Battlebots 2020 Episode 1 review Part 3

I will be reviewing the fights from the new episodes of Battlebots. This is my personal opinion of the robots and the fights. I am not reviewing the show but rather writing down my thoughts on how a fight was won or lost.

Lock Jaw vs Captain Shrederator

This is a battle of the old guys. Donald Hutson and Brian Nave have been around for many years and have really refined their robots. Lock Jaw is a great modular robot that Donald can modify quickly to match any opponent. Donald is also a thoughtful but aggressive driver who can also addapt quickly to a changing situation during a fight. Captain Shrederator on the other hand has been having reliability issues the last few years. The reporting pre-fight explains that Brian is using an older version of Captain Shrederator but the shell design doesn’t look so old to me. Perhaps they are referring only to the mechanical/electrical design of the internals.

Donald has chosen to use the angled anti horizontal spinner bash plate for the rear of Lock Jaw. The design of the plate is the same as one we tried a long time ago on Scarifier and is made to deflect a horizontal spinner upwards. It is a proven design but Donald will need to be careful to not let Captain Shrederator around the sides of the robot as the bask plate does not extend far beyond the wheels of Lock Jaw. This shouldn’t be a problem as I said earlier Donald is a careful driver while Captain Shrederator is hard to orientate and has trouble with trying to manoeuvre around other robots.

Donald doesn’t start the fight with a box rush but instead carefully approaches Captain Shrederator to make sure that Lock Jaw connects with the bash plate. Donald was probably not worried about Captain Shrederator getting its weapon up to speed as the idea of the bash plate was to cause Captain Shrederator to damage itself. The shape of the plate worked as Captain Shrederator has thrown into the air. However the plate of Lock Jaw broke and exposed one of the rear wheels and the second hit damaged a tyre.

Donald must have seen that the damaged plate was not going to work and instead spins up to go for a weapon on weapon hit. The hit launched Captain Shrederator across the arena and into a corner of the box. The corner of an arena is the worst place a horizontal spinner can be when trying to start a weapon. Captain Shrederator as walls on 2 sides and Lock Jaw on another preventing preventing the weapon from starting. One of the changes Brian made to Captain Shrederator was to swap the weapon speed controller for a contactor. This means the weapon is either on or off and the current draw for the weapon motor trying to start must have been huge. This is obvious by all the smoke.

Brian manages to escape the corner and move to the centre of the arena but Captain Shrederators weapon is cooked. Lock Jaw is also having weapon issues but this is now a pushing match which Captain Shrederator can’t win. After a short time Captain Shrederator is caught on the screws and Donald holds back waiting for the ref to begin his count.

Sporkinok vs Rusty

This is the opposite of the last match with two first time robots. Sporkinok is an axe or lifter robot. In this fight Lilith Specht decided to remove the axe and just run as a lifter. Rusty is a pure junk robot that lives up to its name. Rusty is also an axe robot built by David Eaton out of junk he found on his parents farm.

Sporkinok started the fight well despite having some control issues with the robot. This was probably due to the wheels being so far behind the centre of gravity of the robot. Sporkinok was able to flip Rusty onto its side and it took David a while to get Rusty upright. It seems that there is a several second delay from when David fires Rusty’s axe to when Rusty actually responds which is seen later in the march as well. After the first flip Sporkinok is not able to lower it’s lifter completely and also seems to have even more trouble driving. This allows Rusty to haphazardly drive around to attack the rear of Sporkinok and bring it’s axe down on the drive Sporkinok. I am not sure if Rusty’s axe actually did any damage but Sporkinok was unable to turn or reverse after this attack and become stuck against the side of the arena. K.O. to Rusty.

Battlebots 2020 Episode 1 review Part 2

I will be reviewing the fights from the new episodes of Battlebots. This is my personal opinion of the robots and the fights. I am not reviewing the show but rather writing down my thoughts on how a fight was won or lost.

Malice vs Axe Backwards

This was a fairly straight forward and predictable match. Malice is a a basic horizontal spinner that is known for having what is described on the Battlebots website as a horizontal drum spinner. It is just a medium diameter thick disc but whatever. Axe Backwards is a lot more interesting as it is one of the only “full body” drum robots. Full body refers to the design of drum surrounding the whole robot with the motors, electronics and batteries being inside the drum with the wheels running on the drums axle out of the ends of the drum. The name of Axe Backwards refers to 2 tails shaped like axes sticking out the back of the robot that allow the drive motors to have something to push against but give the robot the appearance of a overhead thwack bot.

A great part of the full body drum is the same as a shell spinner like Megabyte or Spinderella. Since the weapon surrounds the robot all the weight of the armor can be put into the weapon. The problem with a full body drum like Axe Backwards is the wheels are so exposed unlike a shell spinner where the wheels are under the shell. Since the wheels are on the same axis as the drum the wheels diameter has to be larger than the drum + teeth to maintain ground clearance. This also means that the wheels also stick out in front of the drum and when fighting a horizontal spinner the wheels will be hit first. In fact Kurt Durjan needs to be very precise with his driving for Axe backwards to hit with its weapon before a wheel contacts the opponent. Unfortunately the worst opponent for Axe Backwards is a horizontal spinner like Malice.

The fight went exactly as I thought it would with Malice taking out one of Axe Backwards wheels in the first hit. Malice also damaged a fuel supply for a flame thrower that was mounted inside one of Axe Backwards axes but this didn’t seem to be critical. What seemed to be more critical is that the power switches for Axe Backwards, which must be mounted where they can be quickly accessed are in the axes where it was hit. But every time that Malice attacked Axe Backwards a wheel was the first thing to be hit. After 1 minute Axe Backwards was counted out.

