Robot Wars S10E04 Part 2: Rotate

We resume this week’s recap, which inevitably is going to end up spilling into next week too, with the new feature that’s taken the season by storm: Robot Redemptions. With Nuts 2 and Iron-Awe 6 already through to the semi-finals, it’s up to Concussion, The Kegs, Tauron and Androne 4000 to fight it out and see who is worthy of joining them. Without further delay, let’s get to it.


Redemption Knockout 1: Concussion v The Kegs

RK1 S10E04

It’s time for a fight between one robot (pair) that it’s amazing they’re still able to function in the form of clusterbots The Kegs, and another robot that probably should have been doing better than dropping into the redemption rounds, in the form of former grand finalist Concussion. As a consequence of being ripped to pieces, one of The Kegs is having to go in without its spinner, because it was catapulted off the robot by Tauron. Can they do the impossible? Can they fuck.

Sir Killalot and Matilda are your two house robots, let’s battle!

Concussion are out straight away, trying to charge down one of The Kegs, which haven’t started quickly at all. They miss on the first run but quickly turn the robot around, and then charge one of the clusterbots down so hard that it literally rips the beer keg armour straight from the chassis, sending it flying across the arena.

Beer Keg Down
Beer Keg Down
Beer Keg Down Pt2
Beer Keg Down, Part 2

The other clusterbot doesn’t fare much better, becoming something of a pinball between Concussion and the floor flipper. Concussion make contact first, sending the robot spiralling through the air and onto the floor flipper, which barely allows the clusterbot to stop before launching them through the air, where Concussion is waiting once again to punt it around. The clusterbot is now pretty much a robot football.

Both Kegs machines are now dead, no surprises there. But that doesn’t stop Concussion from coming in and ripping apart the already naked Kegs robot so violently that all you could find after the fight was some sawdust and the tattered remains of John Frizell’s hopes and dreams.

Eternal destruction
Eternal Destruction

Killalot grabs the other clusterbot and dangles them over the fire, just for effect. But the fight is over, and The Kegs have been well and truly defeated.


Redemption Knockout 2: Tauron v Androne 4000

RK2 S10E04

Here’s a fight that promises to be a lot closer than the previous one, between bar spinner Tauron and crusher Androne 4000. Tauron were unlucky to lose to Iron-Awe 6 in the melee, whilst Androne got stuck on Concussion, so who knows what they could have done. Unfortunately, after this one robot is going home.

Your house robots are hedgehog hell raiser Dead Metal and the knight of the arena, Sir Killalot!

Androne start out on the front foot, chasing down Tauron as they try to get the spinner up to speed. They clash, but Androne manage to stop the spinner dead, without it doing any damage. They keep pressuring Tauron, pushing them towards the arena side wall. With the control they have, they then shepherd Tauron straight into Sir Killalot.

They are released, but Androne waste no time in chasing them back, and within the next 10 seconds they’re right back in with Sir Killalot. Killalot apparently doesn’t like having Tauron around, because they released soon enough. And again, Androne are right there, and they finally manage to get their claw to come down. They don’t pierce anything, but they have Tauron completely off balance, and hold the upper hand.

But Tauron manage to turn the tables, with the help of the floor spikes. As they drive over the spikes, and the spikes fire, it lifts the robots up and loosens Androne’s grip, allowing Tauron to swing round slightly and rip loose one of their opponent’s armour panels.

Lifting the flap
Lifting the flap

The two robots haven’t separated for a while, so Sir Killalot comes over and gives them a gentle shove, allowing them to separate. Doesn’t stop Androne from going straight back in there, and this time Tauron get pushed into Dead Metal. And Dead Metal has no problem grabbing hold of and bringing the saw down on Tauron, etching a nice slice mark into the robot.

Androne go for the pit release button, which does indeed activate the pit, but it gives Tauron a chance to get the bar spinner up to speed, and they manage to land a blow on the damaged armour panel, damaging it further, but not enough to tear it off.

After that, it’s back to Androne trying to chase down Tauron, and they manage to trap them once again. This time they get them proper head on, and bring the crusher down on the bar spinner, stopping it, and causing Tauron to start venting smoke. Probably Androne’s most effective attack of the fight.

Iron Grip
Iron Grip

Androne let Tauron go, and they now seem to be having control issues, which allows Tauron to come around Androne before unleashing another attack on the same side of the robot, causing yet more damage. Androne is now spinning in a circle, with one bent front spike, trying desperately to stop Tauron’s weapon every time they attack. It’s kind of working.

The clock counts down to the end of the fight, but just before it does, Tauron decides to take a customary ride over the floor flipper. Because why not. But with both robots still technically moving, we’re going to a judges’ decision!

Now, I would not want to be a judge for this one, it was a very close battle. I’d give it to Androne on the aggression front, just. Tauron get damage, hands down. I would give Androne control for the first half of the fight, but then they lost a wheel and the control went away. Argh.

But the judges do come to a decision. The winner, and going through to the semi-finals, is…. ANDRONE 4000!


Semi-Final 1: Iron-Awe 6 v Concussion

SF1 S10E04

So, to the semi-finals we go! Concussion are here, having torn The Kegs to pieces, and they now come up against Iron-Awe 6, who managed to go through despite having no working flipper. One will go through to the heat final, one will have to settle for a 3rd place playoff. But who will win?

