Robot Wars S07E10 Part 1: The Kronicles Of Robot Warfare

Coming up with the titles is one of the best parts of doing this. Seriously, I love it.

We’re now back into the realm of normality, with the previous episode changing things up by not having a special event. And now we’re onto the back 8, we’re starting to count down the seeds, until we get to seed number 2 in episode 16. Short way to go before we get there though, it has to be said. For now we are onto seed number 14, which is the ever loveable red lobster, Thermidor 2. A robot that either does very well or very badly, and not usually anywhere in-between.

We’re joined by a variety of other animal based robots in this heat as well, including Mighty Mouse and Cobra, but I’m pretty sure you could also count Kronic The Wedgehog and The Kraken on that list too. Other than them, we have Mobot, 8545T 2 (BEAST 2 if you want to try and convert the numbers into letters, so that it makes more sense when you think about it) and Pinser- a slightly cuter version of Tiberius. I say that only because the bolt holding the hydraulic ram in place makes it look as if the robot has eyes.

Now we know the robots, time to know who is facing who.


So the first heat, and the first robot we are introduced to is Mighty Mouse, a robot that is unsurprisingly modelled on- you guessed it- a mouse. A small, compact robot, Mighty Mouse seems to be more about agility and tenacity than just smashing its opposition into little pieces, and as a consequence it weighs little over 80kg. It does have weapons in the form of some ramming spikes and a couple of rear spinning discs, but its 23mph top speed is its main asset in escaping any oncoming danger. It also has a roll hoop on top, with the express aim of righting the robot should it be flipped. Like I said, tenacity.

Next up we have Mobot, one of the wackier entries to this series, and certainly the most interesting design of the heat. It’s almost like an optical illusion in the way that the robot is horizontally long on one end, then vertically tall on the other end. It does have a nasty sounding rotary blade for a weapon, weighing in at 20kg, mounted underneath the robot PP3D style. The team behind it, however, don’t seem to give the robot much of a chance, which is perhaps why they fitted it with a petrol driven motor. I’m hoping to see flames.

Next on our list for this melee is the seeded robot themselves, Thermidor 2. Like a less destructive version of Dead Metal, Thermidor combines a set on grabbing pincers with a second, more powerful weapon. In their case, however, the second weapon is a flipper. A robot that reached the semi-finals in the 4th wars, but then dumped out in the first round of the 5th and 6th wars, it could well be time for a lobster revival. Or not. Who knows? (I do but that’s not the point). It can run at speeds up to 15mph and the flipper is very powerful, but the robot can’t store that much CO2, making every flip valuable. See also: Exposed wheels.

Last on this list is 8645T 2, also known as Beast 2, a nightmare of literacy but a decent robot on its day. It’s wedge shaped with a powerful flipper, but a flipper connected to a rear facing axe. When the flipper fires upwards, the axe comes down, giving it duel weaponry to be used on demand, through the same system. Has a rather cool paint job too, just to scare everyone away. However, despite being a flipper, it still has problems self-righting.

So we now know the robots, and we’re ready for battle. But there are two more robots to introduce, those being the house robots for this battle. So here’s to the guardians of the arena for this fight, Sgt. Bash and Dead Metal. BEGIN!

Mighty Mouse, owing to that mega top speed, is right in the fight instantly, connecting with Thermidor 2 before backing out and running away. Thermidor instead turns its attentions to 8645T, getting in underneath the robot and flipping them up onto their rear end, but the robot is able to get back onto its wheels. Mobot, trying to stay out of the way, is then targeted by 8645T, which manages to get a slight lift on it out of the flipper. Nothing that’s going to set the world alight though.

Mighty Mouse, after their first escape, have now driven straight into Dead Metal, which manages to get the claws around the roll hoop, a fairly easy target for Dead Metal because of their shape. But the mouse survives and escapes, just as Thermidor and pushing 8645T towards the arena side wall. They flip them, pinning 8645T on its side and against the arena wall.

Upturned Beast
Upturned Beast

8645T 2 is now beached, on its side with no way of righting itself. Good, I never have to spell out that name again.

On the other side, Mighty Mouse is taking on Mobot, who is still in one piece. Granted, there aren’t many robot here that can do great damage to it, so I don’t think it’s going to be coming out of the arena in a bin bag, but it’s still an achievement. What isn’t an achievement is the fact that the spinning disc attached to the bottom of it seems to do not very much at all.

After Mighty Mouse is done, Thermidor 2 goes after them next. I talked earlier about Mobot having an odd shape, well that odd shape in the end is what finished them off. Thermidor 2 get the flip in, and the Mobot then proceeds to bounce OVER the arena side wall, and out of the competition. A more sensible shape and I honestly don’t think it would have gone over. But hey, it was fun to watch.

Mobot
Mobot? Mo More

And just like that, we know who is going through to the next round. Admittedly Thermidor did most of the work, but Mighty Mouse helped out where it could. And now that Thermidor aren’t crashing out in the first round, does this mean they’ll make the semis?

For now, Thermidor is more concerned with taking on Mighty Mouse, and they actually manage to flip them over and pin them in the CPZ. It doesn’t matter because 8645T were immobilised first, and they’re now being counted out. Once that happens, Thermidor actually rights 8645T, prompting a mad run around the arena versus the house robots hunting it down. Eventually they drive over the floor flipper, which then sends them flying backwards across the arena. Stunned but alive, they then drive themselves straight into the pit. Great fun to watch, even if they ultimately won’t be going any further.

Crash Landing 2
Crash Landing

Thermidor 2 and Mighty Mouse going through.


So our second melee now, and a chance to see the other four robots in action. A couple of crushers, a flipper and a snake. Sounds entertaining enough to me.

