Robot Wars has been around in the UK for nearly 20 years now and it still fascinates me. Even now in the most recent series I’ve seen things that still amaze. I didn’t think anything would ever top the wall incident between Carbide & Aftershock in last series final, but Apex then came along and said ‘Anything you guys can do to the wall, I can do better’. Wow, talk about self implosion. What a sight that was.
But that was heat 3, here we go with heat 4 and as we tip over the half way point of the series, the action doesn’t seem to be letting up. Once again we have a very tight set of competitors here which makes the predictions very difficult to call, even though I’m doing better this series so far than I did in the series 8 & 9 predictions at this stage, just to blow my own trumpet. As always a huge thank you to everyone who viewed, liked, commented and all those other wonderful things on the last heat preview, so lets do another one.
Note – As I went to the filming I obviously know the outcomes of some fights, though these were only the first round melees. I will still be analysing the machines in the whole series as if seeing them for the first time, there will be NO spoilers here in these blogs.
Tauron looked like a machine that meant business last time and I had them down for great things. Apparently those great thing meant lasting about 5 seconds in the arena but I liked the way it looked. I really like this one. A flatter, sleeker design this time that looks like it should have a bit more pace. But the biggest change seems to be round the front; a much shorter but stubbier blade that weight 18 kg going at just over 3500 rpm, heavier and faster than the last blade. It can also spin both ways incase it gets flipped. Handy. Tauron also seems to have sprouted a face for that meaner look and to add a bit more personality to the robot. It is a good looking beast and a definite evolution of the older machine, though can it get off its side if stranded there?
So to the arena, what can Tauron do there? Well I think pretty well, if the blade is going of course. Theres always going to be that question mark hanging over it because of the brief cameo last time but that will only be until it gets going. A rematch with Concussion would be fine spectacle as this version of Tauron looks like it can dish out a bit of damage. Vertical spinners haven’t really set the arena alight yet this series and it would be really good for Tauron to cause some of that havoc and put a marker down for the future and indeed for this series.
Prediction – Every robot in this heat has been difficult to place in a finishing position for me, but I reckon Tauron will be in the second round. Might have to fight its way through redemption though; theres some fine machines it will be fighting. I just want to see it work after the disappointment of series 9, then we can assess the true potential. Great looking thing though.
Before we start that is Kegs, pleural. There’s 2 machine that look pretty much identical, I just couldn’t find any other decent picture. So we’re talking about another clusterbot here and The Kegs also take home my ‘Original and brilliantly simple design’ award for this heat. I mean how much more simple can you get? We’ve seen robots made cheaply out of wood and ones based on chattering teeth, but to cut a beer keg in half and use that for the shell of your robot is probably the most simple yet. Another inspiration this one, however I do wonder if the contents of the keg here were being consumed when this idea was though of…
So, one keg, two robots. Both armed with spinning bars which dont look the most stable if Im honest. Exposed wheels out of the top but they’ll just be so the machines can be invertable and I cant imagine a steel keg is a great choice for amour. But I love it, I really do. I laughed for a while when I saw these and they actually come from quite an experienced team. Granted Terror Turtle has not really been the most successful of robots but a new project is always good. Like I say, an inspiration for everyone looking to build a robot; you really can make one out of anything, it just helps that the item in question has a lot of beer in it.
Prediction – The Kegs will have the same issues that all clusterbots have in terms of size and weight but can they make it work? Its a great project this and once again adds more entertainment to the warzone which is what we want. I do think The Kegs will be the weakest machine in this heat though and will be looking at 2 losses straight away but its yet another fantastic entry to this series.
This one could be the dark horse of the heat for me. Androne 4000 arrives with this huge crushing arm attached and a name like something out of Star Wars. The 4000 in the name comes from the fact that the ram that powers the crusher runs at 4000 psi. To put that in context, Razer ran at 3000 psi leading this team to believe that they have the most powerful crusher ever in Robot Wars. Some statement, but is it effective? It certainly looks the part with its intimidating black & yellow paint job and strong looking steel armour. Reminds me of the older Tetanus machines. It can also self right with that claw with the help of some electric power whereas when its squashing other machines, the very same arm runs off hydraulics. Its very impressive sounding and looks like it can cause problems for a few more experiences competitors in this heat.
They did actually try and get into series 9 with this beast but they weren’t selected (damn you selection system) but its still a worthy addition here. Im intrigued to see how good the crushing arm is. Yes its certainly powerful but what its capability? Razer was famed for being incredibly accurate to devastating effect and not giving the opponent any time to rest. Was that through experience or design? Either way Androne doesn’t look as manoeuvrable but can get up to the same sort of speed. One to watch.
Prediction – If we’re keeping an eye on what new machines can do, Androne is one to monitor. The design looks big and beefy and with a bit of luck could be in contention for the 10 way. That said inexperience could show like it already has many times in this series already and Androne could be heading for an early bath.
