3 heats in and all 3 winners so far have been flippers; M2, The Grim Reaper and Dantomkia. The age of the flipper is seemingly upon us, at least by this trend. And it could well continue as we move into Heat D, but there are also several other worthy competitors trying to book their place in the series semi-final.
Indeed, the seeded robot for this heat was 13 Black, a robot that had not one but two horizontal spinning discs as weapons. The paint job was a gambling addict’s worst nightmare and the robot didn’t just like to spin its weapons, but spin on the spot too. They’re seeded 7th which isn’t too bad at all, though the seeds have fallen before in this wars…
Joining them are a plethora of wonderfully named robots, including: The Alien (Not actually an alien), Lightning, The Herbinator, Hydra (#HailHydra), Thor, Gravity and Hodaf The Bad. A mixture of flippers, spinners, axes and orbital launch pads, if you’re Gravity.
So, the battles. 4 robots meeting to beat the living crap out of each other. Could never really ask for more than that.
First up in round 1’s first melee is Lightning, another one of the many flippers on this series. Sporting a couple of lightning bolt decals (Of course), a couple of random silver spikes out of the back and a system that comprised of 2 separate flippers. Oh, and some weird little alien figurines, because gimmicks. Like 13 Black, but less destructive.
Keeping with the theme of aliens, the next robot to come out is actually called The Alien. Not a flipper this time at least, but it does fall into the 2nd most popular category of spinning weapons. The double headed vertical spinning hammer combo they have looks interesting, though I still struggle to see the merits of bolting it to the back of your robot.
Next up is Herbinator, which looks like Herbie the Volkswagen Beetle from that film I can’t remember but must have been forced to watch about 7 time whilst I was a kid. Surprise, surprise it has a flipper. It also has basically no chance of winning.
Finally we have the main event itself! 13 black, in all its roulette glory, comes out to try and stake a claim to become the big bad of the competition. It also makes it 2 spinners and 2 flippers in this heat melee. I mean granted The Alien is a spinning hammer, but it’s still spinning. Supposedly 13 Black now sport a self-righting mechanism, which is a good item to have all things considered.
Right then. To battle! Your house robots are Cassius Chrome and Shunt, neither of which have flippers or spinning weapons (Shut up, Shunt’s scoop doesn’t count). Let’s begin!
Right from the off Lighting goes like lightning and attacks Herbinator, which does nothing but stand there and take the hit. Lightning though, can’t actually get a flip away that would do anything. Herbinator however have now stopped moving- as if they were actually moving before- and take a blow from 13 Black. Lightning then comes in to continue what they started and tips Herbinator on its side… For now.
The Alien, having not been a part of this fight much yet, has now decided in its infinite wisdom to take on 13 Black, and does manage to get some spinner on spinner contact. 13 Black gets away only to run into Lightning and scythe one of the alien figures clean off the robot and onto the arena floor. Poor bastard. It’s a real 3 on 3 battle now though as 13 Black crash straight into The Alien. Things are heating up.
13 Black then gets hit by lightning, and promptly catches fire.
Well I say catches fire, it wasn’t quite that dramatic. More like it just put on quite a smoke show. The Alien decides this is a good idea to launch an attack on the failing robot, and manages to land quite a hefty blow. The problem is, The Alien does more damage to itself than it does to 13 Black. More damage in the sense that 13 Black is still moving, The Alien is not.
Herbinator, which let’s face it we’ve completely forgotten about at this point, finally gets counted out by the Refbot. It’s nice to see just how much use it actually was in battle. An apparently suicidal 13 Black meanwhile just about manages to miss the opening pit. It’s like 2016 Big Nipper all over again. Just to add to the humiliation, Lightning then uses one of their side flippers to pin 13 Black against the arena side wall. I mean it doesn’t matter because The Alien are now being counted out, but ya know.
If it’s any comfort to The Alien, they do kinda get the red carpet treatment for dead robots. First they do a somersault on the floor flipper, then they get a giant metal buoy dropped on them. They’re gone. Herbinator are gone. Lightning an 13 Black (Just) are going through.
So, melee number 2. This melee actually sees a little bit of variety in what weaponry is on offer, thank god. Only a little bit though.
And most of that variety comes from our first robot Thor. You’ll probably know Thor from last year’s 8th wars, but this version is a little different. It’s got a longer body and a hammer-like-axe with a rather hefty arc length. It’s still red though.
Next up is Hydra. As disappointing as it is not to see Bill Paxton and Brett Dalton piloting the robot, is does still pose a considerable threat. It’s has two weapons, one in the form of a lifting arm and the other in an axe. A thin, pointy axe, not like Thor’s hammer. Tried and failed in previous wars but you never know, this year could be its year.
Thirdly we have Gravity, a robot that comes from The Netherlands and sports one of the most powerful flippers seen in this era of Robot Wars. The robot may be called Gravity, but all it does is defy gravity. Can lift a car. Probably tells you all you need to know.
Finally we have Hodaf the Bad. I don’t know where to begin with this robot to be honest. Another robot that has duel weaponry, this time in the form of a flipper on one end and a low to the ground spinning disc on the other. Wacky orange and black paintjob. For some reason has a tent pole in the middle of the robot that is covered in fake fur. Probably not going to win.
Anyway, with your robots sorted, the only thing left is to introduce this battle’s house robots, coming to you in the form of Shunt- still sporting a large scar across the front of its scoop- and Sgt. Bash. Let’s begin!
Everything starts very quickly, at least if you’re Gravity. They get straight in underneath Hydra and send them somersaulting through the air. Hydra, luckily for them, land back on their wheels, though somewhat stunned. Thor meanwhile is going for Hodaf The Bad with the full force if their hammer. Hydra and Gravity are making something of their battle, with Hydra using the full combination of the flipping arm and the axe as Gravity tries to get away.
Everyone eventually amalgamates in the centre of the arena, mixing up the twin battles for a moment. Hodaf somehow slithers out away from everything whilst Thor drops a hammer blow on nobody at all. Hydra go chasing down Hodaf The Bad, catch up, and over goes the nightmare in orange!
Hodaf, thanks to their own flipper, can of course self-right, but it’s nice to see some more action! And Thor tries to carry on that action, aggressively bringing down hammer blow after hammer blow on Hodaf, not that all of them make their mark, but at least some of them do. Meanwhile Gravity and Hydra have rekindled their rivalry, which is more beneficial to Gravity once they get in underneath, and this time send Hydra barrel rolling through the air. Hydra aren’t going to take it lying down, and try to flip Gravity, who do their own little pirouette before returning to their 2 wheels.
But if you thought that tussle was good, what happened next was off the charts. After Hydra’s little assault, Gravity came back at them, got in underneath and drove them to the edge of the arena before tossing them high into the air. But when Hydra came back down to Earth, they didn’t just land. No, they landed on top of the arena sidewall, CRUSHING IT.
If that wasn’t enough, Gravity then took hold of the stricken Hydra and flipped them out of the arena so hard that they KOed one of the camera’s in the process. Total and utter destruction.
Now there’s no way the battle can continue. One camera down and one panel of the arena sidewall unusable. Gravity has done a number on the area, that’s for sure. It’s up to the judges now to decide who goes through. It’s not going to be Hydra, they’re gone. Gravity I would say are a certainty to go through. So that leaves it a tossup between Thor and Hodaf The Bad. I mean, no contest really. Hodaf didn’t really do much except self-right when it was flipped. And indeed, Gravity an Thor are put through into the next round, and live to fight another day!
So, Lightning, 13 Black,, Gravity and Thor. Our fearsome four. Until next time…