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Lots of robots need lots of pictures to make these summaries even halfway comprehensible. Special thanks to Robert Woodhead, Dan Sokol, Brian Benson, and Aaron Taggart for allowing me to use their pictures on these pages. For a list of which person took which pictures, please click here.

The event was scheduled to begin at noon, but robot fighting events never start on time. When the audience was let in, the builders' meeting was still wrapping up. As we approached, the builders, who were all gathered in the stands, were dismissed back into the pits, and the audience took its place on the bleachers. On the hard, wooden benches of the bleachers. Forget t-shirts -- a robot team could really clean up if they sold custom seat cushions. Heck, they wouldn't even have to be custom.

Around 12:15, Stephen Felk brought his brand-new robot into the arena for testing and showing off. Morgan Tilford, one of the two emcees, then spoke to the crowd. Some more waiting. At 12:45, Morgan threw a couple of t-shirts into the crowd for souvenirs. Better than throwing robot parts, I guess.

Finally, around 1:00, the event was underway. We'll get to the action of the big heavyweight tournament soon enough. Right now, let's warm up with some lightweights.

Nearly all of the lightweights received byes into the first round of winners bracket. Except for the four we're about to see.

Agent 7 has a hinged, non-articulated wedge/plow. Conniption should be classified as a drum spinner, though that's not exactly a drum. By spinning that rectangular bar fast enough, the robot achieves the same effect as a drum without using as much weight as a drum.

Fight. As Conniption spins up, Agent 7 pushes into it. Now Conniption is up to speed, and it goes to work gnawing on Agent 7. The two robots take turns pushing one another, Conniption tearing tiny pieces off of Agent 7 all the while. Suddenly, Conniption tears off Agent 7's wedge plate. Agent 7 taps out.

Wipe Out has an electric lifting arm that quickly flips up and down. Possibly more importantly, it also has a roll of toilet paper mounted on its back. Herr GepoŁnden is yet another ridiculous name bestowed upon the robot formerly known as Herr... oh.

Fight. The two robots drive around. Herr GepoŁnden is too wily to be flipped, so Wipe Out is going to have to try something else. Driving. After a collision between the two, Herr GepoŁnden's hammer rests on the I-beam, propping the robot's wheels up off the floor. Wipe Out looks at Herr GepoŁnden and decides to try to finish things off with a free flip over the I-beam and out of the arena. But the lift just jostles Herr GepoŁnden and causes the hammer and robot to come to rest in the same position. Wipe Out tries again, with the same result. On the third attempt, Wipe Out winds up putting Herr GepoŁnden back in the arena. The rest of the fight consists of the two robots driving around some more, Herr GepoŁnden ramping up Wipe Out's wedge a couple of times. As things progress, the toilet paper on the back of Wipe Out loosens and begins to follow the robot along like a tail, much to the delight of the crowd. Then the entire roll falls off the robot. Time's up. The judges' decision goes to Wipe Out.

Enough lightweights, it's time to kick off the big event in the ComBots Cup. Big Betty is a wedge with a pneumatic-powered flipping arm embedded in it. As you can no doubt tell by the design, Karcas 2 was designed by Donald Hutson. The jaws function in the same way as Diesector's jaws -- mostly used as a wedge, but with the ability to lift and clamp.

Fight. Big Betty starts the fight by running away. That's probably not a good sign. Karcas wedges underneath Big Betty, causing Big Betty to activate its arm, raising the air. Big Betty leaves the arm up for a few seconds. Then the arm retracts. Karcas flips Big Betty over. Big Betty activates the arm, but it's not powerful enough to flip the robot right side up. So Karcas slams Big Betty into the corner of the arena, which flips Big Betty back over. Throughout the course of the fight, Big Betty is unable to use its arm on Karcas once, while Karcas chases Big Betty all over the place. In addition, Big Betty's arm is often stuck in the extended position. Near the end of the fight, Karcas slams Big Betty into an I-beam, getting its jaws stuck under the seam in the process. Karcas frees itself. And time is up. It's not announced, but we all can infer that the judges gave the victory to Karcas.

I learned a couple of things about SJ at this event that I didn't know before. For example, there are a variety of front wedges that can be attached to the robot depending on its opponent -- a wedge designed to counteract spinners, a wedge designed to counteract other wedges, et cetera. SJ's weapon is still the arm that powerfully shoots out of its body to hit opponents (or flip them if theyíre on the body). And for the first time, SJ has a sidekick that will fight with it and serve as a distraction to opponents. This wedged box only appears when the opponent isn't capable of easily destroying it, though, so the sidekick stays out of this fight.

Pump is a brand-new robot from one Stephen Felk. This undercutting bar spinner has never fought before and is making its debut at this tournament. Let's see how it does against last year's national champion.

