Robot Review: Eruption (S08E04)

On paper, Eruption are a very good robot. Back to back UK Heavyweight champions in 2013 and 2014, Eruption were one of the major players in the live circuit before competing in Robot Wars. Eruption were probably one of the more famous live circuit robots to actually be accepted onto the show, with the likes of Manta and Ripper excluded. I do wonder how much of it had to do with the little claw they attached to the top; It’s notable that in each episode to feature a flipper based robot, there has never been more than one robot with just a flipper. We saw the “bum-axe” of TR2 in Ep3, the claw of Eruption in Ep4 and the claws of Thermidor 2 in Ep5. Whilst Thermidor had the claws to start off with, TR2’s axe and Eruption’s claw, whilst perfectly good and viable weapons, were kind of redundant for the main purpose of the robot. It says something that both the axe and claw didn’t make it to the end of each of those robots’ runs in the series.

That’s enough complaining, onto the real reason I’m here, which is to review Eruption’s run through episode 4 of the 8th wars. Eruption found themselves in a heat alongside Storm 2, Terror Turtle and Sabretooth. Not the easiest heat, but certainly one Eruption would fancy themselves to get through.
Eruption started the fight by attacking- or rather being attacked by- Sabretooth, with Terror Turtle’s hatchling also coming in for a little nibble. Sabretooth did manage to attack initially with the drum spinner, but the damage Eruption sustained was superficial at best. Eventually Eruption managed to get away from the drum and attack Sabretooth with the flipper, though with Sabretooth landing back on their wheels, the flip constituted nothing more than a show of intent. Of course, that can change. And when Eruption came back in again, this time the flip turned Sabretooth over, eliminating them from the competition.

So with one down, Eruption went on the attack against Terror Turtle. First of all they KOed the hatchling by pinning it up against the arena sidewall…

Turned Turtle.png
Turned Turtle

… And then set to work on Terror Turtle itself, though they had already managed to turn the robot over (And probably Storm 2 aswell, though because of the horrendous editing I will never be sure). With TT posing little threat, Eruption first pushed them into the stricken Sabretooth, then got underneath the side of the robot and tossed them straight out of the arena. Not only did this send Eruption through to the Head to Heads, it also made them the first non-‘house robot’ robot to toss another robot out of the arena. Standard.

Eruption’s first Head to Head was against 3rd World Champions Storm 2, who they also fought in the first heat. The aim naturally being to get underneath Storm 2 and either flip them out of the arena or pin them against the wall where they can’t escape. Unfortunately, Storm 2 have a very low ground clearance. Even lower, it would seem, that Eruption, meaning initially they couldn’t get their flipper in underneath at all. What would usually happen is they would bounce off or ride up Storm 2, where they would then be pushed around the arena for a short time. Storm 2, , were in control, which was even more evident when Eruption were manoeuvred onto the floor flipper, the landing of which turned them over.

Crash Landing.png
Crash landing

This continued for some time (The pushing, not the floor flippering), but eventually Eruption did manage to get a flip in. Storm 2 barrel rolled, but was otherwise OK. Normal service resumed until the final 10 seconds, when Storm 2 seemed to pretty much die in the corner of the arena. Eruption flipped them twice, but in the end it wasn’t enough. The fight went to the judges, who voted in favour of Storm 2.

So Eruption next moved on to face PP3D, the ferocious spinner. Unlike Storm 2, PP3D had a more noticeable ground clearance. Also unlike Storm 2, PP3D had a weapon that could deal out some proper damage. Both PP3D and Eruption needed a win, so this was going to be all out war.

And all out war, for the first minute at least, is what we got. Unfortunately for Eruption, all of the aggression was on the side of PP3D. Eruption had bolted on some extra armour panels to their robot to try and counter PP3D’s threat, and the first few hits showed why. Every time Eruption tried to get in underneath, they were greeted by the giant spinning disc. The first two hits were minor, but the third sent them spinning across the arena floor. More hits came in, until eventually one hit tore a protective panel off completely.

Floodlit debris.png
Floodlit debris

This not only tore the panel off, but completely ruined one of Eruption’s wheels. It also somehow managed to ruin one of PP3D’s wheels, which meant the final half of the fight was spent with both robots going round in circles, doing basically nothing. It wasn’t quite Foxic vs. M.R Speed Squared from week 2, but still. Not surprisingly, it went to a judges’ decision, and they ruled in favour of PP3D. The result meant Eruption were eliminated from the competition at the H2H stage.

Still, they had one final matchup against Apollo.

Eruption stripped down for this fight. No claw, no protective panels, no decals. This was pure, 100% live circuit style Eruption, and coming up against another flipper too. Both robots started with attacking intent, and both robots also started by attempting to flip each other… and missing. Still, Eruption looked much more into this than their previous two fights. And it was Eruption that landed the first blow, flipping Apollo after their robot had become stuck on the pit briefly. After the first successful flip, Eruption the pinned Apollo against the wall and flipped them again.

Volcanic Eruption.png
Volcanic Eruption

Apollo did get some revenge though, almost instantly managing to flip Eruption once they had recovered. As a consequence of the flip, Eruption did a nice little pirouette. They then dosed out their own little retaliation, flipping Apollo into Dead Metal. When Apollo attempted to self-right, their flipper jammed open, rendering them weaponless and, er, dead. Eruption desperately tried to get them out of the arena, but didn’t have the aim. Eventually the clock ticked down, and Apollo were counted out. 3 points, but nothing to stop the fact Eruption were eliminated.

So, how did Eruption do? Well, to be honest, not as well as expected, especially given their record in the FRA championships. It all looked so good to start with; Immobilising Sabretooth and flipping Terror Turtle out of the arena. But an initial heat is one thing, Head to Heads are another. They were largely outclassed by Storm 2 in the first of those, before being dominated also by PP3D (And that fight could have easily ended worse). Once they stripped the robot back down to the live circuit configuration they managed to win against Apollo, but that fight was a bit of a pointless exercise given they were already out and Apollo were already through. I suppose there were glimpses, but from Eruption I expected so much more.

Robot Rating (Eruption): 6/10


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