So, having gone through the wonder that was the featherweight frenzy, we now return to the second round of battles in Heat E. First up is reigning champions Tornado, so impressive in their initial melee, versus Leveller 2, which was lucky to still be largely in one or two pieces after its first battle. Probably doesn’t help Leveller 2 too much that Tornado is invertible. Everything is seemingly stacking up in favour of the champions, but this is Robot Wars, so who knows?
Your house robots for this battle are Shunt and Sir Killalot. Let’s get this party on the road!
Tornado started off this battle very quick out of the blocks- with their host of interchangeable weaponry, this time around they’ve gone for a large scoop, the primary function you would guess being simply to push Leveller 2 around a lot and also try to stop them getting underneath from the front end. Indeed, as Tornado and Leveller clash, Leveller tries to get a flip in, but the attack misses its target. But then Leveller 2 get in around the side, and this time they do flip Tornado over. Now Tornado have a small problem, because their scoop is now the wrong way up, and this makes them vulnerable from the front end once again.
This of course doesn’t stop Tornado from launching their own attack at Leveller 2, getting behind them and using the scoop, though upside down, to push them across the arena and into the side wall. They then do it again, an assertion of dominance. Leveller 2 are struggling to get out of this.
Leveller 2 are now trapped in one of the CPZs, and are being double teamed by both Sir Killalot and Shunt in a weird game of robo pinball. Tornado even tries to join in, though they drive straight into Leveller’s flipper and find themselves turned over again. At least this time they’re now back the way they’re supposed to be.
And now the right way up, Tornado are relentless. After Sir Killalot lets Leveller 2 go, Tornado comes crashing into Leveller 2 time after time. They’ll push them across the arena, into one of the side walls. Then before Leveller can escape, Tornado will be back at them, launching attack after attack. After Leveller 2 gets caught in Shunt’s CPZ, Tornado goes and activates the pit before coming back on the attack. The pit descending can be bad news for anybody, but especially anybody fighting Tornado. Leveller 2 are on the ropes, something compounded when they run into Sir Killalot, who not only blocks their escape route, but grabs hold of them and hoists them into the air.
Killalot eventually dumps Leveller onto the flame pit, but it makes not a lot of difference, because soon they’re back in with the house robots anyway. First Killalot again, and although Leveller 2 try the improbable and attempt to flip Killalot, this just serves as a distraction until Shunt comes in and starts trying to put the axe through them. All this time, Tornado are going at them too. Even when Leveller escape, there is no escape. Tornado just keep coming, and coming. Eventually the battle ends up near the pit, and there’s only one way that could end. With or without Tornado’s help, Leveller 2, despite putting up a good fight, end up driving themselves into the pit. And that’s game over. Tornado into the heat final!
Right then, so we know one of our heat finalists, but not the other one. That’ going to come out of the next battle between Ewe 2 and Tetanus Booster. Two very different robots, in design as well as weaponry. Ewe 2 being quite a big, bulky robot with a flipper, whilst Tetanus Booster is more of a low slung box robot with a drum spinner. Only one can win.
Your house robots are once again Shunt and Sir Killalot, because all the other house robots had gone on strike. Let’s get this thing started, shall we?
Ewe 2 are the early aggressor. They don’t actually get the chance to get in underneath at all, but they have a few little rams at Tetanus Booster, which is struggling to get the robot turned round the right way in order to do some damage. There are a few more barges between the two robots, but Tetanus Booster decides this isn’t working, and promptly starts running away! But this is good for them, it allows them to line themselves up, and now they can land a few blows. The sparks fly, but there isn’t too much in the way of damage to shout about. Ewe 2 still haven’t fired the flipper.
Tetanus Booster are now on top, and Ewe 2 for some reason are struggling. They’re struggling so much that they decide their best point of call is to open up the pit, but that doesn’t stop Tetanus Booster from coming at them. One hit from Tetanus is so hard that one of the armour panels actually flies off Ewe 2.