Fight. Pump spins up and the two robots drive toward one another. Pump ramps up SJ's body, goes over the robot, and hits the floor at an angle detrimental to the spinning of the bar. Pump spins back up, then winds up riding up SJ's wedged body again. The tip of SJ's hammer is torn off. Pump gets back on the floor, then drives itself into the I-beam. SJ pushes Pump around. Pump spins its weapon up, then drives into the I-beam again. And SJ pushes Pump around some more. Pump's bar has stopped spinning. The rest of the fight consists of tired driving by both robots, with SJ having a slight advantage. SJ activates its arm a couple of times. Pump looks absolutely spent. Time. Again, it's not announced, but SJ is the winner.

Last Rites has a very big bar that spins very quickly. Sewer Snake continues to evolve. I don't know how long it's been like this, but now, instead of the non-articulated wedge it originally fought with, Sewer Snake has a selection of lifting arms. For this fight, it has chosen the big plow, which can be raised and lowered. Additionally, Sewer Snake has those red fork things at the top of its body, which are articulated independently of the lifting mechanism. I think those are there so once an opponent is caught up on the robot, it can be tossed off.

Fight. Last Rites spins up. Sewer Snake charges, and there are some nice sparks. Last Rites flies through the air, head over heels, and its spinning bar hits the floor. Now upside-down, Last Rites spins up again. Sewer Snake charges. There's another huge shower of sparks... and now large robotic chunks and batteries are hanging out of Last Rites! The force of the collision caused the robot to expel its innards! Tap out!

The clock reads 2:39 -- that all took place within the span of 21 seconds. To celebrate, Sewer Snake breakdances all over by activating its lifting mechanisms at various times. If robotic combat returns to television, Sewer Snake is ready for it.

Next, we see Megabyte being brought into the arena. And its opponent... can it be...?!?

IT! IS! ON!!! Oh... I'm still getting warmed up today -- I donít know if I'm ready for this yet!

We all know BioHazard: the amazingly well-designed four-time BattleBots heavyweight champion. Back when BattleBots was the big event in town, BioHazard was the robot to be feared. With angled titanium skirts resting flush with the floor, many robots tried to get under it and failed. When the televised BattleBots tournaments went away, BioHazard went away with them. This is the first time the robot has competed in over three years.

As BattleBots held its last big event, Megabyte was still being put through its paces. The robot fought at the last BattleBots, but didn't look like its current design and lost its first match. But Megabyte has fought, fought, and fought some more at numerous events over the past three and a half years. It has evolved into probably the most powerful, effective spinner in all of robotic combat. Granted, it's currently ranked #3 behind Sewer Snake and SJ, but it has won more than its fair share of tournaments.

Partially because of their drastically different design types, these two robots best represent opposite sides of the robotic combat coin -- on one side, the veteran builders with powerful, well-known robots that have decreased in or stopped competing altogether once the TV cameras went away. On the other side, the newer builders who began competing as the TV shows ended their runs and have used the last couple of years to hone their skills as robotic combat continues to evolve. The newer builders have fought even without the possibility of fame and fortune, and I get the impression that there are some feelings of resentment toward the veteran builders from some (though not all) of the newer builders.

The absence of so many "star" builders and robots in the recent years has raised some interesting questions, though. Since the television deals disappeared, has robotic combat already progressed to a point where the veteran robots have become obsolete? How would the new breed of successful robots fare against the champions of the past?

You can't answer these questions based on the results of one fight, but if there was ever a match-up that represented it all, it is this one. There will be no excuses that the loser was weakened in an earlier fight. Then versus now. BioHazard versus Megabyte. Let the speculation end -- let the fighting begin!

Megabyte spins up. BioHazard's only option is to slam into it to try to get the spinning to stop. Which means that this fight is a beautiful series of huge hits. Every time the two collide, many sparks are produced and the robots are thrown back. Megabyte is especially susceptible to flying around the arena during these hits. Then, a hit -- BioHazard's right front wedge is torn off! Megabyte is in the corner. BioHazard gets underneath and activates the lifting arm... but Megabyte slides off and plops back into the arena. Megabyte is back up to speed. And BioHazard's left front wedge is torn off! More big collisions -- more big sparks -- more of Megabyte bouncing all over the arena. There's a gash in BioHazard's rear wedge! And BioHazard's rear wedge is torn off! BioHazard's prow is torn off! Which means that the flat front of BioHazard's body is completely exposed. And Megabyte is still spinning. One of BioHazard's front wheels is torn off! BioHazard is still alive -- this is spectacular! Another big hit... and BioHazard stops moving! Ladies and gentlemen, BioHazard has been knocked out! Megabyte wins in one minute and 33 seconds!

Amazing. Pieces of BioHazard are everywhere. Son of Whyachi didn't even do this much damage to it. But BioHazard never backed down. An excellent fight. As John Mladenik enters the arena, he pounds the Lexan in celebration. Well done.

