So we’ve reached the half way point in the series. So soon? Yes, and it is a shame. But there are lots more battles and plenty of action to get stuck into, as we approach the grand final.
Once again my thanks to robotwars2016, as we both predicted TR2 to be heat winners last week. Well done us. Heat 4 though seems to be more open, with some very strong competitors in. I’ve really had to think about it this week and it’s literally been a prediction on the toss of a coin. Any one of four could get through in my opinion. Maybe a surprise or two on the cards? Leave a comment about what you think will happen.
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.
Honours – Annihilator Champion Extreme 2, Series 7
Best UK Championship – Series 5, 6, 7 (Heat Round 1)
More bite than a great white, comes the teams slogan. And looking at the stats above, you’d think I’d be talking about 2 different robots. An inconsistent competitor on the original series, Kan Opener lost in every one of its UK first round battles but won two annihilators. They probably should have had more success, those jaws are incredibly powerful but arguably cost them in Series 6 & 7 when they got stuck in other competitors. Though there has been several versions of Kan Opener since Series 7, they all look essentially the same machine. Until this one. And I like the look of it. Stockier but with smaller, better designed jaws, but oooo, exposed tyres. I’m sure The General and Chimera can tell you about their experiences with that design this series.
Verdict – Like I say, Kan Opener should have done better, even by at least winning a UK championship battle. But even with this new design, I’m going to tip them for being championship consistent, by going out in round 1 again. I know, I’m cruel.
Best UK Championship – Series 5, 6 (Heat Round 1)
Now some of you might be thinking I’ve been at the bottle again with that old picture of Sabretooth, as that machine never competed in the wars. The truth is that it didn’t. That was the intended Series 7 machine that actually won it’s qualifier in devastating style. However the crew were concerned that the disc would be too powerful for the arena, so asked the team to tone it down. They ran out of time to do that, thus forfeiting their place in the 7th wars. A shame as I quite like it. This new Sabretooth is a completely different machine, as were the Series 5 & 6 models too, and this one looks like it has a bit more grunt. Four wheels, a claw/grabber type thing and a rotating drum. Looks neat. But can it self right?
Verdict – History goes against this machine as well; 2 first round losses in 2 wars. They were unlucky in Series 6 as well, as the disc broke after the qualifiers. Looks nice and tidy, but that’s probably about it. Alas I shall have to say this will go in the first round again. Sorry fellas.
Best UK Championship – Series 7 (Heat, Round 1)
There seems to be a theme developing with this weeks veterans that I’ve not really realised until now. And Terror Turtle is not about to buck that trend. Best performance in a championship, Round 1. Lots of pedigree then…. Terror Turtle has changed since the 7th wars, but not dramatically. It has actually been reduced in weight to make way for that ‘hatchling’ on top, rather like what Nuts did. It looks a little like Micro Mute to me, but reportedly weighs around 21kg. I like the disc too. It always had potential to cause damage, trouble is the stocky stature and slow drive systems meant it always got smashed first. Still, it’s better than that god awful flail blade it had from Extreme 2.
Verdict – Once again the record goes against Terror Turtle; zero wins in 4 fights. I always like an animal based design, this one is no exception. Good, fun robot, but not much hope for me. Tough week for the vets this one.
Honours – New Blood Champion, Extreme 2: World Champion 2004
Best UK Championship – Series 7 (Runner-Up)
Until now perhaps? Enter Storm 2, the should have been champion of Series 7…..Nah I’m not going to go there again. World Champions after that war, Storm 2 is a bloody good robot. I never cared that it was a push box and that people said it was a Tornado rip off, did that mean that every flipper ripped off Chaos 2? Storm 2 was/is a highly entertaining robot. In the UK wars, the 25 mph, 18 horsepower drive machine with its sticky tape wheels only lost that one fight to Typhoon 2. This time, like so many machines these days, Ed, Tim & Meral bring Storm 2 with interchangeable weapons. It has the lifter of old and a disc, that is designed more for flipping opponents over than destroying. The top speed has been dropped slightly too for better control, which in this current arena might not be a bad idea.
Verdict – A very strong contender for this heat, from a very strong and well built machine. I don’t think spinners will trouble them, but I think it can beat at least one of the 2 flippers in this heat. I’m going to say heat final this time, but could just as easily win that. Or just as easily go out in the first, it’s that close this week.
So, onto the newcomers to the wars. We start with Apollo. Low to ground with a high pressure flip, it looks pretty neat and tidy. Apollo owes a lot to old Robot Wars veterans Kronic The Wedgehog. That machine was upgraded after the 7th wars, and Kronic 3 became quite successful, even winning the FRA UK championship in 2005. The team eventually ended up buying Kronic, and Apollo was built when the former retired from combat. It has potential then, especially after seeing what TR2 made possible with a flipper last time out.
Verdict – This one gets my special ‘underdog of the heat’ star for week 4. Looks slick and well designed. I’m going to say this will get to Round 2 but once again, could be in the running to win the heat as well. Watch out for it.
Sporting this weeks funny name comes this underbody 31kg spinner of PP3D. The name stands for Parts Printed in 3D; a lot of parts of this machine were printed in 3D. Would you believe it? Admittedly that is a little obvious, but it does look like it will cause some chaos. It’s invertable too and is covered in HARDOX, giving maximum protection for the disc but only when it’s in this position. The team? Captained by Gary Cairns, remember him? Yep, the same guy from Typhoon. I wonder if this will be as powerful?
Verdict – Another one with potential. Looks simple and effective. Should easily make the second round, then as with a handful of competitors this heat, anything goes. But I’ll leave at the second round. Get ready for the rematch of the century as well should it meet Storm 2. Surely Ed Hoppitt would like to get one over on Gary.
Enter the Demon Barber of the warzone. Unfortunately it doesn’t look as menacing as the barber, with just a horizontal saw at the front as its weapon and not some slashing razors. That would have been cool, no? Uniquely it does have rollers on all four wheels giving it very high manoeuvrability, a little like the rear wheels of Razer. But, and it is a big but, it only weighs 45kg. That’s under half the weight of most competitors in the whole series. And has a high ground clearance. Ah, do they never learn?
Verdict – Lightweight in terms of weaponry, design and well, its weight, Sweeney Todd takes the title of weakest machine in the heat this week. Therefore I can’t see it getting beyond the first round. At least it has…. Or I like the…. Nope sorry, can’t see much hope. No offence intended guys, I always like seeing new machines fighting.
This is the one I’ve been looking forward to seeing all series. Well these guys and Storm 2, so highly annoying they’ve been placed in the same heat. Eruption has had massive success on the live stage. Twice winning the FRA UK Championship and, like Chaos 2, won it consecutively. Demands respect then. It’s pretty much the same design as it had last year, plus all the red bits. Just incase you can’t tell, the weapon is the black and yellow flipper that takes up the main part of the body. It’s very precise, low and powerful. One of my favourite things about Eruption is within the shell. There is a system which allows the team to control the amount of CO2 used in each flip, in the hope that the machine will never run out of gas mid fight. Clever, I like it.
Verdict – Though new to the warzone, Eruption have had a lot of fights and gained experience. Covered in the now famous HARDOX armour, so should be able to deflect some blows. This is my favourite for the heat, but it certainly wont be easy.
Once again, I thank you all for reading. Like I’ve said, I really couldn’t call this heat. I don’t even know why I’ve put Eruption to win it, it really could be any one of the four second round machines I’ve predicted. Or one that I’ve put a Round 1 next to for that matter. Therefore I’m even more intrigued to know what you guys think. Leave me a comment or two, and we’ll see what happens. Robots activate Sunday at 8. It’s going to be a belter.