Welcome back to the Beat, and Happy New Year! We took a week break because we could, but that led to a fuck-ton of procrastination, so sorry if we’re late, because I was too lazy to write this between Christmas and New Year’s and then started writing at 11:00 local time the night before the standard deadline. While watching governmental shitshows. (Author’s note: And then said fuck it, went to bed, and wrote the rest Thursday night, which is why it’s a day late. Whoops.)
Anyway, last time on the Beat, everyone lost their shit. Whether rightfully so or not. We’ll see if that continues, but to find that out, onto the fights!
Tombstone vs. Slap Box
Tombstone: 0-1 (L, KO 0:39 to End Game)
Slap Box: 0-0
Well, what do we have here. An 0-1 Tombstone given its main bugaboo, a wedge. An untested wedge in Slap Box making its BattleBots debut after competing in other competitions (I believe Robot Ruckus in Orlando, which apart from BattleBots and Robogames—pour one out—is a main U.S. competition, though they limit spinners). Either way, way to be the sacrificial lambs, Team Already Broke.
First things, off, box rush. Goes without saying, with the combination of turning the right way to meet the horizontal spinner, where Tombstone was turned around to potentially give a fraction more spin-up time. Tombstone hit the wedge at enough of an angle to get some air, but unlike in the End Game fight it wasn’t right into the screws, so it was a much more favorable carom. More importantly the weapon remained in motion. Also it had already taken off a piece of Slap Box’s extra bit of wedge.
And credit to Slap Box for tanking blows with that wedge, including a shot that sent Tombstone flipping, briefly on its side, using the bar to come down (inverted). But that was it for the sacrificial portions of the wedge, as just the lifter remained. And functioned, as it got under Tombstone, but reverse-wheelied itself. Slap Box tried to get an angle, but just missed and lost the front right wheel as a result. And then the front left. A few seconds later (and a concerned Team Mom shot) a third wheel got ripped off.
Credit to Slap Box for attempting mobility with one tire left but at that point it was a done deal, as Tombstone played with shrapnel. Tombstone wins by KO in 1:19 to get to 1-1 and some normalcy is restored.
SlamMow! vs. Pain Train
Two new bots! SlamMow! is the latest Danby bot, now with sweet sweet Mowbot sponsorship! We’re all hoping this one works, as opposed to Predator, Foxic, and Apex. Though at least the latter failed spectacularly!
Pain Train is the third and final NYC team (though does Staten Island count?). We need a Queens team, people! No, not me. I can’t build things for shit. Talk to me about my balsa wood bridge, or mousetrap racer in physics class. Good design, but failures in construction doomed them. In the case of the mousetrap racer it was overtesting to get the last bit of straight line from the tires. It broke the mousetrap. I digress. It’s an eggbeater/drum, it was built in a month, and it was actually the last team admitted, probably as a last-minute COVID replacement. I’ll be honest, that’s the part that makes me wonder about effectiveness and reliability.
Well, SlamMow! moved across the Box, so we’re already at improvement. Great start. Pain Train was having some traction issues, which led to spinning about, showing the back of the bot to SlamMow’s wedge, and an easy push and pin into the wall. And a successful lift! Even if no suplex, I’m still calling it a win. Especially because the wedge is also a lifter, so they got a successful flip. It works. Yeah, I know it sounds like a low bar, but these guys have had the absolute worst luck and we’re all rooting for them.
Pain Train got off the screws, but was still having traction issues, making them all but a sitting duck for SlamMow! to get another pin, though not quite getting the angle for a good lift. They did still have to be careful, as Pain Train’s weapon was working and got some sparks on one of the clamping arms, but Pain Train kept spinning its wheels, leading to our long-awaited first successful suplex of the season! (Kenny Florian approves.) They kept probing, getting a conventional lift but then flipping itself onto its back, and taking its time to self-right, costing it some damage from Pain Train being in the right place—still pretty much cosmetic.
Pain Train got up to death hum speeds, but right as SlamMow! slammed it into a wall. It damaged one of the lifting arms, but it also threw Pain Train’s weapon belt, stopping its weapon. The count started, but stopped as Pain Train had some of its already limited mobility. Enough for SlamMow! to put it back into the corner, where it couldn’t get out. Stop the presses, a Danby bot wins! SlamMow! wins by KO in 2:52.