Next up, we have new heavyweight Eugene. It weapon is a spinning disk mounted diagonally on the front of the robot. It also has a big, elaborate series of roll bars. Jawbreaker has a spinning drum-like weapon, but for this fight, it has opted to replace it with a flat pushing plate to counteract Eugene's spinner.

Fight. Eugene spins up. The two robots meet and Eugene hits Jawbreaker's plate with the disk. The hit causes the plate to drop to a position parallel to the floor. That's not good. The next hit from Eugene is to one of Jawbreaker's side panels, which destroys the panel and exposes some robotic guts. Eugene's next hit lands within the guts of that side. When Eugene pulls its disk out of Jawbreaker, it takes the tread on that side of Jawbreaker with it. Jawbreaker is now dead. It takes another spinning hit from Eugene to get Jawbreaker to tap out. Eugene wins.

And up we go to the round-robin super heavyweight fights. Both of these robots have signed up for the Nationals and the ComBots Cup, so I'm not sure whether this is a Nationals fight or not. Since there didn't seem to be all that many super heavyweight fights throughout the weekend, I'm going to assume that they were all ComBots Cup fights and keep track of things accordingly.

Shovelhead is still a lifter. Star Hawk still has a vertical spinning weapon. Like Eugene, which is a member of the same team, Star Hawk has a big optional roll bar.

Fight. Shovelhead chooses to lead with its rear, but it rushes Star Hawk before Star Hawk can even get its weapon up to speed. Shovelhead slams Star Hawk's weapon into the I-beam to keep it from spinning. They separate, and Star Hawk gets its weapon going in an orange-tipped blur. The two robots meet, Shovelhead's rear to Star Hawk's weapon... and Shovelhead stops Star Hawk's weapon cold. There wasn't even any recoil -- Shovelhead stayed put and the bar just stopped. Star Hawk spins up again, then the same thing happens. If Shovelhead can absorb Star Hawk's hits that effectively, then there's nothing Star Hawk is going to be able to do in this fight. Star Hawk spins its weapon again, and one of the orange steel bludgeoning pieces flies off the bar! I suspect that that could have caused an arena breach, but that straight bar sticking off of both ends at the top of the roll bars intercepts the airborne bludgeoning piece, breaking the bar and deflecting the piece. Shovelhead is nearly able to flip Star Hawk over twice. And now Shovelhead appears to be having trouble with its right side -- I guess it's been sucking up those blows harder than I thought. Star Hawk tries to spin its lopsided weapon again, but the chain falls off. That's time. A judges' decision is never announced, but it went to Shovelhead.

Because one Megabyte wasn't destructive enough, they went ahead and made a heavier one. What is Super Megabyte? John Mladenik told me about it in the interview for this site before the event, but I rudely edited it out. Since his description is more accurate than anything I could come up with, I'll quote what he said:

"RoboGames 2005 SHW Champion. Spins 160 pounds of Chrome Molly Steel shell with S7 tool steel blades attached. The blades travel at about 200 MPH. Best SHW Spinner to ever fight in the RFL (IMHO). Ranked 3rd by"

Assisting Super Megabyte at this tournament are small, distracting six-pound wedges nicknamed Little Bytes. Super Megabyte has shaved off enough weight that up to two can fight alongside it, though for this fight, only one has joined it in the ring.

Ziggy is a powerful pneumatic flipper. And we all know how much I love super heavyweight pneumatic flippers. Not that I would ever show partiality in a robot fight.

Fight. The Little Byte runs away as Super Megabyte spins up. Ziggy rushes the spinning Super Megabyte and tries to sneak in a fast flip, but misses. There's a head-on hit between the two robots, which produces sparks. In the next head-on collision, half of Ziggy's front wedge is torn away! Ziggy taps out. Aw.

Vicious Circle has a differently-shaped body than the last time it was on this site. Its weapon is still a horizontal disk. Compressor now has that big spinning bar mounted underneath its body in the back there, giving it a second offensive choice.

Fight. Both robots spin up. As usual, Vicious Circle leads with its rear, absorbing the blows that Compressor's spinning weapon dishes out. After a few confrontations like that, Compressor's bar is scraping the floor. After a couple more, Compressor's bar stops spinning entirely. And now Compressor's tires look like they're coming loose, too. But for some reason, Vicious Circle is not able to drive forward in a straight line. When it tries to drive forward, it can only make wide right turns. But it's not that the right side of its drive is broken -- the robot can still drive backward perfectly straight. Since it can't aim its spinning disk directly into Compressor, the last minute of the fight consists of nothing happening -- Compressor is damaged and can't move all that well, and Vicious Circle can't make any damaging offensive moves. Time is up. Again, the audience is not informed of the judges' decision, but as could be expected, Vicious Circle was given the victory.

