[Robot Wars UK S9: E3 is available online here.]

I gotta be honest with you all, I’ve been sick literally since last week’s Update so please excuse me if I fail to give certain kinds of fuckery the time and attention they demand of me (and by that I mean attempting to address the ocean of people treating PP3D vs. Cherub like Tornado vs. Razer). Speaking of fights from last week Eruption ended up as the winner because there wasn’t a single goddamned fight beyond the group battles where it didn’t toss its opponent out of the arena and break a stage light array that probably cost more than its opponent. Cherub put up a good fight — I guess — and remains eligible for a wildcard for making it to the heat finals. Part of me sort of hopes that Cherub gets the wildcard just because I know it’ll drive a bunch of people fucking mental but I know better than to open that Pandora’s Box; if Cherub does in fact get this series’ wildcard then they’re probably going to end up riding out a stroke of impossible luck that wins them the championship or something stupid like that.

This week’s competitors are all over the place in the way of performance and design. On the better end of the spectrum we’ve got the return of Thor, a Grand Finalist last year via wildcard, plus Mr Speed Squared (assuming their weapon actually works this year). Floating around somewhere in the middle are the newbies Heavy Metal, Concussion, and Tauron which all look like they’re built like brick shithouses. And finally, on the end of the line is a pile of robots that include Chimera “2”, Foxic, and this new thing named Expulsion that kind of looks like a shuttlecock. No, that last one’s not an insult that’s just the name of that thing people whack around in badminton. It has a name, and now you know what it is.


ALL 4 (GROUP) ONE

Not some place you want to stick a finger.

A wise man named Freedom Williams once asked, “Y’all want this party started quickly?”… hang on I think I worded that one wrong; I didn’t mean “wise man”, I meant to say “guy who did the vocals for a one hit wonder band and thought he was hot shit for way too long”. Anyways THOR gets introduced first which is why I brought up the whole “starting a party quickly” thing because nothing gets people going quite like a good old fashioned BIG TIME HAMMER. Thor reached the Grand Finals last year after its pneumatic axe just absolutely thrashed opponents like Shockwave and M.R. Speed Squared. Angela Scanlon asks Thor’s builder Jason Marston if the robot’s axe is bigger. He says it’s the same axe but the robot is just smaller, sort of like how if you had a pictures of both a midget and a person of average height each with the same size dick you’d fall for the optical illusion that the short guy’s packing more heat when in reality you’re looking at two identical penises. We’re three paragraphs in and firmly in the realm of “things I never thought I’d say”. Setting all sorts of records on The Update this week!

Tauron, after about 7 years of work.

The team behind TAURON claims their robot took 10 years to make. They didn’t work on it for a decade, but rather instead they just sat around talking about how cool it would be if they built a robot for almost as long as it takes someone to go through public school. Tauron bears a pretty striking resemblance to former competitor The Alien which leads me to believe these guys have been pining after this piece of shit for longer than the lifespan of most dogs. Tom Brewster, Tauron’s driver, tests video games for a living. It doesn’t take long for Dara O’Briain to make the oft-referenced quip about “lol ur good w/ ur thumbs u must be good @ robots 2”. Every time without fail when someone finds out a bot builder has come within at least 10 feet of a video game console this gets brought up. What if Tom spends all that time playing garbage tier crap like World of Warcraft? What if he exclusively plays anime VR porn? This man’s job is to make sure you can’t accidentally clip through a fucking wall in some shitty PC game no one is ever going to play, that’s not a skill that’ll come into play at Robot Wars unless you guys really fucked up on designing the pit this year.

wew lads

Before we even get to see a proper shot of CHIMERA 2 we’re reminded of what Chimera used to be: a shitty thwackbot that literally ran on fucking car tires and was destroyed in a matter of seconds. Dara belts out “improved wheels”, but I see bike tires. Technically that’s a step down from automotive wheels because now there’s even less tread in contact with the floor. Making the wheels thinner doesn’t automatically make them a harder target, you’re not scaling the right goddamned axis. Chimera’s builder explains the weaknesses of his robot’s drivetrain with the vocabulary of someone trying to hit a specific word count. Relax man, this isn’t the SAT. Nice touch arming your robot with a diamond Minecraft pick axe by the way, I’m sure the professional gamer from Tauron’s team is fuming because he didn’t think of that first. Shoutouts to the awkward kid who brought his Chimera sign all the way into the pits.

