Robot Wars S10E06 Part 4: Last Frontier

A couple of days ago we learned the sad news that Robot Wars will not be renewed on the BBC for Series 11. Other than the fact it was the roboteers that had to break the news (I first saw it in a tweet by the Carbide team), it was also incredibly poor timing with this being the 20th anniversary of the show and the ‘year of engineering’. I can’t think of too many other shows that can bring the kind of qualities Robot Wars did to the table, and I’m not quite sure what the BBC has in mind to replace it (Inevitably, it’ll be something that’ll make me want to throw my TV out of the window), but the decision has been made. We’ll certainly take many amazing memories from the show, and personally I’ll never forget how happy it made me when I found out it was coming back on our screens two years ago. Not many people can say they went on BBC Radio 5 Live to talk about the show either after the first episode of S8 aired (In hindsight, it would have been the perfect moment to try and shamelessly plug this blog), but I’ll always remember those 20 minutes waiting on the phone, to have those two minutes on air.

I’m going to miss it, a lot, but this is not the end of the road completely. There’s always the live circuit, which is as entertaining as it gets, and there’s the slim chance it could be picked up by another broadcaster. Away from the UK, robot combat is still going strong, having just had King of Bots in China (Which I really enjoyed watching), and a new series of Battlebots coming very soon. It will always live on, in one way, shape or form.

With my ramble out of the way, let’s get back to the task at hand. As it turns out, this will be the second to final recap of modern Robot Wars, as we enter the semi-finals of the Grand Finale of the 10th wars. With Carbide and Behemoth winning out in their redemption battles, they’ll join Nuts 2 and Eruption, and one of those four will go on to be Champion. Exciting times.

Semi-Final 1: Eruption v Behemoth

Coming a close second to Carbide in your heat is always a tough way to go out, but Eruption proved that they belong up there by winning not only the 10 Robot Rumble, but progressing all the way into the series semi-finals. Here they face Behemoth, who have caused a few upsets of their own already, namely dumping Apollo in the pit during their heat final. One of them is going to be going on to represent the flippers in the Grand Finale, and now it’s time to see if Eruption can repeat their ascent of last year, or if Behemoth can finally reach the lofty heights they’ve always desired.

Your house robots for this first semi-final are Dead Metal, and Matilda! FIIIIIGHT!

Behemoth come straight in, and I mean straight in. Eruption don’t even get a chance to take a second and compose themselves before Behemoth have them slammed into a wall and upside down, inside Dead Metal’s CPZ. Eruption desperately try to right themselves, but it takes a good few attempts to get them back on their wheels.

The Wrong Right
The Wrong Right

Behemoth themselves get momentarily lost in Dead Metal’s CPZ as they attempt to follow up on Eruption, but no damage is done, and they escape. They continue to chase down Eruption, but the next time they catch up, the flip misses its mark. And now Eruption are getting back into the fight, and doing some chasing of their own. It goes one way, and then another, but eventually Eruption get their opportunity to strike, getting underneath Behemoth side area and tossing them into a barrel rill across the arena!


Behemoth land awkwardly, right up against the arena side wall, and Eruption don’t waste any time before they come in and flip them again. This time Behemoth sails through the air and lands on Dead Metal, shooting sparks everywhere as the sawblade makes contact. Dead Metal is certainly interested in its new catch, and plays around with Behemoth for a bit, before slinging them back out into the arena. Behemoth rights itself, but comes back over by landing on the pit release button. The dice is rolled, the dial turned.


Dead Metal once again released from its cage, comes charging out, but can’t really grab either of Behemoth or Eruption, who are doing a great job of evading the both of them. With Dead Metal back where he belongs, the two competitors can get back at it. Behemoth try to flip Eruption, but again miss, and this gives Eruption the perfect opening to get in and flip Behemoth.

Now Behemoth are trapped in a corner, and no matter how much they try to self-right, they’re going nowhere. The walls are keeping them trapped. And Eruption have now come over, looking for an easy target.

Trapped in a corner
Trapped in a corner

Behemoth finally get back the right way up, but Eruption are already on their case, chasing them around without a pause, flipping them over whenever the opportunity presents itself. They get flipped into the pit release button, and it swings the same way as last time, but with a different outcome…


Nobody can see anything, which brings out the creative side in people, including standing on the control booth’s inner ledge to get a height advantage.

Tall Mode Activated
Tall Mode: Activated

As the fog clears, the battle continues. Both robots are still fully functional, but Behemoth are struggling. Eruption are relentless, flipping them all over the place. They end up back in Dead Metal’s claws, before being bounced off the pit release button once again. As Behemoth try to pick themselves back up, Eruption get them so close to the arena’s low wall that they can almost smell an OotA.

But they just won’t go over.

Eruption try, several times, to get them over, but Behemoth squirm away as fast as they can, living to fight another day. Behemoth are being pinballed around the arena like a robotic ragdoll, but the fight is reaching its 3 minute mark, and the countdown begins. Eruption have one last onslaught, but alas it is not enough. The timer ends, and the battle is finished. Both robots survived.

And so, with the tie a stalemate, it is off to judges Noel, Sethu and Lucy to determine the outcome of the fight. Who will be going on to the Grand Finale? Your winner is….


Semi-Final 2: Nuts 2 v Carbide

Here comes a rematch we’ve been looking forward to. Carbide were shocked by Nuts 2 in the Grand Final melee, when Carbide’s weapon chain decided to depart the robot and leave it without a functional spinner. But with the robot back up to par, can they put right the wrongs of previous battles and reclaim their place at the top. Or will the ever industrial Nuts 2, the underdog of the competition, manage to shock the world even further still?

The house robots have switched around this time, with Dead Metal and Matilda replaced by Shunt and Sir Killalot. Bringing the big guns out for the second of these semi-finals. It’s time… Fight!

Nuts 2 wastes no time spinning itself up, and neither does Carbide, although they also charge straight into their opponent. Carbide bounces off, but doesn’t let that stop them. They come back in again, and once again bounce straight off. So far, Nuts seem to be repelling the most dangerous bar spinner around.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t last. Carbide compose themselves, take a run up, and rip Nuts’ protective ring in half with one blow. The now liberated half of the ring flies away, taking one of the flails with it. Nuts are now damaged, and exposed. The flail is at 50%, and Carbide are looking like they want total destruction.

A side with nothing
A side with nothing

Nuts 2 are now spinning in the corner, hoping and praying for a quick and painless death. Carbide come in and rip into them some more, but not enough to kill them. Another couple of things still alive are Nuts’ minibots, one of which decides to hit the pit release button. What do we get?


Of course, Fog of War does a grand total of fuck all but let Carbide really spin up. Now Nuts are in trouble; Carbide takes its time, picks its spot, and moves in. The hit shreds the back end of Nuts, ripping apart the rear panel. Nuts somehow is still moving, but it is going so erratically it may aswell be counted as immobile.