Dead Metal is there for the house robots, alongside Shunt! Let’s get ready to battle.

Iron-Awe charge straight at Concussion, but perhaps amazingly for a flipper, they don’t go underneath, instead bouncing straight up and off Concussion’s drum. Concussion take the initiative straight away, and start attacking the side of Iron-Awe. IA have some more entanglement devices, though not the TNT stick ones, but once again they fail to do much. Entanglement has been disappointing so far, it has to be said.

After Concussion’s attack, Ion-Awe just about manages to avoid Shunt’s axe, but when they come back around, Concussion is already there and launches another attack, and then another one. The front wedge piece flies off Iron-Awe, and then in the next hit send Iron-Awe barrelling through the air.

Flipping the flipper
Flipping the flipper

Iron-Awe lands upside down, which is unfortunate for them because the flipper STILL ISN’T WORKING. Dead Metal comes across, prodding at Iron-Awe like a predator poking its prey to see if it’s dead. Satisfied, they bring the saw down, and let the sparks fly!

Sparky Spark
Sparky Spark

Iron-Awe are finished, make no mistake about that, but Dead Metal moves them so that they can burn on the flame pit for a while anyway, before they are eventually counted out. Concussion had a rough start to this heat, but they’re going through to the heat final!


Now the only question is, who will be joining them?

 

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Robot Wars S10E04 Part 1: Piss Up In A Brewery

Here I am, finally getting around to writing the recap for the fourth week, and penultimate heat of Robot Wars the 10th wars. After three heats that have brought us the weird and the wacky, and two new heat finalists in the shape of Rapid and Behemoth alongside current champions Carbide, the fourth has its own group of challengers looking to get through to the grand final, with that shot at glory. Concussion have been there before, but they face some stiff competition to make it through again. Iron-Awe 6 come in as the successor to a well known robot from the original war, and a robot that has won UK Championships on the live tour. Nuts 2 Tauron have been here before, but last series couldn’t make it past the first round, whilst Androne 4000 The Kegs are brand new robots, looking to cause a stir. It’s a wide range of weapons with a wide range of experience, so shall we get started?


Melee 1: The Kegs v Tauron v Iron-Awe 6

Melee 1 S10E04

The Kegs S10

The Kegs are a pair of clusterbots that come from the same Greenpeace centred mind that gave us Terror Turtle, John Frizell. Much in the way he worked professionally, his robot is made out of recycled parts, namely the metal beer keg that was split in half to make the two different clusterbots. The Kegs are identical, with each of them possessing a 10kg spinning bar and running at a respectable 12mph. However, naturally, the robot’s defences are somewhat limited, and the armour thin. Could be an issue against powerful competitors.

Tauron S10

Tauron met an unlucky end in the 9th wars, having been knocked out after just one blow, but come back with a drive to succeed and a robot that stays true to what it wants to be. A blocky, cuboid style chassis is just the base of a robot that has a fearsome weapon. An 18kg, 3,600rpm vertical spinning bar that runs on a pivot, allowing the robot to be invertible. After such a short run last time, can Tauron make more of their undoubted potential?

Iron-Awe 6 S10

Iron-Awe, one of the ancient wonders of Robot Wars, is finally back! Whilst not the most successful robot in the original run of the show, Iron-Awe did at one point flip Bigger Brother out of the arena. It was away from the TV where Iron-Awe was successful, winning two UK Championships on the live circuit with Iron-Awe 5. Now they’re back with Iron-Awe 6, with a full, ramp style flipper as the weapon, and not an axe in sight. They also have several anti-spinner devices attached to the side of the robot, which honestly look like TNT sticks.

Now we have the competitor robots, time for the house robots. The one robot you don’t want to come up against in this fight, it’s Sir Killalot!

Everyone uses the first few seconds to get the weapons up to speed, well at least those that have spinners. Iron-Awe get the first brief hit from Tauron, before Tauron hit one of The Kegs into Iron-Awe, tearing off some of the anti-spinner dynamite sticks. Iron-Awe get stuck over the flame pit for a while, before escaping, but those anti-spinner devices are quite possibly the most useless I’ve actually seen this series.

Tauron go to attack Iron-Awe again, and actually end up mounting them, but Iron-Awe doesn’t fire the flipper. As we find out, that’s because the flipper doesn’t actually work. Infact not much is going right for Iron-Awe so far, because their next play sees them drive straight into Sir Killalot. Not really the smartest of moves.

Iron-Awe and Tauron seem to be having quite the battle. The Kegs are trying to get involved, but aren’t really doing much. But Tauron and Iron-Awe are really going at it, and Tauron tear some more of the anti-spinner sticks off, proving they aren’t anti-spinner at all.

Shattered Sticks
Shattered Sticks

Tauron then turn their attention away from Iron-Awe and onto The Kegs. They come across, targeting one of the robots. But when their bar spinner connects with the bar spinner of The Kegs, it shatters the connections and fires The Kegs’ spinning bar all the way across the arena, breaking something and scaring Dara O Briain half to death. They may not be built very well, but they sure break apart spectacularly. Like a discount Apex.

