Welcome back to The Update. Last week on Robot Wars, Shockwave shocked the world because he was none other than the shockmaster and toppled “the mighty” Thor in the heat finals to secure its place in the Grand Finals. Among the casualties left in its wake were Foxic, a furry-bait robot that spent more time on the fire pit than it did actually moving, and MR Speed Squared, a ring spinner that made a hell of a show in its first round but basically fell apart in each subsequent match. Also, MR Speed Squared was too heavy to be completely armored so I’m sure that played a role in it getting its face kicked in. This week eight more robots enter the arena to determine who’s getting the third slot in the Grand Final. Oh man, I just can’t wait.
The excitement is literally killing me. I pray for an early death.
GROUP 1 AND DONE
The fabulous GLITTERBOMB is up first and Angela tries her luck at breaking into the daytime TV talkshow circuit by asking Glitterbomb’s builder, James Baker, if he’s the father of the little girl also present on the team. Because he is indeed her dad this means we don’t get to see him jump up and down and dance around while WordArt graphics of “YOU ARE NOT THE FATHER!” fly by and make a mockery of inner city life and the prestige of fatherhood. Glitterbomb is a robot named after the world’s worst mail prank and is armed with a pneumatic axe. It’s also painted bright fucking pink and covered in glitter in case dressing like a robo-slut also qualifies as a valid weapon. James says they haven’t tested their weapon yet and have no idea if it will work in its current configuration. His daughter will be operating the weapon so he preemptively passes off any eventual blame to her in the event that it doesn’t work, which April spins around right back at her dad because he’s the one who built the damn thing.
OVERDOZER is the everyman’s robot. Built by a handful of college-aged knuckleheads this is a robot whose armor is literally wood — particle board at that, which is infinitely worse — and armed with a fucking weed whacker. The team’s excuse for their robot being the worst thing since whole bread is that they didn’t have “enough time” to build a proper robot. Buddy, something tells me even if you had five years to build Overdozer that you’d have still fucked it all up. For fuck’s sake, the kill switch for the weapon engine is mounted right in the middle of the top of the robot just hanging out daring someone with an axe to press it. You’re at Robot Wars dude, half the goddamned field seems to always bring an axe to the table, and the other half is Sir Killalot. Dara uses his skill as a comedian to tell the team that they’ve actually built a boat and smokes the driver so hard that he can’t respond. Realizing he’s just make this hella awkward, Dara leaves but not before calling the robot a “cabinet” to add some fire and lock in the flavor of that burn.
Angela meets up with Yoko Ono to discuss KING B REMIX, this heat’s first returning competitor. “King B” as it is affectionately known by fans of Robot Wars is a competitor whose performance has been all over the place. Originally debuting in series 2 King B Remix (known as King Buxton at the time) climbed all the way to the semifinals before losing. Following that is a wishy-washy range of performances that include actually failing to qualify for one of the series. King B is also well known for never keeping the same goddamned name as its lineage includes more stupid nicknames than Jefferson Airplane. This iteration of King B has lost its rear cutting disc in exchange for focusing more power to its lifting forks and also making the spikes of these forks spin like drills for no real reason that I am able to figure out. These people speak to this robot in Japanese, they are certifiably insane.
DANTOMKIA is the last robot introduced in this group and much like King B Remix it too has “some heritage”, however in this case its seasoned history kind of doesn’t count since the first words out of the team’s mouth states they didn’t build the fucking thing. Dantomkia was originally built by Michael Lambert whom you might remember from the original Robot Wars series as “that one guy with the weird mustache”. He named the robot after his kids so it’s kind of weird in a fucked up way to pilot a robot named after someone else’s children; why not repaint it green and compete with Dantomkia under its alternate name “Spitfire”? That’s not how heritage works, you guys just bought the fucking robot and that’s it. You can’t buy one of Babe Ruth’s home run bats and say you’re the one who hit the home run because you just so happen to own the fucking bat. That’s not how this works. That’s not how any of this works.