Instant Death
Instant Death

That’s the end of that. As fun as it has been to see Nuts 2 get this far, it was worth it to see Carbide back to their best. Of course, Carbide couldn’t resist taking one last swipe at their opponent- but this time not at the main robot, but at one of the minibots! Oh the cruelty.

And so, the scene is set. Eruption and Carbide will be going through to the Grand Finale, a repeat of the same fight that happened last series! Can Carbide defend its crown, or will Eruption take its revenge?

One last recap to go, and I’m going to have as much fun with it as I possibly can.



Robot Wars S10E06 Part 3: Final Redemption

The redemption battles were a new feature brought in for S10, and found themselves a vital pathway for robots looking to take a second chance. Of course, some robots would only suffer more painful misery and end the tournament with two defeats to their name, but for others it pushed them right back into the fight.

The Grand Final is no different.

Four robots failed to get past the first battle: Rapid, Magnetar, Behemoth and even defending champions Carbide could not progress, whilst Nuts 2 and Eruption moved straight into the semi-finals. But for the former four, they have one last chance of keeping their hopes of winning Series 10 alive. The final redemption battles are on.

Redemption Knockout 1: Behemoth v Magnetar

Here we are with the first redemption fight of the night; Magnetar and Behemoth are two very different robots, but both are looking to go further than ever before.
The old hand, Behemoth had a rather comical exit from the initial melee, falling down the pit at the exact moment it was activated. Not much anybody could have done about that, it brought out one of the best “What the fuck, man?” faces we’ve seen from Ant Pritchard. They couldn’t really demonstrate what they could do, so this gives them a chance to really put on a show.
The newer, space age monster that is Magnetar had a much longer run in their melee, but were undone by a combination of Matilda and their self righting arm jamming open. But when up to power, they can tear into even the strongest of robots, as Rapid found out. Question is, can their robot stand up to punishment long enough for them to actually see victory?

Your house robots for this battle are the axe wielding titan that is Shunt, along with the deadly space hedgehog, Dead Metal. Two robots worthy of defending the arena’s honour. FIGHT!

Magnetar starts the battle by running away from Behemoth, which isn’t the worst idea whilst they get their spinning drum up to speed. Behemoth naturally try and chase them down, but all that leads to is them crashing against the ever troublesome lip of the pit, an issue that still hasn’t been rectified. Magnetar see this as an opportunity to move in and try to strike, but Behemoth recover in time to be the one that gets in underneath, and they flip Magnetar over.

Stand Up
Stand Up

Magnetar can self-right, and go back in on Behemoth, looking to make back the aggression and damage points. They get the hit in this time, grinding away at Behemoth’s underside. They go in again, and this time the hit sends Behemoth up and over, and now they’re the ones that have to self-right. Much like Magnetar, Behemoth has a very efficient self-righting mechanism, one which they’ve heavily developed over the years. So they come back, and the battle can continue.

Magnetar waste no time trying to go in for another attack, but Behemoth are not impotent, and trade back a blow of their own, throwing Magnetar back across the arena, even if this time they stay on their wheels. It’s back and forth, and Magnetar seem to be just edging it. They get underneath Behemoth again, and drive them into the arena side wall.

It is at this moment, things start to go wrong for people; Behemoth start going round in circles, a telltale sign that one of the wheels has gone, whilst Magnetar’s self-righter once again seems to have jammed open. It doesn’t stop them getting a good hit in on Behemoth, making them barrel roll.


Unfortunately, Magnetar find themselves in a spot of bother, with the drum spinner shutting itself down completely. Behemoth are still crocked, but at least now Magnetar can’t do any more damage to them with the weapon. They can push them around though, something Magnetar does not long after losing the drum.

Magnetar are stuck in an odd situation. If they back off and let it go to a judges’ decision, there’s no guarantee they’d win with their weapon packing up and Behemoth getting a few flips on them. But if they go in and try to attack Behemoth, there’s a chance that bucket scoop could flip them over, which would spell trouble with that righting arm jammed open.

But, unfortunately for Magnetar, the second option becomes a reality. They get that little bit too close, and over they go. Behemoth are going through to the semi-final!

Wild Celebrations
Wild Celebrations

Redemption Knockout 2: Carbide v Rapid

One fight down, but now we have two of the heavyweight hitters battling for their lives. Rapid and Carbide might have been the two robots you expected to make it through to the semi-finals straight from the melee, such was their respective impressive performances earlier in the series. But now we’re faced with the situation where one of them is going to be going home.
Carbide were shocked by mighty minnows Nuts 2, after the chain to their weapon came loose and rendered it unusable. History suggests they should have enough to bounce back, but their history battling flippers is not perfect.
Rapid, meanwhile, were fighting an uphill battle right from the start of their melee. After getting clobbered by Magnetar, their flipper became unhinged, and it was only a matter of time before they got beached. But can the gold plated beast flip out another of the greats?

House robots for this battle come in the form of the dastardly Sir Killalot and his bulldozer bodyguard, Shunt. Let’s get the clash of the titans underway!

Carbide, like Magnetar previously, try to stay out of the fight for the first few seconds to try and get their spinner up to speed. Rapid, however, have other ideas, and slide themselves straight underneath Carbide, completely ignoring the fact they now have a ferocious bar spinner nibbling away at them. Instead of flipping Carbide, they shove them all the way across the arena and into Shunt’s CPZ. Crafty.


Carbide recover well, and go on an attack of their own that rips into the side of Rapid. Are Rapid going to take this lying down? ~No damn way! They get back underneath Carbide and launch them towards the low part of the arena wall, but they just don’t go far enough  to fly out of the arena! Carbide bounce around for a bit, before steadying themselves and getting back into the fight.

Phase Shift
Phase Shift

This one act sends Carbide into overdrive mode. They crash into Rapid, ripping into the armour around the side of the flipper. Rapid come back but Carbide are there again, and Rapid’s flip leads to even more bodywork getting bent and buckled, with no detrimental effect to Carbide.

And then, it all goes so, so wrong.

They may not have known it at the time, but one of Carbide’s hits tore into something extremely vital- the electrics. And now Rapid are having a rather big robo problem, namely that the robot has caught fire. Smoke is billowing out of the robot, plumes of white hot residue filling the air. Rapid is still running around, using the last of its now very short lifespan. Carbide’s hit was the coup de grâce, and so very much like them.



Rapid, bless them, continue to charge around the arena. And Carbide, of course, continue to give as good as they get. Even when Rapid finally stops, the robot as dead as my enthusiasm on a Monday morning, Carbide continue to rip into it. Is there no mercy in this cruel world?

The battle is now done, hands have been shaken and the Rapid gang are preparing to go home. So what does Rapid decide to do? It catches fire, of course!

Baby light my fire
Baby light my fire

Carbide are going through to join Behemoth, Nuts 2 and Eruption in the semi-finals of the Grand Finale, and in devastating fashion too.


