Pre-fight ranting, back and better than ever:
- I've been starting to read Battlebot forums. This is a dangerous thing because
I could actually learn something, and these episode reviews just wouldn't be the same
if I suddenly knew what I was talking about. I was highly entertained by the
discussion about making robots out of bucky tubes. I may be mildly bewildered by
mechanics but I do have a degree in my closet that says "Materials Science" in the middle
and could probably hold my own in a discussion about the stuff robots are made of.
- Why doesn't anyone ever seriously talk about having Battlebot competitions in Boston?
I mean it's halfway between all those seasoned builders from California, and all those
British invasion builders with their slick bots that seem to be exponentially
multiplying with each successive competition. Like there wouldn't be anyone here who
Or like we have never heard of robot
- You know what I think would be a cool way to increase spectatorship in bot
fighting competition? If someone could film all these local events that seem to be
going on, and then condense all the good stuff onto a videotape or two, and then sell
those. I'd buy one.
- After watching my Season 3 tapes,
I've become enamored of the entire Voltronic experience. I also am starting to think
that Voltronic is the best bot name in Battlebots. We need to see Voltronic
- This was the first time that I've seen Mechadon in action. Ooooh. Nifty!
I would be totally into an art bot category. I'd pay money to see that. I'd pay
money to see ugly bots beat the tar out of each other as well, but that's besides the
- I noticed that there was no Professor Electra this week. Thank you.
My prayers have been answered
Spitfire vs. Vlad the Impaler II
Excellent! We get to see this Spitfire bot. I'm shocked that I didn't comment
on this bot in my pre-season ranting. I spent lots of effort being really mean with
my suck picks but never seemed to get around to my nifty picks. Anyway, I saw the
picture of Spitfire on robotcombat, and immediately thought it was the coolest looking
of the bots I had never heard of before. I have to hand it to the Brits. They design
a mean looking bot. So anyway, Spitfire is this green, pointy flipper bot that looks like
something from a science fiction movie. It's a really odd shape, the best I can do at describing it
in words is that it looks like your "ship" in Tempest that would crawl
around the outside of the shape and shoot at the things that emerged from the
point in the middle. (The boyfriend says it looks like a backwards horseshoe crab
without a tail.) It's nominally a two-wheeled bot, with a third little teeny
wheel in the back, not unlike the kind of wheels you see on the wheelie bar of a
dragster. Vlad II is the same box as before but instead of spikes, there's a
large silver plate attached to the bottom of the bot.
OK, RFT. Within two seconds of the start of this fight it becomes apparent
that we have two fast, maneuverable bots scurrying around the box. There's a head-on
collision, and ah....I see that the Vlad II's plate lifts off the floor. I suspect that
the idea was to take Spitfire with it, but that's not the way that things worked out.
Now we've got Spitfire wedged under the back of Vlad II and trying a flip. It doesn't
work either, but it is a good excuse for Spitfire to let loose with a mighty CO2 snort.
Now we've got a couple small hits, then some more scurrying, and then a major
head-on collision. Vlad II goes flying up over the top of Spitfire, windsurfs, then
crashes down on the floor. Oof. Now we've got Vlad II driving around looking for a gas
station, and Spitfire running circles around him just because he can. Now Vlad II
is trying to position, and we've got the bots meeting head on, and then Spitfire gets
his points on the metal plate, and Vlad II lifts the plate, and yes, the points get lifted.
Yup, that's it. OK, now we've got Vlad II backing into Spitfire and Spitfire up on Vlad II's
back. Vlad II goes to stuff Spitfire into the spikes, and somehow ends up on top of the
spikes himself. Spitfire tries a lift, and the subsequent snort ends up being more
spectacular than the attempted flip. Now we've got Vlad II lifting an invisible
opponent on his plate while Spitfire goes around the back of him and lifts a mighty
lift. Vlad II's rear eats a lot of air. Now Spitfire is driving around with the flipper
up, trapping Vlad II between the flipper and the points, pushing Vlad II around and then
finally stopping on the saws. Zzzzzz. Vlad II hurts, Spitfire snorts. Spitfire hits and
flips, and Vlad II goes over on his back. The lifting plate is now a wedge, and a
really steep one as well. Now Spitfire annoys Vlad II with the points and Vlad II backs off
quickly into the spikes. Oof. Now Vlad II is driving around and we've got Spitfire all
poking around Vlad II's rear end. A flip can't be far behind. Yup, there it is. Snort.
