Senor’s BattleBots Beat: No Tapping Out

Senor Weaselo

Senor Weaselo

Senor Weaselo plays the violin. He tucks it right under his chin. When he isn’t doing that, he enjoys watching his teams (Yankees, Jets, Knicks, and Rangers), trying to ingest enough capsaicin to make himself breathe fire (it hasn’t happened yet), and scheming to acquire the Bryant Park zamboni.
Senor Weaselo

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Morning, lizard people. Let’s see how this one turns out, since I was at my 10-year HS reunion over the weekend, so I was busy Friday night. And also as of this second the lappy’s still mostly dead because I was running around. Which means I’ll take notes on my phone and when I can commandeer the desktop, then I can write this bad boy up. So I apologize if anything seems untinkered. Because I didn’t tinker.

With that, welcome back to the Beat. Last time out, Double Jeopardy went pew, because there wasn’t enough leftover weight to go pew pew; SawBlaze won Round 1 of the MIT grudge matches; and HyperShock was absolutely gutted by its loss, literally.

Red Devil vs. Monsoon
Red Devil: 1-0 (W, KO 2:24 over Brutus)
Monsoon: 0-0

When we last saw Red Devil they were happily sawing away at the issue-plagued Brutus, and they were getting their own jitters out of the way, like “How do we run this thing?” Oh, speaking of, we finally have pictures of Jerome Miles (the actual builder of Red Devil) and the robot he brought to China, Dragon King. No, I don’t know why John Reid’s there instead.

Yeah, it looks very similar to Red Devil. Except with two saws instead of one. It unfortunately was one and done at This Is Fighting Robots! I’m not sure with the format, as I haven’t actually watched any of this season and only watched the first two episodes of King of Bots and still don’t understand Chinese. And since it’s in Shanghai, maybe it’s in the Shanghainese dialect? I don’t know, doesn’t help me either way.

Monsoon is a combination of robot teams from Britain, most notably the teams behind Concussion and Tauron. Look-wise, I guess it’s closer to Tauron as it is also a vertical bar spinner (Concussion is a drum spinner), and as these teams had some success in that you can expect them to be decent, but then again Cobalt (built by the time that built Carbide which made it to the Grand Final in all three of the “new” seasons, the only robot in Robot Wars history to make three of them ever, forget in a row) did only decently against Overhaul before their severe tactical error against Bombshell. We would have gotten Cobalt vs. Tombstone, US champ vs. UK champ, you know it. But they’re not here. Monsoon’s bar is bigger on one side than the other, though balanced, and that weapon arm can pivot if they are flipped, though that shouldn’t be an issue in this one. To combat the big vertical bar, Red Devil again goes with the plow. We haven’t seen the jaws yet, but eventually I hope. It looks so much cooler that way.

There was some intrigue in the beginning as Monsoon crossed over in the activation phase but there was nothing by it. Also announcer Faruq Tauheed made a “Devil Went Down to Georgia” reference, so once again, points for Faruq. I’m a simple man.

The vertical bar against the plow… did not go as well for the plow this time (courtesy Reddit). Red Devil got sent head over heels backwards, got flipped, got the plow damaged, got hit again, lost the saw, got hit again, got flipped again. It wasn’t looking good for Red Devil… and then all of a sudden Monsoon’s weapon motor smoked out. So with both weapons out in totally different fashions it became a pushing match. The good news for Red Devil is that due to the plow they had the advantage in pushing situations, but that pod was damaged enough or the plow was damaged enough or something in the pivot between the weapon pod and the wheel pods because it was facing the wrong way or whatever because the plow would lift up. It would still be able to get the push on Monsoon, but it definitely hindered its push. Also hindering it would be getting nicked by the killsaws in the last 10 seconds. Time ran out and in my opinion the early exchanges and damage inflicted by Monsoon to Red Devil, instead of the self-inflicted of the weapon motor going, should have been enough to give Monsoon the victory, though the fact that Red Devil lasted is amazing considering the first 15 seconds. The judges… well, it went to a split decision. I agree with the majority, as Monsoon wins via the split decision, but I am admittedly curious how Derek Young divvied up the points. We don’t get to see the scorecards but I’m guessing they were split in aggression?

