[Robot Wars UK: S8 is available online through the BBC.]
There’s too many Robot Wars. The UK alone had seven series plus two special “Extreme Warriors” series and three world championships, not to mention two seasons of Robot Wars in the Netherlands, one in Germany, and three in the USA including one abysmal train wreck on Nickelodeon. I’ve only been able to get into just one season of UK Robot Wars thus far and now much like BattleBots our friends across the pond are seeing a resurgence of their own. On the day that I started writing this article it was officially announced that the Robot Wars reboot would get another season so I’m already behind.
Normally I’d have gotten into this reboot immediately but it began airing at the same time as BattleBots and in order to maintain the quality of writing I am known for I just could not do both at the same time. That’s not to say I care less about Robot Wars, it’s just I cannot do two things at once. I’m eager to get into this reboot and show the UK fans of The Update that I can get into Robot Wars just as hardcore as BattleBots.
Special thanks go out to EliteTrainerXeos for having my back and ensuring I was able to obtain copies of all of the episodes in this series to write these articles! (I am still searching for both seasons of US Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors, if you have copies you’d like to share please get in touch with me!)
“The level of challenge involved with building a fighting robot means there is no perfect design.”
– Some British Guy
Robot Wars used to have this cheesy as fuck opening sequence full of CGI weapons that only got worse as the series carried on and was exported internationally. This time around it’s more subdued and reminds me of a shitty trailer for the newest Transformers movie. I’m pretty sure that’s purely due to the fact that it features the “dubstep fart” sound and not so much things like little girls doing karate and John Reid showing off his Santa Claus beard though. There’s some shots of battles that I guess are mostly spoiler-free which is nice considering BattleBots used to do that thing where half the fucking tournament was conveyed to you in the title credits if you were paying attention. There’s a shot of the trophy — made from Sir Killalot’s penis — some more battle clips, and finally a shot of a robot blowing a CRT monitor to pieces. God damn, couldn’t find something a bit more modern than that? What’s next, is Shunt going to smash a Dreamcast?
Anyways we’re greeted not by Craig Charles but instead Dara O’Briain, an unfortunately sized British man with a lisp. I really, really miss Jeremy Clarkson. Philippa Forrester has also been replaced with Angela Scanlon. She seems nice enough, at least she isn’t Jayne Middlemiss from series 7. And with that remark I know I’ve locked in every last one of you who were on the fence about whether or not a website called “BattleBots Update” could provide the same level of bullshit commentary about Robot Wars. Jonathan Pearce is also back. Dara hasn’t introduced him yet but he’s around. I figured I might as well toss that one out because Dara also introduces this season’s house robots and those are more important to me:
- Sir Killalot, the iconic and original “holy shit this weighs HOW much” house robot is the first to be reintroduced in the show. Still armed with its signature lance and pincers and equipped with its massive tank tracks, Killalot is back and ready to reclaim its throne as the king of the house robot empire.
- Matilda, everyone’s favorite triceratops with the juiciest ass in the world, is also back on the circuit. Sporting her pneumatic flipping tusks and iconic pink flywheel she’s living proof that age is only a number. I’d still fuck her.
- Shunt, the classic bulldozer from Hell joins Sir Killalot and Matilda in the ring this season as well. The very first house robot ever introduced on the show, Shunt’s lifting plow and axe combo has remained the same since its inception.
- Dead Metal is the last house robot to return. The dark horse of the group, and the one that posed the biggest threat to the presenters and crew, Dead Metal’s memorable claws and retractable saw remain its primary mode of attack.
Sergeant Bash is the only “classic” house robot no longer represented in the field. He’s likely taken a leave of absence because out of all the house bots his design aged the worst. Bash’s shitty little clamp was easily outdone by Sir Killalot’s and I think we’re all past the point where we’ve accepted that flamethrowers are a fucking joke. Bash looked cool but was a relic of an older era that just couldn’t be modernized to match his counterparts. He will be missed.
