BattleBots is back for their third episode with the round of 16 and GeekDad will be doing weekly breakdowns of the competition. This week, we have Anton Olsen and Kishore Hari doing breakdowns of the best bouts. Spoilers galore, so beware if you did not watch.
AO: This week brings back the excitement of the first week with the round of 16. All the matches from here on out are single elimination so the stakes are high as we see last week’s winners and a couple wildcards vie for a chance at the next round.
KH: After last week’s disappointing episode, I came in ready to fast forward through a whole lot of meaningless analysis from the three talking heads. While that was still there this week, we got to go into the PITS. Thinking back to old versions of the series, I can’t remember seeing the repair/rebuild process so clearly. Hope that continues….now onto the bouts!
Match #1: Icewave vs Chomp
Icewave wins by a knockout.
AO: This is a repeat of Tombstone’s match last week. Icewave moved in and systematically eliminated pieces of Chomp. Chomp managed a few offensive attacks with the flame thrower but they weren’t enough to keep that high energy blade from tearing him to shreds.
KH: Over as soon as Icewave hit top speed with its blade. I was much more impressed with their driving and speed than in the last round. Getting stronger as we go along. Technically a dull match, but a beauty to watch.
AO: Icewave ended the last round with a win and a serious lithium ion battery fire. They had to rebuild their entire electrical system but that didn’t seem to affect their performance this week. Icewave’s paintjob on the blade in pure genius. The contrast of the orange and grey makes it near impossible to see the blade tips at full speed.
KH: You really believe that paint job theory? I think the drivers have enough experience to overcome that. Great matchup and result for Icewave – quick match with little to no damage as compared to the last round. This is a war of attrition given the matches happened over 3 days IRL, so coming through without any damage is a key. We haven’t had to talk about their front wedge because of the power of the blade spinner, but I predict we will before its all done.
AO: I’ll stand by the paint job theory. If you watch that match again, there are many times that it is difficult to gauge exactly where the end of the blade is. How much that affects the match of course is up for debate.
AO: Chomp was a wildcard from last week and they really couldn’t have ended up with a worse opponent for this match. Their body style is ill-equipped to absorb or deflect the energy of a horizontal spinner.
KH: Kenny Florian actually suggested that Chomp could win by using their fire to ignite Icewave’s gasoline powered engine. My guess is that he didn’t even believe that ridiculous statement. I was a little heartbroken hearing Zoe say she let Chomp down. 🙁
Match #2: Stinger vs Warhead
Stinger wins by unanimous decision
AO: This is a great match, though a bit one-sided. Both bots manage some offensive hits, but Stinger absorbs or deflects all of Warhead’s hits. The only significant damage to Stinger was caused when he turned a rear wheel into Warhead’s spinner. I honestly think this match could have gone either way, but the better driver prevailed. The Kill Saws finally make an appearance, though they didn’t have a lot of affect on the outcome of this match. With the end of this match, the Wildcards from the last round are now 0 and 2. We’ll see how the other two do next week.
KH: Most fun match of the week, though incredibly one sided. It was belly laugh worthy watching Warhead moving around on its back. And we finally saw the screws do damage with their blades. Please someone gif Warhead rearing its head in slow-motion while trying to flip back over. Great driving by Stinger wins the day.
AO: Stinger is the successor to the old battlebot Sewer Snake and one of my favorites for this season. Stinger’s design is simple and sturdy and it is very evident that Matt spends a lot of time at driving practice. Stinger’s front ramp was very effective at sliding under Warhead, but it remains to be seen how he’ll do against Tombstone or Icewave.
KH: Don’t let the kitchy background story fool you, Max is one of the more experienced drivers in the competition. I predict a massive upset over Tombstone if he can get by Bronco. Max’s old robot Sewer Snake had a fantastic showdown with Last Rites (previous name of Tombstone) at Robogames 2011 that is worth a watch.
AO: Warhead is very pretty but also a complex and somewhat delicate bot. I feel that Warhead’s complexity is a handicap in a game where the simplest solution is most often the best. At the end of the match Warhead shows a bit of the comradery in the BattleBots community by cheering for Stinger’s better hits.
KH: Jordan with the Wizards. Willie Mays as a NY Met. How the mighty have fallen. and they can’t get up. That’s what it felt like watching Warhead getting ripped apart. When it works, Warhead is beautiful, but stood virtually no chance against a simple bot like Stinger.
Match #3: Ghost Raptor vs Warrior Clan
Ghost Raptor wins by a knock out.
AO: This was another long match with both sides trading hits, but Ghost Raptor takes it with a knock out. Warrior Clan was able to slide under Ghost Raptor but didn’t really get to do much as they lost power to their spinner early in the match. The minibots prove to be nothing more than a nuisance as Ghost Raptor had minimal difficulty driving over them.
KH: BORING. This was a long match with two bots without any offense just pushing each other around. Ghost Raptor’s lifter seemed too slow to be effective in the future rounds. That bot is going to get destroyed soon. Still loved the mini bots which did their jobs, but it wasn’t enough.
AO: Ghost Raptor chose to forgo rebuilding the spinner and converted to a heavy wedge. It was this armor that allowed him to avoid damage from Warrior Clan’s spinner.
KH: Loved watching them rebuild in the pits, but they are dead in the water. Unfortunate mistake not bringing a backup blade to keep up the offense. Maybe they have another trick up their sleeve? And I want to know more about the imaging sensor in that robot!
AO: Last week Warrior Clan won versus Nightmare despite having one minibot eviscerated, but their luck didn’t hold out. A few heavy hits from Ghost Raptor and one from the hammer disabled his spinner and spelled his doom.
KH: Can’t do much when your motors burn out. I think they would have won otherwise, the mini bots got under GR, I suspect it would have been flipped by WC given enough time. Alas, its retirement for Whyachi.
Match #4: Bronco vs Plan X
Bronco wins by a knockout.
AO: Just barely 8 seconds into the match and Bronco delivers the killing blow. Plan X didn’t even have time to spin up their hammer before landing in the screw. A final nudge from Bronco sealed their fate as the screws pulled them in.
KH: “This robot is so big, I’m not sure they’ll get us to flip.” – Lisa X Winter before the match. Maybe not. Pneumatics – 1, Brain 0.
AO: Bronco proves once again how powerful their flipper is and how well they drive. A quick 8 second dance around Plan X is all they needed to deliver that killing blow. If Bronco received any damage this bout it was completely self inflicted.
KH: I was really impressed with how nimble Bronco looked in those 8 seconds. Another quick bout for Bronco and they are unscathed into Round 3. The battle against Stinger should prove a very different challenge though.
AO: As my son put it: “Plan X is an art installation.” I can’t disagree with that either. The sacrificial armor ended up being Plan X’s downfall as it got mangled up in the screws.
KH: Your son is spot on – this wins the artistic creativity award, but when simple is dominating, it was in trouble.
Join us next week as we break down the last of the round of 16. I’m looking forward to see who makes it to the quarter-finals, or will they call that the round of 8?