So once again we find ourselves at the end of another war. I know folks, I hear your disappointment and I feel your pain. Alas though let us look back on the exceptionally high standard that this series has created for Robot Wars, if they carry on this trend the future looks bright. And whats more, we’re not quite done yet, so welcome one and all to my preview for the 10th wars Grand Final.
So as we know, Behemoth, Carbide, Rapid, Nuts and Magnetar will definitely be at this stage of the competition, but as is the way modern day Robot Wars works, we need a wildcard robot to determine who will be the 6th competing machine. Now in the last 2 series this has been decided by a simple judges decision and both times I think they got it right. But after series 9 I saw a few comments online about having the heat runners up fight in a melee to decide who gets that final spot, great idea I thought. But then the BBC put that idea on steroids and introduced a heat play off so we now end up with 10 robots in the arena together, no time limit, last man standing. To say I am excited for this is more than an understatement. In fact if Im being honest, I think Im more excited for the 10 way than the actual final.
I was going to do a separate piece for predictions for the 10 way but to be fair I have no idea what to expect, how to predict it and more importantly who will win. So I’ll give a little bit of background below before kicking into my predictions for the final itself. I’ll only be predicting the finishing places of the 5 robots we know are definitely in this final. One because its hard enough to say who will be the wildcard anyway and 2, whoever does get through that 10 way wont get through to the final 4 for me. As ever a huge thank you to everyone who read my Heat 5 preview and of course every other preview I’ve done this series, It really means a lot. And also as ever the 5 heat winners have all got a bigger font size as a reward for winning their heats. You’re very welcome all of you.
The 10 way Melee
So I’ll start like this then for the 10 way melee; who will win and become the sixth machine in the grand final? To be honest I think the winner of this fight should receive something, its one thing to come out of 5 rounds of an annihilator never mind win one fight in a group of 10. Maybe winning this fight will actually be harder than winning the title! Just to clarify the competing machines are Sabretooth, Apollo, Eruption, Big Nipper, Terrorhurtz, Track-tion, Iron Awe 6, Concussion, Expulsion & Thor. What a line up of teams that is and each one of them has something to show in this fight. Some of my favourite ever robots are in this battle such as Apollo, Thor, Terrorhurtz, Eruption and Sabretooth, I really appreciate what Big Nipper and Iron Awe have done for robotic combat in the last 15 years or so, the improvements to Concussion mark them down as a serious contender here and then theres Expulsion & Track-tion flying the flags for the school teams and what an experience this will be for them. Every single one of them is well in contention for this and the experience will be next to none.
So a winner? I can throw in some favourites? Lets see, Apollo, Eruption or Thor. Thats how I see this going. But who’s truly going to win?
I haven’t got a clue. Seriously, non whatsoever, it could be any of them. Who can predict how this fight will even go? I’d say at least one will end up out of the arena, one will be in 2 or more parts, and at least 3 will end up in the pit with one of them having driven down there themselves. And maybe a giant chicken will jump in the arena with John Cena and start kicking the crap out of everyone with 3 plastic swords and a unicorn hide. Who knows? I do know one thing though…… Its going to be sensational.
I think its only right that I start this off with Behemoth, that robot has been around almost as long as I have. We’re quite similar as well; I haven’t had much luck, not won many fights and thrown a few wobblys myself in the warzone (the robot people, not the team…). Nevertheless Behemoth succeeded this time in making it out of the heat and in doing so gave us, I think, the best fight in Robot Wars since Chaos 2/Wild Thing in series 5. That fight against Apollo had everything for me and at such a fast tempo but we were still able to keep up with what was happening. Great stuff.
Behemoth has always been a good machine, well built and designed and has evolved over the years to become what it is today and the fact it is still able to make a final needs to be applauded. But what of its chances in this final? Well it will still cause problems and be one for the old school fans and certainly put up a good show. I can’t really see Behemoth winning, but they should be top 4. A reunion with either Carbide or Nuts is on the cards and those fights might no go the way they did last time either. Its such a tough final to predict and to be fair for all of the spoilers BBC have shown in their little highlight sequences at the start and end of every show, there is nothing for the final which I am very pleased about, but currently I have no idea what the starting 3 way fights are. Either way Behemoth can flip, push, and create problems for any robot on their day but whatever the outcome, its great to see them performing at this level.
Heat Prediction – 2nd
Final Prediction – 4th
Lets not beat around the bush here; Nuts are the underdogs going into this final but once again are very worthy of their place. The machine is a weapon in itself put beautifully into motion in order the smash into opponents and render them immobile. The disembowelment of Androne was a wonderful sight, it was like Nuts slit its throat and all the gory innards were exposed. Lovely. They smashed out Concussion’s wheel in the first fight and caused problems for them, and yes whilst Concussion sort of caused their own downfall in that heat final, they couldn’t get hold of Nuts or get anywhere near the body for that matter, a bit like how Gabriel works. Nuts has always been a good robot and another one of those to have evolved. I just wish it would have worked properly in series 9, how that could have been different.
And so they find themselves in a grand final and whilst we’ve sort of grown to know Nuts as a ‘joke’ robot, I hear a lot of admiration from other roboteers about how technically brilliant the robot is. The meltybrain technology inside is not only fantastically named but is the brain child of Rory from the team. I really like that and makes Nuts achievements more impressive for me. Imagine creating a new piece of tech and having it work to this level. Yes it took a bit of trial and error to get to this point but its still testament to the team. Chances in the final? They’ll be there or there about and it will be interesting how its gets on with a flipper. I love this robot but it might get found out more in this final. Either way how good is it to see them at this point? And I predicted them to win the heat too so I’ve done my bit.