Let’s talk about who won’t be missed now, starting with Mr Psycho, or “the hilariously giant retard golem meant to compete with Sir Killalot”. Psycho’s hammer was built in such a way as to resemble a human arm swinging down. This added another point of articulation that occasionally failed and resulted in a house robot whose weapon was more or less an annoyance than an actual fucking threat. Psycho’s “pet dog” Growler is also absent which is a good thing because it means we won’t have to hear its fucking roar sound effect every time someone pushes a button on its transmitter. But finally, the best news I have to give you is that Cassius fucking Chrome is gone. Good fucking riddance. Cassius was the dumbest goddamned house robot with the shittiest weapon that jostled the robot side to side like it was doing a fucking jig. I hope they put that piece of shit into a dumpster after the seventh wars.
LET’S MEET GROUP 1
“NUTS have made an effort,” Dara says as he gestures toward a group of people wearing fucking top hats standing around what looks like a scrapped Sega Activator with wheels. This alone tells you everything you need to know about this robot, but for the sake of finishing this paragraph I suppose I could provide a little more insight. Dara asks the team how their robot, which is armed with two thwacking flails mounted on an outer ring that turns perpendicular to the chassis, fights. The team says they haven’t a fucking clue, but they brought along minibots with fucking googly eyes on them because LOL SO RANDOM. Dara, not yet sensing the pattern here, asks what the minibots can do. This is a simple question, yet it requires the intervention of another member of Team Nuts because I guess you can only say “I don’t know” so many times before you inevitably just shit your pants and sulk. Dara finally realizes he’s gone too far in and says “good luck” a few times before getting the fuck out of there.
Angela meets up with Team RAZER to find out how their titular robot, which was twice a international Robot Wars world champion and winner of the fifth wars, matches up to its opponents. She gets off on a fantastic start by asking if Ian Lewis and Simon Scott have made any changes to their 18 year old robot. Watch for the look Ian reflexively gives Angela as he realizes the intellectual level of the person he’s speaking to. Ian defends his robot’s design by saying it’s withstood the test of time and has remained mostly effective, which is true. Angela fucks off to ask the girls some questions because she’s uninterested in Razer’s hydraulic jaw and invites herself to having some of the sausage rolls that Razer’s team brought along with them. I guess this is a case of differing social norms and customs but you don’t just fucking ask if you can help yourself, you wait until the person who made the food offers some to you. It’s their fucking food. Angela stuffs her fucking face with a sausage roll before handing the rest off to Ian and leaving. Holy fucking shit. Imagine meeting Bono, asking him one stupid thing, helping yourself to one of his own donuts, and then handing him the rest after you take a bite because this is literally what just transpired.
Meanwhile, Dara has found KILL-E-CRANK-E in the pits and is asking the kids driving it the hard questions like “what does it do” and “does the saw spin”. Look man, just because they’re kids doesn’t automatically mean they’re idiots. I know Robot Wars has this weird obsession with romanticizing the children who compete at their events but just talk to them like normal fucking people because that’s what they are. Dara is too busy being patronizing to pay attention to the fact that Kill-E-Crank-E’s disc apparently only “spins” at 500 RPM. I went ahead and stuck “spins” in quotes because when you have a weapon that slow there are better ways to describe it, such as “rotates” or “is for all intents and purposes a static object”. As he departs Dara tosses in a bit of referential British humor and asks if the robot was named after “The Krankies”, a Scottish comedy duo that appears to have not been culturally relevant for two decades. One of the builders of Kill-E-Crank-E shoots Dara an “are you fucking for real” look and says no. A stellar end to a stellar interview.
TERRORHURTZ is the last robot introduced and Angela flags John and his team down with her mouth still half full of Razer sausage. Terrorhurtz, formerly Killerhurtz, has been a mainstay at Robot Wars despite never winning a championship. John’s robot has consistently performed well except for that time when it was disqualified from the seventh series when “The Beta Curse” had the taco shits and some of it splattered onto Terrorhurtz as well. The primary difference between Terrorhurtz and Beta is each robot’s weapon power; Terrorhurtz features a pneumatic axe whereas Beta uses a chain-driven one. Terrorhurtz’s armor is identical to the arena’s so John invites Angela to take a swing at it knowing that a lithe woman armed with an adjustable wrench poses more of a threat to herself than the robot. She takes a swing and says she dislocated a finger. That’s it for the interview by the way. “Hey want to hit my robot with a wrench? Thanks, bye!”
