[Robot Wars UK: S8 is available online through the BBC.]

Good news, the results are in and people from the UK don’t hate this website! See, I kind of shot myself in the foot when I named this website “BattleBots Update” even though the name itself is just a joke reference to a segment from that show. From the start I had intentions to write about more than just BattleBots alone but I went to school for television production not marketing so hey what the fuck do I know? I’m certainly not working in TV either so that degree of mine was absolutely money well spent, sort of like how much some of these teams invest into their robots only for them to get beat to shit, ran over by Sir Killalot, and left to die on the flame pit.

Last week I called Dara O’Briain “an unfortunately shaped British man with a lisp”. Turns out he’s actually Irish, which is completely different from being British. “Couldn’t you tell from his voice?” I was asked. No, no I could not. I will say however to the person who posed the question “his last name started with an ‘O’ wasn’t that enough of a hint” that you got me. Sometimes I just take guesses at things because I get tired of googling obscure trivia or doing complex math to make a joke that like three people ever get. Anyways, there’s eight more fabulous robots about to battle for the second slot in the Grand Final. We should go see who they are.


HI, GROUP 1

"Why would you assume the robot is named Tombstone?"

“Why would you assume the robot is named Tombstone?”

Angela greets Jason Marston, builder of THOR. Whereas most teams are, you know, a team Jason is all by his lonesome piloting a robot that he surely got to call all the shots on when designing and building it. Thor isn’t exactly new since it showed up toward the end of the series’ original run, but for the most part its design has remained the same: a giant fucking hammer. Thanks to the international cancer that is “superhero movies” more people are likely familiar with who the actual Thor is today and thus more of you will “get the gimmick” so to speak. Yes, I know Thor is actually a Nordic god and not a shitty superhero but unfortunately I’ve burned up most of my quality Thor jokes writing about Mjollnir from BattleBots so welcome to the bottom of the barrel. Jason is so eager to kick someone’s ass that he’s holding his transmitter like he’s driving with it which triggers Angela and she asks him to cut that shit out before bouncing to search for snacks elsewhere in the pits.

SHOCKWAVE is the robot Dara is tasked with introducing and since you can basically figure out everything you need to know about this robot by simply glancing at it he’s forced to fill time by asking a bunch of questions that not even a five year old would blurt out during show and tell. Shockwave is a giant box with a lifting wedge; it’s Tornado if Tornado wasn’t already the most boring fucking machine ever built.

Above: Nails.

Above: Nails.

TOUGH AS NAILS joins this week’s first group arguably as the bot to watch. Tough as Nails’ pedigree stretches all the way back to the last few series of Robot Wars’ original UK run where it never failed to make it at least to the semifinals during both the 7th series and the Third World Championship… which was literally number three in a series of world championships that were held, not a literal “third world” championship; it’s not like Tough as Nails got to beat up on robots from countries like Zimbabwe and shit. The robot’s from the Netherlands by the way, so I don’t really think that qualifies it for being in the third world. Tough as Nails is one of the handful of robots who have a “signature look”, in this case it’s the fact that the robot’s pneumatic crushing system is built into its chassis and everything articulates around two primary pivot points.

Dara introduces DISCONSTRUCTOR, the final robot from this group. Also returning from retirement after the end of The Seventh Wars, DisConstructor mostly looks to have the exact same design that it had a decade or so ago. That’s not necessarily a bad thing though because DisConstructor hardly got to show what it was capable of doing since its first order of business was to accidentally open the pit and drive straight into it like it was a fucking stock robot. In case you can’t tell from the robot’s name, DisConstructor’s main offense is its large spinning — wait for it — disc, which spins at around 2,500 RPM and is the second such weapon this season to put Kill-E-Crank-E’s to shame. Dara ends his interview by saying something literally unintelligible about DisConstructor’s titanium armor.


