Hmmm. Maybe I will get both Episodes 17 and 18 done in about a week. I had
better get them done, because Episodes 19 and 20 just aired, and I've got limited time
to compose (or decompose) this week, and I have a lot of choice words for one of the
judge's decisions I was forced to witness earlier this evening.
Codebreaker vs. Vladiator
Quarterfinal mania today. Local bot Codebreaker and far away bot Vladiator. You know, I'm thinking
that maybe Vladiator may not exactly be my favorite robot, but I'm not sure.
OK, RFT. Bots scream out of squares and miss each other. Whoosh. Now we're back at
each other again, and some positioning, then Codebreaker gives Vladiator a love tap on his side with
the drum. Vladiator backs off and takes a running start and then flies up and over the
top of Codebreaker. Vladiator backs off at a high rate of speed and exits the TV screen to the
left. As Codebreaker sits there alone in the middle of the box we hear a loud "clank", possibly
left over from the "In Search of the Legendary Extreme Magnets of the Holy
Junkyard" special on the National Geographic channel. Camera shot changes and we
see that Vladiator has probably backed off directly into the spike strip. At least
I think that's what the clank noise was supposed to signify, but then again it
really could have been Azhneeshi the Great God of Train Coupling who took the wrong
exit off of Highway 101 and is now stopping at Treasure Island to ask directions.
Codebreaker taps the side of Vladiator and then runs up Vladiator's wedge. As if there was an echo
in the box, Codebreaker runs up and over Vladiator's wedge again. Vladiator tries to get under Codebreaker with
the wedge a third time but misses. Vladiator backs up and tries again, and this time
manages to collect Codebreaker and deliver Codebreaker to the hammer. Pow. Now we've got Vladiator
being aggressive with the wedge getting partially under the side of Codebreaker, and then
Codebreaker rolling away and Vladiator running wedge first into the spikes. Oof. OK, now we have
Vladiator all with the wedge under Codebreaker again and this time Vladiator makes it almost all the way
to the screw before Codebreaker falls away and Vladiator only taps the spikes instead of chugging
full on into them at high speed. Now Codebreaker offers herself up as mechanical sacrifice
by sitting still in front of Vladiator's wedge and Vladiator placates the dieties by collecting
Codebreaker and stuffing her into the screw. Oof. Codebreaker now rubs Vladiator's wheel with the drum,
and now we've got positioning and then Vladiator backs up real fast and into the screw,
and then we've got Vladiator creating large problems for himself with both screws and then
the hammer. Codebreaker comes over and tries to make it look like she's causing Vladiator's
problems but I see through this ruse. Codebreaker should just back off and be happy with the
strategy points she's getting while Vladiator continues to drive into the hazards. Now
Vladiator backs out of the danger zone and Codebreaker comes after him and surfs his wedge a bit.
More positioning, and finally Vladiator kind of gets the wedge under the side of Codebreaker
and kinds of pops Codebreaker a bit. Pop. Now Vladiator takes a big running start and gets
under Codebreaker with the wedge and of course Vladiator finishes off the sortie by stuffing himself
violently into the spikes. Oooof. More positioning, and bot hustle, during which Vladiator backs butt
first into the spikes, and Codebreaker drives over the saws. Zzz. Finally, after almost the
entire bot Swan Lake has been performed, Vladiator scoops Codebreaker with the wedge, and massively
slams Codebreaker, and his own snout, into the walls in the corner by the entrance ramp.
Now Vladiator backs ass first over the top of Codebreaker and now Codebreaker is pushing Vladiator with the
spinning drum and Team Diginati should really consider making that drum a more effective
weapon. OK. close up of Rob Sica, and Vladiator, and the robot marbles on the box floor, and
now Vladiator is on the far side of the box, and starts towards us, and the saws pop,
and Vladiator is all Evel Knievel using the saws as a launching ramp, and Vladiator splats on
his side kind of on Codebreaker's drum, and then splats down a second time, inverted.
Some bumper cars ensues, and time runs out, but not before Vladiator gets under Codebreaker with the
wedge again, and Codebreaker falls off the wedge, and Vladiator pounds his snout into the
spikes really hard. 25-20 decision for Vladiator. Codebreaker needs a better drum. Badly. We get
a brief spot with Gage and his trebuchet, and can we go to England and get a dead
cow to launch at the enemy and make him sick like they used to do in the Dark Ages?
Diesector vs. Hammertime
Wow! I actually have to describe a robot that we haven't seen yet during this season!
