Thoughts on Season 5
Things Battlebots should steal from Robot Wars
Things Battlebots should not steal from Robot Wars
Whatever happened to Tripulta Raptor?
Conglomerates happen to Battlebots
Random thoughts after looking at pictures
Making fun of bot names
Things Battlebots should steal from Robot Wars
So during the rerun season of Battlebots 4.0, I slowly came to the realization that if I
wanted some fresh robot fighting action I was going to have to suffer through Robot Wars
on TNN. Actually, I came to the conclusion that I was going to have to be watching a Star Trek
rerun and be too lazy to get off the couch and/or press the "off" button on the remote if I
wanted robot fighting action. So by the law of inertia, I passively got my bots. After absorbing
a few episodes, I came to the conclusion that there were some things that Battlebots could
stand to steal from Robot Wars.
Things to Steal:
The Writers - The writers for this show actually come up with complete
conversational topics to discuss with the builders. I especially like how they
send the announcer out to corner the
losers and discuss in some depth how the apparent lack of any coherent strategy whatsoever
led to the whupping by the house bots. They also avoid feeding double entendres to the
Carol the Bot Bimbo - TNN definitely knows how to do the Bot Bimbo correctly.
They've got this woman Carol, who first of all looks better than Carmen or Traci. She
also reeks of some intelligence, which enables her to deliver complicated sentences
pertaining to the design and construction of robots, and converse with the builders without
having to incessantly stare at the teleprompter.
The House Bots, especially Matilda - I really like the idea of house bots swooping
in and delivering suck bots to the hazards after they have expired from terminal suckiness.
I especially am enamored of Matilda, the warthog bot. Battlebots needs Matilda.
Things Battlebots should never steal from Robot Wars
Things to leave alone:
The WWE Battlebox - The Robot Wars battlebox looks like a cross between WWE arena
and the Mad Max set. Flame throwers, pits, rotating police lights, fog, all no doubt included
to provide some excitement because the robots themselves certainly aren't doing the job.
The Robots - It would appear that Robot Wars chooses its contenders from the
pool of bots that lose in the first round of qualifing for Battlebots. No I take that back.
They get their contenders from the pool of bots that forfeit their first round of qualifing
for Battlebots. No, I take that back. They get their contenders from the piles of spare
parts on the tables in the pits for Battlebots. Well, now that I think of it, even a pile of
parts scooped from Mauler's pit could beat the tar out of a Robot Wars bot.
The Announcer - At one time I remembered this guys name. Approximately 15
nanoseconds later I forgot it. I would guess they picked him out of the audience somewhere
at a WWE match. Enough said.
Whatever Happened to Tripulta Raptor?
Many Battlebots fans are aware of scuttlebutt that Team Raptor ran into some annoying legal problems that
forced them to remove Tripulta Raptor from competition. Not that Tripulta Raptor tore up the
battlebox, but it was fun to look at.
So I'm melted into the couch watching Robot Wars and they're having this competition called
an "annhilator". They stick 6 bots in the ring and they fight until one of them expires,
then they send the survivors back for repairs then start over with the remaining 5, and they
repeat until there is only one left, and that bot wins. So I'm watching with minimal brainwave
activity and they introduce this bot Cyclone. I notice that the team captain is "Bob Pitzer,
from Arizona". Hmmmm. That sounds familiar. Then the bot rolls into the ring. The bottom
half of the bot bears an extraordinary resemblance to the drivetrain section of Tripulta
Raptor. It looks like there was some sort of major declawing operation that went on because
the talon has been replaced with a spinning disk not unlike that found on a Battlebot called
Backlash. So we've got the Tripulta/Backlash graft, and the camera pans over it, and all
doubts as to the origin of this bot melt away as an enormous sticker that says www.raptorrobotics.com
fills the screen. A. Ha.
