A BattleBots Beat Special: What Got Cut

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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Surprised to see this feature back so soon? Yeah, I know, the season’s over, but not all of the fights made it to TV. And we wanted to see them all. So now we get to see them in a segment on the Youtubes known as the BattleBots Basement. Not only are there cut Fight Night fights, and cut USA vs. The World fights, but there are a couple of the end-of-event “whiteboard” grudge fights that they do so there’s time for the robots in the late rounds of the tournament to repair, because it can’t be, like, a couple hours of nothing going on while the robots repair. So there are other fights which we get to see. To them! (Clicking on the matchup links to the fight itself.)

Valkyrie vs. Ultimo Destructo

This was from Fight Night #1 (so the first episode). Since we have the benefit of hindsight for all these “BattleBots Basement” fights, if you recall, when all was said and done, Valkyrie became a little bit of a potential dark horse for next season with a powerful undercutter, except as we saw in its Desperado semifinal vs. Lock-Jaw, it had the tendency to slightly break itself. But it made it into the Last Chance Rumble with its strong showings, losing and ending up at 3-3 as a result. Ultimo was the Swiss Army bot that ended up best being known for being broken like a Kit Kat thanks to Witch Doctor and the pulverizer, but won its first two fights and ended up going 2-2 overall.

First things first, both these robots have different weapons. Well, for Valkyrie, it’s which undercutter—they went with the roundest one, known as Sonic the Wedgehog. Ultimo went with its horizontal bar.

Valkyrie came out the aggressor, as Ultimo’s bar didn’t spin particularly fast and the wider robot turned rear first to prevent a weapon on weapon collision. When Valkyrie made contact, nothing really happened, but then its mobility seemed diminished. It could drive slowly, and spin on a dime using the middle of the weapon as the axis, which means that’s really what was touching the floor. Ultimo was able to get up to some speed and shave some sparks from Valkyrie, but not much was done. Valkyrie was counted out as the weapon getting jarred onto the floor made it immobile, and that’s how Ultimo Destructo won this fight by KO in 56 seconds.

Predator vs. RotatoR

This one’s from Fight Night #4. Predator did not have a particularly good season, as for much of it it just didn’t friggin’ work. RotatoR had a much better sophomore season than its very brief one-and-done against Witch Doctor in 2016, making the quarterfinals and winning the Most Destructive award for its annihilation of Icewave’s engine.

The two robots started to come to the middle. Started, because Predator got close, turned to the right, and then started just pivoting. RotatoR was spinning both of its disks simultaneously, a tactic that we noticed it stopped doing late in the season in favor of one at a time depending on the opponent and situation. It hit with the top and then the bottom, drawing sparks. Both of the robot’s disks hit a few more times, and at that point Predator wasn’t moving. A few more hits from the bottom disk actually seemed to jar the animalistic Predator back to life, only to get popped by that bottom disk again and the front right wheel to come out.

Ooh, we get raw cut audio, so there’s no effect on the sounds, nor is there Chris and Kenny’s commentary, so we get that sound of Predator’s wheel rolling away from the rest of the robot! Predator lurched forward again, right into a shot from the left by that bottom disk, before one more shot took off another wheel. RotatoR wins by KO in 1:07.

Double Dutch & Bale Spear (USA) vs. Petunia & Predator (World)

There were actually seven USA vs. The World fights taped, including this tag team fight. (The other one’ll be below, don’t worry.)

So since this is the first of the tag teams, I’m not sure if it’s a pure similar to wrestling tag team, or if it’s just a two on two melee. All four robots in the fray answered that question! Granted, apart from an armor panel falling off (Predator ran into a Double Dutch blade and it just fell off) there wasn’t much for the first few seconds. Then Bale Spear ran into Double Dutch and took some friendly fire in the form of wheel damage.

