After the fun that was Robot Wars S08E01, this week saw another set of unlucky competitors fight it out to gain a coveted spot in the week 6 finals. A range of robots, from spinners to lifters to axes, fighting it out in a battle to the death- or to who can stay out of the pit for the longest. There was more destruction, carnage and also quite possibly the worst fight I have ever witnessed on Robot Wars. Seriously, if you thought Dominator 2 vs. Hypno-Disc from the 5th wars was an atrocious battle, you’ve seen nothing yet. Even Jonathan Pearce and Noel Sharkey (World’s greatest ponytail) thought the match was an abomination, and Noel Sharkey is possibly the wisest man ever to grace Robot Wars, so you should probably listen to him. He also favourites my tweets about him on Twitter, so there’s that too. It’s always fun seeing roboteers in my mentions during the programme, although I’m fairly used to interacting with the Team Storm crew from even before the reboot started up, because they are my favourite team that are here this year. You guys rock.
Team Storm and Storm 2, if you’re wondering, are appearing in week 4, also known as the week of death- mainly thanks to the inclusion of Eruption- so I’d prepare for me to just go on and on about them. Especially if they end up going out in the first round.
Anyway, onto the main event and the programme itself. I’ve never known if it’s program or programme, but the later sounds more sophisticated, so I’ll stick with that. We get the same intro this week as we did last week, and the fact I re-watched last week’s episode about 5 times, not least to write some of these articles, means this is the 7th time I’ve seen this intro. An intro that gives off the illusion M.R Speed Squared is going to actually do well, whereas in reality that hit on Draven is basically the only damage it is going to do the entire episode. We also see Carbide from last week, Apollo (Cool name, good flipper), Eruption (Also a cool name, also a good flipper), and Terrorhurtz, also from last week. We also get a recap from what happened in last week’s episode- something Dara does in about half the time, and with half the effort, than what it took me to write my recaps. Someone give me his job.
The actual programme starts with Dara in the centre of the arena. I almost can’t help but wonder what would happen if he accidentally took a wrong turn whilst talking and fell into the pit. Angela, meanwhile, is walking through the pits, which are full of last week’s competitors. So much for linearity.
Of course, we get the complimentary go-over about how the battles work. It’s fairly simple, but sometimes people need reminding if they don’t pour their entire lives into Robot Wars like I do. We start off with 2 heats of 4 robots, where 2 from each heat go through. Those 4 enter a round robin style tournament, where everyone faces everyone. Or at least, everyone faces what’s left of everyone else. Anyway, with that over, it’s on to our first heat of the night.
Heat 1: Tough As Nails v Shockwave v Disconstructor v Thor (The robot, not the god of thunder)
Our first heat sees Dutch competitors, and my favourites this week, Tough As Nails (TAN for short because I’m a lazy sod), discount Terrorhurtz (Thor), a robotic snowplough (Shockwave) and chunky Hypno-Disc (Disconstructor).
First up in the pits, Angela meets Jason and Thor, a rather hefty looking axe wielding maniac. I’ve seen Thor a few times at the live events, and it has a very powerful looking hammer blade axe. It’s a lot like Terrorhurtz, in the sense that it looks to smash up internal components, not put holes in them like Shunt. Shunt couldn’t give a crap about your internal organs. From what I’ve seen of it, it is rather susceptible to flippers. Then again, there aren’t really any flippers in this week’s competition. I mean there’s Foxic, but rather than a flipper, I’d be more inclined to call their weapon a disappointment.
Next up, Dara goes to see Shockwave, which is basically the love child of a snowplough and a panzer tank. Even the scoop itself it made of armour plating. Shockwave, it should be said, can drive at 20mph. That’s very, very fast.
Tough As Nails come all the way from The Netherlands, looking, well, Tough As Nails. Their robot is basically Dead Metal after he went on a diet, with one giant crushing pincer. There’s some fighting talk from the TAN crew… Not that it ended up being much use to them.
Disconstructor roll up with a spinning disc attached to a box. It’s angled downwards, either because they couldn’t fit it on straight or because they want to shred robots that are low to the ground. Either way, it just looks a bit… odd.
JP does the usual introductions, we see a short clip of Eruption getting shredded by something (Roll on Wk 4), and it’s time to begin. Oh, but not before the creepy electronic voice that haunts the arena introduces everyone again. I’d almost forgotten that was a part of Robot Wars. Shunt is our resident house robot for this event. It’s still a little odd only having one house robot, but I suppose the fact there are 4 robots going at each other probably helps in that respect.
The battle starts with TAN going straight for Disconstructor, then bouncing off its disc and driving straight into the wall. Good starts guys. Thor then decides to take a pot shot at TAN, but misses, sending the robot somersaulting through the air and onto its roof. Fortunately for Jason’s one man band, Thor can self-right. TAN, not one to shy away from proceedings, goes back for Disconstructor, who flies no less than half way across the arena when the two robots come into contact.