The builders of CONCUSSION didn’t compete last year but were among the audience and were so floored by their experience that they set out to create a killer bot of their own. What’s amazing is that by some stroke of luck it just so happens that the editors had footage from last series of Concussion’s builder Tim Rackley in the audience. Using this footage we can determine that Tim’s hair isn’t the result of that “just fuck my shit up fam” meme come to life, but is an intentional look. I mean, at least it’s not the weird stringy long hair D&D nerd look. If Tim plays D&D he looks like the type of guy that would go through the trouble of making a detailed 3D render of his character’s weapons instead of just drawing a night elf with huge tits using colored pencils. Concussion is sort of like the “UK Minotaur“, a big killer drum with two wheels and a million pounds of armor. Concussion also makes me think Tim built this robot by copying Sabretooth’s answers on a test. The team’s previous fight was against a tree, which they won.


GROUP BATTLE 1

THOR

Team Twisted Metal

Weapon: Pneumatic axe

TAURON

Team Tauron

Weapon: Vertical spinning blade

CHIMERA 2

Team Chimera

Weapon: Inertia-driven axe

CONCUSSION

Dorset Roboteering Team

Weapon: Vertical spinning drum

*poke*

I get the impression everyone in this rumble fears Tauron because unless it’s also packing a hidden gravity well everyone just seems pulled toward it, presumably because a vertical spinner generally spells bad news unless the robot is built like shit. Thor tries to Tokyo Drift around to nip at Tauron’s massive rear surface area but gives the accelerator a little too much pepper and ends up taking a glancing blow from the spinning blade. Strangely, even though this hit doesn’t appear to do much of anything, Thor just straight up dies near the CPZ. Even stranger is Concussion gets in a lick on Tauron and doesn’t do any visible damage but this too seems to be a disabling hit. Thor manages to swing its axe and come back to life, but Jonathan Pearce is paying attention for once and starts yelling into his microphone trying to wake Tauron up. Bad news Jonny, Tauron is dead. Tom must be working for EA or something.

Chimera hasn’t done a whole lot yet but seems to be holding its own against Concussion. No major hits yet, but at least it still has both tires. Thor floors it across the arena and whacks Chimera hard enough to send fucking sparks flying. I also noticed Thor’s axe has bent near its pivot point, which I thought was caused by Thor unintentionally hitting Chimera with the axe handle instead of the head, but if you pay close attention you’ll notice Thor’s axe was already bent. I can’t tell what jacked it up but my best guess is that Thor swung its axe so hard over near Tauron that it bent when it hit its rubber stopper. Maybe next time don’t punch a bunch of holes into the shaft? I mean, I know why the holes are there but if this is a part of your robot that needs to take some serious impacts maybe you shouldn’t use it as a starting point to save weight?

It’s not often you get all 4 bots in a shot… even though half of them are dead here.

After getting shoved into the corner by Thor, Chimera quickly gets yanked up atop Concussion by its spinning drum. Somehow this kills Chimera, meaning that SAT Guy wasn’t wrong when he said their robot’s drive system was untested and built like shit. The good news is at least Chimera still has both of its Gabriel-esque tires this time around. Maybe next year it’ll actually hit someone. Concussion also starts smoking and one of its wheels dies, but I guess since it’s technically “more” mobile than Chimera it advances on and Chimera is eliminated. Chimera’s team is unhappy with this outcome, but that’s what happens when the rules are made up as you go. Better luck next time, at least now you can name the robot “Chim3ra” or whatever.

WINNERS: Thor and Concussion, KO

After the match Jason tells Angela that Thor was running a bit sluggish, perhaps due to the temperature of its batteries. That seems to be a pretty common theme in Robot Wars especially among competitors with pneumatic weapons. You guys maybe wanna find a venue for season 10 that isn’t on the polar fucking ice caps? Maybe run the flame pit hazard for a while and warm the place up? Buy a fucking space heater or something?


