Robot Wars Series 10 – Heat 5 Preview

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


Robot Wars Series 10 – Heat 1 Preview

Robot Wars Series 10 – Heat 2 Preview

Robot Wars Series 10 – Heat 3 Preview

Robot Wars Series 10 – Heat 4 Preview

Robot Wars – My Filming Experience & The Series So Far




















Robot Wars – My Filming Experience & The Series So Far

Can you hear that? No, that? Listen more closely…. Yes folks that is the sound of me being a real smug geezer in saying that Nuts would win the last heat and it actually coming true. What a performance that was and I tell you what, I reckon Nuts can cause a few more upsets before this series is over.

So welcome along to what would be my preview for heat 5 of Robot Wars 10, only that this week its not on. No, once again, just like in the last series, the BBC have decided to take our beloved robot smashing show off the air to play some really crap sport (granted Tennis is better than Golf). I mean why BBC, why? Its not like you have 3 other channels to put it on….. BBC 4 there you go, nobody watches that. Tennis fits perfectly into that channel, well Golf does anyway. I suppose in one way it elongates the series a bit… But no, I need my fix and Im sure all of you do too. So that why Im trying to keep spirit of this series alive by publishing this article of the series so far, plus a few odds and ends from my trip to the filming in May.


So far this series we have had some fantastic battles and I mean really good battles. I love it when something puts on such a spectacle as, for example, series 9 and you think, ‘Nothing can possibly top that’, only for another show/series to do exactly that. The new format is working a treat. Kind of reminds me of the series 5 & 6 semi-finals with the losers melee in, giving machines another chance at glory. The flow of the show is so much better too and thats something that I didn’t even notice was ‘wrong’ in the last 2 series. For all my moaning about it being taken off for a week for sports I dont like, the Beeb really have done a good job since bringing Robot Wars back in 2016. Dara & Angela have slotted into their roles perfectly now and are a worthy fit for this modern day wars.

And again when you think things cant get better they’ll be a 10 way robot melee in a few weeks time. Cannot wait for that and already it has some frightening robots in. Apollo, Sabretooth, Eruption, Big Nipper, Track-tion, Terrorhurtz, Concussion and Iron Awe are to be joined by 2 more machines from heat 5 to form one hell of battle. But what of the finalists already there? Well for me Carbide are still the favourites. They’ve beaten Behemoth & Nuts before and whilst Rapid look like the machine most likely to cause the champs some problems, I still think the ridiculous power of that spinning bar will win out. Of course this is dependent on who makes it through from the final heat, but as I’ve already mentioned, we have wait an extra week to find that out (thanks BBC again).


Enough about me waffling on though, below I have put some of my own pictures from the filming of Robot Wars in Glasgow in May. Now, at the ripe old age of 27 this was my first ever trip to Scotland and its a great place, so much so that me and my bonnie lass went back for a trip in September and have plans to go again next March. Of course the main focus in May was for Robot Wars and when you hear that the show is filming in a warehouse in Glasgow, it literally is in a warehouse in Glasgow. Honestly, you could have stored planes in there if you wanted. Theres a plot of around 30 ish warehouses and Robot Wars was filmed in the one at the very back. Not much of a problem for me, I was driving anyway.

You dont get to see the arena straight away, instead you exchange your tickets for wristbands and are kept in a marquee type thing with all the usual requirements such as food, drink and merch stalls. Block by block you are then escorted into the warehouse to take your seat and thats when you first see the arena itself.


This was my first look. As we were the second session of the whole filming I had to wonder why they were working on the arena in the first place. I now know the crew were repairing the damage caused by Aftershock in its first round melee. Its was really cool to get an answer to that when the second heat aired and I was full of surprise and joy when I saw what had finally caused the crew all that repair time (in the nicest way possible). When the arena was repaired (something that happened a few times whilst I was there), the first fight I saw was the Carbide/Gabriel/Big Nipper fight and what a way that was to break your live Robot Wars virginity. As you may know I recorded that fight and the link to that and other fights I’ve uploaded are on my YouTube channel below.



Given the fact that you are there to watch a show, but more importantly to film a television series, the mood and the atmosphere around the place was very relaxed. There was no real strict rules apart from the usual, ‘Dont wander off into places your not supposed to be’ rule. It was a very nice place to be in and the fact that you get called to go back into the pits is an amazing experience. Granted you dont get full access but you get a sense of the size of the place and the operation involved. The size of the robots was no surprise to me; I’ve seen them many times before but its still an environment I just cant get bored of. I didn’t make it onto TV during our surround shots with Vulture. That honour went to my better half, as I was sandwiched between 2 rather tall gentlemen and me and my 5 ft 3 self unable to see much, though Dara did seem to have quite a small head from where I was standing…..


I did end up in a couple of shots but it wasnt about that. Overall I saw 7 fights and each of them were brilliant in their own way. This is a scene that I have been following for 20 years now and I was so excited when I was there to a ridiculous level for someone my age. It was just an amazing experience and one I definitely want to happen again. Im glad I can finally put some of these pictures up and show you what I saw. Below is one of my favourites. In the Terrorhurtz/Apex/Vulture fight there was a humorous moment where Terrorhurtz knocked Shunt on the way into the arena, leading the House Robot to retaliate and a little game of chase developed before the fight.



So there we go, that was my way of keeping this Robot Wars train going whilst some people hit a bright yellow ball back and forth to each other over a bet (yep, cheers BBC). I leave you with the news though that when heat 5 finally does air on the box I will be uploading a bonus 2 fights from my audience view instead of my regular one that I have been. You can see the ones I’ve put up on my YouTube channel. Well worth watching. Until then watch this space for my Heat 5 preview to come this time next week. Feel free to leave me some comments about your opinions on the series so far, or even about your experience if you went to see the filming. Keep busy over the weeks break; we’ll get through it together.