First in the arena for this fight is Pinser. Its first foray into Robot Wars, Pinser is like any other crusher in many way. Strong titanium armour over a triangular wedge shaped body, which can entice another robot into its grasp. The crusher itself if hydraulic powered, something that we’ve seen once backfire on them in the “Crusher Crunch-Up, where the robot basically exploded after the hydraulic fluid caught fire. It weighs the maximum 100kg, and is one tough robot (Barring any hydraulic based explosions). It does have other flaws though, including a low top speed and a high ground clearance.

Next we have Cobra, not to be confused with the Cobra which entered the 9th wars, which is a box shaped robot with angled sides, just to make it a little bit different. It can run both ways up, but that’s about the only good thing it can do. The weaponry is a ramming spike concealed by a plush snake mascot that rides the robot, but the spike can only perform up to 6 attacks per battle, and even then it doesn’t seem worth it. Also the perfect shape for a crusher *Cough* Pinser *Cough*.

Thirdly is The Kraken, another robot that features a crushing arm, but this robot has some interesting details that set it apart from opponent Pinser. The fact that the robot is black is possibly the least important of all of them. More importantly, The Kraken features two crushers- a pneumatic one to grab an opponent, and then a hydraulic one to crush then. The shape is different too, with the robot somewhat elongated horizontally compared to Pinser, with a long lead in ramp. However, the robot looks lightly armoured, which could make it a target.

Finally we have Kronic The Wedgehog, based on a certain blue video game hedgehog, a robot that is no stranger to Robot Wars. Having been through several iterations since its inception in the 4th wars, Kronic is now a mad flipper complete with yellow foam spikes that often catch fire. It actually has two flippers, with the side flipper meant for self righting purposes, but actually being faster to flip than its sister flipper. The wheel guards however ate gone, leaving the wheels somewhat exposed. It’s not had amazing success so far, can it go any further this time?

Your house robot for this battle are Mr Psycho and Sgt. Bash. Here’s hoping for some flames for those yellow foam spikes. Begin!

Kronic is straight in at a sluggish Cobra, instantly getting underneath and flipping them over. They go round the other side to look for another attack, but this time all they flip off is one of their own yellow foam spikes. Having decided against staying with Cobra, Kronic go after Pinser, but they turn out to be a lot harder to get underneath, and the flips miss their target.

The Kraken, barely touched upon so far, are struggling to get to grips with Cobra in the background, but the main event going on now involves Pinser, who have now managed to grab hold of Kronic, and are bringing that hydraulic crushing arm all the way down, pinching the flipper. Hard.

To catch a hedgehog
To catch a Wedgehog

Pinser move their catch over the a flame jet, just as the other two robots come to join them. Kronic is burning, and going nowhere, until The Kraken comes along and separates the two robots. So now it’s a 3 way fight with Cobra to idly watching them. That leads nicely to Cobra becoming a target again, although they’re too busy being wedged into the arena side wall to do anything about it. The Kraken come in and, for the first time, are able to bring the hydraulic pincer down to do some damage. Entirely cosmetic damage, but still something.

Pinser, perhaps jealous, come in and take Cobra away, but once again it repeats the fatal error of driving over the flame pit. Now there isn’t quite the explosion we had last time, but there are certainly flames coming out of the robot. Hydraulic fluid fuelled flames.

Up in flames
Up in flames

The thing is, because Pinser was latched onto Cobra when the hydraulics set alight, the robot is now stuck there. The arm won’t retract, so Pinser is stuck, holding on to Cobra, which is also not really going anywhere. Mr Psycho takes a look at the pair, sizing them up before actually driving over Cobra. I mean that’s what you get for having angled sides.

Refbot comes over, has a look, and then promptly counts out both robots at once, allowing Mr Psycho to come back in and start raining hammer blows. I’ll admit, the hammer never looks quite as impressive as I’d like it to when it comes down, but I’m sure it packs quite a punch when it lands on a robot.

Not content with just the hammer, Psycho moves both robots onto the floor flipper. If you though that would be a way to split them apart, then you’d be wrong, because even as they fly through the air, they remain coupled. Next up? Drop Zone. But as is often the case, the falling TV does more damage to itself than to Cobra, the robot it lands on. In the end it doesn’t matter- both robots are out, Kronic and The Kraken are going through.

Deathbed
Reality TV

So there we have it, our eight have been cut down to four. The seeds Thermidor 2 are going through, along with Kronic, The Kraken and Mighty Mouse. *Animal theme intensifies*. But which one of these will take their place in the series semi-final?

Until next time.

 

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Robot Wars S07E09 Part 3: Nerves Of Steel

I’ve had a rather nasty cold for the past few days, but I don’t want to go more than a week without writing an article so here I am! I’ll try and stay alive long enough to finish this.


So, when we were last here we’d just seen the rampaging Storm 2 go all the way with Trax, an interesting robot but ultimately one that lacked traction and pushing power against Robot Wars’ most powerful full body hammer. This leaves two more competitors vying for a place in the heat final, Steel Avenger and Rhino. It’s an experienced axebot versus a not so experienced flipper, where only one can reign victorious!

Mr Psycho and Growler make quite a pair, and they’re once again in the arena together, ready to cause some mayhem! Let’s get this fight underway!

Both robots seem instantly attracted to each other, though Rhino miss their first attack with the flipper, giving Steel Avenger the chance to bring their axe down, not that it does too much visible damage. The axe then comes down again almost straight away, and this one does put a dent in Rhino’s armour.

Rhino are trying to get out of there and away from that axe, but not before Steel Avenger put a hole in the top of the robot’s armour. That, and Rhino’s attempted escape leads them right into Growler- and in trying to evade them, the arena side wall. Steel Avenger come in once again, but this time they start swinging at nothing and miss 3 or 4 axe shots. Rhino can now get in under Steel Avenger, but the flipper is weak and can’t actually lift them over.

Now it’s Steel Avenger’s turn to take back control, and get under Rhino’s flipper before the other robot can bring the flipper back down, and now they have the perfect push point. That and they can bring the axe down once again. And again. Now there’s a nice big dent in the side of Rhino.

