Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 5 Preview

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….

 

Coyote

Coyote

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.

 

Rusty

Rusty

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

CrackSmash2

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.

 

Ms Nightshade

Ms_Nightshade

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.

 

MeggaMouse

Meggamouse

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.

 

Trolley Rage

Trolley Rage

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.

 

Apollo

ApolloS9

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.

 

Carbide

CarbideS9

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.

WordPress – Jaymess24                         Twitter – @jaymess24

Robots Reactivate – The War Is Coming…

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 1 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 2 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 3 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 4 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 3 Preview

2 heats down and 3 to go before the final. And what we have been treated to so far is stunning. Another dominant performance from one machine, this time it was Eruption following in the footsteps of Aftershock to make it 5 wins from 5 heat battles to book their place in that Grand Final. It was mighty impressive. Once again my huge thanks go to everyone who viewed, liked, re tweeted, saved as your desktop background or whatever you did with my last review. As ever it is massively appreciated. Thank you.

Onto Heat 3 we go then. Another mix of weaponry and some very tough calls to be made for predictions. Very even again. A difference with this preview is that I’ve seen the heat draw before writing, so I might be more accurate with predictions, maybe, possibly not? I wont put it here incase some people want a surprise come Sunday. Here are my views then on the first impressions of these competing machines and how I think they will get on. Would you agree with me?

 

Chimera 2

Chimera 2

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Heat, Round 1)

Kicking off this third heat is the return of Chimera with a brand new robot. They needed one to be fair, the last one got battered. This looks like the same sort of concept, hefty axe attached to a frame with large, but more sturdier wheels. The wheels were the problem in the last war as MR Speed Squared tore them apart and it led to swift exit. These look a bit more robust though. Plus it has interchangeable axes, a wedged front and Hardox armour so it looks like lessons have been learned from all angles for this war. Good to see the changes being made. So many teams seem to come back with the same old thing and it still gets nowhere. This is a good effort for a sequel, but is it a better machine?

Prediction – To come back, change pretty much everything about the robot but still keep the core qualities that people know and remember is a great effort from the Chimera team. Does it have that killer instinct though? I’m not too sure it does. MR Speed Squared is in this very heat again as well which could be trouble. Might be heading for another early bath here but I think it will put on a good show.

 

Foxic

Foxic S9

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Heat, Round 2)

I love this new version of Foxic. Looks meaner, slicker and more cunning than the last wars. Same sort of concept again, 4 wheel drive with the lifter on the front but with better armour and a much higher top speed. Lets forget the performance of the last wars and start fresh with this machine; it looks like i can perform. Even if the lifter fails it looks like it can be a good rammer, a little like what Cobra did in the last heat. This is what was missing last time and the lack of offence probably cost it. Defensively it’s great but you can’t win a tournament being as the team put it ‘bombproof’.

Prediction – I think Foxic can do quite well. I expect bigger things than the last war but that’s mainly because of the redesign. Would love to see Foxic go up against ‘the coward’ Jason of Thor and I think the second round is definitely achievable. Craig Danby is also one of the best personalilites in the game so it would be good to see him hang around if he can.

 

Expulsion

Expulsion

Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)

Here comes a machine that has one the most interesting back stories this year. The team is made up of students studying Maths, Physics and Design & Tech, and Expulsion is the result of one of their teacher’s robotics club! We didn’t get to build robots in school, we were too busy finishing projects on the aesthetics of book ends! What a place to be and what a mean machine it looks. Fast spinning blade, covered wheels and what looks like good armour. The blade can spin in both directions for slashing and spearing and looks quite destructive. But only a top speed of 5 mph and the inability to get off its side or back if flipped is an issue. Compare the speed to Foxic’s 25 mph and we see the flaw.

Prediction – Regardless of whether Expulsion wins the championship or goes out in the first round, what an effort put in by these guys. It’s also an opportunity for them, I wish I’d have had the chance to build a robot whilst in education. I hope the team enjoy the experience and learn from it for future machines. This looks like a good starting block.

Tauron

Tauron

Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)

There really are some brilliant looking machines in this heat. Tauron is no different and what I always like to see is a new type of design in a machine. This fits that criteria, 2 wheel drive, invertable and a beastly looking spinning bar on the front. A frightening looking machine if ever I saw one, a little like a vertical Carbide. Remember The Alien? It reminds me a bit of an updated version of that with the bar going at a huge 3000 rpm. It has a pivot type system on the front wedge as well incase it get flipped so the ground clearance isn’t affected. But like Expulsion, can it get down from it’s back or side?

Prediction – Dangerous this one. I’ve looked at it many times and it get no less impressive. I have high hopes for Tauron, to a point where I think a heat final is a genuine possibility. Of course this could be one of my wilder predictions but it looks too good of a machine to go out in round 1. Dark house this one.

 

Concussion

Concussion

Most Recent War  – N/A (Newcomer)

Concussion looks like a machine looking to make a bold statement. Stands out with it’s bright orange paintwork and big tyres but all eyes point to the front. Nice big spinney drum thing which are starting to become more popular as a choice of weapon. This one is reported to go at 6000 rpm making it just a little, dare I use the word slower, than Sabretooth’s drum. Will still be destructive if it goes well. Another nice, simple but effective design. The intentions are clear, there’s no hidden weaponry, no funny looking self righter, it’s aim is to destroy and it can definitely make a good go of it. Main concern? There’s quite a good, experienced axed machine in this heat and those tyres do look quite tasty.

Prediction –  Little Concussion looks strong and would be one of my favourites for the heat. However….. it could come down to luck of the draw. A lot of robots in this heat are pretty much what Concussion could fear. Big axes, wedges attacking with speed and spinners that look like they’re the perfect height to shred the wheels. I would predict them to do well in this heat, if they get out of the group battle. There lies the danger for me, might be better at one on one battles.

 

Heavy Metal

Heavy Metal

Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)

Well look at this. Enter Heavy Metal, something that looks like a student crawling out of a rave bar on a Friday night. Excellent paintwork on this wedge shaped, tractor of a machine. In actual fact the colour scheme is a tribute to a Black Sabbath album (ask your Dad). Looks great either way. Moving away from the blue and pink neons for one minute to talk about the actual machine. It’s nice and big with large wheels, plenty of grip and speed and can cause others some problems. The weapon is interesting though and has apparently never been seen before on Robot Wars. I was a bit confused by it not long ago but maybe this picture doesn’t give much away. It’s a lifting arm mounted on the back that is interchangeable with a spinner, a drill, a flipper or can also be a thwack bot. I used to make that sort of thing with Meccano, very interesting robot.

Prediction – Underdog of the week here (still haven’t got a jingle for that). Will cause issues for other machines in this heat and could be the surprise package. Oh and the team? John Denny from 13 Black fame build this with the rest of his family. Experienced, knows how to win, it’s grown on me this robot. Didn’t think much of it when I saw it, now it looks like one of those effective nuisances that frustrates other competitors. Definitely a second round here at least.

 

MR Speed squared

MRS2 S9

Most Recent War  – Series 8 (Heat, Round 2)

The return of MR Speed Squared is one I’ve been waiting for. A machine that I tipped for heat victory last time didn’t have the best of second rounds after dominating its round 1 melee. Now it’s back with a much lower but wider profile and hopefully all reliability issues solved. A major problem last time was the armour, which had to be removed on one side because of weight constraints. Now it’s all about the compact frame with that piece of steel on top solving the issues from last time. It’s effectively running on scaffolding armour, a bit like Beast last year. The damage it can cause was clear last year, ripping a wheel from Chimera and smashing up Draven’s bodywork so if Speed Squared runs at 100% it could be one of the more dangerous spinners in this years contest. It needs to be, we’ve already seen what this generation of weapons can do.

Prediction – It’s all about the reliability here. If it works well it’ll be through round 1. If it has problems, like we saw last year, it’s very vulnerable especially to axes and pushers. A tough one here. I’d like it to do well but the weaknesses could be exposed again all too soon, a heat final is probably out of reach. This is a formula that can win if done right. A good family unit team though so the will to win is strong.

 

Thor

Thor S9

Most Recent War  – Series 8 (Fourth Place)

Thor returns for the ninth war as the highest placed machine from the eight war we’ve seen so far. The third seeds as I’m calling them (due to there being no TR2 in this series, why BBC 2??) are red hot heat favourites for me and it really is a striking design compared to last year. Same concept again, big red thing with one smashy hammer/axe. The speed and aggression is what made Thor what it was last time, initially losing in the heat final to Shockwave but being given a very well earned wildcard for the Grand Final. Something Jason said in Battle of the Stars stood out to me when talking tactics with the hair of Robbie Savage: ‘Driving is 90% of it’. You look at Thor’s performances again from series 8 and you understand what he meant. Great machines have come and gone but the potential has been dulled by some who couldn’t quite keep the weapon end pointing at the opponent. Thor is a good machine, a very good machine. But the combination of man and machine in this instance presents a very good case for more success this time around.

Prediction – Like I say, heat favourites and a second consecutive Grand Final would be more than brilliant. Who can give them a hard time? Strangely possible Foxic with it’s speed and power or maybe even Concussion. But with nothing in this heat having the power of Apollo or Carbide to attack that new scoop on the front, Jason and Thor should be good for this heat. I’ll make a bold statement as well; they’ll win the heat undefeated in the heat to heads.