Twitter – @jaymess24

Robot Wars Series 10 – Heat 1 Preview

Robot Wars Series 10 – Heat 2 Preview

Robot Wars Series 10 – Heat 3 Preview

Robot Wars Series 10 – Heat 4 Preview

Robot Wars Series 10 – Heat 4 Preview

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.


The Kegs


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.


Androne 4000


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.


Nuts 2


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

Carbide/Gabriel/Big Nipper POV Fight

Terrorhurtz/Vulture/Apex POV Fight

Robot Wars Series 10 – Heat 1 Preview

Robot Wars Series 10 – Heat 2 Preview

Robot Wars Series 10 – Heat 3 Preview

Robot Wars Series 10 – Heat 3 Preview

You know, when you look through the years of robotic combat in the UK, the most obvious thing you see is evolution. Evolution in technology, power, the machines and safety. But the core element is still there and despite us being in the 10th domestic UK championship, this is shaping up to be one of the best series yet. And top marks as ever to everyone’s favourite commentator Jonathan Pearce, he was well on form in heat 2 of this series. For future series the BBC need to throw everything they can at him to make sure he stays. He is Robot Wars.

So moving on from the carnage of heat 2 into heat 3. Not so many big names in this heat, in fact none of the competitors here have gone past round 2 in the rebooted series, so we’ll definitely have a another new name in the final. As ever a huge thank you to everyone who read my heat 2 preview and for the re-tweet by Robot Wars Mania, as we delve into another piece here. I appreciated I’m using a lot of pictures of Killalot in my title images, I’m really struggling to find ones I haven’t used yet! Never mind, lets get cracking.

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.




Apex returns for this war sporting quite a different profile than in the last series. Although the robot itself is pretty much the same, the overall appearance looks completely different due to that new bar. Its a strange looking thing and one wonders how it will even work to good effect. I suppose the different angles and sides mean that it can make different kinds of contact such as punching holes in an opponent if it hits with one side or slashing them if it lands with the other. Apex also has a nice dark blue paint job too, something that will make it stand out in the arena, I like it.

Though the potential was there last time it only took one hit from Pulsar to stop it dead in the first round. It all depends on that bar, which by the way is interchangeable with the one we saw last time around. Its still a weighty piece of kit and though it takes time to spin up, it will do some big damage when it hits and this gives Apex a very good chance in this heat. Apex can also self right and this has been thoroughly defended by the team when it was questioned after the last war. This could be the crucial factor that keeps them in contention as anything that is hit from a spinning bar with that weight is going to be given some trouble.

Prediction – Very much in contention for the 10 way, in fact I’d say they’re favourites to get there. But will it be through the heat final or the play off? I’ll have to go with the play off. A couple of machines can cause headaches for Apex in this heat and also, is it reliable enough?




Yet another brilliantly designed, different machine enters the warzone for the first time this series. Enter Bucky the Robot, a machine designed on a set of wind-up chattering teeth! Its a great looking thing and one I’ve been looking forward to seeing for a while. I’ve been following the team with their build on Twitter and its great when you can see a robot start from scratch and make it here. The design is pretty much what you’d expect, a great big clamping jaw that comes down and attempts to bite other competitors. The little wind up key on the side is a nice feature too and Bucky is well in with a shout of being the best deigned robot of the series.

But what of its potential? Well its not really a tried and tested weapon so its hard to say. The concept is good, grab hold of an opponent and do what you wish with them, but are they going to struggle with that, is that wedge too steep? Lessons will be learned from this war as they always are with new machines but I like seeing something different and Bucky is certainly one I’ve been waiting to see for a while. Will entertain and will certainly give it a good go.

Prediction – You know, I genuinely think Bucky can make a real go of this and be in contention for a spot in the 10 way. Might not make it but I reckon theres at least one win in them in this very open heat. And keep an eye out for the mascot too. Not something you see all the time with teams, but it’s a great touch for extra entertainment.




Even though there are only 30 robots in this series I surprise myself with the amount of times I’m saying things like, great design or, something new. So in a way, the organisers have got it right, because here comes another one. Vulture is a neat looking machine and like Bucky, has a weapon that is not a regular in Robot Wars. The spinning bar on the back goes at around 6000 rpm and it sits on the end of that arm which also comes a full 180 degrees over to strike an opponent. To be honest its a concept I’ve thought about many times and surprised its not been seen more. Reminds me of early versions of Dead Metal and it will be interesting to see how it performs.

One also assumes it can self right with that arm which as we know is an essential in this era of robotic combat. But what of the damage potential? The disc/bar is relatively lightweight but its strike rate is high, even more so on the moving arm. Strong Hardox armour on the front as well which looks very robust and should be low enough to get under others. A strong first attempt this and again, like Bucky, Im very interested to see how Vulture gets on.

Prediction – Vulture is another great idea and is another example that there are some really good ideas for fighting robots out there and its great we get to see them shown off. But what about its potential? Well Im not too sure, something is niggling away at me saying something is missing. Maybe I’m concerned that the weapon wont be effective enough and I think Vulture will struggle. But as I say, this is a very open heat and can easily cause an upset. Either way this machine is a very good starting block on which the team can build on for the future.




Traction, tracks, movement, traction, track…tion. Ahh I see what they did! Very clever. At first I found myself chanting, ‘Are you Suicidal Tendencies in disguise?’ like some Ginsters eating football fan but I can confirm this is a brand new machine. We don’t see many, if any tracked robots these days with most teams opting for the speed and simpleness of wheels. There are benefits with tracks though, high levels of grip are good for pushing and can be tougher than most wheels, however they are very slow and many tracked machines don’t tend to have a high top speed. They are also exposed on nearly all sides which a nice target for an axe or some chattering teeth.

The weapon looks mean as well. A big crusher on the front which, again, has the potential to cause some serious damage. The crusher actually looked to me like the one you used on your own robot design for Arenas of Destruction on the PS2 & PC from way back when (shout out to those who played that). We also have our first school based team for this war and the mentor in this case is none other than Will Thomas from Aftershock, who put together a club for some of his students to build this machine. Great stuff.