Axe Mad
Axe Mad

They eventually decouple, and Steel Avenger go and hit the pit release button, once again tearing it into several different pieces like Storm 2 had before it. Then the past repeats itself- Rhino go in for a flip and miss, allowing Steel Avenger to get underneath that flipper and gain some leverage. Rhino get away, but they are moving very, very slowly now. It’s not hard for Steel Avenger to catch up, and push them towards Mr Psycho.

Unfortunately, Mr Psycho misses with the hammer. So much for that.

Steel Avenger don’t miss with their next attack though, and Rhino is starting to resemble something akin to Swiss Cheese. Any more holes and there wouldn’t be much of Rhino actually left. But in their attacks, Steel Avenger have now managed to push Rhino very, very close to the pit. Surely it’s only a matter of time before they go down?

Death Trap
Death Trap

Well, Steel Avenger almost shot themselves in the foot, trying to use their rear flipper to get Rhino in, and almost going in themselves! In the end, Steel Avenger take things nice and slowly, because Rhino aren’t moving at this point. They could probably have left Rhino and let Refbot count them out, but as it is, they tried a frontal assault. Rhino, despite not moving, did still have a working flipper, and they got one last attack in before Steel Avenger push them down!

Oh how different things could have been. Steel Avenger through.


Well, now we have our final two for this heat. The ever impressive Storm 2 against the axe wielding knight of honour, Steel Avenger. You would think that Storm 2’s superior pushing power would give them the edge, but they are the perfect shape for Steel Avenger to land that axe on full blast…

Growler makes a return for the house robots once again, although Psycho has been dropped from the line-up in favour of the dastardly Cassius Chrome. Let battle commence!

Both robots start of quickly, circling each other and looking for an opening. Storm 2 is the first to make a move, rushing underneath Steel Avenger so fast that, when Steel Avenger try to bring the axe down, Storm 2 are already long gone. Not only that, but the axe strikes the arena floor, hard, where it subsequently gets stuck.

Nice one guys.

Dropping The Anchor
Dropping the Anchor

They eventually manage to wrench it free, but of course Storm 2 is already ready and waiting, and instantly pick them up and ram them into the arena side wall. I’m honestly amazed that Storm 2 haven’t actually driven themselves or another robot through the arena side wall yet, they are that powerful. My god.

Apparently Storm 2 decide that now is the perfect time to forget about Steel Avenger, and go after the Refbot instead. I’m not sure why they try, but they’re more than capable of doing it, if only for a few seconds before turning their attention right back onto Steel Avenger. This time, instead of the arena wall, they send Steel Avenger into Growler’s CPZ, but the axebot is able to make an escape. Of course, only so that they can be targeted by Storm 2 again.

Storm 2 most certainly aren’t letting them get away, following them at every turn. There’s another trip to Growler, who to be perfectly honest has been quite useless in this fight. Then again, it’s not Growler’s fault that Steel Avenger is too tall to fit in its jaws. So Steel Avenger escape again, but when Storm 2 attack this time, they’re aiming for another corner.

It’s a long way from one side of the arena to the other, and in the process of traversing the distance Storm 2 get quite a speed up, so much speed, so much momentum that when they slam Steel Avenger into the arena wall, they bounce up AND OVER!

Yes, Storm 2 drove Steel Avenger into the arena wall so hard they went out of the arena!

The moment
The moment before fate took hold

What a way to go. Storm 2 are heat winners, and they’re going through.


Well, that’s all from this heat, and what a heat it was. There’s a reason I liked Storm 2 so much. Hopefully my cold will clear up soon, and I’ll be back with the next heat. Until then.

 

 

Robot Wars S07E09 Part 2: A Sinking Ship

Yes, I dedicated an entire article last week to Storm 2’s opening melee, I know. But I can get away with it because there’s no special event this episode, which is going to make this a little different. First off we’re going to have the second melee of this episode, and then the first of the second round one on one battles. After this everything gets back to normal. So, without further delay, let’s get on with melee number two.


First robot to enter the arena is Shredder Evolution, which we have seen before in this wars, in one of the many special events. As the name suggests, Shredder Evolution’s goal is to shred its opponents, which it attempts to do with two front facing spinning discs, which run at 1500rpm. The robot itself is a low box shape, but it’s speedy at 25mph and agile enough to skate across the arena, but the exposed tyres are a risk. Can the discs do the damage? Only time will tell.

Next up we have Trax, a robot whose name is even more self explanatory than Shredder Evolution, at least in terms of its locomotion. Not many robots run on tracks, other than Sir Killalot, but Trax makes use of them. It’s maybe not surprising to hear that the mad hammer man of Robot Wars, Shane Swan, was a part of the team behind this robot. In terms of weaponry, Trax makes use of a lifting arm coupled with a low wedge at the front of the robot, with the arm firing forward a la Firestorm style. A unique robot for the 7th wars, that’s for certain.

Up next is Sub-Version 1.1. If you read between the lines of what is an unusual name for a robot, it’s fairly easy to guess what this robot is supposed to resemble. Yes, the Sub is shaped like a submarine. It has a periscope that acts as a self righting mechanism, along with some front spikes and a rear cutting disc for weapons. Personally, I think Sub-Version 1.1 looks a little out of its depth.

And finally, we have Steel Avenger! Probably the most well known of the robots in this battle, Steel Avenger is a robot that has entered in wars 3, 4 and 5, but without the success it would want, having never gone further than the heat final. An almost triangular prism shaped robot, Steel Avenger has a rock solid front end and a deadly axe on top. The odd shape can lead to some perilous positions if it’s turned over, and to that end it possesses a couple of side axes that can wither function as weapons or turn the robot back over. Probably the favourite to come out of this melee in one piece.

So now you’ve met the competing robots, meet the house robots that will be presiding over this fight- Dead Metal, and Sgt. Bash!

