I guess CC is trying to squish all of Battlebots in before the new years.
We get two episodes this week. I can't review seven fights in one week.
Episode 18 is going to have to wait until next week.
Can I trade in the Biohazard/Voltronic fight for the Overkill/Voltronic
I mentioned Steel Conflict last week. I got the first tape in the series.
It was exactly what I was hoping it would be. All the fights. Every one.
I'm enjoying it. It's a very fine tape. They did a great job. Kind of like
being there, without the cross-country airfare. The only thing that
bothers me about the tape is the background music. It rubs me the wrong way.
That's OK, I just burned a CD of my fav Tunes To Bot Bash By, and I turn down the
sound and just fire that up. Ahhh. Much better. Anyhoo, I think I'm going to start
reviewing these fights starting in February 2003, just to keep the review spirit
going until we get televised Battlebots going again. And if we don't get televised
bots, then I'll review the second Steel Conflict tape (which I still need to purchase).
Then the third one, until I finish off that competition. Then maybe I'll invest in
the Lazy Toad DVD. Or maybe by then they'll have a video for the February 2003
Steel Conflict. Whatever, there won't be a lack of things to review. Probably
the only thing that will bring the reviews to a halt is me finally getting a life,
or having spring roll around and me having to go outside and pick the Red Lily
Beetles off my Oriental Lilies.
Biohazard vs. Mechavore
I guess we're finishing up the heavyweight division today. First up, Biohazard vs. Mechavore.
OK, RFT. Biohazard travels all the way over to the blue square while Mechavore spins up
the horizontal blade. Collision takes place in the blue square, before Mechavore moves an
inch. Sparks. Mechavore decides that this is as good a time as any to finally leave the
blue square. Some bot tango, and then Biohazard gets the scoop under Mechavore and starts lifting
the side of Mechavore. Mechavore goes over on her head and as this happens the spinning blade comes over and
shears off Biohazard's uplifted arm. That's it. That's how it ends. 10 seconds after the
fight begins, Mechavore is belly up and Biohazard is 20 feet removed from his arm. I hope Carlo
is quick with the wrench, looks like some super major repairs are in order.
Warhead vs. Overkill
I guess we're finishing up the heavyweight division today. Next up, Warhead vs. Overkill.
OK RFT. Warhead is in full wings down position. No Warhead Raptor today. We've got
about 30 seconds of positioning and then Warhead appears to approach Overkill's wedge.
The killsaws rudely interfere with Warhead's plan. Zzz. Now Overkill is rubbing Warhead's stomach
and Warhead is responding with a period of poor maneuvering. Specifically, Warhead is
pirouetting on her head. Guess the combined effect of spinning bowl and large
wedge intrusion will do that to you. Overkill pokes Warhead with the wedge a bit and then
we've got the endless positioning again. The bots finally meet directly over the
saws. Overkill kind of has the wedge under Warhead, but it's really a non-event considering the
saw hits that both Warhead and Overkill experience. Zzzz. Zzzz. When all this is through
we end up with Warhead on top of the wedge. Overkill makes a beeline for the screw, where
Warhead endures a screw smushing, and then a beeline for the spikes, where Warhead endures a
spike stuffing. Oof. Oof. Overkill backs off and thumps the floor with the blade.
Warhead's bell has obviously been rung as we've got a period of Warhead driving around randomly,
making a weak attempt to get the bowl spinning at speed. Luckily for Warhead, Overkill has
taken this opportunity to drive directly into the screw. Oof. Now Overkill surfs the saws,
and the minimal lift causes the wedge to get hung up on the bowl for a bit. Overkill
manages to fall off of the bowl and then is immediately all with the wedge under Warhead,
leading to repeated stuffing of the hapless Warhead into the screws. Warhead is really clocked at this
point. No spinning disk and no apparent ability to intentionally move in any
specific direction leaves Warhead at the mercy of Overkill's wedge. We're now treated to
a large number of Warhead screw smushings and spike stuffings, with Overkill thunking the floor
with the blade like a puppy dog wagging its tail. Now Warhead is slowly dying over by a
spike strip and we've got Overkill trying to thunk Warhead with the blade and doing a piss poor
job of it. Overkill decides it might be easier to connect with the blade if he swings it
like a bat, and we get a couple minor hits. Time runs out as Overkill gets in a final
screw smush. After the buzzer sounds, Christian Carlberg attempts to break through the
lexan with his bare hands. Perhaps he'd have more success if he rented out Shark Byte
for a bit. Warhead gets shipped back to England with a 34-11 judge's decision for Overkill.
Aces and Eights vs. Hexadecimator
We all know Hexadecimator, large tank wedge with a launching arm, but what is this
other thing that's in the box? I've never seen it before. Wait, that's not true.
This is that mystery bot that Biohazard is flipping in the picture on battlebots.com!
Well, I guess this fight is moot then. And since battlebots.com specifically said
that the winner of the Biohazard/Mechavore fight was going to fight Voltronic in
the finals, I guess this fight is a really a moot point because Aces and Eights is going to lose
further on down the line to Biohazard. Harumph. Well I guess I should describe
this previously unknown bot who has apparently taken out worthy opponents to make it
to the quarterfinals. Aces and Eights is a red box with pointy sides and a thin black wheel guard that runs
completely around the bot. The overall effect is not unlike a somewhat wimpier version
of mate Pro-Am.