Prediction – I still like the idea of school based teams and I wish that sort of opportunity was available when I was in school, though up until now none of them has gone too far in Robot Wars. I’m not sure much will change here with Track-tion competition wise, but the experience for this team in building and competing will be second to none. They’ll enjoy it every step of the way, but I am expecting an early exit in this instance. As ever though, I’m always willing to be proved wrong.




The most well known robot in this heat by a mile, and the one with the most pedigree returns for an eight series in succession for Team Hurtz. Terrorhurtz is one of my favourite ever robots, a revolutionary design with its flat, bladed axe that strikes with around a ton of force. Though it is well engineered and has one of the most respected roboteers around with John Reid, Terrorhurtz has rarely blossomed in UK championships, especially since the reboot and has still only once been beyond the heats. That was the amazing run in series 6 where only Razer could stop them but despite the reputation and being the only machine to beat Carbide without the judges getting involved, Terrorhurtz has gone out in the last 2 wars at the head to head stage. A shame for such a good machine.

Can it they turn that around this time though? The armour on the front is very, very strong and the only major visible damage I’ve ever seen inflicted on it was against Aftershock last time. And this time its even stronger so should withstand even more. The axe is ridiculously powerful too. Its about time Terrorhurtz had some more success and now is the chance for them to make it so.

Prediction – Hugely experienced in this heat of relative newcomers and is well poised for a heat win. But once again I have to stick the knife in. For the last 2 series I have predicted that Terrorhurtz will win its heat. This time I’m not going to predict that for two reasons. One, Im sick of being wrong. Two, I also genuinely don’t think it will. Might be reliability, might just be a bit of bad luck. It just hasn’t happened for Terrorhurtz yet. Either way they should definitely be in the 10 way.




So, Rapid. What can I say about Rapid? Well I remember what I said about it in the last war. Yes for those who follow me you may recall back to the time when I gave Rapid the worst robot ‘award’ in the last series. Why? Because if something is too complicated to fix, how can it be any good? That was my logic. That and maybe the fact that it cost more to build than my annual salary, and for it to be irreparable after 2 fights means it was going for £12,500 a fight. Yea, not great.

Still, I don’t want to incur any team wraths or curses they may rein down on me, and I’m glad to see it back all shiny and gold. Its a nice looking machine, and I especially like the polycarb on the back that shows all the (highly expensive) workings inside, a bit like Chaos 2. Rapid still seems to be pushing for a new age of robot development, which is good. That’s what technology is for right? It lives up to its name too, top speeds of over 20 mph and very nimble. Rapid this time sports a wider front wedge to make it easier to get under other machines. That wider front wedge is gold. Probably real gold to fit in with the cost of the rest of the robot….. No, thats it. Im going to stop now. Rapid is expensive, end of. Maybe I’m just tight…

Prediction – See here’s the thing. On paper Rapid is well designed, well engineered and should go far. But the fact it had to pull out in series 9 because of that puts it at a disadvantage in some people eyes. Its not like the team have dumbed it down, its still, as  they put it, over engineered, if not more so this time. That all said, I’m actually tipping Rapid to win this heat. They should have done better last time, by a mile. They were all over Aftershock at the start of that second round fight and lessons will have been learned. Im not trying to score any brownie points or anything for the criticism last time, I just really think Rapid will come out the strongest this time around.


So there we go, 6 more fighting machines are all set to enter the arena in one of the most unpredictable heats ever. As ever I can’t wait for it, it should be brilliant. Once again thanks for sticking with me and feel free to leave any comments on your heat favourites and not so favourites. Below I’ll leave a link my Twitter page below, feel free to check that out and also links to other heat previews in this series. I’m also leaving a bonus link to YouTube where I’ve uploaded the Carbide/Gabriel/Big Nipper fight from the last heat from my view in the audience; that’s well worth checking out. In the meantime everybody stay safe, don’t do anything I would, and let battle commence on Sunday at 8.

Twitter – @jaymess24

Carbide/Gabriel/Big Nipper, POV audience fight

Robot Wars Series 10 – Heat 1 Preview

Robot Wars Series 10 – Heat 2 Preview

Robot Wars Series 10 – Heat 2 Preview

For as long as I’ve been watching Robot Wars, which is pretty much since its inception in 1998, it still never fails to excite me and amaze me. What a first heat we were treated to last Sunday night. Less fights yes, but excellent quality all round. Possibly my favourite fight of all time is Chaos 2/Wild Thing from Series 5 and having seen some amazing fights in that time, not much has come close to it. The Apollo/Behemoth fight was well up there with that, showing that this form of competition can never really die or get boring. Great stuff.

So we move into heat 2 and wow, what a draw. I also think its a quite a bad draw too. If the robots are drawn randomly into heats then fair enough, but if its set up I think this is a poor choice. If you’ve seen the draw already you’ll know what Im on about, if not you better read on! A huge thanks to everyone who took the time to read my preview piece for Heat 1, now lets keep this ball rolling. Heres my thoughts on Heat 2.

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.




The second seed (if you’re doing seedings yourself) returns with a vengeance and looking to set the record straight. Those who know Eruption from outside of Robot Wars are already aware of how good and successful this machine is. Everytime you hear or see that Eruption is fighting in a live event, chances are they’re going to win. Beautifully designed and powered to get under other robots and launch them out of the arena with a precisely timed flip, its very low and now even better armoured. Eruption couldn’t stop turfing machines out last series, matching Atomic’s record from UK 7 for the most consecutive out of arena flips.

They finished second to Carbide and the shame for them is that they are in this very same heat. Yep the top 2 have been drawn together, again. Booo. That said they probably are able to give the champions a run for their money and Eruption are definitely looking to cement their place as the best flipping robot in the UK. I would say that Carbide knocked them out relatively easily in the last war but they did with pretty much everyone, such was the power. Either way, Eruption is a machine to be feared and will be a contender in one form or another. Just depends how good the new armour plating is and if it can stand up to a beating.