Sub-Version 1.1 become instant targets with the battle underway, first doing a running jump over Trax before getting a side slam by Shredder Evolution. Steel Avenger soon joins the fight by going after Shredder, but the speedy robot manages to escape to the other side of the arena. With Shredder away, Steel Avenger goes after Trax, but like Sub-Version they drive up the wedge, where Trax use their reverse lifting arm to push Steel Avenger over and onto their side!

Who did that
Who did that?

Steel Avenger can of course self right, and they do so with ease, but it’s a sign of intent from Trax. Sub-Version meanwhile is once again under attack by Shredder Evolution, which is exploiting the sub’s weak armour to do some extensive cosmetic damage. Then comes a little switch around with Steel Avenger going after Shredder, bringing the axe down and jamming it into Shredder’s wheel, stopping it. Meanwhile Trax are now after the Sub, but can’t quite get them high enough up the robot to use the lifting arm.

Now that Steel Avenger have full control of Shredder Evolution, they expertly position them over the flame pit, letting the robot roast. Sub-Version, meanwhile, have a very close call with the lowering pit, one which would have been fatal had they not managed to pull a last second escape. All the robots are now congregated around the flame pit, which is still busy torching Shredder Evolution until Steel Avenger finally lets them go. They are limping but alive, and certainly alive enough to rip through the front of Sub-Version in their next attack.

Trax go after Steel Avenger, the only robot they’ve so far managed to flip over, and do it all again. Once again, however, Steel Avenger is more than able to get back on its wheels, and then launch an attack of its own- but theirs on Shredder Evolution, the axe making good contact with their opponent’s robot.

The clock is now counting down, and it looks like all four robots are going to survive to take it to a judges’ decision… Until Trax gets a hold of Sub-Version, and then drives them all the way across the arena, and down into the pit with two seconds to go!

Last Man Down
Last man down

Of course, now the judges only have to make a decision out of three robots, but a decision they still have to make. Shredder Evolution was good against Sub-Version, causing some hefty, albeit cosmetic, damage. Steel Avenger was good against Shredder, landing a good few blows and getting Shredder rather Chargrilled. Trax was good against Steel Avenger, utilising their weapon well to tip them over a couple of times, and they put Sub-Version in the pit.

It’s a tough decision. But in the end, a decision has to be made…

STEEL AVENGER & TRAX!


We now know our four, and they are four very good robots. Storm 2 and Rhino come in from the first melee, with Steel Avenger and Trax moving through the second battle which we just recapped. But who is facing who? Well Rhino find themselves up against Steel Avenger, but first we have Storm 2 against Trax!

Two pushing powered robots in Storm 2 and Trax, which means this could well end up being a push and shove contest. The difference is that Trax has a front hinged lifting arm, whilst Storm 2’s is a *more conventional* four bar lifter. So on the occasion that they might have the chance to use their weapons, both do it in different ways, and I think Trax has the advantage in tipping Storm 2 over. But, we shall see what happens (Like we don’t know the result already, ha).

Your house robots for this magnificent battle are Mr Psycho and Growler, the terrible twosome! And of course, Storm 2 is the perfect shape and size to fit in Growler’s jaw. Let battle commence!

Both robots start fairly tentatively, sizing each other up. That is until Storm 2 manages to get around the side of Trax, ramps up the power to maximum and slams them against the arena side wall so hard that they catch air. That’s followed up by another instant attack, which pings Trax straight into Refbot, and then another one sends them front on into the arena side wall! It’s relentless!

Taxi
Taxi Service

Trax try to compose themselves and get away for a breather, but the tracks themselves can’t seem to get any real traction, and the robot is sliding around all over the place. This is perfect for Storm 2, who can just wait to line up their perfect opportunity. It doesn’t take long before they back again, this time actually getting underneath Trax as they push them, allowing them to use the lifter as well.

Major Lift
The lift

Trax can doing nothing about it, the robot suddenly looking weak and uncontrollable in comparison to Storm 2. Storm 2 of course is a much smaller robot as well, which just adds to Trax’s image as a cumbersome giant. Storm 2 just keep coming and coming, exploiting every opportunity they can find. But no killer blow as yet, unless you count their demolition of the pit release button.

Now Storm 2 are looking to end this, preferably by way of the pit, but Trax aren’t making it easy for them, weaving and ducking away as much as they can from Storm 2’s attacks. They still seem to have next to zero grip, but that’s working more in their favour right now, making them a slippery customer. Although, it does lead them to almost getting hammered by Mr Psycho as they try to escape, the hammer inches away.

The clock starts to count down, and Trax are going to survive right to the end. They almost goad Storm 2 to try and catch them, luring them to the pit, but Storm doesn’t bite, instead letting the clock run down.

It goes to the judges, sure, but there can only be one winner from this. STORM 2 ARE GOING THROUGH!


So who will Storm 2 face, Rhino or Steel Avenger? Well, that’s what we get to find out next time… Until then.

 

Robot Wars S07E09 Part 1: The Oncoming Storm

Oh I have been looking forward to this one. We have now passed the half way stage in the 7th Wars heats, and begin our venture down the back 8 with Heat I. Now, having gone through all odd numbered seeds from 1 to 15, it’s time to do the even seeded robots, from 16 down to 2. And who do we have seeded at number 16, having been given the place thanks to their victory in the New Blood Championship at Robot Wars: Extreme 2? It’s only one of the most devastating rambots to have ever graced the competition, Storm 2. And now you know why I’m excited.

Along with Storm 2, there are a fair few heavy hitters also joining in this heat. Steel Avenger for one, looking to finally get out of their heats after several failed attempts. We’re also joined by TraxMayhem, Rhino, Shredder Evolution, Supernova and Sub-Version 1.1. Yes, I didn’t understand the name of the last robot either when I first heard it, but don’t worry, it makes sense in the end.

Now you know the robots’ names, let’s get down to the fighting.


