I confess I was heavily distracted by the Olympics during this week’s Robot Wars heat. When it started, the women’s road race was not quite finished, and I wanted to see who would win and whether the Dutch cyclist who suffered an awful crash would be okay. With Team GB also competing in fencing and synchronised diving, I kept switching back to BBC One in-between fights.
Anyway, in the first melee, previous Robot Wars semi-finalists Dantomkia and King B Remix proved too resilient for Overdozer and Glitterbomb. Overdozer was sporting wooden armour, never a good idea in the Robot Wars arena: it came to a stop very quickly, and its armour was splintered by Dantomkia’s flips. Glitterbomb came with something which is generally more of a recipe for success than wooden armour: a charismatic child on its team. But even she proved insufficient to bring victory, as Glitterbomb was flipped by Dantomkia and left unable to selfright as its axe got stuck.
In the second melee, Supernova was back with its heavy spinning disc, which proved just as effective as in previous wars, as it knocked Orte out with one blow. Some uncertain tussling followed between Supernova, Big Nipper and TR2: despite the latter two’s weapons not working, the wedge-shaped TR2 tipped Supernova onto its side, and Supernova’s own disc carried it disappointingly into the pit. There’s been so many quick knockouts and falls into the pit so far that it really feels like the robots are still finding their feet after such a long time away from TV screens.
The first round robin match was between Dantomkia and King B Remix. I hadn’t been sure that Out Of The Arena (OOTA) flips were possible in this redesigned arena, but Dantomkia found a spot just beside the pit release, wedging King B into a gap and letting Matilda tip it over the side. In the next fight, TR2 got its flipper working against Big Nipper, whose pincers were ill-suited for getting a grip on the large wedge; Big Nipper skidded around the arena until it went into the pit.
Dantomkia vs TR2 was a flipper-on-flipper match, which are generally good fun: with TR2 being the lower machine, it was Dantomkia who did the most flying, until it finally gave up the ghost. With a spinning weapon attached, Big Nipper was able to bring more offensive capabilities to bear against King B Remix, whacking the other robot until it died. Being armed with little more than lifting spikes and agility, King B Remix could also do very little to TR2, and came to a stop once more after being flipped around by its opponent and toyed with by Sir Killalot. It was left to Dantomkia and Big Nipper to battle for a place in the heat final: Dantomkia proved more controlled, and with the more effective weapon, and it won the judges’ decision.
What followed was the longest and most entertaining heat final we’ve had so far in this series between Dantomkia and TR2. Much of the fight was a three-way tussle between the two competitors and Matilda, who gave them a spanking with her flywheel; once they moved away, Dantomkia was tossed onto its back by the arena flipper, and once again couldn’t get its arm working to selfright. TR2 was the deserved winner of a heat which was decent but nothing special.