Robot Wars S08E04 Part 1: Heat of Death

First of all, having been caught up in a bomb scare in the centre of Bristol yesterday, I just want to say that explosions are loud. I also want to use it as my excuse as to why there was no article either. That and the fact I spent most of the day *playing* football. Still, having to wander around the centre attempting to find a bus was not my idea of fun. I was also rather busy today, hence why you’re getting this in the evening, but at least I actually managed to get it done. I deserve a medal.

Anyway, I’m pretty sure nobody actually cares about my personal life, so let’s get on with the recap of S08E04, shall we? I know that I use numbers to denote which episode I’m talking about, but most people use letters. Hence week 4 was also known as ‘Heat D’, where the D stood for death. This week is the literal week of death in the 8th wars. There were 5 teams that realistically could quite easily win this week, and there was almost no way of telling which one of them it was going to be. One of them were not even going to get out of the first round. Those robots were: 
Eruption, former UK Champions and all round a very powerful flipper.
Storm 2, my favourite robot in the competition; 7th wars runners up (Do not mention to me the fact they lost that or I will break your leg) and the reigning World Champions, not to mention the most expensive robot in the competition.
Sabertooth, possibly the nicest looking robot in the heat, they also had a rather nasty looking drum spinner. It’s like the Hypershock of Robot Wars.
Apollo, another very large flipper. With the success of TR2, a similarly designed robot, Apollo stood a very good chance of going far.
PP3D, a robot made up of many 3d printed parts, with a >30kg spinning disc that spun upwards of 2000rpm. Very, very deadly if allowed to get up to full speed.

The other robots to make up this heat included Terror Turtle, possibly the least scary robot to have ever entered Robot Wars; Kan-Opener, which resembles Dead Metal after he’s been on a diet, and Sweeney Todd, which is even more of a box on wheels than Storm 2. Now that is an impressive feat.

The heats were split up nicely this time, unlike week 3. Sure, Eruption, Storm 2 and Sabertooth were all placed into the same heat together, along with Terror Turtle, but with 5 good robots, it was inevitable something like that was going to happen. Apollo and PP3D were in the other heat, alongside Sweeney Todd and Kan-Opener, meaning that the two flippers of the heat were kept apart, at least for now. PP3D and Storm 2 were also kept apart, meaning no grudge match between Gary Cairns and Ed Hoppitt, for the first round at least. I’d like to say that was done purposefully, but because most of us have completely wiped the fact the 7th wars existed from our memories, I very much doubt the producers remembered who Gary Cairns was and why 50% of the Robot Wars fan base wanted to see his robot go home in 12 different pieces.

500 words in and I haven’t’ actually started talking about the episode, so I should probably get to that. We get the usual introduction that I don’t exactly need to talk you through. What we do see though is a few shots from tonight’s episode, such as Apollo tossing Sweeney Todd through the air and Eruption doing much the same to Sabertooth. FORESHADOWING!
Dara then stands in the middle of the arena, as per usual. I’m amazed that we’re 4 episodes in and he still somehow manages to introduce us to the arena in a different way each time.  It’s impressive and also slightly weird. Someone needs to get him out of the arena at some point. Besides, we’re 4 episodes in- surely everyone knows how the arena works by now???

Of course, next comes the cursory shots of Angela walking through the pits, looking over other robots. The only thing of not in that section is just how big Gabriel (A robot in week 5)’s wheels are. They’re huge. That said, Gabriel has a knack of managing to get through fights quite well despite the unconventional design, so look out for that next week. Anyway, nobody cares about this part, so let’s get down to the fighting!

 Heat 1: Kan-Opener v PP3D v Apollo v Sweeney Todd

Our first heat tonight sees Robot Wars’ heaviest spinning disc (PP3D) face off against a boy band of blue coats (Apollo), Dead Metal on a diet (Kan-Opener) and quite literally a box on wheels. No, I’m not talking about Storm 2, I’m talking about Sweeney Todd, which is somehow even more of a box on wheels.

Sweeney Todd.png
LITERAL BOX ON WHEELS

First up in the pits we see the Apollo team, made up of 3 guys that met at Pontins as blue coats, and decided they should build a robot. They’ve gone the traditional Robot Wars route of building a flipper robot, and called it Apollo because you can make jokes about ‘launching’ the competitors out of the arena or some shit like that. Looks a good robot though.
Next Up is Sweeney Todd, a team made up of people who all work together. That’s kind of what you want in a team, so top marks for them. The robot itself has angle grinders for weapons; If you watched the original Robot Wars, you’ll know that angle grinders do fuck all in the arena. Maybe not the best choice of weapon.
Kan-Opener may or may not be sponsored by IKEA, given the blue and yellow paint job. Those crushers have 6 tonnes of force though, which could be very nasty indeed, if they actually manage to grab hold of someone and not run away, like they did in most of the previous wars’ annihilators. Then again, that was the only way they usually survived.
PP3D have an unusual approach, strapping the deadly spinner to the bottom of the robot instead of to the top of it (Such as Hypno-Disc or 13 Black), or in the middle (Like Carbide). The robot contains an array of 3D printed parts too, which is brilliant because it means we have no idea if they’re actually going to work or not. I mean, I wouldn’t be surprised to just see it explode in the middle of the arena, in much the same way Blacksmith exploded after its fight with Minotaur on Battlebots.

Roll on Jonathan Pearce, who makes another comment including Matilda whilst introducing PP3D. I think it’s fairly obvious now he fancies her. That’s followed by robo-terminator introducing everyone as usual, accompanied by massive blasts of CO2 and a lot of cheering.
Sir Killalot, having actually managed to get his lance out of the wall, is the house robot for this first battle. No, I was surprised it wasn’t Dead Metal either.

