Welcome to heat 5 of the 9th series of Robot Wars and lets be honest, as good as the series has been so far, this is the one we’ve been waiting for isn’t it? The top 2 from series 8 find themselves in the same heat this time around. Rivalries and debate involving Apollo & Carbide will be high in this coming week but lets not forget there are 6 other machines competing here and as ever I shall pass my not so expert eye over them and try and give some predictions as to how they’ll do.
Once again I extend my thanks to everyone who viewed the heat 4 preview. I’m getting more views every week and I appreciate it a lot, keep telling your mates!
In this final heat of action we have the great, the gruesome and the just plain weird in a wide variety of robot designs. Who made you stop and look twice? Join me as I preview these stunning machines….
Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)
First up we start with Coyote, one of 6 newcomer machines in this heat. That is by far the most in this series and whilst they’d look at it and think they might have a chance, the poor souls got stuck with Apollo and Carbide. Either way it’s a chance to prove themselves and Coyote scores high here. Built by one of the brains behind PP3D there’s no disc in sight here. Coyote’s main weapon is the crusher/lifter on the front a concept I’ve always been fond of in Robot Wars used in machines like Mantis and Big Nipper. There is a second weapon in the form of a chainsaw, remember those? When was the last time we saw a chainsaw on a robot?! Brilliant. Fits in with the design of the Coyote as a Matilda type tail as well and could cause problems if it hits machines in the right place. The business end is the front though, if they get a hold of something it’s going for a ride around. I love the idea of one machine picking another one up and driving it around. I hope we get to see that.
Prediction – A nice design here on Coyote and I hope it has the power to back up the robots potential. In a heat which is very heavily Apollo and Carbide orientated I think Coyote can slip under the radar somewhat and cause some problems. I’d expect them to get to the second round here.
Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)
Rusty is another new machine competing in the 9th wars but has a bit of history like some others. Rusty is actually an upgraded version of Ceros that made a heat final in war 7. Again like most machines in this scenario the original has been sold and resold a number of times until finally it ended up with this team. It’s not a brand new machine, Ceros V2 has appeared regularly on the live stage but some tweaking was needed to make this battle ready for the warzone. Strangely though Rusty never applied to compete in this championship hence the lack of official photo like all the rest, they were simply asked to be a reserve robot and hey presto, what do you know, they were then chosen to compete. It’s not a bad machine either. Stocky with a low pressure flipper like the original Ripper and a nice rusty orange paint job to match its name. Has a decent top speed too but has a layer of aluminium armour which in this day and age could be classed as relatively thin. Still at least it’s not made out of wood.
Prediction – Nice to see this machine back, it’s had some great fights in live shows and hopefully it will get to show what it can do. Reliability has been a factor though and will need to take the knocks whether it’s getting smashed around by spinners or flung into the air by flippers. Having seen the draw I’d predict Rusty to go out in the first round but only because it’s in the same fight as Coyote.
Crackers N Smash
Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)
If theres some thing that have been missing since Robot Wars came back it’s the entry of walkers and clusterbots. At last one has arrived in the shape of 50 kg Crackers and 60 kg Smash (altogether weighing 110 kg, classing it as one machine). There have been a few clusterbots over the years but only Gemini has really stood out and so far, have been the most successful. Crackers N Smash are different straight away to any other machine of its type because the 2 robots have different weapons. Whereas your Geminis had 2 flippers and your Black N Blues both had drums, this latest pair have both; Crackers is armed with a lifting arm and Smash with a drum spinner. What a great idea, double the chance to win. Well actually that’s not always been the case. The rules have been pretty inconsistent on clusterbots before. The original ruling was that is one half of the machine is immobilised, the whole robot is out due to both clusters being counted as one machine. Later on that changed to if one was immobilised, the other other could fight on and potentially win the battle. I’ve seen numerous sources for this and each say something different for this series, so if somebody could clear that up, that would be great. Either way I hope we get to see what this can do. Too many robots have been taken out quite early this series without showing anything off and who knows where the next clusterbot will emerge from.
Prediction – The potential is massive here and there is definitely a space in round 2 up for grabs. It just depends on which ruling is being used here and at the time of writing I’m unsure. The 50% rule could be quite damaging for such comparative light machines and one could be disposed of quite quickly. Always a great concept clusterbots, but maybe the risk is too great sometimes. I can’t wait to hear the arena announcer say this one as well.
Most Recent War -N/A (Newcomer)
Well would you look at this. I’m going to show my age here but does anybody remember The Wizard and The Witch from years gone by? How similar does this look? Ms Nightshade is not The Wizard or The Witch though, instead she is her own independent machine. Constructed by an all girl team this boasts to being possibly the tallest robot in the competition. Some big statements by the team too, the whole cone structure opens out into 6 pieces which they say can then be used as ramming spikes, axes or a full body spinner. They also say Ms Nightshade cannot be flipped and has the ability to escape the pit. Stop the competition everyone, we have a winner! Seriously though, sounds like a great design. How effective it will be, well we’ll have to wait and see. It’s quite hard to predict because it’s not like anything we’ve seen before. I hope it works. We’ve seen people enter machines with new ideas and weaponry before and it just hasn’t worked. Niterider springs to mind straight away. One things for sure, we won’t forget about it.
Prediction – Because it’s different (and I like that) and because I haven’t really selected one yet, I’m giving Ms Nightshade my underdog of the week star this time. I don’t think she’s going to topple all comers, hey might not even get out of the first round. But she’s grown on me. I really didn’t think much of Ms Nightshade when I first saw her and now I love the innovation. A round 2 appearance would be fantastic and I’ll be chuffed if she gets through. But that might be a bit of a stretch. The fact I’ve been referring to Ms Nightshade as she must show I’m deadly serious.
Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)
Another one fresh off the live stage for all those fans comes the upgraded version of the old Mighty Mouse. This one has been fighting for quite a few years now and has much more power and style than Mighty Mouse with a full pressure flipper taking up most of the robots body. MeggaMouse is still owned by Trevor Wright but as he is busy with Ironside 3, Team Tilly have the controls this time around. It’s a good machine when it gets going, small and quick just like its predecessor but does have lovely exposed tyres. MeggaMouse has brought a friend this time too in the shape of Charles, an invertable wedge of cheese a bit like the minibots from Nuts. The main point of attack will come from the flipper though and this has served the robot well when fighting live. It’s a shame Robot Wars was ever cancelled for numerous reasons, but I’d have liked to have seen MeggaMouse appear sooner after the 7th war, it would have done well. I still think it will but will it be overpowered by others?
Prediction – Any other time I’d tip MeggaMouse for a round 2 spot, no question. But once again given who they’re up against has just made it so much harder. I’d still say round 2 but only because of the pedigree I know this machine has. A lesser known robot can still spring a surprise and go through the group battle at the expense of the mouse.
Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)
This. Is. Brilliant. A robot purely designed for cheapness, simplicity and as inspiration for others to look at and want to build their own machine. The whole thing was on a budget of £500 and can do everything your standard fighting robot can do; it can hit hard with its weapon, self right and, hopefully, move. And it got its name from the main part of the chassis being an upside down shopping trolley, therefore it probably would have cost £501 unless they were able to get their pound back. Its a brilliant, brilliant demonstration of what is possible in robot building. I was ranting on about Rapid being a huge sum of money earlier on in the series and Trolley Rage has had the opposite effect on me. It shows you can make a fighting robot if you’re a little light in the wallet and the plan to inspire must work on others. Being technical for a second it only has 3 mm steel armour and is pretty slow but even if it just works, thats a triumph and one in the eye for the pricey machines for me. Not saying I don’t like the pricey machines, its just that this one can give people more belief they can do it themselves.
Prediction – I want Trolley Rage to win. I want them to win the whole contest. Forget your Aftershocks and your Ironsides, get to Asda, grab a trolley and start building. Use a basket if you’re doing a featherweight. In all seriousness though what chance does it have? First round? Possibly, yes. But I love the idea its built to inspire others. That’s what its all about.
Most Recent War – Series 8 (Grand Champion)
Apollo. Current UK champion. Top dog. Number 1 seed. What else needs to be said? It’s been a long time coming but here they are, back to defend their title that they won so brilliantly in the last war. And they’ve only gone and been drawn in the same heat as their final rivals Carbide. Coincidence BBC?? Either way we know they’ll put up a good fight. Essentially its the same machine, nice pointy wedge thing with a huge flipper on the front capable, as we’ve already seen, of flipping well over 300 kg at the very least (700 kg the next target???). Nice and low to the ground and to be fair, great driving as well. All of these factors came together so well last time and put Apollo in the robot history books forever. They will be tough to beat whoever they come up against and with even more powerful rams and the usual upgraded internals, they will be even more feared this time. I can’t wait to see them take to the warzone again.
Prediction – This whole heat is a build up to Apollo & Carbide. They are so far ahead of anybody else in this heat that there should be no way that it wont be those 2 in the heat final, barring some major mechanical malfunction which I really hope doesn’t spoil it. So who will win, Apollo or Carbide? It really could go either way but minus any weapon failures, Carbide will just nick it for me. Therefore I have to predict our current champion will fall at the heat final stage, but even with everything we’ve seen so far, I’d be staggered if they didn’t get the wildcard as well.
Most Recent War – Series 8 (Runner-Up)
The fan favourite from the last war is here. Famed for it’s incredible destructive power, Carbide returns as the new and improved number 2 seed. Again, like Apollo it keeps the same sort of design. 2 wheel drive, sleek stealth bomber shape and a lovely fluorescent green and black livery. But again it’s all about the internal upgrades. A heavier spinning bar is powered by a stronger and hopefully more reliable motor. New armour plating on the top and sides and even more powerful batteries that run at a whopping 58 volts give it some huge power around the arena, like seriously strong. It sounds unbeatable and maybe Carbide’s biggest enemy is itself. The weapon was an issue in the last war despite its huge destructibility and the drive had problems in the early stages but that’s why the upgrades have been made and will hopefully stop those occurring again. Probably the most stunning thing to enter the warzone since Hypnodisc hit our screens, there really isn’t words for how awesome Carbide is. I gave them my award for the most revolutionary machine in the last wars as a mark of just how much robotic combat has come on from those days. This particular revolution looks set to continue.
Prediction – Beaten at the final hurdle last time and it looks like Carbide are set to put that right. All the info we have coupled with the abilities we’ve seen before have them down as world beaters, but again it’s all about how they hold up against themselves. We’ve seen a lot of machines beat themselves up with their own power this series. However I think Carbide can get their revenge on Apollo and take out the frustration of missing out last time on everyone else. Heat winner and series winner here for me.
So there we have it. I’ve now profiled all 40 robots in series 9 and where I have got a fair few predictions right, I also have got many wrong. But that’s the beauty of it! Once again i thank you all for sticking with this latest article and keep telling your mates! I welcome any comments about this heat or indeed the series gone by and the fights yet to come.
But I’m not done yet! We still have the Grand Final to come and you can be sure I’ll be previewing that in full detail. I’ll also be doing a piece on the wildcard contenders in the coming week so keep an eye out for that. I appreciate everyone who is following and for helping me keep this ride going. Heat 5 starts @ 7 pm on BBC 2. It promises to be a corker.