Robot Review: Concussion (S09E03)

If you’re wondering why this is the 3rd Robot Review I’ve churned out today, it’s because I only realised this afternoon that the episode is coming off iPlayer tonight, so it’s pushed me into action. But I’m almost there!

Concussion are newcomers to Robot Wars, but their robot looks anything but amateur. Concussion is a drum spinner that can get up to 6,000rpm, with enough force to tear robots into pieces. The robot has a domed top shape, and runs on 2 wheels protected by a single side barrier, but can get up to speeds of 18mph, which is pretty damn fast. The robot is focused on that drum weapon, which is built out of a single piece of solid steel.

But if Concussion were going to get anywhere, they would have to fight through their initial melee. Opponents came in many forms, not least fellow spinner Tauron, plus axebots Thor and Chimera 2. With Concussion’s exposed top, that could make them a magnet for the axebots.

Concussion get involved in things straight away, crashing into Tauron and sending them into Thor, which knocks Tauron out in one blow. This is then followed up by a hit on Chimera, though that doesn’t do quite so much damage.

One hit.png
One hit

Concussion seem to have picked Concussion as their primary target, because they keep on them, but the drum isn’t doing too much damage to the front wedge. Likewise, Chimera aren’t doing any damage to them. Thor take over Chimera duties for a bit, but soon it’s Concussion back in and on the attack. It’s only when they get underneath Chimera that the damage seems to be done, because when the two robots break apart, Chimera have stopped working.

A very impressive debut from Concussion, knocking out 2 competitors in the melee to get through to the next round.

For Concussion, the first Head to Head comes against Thor, who were with them in the initial melee, but seemed to keep their distance. Now there’s no chance to avoid each other.

Concussion start by charging Thor head on, but almost instantly the rogue house robots end up getting released, and Dead Metal heads straight for Concussion. Concussion is a perfect shape to get caught in Dead Metal’s pincers, and the saw comes down, doing some small amount of damage.

Rogue Grab
Rogue Grab

Once Concussion have escaped and regained their bearings, they charge back at Thor. They continually land hits on Thor, who seems to take them well, but at the same time Thor has started venting CO2 and now their axe is all but useless, which is in Concussion’s favour.

But then Concussion get stuck on the pit, and that’s where the fight goes from being a proper war to being everyone on Concussion. Doesn’t help when Thor releases rogue Matilda, who manages to sink the pit even further and trap Concussion even more. Suddenly, it’s all looking like Concussion are going to lose the fight, having been on top for so long. They simply cannot get out of the pit.

And then Thor, trying to go in for the kill, manage to catch Concussion right on the drum. Thor flips over and with no gas, they can’t self right. From the jaws of defeat, somehow Concussion have pulled it out of the bag.

Riding on a high, Concussion next meet another robot coming out from a victory, Heavy Metal. With Heavy Metal having taken care of M.R Speed Squared, whoever wins this will have one foot in the heat final.

When the battle starts, Concussion go head on against Heavy Metal, striking the front wedge with their drum spinner. It doesn’t seem to be doing much damage, but it’s aggressive. One hit is so powerful it actually flips Heavy Metal over, and pins them against the side barrier of the arena. Sensing an opportunity, Concussion come in and aim for the large, heavily exposed wheels.

All it takes is one hit, and the wheel comes flying off! Concussion take the points!

With a place in the final practically assured, Concussion have one final Head to Head against a robot who are guaranteed to be going home, M.R Speed Squared. It’s spinner on spinner, if MRS^2 actually have a working spinner.

Well to start with, M.R Speed Squared actually do have a working spinner! A spinner that sent them spinning violently out of control, to the point where they start doing some aerobatics. But once back to Earth, Concussion are back on the attack. M.R Speed Squared are, however, an awkward shape for Concussion, or at least Concussion’s drum. The drum always strikes the outer ring, so it can’t do damage to the internals. Which is frustrating, to say the least.

But Concussion can use M.R Speed Squared’s high ground clearance against it, getting in underneath a few times and trying to drive them across the arena. With the pit opened, that’s what they go for, but they just can’t get them in. M.R Speed Squared have some traction still, and are steering themselves away.

Gambling with the pit
Gambling with the pit

Things keep on in this form for some time, successfully getting M.R Speed Squared into both Dead Metal and Sir Killalot, and generally bossing them around. But then, right at the end, something goes wrong. Concussion, for want of a better description, catch fire. I mean you can’t see any flames, but there’s rather a lot of smoke. And at the very end something sounds like it explodes. But, they have lasted long enough to get it to go to the judges.

And their early aggression is enough to take victory. 8 points out of 9, and onto the heat final we go!

So here were are, a rematch with Thor to get through to the grand final. It would be one hell of an achievement, especially after having had to repair the robot after the smoke show against M.R Speed Squared.

Concussion, fully repaired and ready to go, start in much the same way that they did in their previous fight against Thor, but going head on at them and taking little nibbles at their opponent. Thor, again, haven’t fired the axe, which is good news for Concussion. But Concussion can’t do too much damage to Thor, only glancing blows. One blow does almost send Thor over, but not quite.

This continues for some time, until the curse of Thor strikes again and it starts venting CO2 again. Not that Thor was using the axe anyway. This does not stop Concussion’s attacks, and if anything they’re getting bigger, more powerful, and Thor is struggling. Concussion are grinding them down.

Then Thor get flipped over. But this time, unlike the Head to Heads, Thor do fire the axe, and do make it back onto their wheels. But this only gives Concussion more incentive.

Robo Pole Vault
Robo pole vault

No matter what Concussion do though, they can’t finish off Thor, and we’re going to a judges’ decision. But there’s not much of a decision to make, because Concussion have been on top throughout, and they are deservedly crowned as winners!

And so on Concussion go, through to the grand final.

So how did Concussion do? Well they lived up to expectation (My expectation anyway), and put drum spinners on the Robot Wars map. They blitzed the heat, taking Tauron out in one blow, whilst Chimera 2 also fell. Subsequent H2H victories over Thor, Heavy Metal (sans wheel, eventually) and M.R Speed Squared showed they meant business. Thor took them all the way to the judges in their heat final, but Concussion have been a class above throughout. They are deserved heat winners.

Expectation v Result (1st-1st): 0
One hit kill on Tauron: +1.5
Cleaned up the melee: +1.5
Victories over all Head to Head opponents: +4
Plus whacked Heavy Metal’s wheel out of the arena: +1
Deserving heat winners: +4
Two victories had to come via a judges’ decision: -1

Robot Rating (Concussion): 9/10

Full Robot Review rankings from this series and the last series can be found here: )
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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