Pre-review comments for episode 2:
- Reading over last week's review, I'm thinking that maybe I was a little harsh
on the Moebius folks. Their bot was more viable than I gave them credit for, but I'm just a bit sensitive
to big gimmicks that rub me the wrong way. Here's the backstory (it's long, if you really don't care, just skip to the first
fight.) I've been involved with college radio for 13 years now. As a conservative
estimate, there are 50 new records/CD's/7" singles to listen to every week. That
makes 2600 per year, or over 33000 records that I've plowed through. It boggles the mind what
kind of gimmicks people use to get their record to the top of the heap. My favorite
was the record label that went out and bought a large number of out-of-date
encyclopedias, then hollowed out a CD-sized hole in each volume, stuck one of
their CD's in each one and then mailed the volume out to radio stations. For
the younger of you out there who may never have experienced a hard-copy of an encyclopedia, the
next time you're in a bookstore, go find a college-level dictionary and lift it up.
That's about the weight of an encyclopedia volume. All that, just to mail a CD.
The CD had nothing on it to suggest an encyclopedia theme. And they had already
sent us about a dozen copies of it before we got the one in the encyclopedia. It
goes without saying that the CD was wretched enough not to even warrant a 10 second
preview. The scale of the promotional gimmick is without fail inversely proportional
to the quality of the music. So whenever I see a big gimmick that annoys me, I
automatically think the worst of the item being promoted.
- Please, please, please, please, please, please, please no more Carmen dressed up
as a Catholic school girl. And can we get some more buttons for her shirt?
- Can we feed Gary Coleman to Mechavore?
- The boyfriend notices that Pete is showing more restraint in operating the
hazards this year. From what I've seen, I have to agree.
- Battlebots needs the grinder girl.
Backlash vs. Burning Metal
Well, it's certainly been a long time since we last saw this little bot. Backlash
is a small tilted box (no more triangle) with two bigger unprotected wheels in the
front and a couple little baby wheels in the back. There are some horn-looking things
that I suspect are guards for the big vertical spinning disk weapon that dominates
the bot. The disk is machined just like that of her bigger sister Nightmare. A slick
bot indeed. Burning Metal is not quite as slick. It's a small two wheeled box with
a couple weak looking metal/lexan pieces sticking off the front that form a sparse
wedge. (The boyfriend says it looks like Tinkertoys, but I think it's more of a junior
level Erector Set).
OK RFT. Both bots come out of their boxes and Backlash puts a hit on Burning Metal with the
spinning disc. Burning Metal goes flying over on his back, and then Backlash immediately gets in another
hit with the blade before Burning Metal can even register that he's on his back. Burning Metal does another
somersault and then immediately runs away in a state of sheer terror. It appears
that Burning Metal has become so frightened that he has forgotten how to steer himself and he
ends up driving directly back into the disc. Parts fly. Ouch. OK, Burning Metal is looking
very expired, but Backlash is not about to give up her fun yet. Backlash continues with some
love taps, then spins down and starts nudging Burning Metal over to the saws. Saws pop and
don't really damage the already dead Burning Metal. Backlash is looking over her accomplishment, then
spins up and removes one of the flimsy wedge arms from Burning Metal, just because she can.
Refs finally finish counting out Burning Metal as Backlash spins in the victory dance. Game over for
Wee Willie Wedgie vs. Little Drummer Boy
Ooooh. Another bot we've never seen before! Wow! Wait, I've seen this bot before.
Well, maybe it was just a bot that looks like this one. That's not hard, as Wee Willie Wedgie is
simply a generic two-wheeled wedge. During the intro they've got it wearing underwear.
Anything to get to the top of the heap I guess (my gut feeling is that since it's a little
gimmick, this bot is a little sucky). Little Drummer Boy looks like it's had some
major enhancement surgery since last year. We've now got big wheel guards, and
the plain box now has skirts on the back, behind the guards. The front of the
bot is still taken up by the big spinning drum.
OK RFT. Bots exit their boxes, and Wee Willie Wedgie immediately goes on the offensive,
attempting to get under Little Drummer Boy with the wedge. It might have been better if Wee Willie Wedgie had tried
this on the side of the bot, instead of on the front, where the wedge gets exposed to
the drum. The bots are separated now, and I think that Wee Willie Wedgie might want to take off
his sunglasses or something while in the battlebox, since he appears to be driving
at random. Or maybe he actually needs glasses, because his aim at Little Drummer Boy is kind of bad.
Now he finally correctly spots his target and starts with the wedge on the drum again.