Lucky vs. Skorpios
A pair of robots returning for a second season. Lucky was the CANADA! robot, and now builder Mark Demers has taken the captaincy. It was weird; as much as we love Rob Masek, he’s not Canadian, so if they’re going to be the Canada robot, especially now that Complete Control is no longer fighting and Derek Young is a judge, it’s best that the actual Canadians take the helm. Skorpios was a robot who competed in the Gears Awaken rumbles. I think something misfired and it went straight backwards into the screws, and nearly cut its way through the screws, which is impressive and all, but does not count as damage, strategy, control, aggression, or even mobility, and so it was counted out and Black Ice won that rumble and got to face Tombstone as its reward. The most surprising thing is the amount of dustpan robots. The only notable one previously was middleweight finalist S.O.B. and now we have SawBlaze and Skorpios and in a similar vein the previously mentioned Red Devil.

It started off with neither being able to get under the other, but the force of Lucky’s flipper was able to flick Skorpios away and make sparks fly on the BattleBox floor. Yeah, the floor takes a beating in case you haven’t figured that out by now. Skorpios turned this fight on it first successful sawing, which got into Lucky’s wheels and caused a shower of sparks. And while that happened they were under the Skorpios-controlled pulverizer, so Lucky was in some trouble, cornered between the unfriendly hammer and the definitely unfriendly robot and unable to move. Skorpios, like SawBlaze against Overhaul or Red Devil against Brutus, could stick and move and damage and attack. Somehow Lucky got its flipper on top of the saw and briefly got a ride from Skorpios. And then landed on the killsaws. Which added injury to injury. Skorpios can’t love that they fight went the full three minutes, but hell, Skorpios wins by unanimous decision.

Tantrum vs. Battle Royale with Cheese
You heard me correctly regarding the second robot’s name. I’m pretty sure it speaks for itself, but just in case! The robot looks like a hamburger. The bacon (or pickle, depending on the robot they’re fighting, I’m sure there are differences) is a spinning horizontal bar. The minibot’s name is Shorter Pounder. The team name is Poor Life Choices. Every part of this is silly, and therefore deserves a thumbs-up. It’s hard to build a 250-lb. robot. Or two robots that equal 250 lb..

Tantrum is a spring-loaded flipper (think Lock-Jaw, Season 2) making their first foray into BattleBots. Very importantly, they are unrelated to the Tantrum that competed in the Comedy Central days, the builders of which returning with a robot named Brutality that won the heavyweight title in 2009 and then came back in 2015 with a robot named Bite Force. What I’m saying is, we’re totally going to get a Tantrum vs. Bite Force fight, right? As for this Tantrum, they go into this fight replacing their flipper blade with a spatula. Which is fucking adorable.

Also with the exception of Maestro, Sharkbait, et al… (our beloved P*ts fans) everyone here would love Tantrum’s intro by Faruq which he conveniently put on his Instagram. He called Tom Brady a crybaby and everything! (He’s from Philly, so what do you expect?)

Tantrum didn’t have to worry about the spinning bar of bacon at the beginning of the fight… as it didn’t spin. So Tantrum flipped the burger. This also meant that the olive on top didn’t do its job because it’s supposed to help prevent that (see Megabyte, Ziggo, surprisingly not Captain Shrederator). And then we sat and waited for the count. Or for Tantrum, because it’s their first fight too, to try and push BRw/C (I’m not typing that out every time, sorry) into the screws. It was unsuccessful and instead they just flipped the burger back over. Yeah, it was around this point where Chris Rose and Kenny Florian just started making burger puns. Then Tantrum took them to the other side of the screws. And the puns became more annoyance. But then the bacon started spinning! And then died after hitting Tantrum. It was not very effective. And then the annoyance became more openly ragging. Yeah, this one wasn’t the world’s greatest fight. Tantrum wins by unanimous decision. And BRw/C becomes this year’s Wrecks. Or Plan X. Or Obwalden Overlord, though it’s not quite that balls insane.

End Game vs. Lock-Jaw
End Game: 1-0 (W, KO 1:22 over Captain Shrederator)
Lock-Jaw: 1-0 (W, KO 1:53 over Bombshell)

BTW these are the official times of the knockouts according to the BattleBots sites. My estimates were via me looking at the clock by the builders when the fight ended, so things may have been edited and my times were off. Both of these robots looked really good in their first fights. End Game dominated Captain Shrederator from the get-go and finished it off by flipping it over with its big vertical disk. Lock-Jaw’s new vertical spinner worked like a dream against Bombshell, able to get under the wedge and flip it over, knocking Bombshell enough onto its wheels to continue the fight, and then taking it to them a second time. Jack Barker wanted the big boys, well they don’t get too much bigger than Donald Hutson.