GROUP BATTLE 1

DISCONSTRUCTOR

Team DisConstructor

Weapon: Horizontal spinning disc

SHOCKWAVE

Team Shock

Weapon: Lifting wedge

THOR

Team Thor

Weapon: Pneumatic axe

TOUGH AS NAILS

Team KODOX

Weapon: Pneumatic crushing jaw

fuuuuuuuuuuuck

fuuuuuuuuuuuck

Most of the field immediately goes for DisConstructor likely because a spinning weapon that fast and powerful poses a significant threat to everyone else’s weapons which are largely just touchy-feely shit that don’t cause much damage. Yes, that includes Thor because I genuinely have no fucking clue why its builder is using a blunt cut of metal as an axe head when I know for a fact he’s got a pointy one somewhere because I saw it in the opening of the first goddamned episode. DisConstructor lands the first hit on Tough as Nails which bends the tip of Tough as Nails’ left tooth. Sensing imminent destruction Shockwave decides to bounce instead and opens the pit. Thor tries to take a swing at Tough as Nails but ends up flailing out of control and since the pit button has been pressed this causes Tough as Nails to immediately execute their standard plan of “bite someone on the ass, drag them to the pit”.

Tough as Nails charges toward DisConstructor but gets its game salted by Shockwave which results in DisConstructor allowing itself to get thrown through the air by the floor flipper. DisConstructor’s driver wasn’t exactly what you’d call “good” in the seventh wars and I guess 13 years later not much has changed because Shockwave takes advantage of the situation and dumps the spinner into the pit. Wow, you guys waited 13 fucking years to make a comeback and this was it? Well, at least you didn’t drive yourselves into the pit this time so I guess it’s not a total loss. I look forward to seeing you come back next year where optimistically you’ll actually land a decent goddamned hit on someone. While DisConstructor was busy getting bodied Thor has managed to get its face bitten by Tough as Nails. If I knew any better I’d assume someone swapped Tough as Nails out with that shitty Xenomorph robot from series 7. That was an Alien joke but it didn’t work that well. Sue me.

shiiiiiiiiiiiiit

shiiiiiiiiiiiiit

Thor starts swinging its hammer around but can’t hit Tough as Nails because it doesn’t have quite enough reach. Shockwave tries to get in on the action but really only serves to annoy everyone and remind them of its presence. One of Tough as Nails’ drivers says it’s time to drop Thor off in the pit so they casually try to drag their prey backwards and make the fatal error of driving up the fucking wall. Suddenly this puts their robot’s naughty bits right in Thor’s face and he eats that pussy like a watermelon, landing at least one heavy blow right onto the little blue box that’s normally guarded when Tough as Nails’ jaws are open. I’m not really sure what purpose this box serves, but it must be important because after Thor whacked the shit out of it Tough as Nails just kinda dies and coasts over into the corner of the arena.

“Jason’s been a star in this,” Jonathan says as Thor drifts over to Tough as Nails. I don’t think we’ve been watching the same fight Jonathan, because while Thor may have landed a lucky blow I’m pretty certain his robot spent the first half of this battle either flipping itself over or having to stare at the back of Tough as Nails’ throat. Team KODOX watches on as their dead robot is nudged toward the pit and for a moment there’s a glimmer of hope for them as both Thor and Shockwave almost fuck everything up and drive into the pit themselves, but alas the bitey blue robot gets tossed aside to the tune of Jonathan making a bunch of fucking Dutch puns.

WINNERS: Thor and Shockwave


GROUP 2 RENDEZVOUS

birb

birb

DRAVEN is the first robot introduced from Group 2 and since Dara starts this segment off reminding us how big 50% is I’m assuming there’s not going to be many words traded here. The driver of Draven says he’s worried about spinners “of which there’s at least one” (read: exactly one) in this battle because his team wasted so much weight making their robot look like a stupid bird that they didn’t leave enough weight for armor that didn’t suck. Draven’s design incorporates a crushing beak that can also raise and lower after biting down on an opponent, presumably to either drop them into the pit or leave them with the house robots whose weapons are actually capable of doing damage. Fun fact, Draven originally failed to qualify for Robot Wars series 4, 5, and 6 but managed to get into Robot Wars Extreme for a single match against King B Powerworks which it of course lost. Top tier robot, folks.

