Robot Wars S10E04 Part 1: Piss Up In A Brewery

Here I am, finally getting around to writing the recap for the fourth week, and penultimate heat of Robot Wars the 10th wars. After three heats that have brought us the weird and the wacky, and two new heat finalists in the shape of Rapid and Behemoth alongside current champions Carbide, the fourth has its own group of challengers looking to get through to the grand final, with that shot at glory. Concussion have been there before, but they face some stiff competition to make it through again. Iron-Awe 6 come in as the successor to a well known robot from the original war, and a robot that has won UK Championships on the live tour. Nuts 2 Tauron have been here before, but last series couldn’t make it past the first round, whilst Androne 4000 The Kegs are brand new robots, looking to cause a stir. It’s a wide range of weapons with a wide range of experience, so shall we get started?


Melee 1: The Kegs v Tauron v Iron-Awe 6

Melee 1 S10E04

The Kegs S10

The Kegs are a pair of clusterbots that come from the same Greenpeace centred mind that gave us Terror Turtle, John Frizell. Much in the way he worked professionally, his robot is made out of recycled parts, namely the metal beer keg that was split in half to make the two different clusterbots. The Kegs are identical, with each of them possessing a 10kg spinning bar and running at a respectable 12mph. However, naturally, the robot’s defences are somewhat limited, and the armour thin. Could be an issue against powerful competitors.

Tauron S10

Tauron met an unlucky end in the 9th wars, having been knocked out after just one blow, but come back with a drive to succeed and a robot that stays true to what it wants to be. A blocky, cuboid style chassis is just the base of a robot that has a fearsome weapon. An 18kg, 3,600rpm vertical spinning bar that runs on a pivot, allowing the robot to be invertible. After such a short run last time, can Tauron make more of their undoubted potential?

Iron-Awe 6 S10

Iron-Awe, one of the ancient wonders of Robot Wars, is finally back! Whilst not the most successful robot in the original run of the show, Iron-Awe did at one point flip Bigger Brother out of the arena. It was away from the TV where Iron-Awe was successful, winning two UK Championships on the live circuit with Iron-Awe 5. Now they’re back with Iron-Awe 6, with a full, ramp style flipper as the weapon, and not an axe in sight. They also have several anti-spinner devices attached to the side of the robot, which honestly look like TNT sticks.

Now we have the competitor robots, time for the house robots. The one robot you don’t want to come up against in this fight, it’s Sir Killalot!

Everyone uses the first few seconds to get the weapons up to speed, well at least those that have spinners. Iron-Awe get the first brief hit from Tauron, before Tauron hit one of The Kegs into Iron-Awe, tearing off some of the anti-spinner dynamite sticks. Iron-Awe get stuck over the flame pit for a while, before escaping, but those anti-spinner devices are quite possibly the most useless I’ve actually seen this series.

Tauron go to attack Iron-Awe again, and actually end up mounting them, but Iron-Awe doesn’t fire the flipper. As we find out, that’s because the flipper doesn’t actually work. Infact not much is going right for Iron-Awe so far, because their next play sees them drive straight into Sir Killalot. Not really the smartest of moves.

Iron-Awe and Tauron seem to be having quite the battle. The Kegs are trying to get involved, but aren’t really doing much. But Tauron and Iron-Awe are really going at it, and Tauron tear some more of the anti-spinner sticks off, proving they aren’t anti-spinner at all.

Shattered Sticks
Shattered Sticks

Tauron then turn their attention away from Iron-Awe and onto The Kegs. They come across, targeting one of the robots. But when their bar spinner connects with the bar spinner of The Kegs, it shatters the connections and fires The Kegs’ spinning bar all the way across the arena, breaking something and scaring Dara O Briain half to death. They may not be built very well, but they sure break apart spectacularly. Like a discount Apex.

The other Kegs bot activates the pit release button, which lets loose the Rogue House Robots! And Sir Killalot, right next to the button, try to take out that machine first. They evade, and Killalot instead jams Tauron into the wall, but only for a brief moment, before Iron-Awe becomes a target. Now free, Tauron goes after one of The Kegs and connects well, sending them spinning through the air.

Air Roll
Air roll

The Kegs are now dead, and Iron-Awe are being chipped away at by Tauron’s bar spinner, which is relentlessly looking to cause damage, especially as Iron-Awe has no working flipper. But none of the blows cause any real, serious damage and Iron-Awe continues to function well enough to run away. But they also do some of the chasing too, and one of those chases end with Tauron driving right up Iron-Awe, and getting stuck. Sir Killalot has to separate them but when they do, both robots seem to have stopped working properly.

Iron-Awe moves, just, then stops. Tauron doesn’t move at all. Eventually both robots are as still as the rest of the arena, and a countdown is called. It’s so, so close, but as Iron-Awe were the last of the robots to stop working, they’re going through to the semi-finals. Not bad for a robot without a flipper.

Warzone
Warzone

Melee 2: Concussion v Nuts 2 v Androne 4000

Melee 2 S10E04

Well Iron-Awe may have somewhat lucked their way into the semi-finals, but there are more robots and more challengers lying in wait. Now they must also fight it out to determine the one robot going straight into the semi-finals.

Concussion S10

Concussion are one of last year’s grand finalists, but they suffered a premature end to their championship aspirations. Now they’re back with a polished, sleeker machine to try and boost those aspirations. The weapon has been improved to spin at 7000rpm, 1000rpm more than it did last series. The armour has been updated and their removable link is custom 3D printed to lower the chances of it falling out. There are new internal parts too, giving Concussion a full rework for this series.