The veteran looked like he got the jump on the youngster in the opening moments of the fight, as Lock-Jaw was able to get behind End Game. And then, goddammit. It happened again. This shit only seems to happen to Donald Hutson. Lock-Jaw got one of the lifting prongs stuck in a killsaw hole. And they don’t come out until the last minute of the fight. So Lock-Jaw was stuck and not going to be able to cut itself free like Diesector’s pickaxe. And End Game pounced on the opportunity (okay, one hit before realizing Lock-Jaw was stuck and gave it a second to free itself but the damage was done), with the big hits that we saw it capable of dealing against Captain Shrederator, doing damage, taking a wheel over, flattening another one, and basically Lock-Jaw was just SOL. Shit happens, and sometimes it lands on you. This time it landed on Lock-Jaw, as the turnabout was more than enough for End Game to seize the fight, and it’s two fights, two wins, two KOs for End Game, this one in 2:03. Consider them contenders.

Also End Game (the team) let Mutant Robots share their fridge, so after the fight Donald Hutson snuck the wheel hub that they managed to take off and put it in the fridge. So consider that cool or adorable or whatever word you want to use.

Bonus fight: Kraken vs. Gemini vs. Mohawk
Kraken: 0-1 (L, KO 2:22 to Sharkoprion)
Gemini: 0-0
Mohawk: 0-0

Kraken the pneumatic crusher had some bark but no bite against Sharkoprion and Deviled Egg, as the shark chomped on the anglerfish. Also the egg, but it’s not in this fight. Gemini makes its debut this year after competing in last season’s Gears Awaken rumbles, where it got its faces bashed in by Blacksmith. Faces because it’s named Gemini, it’s two robots naturally. It returns as two horizontal spinners in this iteration, as opposed to spinner and wedge, to hopefully do twice the damage. Each robot weights 123 lb. so that weigh they’re safely under the weight limit. Mohawk… how do I say this without sounding mean… Mohawk is kind of the Luigi of BattleBots. Because Max Bales is Will Bales’s brother. And while Will and HyperShock have the glory and the memes and the rake, Mohawk, though it has a fantastic idea because it has a hydraulic crusher and the crusher can have fire come out of it, never seems to work. The one fight it won, which was against of all robots Lycan and Invader (and we’ll talk about Invader in a little bit), was essentially “Luigi wins by doing absolutely nothing.”

If you forget, Invader hit Lycan, pinballed off, lost drive, spun uncontrollably for forever, and Lycan kept attacking it until it died too. And for that Mohawk lost to Bite Force. So if you’re scoring at home that’s Bite Force 3, Bales family 0 after HyperShock’s loss last week. We’ll get to that pinballing in a second too.

The fight started off with each of the crushers going after one of the Gemini twins. Except after Kraken lost the handle on one of the Gemini bots it then decided to eat the BattleBox. As I mentioned in the Skorpios review, attacking the arena does not net you any points.

Meanwhile Mohawk was able to get some penetration on one of the bots (phrasing), but not enough to really get the fire going and roast whichever robot it was holding from the insides. Which is why the hair and the crushing jaw lights on fire. Except it doesn’t work. Again, we all know I love my crushers, because Razer was beyond fucking cool, so, like, come on Kraken/Mohawk/Petunia, can we actually get some sort of crushing going that isn’t just the tip? (Someone’s gonna make the Archer joke, so I don’t need to.)

While Mohawk was attacking one multibot, the other was trying to shake its sibling off of Mohawk. Except it hit the other twin instead. And Kraken was eating the screws. It was officially deemed immobile by this point, in case you were wondering.

In the chaos, something happened to Mohawk’s tip. (Phrasing?) And that meant it wasn’t a crusher anymore. I guess a clamper? And then it got stuck on the killsaws. In hindsight and the replays it looks like one of the Gemini bots got to it from behind as it chased the other one. The ref asked to see movement, to which Max Bales replied “It’s moving when the saws go up!” That still does not count, and unfortunately Mohawk gonna Mohawk, and… multibots win another rumble? Yup, it’s Gemini by KO in 2:43.

Main event: Gigabyte vs. Tombstone
Gigabyte: 0-0
Tombstone: 1-0 (W, KO 2:22 over Minotaur)

If Ray Billings wants to win back-to-back Nuts with Tombstone he’s seriously going to have to earn it. I mean, shit. The fight against Minotaur was brutal and the frame got all twisted, and that was a win. How about Gigabyte? Well, here’s the fight from Robogames that they speak of, where Super Megabyte beat Tombstone in the 340 lb. super heavyweight division. By the way, Super Megabyte was a slightly modified, slightly heavier version of the 220-lb. Megabyte. It won Robogames 2005 in the 340-lb. super heavyweight division.

