I find it funny how Witch Doctor was treated as the “upset” for the season and yet these last two episodes just delivered so many losses that at this point my bracket is a shell of its former self.
But this was a good episode to end the qualifying round with! The only major fault I had with this episode was showing the Chomp v Capt Shrederator battle instead of the Icewave v Nightmare fight. But that aside, the other three fights were great. I’ll publish another article after this one for my predictions but for now, let’s take a look at the battles!
BETA vs Overhaul
This was definitely the episode for the hammer bots as both BETA and Chomp won despite their faults. I have to say, my friends and I doubted BETA’s credibility as I thought BETA’s hammer looked weak while they thought he was just plain unwieldy. Luckily, we were given a good, dare I say, smashing, battle that delivered strong blow after blow against Overhaul. I think the real highlight of the battle was after it as I was reminded how heart endearing BETA’s builder was. Makes it all the more powerful when the audience started chanting BETA’s name near the end. Man, I got the feels now!
Hypershock vs Warrior Clan
Okay, so I know I’ve been throwing this a lot these past few articles but this was great battle and probably the best one yet, if not this round then definitely this episode. First off, that rake! I was so sure that rake would be unwieldy and would plain not work. But HOLY SHIT, it did! Not only was it awesome that he batted it out of the sky but then he blew it up and flew it through the air! Fuck, yes. But I really like the back and forth between Warrior Clan and Hypershock. They were evenly matched which made this match even better. Great battle with great moments.
Mega Tento vs Stinger
Bug vs bug! But for real, I’m sad, like, super sad, that Stinger lost. I love Stinger, I love the team, and I had them going to the final four. They’re a great robot and team but it just didn’t work out for them in this battle. If it was any other robot then Stinger could’ve won but MT was just too big and heavy. At least Mega Tento got a win under its belt. That’s gotta be one of the few times it won a fight.
Chomp vs Captain Shrederator
You would think ABC would end on a high note for the qualifying rounds but unfortunately that was not the case. I mean, the battle wasn’t bad but it certainly wasn’t thrilling. ABC certainly hyped the tough talk and grudge match between these two so I can’t fault them for riling me up. It’s funny how Chomp looked so ineffective against Capt, I’m not even fully confident Chomp’s blows did much to Captain Shrederator but hey I shouldn’t doubt too much. Chomp won so congrats on them!
The third episode of season 2 of Battlebots premieres tomorrow which kicks off the single elimination tournament. Luckily, ABC bestowed to us a bracket that we can fill out and post online. My bracket is below along with my reasoning why I picked Bronco to be the overall winner.
So I had to deal with two big problems while filling out this bracket. The first of which was that a lot of the battles were relegated to just clips. Its thanks to the Battlebots Youtube channel that we even get to see a few of these in the first place. As such, a lot of the robots are basically unknowns. What’s their driver like? How powerful is the robot? Does the robot have any outstanding faults? Did the robot sustain serious damage during its last bout? These are questions that I had to deal with and it was quite frustrating.
This ties into my second problem, since Battlebots is a reality show, and not an actual sports program, what does ABC know that we don’t? Are the Battlebots that are relegated to the clips portion ones that won’t go far in the tournament? Normally I would say yes but last year, Stinger was only given a clip for its first battle yet it went far last year. So this makes choosing a winning robot frustrating.
As such, I couldn’t help but predict veteran robots as the Final Four. I know what these robots are capable of and I have seen them in action. It’s hard to pick upsets when you don’t know the competition very well. Even the people who seeded the robots favored veteran robots in the top seeds. Six out of the top eight seeds are returning robots; Son of Whyachi (6) and Minotaur (7) are the only new robots that break the top eight. This is incredibly bias as 16 out of the 32 robots this year are veterans from Season 1.
