Episode 3 comes in and rolls around, and I’m back again to write some stuff and post awful quality screengrabs! (Something made more difficult by the fact my printscreen button no longer cares to work for me). But hey, that’s the fun in it. Now, with 2 flippers having made the semi finals so far in M2 and The Grim Reaper, it is more than possible that we may see yet another going through. That’s because this heat contained the one robot that seemed to trouble arena announcer Stuart McDonald the most, Dantomkia (5). Being seeded 5th probably helps too.
The other robots in the heat comprised of King B Powerworks, Hassocks Hog 2, Rick, IG-88 (Yet another robot named after a Star Wars character), Tomahawk, The Stag and Scorpion. Apparently King B and Dantomkia like each other, seeing as they also met in 2016.
Anyway, let’s get on with the battles. Our first initial melee starts off by introducing King B Powerworks. Now this is the version of the robot that I remember the best, and even when it appeared in 2016 under the name King B Remix, I still called it King B Powerworks. As far as I can tell, the only difference between S7 and 2016 King B is that 2016 King B understands Japanese. Either way, it’s exactly as I remember it- a box on wheels with a set of adorable lifting spikes.
Next up is Hassocks Hog 2. If you couldn’t guess, the robot looks exactly how it is named, like a giant robot pig. It’s fitted with a steep, 16 bar flipper to try and stop itself being turned into a robo sausage, but then it also has furry ears, which no doubt will catch fire regardless of how well it does. It failed at the first hurdle in the 6th wars, can it do better this time around?
Now for the big bad of the round, Dantomkia itself. Seeded number 5 after reaching the series semi-finals last time out, Dantomkia comes equipped with a narrow bar flipper and two protruding edges that allow it to double up as a full body spinner. Prone to wheelies. Very good at getting other robots out of the arena. Can also go a speedy 20mph, which is the speed limit of the roads around where I live. Dantomkia could do the speed limit.
Finally we have the title character of this piece, Rick. The 3rd flipper in the 4 robot melee, Rick is a low wedge with a wide flipper, everything Dantomkia and Hassocks Hog aren’t. Got to the heat final of S5 but didn’t bother showing up for S6. Ah well, it’s here now.
Your house robots are the villainous cyborg known as Mr Psycho, and his pet terror hound Growler. Such imaginative names.
The melee starts as all good 4 way melees do, with everyone piling into everyone else. I’d love to tell you more about who was doing what, but 240p YouTube video. It’s certainly not devoid of action though, with the flippers doing most of the early work. The first real attack comes courtesy of Dantomkia, who get underneath Hassocks Hog 2 and toss them like a piggy pancake. Of course, they land on the flame pit. Wouldn’t be right otherwise, would it?
Dantomkia then starts playing with Rick, also turning them over, but it doesn’t quite have the same effect on Rick as it did on Hassocks Hog, but mainly because Rick is the wrong shape to fall on its face and not get back up. King B meanwhile is holding back somewhat, coming in to poke and prod but not much more. They’re probably thinking that its best to leave Dantomkia to it, almost illustrated by Dantomkia taking Rick all the way across the arena and then almost tossing them out altogether.
Interestingly, as Dantomkia is preparing to launch another try to send Rick out of the arena, King B comes in as its saviour, pushing the yellow machine out of the way before it can get the flip in. Dantomkia decides this is a good enough excuse to go after King B instead, and starts flipping them towards psycho Psycho and his CPZ. Meanwhile, Hassocks Hog 2 are counted out, because they were useless and died in one flip
Dantomkia are continuing their rampage on both King B and Rick, who are now somewhat useless. King B is still giving it a go, but Rick seems to have given up the will to live. Hassocks Hog is now being molested by Mr Psycho, who can’t actually get a grip on the robot, and is actually using it like some kind of push up mat. Literally Mr Psycho is now part way off the ground. Eventually though Psycho does grab hold of the ear, before taking them over to the underutilised drop zone. Whilst that’s going on, King B decides to take a piggy back ride on Dantomkia.
