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….
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.