Battlebots 2020 Episode 1 review Malice vs Axe Backwards

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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.

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