Robot Wars S08E05 Part 2: Burn Baby Burn

Whilst writing these recaps in the afternoon and the evening seems to be somewhat good for my sanity, it doesn’t seem to be quite so good for my viewer count. But I suppose that’s just the way the world works.

So, onto the head to heads, where 4 robots fight it out, one by one, to grab a place in this week’s finale, and the chance to reach next week’s grand final. Gabriel, Ironside 3, Beast and Chompalot all have the chance to get there, but only 2 can pass this stage. So who is it going to be?
We pick up where we left off in terms of the second heat. Beast have just a few minor modifications to try and get the flipper working to full capacity, whilst Gabriel need to do basically nothing. That robot is some machine.

Head to Head 1: Chompalot v Gabriel

Now it’s fair to say that Chompalot got fairly demolished in the first heat. And by fairly demolished I mean it got completely taken apart. It still got through, but with only a 2 hour time window to get the robot fixed, it was looking an uphill task. Fortunately, as a testament to the Robot Wars community, several members of the other teams came down to help put the robot back together. Because that’s what Robot Wars is all about- yes, it’s a competition to try and defeat the other team’s robot by any means necessary, but at the end of the day we just want to be able to see the robots out there fighting in the first place. It’s entertainment, but you’re not going to get the entertainment if everyone has broken down and nobody is willing to help.

Gabriel, meanwhile, are wondering whether or not to change the weapon from the katana blade to something different, such as a pick axe or a mace. The fact of the matter is that they have several different attachments they could put on the end of their giant wheels. Each one could probably do a job. In the end they stick with the katana, with the aim of smashing down on the weakened top panels. Like I said, win by any means necessary.

Onto the videos. First up we see Chompalot, which is created by Simon and Debs, who met in a Sci-Fi chat room. So basically, we owe Chompalot to the power of the internet, which is kinda nice given it’s the 25th anniversary of said construct. Happy Internaught day! The end of the video shows the duo coming out of a shed- because we all know everybody builds their robot in a shed- but can I just say that Debs look actually rather scary holding that giant crowbar right at the end.
Next up is Gabriel, with Craig the crazy engineer and his sons: Mark, Zack and Toby. Gabriel is a very interesting robot, built so that it is difficult to take out, as opposed to being able to do the most outright damage. Yet the vast array of weapons they possess mean that it can certainly still go on the offensive during battle. Gabriel are the democracy of Robot Wars- everything is decided between them through consensus, because Craig really is that nice of a person. Something you’ll see in one of the later battles too.

I’m not even sure who the house robots are yet, but I’m sure I’ll figure it out as the battle goes on. And so, without further delay, let the battle begin!
Both robots go for each other instantly, the collision sending Gabriel crashing down on top of Chompalot. Chompalot seems fine, for now, but it shows Gabriel do have the power behind that weapon. Gabriel then start to try and push Chompalot around, but instead the dragon manages to get that crushing beak around Gabriel’s centre, and drags them into Dead Metal’s CPZ (So that’s one of the house robots. And, from the video, you can see Shunt is the other). Dead Metal actually takes its anger out on Chompalot, turning them onto their side. There was even a little bit of saw blade action, but only just. Gabriel, in response, accidentally drives into the pit release button.

Dead Metal isn’t exactly done with Chompalot. Almost using the robot as a massive gyro, Dead Metal spins around and attacks with the open claws, tearing pieces off the stricken robot. Gabriel comes in to bring down the blade, and in the process actually gets Chompalot off the wall and back onto its wheels. Should be a good thing, yes? Except Chompalot is now only running on one wheel, and is sustaining blow after blow from Gabriel. One of the wings has completely bent beyond use and half the panels have come off. Again. In the end it was too much for Chompalot, who pretty much committed suicide by driving onto the floor flipper, where they were flung through the air.


Flying Dragon.png
Flying dragon


Having landed on their top, and unable to self right, Chompalot then began to furiously vent smoke in the vicinity of Shunt’s CPZ. Simon correctly predicts that the LiPo batteries have gone.


In the smokehouse.png
In the smokehouse


Cue the end of the match, although there’s still the problem of Chompalot venting on the arena floor. And now the smoke is getting really, really thick. But no worry, it can be fixed up again, can’t it? Well Debs and Simon, talking to Angela up in the booth for their post fight interview, certainly think so, until the crowd suddenly shout out. Everyone shoots around to see that Chompalot is not just venting smoke anymore, it has actually caught fire. That exact moment is what’s captured in the featured image for this article. It’s almost a beautiful irony, that the robot caught fire just seconds after the team claimed they could put it back together. Because now they definitely can’t put it back together. They have a literal fire-breathing dragon. What even is this show.

The fire continues to get bigger. I’m now having flashbacks to Blacksmith on Battlebots after they’d been utterly eviscerated by Minotaur. The difference is Battlebots give their competitors $10,000 if they get past the qualification round, which Blacksmith had, so that’s more than enough compensation. At least Chompalot will go out with the best fan received death in this series of Robot Wars, because it was pretty epic. LiPos go out with a bang and that was certainly the case here. It is also a bit sad; Nobody wants to see their hard work go up in flames, especially after all the work that had gone into rebuilding Chompalot before H2H 1. But hey, that’s Robot Wars!