 

Once again i think you for sticking with this latest edition of my preview pieces. I just have one more thing I want to mention. It’s about Behemoth in the last heat. Anthony Pritchard is a great competitor. He’s been around with Behemoth since the second series of Robot Wars, thats nearly 20 years of competing. That has to be respected. Regardless of whether that fight was against kids or a group of retired engineers, Ant acted on passion and emotion at the end and it was all directed at his own team, not the Cherub guys. The thing that bugs me is, as is the way with the internet these days, the way it got blown out of hand and the way it was covered in the media. Look back over the Robot Wars twitter page and see what happened after. The Cherub guys tweeted their views and experience and Noel Sharkey has been brilliant with his handling of the situation and the decisions given in that heat. I read a few reports after that Ant still went and congratulated the Cherub guys after the fight. Don’t believe everything you read, Ant’s storming out of the booth was definitely not the first time it’s happened and it certainly wont be the last.

I dont believe that was a rant but apologies if it sounded like one! Moving on from that again I send my thank to all who take the time to read my articles. Leave me a comment with any predictions or opinions you have for this heat or indeed any other episode in this series. Who’s your favourite here? Find out BBC 2, Sunday @ 7. It should be another cracker.

WordPress – jaymess24.wordpress.com   Twitter – @jaymess24

D.Va is glitched in Overwatch Uprising…

D.Va on the Uprising event is glitched. I wonder if anyone else has noticed this? They must have surely, I can’t be the only one in the world. I’ve seen reports online but nothing mentioned on this site so I’m putting this post out to explain whats happening and to ask, have you experienced this too? (Apologies for poor picture quality)

 

So joining another game I scrolled through to try D.Va. I thought she might be quite good at it, decent weapon spread, high health, and an ultimate that can clear paths with ease. So I selected and off we went, down the dark tunnel that leads us to an Omnic infested site that we have to clear. At the start, this was the scoreboard I was greeted with:

Screenshot_20170426-155144

Pretty standard. So as we know by now the first 2 Omnic soldiers are sat right in the tunnel minding their own business. They have to go.

Screenshot_20170426-155322

A quick blast from the cannons and they are down. Now as far as I’m aware there are only 2 in that tunnel. There was 2 when I used Tracer, there was 2 when I used Mcree and I’m sure there are still 2 there when I use D.Va. However after those 2 kills the scoreboard now looks like this:

Screenshot_20170426-155334

So according to the game now, I have a killstreak of 2 and 4 Omnic kills…… What?! It seems D.Va’s kills count as 2? I’ve not yet experienced this with any other character, partly because I haven’t tried but mainly to see how high I can get the number at the end. We continue on, taking out the next 2 Omnics around the corner:

Screenshot_20170426-155414

And then the 3 by the first terminal:

Screenshot_20170426-155432

Credit to the Ana healing me there. So as far as I make it, that is 7 Omnic eliminations for myself. Lets see what the scoreboard says shall we?

Screenshot_20170426-155443

14! I have a killstreak of 7 but 14 eliminations! Wow. it looks to me like D.Va’s kills are worth double. What a weird and wonderful bug to have in the game…

I haven’t seen anything that says that other characters have been affected by this bug, how you found any? Has this bug affected your games? I forgot to screenshot it but I ended up with 402 eliminations at the end of this game, what’s your highest number with D.Va? Try it out for yourself! The event ends within the next week and I wonder if it will be patched? I played this on PS4, have you noticed anything on other platforms?

 

Thanks for reading this short and sweet post guys, hope you enjoyed it. I’d now guess that I wont be able to choose our favourite tank now for the fact that everyone will want to try it out. The full video I took can be found on my Twitter page linked below. Let me know your experiences in the comments!

 

Twitter – @jaymess24

Robot Wars Series 9 – Awards & Best Bits

And so another war has ended, but it ended on a high. A brilliant series was won by the most worthy machine, the unbeaten Carbide, and it will take something special for someone to take their crown in the next war which starts filming in about a months time. And I will be there! Can’t express to you how happy I am to have got tickets this time around. Really can’t wait.

Onto the issues at hand though and now the series has ended, I’m going to look back at the best bits (and the worst bits) by handing out my massively not famous Robot Wars awards. I got a big reaction from this in series 8 and after plenty of high quality fights and huge drama theres a lot more to be given out. I’ve whittled it down to the categories you see below, some new, some I used last time too. See if you agree with me. Good luck everyone!

 

Best Design

Straight in at the deep end then with the award for the best design. This is who I think was unique regardless of success of how they look and there has been some brilliantly designed machines this series. A clusterbot hasn’t been seen for a long time and Crackers N Smash was great to see. And they were built like an absolute tank. The hits they took from Carbide were huge but they stood up to it. I’m a big fan of Heavy Metal too and Id love to see them myself on the live stage in the future. I’ll put Jellyfish in here too, looked good and was something different. Nice and low and had a huge clamp and its a real shame they wont be returning, but a great effort it was. But my award for best design was something that was completely different and unique, something we wont forget about and sure Ms Nightshade didn’t last very long but it was interesting and the idea had potential. I hope we see more of these new designs in the future and they deserve recognition in my book.

Winner – Ms Nightshade

Ms_Nightshade

 

Best Fight

Once again a category with many, many options so this one could be the most debated. What I’ve noticed is that most of these fights involve Eruption. The fight against Behemoth was fast and furious, both fights against Carbide were aggressive and the one against Aftershock was classic Robot Wars. 2 machines slogging it out trying to land that killer blow. Great stuff. I also really enjoyed the Sabretooth/Terrorhurtz fight too even though most of the action happened in the first 30 seconds. It was interesting. I cant go past this category with mentioning Concussion and Thor either. The heat final was a tight and tense affair but the second round fight, wow. More twists and turns than at Silverstone. But the winner here does involve that machine Eruption and it was that first round battle with Behemoth, Eruption and Hobgoblin. Flying robots everywhere, speed and aggression were on show and it never let up. A proper Robot Wars melee.

Winner – Eruption/Hobgoblin/Behemoth/Cobra

Screenshot_20170419-194945.png

 

Biggest Hit

There’s no denying, there were some seriously big hits in this war most bought the arena crew some overtime pay. They are the sort of hits that demonstrate how ridiculously powerful these machines have come, and hits that we have never seen before in Robot Wars. Starting at the beginning well anything Aftershock did was huge, but the first real big hit for me was PP3D on Cherub. That had me squawking like a child and bouncing off my seat of just how out of this world it was. And it took out the arena wall too. Incredible. From there they just got bigger. Pulsar send Supernova into space when disc hit drum and Carbide smashed Smash almost the length of the arena to destroy the wall again. In fact pretty much anything Carbide did was massive. Aftershock got involved too, 2 huge whacks on Terrorhurtz were one thing but the last blow on Apollo in the final could have caused an earthquake. Lets not forget that these machines that are sent flying, spinning or are launched into the air are 100 kg plus. What power we are seeing. For me though the winner of this award is the very first one I remember. PP3D throwing Cherub into the wall. She was indeed up to speed then boys.

Winner – PP3D

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Best Student Built Machine

One thing that was a big positive for me during this series was the amount of machines built by school or university projects. You may have gathered that I am and always have been a huge fan of robotic combat, but I’ve never had the chance, the knowledge or the money to built a robot of my own. So to see at least 3 machines come through as after school clubs or as engineering assignments is fantastic for me, a great opportunity was presented to these guys to learn more about building robots and getting the chance to fight them. Expulsion and Frostbite stand out here but Trolley Rage and even Rusty were university projects. Trolley Rage was my favourite here. Sure it didn’t last long but the idea was to build something so simple that it would inspire other builders to have a go themselves. Great stuff. I like all of the student built machines but I’ll give this award to Frostbite. Ok it got smashed in its 2 fights and had to retire, but it was the only one I can remember that got through its first round melee. That and the fact that it was an optional after school project and not part of a course, it was their choice to take this up. Brilliant idea and top marks to the teacher for letting them have a go. Top bloke.

Winner – Frostbite

Frostbite

 

Best Robot Competing From Nottingham

I apologise, I am massively biased towards my home town. They only live about 20 minutes away from me!

Winner – Ironside 3

Ironside 3 S9

 

Worst Robot

Uh oh, time to unleash nasty me. Yes, well there has to be one doesn’t there; which was the worst robot in the series? Who gets to join Overdozer in taking home this most prestigious award? There were a lot of robots that had a very short innings in this series but I wouldn’t say that makes them bad. This is more to do with who was just pretty darn bad, as in design, performance and strength. A couple of contenders for me here, Rusty pretty much came apart at the seams when flipped. Granted 110 kg landing from about 3 meters needs to stand up to much, but it should have been the likes of Carbide doing that kind of damage not Apollo. Overdozer’s sequel Wyrm is a contender but the team were just so good this time it would be unfair to give them this award for series 9. No my award for the worst robot goes to a machine that actually looked rather good. Rapid was probably the star in its first round melee but a few knocks from Aftershock meant it lost it’s first head to head. Then, not being able to fix the machine due to the complex, high cost design was pretty killer for me. A shame for a good looking machine but sometimes simplicity might be best. Sorry guys, bring it back and make sure you can get to all the bits, if you know what I mean.

