- Actually this isn't a rant. This is a thank you to the nice person who wrote
me that the background texture for the bot review index page is called "diamond plate"
(also known as "tread plate").
I had mentioned that I had no idea what it was in the
Ravager vs. T-Minus fight.
Now I know. Who would have thought I'd actually learn something by writing
a bunch of drivel about fighting robots?
- You know, I go away for a few days and I come back and Battlebots 6.0 is cancelled.
Just what will I do with myself when there's nothing about which I can write snide
reviews. My gawd, I might be reduced to doing constructive things like reading a book,
or exercising, or visiting a museum or something. Nah. I think I'll just sit down and
watch the boyfriend's complete MST3K collection, and when I'm done with all 200 tapes or
whatever, then I'll dust off the Banacek collection, and then I'll watch P.J. Stock
beat up on people on NESN. Yeah, that's the ticket.
- Other than Hazard and Wedge of Doom, I haven't seen any of my fav bots on TV.
Maybe this is a good thing, considering how the veterans and former champs have been
performing so far this season. Except Hazard. Hazard always wins.
- These reviews are a little loopy this week. But then again, so were the fights.
Wrath Jr. vs. Complete Control
Complete Control looks the same as last year, a low box with skirts. It's also got a big fork
on the front. And a clamping arm. The idea is to get the opponent between the fork
and the clamping arm, clamp down, lift, and then dump the opponent on its head.
Like jaws. Yeah. That's it. Wrath Jr. is a 6-wheeled bot with a snowplow on the front.
OK, RFT. Bots leave squares and Wrath Jr. immediately starts up with hits on Complete Control.
Wrath Jr. smushes Complete Control into the spikes. Wrath Jr. annoys Complete Control, driving over the fork in the process.
Complete Control finally realizes that the fight has indeed started and clamps down on Wrath Jr..
Wrath Jr. weasels out from under the clamping arm and drives around a bit. Complete Control plays with his
fork and clamping arm while Wrath Jr. pushes Complete Control under the spikes. Complete Control appears stuck. Complete Control flails
with the arm to try and free himself because his wheels certainly aren't doing much.
Wrath Jr. goes to the red square to wait for the count out. Wrath Jr. decides that it's more fun to
beat up Complete Control than to wait for the ref, so he moseys on over to Complete Control and delivers love taps
until Complete Control is free. I can hear Complete Control's sigh of relief from here. OK. Showing complete
ingratitude, Complete Control hunts down Wrath Jr. with jaws wide open. Clamp. Lift? Not! Wrath Jr. wiggles
free again. Now there's some bot disco and here's the clamp. Lift? Not! Someone
must have coated Wrath Jr. with Pam before sending him out into the box because he's squirted
out from the jaws again. Complete Control slowly circles with the jaws open to try the same old
strategy that didn't work the first three times. Meanwhile, the more maneuverable
Wrath Jr. comes in with more hits, popping Complete Control off the floor and getting in under him.
With Complete Control up off the floor and leaning against the snowplow, Wrath Jr. makes a suprisingly fast
beeline for the screws. SMASH! Sweet. Wrath Jr. runs head on into the screw, using Complete Control as
an airbag. Pete lets loose with the pulverizer as Complete Control bounces off the screw, causing Complete Control
to land on TOP of the hammer. Hoo boy. Oh the indignity for Complete Control. Complete Control once again flails
with the fork trying to free himself. Wrath Jr. once again comes to the rescue, bashing
the hammer with the snowplow and freeing Complete Control. Looks like Complete Control has finally grasped the
concept of gratitude, and shows his gratitude to Wrath Jr. by promptly driving himself over
the saws, and bending the fork in the process. Oh dear, here's Wrath Jr. under Complete Control again and
here's Complete Control smushed into the spikes again and here's Complete Control on the saws again and here's
Wrath Jr. under Complete Control again and here's Complete Control on the saws, and here's Wrath Jr. under Complete Control again and here's
Complete Control on the saws again and here's Wrath Jr. under Complete Control again and here's Complete Control in the spike strip again.
Wrath Jr. lets Complete Control wander a bit as we take a small break from the non-stop beating. Whew.
Both bots enjoy the ramrods while the final seconds tick off the clock. 31-14 decision for
Toro vs. Phrizbee-Ultimate
We all know Toro. Toro isn't a box with a flipping arm, Toro IS a flipping arm.
Phrizbee-Ultimate looks like Thor's hockey puck, an enormous yellow and black spinbot with
spikes on the side. I highly suspect that Thor's hockey puck is not invertible.
In a normal world, this should be a short fight.