It's a pair of drum-like spinners -- Conniption with its spinning bar and Joe with its shorter drum.

Fight. As the two meet in drum-to-drum hits, Joe bounces Conniption around. A piece of Conniption's front armor flies off. Conniption taps out. After doing so, its left wheel falls off, as if to emphasize the point.

Unlike its big brother Compressor, Agsma has no spinning weapon -- just the hinged forks.

Fight. Agsma is also too squirrelly for Wipe Out to get a good opportunity to flip it. As a result, this is a wedge fight. Wipe Out is able to get Agsma against the wall exactly once. It tries to lift, but can't get Agsma out of the arena. Later, after one of the collisions between the two, Agsma is tipped onto the side of one of its wheels, so it spins in place on that wheel in order to land upside-down on both wheels. Wipe Out wedges underneath Agsma, flipping it back right side up. Time. No judges' decision is announced (you may be noticing a theme here), but it goes to Wipe Out, which was the greater aggressor in the fight.

Well, CycloneBot certainly looks a lot different than it did the last time I saw it. It's smaller, longer, and no longer has a hole in the center. It still is able to translate across the arena while spinning its entire body and is still able to spell its name in the air using LEDs mounted on its side.

BodySlam looks pretty vulnerable, doesn't it? It's a big Lexan wedge. The entire wedge can be lifted into the air using that big gear in the back. But in addition to the gear being exposed, there's no rear armor or anything protecting the innards when the wedge is up. So BodySlam is going to have to be careful out there. For this fight, it has added that bumper made of rubber and wood and straps to absorb CycloneBot's blows.

Fight. CycloneBot starts spinning in place to try to get itself up to speed, but BodySlam wedges it. CycloneBot tries again. It's still not at full speed. BodySlam stays on it. This pattern continues. At one point, BodySlam runs into CycloneBot with its exposed backside, which is either foolish or cocky. CycloneBot looks dazed out there. BodySlam tries to flip CycloneBot a few times with no real success. Smoke begins to come out of one of CycloneBot's wheels. At the end of the fight, both robots have been weakened. Time. We don't need to be told that BodySlam was given the judges' decision (which is good, because we weren't).

I was impressed when the kid sitting behind me correctly identified New Attitude as The Crusher. Then again, earlier, he identified Jawbreaker as DooAll, so maybe he just got lucky. New Attitude is still a well-driven wedge. Sabretooth has that vertical spinning disk mounted in its body there.

Fight. This fight starts with driving by both robots, trying to get in the optimum position. Then Sabretooth gets stuck on an I-beam, which is not the optimum position. New Attitude takes a free ram at Sabretooth. Sabretooth goes vertical, lands back on the ground, and is freed. All of the confrontations between New Attitude and Sabretooth favor the low wedge of New Attitude -- Sabretooth's disk isn't even coming into play when the two collide. Then the action moves up against the I-beam closest to the audience, and since these are lightweights, we can't see what's going on behind it. Sabretooth either dies or gets stuck on that I-beam, as it's not reappearing. New Attitude drives around the arena. It may or may not try to move Sabretooth. The fight ends. New Attitude stays in the winners bracket.

Hexy Jr. is still the lightweight version of HexaDecimator. Its weapon is a pneumatic lifter. West Side Glory is an alias for Slap 'Em Silly, which has removed that ridiculous spike from its back.

Fight. Hexy Jr. flips West Side Glory twice. Then West Side Glory wedges Hexy Jr. around. Some good back-and-forth action between these two. Hexy Jr. flips West Side Glory to land diagonally against the top of the I-beam so that it can't move, then frees it for more fighting. In total, Hexy Jr. flipped West Side Glory eight or nine times; West Side Glory showed equally as much domination through its wedging and pushing. Time runs out with West Side Glory cramming Hexy Jr.'s arm under the I-beam of the entrance ramp. Once again, the audience is not told the judges' decision, and this one isn't obvious. Because you're so nice to read my site, I'll tell you what it was. Hexy Jr. was the winner.

No fooling around here -- it's #2 versus #1. SJ has its sidekick with it this time. Sewer Snake will be using its lifting forks for this match.

Fight. SJ slams its arm to the ground to use as a lifting bar. Sewer Snake and SJ drive toward each other. Sewer Snake pushes SJ's arm up off the ground, drives up SJ's wedge, and SJ flips it. SJ, seeing the success of that, keeps its arm in its body to use as a flipper (the arm is much more powerful coming out of its body than retracting). Sewer Snake does some acrobatics with its different forks. Then Sewer Snake gets underneath SJ, flips it, and pushes it into the corner. SJ can't escape from that position, and Sewer Snake is in no mood to give it a hand. So with nothing else to do, Sewer Snake goes after SJ's sidekick. Sewer Snake nearly flips the little robot, then decides to go back to SJ to shove it around. Sewer Snake pushes a prone SJ across the arena. Then the fight ends for some reason, making Sewer Snake the winner.