The other Kegs bot activates the pit release button, which lets loose the Rogue House Robots! And Sir Killalot, right next to the button, try to take out that machine first. They evade, and Killalot instead jams Tauron into the wall, but only for a brief moment, before Iron-Awe becomes a target. Now free, Tauron goes after one of The Kegs and connects well, sending them spinning through the air.

Air Roll
Air roll

The Kegs are now dead, and Iron-Awe are being chipped away at by Tauron’s bar spinner, which is relentlessly looking to cause damage, especially as Iron-Awe has no working flipper. But none of the blows cause any real, serious damage and Iron-Awe continues to function well enough to run away. But they also do some of the chasing too, and one of those chases end with Tauron driving right up Iron-Awe, and getting stuck. Sir Killalot has to separate them but when they do, both robots seem to have stopped working properly.

Iron-Awe moves, just, then stops. Tauron doesn’t move at all. Eventually both robots are as still as the rest of the arena, and a countdown is called. It’s so, so close, but as Iron-Awe were the last of the robots to stop working, they’re going through to the semi-finals. Not bad for a robot without a flipper.

Warzone
Warzone

Melee 2: Concussion v Nuts 2 v Androne 4000

Melee 2 S10E04

Well Iron-Awe may have somewhat lucked their way into the semi-finals, but there are more robots and more challengers lying in wait. Now they must also fight it out to determine the one robot going straight into the semi-finals.

Concussion S10

Concussion are one of last year’s grand finalists, but they suffered a premature end to their championship aspirations. Now they’re back with a polished, sleeker machine to try and boost those aspirations. The weapon has been improved to spin at 7000rpm, 1000rpm more than it did last series. The armour has been updated and their removable link is custom 3D printed to lower the chances of it falling out. There are new internal parts too, giving Concussion a full rework for this series.

Androne 4000 S10

Here’s something we don’t see particularly often in Robot Wars these days, a full on crusher! The original series saw robots such as Tiberius, Ming and, most famously, Razer. But the reboot seems to have a distinct lack of crushers, probably due to the advanced armours competitors now use. So now I give you, Androne 4000, an honest-to-God crusher. It not only has a cool name, but it also has a couple of front wedges to draw robots in, and a 4000psi ram crusher. Will it work? Well, Androne could certainly cause a stir.

Nuts 2 S10

Nuts 2, the evolution of everyone’s favourite flailbot Nuts, suffered in the first round of the 9th wars when one of the wheels failed, and they got drop kicked out of the arena by Matilda’s flywheel. Now they’re back with a robot that’s gone from adorable to brutal. Using a technology called ‘Meltybrain’, Nuts 2 can both spin on the spot and move forward, making it a full body spinner, spinning at over 500rpm with 3m long flails acting as the teeth of the spinner. Plus, they also have a pair of wedge minibots to assist. Is this the start of a new, more deadly Nuts, or is it still just cannon fodder?

Now to see who will be the invited guest of the arena, the house robot. Straight from the scrapyard, it’s Dead Metal!

Whilst Nuts get up to speed at the start of the fight, Androne charge straight for Concussion, ramming into them before the drum can get up to speed, then sticking to them as they try to get away. As Concussion run from Androne, they run straight into Nuts, and the flail strikes them, hard.

At first, it’s hard to see what damage the flail caused. But on closer inspection, it’s clear to see that one of the flails hit a bullseye on Concussion’s wheel, completely deforming it and rendering it useless. Concussion are now limping on one wheel.

Bullseye
Bullseye

Androne are still particularly interested in Concussion, especially now they’ve been wounded, but Androne seems to lack the control to really get Concussion under control and get the crusher in. Meanwhile, one of Nuts’ minibots takes a ride on the floor flipper. Because why not? As Androne and Concussion battle, it draws them back into Nuts, which lands another blow, though this one less damaging. Androne and Concussion then take their battle to the floor flipper which, after a slight delay, tosses them up into the air, and actually turns Concussion over.

This gives Androne even more of an imperative to actually score a good hit, and eventually they actually do. The claw is slow to come down, but it comes down and pierces Concussion, trapping them together.

Trapped in the claw
Trapped in the claw

But with them both trapped together, they stop moving completely. Not even a couple of harsh bumps from Dead Metal can get them to break apart. And, with no movement, the judges have no option but to count both of the robots out.

Which means, perhaps surprisingly, Nuts 2 have won the melee! And they’re going all the way to the semis, no stops along the way.


Nuts 2 and Iron-Awe 6, perhaps not the semi-finalists that were expected but the ones that are there. But that means that some powerful robots are in danger of going out earlier than they would have like. Much earlier.

 

Robot Review: Vulture (S10E03)

Vulture were another of the new robots to enter into this war, pushing the boundaries of what is possible in the warzone. Not content with just the one weapon to attack competitors with, Vulture went ahead and combined two weapons into one. A 6000rpm vertical spinning blade on a pivot that turned it into an axe made up this custom, hybrid weapon, giving it two routed of attack. The robot runs at a respectable 16mph and has a front wedge-like scoop to draw opponents up to the blade as it comes down. The robot, however, is brand new, and that means it has yet to be battle tested.


And what better way to test it than against robots that share similar traits? Apex have a spinner, whilst Terrorhurtz have a powerful axe. Both powerful robots, and a tough test.

