Robot Review: Crackers N Smash (S09E05)

I told you I liked the robots in this heat, and Crackers N Smash are no exception. They’re the first clusterbot to appear in Robot Wars since the reboot, and looking to cause the other competitors some trouble. Smash is the heavier of the robots at 60kg, with Crackers at 50kg, but both of them perform very different tasks. Whilst Crackers has a compact lifting mechanism that can help turn over or pin opponents, Smash lives up to its name with a small drum spinner to actually cause the damage. One of the advantages Crackers N Smash have is that, thanks to their weight distribution, both robots have to be immobilised for the whole robot to be counted out, meaning only one has to survive.

Unfortunately for Crackers N Smash, they had to get through a melee with the relentless Carbide, along with flipper Meggamouse and axebot Trolley Rage.

Both Crackers and Smash are instantly targeted, with Crackers being punted onto the flame pit by Meggamouse and Smash having its front end ripped off by Carbide. Whilst Crackers chills on the flames for a bit, Smash takes on Meggamouse, pushing them into the spikes. Apparently Carbide doesn’t want to let Smash go though, because they keep coming back for it, managing to create a spark show wherever the hits land. Of course, soon Carbide gets bored of Smash and instead goes for crackers, which gives an even more impressive pyrotechnic performance.

Discount Firework show.PNG
Discount Firework show

But Crackers N Smash are a durable pair, and they’ve managed to take Carbide’s hits well. The same can’t be said for Trolley Rage or Meggamouse, who both get destroyed at the hands of their deadly enemy. And this means, against the odds, Crackers N Smash are going through! But not before Smash pits Charles the cheese wedge for the lols.

So, into the Head to Heads go Crackers N Smash. And their first opponent, having only just put the robots back together after the fight with Carbide, are Coyote, who themselves managed to get through by the narrowest margin.

Coyote, with the clamping jaw, manage to grab hold of Smash with their first attack, and take him over to the waiting claws of Dead Metal, who is more than happy to receive his gift. But neither bot is going to take that lying down, and come back at Coyote, pushing and shoving it towards Dead Metal, but that only leads to Smash momentarily getting caught again.

Coyote’s next trick is to hit the pit release button, which releases Dead Metal to ONCE AGAIN grab Smash, and this time place them over the flame pit for a good few seconds. Crackers, it seems, is staying more out of the action, which allows them to strike when least expected, getting under Coyote and pinning them against the robot. With Crackers trapping Coyote, Smash hits the pit release, which releases Matilda this time. And Matilda comes across and hit Coyote across the jaw, damaging it.

Not only is the jaw damaged, but Coyote is now only turning on one wheel, and this gives CNS fresh impetus for attack. Both robots double up on Coyote, pushing and shoving and bashing it into the corner of the arena, where it eventually gives in, curls up and dies. And that’s 3 points to Crackers N Smash!

Next up on the road to the heat final, Crackers N Smash have to once again come up against the menace that is Carbide. As they can’t actually get the weapons working in time, Crackers N smash decide to go in without their weapons entirely. I’m pretty sure that’s illegal, but whatever. It happened.

With both Crackers and Smash flat as a pancake, it makes it difficult for Carbide to hit them with their bar spinner, any more that just scraping off the top of their armour. That doesn’t stop Carbide from trying, of course. But in trying, Carbide actually end up mounting Crackers for a few seconds, which is not a bad strategy for the clusterbot to try and take forward.

But, as they try to surround a Carbide now tilted at a downward angle by resting on Crackers, Smash gets a face full of bar spinner, which sends them backwards onto the floor flipper, which then tips the robot onto its back. Consequences of action! Smash then decides to hit the pit release button, which does see the pit go down this time. Carbide has now detached itself from Crackers and is roaming around. Smash seems to be trying to get the floor flipper to flip it back over, but when it doesn’t happen, they come back into play just as Carbide makes contact with them.

The result is Smash being flung all the way across the arena and into the side wall, a panel of which promptly falls off. Cue fight suspension for repairs.

Broken Walls
Broken walls

But, as the repairs are taking place, the Crackers N Smash team decide that it isn’t worth risking their robots for any further damage by Carbide, and concede the fight. It’s a shame, but at the same time it’s understandable.

Instead, now they have to face reigning Champions Apollo. Win this, and they’ll have a place in the heat final. Of course, Apollo are chasing that too. This time, Crackers N Smash have actually reattached their weapons, seeing as there’s less chance of them being destroyed.

Crackers N Smash start much the same way that they started against Carbide, with Crackers trying to get in underneath Apollo, which they manage. Infact Apollo has to flip itself too get off Crackers, which then keeps up the pressure. Once Apollo escapes, they go after Smash, who expertly runs away and activates the pit. But Apollo cannot be held back for long, and eventually manage to get underneath Crackers and flip them right into Dead Metal.

Face first

Apollo next decides to take Smash for a ride, tossing them against the arena side wall, before activating the rogue house robots. Dead Metal of course decides to go for Smash, because it wouldn’t be right otherwise. After finally escaping from Space Hedgehog, Smash is once again set upon by Apollo as the clock ticks down. Despite a last couple of flips, Smash has survived to the end! Crackers hasn’t, but that doesn’t matter so much. We’re going to the judges.

Unfortunately for Crackers N Smash, this is where their journey ends, with Apollo being awarded the decision. But what a journey!

So, how did Crackers N Smash do? Well, certainly a lot better than I thought they would do. As fun as they were, I had a suspicion they would become cannon fodder for Carbide in the melee, but they stood up well to them throughout. They even managed to beat Coyote outright, and took Champions Apollo all the way to the judges. All in all, a very good performance from the surprise of the heat.

Expectation v Result (Out in Rd1-3rd): +4
Melee survival: +2
Tamed the Coyote: +2
Hit so hard they took out one of the side wall panels: +1
Surrender: -3
Took Apollo all the way to a judges’ decision: +1
BONUS: Dead Metal’s best friend: +0.5

Robot Rating (Crackers N Smash): 7.5/10

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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