Robot Wars 2016 – Heat 2 Preview

After the thrills and spills of Sundays first episode, I just wanted more. And what did we learn? Well I’m useless at predictions that’s for sure. If we had points for predictions, last week I would have got 4 right. Shocking. Fortunately there’s only 7 days in-between episodes, and come this Sunday, we get to see it all again. Once again, just like last week, I take a look at the competing machines and give my (not very) expert view on how they may perform. Think you can beat my predictions scores? Leave a comment and we’ll see how we rank next week!

Notes – The stats & honours I’ve mentioned are only relevant to the original series 1-7, Extreme 1 & 2, and not to do with performances on the live stage.                                                               – Newcomers are classed as a team with a new machine, regardless if the team have competed before.

The Veterans

Thor

Then                                                                                                        Now

Thor7                               thor3

Best UK Championship – Series 6 & 7 (Heat Round 2)

We start with the god of thunder; The hammer of Thor. Last seen being pitted by Lightning in the 7th wars, Thor has been ever present on the live stage and has been changed and upgraded numerous times. I’m glad Thor was included in this series. There needs to be a bladed axe to rival Terrorhurtz and this could be it. A very simple shape this time too, but there’s a couple of good spinners in this heat. Can the armour and structure stand up to it?

Verdict – Should easily make the second round. Then if things go their way Id have them in the heat final. Upsides: A lot of robots are flat and easily axed in this heat, Downsides: perhaps not as quick and manoeuvrable as others.

Tough As Nails

Then                                                                                      Now

Tough_As_Nails                         Tan2016

Best UK Championship – Series 7 (Semi-Final, Round 1)

Big, strong, sturdy, powerful. Four words that fit Tough As Nails’ profile easily. The first machine to use the now famous HARDOX armour, this machine made a very quick and lasting impression in UK 7, making it to the semi-finals beating Panic Attack along the way (though in my eyes through a controversial decision against Robochicken). Beefed up and being the only dutch team in this competition, Tough As Nails has a lot to live up to.

Verdict – Heat final. I would say Grand final straight away, but it all depends on how tough those wheels are against quite a range of weaponry in this heat.

Draven

Then                                                                                       Now

Draven                       Draven2016 (1)

I’ve always liked Draven since the moment I set eyes on it. Born before the ‘crush and lift’ of Big Nipper, it only had one appearance on the UK wars: a wildcard loss to King B in Extreme. And this was a shame. I liked the idea, the way it looked, and was unfortunate in qualifiers to either break down or be drawn against experienced robot like Smidsy. In fact they failed to qualify for 3 UK championships. I’m really excited to see this perform and hopefully do well.

Verdict – Despite me hyping up the chances of this bird like creature, I have a fear it will go out in round 1, unless they get the crusher in first. If they can make the first blow, they’ll look good. If the carbon fibre and kevlar shell gets hit with an axe or spinner first, their chances could go south fast.

DisConstructor

Then                                                                                    Now

Disconstructor               DisConstructor_2016

Best UK Series – Series 7 (Heat Round 1)

Visually Disconstructor looks pretty much the same as UK 7. Internally, well actually it’s about the same as well. I remember seeing this for the first time, thinking the team hadn’t tightened the bolts for that blade. ‘It’s at a funny angle’, I recall my 13 year old self saying. Turns out the idea behind it, is to have the 20kg disc at that sloped angle to aim for low wheels on other machines. Clever. However the driving in the first round of the 7th wars saw then drive headfirst into the pit. Not very clever….

Verdict – Another machine I hope to see more of, I like unique designs like that. Something different. Can they cause some damage? I certainly think so. But it will have to be quick, as there are better robots in this heat. If not, it could be out in round 1 again.

The Newcomers

Chimera

Chimera_2016

Look at the size of those tyres! That’s because they’re from and old Ford Fiesta, so the team are thinking big. Remember robots like Immortalis and Death Warmed Up? This was originally built by the same team before being sold to the current one. Weapons wise there is an overhead swinging arm, looking here like it has three spikes on it, though I’ve heard they are interchangeable. Lets hope it last long enough for us to see them.

Verdict – A Chimera is a creature from Greek mythology, with parts from a Goat, a Snake and a Lion. Oh and it also breathes fire. How cool does that sound? Cooler than the robot in my opinion I’m afraid. Having seen what happened to The General in heat 1, tyres like this could be in danger right from the off.