It was very easy determining who would win in the first round but after that it got much tougher. Battlebots has so many upsets that I couldn’t help but throw a few of these in. The biggest upset I have planned is Lockjaw beating Tombstone in the second round. I honestly think, after that battle with Yeti, that Lockjaw is a strong and capable Battlebot, Lockjaw has incredibly agility and traction so I think it could easily swing around Tombstone and push him up to the deadly screws. Lockjaw would then get a face full of steel by Icewave in the following round and lose. I also had Overhaul beating Beta as Overhaul has won its fair share of battles and Beta looked pathetic in its qualifying round.
Biteforce and Stinger I feel will face each other and defeat their respective opponents. Both look so strong and durable that I honestly think they can bear the brute force that their opponents can dish out. Stinger will then upset Biteforce and go to the Final Four.
Bronco will win his division candidly even going up the likes of Minotaur. As such, the best battles to watch here will be the Minotaur ones has he is essentially an unknown. I also think Warhead is simply too big for Complete Control and will burn his opponent right up.
Son of Whyachi will also make his triumphant return here and drive forward to the final four. By far the trickiest spot in my bracket to fill in was if Witch Doctor or Cobalt would win. In the end, I gave it to Cobalt, more on guts than on anything else really, but on the manner that Cobalt seems strong and Witch Doctor has lost before. Cobalt may even be the dark horse in this race. That would be sweet.
I think Bronco will redeem himself last year and win the Giant Nut as such. With a simple extension to his flipper he will get underneath both SoW and Icewave and flip them onto their backs. All he needs to deliver is one blow. Icewave will also defeat Stinger I think because Icewave has a very strong horizontal spinner and I think that will be enough to defeat Stinger.
Alright, there’s my predictions, looking forward to the rest of the season and seeing how wrong I was!
Battlebots is back for season 2 and I’m glad it has returned! This season has introduced new robots without sacrificing the quality (for the most part) of the fights. Things are already better than the first season but first, let’s take a look at the bad.
-Once again, I have to question why some fights were relegated to the clip show while others we saw the whole thing. Beta vs. Lucky for instance was by far the worst fight so far. Even though the fight between Stinger and Nightmare was much shorter, I’d rather have seen that than see B v L. Thankfully, some of the clips we saw were from fights that seemed lackluster so good call there. Thankfully, an unedited version of the fight can be seen below.
-Continuing on from the previous complaint, why were many of the veteran robots, like Tombstone, Stinger, and the returning champion Biteforce, not given full coverage on their battles? Again I would like to see their fights than Beta vs Lucky or Chomp vs Disc O’ Inferno.
-Nitpicking big time here but I’m disappointed in the lack of wedges and lifters. Battlebots like Biohazard in the past would win by sheer simplicity and not by outlandish design (*cough* Ghost Raptor *cough*). This is nitpicking though as I’d rather have a lot of launchers, clampers, and spinners than the other way around.
-Also, ABC, you REALLY, need to upload that Bronco fight on YouTube. I would watch that fight again for sure.
That’s really it, I had a good time watching it and sure it’s corny and stupid but I love it.
One thing I have to compliment are the hosts who were the same as last year, their chemistry has really taken off and I really like the banter they give both during and in-between the fights. I now look forward to their commentary although I still miss the interviewers from last year who were down in the pits.
Also, I’m glad that Battlebots has continued to dive into the builders’ lives and tell us who they are and how they got here. People find them boring or pointless but I love it. When I root for a robot, I not just want to cheer on it but the builder as well. They struggled to get here and you really get sad when their robot gets destroyed. My heartstrings were particularly pulled when Witch Doctor easily handled Rotator. The backstory in Rotator was like that from a movie with the builder’s father helping him out even when he was sick. ABC really pulled the rug under us when Rotator lost its first round (but seriously dude, even before the match I couldn’t help but comment how there were NO guards around your two wheels, not the best design choice…).
I think ABC has now wised up and are showing us backgrounds of builders even when they lose. It keeps us guessing who will win and lose. It’s almost like Game of Thrones how you become close to characters and are stricken with grief when they get the axe. Now that I think about it Rotator was like Oberyn Martell when he fought the Mountain, he was gone too soon from this world.
