It took me 15 minutes to come up with that title, and I’m not changing it dammit.
So, with M2 the first robot confirmed to be competing in the 7th wars semi-finals, it’s time to see which other robot from a group of 8 can join them. Everything works the same as in the first heat, with 2 melees of 4 reducing down to 2 heat semi finals and then the heat final. Competing in this episode were Terrorhurtz (3), Big Nipper, Barbaric Response, The Grim Reaper, Kan Opener, Jackson Wallop, Gyrobot & Killerkat.
Except, that wasn’t true. Terrorhurtz weren’t competing because their robot wasn’t ready to compete, and so they were actually barred from entering the building, let alone the arena on the basis of a robot completion clause. For some reason, the guys at Mentorn decided to try and turn it into a drama event, making it seem as if this was a breaking news alert when Terrorhurtz’ name was called out and they didn’t appear. It wasn’t anywhere near as dramatic as that.
So onto the first melee of the heat. The first robot to make an appearance is Kan Opener, which you may remember from the 8th wars (It feels weird saying that considering the 8th wars happened after the 7th wars). In brief, Kan Opener is basically a yellow robotic crab that can run both ways up. It comes equipped with a set of grabbing pincers or 4 and a terrible record in the main competition. I mean sure, they’ve won annihilators, but this isn’t an annihilator. So…
Next up is The Grim Reaper, which to be honest is a fairly common looking flipper robot painted in a ghastly green colour to set it apart from the rest. That and the guy in the grim reaper costume, looking like he’s going to send someone to an early grave. Basically, discount UK Moebius but it actually works.
Then we have Big Nipper! Another that also took part this year, Big Nipper comes complete with its original design, that being a narrow set of claws that can also lift up, the main strategy supposedly to grab, lift and drag. Invertability is of course always an asset, especially with The Grim Reaper also in the arena alongside them. If you strip it down though, it’s basically a box with pincers.
And finally we have Barbaric Response, which is a full body flipper and rambot. It has almost a Behemoth type scoop flipper attached to the front end, and runs at 20mph, making it plenty fast enough to cause some serious damage at high speed. It’s an interesting heat, comprising of 2 flippers and 2 pincer robots. Barbaric Response competed in S6 too, but went out in the first round to Firestorm.
So, onto the melee itself. Your house robots are the ever dynamic pair of Mr Psycho and his pet dog Growler. I’m sure this is like their version of hunting.
Melees sometimes are a bit of a mess at the start, with 4 robots all going at each other. This was one of those messes, but in the middle of it somewhere The Grim Reaper did attempt to flip Big Nipper, not that they entirely succeeded. They then did almost flip Kan Opener, but they managed to get away too. Barbaric Response then join in the fun, flipping over Big Nipper before being caught by Kan Opener. At this point, everyone just piled on everyone… Again.
They eventually separate into pairs: Whilst The Grim Reaper goes off and starts flipping around Big Nipper, Kan Opener still has itself caught on Barbaric Response. The Grim Reaper though is really going at Big Nipper, flipping it at every opportunity, but Big Nipper is fighting back like the angry crustacean it is. At one point this leads to Big Nipper actually riding on top of The Grim Reaper like some weird kind of Latin dance.
Whilst those 2 are having their very well fought and fairly even battle, Kan Opener are still stuck on Barbaric Response. Like literally, their pincers have managed to jam themselves into Barbaric Response’s armour panels, and they’re pretty much driving each other around the arena. So we don’t care about them.
With the other battle, however, Big Nipper have started to gain the upper hand, getting themselves underneath The Grim Reaper and pushing them into the angle grinder/arena side wall, then attempting to lift them up. I say attempting, because what really happened was Big Nipper’s arse came off the floor instead, unable to take the workload. Probably not the initial intention.
By now, the fact Kan Opener and Barbaric Response have become a coupling is starting to annoy the house robots, especially Growler, who takes the initiative and starts ramming them with little success. TGR and BN join the party around a now opened pit. The Grim Reaper flips Big Nipper, very, very almost resulting in them driving down the pit. Nice to see old habits die hard, eh?
In the dying seconds, Kan Opener tries to get Barbaric Response into the pit. I don’t know how it would have worked, because surely being attached would lead Kan Opener going down too?