Finally it started to organize, as Petunia scooped up Double Dutch before it escaped thanks to Bale Spear, which then lost that wheel that Double Dutch damaged. It was otherwise helter skelter, with Petunia trying to gain some control on an opponent, Double Dutch stalking Predator, and Bale Spear generally bucking about not that it was down to three wheels. It got stuck on Predator’s (I’m tempted to say) srimech.

Clearly the good part of this fight was Petunia vs. Double Dutch, where Double Dutch’s lower bar was doing most of the spinning and at the least making it difficult for the Dutch crusher to get a pinch. If anything the first thing Petunia got a hold of was its teammate, Predator, which still had its srimech in the upright position.

A full two minutes or so elapsed before Petunia finally got Double Dutch in the grasp, and as a bonus, had it right right against the wall, on top of the screws, grabbing right by the wheel in a corner. Meanwhile the other two robots had tired themselves out and had come to some sort of rest by killsaws. Not even on killsaws, as there was enough room for Petunia to get a shave. By them.

In the varsity portion of the fight, Double Dutch wasn’t spinning and was mostly running from Petunia in the late stages, though managed to escape to the buzzer. Yes, I can see why this one got cut. Petunia & Predator get the unanimous decision.

Parallax & Bale Spear vs. Basilisk & Double Dutch

You can also tell who the “lower-tier” robots were, because they were in these tag team matches. I’m tempted to say this one was taped first, and there were rules, we swear! Per the YouTube description:

We wanted to try out a tag team match. We’ve never done one, and wanted to experiment with the concept. The idea is two robots fight, but they each have a robot teammate who can take over fighting IF the robot can make it back to their starting square and touch there partner. Seems like a cool idea right?

It didn’t work : )

Go ahead, watch it. Maybe we’ll try again next season.

This fight is also best known as the Jurassic World trailer, which is not the greatest endorsement, that CGI dinosaur feet needed to be added to make this fight good. Also that it got cut in general, but even more the CGI dino.

We also did not see Parallax once on TV, and we might have seen Basilisk only once this season, if, again, at all. Basilisk is best known for being in the same Bots Awaken fight as Blacksmith was in 2016. Obviously it did not win, as Blacksmith did.

The fight started actually as a proper rules tag team, where Double Dutch and Bale Spear came out first, with Double Dutch getting the rush. Then Parallax started flanking (which I guess worked out since at that point Double Dutch took out one of Bale Spear’s wheels), and then there goes Basilisk and now great, chaos. Meanwhile in said chaos, Double Dutch had become Single Dutch since the bottom bar fell off. And the top bar was actually gummed up by Bale Spear’s wheel, so I guess it was No Dutch.

It was at this point Basilisk did something, flipping Bale Spear. So it was two on two at this point, and Double Dutch wasn’t moving too great at this point. Bale Spear wasn’t too great either, but Parallax had Basilisk on its wedge, even if the drum hadn’t done too much just yet. But once Basilisk was against the wall the drum started humming—it’s not Minotaur’s death hum, but it’s a hum. Which stopped after making contact with Basilisk and causing some sparks.

Double Dutch was now paying attention in its starting square while whatever clusterfuck was by the red square with the fight currently on being Basilisk and Parallax. Bale Spear was in the corner writhing about. Well, fight is once again a relative term, as Basilisk was slowly moving back and forth and Parallax wasn’t even doing that. I have no idea what the immobilize rule is for tag teams. Hell, I don’t think anyone does. But a minute in, this had become kind of lame, and the T-Rex needed to get back in there and finish the job.

Basilisk came to a halt, only sporadically going back and forth, and Double Dutch went to get back in, lodged tire and all, to fight Bale Spear, as Parallax was just as immobile. As became Bale Spear, as it could only tripod for so long until it bumped into Basilisk and stopped doing that. Double Dutch nudged it off and the tripodding meant it was really on two wheels at that point and the red team started getting counted out as the blues went into victory spins.

