We are 3 weeks into the new season of Battlebots and you’d be hard pressed to find a better set of opening episodes in any prior season. Last week’s episode featured a number of rematches and included some great trash talk between MIT alums and former teammates as SawBlaze ripped through Overhaul. Don’t look now, but Overhaul is 1-5 in it’s Battlebots career. The night also saw multiple bots get their tires knocked off, and included a reprise of Tim Green’s famous “There goes a wheel!” call from the Toro-Little Blue Engine fight in Season 4. Speaking of Toro (and of losing wheels), we haven’t seen Bronco yet this season. The night concluded with not just one but TWO fights where robots got disemboweled. The Main Event of Bite Force and Hypershock was the second absolutely brutal knockout we’ve seen this season with Bite Force delivering a deadly blow that knocked Hypershock’s top cover off and sent its batteries and insides flying in different directions, leaving Will Bales’ bot looking like the Scarecrow after the Flying Monkeys attacked.
We’re in for another great week of robot fighting action. This week’s Battlebots episode has 5 fights on the docket with an extra 6th rumble being shown on the Science Channel episode next Wednesday night.
— BattleBots (@BattleBots) May 31, 2018
Tombstone vs GigaByte
It’s a Tombstone fight night, so get your popcorn ready. As Ray Billings so eloquently put it in the first episode of the season, “If you fight most of the robots that are here, you could win or you could lose. If you fight Tombstone, you could be utterly destroyed.” We all know what Tombstone brings to the Battlebox. A gigantic horizontal spinner that will not only knock you out but could obliterate your robot. GigaByte is essentially a giant Ziggo. If you’ve followed my Battlebots commentary (or followed me on Twitter) for a while, you’ll know that Ziggo was one of my favorite bots from the Comedy Central era. It was a full-body spinner that ripped and shredded its way through the lightweight division. GigaByte is now the heavyweight equivalent (a different builder, but similar design). GigaByte’s sister bot Super MegaByte actually defeated Tombstone in an exhibition event.
Red Devil vs Monsoon
This will also be Red Devil’s second fight of the season after knocking out Brutus with some superior driving. In that fight, Brutus suffered some weapons malfunctions and while Red Devil’s saw sent a lot of sparks, it didn’t do a whole lot of actual damage. Monsoon features a nasty-looking vertical spinning blade. Monsoon is the collaboration between 3 British builders who competed on Robot Wars and is essentially the sister-bot of Tauron. (On an unrelated note, I got lost in an internet wormhole last week and it appears Tolkien used “Tauron” and “Sauron” interchangeably in older versions of Lord of the Rings.) In their first match, Red Devil was able to use their front plow to control the fight against Brutus after Brutus’ weapon burned out. This time around, Red Devil will need to out-drive Monsoon in order to stay away from the vicious spinner.
Lucky vs Skorpios
We saw Lucky take part in two memorable fights last season, the first a back and forth battle with BETA where it eventually got hammered into submission. In the second, Yeti literally ripped it’s flipping arm off. Lucky did place 4th at RoboGames 2018, but has yet to win a Battlebots match. It will be interesting to see how the flipper matches up with Skorpios, who has a similar design to SawBlaze. Skorpios has a low-profiled wedge on the front with an articulated saw that can be brought down to cut at the top of a bot from above. They suffered some bad luck last season when they were knocked out early in a qualification rumble when their bot got stuck underneath the screws.
Battle Royal With Cheese vs Tantrum
A+ for creativity and the Pulp Fiction theme for Battle Royale With Cheese. The bot is literally designed to look like a cheeseburger with a horizontal spinner that looks like a piece of bacon. Overall, this bot appears very similar to Icewave, it just looks like a cheeseburger. Tantrum is a flipping bot with a relatively low profile and well-protected wheels. Tantrum will need to hope they can fit underneath Battle Royale’s spinner and get some flips in on the burger bot. If this happens, I can guarantee we’ll get some “flipping burgers” jokes from Chris and Kenny.
End Game vs Lock-Jaw
Tombstone against GigaByte is understandably the Main Event of this episode, but these are two impressive bots that had quick knockouts in their first matches. End Game is the bot from New Zealand that made quick work of Captain Shrederator. On the other side, legendary builder Donald Hutson’s redesigned Lock-Jaw displayed it’s new vertical spinner by tossing around last season’s runner-up Bombshell. Both bots feature vertical spinners with End Game having a single toothed disc spinner mounted atop a wedge and Lock-Jaw having dual spinners along with two lifting arms. This will be a battle of both driving ability and leverage to see which bot is able to get their front underneath the other to deliver a kill shot.
Kraken vs Gemini vs Mohawk
We have seen Kraken once this year, in the “Under the Sea” rumble where it lost to Sharkoprion by getting it’s tires flattened and losing it’s teeth. Mohawk is entering its third season of Battlebots competition as a clamp bot with flaming threads atop its clamping arm. Gemini is two bots with spinners that got pounded by Blacksmith’s Flaming Hammer of Doom in a Season 7 rumble. This match features two clamping bots in Mohawk and Kraken along with the multi-bots of Gemini. Mohawk did win a rumble in Season 7 by sitting back and letting the other two bots beat each other up then swooped in for the kill when both were nearly immobilized. It will be interesting to see how Gemini approaches this fight – if they attack both other bots at once or focus the powers of their multi-bot approach on one opponent.