Iron Awe 6
How good is it to see an old team come back from the original series into the reboot? And not a moment too soon either as Iron Awe makes a well overdue appearance in the new series after its last in series 7. I though Iron Awe would have been one of the very first picks for the reboot because of what they have done on the live stage; they have won so much with older machines and new alike, and are still a regular at events. They are well worth their spot then and have a a real chance to show what they have been doing in the last 12 or so years.
Iron Awe is another great looking beast as well. Beautifully refined and simple, this version used to be painted red instead of the teams trademark yellow, but a switch back to the original colour with a silver flipping arm and some black wedges around the side really make this stand out. And those red bits are interesting. The team has taken an interest in the entanglement rule and those ‘cannons’ are full of bungee cords that they hope will wrap around spinners. They also make the body a little bit wider and should prevent drum spinners doing too much damage. It shows they’ve though about it more, the differences from when they were last in the arena are huge, especially the power of spinners. Given that they were one of Typhoon 2’s victims in series 7, it could be seen as learning from past experiences.
Prediction – As a massive Robot Wars nut I am thrilled to see a veteran team return from the original series and their experiences could be crucial to success. I’ve really been struggling to pick a winner from this heat but I could easily see Iron Awe either winning the heat or at least in the heat final. The 10 way beckons and must be a minimal requirement from a legend of the live stage.
The nutty boys return for a 3rd crack at the title. Always a crowd pleaser even though they’ve never really took off in terms of damage caused and battle wins. They were definitely one of the heros in series 8, surviving a battle that included Razer and Terrorhurtz and taking the latter and Behemoth to full 3 minute fights. It was more of a cameo appearance in the last war, a problem with the drive led to an early exit at the hands of Matilda but Im glad they’ve been given another shot. I’ve seen videos of this version of Nuts in testing and the speeds the machine can get up to when spinning are quite frightening. Thats generally the main point of attack, spin up and slash everything in sight with those 2 chain flails attached to the side, but like I said we didn’t get to see that last time.
If Nuts performs as it should it will be very difficult to get hold of. Along with spinning on the spot and causing chaos the robot can also drive in any direction whilst spinning to manoeuvre into position to launch an attack. For all the daftness and fun the team have given us, this version could cause some serious damage. No seriously, I believe they can! The chain could also double up as an entanglement of sorts so spinners will be weary and flippers might struggle because of the design too, it will just keep coming back at you, rather like a modern day Pussycat. The minibots are back as well and whilst they haven’t been much use of any sort, are great fun and don the mandatory googly eyes needed for ultimate craziness. The robot is called Nuts for a reason, but don’t let that fool you.
Prediction – You know what, Im going out on a limb here. I reckon Nuts can win the heat. No I haven’t been drinking (much), just looking at its competitors, if they can stay in the arena they’ll stand a good chance. Damage wise Im still not sure what it can do to all these Hardox laden machines but they will cause problems, annoy and niggle at opponents. Nuts has also proven itself to be quite reliable when we’ve seen it and can take a good smashing around. Honestly I think will be a contender. You heard it here first….
The final contender for this heat is the only machine from last series’ grand final that we haven’t seen yet and its Concussion. The little orange underdog returns and though it looks very much like the same machine as last time, there are a number of changes. Reworked internals should help Concussion drive much better and hopefully stop it catching fire as it appeared to do in series 9. The hardox armour has been beefed up as well as the whole front end and with a brand new and heavier drum, the team are in business. It really looks like a well rounded robot now and to top it off there is now a set of lights that shine through the top armour. Excellent.
I was both surprised and curious with what Concussion achieved last time out. They did brilliantly well to reach the final but I couldn’t help but think they were quite lucky along the way. The damage caused by the drum wasn’t what I expected, I hoped it would tear things up and render them useless but the only major damage we saw was when they lopped off Heavy Metals wheel, impressive as it was. It seemed to me like there was so much more to come from Concussion and I hope we see its full potential this time. I like the modifications and feel more confident for them this time than I did last. Will be well in contention for this heat without question but I also get a feeling they will be tested more this time.
Prediction – Any robot that makes a series final is worthy of its spot and Concussion is no different. I love the way the team started, massive fans of the show who had a go and made a success of it. They’ll be in contention for this heat without a doubt. Its been so hard for me to decide that really any of my top 3 (Iron Awe, Nuts, Concussion) could win this heat. Ahh, where do I go with this one? Ok here goes; I think Concussion will come up short, a heat final and a place in the 10 way. There I’ve done it.
There we go then, 6 more amazing looking machines are ready for battle. Thanks so much for sticking with me as ever and apologies that my predictions are really quite terrible for this heat. I just genuinely have no idea who’s going to finish where. Apart from The Kegs. They’ll come last. Maybe.
As ever I’ll leave links to my other series 10 pieces below and my Twitter link, and also links to YouTube where I’m putting up live POV fights of the battles I saw at filming (after they’ve been aired of course). See below for the Carbide/Gabriel/Big Nipper fight and the newly uploaded Terrorhurtz/Vulture/Apex fight. Let me know your predictions below and be prepared for carnage. BBC2, Sunday @ 8pm. Don’t miss it.
Twitter – @jaymess24