‘Winner’ – Rapid

rapid

 

The ‘Thanks For Coming/Its The Taking Part That Counts’ Award

Well it used to be the taking part that counted when you were a child. Now its all about winning! Some machines had a good old go at this series but many fell rather early on. Therefore I’m going to give recognition to those that arrived with the hope of robot glory, but just collapsed within 10 seconds. Special mentions to High 5 and TMHWK here and a big up to Crushtacean who I loved seeing back in the arena. Rusty again promised so much as they were the upgraded Ceros robot and Nuts were also good value despite the issues they faced. But for me Crank E were the equivalent in this competition of a drive through Mcdonalds. They arrived, got into the arena and swiftly left it. They came with a much better looking robot, but the weapon didn’t work and yes, they were battered by Aftershock but I’m not sure the robot even moved either. So Crank E proving that it really is the taking part that counts…. Cheers for coming guys, try and stick with us for longer next time.

Thanks For Coming; Crank E

crank-e

 

Best Team

Back on track with the positives and here is the award for the best team; the team that were the most gracious, good value and the best entertainers. There were a lot of very good and spirited teams in this war, oozing personality and showing that there is a human aspect to this game. The kids of Cherub were great, never looked down when they were beaten, never got too cocky when they won. They enjoyed themselves and that’s what its all about. Big shout out to the Jellyfish and Nuts guys again, always great value. But the heroics of Sabretooth and everyone involved was great and it was nice to see such unity, have you got another drum yet guys? Great stuff. I liked the Concussion guys too, a brand new robot and a first time team and they took everything that was thrown at them and were good value. Of course I’m sending massive credit to all teams because the show would be nothing without you but this award goes to my favourite guys in the show since the reboot. Despite the fact they are/were professional entertainers, the Apollo boy band gave me laughs and quality dance moves that I am itching to try out. Top draw entertainment.

Winners – Marc & Dave, Team Apollo

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Most Impressive Robot

Big, big category this. Which of our 40 teams was the most impressive? I’ll get this out of the way first, I’m going to gloss over Carbide for this one. Yes it was hugely impressive and destructive but we sort of knew what to expect, we knew that it was going to be ridiculously powerful. I am by no means forgetting them completely but I thought others were more impressive. Aftershock again was fantastic. Destructive and well designed I thought too; there was very little of that gyroscopic rocking that we saw with other spinners. For me thought this award goes to machine that, arguably, followers of the live scene will say that we knew what to expect from them too. Eruption went out relatively early in series 8 and that was a shame. Series 9 was another chance to shine and they did just that. Top that with the second quickest victory ever and 4 robots thrown out of the arena in a row and you’ve got a star machine. This robot is strong everywhere and watching it was very, very impressive.

Winner – Eruption

Eruption S9

 

Worst Arena Issue

Sorry I have to have a little rant here. The arena needs a few changes. The walls were smashed a couple of times as was the floor but I’m willing to look over that given the huge leap in power that the robots have now got. That will be fixed, lessons will be learned but other things need changing. I’m still not sold on the floor flipper activating mid fight. I don’t know if it makes it exciting or ruins fights. Either way the mechanism needs sorting. Too many times it went off to late or too early as seen when Cherub got planted there. Then theres the control booths. For a team to not be able to see their robot when they’re driving it is bad, it gives an unfair advantage to the other team if you can’t get out, but again I’d like to think that will be fixed. No, the most irritant and annoying part of the current Robot Wars arena is the pit. Most of the time it didn’t sit flat and robot would constantly get stuck and it would ruin fights. Come on guys, for the love of God please, please get that sorted before series 10.

Worst Feature – That Bledy Pit

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Biggest Wow Moment

I don’t think anyone can write a piece like this and get through it without mentioning that moment in the Carbide/Aftershock fight. What a moment that was and it was so beautifully edited that we saw everything that we needed to see and to show that it was a big deal. I have watched it over and over and it is no less fascinating after watching nearly 20 years of Robot Wars. I’ll quickly mention the moment when Mr Speed Squared took flight which was spectacular when you remember that was 110 kg flying and rolling 2 meters in the air. But nothing will top the side panel of Aftershock inbedded in the polycarbonate wall, it went all the way through. After watching the evolution of robotic combat for as long as I can remember, it was a staggering moment in UK Robot competition and one that will never be forgotten.

Winner – This…

CarbideAftershock

 

Most Improved

I’m going to end this piece with credit to the machine, and the team that upgraded that machine, that was the most improved from series 8 to 9. There’s only one winner for me here. Big shout outs again to the like of Sabretooth and Supernova who went through pretty much a rebuild and were improved this time around. Aftershock obviously was a huge step up from Shockwave and a much better machine. Foxic, even little Foxic looked better in its 30 odd seconds of fighting that its 4 battles last time out and credit from me goes to Chimera 2 as well, I thought they put on a good show. But Carbide, what can you say? Possibly the most dominant display by any champion ever. Not even troubled really throughout the series and that is a serious achievement given the standard of competition these days. They were good last time but the improvements made to be that dominant is incredible. The new UK champions have the last say here.

Winner – Carbide

CarbideS9

So I wrap this blog and indeed this series up by saying thank you once again to everybody. This includes all those that have read my pieces over this amazing series, I love reading your feedback and seeing my Twitter go off with its likes and retweets is a great feeling, I appreciate it. A thank you to all of the crew who made the series possible. You all did a great job and I hope to see you next month! And of course a massive thank you to all of the roboteers who competed and applied for this series. We are chuffed to have you all on board and we hope you continue to wow us with your designs and fights in the future. Whatever issues you have had in this series or whatever dramas you have faced, please come back again. Robot Wars needs our returning teams as much as the new ones. I love the roboteering community and long may it continue this way. Bring on series 10 (watch out for me in the audience) and lets hope its as good as this one.

Until then folks.

 

WordPress – Jaymess24                  Twitter – @jaymess24

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 1 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 2 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 3 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 4 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 5 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – The Wildcard

Robot Wars Series 9 – Grand Final Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Grand Final Preview

So we arrive here, eventually. After 2 weeks of waiting for our robot fighting action because of the beautifully boring game of Golf, the Robot Wars Series 9 Grand Final is upon us. What action we’ve had so far, designs we’ve never seen before, astonishing power produced by these new, improved competing machines, the likes of which we never thought were possible. It’s certainly been a revolutionary series of robotic combat. And to cap it off the 5 heat winners plus one wildcard machine will enter the warzone for one last time. If its anything like the series 8 final, we’re all in for one hell of a treat, and my own special treat to these machines for winning their heat is to have a slightly bigger font size for their names. Well done guys, you earned it.

So once again I pledge my thanks to everyone who took the time out to give my last post of the wildcard a view and hopefully I broke it down and made it easier to digest and choose a winner from that. But now I’m going to attempt the impossible. In a change from last year I’m not only going give the key stats and history behind each finalist, I’m going to try and predict where each one will finish. Eeeek. Please note that I am going to exclude the wildcard as we don’t know who it is yet so these will be ranked from 1st to 5th. Wish me luck, here we go….

 

Aftershock

aftershock

Heat Prediction – Honestly I think this heat will come down to Aftershock and Terrorhurtz. Spinner vs Axe. Terrorhurtz has massive armour though and is probably the one machine that Aftershock may struggle against in whole series. A heat final for Aftershock for me, but it will be very impressive.

Analysis – Well what do I know? Aftershock tore through Terrorhurtz and pretty much everything that got in its way for an emphatic heat victory. Not Crank E, Rapid or the plucky Sabretooth could get anywhere near this machine which was as dominant as any other we’ve seen this series. Could be a design for the future too with the disc being so powerful it was easily able to right the machine and I’ve not seen anyone do that before. Plus I didn’t see too much gyroscopic rocking about, that we see from other machines too. Maybe others will take inspiration? In this age of the spinner though Aftershock still has some keeping up to, and again as good as it has been already it may have to come up against Carbide or Ironside 3. That’s where we’ll see the real test of the weapon. As a downside though the only machine to really trouble Aftershock in the heat was Rapid; a flipper. So could Eruption be this robots bogey team and not the spinners?

Final Prediction – When we first saw Aftershock it looked like a world beater. Now after we’ve seen every machine perform I’d have said they’ve slipped back in the pecking order. Don’t get me wrong it is still a ridiculously good robot but might not have the beating of everyone just yet. 3rd.

 

Eruption

Eruption S9

Heat Prediction – I predicted (wrongly of course) that Eruption would make it through the heat in the last war. And as tight as it is this week I think they can do it this time, the only major problem would be PP3D. May struggle against Hobgoblin but I think they can overcome that, and has beaten Behemoth on the live stage a fair few times. Lessons will have been learned from the PP3D fight last year so i’ll stick my neck out and say that this is the heat winner.

Analysis – Every finalist this year has so far gone unbeaten, finishing the head to heads with 8 or 9 points. That is mightily impressive. But I don’t think any have been as impressive or emphatic as Eruption. Yes Carbide ripped everything apart and yes Aftershock ploughed through like a train, but the way Eruption reached this stage has been something else. So far the only flipper in this final, they flipped all 4 of their one on one opponents out of the arena. That includes Cherub twice, and experienced Behemoth team and the dangerous PP3D meaning they tie with Atomic for most consecutive out of arena flips. One more in the next fight and that title is theirs. But how will it get on? New side plates protect the machine from spinners and they certainly worked against Hobgoblin and PP3D. But Aftershock and Ironside? That will be something different. This machine is all about the flip, and couple that with the control that is shown to get an opponent to the side wall and time the flip to get them out, is a thing of beauty. Watch for Eruption in the final, they will run others very, very close.