GROUP BATTLE 1
We barely make it out of the countdown before Jonathan Pearce is already making “wood” puns about Overdozer. At least wait until someone hits the fucking thing before you go off on one of your stupid pun adventures. As you probably assumed by this point, Overdozer is kind of a piece of shit and right from the start of the fight its little propeller thing isn’t spinning and as King B Remix drives the dozer across the arena part of its chassis hits a seam in the pit platform and an entire goddamned chunk of the robot falls off. Overdozer’s driver confirms that he’s lost control of the robot and that Overdozer is knocked out. Fun fact, Overdozer was supposed to compete in last week’s heat but had to withdraw due to “technical problems”. Glad they apparently got them fixed in time for this fight so they could make a strong showing, and by that I mean “die after one hit while Jonathan gets to scream the word ‘rubbish’ ten times in three goddamned seconds”.
While Overdozer was busy being killed, Glitterbomb and Dantomkia have been sparring elsewhere in the arena with the pink robot landing at least one solid hit to Dantomkia’s chassis. King B Remix charges at Glitterbomb and manages to get deflected in such a way that the robot flips itself over and drives atop the carcass of Overdozer. With all of the robots huddled into one corner, and with Matilda out getting her nails done or something, Dantomkia flies into the pile of robots guaranteed to hit something. Glitterbomb ends up being its punching bag and is flipped upside down, but thanks to its axe can self-right. April, the operator of Glitterbomb’s weaponry, senses something is wrong because presumably she’s been hammering on the axe button and not a fucking thing has happened.
Jonathan praises King B Remix for allegedly staying out of trouble which I have a hard time believing because it’s directly responsible for at least one KO in this match. He mentions the king’s wheels are exposed like it fucking matters one bit, nothing in the arena at this time is armed with anything that can pose a threat to King B Remix’s wheels. Nothing. Dantomkia resumes sparring with Glitterbomb and flips it over again prompting April to complain and expect her dad to do something about this situation which he has absolutely zero control over. Dantomkia skids away to go back to beating up on Overdozer because both teams are in the same drivers’ booth and I guess Team S.Tek wants to make this situation as awkward as fucking possible. Overdozer’s blade is just casually sitting in the arena and had this been Battletoads instead of Robot Wars you can bet your ass someone would’ve picked it up to swing it at their opponents.
Dantomkia tries to flip Overdozer, but the green bot catches the side of the arena so instead of getting flipped over by Dantomkia’s arm Overdozer gets its top completely torn the fuck off. Dantomkia’s weapon operator coordinates with the driver to line their robot up on a dead target like victory hangs in the balance here just so they can continue to flip pieces of Overdozer onto the judges’ table to make their job easier.
WINNERS: Dantomkia and King B Remix
GROUP WHO GROUP 2
SUPERNOVA is legit. If you took everything that made Hypno-Disc great and dialed it up to 11 you get this robot, a cross between a loose cannon and a glass cannon that hits so hard it once broke an entire fucking tread off of Sir Killalot. To give you an idea of how insane this robot’s design is something like a quarter of its weight is put into just the disc alone. Supernova’s past performances have been all over the place but each time it enters the arena one thing is certain: someone’s about to get their ass kicked bad, even if Supernova ends up knocking itself out in the process. Of note is how Supernova used to have the Superman logo on its lid, which is gone now presumably because someone at DC Comics shit out a 50-page long cease and desist letter and rather than read it the producers just said “replace the Superman logo with some space shit or something we don’t care”.
Dara introduces TR2 with some trivia; Alex Brown is related to the father of the railways. I don’t really understand how this is applicable to Robot Wars, but I do know that Dara O’Briain has just given me a fathomless pit from which I can fish autism jokes from. I don’t intend to use that pit however, because that’s like the one thing I make jokes about that pisses readers off and I previously said I’d ease back on that unless there was an opportunity just pissing in my face. Anyways, “TR2” stands for “Toon Raider 2” which is supposedly a reference to the Tomb Raider video games but I’m not buying it. You see, “Toon” is supposed to refer to the name given to fans of the Newcastle United Football Club, but when you’re naming your robots shit like “Looney Toon” and “Tiny Toon” I know you’re barking up an entirely different tree. You can’t pull the wool over my eyes that easy — someone on that team wants to nail Babs Bunny and they let that bleed over into their robots.
Team Big Brother makes their return to the war zone with ORTE, which I believe when translated from Latin means “the tip of the iceberg”. Orte is basically just a newer version of Bigger Brother painted white; the robot at one point was even named “Bigger Brother 2”. Looking at this team, though, you’re probably getting the weird feeling that something is missing. Something isn’t quite right. It’s Joe Watts, the kid. He isn’t a part of the team anymore because some time shortly after The Seventh Wars he became so amped up about Robot Wars that he transcended into pure energy. If you count Bigger Brother’s performance in BattleBots the robot has won over two dozen fights and has twice been a semifinalist and once a Grand Finalist runner-up. You wanna talk about “heritage” in Robot Wars, look no further than Orte for this heat.
