Now, most people who enjoy robotic combat also have built or are in the process of building a robot. But me, I'm just a fan. Always have been and always will be. I barely have enough mechanical skill to fill the gasoline tank when my car's running low. But I do enjoy writing about the sport. And over the past couple of years, I've written more than any sane person should about it, placing it all on this site. As you read the "articles," though, you'll have to put up with my opinionated ramblings and my complete lack of knowledge of anything mechanical. Which one's the ratchet again...?
July 19, 2016
So I'm sitting out this season. I think it's because I found a different creative outlet this summer, so I feel no need to stretch my writing muscles. And since the audience of this site is somewhere between minuscule and nonexistent, it's no great loss.
I'm aware that it is no fun to view a solid waterfall of plain text, so I made an uneducated attempt to include some images within the recap. I think it shows.
I'm writing each of these before the following episode airs, so even though I know what happens in episodes two and three, I've left in a couple of descriptions/predictions that turn out to be inaccurate. I want these recaps to reflect the feeling of not knowing what's ahead in the coming weeks.
Of course, I also said I would do a writeup of the 2011 "Killer Robots" special. The majority of it has been sitting on my computer for years, just waiting for me to get off my lazy butt and complete it. If I want to revisit my youth by recapping "BattleBots" episodes, then I should really finish the prior recap I promised to complete. So I did.
Due to a scheduling conflict, I wasn't able to announce the most recent RoboGames event, though I look forward to watching the official videos once they're edited and distributed to the Kickstarter donors. My hunch is that I won't find the time to recap those. I can hear your disappointment. Wait, no -- that was just the A/C unit turning off.
BattleBots -- The heart of this web site (and the thing that was the reason for its creation) is my collection of written summaries of "BattleBots" episodes. Starting with season three, after each episode aired, I wrote a disturbingly long review of each battle (and the stuff that filled time in between). They're all here for you to read, though I'm a bit embarrassed by the early ones.
Steel Conflict 4 (Day One) (Day Two) -- In August 2003, Steel Conflict held its fourth tournament at the Petersen Automotive Museum. This is my write-up of that event, with summaries of all 79 fights that took place.
Southwest Division Championships (Preface) (Day One) (Day Two) -- In April 2004, Steel Conflict, BotBash, and SozBots joined forces to bring the country one huge robotic combat event. Here's a write-up of the things that went down inside the Steel Conflict arena, along with special observations from one of the volunteers at the event (me!).
West Coast Robotics Last Chance -- September 18, 2004: Some robots attempt to qualify for the 2004 RFL Nationals at the last possible moment. And I was there.
RFL Nationals/ComBots Cup (Preface) (Day One) (Day Two) -- In November, ComBots hosted the 2005 RFL Nationals at Fort Mason in San Francisco. Additionally, they introduced the ComBots Cup, which included a heavyweight tournament with a $10,000 grand prize. Six weight classes, seven tournaments, and 96 fights from that weekend are all summarized here.
Other miscellaneous robotic combat-related things I've written
Killer Robots -- not really a recap; I examine the 2011 "Killer Robots" special and explain some aspects of the tournament that weren't reflected on-air
Reflections on robotic combat announcing (page two) -- In 2007, I was honored to be the announcer at the second ComBots Cup and the fourth RoboGames. These are my recollections of what it's like to announce robotic combat and the stuff in between fights.
A Handful of Questions... -- I interview actual builders to get their opinions about their involvement in the first ComBots Cup
The Fans Judge -- a collaborative effort dissecting each non-knockout fight in "BattleBots" season five
Some robotic combat web sites more important than this onebotleague.com -- The Robot Fighting League (RFL for short) is an association of more than 20 robotic combat organizations across the country. If there's a robotic combat organization near you, chances are that it's a member of the RFL.
battlebots.com -- The official BattleBots competition web site. Read the rules, learn about the combatants, buy merchandise, find out the latest news.
robotcombat.com -- Jim Smentowski, the creator of Backlash and Nightmare (among others), has assembled the biggest, best builder web site there is. And look at the sections on BattleBots! Tons of photos from the pits, fight histories for each and every competitor, and more.