Analysis of each fight in Robot Wars Episode 1: Heat A
The house robots are back in the arena, Jonathan Pearce is back in the booth, and after 12 years a new series of Robot Wars is under way.
A new season of Robot Wars is finally here, as Team Typhoon (competing with PP3D) looks to defend its 12 year crown as the UK champion against some of the craziest robots from past and present in the newly established Warzone. After seeing the event as it happened on a shoddy online stream here in the United States I was ultimately still wowed to see the show back on the screen. In these reviews I’ll be asking (and answering) why each bot, and if it’s a strategy that can be repeated for the Grand Final.
First, an overview of the new league rules and format.
Each episode of Robot Wars has three stages:
- Group Battles – There are two group battles, lasting up to three minutes, With four Robots in each battle.The winning two Robots from each will progress to the next stage of the competition.
- Head to Head – The top two Robots from each group battle go through to head-to-head battles, where all four robots will fight each other once in battles lasting up to three minutes.
- Heat Final – The two Robots with the most points in the head-to-head fights will battle each other one last time to determine the episode’s winner and secure their place in the grand Final.
Let’s get right into the returning episode.
Round 1- Razer v. Kill E Krank E v. Terrorhurtz v. Nuts
Unlike some BattleBots reviews, these Robot Wars reviews will not have much pre-match info on the competitors, since we’ll be doing our own weekly series going into the details of each of the 8 competing teams. Here is a very truncated rundown though:
Kill E Krank E is the latest creation out of Team Cold Fusion, the same team who made Pussycat. It’s armed with a deadly spinning disc and uses the same wheels BodyHammer from Robot Wars Series 1 and 2 did.
Terrorhurtz is basically BETA from BattleBots’ twin brother, armed with an axe and is the son of Robot Combat mainstay, Killerhurtz. It’s a former Challenge Belt Tournament winner, and Grand Finalist in Series 6.
Nuts is the only newcomer to tonight’s heat, being made for competition early last year. The robot carries flails and a little minibot.
LET THE WARS BEGIN
BBC knew what they were doing putting both of the heat’s key powerhouse’s in the opening bout of the show. Razer and Terrorhurtz were truly having their way with the newer Kill E Crank E and Nuts. Kill E Crank E was the perfect shape for Razer’s beak and the Nuts minibot offered a nice side platter, with both robots being pushed and crushed by Razer for the majority of the fight.
On the other side of the arena Terrorhurtz was chasing Nuts everywhere getting numerous hard axe shots on Nuts as itself was spinning around and flailing it’s main weapon chains. Their two efforts would be all for naught as Razer end up knocking itself out when eliminating Kill E Crank E, shoving them both into the pit as Terrorhurtz and, more surprisingly, Nuts moved on.
Looking back at this match, right when the words “Pit it” came out of Simon Scott’s mouth, I was worried for what might happened. Despite Razer having that good grip on Kill E Crank E, it was also in a bad spot for it to be pitted, and that was proven in the dying seconds of this fight. I had Razer and Terrorhurtz moving on in this round like so many others did and it just didn’t end up like that in the closing seconds of the round. Terrorhurtz on the other hand, along with Nuts did everything right to move on by secluding themselves from the hazards and the lone House Robot to keep alive whilst fighting amongst each other.
MOVING ON: Terrorhurtz and Nuts
Round 2- Behemoth v. Bonk v. The General v. Carbide
Bonk is the newest creation from the team that brought you Series 7 Semi Finalist, Mute. Its got a powerful CO2 powered hammer.
The General is the only Welsh Team here and despite being a veteran of 2 wars it’s making its first UK championship appearance. It’s bringing to the fight two spinning discs.
Carbide is the same team that brought you Tiberius in the past, and the team is made up of the minds behind some of the most powerful featherweight spinners today. And it shows. Take a listen to their spinner powering up.
LET THE WARS BEGIN
And while we saw iconic names in the last fight, this match was all about the destruction we all know and love from Robot Wars. It’s very simple to describe the match: Behemoth and Carbide dominated. Behemoth got a number of very strong flips on Bonk and The General throughout the fight, even to the point that Bonk was smoking.
Carbide absolutely decimated The General’s somewhat weak armor and very large exposed wheels, tearing one wheel off as Behemoth would push it over the flame pit. After the match, Team Make Robotics of Behemoth would go on to admit that they avoided Carbide’s impressive spinning bar for the majority of the fight.
A match that goes as expected as my two picks to move on take a very easy W here. Jonathan Pearce even said “Don’t bring wheels into the Warzone,” and it shows in droves here. The truck tires on the side of General were the machine’s kryptonite, as the team went back to Wales in multiple pieces.
Bonk on the other hand wasn’t really a bad robot by any means, but its draw against robots that are either quite tall and hard to hit, like Behemoth, and robots that have special top armor for Hammers and Axes like Carbide showed it as it’s failing part in this bad draw.
MOVING ON: Behemoth and Carbide
This year the second round doesn’t consist of just two one-on-one matches to a Heat Final, now everyone must face each other in a Round Robin/League Style Format.
League Round: Carbide (0 pts) v. Terrorhurtz (0 pts)
Our first League match consists of the two machines I predicted would meet in the Heat Finals. To my surprise, the outcome was much different than anticipated. Terrorhurtz’ armored plow front absolutely ate up anything Carbide had to offer. But Carbide kept on coming and coming at the front of the axebot before taking a shot that would flip it over. Carbide had extra armor on top in preparation for an axebot like this, but due to its high centering the otherwise invertible Carbide was instead left dead on its back the Knockout loss.
There was only so much Carbide can do against the expert driving and the high-strength armor of John Reid’s Terrorhurtz. Spinner killers like Terrorhurtz, and what Behemoth hopes to be, are exactly Carbide’s weakness.
