The judges say: 31-14 victory for Wrath Jr.
No real damage to either party here. Complete Control drove itself over a saw, which bent its lower fork, but that's self-inflicted and therefore doesn't count. No detectable damage means a 3-2 score, and Wrath Jr. gets the three for putting Complete Control over one of the sets of saws.
Wrath Jr.'s strategy was to attack either the sides or the rear of Complete Control. It did a pretty good job of it, too. As for Complete Control's strategy, the key is to look at what it did after its fork got bent. It takes a while, but Complete Control does eventually decide to attack with the rear wedge. The robot gets credit for changing its strategy upon changing conditions, but the time it took Complete Control to change that strategy also counts against it, giving Wrath Jr. the slight edge. I love ya, Complete Control, but you just didn't win that one.
Neither robot caused very serious damage to the other. However, Wrath Jr.'s hits caused some significant damage to the bottom half of Complete Control's clamping mechanism, bending up (and eventually breaking one of) the forks. There wasn't much Complete Control did that caused any problems for Wrath Jr.
In strategy, the only thing that keeps Wrath Jr. from a clean sweep of this category is his freeing Complete Control from the spike strip and from the pulverizer. According to the Judges' guidelines, freeing an opponent from a hazard warrants a deduction of points from this category, and in this case, it meant the difference between a clean KO and a decision. Wrath Jr. simply made a bad decision when he decided to free Complete Control from the hazards despite Complete Control's lack of mobility through most of the match.
For damage Wrath Jr. dominated again. Complete Control was continually on the receiving end of hits, was pushed to every hazard and most importantly, had his fork bent, reducing any small effectiveness it may have had. Wrath Jr. did take some damage from hazards so I scored a damage point for Complete Control.
Complete Control actually had a strategy of clamp and lift, but was unable to implement it and did not seem to have any other plans when the initial strategy failed. Wrath Jr. was able to put hits on Complete Control and get under it. As soon as Complete Control was off the ground Wrath Jr. immediately took him to a hazard, a good strategy. Wrath Jr. gets the points.
The judges say: 24-21 victory for Phrizbee-Ultimate
Question: What's the difference between ablative armor, defined as armor designed to break upon impact, and extra pieces of metal that are added to deflect spinners? Are those considered ablative, too? Or just non-functional? I ask because Phrizbee-Ultimate scored surprisingly little damage in the fight (must've been all the running Toro did). It snapped off one of the additions in the front and one of the additions in the back. It also took off one of the rear pieces that keeps Toro from landing on its back when it fires the flipping arm. That latter piece is "functional" in my opinion, but what about the other two pieces? I also have to consider that Toro did no damage to Phrizbee-Ultimate. But the damage Phrizbee-Ultimate did was so minor. It's one step above superficial damage, but one step below debilitating. So I'm going to give this the bizarre score of 4-1 because the damage that Phrizbee-Ultimate did was something, but not enough to be substantial.
Toro had a very clear defensive strategy, I think we can all agree on that. After "rush Phrizbee-Ultimate as soon as the lights turn green," though, I don't think it had an offensive strategy, which hurts its score. Phrizbee-Ultimate's strategy consisted of a lot of "sit and spin." That really honks me off, but I guess that's an Aggression issue, not Strategy. I also noticed that in the two times Phrizbee-Ultimate's shell was stopped by Toro, Phrizbee-Ultimate was more concerned with spinning up again than running away to spin up, especially the second time. When it's against the wall and trying to spin up, that's not good strategy, either, because chances are that even if it does spin up, it's just going to get pushed into the wall again. So by my count, both bots are low on Strategy. Maybe that's why one point was missing from the final scores. Well, I guess "sit and spin" is by definition an offensive strategy, but I'm only scoring this 3-2 because neither robot showed particularly dazzling strategy out there.