Androne 4000 S10

Here’s something we don’t see particularly often in Robot Wars these days, a full on crusher! The original series saw robots such as Tiberius, Ming and, most famously, Razer. But the reboot seems to have a distinct lack of crushers, probably due to the advanced armours competitors now use. So now I give you, Androne 4000, an honest-to-God crusher. It not only has a cool name, but it also has a couple of front wedges to draw robots in, and a 4000psi ram crusher. Will it work? Well, Androne could certainly cause a stir.

Nuts 2 S10

Nuts 2, the evolution of everyone’s favourite flailbot Nuts, suffered in the first round of the 9th wars when one of the wheels failed, and they got drop kicked out of the arena by Matilda’s flywheel. Now they’re back with a robot that’s gone from adorable to brutal. Using a technology called ‘Meltybrain’, Nuts 2 can both spin on the spot and move forward, making it a full body spinner, spinning at over 500rpm with 3m long flails acting as the teeth of the spinner. Plus, they also have a pair of wedge minibots to assist. Is this the start of a new, more deadly Nuts, or is it still just cannon fodder?

Now to see who will be the invited guest of the arena, the house robot. Straight from the scrapyard, it’s Dead Metal!

Whilst Nuts get up to speed at the start of the fight, Androne charge straight for Concussion, ramming into them before the drum can get up to speed, then sticking to them as they try to get away. As Concussion run from Androne, they run straight into Nuts, and the flail strikes them, hard.

At first, it’s hard to see what damage the flail caused. But on closer inspection, it’s clear to see that one of the flails hit a bullseye on Concussion’s wheel, completely deforming it and rendering it useless. Concussion are now limping on one wheel.

Bullseye
Bullseye

Androne are still particularly interested in Concussion, especially now they’ve been wounded, but Androne seems to lack the control to really get Concussion under control and get the crusher in. Meanwhile, one of Nuts’ minibots takes a ride on the floor flipper. Because why not? As Androne and Concussion battle, it draws them back into Nuts, which lands another blow, though this one less damaging. Androne and Concussion then take their battle to the floor flipper which, after a slight delay, tosses them up into the air, and actually turns Concussion over.

This gives Androne even more of an imperative to actually score a good hit, and eventually they actually do. The claw is slow to come down, but it comes down and pierces Concussion, trapping them together.

Trapped in the claw
Trapped in the claw

But with them both trapped together, they stop moving completely. Not even a couple of harsh bumps from Dead Metal can get them to break apart. And, with no movement, the judges have no option but to count both of the robots out.

Which means, perhaps surprisingly, Nuts 2 have won the melee! And they’re going all the way to the semis, no stops along the way.


Nuts 2 and Iron-Awe 6, perhaps not the semi-finalists that were expected but the ones that are there. But that means that some powerful robots are in danger of going out earlier than they would have like. Much earlier.

 

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Robot Review: Vulture (S10E03)

Vulture were another of the new robots to enter into this war, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the warzone. Not content with just the one weapon to attack competitors with, Vulture went ahead and combined two weapons into one. A 6000rpm vertical spinning blade on a pivot that turned it into an axe made up this custom, hybrid weapon, giving it two routed of attack. The robot runs at a respectable 16mph and has a front wedge-like scoop to draw opponents up to the blade as it comes down. The robot, however, is brand new, and that means it has yet to be battle tested.


And what better way to test it than against robots that share similar traits? Apex have a spinner, whilst Terrorhurtz have a powerful axe. Both powerful robots, and a tough test.

The start of the fight is fairly tame for Vulture, with Terrorhurtz and Apex taking more of an interest in each other than in their other opponent. They still stay in an around their competitors, trying to jump in wherever they have the opportunity to try and bring the disc down. On initial observation, it’s clear to see that the axe part of the weapon is quite slow to fire, making it more of an arm than an axe. They do strike their first hit when Terrorhurtz back into them, so at least we know the weapon works.

Grinder.PNG
Grinder

After this, Terrorhurtz start to go after Vulture, and bring it down time after time, bashing against the steel armour that Vulture is clad with. Vulture can barely get the weapon to reach Terrorhurtz, but that doesn’t matter when Terrorhurtz strike a hit right below Vulture’s weapon mechanism, jamming the axe and getting the two robots stuck together.

They push backwards and forwards, but Terrorhurtz have more power and get Vulture over the flame pit, where Apex decides to join the party. Shunt tries to free them, and when the robots finally break apart, Vulture have not come off well. One of the wheels has locked and they’re going in circles. The weapon still works, because other robots keep driving into it, but other than that, they’re stranded.

Because they can only move in circles, the decision is made by the judges, and Vulture is counted out.


So, a Robot redemption the Vulture team must face. But who are they coming up against? Another newcomer, in the shape of Bucky The Robot. Yes, the wacky biter bot was next on the list of Vulture’s competitors.

To say Bucky are slippery customers would be putting it lightly. Early on Vulture continuously try to get the spinning disc down on their opponent but the arm isn’t actually long enough for them to reach Bucky’s main body. So now they’re basically stuck pushing them. The good news is Bucky can’t do too much to them either… Except when Vulture screw up themselves. Trying to get around Bucky, Vulture drive over the floor flipper and are tossed over. They can self-right with the arm, but in doing so find themselves in Bucky’s grasp.

Vulture get taken on a quick trip to Dead Metal, but nothing too bad comes out of it. With neither robot able to cause the other damage, the arena hazards are proving the trickiest obstacles, and Vulture very almost slide straight down the pit at one point. To add to their misery, the weapon also stops working, leaving them as a push bot.