Phrizbee-Ultimate spins up to speed in the red square as Toro heads across the
box and crashes into her. Phrizbee-Ultimate goes flying into the corner by one of the ramps,
immediately followed by Toro who traps her there. Blink. Ooh. I thought that I just
saw the real world blink out of existence. And maybe it did because instead of
just flipping Phrizbee-Ultimate, Toro decides to forget how to drive, and bangs into the walls
while Phrizbee-Ultimate gets out of the corner. OK, the blink is over and Toro comes after
Phrizbee-Ultimate again before she can get to speed. Toro misses the flip. Blink. Oooh. It
happened again. The real world blinked. And Toro forgets how to drive again and bangs into
the walls while Phrizbee-Ultimate spins to speed. OK, we've got Toro lining up for another go at
Phrizbee-Ultimate and ppppppppppphhhhhhhhhhtttttttttt. Oh my Gawd! THE REAL WORLD HAS TOTALLY
DISAPPEARED! We've been transferred to the world of Sid and Marty Krofft for RFT!
The entire audience suddenly changes into a mass of Sleestak, Puffnstuff, and Sigmund
the Sea Monster clones as we return to the fight. OK, Toro is lining up the shot
while Phrizbee-Ultimate is spinning at full speed near the spikes. One good hit should send Phrizbee-Ultimate back into the corner.
Toro looks, and looks, and looks, and backs off a bit, and looks, and looks....
meanwhile Phrizbee-Ultimate nonchalantly drives away from the spikes, grazes some other spikes,
and then drives slowly and deliberately into the front of the Toro, who just sits there
until Phrizbee-Ultimate taps him, and then backs off. Ummmm... Now we've got Phrizbee-Ultimate slowly making a
beeline for Toro, who RUNS AWAY. Now we've got Phrizbee-Ultimate heading in Toro's general direction
and Toro RUNS AWAY. Ooooohhh, this Krofft world is so WEIRD! Now we've got Phrizbee-Ultimate
travelling across the box sweeping the floor of dust as she goes. The effect is not
unlike a large dewer of LN2 being dumped on the floor. She closes in on Toro, and Toro
RUNS AWAY. The clones start to emit booing noises. Phrizbee-Ultimate is clear across the battlebox and
Toro RUNS AWAY. Phrizbee-Ultimate starts at Toro again and taps him. Krofft-land obviously affects Toro's
driving ability and Toro drives himself directly under the hammer. Pow! Pow! Hammer party
on Toro. I'm having difficulty adjusting to this Krofft world. While Toro is getting personal
with the hammer, Phrizbee-Ultimate comes in and bashes directly into his butt. Kapow! Ouch. Phrizbee-Ultimate paddles
Toro a bit more as Toro backs out from under the hammer. Now Phrizbee-Ultimate has claimed all land in
the center of the box, while Toro cowers at the edges. That's odd. I notice that a pair of ruby
slippers has just appeared on my feet. My head pounds with Sleestak, Puffnstuff, and Sigmund
booing as Phrizbee-Ultimate
runs into the front of Toro and then starts nibbling at the ablative armor on his rear.
Toro RUNS AWAY as Phrizbee-Ultimate nibbles the spikes. I am REALLY starting to be homesick for my
real world. Phrizbee-Ultimate bounces off the spikes and richochets off of the front of Toro. Toro
snorts and lifts a mighty amount of battlebox air. That's it. I absolutely can't
stand one more second of Krofft world. I'm going home. I'm going to close my eyes and
click the heels of my ruby slippers together and say "there's no place like home" and
ppppphhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhtttttttttt. I'm home! I'm home! The real world is back!
The audience turns back into humans as Toro spins around and smashes head-on in to Phrizbee-Ultimate.
Phrizbee-Ultimate goes all gyroscopic not-really-in-control-almost-pulling-a-mauler. Phrizbee-Ultimate bounces off a wall
and Toro hits her again. And again. Phrizbee-Ultimate is now spinning full speed
near a wall, exactly like she was before we went all Krofft land. Now that we're back in the real world, Toro lines up
and drives right into Phrizbee-Ultimate, smushing her into the wall. Phrizbee-Ultimate tries to spin back up to speed,
but here's Toro trapping her in the corner, and here's Toro all with the flipper, once, twice,
third times the charm! Phrizbee-Ultimate goes up, up, and almost over.....bzzzzzzzzzzzz. Game Over.
Phrizbee-Ultimate balances on her spikes and then falls over on her back. That was the
WEAKEST Toro performance I've ever seen. Judges agree, 25-20 for Toro. (Personally I didn't think
it was even that close, and no, inverting your opponent after the buzzer doesn't count)
Vladiator vs. Pro-Am
Vladiator is a silver rectangular box that goes real fast. There used to be my most
hated and reviled weapon, a useless spike, on the front, but this year he's traded it
in for a metal sheet that acts as a wedge. Pro-Am is a compact square robot that looks
like a monster truck gone kind of bad. There's a blue and red rectangular box with
oversized tires and a big white wheel guard that circles the entire robot. There's also
a relatively small vertical saw with curvy blades.