Even though I've already taken up more space here than I should, I'd like to make a couple of editorial comments. First of all, you'll notice that I never mentioned the final flip, which did put Phrizbee-Ultimate on its side before the buzzer. That's because more often than not, these flips don't seem to fall into any category. They're just a tiny part of strategy, they're rarely damaging, and if the opponent is invertible, they don't last long enough to be all that aggressive. As a huge fan of flipping arms, this is one thing about the rules I've never liked.
Related to being flipped onto one's back or side near the end of the three minutes, there's something I feel the need to point out, because after hearing the post-fight, pre-score comments that were televised, at least one person doesn't seem to understand: It doesn't count as a knockout unless the opponent is counted out by the referee. And for the opponent to be counted out by the referee, you usually have to allow about twenty seconds before the countdown even begins. So if you want a KO, you have to get it done before the clock reaches 0:30. If you compete, please remember that.
And related to that fact, there's one important thing that this fight taught us: Running away will never win you the fight. Unless you're expecting your opponent to magically break down, which it won't, running away will kill you in all three scoring categories. As we saw, if Toro had gone after Phrizbee-Ultimate instead of running away, it would've flipped the spinner in plenty of time to get the KO. So just do it.
There. I apologize for hijacking the commentary for this fight.
Toro got in some hazard damage, but nothing doing. No effect. He suffered some from Phrizbee Ultimate, during the few times he DID go at Phrizbee Ultimate spinning full-speed. But considering Toro's past encounters with spinning weapons of DEATH...I found Toro enduring this unnaturally well. That 'crumple zone' did wonders. Phrizbee Ultimate didn't suffer anything too serious (I think he spent more time torturing the hell out of the spike strip...), but he was getting scarily unbalanced there after Toro smacked him hard enough. It seemed to affect the driving a bit. I THINK some armor of Phrizbee Ultimate was chipped, but then again, Toro did too. I just decided to give Toro the edge in damage since Toro was the one who made the most effective damage.
It's a really touchy subject when I get to Aggression- Toro spent a LOT of the fight evading Phrizbee Ultimate, but then again, it wasn't like Phrizbee Ultimate was making any real moves to pop Toro one, either. It's just like a typical Robot Vs. Spinning Thwackbot match-up. Most bots usually wait until the Thwackbot stops spinning before moving in for the kill, because they know it's just stupid to go in while they're spinning whatever extended weapon they have. Same applies for spinbots; face it, it's pretty obvious what'll happen if you drive a bot into one, especially a bot vulnerable to spinners like Toro. The main difference from the Typical Thwackbot Fight to this one is that most Thwackbots (if not all) can't move to the opposing bot whilst they spin. Spinbots can. So this was even more aggravating to know Phrizbee Ultimate WILLINGLY just sat there and spun in place. Of course, this directly ties into the Strategy factor, but the fact still stands that the lack of aggression from either robot made this fight pretty annoying and tedious (and had it involved two bots I didn't care about, I'd probably just fall asleep during it). It wasn't until the crowd started getting cranky that some action went on, and I gave Toro a huge margin in aggression seeing as his slams and hits meant a lot more than Phrizbee Ultimate's little popshots. Hell, Phrizbee Ultimate spent more time fighting the spike strip than Toro himself. And, of course, Toro's evil flip at the end. A little too late, Toro-san. Maybe next tourney if it comes, huh? Odd-numbered seasons usually seem bad for the veterans for some reason...
It pained me to have to give any aggression points for this match. First, we have a spinbot, which I think as a group are notoriously defensive. But in this case we also have a normally aggressive bot who spent about 90% of the fight running away and acting scared. I counted at least three times when Phrizbee-Ultimate took the offensive and drove at Toro and hit it and a few more times that Toro ran away when Phrizbee-Ultimate made vague motions in its general direction. So Phrizbee-Ultimate gets 4 points for being the aggressor for 90% of the match and Toro gets an agression point for finally flipping Phrizbee-Ultimate with less than a second left in the match.
For damage, Phrizbee-Ultimate beat up on toro and removed what appeared to be ablative armor. Toro also took some pulverizer hits. No damage appeared to be done to wheels or weapon. That was a really nasty flip that Toro got in at the end though, so I give Toro 2 points.