Robot Wars S10E06 Part 2: Gladiators

I was debating glossing over the fact I’ve been away for the past two months, but I decided I might at least say a little something about my self-imposed absence. In essence, I was burnt out. Not the first time I’ve said that on this blog, and honestly I probably should have taken my break earlier instead of trying to force myself to write these, because I would probably have been back sooner (If that makes sense?). One of the big reasons for such a long absence was starting my job at the end of January, which had sapped all my energy and, to a lesser extent, my drive and enthusiasm for writing- not just on this blog, but in general.

Could I have done this differently other than just downing tools and leaving for two months? Yes. Could I have done it at a better time, as opposed to when I was part way through the S10 Grand Final recap? Yes. I probably could have done this a lot, lot better. But I’m here now. I will finish this, and that’s a promise.

With that out of the way, there’s a chance you could have forgotten where we left off (If any of you are actually still here). Eruption, the furious flipper that so almost defeated Carbide the almighty in the Grand Finale of the 9th wars, survived quite possibly the best fight ever to appear in the Robot Wars reboot- the 10 way melee- and has made yet another Grad Final. They join the aforementioned Carbide, along with Nuts 2, Behemoth, Magnetar and Rapid in the final fight to the death.

Split into two battles of three robots, as has been the norm this season, each of them will face several gruelling fights, for the chance of taking home that glorious trophy. So let us get down to the great battles that await us.

Melee 1: Carbide v Nuts 2 v Behemoth

Carbide  is not a robot you want to meet down a dark alley after having two or three too many pints of oil. One of the most destructive, relentless spinners the competition has ever seen, Carbide tears through everything and everyone in its path. That tactic has landed it some great success, following up a runners up position in S8 with the title in S9. S10 has shown that robots are starting to take notice, and they’ve had a trickier time of it so far, but they are still the robot out there that has to be feared the most.

But whilst Carbide came in at the start of the reboot, Behemoth has been around for so much longer. One of the real old hands of Robot Wars, with every iteration of the robot improving on the last. They always looked so promising, but never getting as close as their design, their performance warranted. This series is different, with the Behemoth team taking out former champions Apollo in the heats among others. With a modular scoop design built to stand up to anything and everything Robot Wars can throw at them, is this finally their time?

Finally for this heat we have Nuts 2. Former jokers in the pack, Nuts 2 shows what remarkable improvements can come from a new, radical design. Whilst their S8 appearance gave them the look of being a joke robot (And S9 didn’t do much to change that perception), the S10 version seems to have blown everybody’s expectations out of the water. They took down former Grand Finalists Concussion to get here, but there were similarly good performances in their melee, and against Androne 4000 in which their opponent was eviscerated. A dark horse, if ever there was one.

Robot Wars would not be complete without the house robots, with the honour of first guard going to Sir Killalot and Shunt on this occasion! Time to battle

Whilst Nuts 2 gets up to speed, spinning on the spot, Behemoth and Carbide go at each other. With Behemoth rolling out the specialist ‘Spinner Killer’ scoop, they’re more than capable of deflecting Carbide’s blows, though the paintwork takes some rather heavy punishment. Behemoth decide this means that they can go in all guns blazing and worry about the consequences later, pushing against Carbide and shoving them into Sir Killalot, who forays out of his CPZ for a brief moment. Nuts 2 still isn’t doing much, however the minibots are proving something of an annoyance to the other competitors.

This annoyance is soon taken to another level. As Carbide and Behemoth battle it out, one of the minibots wanders over to the pit release button. Lo and behold, the dial swings to opening the pit at the exact same moment Carbide lands a hit on Behemoth, the momentum sending them sliding over the pit. It is unbelievably perfect timing, and as Behemoth slides over the pit, it descends, and they go straight down.

Cue Ant Pritchard’s face of utter bewilderment, wondering what the fuck just went on in those few seconds.

The Nuisance Maker
The Nuisance Maker
Going Down S10
Going Down

Enough of the pictures, let’s get back to the fighting. With Behemoth now out of the picture, Carbide has its sights set on Nuts 2, which is still just spinning around. But when Carbide comes in for the attack, they have a rude awakening. As they strike Nuts, Nuts’ flail makes contact with the chain for Carbide’s weapon, knocking it completely out of alignment. The chain doesn’t need much encouragement, and comes straight off. Carbide no longer have a weapon.

Tangle S10

Carbide knows something is wrong, and gets out of there, even if the minibots are still on their case. Nonetheless, Carbide backs up into the pit release button, which this time releases Sir Killalot into the wild. Nuts 2 takes an unnecessary ride on the floor flipper, and now has to contend with a rampaging house robot, which has targeted them for annihilation. They manage to escape, just about, and this time they are the ones to hit the button. We’ve had the pit, we’ve had rogue house robot. So what’s next?


As the CO2 smokescreen comes down, Nuts’ minibots are still trying to slide underneath Carbide, looking to get them trapped, but for the moment it isn’t quite working. Carbide aren’t helping themselves though by not running away, and have no real form of attack either. It’s a dangerous game to play, and after much trying, one of the minibots finally succeeds. Carbide is stuck, and the countdown timer has started. If they’re not careful, they’re going to be counted out. 3… 2… 1…

Movement. Carbide escape by the slimmest of margins.

One second to save a life
One second to save a life

So, the battle continues. But, whilst Carbide is happy to remain mobile, Nuts 2 are struggling to get near them. Carbide are so much faster. But if Carbide wants to pick up points with the judges, they’re going to have to be aggressive, which puts them in the line of fire. Every time they come close, Nuts puts the flails in, disrupting them even if it’s not causing much more damage.

It’s a stalemate, with neither robot able to take the other down completely. So we must go to the all knowing panel of judges, for them to cast their verdict. And, by piling together their vast knowledge of combat robotics, their decision comes through. The winner, and with a ticket straight to the semi final of the Grand Final, is…

NUTS 2!!!

I did tell you- dark horse.

Melee 2: Rapid v Eruption v Magnetar

So now we move on to the second of the melees, and the rest of the challengers. We’ve seen some twists and shocks already, who knows what could happen here?

Rapid endured a torrid 9th Wars, with the robot eliminated ahead of time after proving far too complicated to fix in time. That was compounded by the fact it was one of, if not the, most expensive robots to enter that series, and promised great things. Well they’re back, and this time they’ve made good on their potential. The wily Terrorhurtz proved their biggest challenge, but even the veteran axe bot found themselves out of the arena. Beware, Rapid is on the prowl.

Eruption, as we already knows, had the added challenge of fighting the 10 way melee to get this far, but in their defence they were handed a horrific group, including champions Carbide and former Grand Finalists Aftershock. Aftershock they took care of, under controversial circumstances, but Carbide was their undoing. Could this be the perfect time to gain revenge?