Prediction – Always going to be a contender. Like I say they lost to Carbide last time and they were the only machine that Eruption wasn’t able to beat. In this draw I don’t know. Any other time you’d have Eruption nailed on as heat winners but if we’re going on form from what we’ve seen before, a heat final is definitely on the cards. I’d thoroughly expect to at least see them in the 10 way.




See what I mean? I’ve already mentioned Carbide and if we’re counting the exclusion of Ironside 3 in this series, you’ve got the top 3 in the same heat. And the other 3 robots aren’t half bad either. Ouch, and more boo’s. Nevertheless, Aftershock, a fine machine deriving from the experienced Team Shock have now reached both Grand Finals of the rebooted Robot Wars so far.

Its relatively the same looking machine, big blue spinney thing attached to a silver frame but with much tougher looking armour. I hear there are even more interchangeable discs and bars to be used too to combat certain opponents. Despite the carnage they caused last war they went out with a bit of a whimper, breaking down in 2 of its 3 head to heads in the grand final. Yes one of these was against Carbide and yes they other one was after a rebuild but I hope its can stand up to more. For me the reputation suffered a little in that final. I feel that on their day they could have beaten Ironside 3 and Eruption to take the spot in the final. Question is, will the upgrades allowed them to do that?

Prediction – Either everybody in this heat is desperately unlucky or the draw has been desperately rigged for this outcome. To have so many good robots in the same heat is almost criminal, therefore it is even more vital that every competitor in this heat wins their group battle, to avoid unnecessary extra fights. I’m not sure Aftershock can do that just because of its company. But like Eruption it still has the ability to do well and an appearance in the 10 way is definitely on.


Crackers N Smash


The brick built clusterbot returns with extra armour improvements and, hopefully, better weapons this time too. As nice as it was seeing Crackers N Smash last war, it wasn’t greatly effective to the point it went in weaponless against Carbide. On the plus side it stood up to said machine twice, with all the electrics intact. Given how hard Carbide hit in series 9, that was hugely impressive.

So what can the little bots do this time then? Well the overall weight has been reduced by some 16 kg, trimming the fat so to speak, and the armour looks to be upgraded which is bad news for spinners, given that the best of the best of them couldn’t stop this last time. Weapons wise, they’re about the same. A spinner on Smash that can go to, reportedly, 11000 rpm. In terms of speed thats almost 4 times as fast as Aftershock, but whether it can do the damage remains to be seen. Crackers is back with its flipper that can also integrate some kind of claw too, maybe to snag spinners or grab hold of opponents. Another evolution of a machine and I like the fact that clusterbots are taking off a bit more. They used to be few and far between and now we’ve had 2 in the first 2 heats. Makes things more interesting.

Prediction – Errrm, no idea, sorry! Crackers N Smash will be able to cause pests of themselves but I’m sure we’ll see them in the redemption round. The quality of the heat looks to be a little too high for them at this stage. As always I’m up for being proved wrong, but this might be a step too far for these little machines.


Big Nipper


One of my favourite machines from the live stage this and its great to see them back. Big Nipper returns from Series 8 after being an unused reserve for the last war with basically the same sort of machine. Where we’ve seen certain evolutions in this series already Big Nipper doesn’t seem to have had that much work done. The orange has gone back to a darker shade of grey and the disc is now a shining yellow. I think I actually prefer this look to the orange actually. The disc is a single tooth disc, just like Aftershock and is interchangeable with the infamous claws and the middle section still moves up and down. It’s a design I’ve always been fond of. With the claws attached they can pick up a 100 kg robot easily and drive them wherever they want and do whatever they want with. They’ve had some amazing hits on the live stage and its a shame we haven’t really seen them in the wars.

But what of the disc? It looks like the main weapon of choice these days and we didn’t really see the potential of it in the 8th wars. As I mentioned, single tooth running at about 4000 rpm but can it damage, and can it damage enough to give it a chance. Again its a wildly unlucky draw and as good as Big Nipper can be, disc or claws, I fear they may be swallowed up in this heat.

Prediction – A lowly finishing place for Big Nipper Im afraid, which I dont like to say because its such a brilliant machine. I just dont think it can cause enough damage to pretty much any competitor in this heat and all seem to have something that can counter anything this robot can do. A shame, but I hope we do get to see that weapon going well.




Now comes the robot that I own a piece of and possible the biggest robot to ever appear in the wars. Gabriel reached the heat final in series 8, narrowly missing out to Pulsar. Its great Gabriel is, with a set of interchangeable weapons that do much more damage than they look like they can. Numerous amounts of time at live event they have smashed armour plated and even squashed other machines. Designed to be so darn big that even the best flipper will struggle and you’ve got a tough bot to beat. Made completely out of high density polyethylene it can also stand up to a beating and it that is’t enough to convince you, Gabriel actually won the 2016 FRA UK championship at the live shows. That’s some achievement.

But what of it in the warzone? Well the only thing that seemed bother Gabriel last time we saw it were spinners. Both Ironside 3 and Pulsar took chunks out of those huge wheels but even then, they were still mobile. Throw them in with Aftershock and Carbide and there could be a surprise. It just depends on how many hits they can land and if they can do enough damage to their opponents as they do to Gabriel. Lets not forget the flippers as well. Even though it is ridiculously hard to flip Gabriel around, many have tried and succeeded in getting this mammoth out of the arena. It’s not invincible.

Prediction –  This is the robot in this heat that has made me rethink everything. I just have no idea how it will perform. I thoroughly expect to see them in the head to heads one way or another but what about after that? It is a Carbide killer? These and many, many more questions will be answered but man are they going to be tough to beat. They will be a few thorns in peoples sides this heat and could even go the full distance. Count this one out at your peril.