BOYZ (GROUP) 2 MEN

“Are you fucking for real?” – Dara O’Briain

Bet you weren’t expecting two R&B puns for group introductions this week but I’m what you call a “professional comedian”. Speaking of expectations I hope you don’t have much of them for group two’s first robot, EXPULSION. Named after one of Dr. Freud’s anal stages, Expulsion was built by a team of students from Brentwood School and features a spinning disc with retractable blades. To better demonstrate their robot’s weapon system to Dara, one of the students has brought with them some sort of dumb ass cardboard Naruto throwing star or something. After watching the students’ demonstration of their weapon prototype you might be wondering if it’s spinning the right direction. Dara wonders this too and straight up asks if these kids are smart enough to spin a circle the right fucking way to which they respond “it goes both ways”. Fucking Millennials and their progressivism.

lewd

HEAVY METAL is up next and features a paint job identical to a late 80’s Atari video game catalog. Heavy Metal looks like if you took Wheely Big Cheese, replaced its pneumatics with whatever sort of spinning barrel this robot has, and painted it neon colors. Angela is quick to talk about Heavy Metal’s unique wheels covered in little rubber nipples but doesn’t say anything about its weapon. I can’t tell what it’s supposed to do, is it a spinning drum? Is it a slow lifting arm like CUAD the Crusher? The wheels are literally among the least remarkable things about this robot, plenty of competitors have used goddamned car rims for wheels. Also since we’re a season and a half into the Robot Wars reboot I’m just going to come out and say it, but the new “Disembodied Voice” sucks and there’s no consistency to his introductions. Sometimes he describes a robot by its type (“axebot”, “thwackbot”), other times he gets into specific weaponry like with Heavy Metal. Make up your fucking mind already.

lol sweet hoodie bro

Hey speaking of consistency let’s get into M.R. SPEED SQUARED! You guys remember this one, right? The robot that was good for like a solid one or two blows before it just crapped out in the head-to-head rounds? Take a look at that motor inside the new M.R. Speed Squared, looks like the same type of Agni motor they’ve got inside of Aftershock and we’ve seen the various kinds of spin art that robot’s made from its opponents’ assholes. Dara doesn’t ask Peter Forsey anything about his robot and instead grills him over his bizarre marital decisions. Peter says if he loses Robot Wars that he’ll propose to his wife, otherwise he’s “off the hook”. Fuck dude, I’m glad you’re not my boyfriend. I know this has probably got to be some kind of joke but it’s portrayed in such a weird and cringey way that I just can’t buy it. Also apparently this robot’s name is pronounced “M R Speed Squared”, not “Mister Speed Squared”, even though Peter himself says “mister”. Yay consistency!

Finally, we have FOXIC, a robot built by Craig Danby who’s content to just wear a goddamned furry hoodie during his team bio. The good news is at least we’ve found someone wearing something dumber than Charles Guan’s cat ears. Also going by what “they say” about foxes in the furry fandom I’m sure Mr. Danby here has gigabytes of weird porn on that laptop and at least two adult toys the size of his fucking arm. Foxic competed last year and managed to advance to the head-to-head rounds but ended up not doing anything and managed to lose to a weaponless M.R. Speed Squared. This year Foxic has been totally rebuilt and features both a lifting wedge and a self-righting arm, each covered in snaggly bits to hopefully hook into the exposed frames and holes in opponents and drag them around. Angela thinks this is a dirty tactic, clearly she’s never seen BattleBots.


GROUP BATTLE 2

FOXIC

Team Danby

Weapon: Lifting wedge

EXPULSION

Team Expulsion

Weapon: Horizontal spinning disc w/ retractable blades

HEAVY METAL

Team 13

Weapon: 360 degree lifting arm

M.R. SPEED SQUARED

Team Forsey

Weapon: Horizontal spinning disc

Expulsion is basically its own casket.