The big thing though from this season is the introduction of not only projectiles but drones! That’s awesome. Unfortunately, the drones seem only mildly effective if not completely worthless. I think the best example of this is the Complete Control vs. Bombshell where the drone just straight up crashed into the arena. Luckily, Bombshell is still in it so hopefully it and Poison Dart can redeem drones.
One weapon that got redeemed was fire. In the last season, fire was all bark and no bite. Just a flashy distraction to win the audience and judges over. The problem with fire was that it only grazed the robots and not damage it. However, Complete Control (and Warhead) showed us that you can win purely by fire. That was beautiful, absolutely beautiful, when Complete Control had Bombshell in the air and was burning him alive. I think after this fight there will be more robots that will use a grab-and-burn technique since it seems to be a winning combination. Also, Complete Control, we respect you again, welcome back.
Creativity is also overflowing big time from this season as these robots were just freaking crazy. Walkers unfortunately were rare but that was made up by other weirdos like Razorback and Deathroll. Obwalden vs. Warhead was particularly nuts as it was like a dragon fighting a knight. Obwalden seriously reminded me of that one-and-done mascot that Battlebots had in season 2 called Y2K. It’s too bad that Obwalden barely functioned but damnet I think it was awesome nonetheless.
Let’s talk about the battles, by far, the best battles came from the second episodes as you had such fights as Rotator vs. Witch Doctor, S.O.W. vs. Ghost Raptor, Burtus vs. Moebius, and Lockjaw vs. Yeti. You had a great mixture of close calls and brutal knockouts. However, Bronco’s fight from the first episode was great though as well as Complete Control vs. Bombshell; Minotaur’s fight was also amazing.
I already mentioned the sad fight between Beta vs. Lucky but Chomp vs. Disk O’ Inferno was also subpar as well. The biggest fail though of the first couple of episodes was when Moebius just self-destructed big time against Brutus. That was hilarious. Moebius and Captain Shederator really highlight the risky nature of full body spinners. On the one hand, they are powerful and robots have a hard time trying to hit you. But on the other you can be extremely unstable if you aren’t built right.
Son of Whyachi had made his triumphant return as well. The former heavyweight champion really stuck it to Ghost Raptor (which was amazing) and boasted its devastating power. Unless something major happens to S.o.W. early on, I can easily imagine him going far.
Finally, the best fight of the qualifying rounds was probably the aggressive and intense battle between Lockjaw and Yeti. Sure, it wasn’t a KO or totally one sided, but that’s what made it so much fun! One thing you’ll notice about these two bots is how hyper, energetic, and aggressive they are on the box. They were just zipping through the arena like racecars trading blows and trying to get the upperhand. Lockjaw was surprisingly durable given that it had a face full of spinning drum for a good portion of the match. I’m looking forward to what these two bots had to offer in the future matches.
That’s it for now, I’ll be publishing my predictions of the tournament soon. Looking forward to the rest of this season!
Episode 3 of Battlebots was a return to form and more as we enter into Part 1 of the Sixteen Round. Most of everything that episode 2 did wrong or was lacking in was improved on drastically for this episode and will, hopefully, continue to achieve this level of quality from here on out. I dare even say that this episode was almost the quintessential episode of Battlebots.
First off, the filler in this episode was better managed as not only are we treated to a basic recap of the robot’s battles but we get a look into the builders’ strategies for their upcoming battles. Plus, a special bonus is given by the amount of time spent on the builders repairing their robots, something that the Comedy Central-era Battlebots often neglected. Although their repairs are briefly summarized, there is a sense of urgency, especially for Icewave and its overheated battery, for the builders to make sure their robot is properly working by their next round. I like it.
But of course, the battles are a great part of what makes this episode great so let’s talk about them.