But not to fear! Because they can get around Bucky’s awkward shape and push them about no problem. And that, in the end, is how they win it, by pushing Bucky around and onto the floor flipper, where they are unable to self-right. Perhaps not the greatest fight ever, but Vulture won’t care seeing as they’ve survived.


The reward for survival is a place in the semi-finals, but that means a fight against Terrorhurtz once again. The axe of doom and mayhem took them out in the melee, so Vulture have their work cut out reversing their fortunes.

Unfortunately for Vulture, Terrorhurtz are in no mood to go easy on them. We already know Vulture’s weapon can barely scratch Terrorhurtz’s armour and that leaves Vulture running away, essentially. But Terrorhurtz rain down the blows right from the start. One hit lands on their side and another on the wedge, but then one strike hits their top armour, tearing it off the robot.

Forceful Disassemblement
Pillow fight

The weapon’s mechanism is next to be targeted, and one blow on that is enough to destroy the weapon completely. There are some more superficial hits sustained but the next vital piece to go on the robot is one of the wheels. Amazingly, Vulture are still moving, just about.

Terrorhurtz and Vulture, not for the first time you’ll recall, get lodged together again, this time requiring the aid of Matilda to separate them, even though that results in Vulture being flipped over. I have no idea how they’re still going out there, but they continue to take hit after hit and just keep driving.

Having landed so many good hits, Terrorhurtz run out of gas for their weapon, so it becomes a pushing match, something Vulture used to their advantage in the previous fight. Not so much this time; The major results are the Fog of War being triggered twice in a row, with Vulture ending up with Dead Metal after the first time and on the flame pit the second. They do manage to go the whole 3 minutes, but end the fight pretty much pushed in a corner.

Unsurprisingly, they aren’t victorious.


Now, normally a defeat in the semi-final would bring you one final fight in the 3rd place playoff, to see if you get into the 10 way melee. Unfortunately for Vulture, Terrorhurtz gave them such an ass whooping that they can’t actually repair the robot in time, and have to forfeit.

ws 2.jpg


So how did Vulture do? Well, the robot certainly had a wacky design, and one that looked like it could be a powerful competitor if all the elements came together well. unfortunately the weapon, as good as it looked, just didn’t quite cut it (Or anything else for that matter), and the robot was too prone to breaking down. Of course a large part of this was Terrorhurtz’s fault, and Vulture did show that they have the capability with their win over Bucky. Had they repaired the robot in time, I think we would have seen them beat Track-tion and get into the 10 way. Maybe next time.

Expectation v Result (4th – 4th): +0
Accidental attacks: +1
Going round in circles: -2
The defeater of dreams (And Bucky The Robot): +8
Hit so hard they had to forfeit their chance in the 10 way to an after school club: -4
BONUS: Design Level 1000: +2

Robot Rating (Vulture): 5/10

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: Bucky The Robot (S10E03)

OK so I’m not very good at keeping to a schedule, but seeing as we have two weeks until the next episode, this just helps to pass the time. So bear with me for the next couple of days as I finish off the Robot Reviews for Bucky The Robot and Vulture, and then we can get into the recap of yesterday’s episode.


So, Bucky The Robot. Other than having a cool name and bringing Dara O Briain’s love interest a mascot along with them, Bucky is also a very unique robot. We all know about crusher robots, but I think a biter bot is something just that little bit more left field. Add to that the fact that the robot actually looks like a pair of false teeth on wheels, complete with decorative winding mechanism, and Bucky brings the weird and the wonderful out of robot wars. The idea of the false teeth is to clamp down on a robot so that they can be dragged into arena hazards, with less focus on actually causing damage. And, thanks to the way the robot is built, it looks like a pain in the ass to get control over if you’re another robot.


Bucky’s first taste of action in Robot Wars came in a melee with the ultra high-tech flipper Rapid and school club project Track-tion. So more of the weird and the wonderful.

Watching Bucky amble around the arena was quite an enjoyable experience, with the clunky opening and closing of the false teeth very entertaining. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do them much good in terms of actually fighting. Not once do they actually manage to get a clamp on one of their competitors. Equally, nobody manages to get anything on them.

Track-tion soon goes out of the arena, leaving just Bucky and Rapid. Rapid easily slides under Bucky, but struggles to get enough of a handle on them to flip them over. That changes, however, when they get Bucky to the edge of the arena, and finally flip them over. Bucky goes half over the arena, hanging on quite literally by their teeth. And by firing the jaws repeatedly, they actually manage to wriggle themselves back in!

Eating The Arena
Eating the arena

Much of the rest of the battle follows the same pattern- Rapid getting underneath and pushing Bucky around, without any reply. Even Matilda got involved at one point, hitting Bucky with the flywheel. But, in the end, it was the arena floor spikes that finished Bucky off, tipping them over. With their jaws unable to flip them back over, Bucky were stranded, and counted out of the fight.


Next up, Robot Redemption. Bucky came up against one of the other new robots for the series, Vulture, looking for revenge.

It’s an interesting start to proceedings, because neither robot can actually get a hold of each other with their weapons. Vulture’s axe blade can’t reach Bucky and Bucky can’t get underneath Vulture to clamp down. Prepare for frustration to the extreme.

But that would assume everything stays as it is. Vulture, perhaps because they don’t fully know how the arena works, drive over the floor flipper and get sent flying over. As they recover, that gives Bucky the perfect opportunity to finally get a clamp in, for the first time this episode!

