Robot Wars S09E06 Part 1: One Step Closer

We’re here. After 5 hard weeks of unparalleled destruction and carnage to the nth degree, 5 robots have made it all the way into the Grand Finale that is week 6. Aftershock, Eruption, Concussion, Ironside 3 and Carbide have shown they are a cut above the rest, and now must battle each other for the crown.

But before that can happen, there is the small case of the wildcard to settle. One team from the 5 runners up will be joining the others to make a 6 bot final. Sabretooth, Cherub, Thor, Pulsar and reigning Champions Apollo have all come so close, but only one can make it in. If it was up to me (I wish it was, but alas it is not), I would have chosen Pulsar, but something tells me they wouldn’t have been battle ready, given they burnt through just about everything in their actual heat just to keep the robot running. Thor would have been my next choice, having run Concussion close all the way, especially in their first Head to Head.

But no, the wildcard went to reigning champions Apollo, giving them the chance to retain their crown. Not only does it fit the narrative, but Apollo did take apart everyone except Carbide. And the prospect of a rematch is a very real one. Apollo themselves have had to put the robot back together, a consequence of having had Carbide in their heat. The question is, can Apollo put their heat behind them, and take care of the rather large target on their back?

Whether it can or not, we have our 6.

Melee 1: Aftershock v Eruption v Apollo

Our first melee of the Grand Final sees the winners of week 1 and week 2 face off against wildcard Apollo. Interestingly, Apollo is kept away from Carbide in the melee. Maybe they were worried the 3rd robot in that scenario would be left without attention? It does also beg the question of why the only 2 flippers in the contest are kept together, as opposed to the 4 spinners, which have 1 in this melee and the other 3 together. The safety in numbers aspect ensures at least one flipper in the Head to Heads, which could be one reason. I think it probably was the reason.

Regardless, let’s recap how each robot got this far:

Aftershock, from the same Team Shock that reached this stage last series with Shockwave, is a menacing vertical spinner, capable of tearing robots to pieces, as it expertly demonstrated in their heat. After taking mere seconds to take charge of and dispatch Crank-E in the melee, Aftershock then brutally tore apart anyone that dare go up against them. Rapid fell first, and whilst they were the least visually damaged of the victims, the internal damage was enough to ensure they went out of the competition permanently. Both Sabretooth and Terrorhurtz later found themselves in pieces, and in Sabretooth’s case, that happened twice. They didn’t come back from that.

Eruption was less about destruction, and more about putting on an air show. Coming back for revenge after an early exit in the 8th wars, Eruption survived a tough melee (And judges’ decision) to get through to the Head to Heads, but from there they were unstoppable. Behemoth, Cherub x2 and PP3D all found themselves flying out of the arena, whilst Eruption themselves sailed through. The question now is whether they can stand up to the ferocious spinners that are joining them.

Apollo are back to defend their crown, but faced the daunting prospect of a rematch with rival Carbide in their heat. They got through the melee easily enough, taking care of Rusty and Ms Nightshade with some ease, even giving Coyote a run around. But coming up against Carbide in the Head to Heads undid their hard work, and put a rather large number of dents in their armour. However, they got back at it by putting Coyote out of their misery, and got through a tough duel with clusterbots Crackers N Smash, albeit via a judges’ decision. It was there that they had to face Carbide again, but once again they just fell short. Now with a second chance thanks to the wildcard, they’re out for revenge, and to defend their title.

Your house robot for this first Grand Finale melee is the ever menacing Sir Killalot- bringing out the big guns early on. With the robots ready, it’s time to get things underway!

Apollo are the robot with a target on its back, and that’s clear from early on, with both Aftershock and Eruption avoiding each other to go for Apollo. Though Eruption seem to be keeping out of the way of everyone, Aftershock do go in on the attack. But they only ride up the flipper of Apollo, and that leaves them exposed. Apollo goes for the flip, sending Aftershock bouncing across the arena floor. As we found out in their heat, Aftershock can use the disc as its own self righter, which is exactly what happens here, with a little help from Eruption. The only problem is, the disc is so powerful that it’s actually damaged the floor of the arena.

Flip it.png
Flip it

The problem with the floor being damaged, it hinders robots with low ground clearances, like Apollo, who manage to drive straight under the now slightly elevated floor panel, and get themselves stuck. This makes the target on them even bigger, and soon Aftershock come barrelling in and connect hard with the rear end of Apollo.