Everyone is getting a bit close to Shunt, a 4 way melee that has migrated with everyone attacking everyone. Disconstructor, however, looks a bit disoriented after contact with TAN, and rolls onto the floor flipper. Now, last week I tore into the guy who operates the floor flipper (And rightly so, I should add), but this week they were on point. And it gave me great pleasure to see Disconstructor fly through the air. I mean the robot is invertible(ish), so it doesn’t do much in that respect. But something is clearly wrong, allowing Shockwave to move in and drive them straight down the pit (Via bouncing them off the wall).
Now there are 3, and TAN has hold of Thor, which can’t really strike with the axe because of TAN’s odd shape. It’s a right push and shove match, but once Shockwave joins in, it becomes a bit of ‘Lets gang up on Tough As Nails’. Thor at first ends up taking a bit of a piggyback ride on Shockwave, but soon comes free. Not that it dissuades TAN, especially because the axe always falls short. Thor, as it turns out, has quite the pushing power, and manages to manhandle TAN all the way UP the side of the arena wall. Now, closer, Thor can rain hammer blows down.
And that’s where it all went wrong for TAN.
As Thor continued their assault, TAN’s removable link- the component that is basically an angel key to a robot’s electronics- fell out. No removable link, no working robot. All that was left is for Shockwave to push TAN around a bit, before sending it down into the pit. Game over, unfortunately. I was rather hoping TAN could do quite well, but there we go. That’s Robot Wars.
Heat 2: Chimera v Foxic v M.R Speed Squared v Draven
Moving on to our next heat, we see a matchup between the world’s worst imitation of Stinger- Robot Wars variety Stinger, not the 6 wheeled fire throwing lifter bot that lost out to a frickin’ children’s sandpit on Battlebots Stinger- (Chimera, wheels included), a box on wheels (Foxic), Chimera’s worst nightmare (M.R Speed Squared) and the least anticipated return of a robot, ever (Draven).
First in the pits, Dara chats to the Draven boys. Chatting about weaknesses, one of them just so happens to mention that they don’t like spinning discs. FORESHADOWING.
Next we see M.R Speed Squared. Now I don’t know about you, but I spent the entirety of the lead up to this episode pronouncing it M R Speed Squared- i.e. separating the letters. Supposedly, that’s not correct, and it’s Mr Speed Squared. Then again, last week we had Be-heeeeee-muth, so…
M.R Speed Squared, as it turns out, is only 5 weeks old and has no bottom panel because it was too heavy. What could possibly go wrong?
Then we see Foxic. Nobody cares about Foxic.
Chimera on the other hand is an interesting robot. For a start, it has wheels off a Ford Fiesta, which is both strange, innovative and probably quite stupid. Stinger at least had some protective hubcaps.
Dead Metal is in the arena for the house robots, and we’re ready to begin.
Instantly Draven goes after a rather stationary Foxic, but eventually the fox gets away. Chimera are rolling around doing not much, whilst M.R Speed Squared get their weapon up to speed. As soon as MRS^2 went after Chimera, the end result was inevitable. The full body spinning blade tore through the tyre with unparalleled ease.
Draven meanwhile is stalking Foxic, who… well I’m not actually sure what Foxic are doing. They’re not mobile, that’s for sure. Soon enough Draven get bored of Foxic and go for Chimera, but not before MRS^2 can come in again, and tear one of the wheels clean off.
Still, could be worse. You could be Cobalt.
Chimera, to their credit, are still sort of moving. They’re going round in circles, but it’s still about as much movement as Foxic, who seem to be attracted to the arena sidewall. MRS^2 meanwhile, having finished with Chimera, go after Draven. The result is, well, destructive. Draven attempt to run away, going after Foxic, who in turn are kind of attacking what’s left of Chimera. But M.R Speed Squared came in again, tearing yet more of the shell off Draven, but this time also taking apart something far more important. Draven, for all their worth, are now stopped dead in the arena, completely immobile. And with that, the battle is all but over.
Infact, thanks to the destructive power of M.R Speed Squared, Foxic- who did a grand total of literally f all in the entire battle (bar driving into the wall for 1 and a half minutes)- are going through. They are actually in the next round. It’s akin to last week, when Nuts managed to get through. The difference, however, is that Nuts actually tried. Foxic instead decided to have a seizure in the middle of the battle, but with the same end result.
Anyway, this is where I leave it for the moment. If you read the first recap, you’ll know these are split into 3 parts. Originally that was because of length issues, but this time round it’s more to protect consistency. At least tomorrow you can look forward to me recapping one of the worst battles, ever. Until then, I’ll finish it here.