Hopefully I’m back to good things with this. I apologise in advance for any issues with this article, currently writing this at 3am after another horrid night’s sleep. Heyho!
Welcome back to Robot Wars. The 2016 reboot is progressing fairly well to be honest, and I’m taking the time to go through the original run with a fine comb. This series will look at the dodgey, controversial and sometimes outright wrong Judges decisions which happened on the show. Remember it is a game show first and foremost, so shit will happen for entertainment. So what is on today’s list? I have five battles for you guys, all pretty controversial battles. Let us begin with a similar note from last time!
Series 4 Semi Final B: Stinger vs Panic Attack.
I went through the battle which knocked Stinger out of the Series 4 championships, on a very controversial decision. But many argue and agree that Stinger should never have gotten this far anyway, instead it should have lost to the Series 2 champions, Panic Attack. Robot Wars Legacy: Controversial Battles! The Series.
Stinger was an interesting thing in Series 4, because they really built a robot which had very few weaknesses. It was hard to damage, and the only real way to beat it was throwing it out of the arena. Not only that, but it’s mace was pretty damn powerful. It’s weighty, swings around with a lot of venom, and therefore can do a lot of damage. In fact, it was able to severely injure and immobilise all of it’s opponents up until this point, a perfect example of internal damage. Panic Attack was a lot more durable to such punishment though…
For Panic Attack, this was probably the worst machine it could ever be pitted against. It’s battle style of lifting the opponent and pushing it around the arena was nullified by the fact Stinger just couldn’t be grabbed onto, losing it’s only real weapon. The Series 4 version of Panic Attack was probably my favourite, for it removed most of the weaknesses from the Third War and the driver Kim Davies was able to control it a lot better. Both robots had a pretty dominant run into this battle, which became a five minute slog of Panic Attack pushing Stinger around the arena while Stinger used its mace to hit PA repeatedly. Now, neither robot could honestly do much to each other, but Stinger’s weapon is naturally the more aggressive, which is why I think the judges gave it the controversial win by 1 point.
A lot of people argue that this decision was bullshit, because Panic Attack controlled the entire fight. I personally disagree. Panic Attack really was helpless to do anything against Stinger, except push it around a bit. While it wasn’t exactly an entertaining fight, Stinger was naturally the more aggressive and got a lot of hits (albeit doing little to zero damage), but this mattered in the full decision. It was still controversial, I wouldn’t have liked to call it, but I think the Judges did get this one right in the end. It was very close though. Here is the battle itself for your viewing pleasure. I expect a lot of comments on this, and that’s fine. Just keep it civil? In terms of my traditional Battlebots scoring, I would give Stinger the 24-21 victory.
Series 6 Heat E 2nd round: 259 vs Wild Thing
I’ll start off by saying this. I love Wild Thing. It is probably my favourite robot of the original boot. Fast, powerful, incredibly well driven and one of the most agile machines of all time, it had the performance to back up the robot, never failing to make the Series Semi Finals in four attempts. While it never made the final once, three of it’s four losses were to the concurrent reigning champions (Panic Attack in series 3, Chaos 2 in series 5 and Razer in series 6), with their best run coming to an end in an excellent fight against the dreaded Hypnodisc. The machine was durable to the point of sadism; the robot just never broke down. It went into the arena against incredibly tough and powerful machines, took a hell of a lot of damage but just kept going no matter what!
However, they did have a pretty glaring weakness: a lack of a truly powerful weapon. While most of the time this didn’t matter (Wild Thing was naturally one of the most powerful machines in the show, so it could keep on going no matter the damage and get stronger over the course of a fight), its lack of a real knockout blow meant it went through some big judges decisions, and several of them rather dodgey. Wild Thing comes up a lot in this series, I might add.
Series 6 showed a real decline for my favourite robot. While being invertible probably saved it against the immense power of the glass cannon 259, it just seemed to lack the strength it had in its previous versions. It lost none of its durability though. 259 in the beginning absolutely dominated. . .then the weapon belt came off. The whole fight turned, and Wild Thing dominated for the rest of it. In the last 26 seconds of the fight…259 stopped working. Nada. It broke down. To be honest, I don’t know why people think this was controversial at all. 259 only got in about 20 seconds of dominance, right at the beginning. It looked cool, but did no damage to the tank on wheels Wild Thing, and came back strongly. Also, being immobilised for 26 seconds is pretty good grounds. Had it happened 4 seconds earlier, it would have been a definite knockout. People often refer to the Sir Chromalot melee in Heat D, where it went through despite being immobilised. Problem is, they were only disabled for 10 seconds. 259 was for 26. Bit of a big difference. I know it’s frustrating to see 259 go out against a weak Wild Thing, but reliability is the MOST IMPORTANT THING TO HAVE ON A ROBOT. Good? Excellent. Sorry to say, but this probably should never have gone to the judges. Easy win for WT for me. I did love 259 though. Seriously powerful machine. Had it won here, it could have been a potential Grand Finalist.