What do we need to say about Carbide? Current UK champions, number 1 seed, nailed on favourites. They won the title in probably the most dominant way since Chaos 2 all those years ago, nothing came close to it. And so as other machines improve and new pretenders come along, has Carbide still got what it takes? You know the drill, 2 wheel drive, fully invertable, massively destructive 2500 rpm spinning bar, and more power that you can shake a stick at, whatever that means. But has it moved on, and perhaps more importantly, does it need to? A few upgrades can never hurt I suppose, and in this current world of modern technology its always best to progress and never stand still. Carbide has had minor upgrades for this war but maybe nothing like the quantum leap from series 8 to series 9, but the fact they were so far ahead of everybody last time shows that they are still the machine to beat.

They’ve had 20 fights since the rebooted Robot Wars hit our screens and have won 17 of them. That’s not bad when you consider they went unbeaten in series 9. It’s a machine to marvel at and very much defines ‘new’ Robot Wars, very much becoming the pin-up machine such as Hypnodisc and Razer were back in the day. Invincible? Nobody is, but boy this comes close.

Prediction – Carbide will be given a run in this heat, no question. Just look at the high level of competition they have to compete with. I’m still going to say that Carbide will be heat winners, but they will be tested far more than at pretty much any point in the whole of last series. And just for the record, I have Carbide down to make it 2 series in a row as well.


So there we go, we’ve met all 6 of our competitors and to be honest as much as I’ve given a bit of a prediction for each of them, any of the 6 could win this heat if they are on song. Thats how close this heat is. I also think its a bit of a waste. Yes we’re going to get some insanely good fights but we’ve got the top 3 from the last wars including 3 others that are definitely not to be taken lightly and can cause an upset. I wasn’t sure how I felt about having so many good robots together but now I’ve wrote this, I’ve decided I don’t really like the idea. But hey, its not going to stop me watching it.

And as ever a thank you to everyone who read the first heat preview, it is very much appreciated. Feel free to leave me your predictions below and as ever I’ll leave a link to the last preview piece and my Twitter page, should you feel the need to keep up to date with my life. But more importantly tune into BBC2 at 8 on Sunday night. It’s sure to serve up a treat.


Twitter – @jaymess24

Robot Wars Series 10 – Heat 1 Preview

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



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



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



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



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



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



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



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




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…



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


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….




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 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.




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.




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 –   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)


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)


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)


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…..

WordPress – Jaymess24            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 – Heat 5 Preview

Welcome to heat 5 of the 9th series of Robot Wars and lets be honest, as good as the series has been so far, this is the one we’ve been waiting for isn’t it? The top 2 from series 8 find themselves in the same heat this time around. Rivalries and debate involving Apollo & Carbide will be high in this coming week but lets not forget there are 6 other machines competing here and as ever I shall pass my not so expert eye over them and try and give some predictions as to how they’ll do.

Once again I extend my thanks to everyone who viewed the heat 4 preview. I’m getting more views every week and I appreciate it a lot, keep telling your mates!

In this final heat of action we have the great, the gruesome and the just plain weird in a wide variety of robot designs. Who made you stop and look twice? Join me as I preview these stunning machines….




Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)

First up we start with Coyote, one of 6 newcomer machines in this heat. That is by far the most in this series and whilst they’d look at it and think they might have a chance, the poor souls got stuck with Apollo and Carbide. Either way it’s a chance to prove themselves and Coyote scores high here. Built by one of the brains behind PP3D there’s no disc in sight here. Coyote’s main weapon is the crusher/lifter on the front a concept I’ve always been fond of in Robot Wars used in machines like Mantis and Big Nipper. There is a second weapon in the form of a chainsaw, remember those? When was the last time we saw a chainsaw on a robot?! Brilliant. Fits in with the design of the Coyote as a Matilda type tail as well and could cause problems if it hits machines in the right place. The business end is the front though, if they get a hold of something it’s going for a ride around. I love the idea of one machine picking another one up and driving it around. I hope we get to see that.

Prediction – A nice design here on Coyote and I hope it has the power to back up the robots potential. In a heat which is very heavily Apollo and Carbide orientated I think Coyote can slip under the radar somewhat and cause some problems. I’d expect them to get to the second round here.




Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)

Rusty is another new machine competing in the 9th wars but has a bit of history like some others. Rusty is actually an upgraded version of Ceros that made a heat final in war 7. Again like most machines in this scenario the original has been sold and resold a number of times until finally it ended up with this team. It’s not a brand new machine, Ceros V2 has appeared regularly on the live stage but some tweaking was needed to make this battle ready for the warzone. Strangely though Rusty never applied to compete in this championship hence the lack of official photo like all the rest, they were simply asked to be a reserve robot and hey presto, what do you know, they were then chosen to compete. It’s not a bad machine either. Stocky with a low pressure flipper like the original Ripper and a nice rusty orange paint job to match its name. Has a decent top speed too but has a layer of aluminium armour which in this day and age could be classed as relatively thin. Still at least it’s not made out of wood.

Prediction – Nice to see this machine back, it’s had some great fights in live shows and hopefully it will get to show what it can do. Reliability has been a factor though and will need to take the knocks whether it’s getting smashed around by spinners or flung into the air by flippers. Having seen the draw I’d predict Rusty to go out in the first round but only because it’s in the same fight as Coyote.


Crackers N Smash


Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)

If theres some thing that have been missing since Robot Wars came back it’s the entry of walkers and clusterbots. At last one has arrived in the shape of 50 kg Crackers and 60 kg Smash (altogether weighing 110 kg, classing it as one machine). There have been a few clusterbots over the years but only Gemini has really stood out and so far, have been the most successful. Crackers N Smash are different straight away to any other machine of its type because the 2 robots have different weapons. Whereas your Geminis had 2 flippers and your Black N Blues both had drums, this latest pair have both; Crackers is armed with a lifting arm and Smash with a drum spinner. What a great idea, double the chance to win. Well actually that’s not always been the case. The rules have been pretty inconsistent on clusterbots before. The original ruling was that is one half of the machine is immobilised, the whole robot is out due to both clusters being counted as one machine. Later on that changed to if one was immobilised, the other other could fight on and potentially win the battle. I’ve seen numerous sources for this and each say something different for this series, so if somebody could clear that up, that would be great. Either way I hope we get to see what this can do. Too many robots have been taken out quite early this series without showing anything off and who knows where the next clusterbot will emerge from.

