Dantomkia. TR2. Big Nipper. King B Remix. Those are the four robots that have made it through the initial qualifier and into the head to heads. Sporting 3 UK Championships between them, it looked sure to be one hell of a head to head, where realistically anybody could win. Except King B, because, well, King B.
To go back to the first heat very quickly, after the fight had finished, we get to see the Overdozer boys wheeling their robot back into the pits- or at least what’s left of it. The good news is we get a cursory glance at Razer on the workbench as they do, just so we remember Razer actually competed in this series. I thought I’d add in that observation to this part of the recap, just because I’m fairly sure that wasn’t done accidentally.
After the second of the heats, we already know that TR2’s weapon wasn’t actually working. What we also find out is that Big Nipper’s spinning disc has been rather bent out of shape by the power and fury of Supernova. Damage all round!
Head to Head 1: Dantomkia v King B Remix
So our first head to head sees the mean, lean, yellow flipping machine of Dantomkia face off against King B Remix, a fight that already happened in the heat. In the heat, King B actually put a hole through Dantomkia’s armour, so there’s no guarantee either way of who the fight would go to, though Dantomkia were still heavy favourites (In my mind at least). In the pits, we get some fighting talk from the King B commander, followed by Dantomkia basically catching fire. Right then…
Of course, this is the part where we get the little videos that were very obviously shot before the battles took place. Mainly because of what is said in TR2’s video, but that comes later. For now we have two other robots, hence two other videos.
First video belongs to Dantomkia, where we meet the team that has taken over Michael Lambert’s machine is made up of managers. Bar managers, Arcade managers and even a managing consultant. They also have a faux science theme going on, because being managers just isn’t exciting enough for Robot Wars. Supposedly one of the best parts of robot fighting is watching people lose, which put the Dantomkia team on par with Foxic for levels of mock arrogance. Still, you need a few bad boys of Robot Wars every now and again.
King B on the other hand is actually run and built by an electronics engineer, so somebody who actually knows what they’re doing. That doesn’t mean the robot is actually any good, but it certainly sounds better than ‘Arcade Manager’. Supposedly the only problem King B sometimes have is that they set fire to their own motors. As you were…
Matilda and Dead Metal are in the arena for the house robots, because for some reason they seem to have forgotten that Shunt actually exists. The first two episodes featured all 4 house robots at some point, but in this one Shunt is nowhere to be seen. Probably out putting his axe in places it doesn’t really belong.
This battle is a battle of two very fast robots. DTK can get up to 22mph, one of the fastest in the series. King B can do a respectable 15mph, but it only weighs 100Kg, something that would have been fine in the old series, but now with a weight limit increase, leaves them a little light. The fight starts with both robots going straight for each other. King B finds itself basically bouncing off DTK most of the time, with the flipper robot unable to properly get in underneath.
Dantomkia, in trying to formulate a game plan, manage to run over and get stuck on the arena spikes, which have actually proven fairly useful over the course of the series, unlike the killsaws you see on Battlebots, which do a grand total of absolutely nothing. I’m still not entirely sure why the spikes always seem to create sparks though, but it’s a fun effect.
That is about as good as it’s going to get for King B, I’m afraid. Because in their next attack, Dantomkia actually manage to get in underneath the robot, push them across the arena and flip them onto the arena side wall, where they became stranded. With no purchase on the floor with any of their tyres, King B were finished. Dantomkia couldn’t quite get them out of the arena though- that job is left to Matilda, who uses those nasty little tusks of hers to get the job done.
And, as a result, King B Remix become the first robot to be sent out of the arena in the new series. Not quite a record I would want, to be honest.
And, as it turned out, King B turned the power up so much in that fight that they snapped their drive chain clean off. It’s not quite batteries catching fire, but Jesus Christ.
Head to Head 2: Big Nipper v TR2
Next up in the head to head battles, Big Nipper face off against TR2. Having completely messed up their vertical disc in the first round whilst butting heads with Supernova, Big Nipper decide to have a weapon change, and go with the crushing and lifting claws that made them so successful in the first place. We get the videos again, of course, where we get to see Big Nipper crush a metal bin. Because who doesn’t want to crush a bin? Apparently all the materials came from the local scrapyard, making Big Nipper Dead Metal’s long lost cousin… Of sorts.
Next we see TR2 and Alex, the 15 year old driver and captain of the team. This episode seems to be one for young captains, but Alex has a long history with robot combat, meaning that he’s still very experienced despite his age. TR2 is also an experienced robot, and even won the 2015 UK Championship, something I must have mentioned over the course of this recap about 19 different times. Alex claims in the video that he isn’t worried about anything going wrong with the robot, something that shows the videos are definitely recorded before the first battle (I mean we knew that anyway), because Tr2 spent the entirety of the heat with no working flipper.
Dead Metal and Matilda are the house robots once again, because the producers have no creativity.
The battle starts as they all start, with both robots rushing together. The problem for Big Nipper is TR2’s zero ground clearance at the flipper, which means they can’t get those claws in underneath to lift them up. Sensing the advantage, TR2 manages to manoeuvre to the side of Big Nipper, getting themselves in underneath instead, before driving them over to the side wall and flipping them over. Big Nipper is invertible, so that doesn’t matter so much, but with TR2’s flipper now definitely working, it gives Big Nipper a rather large hurdle to overcome.