“Watch for the driving skills of Foxic,” says Jonathan right as Foxic floors it backward and into the pit release button. Now, I know I’ve consistently joked about how the pit release button isn’t random and the producers are pulling the strings, but I can’t think of a witty remark this time around because there’s literally been no battle for me to make references to, Foxic’s strategy is to just drop the pit and hope someone is dumb enough to fall in. Expulsion is Foxic’s first target and it’s looking like the robot is having some sort of traction issues because Expulsion only has one wheel working and its doomsday pinwheel isn’t doing a goddamned thing. M.R. Speed Squared and Heavy Metal both come in for some free points and take turns making contact with the science fair project gone awry. At one point Expulsion gets toppled onto its side — a position it can’t get down from — but Foxic lines up a shot and knocks the robot back down. It’s not like it matters anyways because Expulsion is pretty much toast.

More like Heavy Cripple.

M.R. Speed Squared tries to come in for another whammy and ends up reeling across the arena as the force of its weapon spins the robot’s chassis around opposite its disc. That’s a hell of a goddamned weapon and as M.R. Speed Squared finally gets back onto its wheels Foxic decides to drive onto the floor flipper and gets rolled over easier than an actual fox in the fandom. P.S.: “Watch for the driving skills of Foxic.” Sir Killalot pushes Expulsion off of the spike hazards and the team sheepishly says “thank you”, yeah thanks for putting your robot right into M.R. Speed Square’s line of sight so it can come in and rip off an entire fucking corner of your machine, frame and all. The spinner tires of Expulsion and decides to go for Heavy Metal who’s somehow lost the use of its left wheel. Pay close attention to the mega hit dealt by M.R. Speed Squared and you’ll see that as Heavy Metal is spun around a second hit is landed squarely onto Heavy Metal’s lifting arm that just absolutely trashes the entire damn thing.

The new M.R. Speed Squared has leveled the entire playing field and there’s nobody left to attack, so in a fitting end to this match M.R. Speed Squared is sent reeling into the spikes which immediately stop its 30+ kg disc transferring all of that energy back into the robot and sending it flying into the fucking wall. Something probably broke and if I didn’t know any better I’d assume we’re likely looking at a repeat of last year, but part of me still hopes that M.R. Speed Squared can be the second coming of PP3D.

WINNERS: Heavy Metal and M.R. Speed Squared, KO


THOR vs. CONCUSSION

Straight Outta Broadlands

Concussion threw a lot of punches in its group battle and for better or worse was responsible for dealing the killing blows to both Tauron and Chimera. Considering both robots died after a couple of hits that’s not a major accomplishment, but since these guys are rookies I’ll give them credit. Their robot went up in smoke in the group battle and Tim lets us know that they’re on their second spare, because the welding on the first one was shit. Now’s a good time to point out that the competitors don’t get to do their own welding at Robot Wars, they have to take it to some guy who apparently doesn’t do a good job. He must’ve previously worked for EA or something. Thor had its own heaping helping of issues in the group battle most of which involved its drivetrain. Jason holds up about 3 cents’ worth of wire and says “this was the problem”. Uh, okay. He’s also fixed the issue of Thor’s axe being bent by flipping it around and attaching it backwards. Sadly, Jason has the foresight to explain the concept of metal fatigue so I don’t get to make jokes about him being a big stupid doo doo head.

Jonathan ponders whether or not Jason shoved Thor’s batteries up his ass or whatever, meanwhile Thor screws up another Tokyo Drift and bumps the pit button with its ass. This results in Dead Metal charging out to chase some kids off of his lawn and gets his hands on Concussion. With weak top armor, Concussion’s team knows this is bad news and they try to skate away but it appears as though the welding guy did another shitty job or something because it’s already having mobility issues. The problem seems erratic because after a few moments where Jonathan doesn’t pay attention Concussion springs back to life and begins shamelessly popping Thor on any surface it can get purchase on. Thor’s battery problems may have been fixed, but now Jason’s got bigger issues in the form of his robot letting loose a long slow fart of CO2 that only gets juicier each time Concussion lands another shot.

Thor carries around dry ice for spooky effect.