Finally, we have BIG NIPPER, a robot whose name I cannot stop misspelling as “Big Nipple”. Originally debuting in The Fifth Wars, Big Nipper has come a long way since its initial design that fell apart immediately upon facing Razer. Dara seems perplexed that Big Nipper sports two interchangeable weapons, a disc and pincers, and starts asking questions about which one is the better weapon. The answer of course is the spinning disc because the sideways clamping claws have historically been a fucking disaster of a weapon (see also: Kan Opener, 4×4, & The Stag). Team Titanium is confident their robot can go all the way even though its disc takes ten seconds to spin up to full speed. That factors out to less than 30 blows per fight. Math.
GROUP BATTLE 2
Orte moves so quickly to try and stop Supernova from getting its weapon up to full speed that the camera operators can’t even line up a decent shot of the blow. Supernova recovers from the bump and clips Orte as it drives backward, hitting Orte and sending it spinning out of control to the side of the arena. You can’t tell from the footage, but this hit destroyed Orte’s removable safety power link which has killed the robot in a single goddamned blow. I wasn’t fucking around when I said Supernova was legit. Just in case the power of that weapon hasn’t been cemented in your head yet, this hit also sheared off one of Supernova’s two weapon teeth rendering the spinning mass unstable. Supernova don’t give a fuck though and keeps this party going by diving into Big Nipper face to face for a massive hit that sends a torrent of sparks out from Nipper’s face and shears three of the four bolts holding it in place.
Big Nipper immediately regrets facing Supernova and tries to open the pit but since nobody is paying any attention to the robots that aren’t Supernova the pit doesn’t open. TR2 manages to slide underneath Supernova and takes the robot to the wall, the impact of which sends Supernova’s only other weapon tooth flying off reducing Supernova’s weapon from an instrument of the fucking apocalypse to a physics nightmare. Again, Supernova don’t give a fuck and keeps its disc spinning and throws some sparks off of TR2’s face before getting shoved into the pit release button. I’m guessing Supernova’s drivers know something is up with their robot’s weapon by now because it’s not biting into its opponents like it should but they keep the disc going because fuck it, it’s cool. TR2 almost throws Supernova into the pit, however the gyroscopic forces generated by its 25kg disc allow the robot to literally drive on its goddamned side and evade oblivion while Big Nipper almost shits the bed and falls into the pit instead.
Lightning doesn’t strike twice though, and with a follow-up attack TR2 is able to use Supernova’s gyroscopic forces to its own undoing as the flywheel’s physics pull the spinner into the pit. If there was ever a battle that exemplified how I described Supernova as a “loose cannon meets glass cannon” this was it. The fire that burns twice as bright lasts half as long, and this dying star burned a million times brighter than that because it lasted only a few seconds. I hope they are back next year because this is the closest we’re ever going to come to finding WMD’s in the Middle East. (In before “but Draco, Sri Lanka is an island near India it’s not actually the Middle East”. Work with me here guys, this is the closest geographically that we’re ever going to get to the Middle East in Robot Wars.)
WINNERS: Big Nipper and TR2
DANTOMKIA vs. KING B REMIX
The first few moments of this fight are spent by each robot sizing up its opponent until King B Remix strikes first and charges Dantomkia. It’s a solid blow, but I’m guessing Simon was a little too eager with the gas because immediately following the impact King B Remix’s front left wheel stops turning. Meanwhile, Dantomkia gets hung up on the floor spikes and the stage pyrotechnics go off in its ass. This is shaping up to be one of “those fights” already. Jonathan reminds us about how Shane Swan, Dantomkia’s owner, said he likes to “watch people lose”. That’s tall talk from someone who’s only participation in building this robot consisted of swiping a fucking credit card. Still, as much as I hate to say it he’s probably going to get what he wants because King B Remix’s drivetrain appears to be five kinds of fucked.