Hassocks Hog being in the middle of the arena then starts to cause a little bit of havoc. Whilst Dantomkia decide to take a break and try to flip the already immobilised bot, Rick spots an opportunity and flips Dantomkia over! The first hit against the 5th seeds. Dantomkia easily self-right, but it’s the first warning sign that they’re not invincible.
Eventually, Mr Psycho has enough of Hassocks Hog’s presence in the arena and dumps them out of it. To be honest, they might aswell have not been there in the first place.
That’s about the last action of the bout, bar a few more flips form Dantomkia, but with 3 robots left, we’re going to the judges! Dantomkia are obviously through, I don’t think there can be any doubt about that. But who from King B or Rick? Rick actually flipped Dantomkia, but King B put most of the effort in.
And in the end that effort was worth it, because King B join Dantomkia in the heat semi finals. But who will join those two? Onto the second melee!
First up is IG-88, another of the Star Wars bots from Team Vader, whose robot Vader has already tried and failed. Constructed much the same, IG-88 is a pyramid wedge with a ‘birotational axe’, which also is basically a vertical spinner of sorts. Looks like it can do damage, but it can’t self right and that could become a problem.
Next up is Scorpion, which unfortunately doesn’t contain a stinging tail but does have a weapon combination of lifting forks and a horizontal spinning disc capable of reaching 5,500rpm at the other end. It did once have a tail, not that it was much use. Relatively little success, though pairing up with Firestorm in the 4th wars for the Tag Team Terror brought it all the way to the final. The robot looks powerful, but also vulnerable to attack.
Third we have Tomahawk, which pretty much is exactly as its name describes it. A box wedge design which actually runs on tracks, and contains a rather large axe, akin to the tomahawk it’s named after, which is not only a weapon but could theoretically double as a self righting mechanism. Reinforced with extra armour to try and combat the spinning wonders of IG-88 and scorpion, but before the fight it was somewhat untested in battle.
Finally we have The Stag, complete with a paint job that includes some rather creepy looking bug eyes and several shades of bug coloured orange. Look like a Stag Beetle and acts like one too, with crushing pincers on the front to do the damage. Can run both ways up, which may have been more use against flippers, but how were they supposed to know? wonderfully pessimistic team too.
Also in the arena is everyone’s least favourite house robot, Cassius Chrome, alongside the flame shooting maniac that is Sgt Bash. And we’re ready to begin!
Tomahawk was the first out of the blocks, trying to land hits on both Scorpion and The Stag, but missed both times. This left it vulnerable to attack form IG-88, which took a pot shot at the rear of the robot and promptly KOed it in two blows. So that’s one down.
The Stag meanwhile has a hold of Scorpion, stopping them from doing any damage before IG-88 refocuses and starts attacking them instead. IG-88 comes in with not one but two hard blows, but The Stag does survive, just about. It survives enough to get away at least.
The Stag, having escaped IG-88, decides it’s a good idea to open up the pit, which it goes and does with little fanfare. What follows next is what can only be described as a weird robot conga between Tomahawk, Scorpion and The Stag. Of course, Tomahawk aren’t exactly willing partners in this. But once again IG-88 comes onto the scene, and hits The Stag with enough force to turn it over. It’s still a 3 way fight at this point, and it’s really anybody’s game. The camera pans out as the robots disconnect and spread out across the arena. But, suddenly, one of those robots disappear…
Wait a minute! The Stag has just driven straight into the pit. It’s a disaster!
But what that does mean is that IG-88 and Scorpion are now through to the next round. What that doesn’t mean, is that the fight is over. No, apparently Scorpion fancy a piece of IG-88, because they start to go after them. This doesn’t end well for the Scorpion, naturally. Driving face first into the birotational axe was only going to end one way, that way being Scorpion’s entire front panel being torn off.
Cassius Chrome meanwhile is having its own fun with Tomahawk, manoeuvring them onto the drop zone. For once, the drop zone might actually be used! Indeed it is, with a metal ocean buoy positioned over the stricken robot. It comes crashing down, smashing Tomahawk into several pieces in the process. A robot that is now very much wasted.
And that end sour melees. 4 robots are through to the heat semi finals, including Dantomkia, King B Powerworks, IG-88 and Scorpion. Now we wait and see who of those can make it all the way into the series semi finals…