Speaking of top tier, Angela has met up with the team behind MR SPEED SQUARED, the spinner that Draven’s team is afraid of. Angela is too busy cooing over their five week old newborn baby of a robot to let the builder finish his sentence about how the robot is partially disassembled because they removed armor after being told they were overweight. MR Speed Squared’s entire bottom panel has been removed because the team fucked up this bad. I’m not a rocket scientist or anything but even if you don’t own or have access to a scale that can weigh something as heavy as 110kg couldn’t you just weigh all the parts on a smaller scale and fucking add it all up to avoid something this embarrassing? Also, the bottom panel had to be removed? Man, wouldn’t it suck if there was an arena hazard that could attack from the floor, like spikes or fire or something? That would be terrible!

No, this robot isn't disassembled. It literally looks like this.

No, this robot isn’t disassembled. It literally looks like this.

Dara says the “a-word” as he approaches FOXIC. No, he didn’t call the team “assholes”, he said “anthropomorphizing”. As in furry trash. Sure enough when he makes it to Craig Danby’s table he mutters out “you could turn them into a fox” with the cadence and disdain of a Something Awful regular circa 2003. Foxic is a stout four-wheel drive machine with a lifting wedge that, according to Craig, can double as an overhead hammer. Foxic is especially relevant to this blog because in a bit of robo-crossover Foxic occasionally travels to the United States to compete in Robogames. Here’s a video of Craig’s robot going face-to-face (literally) with Last Rites, the non-trademark infringing version of BattleBots champion Tombstone. By the way I meant it when I said “furry trash”; Foxic was allegedly named in such a way as to be an homage to Sonic the Hedgehog. Gee, if only there were a fox character from that game they could’ve gone with as a better reference.

CHIMERA is a goddamned mess. From the very first shot of the robot we can see clear as day wheels made from repurposed car tires and what appears to be a set of fucking door hinges incorporated into the robot’s chassis. Also, shoutouts to Chimera’s builder trying to take the microphone away from Angela and failing to do so. This is something that you will now never unsee. Chimera’s main weapon is a thwacking hammer meaning that we are now dealing with “a thwackbot in the heavyweight division”, an unintentional running gag on this website where I am forced to point out and laugh at how embarrassingly ineffective this style of robot is in weight classes above 60 pounds. Jonathan says Chimera’s driver can name every robot that has ever competed in Robot Wars plus every member of the team and he’s got a picture of Matilda on his wall?! Holy fucking shit, I didn’t think it was possible but you’ve just out-autismed the people who named their robot after Sonic the fucking Hedgehog.

Also, that picture damn well better not be this one.


GROUP BATTLE 2

DRAVEN

Anarchic Engineering

Weapon: Crushing/lifting jaw

FOXIC

Team Danby

Weapon: Lifting wedge

MR SPEED SQUARED

Team Forsey

Weapon: Horizontal spinning disc

CHIMERA

Team Chimera

Weapon: Spiked thwacking arm

Jonathan knows what’s up because the first words out of his mouth are, paraphrasing here, “who is MR Speed Squared going to fuck first?” Chimera’s builder warns the driver to keep away from MR Speed Squared. All Chimera has to do is literally drive forward to get away from the spinner but they fuck it all up and within seconds MR Speed Squared has struck Chimera and cocked one of its wheels to hell. The guy repeats the same message of “stay away from that one” just in case MR Speed Squared hasn’t already made it crystal fucking clear. Somehow both of Chimera’s wheels are still functional even though the right one is bent so badly that there isn’t a mathematical formula in known goddamned science that can be used to calculate its current angle.

This is the saddest fucking picture on this blog.

This is the saddest fucking picture on this blog.