TR2’s next attack sends Big Nipper right into the clutches of Dead Metal. They fight for a little while, with Big Nipper trying desperately to get away, but Dead Metal manages to get that sawblade down, causing what may look to be superficial damage, but certainly puts on a show. And it’s minus points for Big Nipper in the eyes of the judges.
TR2 continued the attack, though Big Nipper seemingly had managed to get their robot under control, managing to avoid most of the attacks that were thrown their way and stopping TR2 from getting any useful flips in. It would have been a good tactic to continue with, even though it wouldn’t have won them many plaudits with the judges or fans, in the hope that they could find a moment of weakness from TR2 and strike them.
Except that never happened.
I don’t know what it is with the new arena, but there is no doubt that it is a very slippery surface. It’s also apparently quite cold in there too, meaning half the robots can’t work to full capacity. And Big Nipper, in attempting to turn around and carry on the fight, accidentally managed to slide half way across the arena and very almost into the pit. Unfortunately for them, TR2 were on hand to finish the job.
Heat 3: TR2 v Dantomkia
Next up is the big one, battle of the flippers. TR2 v Dantomkia, battle of the two teams that currently have maximum points!
Except it isn’t, because first we’ve got to go through a little section about mechanical dinosaurs with Dara and Dr Lucy Rogers, also known as the section of Robot Wars episodes I couldn’t care less about. Now that we’ve had all 3 judges talk about something, I wonder what they’re going to roll out in week 4?
Onto the actual fight- because that’s what we came here to see. Although having said that, we still have to go back to the pits for a little while for a quick chat with the two teams first. I actually don’t mind that bot though.
In the arena for the house robots are Killalot 2.0 and Dead Metal. Mentorn’s love affair with Dead Metal seems to be increasing with each episode.
And so we are underway. This battle is going to be dictated by whichever robot can get in underneath the other robot, something that seems to benefit TR2 and the zero ground clearance flipper. Dantomkia on the other hand have a noticeable ground clearance, especially when they accelerate and the robot lifts up its front end. As such, the first attack goes TR2’s way, and although this time they don’t get a flip in, they get back on DTK when they’re near the arena side wall and go for it. The flip is good, and DTK is forced to use their own flipper to self-right.
TR2 keeps going at it. DTK cannot seem to get any purchase on the other robot and are continually the ones on the defensive, having to self right again when TR2 gets underneath them. Then, finally, Dantomkia manage to get themselves under TR2’s rear end and get a flip in, but TR2 is unaffected by the attack, and now Dantomkia have problems, because the flipper is jammed open. Indeed, when Tr2 next come on the assault, flipping DTK over once again, they can’t self right. There’s no pressure left in the gas tanks to work the flipper, and they are done for. Finished. TR2 have the points in the bag.
That doesn’t stop TR2 attempting to use their utterly pathetic “bum axe” though. I suppose it gave a bit for the entertainment factor.
Speaking of entertainment factor though, the best moment of the head to head came back in the pits, with DTK attempting to figure out what was wrong with their robot. After trying to find out just what caused them to be so uncompetitive, Shane had the brilliant idea to channel his inner Jeremy Clarkson and smash it with a hammer. Twice. Because that was definitely going to work.
Head to Head 4: Big Nipper v King B Remix
The fourth head to head saw the teams both on zero face off against one another. King B Remix fought Big Nipper, though the Nipper, having had limited success against TR2 with the lifting and crushing claws, reverted back to the vertical spinner, which they had repaired after the fight with Supernova. Supposedly that disc was going to send King B “home in a bin bag”. Just because a robot goes home in a bin bag, doesn’t mean it has to be broken first. Would have to be a bloody strong bin bad to hold 100kg worth of robot though, that’s for sure.
Space Hedgehog and Killalot 2.0 are your house robots, and we’re ready to begin!
And it’s fairly clear what King B’s strategy for this battle is, because it almost immediately goes for the pit release button. Big Nipper have already almost driven themselves into the pit in both previous matches, so it’s not a bad tactic to go for.
And King B look to have the pushing power over Big Nipper, which would suit the tactic well. Big Nipper, in attempting to retaliate, get jammed on the arena spikes, allowing King B to get in underneath. Once the spikes retract, King B pushed Big Nipper towards the pit, but they gained traction just in time to steer clear. A lucky escape.
That is where the battle turned. After avoiding the pit, Big Nipper get the spinning disc up to full speed and set about attacking the rear end of King B Remix. At 4200rpm, the disc has no trouble shredding the protective band King B has across its rear end, sending shards into the air. It quite literally begins raining pieces of King B. In the end, it was too much, with one of the hits seemingly disabling King B altogether.
And that is where I’m going to leave it for today. TR2 lead the way with 6 points, whilst Big Nipper and Dantomkia are both on 3. King B, meanwhile, are on zero and completely out of it, which is no surprise to anybody.
Until next time,