Robot Review: Aftershock (S09E01)

Aftershock. Where to begin with Aftershock? One of the most impressive robots to have fought since the reboot started, causing more chaos and mayhem than even Carbide managed last year, and far more dominant too. Aftershock comes from Team Shock, made up of Ian and Will Thomas, who last year got all the way into the grand final with pusher/lifter robot Shockwave. Shockwave is no more, thanks partly to Carbide, and so now they have a new robot that’s more deadly and more menacing. This is of course Aftershock.

Aftershock bears a slight resemblance to the old 259, with a large vertical spinner mounted onto an angled box-wedge design which itself can be used to deflect horizontal spinners. The disc rotates at several thousand rpm, and as well as causing devastation wherever it goes, it’s rather handy at tossing opponents into the air. There’s no self righting mechanism as such, so it was unknown beforehand how Aftershock might fair against a flipper.


Aftershock’s first heat battle saw them come up against fellow spinners Crank-E and Sabretooth, along with TMHWK. Whilst Crank-E was also a vertical mounted spinner of sorts, Sabretooth was a vertical drum spinner. TMWHK on the other hand was an axebot, one that could try to jam the axe in the gap between the disc and the robot if it got the chance.

Straight away, Aftershock began to prove their worth, going after Crank-E and its apparently spinner-proof buffer panels. Initially it looked as if the panels might work, until Crank-E were given a shove by TMHWK right into the disc of Aftershock, sending them flying into the air. From that point onwards Crank-E were proverbial sitting ducks, and Aftershock let out hit after hit, with so much force that the top panel of Crank-E actually came loose.

Open up.png
Open up

Crank-E at this point are finished, and at the mercy of Shunt, so Aftershock decides to take it a little bit easy. After all, Sabretooth are taking care of TMHWK. So they wander over to the pit release button, which in this instance does actually let the pit descend. Aftershock’s disc has also stopped spinning at this point, which will later be discovered to be because they’d used such a high current some of their wiring had burnt out. But that doesn’t matter for now, because soon enough TMHWK are dispatched by Sabretooth, and Aftershock are safely through.

Now we’re into the head to heads, the best of the best. And Aftershock first come up against one of the robots that could potentially give them a hard time, Rapid. Rapid are of course a flipper, and with no knowledge of how Aftershock will deal with being flipped, this could get interesting.

And it was Rapid that struck the first blow, getting under Aftershock and flipping them into the arena side wall. Fortunately for Aftershock, they didn’t really need to worry about self righting, because the disc did that job perfectly well for them anyway. And now Aftershock can go onto the attack, and because of Rapid’s slow closing flipper, it became the perfect target.

Bouncy flipper.png
Bouncy flipper

There was some backwards and forwards after that, with Rapid taking blows but seemingly standing up well to them. But then one big hit from Aftershock sent Rapid flying through the air and onto its back, where they had to try and self right. But in trying to self right, Rapid broke their own flipper mechanism, and now they’re beached. Aftershock need do no more, they have the 3 points.

After taking Rapid out of Robot Wars altogether, they now came face to face with Sabretooth, who were defying expectation to be joint top of the leader board after defeating Terrorhurtz. For Aftershock, this was the chance to put distance between them and their rivals.

Instant Attack.png
Instant Assault

Aftershock were relentless, right from the start. With each attack, another piece of Sabretooth came off. If Sabretooth hadn’t run off and been flipped by the floor flipper, Aftershock could have probably stripped the entire robot in about 20 seconds flat. As it was, they had to do it incrementally. Still, 4 or 5 more hits were enough to leave the top panel barely hanging on and one of the wheels unusable. Sabretooth had barely gotten into the fight and they were already out of it.

Sabretooth try one more valiant attempt at clawing their way back into it by hitting the pit release, but that’s only rewarded by Aftershock going at them again, sending shrapnel flying across the arena. Even amidst the cries of “Stop, stop, it’s already dead!” From myself and half the population, Aftershock kept going, until Sabretooth was literally scrap metal. One of the most comprehensive obliterations on Robot Wars, and Aftershock were only just getting started.

That result put one wheel into the heat final, but they had one more fight to go against Terrorhurtz, who had just knocked Jellyfish out on one blow. And Terrorhurtz seemed to deflect the first attack from Aftershock rather well, until they then showed the rear end to Aftershock and were promptly rewarded by having half of it torn away.

Shrapnel.png
Shrapnel

And as Aftershock pushed and shoved with Terrorhurtz, they ended up inside Shunt’s CPZ. It was the first moment where Aftershock looked vulnerable, but even then they managed to make a show of it off Shunt’s front scoop. And once they were free, the pushing match with Terrorhurtz continued, until Terrorhurtz found themselves on the flipper. The flipper went off at the exact same time Aftershock hit THz, and the axebot was sent flying through the air so hard, the landing broke the axe!

Terrorhurtz it must be said are still going for it, even luring Aftershock onto the spikes where they were briefly tipped over. But Terrorhurtz’ survival was never going to last for long. Eventually Aftershock caught up with them, and with one hit they were flying over onto their back. And with no axe, Terrorhurtz was done. Aftershock had a perfect 9/9 for the H2Hs.

So now a heat final against Sabretooth, the robot they trashed in their head to head. Sabretooth that is barely moving, barely working. It wasn’t hard to see how this was going to turn out. The first hit turned Sabretooth over, the second punched them into Killalot who gave them a give spin amidst a third blow. The final one was to kill any sign of life. It was brutal, it was conclusive. Aftershock won the heat in style.


So, how did Aftershock do? Well I think it was possibly the most conclusive heat victory I’ve seen since the reboot, and possibly ever in terms of destruction. Crank-E, Terrorhurtz and Sabretooth twice met the wrath of Aftershock. Rapid were eliminated altogether after facing them. They left a trail of destruction that was unmatched. One to watch in the final.

Expectation v Result (1st-1st): 0
Recorded Annihilations: Crank-E, Rapid, Sabretooth, Terrorhurtz, Sabretooth again: +6
Sent Rapid home early: +1
12,000 pieces of Sabretooth: +1
Turned Terrorhurtz into a UFO: +1
Bonus: The “I should have taken my dad’s advice and made this scoring system out of 100, not 10, because of robots like Aftershock” bonus point: +1

Robot Rating (Aftershock): 10/10

Full Robot Review rankings from this series and the last series can be found here:
( https://robotwars2016.wordpress.com/robot-review-rankings/ )
Each review rating is hyperlinked to the article about that robot- simply click on the robot’s name to be navigated to their article.

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