Draven tries to score some easy points on Chimera since Foxic has fucked off to the far corner of the arena to sit and do nothing. As Chimera tries to spin away from Draven’s beak it turns right into the oncoming MR Speed Squared who effortlessly shears Chimera’s left wheel clean off. Chimera’s driver might be able to name every robot and every team member ever, but Team Forsey has just ensured that he’ll never fucking ever forget MR Speed Squared. Draven appears to be MR Speed Squared’s next target and as Draven charges at the spinner it misses its mark and instead hits its opponent with the front right corner of its chassis and takes a massive blow that sends chunks of its composite armor flying. Meanwhile, Foxic is still in the same goddamned corner.

Draven goes right back to biting on Foxic to avoid MR Speed Squared but fails to do so and ends up getting its entire side panel destroyed by the spinning ring. The countdown timer shows up to send Draven back to Wiltshire and cease is called. I’m assuming somewhere in this mess Chimera was also considered immobilized? I mean, I don’t give a shit or anything but it would’ve been nice to have some confirmation on that during the fight. Also congratulations to Foxic for advancing onward by virtue of being the only robot not struck by MR Speed Squared!

WINNERS: MR Speed Squared and Foxic


THOR vs. MR SPEED SQUARED

MR Temperature Hot

MR Temperature Hot

During its previous match MR Speed Squared kicked a little too much ass and managed to blow all of its weapon bearings to pieces. It looks like the team found replacements or otherwise fixed the issue because right away MR Speed Squared gets spinning while Thor charges it to try and slow it down. In order to deal with MR Speed Squared’s spinner Thor is wearing a thick piece of metal at its front to absorb the damage, and in order to cover up the fact that their robot has no fucking armor MR Speed Squared is running this fight upside down so its exposed innards are facing the floor this time around. MR Speed Squared gets bumped into the pit release as Thor knocks it around and what appears to be one of the weapon bearings falls off of the spinner and just casually rolls away. MR Speed Squared, MR Construction Half-Assed.

Jonathan laments “the baby of Robot Wars” being left on the fire pit in the hands of Dead Metal with some shitty nursery rhymes while Thor swings its axe and crumples the top of MR Speed Squared. We’re informed that Thor has allegedly beaten up things like washing machines and microwaves as if this is somehow important. Yeah, and Rotator from BattleBots had a whole segment where it sliced a bunch of printers into plastic ribbons and we all saw how well that translated to the fucking arena. Regardless, now that MR Speed Squared’s weapon is pretty much dead this is Thor’s battle to win and an expertly swung strike lands its axe through MR Speed Squared’s top panel and into its electronics. Surprisingly, this doesn’t kill MR Speed Squared and the robot is able to get away and land a weak blow with its disc.

THE PILEDRIVER!

THE PILEDRIVER!

Thor keeps on the spinner and gets fucked by the floor flipper which inverts both robots and nearly peels the polycarbonate lid right off the goddamned hazard. Thor is able to self-right, and MR Speed Squared can run either way up so it’s not really an issue. What is an issue however is the fact that MR Speed Squared’s weak underbelly is now exposed. I mean, its top armor clearly wasn’t doing a goddamned thing to protect the robot from Thor’s axe, but now they’re really fucked. MR Speed Squared’s drivers seem to realize this because after taking a few dangerously close hits from Thor they decide to do the honorable thing to save their asses and “accidentally” drop their robot into the pit. Remember, they still have to put their goddamned mess of a robot back together for at least two more battles. God help us.

WINNER: Thor, KO


SHOCKWAVE vs. FOXIC

Foxic gets a new ass crack.

Foxic gets a new ass crack.

When questioned by Angela Scanlon before this battle regarding his previous strategy of running away and letting MR Speed Squared kill everyone, Foxic’s builder Craig Danby responded by mocking Angela to her fucking face. I guarantee at least one person watching this had their fake-PTSD “triggered” and took to Tumblr to decry Craig’s “toxic masculinity” and “white male privilege”.