Final Prediction – Having a flipper against so many spinners could be an advantage for the fact that it’s something different that the other finalists will have to combat. Eruption needs to be able to take the knocks and do as Michael said in the heat, ‘Win your fights as quickly as possible’. Never a truer word spoken when you see the devils its been placed against. 2nd.

 

Concussion

Concussion

Heat Prediction – Little Concussion looks strong and would be one of my favourites for the heat. However….. it could come down to luck of the draw. A lot of robots in this heat are pretty much what Concussion could fear. Big axes, wedges attacking with speed and spinners that look like they’re the perfect height to shred the wheels. I would predict them to do well in this heat, if they get out of the group battle. There lies the danger for me, might be better at one on one battles.

Analysis – Ok so I was half right. Concussion was very good at the one on one battles but throughout the heat it seemed its biggest enemy was itself. Constant drive troubles plagued it all the way through and that reliability will need to improve if they are to make a mark in this final. That said Concussion were very impressive throughout for such a new machine. Nice and simple, a drum spinner plonked onto a chassis with 2 wheels and a nice orange paint job to make it stand out. They were rarely outclassed in the heat. Chimera, Tauron, Heavy Metal & Speed Squared didn’t really pose much of a threat. It was between these guys and Thor and both times Concussion came out on top, but they did have a bit of luck. That said to beat a machine as good as Thor twice in the same heat shows that this is a robot to be taken seriously. It’s a destructive machine when its going and could cause a few of the more experienced guys some problems.

Final Prediction – I think Concussion go into this final as the rank outsider and it will be something quite special if they were to win it. They are worthy competitors though and everyone likes an underdog. The final will be a true test of the reliability of the drive and how tough the armour is, we’ve not really seen it tested yet. 5th.

 

Ironside 3

Ironside 3 S9

Prediction – I’d be gutted if Ironside go out in the first round, not least because they’re also from my home town of Nottingham. It’s one of my favourite robots in this series and has to be aiming for a heat final. There will be surprises in this heat though and will be competing with Apex as they have similar designs in terms of weaponry. Lets get it past the first round and then we can really see what its chances are.

Analysis – Reading my original prediction back, didn’t I sit on the fence a bit? Make the heat final they did and Ironside 3 was pretty much, the last robot standing in that brutal heat, though they weren’t without their own problems. I’ll be all patriotic and say I’ll be cheering for this team as they hail from Nottingham and they could be on for a surprise or 2. If they can get the bar spinner working to its maximum potential, certainly the likes of Concussion and Eruption wont find it easy going. But again we haven’t seen the self righter working yet and that will be put to the test here. It was the component that let them down last war and having gone further in the competition it would be a real shame if the same thing occurred. It was a solid display from Ironside 3 in the heat. Crushtacean and Wyrm were disabled with relative ease. A win and a draw against Pulsar was sandwiched around probably the teams best performance against Supernova. Great driving skill made sure they hit the horizontal spinner in the right place and disable the wheels to immobilise that machine. This will be one to watch in the final.

Final Prediction –  Ironside 3 is probably a bit further down the order in this final but I reckon we could still see a win or 2. It stood up to the whacks taken from Pulsar and Supernova and has a longer reach on the bar than Carbide. Tough to place it, but don’t write them off yet. 4th.

 

Carbide

CarbideS9

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.

Analysis – An absolutely faultless display from Carbide in the heat and they go into this final as the favourites for me. Immense power in that weapon which has been fully upgraded from the last war using a motor that the team had built themselves and nothing, not even Apollo, was able to come anywhere near it. It wasn’t all about the weapon though. The thing that I was impressed with the most was the upgraded drive system, which showed Carbide to be a lot quicker and a lot more manoeuvrable and easier to control. The sheer power of the weapon is hard to ignore though. Nothing seemed to stand up to it. Trolley Rage, Meggamouse, Crackers N Smash, Apollo, Coyote, none were really able to give Carbide a good fight such was the dominance of every fight. It really is hard to see how anyone can hurt them even with 4 other brilliant machines in there fighting. But as with everything in Robot Wars, anything can happen and it definitely wont be easy.

Final Prediction – I said heat winner and series winner in my original prediction and Im sticking to that. Nothing is going to stop Carbide from winning this title except themselves. Might even go through unbeaten. The only machine we’ve seen sort of stand up to the blows is Crackers N Smash and they forfeited the match so we’ll never know if a surprise was on the cards (Boooo Crackers N Smash, Boooooo). Eruption will be the biggest threat here. 1st.

 

So for the final time in this series’ previews I thank you all for sticking with me and I welcome your thoughts on the final. Thanks to the Beebs awful scheduling I am being taken away for my birthday this weekend, but I reckon if I ask the Mrs really nicely, she’ll let me watch the final in full…. here’s hoping…..

Just a quick mention to Dave Lawrie of Jellyfish fame who recently announced he was stepping away from the robot combat scene after being turned down for series 10. What a shame that is, I really like the low budget, fun machines that we see every series. It got me thinking on how this competition really needs expanding now. 40 teams selected by an open application was a good starting block, but the community of robotic combat, as huge as it always has been, is getting bigger and more and more people want to apply to be on Robot Wars. That means we get casualties in applicants as seen here. If the BBC and Mentorn can churn out 2 or 3 series a year, theres got to be a way of expanding the tournament hasn’t there? Even if we go back to holding qualifiers instead of open applications I think it would be a step in the right direction. But what do I know. I’ve just got one mans opinion. It would be interesting to see some changes post series 10, if not before. We need the low tech guys in too.

The Robot Wars Series 9 Grand Final starts this Sunday @ 7, unless I’ve missed a trick again and they’ve decided to put on the world championship of Origami or something instead. It will be a cracker and this time next week we will have a new Robot Wars champion. Do not miss it.

 

WordPress – https://jaymess24.wordpress.com/   Twitter – @jaymess24

Robots Reactivate – The War Is Coming…

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 1 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 2 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 3 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 4 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 5 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – The Wildcard

Robot Wars Series 9 – The Wildcard

So the qualifying heats are now complete and from the 40 that started, we are left with just 5. But that isn’t the full story, no no. We need 6 to complete the line up for the Grand Final and as is the structure of the UK championship these days that 6th machine will be chosen from the losing heat finalists by the judges as a wildcard competitor, another chance to show what they can do. So who has the best chance? Here I’m going to go through each machines performance in their heat and see what there chances are of being that chosen competitor. This is also helps fill the TWO weeks gap we have to endure until the final, because the BBC have decided that the Golf is more important than anything else ever. 7 hours of Golf this coming Sunday starting at about 6. I mean why BBC, why? Nobody cares about Golf, it will probably rain anyway… Anyway focusing on the task at hand, let’s get into it….

 

Sabretooth (3 points)

sabretooth-s9

The Heat – Sabretooth enter the wildcard battle with the lowest points total of all heat finalists at just 3. This happened because other results seem to go their way but is also proof that getting a win by knockout is invaluable. Sabretooth have been one of the stars of the series so far, finally getting that first win in impressive style and then beating Terrorhurtz in a rematch from many moons ago. That was the highlight for me, that was a huge win. But then things seemed to go downhill somewhat. Damage taken from that fight meant they weren’t at full strength to fight Aftershock who brutally took them apart and then a massive repair job was required. And that massive repair job was performed and it was brilliant to see. It’s what I love about this game, so many other people from other teams helping out to get this machine ready after it had been obliterated. It was never going to be the same but they gave it a damn good go. OK so they lost to Jellyfish and then the heat final to Aftershock but realistically, Sabretooth shouldn’t have even got back into the warzone after all the damage. Once again its testament to everybody involved and that this really is a team game.

Verdict – I’d love to see Sabretooth back for the final in TWO weeks, but maybe it’s all a bit too mashed up. Post Aftershock it was never really going to be 100%. It was a huge rebuilt to just get it back in for those last 2 fights but it would need to be a whole lot more to get it fighting fit like it was in the early rounds, plus every other team in a heat final scored more points. So I think Sabretooth will miss out this time. But to get to the heat final this time around is a massive achievement, and I hope to see them again.

 

Cherub (4 points)

Cherub

The Heat – Cherub had one of the more interesting routes to the heat final and was a very underestimated machine. Designed to do a handstand, those lifting forks were rarely seen but they did give Cherub a very low ground clearance which helped it more than once. Couple that with an incredibly tough front wedge and you’ve got a real underdog. An underdog that can cause more problems than you think and that was certainly evident through its Robot Wars campaign. Cherub was relatively quiet in its first round melee, being nudged around a bit by Push To Exit whilst PP3D swept up everything else. Cherub made it through and had 2 wins that were a little controversial, sandwiching a loss to Eruption. They got walloped by PP3D in a hit that broke the sidewall and immobilised both machines. The judges gave the fight to Cherub which, at the time, I found to be a strange call. However after watching the fight over a couple of times it made sense. Cherub was the more controlled and the more aggressive so therefore the rightful winner. Same with Behemoth. They got underneath them regularly and were well on top. The controversy? Getting wedged under the floor flipper mid fight. Again no problems here, it shouldn’t have happened and was unfair. The heat final against Eruption lasted ooh, about as long as this sentence. But they made it to the heat final and deservedly so.