Brutality received a bye for its initial fight. I think you can figure out how it works by looking at the picture. Since it's fighting a spinner, Karcas has removed its tail and replaced its jaws with a thick plow.

Fight. Karcas starts before the green light, rushes Brutality, and in the collision, Brutality flips over. Brutality tries to spin to right itself. As it flops around, Karcas shoves it into the corner. Brutality keeps trying to spin to right itself. As it spins upside-down, it migrates toward the center of the arena. So Karcas shoves it into the corner again. Brutality is counted out 41 seconds into the fight.

Pump's blade has been removed, choosing to go with its wedged backside for offense. But before the fight begins, as Pump's drive is being tested, the wheels lose contact with the floor. This happens again, and since it can't drive around, Pump is forced to forfeit.

All the way down to the 12-pound hobbyweights. On the side of Target Practice that's not facing the camera in that picture is a lifting wedge. Scoopula is just a big scoop.

Fight. In the first confrontation between the two, Scoopula is flipped. It can drive while inverted, but is completely defenseless. So the last two minutes and forty-five seconds of the fight consists of Target Practice controlling Scoopula all over the floor, never flipping it back over. With about five seconds left on the clock, Target Practice just does the victory spin early, because there's no doubt that it won.

The fifth and final super heavyweight in this round-robin tournament is Buster, which has that big spinning bar. For this fight, Super Megabyte has brought in zero Little Bytes and has also removed its mast.

Fight. Both robots spin their weapons up. The two collide -- there's an explosion of sparks and both robots are flung to opposite corners of the arena! So they get up to speed again. In the next collision, Buster flies horizontally through the air. After another big hit between the two, Super Megabyte stops spinning. Buster's weapon is still going, whereas all Super Megabyte can do is drive. So Buster goes after Super Megabyte. At one point, when Buster hits Super Megabyte, Buster flies through the air and lands on one of the floor panels, which briefly and visibly bounces up, then back down to being flush with the other panels. Buster keeps spinning its weapon and keeps hitting Super Megabyte. One of the hits causes Buster to flip over. So it spins up again with the weapon above its body and tears off the small pointer that tells Super Megabyte which way is forward. Time is up. This time, we're told the judges' decision -- Buster wins.

Then the large arena took a break four about an hour and fifteen minutes to give the big robots a chance to be fixed while the focus shifted to the small arena, where the beetleweights, antweights, and fairyweights did their thing. As the audience crowded around the small arena three people deep, a local group of... um... performers, called Cyclecide was there to engage in antics for the rest of the crowd. By dressing up in odd costumes and doing things that were vaguely, but not entirely, related to robot fighting. Their presence served as an important reminder to us all that there is most certainly a line between "offbeat" and "friggin' insane."

Oh, thank goodness, we're back to the big arena.

Lil Shocker is a wedged box. Disc Obsession is an aptly-named robot from Team Think Tank.

Fight. Disc Obsession spins its weapon up, but its driving doesn't seem to be working all that well. Lil Shocker drives all around Disc Obsession. Now all we need is for the robots to actually come into contact with one another. Ah, there we go. Lil Shocker attacks from behind and pushes Disc Obsession across the arena. We can't see exactly what happened with the I-beam in the way, but Disc Obsession is counted out.

Wedgio can be best described as a 12-pound Wedge of Doom. Toxic employs an undercut blade that spins beneath and within its body.

Fight. Toxic starts to spin its blade. Wedgio hits it, and that's the end of Toxic's spinning. The entire remainder of the fight is Wedgio toying with Toxic as Toxic is sort of able to drive. About two minutes in, Wedgio flips Toxic over. Unfortunately for those of us watching, Toxic is able to run inverted. The fight ends with Wedgio using its lifting arm to clamp Toxic's wheel and drag the robot. Time's up, and I guess the announcers have realized that it helps the audience to know which robot won. It was a 22-11 decision for Wedgio.

Oh boy, more twelve-pound wedges. Bullet has a fin curving over its wedge there -- see it? Spatula has a wedge built into one side of the robot and a wedge attached to the other side.

Fight. In this fight, Bullet absolutely owns Spatula, pushing it all around. Bullet high-centers Spatula on the base of the I-beam, but Spatula wriggles free. So Bullet high-centers Spatula on the base of the I-beam again, then performs a victory spin. Spatula is counted out.

Thank goodness, some real action after those hobbyweight fights.

Fight. Both robots get up to speed, then collide. There are big sparks and the weapons of both robots keep spinning. There's another big hit with plenty more sparks. Then Megabyte comes over and hits Eugene in the side. Eugene taps out. I think they thought that Eugene was immobile after that hit, though it turns out that they could move after the tap out. Too late.