The start of the fight is fairly tame for Vulture, with Terrorhurtz and Apex taking more of an interest in each other than in their other opponent. They still stay in an around their competitors, trying to jump in wherever they have the opportunity to try and bring the disc down. On initial observation, it’s clear to see that the axe part of the weapon is quite slow to fire, making it more of an arm than an axe. They do strike their first hit when Terrorhurtz back into them, so at least we know the weapon works.

Grinder.PNG
Grinder

After this, Terrorhurtz start to go after Vulture, and bring it down time after time, bashing against the steel armour that Vulture is clad with. Vulture can barely get the weapon to reach Terrorhurtz, but that doesn’t matter when Terrorhurtz strike a hit right below Vulture’s weapon mechanism, jamming the axe and getting the two robots stuck together.

They push backwards and forwards, but Terrorhurtz have more power and get Vulture over the flame pit, where Apex decides to join the party. Shunt tries to free them, and when the robots finally break apart, Vulture have not come off well. One of the wheels has locked and they’re going in circles. The weapon still works, because other robots keep driving into it, but other than that, they’re stranded.

Because they can only move in circles, the decision is made by the judges, and Vulture is counted out.


So, a Robot redemption the Vulture team must face. But who are they coming up against? Another newcomer, in the shape of Bucky The Robot. Yes, the wacky biter bot was next on the list of Vulture’s competitors.

To say Bucky are slippery customers would be putting it lightly. Early on Vulture continuously try to get the spinning disc down on their opponent but the arm isn’t actually long enough for them to reach Bucky’s main body. So now they’re basically stuck pushing them. The good news is Bucky can’t do too much to them either… Except when Vulture screw up themselves. Trying to get around Bucky, Vulture drive over the floor flipper and are tossed over. They can self-right with the arm, but in doing so find themselves in Bucky’s grasp.

Vulture get taken on a quick trip to Dead Metal, but nothing too bad comes out of it. With neither robot able to cause the other damage, the arena hazards are proving the trickiest obstacles, and Vulture very almost slide straight down the pit at one point. To add to their misery, the weapon also stops working, leaving them as a push bot.

But not to fear! Because they can get around Bucky’s awkward shape and push them about no problem. And that, in the end, is how they win it, by pushing Bucky around and onto the floor flipper, where they are unable to self-right. Perhaps not the greatest fight ever, but Vulture won’t care seeing as they’ve survived.


The reward for survival is a place in the semi-finals, but that means a fight against Terrorhurtz once again. The axe of doom and mayhem took them out in the melee, so Vulture have their work cut out reversing their fortunes.

Unfortunately for Vulture, Terrorhurtz are in no mood to go easy on them. We already know Vulture’s weapon can barely scratch Terrorhurtz’s armour and that leaves Vulture running away, essentially. But Terrorhurtz rain down the blows right from the start. One hit lands on their side and another on the wedge, but then one strike hits their top armour, tearing it off the robot.

Forceful Disassemblement
Pillow fight

The weapon’s mechanism is next to be targeted, and one blow on that is enough to destroy the weapon completely. There are some more superficial hits sustained but the next vital piece to go on the robot is one of the wheels. Amazingly, Vulture are still moving, just about.

Terrorhurtz and Vulture, not for the first time you’ll recall, get lodged together again, this time requiring the aid of Matilda to separate them, even though that results in Vulture being flipped over. I have no idea how they’re still going out there, but they continue to take hit after hit and just keep driving.

Having landed so many good hits, Terrorhurtz run out of gas for their weapon, so it becomes a pushing match, something Vulture used to their advantage in the previous fight. Not so much this time; The major results are the Fog of War being triggered twice in a row, with Vulture ending up with Dead Metal after the first time and on the flame pit the second. They do manage to go the whole 3 minutes, but end the fight pretty much pushed in a corner.

Unsurprisingly, they aren’t victorious.


Now, normally a defeat in the semi-final would bring you one final fight in the 3rd place playoff, to see if you get into the 10 way melee. Unfortunately for Vulture, Terrorhurtz gave them such an ass whooping that they can’t actually repair the robot in time, and have to forfeit.

ws 2.jpg


So how did Vulture do? Well, the robot certainly had a wacky design, and one that looked like it could be a powerful competitor if all the elements came together well. unfortunately the weapon, as good as it looked, just didn’t quite cut it (Or anything else for that matter), and the robot was too prone to breaking down. Of course a large part of this was Terrorhurtz’s fault, and Vulture did show that they have the capability with their win over Bucky. Had they repaired the robot in time, I think we would have seen them beat Track-tion and get into the 10 way. Maybe next time.

Expectation v Result (4th – 4th): +0
Accidental attacks: +1
Going round in circles: -2
The defeater of dreams (And Bucky The Robot): +8
Hit so hard they had to forfeit their chance in the 10 way to an after school club: -4
BONUS: Design Level 1000: +2

Robot Rating (Vulture): 5/10

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.

 

Robot Review: Bucky The Robot (S10E03)

OK so I’m not very good at keeping to a schedule, but seeing as we have two weeks until the next episode, this just helps to pass the time. So bear with me for the next couple of days as I finish off the Robot Reviews for Bucky The Robot and Vulture, and then we can get into the recap of yesterday’s episode.