Shockwave

Shockwave

I like this one. Very neat, very tidy and very original. Shockwave comes from the same team that produced Manta on the live stage (no relation to the American spinner). For those who’ve seen the very successful Manta before, you will know that it’s an explosive piece of kit and I expect the same from Shockwave. That lifter swings 360 degrees around the robot, which will help them if they get flipped. I’d also assume it can self right as well as being invertable. Good armour and speed, I fancy this as an underdog in this heat.

Verdict – If it performs anything like Manta in the warzone, this will definatley be one to watch. However as I’ve already predicted my two robots for the heat final, I’d have to say this one will do a good second round, but keep an eye on it. Could surprise.

M.R Speed Squared

Mss

Taking the Kill-E-Crank-E title for most awkward name to type in a heat, come M.R Speed Squared. Anybody remember Revenge Of Trouble & Strife? Well this beastly contraption comes from the same team and to me, this looks a lot meaner. Not that Trouble & Strife was bad. I liked the design, it just wasn’t very successful. Removal of the flipper and a switch to an invertable design means this one is potentially very destructive. And if spinners in this series can follow on from what Carbide has already done, I fancy this one to do well. And if you’re wondering about the name, apparently its the equation that works out the power of the disc. Mass x radius² = speed, otherwise seen as S = mr². A clever one there for the University Challenge types among us.

Verdict –  This is the one for me to make it through to the Grand Final. A long shot I know, as it’s never really fought before, but it looks mean. This one and Tough As Nails are the big two in my eyes and I think this one will clinch it.

Foxic

download (1)

When I first saw the list of competitors for this series I thought there was a typo and it was Toxic 2 competing. I may also have been a little drunk at this time, but there you go. What a good looking machine this cunning Fox is though, even whilst sober. The sixth invertable machine in this heat has a lifter that extends like a crane arm and some good speed, engineered within a steel shell. The team are very experienced both on the live stage and in Robot Wars. They competed with the featherweight Gi-Ant-O and the antweight Anto in the UK series and failed to qualify with numerous heavyweights. Unknown to many, one of the teams heavyweights, TX-108, actually won an unaired Wild Card match in Extreme 1…. against Hypnodisc would you believe.

Verdict – A team who knows what they’re doing when it comes to building robots, having created plenty, I’d tip this machine for round 2 in this heat. Looks sleek and fast, in a similar way to Shockwave. Will be competing with them for the best lifter/flipper in the heat.

 

Once again thanks for reading guys, I do appreciate it. Check back next week for heat 3’s preview, which looks like it could be one of the best. If you want to have a go at your own predictions and see if you can get more right than me, leave a comment and we’ll compare next week. Don’t forget to activate BBC2 this Sunday at 8!

Robot Wars 2016 – Heat 1 Preview

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Robot Wars 2016 – Heat 1 Preview

If you were born in the early 90s as I was, you’ll be familiar with the amount of kids TV that was available; some good, some very very bad. Programmes like Thomas the Tank Engine and Pokémon were my favourite as a little nipper, but also around were the sleekness of Johnny Bravo, or the simple creativeness of Art Attack, both also favourites of mine. But once I was a bit older, I turned on BBC 2 one Friday night and discovered Robot Wars and well, that was it wasn’t it? I was hooked from the start and to this day, have a massive interest in robotic combat. So when the beeb announced in January that it would be making a comeback, I became more excited than a dog at feeding time.

Checking the internet regularly,  more photos and information slowly came out which has made the wait even more unbearable. When the competitor list was finally published, I was surprised to see a lot of names that became household in the older series, names that you don’t even see, or haven’t even seen on the live scene since the original programme finished. This had made the new series even more interesting. How will they get on against newer machines? Can they live up to the standard that some of them did 12 years ago? Can some do better? Below I’ve listed the robots, old and new, in the first of my 6 show previews and how I rate their chances. Old designs or new, they still look pretty mean…..

Notes – The stats & honours I’ve mentioned are only relevant to the original series 1-7, Extreme 1 & 2, and not to do with performances on the live stage.                                                               – Newcomers are classed as a team with a new machine, regardless if the team have competed before.