Foxic starts this fight by driving forward instead of straight into the corner so I guess we’re off to a good start as far as shitty robots named after Sonic the Hedgehog are concerned. Shockwave is like the size of a fucking truck compared to Foxic and because it wasn’t able to get under Foxic right away the driver immediately opens the pit because reasons. Any faith I had in Foxic pretty much disappears once the robot starts visibly stalling in the middle of the arena which allows Shockwave to effortlessly slide underneath it and take it to Dead Metal where a follow-up ram from Shockwave’s plow sends an entire chunk of Foxic’s face flying off. Foxic retaliates by pushing back against Dead Metal which I will admit is pretty amazing considering how heavy the house robots are these days, but honestly this only makes me question how Foxic has the drive power to push against Dead Metal but still can’t seem to fucking turn.

Shockwave puts the furry trash where it belongs.

Shockwave puts the furry trash where it belongs.

Shockwave gets in on the action and rams Foxic from behind. I realize now after writing the previous sentence that there’s a million furry jokes that I can make about foxes traditionally being submissive and taking it from behind but people keep telling me that I make them uncomfortable when I talk about anthropomorphic animals fucking so I guess I’ll pass on the opportunity. Prudes. Anyways, Foxic is getting spitroasted by two massive robots and Shockwave’s leverage is just what Dead Metal needed for its blade to be able to reach Foxic’s tiny chassis. Dead Metal backs away and affords Shockwave the opportunity to take Foxic into the wall which results in Craig’s robot getting overturned and stuck on its side. Shockwave’s builder suggests putting Foxic into the pit, but the driver is certain Foxic is stuck and freeing it isn’t necessary.

He was wrong because within seconds Foxic flips its wedge around and pushes itself off of the arena wall. This is it. This is Foxic’s moment to turn this battle around and stomp out Shockwave for some much needed points. Actually, nevermind. Foxic is in the pit.

WINNER: Shockwave, KO


MISSION TO MARS

Talk. To. The. Hand.

Talk. To. The. Hand.

Much like last week, Dara fills some time by speaking to one of the Robot Wars judges about how robotics is shaping our future. Last week Noel Sharkey talked to us about robot sex suits, or “sexoskeletons” for short. This week the segment is all about robots replacing humans in dangerous situations and our guest is an Indian gentleman whose name I’m not even going to begin to try and spell because doing so would be the most racist thing I’ve ever done on BattleBots Update.

Sethu brings up the topic of NASA’s Valkyrie program, a 15-year mission to ultimately have an unmanned mission to Mars. Research suggests that a robotic mission would cost as little as 1/8th the cost of a traditional human-manned mission due to the fact that robots don’t need to do petty human things like breathe, drink water, or take a dump. Plus, nobody will give a shit if something terrible happens and we lose a robot in space because it’s just a fucking robot. If we lost an actual human being it would be a PR nightmare and some insurance company would have to pay out on a massive goddamned life insurance policy. In short, no one would be happy. At least if the ship drifts off with a robot inside of it the mission can become a real life version of Toonami or something; there’s a silver lining here, is what I’m saying.


THOR vs. SHOCKWAVE

"We made this from literal garbage!"

“We made this from literal garbage!”

Robot combat is often likened to a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors on steroids. Exemplifying this notion is the fact that Thor’s front “spinner killer” panel has been removed and replaced with two hinged teeth that Jason Marston hopes will counteract Shockwave’s wedge. Unbeknown to him however, Shockwave has gone ahead and switched out their wedge for a bulldozer scoop made from high density plastic with the hopes that the flexible nature of the material will deflect Thor’s axe away.