[In case you missed it, Sept. 19th was Speak Like a Pirate Day. In honor of our
mateys who sailed under the Jolly Roger, this next review will be written in Pirate.]
Avast, me buckos! It be the time of robot fightin'! All hands weigh anchor.
Vladiator smartly runs th'box ready to serve Pro-Am a mighty flogging with th'wedge. Smash!
There be hits o'plenty aft on Pro-Am! "Ahoy!", yells Pro-Am, flippin' th'proud buccaneer Vladiator
on his poop deck. "Blimey" screams Vladiator, with more flogging o'Pro-Am. Ahhh, but th'cutlass
o' Pro-Am be makin' th'prow o' Vladiator scurvy now. Vladiator handsomely runs th'box, makin'
th'landlubber Pro-Am meet with th'screw. "Gang way!" goes th'mate Pro-Am, but Vladiator be payin'
her no attention, and the cutlass be a'stuck aft o'Vladiator. "Bloody swab" goes Pro-Am, and
we be gettin' mighty keelhaulin' action! Vladiator gets a spikehaulin' an' a
screwhaulin' an' a hammerhaulin'! Shiver me timbers! Now we gets Pro-Am takin'
the screwhaulin', an' both mates now flogged with th'saw! Arrrrrrrrrr! Now th'hand o'God
be yankin' th'cutlass from aft o'Vladiator an' Pro-Am be lookin' for treasure as Vladiator be scavengin'
th'grog portside. "Sail ho!" yells Vladiator as he be spyin' the chase, an' be smart run
up on Pro-Am. Alas! The cutlass o' Pro-Am an' th'saw be mighty! "Sink me!" cries Vladiator. Now we
gets th'jollyboats with more floggin' til th'end. Th'judges put th'Black Spot
on mate Pro-Am while th'hands ashore yell "Bilge!" at th'scurvy choice.
For those of you who actually want to know WTF happened during the fight, an English
translation is provided.
Both bots come straight out
of their boxes and collide in the middle of the box. Pro-Am rides up the wedge and goes
over the top of Vladiator. Now we've got the bots dancing around and Vladiator takes a running
start, hits Pro-Am and sends her up on two wheels. Vladiator hits Pro-Am again and then rides the
screw. The bots drive past each other and then Vladiator hits Pro-Am head on. Pro-Am goes flying
backward. Vladiator hits Pro-Am again except this time the wedge goes over the top of Pro-Am,
causing Vladiator to flip over. No problem, Vladiator runs inverted. However, all these hits
on Pro-Am have been on the side with the saw, which has taken a chunk out of the wedge
and scored points for Pro-Am. Vladiator hits Pro-Am and Pro-Am goes over the top of him. Both bots crash head
on into each other. This time Vladiator is the one who bounces and ends up on the saws.
Pete helps him surf. We get a closeup of Vladiator, who is looking kind of beat. Vladiator hits
Pro-Am again and Pro-Am goes up half on his back. Vladiator runs Pro-Am into the spikes and Pro-Am bounces
completely on his back. Vladiator quickly runs across the box. Pro-Am falls off Vladiator, but
falls in front of him, allowing Vladiator to stuff her into the spikes on the other side
of the box. Vladiator backs off a bit while Pro-Am munches a spike. Vladiator backs himself into
two different spike strips then backs ass-side first into the saw on the front of Pro-Am.
Pro-Am's saw implants itself into Vladiator's armor. The bots are now stuck together at the saw.
Pro-Am is now in charge. Pro-Am smushes Vladiator into the spikes a couple times. Pro-Am then pushes
Vladiator to the screw near the hammer allowing Vladiator to simultaneously experience a hammer
hit and screw smush. Pro-Am massively smushes Vladiator into the screw and allows Pete to
hit Vladiator with the hammer a few times. Suddenly Vladiator blasts off backwards across the box
and smushes Pro-Am into the screw on the other side of the box. The bots bounce off the
screw and on top of the saws. Vladiator surfs the saws and then Pro-Am, still attached, surfs
the saws. Zzzzzzzzzz. Zzzzzzz. Divine intervention pulls the bots apart and Pro-Am looks for something
while Vladiator positions for another hit. Vladiator hits and goes over Pro-Am's saw and the
killsaws which both tickle his stomach. We finish off the match with some generic
bumping. 25-20 decision for Vladiator. Audience disagrees.