Week 5. I almost can’t believe we’re at week 5 already. How the time has flown by since we were first reintroduced to the wonder that is Robot Wars, and then had to watch as a Scottish drainpipe dragged Razer down into the pit. I have no doubt Razer was put on first to drag in viewers because that was the robot a good deal of people loved. But it just goes to show how much robotic combat has changed over the 18 or so years since Robot Wars first began, and now the old legends of the sport are struggling to make as much of an impact as they used to. That’s not to say they’re completely useless! Behemoth, Storm 2 and Dantomkia have all made heat finals this season, even if they did all lose.
Anyway, Heat 5 also had its share of legends, this time in the shape of Thermidor 2. The half pincer half flipper robot is about as good as it is inconsistent, meaning its return would either send it all the way into the week 6 finale or dump it out in the first round. Personally, I had it down for the heat final, but I’m fairly horrendous at making predictions.
Possibly the most destructive looking robot in this heat came from Pulsar. With a drum spinner that can get up to 9000rpm (Or 220mph if you’re that way inclined), it looked ferocious. It is basically Hypershock on crack. Unfortunately though, there was no rake on Pulsar.
Keeping with the spinners, we also had another bar spinner to contend with in the shape of Ironside 3. Aside from the fact everything with a bar spinner is now ‘discount Carbide’ to me, Ironside 3 still looked as though it could certainly dish out some damage.
Crazy Coupe 88 kept up the spinner theme in this episode, but this robot came with not one, but TWO different spinning discs. One horizontal, like Carbide, and one vertical, like basically every robot on this year’s Battlebots. Doesn’t stop it looking like Tombstone after eating too many pies.
If you wanted to guess what weapon Infernal Contraption possessed, and you went with a spinner, you would be correct. Because half the robots in this episode have spinners. It is actually a vertical drum spinner- like Pulsar, but 9x slower.
Moving away from spinners, there was actually a fire-breathing dragon in arena courtesy of Chompalot. The actual weapon was a crushing ‘beak’. Think of it like Draven, but about 6x more effective.
Joining us from the long list of FRA Championship representatives, Beast decided to make Ray Billings proud and go all out on weaponry- a flipper- and have basically no armour whatsoever. Picture them as an Ariel Atom, but in fighting robot form.
Finally, we have Gabriel, a robot with wheels as large as a washing machine and a giant samurai sword as a weapon. It’s about as close to Stinger as you’re ever going to get in this series of Robot Wars.
The heats were split up so that Pulsar and Thermidor 2 came up against Chompalot and Ironside 3, whilst Beast and Gabriel faced off against Crazy Coupe 88 and Infernal Contraption. I can’t decide whether or not I’m disappointed they didn’t just put all of the spinning disc type robots in the same heat. As it was, it came out OK in the end. Sort of.
Anyway, to the episode! Because that’s what I’m actually supposed to be writing about, not my fantasies of being able to do my own heat structures.
You don’t need me to tell you how the episode starts. It starts literally the same way it starts every time, with the only difference being that we’ve already seen the other battles that clip fragments come from, therefore don’t have to guess at what’s going on. The producers must have realised this because there’s an all new clip of Beast tossing Crazy Coupe 88 through the air, because FORESHADOWING. This is of course followed by Dara still standing in the middle of the arena and introducing us all. I’m starting to wonder whether Dara just did all 5(6?) of the introductions one after the other so that he didn’t have to move from the arena, or whether he actually went in, did his speech, went out and then came back another time to introduce us all again. The many mysteries of Robot Wars.
Screw it, let’s get down to the fighting.
Heat 1: Thermidor 2 v Chompalot v Pulsar v Ironside 3
So the first heat of tonight sees a giant robotic lobster (Thermidor 2) come up against a fire-breathing dragon (Chompalot), the world’s mightiest vertical spinning drum ( Pulsar) and discount Carbide (Ironside 3)
First up in the pits is Pulsar, and Dara quite rightly points out that this series has featured a lot of spinning weapons. It’s probably because they’re destructive and hence a good way to win a battle. Or, on the other hand, it could be because Mentorn is still paranoid that Robot Wars will be considered too boring if they let Storm 2 off the leash again, hence the need for big, flashy weapons and robots that fall apart easily *Cough* Overdozer *Cough*. And you can’t get flashier than a drum that spins @9000rpm, can you?
Next up we visit Chompalot, a robot with many vibrant panels that you just know are going to end up either falling off or being scattered around the arena by somebody’s weapon. Still, the team have some great headwear, which I’m sure will help them in battle.
Dara then goes and visits the Ironside crew, and what essentially looks like a deadly coffin on wheels. The robot is completely untested- bear in mind people only got about 5 week’s notice for this series- which means that either Ironside is going to tear shit up in the arena, or it’s going to tear itself apart. Or both. You really don’t know yet.
Finally, we see Thermidor 2, which at time of interview was nicely upside down so that you could see the CO2 gas bottles. That and the incredibly vibrant paint job. Ah Thermidor.
So onto the battle! Shunt is your house robot for today’s events, likely because Dead Metal was still getting over the fact Apollo flipped him and needed some more counselling. Shunt doesn’t need counselling. Shunt just wants revenge.
And so the battle begins! And it begins with everyone seemingly gravitating towards Shunt’s CPZ. First Ironside just about manage to make a successful drive by, before Chompalot and Thermidor 2 both actually get themselves stuck in there. Chompalot, frills and all, even get hit by the mighty axe. Doesn’t do anything, but that’s not the point. Shunt then gives them a little shove with the scoop, and this time something does fall off. That didn’t take long at all.
