Hello! We’re back! Did you enjoy the Tennis??? Nope, I didn’t watch it either but its ok, normal service shall be resumed this week as we get back to Series 10 of Robot Wars and in a way, I noticed one positive about it being replaced last week. It was the amount of outrage I saw on Twitter throughout the week and sarcastic comments being posted (yes, I did that as well), which shows a massive wave of support for this great show of ours. People like that is on and its great to see its making an impact how it used to. So yea, cheers guys for all your abuse directed to the BBC!
But like I said, normal service is resumed this week and we now have one more heat before the final which will include that epic 10 way fight. Some old favourites this week and not a single sign of a newcomer to the competition so expect high levels of combat and upgraded designs ready to dazzle in the warzone. Once the episode has aired I will again be posting videos of the first round melees on YouTube that I saw live and yes, I said melees pleural. I have videos of both first round fights from this heat so theres an extra bonus for you all for being so good whilst the net hitters took over our screens. Right, lets crack on.
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.
We start with a machine that I didn’t think we’d see again so soon after its demolition at the hands of Carbide last time. I’m glad Coyote is back though. A lovely looking robot based on an animal, which is something we don’t see much of these days and despite this being the same sort of design as last time, I think this version of Coyote looks much better and sturdier than before. Biggest difference this time is the armour, of which there is not much of. Copper pipework surrounds the wheels which is an interesting choice. I’d guess it is lighter than standard armour so there more room to play about with the weight limit for the drive and the weapon. It does make Coyote stand out a bit more though and prevents the wheels being fully exposed which, as we’ve seen many times before, is not a clever idea.
The chainsaw remains on the back to act as the tail of the beast and whilst it wasn’t too effective last time, I still think its a decent choice of weapon should they be able to get it in the right position. A chainsaw should be able to slice quite nicely into HDPE armour that is used on many robot these days, but again manoeuvring it into position is possibly the hardest part. The main action is at the front though with those huge Coyote jaws ready to snap up any victim that it can catch. It has the same sort of power as last time and just looks a bit more complete for this war, more effective, better chance to grab and crush other robots, mmmm lovely. Oh and keep and eye out for Roadrunner, the minibot who has come along to help its big brother out, a nice addition. A good looking machine again from Coyote, I hope it does well.
Prediction – Coyote should well be in the head to heads but I think they’ll have to go through redemption to get there. Maybe its still lacking that killing instinct needed and whilst it could be very effective, could struggle to find that knockout blow. Seems to be a robot that will need the judges more to win fights.
Another machine Im happy to see back and one I’d hoped we’d see much better from last time. Alas it was not to be and Hobgoblin has been given another chance, though it was initially a reserve robot for the series. I still like the look of the weapon, still defined as an ‘egg beater’ weapon weighing around 20 kg. Its a weapon I’ve seen on a few featherweights but so far, Hobgoblin is the only heavyweight robot we’ve seen equipped with one. A bit like Coyote, Hobgoblin looks pretty much the same as last time though there are a few differences. Gone is the front wedge in a bold move, which allows the weapon to make direct contact with an opponent instead of having them ride up the robot. Downside to that is a higher ground clearance, so flippers could find their way under more easily. A couple of castor wheels have appeared on top too, presumably to make the robot invertable, as the self righting didn’t go as planned in series 9.
It’s little changes like those that shows those people (most importantly the Robot Wars production team) that robots that didn’t get the rub of the green last time, deserve another chance. Hobgoblin is unique in the fact that it has a weapon that no one else in the competition has and though we haven’t really seen what it can do yet, its still worth finding out its potential. The purple and green colour scheme makes it stand out too and adds great aesthetics. Its a tidy robot and one that I can’t wait to see fight again.
Prediction – Theres always a ‘but’ with me….. I fear Hobgoblin might be pushed to one side again this time. It’s a great design and I really like it but (there it is again) I just cant see it winning too much. Its nearly the same as last time and maybe needs refining a little more before it becomes a contender. But if we at least get to see what the weapon is capable of I’ll be happy.
I honestly don’t know what to make of the new Expulsion. The version in the last series got taken apart by MR Speed Squared but it did have a really interesting concept with the weapon, where it could spin clockwise or anti-clockwise depending on what sort of damage the team wanted to be caused. Its been improved on and now the 4 point blade has been reduced to 2 and placed on an entirely new machine. The initial look of Expulsion has constantly been reminding me of Bodyhammer (ha, remember them?) in its shape and design. But (getting paranoid everytime I say this now) is it out of place in the modern day wars? The wheels stick out the back so it can run the right way up (which is a good start) and if it falls onto its back, but that awkward kind of shape; it makes the robot look a little top heavy. What if it falls onto its sides or flat onto the blade? Just looks like theres more cons than pros in this design.
Of course this is just from first glance. Many times people (usually me) have looked at a robot, said it had no chance only for it to blitz everyone. Whats that, Carbide only has a bar spinner? They didn’t used to be very good…. Yea ok mate. Pulsar can get up to 9000 rpm? Impossible, nothing can go that fast… Well it happened. These machines are tried and tested so for all my nit-picking, I don’t think teams would put a robot into the arena that has so many issues. Unless its Overdozer. Still got no idea what those guys were on when they built that.
Prediction – Technically this version of Expulsion is better in every way than the last. Faster, more powerful, better armoured, this group of students have put together a much improved machine. Again as with so many robots in this series, I like the design but part of me is still doubting the ability. Is it a world beater? Not yet. Is it a heat winner? Still not quite. A battle winner, quite possibly. But it will have to be one hell of a performance for me; I still think there are better machines in this heat.