All right, now I'm going to get to see my 300+-pound robots flying through the air, right? For the rest of the tournament, Ziggy is missing the big chunk of front wedge that was torn off by Super Megabyte.

Fight. Shovelhead gets its wedge under Ziggy and tries to lift, but Ziggy's weight forces Shovelhead's body to rise into the air. Ziggy pops its arm to get away. Then the same thing happens -- Shovelhead gets underneath, its body goes up, and Ziggy activates the arm to escape. On the third try, Shovelhead is able to flip Ziggy up and into the corner of the arena, touching the Lexan. Ziggy lands on the I-beams and is unable to right itself from that position. Shovelhead wins.

We're already starting to eliminate heavyweights from that quest for the big cash prize. For this fight, Compressor has removed its spinning bar and replaced its forks with a plow on springs.

Fight. CycloneBot is able to spin up to speed -- I know this because we can now all read the word "CYCLONEBOT" in the air. The first hit between the two robots bends Compressor's plow underneath the robot's body, so Compressor drives to get the plow back in place. Most of this fight consists of CycloneBot spinning and Compressor being hit by it. By the end of the fight, CycloneBot is no longer spinning and Compressor's plow is looking pretty sad. Time is up. The judges score this one 19-14 in favor of Compressor.

We're in round two of the lightweight losers bracket because there were enough byes in round one to get everybody through to here.

Fight. Agent 7 gets underneath West Side Glory and starts pushing it around. It does this for less than 30 seconds, then West Side Glory taps out. Well, there you go.

Another spinner, so BodySlam leaves its bumper on.

Fight. When fighting a wedge, especially a wedge with a vulnerable backside, Vicious Circle really needs to not lead with its rear so much. Unless that is forward and the disk is in the back of the robot? Anyway, Vicious Circle keeps driving with its flat end facing BodySlam. Neither robot hits the other. Time passes... Finally, Vicious Circle uses its disk to take a piece out of BodySlam's side. Then the disk takes a piece from the front. That's better. BodySlam somehow goes up Vicious Circle's body (seems like BodySlam should be the lower one), drives over, lands on Vicious Circle's disk, and a piece of BodySlam's rear armor is taken off. BodySlam taps out.

Fight. Sabretooth spins its disk. After the first quick hit between Herr GepoŁnden and Sabretooth's disk, Herr GepoŁnden quits moving. Weird. And that's it.

Let's get the less-populated middleweight Nationals tournament going. The Mortician likes to spin that bar to damage opponents. Nasty Attitude likes to outdrive opponents and wedge them around.

Fight. And this is a very good wedge against spinner fight. Neither robot backs down, with both dishing out good hits. As the fight progresses, small chunks of Nasty Attitude are sprayed across the arena, along with its top panel. And it appears to me that The Mortician's body busted open a little bit, similar to what Last Rites did more extremely. At the end of the fight, The Mortician is dragging its batteries. Both robots are hurt, but both of them went the distance. Time's up, and the 20-13 decision goes to a damaged Nasty Attitude.

Total Anarchy is your basic parallelogram wedge. Wildboar uses pneumatic lifting forks as its offensive weapon.

Fight. I see a slight design flaw in Total Anarchy in that whenever it drives forward, its wedge rises off the ground. However, Wildboar is looking sluggish out there. At one point in the fight, Wildboar stops moving in the center of the arena for no apparent reason. Total Anarchy pushes it to get it moving again. Later, Total Anarchy drives up Wildboar's forks, so Wildboar lifts Total Anarchy over its head. Then Wildboar pushes Total Anarchy into the I-beam. This push causes Total Anarchy's back end to somehow get stuck, suspending Total Anarchy's wheels off the ground. Wildboar frees Total Anarchy by lifting the robot over its head again. Time is up. It's a split decision, 17-16, for Total Anarchy.

Looking at the robot, it should come as no surprise that Angry Asp has a spinning weapon. As you can see, Doom on You! also has a spinning weapon in its body there. For this fight, it has attached a piece of ablative wood for Angry Asp to chew on.

Fight. Angry Asp spins up. Doom on You! leads with its wood-covered rear. The first hit sends splinters everywhere. Angry Asp doesn't care -- it keeps laying into Doom on You!, hit after hit, eventually removing the entire piece of wood. Angry Asp flips Doom on You! with its spinner. Then flips Doom on You! again. Angry Asp is simply owning this fight. Then, in one collision, Angry Asp's body bounces. Doom on You! gets underneath Angry Asp as it bounces, shoves it across the arena, slams it into the I-beam, and Angry Asp goes up, over, and out of the arena! Doom on You! wins in an amazing upset!

Here's the other middleweight tournament. Who's Your Daddy? still employs a wedged body with a spinning drum mounted in its front wedge. Dolor II is a parallelogram.