Thermidor, annoyed Shunt had stolen their kill, go back after Chompalot, and try to flip them. It fails. So they try again. That also fails. But hey, at least they’re trying to do something and are having more luck than Pulsar, who are… Well they’re not doing anything except drive around a bit in the middle of the arena. Either it’s shifty editing by the producers or they really have been that useless. The one thing we do get from Pulsar, however, is a really loud siren like whirr from the drum spinner. Chompalot then get hold of Thermidor 2, pushing them back into Shunt’s CPZ. Thermidor 2 then promptly dies, but not before the editing puts them back over the other side of the arena. for some reason, the editing in this episode has been all over the place. Chompalot, meanwhile, now have to deal with Ironside, who come in just to tear a few bits off again.
Pulsar, who have still done nothing, then get a massive whack from Ironside that quite literally caves in one of their wheels. So now they’re not just doing nothing, they’re also only driving in circles. If you’ve watched the previous episodes, you know driving in circles is not a good thing. So Pulsar and Thermidor 2 are both basically dead. You would think that’d do nicely for Ironside, but they still decide to tear yet another panel off Chompalot for the lols. Just to make things even more destructive, Chompalot decide to drive onto Pulsar’s atomic drum. Not Pulsar itself may not be working properly, but that drum is, and so Chompalot’s front end gets turned inside out 7 different ways.
Obviously, you’re not just going to let that slide, so Chompalot spent the rest of the final 15 seconds trying to push Pulsar down the pit- not before almost driving down there themselves though. They fail, not that it matters, but it would have been a spectacular end to Pulsar.
Dara then takes the unprecedented step of bringing all four teams captains into the same pod together to talk through the results. Because, technically, Pulsar were still mobile, it went to a judges’ decision. It didn’t really need to because Ironside 3 and Chompalot (Or what was left of Chompalot) were the obvious victors. And they were. Which is a shame for me, because I predicted Pulsar to win and Thermidor to get to the heat final, and now both are out in the first round (OR ARE THEY?!?!?!? #Foreshadowing).
Heat 2: Beast v Crazy Coupe 88 v Gabriel v Infernal Contraption
So onto the second heat, which featured another 2 spinners. Can’t get enough of those spinners. I should probably say 3 spinners, but then 2 of them belong to Crazy Coupe 88, who are facing off against drum spinner royale (Infernal Contraption), what is essentially just one giant flipper (Beast), and a samurai sword on wheels (Gabriel).
First up in the pits we see Crazy Coupe 88, which was built in a shed. They say that like half the other robots weren’t built in a shed themselves. Crazy Coupe has a nice silver paint finish, something that I’m certainly will help them a lot in the arena…
Now, whilst Crazy Coupe 88 the robot may look as if it has been somewhat inspired by Wacky Racers, the man behind Gabriel, Craig Colliass, looks like he belongs there himself. It’s the outfit- a black trench coat, a red scarf and the silver and red goggles. It’s brilliant. Gabriel itself is also a wacky machine, sporting the world’s largest set of wheels attached to a sword. Right.
Next up we see Beast, who have forgone any form of armour to put as much power behind their flipper as possible. It is basically made of scaffolding. Scaffolding and CO2 tanks. God forbid it gets hit by one of those spinners.
And finally we see Infernal Contraption, a robot made up from threes. 3 batteries, 3 radio receivers etc. It also sports 3 different colours- red and green on the wheels and a yellow spinning drum. It is also rather small, I have to say.
Dead Metal makes his compulsory appearance, because we all know the producers love him so much, and heat 2 is ready to get underway.
As the battle starts, Gabriel goes straight for Crazy Coupe, slamming down with the mighty power of the sword. It doesn’t do any visible damage, but much like Terrorhurtz and Thor, the blade is designed to cause internal damage. So who knows what could have been done? Beast meanwhile attempts to get a flip in on Infernal Contraption. They miss, but at least they tried something. They then try to get the flip in on Gabriel, who are so tall that the flip does basically nothing.
Infernal Contraption, with such a small yet powerful robot, are having a hard time controlling themselves, and resort half of the time to going up on one wheel and bouncing all over the place. Beast meanwhile have shifted their attention to Crazy Coupe, and actually manage to flip them! Crazy Coupe are invertible, so it makes no difference to their life expectancy, but at least it proves Beast can do something useful. Crazy Coupe, for some reason, then decide it’s a good idea to drive into Dead Metal’s CPZ. Er, it isn’t. But they only find that out when DM brings down the saw blade.
The battle is now a bit of a mess. Crazy Coupe are pretty much gone, having been claimed by Dead Metal. Beast is trying to get flips in, but Infernal Contraption and Gabriel are such odd shapes that it’s having a hard time doing it. Infernal Contraption’s weapon has done nothing. I mean, they have done pretty much nothing themselves. Gabriel at least is managing to bring the sword down. So points for aggression there.
Infernal Contraption then decides that now is a good time to activate the pit.
Infernal Contraption then decides to drive itself down the pit.
What the fuck guys?
And so there you have it. Infernal Contraption probably weren’t going through anyway, but now it’s confirmed. Gabriel and Beast move on to the H2Hs, along with heat 1 winners Chompalot and Ironside 3. And so that is where we will pick up tomorrow. Until then,