GROUP BATTLE 1
Jonathan gets the match started with the hypothetical “who can beat the mighty Razer” but I think it’s not so much who can beat Razer outright as it is who can survive alongside Razer because with the exception of Terrorhurtz this field is kind of a slow news day. Terrorhurtz immediately goes for Nuts due to its excessively generous surface area while Razer bites down into Kill-E-Crank-E’s spinning disc. Again, like I said earlier this “500 RPM” business doesn’t translate into anything that any of these competitors need to be afraid of so Razer goes to town like Angela on a sausage roll. Point is, nobody needs to worry about Kill-E-Crank-E except for Nuts, maybe, but only because Nuts is a piece of shit who can barely stay on its own wheels and only narrowly escapes the pit once Kill-E-Crank-E opens it.
Nuts dodges the pit and manages to get stuck on its side. For a robot that is basically only wheels this level of fuckery is surprising to say the least. Nuts is able to right itself with the help of Razer, who has bitten down on one of its minibots, and immediately begins spinning around in place to attack with its flails to try and ward off Terrorhurtz. Now, if Terrorhurtz can withstand Angela Scanlon hitting it with a wrench then I know for a fact it can stand up to Nuts limply swinging pieces of scrap metal at it. What actually seems to be a legitimate problem here is Nuts’ shitty little minibots, one of which has managed to dive under Terrorhurtz’s ass and prop one of its wheels off the ground. Terrorhurtz fires its axe and gets away and also tries to retaliate by smashing the minibot but misses unfortunately. It’s fine though, because I’m fairly certain both of them are dead now anyways. The googly eyes really helped out.
Matilda watches on while Jonathan starts screaming about the nightmares he has about her. I guess it’s safe to say that after Robot Wars‘ original run ended his relationship with her took a turn for the worst and ended badly. Or maybe Jonathan is just a fucking nutcase and couldn’t sleep at night when his primary paycheck vanished for a decade, who’s to say? Anyways, Razer seems to really have it out for Kill-E-Crank-E and keeps biting down on it and lugging it around. This probably has something to do with the fact that Kill-E-Crank-E was built by one of the people responsible for Pussycat, the only robot to KO Razer by absolutely destroying it. Ian just can’t let this fucking grudge go as he audibly asks his teammate Simon if they should take them to the pit. They do, but Kill-E-Crank-E has the last laugh and waits until they’re almost in the pit before flooring it backwards to take Razer down with it.
The Nuts team loses their shit because I think we can all agree that they were probably on their way out until their driver booth-mate pulled a Dr. Strangelove and rode that missile all the way down to take one for the betterment of the rest of the field. Kill-E-Crank-E’s driver gives a coy smile and it is at this moment I realize why he looks so familiar. That’s the guy who built Bodyhammer, the robot from the first series whose driver I said looked like Gumby in a centrifuge. Fucking hell man, what a comeback. I take back everything I said about the malleability and clay-like qualities of your face.
WINNERS: Nuts and Terrorhurtz
AND NOW GROUP 2
Dara meets up with the builders of BEHEMOTH in the pits before their first battle. If these people look familiar to you it’s probably because you recognize them as the builders of Radioactive, a disaster of a BattleBots competitor who was spectacularly destroyed by Tombstone from last year and whom I decried as total garbage because I knew its fucking builders had Behemoth just sitting in a shed somewhere that they could’ve brought instead. For a robot with such pedigree in the Robot Wars circuit Dara doesn’t spend much time talking to its builders, presumably because he burned up too much screen time trying to get a straight answer out of the chucklefucks who built Nuts. Behemoth’s builder explains that this is actually an entirely new robot. I can’t quite understand what he says Behemoth can lift, but I’m assuming its a type of car which Dara says won’t be in the arena. I guess that means they retired the Drop Zone. Shame.
Angela has found CARBIDE, yet another robot that might seem familiar to readers of The Update. Take away Carbide’s paint job and replace it with a white one with blue accents and you have BattleBots competitor Cobalt who famously fell at the hands of Bombshell and its hilariously rickety-looking horizontal cutter that expertly sliced off its wheels. I’ve gotta admit it, but I like Carbide’s paint job compared to Cobalt’s. The green on black gives it a very “2001 AOL Messenger” feel to it which an Internet dinosaur like me can appreciate. Dave, Carbide’s builder and driver, says his robot’s weapon spins at over 2,500 RPM and the kinetic energy it imparts on impact is the equivalent of 60 sniper rounds. Kill-E-Crank-E, if you’re paying attention this is how you build a spinner. Dave doesn’t have any food that Angela can help herself to so she just disappears.