It was the former king of kinetic energy, the torch that Tombstone (or Last Rites) holds. (Unless Touro Maximus holds it over Last Rites, but still Tombstone over Minotaur, I guess it’s open to interpretation.) And the Robotic Death Company is getting back into it. Okay, so Invader backfired a little bit. If you want to watch, the pre-fight testing starts at 3:00 and again at 5:25, actual fighting at 7:50. At about 8:00 you will start getting dizzy.

Since then, the flagship robot Megabyte went to China and finished third in King of Bots, its only blemishes being to a tough Chinese wedged drum spinner Chiyung Jinlun twice. No fault to them, the second fight (the semis) saw Megabyte take out the wedge and the drum of the Chinese bot which still kept fighting and tanking the blows until Megabyte suddenly stopped working. Team captain John Mladenik is in China with Megabyte, so it’s Brent Rieker of the RDC running the show for the self-proclaimed giant killer, Gigabyte. And apparently he can come up with some impressive intros. I forget it in its entirety but it involved an ex-wife joke.

Meanwhile Tombstone went with its longest blade to counteract the full-body spinner. Yes, Tombstone has strategy. It’s like how I choose my hot sauces, how do I feel like dishing out death today? Except the death I dish is to myself mostly and Ray prefers other people’s robots. But it’s the best I got for #crossbranding so indulge this one.

The two robots took little checks at each other for a couple seconds, but the first hit, bar to shell, was probably superficial, I mean, Gigabyte lost the thing on top (not the full antenna, they didn’t have the full antenna on but whatever they had instead). And then the second or third big hit came and you realized that was what holds Gigabyte together because, uh… what’s that thing over there? Oh wait, that’s Gigabyte. But that’s Gigabyte from the shell…

So what happened is RDC ordered the piece for the top of Gigabyte which holds the shell onto the robot from a Chinese company. They specified the material, 6061-T6, a hardened aluminum alloy. They did not get that material and they did not get it machined, instead getting cast aluminum. And the company refused to admit a mistake. The team has been using 6061-T6 for that mast for approximately forever, and that’s never happened before because it’s not shit quality or shit machining. Fortunately BattleBots has a machinist on-site, so this got fixed for its future fights.

Back to the fight, Brent Rieker tried to tap out, which is common for Robogames, or Combots. As the ref (and Chris and Kenny) let him know, there is no tapping out in BattleBots. The fight would continue. It is at this point some of you may want me to write “And this is where Tombstone totally fucked up Gigabyte’s shit and it was gruesome and awesome at the same time.” But you should have read Icewave against Vanquish because obviously that’s not the case. Ray Billings told them to just stop moving (though I think he thought John Mladenik was on the BattleBots squad and not the China squad since he said “Stop moving John!” but that’s neither here nor there. Either way, it’s Tombstone by KO in a speedy 1:11 once the electronics parts of Gigabyte stopped moving. I mean, the fight’s over and you know they have another three battles. It would be a massively dick move and as I’ve said a bajillion times they’re all friendly in the pits. You do the damage necessary, and Tombstone had certainly done that.

Unless I can find a GIF of that hit that’ll do it for the Beat. I did a reasonable job avoiding spoilers so I’m not sure about the leaks for tomorrow’s main event, and the official notification will come out after post time (I think). So yeah. I’m gonna see how borked my lappy is. Here is an onboard, bar’s eye video of Tombstone though, courtesy of BattleBots! You miss Gigabyte’s shell coming off though.

Or Lucky getting carved up by Skorpios?

Apparently BattleBots has 360-degree cameras this year and footage is on the Youtube page, so watch that stuff. It’s some cool stuff. F’realsies now though, I’m out. See ya next week!

Senor Weaselo
Senor Weaselo
Senor Weaselo plays the violin. He tucks it right under his chin. When he isn't doing that, he enjoys watching his teams (Yankees, Jets, Knicks, and Rangers), trying to ingest enough capsaicin to make himself breathe fire (it hasn't happened yet), and scheming to acquire the Bryant Park zamboni.
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Let’s check out Andy Reid’s reaction when the decision came in on the Battle Royale With Cheese fight.

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The POV stuff is really neat. I’d love it if they started rigging that stuff up with VR equipment so the drivers were fully immersed.