Prediction – The potential is massive here and there is definitely a space in round 2 up for grabs. It just depends on which ruling is being used here and at the time of writing I’m unsure. The 50% rule could be quite damaging for such comparative light machines and one could be disposed of quite quickly. Always a great concept clusterbots, but maybe the risk is too great sometimes. I can’t wait to hear the arena announcer say this one as well.


Ms Nightshade


Most Recent War  -N/A (Newcomer)

Well would you look at this. I’m going to show my age here but does anybody remember The Wizard and The Witch from years gone by? How similar does this look? Ms Nightshade is not The Wizard or The Witch though, instead she is her own independent machine. Constructed by an all girl team this boasts to being possibly the tallest robot in the competition. Some big statements by the team too, the whole cone structure opens out into 6 pieces which they say can then be used as ramming spikes, axes or a full body spinner. They also say Ms Nightshade cannot be flipped and has the ability to escape the pit. Stop the competition everyone, we have a winner! Seriously though, sounds like a great design. How effective it will be, well we’ll have to wait and see. It’s quite hard to predict because it’s not like anything we’ve seen before. I hope it works. We’ve seen people enter machines with new ideas and weaponry before and it just hasn’t worked. Niterider springs to mind straight away. One things for sure, we won’t forget about it.

Prediction – Because it’s different (and I like that) and because I haven’t really selected one yet, I’m giving Ms Nightshade my underdog of the week star this time. I don’t think she’s going to topple all comers, hey might not even get out of the first round. But she’s grown on me. I really didn’t think much of Ms Nightshade when I first saw her and now I love the innovation. A round 2 appearance would be fantastic and I’ll be chuffed if she gets through. But that might be a bit of a stretch. The fact I’ve been referring to Ms Nightshade as she must show I’m deadly serious.




Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)

Another one fresh off the live stage for all those fans comes the upgraded version of the old Mighty Mouse. This one has been fighting for quite a few years now and has much more power and style than Mighty Mouse with a full pressure flipper taking up most of the robots body. MeggaMouse is still owned by Trevor Wright but as he is busy with Ironside 3, Team Tilly have the controls this time around. It’s a good machine when it gets going, small and quick just like its predecessor but does have lovely exposed tyres. MeggaMouse has brought a friend this time too in the shape of Charles, an invertable wedge of cheese a bit like the minibots from Nuts. The main point of attack will come from the flipper though and this has served the robot well when fighting live. It’s a shame Robot Wars was ever cancelled for numerous reasons, but I’d have liked to have seen MeggaMouse appear sooner after the 7th war, it would have done well. I still think it will but will it be overpowered by others?

Prediction – Any other time I’d tip MeggaMouse for a round 2 spot, no question. But once again given who they’re up against has just made it so much harder. I’d still say round 2 but only because of the pedigree I know this machine has. A lesser known robot can still spring a surprise and go through the group battle at the expense of the mouse.


Trolley Rage

Trolley Rage

Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)

This. Is. Brilliant. A robot purely designed for cheapness, simplicity and as inspiration for others to look at and want to build their own machine. The whole thing was on a budget of £500 and can do everything your standard fighting robot can do; it can hit hard with its weapon, self right and, hopefully, move. And it got its name from the main part of the chassis being an upside down shopping trolley, therefore it probably would have cost £501 unless they were able to get their pound back. Its a brilliant, brilliant demonstration of what is possible in robot building. I was ranting on about Rapid being a huge sum of money earlier on in the series and Trolley Rage has had the opposite effect on me. It shows you can make a fighting robot if you’re a little light in the wallet and the plan to inspire must work on others. Being technical for a second it only has 3 mm steel armour and is pretty slow but even if it just works, thats a triumph and one in the eye for the pricey machines for me. Not saying I don’t like the pricey machines, its just that this one can give people more belief they can do it themselves.

Prediction – I want Trolley Rage to win. I want them to win the whole contest. Forget your Aftershocks and your Ironsides, get to Asda, grab a trolley and start building. Use a basket if you’re doing a featherweight. In all seriousness though what chance does it have? First round? Possibly, yes. But I love the idea its built to inspire others. That’s what its all about.




Most Recent War – Series 8 (Grand Champion)

Apollo. Current UK champion. Top dog. Number 1 seed. What else needs to be said? It’s been a long time coming but here they are, back to defend their title that they won so brilliantly in the last war. And they’ve only gone and been drawn in the same heat as their final rivals Carbide. Coincidence BBC?? Either way we know they’ll put up a good fight. Essentially its the same machine, nice pointy wedge thing with a huge flipper on the front capable, as we’ve already seen, of flipping well over 300 kg at the very least (700 kg the next target???). Nice and low to the ground and to be fair, great driving as well. All of these factors came together so well last time and put Apollo in the robot history books forever. They will be tough to beat whoever they come up against and with even more powerful rams and the usual upgraded internals, they will be even more feared this time. I can’t wait to see them take to the warzone again.

Prediction – This whole heat is a build up to Apollo & Carbide. They are so far ahead of anybody else in this heat that there should be no way that it wont be those 2 in the heat final, barring some major mechanical malfunction which I really hope doesn’t spoil it. So who will win, Apollo or Carbide? It really could go either way but minus any weapon failures, Carbide will just nick it for me. Therefore I have to predict our current champion will fall at the heat final stage, but even with everything we’ve seen so far, I’d be staggered if they didn’t get the wildcard as well.