Icewave vs. Chomp
Fire is not melting Icewave any time soon! But seriously, even when taking a face full of flame, Icewave came out of that battle relatively unscathed. That was another fun Icewave demolition and kudos for Chomp for hanging in there despite its losing battle.
Stinger vs. Warhead
I speak from the heart when I say this battle is what Battlebots is all about. No deceit or treachery like Complete Control vs. Ghost Raptor, no hard feelings or complaining like Lock Jaw vs. Overhaul, and it lasted the full three minutes unlike Bronco vs. Plan X. Even though Stinger had the battle right from the start, the fact that Stinger willingly flipped Warhead right side up just so they could fight some more is something very special. Warhead could have easily chipped or damaged Stinger some more but the builders didn’t care, they just wanted a fight! And the builders were so happy at the end and they shook hands and everything! Gosh, this battle was great!
Ghost Raptor vs. Warrior Clan
Sometimes, the worst enemy in the battlebox is yourself.
What a sad, sad, battle. Warrior Clan not being able to flip and Ghost Raptor rigged into a lifting bot. Once again, Ghost Raptor limps through another victory. I’m not going to lie, I’m looking forward to Icewave demolishing Ghost Raptor in the next round.
Wow, my prediction of two minutes was way too high, it took ten seconds. My search terms for my last article were mainly about “Bronco” or “Bronco Flip.” God, that was probably the most beautiful flip in Battlebots history. So graceful, so elegant, so perfect. One Flip.
Episode 4 has some interesting battles coming out; we have a rematch, we’ll probably have a one-sided battle, and we have some battles that could really determine who gets the nut. Let’s check them out.
Tombstone vs. Radioactive-Tombstone wins by KO in less than a minute
Radioactive won because the other robot wasn’t working. Tombstone won because it utterly dismantled its opponent. Unless Tombstone faces some unforeseen mechanical error, it will win against Radioactive and its pitiful hammer, sorry Radioactive, at least you seem like a bot that will be fun to watch getting destroyed.
Overhaul vs. Lockjaw-Overhaul wins by split judges’ decision
As unfortunate as it is to see these two robots battle each other again, at least Overhaul will have a chance at some clamping revenge. I think Overhaul is the stronger robot and will be able to fix its strategy from last time to take control of the fight. Still, it will be difficult for it considering how agile and durable Lockjaw is. Lockjaw will win if its aggressive, Overhaul will win if it can throw Lockjaw a bit. Either way, it should be a close battle.
Hypershock vs. Biteforce-Hypershock wins by judges’ decision
We only saw a glimpse of Hypershock and its rotating drum. I feel like it will have a leg up over Biteforce and be able to really give it some damage unlike Warhead which seemed to have only nicked it. Still though, Biteforce looks like a competent robot so I wouldn’t be surprised if it won. In all honesty, since we have seen very little of Biteforce it’s hard to predict this battle so we’ll just have to wait and see what he brings to the battlebox.
Overdrive vs. Witch Doctor-Overdrive wins by judges’ decision
My friends! THIS is the battle to watch! I guarantee it! Why?? Because whoever wins this battle will (very likely) face Tombstone in the next round. Now, in my heart, I think Witch Doctor can actually win against Overdrive but I really, really, want Overdrive to win simply because he is probably the most agile and speedy robot in the competition. If Overdrive can just keep out-maneuvering Witch Doctor and her minibot, and keep shoving them against the screws, he’ll win. However, Witch Doctor has that spinning drum that looks like it can do some serious damage.
HERE’S THE THING. If Witch Doctor wins, she will lose the next round against Tombstone. BUT, if Overdrive wins, then we can have an interesting battle. Overdrive would be the first, serious, contender against Tombstone. Overdrive has the agility and the capability to take him down. I seriously hope he faces Tombstone because that will be awesome. This will be a good battle either way even not factoring in Tombstone.
