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.