Shockwave begins the fight with its scoop raised which does seem to deter Jason’s itchy trigger finger when it comes to Thor’s axe. Thanks to the addition of the little hinged wedges Thor has no problems getting underneath Shockwave and pushing it around. Someone opens the pit, but I can’t tell who it was because neither robot seemed like they were close enough to the button to touch it which leads me to believe that the “pit release” button isn’t really a button at all and it’s just some tire they bolted to the wall and someone just eyeballs it to see when it’s “pressed”. If that’s the case, someone fucked up at their job. Shockwave is tossed over to Dead Metal and somehow the entire “Shockwave” decal on the bulldozer loses its stickiness and starts to fall off. Not sure who printed those out for you guys, but I hope you got your money back because that print quality is fucking amateur hour.

Doink!

Doink!

Thor finally swings its axe and in a single blow lops off one of the three segments of Shockwave’s plow. Realizing its opponent’s weapon is built about as well as MR Speed Squared and that it could’ve been swinging its axe this whole goddamned time, Thor goes to town on Shockwave and relentlessly hammers down on it without much regard. A single blow is successfully caught by what’s left of Shockwave’s plow before Thor manages to pop another segment of it off and Jonathan starts yelling about how Shockwave might be able to still win this if it keeps out of trouble and lets the match go to the judges. Right, because Shockwave has clearly dominated this match up to this point and would certainly win on points if Noel and his buddies scored it thus far.

On the subject of points, Shockwave musters at least one or two of them by luring Thor close to Matilda where her disc rips off part of Thor’s left wheel guard, however this came at the price of having the rest of Shockwave’s bullshit plow getting torn away and its mounting bracket visibly bent down the middle so any hypothetical “points” that Shockwave may have scored here have easily been outdone by the simple fact that their grand idea of a weapon held on with six fucking bolts is falling apart. As Jonathan assumed, the fight goes to the judges. Guess who doesn’t win.

WINNER: Thor, Judges’ Decision


FOXIC vs. MR SPEED SQUARED

MR Speed Squared, perpetually in a state of disassembly.

MR Speed Squared, perpetually in a state of disassembly.

This match is special in that Foxic and MR Speed Squared are both from the same original group melee but have never actually fought each other due to Foxic’s strategy of avoiding literally everyone. It was able to survive by virtue of Chimera and Draven being closer in proximity to MR Speed Squared’s blade so they were ultimately eliminated first. It’s also special because both of these robots are fucking broken; Foxic just doesn’t seem to work period while MR Speed Squared had its moment in the spotlight and ended up doing just as much damage to itself as its opponents reducing it to little more than a swivel chair with pocket knives glued to it. Here are two shitty robots with 0 points each, the only guarantee for this match is that one of them is going to get at least 2 points and even then I think that’s pushing it.

MR Speed Squared begins to start spinning its outer right while Foxic drives over and parks itself atop the flame grill and underneath MR Speed Squared’s ring. For reasons unknown, this appears to stop MR Speed Squared’s blade and it doesn’t resume spinning when the robot drives away. Foxic gives chase as best as a robot that can’t seem to fucking steer can do so and ends up stuck somewhere behind the arena’s floor flipper. MR Speed Squared fucks off across the arena to do absolutely nothing while the crowd starts chanting “FIGHT” because thus far we’ve literally seen almost zero contact between the two robots save for the first three seconds of the match.

Here's some action. I think.

Here’s some action. I think.

Foxic gets stuck underneath Dead Metal — again — and MR Speed Squared hobbles all the way over to Foxic like it’s going to try and ram into it but at the last minute stops and does a 180 to take its jolly old goddamned time making its way over to the pit release button. By this point we might as well be watching two Alzheimer patients on Walmart scooters trying to find the fucking milk. Sir Killalot goes over to help Dead Metal do something to Foxic because we’re far enough into this fight where even Jonathan is starting to bitch and moan about it and he’s the “professional commentator” that the producers rehired to work on this show. The 10 second countdown shows up to mark the end of the fight and we get the most action yet as the two robots barely bump into each other and Foxic manages to get half a lift in.

