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Last night Battlebots pushed through the final eight matches in the Round of 32 to set things up for the Sweet Sixteen, which meant we got four full fights and four cut matches. Here’s what happened:
Beta vs. Overhaul
Beta is a strange bot, in that its main motion is reminiscent of a certain stripper flailing around in a swimming pool, but it seems to get the job done. It’s been the most successful hammer bot thus far in the competition, and showed no signs of slowing down when pitted against lifter/crusher Overhaul. Overhaul missed its one great chance to activate its pincer and Beta was able to pound it into submission for a knockout win. Here’s a pretty extensive breakdown of the fight from Overhaul’s designer, Charles Guan.
Hypershock vs. Warrior Clan
A number of robots seem to have adapted a modular approach to weapons, but Hypershock took this to the next level by literally attaching a rake in order to deal with Warrior Clan’s drone “Dragon”. It was a brilliant maneuver in two ways – their takedown of the drone was awesome and produced a magnificent explosion, and later it came in handy as they were able to fend Warrior Clan’s main bot off during the endgame. Hypershock looked like they might have to dance around the ring and take a judge’s decision, but they ended up doing enough damage to win by knockout.
Stinger vs. Mega Tento
I can’t stand Mega Tento’s design, it really irritates me. Its stupid corral really seems useless and pretty much was in this match; its backside vertical spinner was the only part that did a bit of damage to Stinger, who completely dominated the fight – pushing Mega Tento around the arena into various hazards and torching it repeatedly with its flamethrower – but got robbed in a bullshit split decision by the judges. It was a pretty lame fight and a lame decision.
The cut fights were next…
Icewave vs. Nightmare
You’d think that a vertical spinner vs. a horizontal spinner would make for an entertaining match, but apparently not as Icewave knocked out Nightmare’s blade but lost its own drivetrain in the process and was summarily counted out. So it looks like there were about ten very interesting seconds worth of this match, but that’s about it.
Brutus vs. Lockjaw
In what was described as a “driving exhibition” (in NFL terms, a “defensive struggle” with lots of punts), Battlebots’ answer to Marshawn Lynch (gold, grills, and guns) Brutus took a split decision in a fight that ended with a lack of visible damage to either contestant.
Bombshell vs. Cobalt
Bombshell had a horizontal spinner that’s capable of in-match height adjustment, so in response to Cobalt’s attempt to back into the fight and use its armor to take out the blade, (the same technique RTD favorite Bronco used to take out Chromefly), Bombshell’s drivers simply used the time to lower their spinning blade to the perfect height where it sheared off Cobalt’s tires and left him stranded to be counted out. Not the most visually compelling fight, but excellent strategy.
Bite Force vs. Ringmaster
In a matchup that normally might have been fun to watch, Bite Force made fairly easy work of spinner Ringmaster by taking out its ability to spin (and do any damage) but its own weapon malfunctioned before it could chop Ringmaster to bits, so it was forced to settle for a unanimous judges’ decision after the two bots could do nothing but drive in circle and kill time for the rest of the match.
Chomp vs. Captain Shrederator
Despite Battlebots producers clearly rooting for Chomp’s designer Zoe Stephenson (and RTD clearly rooting for Chomp), over jingoist Brian Nave, it seemed like Chomp’s design flaws would catch up to it. But YET AGAIN, Chomp managed to somehow emerge as the winner. Chomp did more visible damage to the floor with its flailing hammer spike, and to itself, as it got caught on top of the killsaws, than it did to Captain Shrederator, but apparently it landed enough hits as Shrederator repeatedly lost power and eventually stopped moving altogether.
So this leaves us with sixteen bots remaining. In an interesting twist, robots that have appeared here on DFO (Bronco, Chomp, and Bite Force) have all advanced to the Sweet Sixteen. I’m still pulling for Minotaur to win it all. BrettFavre’sColonscopy currently leads the bracket challenge, though only two entries have seen their predicted champion fall so it’s still very much anyone’s game. There are four matches coming up next week and here are my thoughts:
TOMBSTONE (-8) vs. Brutus: There’s no way Tombstone loses before the semifinals.
BRONCO (-2.5) vs. Razorback: Razorback was gifted a win over the insanely overrated Ghost Raptor. The books see this one as being close, as do I, but I the Bronco is able to take this one.
MINOTAUR (-4) vs. Warhead: You’ll see a lot of sparks flying in this one, but I’m fully in the tank for Minotaur and its monstrous drum spinner so this an easy call for me.
Red Devil vs. BOMBSHELL (+1): I was very impressed with Bombshell’s use of strategy last week, so the points seem like a gift here.
See you next week, folks! After that apparently the show is hiatus until August 25th, and Senor Weaselo will be back to take over.