This fight turns into a shitshow fast though because Concussion manages to get caught inside of the area of the pit door. With such low ground clearance Concussion can’t actually get out. Apparently Thor hasn’t yet noticed that its opponent is stuck because rather than take the obvious way out Thor jumps in and manages to fucking get stuck too. Luckily a couple of courtesy slugs from Concussion fixes this issue and Thor goes for the pit button, but as luck would have it rather than drop the goddamned pit Matilda gets set out instead and goes for Concussion. Can you guess what happens next? Yep, Matilda manages to get wedged onto the fucking pit too. Concussion’s team realizes that this is some grade A bullshit going on and make the universal gesture for “are you fucking serious right now” while Thor comes in for some free hits and Dead Metal shows up to try and make some fucking sense of what’s going on.

When the smoke clears rather than go for the pit button a third time Thor tries to go in for some more free points. This proves to be a fatal mistake because from the safety of its secret invisible fortress Concussion manages to land a lucky blow to Thor’s side that sends the axebot rolling through the air and onto its back. Since Thor’s CO2 tank pulled a Kurt Cobain and blew its goddamned brains out this leaves Thor to be counted out while the officials pretend like there isn’t a massive design flaw with the arena this year.

WINNER: Concussion, KO


M.R. SPEED SQUARED vs. HEAVY METAL

lol “active weapon” my ass

M.R. Speed Squared was the star of its group battle once again and landed some heavy hits, the last of which sent the robot into the arena spikes which bent up one of its weapon teeth and presumably destroyed the innards of the machine. Team Forsey were pleased to discover that wasn’t the case and that after a little bit of touch and go work their robot was in working order for the head-to-head rounds. Meanwhile, it’s a different story for Heavy Metal who took the last serious blow dealt by M.R. Speed Squared. John Denny holds up what used to be his robot’s two-pronged lifting arm which you can clearly see M.R. Speed Squared cleaved straight through and fucked to hell. The damage was so incredible that even with a new lifting arm on Heavy Metal’s weapon is still all cockeyed and fucked up.

And now they have to go back into the arena one on one with the robot responsible for it. Ha.

Better name your next robot after the equation for lift or something.

As you might imagine M.R. Speed Squared’s first priority is getting its outer ring up to full speed, something it is unable to do because Heavy Metal is quickly on the attack. The impact destabilizes M.R. Speed Squared and sends it into the wall… and then that looks like it for the spinner because the ring doesn’t even try to start turning again. I had so much hope for this thing and I got fucked again. Next year I’m just going to preemptively start shitting on M.R. Speed Squared because without its spinner the robot has absolutely nothing in the way of offense or defense. Heavy Metal just starts mopping the floor with M.R. Speed Squared and it’s pretty obvious how this match is going to go. The pit opens up, the editors cut to a shot of the audience with “P I T” signs, and Jonathan starts shitting on them because there’s fuck all happening in the arena right now. Damn dude, are we allowed to make fun of signs now? Because if so I’m going to go back and shit on that guy who keeps holding up that “rip ’em a new serial port” one. It was cute the first 20 times but now I hate it.

Heavy Metal is just bodying M.R. Speed Squared, taking the dead spinner into the floor flipper before dropping it off in Shunt’s CPZ. Much like last year, Shunt lands in a solid blow that cuts clean into M.R. Speed Squared’s top and sends the wounded robot fleeing nearly into the pit. Noel Sharkey points and laughs at M.R. Speed Squared because he knows there’s some robot being invented this year that will replace the team’s jobs or something. M.R. Speed Squared doesn’t seem to get away from the pit so Heavy Metal just says “fuck it” and kamikaze’s it down there. Supposedly M.R. Speed Squared was in there “first”, but honestly this seems like a double KO that should go to the judges. Not that this would change the outcome of the fight or anything, but I mean it just seems like yet another inconsistent call. Whatever though, Heavy Metal was going to come out ahead any way you slice it, and I guess this is curtains for M.R. Speed Squared.

WINNER: Heavy Metal, KO


NOEL SHARKEY SAVES THE WORLD

This robot is so shitty and janky you’d think I built it.