Magnetar, the evolution of Pulsar, has put supersonic technology under the spotlight, as they put one of the fastest, deadliest drum spinners into the warzone. Pulsar was plagued by issues, which stopped it from showing its full potential, but Magnetar has had no such issues. Push to Exit, Expulsion and Thor have all fallen to the drum, which entertains as much as it destroys. Now they’re playing with the elite once again, and this is a chance to send Magnetar one step further beyond the stars.

And for the house robots, we have the dynamic duo of Matilda and Dead Metal. Have to give the other two a rest after all. Now fight!

Everyone is quite tentative coming out of the blocks. Magnetar is trying to get the drum up to speed, but the other two don’t want to commit. Once we know which robot can get under the other, that gives them an inherent advantage. Eventually Eruption backs into a corner, and Rapid moves in. They are the ones that get underneath, but Eruption don’t hang around, and get out of there before Rapid can flip them. As Rapid chase after them, Magnetar comes steaming in, crashing into Rapid so fast that the golden flipper is catapulted off the floor, slamming into the arena side wall. Cue audible gasps from everyone else, because that was a stunning hit.


Rapid rights itself with the most ridiculous one and a half turn front flip, which tells you just how much power is actually stored in that flipper. Magnetar can now smell blood, and start going after Eruption, takes a few bites out of them, but nothing quite like what they did to Rapid. As that attack fizzles out, Rapid go back on Eruption, with the black and yellow flipper a popular target. Rapid, however, completely miss with their flip and, because of the sheer power they possess, manage to flip themselves over. It’s not like they flipped themselves onto their back either, because instead they’ve managed to get in such a position that they’ve managed to get stuck.

Mating position
Mating Position

Magnetar and Eruption resume their battle, but in doing so accidentally bump into Rapid, knocking them back onto their wheels. Rapid’s problem is now very apparent- they’ve lost the bungee rope that keeps their flipper tethered, and so the flipper is now unhinged. A rather serious problem to have. But whilst they’re regaining their senses, Eruption finally managed to get under Magnetar and flip them over, but Eruption’s flipper is certainly down on power compared to normal. A hangover from the 10 way perhaps?

Rapid rejoins the skirmish, and crashes into the pit release button, which activates the rogue house robots. Dead Metal goes after Rapid, but the saw just doesn’t reach. A lucky escape. But their freedom does not last long; Eruption comes in and flips them straight over. And when Rapid tries to right itself, the flipper completely unhinges, and the robot falls flat on its face, with the flipper bent all the way backwards. Absolutely no way back from this one, I’m afraid.

Open season
Open Season

Eruption is still going at Magnetar, but the low powered flips are barely disrupting the other robot- the flipper barely moves from its lowered position. But it does say a lot for Eruptions aggression, which is never a bad thing. Magnetar too are going for it, butting heads with Eruption and slowly chipping away at them. Something has to give, but it takes some outside influence for that to finally happen.

After some more back and forth, Eruption and Magnetar migrate to one of the CPZs, primarily the CPZ containing the roaming Matilda. They are busy with themselves, giving Matilda the perfect opportunity to sneak up and launch Magnetar into the air! As Magnetar comes to rest, upside down, against the arena side wall, their self righting flap has come open, wedging itself against the floor.

Essentially, they’ve done exactly what Rapid did. And they were probably going to win too, but such is life. Eruption, by some virtue, are making their way to the semi finals!

So there we have it, Nuts 2 and Eruption in the semi finals. But we need two more to make up the numbers, so Behemoth, Carbide, Magnetar and Rapid will all have another chance at progressing, and making it all the way to the Grand Finale.


Robot Wars S10E06 Part 1: The Wild West Of Robot Combat, AKA The Ten Way Melee

And so the time has come, for the greatest melee of all time to grace our screens. Not 3, not 4 robots will be facing off against each other, but all of the second and third place robots will be squaring off in a battle to the absolute death. After five heats, that means 10 robots will be smashing, shredding, flipping and ramming their competition out of the competition. There is no time limit to this battle, meaning it truly is a battle to the death, where only one robot will be left standing.

Sabretooth Apollo came out of the first heat, which was won by Behemoth. Whilst Sabretooth were busy getting their ass kicked by Donald Thump and aggravating some floor spikes, they did manage to sneak into the 10 way after dispatching of clusterbot ‘The Swarm’. Apollo meanwhile looked in fine form, defeating The Swarm and Apocalypse in their initial melee before dispatching Sabretooth in the semis, but suffered a shock defeat at the hands of Behemoth in the heat final, going route one down the pit.

Big Nipper Eruption were next to join, coming from heat number two. Big Nipper suffered the unfortunate feat of dying after just one blow from Gabriel 2, but recovered well enough to show what the robot could do, punting one half of the clusterbot Crackers N Smash into the arena lights and shattering Aftershock’s hopes and dreams to reach the 10 way. Eruption were tossing out robots left, right and centre, including both Crackers and Smash, and Aftershock, in their melee. They did, however, come unstuck against reigning Champions Carbide, leaving the 10 way as their only hope of reaching the final.

Track-tion Terrorhurtz were the representatives from the third heat. Track-tion are probably the luckiest team to have made the 10 way, having fortuitously been benefactors of Apex self-destructing, and Vulture withdrawing completely in their 3rd place playoff, in-between Raid tossing the out of the arena not once but twice, with one of those taking just 6 seconds to complete. Terrorhurtz had a much better run, smashing up Apex and Vulture with their axe, before putting up a brave fight against Rapid in the heat final.

Iron-Awe 6 Concussion represent the fourth heat, a heat that was full of shocks and twists. Iron-Awe got into the 10 way without a working flipper, somehow winning the melee when Tauron got beached on debris, then later repeating their fortune against Androne in the 3rd place playoff. Concussion went about this the hard way, getting their wheel bashed in by Nuts 2 and then getting stuck on Androne 4000’s crusher, all in the melee. They did get to show how deadly they can be by dismantling The Kegs and Iron-Awe 6, but Nuts 2 came back to haunt them and their makeshift ‘Nut Busters’ in the heat final.

Expulsion Thor finished off the list of competitors in the 10 way melee, coming in from week 5. Expulsion seemed to spend most of their time on their back, but benefitted from technical issues suffered by Push to Exit and Coyote, which allowed them to sail into the 10 way via the 3rd place playoff. Thor had a much more entertaining path into the playoff, including a couple of good wins against Coyote. However their weakness was also exposed a couple of times, with both Matilda and Magnetar ripping into the CO2 delivery system, the latter leaving Thor to drown in a dense fog of its own CO2 in the heat final. Now they’re here, and hoping to put it all behind them to claim a place in the grand final.

As they all are.

Apparently there weren’t enough robots in the arena as it was, so we have a couple of house robots bundled in there too. And it is the mainstay duo of Sir Killalot, and Shunt! It’s the wild west out there, let’s get ready to duel.

It’s hard to know exactly where to start with this battle, which is a recurring theme. Thor are certainly the quickest movers from the start, making a dash towards Ironside, whilst Eruption pretty much don’t move at all. Considering there’s no judging in this fight, and it is a battle to the end, that isn’t the worst move to make. Thor, for all its fast start, actually ends up driving into Sir Killalot.