Starting off with the first melee, naturally, and our first robot out into the arena is Mayhem. You’d be forgiven if you mistook Mayhem for Supernova, which is another robot competing in this episode, because they bear a certain striking resemblance. As it is, Mayhem is another robot with a front facing, horizontal disc wedged between the top and the bottom of the robot. The weapon itself is a hefty 16kg spinning disc which goes at 2000rpm, a rather menacing speed for this era of Robot Wars. However, whilst the weapon looks spectacular, the robot has some rather exposed rear wheels and a high ground clearance, which isn’t good for coming up against spinners or flippers.

Next up we have Rhino, which unsurprisingly looks like a Rhino. It’s a tall, silver robot that comes complete with horns, the central horn running low to the ground to make the robot’s front facing weapon- a flipper. But that wasn’t everything, with a 2,500rpm rotary weapon on the back of the robot, making it double trouble and ready for anything. The flipper, however, isn’t so useful for self righting like most flippers are, due to Rhino’s shape, so the team do have to make use of a separate srimech, which can be slow to work.

Thirdly, and the robot we have all been waiting for, is Storm 2! The 16th seeds have a robot built like a tank, and as powerful as one too. A 6 wheel drive, box wedge shaped robot, Storm 2 was built around its capabilities as a rambot, and subsequently featured a low front scoop to get in underneath other robots- and by low, I mean almost zero ground clearance- and a top speed of 23mph to smash, bash and crash them all over the arena. The 7th Wars’ rules did mandate that all robots have active weaponry, and to that end Storm 2 features a front mounted four-bar lifting arm- not quite a flipper, but capable to tipping a robot over and leaving it even more vulnerable. Oh, and Storm 2 is invertible, of course.

Finally we have Supernova, which is like Mayhem but with a smaller diameter spinning disc. It weighs more at 22kg but still goes at 2500rpm, with the potential to deliver a much more concentrated, powerful blow to its opponents. The robot is invertible, but at 94kg it is not one of the heaviest robots and could be vulnerable to flippers, whilst the thin armour could make it vulnerable to just about everything else. All of the power of Supernova is concentrated in the disc, which can lead to some wild collisions with both robots flying off in opposite directions- but could that do Supernova more harm than good?

And now to the actual battle, with our robot competitors being joined by the menace that is Sir Killalot, and the delightful dame of Robot Wars, Matilda. TO BATTLE!

Storm 2 start quickly, of course, targeting Rhino as their first victim. Rhino isn’t the easiest robot to push around, but eventually they get up to speed, and slam them into the arena side wall, sending Rhino airborne. Supernova meanwhile is taking a liking to its copycat, chasing Mayhem down as it gets into the fight. Mayhem attempts to attack Rhino, with little success, and that allows Supernova to come in and take one of Mayhem’s tyres off! And then, with the next attack, the second tyre comes off!

Mayhem are now without tyres on both wheels, wheels that are no longer touching the floor. And with no way of getting around the arena, I call that a KO blow from Supernova on Mayhem.

Storm 2 and Rhino are revisiting their rivalry meanwhile, but this time Storm 2 goes for a frontal assault, which turns out to be a mistake when Rhino gets in underneath and tips Storm 2 up vertically, but the robot does come back down. A sign that Rhino’s flipper isn’t all it’s made out to be.

Tip
Tip

Storm 2 takes advantage of Rhino not being able to tip it over by getting underneath- before Rhino’s flipper has come down- and then driving them once again into the side wall. This time Rhino end up taking a piggy back ride on Storm 2 for a few seconds as a result. But Storm 2 stay at it, this time pushing Rhino into Matilda’s CPZ. Matilda swings her fat arse around, looking to bring the flywheel onto Rhino, but has such a wide turning circle that she misses and instead shreds the arena side wall into two detached pieces, one being the Plexiglas and one being the actual wall, with quite a bang too.

Mayhem, meanwhile, is being counted out. No surprises there. After being counted out, Sir Killalot gets involved and places them onto the floor flipper, and then watches them fly! (And bounce). In the actual battle, however, Storm 2 has just got in behind Supernova, and with one big push sends them straight into Sir Killalot, tearing his tyre track clean off!

No tracks
Track-lite

Whilst Matilda is tearing pieces out of Mayhem for fun, and Sir Killalot trying to recover from being partially disassembled, Storm 2 go back after a stunned Supernova, getting in behind and driving them full pelt into the corner of the arena, where Supernova bounce up of the walls and land of their side, spinning disc tearing chunks out of the floor as they skate to a stop. Matilda manages to knock them back onto their wheels, but something is wrong with Supernova.

They’ve stopped moving.

Rhino are barely moving, but they’re moving. Supernova aren’t. So Supernova are counted out, and we have our two going through. Rhino, and a very dominant Storm 2.


Now normally you’d get the second melee here, but I have a headache and don’t really want to write any more, so this’ll have to do. But it’s OK, because this heat is a little different because there is no special event, meaning we’re one battle lighter this time around. It’ll work out. Until next time.

Interlude Part 2: Favourite Battles Pt2 (5-1)

The final part of the interlude before normality sets in again. Already in the first part of this we’ve seen destruction, Sir Killalot on fire, more destruction, controversy and did I mention destruction? But they were still only the back five, and there are certain battles that live even stronger in my mind than they do. Over the next 5 battles we’ll see- you guessed it- destruction, along with house robot flipping, robot infernos, more controversy and even Refbot falling into the pit. You can probably guess what one of them is now.

5. Firestorm 4 v Panic Attack (Extreme 2 Commonwealth Carnage)

PsychoStorm.PNG

It’s almost amazing that, despite being my favourite robot, this is the only time you’ll find Firestorm in the Top 10. It always seemed to quietly go about its business, pushing robots out of the arena left, right and centre. Things were slightly different when it came up against Panic Attack in the Commonwealth Carnage event in Robot Wars: Extreme 2.

The fight itself wasn’t what was spectacular about this fight. It was a good fight, really 50/50 between two very good robots (And a fight that could go on for a while without one robot getting torn to shreds first), until Firestorm finally got the upper hand and pinned Panic Attack against the area side wall and an angle grinder, leaving it to be counted out.