Tonight’s Battlebots episode is a special one for me as this will be the first time I can predict who might win each battle. Battlebots in seasons past has never showed the brackets for the upcoming episodes so you are usually informed who’s fighting who a minute before the match starts.
And now that we have seen (mostly) all the robots in action we can predict who might beat who! So, using my historical Battlebots knowledge and my impression for each of the fighters, here are my predictions.
Stinger vs. Warhead-Stinger Wins by Judges Decision
Warhead fought Bite Force in the previous round and lost to it by judges decision. Stinger actually won its battle against a full body spinner and came out almost unscathed. Stinger will push Warhead around, probably get knocked around a bit by the spinning drum but will ultimately be the stronger, more sturdy contender.
Bronco vs. Plan X-Bronco wins by KO in about a minute and half
Bronco has a fast and strong flipping arm while Plan X is a one sided (aka can’t work on its back) robot. The minibots might distract Bronco but it fought Witch Doctor in the last round and still won. Plan X also got dismantled hard by Wrecks which makes me think it’s not a sturdy robot. All Bronco has to do is come in behind and get the flip. Might take a few tries but it will get it.
Warrior Clan vs. Ghost Raptor-Warrior Clan wins by KO in a minute
Ghost Raptor did not impress in the previous round (even not counting the entanglement). Warrior Clan was able to flip Nightmare and it will do it again for Ghost Raptor. The minibots will distract Ghost Raptor and Warrior Clan will slide on in and give it a nice good flip. Easy KO. And I might be wrong but I don’t think the spinning blade is low enough to hit Warrior Clan but we’ll see.
Icewave is certainly a sturdy robot has shown in its battle against Razorback but I’m willing to bet that Chomp will be able to tank the hits and keep on coming. Truth be told, this battle I’m most unsure about who will win as I can easily imagine Chomp tanking Icewaves hits, grab onto it and take it for a ride. I can also imagine Icewave’s blade incapacitated after one too many bad hits. Regardless, I still lean towards Icewave as I can imagine it to do enough damage to win the Judges over.
To be frank I was disappointed in this episode but probably not the reason you think.
In my last Battlebots article I gushed how in this new series, we get to spend more time looking at the builder’s personal lives and strategy thanks to the smaller amount of contestants. The fights were for the full time and not given brief clips. However, this episode I was disappointed as ABC decided to show four full battles and cram four more in by showing just clips, thereby keeping the Qualifying episodes to just two and not three episodes.
First off, I thought that was disrespectful to the builders and especially to the winning teams. I want to learn about who they are, their background, and their thought process behind building their robot. Second, I want to see the full fight! I want to see the full battles regardless if it was exciting or not. Third, I feel like ABC is already revealing which robots are going to lose in the next round because of their minute coverage on these bots. Why should I care about Chomp, Overdrive, or Stinger? You have given me no reason why I should care about them.
Sorry, this bothers me a lot.
Okay, with that said, the fights!
Lockjaw vs. Overhaul
Oh boy! What a fight to begin this episode! I love, love, love, love Donald Hutson. Creative, kind, and mellow, he’s probably the most humble out of all the veteran competitors. Yeah, that last hit by him after the buzzer raised some eyebrows but I believe he was sincere in his apology. And Lockjaw! He’s like the son of Dissector but more agile and colorful! I like it! Though I am concerned how effective Lockjaw is, it doesn’t seem strong and it doesn’t have any weapons to bash his opponents with. Maybe it will do better in the next round. And Overhaul is not bad either, I respect those MIT kids. They have that dorky, awkward look about them that a lot of builders have. They did a good job as well.
Bronco vs. Witch Doctor
If the Screws keep KOing robots they might as well be rewarded with the Giant Nut am I right folks? Screws aside, BRONCOOOOOO. YES, I was a fan of Toro and T-minus in the original series so seeing their prodigy just flip some shit I was happy. If Bronco is like his ancestors then he might upset some spinners! Witch Doctor has a neat flamethrower and I guess a cool vertical spinner but it didn’t really do much to Bronco I thought. Still a cool fight though.