Heat Prediction – 1st
Final Prediction – 5th
So by this point we’ve established who my top 3 are, and Rapid is one of them. Though it may be the same sort of machine as in series 9, the performance was miles ahead in this series. Looks lower and more manoeuvrable to me and is aesthetically pleasing. The first round melee was dominated by Rapid as was its 2nd round fight, where they threw Track-tion out of the arena for the second time to set a new Robot Wars record for the shortest ever fight. The fight against Terrorhurtz was one of my favourites of the series, but good use of arena hazards helped them there. Thats what i meant about the manoeuvrability, Rapid was very well controlled throughout and were well aware of everything around them. The use of the house robots, floor flipper and spikes was very impressive; thats what they’re for in the arena. Easily one of the most impressive machines of the series.
People criticise Rapid for its price and I, admittedly, was one of those people. That was until I heard an interview with Josh in the Inside The Bot podcast (long-time listener, first time mentioner) . The £25K price tag slapped on Rapid is not just construction for the machine, it is the entire cost of production, building and hours worked for everyone involved. Apparently most machines cost a lot more than stated because of these factors. Perhaps Rapid’s is a bit higher then most and thats why it was made a big deal out of on TV. It was great to hear that from the horses mouth, not just about Rapid, but every other machine too. People criticised Josh too and whilst part of me can see why, I don’t feel the same. He seems a good lad and a very competitive soul which is what most roboteers are anyway, he fits right in. The hard work may well pay off here and I initially had Rapid down as top 2 but then the last heat happened, and maybe Magnetar could throw a spanner in those works. I’m predicting Rapid for 3rd in this championship, but likewise I wouldn’t be surprised to see them win. A standout improver from series 9.
Heat Prediction – 1st
Final Prediction – 3rd
Oh Magnetar. How dare you sit there all innocent looking as beautiful as you do? You’re a monster. An absolute monster of a machine. And I couldn’t be more happier. Magnetar and Thor are probably my 2 favourite robots in this series and even that didn’t stop me physically cheering and punching the air when this machine won its heat final. I’ve always wanted it to do well ever since the first time I laid eyes on the series 8 Pulsar and even though it got to the final that series, the full potential hadn’t been properly unlocked. Pulsar mark 2 saw to that a little bit more but was unreliable and the evolution into this machine is something quite special. Push To Exit, immobilised with pretty much one hit, same with Expulsion and even thought Thor took a bit more taking down, the hits from the 8000 rpm drum were astonishing. Honestly I don’t think we’ve seen much like this since the arrival of Carbide, and I still marvel at what that can produce.
I could literally talk about Magnetar all day but to avoid awkward questions, I’ll just talk about its chances in the final. Many talk about someone coming along and beating Carbide. Magnetar could be it. Low enough to get under the current champs and strong enough to resist a hit or two. The one worry for me is the wheels and when I was thinking where to place every machine in this final, I kept think about Pulsar’s very first fight in series 8 where Ironside destroyed a wheel with its bar. That could well repeat should the two machines meet here, which is very likely. Like Rapid, Magnetar could win this series and I wouldn’t be surprised. I’d be happier if it was Magnetar but theres this little niggle gnawing away saying to me that the current power of Carbide is till too much for the current power of Magnetar.
Heat Prediction – 1st
Final Prediction – 2nd
So I’m tipping Carbide to win again. They were always going to one of the favourites going into the competition and I haven’t seen anything yet to disprove that. I’ll attempt to explain my thinking in just a sec but before that lets reminisce in what the current champions have done so far this series. Now that fight with Gabriel was epic. I was there for that fight and it was made to look as good on TV as it was in the audience. But it hurt Carbide and a lot of work was needed after. No that you’d have noticed. Aftershock and Eruption, two robots that Carbide beat in its title year were dispatched with ease. Given the standard of robot in Carbide’s heat (and I’m talking Gabriel, Big Nipper and Crackers N Smash as well) I’m actually amazed they didn’t struggle through that more. The fight with Aftershock was pretty much the same as series 9, albeit without the wall modification and the Eruption fight lasted even less time than the final of said series. Its a phenomenal achievement and whilst robots have moved on from series 9 to 10, it seems they still can’t live with the power that Carbide is dishing out.
Now here’s the weird part. I’m putting Carbide to win this series but I don’t think they’ll do it. Yep I know that sounds strange, but me and my brain seem sure that Carbide won’t make it the double. But I can’t say who will stop them. Will they be tested? Yes, like never before. Will they be beaten? Again yes probably, but I don’t see anybody stepping up to that plate in this final just yet. Its a really strange one and forgive if I’m coming across as your average drunken football fan but what Carbide has done in the last 3 series means they have to be favourites, no? I’m 60% sure Carbide will win, but 40% is still a bit number. But who can actually step up to the task?
So there we go, there are my thoughts on this final. And I must say having just written all of that, I’m not impressed by the quality of this blog. I have no idea what I’ve just said! I don’t think I’ve got all of my thinking out there and made a whole lot of sense with it. I apologise for that, but I hope it was entertaining. I think what I’ve proven is that this final is incredibly difficult to call and thats not even including the winner of the 10 way. Chaos!
I’m taking pride from this series regardless though, as I have correctly predicted 4 out of 5 heat winners this time. For me thats amazing because I’ve averaged about 2 in each of the last 2 series, which is quite frankly shocking. Either or, thank you very, very much for sticking with me in this bumper blog of mine. Feel free to check out my Twitter and YouTube page (links below), where you’ll find battles from this series from my view in the audience on the latter. I think I’ve got 5 on there now and they’re all first round melee’s; I didn’t see any results after those! Theres also links to my other preview pieces this series plus a special one on my experience at filming. Be sure to clear your schedule or set up your series links for 8pm on BBC 2 on Sunday night. It’s going to be an absolute belter.
Twitter – @jaymess24
YouTube – Jaymess24