Hi everyone, Senor back from two weeks of playing musical theater for a two-week break before going back to play more musical theater. Which means I can re-take the recaps! For those of you who missed Rikki’s excellent job of filling in for me, we ended the round of 32 and started the round of 16, complete with upsets (HyperShock nooooooo we all wanted #TheRakening2), not-so-upsets (Warhead nooooooo but Bronco yay!), and whatever we end up calling Bombshell–Red Devil. It was kinda eh. Also, “ignite the dynamite?” Did you really want to use “boom goes the dynamite” Chris Rose and got worried about copyright or trademark infringement?
Anyway, thanks to the Olympics there’s a two-week gap of reruns, the two episodes that got delayed in the West by the conventions. Thank goodness they upload the fights, you know, the important stuff, onto the Internet. But it means there’s a two-week hole to figure out what to do.
Rather than do stupid things like equate robots to Olympic sports they’d be good at (Bronco with the shot put, Warhead with rhythmic gymnastics, Minotaur and Tombstone behind all the participants of the 100m in case they go too slow), over the next two weeks I will show you what are, in my opinion, the 20 greatest fights in BattleBots history. Now, this does not mean the 20 greatest fights in robot combat history because there’s RFL, there’s RoboGames, there’s Combots, and all sorts of fighting robot leagues and championships, even though it’s a lot of the same people competing. And that’s just in this country. (There’s Robot Wars, Roaming Robots… okay I’ll stop.) Plus, the winner on that is probably either one of the bajillion Sewer Snake/Last Rites/Original Sin fights or Tombstone vs. Killdozer which might be the most complete destruction you can do to a robot. Seriously. (It’s not the same Tombstone, this is the 340 lb. version from earlier on.)
To get to this, the first question is “What makes a good fight?” This doesn’t necessarily mean the most spectacular KOs, although neither is mutually exclusive. Pushing matches that end 24-21 (old scoring) or 3-2 (new scoring) don’t always make for exciting fights, and that’s why the active weapon rule is what it is today, love it or hate it. There are plenty of fights that involve excellent driving, damage on both sides, back and forth suspenseful affairs between great robots, where you need to watch the fight again to really figure out who won, and the audience is chanting for three more minutes. Or there’s also spectacular KOs where a robot gets absolutely torn to shreds. We have ’em both! (Bonus points where it could end in one shot either way like a showdown, but more on that later.) There will be some fights I’ve talked about from robots you know, some I haven’t talked about from robots you should learn about, and a couple others, probably. Anyway, without further ado!