No, the fun part of this fight is what happened afterwards. Having won the battle, Firestorm decided to go after the house robots, Sgt. Bash and Mr Psycho. Bash was first on the list, and was to be honest a fairly easy victim. Mr Psycho, well he was a lot more stubborn. Bear in mind Psycho weighs 750Kg, so was no pushover, and soon Firestorm went from the hunters to the hunted.

It all looked like fairly harmless fun until, right at the end, Mr Psycho reversed onto Firestorm having just put Panic Attack into the pit. Cease is called, but Firestorm, inch by inch, start to topple Psycho until… TIMBERRRRRR! 750Kg of house robot are now laying on their side.

Beautiful.

4. Storm 2 v Apollo (8th Wars Heat D Head to Heads)

dead-metal-dead

The reboot series have served up some excellent battles, but following the same trend as Firestorm’s entry above, this battle put some excellent house robot flipping on display, courtesy of champions-in-waiting Apollo.

Once again, the fight was a real backwards and forwards, with neither robot giving the other an inch. Storm 2 were doing the pushing, with Apollo using their flipper to devastating effect. But whilst both robots were trying to get one over each other, there was also the added element that the house robots getting in the way.

Half way through the fight Apollo seem to lose drive in one wheel, leading them to go around in circles- a circle that leads them right into the path of house robot Dead Metal. You know what’s coming next- with nowhere else to go, Apollo flips them right over.

But we’re not done there, because Matilda is next. Apollo are still fighting strong, but when they find themselves beside the matriarch of doom and robot carnage, their first fighting flip only serves to tear Matilda’s back end off. Now as fun as it would be to see Matilda fight with half her bodywork, Apollo then went in and finished the job.

It was Apollo’s fight- house robots and competitors alike had to bow down. Despite being inches away from Storm 2 pushing them down the pit, Apollo went on to win the battle on a judges’ decision. And what a fight it was.

3. Storm 2 v Typhoon 2 (7th Wars Grand Final)

Storm 2 v Typhoon 2

Couldn’t have this list without one of the most controversial fights in the history of Robot Wars. The 7th wars itself was a melting pot of controversy, but this battle took the proverbial cake. It was Typhoon 2, one of the most powerful full body spinners seen at the time, versus Storm 2, the pushbot from hell and mortal enemy of Mentorn at the time.

I don’t think there was any way this fight wasn’t going to be explosive.

There were plenty of fighting words even from before the battle began. It has to be said most of the fighting words came from Ed Hoppitt, and probably wouldn’t have looked out of place in a Mayweather v McGregor press conference, but it was glorious none the less.

As for the fight, well it was really a fight of two halves; Punctuated by a small break after Typhoon 2 decided to go Pastor Maldonado on the arena side wall and tear it to pieces. For the most part, Storm 2 was withstanding the blows well, and even getting under the robot a good number of times. Things were looking up for them.

But after the cease break, things went downhill. And that’s where the controversy really starts to pick up. For one, Typhoon 2 as allowed to spin back up to speed before battle resumes, but that’s a small point. The rest of the fight was actually really entertaining to watch, if you just watch the fight, and that’s one of the reasons it’s on this list. The fight was pretty epic, between a robot with all out attack and a robot with solid armour and acts as a battering ram. Storm 2 should have won, there is no doubt in my mind about that, especially considering Typhoon 2 lost a chain from the robot and the weapon stopped working about 3/4 of the way through. Sure, Storm 2 lost a little panel from the front of the robot, but that damage was purely cosmetic.

But nope, thanks to some absolute bullshit that went on behind the scenes, including the hiding of said chain to make Typhoon 2 out to be completely damageless for the judges, to the sheer misdirection Mentorn led not only everyone in the audience or the booths but even the judges themselves. They even put canned applause over the crowd in the audio edit because everyone was booing the decision.

It was entertainment. It was bullshit, but it was still entertainment.

2. Apollo v Carbide (8th Wars Grand Final)

Carbide v Apollo Grand Final

Here’s a Grand Final that managed to pretty much avoid controversy, the complete opposite to the war that went before it. It was another classic matchup between Apollo the flipper and Carbide the invertible spinner. Both robots that had done impressively well in their heats too.

Right from the very start, this was going to be one hell of a battle. Carbide began trying to tear chunks out of Apollo (Easier said than done), whilst Apollo were more than happy to start tossing Carbide around like they had done so many other robots. Even Sir Killalot got involved early on as the two robots traded blows.

But then, the curse of Carbide’s dodgy mechanics came back to haunt them, and the bar spinner packed up. Now Apollo had the advantage, the upper hand, and they took it. Carbide were flying all over the place, a shell of the robot they started out as.

Then Apollo’s flipper stopped working fully. And suddenly the fight is even again, and Carbide are pushing back. Apollo’s flipper is jammed open so they’re not getting flips in- in the end they actually start using it like some kind of clamping jaw. The battle ends as it started, with power and aggression, just this time with Carbide stuck between Apollo and Shunt, being axed to death.

Apollo were worthy winner but battles like that, that go right to the death with both robots hanging on for their life, are simply awesome to watch.

1. Granny’s Revenge v Axe Awe (5th Wars Heat H)

Granny's revenge

Oh I couldn’t have this list without Granny’s Revenge. And it had to, had to absolutely be top of the list. It was one of the most beautiful fights I’ve witnessed, if you call watching a plastic mannequin turn into a fireball on wheels beautiful. Maybe beautiful isn’t the right word. How about… Majestic?

The thing is, we already knew Granny’s Revenge was a joke robot, but it was one of the best, most hilarious joke robots the show has ever had. And it had a fight to match. Poor Axe Awe didn’t know what to do half the time, although their first slam did break Granny’s flipper (Yes, Granny had an actual flipper). But for the most part, Axe Awe were spectators as Sgt. Bash spewed napalm all over robo grandma.