Push To Exit
I love a front hinged flipper. Firestorm was my favourite from back in the day so I was naturally excited to see Push To Exit appear in series 9 under the guidance of Team S-Tek. And so I was also naturally gutted that they had a power failure in round 1 and went out. So once again in this heat a robot that fell early before gets another chance to shine and once again its the same sort of robot. PTE was very fast and aggressive last time but was one of the many robots to die very quickly in series 9, so like Hobgoblin Im glad the production team have given them another go. Low wedge shape with a flipper that throws enemies forward as opposed to throwing them in the air, strong armour and a very experienced team. The formula is there for this to be successful.
I’m not too sure the robot looked like it did in that picture when it first showed up. There a whole host of scratches and dents and even a welded part on the front corner. Was it taken after some fights? Looks like it stood up to a lot if so. There is entanglements used on PTE for this series as well; a set of ropes are attached to the side stringing from the front of the robot to the back so they’re well up to date with the rules. Could cause a few upsets this time you know. Should everything work you’d like to think they can get under most opponents. I always get that feeling that forward hinged flippers are lower to the ground than other robots in order to drive that wedge under to activate the full force of the flipper. If thats the case, as Firestorm proved many times over, not much can get in PTE’s way.
Prediction – Should definitely at least be in contention for the 10 way. Might have to make it through redemption again but I’d thoroughly expect to see them in the head to heads. Its too good not to be, all the combinations of speed, power and experience are there and I think a lot of people, me included will be disappointing if PTE leaves this series with another 2 losses to its name. Its too good for that.
The latest version of Thor, again, isn’t too different from the last one, but whats different here as opposed to Hobgoblin or Coyote is that Thor doesn’t need to be. Its a very well built machine and has become one of my favourites since the revival. Very quick and beautifully controlled by Jason and now features a lower front wedge that sort of acts as a scoop as well. The front wedges are still interchangeable to combat different kinds of robot but the one equipped here looks like it can handle anything; being low enough to get under flippers and being strong enough to counter spinners. And once again its a great looking thing.
That axe has become one of the best in the wars since series 8 and though it might not be as powerful as say, Terrorhurtz, the way it is driven is second to none. I honestly think Jason is the best driver in the competition and even if he isn’t, he’s built a robot in such a way that it allows easy movement and control across the floor. Thor is so poised across the arena and sticks to it like glue. Rarely have we seen a slide or a twitch in Thor’s movement and that deserves credit, especially at the speeds it can reach. Since series 8 Thor’s name has always stood out on the battleboard and has turned into one of those robots you expect to do well, rather than causing the odd surprise. This series will be no different; Thor will be at the sharp end again.
Prediction – For me, Thor is almost a guarantee to be in the heat final whilst avoiding redemption. Straight into the final? I dont think so in this case, as I’ve picked my heat winner already. On that basis they’ll be in the 10 way and very few people would bet against Thor there. I think it’d be one of the best machines in it.
Wow. Wow, wow, wow. What a stunning thing this is. I’ve always been a huge fan of Ellis Ware and co, and Pulsar but this is another level. I even went as far as predicting Pulsar to win series 8 and now it has evolved into this bronze-clad monster. Now, as good as Pulsar has been in the past, the obvious issue was reliability. Team Ranglebots are always pushing the boundaries of technology, trying to pack so much into a relatively small space. Pulsar has been destructive yes, but equally as much to itself as its opponents. Magnetar has taken the core elements and ‘the good bits’ from Pulsar, developed them and now we might actually see everything that Pulsar promised in terms of destructive power and slick movement without all the smokescreens it used to produce. This is genuinely one of the best looking machines I’ve ever seen.
So we’ve established the main changes are internally but don’t take anything away from that new drum; it still has a ridiculously high spin speed of around 8500 rpm and weighs just over 20 kg. That will cause a mess of opponents when it hits. Heavily armoured in hardox, Magnetar’s speed has actually been reduced from what we saw from Pulsar in the last war but that should allow for better control. In what is effectively Pulsar 3, it looks, and sounds like this is the one. This is the robot thats going to put the team into the big time. Obviously I’m being incredibly biased as this is possibly my favourite ‘new’ machine since the reboot but likewise I also think that if all goes to plan, this could be a world beater.
Prediction – I think its pretty obvious what I’m going to say here. Yep, Magnetar are just about to get a very prestigious title; they are the only machine since I started doing these previews in series 8, that I’m predicting to win their heat in all 3 of those series so far. Inevitably that means it will probably catch fire and go out in round 1 but even that would be impressive. No seriously, I can see Magnetar in the final and moreover, I could see the machine being top 2 in the whole contest….
So there we go, thats heat 5. As ever thanks for sticking with me and feel free to let me know what you link in the comments or on my Twitter page, which I’ll leave a link to at the bottom. I’m also leaving a link to my (not very impressive) YouTube account to which I have fights uploaded from my view in the audience featuring the like of Carbide, Concussion and Terrorhurtz. Once the episode has gone out check back there a couple of days after, because I have 2 fights to upload for this heat which will be the first round melees. I thank you once again and remind you that Robot Wars activates at 8 on Sunday night. With no bloody Tennis on either. Great stuff.
Twitter – @jaymess24
YouTube – Jaymess24