Most Recent War – Series 8 (Runner-Up)

The fan favourite from the last war is here. Famed for it’s incredible destructive power, Carbide returns as the new and improved number 2 seed. Again, like Apollo it keeps the same sort of design. 2 wheel drive, sleek stealth bomber shape and a lovely fluorescent green and black livery. But again it’s all about the internal upgrades. A heavier spinning bar is powered by a stronger and hopefully more reliable motor. New armour plating on the top and sides and even more powerful batteries that run at a whopping 58 volts give it some huge power around the arena, like seriously strong. It sounds unbeatable and maybe Carbide’s biggest enemy is itself. The weapon was an issue in the last war despite its huge destructibility and the drive had problems in the early stages but that’s why the upgrades have been made and will hopefully stop those occurring again. Probably the most stunning thing to enter the warzone since Hypnodisc hit our screens, there really isn’t words for how awesome Carbide is. I gave them my award for the most revolutionary machine in the last wars as a mark of just how much robotic combat has come on from those days. This particular revolution looks set to continue.

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.


So there we have it. I’ve now profiled all 40 robots in series 9 and where I have got a fair few predictions right, I also have got many wrong. But that’s the beauty of it! Once again i thank you all for sticking with this latest article and keep telling your mates! I welcome any comments about this heat or indeed the series gone by and the fights yet to come.

But I’m not done yet! We still have the Grand Final to come and you can be sure I’ll be previewing that in full detail. I’ll also be doing a piece on the wildcard contenders in the coming week so keep an eye out for that. I appreciate everyone who is following and for helping me keep this ride going. Heat 5 starts @ 7 pm on BBC 2. It promises to be a corker.

WordPress – Jaymess24                         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 4 Preview

Just over halfway through the heats as we edge further towards the Grand Final, and the excitement doesn’t drop one bit from show to show. Welcome to the Series 9 Heat 4 preview and boy am I looking forward to this one.

Another great heat it was last time and as ever my overly enthusiastic thanks to everyone who had a read of my last preview piece. I know I sound like a broken record every week when I say this but it is genuine. I also hope your predictions were better than mine, I really am not doing very well this series. Heat 4 though looks like the heat of doom. Even though Apollo & Carbide are in the final heat, wait and see what the machines look like here. No less than 5 robots here are armed with very dangerous looking spinners. We start with 8 competitors but how many will there be at the end? Carnage is pretty much guaranteed, lets get on with it…




Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)

Here we go then with Frostbite, a machine that has a similar story to Expulsion from the last heat. This was built in an after school club by some students and their teacher; what a bloke! Again I never had that opportunity when I was in school and it’s great to see. The robot doesn’t look too shabby either. A pretty standard pointed box type design with a (rather rusty) spinning hammer on the front; a little like a scaled up Fluffy. I love the cool look of the polycarbonate armour as well which helps with the name and the mirrored strip behind the blade is a nice touch. Almost looks as if theres nothing inside! A problem may arise that it’s one of the lightest machines in the contest at 85 kg but with not a single flipper in sight, they might get away with that. Getting stuck on their side as well, an immediate flaw there. But I love these after school projects and I hope we see more of them. I also wish that I was 13 again….

Prediction – Having seen the heat draw I think Frostbite stand a much better chance of getting through than before I saw it. This is because the 4 robots I’d have picked for round 2 are all in the same melee…. Opens it up a little bit though and Frostbite has a good chance here. However purely based on my awful predictions so far this series I’m going to go against myself and say that Frostbite will go out in round 1. Nothing against the team or the robot, just to try and prove myself wrong, how very selfish of me…

High 5

High 5

Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)

The second of 3 new teams and machines in heat 4 is High 5. An interesting looking robot here, note the 5 ‘fingers’ on the lifters that will be used to High 5 other machines before crushing them. Another backstory here, the team are in possession of the legend Smidsy and this is based on that. You see the similarities. 4 wheel drive, built to push and some jaws to lift and clamp. The team also compete on the live stage with Ace which is a flipper so a bit of a different building project here. I bet it’s nice to experiment with different designs for new robots. There’s also an interchangeable drum that can be fitted to the rear for even more carnage. Hardox armour too but maybe a suspect ground clearance, but again with no flippers around, they might get away with that.

Prediction – Again it was all about seeing the heat draw here. I said I’d picked my 4 for the second round and High 5 wasn’t one of them. This still said I then thought this would go out in round 1 but again to contradict myself I’ve swapped the predictions for High 5 and Frostbite around. So it will be High 5 going into round 2. Just because I don’t trust myself. And I want to prove myself wrong. That’s how competitive I can get. So there.


Ironside 3

Ironside 3 S9

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Heat, Round 2)

One of my favourite robots from last year returns for this heat looking as good as it did before. My first impression about Ironside 3 last year wasn’t good, I just had a bad feeling. How wrong I was, the speed it moved along the arena floor was phenomenal and it was excellently controlled. Couple that with that huge spinning arm and destruction was ensured. Quite unlucky to not get to at least the heat final last time but it’s back for more this time around. Same sort of concept again with interchangeable 35 kg blades and much faster and hopefully much more reliable self righter. Great new paint job as well as a homage to the RAF. There’s also a bar on the back that means that the robot should land in the perfect place or self right should they get flipped. Improvements have been made, lessons have been learned even for such an experienced team, will it pay off?

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.




Most Recent War – Series 8 (Heat, Round 1)

Enter this years Overdozer. Literally; this machine comes from the same team and if ever there were lessons to be learned from previous campaigns, this team is a perfect example of that. Polyethylene replaces the MDF ‘armour’ from last year and a new hardox front shovel which is designed for pushing and also lifts up. As fun as it was seeing Overdozer get splintered last war it’s good to see another attempt with improvements. A lot of machines were put together very quickly for series 8 so the wooden armour sort of made sense. This looks sturdier but still a little fragile. Actually it looks a lot fragile. To the point where the side armour and relatively exposed wheels are extremely vulnerable in this spinner heavy heat. The team made me laugh last time though. They were good value and that’s what we want from this game – Entertainment.

Prediction –  An improvement on Overdozer but still a long way to go to match up with the Carbides and Apollos of this world. But again it’s good fun. One would like to hope that Wyrm will put up more of a fight than Overdozer and give it a good go. One would also think that it will still make an early exit, but for me it isn’t the worst machine in this series. That one is still to come in this war…..