Back in the pits Angela gets in Noel Sharkey’s intimate conversation space while a circle of people assuming there’s a fight about to happen envelop them. Rather than have a knife fight to the death, Noel starts talking about robots that will help save the planet and names off some projects that involve restoration of coral reefs and measuring climate change. Then he gets into these farming robots equipped with augers that can roll out into farms and plant seeds and man I’m hoping these machines are a proof of concept prototype because when the camera cuts to the drill view you can see the motors just kinda sitting there with wires hanging all over the goddamned place. If these are the real deal I don’t think they’re going to be saving any planets that I live on. There’s also literal robot bees meant for pollination of flowers. I get that declining bee populations is a real issue, but unless these robot bees straight out of Nic Cage’s worst nightmares are cheap to produce we’re looking at thousands of dollars in damage to cars that get their paint chipped off by robot bugs and literal tens of dollars of damage in robot insects.

For once I guess I don’t have any major criticisms or sick fire to drop here because Noel isn’t talking about machines meant to outright replace humans in the workforce. I’m kind of indifferent about it, really. I mean if you want to invest in shitty Alibaba robots with auger drills to go plow your fields or whatever then that’s cool I guess. I still feel like a big fuck off tractor with one of those tilling attachments could get the job done faster and better. Noel says we need more engineers and that Robot Wars will hopefully get more people involved in the field. Can’t disagree there. Keep this up and I might apologize for meme’ing you last week.


HEAVY METAL vs. CONCUSSION

lol whoops

Heavy Metal lucked out that the new M.R. Speed Squared was basically a repeat of last year. Even though their first tussle led to Heavy Metal’s weapon being irreparably cocked to the side the team had better luck the second time around and literally just need to charge their batteries and replace the missing wheel nipples on their robot. Concussion is just becoming a total write off for its team, however. After blowing up one motor in the group battle the team has now apparently replaced even more motors as well as speed controllers. They might as well rename their machine ₵on¢u$$ion and put the rest of it on credit.

Against all odds, and contrary to Dara’s threats of disqualification, Concussion still works. By now I’ve double checked with the first episode of this series to make sure Sabretooth isn’t cheating and entered twice. Stuff starts flying off of Heavy Metal and Jonathan thinks it’s literally just raining fucking bolts. No dude, those are just Heavy Metal’s wheel nipples getting slung off because whoever thought mounting a little nub on a 250 pound robot with a single fucking bolt was a good idea is a dumbass. It’s a shame I already wasted a “what is this, Robot Arena 3” joke last week because right now’s a pretty damn good time to throw out another. Anyways Heavy Metal’s lifting arm apparently doesn’t work or something because when Concussion tosses it upside down Heavy Metal is completely immobilized, and just to make sure this fight’s in the bag Concussion cruises over and clips an entire fucking wheel off.

WINNER: Concussion, KO


THOR vs. M.R. SPEED SQUARED

I’m getting mad deja vu right now.

Both of these robots have had some shitty luck this series but in radically different ways. Thor overall is pretty decent but the robot has just gone through problems one right after the other; first it was the ambient temperature of the venue fucking up the batteries, then it was the CO2 system failing, now there’s something wacky with the drive. The only good news here is that Jason had the foresight to give his robot a proper gearbox instead of that nonsense that Rapid used. No, I am never going to let that be lived down. History is repeating itself for M.R. Speed Squared because they got their ass wrecked by Shunt in their previous match, and now history’s about to repeat again because here comes Thor.

Oh would you look at that, M.R. Speed Squared’s disc isn’t doing a fucking thing. Color me surprised. That’s it, really. I mean, we all know how this fight is going to pan out. Look, here comes Thor, and there goes the axe. The editors can’t even get the timer off of the screen before Thor makes it Crystal Pepsi clear just how boned M.R. Speed Squared is. This doesn’t even get to be a proper shot-for-shot redo of these robots’ fight from last year because M.R. Speed Squared is toast after the first rush. Thor takes a few moments to get some whacks in so that ridiculous hand motion that Jason does every time his robot is introduced will actually have some meaning behind it, and M.R. Speed Squared gets counted out.

Shoutouts to Heavy Metal’s wheel nipples which you can still see littering the floor in this match.

WINNER: Thor, KO


CONCUSSION vs. M.R. SPEED SQUARED

M.R. Speed Squared spinning in about 14 different directions.

