Sunday, 7 August 2016

Robot Wars 2016 Review, Episode 3

So far, we've had action. We've had shocks. We've had controversy (Foxic, you will not be forgotten)! But more importantly, we've had a new Robot Wars which is fresh and exciting without relying too much on the nostalgia of the old show. So will this episode live up to the standards set by the previous episodes???

The show begins with the usual montage, with a slight change to the video preview to show the last episodes highlights. A quick montage to Sir Killalot there... this week's combatants are a real throwback- DanTom(ni)Kia (DTK) and King B Remix (old King B Powerworks in the same heat! For that DTK reference, see series 6 of the old Robot Wars, the announcer struggled to pronounce it... Glitter bomb going for the WOW factor of all pink coat (similar to Thor, maybe a sisterbot?)! Overdozer's got a couple of holes in it, is that a petrol engine and it's made of wood?? More dangerous to use in the arena but potentially more reliable over a longer fight... King B's had a paint job too. This seems to be a recurring theme! Dantomkia is not the same team as the old series, it was sold to the new team last year and has been modified with more power.

Heat 1: JP making some interesting comments about the teams before the bout. Turns into 2 1v1's with Glitterbomb and DTK going into each other, and Overdozer out in 30 seconds! And soon Glitterbomb's in trouble now! Flipped by DTK!! Overdozer is in serious trouble here, with DTK taking control now. So much damage on Overdozer by DTK, taking on all the robots here!! Worthy winners there, but King B did very little really other than leave Overdozer on its side. Nice reference to the 3 little pigs by Dara. Angela trying to entice the little girl to betray her dad!! That's something that Craig Charles might do. Overall a good analysis of the fight by the judge, showing just why you don't build a tank out of wood!

Heat 2: Supernova!!!!!!! One of my favourite older competitor and one of the underdogs of the old series!! Should have done so much better but reliability was always their achilles heel. Other teams (team TR2) include members related to George Stephenson, I am so behind them (even if the youngest member gets to drive)!!! Team Orte might not even be in the arena with mechanical problems... Finally Big Nipper given the usual pre-match treatment. Now to the battle itself. Orte looks like Bigger Brother. Sir Killalot patrolling this one. And a three way hit has sparks flying! Orte loses bits to Supernova straight away! TR2 pushes supernova around. And now Big Nipper and Supernova clash weapons!!! Big Nipper almost skids into the pit soon afterwards. NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!! Supernova are gone into the pit with their big spinner creating too much momentum to turn.  Best heat battle so far, mostly because of Supernova being involved in everything! TR2 showed some potential with pushing power. Orte lost all power after one hit from Supernova. Big Nipper through with TR2. But at what cost??? Big Nipper's spinner is damaged from the hits with Supernova. 

Head to Head 1: DTK v King B Remix. The first old school fight between 2 old series robots in the head to heads. Why is DTK smoking with the interview with Dara??? The team leader sounds utterly evil, but not Foxic evil. King B has some interesting features shown in the preview video that haven't been tested yet, like those rotating spikes! The battle itself: A tactical affair, King B hitting hard to avoid getting flipped, and even DTK gets trapped briefly on the floor spikes! But it is only a matter of time before DTK flips its opponent, and WHAT a flip, Trapping King B in that weird side wall, Matilda doing the rest and flipping the first robot out of the arena!! That was surprisingly enjoyable for the tactical battle early on, full of speed and aggression. However, you could argue that the side of the arena is unfairly designed to trap robots like that, maybe a reason for having Refbot to get a robot out of those situations? That said, that is one of the few times Matilda's tusks have done anything so maybe that is why the arena is designed as it is. 

Head to Head 2: TR2 v Big Nipper. A change here, Big Nipper living up to its name and going for its crusher instead. Big Nipper's predecessor looks like it was in the old wars too, but unconfirmed. TR2 is focused heavily on the teenage driver, and he has a good knack for interviews. He'll go far regardless... TR2 and Big Nipper try to hit each other on the side, but TR2 get a flip in! Big Nipper get away but TR2 flip them in the CPZ with Dead Metal! Lots of sparks. Round 1 to TR2. But a slight hit on TR2 by Dead Metal. The pit is down! What a mistake, almost immediately after activating the pit release, they get stuck on the edge of the pit and TR2 push them in, picking up all 3 points. Possibly not operating fully for Big Nipper. TR2 was very much on top there.  