Now of course, Vlad II has his lifting plate back. Not this it matters, because now
Vlad II is running away. Vlad II calls up his courage and travels in Spitfire's direction.
Spitfire hits Vlad II with the points and Vlad II pops a little, allowing Spitfire to get under
him and stuff him into the spikes. Now we've got Vlad II on top of Spitfire, still smushed
into the wall, and then Spitfire activates his arm and Vlad II pops a lot. Snort.
Vlad II runs a bit, then we've got bot fox-trot, then we've got the bots staring each
other down, and then we've got Spitfire with small pokes on Vlad II. Vlad II throws it in
reverse and rams full speed into the screw. Spitfire throws it in drive and rams full
speed into the screw. Now we've got Spitfire chasing after Vlad II, trying to get the
points under Vlad II's back end. Eventually Spitfire succeeds and pushes Vlad II to the hammer.
Vlad II drives away fast enough to avoid the hammer, but in the process smashes
into the screw and appears to leave a part behind in the casing. That might have
been something important, either that or Vlad II is finally starting to show the
effects of all the beatings that he's been subject to at the points of Spitfire because
all that sharp driving has suddenly gone all dull. Spitfire fire pokes at Vlad II some more
while Vlad II enjoys a couple saw hits. Now the final seconds of the fight count
down and Spitfire is presented with an opportunity to flip Vlad II again. Spitfire mulls it over
for a few seconds, then sensing that the fight is his, Spitfire chooses to conserve his
CO2. Buzz. Game Over. 27-18 decision for Spitfire. Now CC is actually doing
something funny. They're doing the interview with the Lancaster Bombers. Being British,
they speak English, and not the bastardized American dialect. CC plays this up
by providing subtitles with transliteration. Really, It was the funniest thing they
did so far this year.
T-Minus vs. TriDent
Yay! Batting 100% so far for bots I've been looking forward to seeing this season.
Cute 'ol T-Minus is still a compact 2 wheeled silver box with killer flipping arm.
We all like to see T-Minus get inverted so we can watch the 540 righting flip.
I notice that there are wheel guards, I'm not sure whether those were there last
year. T-Minus' opponent is TriDent. TriDent is a U-shaped green box with a third
arm thing in the middle of the U. It looks like a combination of a lifting arm
OK RFT. We've got both bots out of the boxes and some bumper cars in the
middle of the box. Now TriDent has driven off a bit and is doing this thing where the
spike arm is on the floor and the rest of the U is off the floor, and I'm not sure I
understand this. Now the U is on the floor and the arm is up, and yup, I guess that
everything works. I'm not sure what T-Minus has been doing this whole time, maybe
cooking up a mean Hollandaise sauce in the kitchen or something. Now TriDent re-enters the
fight and we've got some bot disco and then T-Minus gets the flipper under the side of
TriDent and TriDent eats a lot of battlebox air. Now TriDent drives over the saws, which don't pop.
We see T-Minus in the middle of the box, and then TriDent drives past and past the saws.
For some reason unbeknownst to those of us in the living room, TriDent throws it in
reverse and backs into the set of saws he just drove past. Zzzzz. TriDent surfs for a
fairly long period of time, generating copious sparks. TriDent falls off the saws, and ends
up right on T-Minus' flipper, which was waiting on the far side just in case
a robot happened to fall off the saws. I count two and a half flips. Now we've
got TriDent re-inverting himself with that spike arm, and taking a really long time to
do it. T-Minus whips up a mean spinach quiche in the kitchen, then comes back out to
the fight, and we've still got TriDent halfway through his elaborate righting move, and
T-Minus just chuckles, and flips TriDent again. Oof. TriDent falls on the saws. Zzzzzz.