Fight. Who's Your Daddy? spins up and quickly starts chipping pieces off of Dolor's wedge. And while there's more armor underneath that outer wedge, the top plate of the wedge is being ripped apart. After one of Who's Your Daddy?'s hits flips Dolor, Dolor has some more luck with its other wedge in getting underneath Who's Your Daddy?, able to push Who's Your Daddy? to the wall a couple of times. But most of this fight is Who's Your Daddy? bouncing Dolor around with that drum. Time is up, and a 19-14 decision gives Who's Your Daddy? passage to the winners bracket.

Piranha 2 is a big lifter -- the majority of its wedge rises out of the body, hinged near the bottom. Icewave is a gasoline-powered spinner. Can you guess where in the robot the engine is? Once they start the engine up, it's very noisy and only gets noisier once the blade starts spinning.

Fight. Icewave spins up, then the entire robot starts to fly out of control. Icewave calms down and lands on its wheels, but now the weapon no longer works, no matter how much they try to gun the engine. However, Piranha is in no way aggressive. So against all logic, it's Icewave who pushes Piranha all over the arena. Pushing slowly, but Icewave is winning this fight. Then, for no reason, Icewave just stops moving (but the weapon engine is still nice and loud). Piranha pushes, but Icewave is dead and therefore counted out. Bizarre.

Stewie obviously has a spinning drum for a weapon. As for High Impact, I'm not sure what it is. It has the wedged bottom, of course. But that bar is mounted in one place -- it doesn't move or anything. The top is open -- is this its completed form?

Fight. Stewie spins up and hits High Impact, flipping it over. High Impact can't self-right, so it taps out as Stewie hits it again, righting it. Well, that's that.

Fight. Big Betty gets underneath Eugene and lifts Eugene over its head. As Eugene goes over, its weapon hits the floor. And now Eugene isn't moving. It's dead. Big Betty wins.

Compressor has reattached its forks, but the spinning weapon is still missing. SJ has its sidekick.

Fight. SJ starts by slamming its arm down to use as a lifter, and that's about it. Compressor comes over. There's some back-and-forth action between the two. SJ's sidekick distracts Compressor while SJ resets its weapon. The distraction results in the sidekick being high-centered on the bottom of the I-beam, but it did its job -- SJ's weapon is back in its body. SJ gets underneath Compressor and shoves it into the corner, almost flipping Compressor out. While Compressor is in the corner, SJ drives to the other side of the arena to free its sidekick. The sidekick drives over to bug Compressor some more, then SJ comes back in to slam Compressor against the wall again. Compressor's forks are stuck in the seam, propping its wheels off the floor, and SJ isn't interested in freeing it. As Compressor is being counted out, SJ goes after its sidekick, flinging it across the floor with that powerful arm. Compressor is out.

With that, it was time for another hour-long break to let the tinyweights to do their thing some more and to give the spectators a chance to go out and get something to eat for dinner. I used it as an opportunity to get up, stretch, and do anything other than sit. I left my notes on the bench to hold my seat. But I didn't want to lose my notes, so I just kind of paced within visual distance of the bleachers. I looked like some kind of weird, creepy loiterer. And the fact that I was hanging around one place didn't help matters, either.

Speed Bump XL uses a lifting arm, but not in the way you're used to seeing -- the arm pushes away to the side, with that big piece of metal on the side going up with it. Enoch is not in its final form, but the team wanted to get it ready for this tournament, so they stuck some armor and a weapon on the frame. Unfortunately, that put it overweight, so they had to take off most of the armor (look at all the exposed guts) and gave it a weapon of a small saw blade. I'm assuming that the goal is probably more to build experience than to hope to take the cup.

Fight. There's a lot of meaningless driving from both robots. Some bumping. Speed Bump uses its arm once while under Enoch. Now Enoch is driving, scraping itself along the wall. Speed Bump just watches. It's not very captivating. Eventually, they stop the timer -- I'm not sure why, but I'm glad they did. Speed Bump wins.

It's another spinner for an opponent, so BodySlam continues to leave that bumper on.

Fight. Last Rites spins up. BodySlam approaches. Last Rites' weapon makes contact with the bumper, and bits of it go flying. BodySlam approaches Last Rites again. More bits of the bumper go flying. BodySlam approaches Last Rites another time. Now BIG bits of the bumper go flying. BodySlam's wedge is twisted. Last Rites is still spinning. So BodySlam approaches again. More pieces of BodySlam are sprayed everywhere. But after that hit, Last Rites' weapon isn't spinning, while BodySlam can still move. BlodySlam pushes into Last Rites with its twisted, bent body. Eventually, BodySlam just ceases to move. And Last Rites... spins up! Another big hit from Last Rites sends more pieces of BodySlam everywhere. That is certainly the end for BodySlam.

Star Hawk has been fully repaired for this battle of the orange-tipped blades.