Perfect Phoenix vs. Skorpios
Perfect Phoenix: 1-0 (W, KO 0:59 over Extinguisher)
Skorpios: 0-1 (L, KO 2:12 to Bloodsport)
This is a case of student vs. (a) teacher. Tyler Nguyen is as well-known as anyone. Zachary Lytle has seen him in action from when he was so young he needed a stepstool, as a judge in competitions. If you’re in BattleBots, obviously you’re here to play. And hey, there’s a Bugglebots mention!
After the obligatory box rush, where Perfect Phoenix was able to dodge enough, the first hit was fairly glancing, though Perfect Phoenix got airborne. The next hit, far bigger, sent Skorpios for a wheelie and bounced Perfect Phoenix enough to slow things down so the next collision was less powerful. At this point it was going for that jam up that the commentators so often spoke of in the early seasons, and it worked. Perfect Phoenix’s weapon stopped and it meant Skorpios could get in there and bring the hammer saw down on the now-exposed top multiple times. Perfect Phoenix got away but was starting to smoke, probably the weapon. With that Perfect Phoenix needed to use the wedge, and was modestly successful, including getting under Skorpios. But when Skorpios got the leverage the saw arm could come down for shot after shot, pressuring the overhead spinner into the screws.
And the screws were not kind to the kids. Skorpios came in for a few shots and the screws lowered but couldn’t get Perfect Phoenix all the way down. So with the combination of blows and sticks, that was it. Skorpios gets the win, a KO in 1:59.
Ribbot vs. MadCatter
Ribbot: 1-0 (W, KO 0:43 over Tracer)
MadCatter: 1-0 (W, KO 2:05 over Fusion)
Ah yes. Cats vs. frogs. As is what normally happens in nature. Also, it was vert vs. vert. As is what happens so often in robot combat. Well, we don’t have a call on that. But yes, after seeing the undercutter vs. Tracer, Ribbot went with the vert against MadCatter. I don’t know if it had something to do with the matchup against the wedge, but hey, that’s the call.
After initial bobbing and weaving it was Ribbot with the initial hit onto MadCatter’s side. It looked like they were getting the better of the exchanges but if you see a piece of metal being thrown aside that’s definitely one of Ribbot’s wedgelets. So not totally one-sided.
But MadCatter was stunned by the initial flurry, and a shot to the side knocked some more armor off. Ribbot took this time to go after a minibot but that was a mistake, as it was now MadCatter’s turn to pack a punch and send Ribbot flying, very narrowly out of the arena—a lucky carom off what I think was one of the skeletal parts holding the Lexan together saved Ribbot from falling into the corner abyss. But it wasn’t looking great as the frog face was now hurting. Ribbot was smoking and the weapon had stopped.
MadCatter came in with a couple shots to upend the frog. It was still mobile but in 45 seconds this had turned from an early Ribbot strike to MadCatter opening some eyes. Namely mine. It did kill their weapon too however, and then this became a pushing match. Surprisingly, it looked like Ribbot had the power though.
Then MadCatter’s weapon came back, as they delivered a shot to flip Ribbot back over. And onto the minibot too, which meant the cat could claw another strike. Eventually. After Ribbot got free and pushed the main cat back. To run into the weapon. And momentarily stick the bots, but that wasn’t enough to get an unstick as Ribbot was able to back away and get free and stay away long enough for this to go to the judges.
Judge Senor goes definitely damage for MadCatter, whether 3-2 or 4-1 insignificant, and the other two categories probably 2-1. And the judges agreed, as MadCatter wins by unanimous decision and goes to 2-0. Shit, I might have to check the Sixteen for MadCatter. Did not think I’d be saying that.
Chomp vs. Gamma 9
And now we get to the fun part. Our favorite robotic talk show host Chomp has managed to pull off her own version of the Super Aggro Crag. And with that I’ve made a Guts reference so I think I’m allowed to put my pen down. Good night everybody!