And then Parallax started moving again with the count at 2, which meant that Basilisk, which had spent the last 20 seconds getting into position, could score a flip! It did a thing again! Yay Basilisk! It then did not follow up but wheeled slowly to the stuck or something Double Dutch, as Parallax spun around invertedly aimlessly. As far as fights go, this was one. Basilisk & Double Dutch win by unanimous decision.

Parallax vs. Ultimo Destructo

Parallax only got two fights before… something happened? I’m not sure but they left midway—I believe there was some sort of controversy but I don’t recall what. Anyway, this one, from Fight Night 6, was its second, since the first was above. Meanwhile, Ultimo was in its Techno Destructo inspired form, the flipper.

Parallax came in with its wedge first before getting its drum humming. But Sean Irvin’s a wily vet and stayed in the middle of the arena until a moment came and got a flip on Parallax. Crazy enough, I think Techno from the Comedy Central days had similar power than Ultimo today. That is not what I’d expect, given over a decade in advancements and this not being the first rodeo. But hey, it got Parallax over and that wedge was now useless. It would now just charge Ultimo, which would defend with the flipper and toss it aside, though managing to keep the wedged drum inverted. Ultimo was getting its throws in, eventually getting Parallax back over.

Parallax was doing a little bit of damage to Ultimo. The front right wedgelet looked a little worse for wear, as was one of the wheels. Sure, it’s not Yeti or Minotaur, the current drum kings (or the severals of thick/twin vertical disks, Witch Doctor, Lock-Jaw, HyperShock, etc.), but it’s something for Parallax. However it was this middle portion of the fight where activity died, whether drive or traction problems. Judging by Ultimo’s wheelspin, I’d say it had the latter. But judging by the smoke that started pouring out of Parallax with a minute left, that might be the former. The killsaws were the only activity in that last minute, and Ultimo wasn’t moving in the final ten, but the buzzer rang. It was a split decision, with Naomi Kyle and Derek Young the majority for winner Ultimo Destructo.

Double Dutch vs. Gamma 9

This one’s from Fight Night #9. Apart from the Desperado Tournament, Double Dutch didn’t have any of its fights televised. Gamma 9 did, but that was to be target practice for Double Jeopardy. Which is a bot to watch out for for next year, just because this year’s was more proof of concept, and next year they promise to have multi-shot or bazooka configurations. And also legitimate armor. (Their cannon weighed a lot due to time restraints.)

Gamma 9 came for the box rush as Double Dutch spun up, and this made sense. This made a lot more sense about ten seconds later where the two collided and Double Dutch’s top bar flew off, leaving just the undercutter. That was spinning, though it occasionally scraped the floor. It had bent one of Gamma 9’s two lifting forks though, so that was a start. But eventually that stopped spinning too. And also fell off. And I don’t think Gamma 9’s had done anything yet. So it looked like a 2 minute shoving match.

Gamma 9 had the pushing power, but it hit the wall, and though it was able to turn around, it didn’t do anything after a nudge by Double Dutch and got the count. Double Dutch wins by KO in 2:04.

Hypothermia (USA) vs. The Four Horsemen (World)

Another cut USA-World fight. This one, according to the description, was fine because Michael Mauldin was out of parts at this point and was going to call it a season, even though he had been willing to fight whoever, but Ian Watts and the Horsemen were willing to fight Hypothermia even without its weapon, and it was allowed because it was just an exhibition. Hypothermia’s basically a plow anyway. The Horsemen went with War and Famine to go with Buttercup.

Small spinners against plow? Yeah, it was War and Famine trying to figure out how to outflank Hypothermia which pushed them aside while Buttercup tailed it. It was pushing aside, though in the early going I would think to have any chance considering there will be zero points for damage or for aggression at that point, you’d have to bully into walls and go for the kill, right? Or back up and have the spinners glance each other. That’s a start.