Much in the same way Diotor is covered in fur, you can’t drape rags over your robot and expect the house robot wielding a flamethrower to stay away. As soon as Bash could get in range, Granny’s Revenge was lit up like a bonfire on Guy Fawkes’ night. The funniest thing now was how long Granny decided to drive around, whilst completely engulfed in flame. As if they could actually still win the fight.

In the end, it was Refbot that put them out of their misery, pushing the burning debris that used to be a robot down into the pit. Oh but that wasn’t the end of it. The cherry on the cake came right afterwards- having pushed Granny’s Revenge down the pit, Refbot then got a taste of its own medicine by falling into the pit itself! There was a bit of help courtesy of Axe Awe, but let’s gloss over that and bask in the knowledge that Granny’s Revenge is now helping to grill the Refbot, just in time for a late evening snack.

I could watch this fight over and over again. Somebody please bring Granny’s Revenge back, I need more Granny’s Revenge in my life.


Man, Robot Wars is awesome.

With many thanks to @kayleyjay42 for suggesting this as something to do an article on. Much appreciated 🙂

Interlude Part 2: Favourite Battles Pt1 (10-6)

After a short break, during which I have acquired a piece of paper worth £27,000 (That being my degree certificate, having graduated yesterday), I am back with the second and final part to the interlude before I resume my recaps. We’ve gone through my top 10 favourite robots, now let’s do my top 10 favourite battles! No surprise if you guessed my selection is heavily weighted in favour of battles from the 5th wars onwards.

10. Hypno-Disc v Splinter (4th Wars Semi-Final 2)

Hypno-Disc v Splinter.PNG

One of the few fights here that actually happened prior to the 5th Wars, but it one that showcases the full destructive power that one robot can depart onto another. Now, Splinter was not a bad robot at all, evidenced by the fact it got to the 4th wars semi-final. But against Hypno-Disc, it stood no chance.

The thing is, Splinter actually started off fairly well, using the large bucket scoop it possessed on the front of the robot to deflect Hypno-Disc’s blows. But it could only stand up to so much, and when one hit from the disc tore the entire protective scoop off, that was it. What followed was carnage on a whole other level, until Splinter was literally a pile of scrap metal and spare parts. Even the house robots had a tug of war at the end with the remains of the robot, with Dead Metal really getting in there.

On its day, Hypno-Disc could be fierce. And that was one on of those days, when nothing in the world could have stopped that robot, and certainly not Splinter.

And if you want to watch the battle in all its glory- and just the battle- you can find it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kikpo2l1dY0

9. Storm 2 v Supernova (3rd World Championship Final)

Sideways Supernova

I think one of the main reasons I enjoyed this fight so much was that it acted almost a justice for the 7th Wars Grand Final, which hadn’t happened too long beforehand. It was kind of a skewed justice as Supernova (A robot I have a lot of respect for) had to suffer instead, but at the time I was just so happy to see Storm 2 get its hands on another trophy, after another outing where it all could have so easily gone very wrong. Indeed, this match was almost more confusing that anything, with both robots spending time on its side, up against the wall where it couldn’t do anything. In my heavily biased opinion, Supernova should have been counted out when Storm 2 trapped them against the angle grinder, but alas I am not a judge.

Supernova for their part were still entertaining, not shy to go for an attack and putting some nasty dents in Storm 2’s rock solid armour. Even when they were trapped, Supernova’s disc was powerful enough to rip up the arena floor.

This battle was as interesting as it was confusing, but to me it was also rather enjoyable.

8. Tornado v Pussycat (Robot Wars Extreme All Stars)

Killalot Fire

I remember this fight for one thing and one thing only- Sir Killalot catching fire. I actually forgot where the fight had come from, I just remember that moment. It was glorious to see the brute of the arena suddenly catch alight and turn into a giant fireball. Just glorious.

The fight itself was good fun too, even if it takes a backseat in my mind. Tornado dominated in a way that you would come to expect from it, and the experienced Pussycat didn’t really stand a chance. I mean, how many robots could cause Pussycat to lose a wheel? (Not Tornado, ironically, seeing as it was the angle grinder that took the wheel off).

We do, however, have Pussycat to thank for our lord and master Sir Killalot catching fire, having severed a few hydraulic lines earlier in the fight. But, as fun as this fight was, it wouldn’t have been anywhere are memorable if Sir K hadn’t turned into a blazing inferno.

7. Razer v Widow’s Revenge (5th Wars Heat K)

Razer v Widow's Revenge

This fight was so much fun just because of the premise of it, even if that premise was somewhat fabricated. It was husbands and boyfriends versus wives and girlfriends as Razer took on Widow’s Revenge, in a fight that was no doubt chosen to be a ratings booster for the show. Didn’t stop it being great fun though.

I don’t think there was any doubt as to who was going to win the fight, and dare I say the Widow’s Revenge robot was designed in such a way as to make it oh so destructive when Razer decided to bring the pain. And bring the pain Razer did, rendering the robot utterly worthless inside the first minute and a half. If that wasn’t bad enough, Matilda then came along and made things about 10x worse for the WR girls.

I think above all else, one of the main reasons I remember this fight is the back and forth between teams whilst being interviewed. For early 2000s the banter level wasn’t so cringeworthy I had to turn away from my laptop, so I could have quite a good laugh at what they were saying.

I mean, the Widow’s Revenge weapon was a rolling pin. A fucking rolling pin.

6. Panic Attack v Terrorhurtz (6th Wars Heat I)

Terrohurtz S6 V Panic Attack

I talked a little bit about this when I was talking about Terrorhurtz in my “Top 10 Favourite Robots”, and that’s because it’s a battle that really sticks with me. Panic Attack were veterans, 2nd war winners and legends of the show, but they had been enduring a tough time after problems with their new design. Terrorhurtz on the other hand were only getting better, and despite a somewhat manic robots they looked very, very good. So that made this a matchup you didn’t want to miss. Could the veterans rally around and fight back despite their aging robot, or would the surprise package of the heat claim yet another victim.