So, Bucky The Robot. Other than having a cool name and bringing Dara O Briain’s love interest a mascot along with them, Bucky is also a very unique robot. We all know about crusher robots, but I think a biter bot is something just that little bit more left field. Add to that the fact that the robot actually looks like a pair of false teeth on wheels, complete with decorative winding mechanism, and Bucky brings the weird and the wonderful out of robot wars. The idea of the false teeth is to clamp down on a robot so that they can be dragged into arena hazards, with less focus on actually causing damage. And, thanks to the way the robot is built, it looks like a pain in the ass to get control over if you’re another robot.


Bucky’s first taste of action in Robot Wars came in a melee with the ultra high-tech flipper Rapid and school club project Track-tion. So more of the weird and the wonderful.

Watching Bucky amble around the arena was quite an enjoyable experience, with the clunky opening and closing of the false teeth very entertaining. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do them much good in terms of actually fighting. Not once do they actually manage to get a clamp on one of their competitors. Equally, nobody manages to get anything on them.

Track-tion soon goes out of the arena, leaving just Bucky and Rapid. Rapid easily slides under Bucky, but struggles to get enough of a handle on them to flip them over. That changes, however, when they get Bucky to the edge of the arena, and finally flip them over. Bucky goes half over the arena, hanging on quite literally by their teeth. And by firing the jaws repeatedly, they actually manage to wriggle themselves back in!

Eating The Arena
Eating the arena

Much of the rest of the battle follows the same pattern- Rapid getting underneath and pushing Bucky around, without any reply. Even Matilda got involved at one point, hitting Bucky with the flywheel. But, in the end, it was the arena floor spikes that finished Bucky off, tipping them over. With their jaws unable to flip them back over, Bucky were stranded, and counted out of the fight.


Next up, Robot Redemption. Bucky came up against one of the other new robots for the series, Vulture, looking for revenge.

It’s an interesting start to proceedings, because neither robot can actually get a hold of each other with their weapons. Vulture’s axe blade can’t reach Bucky and Bucky can’t get underneath Vulture to clamp down. Prepare for frustration to the extreme.

But that would assume everything stays as it is. Vulture, perhaps because they don’t fully know how the arena works, drive over the floor flipper and get sent flying over. As they recover, that gives Bucky the perfect opportunity to finally get a clamp in, for the first time this episode!

False bite
Bite me

They push Vulture into Dead Metal, but then the tables turn and they find themselves being attack by Dead Metal, but manage to get out of there as quickly as possible. So the chase continues, and then the pushing and shoving ensues, but no robot is any closer to actually besting the other. Vulture’s weapon dies, but Bucky can’t gain an advantage from it. Vulture have the greater pushing power.

And it’s that pushing power that does over Bucky in the end. Vulture push Bucky over to the floor flipper, which flips them onto their side. Much like the melee, Bucky have no way of self-righting. For the second fight in a row, it is their downfall, and they are going home.


So how did Bucky do? Well the robot certainly sported a crazy design, with a crazy idea for a weapon and if it worked, then it would have been amazing. Unfortunately, Bucky just couldn’t pull it off. For a weapon like that, they have to have perfect control over their competitors, and Bucky just didn’t have that. They couldn’t get under either Rapid or Vulture and that left them vulnerable, and the lack of a self-righter was their ultimate downfall. Still, they were a lot of fun, and it’s good to see new and interesting designs on the show. Plus, we all know Dara is a fan…

Friends for life
Dara x Bucky 4eva

Expectation v Result (Bottom 2 – Bottom 2): +0
No clamp, no hope: -1
Death by arena spikes: -2
Eating the Vulture: +2
The self-righting problem to end all problems: -2
BONUS: Eating the arena side wall: +3
BONUS: Dara x Bucky 4eva: +3

Robot Rating (Bucky The Robot): 3/10

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.

 

Robot Review: Apex (S10E03)

Also known as “The Best Worst Performance By Any Robot Since The Reboot”


Apex came into the 10th Wars with a ‘go big or go home’ kind of attitude, perhaps in part to try and make up for what was a disappointing showing in the 9th wars, where they got knocked out by the first hit. What is the best way to gain revenge for an early exit? A bigger, crazier, more powerful weapon of course.

A small yet nifty robot at 18mph, Apex was an almost triangular shaped robot with two wedged points defining the front of the robot. But the body of the robot is only a small part of the story, because the main part of Apex is of course its horizontal, overhead spinning weapons. There are two of them this series, with the solid bar spinner coming in at almost 40kg, and an asymmetric spinning bar that weighs not that much less. With the bars able to get up to 1800rpm, that makes them a venomous pair of weapons and not ones anybody would want to get up against at full speed. However, one of Apex’s problem points, the bar does take a while to actually get up to full speed.


For their initial melee, Apex got drawn with the notoriously spinner resistant Terrorhurtz and newcomers Vulture. Not the easiest fight to try and re-establish yourself, but not an impossible task.

And yet, in the first phase of play Apex went straight for Terrorhurtz. The asymmetrical bar, having not got up to full speed, stuck Terrorhurtz, but all of the energy went back into Apex causing it to fly off the ground, and one of the nuts connecting the weapon to fly off Apex. So now, they have no working weapon. Again.