A Party of Axes
A Party of Axes

There is essentially just a lot of driving around early on, with nobody quite knowing whether they should hold station or just dive in there and risk it, hoping for the best and not to come out a mangled mess. But amidst the chaos of 10 robots roaming around the arena, some actual damage is done when Concussion drive into Track-tion, tearing one of the tracks off with their drum.

Track attack
Track Attack

Big Nipper, sporting the claws instead of the drum spinner, try to attack Apollo, but instead just drive up the side of them, but soon turn their attention to the stricken Track-tion. On the other side of the arena, Eruption have been holding still and waiting, but finally get their first visitor when the still flipperless Iron-Awe come to join the party.

Amidst all of this, Thor push the pit release button. And down the pit goes… Now there really is fun to be had.

The pit almost catches out Concussion, which swerves right over the edge before driving away, just as it goes down. No, the honour for first robot to go down the pit in this fight belongs to Expulsion, who just end up driving straight into it, with no coercion whatsoever. Perhaps not the way you would want your 10 way melee debut to be remembered, but there we go.

Leap of Doom
Leap of Doom

Back in the arena, Track-tion are having to endure some punishment by Terrorhurtz, which is warming the axe up nicely. Apollo, perhaps seen as the biggest threat due to being former Champions, start getting ganged up on. All of Concussion, Big Nipper and Sabretooth join in, circling round the helpless Apollo. It’s Sabretooth that deliver the big blow, using the drum spinner to toss Apollo high into the air, where they come back to land on their flipper. Fortunately the flipper works, and Apollo survive.

Meanwhile Iron-Awe, whose flipper does not work, instead hit the pit release button, giving everyone Carbon Dioxide poisoning as FOG OF WAR erupts into the arena, blinding everyone. The only good this does is that it gives the legion of axes to team up, and push Track-tion down the pit. Not a good melee for school teams, admittedly.

The fog of war subsides, and Apollo gets underneath Iron-Awe, sending them on a wild ride through the air. Luckily for Iron-Awe, they land on their wheels.

Airborne S10 Melee

Unfortunately, that’s about all that happens before FOG OF WAR is back, blinding everyone once again. John Reid is suitably confused by the goings on in the arena.

In the confusion created by the fog, Sabretooth get punted into the arena side wall by Apollo, whilst Eruption finally get involved in the fight when everyone else gangs up on them and bundles them into Sir Killalot. Apollo seem to be having the time of their lives out there, with Thor becoming their next victim. All robots targeted have so far survived, however.

Iron-Awe, for the second time in this fight, hit the release button, but instead of FoW, this time we get Rogue House Robots! This ramps the chaos factor up to 11, leading to Eruption doing somersaults whilst being pursued by Big Nipper, and everyone else getting bulldozed by Sir Killalot. Iron-Awe then hit the button AGAIN, and I think we all know what’s coming next.


Karma kicks in straight away, because Iron-Awe wander over the floor flipper, which tosses them through the air. This time however they land upside down, which is the end of them. It wouldn’t have been if the flipper had worked, but apparently who needs a weapon these days? (Iron-Awe. Iron-Awe did). Concussion drive them into the pit, probably just to get them out of the way more than anything.

Apollo starts getting ganged up on again, and again by Sabretooth, with Big Nipper in tow. After the former pair dice and duel, Big Nipper actually slide under Apollo, lifting them out of the way with their claws. Classy.

Raise your claws
Raise your claws

Concussion don’t last too much longer than Iron-Awe; Thor, whose axe hasn’t worked for a while now, use their superior pushing power and some good angle work to gently push Concussion towards the pit, which they slide straight into. They had done well Concussion, but the arena takes no prisoners.

Eruption and Sabretooth have a face off against each other in the corner of the arena, with Sabretooth chipping away at the flipper of Eruption, but come away relatively unharmed. Terrorhurtz, always trying to get into the action, end up coming across the ever rampaging Apollo, and get flipped over. They do right themselves, eventually, though it takes a while for them to swing the axe.

After righting, Terrorhurtz are right back in there again with Sabretooth, and actually end up jumping over them when they swing the axe. Eruption, battling Big Nipper, get caught by Sir Killalot and smashed into the side of the pit release button, which activates the Rogue House Robots! Shunt emerges, and has a little play around with Eruption before slamming Apollo into the arena side wall. Ouch.


Whilst all of that is going on, and completely out of nowhere, Sabretooth does its best impression of Expulsion and drives straight into the pit. They did try to turn around right at the end, but it was just too late to save it. Ah well boys, next time.

So robots are beginning to drop, but the drama has only just started to begin. Rogue house Robots get activated once again, right after Eruption flips Terrorhurtz into Sir Killalot. Naturally, this angers Killalot, who picks Terrorhurtz up by their axe and drives them over to the side of the arena. John thinks Killalot is just going to twirl Terrorhurtz around, but how wrong he is. Instead, Killalot drives over to the arena side wall, and starts dangling Terrorhurtz over it, trying to throw them out. Cries of “That’s not right!” ring out, but still Killalot tries to evict them.

Terrorhurtz make it out alive… Just.

That's not right!
“That’s not right!”

In the chaos of that move, we’ve lost another robot. The pit is filling up nicely now, with Thor being dumped out of the melee by Big Nipper. Big Nipper then get pushed down by Eruption. Oh, and Dead Metal has also joined the battle for the house robots, because there wasn’t enough of them to begin with.

So now we’re down to just 3 robots- Eruption, Apollo and Terrorhurtz. The battle is taking their toll on all of them, but they have so far survived. Eruption take aim at Apollo, only to them get assaulted by Terrorhurtz. That battle continues for a little while, although Terrorhurtz’s axe seems to have busted itself. Eventually Eruption backs them into a corner, and launches the flipper. Terrorhurtz flip over, landing right in the gap between the side wall and the arena’s pit release structure.

Essentially, they’re trapped.

So now it’s a battle of the flippers. Eruption strike the first blow, launching Apollo half way across the arena. Apollo land on their wheels, and are free to continue, but Eruption has other ideas. They come in for a second strike, and this time Apollo are turned over. They don’t have enough gas left in the flipper, and now they’re unable to self-right. It’s over.

End of the End
End of the End

Eruption have won the 10 way rumble! They’re going through to the 10th Wars Grand Final, where they’ll join Behemoth, Carbide, Rapid, Nuts 2 and Magnetar. Now we know our finalists, the quest for a Champion has well and truly reached its final stage.



Robot Wars S10E05 Part 3: The Fog Of Thor

The fog of war- a divisive yet unique addition to this war, which shrouds the arena in a dense fog, which seems only to serve the purpose of blinding everyone watching. That includes the roboteers, the audience, the judges, and people watching at home, including yours truly. What the back end of this episode gives us is not the fog of war we know, but an entirely different, competitor version. But all that to come later.

