Wow. It almost feels as if the last 12 years had been worth the wait. But then I thought, how many fights have we have missed out on? After (only) 6 weeks that have flown by, the 2016 Robot Wars series came to an end last Sunday in what was possibly the most exciting Grand Final the series ever produced. Plenty of people were responsible for the series being a success. The crew, who did an amazing job backstage with the arena and organisation. Dara & Angela, who aren’t quite Charles & Forrester but were good in their roles nevertheless. And we can’t forget the roboteers and the robots, without whom the series wouldn’t have existed. So below is, I guess a series review, a celebration of not only a great series but the revival of a TV classic. It’s my Robot Wars 2016 awards!
We’ll jump straight into the deep end with the best robot of the series. There’s so many this one can go to. TR2 for its precision and control, Thor for its power and aggression, Carbide for being so downright ridiculously destructive. But the best robot of the series has to be the winner this time, and it isn’t always. Apollo had problems in the heats, but the team got them fixed and fired up again. Let’s be honest it was a bit of a surprise that they won, but it was well deserved. They took on the best and beat them.
A few more worthy contenders here. Credit to Carbide once again, anything that is that destructive must be well designed (minus a few flaws…). Tough As Nails and Dantomkia are always going to be in this category, but I’m going to stick my neck on the line here and say Gabriel. Designed to be downright massive in order to avoid attacks and make them impossible to get hold of, Gabriel was also a very original entry. A swinging pendulum on wheels, which are made of tougher stuff than they look, Gabriel takes the best design robot here. I fear this maybe a controversial call though.
There were shocks aplenty in this series of Robot Wars. Is that robot really made of wood? Did Foxic just get through a fight? But apart from waking up last Monday morning to realise theres only one episode left, there was only one shock that deserves this title. How did a steel drainpipe with a kink in the back defeat the mighty Razer? The logical answer is through very clever use of the controls but still, Razer? Razer out in round 1? Ridiculous to think but well done the Razer guys, yet another ‘trophy’ to add to the collection.
Winners: Razer Out In Round 1
I’ve put this one in so we can see just how far the standard of machine has come. Arguably some robots look like they came straight out of series 1, I’ll let you make your own calls on that… But some just showed an enormous amount of new power that we’ve never seen before, even on the live stage. The spinners in particular we don’t get to see, for they are banned on that very stage, so the power in PP3D and MR Speed Squared was good to see. Thor was much better than I’ve seen them recently too and Eruption’s flipper is crazy good. But for all of this, only Carbide can claim this award. It wasn’t even a disc either, it was a bar spinner, capable of not only destroying other machines but sending them flying with just sheer power that nobody else can compare with. Imagine seeing that in UK 7.
Once again a number of contenders. The brutal nature of the Carbide/Nuts fight proved that Robot Wars was back, and the way that Team Nuts took it was even better, praying at the end for the rest of the machine, begging the clusterbots to survive. It did survive too and a great response from the team. We also had clumsy Killalot becoming latched to the wall, proving that nothing is more humorous in this game than the house robots becoming unstuck. Therefore the funniest moment of the series has to be the fatal flipping of Shunt, Dead Metal and Matilda at the hands of Apollo. Great stuff.
Winner: Flipping Fantastic Apollo
Best Robot Designed By A 9 Year Old Girl
Only one winner here really. I did like the input to the show by the younger generation and it’s great to see them involved. So well done Glitterbomb, you can have this one on me.
Uh Oh, here it comes. The first of my robot razzies for worst machine. Now as good as a lot of our competitors were there were some who get ‘must do better’ next to them. Now just to note, I respect anyone who can build one of these machines in any way shape or form. They are there for their entertainment and ours and I fully thank and respect anybody who puts one of them into the arena, I couldn’t do it. But it seems there are just some better than others. Chimera & Sweeney Todd are up there but again I feel there can only be one winner. Any team who build a machine with a petrol engine inside a wooden frame are more than worthy of taking home this prize. Well done Overdozer, well sort of.
Most Entertaining Team
Back to praise and I’ve put this one together with some other categories which led me to my final decision as I shall explain. The Apollo guys were great. Good entertainment, good robot and lot of fun. I’ll say that the jackets were for entertainment purposes but you know what, they suited them quite well. Some people were taken aback by the attitudes from Foxic & Dantomkia. Balderdash I say, it was great entertainment particularly from Craig & Shane. How else do you get something to work other than to shout and hit it with a hammer? The most entertaining team for me though had humour, the looks and a completely bonkers robot which all combined to me giving Team Nuts the most entertaining team award.
