Robot Review: Big Nipper (S08E03)

Guess who’s back! After fighting through the problems with video on my laptop and moving into my new Uni accommodation for the year (I’m the only one in the flat at the moment…), I’m back and better than before. OK that last part was a lie, but I am back.

Week 3 was a big week for returning Robot Wars competitors. We’ve already reviewed Supernova and King B, along with Ian Watts’ Orte. Big Nipper is another of those returning robots, but this one has had a lot more in the way of success that those previously mentioned- not in Robot Wars itself, but in the FRA UK Heavyweight Championships, where it is a 2x winner (2007 & 2012). So, obviously, big things were expected of the robot coming into the series.

Big Nipper has changed a lot since the old series ended in 2004, with the dull silver paint scheme evolving into one with black and orange. Weapons have also changed, and whilst the claws are still an option, the primary weapon is now a 4000rmp vertical spinning disc. But would the changes affect the robot for better or for worse?

Big Nipper’s first round melee saw them come up against TR2, Supernova and Orte. With Big Nipper being invertible, Supernova perhaps looked to be their toughest test. Still, you can never bet against a good flipper.

And so the fight began and Big Nipper, in its first involvement of the bout, conspired to take out Orte in the first 5 second of the fight. They got in behind the robot and pushed them into Supernova’s spinning disc, ending them in one hit. Some start.
Supernova, possibly a bit pissed that Big Nipper caused them to lose one of their teeth in the Orte attack, go after them. It’s a collision of vertical and horizontal spinning discs, and Supernova seems to come out on top, bending Big Nipper’s ‘arm’ out of shape. It’s nothing terminal though, and Big Nipper can continue.

After following TR2, who were pushing Supernova around the arena for entertainment, Big Nipper finally get back into the action, clashing once again with Supernova. However, with no teeth left on the weapon, Supernova can’t cause the same damage to Big Nipper as before. TR2 then steals Supernova from them again, but as Big Nipper try to chase, they crash into TR2 and almost send themselves flying into the pit!


And so that near miss would be what sent Big Nipper through the next round, because not long after, TR2 sent Supernova down there themselves. Big Nipper into the Head to Heads!

Having had the disc arm completely bent out of shape by Supernova, Big Nipper elected to go for the grabbing claws that they had become famous for in their first H2H against TR2. However, with TR2’s low ground clearance, Big Nipper struggled to get the claws underneath their opponent in the early exchanges. Infact it was TR2 that instead got underneath Big Nipper, flipping them against the arena sidewall in their first attack.

Flyingg Crab.png
Flying Crab

TR2 continued the assault, flipping Big Nipper again, but this time sending them into Dead Metal’s CPZ. Big Nipper attempted to get away, but TR2 basically herded them in, and Dead Metal got a nice few chunks out of Big Nipper’s armour. It made quite the spark show too. But Big Nipper did eventually get away, just as the pit release was activated. Now you would have thought the Big Nipper crew would have learnt their lesson from the opening heat, right? Well, apparently not, because they very almost drove straight into it again, saving themselves right at the last minute. Except TR2 was right behind them, and with Big Nipper on the edge, TR2 had no trouble pushing them in.

Big Nipper, looking to avenge that defeat, reattached the spinning disc for the battle of King B Remix. King B responded to this by instantly activating the pit release, probably hoping that Big Nipper would do what they have done in the previous two battles and almost drive themselves down it, but go one step further and actually go down themselves. King B then tried to push Big Nipper, whose disc was not yet up to speed. Big Nipper decided the best course of action was to drive over the arena spikes and get themselves stuck, which then allowed King B to get underneath and very, very almost get them into the pit.

Once again, Big Nipper somehow survived. And now they were the ones on the attack, with the disc up to speed. Cornering King B, they then started tearing pieces off the plastic rear guard, before one final, fatal blow took out King B’s link, and Big Nipper had their first 3 points of the H2Hs.

Boing Boing.png
Boing Boing

Big Nipper’s final fight came against another flipper, Dantomkia. With both Dantomkia and Big Nipper on 3 points, whoever won would be going through to the heat final. Following the success against King B, Big Nipper kept the spinning disc.
Dantomkia started the battle in all out attack mode, and Big Nipper had to pull some evasive manoeuvres, but soon DTK’s advantage began to show. They sent Big Nipper into Sir Killalot’s CPZ, and in trying to escape Big Nipper ran back over DTK, who flipped them over. Now Big Nipper is invertible, but Dantomkia were showing more aggression. Big Nipper eventually escaped, but it wasn’t long before they found themselves back in Sir Killalot’s CPZ, and this time being hoisted high by the giant house robot.


Eventually Sir Killalot let them go, and Big Nipper ran away, but they were finding it hard to gain traction on the arena floor. They did however manage to land a few blows on Dantomkia, one of which tore the end plate off their flipper and bent the mechanism. The flipper did still work, however, and DTK weren’t just about to give up. Big Nipper now found themselves on the end of DTK’s fury, and were subsequently pushed around the arena like a toy, before ending up in Sir Killalot’s CPZ once more.

Killalot, however, decided he was going to get his lance stuck in the arena wall, so Big Nipper made their escape. That didn’t stop Dantomkia from getting back at them, underneath them and then launching them high into the air. After some more pushing and shoving, Dantomkia connected with Big Nipper’s flywheel again, which shattered even more of the flipper arm.

And that was the match, which required a judges’ decision. Would Big Nipper’s damage win them the fight? In short: No. And so, with defeat, that was the end of the road for Big Nipper in this series of Robot Wars.

So how did they do? Well it all started well enough, with Big Nipper directly contributing to Orte’s demise in the heat. However, they were outclassed by TR2 in the first H2H, where the erratic driving of Big Nipper lost them the fight. They recovered well to take out King B in an even contest, and put up a good fight against Dantomkia, causing damage despite eventually losing. It was a solid run- not spectacular, but they held their own enough to take it to the wire.

Robot Rating (Big Nipper): 7/10



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