The "annhilator" starts and approximately 3 seconds into the fight it becomes clear that
Cyclone is better built and designed than any of the other bots, it has the strongest
and most reliable motors, and it is the only bot with a weapon that can inflict damage
on an opponent. So the first thing that the other 5 sucky bots do is determine which of
them is the suckiest of the suck, and then turn on that bot and kill it. During the repair
break, the writers have the announcer go over and suggest to the remaining 4 suck bot teams
that it might be wise for them to gang up on Cyclone, seeing as it could easily kick the crap
out of any one, two or three of them. They should attempt an offensive maneuver while they still have numbers.
So the 5 remaining bots roll into the ring for the next round. The first thing that the 4
sucky bots do is determine which of them is the suckiest of the suck, and then turn on that bot
and kill it. Needless to say, Cyclone wins the annhiliator. The saddest part is, if they stuck
Cyclone in the box with say, Omega-13. Omega-13 would turn it into filings in about 37 seconds.
Comglomerates happen to Battlebots
I'm noticing the major teams create these conglomerates to get around the one bot per weight division rule.
- Inertia Labs/Inertia-Labs
- Mutant Robots/Mutant Robots Sweepstakes
- Team WhoopAss/Team Whoop@ss
- Team Raptor/Team Raptor 2
- Team Whyachi/ Team Whyachi 2
- Robot Action League - Lisa/Robot Action League - Mike
Random thoughts after looking at pictures
Jim Smentowski has put the bot pics from Season 5 up on www.robotcombat.com. The
rest of this page will all be commentary drawn from looking at these pictures. Yes,
there is limited information that can be drawn from a pit picture. Remember this before
sending me a nasty message that I'm full of shit. All these opinions are based on
pictures. Of course they're full of shit!
Random Lightweight thoughts:
- Backlash has been redesigned. Looks slick. Like the horn.
- Blood Moon appears to have taken some "enhancers". The square blade is now about 5x the area
of the wedge. You've got to be joking.
- Concreter - Another slick looking bot along the lines of Backlash. This one's got two horns
- We've got Ultra Catbot this year. And I notice Tentoumushi is back. Now up to 8.0. I thought
this was supposed to be retired after the continued Wedge Of Doom thumping.
- Whirlygig has rigid arms. Last year I commented that Carnage Raptor had a distinct
advantage in their fight because Carnage Raptor did not need to be spinning to use his
axe as a weapon. I guess Team Nightmare noticed that as well.
Random Middleweight thoughts:
- Crash Test Jr. - This was a bad idea last year in Crash Test Dummy, and it's not looking
better in the Jr. version.
- Easty Beast - Oh my god! Somebody made a Tazbot clone. No wait. It's just team Mutant Sweepstakes making
use of Tazbot's spare parts. It's just not the same without the proboscis.
- Hazard grew wheel guards. Looks like the edges of the guards create a good place for
someone to get in there with a thin flipping arm and invert him. I don't know about those....
- Heavy Metal Noise now has prominent sponsors on his wheels. As I remember one of them was removed
way at the beginning last year. Maybe they have replacements now that they're sponsored.
- Team Nightmare looks to have adopted Turtle Road Kill and named it Turtle.
Random Heavyweight thoughts:
- beta - Team Hurtz, Killerhurtz replacement. Whomper ass hammer with
all sorts of exposed moving parts that look like something
could get caught/pinched real easy. I can see why there might be safety concerns.
- Der BiterBot - This is scary. A bright periwinkle colored metal
cage with this rotating cog sticking out of it. They've made sure
to paint the cog red and splatter red all over the robot to simulate
bloody battle. But bots don't bleed. A truly unpleasant implication.
- El DiabloGrande - looks like the drum got replaced by individual spinners
If I was them I would have dumped the treads, and why do people put treads on
- Golem - Another bot from the land of Battle rat, this one looks like
an oversized clothes rack. They can't drop laundry on their opponent
that would be entrapment device, oh wait. That's a HAMMER.
- The Matador - back with some major design revision. I notice the wheels are protected
now (after being dismanted by MOE last season) and we've grown a wedge/tail the size
of St. Louis out the back. I would think that a tail that size would make it
far more difficult to flip the bot back over if it got inverted, and much more difficult
to avoid box hazards.
