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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.