Jonathan ponders the wonders of the universe while King B Remix drives nicely atop Dantomkia to allow for a perfect flip that doesn’t quite get King B thrown out of the arena but instead somehow behind the pit release tire wall thing. I have no idea what the fuck to call that piece of the set other than “in the way”. Simon fiddles with the various buttons on his transmitter thinking he’s going to somehow get his robot down from the wall, but Matilda swings in and with a single flip of her tusks tosses the king fully out of the arena.
WINNER: Dantomkia, KO
TR2 vs. BIG NIPPER
Big Nipper has elected to go with its pincers for this match. Good call considering Supernova bent their disc to hell and back in the previous round and probably broke it for all we know. The strategy here appears to be less about actually biting TR2 with the clamp — because TR2 is stronger than a rusty trash can — and more towards using it as a makeshift lifting arm not unlike Big Nipper’s previous showings in the wars of yesteryear. The plan fails spectacularly as TR2 is able to get underneath Big Nipper and take it straight into the wall followed by tossing it to Dead Metal. Thanks to Big Nipper’s use of titanium armor Dead Metal’s saw starts throwing copious amounts of sparks everywhere. Jonathan gets excited.
The nipper retreats across the arena and hangs out near the pyrotechnic floor spikes, presumably to try and lose TR2 in the jungle of iron dildos and KISS sparks. This plan also fails and through the magic of shitty editing the two robots take turns teleporting back and forth between here and Dead Metal’s CPZ until someone presses the pit release button. Big Nipper skids around the arena and once again almost fucks everything up by driving itself into the pit. The bot barely avoids falling in but this time around has managed to get high centered on the edge and can’t drive away allowing TR2 to get a free hit and a free win.
WINNER: TR2, KO
Robot Wars judge Dr. Lucy Rogers has a tiny robot T-rex that Dara seems disproportionately eager about. She introduces it as a scale model of an 8 meter large animatronic beast from a theme park that she takes to schools to allow students to program. That’s cool and all, but I really don’t think this dinosaur robot is very camera friendly because there’s all sorts of shit wrong with it. First, it’s visibly filthy. Second, it just has little airbrush choofs for eyes but its teeth are far more meticulously detailed which is kind of fucked up in a way and makes it look like some eyeless Hellraiser monster. Still, it’s programmable and Lucy demonstrates how she can make the T-rex do things like roar or rock back and forth like a mental patient.
“Isn’t he good?” Asks Lucy. “She,” Lucy corrects. Unable to accept the patriarchal normality of the dreaded “generic he” Lucy just has to interject and fuck up the entire interview with gender politics. Dara, sensing weakness like a shark to chum, doubles down and calls out the sheer retardedness of her proclamation and asks “you can sex a replica animatronic dinosaur” hoping the absurdity of the situation will fucking sink in. It doesn’t, because Lucy asserts “half of all dinosaurs were female”. Uh oh Lucy, now you’ve just unknowingly passed the ball into my court and I’m about to dunk on you so hard your great grandchildren will be burn victims.
Sex distribution within dinosaurs was not an even 50/50 split. While Lucy is correct in that there are only two genders (lel), it is a widely accepted theory among paleontologists that dinosaurs were similar to crocodilians in that the incubation temperature of their eggs was the determining factor of the sex of the hatchlings. Due to the changing climate of the Earth post-meteor impact this likely threw off the ratio of males to females which accelerated their extinction. So no, half of “all” dinosaurs were not female. Git gud, normie.
DANTOMKIA vs. TR2
Two different styles of flipper are on display in this fight. Dantomkia’s flipper is made from a piston whose rod is directly attached to the flipping mechanism, while TR2’s flipper is this hilarious mess where a pneumatic ram punches the underside of a hinged wedge and bungee cords literally prevent it from flying off. I’m not going to say it’s “low tech”, but I will say that this is exactly the shit that you see in those Russian knock-off Robot Wars. Anyways, TR2 is able to use the magic of the railroad to take advantage of Dantomkia and throw it onto its back for the first points scored in this round. Dantomkia is obviously able to self-right and does so while Jonathan likens it to Tigger. You know, the character from Winnie the fucking Pooh.
Dantomkia is finally able to get some purchase on TR2, but rather than throw it through the air the yellow robot only musters a shitty midair shunting. TR2 responds with a glancing blow that still manages to throw Dantomkia over. Even worse, Dantomkia’s flipper breaks as it self-rights so when it inevitably gets tossed on its ass again it’s as good as dead. To add insult to injury TR2 spins around and starts chopping at Dantomkia’s underside with its flaccid little “axe”, a weapon so shitty that you can see it literally pivoting as it makes contact. Cut that useless shit off, that’s why circumcision is a thing here in the States.
