the more the body panelling gets ripped apart. But the hits are few and far between, and although Androne never pierce anything, they do manage to clamp down on the weapon and stop it working for a while.

Tauron is able to land one final, big hit before the end of the fight, which leaves Androne limping around the arena. But that isn’t the actual last act of the fight- no, that would be Tauron taking a ride on the floor flipper, of course. But as both robots survived, it is up to the judges’ to decide who won, in what is a tough decision.

But, after much deliberation and probably a pie flinging competition, Tauron are eliminated at the expense of Androne 4000. It’s a hard defeat to take, because it was so close, but it is a defeat.


So, how did Tauron do? Well the robot looked much improved, and the weapon looked incredibly damaging. They started exceptionally well, demolishing both of The Kegs in entertaining fashion, and making a mockery of Iron-Awe’s entanglement devices. But they were undone ironically by having a low ground clearance, which saw them beached on Iron-Awe’s debris. The second fight was a lot closer, and Tauron lacked some control at times, but they were still able to deal a good amount of damage. I think it’s a shame this is as far as they got, it’s a good robot.

Expectation v Result (3rd – Bottom 2): -2
The Keg-pocolypse: +6
Annihilating the entanglements: +2
Getting beached: -2
Weight Reduction, Androne 4000 Edition: +4
A judges’ decision, and not in their favour: -2

Robot Rating (Tauron): 6/10

Full Robot Review rankings from this series and the last series can be found here:
https://robotwars2016.wordpress.com/robot-review-rankings/ )
Each review rating is hyperlinked to the article about that robot- simply click on the robot’s name to be navigated to their article.

 

Robot Review: The Kegs (S10E04)

It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I’ve spent the past few days fighting with my Wi-Fi, but I am making my potentially triumphant return with the review of a clusterbot made from the world’s greatest recycled material- beer kegs.


Yes, this year’s representative of Robot Wars’ cannon fodder category comes from former Greenpeace supremo John Frizell, who has built a pair of robots out of one whole beer kegs, having cut it in half and used the two pieces to create two robots. Armour isn’t their strong suit, naturally, and especially because the baseplate is made of wood. The robots weigh approximately 55kg each and are armed with 10kg spinning bars, which you would think could still pack a punch. And another plus point, the robot is invertible. So you never know, it could still spring a surprise.


But first they actually have to fight, and they came across what looked like a tricky tie (Well, all ties would probably look tricky to them) in the opening melee- The flipper of Iron-Awe 6 and the vicious vertical spinner of Tauron. Not exactly confidence building, is it?

And, well, it went about as badly as you would have expected.

The bar spinners worked, at least. And one of their first actions was to tear into one of Iron-Awe’s entanglement TNT sticks, which had no effect on anybody, and got a shallow hit on Tauron that didn’t really damage them. It was all downhill from there, really.

As Tauron was battling Iron-Awe, they managed to break off from them and charge towards one of The Kegs. Now the weapons on The Kegs are top mounted, much like Apex was, and we know what happened to them. So when Tauron’s powerful vertical spinner struck the front end of The Keg, it ripped the bar spinner off and sent it shooting into the ceiling, causing Dara and Angela to practically shit themselves. It was a violent dismemberment.

Piss up
Forceful Detachment

The other Kegs machine, still with bar spinner, hit the pit release button and scored the rogue house robot feature, leading them to being instantly accosted by Sir Killalot. Tauron then takes a pot shot at the weaponless Keg, causing it to do some gymnastic barrel rolls.

That was about it, for The Kegs. One of them went and died in a corner somewhere, whilst the other was once again assaulted by Sir Killalot, who knocked them into the pit release button, again. At least they were good for something, even when they were dead.


So The Kegs were defeated in classis cannon fodder style, no surprise there. However, in form for this series, there is a chance at redemption. Unfortunately, The Kegs’ chance at redemption came against Concussion, a drum spinner who were grand finalists last series. And with one of The Kegs going in without a weapon because Tauron eviscerated it, they were already at a disadvantage. Good luck lads.

It didn’t even take long for the first of The Kegs to fall victim. Concussion just needed a little warm-up, about 8 seconds, before they came in and tore skin from bone, Robot Wars style. The cassis went one way, and the beer keg armour was ripped off in the other direction. Oh, and that was the robot that actually had a weapon.