False bite
Bite me

They push Vulture into Dead Metal, but then the tables turn and they find themselves being attack by Dead Metal, but manage to get out of there as quickly as possible. So the chase continues, and then the pushing and shoving ensues, but no robot is any closer to actually besting the other. Vulture’s weapon dies, but Bucky can’t gain an advantage from it. Vulture have the greater pushing power.

And it’s that pushing power that does over Bucky in the end. Vulture push Bucky over to the floor flipper, which flips them onto their side. Much like the melee, Bucky have no way of self-righting. For the second fight in a row, it is their downfall, and they are going home.


So how did Bucky do? Well the robot certainly sported a crazy design, with a crazy idea for a weapon and if it worked, then it would have been amazing. Unfortunately, Bucky just couldn’t pull it off. For a weapon like that, they have to have perfect control over their competitors, and Bucky just didn’t have that. They couldn’t get under either Rapid or Vulture and that left them vulnerable, and the lack of a self-righter was their ultimate downfall. Still, they were a lot of fun, and it’s good to see new and interesting designs on the show. Plus, we all know Dara is a fan…

Friends for life
Dara x Bucky 4eva

Expectation v Result (Bottom 2 – Bottom 2): +0
No clamp, no hope: -1
Death by arena spikes: -2
Eating the Vulture: +2
The self-righting problem to end all problems: -2
BONUS: Eating the arena side wall: +3
BONUS: Dara x Bucky 4eva: +3

Robot Rating (Bucky The Robot): 3/10

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: Apex (S10E03)

Also known as “The Best Worst Performance By Any Robot Since The Reboot”


Apex came into the 10th Wars with a ‘go big or go home’ kind of attitude, perhaps in part to try and make up for what was a disappointing showing in the 9th wars, where they got knocked out by the first hit. What is the best way to gain revenge for an early exit? A bigger, crazier, more powerful weapon of course.

A small yet nifty robot at 18mph, Apex was an almost triangular shaped robot with two wedged points defining the front of the robot. But the body of the robot is only a small part of the story, because the main part of Apex is of course its horizontal, overhead spinning weapons. There are two of them this series, with the solid bar spinner coming in at almost 40kg, and an asymmetric spinning bar that weighs not that much less. With the bars able to get up to 1800rpm, that makes them a venomous pair of weapons and not ones anybody would want to get up against at full speed. However, one of Apex’s problem points, the bar does take a while to actually get up to full speed.


For their initial melee, Apex got drawn with the notoriously spinner resistant Terrorhurtz and newcomers Vulture. Not the easiest fight to try and re-establish yourself, but not an impossible task.

And yet, in the first phase of play Apex went straight for Terrorhurtz. The asymmetrical bar, having not got up to full speed, stuck Terrorhurtz, but all of the energy went back into Apex causing it to fly off the ground, and one of the nuts connecting the weapon to fly off Apex. So now, they have no working weapon. Again.

Bolt From The Blue.PNG
Bolt from the blue

So now all Apex can do is run away, get whacked by Terrorhurtz’s axe and run away some more. They do take a moment to hit the pit release button, giving us the almighty Fog of War, but it doesn’t really help them. The only help they get is when Terrorhurtz get their axe stuck in Vulture, and Apex uses that opening to drive into the mass of conjoined robot and create a glorified pile on. Apex without a weapon isn’t exactly the most useful robot in the arena.

Amazingly, Vulture happen to die before Apex, but it’s not much of an existence when the entire rest of the battle is just Terrorhurtz battering Apex’s weapon into a completely new shape. Perhaps it isn’t surprising then when the robot eventually comes to a stop just by the arena spikes, with smoke calmly venting out of the robot.


But hey, there’s still the Robot Redemption to go, right? And Apex have a robot they felt they could probably beat in Track-tion to face. For this, the even heavier bar spinner was attached to combat Track-tion’s new scoop.

But nothing ever quite goes to plan, does it. Track-tion’s lack of mobility allows Apex to get the bar up to full speed, and they go on the attack. The bar hits Track-tion’s scoop and Apex bounces off. But now the robot is off balance, and with the force of the spinning bar so powerful, Apex completely loses control, the bar shearing its supports and violently disassembling itself from the robot. Apex flies one way into the arena side wall, whilst the bar launches itself so hard in the other direction that it wholly obliterates the protective glass around the arena as it goes through, before slamming into the floor outside the arena, where it finally comes to rest.

Shreddies
HADOUKEN

The audience, team members and judges all collectively jump back in shock, their lives briefly flashing before their eyes. But when all comes to rest, and cease is called, Sir Killalot does the noble thing and dumps Apex in the pit for their crimes against the arena.

What the hell
Me too Craig, me too

So, how did Apex do? Well, It was exciting at least. I mean, I’ve never seen such a violent self-destruction of a robot in Robot Wars… Ever. Apex is so ridiculously powerful, with the heaviest bar spinners, if something was going to go wrong, it was going to be spectacular. And my God, that was spectacular. I think if Apex ever enters another arena again, the arena is going to need twice the amount of protection. The robot genuinely scares me.

Expectation v Result (3rd – Bottom 2): -3
One hit and the weapon stops working: -2
One hit and the weapon quite literally tears the robot apart: -5
BONUS: The Curse of Craig Danby strikes again: +5

Robot Rating (Apex): -5/10 (Because it’s worth it).

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 S10E03 Part 3: Throwdowns & Forefits

I had a rather horrific migraine yesterday, and I’m still somewhat feeling the effects of it today, so don’t expect me to write the most coherent article you’ve ever seen. Might also take me about 7 hours to finish it.