Still, Ewe 2 are not completely out of this. But even when they get in a good position to attack, get in underneath Tetanus Booster, the flipper still won’t fire. And with no flipper, Ewe 2 effectively have no weapons. But Tetanus Booster seem to be slowing, and Ewe 2 do manage to pin them against the pit release mechanism. But there’s just no end product. They pin them, then do nothing!
Tetanus Booster are all but dead. They’re moving so incredibly slowly, the weapon is barely spinning. They’re having to use up what life force is left in the arena just to spin the wheels. Ewe 2 aren’t much better to be honest, but at least they can still keep up some speed in their attacks. But no, with no clear winner looking likely and the clock running itself down, the battle is going to have to go to the judges!
So style, control, damage and aggression. Those are the categories that the judges are determining the battle result on. I’d say Tetanus would have taken Damage, Ewe 2 Control. Neither really showed any style and Aggression is a tossup depending on which half of the battle you look at. Not an easy call. But the judges do have to say one way or another, and they’ve gone with…
I would not have liked to be the judges on that one, it was so, so close. But they’ve gone for a winner, and now Tetanus Booster are going to be facing off against Tornado in the heat final…
So here we are. You all know the drill by now; One final fight to seal a place in the series semi finals. Will it be the champs, Tornado? Or will Tetanus Booster go all the way? This is where we find out. Tornado themselves have gone with another weapon, an electric lifter built into a scoop. There won’t be a flipper going through this time at least, but that might be as close as you get.
Your house robots are Shunt and Cassius Chrome, because one pushing robot in the arena just isn’t enough. Let’s get this heat final underway!
It’s no surprise that Tornado are fastest robot out of the gate, running circles around Tetanus Booster almost immediately. Eventually they get face to face, but Tetanus Booster’s spinning drum just bounces off the scoop as Tornado gets underneath and slams them into the arena sidewall. It’s a shock to the system, and Tetanus can’t get out of there quick enough to dodge the next attack, in which they actually ride up on Tornado before being rammed into the arena perimeter. It’s relentless.
Next Tornado pushes Tetanus Booster into Cassius Chrome, but then takes them out and drives them instead into an angle grinder. It’s almost as if Tornado have glued Tetanus Booster to their own robot, or they have some kind of magnetic attraction. Tetanus Booster just can’t get away, no matter how much they twist and turn. And when they do land a hit with the drum, it just simply isn’t doing any damage. They’re fighting a losing battle.
At some point Tetanus Booster almost seems as if it’s just given up and accepted the fact that Tornado is going to dictate wherever it ends up, which is actually a CPZ, where they are dumped and left to be mangled. Tetanus spin the wheels up, creating a lot of smoke, but don’t get anywhere fast. They’re in real trouble now.
Eventually they gain the traction they need, but Tornado still attack. This time they’re bulldozed into the Refbot before being pitched onto their drum spinner, which grinds a nice hole into the arena floor. Tornado are well in command by now, and pretty much try to leave Tetanus Booster with the house robots. Tetanus Booster is slow to respond, like the back end of the Ewe 2 fight, and Tornado have no problem continually getting underneath and just pushing them around. Tetanus are offering almost nothing. Even the drum spinner has died by this point.
There’s one last play for Tetanus Booster, that is the little run around they give Tornado, who are desperately trying to get them into the pit. But eventually they can’t keep up the chase any longer, and Tornado takes them down and into the pit! That’s game, set and match.
So Tornado though to continue the defence of their crown. Finally a robot that isn’t a flipper going through to the heat semi finals. But can they go all the way? Well we’ve got a long way until we find out.
That’s because tomorrow (5th March) is the main event! Robot Wars the 9th wars kicks off on BBC2 and 7pm. I’m actually not going to be able to watch it live because I’ll be on a train with no internet signal, but fear not, I will have watched it by the end of the day. But until tomorrow…