Running away is a very bad strategy. Maybe there was also a strategy of waiting until the very end of the fight to be aggressive so as to minimize damage, but they waited too long. There was also a time at the very beginning when Phrizbee-Ultimate was not spinning and trapped in a corner when a flip could have inverted him right there and then, but Toro did not take advantage. Toro loses points for being a coward. Phrizbee-Ultimate executed the typical spinbot strategy of hit 'em anywhere you can. I give Phrizbee-Ultimate 2 strategy points of his own and two points that Toro lost.
The judges say: 25-20 victory for Vladiator
Damage was the only obvious win-over in my eyes, and that was for Pro-AM. His weapon, while not doing much whilst lodged up in Vladiator's rear (which will eternally scar my mentality with bad thoughts), DID screw up his little wedge-weapon quite a bit. Pro-AM also got in a lot of points by messing up the wedge even MORE with the screws, then putting a nice dent or two in Vladiator via Pulverizer. The high-speed clashes didn't seem to harm either bot too much, but much later on in battle, Pro-AM seemed to have a bit of traction problems. I have no idea whether it was Vladiator-inflicted or not, but seeing as the problems started happening after Pro-AM was whacked a few thousand times by Vladiator, THEN sent over the killsaws after Vladiator once was, I just assumed Vladiator had some part in it and threw in a point.
It was Pro-AM's traction trouble which cost him for winning the Aggression category. Vladiator had no problem lining up each time to ram into Pro-AM. For most of the later half of the fight, Pro-AM seemed to be dawdling around the box, but not necessarily running away from Vladiator. Early on, both of them were equally willing to crash into each other and flip each other over, plus Pro-AM made a big aggression move by backing into Vladiator and keeping him that way for a good while. Not many robots can really DO that to Vladiator, you know...not that Vladiator really backed down any, either. He just pushed right back and fought on. So yeah, aggression was more or less split down the middle.
Strategy is the hardest to determine. I gave Vladiator the edge, though I really think Pro-AM had a really good idea strategy-wise...I just think that traction thing screwed it over a bit. Bleh. I think both of them had similar strategies, anyway...Vladiator was just...faster and better-built for it all, I guess. This whole battle leaves a bitter taste in my soul, so I'll stop now...
Damage was also too close to call. Most of the damage to Vladiator was cosmetic - the lifting plate was dented in a few places but was still functional. Pro-Am's spinner didn't seem to have much effect on Vladiator otherwise. Vladiator seemed to have knocked out part of Pro-Am's drive system - at the end of the match, Pro-Am was no longer moving in straight lines but rather in wide circles.
Vladiator knew what he was doing. All Gage knew to do was just throw Pro-Am around, and he did just that. However, when Pro-Am managed to find an opening, he took advantage of Vladiator's low drive torque and pushed Vladiator wherever it could. A lot can be argued in this category - that's why I kept this score close.
Aggression: When the bots were separated, Vladiator had the advantage with more hits with the wedge, although Pro-Am got in a few good aggressive hits of its own. When the bots were together, Pro-Am ruled by ramming Vladiator into walls and hazards. Since the bots were apart more than they were together Vladiator gets the advantage.
Damage: Vladiator was beat up by the end of this fight, with damaged armor and a chunk out of the wedge from Pro-Am's blade. Pro-Am looked completely undamaged, but was bounced around off the wedge a bunch which implies there's probably some minor damage that did not affect wheels or weapon. I awarded Vladiator a point for this implied damage.
Strategy: Vladiator had a good strategy with hitting and lifting with the wedge. Pro-Am did get a few hits in with the spinning disk, and was also able to immediately take advantage by pushing Vladiator around when the bots were stuck. I give Vladiator the advantage since the wedge seemed to be effective all the time while the saw was not as effective, and Pro-Am was not able to push Vladiator around much at all when they were separated.