My point is, the ridiculously powered hammer returns, but now it’s attached to a hull, which is a six-legged walker bot. Also it’s on a turret. If they used the entire 100% walker bonus that would be 500 lbs. of robot which might be the heftiest robot to ever compete on BattleBots—Mechadon was 480 lbs., and other absolutely ridiculous Mark Setrakian contraption Snake was probably about the same, though if it was a 50% weight bonus it could have potentially weighed up to 510 lbs.. (If anyone of note reads this, please get back to me on how heavy Snake was.)
Gamma 9 returns after taking 2019 off. Naturally, let’s give the lifter a 500 lb. bot to test if it works!
You’d think box rush the quite slow walker, because the time to cross the Box would be measured with a sundial. Gamma 9 did not do this but instead took the moment to drive around. This meant Chomp just stayed in the middle and the turret followed around. Since I only have access to the fights, I can’t confirm yet, but I’m guessing the Chomp hammer is once again lidar-controlled or at least lidar-influenced.
28 seconds later (thanks, in-frame clock), Gamma 9 finally charged. Chomp fired the hammer and might have gotten a glancing blow as it popped the, again, 500-lb. robot, up, so Gamma 9 got under it that way and used the lifter to try and get Chomp over but to no avail. It was a lift, I guess. Although again, very Chomp assisted. Call it good timing though.
Then they tried to do it again. This time the hammer just missed, and as a result of that last second evasion tactic Gamma 9’s lifter missed as well.
Chomp landed on the next charge, but again, that power still popped it up onto Gamma 9, which backed away. A second charge let to Chomp’s pop-up getting her caught on the back of Gamma 9. And the hammer fired away (to free the bot) and bent one of Gamma 9’s lifting forks.
Gamma 9 got back under Chomp, and then we learned the next party trick. The hammer has OVER 180 degrees of motion, hitting Gamma 9’s front from above the robot.
Chomp stayed on top and Gamma 9 didn’t have enough juice to get a lift, as the hammer turned and kept striking from above. Well, once. Gamma 9 in the meantime was able to push Chomp to the screws, even if not on the screws. It wasn’t enough to free the two bots, as Chomp kept smashing the Gamma 9 dome. I think it’s decorative, but it’s still something. Eventually the robot got free, but the hammer had smashed all the way through and was stuck inside. That’s a dangerous place to have someone else’s hammer. And it might’ve been enough to immobilize Gamma 9. Jascha Little got one more hammer strike in before the buzzer, because that was in the last 10 seconds or so and I’m pretty sure it was unclear whether that was just Gamma 9 having to get its bearings or being dead on the floor. It did go to the judges though, technically, and yeah, that last blow was technically unnecessary. Chomp wins by unanimous decision. Damage was probably 5-0, aggression 2-1 either way, control, I don’t know. Chomp won the fight.
Malice vs. Shatter!
Malice: 1-0 (W, KO 1:15 over Axe Backwards)
Shatter!: 1-0 (W, KO 2:12 over Ghost Raptor)
I’m calling this one the Bunny Sauriol Non-Memorial Trophy match. The Malice mistress was on Bots FC last year, as mentioned from me watching their first fight with them. Oh, also that place had Almdudler. Almdudler kicks ass, and I need to find it so I can use it as a mixer.
Oh yes, the fight. Well, Shatter! didn’t knock off their own ablative armor with hammer tests. So Malice buzzed some of it off with the flywheel. After another buzz-by, Adam Wrigley said to fire the hammer next time. Which they did.
This was a slight mistake, because it ending up being a weapon to weapon strike. So the hammer head came off. Also like half the arm. But it also threw a belt from Malice’s weapon, so that wasn’t working either.
This now became a strange fight. Kind of a pushing match, but Shatter could still use the stump for aggression points? And they did as the hammer fires were definitely quicker now. As for the pushing match portion, Malice had the push advantage, since omni-wheels do end up hindering that. It led to a push toward the screws but Malice was unable to get Shatter! up on them. From there it was more bobbing and weaving and clashing. Shatter! got the first hazard damage with a hammer (the pulverizer) and was starting to pin, but was also starting to sporadically smoke and slow down, meaning it may have been drive smoke rather than weapon. Malice tried to push as Shatter! strafed and the two continued to fight a tight battle throughout, and it went to the judges. And it would be a tough fight. Let’s go to Judge Senor.