The spinners weren’t doing much against that plow, as Hypothermia went for the attrition battle. Buttercup was trying to act as the doorstop that it was, and it was having some success, but the spinners were still only catching that plow rather than getting around to the double wheels. But the fight ended with Hypothermia on top of Buttercup, but neither War nor Famine able to really do anything about it. War missed and hit the screws.

It was a unanimous decision for… Hypothermia. Wait, that’s a shock! Uh… 1-1 damage maybe? On account of none being done to Hypothermia? That’s all I got.

Overhaul vs. Valkyrie

We’ve got a good old-fashioned whiteboard grudge match! It’s a loose affiliation of the JACD Cup, which doesn’t exist but should but I don’t think Dane was actually a part of Valkyrie, it’s more that his teammates from Road Rash were. While Brutus got its wedge knocked entirely off and SawBlaze was busy fighting in the playoffs, these two duked it out for the pride of Boston.

The two met with… is that HUGE’s Surrender-Bot? On whose side is it? Anyway, Valkyrie’s disk-like weapon came in and tried to get at the full wedge that Overhaul had for this fight instead of their customary wedgelets. Which makes sense, if they put a wedge, you go with your anti-wedge spinner.

The good news for Overhaul was the wedge worked to try and throw Valkyrie up, a robot that had a penchant for breaking itself. But true to Overhaul’s luck, before Valkyrie flipped over from the equal and opposite reaction the spinner hit them right in the clamping jaw and tore that up. It did still work though, so they could still potentially use it to grab Valkyrie and push her around.

Well if they had been careful. Valkyrie was spinning around, Overhaul caught it the wrong way, and the light blue clamping jaw was entirely torn off, leaving nothing but the motor. Charles Guan thought it was cool by his reaction, so that’s a good thing.

Valkyrie was bouncing around and Overhaul was able to push it, and then Valkyrie was at a 90-degree angle. That’s a neat trick, I would if it can self-right from there. It could, though it needed a shot from the pulverizer and running into the wall to get there. Overhaul used that as a chance to use its wedge and keep the pressure on, and it sent both bots spinning. More importantly, it looked like it killed Valkyrie’s weapon function, and if it became a pushing match, advantage Overhaul. It also looked like it did something to both robots’ drives as they both spun back and forth to try and push and shove. They gave a double count-out as a result, the only one of the season, and as per the rules it went to the judges, who went for Valkyrie, which I’m certain got both damage points and probably the aggression. Fun fight though. If this one had made it to TV I would’ve loved to hear Chris Rose’s reaction to Overhaul losing its clamp. It would probably be loud yelling noises.

Chomp vs. Basilisk

Another whiteboard match, and the first of TWO for Chomp. (The next will follow.) Neither robot did great this year, as Chomp went 0-4, Basilisk just won the tag team fight, and both had the ol’ electrical gremlins and wanted to figure it out.

The two came somewhat gingerly towards the middle, and Chomp dropped the hammer and dented Basilisk. And it stayed upright, so good start. Well, until the second shot hit Basilisk’s back. Then Chomp overbalanced forward, which it a new one. But Basilisk moved forward itself which let Chomp re-situate long enough to miss, somersault, and do that whole thing. Except the hammer wasn’t firing in an attempt to self-right. Was this part of the lidar 2.0 where it was trying to make sure it was set, which was too predictable against Warrior? Was this due to the hammer getting its shit kicked in against HUGE and to a lesser extent Warhead? Either way, it was wiggling, but the hammer wasn’t chomping. Meanwhile Basilisk couldn’t move well enough to nudge for a few moments, and when they did get settled the count was on. And the count was loosened a bit, so Basilisk nudged, the ref looked to see if that did anything, and continued from the number he was still on rather than follow time. Either way Basilisk wins by KO doing its best Luigi impersonation.