Tombstone vs. Counter Revolution
If a vertical spinner fights a horizontal spinner, the horizontal spinner wins, that’s like a fact of life in Battlebots. But this…jesus. That was great! Seeing those parts go flying was amazing and made me giddy. And man, ABC was really laying it on thick how badass Ray Billings and his robot are. Haha, gotta love the bowling ball destruction bit, though.
Complete Control vs. Ghost Raptor
Very controversial match, I daresay. But let me just stop there and say, wow, the builders for Complete Control look like real douchbags with their shiny jackets, beards and smirks. Damn, not saying they are mind you but they sure do dressed the part. Entanglements aside this was a disappointing battle for both robots. Neither of them should have advanced. Complete Control wasn’t doing what it did best and throw a robot around the match while Ghost Raptor’s blade broke, seriously? You main weapon snapped off? That’s sad. I would have rather seen Overdrive and Chomp’s battle than this one.
Didn’t get a good look at all the battles or the robots but I like the looks of Stinger and Overdrive, I hope they do well in their next battle. Radioactive was a joke though. Seriously, its hammer looked like it was doing no damage and the only reason why it won was that the other robot was facing technical errors! Unless, I’m missing something big, Radioactive is going to lose next round.
Overhaul made sense as it did a good job against Lockjaw. Chomp I can’t honestly judge since we just got a clip of it but Warhead…really? He barely did anything to Biteforce! Same goes for Witch Doctor! Granted, they weren’t bad or anything but they certainly didn’t deserve a wildcard. I would have given it to either Nightmare or Wrecks. Confused why Warhead got the wildcard, I did a little digging though and found a Reddit AMA for a builder on Team Mohawk who says “It’s a mix of whether a losing team is able to get their robot fixed in time, whether they want to be considered as a wild card, and what would make for the best match ups later on.” Hm, seems a bit odd to me but I can totally understand the part about a robot functioning properly. If an important part were to be severely damaged during the fight, you would probably throw in the towel because you couldn’t replace it. You can read the original interview on reddit here. http://www.reddit.com/r/battlebots/comments/3bgqcd/mohawk_robot_team_member_here_ama/
Who would win?
Everyone on reddit and elsewhere is crying Tombstone and I agree that he has a good chance. I would actually love to see Icewave fight Tombstone, that would be awesome! Icewave and Tombstone horizontal spinners would destroy the other before the match is over and I seriously think Icewave has the chance in beating him.
Who else could be Tombstone’s foil though? If we look at the history of Battlebots we come across the many-time Middleweight champion Hazard, a horizontal spinning robot. The amount of robots Hazard has KO’d is staggering but it finally fell in Season 5 against T-minus, a flipping robot. Check it out below.
Spinners have that problem of stability. If they’re flipped over even once, they’re done. So if Tombstone faces a flipping robot that can get a quick flip in, it’s a KO. Bronco is the first that comes to mind and in all honesty, if they put in a flipper extension, they can beat Tombstone (plus, the builders were the same guys that built T-Minus). Warrior Clan is also a good candidate, perhaps the multibot can use its minibots as a distraction before coming in and flipping Tombstone.
Tombstone also doesn’t look like a very fast robot and when you factor in its one-sided spinning blade, you got a robot with some big weak spots. A durable and agile robot would be able to bring Tombstone down. In this case, I’m looking at Stinger and Overdrive who both have shown to be durable and surprisingly quick. I honestly think they have a shot in beating Tombstone.
The other two potential winners I would bet on would be Icewave and Bronco. Icewave’s blade doesn’t do a lot of damage but it can spin up fast and keep spinning despite delivering heavy blow after blow (something that a lot of robots have trouble with *coughGhostRaptorcough*). Bronco’s crazy flipping arm could also incapacitate robots, especially if he flips them onto those crazy screws.
That’s all for now, looking forward to, hopefully, full battles in the next episode!