Skorpios vs Bloodsport

Skorpios looks very similar to last year and is the classic overhead saw robot with a very solid wedge. Bloodsport on the other hand has been completely redesigned from last year. It is still an overheard horizontal bar spinner but no longer has the circular chassis but now looks like a smaller Son of Whyachi. I really liked Bloodsport last year but it had some reliability issues.

The fight starts with the usual box rush from Skorpios but Bloodsport was able to avoid it. Bloodsport is obviously afraid of Skorpios front armour and instead attempts to drive around the side to attack Skorpios’ wheels. Zachary Lytle was able to keep Skorpios pointed at Bloodsport so Justin Marple had to drive Bloodsport into Skorpios wedge. The hit didn’t damage the front armor but instead spun Skorpios around and Bloodsport was now able to attack the right wheel of Skorpios. The only damage made during this exchange was that Bloodsport lost 2 of its wedglets. This repeated a couple of times until Bloodsports weapon slowed and Skorpios was able to shove Bloodsport into a wall. However the overhead saw was damaged and Skorpios was not able to use it.

Zachary looks very confidant in the front armor of Skorpios and it looks well deservered as Bloodsports hits many times but does no damage. That is until Bloodsport caught the edge of the wedge and starts to peel it off. At this point Justin Marple is heard saying that Bloodsports weapon was overheating and needed to cool. This is not something I have heard very often with most robot drivers just repeatedly yelling “Spin Up!!” and damn the smoke, especially if the other robot is showing signs of damage. But Skorpios is not looking good with the right hand wheel clearly not working and smoke coming from the hole that had opened up on that side of the robot. Bloodsport starts the weapon up but does not use it and waits for Skorpios to be counted out.

This was a great fight between two solid robots. It really looked like it could have gone either way for most of the match. It also really shows how aggressive a driver can be when they are confident that their armor can hold up.

Battlebots 2020 Episode 1 review part 1

I will be reviewing the fights from the new episodes of Battlebots. This is my personal opinion of the robots and the fights. I am not reviewing the show but rather writing down my thoughts on how a fight was won or lost.

Sawblaze vs Whiplash

I great fight to start the season. Both Sawblaze and Whiplash are very well driven and very reliable. Jamison Go has a very aggressive driving style with Sawblaze constantly ramming opponents to push them into walls and pin them. Matthew Vasquez of Whiplash is not as aggressive but has excellent situational awareness and is able to quickly take advantage of any weakness that his opponent shows while accounting for any problems with his own robot. I was looking forward to this match with my prediction being Whiplash to win.

When the robots are revealed a point is made of Whiplashes tall vertical front armour plates. The idea is that these will counter the overhead saw of Sawblaze. I was a little doubtfull of these as the tall armour would only protect from a head-on attack. After both robots attempted to manoeuvre around each other and then made a couple of head-on attacks it became clear that the tall armour also allowed Sawblaze to win the wedge game. Jamison repeatedly drove Whiplash into the walls but seemed to wait for a pin before using the saw. However Matthew realised that while being pushed from behind that Whiplash would be able to use its weapon as an overhead saw the same as Sawblaze and managed 3 or so hits on the top of Sawblaze. It was great to see the rapid adaptation to the driving and attacking style of Whiplash when it became clear that Sawblazes wedges where always going to get under Whiplash.

But Jamison Go was always on the attack and did not give Whiplash more than a couple of seconds to recover and it was always going to be Sawblazes fight. Once Sawblaze was able to get to the sides of Whiplash then is was very quick to cut into the top armour and take out the drive of Whiplash. Aggressive and powerful driving with effective wedging really won this match.

Fusion vs Madcatter

Fusion is the anticipated dual weapon robot built by Reese Ewert of team Whyachi. Fusion has both a horizontal spinner on one end of the robot and a vertical spinner on the other making it look like a robot designed by a 5 year old. It is well built and very compact with the Whyachi robots being known for being quite pricey with no expense spared in either materials, components or manufacturing techniques.

MadCatter is more of a classic 4wd vertical spinner design but does have a self-righter that doubles as a lifter. This shows a lot of thought has gone into the design as weight has not been wasted on a single purpose self-righter. While MadCatters creator Martin Mason brings a lot of energy to his on-screen antics MadCatters driving is more subdued. This might be more to difficulty MadCatter seems to have turning.

The fight starts with a classic box rush from MadCatter. However a box rush on Fusion is only going to hinder the front facing weapon unless it can be pushed back into the wall. In this case the vertical weapon was hindered but the horizontal spinner was allowed to get up to speed. Despite the vertical weapon on Fusion being stopped Reese still insisted on driving Fusion forward into MadCatrer rather than turning around. Since MadCatter was sluggishly turning to face Fusion it would have been the perfect time to use the horizontal weapon. The seconds after the box rush shows the lack of awareness from both drivers. Fusion should have turned to use the faster spinning weapon and MadCatter should have driven forward to put more distance between itself and Fusion before attempting the sluggish turn to face it’s opponent.

It doesn’t take Reese long to realise he is using the wrong weapon and turns to use the horizontal weapon. This is when we get to learn why having both a vertical and a horizontal spinner on the one robot is a bad idea. Normally when a robot hits with a horizontal spinner it is jerked sideways due to the hit. With the vertical spinner creating its own gyroscopic forces the sideways motion the robot twists around an axis perpendicular to the axis of both weapons and Fusion flips over. Fusion can’t have both weapons spinning at full speed at the same time and hit something with either weapon without the other weapon flipping Fusion over. The large shocks and twists Fusion takes seems to cause the electronics to short circuit. Seeing how little smoke was produced for the amount of fire that came out of Fusion my guess is that it wasn’t a battery fire.