Bolt From The Blue.PNG
Bolt from the blue

So now all Apex can do is run away, get whacked by Terrorhurtz’s axe and run away some more. They do take a moment to hit the pit release button, giving us the almighty Fog of War, but it doesn’t really help them. The only help they get is when Terrorhurtz get their axe stuck in Vulture, and Apex uses that opening to drive into the mass of conjoined robot and create a glorified pile on. Apex without a weapon isn’t exactly the most useful robot in the arena.

Amazingly, Vulture happen to die before Apex, but it’s not much of an existence when the entire rest of the battle is just Terrorhurtz battering Apex’s weapon into a completely new shape. Perhaps it isn’t surprising then when the robot eventually comes to a stop just by the arena spikes, with smoke calmly venting out of the robot.


But hey, there’s still the Robot Redemption to go, right? And Apex have a robot they felt they could probably beat in Track-tion to face. For this, the even heavier bar spinner was attached to combat Track-tion’s new scoop.

But nothing ever quite goes to plan, does it. Track-tion’s lack of mobility allows Apex to get the bar up to full speed, and they go on the attack. The bar hits Track-tion’s scoop and Apex bounces off. But now the robot is off balance, and with the force of the spinning bar so powerful, Apex completely loses control, the bar shearing its supports and violently disassembling itself from the robot. Apex flies one way into the arena side wall, whilst the bar launches itself so hard in the other direction that it wholly obliterates the protective glass around the arena as it goes through, before slamming into the floor outside the arena, where it finally comes to rest.

Shreddies
HADOUKEN

The audience, team members and judges all collectively jump back in shock, their lives briefly flashing before their eyes. But when all comes to rest, and cease is called, Sir Killalot does the noble thing and dumps Apex in the pit for their crimes against the arena.

What the hell
Me too Craig, me too

So, how did Apex do? Well, It was exciting at least. I mean, I’ve never seen such a violent self-destruction of a robot in Robot Wars… Ever. Apex is so ridiculously powerful, with the heaviest bar spinners, if something was going to go wrong, it was going to be spectacular. And my God, that was spectacular. I think if Apex ever enters another arena again, the arena is going to need twice the amount of protection. The robot genuinely scares me.

Expectation v Result (3rd – Bottom 2): -3
One hit and the weapon stops working: -2
One hit and the weapon quite literally tears the robot apart: -5
BONUS: The Curse of Craig Danby strikes again: +5

Robot Rating (Apex): -5/10 (Because it’s worth it).

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.

 

 

Robot Wars S10E03 Part 3: Throwdowns & Forefits

I had a rather horrific migraine yesterday, and I’m still somewhat feeling the effects of it today, so don’t expect me to write the most coherent article you’ve ever seen. Might also take me about 7 hours to finish it.

Regardless, the show will go on. Although, having just seen Apex shit itself in half, I’m not sure what other surprises we could see in this episode that would top that. With Terrorhurtz and Rapid tearing it up, they’re likely the place to go to see the real action.


Semi-Final 1: Rapid v Track-tion

SF1 S10E03

Here’s one that could cause an almighty upset. Rapid were so impressive in their opening melee, and even threw Track-tion out of the arena in that battle, that anything other than a Rapid victory would be a massive shock. But hey, Track-tion just saw off Robot Wars’ biggest bar spinner, so anything is possible.

Your house robots are Shunt, and Matilda! Not that they have anything to do in this battle, whatsoever. Set your watches, because you’re about to witness one of the shortest battles in history.

Track-tion are once again nervous out of the starting blocks, and Rapid take advantage of that my driving up to them, driving under them, and then tossing them straight after the arena! SIX SECONDS! Track-tion didn’t stand a bloody chance.

Celebration
Celebration

Rapid, well aren’t they on a roll. The machine looks fierce, and long may it continue.


Semi-Final 2: Terrorhurtz v Vulture

SF2 S10E03

Terrorhurtz, who were also a dominant force in their melee, come back up against one of their former conquests in Vulture. Vulture struggled to get the disc to damage Terrorhurtz’s armour last time out and were instead the recipient of some hefty attacks. The question for them is how much they can use that weapon, given the fact that it died midway through their fight with Bucky. For Terrorhurtz, can they continue the run?

Your house robots this time round are Dead Metal and Matilda. Will they have things to do in this fight? Let’s find out!

Terrorhurtz go on the attack straight away, landing a hard hit on Vulture, enough to throw some sparks into the air. Vulture retaliate by running away, trying to get around the side of the robot where the axe can’t hit them. But it doesn’t quite work out, when Terrorhurtz back them into the corner, then hit them so hard it sends the armour reinforcement Vulture had strapped to the armour flying off.

Forceful Disassemblement
Forceful Disassemblement

That’s just the start, because Terrorhurtz are quick to continue the attack, landing another hit on the armour and then one on the weapon mechanism itself. Vulture have no response to the onslaught, and do their best to just get out of there. Terrorhurtz continue to rain down the axe blows, and the one that landed on Vulture’s weapon not only made for a good hit,  it disabled the weapon completely.

All Vulture can do it run. They have no weapon, and their armour is being pummelled by Terrorhurtz at every opportunity. They’re sitting ducks in the arena, and there isn’t too much they can do about it. Terrorhurtz get Vulture into a corner again, and then the next axe blow strikes one of the wheels! They’re tearing Vulture apart, one part at a time.