BONK is third to be introduced and comes from the team who formerly competed with Mute, a hellaciously powerful “reverse” flipper capable of self-righting moves that would make even Inertia Labs blush. I don’t really know why they’ve gone with an axe instead of their signature flipper, nor do I know why they gave it such a shitty name, but Dara saunters over and says the robot is “topless”. I’m not sure if that was supposed to come off as a double entendre or not so I’m going to play it safe and award him no points. We’re informed that Bonk’s armor is made from plate steel, the same type of material that goes into tank armor. Sounds tough, but since we were just previously talking about sniper rounds I did some light Googling to see how thick plate steel needs to be before a sniper round cannot penetrate it. According to this forum full of people who masturbate only to the Second Amendment, 3/4″ steel is sufficient. It doesn’t look like Bonk is rolling into battle with armor of that caliber. Welp, preemptive “rest in pepsi” I guess.
Angela makes her way over to THE GENERAL and her first order of business is to repeat the answer she gets to her first question in a stupid voice. God damn. Maybe she takes the guy for an idiot because admittedly he’s working on his robot’s wheels with what appears to be a hacksaw. At first glance I’d think he was a retard too. Apparently what he’s doing is scoring the tread on The General’s wheels because their initially smooth rubber tread isn’t getting enough purchase on the arena floor. Fair enough. The General appears to largely be a piecemeal work of scrap as its primary weapon looks like a set of cutting discs fashioned from agricultural tilling blades which can spin anywhere from 500-1000 RPM according to the team. That’s a pretty generous margin so I’m led to believe nobody measured it and also nobody knows how to do the math to calculate the weapon’s RPM so they’re just ballparking it.
GROUP BATTLE 2
Bonk draws first blood by box rushing Carbide and swinging its axe before Carbide’s blade is able to unleash the fury of 60 snipers. It’s hard to tell who comes out ahead in this altercation because it seems neither robot’s weapon is particularly powerful. The General chooses to play it safe and attacks Behemoth, the only robot incapable of doing any substantial damage to it, and starts throwing some sweet titanium sparks off of Behemoth’s bulldozer scoop with its, uh, farm wheels. Carbide lands barely a glancing blow onto the side of The General which prompts Jonathan to declare no tires are allowed in Robot Wars. You heard it folks, from here on out every robot needs to be some bullshit walker. It’s [current year], why are we still using fucking wheels in robot combat? Take Bonk for example, Bonk is using wheels and guess who just got their ass reamed by one of the arena floor spikes? Bonk gets penetrated so hard that sparks fire out of its asshole.
For all the yammering going on about The General being the jankiest in the field it seems to be a decent robot. The General digs its discs into Behemoth once more and destabilizes it enough to get Behemoth to tip over. This in turn requires Behemoth to self right and in a panic they open the pit. Dave suggests to his teammate that going in the pit is a bad idea. Wow, great strategy there guys no wonder they picked you for this show. I’ll also go ahead and quit giving The General the benefit of the doubt now since Carbide has cruised on over and clipped an entire wheel off. Speaking of “benefit of the doubt” I’ve noticed that Bonk’s axe has failed to return to its loaded position for the entire fucking fight. I’m assuming that in the end Bonk’s tank armor just couldn’t handle the initial onslaught of a dozen or so snipers while Carbide’s weapon was getting up to speed. Behemoth rolls Bonk onto its back and rather than self right Bonk’s air tank just fucking detonates.
Carbide comes in to finish the job and humiliates Bonk by clipping its axe head with its blade and tweaks it out of alignment. Jonathan says Carbide is here to “cause some danger”. Bro have you been watching this fucking battle? Carbide has already raised the danger quotient to record levels. “Look at that weapon there.” Yeah dude, it just ripped a whole wheel off in one hit. I think we know it’s pretty bad ass, has it really taken you the entire battle to come up with a coherent opinion on fucking Carbide?