Chompalot fire pt2.png
Who did it better: Chompalot or Blacksmith?


The problem is, now that Chompalot are out, we need a replacement. Which means either Pulsar or Thermidor 2- now Thermidor died after about 30 seconds, so that leaves only Pulsar as a viable candidate to take Chompalot’s place. PULSAR LIVES!

Head to Head 2: Beast v Ironside 3

Moving on from the fiery death of Chompalot, we have another battle to get to. This time it’s between the mighty  flipper of Beast versus the powerful bar spinner of Ironside 3. I know who my money’s on, but then I’ve already watched the episode so that makes no difference whatsoever.

The first video for this heat comes courtesy of team Beast, and we start off with a nice little showing of the team’s featherweight trophy from the FRA Championships. Because there’s nothing better than having a good, solid platform to build on, and it’s worked for Beast, who are veterans of the live circuit. Beast, having put all of the weight allowance into the weapon, don’t have much in the way of armour, and their team are worried electrical components could be the downfall or theirs- or anybody else’s- robot in the arena. Let’s face it, usually it’s the removable link that falls out.
Next up is Ironside, a lightweight specialist making the step up into the heavyweight category- with a machine that is completely untested. The team is built up of engineers and motivators, and together they’ve basically built a coffin with a bar spinner. Ferocious, whether you’re dead or alive.

The house robots are Shunt and Sir Killalot. Notice there hasn’t been any Matilda this week after she was handed her ass on a plate by Apollo last week.
And so we’re off! Beast, immediately chasing after Ironside, end up forcing the latter to drive into a wall, but still can’t get the flipper under at such an early stage in the fight. Ironside, meanwhile, are looking to get the spinner up to speed, to see if they can take advantage of Beast’s lack of armour. Ironside, in essence, are running away. But it is working, and the spinner has now got up to full power. Beast come in, but are hit not once but twice, sending them spiralling away. Score one for Ironside.

Beast are still trying to get underneath, but all they end up hitting is Ironside’s spinning bar. It has shades of PP3D v Eruption, but at least Beast is still, for now, in one piece. The steel scaffolding seems to be doing its job. But eventually Beast succumbed to the continual hits from Ironside. The damage was done when, finally, Ironside landed a hit onto one of Beast’s wheels, tearing it apart and ensuring the Beast could only go around in circles.


Wheely not good.png
That’s wheely not good


Ironside, living life dangerously, just about manage to avoid the floor flipper before coming in with yet another attack, this time bouncing one off Beast’s flipper. Credit to Beast, other than the exposed tyres everything else is holding up well to the onslaught. It’s just a shame tyres are so critical to mobility. That’s basically it for Beast, who now can’t move much at all. Ironside does a little spinning dance, and Killalot randomly drives onto the flame pit, because the house robots haven’t actually had anything to do in that battle.

We then get the part of the programme that shows Dara talking to one of the judges. This time it’s Sethu, and his talk on shared autonomy. The one good thing I took out of that was the case of Dara and the many hands. Just because it made me laugh.


Sethu gives Dara a “hand” with his water bottle


Head to Head 3: Gabriel v Ironside

Now I’ve spent so long talking about Chompalot’s demise that we’re rapidly approaching the magic 2000 words mark that I like to leave these around. As such, H2H 3 will be the last battle recapped in this section. But hey, that means you get 4 battles to go over in the final part to this recap.

This battle concerns the two robots that have a 100% record in the head to heads so far; Gabriel and Ironside 3. Only one can continue the winning streak. Gabriel, knowing just how powerful Ironside is, have changed their weapon from the sword to a battle axe, in the hopes they can jam up the bar spinner.

Your house robots today are Sir Killalot and Shunt, because Matilda is still being put back together. Still, we’re ready to begin!
Gabriel, with the new weapon, seem to be having trouble getting up to speed with how it works on the robot, and as such allow Ironside to get the first hit in, something that immediately tears off one little piece of tread. The wheel itself is fine, however. Ironside continues the attack, pulling more tread off Gabriel’s wheels, but the wheels themselves seem to be impervious. Doesn’t stop them from getting flung into Sir Killalot’s CPZ, however.


Killalot v Gabriel.png
Killalot has his claws full


Killalot, after slightly roasting Gabriel, finally manages to get rid of them. Though it doesn’t take long for Ironside to strike again, this time hitting the battle axe and quite literally bending it out of shape. Ironside then come in again, and again. It’s a relentless assault that may not be doing much in terms of actual damage to the wheels, but is shredding the tread and not allowing Gabriel to do much itself. Just to top it off, Gabriel the gets its axe stuck in the flame pit…


Burning rubber.png
Burning rubber


And so it goes to a judges’ decision. I don’t think it’s too hard to guess that Ironside 3 won the decision, which gives them a further 2 points and puts them into the lead. Still, Pulsar and Beast vying to get off zero points in the next fight, but for now I shall leave it here. Until next time,



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