I'm not sure about this strategy. Now we've got Wee Willie Wedgie driving around popping wheelies.
Little Drummer Boy smacks into the side of the Wee Willie Wedgie, and sends him flying. Wee Willie Wedgie better watch out, else
he's going to come down with nasty wheel. OK, we're back to wedge on drum. Nice sparks.
We've got our first bot tango this year, and now we're all stopped and checking each
other out. Wedge meets drum. Drum meets wheel. Wee Willie Wedgie flips over and meets the floor.
Little Drummer Boy is excitingly skittering around the now very still Wee Willie Wedgie. Little Drummer Boy puts a hit on Wee Willie Wedgie's
wheel, sending him flying onto the pistons. Pop. Wee Willie Wedgie continues to be still. Little Drummer Boy puts
another hit on the wheel, Wee Willie Wedgie takes another flight across the batllebox. Wee Willie Wedgie suddenly
comes back to life, and attempts a retreat. Little Drummer Boy says "Not so fast, mate!" and goes
and puts another hit on Wee Willie Wedgie's wheel. Oof. Wee Willie Wedgie goes bouncing around the box like a
lottery ping-pong ball, eventually ending up completely piggybacked on top of Little Drummer Boy
while Little Drummer Boy takes an extended beating from the saws. Little Drummer Boy seems suprised to find her
opponent in this position, and wanders around a bit trying to decide what to do with
her new prize. Little Drummer Boy goes for the hammer. Visions of Killer B dance through my head.
It looks like Little Drummer Boy is trying to position herself such that the hammer will hit only Wee Willie Wedgie
but, I mean come on, Wee Willie Wedgie is smack on top of her. And yup, there's the hammer hit to
Little Drummer Boy. Not smart. Ok, here's a couple hits to Wee Willie Wedgie (and Little Drummer Boy who is still underneath),
and finally Wee Willie Wedgie falls off his opponent's back and is still for good. Ref counts down.
M.O.E. vs. Stealth Terminator
M.O.E. looks very much like the M.O.E. of last year, except that the ditch cutter appears
to have been on growth hormones. Stealth Terminator is similar to last year as well, a black box
with skirts, a lifter arm, and an Ah-nold doll.
OK, RFT. M.O.E. comes out of the box and immediately puts about a half dozen hits
on Stealth Terminator, sending bits of black armor flying every which way around the box. Stealth Terminator lifts air,
because there's no way he's getting close enough to M.O.E. to actually lift that bot with
that mediocre lifter arm.
Uh oh. The ditch cutter's looking kind of slow. This bodes ill for M.O.E.. In fact,
the fight does a 180 almost immediately.
Here comes Stealth Terminator with the lifter arm under the ditch cutter. Lift. There goes M.O.E.
up on his back wheels. Stealth Terminator leads M.O.E. around for a while before dropping him. For the next
minute or so we've got Stealth Terminator continually annoying M.O.E. with hits and partial lifts with
the arm. All this is certainly not going to damage M.O.E. anymore than he already is, but
it is scoring points for Stealth Terminator. M.O.E. tries to push Stealth Terminator (I mean really, there's nothing much
more he can do) but I think Stealth Terminator wins the pushing match. M.O.E. better come up with something
else, fast, lest he lose to what I consider the inferior bot. As I begin to despair
for M.O.E., the ditch cutter jumps back to life and the fight immediately flips back to the
M.O.E. show. M.O.E. starts removing more armor from Stealth Terminator but unfortunately, there are only about
3 seconds left in the fight. Buzzer sounds as Stealth Terminator armor rains down.
<attemptAtIntelligence> This one's going to be close. I think you'd be hard pressed to find many people who
would say that Stealth Terminator was the superior bot in this match, but face it, M.O.E. lost his weapon,
and there just wasn't anything there when it was gone. The question is whether M.O.E.
managed to cause enough damage to Stealth Terminator before he lost the cutter to win the fight. I
really don't know. Stealth Terminator escaped fully functional, albeit with less armor. I personally
vote for M.O.E. because I think he's the better bot, but the judges disagree. 24-21 in a close
decision for Stealth Terminator. </attemptAtIntelligence>
Slap 'Em Silly vs. Rambite 2.0
We've got Slap 'Em Silly now. No matter how many fights this bot wins, it will always
be the ebay bot to me. Slap 'Em Silly looks the same as he did year, a flat box with a
wedge on one side and a tail on the other. Rambite 2.0 is a frenzy-shaped
round bot, but instead of the long hammer there's a curved spinner blade with some
small hammers at the end. Andy Sauro says he's worried and thinks he's going to be
destroyed. If history continues as it has for the past couple of seasons, Slap 'Em Silly will
be shards within seconds.