OK RFT. Bots collide in the center of the box and Aces and Eights rides up Hexy's wedge
then splats. Now we've got Aces and Eights completely pushing Hexy around at will and stuffing
him into the screws. Aces and Eights then goes up on the wedge and Hexy launches him. Aces and Eights immediately
drives back into the side of Hexy and continues with the screw stuffs. Oof. Oof. Oof.
Oof. Aces and Eights backs off, Hexy turns around, Aces and Eights gets on the wedge again, and Hexy launches
him again. Twists. Flips. Splat. Aces and Eights wanders at random and then delivers a wimpy
ping to the front of Hexy. Hexy activates the arm and delivers a wimpy launch
that lifts half of Aces and Eights a couple inches off the floor. Hexy drives around the box
with the arm upright and here comes Aces and Eights who manages to wedge his front half in the
crook of Hexy's arm. Hah! Look at this. With only his two back wheels on the ground,
Aces and Eights still manages to push Hexy over the saws. Zzzzzzz. Granted, Hexy really isn't
the uber-pusher, but that Aces and Eights is still a powerful not-so-little bot. Now we've got
extended bot waltz, with a few love taps and missed launch attempts. Then Aces and Eights
tempts fate and the flipper, and but Hexy only can come through with a weak lift.
Now more bot jitterbug and Hexy gets in a much better launch attempt that sends
Aces and Eights a significant distance from his starting point. Unfortunately for Hexy, Aces and Eights
lands in a position where he can drive directly into the side of Hexy and do a pretty
good job of pushing Hexy towards the hammer. Unfortunately for Aces and Eights, Hexy gets away
before the hammer could fall. Now some more bot bump and grind and missed launches
and then Aces and Eights manages to wedge the front wheels in the arm crook again, and push Hexy
to the saws again, but Pete gets all curmudgeonly and won't pop the saws. Hexy excapes,
drives a bit, and then rams face first into the spikes. Oof. As Hexy removes himself
from the spike strip, Aces and Eights pushes him backwards under the hammer. Pow! That hadda hurt.
Hexy chases Aces and Eights a bit, and then runs into the spike strip again. Aces and Eights pounds into the
side of Hexy just because he can. Now we've entered a period of generic bumping
and Hexy once again lifts some air as Aces and Eights bangs into any available Hexy surface.
Hexy moves aside and Aces and Eights runs himself on top of the spikes. Hehe. Aces and Eights drives right
up on Hexy's wedge, but inexplicably Hexy doesn't launch him. Now here's Aces and Eights not only
up on the wedge, but up on top of Hexy, and instead of activating the arm, Hexy tries
to stuff him into the spikes. Of course, Aces and Eights falls off and Hexy ends up ramming his
snout right into the wall. Me thinks things are not copacetic in launching arm
land. Oh yes, things are definitely askew in Hexyland. Here we've got the bots
nose to nose in a pushing standoff for like 5 seconds, and still no arm action.
And here we've got Aces and Eights driving up the wedge again with nary a peep from the arm, and
that's major points off for a hosed primary weapon. At least Hexy is somewhat able to
salvage the situation by successfully stuffing Aces and Eights into the spikes. Some driving,
and now we have Aces and Eights pushing the side of Hexy, and Hexy being pushed and pushed and
pushed, and narrowly avoiding the hammer and now being delivered right to the ramrods,
and you know the least Pete could do to reward Aces and Eights for that major effort is to activate
that hazard, but I guess he's still playing the curmudgeon. Now we've got the camera
angle over the shoulder of the Aces and Eights dude, and way in the background we can see some
bot bumping going on, and then Aces and Eights is up on the wedge again and then time runs out
before anything else interesting can happen. Personally, I think that Aces and Eights will win
because of the broken flipper arm, and the judges very narrowly agree in a 23-22
split decision. Crowd boos, but I've got to side with the judges.
Biohazard vs. Voltronic
Finally. Finally. FINALLY. I'm going to get my Voltronic footage. Of course,
we're not going to get to see the Overkill/Voltronic SEMIFINAL match, nor are
we going to see the Biohazard/Aces and Eights SEMIFINAL match, but I guess we're
being thrown the HW final as a bone to placate us. I guess we should thank the CC
gods that they even managed to get this far in the season. For those of you who
have forgotten what Voltronic looks like, think wedge. Big wedge. Wedge with arm. I wish Stephen
Felk would write Voltronic back on the wedge surface again, it has so much more charm
than "Popular Science".
OK, RFT. Biohazard is immediately under Voltronic, and pushes Voltronic
around and pushes Voltronic into the wall, and lifts Voltronic with the now-reattached
lifting arm, and Voltronic gets stuck on his flat butt, and 20 seconds after the
start of the fight, that's all she wrote. That's it. I hope you didn't blink.
You waited all season for this.
I should mention that Voltronic got stuck by the wall directly in front of Stephen
Felk. That's gotta magnify the pain. We've got a shot of Stephen's heart breaking
as his bot languishes there, mere inches away on the other side of the lexan. If
this was Babylon 5, he could whip out his PPG, blast the lexan, stick his hand
through the hole and push his robot over, but this is just an island near San
Francisco and all we can do is feel for the poor guy. And hope he unflattens
Voltronic's butt for the next time. As the man himself says "If you're dumb enough
to build a robot that gets stuck on its ass, you get what you deserve in this
sport, buddy." Will he fix it? "I've been in this a long time and if I haven't
learned by now I don't know that there's a lot hope for me now." I suspect there is.
We need more Stephen Felk! Although I have to say, with Biohazard winning the
nut, I did manage to correctly pick the HW winner in my pre-season ranting.