The roboteering community is somewhat of a family. Everybody wants to smash each other up but are always willing to help out if there are problems. I remember meeting the Hypnodisc team once and they would spend hours helping out other teams, even ones they’d destroyed themselves such as Bigger Brother. So the teamwork is a major part of robotic combat too, and to celebrate this I’m giving out my own special mention to all of them but particularly all the guys who helped Chompalot get back into the warzone after its first battle. By no means was this the only time other team members got stuck in to help others, but it certainly seemed like the biggest operation. All of you, take a bow.
Winner: The Resurrection Of Chompalot
Best Looking Robot
A lot of machines stuck in my mind for being visually pleasing. Carbide’s black and green was menacing, and Razer & Thermidor always look good, even Foxic was a bit of a looker. But there were 2 robots that I can remember for being striking without looking through the pictures once again. They were Chompalot (pre combustion) & Sabretooth. I’m not even sure what it is about Sabretooth that makes it a looker. It was sturdy and yellow and… yea I just cant place it, but it is a nice robot. Chompalot (pre combustion) was a beautiful thing. Vibrant colours and designed to look like a dragon, I like it. Which one takes the win? Hmm….. Chompalot I think. A very striking machine and a good design as well. Oh and it’s shiny. That always helps.
Well again there can only be one ‘winner’ I suppose. Again 2 fights stood out for me, if that is the correct term. I was going to say the PP3D/Eruption fight but at least something happened. Plus they both became one wheeled wonders about halfway through which was quite funny to see them dancing. That said the first Apollo/Carbide fight wasn’t great, but I suppose Apollo was immobilised quite early as opposed to them running away from each other. Nope, there’s only one ‘true’ worst fight here and no prizes for guessing which one. Yep it was Foxic/MR Speed Squared, the worst fight of the series. Cheers guys…
‘Winners’: Foxic VS MR Speed Squared
There’s a lot of luck involved in roboteering. Whether it is who you’re drawn against or the hope that everything stays in place and nothing breaks, everybody needs a bit of luck. Some machines and teams wouldn’t have any luck if it wasn’t bad though and there were a number of cases that happened in this series. The Beast team had problems all throughout the head to heads, when at least a heat final place was up for grabs. Even Apollo had problems and I was disappointed for Or Te before they fought. Oh and don’t get me started on Chompalot again, or Thor in that heat final. But this one I’m going to give to Ironside 3. Why? Well it was a very controversial decision against Pulsar and I thought they were the best in that particular heat. They lost that one and I surprised to see them in third place, wondering how it happened. They were a whisker away from the heat final against a Gabriel machine they’d already beaten. A well made solid machine.
Unfortunate Winners: Ironside 3
For a big finish I’m going to try and decide what the best fight was. Many many contenders here. Carbide/Nuts crops up again for sheer destruction, rather reminiscent to the Hypnodisc/Robogeddon fight of days gone by. Apollo/Storm 2 both times, great action, as was Storm 2/Eruption & TR2/Dantomkia. A couple of first round melees as well, Apollo/Kan Opener/Sweeney Todd/PP3D was a great fight which involved a fifth opponent in the shape of the floor flipper. Even Razer/Nuts/Terrorhurtz/Kill-E-Crank-E was great just to see the show back, what a buzz that was. I’m going to be all cliche again though and say that the best fight of the series was the last one, Apollo/Carbide. Even with the disappointing fact that Carbide’s blade stopped it was still entertaining. Apollo using Shunt to smash the flipper back down? Great tactics guys.
Winner: Apollo VS Carbide (Grand Final)
I’ll bring this to a close now guys and thus bring my part in the series to one as well. Tears at the end of it all! I’ve really enjoyed writing these blogs over the last 6 weeks or so and a massive thanks to all that have read them, commented on them and spread them around Twitter. Sounds daft, but it does mean a lot to me so please continue to do so! I’ve made a lot of friends in this time and I hope we can continue to be in contact, at least until the next series!
That’s not it completely from me though. I’ve got a few Robot Wars based ideas coming up in more blogs to tie over the frustration we will endure until the next war. I’m hoping to move into a few games reviews too, so if these pop up in your inbox in the future and it isn’t for you then I apologise. Most of my followers are Robot Wars based at the mo, but I will stick to these roots! So keep your eyes peeled and I shall do my best to entertain. It’s been a blast guys.