Regardless, the show will go on. Although, having just seen Apex shit itself in half, I’m not sure what other surprises we could see in this episode that would top that. With Terrorhurtz and Rapid tearing it up, they’re likely the place to go to see the real action.


Semi-Final 1: Rapid v Track-tion

SF1 S10E03

Here’s one that could cause an almighty upset. Rapid were so impressive in their opening melee, and even threw Track-tion out of the arena in that battle, that anything other than a Rapid victory would be a massive shock. But hey, Track-tion just saw off Robot Wars’ biggest bar spinner, so anything is possible.

Your house robots are Shunt, and Matilda! Not that they have anything to do in this battle, whatsoever. Set your watches, because you’re about to witness one of the shortest battles in history.

Track-tion are once again nervous out of the starting blocks, and Rapid take advantage of that my driving up to them, driving under them, and then tossing them straight after the arena! SIX SECONDS! Track-tion didn’t stand a bloody chance.

Celebration
Celebration

Rapid, well aren’t they on a roll. The machine looks fierce, and long may it continue.


Semi-Final 2: Terrorhurtz v Vulture

SF2 S10E03

Terrorhurtz, who were also a dominant force in their melee, come back up against one of their former conquests in Vulture. Vulture struggled to get the disc to damage Terrorhurtz’s armour last time out and were instead the recipient of some hefty attacks. The question for them is how much they can use that weapon, given the fact that it died midway through their fight with Bucky. For Terrorhurtz, can they continue the run?

Your house robots this time round are Dead Metal and Matilda. Will they have things to do in this fight? Let’s find out!

Terrorhurtz go on the attack straight away, landing a hard hit on Vulture, enough to throw some sparks into the air. Vulture retaliate by running away, trying to get around the side of the robot where the axe can’t hit them. But it doesn’t quite work out, when Terrorhurtz back them into the corner, then hit them so hard it sends the armour reinforcement Vulture had strapped to the armour flying off.

Forceful Disassemblement
Forceful Disassemblement

That’s just the start, because Terrorhurtz are quick to continue the attack, landing another hit on the armour and then one on the weapon mechanism itself. Vulture have no response to the onslaught, and do their best to just get out of there. Terrorhurtz continue to rain down the axe blows, and the one that landed on Vulture’s weapon not only made for a good hit,  it disabled the weapon completely.

All Vulture can do it run. They have no weapon, and their armour is being pummelled by Terrorhurtz at every opportunity. They’re sitting ducks in the arena, and there isn’t too much they can do about it. Terrorhurtz get Vulture into a corner again, and then the next axe blow strikes one of the wheels! They’re tearing Vulture apart, one part at a time.

Recoil
Recoil

Terrorhurtz try to capitalise on their situation, but their next axe blow not only lands, it gets stuck in Vulture, and the axe won’t come back out. Not the first time it’s happened in this heat. Matilda comes across and tries to force them apart, but it’s quite a tough situation. Finally Matilda has enough of it, and uses the tusks to flip Vulture all the way over. Vulture can self-right, but it has at least detached the two robots.

After that, it’s back to business as usual. Vulture are going in circles, and have no spinning weapon, so for Terrorhurtz it’s a fairly easy target. Vulture do their best to get away, but Terrorhurtz are forever advancing on them, and wearing them away.

Striking Fear
Striking fear

But then, Terrorhurtz stop using the axe. And now it’s a push and shove contest. Can Vulture get back into it?

It all gets very tactical, with both robots zipping around each other and looking for an opening. Well, Terrorhurtz is zipping around, Vulture still has just one working wheel. Eventually though Vulture manage to crawl their way over to the pit release button, and down comes THE FOG, OF WAR! As aesthetically fun as the Fog of War is, it also has a more sinister purpose as Vulture find out when they’re nearly snagged by Dead Metal in the ensuing chaos. But then the button gets hit again, And Fog of War comes down, AGAIN!

This time is just as lethal for Vulture, who end the Fog of War stuck on the flame pit. After being trapped for a few seconds, they manage to get themselves off. Time is now very much up, and the clock counts down, but both robots have survived! And now we must await a decision from the judges.

So, who won? Vulture or Terrorhurtz? Well, it probably wasn’t the hardest decision. Terrorhurtz caused all of the damage and were the most aggressive. They ran out of CO2 for the axe about half way through which evened it up slightly, but Vulture were always going to struggle with no weapon and only one working wheel. Terrorhurtz through to the heat final!


3rd Place Playoff: Vulture v Track-tion

Vulture, like Track-tion, drop out from the Semi-Finals and into the 3rd place playoff. Whoever wins the playoff also wins a spot in the 10 way melee to determine the wildcard.

Unfortunately for Vulture, Terrorhurtz gave them such a beat down that they can’t actually repair their robot in time for the 3rd place playoff, and become the first robot to forfeit this series. Which means, against all the odds, Track-tion are in the 10 way melee!


Heat Final: Terrorhurtz v Rapid

Final S10E03

So here we are, the heat final. Whilst this was a very open heat on paper, both Rapid and Terrorhurtz have blitzed the opposition and very much deserve to be in this final. It’s going to be a meeting of the great powers as axe takes on flipper; Terrorhurtz can self-right, but they only have a limited supply of gas to power that axe. Rapid meanwhile have a very powerful flipper, but questions still loom over their reliability.

Your house robots for this battle are Dead Metal and Shunt! With a pace in the grand final up for grabs, let’s get this battle underway!

