2 to go. I know I’m taking pretty much the equivalent of forever to get through these, but unfortunately a combination of Uni and NaNoWriMo mean that this has to take a back seat. I’m not going anywhere though, so strap in and get ready.
Gabriel is an interesting robot. It is one of the most unusual designs I have seen in a very long time, and that is saying something in the world of Robot Wars. I’ve seen it at live events, and I’ll admit I wrote it off at first, believing what is essentially a sword on wheels couldn’t do much in the way of damage. But it is deceptive. Almost like Terrorhurtz’s axe, when Gabriel swings it can deliver an almighty blow to the top of a robot, shaking up the internals like a kid with a Christmas present. Not only that, but the robot is incredibly tall thanks to its wheel, and therefore the robot is not only hard to flip, but the internals are largely protected up high. It’s clever, very clever.
So, onto the actual battles, and Gabriel found itself in a heat alongside Crazy Coupe 88, Beast and Infernal Contraption. So that made two short-ass spinners and a flipper in a fight against two giant plastic wheels attacked to a rather menacing looking sword. I don’t know about you, but I fancied Gabriel for this melee.
Gabriel hit the start like a jackhammer, flying out of the blocks and crashing down onto Crazy Coupe 88 almost instantly. That one blow wasn’t enough to do any real damage, but a succession of those could prove deadly. Gabriel then managed to avoid a near miss with Beast, who tried to flip them but failed. Just to complete the set- and I already told you this heat was a bit of a mess with everyone going for everyone- Gabriel attacked Infernal Contraption, a robot so small I’m amazed Gabriel could even line up a shot.
The battle continued to rumble on, with Gabriel sporadically going for each and every robot. At some point it even tried to go for Dead Metal, before Beast managed to drive under it like a bridge, one of my favourite moments.
At this point in time, Crazy Coupe 88 is dead. Beast does manage to get something that resembles a flip in on Gabriel, but it has no real effect. If has no real consequence either, because very soon after, Infernal Contraption drives itself into the pit. Gabriel through.
Now we enter the realm of the Head to Heads. Gabriel’s first target was a patched up Chompalot, who had taken a battering in their initial melee and were now running on the power of hope and dreams.
Once again, Gabriel was out of the starting blocks instantly, landing a heavy blow onto the top of Chompalot. Remarkably, none of Chompalot’s panels fell off. The tables then turned briefly, with Chompalot able to actually grab hold of Gabriel’s centre piece, a remarkable feat in itself. But Gabriel, the wily robot, had the better pull, and started driving Chompalot round instead. This lead to Gabriel driving Chompalot into Dead Metal’s CPZ, where the robot overturned. Lots of damage was done, in part by Dead Metal and in part by Gabriel. Chompalot eventually got away, but it was in bad shape. That’s not to say Gabriel stopped attacking, because it certainly carried on the assault, but Chompalot wasn’t putting up much of a fight. They were trying, it just wasn’t happening.
In the end it wasn’t even Gabriel that finished them off, it was the floor flipper. And we all know what happened to Chompalot next, right? It caught fire. I’d like to think Gabriel had a hand in that.
So, with 3 points in the bag, next up Gabriel faced off against Ironside 3. Another spinner, but Gabriel had dispatched of the previous 2 it had faced. This time, however, Gabriel came in with a pick axe type attachment, different to the sword. Could it help them?
The answer is no. This time, instead of shooting out, Gabriel looks somewhat lethargic, as if it was dragging the axe behind it. Ironside 3 takes advantage of this by almost shredding one of the wheels. Well, the HDP plastic stays intact, but the tread comes off like it was held on with chewing gum. This goes on for a while, without Gabriel being able to land any notable blows. Time after time, Ironside 3 if coming in, causing damage and then getting the hell out of there. Eventually, Gabriel finds itself in the clutches of Sir Killalot, briefly. I suppose it breaks the monotony of it being Ironside who attacks. That said, Ironside never put them on the flame pit. But then Ironside never made a temporary dance partner either.
Cue more relentless assaults from Ironside 3 before Gabriel, somehow, managed to get the pick axe stuck in the flame pit. *Slow Clap*. Fortunately, Sir Killalot was on hand to pick them up but the shaft of the pick axe and twirl them around a bit before letting them go.
Long story short, the battle went to the judges. Gabriel lost (duh). Let’s move on.
Finally, Gabriel came across Beast, knowing they needed a knockout win to put them in pole position to go through into the final. They had face Beast in the melee, but neither robot had clashed much. Not enough to see what they could do to each other, anyway.
Gabriel, back with the sword now, revert to dashing out of the starting blocks, and manage to recreate the exact movement by which Beast went straight under them, as in the melee. They did then turn around and land a blow, but I care more about the fact Gabriel is so big it can fit another robot underneath it.
Gabriel then continue to hit Beast, again and again. Beast seem to die fairly quickly; I mean there’s some movement, akin to that of a slug on LSD, but it’s not enough to be considered mobile. Not in my opinion, anyway.
With Beast basically dead, Gabriel decide to start spinning and rocking in the corner of the arena, because what else are they supposed to do with their time? Eventually they do decide to go and have a few more hits for the banter, before laying off again. There job is done, why risk any more than you need to? Probably to enhance the show, but that’s not the point.
In the end Gabriel was awarded a knockout victory, giving it 6 overall points and a passage into the heat finale, where it would come up against the resurrected Pulsar.
Gabriel started the fight with the tried and tested method of just going for it, something that unfortunately sent the robot bouncing onto its side after deflecting off Pulsar’s wedge. Ah well, it tried.
Gabriel started swinging for it, going after Pulsar with everything it had. But Pulsar is a small robot, and Gabriel found it hard to land any blows. If anything, it was Pulsar landing blows, one of which hit Gabriel on the sword tip and sent it spinning.
But Gabriel would not give up, and started landing a few shots on the shaky Pulsar. This fight was far from over. Every hit Pulsar landed, however, would destabilise Gabriel, bringing them up onto one wheel or similar, but they didn’t do any lasting damage other than shred tread, much like Ironside 3. Could Gabriel get in the blows here it couldn’t then?
Well it certainly helped their cause when Pulsar stopped moving. It was unfortunately a small reprieve, and once again the battle was back on and in Pulsar’s hands. The battle raged on; Killalot was attacking Gabriel now too, but with Pulsar stopped again, Gabriel could get some hits in. Again, however, it was a short reprieve. When Pulsar attacked next time, it took off a piece of tread so savagely that it flew all the way across the arena and almost into the camera. It wasn’t looking good.
Indeed, with no robot immobilised after 3 minutes, the battle went to the judges. But, on damage cause, Gabriel would find themselves losing out this time round. But a run to the final was still a remarkable feat.
So, how did they do? Well they were slightly anonymous in their melee, but got through it fine, scoring some blows along the way. They decimated an already dead Chompalot, but also easily took care of Beast. However, they suffered losses to two different robots along the way- both Ironside 3 and Pulsar got the better of them. So it was good- and it was very good at times- but it just was not good enough against spinners.
Robot Rating (Gabriel): 7/10