WINNERS: Carbide and Behemoth
CARBIDE vs. TERRORHURTZ
Okay, now we’re getting into the part of this episode that’s going to be hell on earth to get through: the Head to Head battles. The way this works is each of the four robots that made it this far will take turns battling the other three which will result in something like six fucking battles and whoever gets the most points wins. For the sake of brevity I’m not going to get into reintroducing the competitors from this point onward because I’m not sure I can think of at least three more ways to describe fucking Nuts without going fucking nuts myself. Before this match gets underway I’ll just say that I think it’s a bad idea to copy the arbitrary “Tale of the Tape” ratings from BattleBots because your little sliding scale rating bars have just made Carbide and Terrorhurtz out to be a nearly perfectly even match.
John Reid knows a thing or two about fighting against spinners. That, or he was just paying attention to Carbide’s previous match where Bonk rushed the spinner immediately because that’s exactly how Terrorhurtz starts this match, minus the whole “whoops our weapon is a total piece of shit and breaks after one swing” bit that Bonk pulled off. Carbide gets some nasty air time from that blow which results in the spinner getting flipped upside down. Hardcore fans of the sport will liken this battle to Beta vs. Tombstone from BattleBots, a very similar match up, and note the fact that Tombstone getting flipped over was exactly the point in the match where Beta became irreversibly fucked. Fingers are crossed that this one doesn’t turn out the same way.
Carbide’s blade seems to be working a lot better this battle, but thanks to John’s superior driving skill Carbide is getting little purchase on Terrorhurtz and is instead getting thrown all over the place and ultimately into the pit button. Jonathan has been talking this whole time, as usual, and says he was worried Carbide was having a “WTP” in the pits, which he defines as a “weapon transmission problem”. Jonathan, shut the fuck up please. I wasn’t there but I can guarantee nobody but you is using that acronym. In fact, I’m going to take this one a step further and say that you just made this up on the spot like you did shit like “flippability factor” back in the day. Carbide’s issues only seem to get worse as the robot spins out of control and lands on the flame grate where it promptly gets stuck. As much as I’d like to imagine the arena designers brought back the “automatic lose” grating from the first series I can still see Carbide’s wheels turning so I know it’s not dead, and Sir Killalot eventually knocks it free after letting it cook for a while.
Terrorhurtz nudges Carbide just onto the edge of the pit. Carbide’s team responds by ramping their weapon up to “full power”, presumably so that they can use it to rewind time to a point in this match where they weren’t getting their asses kicked, but before that can happen Terrorhurtz nudges them down and the match is over. Terrorhurtz didn’t even need to swing its axe.
WINNER: Terrorhurtz, KO
BEHEMOTH vs. NUTS
Behemoth’s team claims to have “no weaknesses”. I’m assuming this is a holdover from the seventh series where everyone and their fucking grandmother thought it was the edgiest thing ever to write in “none” on their robot’s application for “Weaknesses” even when their robot was quite visibly the dumbest fucking thing ever built. Like Nuts, actually. Nuts would be the type of team to write in that they didn’t have a weakness. Anyways Behemoth has already toppled Nuts over within seconds and shoved them onto the fire pit so whatever Nuts’ plan was I’m sure they’re off to a fantastic start. Nuts gets away and starts spinning around in the middle of the arena with its flails. This is the first time we’ve been able to see Nuts attack uninterrupted. It’s cool looking I guess, but it’s not really dangerous or anything because Behemoth comes right in and rams the robot over onto the Dildozers (not sure what the spike hazards are called but this is the name I’m giving them).
After narrowly escaping a hug from Dead Metal one of the members of Team Nuts encourages the driver to start spinning around, because this has clearly proven to be an effective strategy thus far. As you might imagine this results in Nuts being tossed around again, this time into the pit trigger. Behemoth follows up with a trip to the floor flipper but doesn’t quite hit the mark and Nuts ends up getting one of its flails caught in the ramp. Wow neat, I didn’t know Robot Wars had the Hellraisers on loan from BattleBots for this event! With Nuts virtually incapacitated Behemoth turns its focus to the Nuts minibots which I’ve neglected to mention up until this point because they’re more of an afterthought. With one massive heave-ho Behemoth takes one of the wedges and nearly catapults it into the goddamned arena lights. Nuts slightshots itself out from under the ramp and both bots start taking turns getting whacked by Matilda’s twerking.