Hammertime looks like a big yellow and red rooster with a silver hammer for a head.
Diesector has punted the plow and has reattached the hammers and the tail.
OK, RFT. Bots exit squares and clink together in the center of the box. Hammertime
turns sideways and activates the hammer into the floor, and releases a geyser of
CO2. Now Diesector has the jaws like a wedge and gets under the side of Hammertime and starts
pushing Hammertime around, and as he does this, Diesector slowly opens the jaws and eventually
Hammertime tips and falls over on his side. Hammertime retracts the hammer arm, and tips over completely
over onto his back. Um. I think rooster Hammertime's goose is cooked. Here comes
Diesector all with the gaping maw and the hammers, chomp, powpowpowpowpowpowpow.
Diesector pushes Hammertime with the jaws in the general direction of the pulverizer,
all the time keeping up the hammer party on Hammertime's side. powpowpowpowpowpowpowpow.
Diesector gets Hammertime near the pulverizer and now we've just tuned into the Hammer Channel,
all hammers, all the time. Pulverizer? Pow! Diesector? powpowpowpowpowpow.
Hammertime? Hammertime? Well, looks like Hammertime is kind of dead. Game Over in about 15 seconds. Pow!
Maximus vs. Ice Berg
Back to bots we've seen before.
OK, RFT. Typical bot collision, some driving, and now Ice Berg is with the plow
underneath Maximus and stuffs Maximus into the spikes. And holds him there. And holds
him there. Tick, tock, tick, tock, time passes. Ice Berg finally backs off, and Maximus'
wheels pass over Ice Berg's plow, not unlike Booger's ski passed over Lane's binding.
And just like Lane's binding, Ice Berg's plow is now all wobbly, but unlike poor Lane who
has to ski the K2 on one one foot, Ice Berg just has to drive around the box with a
wobbly plow. Wait. I take that back. Whilst in the midst of a pulverizer hit, Ice Berg
loses the plow completely. Now he just has to drive around the box without an
ineffective plow. Some bumper cars, and Ice Berg is somehow all under Maximus, even
though Maximus is the one with the wedge, and Ice Berg is just a box with wheels.
Bots separate and Ice Berg runs himself up on the spikes while Maximus sits on the saws.
Maximus gets the best deal though, because the saws don't pop. A pushing match now,
with Maximus once again parked on the saws, and the saws not popping. Uh, Pete,
maybe popping the saws might put some excitement in this? Some driving and love
bumps and then Maximus is under Ice Berg with the wedge, and kicks it into overdrive, and Ice Berg
meets the spikes with high velocity. Oooof. OK, now Maximus is all excited and skittering
and running into walls and under Ice Berg and pushing Ice Berg until he hits the non-spinning
spinner, and like about 50 of his predecessors, gets all hung up on the motionless
spinner and Ice Berg gets away. Hmm. It looks like Ice Berg has spontaneously developed the
first case of nasty wheel I've seen in a really long time. So we've got Ice Berg rocking
back and forth in big arcs trying to shake his wheel disease, and the ever
observant Maximus notices his hapless opponent and just piledrives Ice Berg into the lexan.
Ooomph. And holds Ice Berg against the wall. And holds him there. And holds him there.
Finally Maximus backs off and Ice Berg immediately starts looking for a convenient tree stump
to hide behind. Noticing the paucity of forest elements in the battlebox, Ice Berg tries
to use the screw as a convenient substitute. The screw does a poor job of providing
cover but an excellent job of aggravating an already bad case of nasty wheel. Before
I can see exactly how far this has progressed, Maximus slams into Ice Berg again. Ice Berg flies
into the spikes while Maximus pounds his wedge into the screw casing. Maximus bounces a
few feet backwards while Ice Berg bounces onto the ramrods. Now we're finally getting
a close up of Ice Berg, and hoo boy, we're terminal. That double tire set up has double
the nasty wheel, and is bent at 45 angle such that Ice Berg just cannot move. Maximus returns
to the red square, then realizes he's missing his opportunity for a victory dance, so
he goes out and spins a bit and then returns to the red square again, all before
Ice Berg manages to be counted out. Game Over for the Toads. After the fight we get
a little segment about RC planes and Team Gladiator, and we get a shot of the
pristine Maximus, and we realize just how beat Maximus has become over the course of the
tournament. Not as beat as the battlebox floor however, which is starting to look
like sandblasters have all of a sudden become legal weapons.