Chomp vs. Kraken

Take two, or six, for the large hammer bot. Gotta win one, Chomp. Come on. This one against Kraken, which found its bearings later on during the season. After watching this episode of BattleBots: Resurrection online (a nice behind-the-scenes series), I’m curious, was this originally Raven’s fight? Raven, if we recall, was a robot that showed up as a bunch of parts from one of the guys behind Little Drummer Boy. If he could get it running, they would have given him a fight, and it would have been either this one or the fight against Red Devil in USA vs. The World, Kraken’s best showing of the season. Spoilers, Ron Howard voice? “He didn’t.” We’ll find out if/when someone gets back to me.

This would be an interesting fight, at the least because as long as Chomp stays upright, I think she’s just too big for Kraken’s mouth. Granted, that first part is not a given (as seen by the Warhead fight for that matter which was fairly similar), and it matters less when Kraken starts by slowly pushing Chomp into the screws. And sure enough, first hammer blow and Chomp went flying and tipped, and Kraken had a hold on the hammer arm. But it made a slight mistake, spinning around and overbalancing, and as a result Kraken flipped.

They had added some sort of self-righting spike or metal bit, but would it be enough? Kraken spun around a bit and Chomp was able to self-right and get a hammer shot in and, this time unencumbered, actually get the srimech working quickly and without too much of a frenzy. Meanwhile the impromptu srimech spike had not done its job on Kraken, though Chomp tried to nudge or hammer Kraken to get a wheel down. Didn’t do enough, but Chomp finally gets into the win column with a KO in 1:43.

DUCK! vs. Gigabyte

A pair of robots with scores to settle after the Last Chance Rumble. DUCK! was robbed in the eyes of many, and some say that if Gigabyte hadn’t lost drive it might have won the Rumble thanks to the damage it caused. So call this one the NIT Final I guess for the rightful claim to the #17 seed. Well, 18 seed, Warhead made the tournament but withdrew because the dome was broken, so that counts for something. Or at least it counts for me, dammit!

DUCK!’s plow was a little bent and a lot scuffed, but this seems like a fight tailor made for the Ruckers. As for Gigabyte, Megabyte competed well in China in both King of Bots tourneys but the former spinner king had reliability issues (and top mount issues) throughout. Let’s see what happens, shall we?

Well that first hit’s what you’d expect. DUCK! goes flying, Gigabyte gets spun into a corner.  And that’s essentially what you’d expect, as long as DUCK! keeps the plow in front and Gigabyte keeps spinning, and the question becomes what happens first—Hannah Rucker, at the controls for this one after her success driving The Ringmaster the previous season (off-topic, can I say her costume for the Ringmaster was really cool, in a not-creepy way?), makes a mistake, or Gigabyte’s weapon motor cuts out.

And it looked like the former, as DUCK!’s plow hit a seam, Gigabyte bit from the back and DUCK! went flying forwards. Gigabyte went into the wall and something flew off something from the recoil. It might have been the screws casing though, those things took a beating. But neither bot was worse for wear and they bumped again. This time one was, as Gigabyte had a relatively low speed collision with the screws, and was spinning, but it was in place. DUCK! tentatively nudged once or twice before taking a bit of a run and sending Gigabyte into the corner as the count began. Gigabyte still spun, but the drive cut out before the weapon. DUCK! wins the NIT with a KO in 1:50. The spinner killer does it again—heck, even in the loss to Tombstone, it couldn’t spin and drive simultaneously, even if DUCK! was immobile first.

That should, to my best knowledge, finally do it for BattleBots 2018. We’re still waiting on the official 2019 announcement—they’re figuring it out, possibly to also figure out when they can have their RoboGames equivalent afterwards, possibly to see when King of Bots films so it’s not chaos and people can do both. Ears will be on the ground.

There is another robotics competition that we’ll cover in the next few weeks, and that is the YouTube series Bugglebots, a British competition where 1.5 kg (3 lb) beetleweights duke it out. I mentioned it in the last Friday 2018 thread, and as the series reaches its peak I’ll be sure to give a recap of what happened. So until then!

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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Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

Well done as always.



Moose -The End Is Well Nigh
Moose -The End Is Well Nigh

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