Behemoth is far enough ahead in this fight where they can afford not to give a shit because they are now focusing on trying to attack Nuts’ minibots with varying degrees of success. Nuts gets in the way and again gets thrown into the pit trigger which, in this season, causes the pit to descend all the way to the basement studio where they keep Jonathan Pearce so in order to get your robot back after the fight you have to listen to him talk and rhyme a bunch of words for like two hours. Both bots spend quite a bit of time hanging out on top of the floor flipper which is visibly trying to lift up but it seems whatever Nuts did to it when it slingshotted around the hazard broke it. You can tell there’s something wrong because one of Nuts’ minibots is clearly baiting the hazard at the end of the fight and isn’t getting thrown into the air. Bold strategy.
WINNER: Behemoth, Judges’ Decision
While the safety crew is busy trying to corral all of Nuts’ pieces into one cohesive pile to take back into the pits Dara has met up with Professor Noel Sharkey, one of the judges this year (and every fucking year), to find out how the sport has changed. Dara starts his brief interview off by complimenting the fact that Noel is two thousand years old before asking what has changed between then and now. Noel responds with “little changes” and goes on to mention how literally every goddamned aspect of robot combat has changed since Robot Wars was off the air. Again, “little” changes. He’s the guy with the PhD or whatever though. Noel brings up a material called “Hardox” which is a form of steel that is stronger yet lighter than titanium. Maybe this is what Kenny Florian was talking about on BattleBots when he dropped his “titanium steel” bomb on us.
Dara starts zoning out as Noel talks about how we’re on the cusp of a robot revolution until he brings up seeing robots in the pub. Dara snaps right back into the conversation because he loves him a spot of lager at the pub with his mates pip pip cheerio. Noel mentions how in Singapore there are drones (as well as tablets which are seen but not mentioned) that are pretty much putting traditional servers out of work. This is not something that we should be celebrating nor encouraging. Industrialization is a fantastic phenomenon, don’t get me wrong here, but there’s a fucking limit. People need to work, they need jobs. The last thing this world needs is a helicopter at TGI fucking Friday’s that flies your shitty overpriced booze over to you which you ordered on a filthy tablet covered in ranch dressing fingerprints from the previous fat piece of shit who sat at that table before you.
Before Noel can piss me off any further he immediately 180’s and brings up exoskeletons, wearable robotic suits and apparatuses that can do everything from assisting with heavy lifting to allowing handicapped people to walk again. This, unlike the shitty food drones, is absolutely technology worth celebrating and funding research into. Noel only wants one so he can feel superior to Millennials though. Buddy, if all you want to do is feel superior to a generation of whiny entitled brats you don’t need to buy an expensive robot fuck suit, you can just write in cursive or something.
TERRORHURTZ vs. BEHEMOTH
Jonathan reminds us how Behemoth allegedly has no weaknesses. This is said right as Behemoth misses a shot with its plow and flips itself over. Uh huh. Terrorhurtz immediately seizes control of the battle by shoving Behemoth near Dead Metal before following up with another shove that sends the bulldozer fully into the Corner Patrol Zone. In Terrorhurtz’s last battle its axe was completely inactive, this appears to still be the case because John has had some amazing opportunities to start beating the shit out of Behemoth and yet he’s taken none of them. Earlier in this episode John was all “it’s too cold our pneumatics don’t work”. Doesn’t seem to be affecting Behemoth, buddy. Sounds like someone is making up excuses to me.
Dead Metal sheds a few sparks off of Terrorhurtz which prompts John to jokingly complain. Jonathan reminds us that this is Robot Wars and that there are no rules and no fairness is allowed. After all, this is the event where there was a floor grate that depending who drove on top of it you either lost or were freed by the house robots to continue fighting. Also there was that whole thing with “stock bots” to pad numbers. Basically what I’m trying to say is Robot Wars is like the Hillary Clinton email scandal of robot combat. Also Behemoth has flipped Terrorhurtz over and since Terrorhurtz is basically a fucking wedge this means the robot has been knocked out. Dead Metal digs its saw right into Terrorhurtz underside and almost cuts clean into its air tank but fails to rupture it, much to my dismay. We’re talking like millimeters here, fractions if that; I wanted to see something fucking blow up.