After the match Dara calls TR2’s weapon a “bum axe” while Shane takes Dantomkia into the pits and whacks it with a hammer because he is literally a fucking living caricature of IT middle management, able to only throw money at a problem but can’t do a fucking thing to fix it themselves.
WINNER: TR2, KO
KING B REMIX vs. BIG NIPPER
The hosts take too long talking to the teams before this match which forces Jonathan to speak faster than anyone in recorded human history in order to complete his thoughts before the fight countdown finishes. This is a match between two robots who have yet to score so you know we’re in for a great show. Hopefully this is less painful to watch than last week’s Foxic vs. MR Speed Squared. King B Remix immediately opens the pit which is generally a habit of teams who have zero faith in their robot and are praying for a stroke of luck. Normally I’d make fun of them for opening the pit right away but since their opponent has consistently danced around the fucking pit in all of its fights so far I don’t think King B’s team would be in the wrong to assume Big Nipper is going to fuck up again.
Big Nipper avoids the pit for now but manages to get itself impaled on one of the floor spikes. Big Nipper gets pounded in the ass so hard that the robot is literally hiked up off the ground like a witch doctor’s head on a fucking pike. This affords King B Remix the perfect opportunity to get underneath Big Nipper and almost end this fight by taking it to the pit. Unfortunately, King B Remix misses its mark and Big Nipper’s driver finally remembers his robot has a weapon so he starts spinning its disc. It’s hard to tell when the disc is actually spinning, but you can tell it’s working by all of the pieces of King B’s ass being thrown around like fucking popcorn. Big Nipper is finally kicking some serious ass, but it’s also kind of smoking at the same time.
The disc of Big Nipper quits working, but that’s okay because the final blow it dealt appears to have dethroned King B Remix which is now dead in the corner. For some reason none of the house robots give a shit.
WINNER: Big Nipper, KO
KING B REMIX vs. TR2
So, I guess we’re starting to understand how King B Remix managed to fail to qualify for The Sixth Wars because this robot’s performance has been a total shit show so far. With 0 points it’s impossible for them to advance onward to the heat final so their best bet would be to cause as much damage as possible to TR2 in this match in order to hinder them in the long run. Considering King B Remix is only armed with some shitty drills, TR2 might as well have received a goddamned bye for this match.
It’s hard to tell whether King B Remix is even working properly for this fight because from the start TR2 has been in its face and throwing it at the wall repeatedly. Essentially, if it actually was working to start with, it’s probably not working now. Before this match started Clive Brown, TR2’s fabricator, warned the driver Alex not to open the pit because King B Remix has four wheel drive and could potentially out-push them. After several more tosses against the wall it seems TR2’s team understands exactly how little of a threat their opponent poses so Alex goes ahead and activates REAL NIGGA HOURS and SMASHES DAT MOTHERFUCKING LIKE BUTTON. Meanwhile, King B Remix is getting fucked by Sir Killalot.
Killalot drops King B Remix onto the flame grill and it’s pretty apparent that the king is dead. TR2 does the humane thing and throws King B Remix in the trash to put it out to pasture and send it on its way to The Great Beyond, which I hear is a popular junkyard.
WINNER: TR2, KO
DANTOMKIA vs. BIG NIPPER
This match will determine who will advance onward to rematch against TR2 in the heat final. Dantomkia has been repaired by being hit with a hammer, meanwhile Big Nipper has taken a shot from Supernova right to the face and has lived to tell the tale. It also can’t stop driving around near the pit so I don’t really know why I’m playing it up as much as I am.
What we have here are two robots whose translational movement is generally achieved by drifting all over the place like the arena is the obligatory ice stage from every goddamned Super NES game ever. Big Nipper nearly drifts completely around Sir Killalot and avoids taking damage, but ends up getting too close to Dantomkia’s flipper and is promptly rolled over. Big Nipper can drive upside down and self-right, so this isn’t an issue, but it’s apparent what Dantomkia’s strategy is for this match: let Big Nipper be Sir Killalot’s problem. Every time Big Nipper gets away and tries to fight, Dantomkia just shoves it over near Killalot’s corner and washes its hands of the situation.