Semi-Final 1: Thor v Coyote

SF1 S10E05

First up on the semi-final tour, the ever effective axe of Thor faces off against the gripper/crusher and chainsaw combination of Coyote. I’m not sure if the chainsaw is actually effective, or just a decorative piece on the back of the robot, but it’s actually been ditched for this fight, in order to fit a front scoop instead. Coyote had to get themselves through a robot redemption after Thor helped defeat them in the opening melee, so now they’re looking for a little spot of revenge.

Your house robots for this fight are the metal machine of mayhem, Dead Metal, and a former of a chainsaw, Matilda. You all know the drill by now, FIGHT!

Both robots dance around each other at the start, dodging the other when they would make a charge towards them, until Coyote goes head first into Thor and, despite their own scoop, go straight up their front, and get a mighty whack from the axe. Thor have taken this as their invitation to really go in on Coyote, and go strike after strike.

Hammer Time 2
Hammer Time

Thor back Coyote into a corner, and continue the assault. Coyote don’t really have a response at the moment. But it’s OK, because Thor start doing the work for them; Whilst trying to push Coyote into Dead Metal’s CPZ, they get caught instead. As Dead Metal has hold, Coyote hits the pit release button, and Rogue House Robots are unleashed! Thor is released by Dead Metal, and proceeds to drive straight over the floor flipper, adding some acrobatics to the display.

As Thor recover from being tossed by the flipper, they try to escape the madness. In reality, all they end up doing is driving straight into the wandering Matilda, catching the end of the flywheel and getting tossed over to the side of the arena.

Malicious Matilda
Malicious Matilda

But to make things worse, Matilda just so happened to tear into Thor’s weapon system, and now CO2 is venting everywhere.

In a cloud
In a cloud of gas

Thor has been reduced to a pushbot, but thanks to that low front end, they can still do that effectively. It’s scoop versus scoop, and even now Thor still look like winning. Thor push them into the side wall, then try to get them in with Matilda, but Coyote manage to make it out. Next is the floor flipper, but Coyote escape that too. Regardless, it’s all Thor right now.

This continues for a while, with Thor completely on top. Coyote do have luck on their side, with the robot narrowly avoiding the spikes on not one, but two occasions, and then managing to evade the floor flipper too!

Eventually time begins to run out, as it does for us all. The clock hits zero with both robots still mobile, which means we’re going to the judges! Now Thor were definitely the more aggressive, and for the most part more controlled. The question is, how badly does the hit by Matilda affect Thor’s chances?

Apparently not much, because Thor are going through to the heat final!

Semi-Final 2: Expulsion v Magnetar

SF2 S10E05

Now onto the other two robots in the semi-finals, and a battle of the spinners. Magnetar’s ridiculously powerful drum spinner plays out against an Expulsion robot perhaps lucky to be where they are, and reliant on Push to Exit’s reliability issues to progress (After beaching themselves via the floor flipper). On paper, it is perhaps a mismatch. But Robot Wars is not fought on paper…

Dead Metal retains his/her place on the house robot roster, but Matilda is on the way out, with Sir Killalot back and ready to guard the arena with his life. Battle time!

Expulsion’s tactics are fairly obvious from the start- hit the pit release button and see what happens. What happens is the Fog of War, the merciless mist that descends on the arena. Whether this is what Expulsion wanted or not, all it really does is give Magnetar the time to spin that drum up to speed.

When the fog clears, Magnetar’s drum is close to breaking the sound barrier. They charge in, smashing head first into Expulsion, sending them flying across the arena, barrelling through the air! Expulsion land hard, and bounce straight onto the floor flipper which tosses them against like a pinball! Up, down, up, down, all in one phase of battle. And when Expulsion finally come to rest, they are definitely dead.

Tumble Dryer

So, no turn up for the books this time then it seems.

3rd Place Playoff: Coyote v Expulsion

As is the way this series, the 3rd place playoff will determine one of the entrants to the ten way melee, which runs in the beginning of the grand final. With two slots left, it is certainly filling up, and now one of Coyote and Expulsion will be making up the numbers. But how will they both recover from their earlier losses?

Your house robots are the returning Matilda, and the ever present Dead Metal! With a place in the ten way up for grabs, let’s get down to business!

The robots start, with Expulsion spinning up and narrowly missing driving into Matilda, before swinging it around and crashing into Coyote. Somewhere in that collision, a piece of robot flew off. Coyote then turns things around; With Expulsion driving into the arena side wall, Coyote come up and pin them against it.

Power of the pin
Power of the pin

Whoever is driving Expulsion, probably could do with a bigger arena, because Expulsion continue to clatter into the arena barriers, but at least the robot works well as a bumper car. Coyote take advantage of this lack of control and catch Expulsion, before pushing them all the way across the arena.

But then, without any warning, Coyote stop. They just stop working. This is good news for Expulsion, because they now have a sitting target. Except they miss the target and instead plough into Matilda. Because why not?

Soz Matilda
Matilda’s fireworks

Matilda take their revenge, battering Expulsion with the flywheel and flipping them over, before using the tusks to flip them again. So now Expulsion are over and stranded. Fortunately for them, Coyote got stranded first.

And amazingly, whether they deserve it or not, Expulsion are into the 10 way melee!

Heat Final: Thor v Magnetar

Final S10E05

So here we are, the heat final. Magnetar and Thor have definitely been the most impressive of the robots in this heat, but only one of them is getting a place direct into the grand final. Will the drum or the axe win out?

Your house robots for this final battle are Shunt and Dead Metal, and it’s time to get down to the finale!

Thor, clad now in several metal wires that should act as entanglement, try their best to catch Magnetar at the start, but Magnetar is too agile and escapes the attacks. This also helps Magnetar spin up their drum, with the power increasing with time until it is up to full speed. So when the two robots collide, Magnetar makes sure they’re going in drum first. Thor is flipped straight over by the drum, landing upside down, but manage to recover even with the attention of Magnetar.

As Magnetar come down from their attack, Thor takes revenge, getting behind Magnetar and pushing them into the arena side wall, hitting them continuously with the axe in the process. A persistent attack like that does not do Magnetar any favours, and they just about manage to wriggle themselves free of Thor’s grasp.

Into the wall

Thor try to get back on the attack, but Magnetar now have time to spin back up to speed, and tear off one of Thor’s entanglement wires without it being able to do anything. So much for that defence then. It doesn’t help things that Thor also decided to drive over the floor flipper, and had to self-right. But the battle continues.

As Magnetar continue to go on the rampage, Thor are starting to suffer. Another attack hits Thor’s back corner, right where the wheel is, before they’re thrown through the air by another attack. And this time they land right next to the floor flipper, which Magnetar can see, and one more attack is all that’s needed to guide them onto it.

Thor are thrown into the air by the flipper, and come to land right on top of Magnetar’s already rotating drum. And by a miracle of all miracles, the drum tears into Thor’s weapons system in the same way Matilda did, but even more devastating. Thor explodes in a pressurised cloud of CO2, coming to rest upside down amidst a fog of its own creation!