This fight went to the judges but still seems like it ran a little fast. I checked the video time codes and this three minute fight was literally cut in half to run just 90 seconds. That means the shit show we saw were the good parts. If I were a judge I’d declare both of the robots losers and disqualify them in favor of fucking Chimera. This battle is so bad that Noel motherfucking Sharkey says on tape that it just might be the worst goddamned fight he’s ever seen in Robot Wars history, and he’s presided as a judge for literally every season of this series.

WINNER: Who fucking cares?


THOR vs. FOXIC

Gripping, like that photo of the man standing in the way of that tank.

Gripping, like that photo of the man standing in the way of that tank.

Craig Danby starts talking mad shit in the pits regarding his upcoming fight against Thor. Tough talk for someone who hasn’t won a single battle yet and also managed to lose to a weaponless and mostly naked MR Speed Squared. Angela lets us know via voiceover that Foxic’s drive should be fixed. Yeah, they said that before the last fight and look how well that one worked out.

Foxic starts this match with its wedge pointed upward and its driver dares Thor to swing its axe. Thor doesn’t swing its axe. Look dude, I don’t know if you actually fell for the bullshit Craig was dropping about how his robot’s wedge will slice clean through your axe’s neck but he’s lying, the man built a robot that can’t even fucking move right. He also said that he was using a “special attachment” for this battle but I can see clear as day that Foxic’s front end is the same one that both Shockwave and MR Speed Squared have taken turns shitting all over. Foxic is a heavyweight that sucks so hard that it would find a way to lose to a lightweight. Sir Chromalot would wipe the floor with this piece of trash. In fact, Sir Chromalot’s builder would rise from the fucking grave just to throw Foxic under Matilda’s ass.

lol yiff in hell furfags

lol yiff in hell furfags

For what it’s worth Foxic’s drive power appears to be strong enough to muscle Thor around which results in the pit getting opened early on in this fight. Foxic is somewhat strong and also faster but overall this doesn’t equate to the upper hand that you’d normally assume a faster robot would have. Thor is still able to wedge underneath Foxic since Foxic’s wedge is pointed straight up to deter Thor from taking any swings at it which reduces Foxic’s chassis to the realm of Ground Clearance City. Jonathan informs us that Craig and his team have built 132 robots so far, and my guess is not a single one has ever won a fight. He also gets in on talking shit by saying Foxic probably isn’t their best one because after Foxic’s previous performance where Jonathan was reduced to rhyming “dreary” with “weary” he has simply stopped giving a fuck.

My favorite feature from the original Robot Wars series decides to make a glorious comeback in the form of the “instant lose floor grate”. Foxic gets shoved over to the fire pit where it promptly either dies or becomes ensnared on the floor’s grid pattern. Whatever the case it causes Foxic’s team to start freaking out because their robot uses LiPoly batteries which can explode when exposed to open flame. Sadly, Foxic doesn’t humanely self-detonate to put itself out of its misery, Dead Metal ends up spending the rest of the match digging its blade into Foxic’s face until it’s counted out and Matilda throws it into the pit long after cease is called and nobody gives a shit.

WINNER: Thor, KO


MR SPEED SQUARED vs. SHOCKWAVE

Hell of a plow you've got there.

Hell of a plow you’ve got there.

This match is basically going to be an exercise in pushing power between a bulldozer and a weaponless robot shaped like a stop sign. Within literal seconds of the battle starting Shockwave has already left MR Speed Squared in the hands of Sir Killalot’s babysitting and has also opened the pit. This match almost ends in seconds but MR Speed Squared is able to drive against Shockwave’s plow and disorient it to survive long enough to instead be shoved over to Dead Metal who slices into what looks like one of the weapon bearings on MR Speed Squared. It doesn’t matter though, because MR Speed Squared’s outer ring is barely moving and probably isn’t even spinning with enough power to open a fucking letter.