Series 3, Darke Destroyer vs T2.
This one gets a lot of stick from fans too. On the face of it, it certainly looks like a shit decision. T2 (The second version of Tantrum), was a powerful and aggressive robot, but lacked a weapon. This was its downfall which I’ll get to later. Series 3 had the problem of some pretty weak robots getting far, but hey, it was technology back then. It’s liable to happen. The Darke Destroyer was a pretty underwhelming heat finalist to be honest. It was cumbersome, slow, lacked mobility and it’s little strimmer blade was only capable of minor damage. Fortunately it was placed alongside some pretty weak robots, the only two strong machines being Mortis and Gravedigger.
Here lies the problem with this battle. T2 rammed it all over the arena with aggression, but could do zero damage to Darke Destroyer, while the latter’s blade did inflict some minor scrapes and dents to T2’s armor. Because of the scoring, T2 therefore could score zero points in the judges decision, while the minor damage inflicted to it by DD meant it could score better, and therefore go through. People rightfully question this, because T2 really controlled the fight throughout. But on a scoring based decision, it was only one winner. Bit of a shame. Personally, it meant nothing because Gravedigger would have spanked either DD or T2 with ease in the heat final anyway. Personally, I would have given it to T2 because it was by far the most aggressive, and the “damage” was pretty minor.
Battlebots score: Have to give it to T2. Personally, it wasn’t even that close. Easily 28-17 at the very least. Never mind. T2 was a pretty solid robot to be honest.
Series 3 Semi-final: Gravedigger vs Steg-O-Saw-Rus
Nobody expected anything from the Steg. Only getting to compete when another robot pulled out from it’s heat….Steg was the Series 3 Tornado. Extremely powerful, it absolutely dominated its heat. Gravedigger was also a worthy semi-finalist. Powerful and well driven, but weak armor. This would prove to be a pretty close and controversial battle.Both rammed each other around the arena a few times, Gravedigger nearly flipping Steg twice. The judges gave it to Steg, though nobody really knows why.
This was a pretty close and interesting battle, because we don’t know really why Steg won. I think on close inspection of the battle, it came down to damage. Gravedigger’s one weakness was pretty piss-poor armor, and Steg’s spiked tail was able to puncture some pretty large holes into them. I think, this is what swung the decision in the end. I could have called it either way, but Gravedigger was unfortunate to lose. It would probably have made the Grand Final with ease.
Series 3 Semi final: 101 vs Hypnodisc
One of the closest, most even and best battles of all time, this was a war between two incredible competitors. Nobody can forget Series 3 Hypnodisc, can they? Although it lacked the brutal power from the first two rounds (Motor problems meant they had a half-power disc for the rest of the championship), it still had considerable pushing power, a trait lacking from its later counterparts. It was still the most destructive robot in the Third Wars, and it got to this stage against the impressive and dangerous 101. Although they lacked a real weapon, it was extremely fast, durable and powerful, dominating its matches. Well armoured and strong, it had great traction, being the most successful tracked robot in the whole show.
Hypnodisc were clearly suffering motor problems (Damage and lack of parts meant they almost had to retire.) Their weapon was working but could do very little against 101’s armor, and the whole battle involved the two shoving each other around. This to me, felt similar to T2 vs Darke Destroyer. I’d say 101 was the most aggressive of the two robots, but it’s lack of a real offensive weapon meant it couldn’t score highly in the damage criteria, probably causing its downfall. This match was extremely close, so much so the judges personally inspected them for damage. Hypnodisc just squeaked it, probably on minor damage. Regardless, 101 deserved to win as well, and possibly should have. I suspect the judges didn’t want Hypnodisc to go out, so they put the more exciting machine through to have a better Grand Final. Understandable, but still sucks for 101. Great fight overall though.
That’s all we have time for on this segment! Join us soon for another slew of controversial battles, and my take on them….