As the battle began, it took Kan-Opener literally 3 seconds to decide to activate the pit release button. I think their strategy is rather obvious now, to be honest; Put people down the pit and don’t die. Preferably both. Kan-Opener then takes a liking to PP3D, who dances around him for a little while, before Apollo gets involved, making this the messiest threesome in robotic history. It gets even more messy when Apollo decides to take a ride on the floor flipper, cueing Jonathan Pearce to shout out “Apollo’s in orbit!” Slow clap for Jonathan. Apollo, after self righting, go on the revenge warpath, heading straight for Kan-Opener and flipping them high into the air. At exactly the same, PP3D comes along and tears one of the tyres out from underneath the robot. Apollo doesn’t even really have any ground clearance, yet PP3D still manages it. Amazing.

Claws.png
“I present to you my claws!” featuring Apollo’s now liberated wheel

Sweeney Todd, meanwhile, is channelling its inner Foxic by doing absolutely nothing. Kan-Opener, having realised the fight is actually still going on, grabs hold of PP3D and begins to cart them around the arena as if they were some kind of lost possession. They weren’t exactly heading for the pit, so instead Kan-Opener takes them over to the floor flipper, where the combined mass of both robots are flipped onto a half dead Apollo, who then flips them away somewhere else. At no point during this did Kan-Opener decide it might have been a good idea to have let go. Never mind. PP3D is now upside-down, and with no self righting mechanism (Even though they can still drive upside-down), they seemed to decide the best way to get back to how they were is to drive onto the floor flipper again. They fly through the air nicely… But it doesn’t work. 

Whoever is in charge of the floor flipper in this heat must be loving life, because just seconds later they toss Kan-Opener through the air as well. Certainly a massive upgrade on the floor flipper shambles that was week 1.
Sweeney Todd then gets involved for the first time in this battle, heroically losing one of the angle grinders after colliding with PP3D. Almost instantly afterwards, Apollo sends Kan-Opener flying, taking out the removable link in the process. Kan-Opener is now dead, and somehow Sweeney Todd has survived longer than it. PP3D, meanwhile, is still the wrong way up. And because the spinner is unbalanced when on the top, whenever the weapon goes full power, the robot looks like it’s having a seizure, bouncing itself off the floor.

Sweeney Todd is now cannon fodder. It is, to all intents and purposes, immobile; That doesn’t stop PP3D tearing a few holes out of it, whilst Apollo sends it doing somersaults. At least they finally got involved- something that couldn’t be said for the first 2 minutes of the fight- but they are out. PP3D and Apollo go through.

Heat 2: Sabertooth v Eruption v Terror Turtle v Storm 2

After seeing what was left of Apollo’s wheel (It wasn’t very much), we move on to heat 2, a heat where the artistic tiger (Sabertooth), yet another flipper (Eruption) and Tornado’s shady cousin (Storm 2) would all be looking to get through. Terror Turtle (Plus hatchling) would probably be happy just to survive.
Speaking of Terror Turtle, they’re first up in the pits. The robot is pretty massive, but it’s made of fibreglass and doesn’t at all weigh very much, mainly to use excess allowance for the hatchling, which looks adorable… If useless.
Next up we see Storm 2 (VIVA STORM 2! #NotBiased), which is the most expensive robot in Robot Wars, costing somewhere between £20,000 and £25,000. It is basically a robot from the future, with dry ice cooled batteries and live telemetry systems that can tell driver Tim Bence what to do, or tell Ed Hoppitt whether he can turn up the batteries. All of this is ironic once you realise that Storm 2 itself is a 16 year old design, and there is not from the future at all. It’s from the stone age.
Next up is Sabertooth, who have an array of weapons, including a drum spinner, a grabbing claw and a defensive scoop. Unfortunately, they broke the grabbing claw and so now have no method of self righting. They’re going in the arena with Eruption. This will not end well.
Eruption, meanwhile, are former UK champions. However, not content with just being a decent flipper robot, they decided to add a claw on too. Much like TR2’s bum axe, it was an entirely pointless addition to the robot.

Matilda is in the arena for the house robots. Still no Shunt it would seem, after he spent last week AWOL (Probably on a 3 day oil bender).
The battle begins, and splits off into pairs as it usually does. Storm 2 start pushing Terror Turtle around the arena, something Terror Turtle can do nothing about, because the spinning disc is too high to actually make any contact on Storm 2. Sabertooth are meanwhile trying to get the drum spinner up on Eruption. It’s interesting that Sabertooth decided to attack Eruption, because, ya know, can’t self right.

Eruption do manage to get a flip on Sabertooth, but they remain the right way up. Meanwhile, Storm 2 are still pushing Terror Turtle around, practically piggy backing them all the way across the arena until they slam into a side wall. I’m not actually sure if the hatchling has actually done anything yet, but there we go.
And then comes the moment Sabertooth were dreading. Eruption got in underneath them, sending them somersaulting through the air before landing on the ground. Upside down. Oops.

Up up and over.png
Up, up and over

In the mean time, Storm 2 has managed to run Terror Turtle into the wall so hard that the robot is now turned over. The turtle is quite literally on its back. And Eruption, having finished with Sabertooth, decide to pitch in where Storm 2 left off, trying to grasp hold with that flimsy spike. They’re still controlling Terror Turtle, with a little help from Storm 2, because Terror Turtle has been pretty awful.

And then, in the blink of an eye, Terror Turtle is sent sailing out of the arena. Just like that, it is gone.

And so there we have it! PP3D, Apollo, Storm 2 and Eruption are all going into the head to heads, which is where we’ll pick this up next time. Believe me, the best of this episode is yet to come.

 

:Rising-Electra

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