OK RFT. Slap 'Em Silly leaves his square as Rambite 2.0 spins the blade up to speed. We've
got Rambite 2.0 spun to speed now and Slap 'Em Silly checking out the scene. Slap 'Em Silly throws all care to the
wind, takes a deep breath, and puts a hit on Rambite 2.0. Rambite 2.0 immediately pulls a mauler, and
goes spinning and bouncing out of control halfway across the battlebox. Looks like history is going to be rewritten. Amazingly,
Rambite 2.0 lands right side up. Rambite 2.0 tries to spin the blade but Slap 'Em Silly is right there and gets
the wedge under him and slams Rambite 2.0 into the spikes. Needless to say, Rambite 2.0's blade is stopped
right about now. Slap 'Em Silly gets under Rambite 2.0 and takes him to the saws. Zzzzzz! Slap 'Em Silly gets under Rambite 2.0 and
takes him to the hammer. Pow! Rambite 2.0 finally comes to the conclusion that he needs to
be away from Slap 'Em Silly to spin his blade to speed. A retreat is attempted but Slap 'Em Silly is having
none of this and gets under Rambite 2.0 again with the wedge, and pushes him around. Rambite 2.0 tries
the retreat thing again with a bit more success this time as he gets the blade up to
somewhat speed before Slap 'Em Silly descends. Well it appears that Rambite 2.0 is not very stable if
he gets hit while the blade is at speed. Slap 'Em Silly gets the wedge under him and he's immediately
inverted on his back. This is almost certainly death for a spinner blade bot like
Rambite 2.0. WHOAH! Wait, I've got to watch this again.....WHOAH! OK, we've got Rambite 2.0 on his
back. He starts to spin the blade up to speed while inverted, causing him to go
all gyroscope and banging around, and then he starts to spin up on his side and then,
WHAP! he falls down right side up. I can't put into words how cool that looked.
Rambite 2.0 skitters across the floor with Slap 'Em Silly in hot pursuit, and travels over the pistons. Pete
restrains himself until Slap 'Em Silly follows across a couple seconds later. Pop! Slap 'Em Silly slams
Rambite 2.0 into the spikes then travels back across the pistons. Pop! Rambite 2.0 is still trying the
retreat thing and travels oh so slowly across the saws. Pop! Pete activates the pistons.
No, there wasn't a bot there. Rambite 2.0 succeeds in getting the blade spinning again, and
then presses his luck with the saws again. His luck runs out. Zzzzzz...whoosh! WHOAH!
Wait, I've got to watch this again....WHOAH! Rambite 2.0
goes flying about 30 feet over into the far corner of the box near the pulverizer. I'm glad I have a
VCR so I can watch stuff like this over and over because the actual fighting part
of the fight is kind of low on the entertainment scale. Now Slap 'Em Silly comes over to where
Rambite 2.0 landed and pushes him under the hammer. (I notice that the yellow spot marking
the bulls-eye is missing this year). Pow! Bam! Massive hit to Rambite 2.0, who goes bouncing
around again. I have to admit that was actually entertaining as well. There's a futile
attempt at retreat, but Slap 'Em Silly is right there with the wedge again and pushes Rambite 2.0 to the saws.
Zzzzzzzz. Sparks. Damage. Slap 'Em Silly is with the wedge and pushes Rambite 2.0 clear across the box to the
hammer again. Pow! That wasn't as entertaining as the last hammer hit. Slap 'Em Silly is with
the wedge and delivers Rambite 2.0 to the screw. The screw is different this year, the two sides
are threaded in opposite directions. It makes me dizzy to look at them for too long.
Now Rambite 2.0 drives himself into the other screw. Oof. Is this over yet? Slap 'Em Silly is with the
wedge and brings Rambite 2.0 to the pistons. Pop! Slap 'Em Silly is with the wedge and brings Rambite 2.0 to the
saws. Zzzzzz. No sparks. Damage? Does it really matter? Is this over yet? Slap 'Em Silly is with
the wedge and brings Rambite 2.0 to the other set of saws. Rambite 2.0 ends up between the two pairs of
saws. Zzzzzz. No sparks. No damage. Buzzer sounds to indicate that yes, this is
finally over. We get to see the ref raise Andy Sauro's hand in victory, but we don't
hear the score. At least I didn't. Might as well be 45-0.