The beginning of the beginning of the end
The beginning of the beginning of the end
Fog of Thor (Article)

The fog eventually subsides, and now we can see Thor stranded. With no gas, they cannot self-right, and they are counted out of the fight. Magnetar, the ridiculously powerful reworking of Pulsar, have definitely proved themselves in this heat. They’re going through to the grand final!

No we know our 5 heat winners- Behemoth, Carbide, Rapid, Nuts 2 and Magnetar. But there is still one place left to fill. The 10 way melee awaits….


Robot Wars S10E05 Part 2: Pushed To The Exit

It’s Robot Redemption time! Whilst Magnetar and Thor have safely navigated their way through the opening melee and into the heat semi-finals, there are still four other robots fighting for their life. Coyote, Hobgoblin, Push To Exit and Expulsion must now battle to gain a second chance at progression, but two of them are going home for good.

Redemption Knockout 1: Coyote v Hobgoblin

RK1 S10E05

The first of these knockouts sees egg beater Hobgoblin face off against the wily Coyote. Whilst Hobgoblin faltered after one flip from Push To Exit, Coyote went all the way against Thor, but lost out in the judges’ decision. Still, if Hobgoblin can get the beater working, it could still be a force to be reckoned with.

Your house robots, and the favourite pairing of the series, it’s Shunt and Sir Killalot! One stays, one leaves, let’s battle!

Coyote start as they did in their melee, driving head first into Hobgoblin, though this time they bounce off as opposed to latching on. Hobgoblin have the egg beater going at full power, but Coyote do well to avoid it, instead getting round to the side of Hobgoblin. Now, for all the power Hobgoblin seems to have, it has a very big, square frame, which makes it easy for Coyote to grab it.

Coyote break off from Hobgoblin, but the Goblin seems to be having control issues all by itself, and isn’t exactly the most mobile robot inside the arena. That always could just be how the robot actually is. But it gives Coyote basically all the time they need to plan their next attack. It also allows Coyote’s minibot- Roadrunner- to drive over to the pit release button unobstructed, and activate the pit.

Roadrunner Nation
Roadrunner Nation

Coyote and Hobgoblin continue to grapple, though Coyote are doing most of the hard work, but Hobgoblin continue to evade the pit, and are continuing to survive. Coyote aren’t exactly doing much damage either, but are winning plenty of Aggression and Control points.

Coyote navigates Hobgoblin away from the pit, and towards the CPZ of Sir Killalot, which also resides next to the flame pit. So Hobgoblin now get to enjoy that attention, and a light roasting. However, as much as Hobgoblin have struggled to get a foothold in this battle, they’re apparently still deadly enough to bend Sir Killalot’s claws out of shape when they make contact with the egg beater. So we know that works.

Killalot basically runs away, and Shunt comes in to take over the house robot duties. Hobgoblin get pushed right into the corner of the CPZ, where Shunt can pin them down, and strike with the axe. And they strike six, seven, eight times, hammering down with each hit. But, like Sir Killalot before him, Shunt eventually becomes victim to Hobgoblin’s beater, with the axe shattering on impact with the weapon. Talk about lethal.

Shatter Axe
Shatter Axe

But for all their house robot destruction, Hobgoblin have actually been immobile for a while, which is only compounded when Shunt uses to scoop to turn them over. They are counted out, and Coyote are going through, but what a way to go out!

Redemption Knockout 2: Push To Exit v Expulsion

RK2 S10E05

So with Coyote going through, we now need to see who will make up the final slot in the heat semi-finals. We know Push To Exit worked, with them flipping over Hobgoblin, but then got pulverised by Magnetar, so questions remain over the robot’s reliability. Expulsion we didn’t really get to see much of, seeing as they were punted over in the first few seconds and immobilised straight away. Really, it’s anybody’s fight.

Your house robots for this fight, because Shunt and Sir Killalot are currently nursing injuries sustained by their battles with Hobgoblin, are Dead Metal and Matilda! Fight time!

For once, PtE don’t drive straight into the arena side wall, and actually are quite tentative to start. But they do land the first blow, of sorts, by driving into Expulsion and knocking them back across the arena- although Expulsion do say on their wheels this time. However, it soon becomes clear that the same kind of problem that has befallen robots such as Iron-Awe 6 before has befallen them now- the flipper isn’t working.

Expulsion get knocked around a bit by Dead Metal, though once again not knocked over, and escape via the flame pit to continue the attack. The two competing robots clash again, but this time Expulsion drive up Push To Exit’s flipper. But of course the flipper isn’t working, so they just sit there for a while.

Up the ramp
Up The Ramp

Expulsion manage to escape, but Push To Exit are looking worse for wear. Expulsion get around behind them, giving them a hefty whack and a half. Expulsion continue to push the ailing robot, which keeps cutting in and out, and guide them around to the floor flipper. Unfortunately for Expulsion, they are on the wrong side of Push To Exit, and they are the ones that end up getting flipped. So now they’re the wrong way up… Again.

Over and Over Again
Flip Flop

PtE manage to gain some mobility for a fleeting few seconds, before they once again cut out and grind to a halt, whilst Expulsion are sitting on their spinner. They spin the spinner up, showing the robot still works, but it doesn’t get them anywhere. With both robots being counted out for immobility, there is no choice. It has to go to the judges.

Who wins?? Well, having gone over the fight with the assumption that both robot have been rendered immobile, the actual fight is under scrutiny. And with that in mind, your winner is…. EXPULSION!

So now we know our heat semi-finalists. Magnetar and Thor are now joined by Expulsion and Coyote. Next up, is the fight for victory, and passage to the Grand Final.


Robot Wars S10E05 Part 1: Astrophysics 101

Been a while, hasn’t it? I basically burnt myself out in the final days of NaNoWriMo because I had quite a lot to complete in a short space of time, and in the aftermath I didn’t feel like writing anything again for a while. I suppose that was always a risk I was going to take doing both that and this side by side. But, even though I’m now quite far behind everything, I will at least try to get somewhat back on track. The operative word here being ‘try’.

So week 5, the final heat of the series and the final introductions to new and returning competitors. After this heat, 5 of the 6 Grand Finalists will be known, as will the makeup of the 10 way robot rumble that will determine the final spot. There’s always a danger with the final heat that it gets forgotten about quite quickly and pushed aside, which was remedied last series by putting Carbide and Apollo into it, and this series it kind of looks as if this was done purposefully. Let’s just say it’s not the most enthralling of heats compared to some of the crazy episodes we had earlier, although it does still have its moments.

Plus, there are some heavy hitters to look out for, and this heat is full of returning robots. Magnetar is the evolution of Pulsar, and looks even more deadly (If that was possible), whilst Thor, who are always there or there about, are back too. Coyote makes a return after being decimated by Carbide last series, as are a very different looking Expulsion. Then there are the cases of Push To Exit Hobgoblin, which both made first round exits last series, and are looking to show what they can really do.