Verdict – Again I think the lack of points here is what will cost Cherub. As good as it was controlled maybe it isn’t as aggressive as the Aftershocks of this world so might not make it. But the team were amazing. Great spirit from those guys at such a young age and Cherub was brilliantly controlled throughout. I missed Gabriel this series and as much as I’d have still like to have seen it I’m glad this family team were still involved and I can’t wait to see an upgraded Cherub (or Gabriel) in the next war.

 

Thor (6 points)

Thor S9

Looking for the wildcard for the second consecutive year is Thor. A machine that, this time, had a few reliability concerns but can also be considered to have been a bit unlucky. Both fights with Concussion were there for the taking. The first one was a lunge that hit their drum at just the wrong angle and the second fight was such a close call it could have gone either way, plus it was the only heat final to have gone to the judges. Thor was as aggressive and as controlled as ever though in it’s other fights. Tauron didn’t take much to die and Chimera was bludgeoned by the axe. MR Speed Squared had problems but it was great control to finish it off and Heavy Metal lost a wheel after repetitive attacks. It was the Thor we saw in the last war and thats exactly what got it the wildcard last time. I must also say that I think Jason is one of the best drivers in the competition. Thor has got some pace and he keeps it accurately poised making sure the front end is all an opponent sees. Apart from the lunge at Concussion. But nevertheless Thor can make a solid statement for another wildcard. On their day they are more than a match for anybody and they weren’t exactly out done in the final last year. It was a struggle but it was only really Carbide that caused all the issues. Thor would be a worthy Grand Finalist again this time around.

Verdict – It all depends on if anybody did a better job than Thor. Concussion didn’t dominate them in the head to heads like Eruption did to Cherub Or Aftershock to Sabretooth, and their fate would probably depends on if Pulsar is out of A & E yet, because I’d have them infront of Thor. Very tough one here but maybe Thor is the ideal candidate? Is it the only machine actually ready to fight? Either/or it would be great to see Jason and Thor there again and they would definitely be competitive with the bunch already there, they’re one of the favourites for this wildcard.

 

Pulsar (8 points)

Pulsar S9

The Heat – It’s not unusual to see robots with 8 points here at the wildcard stage, Thor had it last time and they got the wildcard from it. What is unusual is that Pulsar wasn’t the only machine to score that amount in the heat to heads, owing to their draw with Ironside 3 where both machines got 2 points from that fight. Those who have followed me so far will know that I am a big Pulsar fan and I’m not ashamed to say I think it’s one of the best looking robots in this years contest. 8 points is, for me, a certainty for the wildcard but theres more to it than that. Pulsar started strong in the competition dispatching Apex relatively easily. After the draw with Ironside they sent Supernova into orbit and took the fantastic Wyrm team out too. But none of this was without issue. Pulsar suffered major reliability problems, burning through motors and who knows what else, to the point that for the heat final the self righter was re wired in order to drive the thing. It didn’t last too long in that fight basically because Pulsar was too tired to go on. And there lies the catch. Without trying to be too biased, Pulsar should be in the grand final on performance alone, but would it be ready? Is someone going to pip them to the post because at the moments we see now, they are irreparable? Of course we won’t know for a bit longer because Golf is on this week! Thanks Beeb!        Apologies….. Focus….

Verdict – It should be straight forward really. Pulsar scored the most points and was probably the most convincing throughout it’s heat. But I’m not sure that, even if picked, Pulsar could make a fight of it or even make it to the arena. If they can(/did) then I’d put them there all day long. If not then it’s already game over. A shame for such a beautifully made machine.

 

Apollo (5 points)

ApolloS9

The Heat – In times gone by it would be staggering that the current champion goes out in the heat final. In this day and age though it’s probably about right for someone who had a rampant Carbide in their heat. Apollo took a bit of a beating in that last heat but they weren’t completely outclassed. They had probably the most dominant opening melee I’ve seen for a very long time, not just since the reboot and were very impressive against Coyote and Crackers N Smash. The driving was great in the heat final against Carbide as well until the beating just seemed to be too much. For Apollo to come out with just 5 points then seems a little low to me. But hey they had 5 at that stage in the last war and still went onto win. The point is that the performances in those victories were probably the most impressive out of any wildcard which will have a key say in who claims this prize. I know Coyote and Crackers N Smash weren’t exactly Supernova or Terrorhurtz bless them, but you can only play whats infront of you. Once again though like so many other wildcard picks, has Apollo already taken too much damage? And what else can they add to the final? Well they’re not a spinner so theres a plus as we already have 4 of those there. So maybe Apollo are in the front seat with Thor? Question is, who will be in the driving one?

Verdict – I said on Twitter that it didn’t matter who won the heat final between Apollo and Carbide, both would be in the final anyway. I have to stick to my original prediction that Apollo will get the wildcard but Thor now I think wont be that far behind them. And the fact they are still the current champions means they have a strong case and some unfinished business. Probably the most entertaining team in the series too and it would be great to have them back.

 

So there we go! Those are just my thoughts, what are yours? Who do you think has the best chance on getting back into the competition? No need to rush with your comments, you’ve got 2 weeks after all! Thanks BBC! Why not just switch the Golf to any of your other channels?! ……Excuse me….

On a serious note though it is nice to not know who its going to be. Thor was head and shoulders above every other team in the last war and was a relatively easy choice to make. This time we have a lot of factors to take in, mainly who’s machine is still working? I’ll let you dwell over these thoughts until next week, when my grand final preview piece hits the internet. I’ve got to think what I’m going to do next Sunday night whilst the BBC annoys the roboteering fan base. Try not to cry too much folks, the final will be here before we know it…..

WordPress – Jaymess24            Twitter – @jaymess24

Robots Reactivate – The War Is Coming…

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 1 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 2 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 3 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 4 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 5 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 4 Preview

Just over halfway through the heats as we edge further towards the Grand Final, and the excitement doesn’t drop one bit from show to show. Welcome to the Series 9 Heat 4 preview and boy am I looking forward to this one.

Another great heat it was last time and as ever my overly enthusiastic thanks to everyone who had a read of my last preview piece. I know I sound like a broken record every week when I say this but it is genuine. I also hope your predictions were better than mine, I really am not doing very well this series. Heat 4 though looks like the heat of doom. Even though Apollo & Carbide are in the final heat, wait and see what the machines look like here. No less than 5 robots here are armed with very dangerous looking spinners. We start with 8 competitors but how many will there be at the end? Carnage is pretty much guaranteed, lets get on with it…

 

Frostbite

Frostbite

Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)

Here we go then with Frostbite, a machine that has a similar story to Expulsion from the last heat. This was built in an after school club by some students and their teacher; what a bloke! Again I never had that opportunity when I was in school and it’s great to see. The robot doesn’t look too shabby either. A pretty standard pointed box type design with a (rather rusty) spinning hammer on the front; a little like a scaled up Fluffy. I love the cool look of the polycarbonate armour as well which helps with the name and the mirrored strip behind the blade is a nice touch. Almost looks as if theres nothing inside! A problem may arise that it’s one of the lightest machines in the contest at 85 kg but with not a single flipper in sight, they might get away with that. Getting stuck on their side as well, an immediate flaw there. But I love these after school projects and I hope we see more of them. I also wish that I was 13 again….

Prediction – Having seen the heat draw I think Frostbite stand a much better chance of getting through than before I saw it. This is because the 4 robots I’d have picked for round 2 are all in the same melee…. Opens it up a little bit though and Frostbite has a good chance here. However purely based on my awful predictions so far this series I’m going to go against myself and say that Frostbite will go out in round 1. Nothing against the team or the robot, just to try and prove myself wrong, how very selfish of me…

High 5

High 5

Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)

The second of 3 new teams and machines in heat 4 is High 5. An interesting looking robot here, note the 5 ‘fingers’ on the lifters that will be used to High 5 other machines before crushing them. Another backstory here, the team are in possession of the legend Smidsy and this is based on that. You see the similarities. 4 wheel drive, built to push and some jaws to lift and clamp. The team also compete on the live stage with Ace which is a flipper so a bit of a different building project here. I bet it’s nice to experiment with different designs for new robots. There’s also an interchangeable drum that can be fitted to the rear for even more carnage. Hardox armour too but maybe a suspect ground clearance, but again with no flippers around, they might get away with that.

Prediction – Again it was all about seeing the heat draw here. I said I’d picked my 4 for the second round and High 5 wasn’t one of them. This still said I then thought this would go out in round 1 but again to contradict myself I’ve swapped the predictions for High 5 and Frostbite around. So it will be High 5 going into round 2. Just because I don’t trust myself. And I want to prove myself wrong. That’s how competitive I can get. So there.

 

Ironside 3

Ironside 3 S9

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Heat, Round 2)

One of my favourite robots from last year returns for this heat looking as good as it did before. My first impression about Ironside 3 last year wasn’t good, I just had a bad feeling. How wrong I was, the speed it moved along the arena floor was phenomenal and it was excellently controlled. Couple that with that huge spinning arm and destruction was ensured. Quite unlucky to not get to at least the heat final last time but it’s back for more this time around. Same sort of concept again with interchangeable 35 kg blades and much faster and hopefully much more reliable self righter. Great new paint job as well as a homage to the RAF. There’s also a bar on the back that means that the robot should land in the perfect place or self right should they get flipped. Improvements have been made, lessons have been learned even for such an experienced team, will it pay off?