Beer Keg Down
Beer keg bonanza

The second of The Kegs wasn’t exactly going to be able to do much either, and ended up becoming a pinball, bouncing between Concussion’s drum and the floor flipper, ending with them once again dead, resting against the arena side wall.

And because one attack wasn’t enough, Concussion came back to the now naked Keg, and tore them apart even further. It’s a good thing The Kegs weren’t going to have to fight again, because quite honestly I don’t think they would have been able to. I don’t think they ever will be able to again.


So, how did The Kegs do? Well, I think they’re well up there in challenging Overdozer for “Best cannon fodder in the revived run of Robot Wars”, but we got the delight of seeing them torn apart in not one but two fights. There was even (very) early promise, but it was never going to last. But when you look at The Kegs, did you ever really expect it to?

Expectation v Result (Bottom 2 – Bottom 2): +0
Minus point for each time a Keg died in battle: -4
BONUS: Fully functional, weaponised beer keg: +2

Robot Rating (The Kegs): -2/10

Full Robot Review rankings from this series and the last series can be found here:
https://robotwars2016.wordpress.com/robot-review-rankings/ )
Each review rating is hyperlinked to the article about that robot- simply click on the robot’s name to be navigated to their article.

 

Robot Wars S10E04 Part 3: Nut Buster

We’re reaching the end of what has been an entertaining heat, with the wars continuing to rumble onwards at a frightening pace. We’ve already seen a flipperless Iron-Awe 6 get smashed in by a rampaging Concussion, so that we know the first of our finalists, but there is still one spot to fill, along with the determining who is going to be fighting for a place in the 10-way melee. There are spinners, crushers and non-working flippers, and it promises to be a dramatic and entertaining end to the heat.


Semi-Final 2: Nuts 2 v Androne 4000

Sf2 S10E04

Nuts 2 perhaps surprisingly got to skip the Robot Redemption stage, having spent the melee caving in wheels and generally surviving, enough to see them go straight through to the semi-final. Androne 4000, one of the robots in that melee, instead had to come through a tough judges’ decision to defeat Tauron, and come back against one of their earlier foes. The heat final is just one fight away, and glory beckons.

Shunt and Dead Metal are the house robots overseeing proceedings. Let’s get this bashing, smashing, crashing semi-final underway!

Nuts spin up very quickly, right from the off, and Androne try to charge them down, but find the minibots in their way, which delays them. By the time they reach Nuts, it’s spinning at full speed, and Androne suffer a nasty whack to the side of their machine, which they seem to ignore as they push Nuts into Dead Metal. But in reality, that hit has severed one of their hydraulic fuel lines, and fluid is spewing everywhere!

The Spray
Hydraulic Car Wash
Fluid Launcher
Fluid Launcher

It hasn’t stopped the robot, but now they have no way of working the crusher or the srimech, which is Robot Wars’ way of saying that they’re doomed. As it is, whilst they’re chasing down Nuts, they slide onto the floor flipper, which flips them over, and upside down they go!

And of course, with no self righting mechanism available to use, that’s the end of their fight. It’s over so soon, after one mega, mega hit from one of Nuts’ spinning flails. If it proves anything, it proves that Nuts 2 is no longer a robot that cannot be taken seriously. It is a real contender.

Turned Turtle S10
Turned Turtle

3rd Place Playoff: Androne 4000 v Iron-Awe 6

3PP S10E04

All hope is not lost for Androne, despite the mammoth repair job they have to do in order to fix the robot, because they can still reach the 10-way melee by beating Iron-Awe 6 in the 3rd place playoff. This being an Iron-Awe that still has no working flipper. One will go through, one will go home.

Your house robots for this fight, because Shunt and Dead Metal now have to have a shower to get all of the hydraulic fluid out from under their nuts and bolts, are Matilda, and Sir Killalot!

This fight is going to be a real battle of attrition, and one in which neither robot is working to 100% capacity. It’s also going to be a battle of ground clearance, a battle won by Iron-Awe. They get under Androne straight away, and try to get them over to the floor flipper, but Androne just about manage to escape. So Iron-Awe try again, this time pushing Androne over to Matilda’s CPZ. Matilda seems really up for it, and means business. Androne are pretty much powerless as she digs her flywheel into their armour, tearing a chunk off.