Straight away, it’s clear that Rapid have the lower ground clearance of the two robots, which is crucial for them given they have a flipper to operate. Rapid do get underneath Terrorhurtz, but instead of trying to flip them there and then, they instead use their leverage to push them onto the floor flipper, which does the work for them. Terrorhurtz self-rights, but Rapid are right back at it, and use the floor flipper as a hazard for a second time.

A duel of hazards
A duel of hazards

Terrorhurtz are desperate to self-right, because Rapid have quite a handle on them at the moment. Rapid continue to slowly push them towards the edge of the arena, knowing full well that they could toss them out, but Terrorhurtz manage to right themselves just in time. Rapid still manage to get them into the corner of the arena, with the only thing in Terrorhurtz’s favour being the extra armour panelling on Rapid coming loose.

Not content with one corner, Rapid gather up Terrorhurtz and push them into the other corner of the arena, a corner in which Dead Metal is more than happy to take Terrorhurtz as prey. For Terrorhurtz, they’re lucky to escape without any damage. Still, Rapid are well on top, pushing them around. They’re not using their flipper though, trying not to waste flips until they can get Terrorhurtz into the right position to flip them out.

But, as they’re trying to win the war of brute force, Terrorhurtz finally manage to get the axe down and land a hit on the edge of Rapid’s flipper. And again, another hit that this time completely removes the extra armour. But Rapid don’t give up the advantage for long, and once again push Terrorhurtz into Dead Metal. Terrorhurtz get away but leave themselves in a vulnerable position, and Rapid finally get their first flip in, and only narrowly fail to get Terrorhurtz out!

Living on the edge
Life on the edge

The thing is, when Rapid fire their flipper, it takes a while to come back down, so now Terrorhurtz are on the chase, but they miss with their axe swing. Now Rapid are back in, and flip Terrorhurtz into the arena side wall, where they bounce off. More chasing happens, until Rapid chase Terrorhurtz back onto the floor flipper once again. Terrorhurtz may get tossed over, but they do get an axe blow in before that happens.

But after this, have the tables turned? Because the next phase of play sees Terrorhurtz take the upper hand. Rapid run into trouble- a trouble called Dead Metal- who manage to inflict some saw based misery, before Terrorhurtz come in and land a hard blow to Rapid’s rear end. Terrorhurtz almost get tangled in it, but just about escape.

Except, they escape right into Rapid’s clutches. Now with all control taken away from them, Rapid can finally drive them all the way over to the side of the arena and do what they’ve wanted to do all fight, and toss them out of the arena!

Falling down a hole
Falling down a hole

And so there we have it, Rapid in the Grand Final! It’s been a much needed improvement for them since the 9th wars, and now they look more than capable of going all the way. For Terrorhurtz, they now find their way into the 10 way melee, where they face a battle against some great robots to see who will get that wildcard.

All in all, the Grand Final is shaping up very nicely indeed.

 

Robot Wars S10E03 Part 2: Self Destruct Mode Activated

Also known as: “The Curse Of Craig Danby Strikes Again… Again”

We’ve seen the weird and the wonderful go through their first battles, with varying results. Rapid look much improved, and a lot more reliable, whilst Terrorhurtz is bringing the rain like its S6 all over again. Whilst it perhaps makes sense that the robots with previous experience would get through, Bucky The Robot has proved to be a slippery customer, whilst Vulture’s design looks promising. For Bucky, Vulture, Apex and Track-tion, they all now have to go through the redemption knockout to decide who will go through to the semi-finals, and who will go home completely.


Redemption Knockout 1: Track-tion v Apex

RK1 S10E03

Here’s an interesting battle. Apex didn’t really get going in their melee, with the robot suffering an axe blow from Terrorhurtz early on that immobilised the bar spinner, but they have a robot that on paper should tear up the competition. So who better to test it on than a bunch of school children, and their robot that didn’t really get going either, before they were launched out of the arena by Rapid. Track-tion do have an upgrade, however, with Vulture lending them a front wedge to try and deflect the blows from Apex. One goes through, one goes home. So at least one of them is going to come out with a first victory.

Your house robot for this encounter is the almighty lord of carnage himself, Sir Killalot, with the equally as deadly Dead Metal by his side. Battle!

If you’ve watched this fight, you know what’s going to come next. If you didn’t, well let’s just say things didn’t last for very long. Track-tion, whether because they couldn’t or more likely because they didn’t want to, barely moved once battle began. This gave Apex plenty of time to get their heavy, regular shaped spinning bar up to speed. They move forward, and briefly hit Track-tion before moving backwards.

And then, by the power of the Robot Gods, all hell breaks loose.

Apex, with the bar now well up to speed, can’t take the power of its own weaponry and spectacularly disassembles itself, shredding itself to pieces with the bar flying off the robot with such force, it smashes through the protective glass on the side of the arena! The actual robot itself is flung through the air and all the way to the other side of the arena, where they hit Killalot’s CPZ like a cannonball.

Riptide
RIPTIDE
Casualties of war
Aftermath
Aftermath
Casualty of war

I think it’s clear enough to say that Apex haven’t survived their own self-destruction. The robot is in pieces and even if the main body did work, it has no weapon. So, as cease is called to fix the arena, Killalot picks them up and puts them down where they belong, in the pit.

Disposable
Disposable

Bye bye Apex. See ya next year.


Redemption Knockout 2: Bucky The Robot v Vulture

RK2 S10E03

Onto the next one, then. Two robots that are looking for redemption, who hopefully won’t tear themselves to pieces quite so easily, are Vulture and Bucky The Robot. Both feature interesting, wacky designs with new or unusual weapons and a generally epic look about them. Unfortunately, one of those robots will be going home.