“So what’s changed between this fight and the last fight?” Ponders the M.R. Speed Squared team. (Hint: You’ve gotten your asses kicked and have been torn a brand spanking new asshole by Shunt.) The team puts M.R. Speed Squared into the test box and the disc doesn’t work, prompting Peter Forsey to say “we should’ve done this before the last match” implying that the disc wasn’t going to work at all in its previous fight but no one was aware of this. Don’t the officials check this shit? Like, they made a huge fucking deal out of Sabretooth’s drum not being able to work and threatened to DQ the team which is why Gabriel Stroud was so emotional when he saw his robot actually work, but these chucklefucks just slip by without anyone putting a check in a box beforehand? Anyways Peter had better have been busy trying to find a location for his marriage because this is probably the end of the road for his machine.

M.R. Fire Hot

To my surprise, M.R. Speed Squared’s disc works this time around. Not to my surprise however is the fact that it’s still completely fucked because while the ring starts to spin the chassis spins the other way and the drivers have absolutely zero control over their robot. It’s like they saw that one fight with Son of Whyachi and were like “YEAH LET’S DO THAT”. You might be shocked to hear this but the perfect 10 somersault/twist you just saw has once again rendered M.R. Speed Squared’s weapon into a static object. Peter Forsey’s just like “go for the pit”, because that worked so well the last time the pit was open with M.R. Speed Squared in the arena. I say this, but almost immediately Concussion very nearly dicks everything up and falls in on accident. M.R. Speed Squared tries to loiter around the pit hoping that Concussion’s newbie drivers are unskilled enough to kill themselves, but that plan fails because M.R. Speed Squared ends up getting carted off to Dead Metal twice in a row before Sir Killalot picks it up and throws it like the world’s heaviest goddamned frizbee.

The whole thing also almost goes to hell when Concussion just spontaneously breaks down and starts to smoke, followed by a visible fire poof as something inside of it shits the bed and gives up the ghost. Amazingly this doesn’t kill the robot and Concussion scrapes by somehow losing only their left wheel again. The robot continues to smolder and burn but much like my man Blacksmith — the real BIG TIME HAMMER — Concussion raises the finger toward its opponent, sucks it up, toughs it out, and takes the judges’ decision.

WINNER: Concussion, Judges’ Decision


THOR vs. HEAVY METAL

STAGE DIVE!

The final head-to-head sees Thor going up against Heavy Metal for the second spot in this week’s heat finals. Heavy Metal has stayed its course and run a solid game but the whole robot is just flimsy as fuck and we’ve already seen critical failures with its weapon and wheels. Not only are Heavy Metal’s wheels easy targets to shear off, its little traction nubs which I’ve (un)affectionately referred to as “wheel nipples” fall off when the robot barely does so much as drive in a straight goddamned line. Also I’ve gone the entire episode without saying this, but shoutouts to the Silver Skull on the Heavy Metal team. Thor’s issues seem to have subsided as its previous match was a bit of a cakewalk, and Jason has replaced the robot’s axe head with that weird blunt hammer that I wouldn’t stop bitching about last year.

Jason Marston says Thor’s wedge rides the floor and should be able to get underneath Heavy Metal. What he didn’t tell you is that Heavy Metal was going to do a fucking pirouette when the two bots collided. Jonathan has finally noticed that the “bolts” all over the arena are actually Heavy Metal’s nipples. Watch how quickly this robot’s wheels just shed their traction, if I didn’t know any better I’d say it was part of Heavy Metal’s intended design to deploy a bunch of trash in the arena for the sole purpose of getting it sucked into other robots. Understandably the more nipples Heavy Metal loses the less overall traction it has. In a matter of seconds the robot is reduced exclusively to Tokyo Drifting all over the place and doesn’t have the grip to push a single fucking thing.

Matilda, the worst groupie.

For the first time this episode Heavy Metal’s lifting arm starts to move and the little V-shaped attachment winds around to the back of the robot presumably to try and catch Thor’s axe and prevent it from hitting its chassis. This plan fails, not because Heavy Metal misses, but because Thor hits a seam on the floor and the two robots separate to give Thor a better angle. One of Heavy Metal’s wheels has locked up and I have no idea which one it is because the robot has been flipped and tossed by Thor and the arena spikes, but one thing I’m absolutely certain on is that Heavy Metal is definitely getting its shit pushed in right now. The neon bot is shoved into Matilda and rather than getting its busted wheel sheared off Heavy Metal’s only good tire just kinda pops off of its hub and the concert is over for this rocker.