Shockwave’s drive system appears to be too strong for its own good because much like it did earlier in this episode Shockwave has popped a drive chain already. You guys really don’t need to be pounding on the accelerator to beat MR Speed Squared. I mean, I know “Speed” is in the robot’s name but it’s about as meaningless as Tough as Nails which was apparently neither tough nor made of nails. Shockwave puts its hastily repaired scoop to good use and sticks MR Speed Squared up against the wall where MR Speed Squared just starts smoking in response presumably because the driver tried spinning its weapon to get the robot down from there. Surprisingly, MR Speed Squared gets down from the wall and everything seems to still work. Well, “work” in the sense of functioning about as well as it did when it started this match which was pretty shitty to begin with.

Again, such a quality weapon.

Again, such a quality weapon.

The scoop on the front of Shockwave looks to be the same one that was being used against Thor, the one that came apart in three even chunks and had its bracket all bent the fuck up. For some reason the team decided to use this mistake again and while it hasn’t yet fallen apart you can tell from the slow motion replays that the scoop is still buckling and loosening up while the robot does nothing more than corral around what is pretty much a broken robot. I really have no idea why their Hardox steel wedge is collecting dust in the pits but my best guess is that it was considered a total write-off when the Shockwave decal was peeled away in the group battle. Anyways Jonathan starts giving a eulogy for MR Speed Squared reminding us that it wasn’t always a total piece of shit while Shockwave almost fucks everything up and falls into the pit which — as a reminder — would’ve put MR Speed Squared in the fucking heat finals.

Shockwave makes a minor correction and dumps MR Speed Squared, netting them 3 points and a rematch against Thor.

WINNER: Shockwave, KO


HEAT FINAL
THOR vs. SHOCKWAVE

THOR

Team Thor

Weapon: Pneumatic axe

SHOCKWAVE

Team Shock

Weapon: Lifting wedge

Thor, driving vertically.

Thor, driving vertically.

Once again much like last week our heat final is the third time both of these robots have been in the ring together. During their initial group battle, Shockwave immediately tossed DisConstructor into the pit while Thor finagled a lucky strike on Tough as Nails’ battery box which killed it completely. More importantly these two competitors have made it this far because the offerings in Group 2 this week were laughably terrible. MR Speed Squared made a strong case for its unique design but since the robot was built with the world’s worst bearings its weapon ended up being good for exactly one fight and that was it. Foxic also advanced onward but ended up finishing the Head to Head rounds with an impressive zero fucking points meaning that somewhere along the line it managed to lose to a broken down MR Speed Squared. Neither robot was heat final material which is why Shockwave and Thor have made it this far. Also, it looks like Team Shock finally realized their plastic bulldozer scoop was a dumbass idea because they’re entering this match with their standard wedge.

lol u ben THUNDERSTUCK

lol u ben THUNDERSTRUCK

Jason is still convinced that Thor’s mini hinged wedges will allow his robot to get underneath Shockwave’s wedge so he crashes his robot into Shockwave in the middle of the arena. As you’re probably guessing, the wedglets don’t work and Thor almost gets flipped over. This hit seems to have done something to Thor because the axe is swinging but the robot itself appears to be dead. Shockwave lines up a beautiful cross-arena drive to shove Thor into the pit but chokes at the last second to reorient itself and nudge its opponent down instead. I get why they stopped, but if Thor didn’t shit the bed after the first hit and stop working then Shockwave would’ve missed out on pitting Thor because no one in their right mind except maybe Foxic would hang out near the fucking pit.

Still, Shockwave claims its easy victory and its spot in the Grand Final.

WINNER: Shockwave, KO


Shockwave joins Carbide in the Grand Final with just three slots left, plus a wildcard to fill the 6th spot. Thanks, BattleBots, for the idea of having wildcards. I’m sure the judges will pick someone great like Robot Wars’ equivalent of Chomp or something. Still, there’s 24 more robots to introduce this series which is great any way you slice it, for you all at least. For me that just means I have to find 24 more ways to be funny.

This is real nigga hours so remember to MASH DAT MF LIKE on Facebook, and pour one out with that Donate button. Huge thanks to Alex L. and Paul V. for their recent contributions! 🙂

– Dracophile

rwuks8e2_endofarticle