Your house robots for this battle are Dead Metal, and the madam of mayhem, Matilda! Let battle commence!

As the battle begins, it’s fairly obvious that the battle is going to be… different. Neither robot can really get a handle on the other, because of their weird shapes and designs. Vulture tries to make the first move by bringing the axe spinner down on Bucky, but it doesn’t have the reach for the disc to actually penetrate. Bucky try to bring the jaws down, but they can’t get underneath Vulture. It’s a tense fight.

But with every fight, there’s always the chance for the unexpected. Vulture are the reason for the unexpected this time, as they drive over the floor flipper and get tossed through the air. As they recover, they land on top of Bucky, and now the jaws can come down!

False bite
False bite

With Vulture in their jaws, they manoeuvre them into the path of Dead Metal, who brings his own saw down on the robot. But the tables soon turn when Bucky lets go, and now they’re the ones being hunted by Dead Metal. Fortunately for Bucky, they’re a bit big to handle easily, but Dead Metal still gets a few hits in before Bucky escapes. Whilst this is happening, the pit gets activated, adding yet another hazard to the arena.

As the battle rages on, Vulture once again steal the limelight when their weapon suddenly decides to give up on them, emitting a plume of smoke in the process. This gives Bucky an advantage, but Vulture are in no way out of it. And they take what they have and try to turn it into an advantage. They use their wedge to push Bucky towards the floor flipper, which flips them onto their side!

Sideline view
Sideline view

Bucky try to use their jaws to self-right, but they don’t have the power. The jaws just aren’t powerful enough to get them off their side, and they’re stranded. The clock counts down to the end of Bucky The Robot. They were great fun, but now it’s time to end.

But hey, at least Dara made a new friend, right?

Friends for life
Friends for life

Semi-Finals next. Can anybody beat the establishment, or will they continue to reign supreme?

 

Robot Wars S10E03 Part 1: The Weird And The Wonderful

I’ve recently realised, once again, how much of a mess the background to this blog is. I should probably change it, but I don’t have the first clue about designing things. The one person I know who does know how to design things is always at work… Designing things. Maybe I’ll change it, maybe I won’t. But if I do, rest assured it’ll be just as bad as it is now.


So, we’ve reached week 3 of Robot Wars the 10th Wars, which means we’re now at the official half way stage of the series. My God this has gone quickly. That’s the problem with having just 5 heats and a grand final, everything goes exceptionally quickly. But with the first two heats providing some exceptional battles, it’s been more than worth it so far. This heat, however, I wasn’t so sure about. After a heat with three different grand finalists, that was always likely going to be the case. There are still some experienced with Terrorhurtz, Rapid Apex all competing in the last wars, to varying degrees of success. But there are also three brand new robots that bring the weird and wonderful to Robot Wars, with Vulture, Track-tion & Bucky The Robot all bringing their own unique quirks to the warzone.

Now we know the robots competing, let’s get down to business.


Melee 1: Track-tion v Bucky The Robot v Rapid

Melee 1 S10E03

Bucky The Robot S10

Bucky The Robot, a wonderful living incarnation of a set of false teeth that comes complete with a mascot just to finish the team line-up. Robot Wars has always been a little crazy, from Granny’s Revenge to Ruf Ruf Dougal to Jellyfish, and Bucky The Robot continues that trend of showcasing wacky engineering. A ‘biter-bot’, the false teeth can clamp down on a competitor robot, either to pierce their armour or so that they can drag them into an arena hazard. The robot seems to lack in any strong armour, but a driving set of false teeth is such an awkward shape, it might just make them a pain in the ass to flip out. It would be kind of amazing to see a pair of false teeth win Robot Wars, it has to be said.

Track-tion S10

Suicidal Tendencies Track-tion is the first of this series’ inevitable school teams, and was built by a group of 12 and 13 year olds in their after school club, although they did have the help of Aftershock’s Will Thomas in the process. What they have come up with is a robot that greatly resembles a certain robot from the previous era. One of the only robots you see running on tracks (That isn’t Sir Killalot),, Track-tion brings a crushing claw into the arena as its weapon, and can exert 600kg of force on its opponents. Equally impressive, the robot can actually run both ways up. Not bad, not bad at all.

Rapid S10

Now this is not a robot new to Robot Wars. Rapid, the gold-plated, super engineered, ultra expensive robot that bombed out of the last series because they couldn’t reach their gearbox to repair it, are back and looking to right their early exit by changing not all that much. The robot is still as sleek and as polished as it was before (With the addition of a little bit of gold), and the flipper is still as powerful and well oiled as ever. The question now is how well the robot can stand up to the beating other competitors will give it, with the robot as complicated as ever.

With the competitors introduced, it’s time to introduce their additional companion in the arena. The house robot we get the pleasure of observing this time round, is none other than Jonathan Pearce’s long lost love, Matilda! Let’s begin!

The battle starts with Bucky opening the false teeth up ready to attack, before slamming them shut again- without anybody caught in them, I should add. Rapid, who are hanging back at the start, get involved when Bucky comes across them and drive backwards into the pit release button. Which of our wonderful creations do we get this time? THE FOG, OF WAR!

Bucky looks amazing amongst the fog, but it doesn’t do anything to mix up the competition. Track-tion, who has yet to actually do much in the battle, drive over the floor spikes, which bolt up and turn the robot over. But the good thing about Track-tion, as mentioned earlier, is that they are invertible. But it means the weapon system isn’t going to be any good anymore. They still try to get it in with Bucky, but then Rapid come across, steal them from under Bucky’s nose, and flip them straight out of the arena!