But now it is up to the esteemed judges to pick two robots from the four to go through to the heat semi-finals. I think it was fair to assume that The Grim Reaper was going to be one of them, and that Barbaric Response had done pretty much nothing, and so were out. That left it between Big Nipper and Kan Opener, but because Kan Opener had basically been walking their pet Barbaric Response the whole time, Big Nipper was put through instead. The Grim Reaper and Big Nipper into the next round!
So onto the second melee, where 2 more robots will go through and win the chance to contest TGR and BN in the battle of who can have the best set of initials. I would say TGR is winning so far. And no, the big guy with the scythe standing over me did not influence my decision.
First up is Killerkat, which is a rather oddly shaped triangle box wedge robot, almost like a discount Pussycat but with the wheels inside the robot (Even Jonathan Pearce made the link). It also has a horizontal spinning bar that had several holes through it, like Swiss cheese in metal form. Oh, and it was also covered in fur, because nobody learned anything from Diotor. It was almost guaranteed that this robot was going to end up on fire at some point, let’s face it.
Next we have Jackson Wallop, which was also an interesting looking design. It’s pretty much a box on wheels, but with a tabletop spinner attached to the top of it. It’s a very large spinner too at 1.2m in diameter, and possesses some rather lethal looking teeth too. An allusion to wacky artist Jackson Pollock, it wouldn’t really be complete if it wasn’t covered in a large variety of coloured paint. No fur though.
Finally we have Gyrobot, which whilst not quite a box on wheels, is more of a disc on wheels. Infact, it is literally a disc on wheels. The 40kg outer shell spun at 800rpm, something that could give quite a whack to whoever got in its path- if it spun on the spot as well as spinning the outer rim, that could get up to 1500rpm. It’s also invertible, which probably would mean more if it wasn’t coming up against two other spinners. This melee is literally battle of the spinners.
You’ll notice there are only 3 robots on that list. This is where Terrorhurtz should have been, but they’re busy being denied entry. Cue Jonathan Pearce doing his best to try and pretend that he’s surprised. He’s not surprised. We then get to see Jayne wander outside to witness John Reid and Terrorhurtz being disqualified in person. John Reid, credit to him, seems to be taking it well. It’s almost as if he knew it was going to happen…
Your house robots are Cassius Chrome and everyone’s favourite bulldozer Shunt. So let’s get this 3-WAY melee underway.
With only 3 robots to fight, the start wasn’t quite as frantic as the previous bout, something made even more prominent by the fact Gyrobot seems to do… Nothing. This leaves Jackson Wallop and Killerkat to clash, although neither of them seem to do any actual damage to each other. Gyrobot then managed to get themselves moving, and did more to damage Killerkat in their blow, though still not much. If anything, Killerkat seemed more likely to fall over than that take damage from each of the blows. It certainly wasn’t entirely balanced.
Now with everyone moving, it’s a case of who can destroy who first. Jackson Wallop becomes a robot pinball for a second when he bounces off both Killerkat and Gyrobot, but eventually everyone decides it’s time to gang up on the incredibly lethargic Killerkat. Gyrobot takes the first swing, before Jackson Wallop follows up. From there it descends something like a Chuckle Brothers sketch- to me, to you… As both JW and Gyrobot pass Killerkat back and forth between them. I don’t think the kat was enjoying it.
Killerkat at this point have pretty much used up all of their 9 lives. The weapon is no longer spinning. The robot is no longer moving. The fur has remained intact though, the most minor of victories. But even not moving, the pain and humiliation is not over yet, because Jackson Wallop decide to come in one last time and hit them with enough force that they finally topple over. Game, set and match.
Of course, even with Killerkat dead, this wasn’t over. Gyrobot and Jackson Wallop conspired between them to push the now dead robot onto the flame pit (Much to Jonathan Pearce’s delight), and the fur went up in flames! That’s kind of what happens when you bring fur into Robot Wars, and especially if your robot has died. It’s nice to see Killerkat go out in a blaze of glory.
Shunt then comes along, reminding us all that the house robots are a thing and they do still exist, and pushes the smouldering robot onto the floor flipper, where it flies *gracefully* through the air before crashing back to the ground. Perfect.
And so there we have it! Our 4 competitors moving on to the heat semi finals are:
The Grim Reaper
And next time, we’ll see what happens between them all. Until then…