WINNER: Behemoth, KO
CARBIDE vs. NUTS
By virtue of the way the second round of battles are set up this year, this fight was guaranteed to happen; a hilarious mismatch of engineering versus whatever the hell Nuts was created with. It’s hard to tell, because you have to watch the first hit frame by frame, but with one blow Carbide shears Nuts’ outer ring off of its entire fucking gearbox. Also, they apparently had a gearbox running that thing. News to me! Washers and spacers from the cross axle of Nuts’ ring fly all over the place as Carbide comes in for a double whammy. In a single hit Carbide manages to absolutely eviscerate Nuts’ orange minibot while simultaneously knocking the other side of Nuts’ weapon ring off of its mount reducing its opponent to a weaponless box with two giant wheels, or as we like to say in the professional biz “free points”.
Nuts now has no method of attack. I mean, it didn’t really have any method of attack fifteen seconds ago either, but now they’re really fucked. Carbide catches up with an evading Nuts and lands a blow that topples the robot over into Sir Killalot’s territory, however Killalot doesn’t know what the fuck to do with this thing that amounts to the jumping coin box from Super Mario 64 so Nuts gets shoved onto the flames to officially be someone else’s problem. “It’s a tough bot to crack,” says one of Nuts’ drivers as their robot is plinked across from the center of the arena directly onto the pit release button. Yeah dude, it’s really holding up out there. Carbide cruises in for a follow-up hit that doesn’t just rip one of Nuts’ wheels off, it takes the entire goddamned motor with it and throws it out of the arena.
With the primary constituent of Nuts out of commission Carbide has this one in the bag and clips the last surviving minibot to seal the deal, prompting its driver to do his best impression of a shitty clickbait YouTube reaction channel and ham it up for the cameras which have just finished obtaining photographic proof of the biggest ass kicking in Robot Wars history since the time Hypno-Disc sent Robogeddon back to the fucking Stone Age.
Dara chimes in after the battle to let us know that Carbide literally tried to kill everyone in the spectators’ booth by hurling at them one of the many pieces of Nuts that it ripped away. He graciously returns this piece of whatever the fuck back to the team in the hopes that they will go away and never come back. I will say however, his remark of “do you like jigsaw puzzles” hearkens back to the days of Jeremy hosting the show. I am quickly beginning to like this guy even though he looks like one of the Three Stooges in their twilight years.
WINNER: Carbide, KO
CARBIDE vs. BEHEMOTH
Box rushing Carbide seems to be the hot thing to do this season, too bad Carbide’s driver is used to this shit by now and jukes around Behemoth. Carbide whips around and pops Behemoth so hard that more sparks fly out of Behemoth’s face than the pyrotechnics hidden inside the arena Dildozers. It’s hard to tell but at this point there is already a clean rectangular cut sliced into Behemoth’s plow, which I might remind you is made from pure fucking titanium. Behemoth is on the ropes and its team knows this, so after recovering from the blow they floor it head first into Carbide and fire their weapon sending their robot hurtling through the air and immediately turning the tables on this fight.
Surprisingly both bots are still fully functional after this hit because I don’t think it would be crazy for me to admit that I was expecting either Carbide’s blade to snap in two or for Behemoth’s scoop to join Nuts’ flail as one of the many objects that Carbide has tried to murder the hosts of this show with. Behemoth clips the pit release button which is looking to be how this fight needs to end because the bulldozer is clearly hobbling around and losing some of its mobility on account of getting its asshole split just a little bit wider with each hit they take from Carbide. Also growing in size is the gash on their scoop which is now several inches deep. Carbide clips the scoop once more as Behemoth fires it upward which causes the pneumatics to overshoot and rip the plow off of its track. This hit also causes Behemoth to teeter so violently that it tips over.
Even though Behemoth’s scoop has been finished off its srimechs are on separate systems so there’s still a chance that they can return to the fight and… I don’t know, continue to limp around until Carbide rips their side panels off and eats their wheels. Carbide’s weapon operator nudges Dave and mumbles “get them in the pit” which takes Dave about three seconds to do.
WINNER: Carbide, KO
TERRORHURTZ vs. NUTS
I’ve given Nuts a lot of shit in this article but I’ve got to agree with Dara, it’s incredible that they’ve been able to put this thing back together after Carbide ripped it apart so badly that when one of the builders picked up the motor assembly and shook it they said “yeah none of this sounds connected anymore”. I mean sure the wheels still look like the aftermath of someone hitting a landmine with a bicycle and they had to cannibalize their two minibots to combine them into one but god damn it the robot works and that’s worth something. Speaking of things that are working, Terrorhurtz is finally swinging its axe for the first time in what feels like the entire fucking episode.