Recoil
Recoil

Terrorhurtz try to capitalise on their situation, but their next axe blow not only lands, it gets stuck in Vulture, and the axe won’t come back out. Not the first time it’s happened in this heat. Matilda comes across and tries to force them apart, but it’s quite a tough situation. Finally Matilda has enough of it, and uses the tusks to flip Vulture all the way over. Vulture can self-right, but it has at least detached the two robots.

After that, it’s back to business as usual. Vulture are going in circles, and have no spinning weapon, so for Terrorhurtz it’s a fairly easy target. Vulture do their best to get away, but Terrorhurtz are forever advancing on them, and wearing them away.

Striking Fear
Striking fear

But then, Terrorhurtz stop using the axe. And now it’s a push and shove contest. Can Vulture get back into it?

It all gets very tactical, with both robots zipping around each other and looking for an opening. Well, Terrorhurtz is zipping around, Vulture still has just one working wheel. Eventually though Vulture manage to crawl their way over to the pit release button, and down comes THE FOG, OF WAR! As aesthetically fun as the Fog of War is, it also has a more sinister purpose as Vulture find out when they’re nearly snagged by Dead Metal in the ensuing chaos. But then the button gets hit again, And Fog of War comes down, AGAIN!

This time is just as lethal for Vulture, who end the Fog of War stuck on the flame pit. After being trapped for a few seconds, they manage to get themselves off. Time is now very much up, and the clock counts down, but both robots have survived! And now we must await a decision from the judges.

So, who won? Vulture or Terrorhurtz? Well, it probably wasn’t the hardest decision. Terrorhurtz caused all of the damage and were the most aggressive. They ran out of CO2 for the axe about half way through which evened it up slightly, but Vulture were always going to struggle with no weapon and only one working wheel. Terrorhurtz through to the heat final!


3rd Place Playoff: Vulture v Track-tion

Vulture, like Track-tion, drop out from the Semi-Finals and into the 3rd place playoff. Whoever wins the playoff also wins a spot in the 10 way melee to determine the wildcard.

Unfortunately for Vulture, Terrorhurtz gave them such a beat down that they can’t actually repair their robot in time for the 3rd place playoff, and become the first robot to forfeit this series. Which means, against all the odds, Track-tion are in the 10 way melee!


Heat Final: Terrorhurtz v Rapid

Final S10E03

So here we are, the heat final. Whilst this was a very open heat on paper, both Rapid and Terrorhurtz have blitzed the opposition and very much deserve to be in this final. It’s going to be a meeting of the great powers as axe takes on flipper; Terrorhurtz can self-right, but they only have a limited supply of gas to power that axe. Rapid meanwhile have a very powerful flipper, but questions still loom over their reliability.

Your house robots for this battle are Dead Metal and Shunt! With a pace in the grand final up for grabs, let’s get this battle underway!

Straight away, it’s clear that Rapid have the lower ground clearance of the two robots, which is crucial for them given they have a flipper to operate. Rapid do get underneath Terrorhurtz, but instead of trying to flip them there and then, they instead use their leverage to push them onto the floor flipper, which does the work for them. Terrorhurtz self-rights, but Rapid are right back at it, and use the floor flipper as a hazard for a second time.

A duel of hazards
A duel of hazards

Terrorhurtz are desperate to self-right, because Rapid have quite a handle on them at the moment. Rapid continue to slowly push them towards the edge of the arena, knowing full well that they could toss them out, but Terrorhurtz manage to right themselves just in time. Rapid still manage to get them into the corner of the arena, with the only thing in Terrorhurtz’s favour being the extra armour panelling on Rapid coming loose.

Not content with one corner, Rapid gather up Terrorhurtz and push them into the other corner of the arena, a corner in which Dead Metal is more than happy to take Terrorhurtz as prey. For Terrorhurtz, they’re lucky to escape without any damage. Still, Rapid are well on top, pushing them around. They’re not using their flipper though, trying not to waste flips until they can get Terrorhurtz into the right position to flip them out.

But, as they’re trying to win the war of brute force, Terrorhurtz finally manage to get the axe down and land a hit on the edge of Rapid’s flipper. And again, another hit that this time completely removes the extra armour. But Rapid don’t give up the advantage for long, and once again push Terrorhurtz into Dead Metal. Terrorhurtz get away but leave themselves in a vulnerable position, and Rapid finally get their first flip in, and only narrowly fail to get Terrorhurtz out!

Living on the edge
Life on the edge

The thing is, when Rapid fire their flipper, it takes a while to come back down, so now Terrorhurtz are on the chase, but they miss with their axe swing. Now Rapid are back in, and flip Terrorhurtz into the arena side wall, where they bounce off. More chasing happens, until Rapid chase Terrorhurtz back onto the floor flipper once again. Terrorhurtz may get tossed over, but they do get an axe blow in before that happens.

But after this, have the tables turned? Because the next phase of play sees Terrorhurtz take the upper hand. Rapid run into trouble- a trouble called Dead Metal- who manage to inflict some saw based misery, before Terrorhurtz come in and land a hard blow to Rapid’s rear end. Terrorhurtz almost get tangled in it, but just about escape.