In the end, it was easy. Terrorhurtz were utterly relentless, battering a slow and sluggish Panic Attack into submission. It was a performance that encapsulated what the robot was all about- a robot that would go all the way to the grand final too. Whilst it’s sad to see Panic Attack to go out the way it did, it’s also such a fun fight to watch.


So that’s it for part 1! What other fights are around the corner? Which ones really stuck in my memory? Well, that’s to find out next time.

Until then.

Interlude: Favourite Robots Part 2: 5-1

The second part of this wonderfully times interlude sees us go through the top 5 of my favourite robots have graced the Robot Wars arena in the years it’s been on air. There are some wonderful, some hilariously awful, and some mad robots on this list. I’m quite enjoying having an interlude too, it breaks up the monotony of just doing battle recaps all the time. I might do more of this kind of thing in the future, if I can think of something to write about (If the 5 or so of you that read this blog have any ideas, I’m more than open to listening to them). For now, let’s get on with the countdown.

  1. Granny’s Revenge

Granny's Revenge

Granny’s Revenge, what a robot. What a brilliant, wacky idea to bring into Robot Wars. I don’t think anybody seriously expected Granny’s Revenge to actually go far in Robot Wars the 5th Wars, but just the idea of having a plastic mannequin draped in cloths, holding a chainsaw whilst riding in a wheelchair, was a brilliant idea. Of course, I have no doubt that the original Granny’s Revenge was specifically put into battle with Sgt. Bash for the very reason that the cloths and rags were extremely flammable, and it didn’t disappoint.

The battle very soon turned into a robot inferno.

As soon as Sgt. Bash let fly with the flamethrower, it was going to end badly. But even I didn’t expect Granny’s Revenge to go up like the bonfire it soon resembled. The rags were nothing but ash and the plastic was melting- Granny’s Revenge was now simply a driving fireball. They were eventually put out of their misery by being pushed down the pit- but not without Refbot going down with them!

  1. 259

259_qualifiers

It took me a while to realise that Aftershock (9th Wars) was basically a modern version of 259, a robot that entered the 6th wars and could have gone so, so much further than it actually did. Possessing a very large, very powerful vertical spinner, 259 was as destructive as its design was impressive. It tossed aside the likes of Infernal Contraption and Judge Shred with ease, and even tormented the seeded Wild Thing in a way nobody else did, but that sheer power wasn’t enough to overcome its faults.

A loose drive belt saw it defeated by Wild Thing despite such an impressive performance and a lack of armour did it in against fellow spinner Fluffy. But despite these flaws, I loved the power and brutality that 259 brought to its ultimately short time on Robot Wars.

  1. Gravity

gravity-v-13-black

Dutch Robot Gravity brought more than a little entertainment to its time on Robot Wars the 7th Wars, it brought one of the most powerful flippers ever seen. Similar to the way I admire 259’s ability to cause immeasurable carnage, I loved the sheer power of Gravity’s flipper, and what it could do to an opposing robot. Hydra found that out quite early on, when it was flipped so hard that it broke the arena side wall upon landing.

A whole host of robots fell to Gravity’s mighty flipper, including house robots Shunt and Dead Metal, and it looked as if nothing could stop them. They even set a record for the UK series, flipping 5th seeds Dantomkia out of the arena in under 6 seconds- now if that isn’t domination, I don’t know what is. They probably could have gone all the way, but in the end Tornado caught them on the pit just as it was going down. A cruel way to end their participation, it has to be said.

I would have loved to see them in the most recent series’, because a flipper as powerful as Gravity is a sight to behold. Maybe, maybe one day they will come back. I can only hope.

  1. Storm 2

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Yes, if you’ve been following this blog from its very beginning, you’ll know all about my love for the speed demon that is Storm 2. In much the same way that I loved 259 for its spinning disc and Gravity for its flipper, Storm 2 captured my interest by being so powerful it could literally ram opponents out of the arena. Sleek, elegant and low to the ground, it was a nightmare to attack and a robot you most certainly wouldn’t want to get into a push and shove contest with.

It turned that power into success too, first winning the New Blood championship in Extreme 2, before finishing runner up in the 7th wars after *THAT* Grand Final. That was followed up by winning the 3rd World Championship though, which makes up for it.

They returned for the 8th wars, and although the robot was showing signs of age, it still managed to defeat live circuit demons and 9th wars runners up Eruption, and arch enemies PP3D, losing only to eventual champions Apollo.

The robot is currently undergoing upgrades, and I honestly can’t wait to see what happens next. Whatever it does, I know it’ll be spectacular.

  1. Firestorm

Firestorm x Shunt

Storm 2 may have been more prominent on this blog because it was actually competing in the 8th wars, but the first robot that really grabbed my attention, that really drew me into Robot Wars was Firestorm (In all its various incarnations, but I started off with Firestorm III). A front hinged flipper is an ingenious idea, and in a sea of flippers it stood out. It also had a rather cool paint job, which for 6 year old me was quite a big deal.

Above all else, Firestorm was never one of the robots I saw as one of the cool robots to like. Everyone had Tornado and Razer and Hypno-Disc and Pussycat, but Firestorm almost fell under the radar (In my eyes). I liked that underdog status. It always did well, but it never won. It was always expected to lose to one of the big boys along the way, and I would love seeing if they could overcome it. They weren’t short on flipping robots out of the arena either, which I loved.

They also tipped over Mr Psycho, which was bloody awesome.

What a robot. I’d give an arm and a leg to see them make a comeback, as slim as that chance is. I still think they could do a job, even with the upgrades you see today. But even if they never come back, I still have my memories.

They were shit on Robot Wars: Arenas of Destruction though, let’s be honest. It’s probably the only downside they had.


So there you go, that completes the overview of my top 10 favourite robots. This was fun, but I wait eagerly for the new series to see if there are any new robots there that engage me in a way these ones did. I suppose we shall just have to wait and see. Until next time…