So we know the 4 robots through to the heat semi-finals: Pussycat, M2, Roobarb and Tiberius 3. But let’s take a small break from that, because the main competition is not the only thing going on in the 7th wars- we also have the 3rd World Championship to contend with. And to narrow down the number of robots in said World Championship, there has to be qualifiers. We now have one such qualifier coming up, between Supernova of Sri Lanka and Mechaniac from Austria.
We don’t actually really get any introductions for either robot, probably because Channel 5 had to fit everything into the time slot, but also have time for adverts, something that wasn’t a problem on the BBC. Either way, Supernova should be familiar if you saw this year’s Robot Wars- A long, round box shaped robot with a giant disc on the end, capable of causing much in the way of damage but also causing its own problems.
Mechaniac on the other hand was an orange wedge shaped robot with a powerful flipper. It also had a face painted onto it. It’s a rather creepy looking angry face. It unfortunately doesn’t make the robot any better either.
In the arena for the house robots are Sir Killalot and, er, Cassius Chrome. Cassius Chrome being Channel 5’s new addition to the set, with the world’s most pathetic set of boxing arms that supposedly double as weapons. Bloody fast though.
And so the battle begins, and it begins very tentatively, it must be said. Neither robot really seem to go for it in the opening seconds, and quite honestly Mechaniac looks somewhat uncontrollable when you try to get it to turn. Nonetheless, eventually they collide, and Mechaniac attempts a flip on Supernova. Doesn’t quite work, but at least they tried.
As if to illustrate my point, once Mechaniac have tried to flip Supernova, they then barrel head on into one of the CPZs, crashing into the arena side wall and then s[inning on the spot. As you do. This allows Sir Killalot to come in, trap Mechaniac into the corner, and then grab hold and hoist them up into the air. Because you don’t mess around when Sir Killalot’s in town.
Killalot does eventually set Mechaniac back down, just in time to see Supernova come crashing into them, the collision sending Supernova flying through the air, doing a barrel roll, and then landing back on their wheels. Style points for you!
And Supernova were far from done. Whilst Mechaniac were still stranded in the middle of the arena floor, that giant spinning disc landed another hit, tearing off the entire rear panel of Mechaniac and revealing plenty of internal parts for further destruction. Supernova comes in again, and again. Mechaniac is now barely moving, but still just about alive. Then Cassius Chrome gets involved- despite Mechaniac not being in a CPZ I should add- and punches one of the batteries out. Let’s be honest though, it probably could have fallen out without Cassius Chrome’s help.
Mechaniac then spontaneously decides it’s a good idea to catch fire. I mean it’s not, but suit yourself.
Killalot then comes along, picks Mechaniac up using his lance (One of the few times it’s actually been useful), and roasts Mechaniac over the flame pit, before placing them onto the floor flipper. And now we can watch the robot fly. All that’s left now it to send it down the pit. Supernova through!
Now back to the main event. Our first Heat semi-final sees 9th seeds Pussycat come up against possibly the most impressive robot of the heat so far, M2. M2 had already flipped two robots out of the arena, so Pussycat had to beware, and also had to get that spinning sawblade working to full capacity after a decent if not spectacular first round.
Sgt Bash is in for the house robots alongside Dead Metal, who’s making his first appearance of the season. And we’re ready to begin!
The two robots instantly began circling each other, looking for an opportunity to pounce. It was actually Pussycat that landed the first hit, striking the side of M2 with the primed sawblade. But M2 had instant revenge, getting under the really rather large ground clearance of Pussycat and tossing them through the air.
They clashed again, with M2 getting another flip in. But Pussycat were not hopeless spectators in the slightest, landing blows of their own. The problem was, those blows weren’t actually doing much to M2. And so that left Pussycat exposed for M2 to launch their own attacks. Of course, Pussycat’s geometry makes it completely invertible, meaning the flips themselves don’t exactly harm Pussycat. It’s a battle of two robots seemingly invulnerable to the other’s weapon system.
The battle turns into a pushing and shoving match, but by now M2 are gaining the upper hand, almost bullying Pussycat around the arena. At one point they get Pussycat right up to the side wall, but just can’t get them over. Pussycat escape to launch an attack of their own, but it’s not long before M2 are back in it, and pushing Pussycat into the Refbot. Not great for the Refbot or for Pussycat, it has to be said.
The problem for M2, however, was that their flipper wasn’t exactly powerful. It was good at actually getting the flips in, but they never sent Pussycat flying that high. It doesn’t mean they weren’t effective though, and right at the end they got Pussycat onto their side, with the wheels turning but the robot barely moving. In the end they did manage to get back onto their wheels and survive, but not before time ran out.
So it went to the judges. It was a good fight, no doubt, but it was one without any real damage- it was all about the attrition and the strategy. But would the flipping power of M2 win out against the tenacious cat?
Yes, yes they would. M2 go through to the heat final, and the 9th seeds go out! How’s that for a first shock of the series?
Now we just have the second Heat semi to go through, where Tiberius 3 face off against Roobarb, and then the heat final. But that’s all for next time. Until then…