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:

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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:

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And then the 3 by the first terminal:

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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?

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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

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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

Screenshot_20170419-201413.png

 

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

Screenshot_20170419-195304

 

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

Screenshot_20170419-195646Screenshot_20170419-200124

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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…..

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