It’s fairly obvious the battle can’t continue with the arena in as many pieces as Sabretooth once were, and so cease is called for a repair job. But with that finished, everyone returns to starting positions, and we get ready to go again!

Everyone is very tentative, unsure of what everyone else is going to do. Apollo especially, given what they’ve just been through, are taking it slowly. But even slowly, Apollo and Aftershock are still gravitating towards each other, until they finally collide! This time the big spinner on Aftershock hits its mark, sending Apollo flying back into the arena wall. That hit, it seems, was all it took to take out the reigning champions. When all of this is said and done, we will have a new king of Robot Wars!


Melee 2: Carbide v Concussion v Ironside 3

Next we move on to the battle of the spinners, in what promises to be a fight to the death. The week 3, 4 and 5 winners all meet here to see who has the best spinner on the block, and who can dish out the most damage. Carbide have come a long way by already defeating Apollo in their heat, and are seemingly favourites, but that means nothing until they’re the last robot standing. For newcomers Concussion and Ironside 3, who’ve gone one further than last series, now is their time to really put a stamp on things. But how did they all get here?

Carbide came through the final week of the heats in stunning fashion, taking not just the competition out of the equation, but the arena itself. After a melee which saw Trolley Rage dispatched and Meggamouse lose a wheel, they then tore apart arch nemesis Apollo in the first Head to Head. Crackers N Smash proved tough opponents, but not so tough that Carbide couldn’t use one of them as a projectile to take out an arena side panel. Coyote fell next, before Apollo were once again well and truly blitzed. Watch out for Carbide, because they’re coming for you.

Concussion is one of the new boys, but they’ve already made an impression, taking out one of the favourites in Thor along their way. Their initial melee saw them knock Tauron out in 5 seconds flat, before also overcoming Chimera 2. A close Head to Head with Thor saw them only just come out victorious, but they had more luck with M.R Speed Squared and Heavy Metal, even taking Heavy Metal’s wheel clean off them. Another tough contest with Thor followed in the heat final, but they prevailed. Now they’re here.

Ironside 3 came out looking to go further than they did in the 8th wars, and they survived some powerful robots along the way. They took out Crushtacean in one blow to progress through the melees, but that was just the start. They battled through a technical malfunction (Of the control booth, not the robot) to share the spoils with a resilient Pulsar in the first Head to Head, before showing up Wyrm’s anti spinner scoop as nothing but target practice. They then took out a weary Supernova to set up a rematch with Pulsar, where they just about took them out to gain a place in the final.

Your house robot for this particular fight is the wondrous and deadly Shunt, who seems to appear more often than not these days. Let’s do this!

Everyone fears Carbide, I think that is for certain. Nobody wants to go near them, so seeing Concussion slowly back away as Carbide comes into attack was quite funny, knowing what was to come. Concussion cornering themselves coincides with them activating the pit, then taking a hit from Carbide. Ironside seem to be trying to stay out of the way, but that doesn’t last for long before Carbide attack them to, hitting their rear end with enough for to break the self righting mechanism. So, good start by everyone, if everyone includes Carbide and nobody else.

Whilst Carbide goes off to sit back and sunbathe, Ironside and Concussion start at each other. I’m not actually convinced by how mobile Concussion are, and Ironside seem to sense that too, cautiously watching them turn in circles before giving them a few light hits.

Iron Concussion
Giving Concussion a concussion

Everyone is ganging up on Concussion, possibly knowing they’re not going to be able to get very far if they try to escape. First Carbide starts putting a few dents in the armour, before Ironside do the same thing. I almost feel sorry for Concussion. Almost.

Ganging up
Ganging up

The end of Concussion is near, it can almost be felt in the air. After Ironside decides that enough is enough on their end of the attack, Carbide comes in one last time and gives them the mother of all hits, sending the robot flying back into the pit release button and bouncing off into Shunt, with a massive gash in the armour and no working drive. Concussion is finished, and Carbide look deadly. Ironside 3 are going through as well, and you cannot count them out either.

So there we have it for the melees. 6 came, but 2 were so cruelly dismembered at the first hurdle of this finale. Now just 4 remain- Aftershock, Eruption, Carbide and Ironside 3. Only one can be victorious. Only one can be champion. But who will it be?…


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