The Veterans

Razer

Then                                                                                          Now

Razer_lv99                   Razer_2016

Honours: World Champion 2000, 2001; International League Champion 2000; Southern Annihilator Champion Series 4; All Stars Champion Extreme 1, Extreme 2; UK Champion Series 5.                                                                                                                             Best UK Championship – Series 5 (Winners)

Where else to start but with Razer? The team won near enough everything, despite being known for its unreliability in its early years. The team had a good robot, and they knew it. Razer was, and still is, a pioneer for Robot combat, much like Chaos 2 & Hypnodisc. On the outside the machine that competed in Extreme 2 and the 2016 version look pretty similar, the only thing that looks different is the teams receding hair lines. But with upgraded internals and a weight increase of around 10kg, Razer should still be a force in this series, unless someone has a handy anti crusher frame lying around…

Verdict – Its always hard to see anyone beating Razer. A low front end combined with precise driving and devastating weaponry put them on a huge winning streak in the old days. These days? I think they go in as my heat favourites, but it will be a lot harder than what they’ve faced before.

Behemoth

Then                                                                                                Now

Behemothside                                               Behemoth_2016

Best UK Championship – Series 2 (Semi Finals, Arena)

One of the oldest competing (and arguably unluckiest) robots in the wars, the Behemoth team have been ever present in the wars. Competing in 6 UK championships, Behemoth always seemed to underachieve. Whether unreliability or sheer unluckiness struck, the team were always admired in the Robot Wars world. Since the show ended, they have had more success. Gone is the axe on top, better speed and a more powerful scoop has seen them through to numerous finals on the live stage. There is also the addition of a much better self righter, which could make all the difference.

Verdict – Lady luck seems to have struck again for Behemoth in this series. Being drawn in the same heat as Razer, Terrorhurtz & Carbide might spell trouble. A possible heat final on the cards? Any other draw would possibly have seen them through to the final.

Terrorhurtz

Then                                                                                         Now

Terrorhurtz_today                                 Terrorhurtz-Robot-Wars

Honours: Extreme 2 Challenge Belt Finalist                                                                               Best UK Championship – Series 6 (Fourth Place)

Ah Terrorhurtz. The crazy, unpredictable, swinging axe of doom. For Series 5, the team decided to move from a pointed spike axe, to a broad blade when building the new machine. Signs of renewed aggression was shown in its first round against Ming 3, but the run was stopped short by Fluffy in Round 2. It was the sixth war where Terrorhurtz really came into its own, in one of the best runs in UK championship history. Beating 3 seeded machines on the way to losing to Razer in the grand final, poor Terrorhurtz suffered technical issues in the next series, becoming unable to compete. After that, they picked up from their Series 6 form, running away with the title on the live stage in 2004 and 2009. For this series, there’s a new, lower armour plate on the front, coupled with a new axe head.

Verdict – I can’t wait to see Terrorhurtz in action. A rematch against Razer, well that would be a spectacle. They should definitely get through the first round, and should they make the heat final, they would be tough to beat.

The General

Then                                                                                               Now

The_general             The_General

Best UK Championship – N/A (Robotic Soccer Finalist)

Little is known about The General. The team was placed into the Soccer competition in Series 3, and failed to qualify for Series 4. They also had lightweight machines in Series 2 and 3 (before the latter lightweight championship was cancelled). In a surprise return, the Welsh team return with what looks like a completely different robot. Technically classed as veterans due to competing before, but look like underdogs going into the ‘Heat of Doom’. However, it is invertible and if they get that nasty looking disc into play, they could cause a surprise.

Verdict – I’m personally not expecting much from The General, having never seen them fight with a heavyweight before. However that could be an advantage, they look like they have the potential to perform. A second round appearance could be on the cards.

The Newcomers

Bonk

Bonk-Robot-Wars

Bonk is formed from the team that gave us Mute in the UK championships. Anyone who saw Mute will agree that this looks a completely different machine. Firstly, this one has a hammer which I’ve been informed is quite a powerful specimen. Couple that with a good top speed, and just tipping the top of the weight limit and Bonk looks like a complete robot. Downsides? It hasn’t won many fights on the live stage, but also hasn’t had many either.

Verdict – It looks solid, compact, quick, but I’m not sure. I think some people might remember Bonk more as being drawn in the same heat as Nuts…

Carbide

Carbide

Oooo this looks mean. Everybody loves a spinner in Robot Wars, and going into a new series where there are many, it will be difficult to stand out. Now, bar spinners have never really had much success in the wars, but this one boasts to be the most powerful one ever. Anything weighing 25kg and spinning at nearly 2500 rpm must do some damage when it works, and the team rate their chances high. It’s also invertible and coated in steel. It looks very mean indeed.