Prediction – I’d be gutted if Ironside go out in the first round, not least because they’re also from my home town of Nottingham. It’s one of my favourite robots in this series and has to be aiming for a heat final. There will be surprises in this heat though and will be competing with Apex as they have similar designs in terms of weaponry. Lets get it past the first round and then we can really see what its chances are.

 

Wyrm

Wyrm

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Heat, Round 1)

Enter this years Overdozer. Literally; this machine comes from the same team and if ever there were lessons to be learned from previous campaigns, this team is a perfect example of that. Polyethylene replaces the MDF ‘armour’ from last year and a new hardox front shovel which is designed for pushing and also lifts up. As fun as it was seeing Overdozer get splintered last war it’s good to see another attempt with improvements. A lot of machines were put together very quickly for series 8 so the wooden armour sort of made sense. This looks sturdier but still a little fragile. Actually it looks a lot fragile. To the point where the side armour and relatively exposed wheels are extremely vulnerable in this spinner heavy heat. The team made me laugh last time though. They were good value and that’s what we want from this game – Entertainment.

Prediction –  An improvement on Overdozer but still a long way to go to match up with the Carbides and Apollos of this world. But again it’s good fun. One would like to hope that Wyrm will put up more of a fight than Overdozer and give it a good go. One would also think that it will still make an early exit, but for me it isn’t the worst machine in this series. That one is still to come in this war…..

 

Crushtacean

Crushtacean

Most Recent War – Series 7 (Heat, Round 1)

I can’t tell you how chuffed I am to see this machine back. When the ‘original’ Robot Wars finished we never really knew what happened to most of the machines. Then Crushtacean reappeared and it was like I was 10 again. One of the most original robots ever built and one of the best looking. A quick bit of history; Crushtacean debuted in war 5 taking out Robochicken and Behemoth on route to the heat final. They reached a world championship semi final but not before giving Chaos 2 a run in series 6, a fight which they very well could have won if they’d not reversed into the pit… It looks to be the same sort of machine, a bit quicker and more well armoured, and it will need to be. Keep an eye on those painted red bits this time too, apparently that paint is there to deflect spinners and protect the shell….. What good paint can do for that I have no idea, I don’t claim to be an expert in the aesthetics of paint.  The weapon was operated in a unique way too, there were sensors on a pair of gloves that opened and closed the claws as and when the movement was made by the wearer. I wonder if they’ll be doing that again?

Prediction –  As a life long Robot Wars fan I love seeing the development of the machines, the standard goes up every single year. I also love it when one from days gone by returns and I point wildly at the screen, ‘Ah! I remember that!’ It would be really nice to see Crushtacean do well but in reality it would be a surprise if they got out of their group battle. It’s definitely doable, but man it will be a tough ask.

 

Supernova

SupernovaS9

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Heat, Round 1)

Team Trinity return with Supernova for the 9th wars and it really looks like its out with the old, in with the new. The shape and design of Supernova has been pretty much the same since the 5th war however it only escaped the opening round once, which sounds strange for such a destructive machine. The problem? Reliability. Many times Supernova has broken down whether it be to bad luck or the sheer power of the weapon causing them issues. And so after all this time the team return with a brand new machine. It still retains its 22 kg disc but this time its one chunk of metal as opposed to a flywheel with teeth bolted on and as we saw last time, those teeth were probably past their sell by date. Hardox armour and a very nice new black paint job, it really looks the business. Exposed wheels yes but they’ve gone away and tried something new. As good as the old Supernova was I suppose something needed to change.

Prediction –  This is Supernova’s time now, it has to be. And what better way to show that you are one of the best spinners around than being pitted against the best of them. I’ll be really disappointed for the machine and the team if it falls in round 1 again, but this is the time to shine. I don’t think they’ve had or will get a better chance to put together a good run here and therefore I’m predicting this version to make the heat final and possibly be a dark horse for the heat.

 

Apex

Apex

Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)

Apex has tried many times to qualify for Robot Wars under this name and others and finally they’ve been expected. Straight out of the Danby garage of robot building, this looks ferocious. If anybody has seen Apex before from the live stage I reckon you were as surprised as me when you saw the redesign; it’s completely different to the old one which had a crushing claw. That version of Apex was once known as TX-108 and then TX-109 which once beat Hypnodisc in an untelevised wild card battle. True story. A 37 kg spinning bar is the weapon (obviously) and is rather like Ironside’s, the difference here is the team say it can self right with the blade. Interesting. A great design, again I like the red and gold paintwork and look sleek and aggressive. I’ve had these guys down for the patent pending underdog of the week star ever since I saw it, but this is a very tough heat to win a fight let alone with the whole thing.

Prediction – I wonder how easy Apex will be to control? That would be my biggest concern. And it’s in a massive fight to be the best horizontal spinner in the series with there being so many. Can you imagine the force of the impact if these guys smashed straight into Ironside or Supernova? I don’t know if Apex is as good as those 2 as an example but I keep saying there will be some surprises in this heat. This could be the machine to upset the odds.

 

Pulsar

Pulsar S9

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Grand Final Eliminator)

Those who followed me last year for these previews will know that Pulsar is one of my favourites since Robot Wars came back onto our screens, so much so I tipped them to win the series last time. Ok so I was a little wide of the mark but not by much, Pulsar still made the series final but was plagued with mechanical problems all the way through. From stop start drive, to weapon trouble, to actually stopping and having a rest mid battle on occasion, but this time Pulsar has been redesigned from the ground up, it’s pretty much a brand new machine. Again same ideas, low and stealth like with improved armour and an improved drum as well. The speed has come down a little from the crazy 9000 rpm we saw last time but only to 8700. That’s still some bonkers speed. But the biggest difference is that the drum is bigger and about twice as heavy as before, therefore allowing more of it to stick out the top for a better point of attack. The machine can even lever itself back onto its wheel thanks to a new bar on the back. It’s a beautiful thing and I’m tipping them for greatness this time too.

Prediction – One of the advantages I think Pulsar has here it that it has a vertical spinner, whereas all of its other spinning competitors are mounted horizontally. If the 2 collide, which there’s a good chance they will, 9 times out of 10 the vertical should win out due to the ridiculous forces that both create. On the basis of that and because I’m incredibly biased I’m going to tip Pulsar for the heat win here. They’ve done it once and if (and it’s a huge if) the drive hold out and is reliable I can’t see much stopping it. But once again I’ve only got 1 heat winner right so far…

 

A huge thanks for sticking with me as usual and I hope you enjoyed reading my latest preview piece. In this little section that seems to be a recurring thing now, a quick mention for the series 10 rule changes that will apply. Sadly there will be no featherweights for this series due to time constraints (Boooooo), however the beeb have stated that it’s still on their ‘to do’ list and we will have some soon (Yay). Other rule changes mention weight increases for walkers and shufflers and entanglement weapons. Yes entanglements. What a crazy idea! Is this the way we have to make teams combat spinners?! It is quite specific though in terms of the type of material used and how big it can be, but it’s quite a statement. Not sure if it’s a good idea or a really, really bad one. All the rule revisions can be found on the internet somewhere (I can’t remember where I saw them before) if you’ve not spotted them already. What do you think about them?

Let me know what you think of this heat in the comments below, I also welcome feedback and opinions about this or anything really that you might want counselling on. Tell your mates as we let the war continue. BBC 2 Sunday at 7. Devastation is assured.

WordPress – Jaymess24                             Twitter – @jaymess24

Robots Reactivate – The War Is Coming…

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 1 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 2 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 3 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 2 Preview

It is well and truly back, and back with a vengeance. What carnage we had and it look set to continue for the next 5 weeks. Straight from the off we had flying Jellyfish and flying Nuts (so to speak) and bit and pieces coming from who knows where and going to who knows where too, it was brilliant. Robot Wars at its absolute finest. A big well done to Aftershock and a massive well done goes to the Sabretooth team. They were my stars of that first heat. My thanks to fellow Robot Wars nerd Chris (Robotwars2016) for his predictions. Seems the sod is one step ahead of me as per, correctly predicting Aftershock to fly through. Big thanks to Inside the Bot (@InsideTheBot) on Twitter too for re tweeting and helping me plug the first heat’s preview piece. Hugely appreciated.

Anyway enough about the past, let’s get onto the future. Heat 2 looks very tightly contested. Possibly the closest of the series this could be, so here is a preview of the machines competing and how I think they’ll do. Game on…

Behemoth

Behemoth S9

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Heat Final)

Ah Behemoth. Where would we be without you? Rapidly becoming the wars’ pin up machine, the team are now competing in their 8th consecutive wars, what commitment that is. Always a class act but regularly underachieve in my view. All you Robot Wars freaks such as myself will know what Behemoth can do. Big pushy thing with a huge scoop on the front, very aggressive, very low to the ground. The scoop is now interchangeable to suit opponents and the self righting arms have now been beefed up too. Recipe for success? Well not entirely. Behemoth has been unreliable in the past and has taken a beating off lesser robots before. They became unstuck last year by Carbide and while the scoop is very strong, is it good enough to stand up to the sheer power of spinners these days? That said theres only a couple of them in this heat and Behemoth was a very strong wildcard shout last year.

Prediction – A strong and experienced contender as always. Behemoth should clear the first round without many problems. But like with most machines in this heat, all bets are off in round 2. You’d have to think they need at least 2 wins to progress to the heat final and they definitely have it in them. It’s between these guys and PP3D for the heat final for me.