WINNER: Terrorhurtz (+3 pts)
League Round: Nuts (0 pts) v. Behemoth (0 pts)
Nuts is the true wildcard in a “Everyone faces Everyone” round like this. And it showed as Behemoth really had it’s way with the obscurely designed flail bot. Behemoth was able to notch a number of quality flips on conveniently shaped body of Nuts and it’s minibots for a convincing win by the Judges call. Things to take from this match are Behemoth throwing around the minibots to the roof of the Warzone, and Matilda getting the 1st serious House Robot blow on Behemoth, leaving a gash in the veteran flipper’s side.
An early and impressive showing from Behemoth here, but don’t take this match as the early cursor of what might me to come from this round. Nuts through and through is a comedy esque bot much like Diotor was in Wars past. The real determiner here will be Behemoths performance against the 2 powerhouses of Carbide and Terrorhurtz.
WINNER: Behemoth (+2 pts)
League Round: Behemoth (2 pts) v. Terrorhurtz (3 pts)
A very significant match, this will very much likely dictate the first of two Heat Final spots. Unfortunately, Terrorhurtz failed to get the axe system working properly, which may be a pass for a spinning robot such as Carbide, but will suffer heavily against a flipping plow like Behemoth. And that’s exactly what happened. Behemoth was able to make very short order of the current League Leader by flipping him over and render him helpless for a quick pitting.
This was a big match for Terrorhurtz to win. With its last match vs Nuts, if it would’ve been able to get this win it would have practically guaranteed it’s spot in the Heat Final against 2 robots that Terrorhurtz can easily outmaneuver and defeat. Now it’s up to Behemoth and Carbide’s performance, along with if Terrorhurtz can knock Nuts out.
WINNER: Behemoth (+3 pts)
League Round: Carbide (0 pts) v. Nuts (0 pts)
In what was easily the match of the night, Carbide proved it wanted to have the same destructive value Hypnodisc had many years before. And in its fight against Nuts, it was absolute destruction.
In the course of the match both of the minibots got slammed into the wall, the shell of Nuts, flails and all, would come off and even at one point throwing a shard of said shell right at Dara O’Briain, only to be protected by the arena’s bulletproof walls. The slaughter would continue as Carbide got a massive shot on the side of Nuts, tearing the left wheel and motor clean out of the side of Nuts leaving it for the KO.
Carbide picks up its first points on the board in very impressive fashion. There wasn’t much that Nuts could have done. For what they’ve had it was impressive and the Nuts team will be receiving help from the Carbide team itself moving on for repair.
Another point worth noting is that at the end of the bout, Shunt took a massive blow from Carbide, and completely took the shot with little to no damage. This really shows the durability of the House Robots this season.
WINNER: Carbide (+3 pts)
League Round: Carbide (3 pts) v. Behemoth (5 pts)
Whoever wins this bout will propel themselves into the Grand Final. The match looked very similar to Terrorhurtz vs Carbide at first, with the deadly spinner just bouncing off Behemoth’s plow with every blow. Behemoths plow though would prove to be not as strong as the armored face of Terrorhurtz. After a misfired flip, the plow itself would almost completely come off, leaving Behemoth slightly dazed and on its back as Carbide would come in with another hard hit to the veteran flipper before pitting it, and sealing the first spot in the Heat Final.
In my opinion, Make Robotics’ first and only real major mistake in this fight is making Behemoth actually try to flip. Despite that being Behemoth’s job, this is a match where Behemoth absolutely needed to play defensive, especially against a robot like Carbide who shares power similar to Tombstone from BattleBots. Behemoth could’ve pulled off the match with a judge’s decision win but failed to do so, buckling itself with it’s own flipper.
WINNER: Carbide (+3 pts)
League Round: Terrorhurtz (3 pts) v. Nuts (0 pts)
The stipulation for this match is that Terrorhurtz would need to score a KO on Nuts to properly advance to the Heat Final. A loss would obviously send the team home packing and a Judge’s Decision win will tie Terrorhurtz with Behemoth, where then it would be eliminated due to Behemoth beating Terrorhurtz in combat.
Terrorhurtz went for the KO immediately with its axe working once again and opening the pit nearly immediately to try to take out the already heavily damaged Nuts. Terrorhurtz would play offensive the entire fight to the point that they would also tear off the shell of Nuts as it humorously got caught on the axe of Terrorhurtz. Ultimately, the match would go in judges favor for Terrorhurtz, leaving Behemoth to move on.
Despite how slippery a two-wheeled thwack robot like Nuts is, Terrorhurtz should have used its axe as a way to slide between the shell and the main body of Nuts itself as a way to entangle. This could have been used to pit Nuts for a quick KO win.
WINNER: Terrorhurtz (+2 pts)
Final League Round Standings
Carbide – 6 Points
Behemoth – 5 Points (Advantage over Terrorhurtz)
Terrorhurtz – 5 Points
Nuts – 0 Points
Heat Final: Carbide v. Behemoth
Team Behemoth would play the aforementioned defensive strategy I brought up, but it was one round too late. The already heavily damaged Behemoth was left to be eaten alive by Carbide in this final round. Behemoth would take numerous shots before being knocked completely still, only to start moving again right when Carbide was about to land the coup de grace. Behemoth would move slightly, only to back into the pit by accident in this very short final round.
In the end there wasn’t much Make Robotics and Behemoth could do here. Ignoring the first match, which was really lost by Carbide due to it’s top armor, the machine was practically untouched in every round. Behemoth on the other hand had taken the abuse from Carbide not long ago, along with that hard blow from Matilda.
The result for this final match was quite inevitable, though I do believe if Terrorhurtz could have gotten his axe working for the Behemoth fight, he would’ve left this heat the winner.