Verdict – I like the look of this one. Team member Sam Smith (famous before the singer of the same name) built Tiberius, so he knows what he’s doing. A lot of people have this one down as heat favourite, and its hard to argue with that.

Kill-E-Crank-E

Kill-E-Crank-E

This ones a funny one. I like, the shape and I like the idea. Looks like Infernal Contraption crossed with S3, but which one will it take after? Reportedly the longest robot in this competition, Kill-E-Crank-E has a vertical disc and is a very neat and original design. And it has one of the best names Ive seen for a while. Unlike S3 though, this robot is concave at the back, allowing for a Stinger style flick over the top to get the weapon in play. An interesting robot, but others will like seeing those lovely exposed tyres wont they?

Verdict – Again in any other heat, Kill-E-Crank-E would look like a good bet, but in this heat, could be too easily beaten. That said, team member Robin Herrick got to the series 1 final with Bodyhammer, and was the brains behind Pussycat and we all know how their 2 fights with Razer went….

Nuts

download

The only true newcomers to this heat are Nuts, and it looks exactly that. A different take on usual axle and thwack bots, Nuts also boasts little minibots, that are designed to get underneath and pin other machines down so that the big daddy can swing in with that flail and cause some damage. At first it looked like that red cage was a protective mechanism to me, but it isn’t. That is attached to the main frame to protect the wheels, as well as causing extra damage. Don’t forget to get a look at the team as well; they have one of the best costumes going. Good fun.

Verdict – Massive underdogs in this heat for me, but having said that they could be quite difficult to get hold of. I’m going to stick my neck out here and say that they will surprise us with a round 2 appearance…

 

Thanks for reading guys, I really appreciate it. Watch this space for previews of the upcoming heats, and for the Grand Final. The carnage starts Sunday 24th July at 8pm. Let battle commence!

And So It Begins…

This Is Me

Hi guys, welcome to Jaymess24’s page. Jaymess24 being me; but obviously not my name. This was a nickname I got given in school some 15 years ago. Somehow it stuck. I have literally no idea what it means. What I do know is that I’m your average 26 year young bloke living in good old Blighty. I live with my girlfriend and our pets and I work in a hospital. Like I say, pretty much average. Not much exciting goes on in my life; a bit of this, a bit of that but we get by happily. This is my page.

This Is What I Do

So, why am I here? Same as most people I would have thought. I’m here to learn, lend opinions (because the world doesn’t have enough of those already….), and hopefully make some friends. If you’re anything like me, you’ll often check the internet to see if anybody has some new information on an activity you’re looking forward to. What times that new programme on? Who’s playing in the match tonight? When are they releasing a new album? Will Drake ever not be at number 1 again, will we ever be free of it? See, opinion. I like seeing people view of things, whether I agree or not. It could be a new game, or a list of the greatest footballers ever; I like to see people take on things. Which is why I thought, ‘I could do that’. This is my aim. Whether people want to see my opinions or now, I guess remains to be seen.

This Is What I Want To Achieve

Hopefully in the next while, I will entertain you good people with some of my blogs. These almost always being on my interests. Im a big sports fan. Football, Rugby, Tennis, Boxing, Formula 1 (love the Formula 1), Darts, Cricket, Not golf… Im big on TV series. Game Of Thrones is a big one (Isn’t it for everyone?), amongst others. Then there’s games, Im a big gamer. Not quite as big as when I was a teenager, because Im too busy being an adult and all ‘responsible’ these days. Games like Pokemon, Fallout & Uncharted have followed me for years, but again Im open to anything. Oh photography as well, I like my photography. I don’t have the massively expensive gear that you see birdwatchers spend 4 days setting up to take a picture, but I am the kind of  person who will wait around for the best shot. There’s a few examples at the top of my page, mainly of animals which are a personal favourite to snap, including a few our of Guinea pigs. I hope to share these and many more with you all.

This Is My Page

So that’s me. I look forward to this experience and sharing my experiences as well as reviews, articles and maybe something a bit grown up and meaningful. Please visit again if you have the same sort of interests, like I say I’m also here to learn. I’ll leave you with a photo of three of our five Guineas. Take care all.

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