Cobra

Cobra

Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)

Not to be confused with the Series 7 competitor with the same name (who remembered that anyway?) comes Cobra. Another international entry hailing from Belgium, this nasty looking grabber/piercer is one of the quickest machines in this years contest, capable of reaching about 15 mph in a second. So a speedy snake then. And an experienced team. They fought in the Dutch wars and failed to qualify in the last wars too and as Tough As Nails isn’t competing this time around, half of said team are on board as well. Looks promising, but does it have that killer instinct? Invertable yes, but a high ground clearance. Spinner proof? Well those wheels can only be screwed on so tight. The speed will mean it has to attack fast and first before it gets attacked itself.

Prediction – There’s not much to Cobra but I like that. A nice simple design but again how effective can it be? The pace will be key and I think it could attack well. Other machines will be thinking mmmmmm, tyres. Might be a step too far for this slippery customer.

PP3D

PP3D S9

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Heat, Round 2)

The undercutter spinner is back and once again boasting one of the most powerful discs in this year contest. On first glance there doesn’t seem to be much different with PP3D for series 9 except the larger, sturdier, but still quite vulnerable tyres. Internally theres a few changes though. Improved wiring and electronics helps with drive and power, new weapon mechanism helps spin the 31 kg disc faster and up to a top speed of 2500 rpm. Painful sounding speeds. PP3D used the disc last year to cause a lot of damage but only managed to come away with the 1 head to head victory in round 2. This time I’d set them up for bigger things. They sounds more destructive, more powerful and more resilient. I like the fact that there are names on the disc too, each belonging to backers who pledged money to the robot. A nice gesture.

Prediction – Something tells me PP3D is going to be better in every way this war. In the current world of Robot Wars I don’t think I’ve given spinners as much credit as they deserve. And given that their only round 2 victory last time was against Eruption who are also in this heat, confidence will be high. They should make the heat final, but like I said it will depend on the (possible) fight with Behemoth to see who has the best chance.

Draven

Draven S9

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Heat, Round 1)

I’ve always liked the look of Draven ever since I first saw it in Extreme 1. A beautiful dragon, bird type thing that on paper should be quite destructive and powerful. Unfortunately it’s never shown that but it’s never really had the chance. King B took it out early in its wild card fight and Mr Speed Squared made light work of the kevlar armour in the last war. This time Draven looks a little meaner, covered in titanium to stop things like that happening again. Just looks like someone didn’t have time to paint it. The machine itself is faster this time and has a new chassis but again a high ground clearance. Many flippers and lifters in this heat could spell trouble, best hope the self righter works they might need it.

Prediction – Draven is a great looking beast, really is. But looking at the machines in this heat there doesn’t seem to be much it can get it’s teeth into. They’re all a funny shape or only have one or two places to grab onto. Is that all they’ll need though? Needs find those spots quick because I feel they could get flipped round a lot. Could be another round 1 exit here.

Cherub

Cherub

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Heat Final)

Cherub comes from the Gabriel team from the last wars and is a completely different machine. As much as I wanted to see Gabriel again this time, I’m glad the team are at least here. And this team is formed of some of the kids of the family, great to see. A shame that Gabriel isn’t here though; they won the FRA UK championship last year so well worth a place. Cherub has been competing too on the live stage in a blue and yellow livery for a few years now however Craig Colliass stated that this machine was not actually designed for combat. The unique feature here is that the lifting forks can make to robot do handstands! Win or lose I hope we get to see this, it is an impressive spectacle.

Prediction – I can’t see Cherub going far to be honest. The little wings on top could hamper its self righting abilities and, again, the wheels are exposed. The team are great though, and I have a piece of Gabriel in my front room, won from the TR2 auction last year by my sneaky girlfriend who beat me to the final bid so she could give it me for Christmas! But as long as we get to see the handstand from Cherub though, I’ll be happy.

Eruption

Eruption S9

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Heat, Round 2)

Eruption were unfortunate in the last wars to come up against such good machines as PP3D, Storm 2 & Apollo in the second round and were probably unlucky to not take another scalp once there as well. A fine designed machine, this is one of my favourites from the live stage. Twice FRA UK champions, Eruption utilises the front flipper well and is now combined with a drum spinner on top. And the flipper is a seriously good one. But again we didn’t really get to see it much in the last war. They threw Terror Turtle clean out of the arena in the first round and looked very good. They just didn’t get to broadcast how good they could perform. If you’ve not seen it before, Google it and see what I’m talking about. It’s a mighty machine.

Prediction – I predicted (wrongly of course) that Eruption would make it through the heat in the last war. And as tight as it is this week I think they can do it this time, the only major problem would be PP3D. May struggle against Hobgoblin but I think they can overcome that, and has beaten Behemoth on the live stage a fair few times. Lessons will have been learned from the PP3D fight last year so i’ll stick my neck out and say that this is the heat winner.

Hobgoblin

Hobgoblin

Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)

Underdog of the week alert! I might need a jingle or an emoticon for that if I’m going to keep using it (anyone?). Hobgoblin is a tidy machine. I love the ghoulish green and purple paint job and just look at that weapon. Not your average drum spinner no, this looks to be a brand new type of blade. Heavy at 20 kg and going just over 2000 rpm, it looks like the motive is to send machines flying as well as destroying them. My main query would be self righting; can it for a start? Or will it do what Aftershock did last time around? It was interesting to see a spinner right itself like that and it could become the future in this age of robotic combat. Nice and low and quick, this would be my surprise performer for the heat.

Prediction – Can definitely catch one of the more experienced machines out and cause a surprise, but how much of a spanner in the works could it be? Lovely design and potentially very destructive. If I were to jump off the fence I’d say this can get to round 2, but it will need to be all out attack in the first round. Then we’ll see how good they are.

Push To Exit

Push To Exit

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Heat Final)

Team S-Tek are back with a brand new machine thats sleek and low. Entering as the only front hinged flipper in this series’ contest it’s completely different to Dantomkia. But it is very similar to previous S-Tek machine Envy, just a bit bigger and a bit more blue. Envy was a very good machine and if this one performs the same it will be great too. I like front hinged flippers. They offer a different method of attack and require different tactics from others to counter them. The name is great as well and the ever present Shane Swan is a great character to have in the roboteering world. Needs to be quick and low in order to get underneath and make other robots exit the warzone. Weaknesses? Front hingers need to be able to physically get the body of the robot underneath another for maximum lifting effect. Therefore is Push To Exit low enough to achieve that?

Prediction – Another great looking machine and most times I’d have had them at a heat final, almost dead cert. I want it to well, really I do…. but…. might as well say it, I think it could go out early on… Without seeing the first round draw it’s hard to judge. I’d have it as a toss up between these guys and Hobgoblin for the head to heads. Just something says to me that it’s weaknesses will be exposed, as little as it does have. Still a huge fan of team S-Tek though. Feel bad now…

There we go then, there are my thoughts on the seconds heat’s proceedings. As ever thank you for sticking with me and feel free to leave comments and your own predictions below. Just very quickly a thumbs up to the BBC again for announcing the 10th wars that should be out before the year is over, good job. And also a plug to Dave Lawrie of the Jellyfish team that competed last week. He has a pledge on Facebook for a new machine for that 10th war, have a read of it here. It’s great little piece, get on it and leave him some thoughts. We all need a bit of daft in the warzone!

Tune into BBC 2 on Sunday folks, @ 7 pm. This war has only just begun…

Twitter – @jaymess24

Robots Reactivate – The War Is Coming…

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 1 Preview

Robot Wars Series 9 – Heat 1 Preview

Here we go again! Admittedly Im writing these a lot sooner than I thought it would be (good job BBC 🙂 ) but that’s fine with me. I enjoy doing these. Building anticipation before Series 9 of Robot Wars begins within the next week.

Nearly all of the machines for this series have been revealed and from what I can see, they’re mean. Like seriously mean. The potential for nearly all of the 40 competitors is high and if they all perform this could be one of the most destructive and epic series yet. Like the last wars, I’m going to preview each machine week by week, and very badly predict who has the best chance of going though and who has the best chance of going home. As ever I welcome other people comments and predictions, lets see if you’re as wrong as I will be. Lets get into it…..

 

Aftershock

aftershock

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Grand Final)

We start with this mean looking machine. Coming from one of many bots from Team Shock, Aftershock is the follow up to last years finalist Shockwave. Now I don’t now what I was expecting when Aftershock was announced, but it was nothing like this. A single toothed 259-style disc interchangeable with a 14 kg vertical bar going at around 2400 rpm. That’s about the same speed as Carbide last year. Painful. It’s nothing like Shockwave, completely new and very scary. When the heat list was announced, Terrorhurtz was the name that stood out to me as the potential winner. But this is something new. Not sure about how it will fair as it cant really self right but it’s definatley a contender. If you know Team Shock from live events you may know that Aftershock is very similar to some of the teams featherweights, perhaps providing a bit of inspiration. Could go far.

Prediction – Honestly I think this heat will come down to Aftershock and Terrorhurtz. Spinner vs Axe. Terrorhurtz has massive armour though and is probably the one machine that Aftershock may struggle against in whole series. A heat final for Aftershock for me, but it will be very impressive.

