SAAAAAAN FRAAAAAANCIS… oh right, they’re in LA this year, silly me.
So, we are now officially into the knockout rounds of this year’s BattleBots tournament. 32 robots go into the Box, one will eventually come out with the electronics of broken machines on one wheel and the Giant Nut on the other, or something like that. Last week showed the first four fights of the first (I think) round.
Yeti vs. Lucky: Solid fight for the battle of who’s truly the North (I hate myself for that, I know). Yeti impressed in its fight against Lock-Jaw and got another fight against a bot that wouldn’t make headway against its light armor. Lucky had a phenomenal fight with BETA but came up short, and the not-at-all-Canadian squad looked to make the most of their second chance. Big shots early, and the problem of Lucky’s flipper taking a while to come down cost them. They took one of Yeti’s (secondhand from Inertia Labs) tires, but Lucky lost their flipper in the process. Due to new rules on aggression and damage only counting if it’s done with the primary weapon (which the Internets is still split at best on) barring a miraculous hazard-induced KO this fight was in the bag. More hits from Yeti was able to clinch it. Yeti by KO.
Minotaur vs. Blacksmith: Another great fight, even if the outcome was also never really in doubt. Blacksmith again put up a courageous showing and got some nice hammer blows on Minotaur, but the titanium plate on the top of Minotaur did its job to mitigate the damage of that hammer (and the pulverizer, but the hazards suck now). Blacksmith lost the front wedge, then the front plate, and the hammer head (again), but kept coming until he couldn’t go on because the bot caught fire. It was called a knockout on the show, but an official post from the BattleBots Facebook page let everyone know that that was called AFTER time was up so it officially went to the judges. It takes a lot to survive three minutes with Team RioBotz, so all the points go to Al Kindle and Blacksmith, two valiant efforts against two legends. Except for the points on the scorecard, Minotaur, 3-0.
Bronco vs. ChromeFly: This was not a great fight, because it was basically as expected. However it gave Bronco a chance to check out its new rear wedge to take on spinners after the flipper attachment failed against Tombstone last year. The wedge on its own was enough to beat ChromeFly which self-destructed after two charges by Bronco, losing its lexan anti-flip shield and its blade again. Bronco flipped it a couple times, unfortunately didn’t get it out of the arena like they did to Stinger last year, but put it on the ledge after another bounce off the wall to count it out. Unfortunately the flipper didn’t put the drone into orbit, but they tried. Bronco by KO.
Witch Doctor vs. Red Devil: Witch Doctor went without the anti-spinner blow, so Shaman made its debut in this season in an attempt to obstruct Red Devil’s lifter and saw, basically a Shaman sacrifice. Shaman charged and missed and the two big bots quickly became locked in a pushing match, Red Devil clamping and sawing, Witch Doctor spinning. Someone started smoking and once the bots came loose, we saw it was Witch Doctor. Red Devil driver Jerome Miles said it best, that top of Witch Doctor was suspect and the batteries were vulnerable as a result, and a perfect angle meant that Witch Doctor got smoked, got flipped (partially due to running over Shaman), and the Devil got its due as the #3 seed went down. Red Devil by KO.
So that brings up this week’s episode, four more fights with eight more robots trying to punch their tickets to the Legally-Can’t-Call-It-Sweet 16. We’ve got Razorback and Ghost Raptor in a battle between vertical and nonentity horizontal spinners, Complete Control and Warhead for the honor of being torn up by Minotaur next round (picked and rooting for Warhead, but I am terrified), Son of Whyachi and Poison Arrow, which has shown a trailer clip of the sixth seed getting a phenomenal amount of air, and the top-seeded Tombstone taking on Escape Velocity. I’ve heard rumors of a big upset in this episode, so I’m now a little worried that the powerful bar spinner might get hit in the wrong place by the multibot’s smaller spinner and lose a tire or something. This would also wreck all of our brackets to varying degrees.
Except not. Due to the recent shootings in Dallas President Obama is giving a town hall address this evening. As a result of this, BattleBots has pushed the episode back a week, which means we have a week without glorious robot carnage. THANKS OBAMA!
What do we do now? Well, BattleBots has finally started answering all our angry complaints from last year and have slowly but surely started posting the cut videos. For an added bonus, we don’t have to deal with Chris Rose and Kenny Florian for these fights! However, there is a reason they were cut from TV and that’s because they’re not quite as entertaining as the fights that were shown on TV. I went over every fight in the last recap, but we’ve got:
The Ringmaster vs. Ultimo Destructo, which was over in the first few hits when Ultimo lost a drive chain in one side.
Defending champ Bite Force vs. Mohawk where I’d say Bite Force slightly disappointed in the damage department with that new vertical bar but Mohawk hasn’t worked right.
Escape Velocity vs. Overdrive where Overdrive’s new bar stopped working after one hit and it’s lost more fights by knockout at this point than previous Coolrobots heavyweight and notorious spinner-killer Overkill ever did (2-0).
Tombstone vs. Black Ice which wasn’t complete destruction because Black Ice’s drivetrain broke before its armor and Ray Billings let sleeping dogs lie rather than ask “One more?”
Wrecks vs. Red Devil, where Red Devil earned such a low seeding because it didn’t have to do anything and the most damage done was to the BattleBox floor.
Overhaul vs. Cobalt, where Overhaul stepped on another bot’s screw from an earlier fight. No, that’s actually why it stopped moving, it was going to win that fight otherwise.
SawBlaze vs. Razorback, which pissed off the entire Internet with the “active weapon” rule which meant all those charges by SawBlaze after the first two didn’t actually count (it’s to go against pushbots)
And Nightmare vs. Stinger, which wasn’t entirely awful but Nightmare’s new srimech had a glitch in the system which Jim Smentowski said was immediately fixed, which prevented this fight from being truly great.
So hopefully that’ll tide you for the upcoming week, because watching robots kill each other is infinitely better than watching society crumble. In the meantime, here are the standings for the DFO BattleBots Prediction contest, both how many points and the predicted champion.
Low Commander-2 pts, Bronco
A lot of people were big on Witch Doctor and Lucky, so they took hits there. Nobody got all four fights correct, Witch Doctor was a big upset. Credit to Personizzle for mitigating it, and Blax actually picked Red Devil to win (he had Blacksmith over Minotaur though). We’ll see how this shakes out over the next few weeks. Three out of the ten brackets each have Tombstone or Bronco winning the title, both good picks, but I went with the spinner killer Stinger, who potentially has a steady diet of spinners as its match-ups (a victory over Mega Tento would put Stinger against glass cannon Yeti in the next round, for instance).
So once again, no BattleBots tonight, yes BattleBots next week. Drinking now, because sure why not.