Robot Review: Pulsar (S09E04)

Pulsar were grand finalists in the 8th wars, having fought through numerous issues- namely having to be reinstated after initially exiting in the melee- but their party ended in the grand final melee. So this time, with a Pulsar that’s been completely redesigned, they’re looking to go one better than reaching the grand final, and win the whole competition.

It wouldn’t be right for Pulsar to be entering spinner week without having a spinner of their own. This comes in the form of a 24kg, 8,700rpm spinning drum, which is supposedly the fastest in the competition. Not only does it have the weapons to cause mass destruction, Pulsar is also built like a tank to withstand blows from the opponent, and there’s also a new self righting arm, just incase they get flipped over. Oh, and they have blue wheels.


Pulsar’s initial melee this time around features a rival from last series, Ironside 3, whilst also giving them another bar spinner to worry about in the form of ApexCrushtacean, not a spinner, round out the competitors.

Pulsar keep out of the way early on, letting Ironside have a go at Crushtacean. But they’re soon into the action when they’re approached by Apex. Having fended off an attack from the floor flipper, Pulsar turn into Apex, resulting in a collision of bar and drum, and sending Apex twirling through the air and, as it turns out, out of the competition. With Crushtacean already out, that puts Pulsar through, though there’s still time to give Ironside a large whack, just to assert some dominance.

But when all has settled down and the clock has counted to zero, Pulsar are through.


Now we’re into the Head to Heads, where Pulsar must come up against Ironside 3 once again. Now one on one, this will put to the test whether the drum can really beat the bar. They’ve done it once, but can they do it again?

Whilst Ironside do their own obstacle course around the arena to start with, Pulsar wait for an opportunity, then take it, slamming Ironside into the pit release button and lowering the pit. But this seems to have damaged something inside the robot, and now the weapon is compromised. So what do you do without a weapon? Use the robot itself as the weapon. When Ironside next attack, Pulsar uses itself to deflect the blow and send Ironside flying into Sir Killalot.

Pulsar have now resorted to just ramming Ironside, but it’s working. Pulsar are being the more aggressive robot. But then disaster strikes and one side of the drive goes dead, leaving Pulsar only able to go in circles, and also trapped next to Sir Killalot, who proceeds to roast them over the fire and them drop them upside down.

Most robots would lie down and die at this point, but not Pulsar. They engage the self righter and get back onto their wheels, even if only half of them are working. To try and counteract this problem, Pulsar spin back up their drum, and start some wonderful gyro dancing.

Gyro Dancing
Gyro dancing

Now, whilst Ironside think Pulsar have been counted out, they actually haven’t and the fight is going to a judges’ decision as the clock finally reaches 0 for the 3 minutes. Cue much confusion. To remedy this, though I have no idea what the original outcome of the fight was, both robots are given 2 points. End confusion… Maybe.


Next up for Pulsar, having fixed the robot, is Supernova, which itself is a very powerful spinner. They’re fresh from dismantling Frostbite, and look up for a good fight.

The fight itself though doesn’t last very long. But it is spectacular. After both robots keep their distance, so that they can spin up the weapons, they charge at each other for an attack. Disc hits drum in a cataclysmic explosion of sparks, and Supernova goes supernova across the arena before coming to rest against one of the walls.

Lightning
Ground Zero

Pulsar have also stopped, but it is a brief stoppage, and soon they’re back at Supernova, using the robot as a battering ram again with the weapon dead (Again). This is all too much for Supernova, who promptly die, and Pulsar now have one foot in the heat final.


One final fight to confirm their place, against the two wheel titan that is Wyrm. They don’t have a spinner, but they do apparently have an anti-spinner scoop, though that was more intended for horizontal spinners. Still, they’re what stands in Pulsar’s way.

Unfortunately for Pulsar, they start off by spinning the weapon up amidst a large quantity of smoke, which is never a good sign. What is a better sign, however, is driving into Wyrm so hard that the anti-spinner scoop wedges itself underneath the robot, meaning the wheels don’t touch the floor, and Wyrm cannot actually move.

Into the smoke.png
Into the smoke

Wyrm are now to all intents and purposes dead, so Pulsar give it the same srimech salute it gave to Supernova. However, having defeated Wyrm, Pulsar have now stopped working too…

Regardless, they’re taking the points and a place in the heat final.


That heat final, as it just so happens, is against Ironside 3. Something tells me these robots enjoy coming up against each other. It is one final fight to decide who is going to be through to the grand final. Pulsar is seemingly working, having had to cannibalise other parts just to start itself up again. How long can it last?

The answer is not very long at all.

The first hit from Ironside stops the weapon, and seems to kill drive on one side of the robot. Pulsar are still going, but Ironside come in again, landing a good hit on Pulsar, and that’s what it takes to take them out. As Pulsar lay still in the middle of the arena floor, Ironside 3 come in to land one final blow, the one that ends Pulsar’s hopes entirely.


So, how did Pulsar do? Well it wasn’t quite the heroics of making the grand final this time around, but they certainly did not go quietly, and to fight through so many problems and still put a working robot into the heat final is impressive. They had a string of wins along the way, including KO blows against Apex, Supernova and Wyrm, with Supernova being a particularly explosive one. They lost to a very good machine in Ironside 3, but I was still largely impressed with how Pulsar had done. If I had my way, Pulsar would have gotten the wildcard.

Expectation v Result (2nd-2nd): 0
Hitting the Apex: +4
Push and shove ft Ironside 3: +1
Whatever that judges’ decision was: +2
Going Supernova: +3
Beaching the Wyrm: +3
Unreliability to the max: -3
Bowing out in the heat final: -3
BONUS: Srimech middle finger salute: +1

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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