Damage: I think the damage to the arm is more substantial than just a belt, but in terms of functionality, the arm still fired even if greatly reduced. It still delivered sparks. But there was a puff of smoke late which I think was a reduction in drive. I go 3-2 Malice.
Control: Relatively even. Shatter! took Malice to the pulverizer, but Malice took Shatter! to the screws once or twice and had the bulk of the push. So, for the pushing power, I’ll say 2-1 Malice.
Aggression: Relatively even, but that weapon on Shatter! kept firing, even if at a greatly reduced capacity, so they get the active weapon edge. 2-1 Shatter!
So I have it 6-5 Malice, but I could see control being a swing, so I wouldn’t be surprised if it was a split decision. And it was indeed a split decision. Malice takes this one and goes to 2-0.
Main Event: End Game vs. Bloodsport
End Game: 1-0 (W, KO 0:39 over Tombstone)
Bloodsport: 1-0 (W, KO 2:12 over Skorpios)
Well this is an intriguing Main Event all things considered. The kids are squaring off! Well, relative kids, considering we had Perfect Phoenix earlier in this episode, and Extinguisher’s also younger. And Uppercut. But again, relative.
Interestingly enough it was End Game with a box rush, but I guess considering that wedge tanked Tombstone they figure they can get anyone. There’s less tape on Bloodsport than Tombstone, so it wasn’t a “we know which way they’ll turn,” plus I think after the first fight Bloodsport would want to show a little more guile. And they did, turning away to be a little more favorable. The first contact was glancing, but the two went weapon on weapon. Mostly okay, though Bloodsport lost a wedgelet. It did stop their weapon though and Bloodsport retreated to try and spin back up. (For the record, they had their two-ended bar, with stabilizing sides, I guess.) They lucked out as End Game got hung up on its power and gyroed away, giving Bloodsport the space to get away and spin back up. It also looked like they were hung up because the right side suddenly locked up, and that gave Bloodsport a chance to strike. They went flying towards a corner, but were stable, and didn’t even need their stability pipe though it probably helped. Meanwhile whatever it was with End Game was probably more than a hang-up, whether the wedge got pushed in just enough or what, but that right side was having trouble, and they had lost one of their weapon belts (I believe they run with two). Bloodsport was there spun up if necessary, but slowed their bar when End Game started to smoke and got counted out. Bloodsport wins by KO in 1:10, moves to 2-0, and might have the lead in the horizontal spinner pool.
And with that, we move to Senor’s Sixteen.
1. Hydra (1-0)
2. SawBlaze (1-0)
3. Bloodsport (2-0)
4. Witch Doctor (0-1)
5. End Game (1-1)
6. Tombstone (1-1)
7. Lock Jaw (1-0)
8. Skorpios (1-1)
9. Black Dragon (1-0)
10. Whiplash (0-1)
11. Uppercut (1-0)
12. Copperhead (1-0)
13. Malice (2-0)
14. BETA (1-0)
15. HUGE (0-1)
16. Rotator (0-1)
Also considered: Claw Viper (1-0), Valkyrie (1-0), Gruff (1-0), HyperShock (0-1), MadCatter (2-0), Perfect Phoenix (1-1)
Dropped out: Shatter! (1-1)
A note on Senor’s Sixteen: Bronco, Icewave, and Son of Whyachi only competed in the Bounty Hunters episodes on Discovery+ (Bronco and Icewave’s episodes are now available). As they didn’t compete in the main competition, they have been removed and their spaces filled.
A note on Bounty Hunters: No idea if I’ll cover it. If anything, it’ll be after the main series, because with the rest of the D of S series and the 2021 Banner Madness tournament, there’ll already be enough to do. Plus, then I can binge it all, because I know they’re offering a 7-day trial of the bonus streaming service and there’s 6 bounties to cash in (the other three are BETA, Tombstone, and Witch Doctor). No, I do not know why Skorpios, HyperShock, and Rotator were considered for the bounty episodes considering their status in the pecking order.
For next time we’ll cover yesterday’s episode, breakdown the “unique”ness (courtesy of Brocky) of Hydra vs. HUGE, and the main event, Witch Doctor vs. Kraken. And we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled time. Provided I actually watch the fights in time. But assuming that, see you next week!