Now you can enjoy this episode’s secret game which is to pause it on any frame and play connect the dots with all of Heavy Metal’s wheel nips. Also, it wouldn’t be a proper episode of Robot Wars without some copious fanservice paid to Matilda’s ass. Jonathan whips out his ass worship fetish lines as Matilda takes a dump in Heavy Metal’s lost wheel.

WINNER: Thor, KO


HEAT FINAL
THOR vs. CONCUSSION

THOR

Team Twisted Metal

Weapon: Pneumatic axe

CONCUSSION

Dorset Roboteering Team

Weapon: Vertical spinning drum

Thor’s “unconventional” method of fighting.

This is the third time these robots have met in battle this episode. Both Thor and Concussion came from the same group melee where Chimera and Tauron were sent packing with only a couple of hits apiece. The first time they met in the head-to-heads Concussion got ripped off by the arena’s pit door but still managed to turn the tables and throw Thor onto its back with a ruptured CO2 system. Heavy Metal wasn’t really an issue with either bot as they each took a turn popping a different wheel off of it, and since M.R. Speed Squared was once again a one pump chump that fight was pretty much a guaranteed win as well. The only other robot that poses a significant threat to these heat finalists is each other. Thor’s gone back to its original axe, and Concussion’s team is scrambling to replace all the shit that caught fire in its last match. After taking out a second mortgage on their houses, Concussion’s team is able to repair their bot in time for the finals.

We get it, you vape.

Jonathan starts this match mumbling some insane drivel about “builder’s estimates”. I’m guessing this is a construction joke? Is that a problem in the UK? Here in Texas you can pick up undocumented migrants at the same time and place as all of your plywood and shit so sorry man I can’t relate to it. Also I’m pretty sure Thor has rode into battle with a front end completely different from the one Jason said he was going to use to “scoop them up and bludgeon them to death” with? Either way this match is playing out almost exactly like these robots’ first head-to-head with Thor venting CO2 and Concussion crawling around all over the place landing nickel and dime hits. The fight is scarily close to a repeat because another glancing blow sees Thor on its back, however I guess there’s enough air left in its system for a self-right because Thor is able to get back onto its wheels and jam its wedge in Concussion’s face to stop its drum.

The judges watch on as Concussion’s teammates tell the driver to spin the drum. He confirms it’s spinning as fast as it can go, and then the cameras cut to Concussion’s weapon spinning slow enough that you can still see where one color starts and the other ends. Right about now would be the time when Concussion would start catching fire or something and, wait for it, there’s the smoke. I swear you can set your fucking watch to this shit. Concussion starts to crap out but is still able to slowly cruise around, meanwhile with no CO2 left Thor’s axe has entered a state that I like to call “giraffe mode”. Thor makes a couple of halfhearted rams into a dying Concussion before the clock runs out and sends this one to Noel and his buddies who surprisingly vote in favor of Concussion.

There’s always the wildcard, Thor.

WINNER: Concussion, Judges’ Decision


We’re halfway through the 9th series of Robot Wars and three of the spots in the Grand Final have been claimed. So far we’ve got the deadly disc of Aftershock, the fabulous flipper of Eruption, and now the complete and total money sink that is Concussion. I’d have come up with some witty alliteration for Concussion but I doubt the team’s finances would allow for it. Next week’s episode is gonna be killer. Ironside 3 is back along with Apex which is basically its close so right off the bat 25% of the field are helicopter spinners. Supernova also returns and it looks like the team has smartened up and made a solid disc instead of bolting teeth onto a flywheel. Finally Pulsar, a Grand Finalist last year, returns and I keep seeing Pulsar smoking in the promotional shots of the show so I’m guessing it blows up at some point and that should be pretty rad.

Oh, and there’s Frostbite which /r/RobotWars is already tearing to shreds with jokes and memes before the episode has even aired.

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– Dracophile