Melee 1: Expulsion v Thor v Coyote

Melee 1 S10E05

Expulsion S10

School team robot Expulsion is back and looking very, very different than before. Whilst the old version looked like a centipede and was easily knocked out by Foxic and M.R. Speed Squared, it had outlived them and converted into something a lot more compact, but still keeping the expanding spinning blades that made it such a unique robot in the first place, long with a different, three sided spinner. With spinners at such different weights, Expulsion could be anywhere between 70kg-110kg depending on the configuration. The new robot now almost looks like a ball on wheels, or a curved pyramid, which could hopefully stop any invertability issues. Whether it will actually be damaging enough to go far, we have to find out.

Thor S10

Thor, one of the best axe bots in the business (Alongside Terrorhurtz), is back again. After only finishing as runners up in their heat last series, Thor wants to get back where it belongs. The robot is fairly similar to the one entered last year, but the scoop now features a great number of angles and sharp points, whilst the firing rate of the axe has been increased too. Thor is still one of the fastest robots in the competition, pushing 30mph, and is a force to be reckoned with.

Coyote S100

After being dismantled by Carbide last time around, Coyote is all new and all improved, even coming with a brand new copper finish to it. Infact, the frame of Coyote now consists of copper pipes and steel bars, whilst the chainsaw is back having destroyed itself last series. The main weapon, however, is of course the front crushing jaws, which are as much to clamp as they are to actually crush. Coyote were actually a reserve going into the series, but got a last minute call up. Can they make that chance count?

The resident house robot for this battle, and long time admirer of circular saws, it’s Dead Metal!

Straight away, Coyote drive straight into Expulsion, punting them like a football right into the arena side wall, and then continuing the assault into the claws of Dead Metal. Unfortunately for them, Expulsion get kind of pushed aside, and it’s Coyote that end up in the claws of Dead Metal, and then paraded over to the flame pit, and then attacked with the saw. Tough break.

Spark Shock
Spark Shock

Coyote are left free, and Expulsion are next on Dead Metal’s hit list. It’s about as much entertainment Expulsion are going to get, because they’ve beached themselves in the CPZ. So much for not having invertability problems. Dead Metal, being the one track robot that it is, does exactly the same to Expulsion that it did to Coyote.

Grabby Hands
Grabby Hands

As Expulsion are left to rot, Coyote have managed to get themselves stuck on the pit, which has accidentally sunk and has to be brought back up to free Coyote. Thor, perhaps sensing an opportunity, hit the pit release button, but instead activates the rogue house robots. Dead Metal runs out, pushing Coyote out of the way and instead going for Thor, pinning them against the wall. Thor escape trouble, but it’s the first sign they can be rattled.

It’s now all Thor against Coyote; Thor strike the first few blows, landing some good axe hits on Coyote and pushing them around, with the front scoop getting under fairly easily. But Coyote strike back, grabbing hold of the front of Thor and pushing them into another CPZ. Thor break themselves free, and break off a piece of Coyote in the process. It goes backwards and forwards like this for a while, but Coyote are starting to feel it more than Thor.

Rogue House Robot finds itself activated again, although all Dead Metal seems to be able to do this time is drag Expulsion’s minibot, Roadrunner, around. So much for that. And Thor apparently decides it wants revenge, and attacks Dead Metal! They actually land a good hit, before they are swatted away. And because why not, Coyote comes in to join the party, grabbing hold of Dead Metal’s claw!

I bite
I bite

After separating from Dead Metal, Thor and Coyote charge at each other, and smash head on! Coyote again comes off worse, this time with the front jaws breaking! No more jaw, no more weapon. Thor go to town with the axe, but the battle has now run its course, and we go to the judges!

Coyote or Thor? Well considering Coyote ended up shedding body pieces and has a broken jaw, I think there can only be one winner. And that winner is Thor!

Melee 2: Push To Exit v Magnetar v Hobgoblin

Melee 2 S10E05

Well that was one way to start. But now we move on from the less common in terms of weaponry, and move into the more conventional spinners and flippers, but with no lack of extravagance and experimentation.

Magnetar S10

If you thought Pulsar looked incredible, just wait until you see Magnetar. It isn’t just an upgrade, it’s an entire overhaul. It’s a mashup of experimental tech and radical ideas, including brushless motors and the highest voltage battery (50V) on the show. The actual robot looks pretty much the same, but yet still has that look of evolution. The weapon is still as powerful as ever, weighing 21kg and spinning at 8,500rpm, making it essentially a rotating launcher. And, as is so necessary these days, the middle finger style self-righter is back once again. Oh, and it has a cat shaped wedge piece on the front of it, because why not?

Hobgoblin S10

Hobgoblin is back, having fell over backwards and died after about 30 seconds in the last wars. This time the robot features one major difference, being a set of wheels on the top which supposedly stop that from happening. The egg beater weapon is still there, hoping this time to be able to cause a great deal more damage than it could in the 9th wars, with the 25kg beater spinning at 2,500rpm. The top speed has increased too, to 12mph, and overall the robot has been given a bit of a bump, performance-wise. Whether that bump will be enough, we will have to find out.

Push To Exit S10

Bringing forth the only front-hinged flipper since the reboot, Push To Exit is hoping to put the disappointment of being one hit KOed in the 9th wars behind them. The bright blue, long nosed robot is much the same as it was last year in design, featuring a low pressure flipper that also acts as its self-righting mechanism. The robot is pretty speedy too at 24mph, but also has had control issues in the past, which they’ll need to get over.

Shunt is in the arena for the house robots, because apparently the arena isn’t complete without an axe in it. Time to battle!

Push To Exit, continuing right off from where it left off in the last series, drives straight past Hobgoblin and into the arena side wall. Old habits apparently die hard. But they recover, and drive back into the action, getting underneath Hobgoblin and flipping them over. THE FRONT HINGED FLIPPER WORKS! Hobgoblin fall onto their spare wheels, slide into the arena wall and bounce off. They then, er, stop.


Magnetar, having hung back, then joins the action, getting up close to PtE and actually managing to drive underneath them, drawing them into the drum and sending them skywards! Push To Exit crash back down on top of Magnetar, which rips apart some of the entanglement devices (Not that entanglement devices have done much this series, let’s be fair).

Unfortunately for Push To Exit, whatever’s happened with those attacks, the robot has stopped working. Or at least the flipper has stopped firing, which means they can’t self-right. It is, unfortunately, over.

KO Blow
KO Blow

Magnetar still push them into Shunt, who then axe them before pushing them back out into the wilderness, but PtE can no longer fight back. For Hobgoblin, they’re still moving, just very, very slowly. They’re immobile enough. Magnetar start to celebrate, gyro dancing in the middle of the arena, because they know that they’re going through.

So there we go. Perhaps as expected, Thor and Magnetar are going through!