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.
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.
ROGUE HOUSE ROBOTS!
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.
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…
FOG OF WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAR!
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.
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.
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?
CARBON DIOXIDE STEAM BATH OF WAR!
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.
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.