 

Nuts 2

nuts-2

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Heat, Round 2)

The Nutty boys are back! Excellent, was chuffed when I saw them on the list. Gave great entertainment in the last war after surviving through a battle that involved Razer. Didn’t win any fights after that and got brutally taken apart by Carbide in the process but they were worth their place 100%. They come back with Nuts 2. Looks a wee but smaller but more robust than it’s predecessor but it’s still the same concept. Spin around and smash everything in sight, confusing both the enemy and themselves. Brilliant. On a bigger note the top hats seem to have been replaced by woolly ones. The series was filmed in Scotland in the middle of December after all.

Prediction – As much as I’m happy to see Nuts back and I know they’ll be entertaining again, I’m not sure they can get through the group stages again. Of course we don’t know the draw yet (not at the time of writing) but I fear they maybe outclassed. That said who thought they’d get out of the first melee last time? Neither Behemoth or Terrorhurtz could beat them outright either. Could still surprise. Secretly, I hope they do.

 

Crank E

crank-e

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Heat, Round 1)

Entering the warzone is the other machine that (rather skillfully) went out of that group battle with Razer, allowing Nuts to proceed. Thankfully trimming the name to a much easier to type Crank E, this chunky looking bulldozer looks like it means business. Taking a leaf from the Nuts robot building rule book about mandatory googly eyes, its looks a little like last years model. Same long shape with a nasty spinning blade in the middle. A spinning blade that allegedly goes at 6000 rpm. The speeds of discs and blades these days are crazy, but some machines in the last wars proved that its not always about how fast it goes. So again the potential is high. Looks a little like a riot shield actually, I quite like it. And once again Crank E comes from the same brilliant mind that created Pussycat, they know what they’re doing.

Prediction – I love a machine that looks rough and rugged and Crank E fits that bill. I think this version will put up a better challenge than the last war where they seemed to be specifically targeted by Razer. But again will it be enough? I’m not so sure, I’m reckoning theres better machines in this heat.

 

Sabretooth

sabretooth-s9

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Heat, Round 1)

Ah Sabretooth. A veteran of 3 previous UK championships, this being their 4th. Always had some fantastic looking machines down the years and this one, to me, is no exception. It also looks like the most simple looking Sabretooth machine too. Nice and low, good weapon and yellow. Looks a bit like Black & Blue from the 7th wars for those who remember, but most importantly its invertable, so this means a srimech is not needed. However, Sabretooth has famously never won a Robot Wars battle. It’s not all about bad performance and design; Sabretooth has had huge misfortune before. In the 5th war they lost a controversial judges call, in the 6th the weapon broke after the qualifiers, in the 7th they couldn’t tone down the power of the disc when asked so couldn’t fight. Last year the self righter broke before the first fight. So maybe a change in luck is what the future holds. Surely?

Prediction –  Its great to see a team and machine come back time and time again even with little success. And its even more admirable when its effectively a new machine everytime. I think its great, and honestly I think Sabretooth can get that win now. Genuinely. Looks powerful, sleek and strong and although they could come a cropper against other machines I think this is the best chance for Sabretooth. Don’t anybody forget to #prayforgabe , this could be the time.

 

Jellyfish

jellyfish

Most Recent War – N/A, Newcomer

Look at whats crawled out of the sea! What a beast, all welcome Jellyfish to the warzone this year. A very colourful, very charismatic creature that operates as an (what looks like) invertable clamping robot. Very large as well, made out of the same material that Gabriel used in the last war and of course, mandatory googly eyes. It looks great, one of the best in the series for me. And what makes things add up is that it was created by one of the ‘brains’ behind Nuts last year, so who knows what to expect with this one. How powerful can the clamp be? I suppose it has to be a large enough to get hold of the others, but does it works as a Tough As Nails kind of grabber or a Kan Opener type crusher? Time shall indeed tell. Looks like a fun robot either way.

Prediction – For all the pleasing aesthetics on Jellyfish Im unsure on how it will perform. Quite flat so easily axed, quite large so easily hit, relatively high ground clearance. I can’t see them progressing but I hope they put up a good fight. 10/10 for effort though.

 

TMHWK

tmhwk

Most Recent War – Series 7 (Heat, Round 1)

I’ve put TMHWK in as a veteran because of the entry in UK 7. A bit like Dantomkia last time out; Tomahawk was entered but then lost in round 1 of said war. It was then sold on and ended up with this current team; an all female group from Holland. Good to see. Differences from the 7th wars are quite high. It retains the axe from before but it now has the standard wheel setup instead of tracks and lovely purple paint job. Looks quite mean actually, a little bit like a more slender Kat 3. Has experience from the live stage too so the tea have seasoned their skills beforehand. The reason theres no vowels in the title still eludes me though.

Prediction – Another stunning looking machine. The effort gone into the machines this series, never mind this heat, is phenomenal. But again how will it perform? For me, Im not so sure again. There’s better robots in this heat and TMHWK could be sent for the earliest of baths.

 

Rapid

rapid

Most Recent War – N/A, Newcomer

This looks a tidy machine. Meet Rapid. Nice, simple, low wedge shape design with a flipper. I mentioned that rugged look earlier so I like the way this one looks too. Very original, quick and potentially dangerous. Mini Turbulence Im calling it. There’s nothing mini about the cost to build though. Reportedly, Rapid cost around £25,000 to build! That’s huge! We (and the team) best hope it’s worth it; that’s a serious chunk of dough. It’s that sort of thing that would put me off building my own machine. I’ve wanted to since I was about 9, and 17 years later I probably still couldn’t afford to. But if you’ve got the budget I suppose you’d go for it. Lets just hope it was money well spent.

Prediction – For all my poverty ranting though, Rapid gets my special underdog of the week star. I like the design, I like what I see in the stats; I think this machine will perform. This could be the surprise of the heat, thought Id still have a couple of machines above them.

 

Terrorhurtz

terrorhutz-s9

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Heat, Round 2)

The axe men cometh. For anybody who knows anything about robot combat in the last 10 years, you should know all about Terrorhurtz. For those who think robotic combat only started last July, get yourself on YouTube; you’ve got a lot of catching up to do. Terrorhurtz is a former UK grand finalist and one of the most powerful and best engineered robots around. Huge hitting axe, low ground clearance and very quick to self right, not much can stand up to this power. Im really pleased they came back, and though not much looks like it’s changed, maybe it didn’t have too. They went out last war, effectively because the axe failed to fire and turn it back over. Without that axe it stood up to and beat Carbide in the heat. Just couldn’t beat Nuts outright when it was working….

Prediction – Because of the experience and because they stood up so well to the likes of Carbide, I don’t know if they’res much that can match Terrorhurtz in this heat. Even a ridiculously powerful Aftershock. As good as the robots are in this heat, I see those 2 as head and shoulders above everyone else. But that’s just me. And like I mentioned earlier, Terrorhurtz is probably the one machine that Aftershock wouldn’t want to fight. The heat winner and Grand Finalists are here in my opinion.

 

There we have it, we’ve reached the end of this heats preview. As ever thank you for sticking with me and I welcome feedback and predictions. Who do you think will stand out? Leave me a comment and let me know. All these thoughts are my opinion. If you were with me last war, you’ll know that my opinions and thoughts are usually, quite very wrong. But that’s the fun of it! I hope I’ve got you all ready for what looks set to be an amazing series. The robots activate this Sunday the 5th at 7pm on Beeb 2. As ever, Let the wars begin….

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Robots Reactivate – The War Is Coming…

 

Robots Reactivate – The War Is Coming…

Oh Yes, we are back!  After whats felt like years, the announcement went out yesterday that Robot Wars 2017 will be go on the first Sunday in March; just over 2 weeks away. Excited much?

Yep it seems all those frantic hours on Twitter since Battle of the Stars went out have paid off and it seems to have taken just 3 months from filming to broadcast, about half what it did last year. We’re going in the right direction. So what do we know? Well theres 40 competitors once again, spread over 5 heats. The winners go into the Grand Final with a sixth robot chosen as a wildcard by the judges. Sound familiar? If it is the same format as last year then it will be the first time that consecutive series have been the same. Its not a bad thing at all, maybe I was just being greedy and hoping for more.

One of the biggest changes that stand out to me is the pit release tyre. The difference for this war is that it might not activate the pit when pressed…. It might, but theres the chance it could cause a house robot to come and attack for a few seconds. Dodgy rule or stroke of genius? Im undecided about this. I wouldn’t want the house robots interfering on a battle result as the conclusion of an unlucky break. Might work, what do I know? Might make things more exciting, making teams a little more weary of going for that pit knockout. We’ll just have to see, I wont rule anything out until I’ve seen it.

So with the announcement, the first 8 teams were released. Some old Robot Wars favourite such as Terrorhurtz, Nuts, Sabretooth & Crank-E, a few from the live stage such as TMHWK, some a little new in terms of Rapid & Aftershock (which Im guessing is the new Shockwave), and one named after a sea creature in Jellyfish. It sounds like an interesting line up. Im chuffed Terrorhurtz and Nuts are back, but until we can see some pictures or some stats its hard to call. As of writing this post there is no information that I can find available about these machines. Im hoping they appear in due course.

So I suppose this post is just for me to show a bit of excitement and anticipation for the nest series and I cant wait to get started. Apologies for it being so short… Im also pleased that its March 5th start. The rumours that the series would begin Feb 26th didn’t sit too well; Im away that weekend. Lucky me! For those who followed me last time, I very much thank you for your likes and comments and what nots. Im hoping to do heat previews a few days before once again so keep your eyes peeled for those. And tell all your mates!

Let the 9th wars begin……

 

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