Dantomkia throws Big Nipper into the corner so many times that Sir Killalot ends up accidentally stabbing its lance through the fucking wall and gets stuck. Yes, that is 741kg of “I don’t give a fuck” rendered inoperable by the one time its shitty lance managed to pop a hole in something. Well, now Dantomkia has to actually work for its win instead of passing the job off on someone else. You know, I was honestly just taking the piss when I called Dantomkia’s drive “IT middle management”, but god damn I think I was right. Big Nipper gets in one mega hit to Dantomkia’s flipper in the final few seconds of the fight which appears to break something off, I can’t tell what it is from the footage but unless it was worth a thousand judges’ points I doubt Big Nipper is going to win this match.
WINNER: Dantomkia, Judges’ Decision
TR2 vs. DANTOMKIA
It’s always nice when we have a heat final where the two competitors are each the best from their starting groups as opposed to being the two best robots from a single group. From Group 1 we have Dantomkia, a robot that once held the record for fastest out of the arena KO until in its very next match the record was broken by an opponent who threw Dantomkia out of the ring instead. Even though it’s being piloted by a new owner this year, Dantomkia was still able to prove its might after knocking out Glitterbomb and destroying Overdozer before going on to winning a modest 5 points in the Head to Head rounds. TR2 from Group 2 on the other hand has been on top since the start. Despite the fact its flipper didn’t even work in the group battle TR2 was still able to out-muscle its opponents and follow it up by taking 9 points — a perfect score only possible through three consecutive knock outs — in the Head to Heads.
At the start of the match the pit once again mysteriously opens when neither of the robots are close to it. I’m going to chock this one up to another case of shitty editing because in the following shot TR2 is driving away from where the pit button is so I’m just going to assume they were the ones who hit it. TR2 has had the upper hand thus far, but only by a little because it’s only been able to get underneath Dantomkia without popping any flips yet. The floor flipper decides to remind us that it exists this episode and rolls TR2 over which briefly turns the tables on the fight as Dantomkia tosses its opponent over to Matilda. TR2 gets away, but not before Dantomkia drifts around and takes multiple shots from Matilda’s rampaging ass.
Jonathan starts losing his fucking mind claiming this match is basically as good as a Grand Final when thus far the only action we’ve seen is Dantomkia losing a few curls of armor from Matilda’s disc. TR2 is finally able to maneuver itself around to get a proper flip on Dantomkia and throws it face first onto the floor. Matilda comes in to survey the damage which prompts Jonathan to start talking at length about the “wildest dreams” he’s had about her and Robot Wars. Seriously, what on God’s green Earth is this man’s fucking problem? Nobody dreams about Robot Wars. If you do, then you need to go the fuck outside and talk to some real people.
Matilda’s attack seems to have damaged Dantomkia’s air tanks because the robot starts suspiciously venting gas while evading TR2. TR2 musters a little toss which puts Dantomkia atop the recently awoken floor flipper resulting in the veteran contender getting catapulted backwards and onto its ass. With its flipper once again disabled, Dantomkia is dead in the water and TR2 moves on to the Grand Final.
Shane shows his sportsmanship by giving a thumbs down to TR2 that Dara has to intervene with and push out of the way like he’s dealing with a child. I’m not sure if “a bunch of unlikeable cunts” is the angle Team S.Tek was going for with their act, but it’s the one that came across in the end. And again, to link this all back to me calling the team the “IT middle management” of Robot Wars, Team S.Tek bought Dantomkia for this event and when they lost guess what they did with it. They sold it off to someone else.
WINNER: TR2, KO
That just about does it for this week’s look into the new season of Robot Wars. There’s only two slots left to earn in the Grand Final, plus one wildcard slot that will probably end up going to fucking Dantomkia for all I know, so there’s still more to see just yet. The next few updates to the website will most likely follow an irregular release (see below), so make sure you’ve followed BattleBots Update on Facebook if you haven’t already, that way you’ll get a notification when new stuff is up! Also, if you want to buy me a spot at the pub pip pip hard cheese lock ’em up in the paddy OTHER BRITISH SLANG, Donation button.
(I am moving across the city where I live next week, am traveling for work the week after that, and am expected to volunteer at a fundraiser for a childrens’ hospital some time in between those two things. I will do my best to continue releasing content on Fridays, but it is extremely likely that The Update will either need to take a short break or have a different schedule in November. I apologize to everyone looking forward to the Robot Wars articles.)