Dr Lucy Rogers gives a nice presentation on animatronic robots in the interlude, looks like the sort of things you see at Wookey Hole. "She" looks quite cute if it wasn't so life-like (the robot, not Dr Lucy Rogers)!

Head to Head 3: Dantomkia v TR2. A bit of a surprise top-of-the-table clash, TR2 look solid but not that powerful. 2 flippers against each other, could be a flipper frenzy!
TR2 start the better and push DTK around the arena. Maybe I was wrong about TR2, that flipper is causing DTK all sorts of problems! Mind you there was a flip on TR2 by DTK. JP wrong to say DTK was one of the first schrimechs in robot wars! TR2 have dominated and may have knocked the electronics in DTK! TR2 the surprise winners! That flipper might have been deliberately underpowered for the previous heats. TR2 are all but through now. The "bum" axe apparently being used there (I didn't see it being used!) and DTK's evil leader living up to his expectations by hitting DTK when it isn't working! Now that moment I did smile at.

Head to Head 4: King B Remix v Big Nipper. Big Nipper is giving us fighting talk by changing their weapon back to the spinning disc. King B immediately opens the pit and pushing Big Nipper around! But soon Big Nippers spinner is ripping bits out of King B! In the CPZ so this is not safe for King B, are they in even more trouble? They're not moving and cease is called! Big Nipper wins with that excellent spinning disc! Again I think more damage to electronics than the armour but the floor does indeed look a bit like dandruff from the remains of the rear plate of King B.

Head to Head 5: TR2 v King B Remix. A dud match? If TR2 win then they may get a wildcard spot regardless. Some good advice from dad to try and counter King B. King B are out but could get some pride out of this match. King B go for the charge and not the pit release and that may be a mistake! TR2 are on top here, pushing and flipping King B, are they still moving? Yes, only just! Almost out of the arena! But now the pit is open! Sir Killalot puts King B on the flame, how much damage did King B take there? They've lost power here and TR2 have another simple push into the pit. TR2 is so well designed, they deserve to go through, the first robot to win 4 battles in a row! Can they make it 5 in the heat final? No more King B Powerworks *cough* *cough* *cough* ... sorry, King B Remix. Nil point.

Head to Head 6: DTK v Big Nipper. Risks being taken from both sides, upping the power to the max. They have no choice really. Spinner v flipper. Dead Metal and Sir Killalot. DTK start the better with the flipper and Sir killalot has a play! Big Nipper is invertible, but that is only so helpful when you are hovering in the air in the clutches of Sir Killalot! NOw then, DTK seems to have more pushing power, a surprise as it only has 2 wheel drive! Nice combo of push and flip from DTK . Big Nipper is just being thrown around the arena here. But Big Nipper is still in it with a few seconds to go and the judges will decide the victor. Big Nipper did more damage but DTK had more aggression, who had the control? Or was there more damage than I thought? Mind you, being driven by Sir Killalot doesn't count and that has counted against Big Nipper! Dantomkia are through to the heat final. Those upgrades on Dantomkia showing how it has improved considerably in 10 years.

Final: Dantomkia v TR2. Here we go! A bit slower from the competitors here, but TR2 are pushing DTK but the floor flipper gets involved and TR2 is flipped! But now DTK are hit by Matilda's flywheel! DTK in trouble on the side, I think DTK are running out of steam here, they are back up but Matilda are doing well to not be hit too much by Matilda. TR2 pushes DTK onto the flipper and DTk is flipped over! they don't seem to want to flip up! TR2 have won! DTK blame Matilda and not the floor flipper for their knockout blow! Dara controlling the frustrations of the DTK team there.

Overall, not as controversial as last week, all the battles had something to them to like and another new robot goes to the final. Thor still in with a chance of wildcarding. TR2 will find it harder in the final but probably worthy winners. Would've like Big Nipper but that engineering heritage seems to be paying off! Quite a few golden oldies but only one of them lived up to their potential, showing how far these newer robots have come in just a few years (except for Overdozer).

NB it turns out that the former Bigger Brother chief engineer Ian Watts was in the Orte robot's team, so no wonder it looked so similar!

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