- Mauler 51/50 - Looks like there haven't been major design changes, I suspect we'll see
it bouncing around the battlebox on its head again.
- MOE - The ditchcutter-to-bot size ratio seems to have shifted.
- Slam Job - It grew horns!
- Surgeon General - Back with a designer disc. Oooh. Ahhh. I notice that it's sitting
on it's ass on the table, very stable looking. Perhaps they should do something to
make it a little LESS stable in that position.
- TODD - My vote for robot with the most pointy things coming off of it.
It just begs to go up against Crash Test Dummy as its opponent.
- Tazbot - The coolest of all cool robots returns. Doesn't look like they did much to
her on the ouside...
- Warrior - Team Whyachi enters a HW that looks like a big warthog (but it's no Matilda)
Random Superheavyweight thoughts:
- Atomic Wedgie - Back with Team Half Life. I thought they sold this?
- Butcher - New bot from Inertia-dash-Labs of Sausalito as opposed to Inertia-no-dash-Labs of Mill Valley.
Looks like a hybrid of Mechavore and a mailbox.
- Diesector - The bad-ass of all bad-ass robots is still looking mighty kickass. Looks like they've given the jaws the Jaws treatment,
(as in Richard Kiel's teeth). They've also been mucking around with the hammer design,
although I'm still not envisioning those hammers inflicting much damage other than scoring
- Hammertime - Looks like a major hammer upgrade. Like a crane boom arm.
- M2K02 - Dear god, Mauler 5150 has an older brother.
- Metal Muncher - I've not seen such an intricate display of metal with so little obvious purpose.
- Minion - Looks like the faceplate has been reinforced. I bet the 1" sensor is in it's own little
titanium box too. Those blue wheels look slippery.
- Son of Whyachi - Ooohh major makeover, we're all wheels and low to the ground and slick and silver Day The Earth Stood Still
flying saucer. Wonder if he's still having flashbacks to a previous life as a chopper.
- Toro - the shot of the bot all chained up in a metal cage is very effective.
Making fun of bot names
From the "If They're Actually Going to Name Their Bot This Then They Have Truly Earned The Right to Be Ridiculed" department of
bad bot names:
- Winner: tie - Brainsters of Triskelian and DevNull
- Honorable Mention:
- Dennis the Non-Venomous Water Snake
- Whirl Wep - EEL Brain
- Easty Beast
- Mosfet on Steroids
- Poops McGee
- Mike da Drum
Bot names I thought particularly clever:
- Malice Aforethought
- Kneebreaker (to go with Toe Crusher)
- Some Parts
During one of my stints at a certain unnamed college radio station, the music staff had what they called their
weekly "suck pick". They used to take the couple dozen 7" singles that got sent to the station each week
and look at the covers. From the cover art they'd pick the single that was most likely to suck out of the
whole bunch. This was the "suck pick". They were approximately 99.9999995% accurate in their choices.
From looking at the pictures on robotcombat.com, here are my Season 5.0 suck picks. If I am accurate
I will never be subject to actually having to watch any of them fight. They'll forfeit in the
first qualifying round. If any of them actually do make it to TV, their suckage will be measured
relative to Wacky Compass, who set the standard for Suck Bot to Suck Worse Than Any Other Bot That
Made It to TV back in Season 3.0.
- Lightweight - Haven't made up my mind yet, there's so many to choose from
- Middleweight - Hat Rack
- Heavyweight - Tarkus
- Superheavyweight - Gyrax
My real bot picks:
- Lightweight -
- Favorite: Carnage (Raptor)
- Most Likely to Win Nut: Big B
- Middleweight -
- Favorite: Hazard
- Most Likely to Win Nut: Hazard
- Heavyweight -
- Favorite: Coolest of All Cool Robots Tazbot
- Most Likely to Win Nut: Biohazard
- Superheavyweight -
- Favorite: Bad-Ass of All Bad-Ass Robots Diesector
- Most Likely to Win Nut: Diesector, but only if he can avoid Toro's flipping arm. And only
if Son of Whyachi doesn't fly. If Son of Whyachi stays grounded, I suspect he'll go far.
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