Most Recent War – Series 7 (Heat, Round 1)

I can’t tell you how chuffed I am to see this machine back. When the ‘original’ Robot Wars finished we never really knew what happened to most of the machines. Then Crushtacean reappeared and it was like I was 10 again. One of the most original robots ever built and one of the best looking. A quick bit of history; Crushtacean debuted in war 5 taking out Robochicken and Behemoth on route to the heat final. They reached a world championship semi final but not before giving Chaos 2 a run in series 6, a fight which they very well could have won if they’d not reversed into the pit… It looks to be the same sort of machine, a bit quicker and more well armoured, and it will need to be. Keep an eye on those painted red bits this time too, apparently that paint is there to deflect spinners and protect the shell….. What good paint can do for that I have no idea, I don’t claim to be an expert in the aesthetics of paint.  The weapon was operated in a unique way too, there were sensors on a pair of gloves that opened and closed the claws as and when the movement was made by the wearer. I wonder if they’ll be doing that again?

Prediction –  As a life long Robot Wars fan I love seeing the development of the machines, the standard goes up every single year. I also love it when one from days gone by returns and I point wildly at the screen, ‘Ah! I remember that!’ It would be really nice to see Crushtacean do well but in reality it would be a surprise if they got out of their group battle. It’s definitely doable, but man it will be a tough ask.




Most Recent War – Series 8 (Heat, Round 1)

Team Trinity return with Supernova for the 9th wars and it really looks like its out with the old, in with the new. The shape and design of Supernova has been pretty much the same since the 5th war however it only escaped the opening round once, which sounds strange for such a destructive machine. The problem? Reliability. Many times Supernova has broken down whether it be to bad luck or the sheer power of the weapon causing them issues. And so after all this time the team return with a brand new machine. It still retains its 22 kg disc but this time its one chunk of metal as opposed to a flywheel with teeth bolted on and as we saw last time, those teeth were probably past their sell by date. Hardox armour and a very nice new black paint job, it really looks the business. Exposed wheels yes but they’ve gone away and tried something new. As good as the old Supernova was I suppose something needed to change.

Prediction –  This is Supernova’s time now, it has to be. And what better way to show that you are one of the best spinners around than being pitted against the best of them. I’ll be really disappointed for the machine and the team if it falls in round 1 again, but this is the time to shine. I don’t think they’ve had or will get a better chance to put together a good run here and therefore I’m predicting this version to make the heat final and possibly be a dark horse for the heat.




Most Recent War – N/A (Newcomer)

Apex has tried many times to qualify for Robot Wars under this name and others and finally they’ve been expected. Straight out of the Danby garage of robot building, this looks ferocious. If anybody has seen Apex before from the live stage I reckon you were as surprised as me when you saw the redesign; it’s completely different to the old one which had a crushing claw. That version of Apex was once known as TX-108 and then TX-109 which once beat Hypnodisc in an untelevised wild card battle. True story. A 37 kg spinning bar is the weapon (obviously) and is rather like Ironside’s, the difference here is the team say it can self right with the blade. Interesting. A great design, again I like the red and gold paintwork and look sleek and aggressive. I’ve had these guys down for the patent pending underdog of the week star ever since I saw it, but this is a very tough heat to win a fight let alone with the whole thing.

Prediction – I wonder how easy Apex will be to control? That would be my biggest concern. And it’s in a massive fight to be the best horizontal spinner in the series with there being so many. Can you imagine the force of the impact if these guys smashed straight into Ironside or Supernova? I don’t know if Apex is as good as those 2 as an example but I keep saying there will be some surprises in this heat. This could be the machine to upset the odds.



Pulsar S9

Most Recent War – Series 8 (Grand Final Eliminator)

Those who followed me last year for these previews will know that Pulsar is one of my favourites since Robot Wars came back onto our screens, so much so I tipped them to win the series last time. Ok so I was a little wide of the mark but not by much, Pulsar still made the series final but was plagued with mechanical problems all the way through. From stop start drive, to weapon trouble, to actually stopping and having a rest mid battle on occasion, but this time Pulsar has been redesigned from the ground up, it’s pretty much a brand new machine. Again same ideas, low and stealth like with improved armour and an improved drum as well. The speed has come down a little from the crazy 9000 rpm we saw last time but only to 8700. That’s still some bonkers speed. But the biggest difference is that the drum is bigger and about twice as heavy as before, therefore allowing more of it to stick out the top for a better point of attack. The machine can even lever itself back onto its wheel thanks to a new bar on the back. It’s a beautiful thing and I’m tipping them for greatness this time too.

Prediction – One of the advantages I think Pulsar has here it that it has a vertical spinner, whereas all of its other spinning competitors are mounted horizontally. If the 2 collide, which there’s a good chance they will, 9 times out of 10 the vertical should win out due to the ridiculous forces that both create. On the basis of that and because I’m incredibly biased I’m going to tip Pulsar for the heat win here. They’ve done it once and if (and it’s a huge if) the drive hold out and is reliable I can’t see much stopping it. But once again I’ve only got 1 heat winner right so far…


A huge thanks for sticking with me as usual and I hope you enjoyed reading my latest preview piece. In this little section that seems to be a recurring thing now, a quick mention for the series 10 rule changes that will apply. Sadly there will be no featherweights for this series due to time constraints (Boooooo), however the beeb have stated that it’s still on their ‘to do’ list and we will have some soon (Yay). Other rule changes mention weight increases for walkers and shufflers and entanglement weapons. Yes entanglements. What a crazy idea! Is this the way we have to make teams combat spinners?! It is quite specific though in terms of the type of material used and how big it can be, but it’s quite a statement. Not sure if it’s a good idea or a really, really bad one. All the rule revisions can be found on the internet somewhere (I can’t remember where I saw them before) if you’ve not spotted them already. What do you think about them?

Let me know what you think of this heat in the comments below, I also welcome feedback and opinions about this or anything really that you might want counselling on. Tell your mates as we let the war continue. BBC 2 Sunday at 7. Devastation is assured.

WordPress – Jaymess24                             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