Now TriDent runs away, then turns around, takes a running start and we have a head-on
collision in the center of the box. Smash. T-Minus gets clocked and spins around looking
a bit dazed, then gets hung up on the saws for a major saw hit. Zzzzzzzzzzzzz. No sparks.
Now TriDent gets under T-Minus with the spike arm and lifts, and we've got T-Minus off the floor
a bit but that's it. T-Minus gets out of this predicament fairly easily. TriDent backs onto
T-Minus's flipper again and gulps more battlebox air. TriDent backs away, and ends up on
the saws again. Zzzzzz. T-Minus comes over and flips TriDent
again, then snorts and lifts, just because he can. Now TriDent drives around and stops
near the saws, but not on them. Pete pops the saws. TriDent backs into the popped
saws. Zzzzzz. Now TriDent seems to be driving around with purpose, but I haven't figured
out what that purpose is yet. Hoo boy. TriDent has managed to get on the saws, AGAIN.
Zzzzz. Guess TriDent really didn't need those strategy points. Now T-Minus gets two
quick flips on TriDent. This must have gotten TriDent angry or something because now
TriDent comes after T-Minus, rams into the front him, and pushes him backwards to the area near
the hammer, but not quite under the hammer. T-Minus bounces off a wall, and reverses
the momentum, pushing TriDent back to the center of the box. T-Minus drives away and
then somehow gets himself under the hammer. Pow. Oof. T-Minus backs away from the
hammer, diretly into the front of TriDent. Smash. Some driving around, then T-Minus
gets yet another flip, and TriDent drives into the spikes. Now TriDent is trying that really
slow righting thing, and who's he kidding? T-Minus puts a large hit on sitting duck
TriDent. Now we've got some hitting, and T-Minus pushing TriDent backwards really fast, and then
they get over the saws, which pop and separate the bots. Now we've got T-Minus ultra-smushing
TriDent into the spikes, and now we've got T-Minus flipping TriDent into the wall, and we've got TriDent
all trying to right himself, which is interesting because he's on his side, and then
time runs out before TriDent finishes his maneuvers. 33-12 decision for T-Minus.
Tazbot vs.The Ringmaster
Score! Third fight out of three with a bot I've been dying to see fight! We've got
the Coolest of All Cool Robots, Tazbot! Tazbot is still the big insect bot
with the spinning head and the proboscis. It looks like there have been modifications
for this particular fight, the probocis is locked in an upright position, and there's
now a big metal scoop where the stinger used to be. Even more important, Team Mutant
Robots have upgraded to slick pit crew shirts a la Team Whyachi, and I'll have to
check their site to see if they're selling those because those are something else
that I'd pay money for. Tazbot's opponent is The Ringmaster, a black spinner bot with
two big killsaw magnets in the middle, and why do people put treads on bots?
OK RFT. The Ringmaster spins to speed as Tazbot skitters a bit, and then Tazbot gets down to
business and starts manhandling The Ringmaster. We've got an extended period of Tazbot scooping The Ringmaster
and pushing her around the box. The Ringmaster continues spinning at speed, and drives away from
Tazbot, turns around, and drives back at her. The Ringmaster hits the side of Tazbot, then Tazbot turns
and The Ringmaster hits the scoop. The Ringmaster proceeds to bounce off of the scoop. Tazbot continues to aim
the scoop at The Ringmaster, and does a pretty durn good job at preventing The Ringmaster from getting a hit
on her more sensitive areas. Now we have Tazbot totally manhandling The Ringmaster again, bouncing and
pushing The Ringmaster around the box. Whoah. Wait, what the.......OH YOU HAVE GOT TO BE
KIDDING ME. This cannot be happening. Tazbot has completely stopped moving. This
is majorly weak. I mean if you're going to lose, then lose. Go out as a
pile of destruction, or at least go to a judge's decision, but don't just STOP.
You would think that a bot as seasoned as Tazbot would not fall prey to
broken internal parts or something
coming loose. So now we've got the count out while The Ringmaster randomly drives over the saws.
(Could it be the magnets?) Game Over for Tazbot, and what a totally anti-climatic
way to say goodbye to a favorite bot.
Let us now have a moment of silence for the Coolest of All Cool Robots, Tazbot.