Weight reduction shceme
Weight Reduction Scheme

After this, the battle continues to swing between Iton-Awe and Androne. Androne often ride up Iron-Awe, but then come straight back off, before anything can be done. But equally, even when Androne get in good positions and get under Iron-Awe, the crusher either isn’t coming down or is too slow. Matilda almost comes out to play again at one point, whilst Iron-Awe, still on top, do also get Androne briefly over the flame pit.

Iron-Awe is really using that wedge to good effect. They get right in underneath Androne, which doesn’t seem anywhere near as mobile, and drive them straight back into Matilda. Matilda tries to flip with the tusks but fails, unfortunately for her, and Androne can escape. As they continue to battle, the pit release button is hit, and the pit descends. Now Iron-Awe’s full attention is on getting Androne down that pit.

They try, and they try, but Androne won’t play ball. It’s not like Androne are actually doing much, because their lack of mobility is becoming all the more apparent. But Iron-Awe are getting very, very close, and it only seems like a matter of time before Androne are dispatched. But Androne are stubborn, and Iron-Awe almost drive themselves into the pit, and then whilst escaping, drive right into Matilda’s flywheel.

Flywheel Fantasy
Flywheel Fantasy

Iron-Awe are really pushing the edge of the line, and in trying once again to push Androne down, they end up zipping across Matilda as soon as she fires the tusks, and Iron-Awe sommersault through the air. They land on their wheels, which saves them, because otherwise they would have been done.

But persistence eventually pays off. Androne are barely moving anyway, but this time Iron-Awe get the robot positioned exactly right, and drive Androne to the edge of the pit, where physics takes over and into the pit they tumble. Well, you can’t say Androne didn’t try, but in a war between two weaponless robots, a wedge like Iron-Awe was always likely to win.

Let’s just hope they get the flipper working in time for the 10-way melee, or they really will be doomed.


Heat Final: Nuts 2 v Concussion

Final S10E04

So here we are, the heat final. Concussion went the long way round, fighting in the Robot Redemption round to get back on track, but they’re facing a Nuts 2 machine that damaged them so badly in the opening melee, and also completely severed Androne 4000’s fluid line in one blow. If Consussion can get that drum up to speed, however, there is always a chance.

And, just for that added layer of protection, and to stop the past repeating itself, Concussion have bolted some protective panels over the wheels, so called ‘Nut Busters’. Only time will tell if they work.

Fresh from the robot car wash, Shunt and Dead Metal are back in the arena for the house robots! Let’s get this heat final underway!

Concussion go straight for Nuts, who begin to spin up, and they manage to get there before Nuts have spun up to full speed. The flail still hits one of the Nut Busters, btu seems to be OK. Not that it stops Concussion, who are now driving round the other side of Nuts, from accidentally driving over the floor flipper, but they just about get away with it.

Wall Runner
Wall Runner

Concussion come on the attack again, but Nuts are very quick to get up to full spinning speed, and land a hard blow on Concussion, which one again is absorbed by the Nut Buster. But Conussion, like they did not that long before, drive right over the floor flipper, which is in fine form this episode, and this time they are tossed over. Now Concussion is is invertible, but the Nut Busters could have an adverse effect, being a late bolt on piece and not part of the original design.

And almost immediately, it’s clear that the plastic sheets are a hindrance, but Concussion can still back into Nuts, which then unceremoniously sends one of the minibots flying. Nuts begins to spin back up to full speed again, whilst Concussion attempts to right itself by gyro dancing. Normally it would be perfectly possible, but again the Nut Busters are stopping it from actually going all the way. But hey, they have a cool lighting system.

LED Rave
LED Rave

As Concussion tries to right itself, Nuts is using the crazy contraption that is Meltybrain to shimmy over to the fight, and land another hit on Concussion before Concussion spin straight into Shunt, which sets off the spark cannons, just for effect.

Concussion are now going around in circles, which is great for Shunt because it means the house robot can land not one, but two heavy axe blows onto their underside. Nuts is still spinning away in the background, but leaving it up to Shunt to dish out the punishment, only coming in occasionally to land a blow. Concussion gets trapped in the spikes, which are hard to evade when you’re going in circles, and Shunt take the opportnity to land two more blows. Concussion are taking some heavy attacks, and might soon be suffering a concussion of their own.

To make matters worse for Concussion, they soon get one of the minibots stuck under them, if only for a few moments. But eventually, the judges seem to get a bit fed up of Concussion just going in circles. Concussion are counted out, and amazingly, Nuts 2 are going through to the grand final!


Who would have thought that was going to happen?