Out and out
Out and out

Now there are just two. Bucky momentarily get stuck on the flame pit, but escape just in time to drive up Rapid’s flipper. Rapid is so low to the floor, Bucky have no chance of getting underneath themselves, but they’re also such an awkward shape that Rapid can’t get a decent flip in either. Bucky don’t seem particularly afraid of Rapid, but it’s pretty much turning into a case of Rapid chasing Bucky around the arena.

It’s really quite entertaining, watching Bucky evade each attack like a slippery eel, driving up the flipper and then sliding back off to run away again. But Rapid will not give up, and eventually manage to get something that resembles success when they actually land a flip, and send Bucky over the side wall… Kind of. They send half of Bucky over the side wall. I’ll let the picture do the rest of the talking.

Eating The Arena
Eating the arena

But somehow, by biting against the arena, Bucky manage to get themselves free! And so the battle continues. But Rapid are well on top at this point, pushing Rapid around the arena like a car valet service. And Bucky, they have no response to this. All they can do is continue to try to evade capture. Rapid do manage to get a flip in, but then they land the killer blow by pushing Bucky onto the arena spikes, which do like they did to Track-tion and flip them over. Bucky, with no power left, can’t right themselves, and that is that.

Well OK, not quite. Technically Bucky weren’t immobilised before the 3 minutes were up, so we have to go to the judges! Let’s be honest though, it’s fairly obvious who the winner is, and it isn’t the pair of false teeth. Viva Rapid.


Melee 2: Terrorhurtz v Apex v Vulture

Melee 2 S10E03

Apex S10

First on the scene is Apex, a robot that promised so much last series and yet went out after just one hit, thanks to experimental techno-bot Pulsar. Now they’re back, they’re rocking their own experimental tech in the arena. The robot is a small, compact robot with twin front spikes at the front to help get under robots if the bar isn’t up to speed yet. Talking of the horizontal bar, their primary weapon, it is a monster. There are actually two of them, with one of the bars looking like a contempory art piece and the other looking like a jacked up wrench. But not only do they look the part, they have the stats to back them up. Both bars weigh upwards of 38kg, making them the heaviest in the competition, whilst also having the widest reach of any bar spinner at approximately 1.2m. The only drawback for them is the slow spin up time, which could limit the effectiveness of the weapon.

Vulture S10

Another new robot! Vulture is a robot that combines two different weapons into one, and would probably be more accurate if it was called Scorpion. The main weapon is a 6000rpm spinning disc that can cut through robots in much the same way as Dead Metal, and that weapon is attached to an overhead swinging bar, which can work like an axe. The robot has a front scoop to draw robots onto the weapon, and to stop other people from getting under them. The robot, however, is untested, and that could work against it.

Terrorhurtz S10

Ah Terrorhurtz, old hands at robot combat and yet, they’ve never gone all the way on a televised series. They have won championships outside of the TV wars, so we know that they’re capable. A robot tirelessly upgraded and reworked, it is built around a powerful, double headed axe that bludgeons robots to death, and armour tough enough that they stopped Carbide in S8. With this such an open wars, could Terrorhurtz finally go all the way?

But who is going to be patrolling the arena? Well one axe wasn’t enough, so now we have another one! Shunt is your house robot, and he’s ready to cause trouble. Battle!

The battle begins with all robots congregating towards each other, looking to get right into the action. Apex and Terrorhurtz crash into each other, and Apex crazy looking spinning bar is right back to a standstill without having had the chance to even spin up. Terrorhurtz then lands a good hit, showing that the axe might actually work properly this time around.

Terrorhurtz continue their assault, landing another hit right onto the spinning bar, which has given up working already. Vulture finally get involved in the action, but the disc only catches their opponents in passing, and not in any sustained contact. Then Terrorhurtz get a foothold on them, and start to push them around. Certainly, Terrorhurtz on top. Apex, who have no offensive weaponry, resort to hitting the pit release button, and out comes the fog of war again!

Terrorhurtz seem to have a thing about Vulture, probably because they have a working weapon. The axe keeps coming down, landing a hit here and there, but then one hit lands in the almost perfect place, right below the weapon system.

Perfect hit
Perfect strike

The thing is, the axe is now stuck in Vulture, and Terrorhurtz can’t get it out. So they best they can do is try a pushing match, which is easier said than done. It’s very much a back and forth based on who has traction at that point, and neither robot is getting anywhere. Terrorhurtz does however manage to swing Vulture around onto the flame pit, where they stay. Apex, who have been keeping themselves to themselves, decide to get in on the action and just drive into the mangled mess. They then get stuck themselves.

Pile on
Pile on

With nobody moving, Shunt comes in to break things up, though it takes a few goes to actually split the robots apart. When they do, it’s clear that Vulture is worse for wear out of the three. Their arm isn’t moving freely (Although the disc is), and the robot is now moving in circles. It’s fair to say, they’re pretty much done for. Unable to move freely, they are counted out.

Now it’s up to Apex and Terrorhurtz to battle it out, though Apex are still somewhat on the ropes with no working weapon. Terrorhurtz are the aggressors, chasing and pushing Apex around, and even trying to land a few hits. One hit misses, however, but is powerful enough to send Terrorhurtz flying over. Fortunately for them, they self right. And they go back on the charge, pushing Apex into the spikes.

Where Apex stop completely. Smoke begins to come out of the robot, and that looks like it’s curtains. Terrorhurtz are joining Rapid in the semi-finals! And well deserved too.
The question is, who is going to join them?