Nuts lands a blow early on that gets one of its flails stuck underneath Terrorhurtz. Since Robot Wars doesn’t appear to have any procedures in place for entangled robots other than “let the house bots sort it out” Terrorhurtz takes matters into its own hands by straight up tractor pulling Nuts’ ring right the fuck off. Normally this is a level of damage that would earn a significant amount of praise from me but I know after Carbide ripped the ring off, bent it into a pretzel, and threw it at Dara O’Briain that it was probably irreparable and only cosmetic now. Still, the ring is caught up on Terrorhurtz and is getting in the way of their axe. John can’t seem to get Nuts’ ring off of his robot so he just says “fuck it” and improvises with it. Now Terrorhurtz is armed with a pneumatic axe and some bullshit octagonal flail ring that weighs a dozen or so kilos.
What’s interesting about this match is that Nuts is totally fucked and they’re definitely not going on to the heat final. I’m not just saying that to make fun of their design, it’s mathematically impossible for them to earn enough points to advance on by this point. However, Terrorhurtz needs to win by a knock out in order to secure their place in the heat final otherwise if this goes to the judges Terrorhurtz will tie with Behemoth and since Terrorhurtz shit the bed in its fight against Behemoth that means they’re out. So even though Nuts is past the point of no return they can still take Terrorhurtz out of the contest by doing nothing more than surviving one more minute of this fucking slaughter of a fight. This is now their primary strategy as Nuts prepares to enter the longest 60 seconds of its miserable life.
Through a combination of unintentionally getting their weapon stuck on Terrorhurtz and intentionally getting their only surviving minibot lodged up its ass Nuts miraculously manages to survive the entire fight. Sure, they lose by a judges’ decision, but in doing so they’ve also ensured that Terrorhurtz has gone down with them. Even though this fight technically has a winner, nobody wins.
WINNER: Terrorhurtz, Judges’ Decision
CARBIDE vs. BEHEMOTH
For this heat final we have two robots who initially came from the same 4-way melee meaning they’ve already met in the arena twice thus far. The first time around Dara was quick to mention that Behemoth avoided Carbide for the entire rumble to focus instead on Bonk, whose weapon broke immediately, and The General, the only other formidable robot in the field. Behemoth’s driver agreed with Dara’s observation with the same demeanor as someone telling a jury that the defendant is indeed the alleged rapist. He has every right to be afraid of Carbide because these two were bound to fight in the Head to Head rounds and they lost. Big time. Carbide’s road to the heat final hasn’t exactly been a cakewalk either, however. After their first round they had problems with their E-Tek motor which prompted Terrorhurtz’s John Reid to come lend a hand presumably because he said “I built a robot with one of these and it didn’t fight for 14 years let me help”. Then, Terrorhurtz threw Carbide in the fucking pit.
Behemoth tries the box rush strategy again because it worked so well last time. Anticipating Carbide to juke right instead of left this time, Behemoth veers to the left to catch them. Carbide doesn’t juke to the right and instead gets a free hit on Behemoth’s side. This hit seems to have broken something on Behemoth’s right drivetrain because it’s already reduced to pivoting with its left wheels only. Carbide takes one extra hit before realizing it’s on the fast track to the Grand Final so Dave plays it safe and opens the pit to try and nudge them in. Behemoth isn’t having any of it because even though its drive is trashed the scoop still works and is being used to ward off Carbide. This is a precarious position because if Carbide fucks it up it could be them in the pit instead. Behemoth immediately fucks up the tension by flooring it into reverse right into the goddamned pit however, giving the win to Carbide.
WINNER: Carbide, TKO
With that, Carbide has seized the very first space in the Grand Final and that’s a wrap on the very first episode of the Robot Wars reboot. For all you Update fans who were eager to see this series make its debut here, I hope it was worth the wait. It’s always a challenge for me to figure out how best to present things like robot introductions and biographical segments from show to show because no two series do it the same way. That said, I’m going to do my damnedest to have each installment of my Robot Wars coverage released a week apart, but since each episode is a full hour long and features a ton of fights there’s a lot to get into so I apologize in advance if the update schedule goes haywire.
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