Except, they escape right into Rapid’s clutches. Now with all control taken away from them, Rapid can finally drive them all the way over to the side of the arena and do what they’ve wanted to do all fight, and toss them out of the arena!

Falling down a hole
Falling down a hole

And so there we have it, Rapid in the Grand Final! It’s been a much needed improvement for them since the 9th wars, and now they look more than capable of going all the way. For Terrorhurtz, they now find their way into the 10 way melee, where they face a battle against some great robots to see who will get that wildcard.

All in all, the Grand Final is shaping up very nicely indeed.

 

Robot Wars S10E03 Part 2: Self Destruct Mode Activated

Also known as: “The Curse Of Craig Danby Strikes Again… Again”

We’ve seen the weird and the wonderful go through their first battles, with varying results. Rapid look much improved, and a lot more reliable, whilst Terrorhurtz is bringing the rain like its S6 all over again. Whilst it perhaps makes sense that the robots with previous experience would get through, Bucky The Robot has proved to be a slippery customer, whilst Vulture’s design looks promising. For Bucky, Vulture, Apex and Track-tion, they all now have to go through the redemption knockout to decide who will go through to the semi-finals, and who will go home completely.


Redemption Knockout 1: Track-tion v Apex

RK1 S10E03

Here’s an interesting battle. Apex didn’t really get going in their melee, with the robot suffering an axe blow from Terrorhurtz early on that immobilised the bar spinner, but they have a robot that on paper should tear up the competition. So who better to test it on than a bunch of school children, and their robot that didn’t really get going either, before they were launched out of the arena by Rapid. Track-tion do have an upgrade, however, with Vulture lending them a front wedge to try and deflect the blows from Apex. One goes through, one goes home. So at least one of them is going to come out with a first victory.

Your house robot for this encounter is the almighty lord of carnage himself, Sir Killalot, with the equally as deadly Dead Metal by his side. Battle!

If you’ve watched this fight, you know what’s going to come next. If you didn’t, well let’s just say things didn’t last for very long. Track-tion, whether because they couldn’t or more likely because they didn’t want to, barely moved once battle began. This gave Apex plenty of time to get their heavy, regular shaped spinning bar up to speed. They move forward, and briefly hit Track-tion before moving backwards.

And then, by the power of the Robot Gods, all hell breaks loose.

Apex, with the bar now well up to speed, can’t take the power of its own weaponry and spectacularly disassembles itself, shredding itself to pieces with the bar flying off the robot with such force, it smashes through the protective glass on the side of the arena! The actual robot itself is flung through the air and all the way to the other side of the arena, where they hit Killalot’s CPZ like a cannonball.

Riptide
RIPTIDE
Casualties of war
Aftermath
Aftermath
Casualty of war

I think it’s clear enough to say that Apex haven’t survived their own self-destruction. The robot is in pieces and even if the main body did work, it has no weapon. So, as cease is called to fix the arena, Killalot picks them up and puts them down where they belong, in the pit.

Disposable
Disposable

Bye bye Apex. See ya next year.


Redemption Knockout 2: Bucky The Robot v Vulture

RK2 S10E03

Onto the next one, then. Two robots that are looking for redemption, who hopefully won’t tear themselves to pieces quite so easily, are Vulture and Bucky The Robot. Both feature interesting, wacky designs with new or unusual weapons and a generally epic look about them. Unfortunately, one of those robots will be going home.

Your house robots for this battle are Dead Metal, and the madam of mayhem, Matilda! Let battle commence!

As the battle begins, it’s fairly obvious that the battle is going to be… different. Neither robot can really get a handle on the other, because of their weird shapes and designs. Vulture tries to make the first move by bringing the axe spinner down on Bucky, but it doesn’t have the reach for the disc to actually penetrate. Bucky try to bring the jaws down, but they can’t get underneath Vulture. It’s a tense fight.

But with every fight, there’s always the chance for the unexpected. Vulture are the reason for the unexpected this time, as they drive over the floor flipper and get tossed through the air. As they recover, they land on top of Bucky, and now the jaws can come down!

False bite
False bite

With Vulture in their jaws, they manoeuvre them into the path of Dead Metal, who brings his own saw down on the robot. But the tables soon turn when Bucky lets go, and now they’re the ones being hunted by Dead Metal. Fortunately for Bucky, they’re a bit big to handle easily, but Dead Metal still gets a few hits in before Bucky escapes. Whilst this is happening, the pit gets activated, adding yet another hazard to the arena.

As the battle rages on, Vulture once again steal the limelight when their weapon suddenly decides to give up on them, emitting a plume of smoke in the process. This gives Bucky an advantage, but Vulture are in no way out of it. And they take what they have and try to turn it into an advantage. They use their wedge to push Bucky towards the floor flipper, which flips them onto their side!

Sideline view
Sideline view

Bucky try to use their jaws to self-right, but they don’t have the power. The jaws just aren’t powerful enough to get them off their side, and they’re stranded. The clock counts down to the end of Bucky The Robot. They were great fun, but now it’s time to end.

But hey, at least Dara made a new friend, right?

Friends for life
Friends for life

Semi-Finals next. Can anybody beat the establishment, or will they continue to reign supreme?