Fight. Both weapons spin up. The robots collide, producing yellow sparks. This pattern reoccurs a few times. Star Hawk looks to have the edge in this fight with a faster spin-up recovery time and better-aimed hits. Eventually, Buster's weapon dies. Star Hawk uses its weapon to make white sparks on Buster's body. The smoke coming out of Buster confirms that its weapon is broken. Time. It's a 25-8 decision for Star Hawk.

Fight. And it's a wedge fight. With a few exceptions, Lil Shocker is the one to get under Target Practice, winning the "Who's got the lower wedge?" contest. Target Practice flips Lil Shocker once. Whoo. It's three minutes of driving around. Time. The not-at-all-surprising split decision is in favor of Lil Shocker.

Fight. Wow, this one is even more boring! Wedgio keeps driving itself onto Bullet, so Bullet gets more opportunities to push. Wedgio is able to flip Bullet twice; Bullet uses those back wheels to quickly right itself both times. Drive drive drive, time's up. It's another split decision. This one goes to Bullet.

Fight. New Attitude does what it does best, repeatedly wedging underneath Hexy Jr. Early in the fight, Hexy Jr. is stuck on top of New Attitude's head, so New Attitude slams Hexy Jr. into the I-beam flipper-first, bending the tip of the flipper arm up a little. New Attitude owns Hexy Jr. for the entire fight, including flipping it a couple of times, so we get to see Hexy Jr. self-right twice. At the end, Hexy Jr. is high-centered on the bottom of the I-beam's lip. Time is up, and a 28-5 decision definitely favors New Attitude.

Agent 7 is lower to the ground, but Sabretooth has the active weapon.

Fight. The two drive around, each being dominant in their own ways. At one point, Sabretooth stops driving, with Agent 7 stuck underneath it. So a time out is called to separate the two. Once time is in, Agent 7 pushes Sabretooth some more. And now Sabretooth has stopped moving again. Sabretooth taps out before it can be counted out. Agent 7 wasn't moving, though -- why would you tap out? Too late.

You know, if this is version 2.5, I'd hate to see what 1.0 was...

Fight. Doom on You! spins up. Total Anarchy is able to get underneath Doom on You! to push it around. Doom on You! gets its blade going on Total Anarchy's wedge. They go back and forth. Doom on You! tears into the wood and Lexan that covers Total Anarchy's side. Then tears the side all off. Doom on You! shoves Total Anarchy across the box, into the I-beam. Total Anarchy shuts down, so it taps out. And then the smoke seeps out. Doom on You! is moving on.

Fight. Angry Asp grinds on Wildboar with that weapon. It then shoves Wildboar into the corner and leaves it there. Wildboar taps out 36 seconds into the fight.

For this battle, Agsma has replaced its forks with a cowcatcher-looking plow.

Fight. Conniption chews on Agsma's plow many, many times during the course of the fight. It seems that Conniption is winning... until it starts falling apart in the ring. One of its sides splits apart. Then one of its wheels falls off. Agsma carefully pushes Conniption a bit. Time is up, so it goes to judges' decision. And that decision is 25-8, for Agsma.

What? Again? Why are these two facing each other a second time? Okay...

Fight. This time, Icewave's weapon is working. It hits Piranha, making sparks. Then it nearly Maulers away, but gets itself under control. Icewave hits Piranha's back corner, leaving a big dent in the armor. Then Icewave's blade goes up Piranha's wedge, which unbalances the robot and causes it to dance. Icewave lands squarely on its head, which means that it loses. Um, again.

[Edit: Andrew informs me that in the first Icewave vs. Piranha 2 battle, somebody in the audience had a frequency jammer, which is why Icewave stopped moving for no reason. Obviously, they had to let the two robots fight again.]

Karcas still has the plow in place of its jaws. But this time, it's added a Diesector-like tail to its rear.

Fight. Vicious Circle leads with its rear, as always, which is able to get underneath Karcas' plow. Karcas has some trouble, as it keeps driving onto Vicious Circle's body. Eventually, Karcas is able to get at Vicious Circle's side, and is then able to use its plow to prevent Vicious Circle's disk from spinning up for the rest of the fight. Karcas spends a lot of time holding Vicious Circle against the wall in order to show domination. Time's up, and the judges' decision goes to Karcas (twenty-something to something else).

Sewer Snake's plow is back, and as you can see, its body now has only four wheels attached to it.

Fight. Megabyte spins up. Sewer Snake absorbs the blow, bouncing Megabyte around. Megabyte continues to spin, so Sewer Snake absorbs another blow and bounces Megabyte around again. Now Megabyte is spinning more slowly, giving Sewer Snake the opportunity to press it against the wall. Sewer Snake gets Megabyte's body on top of its body, rushes across the box, and flips Megabyte over with the slam. Megabyte begins spinning in an effort to right itself, but is only succeeding in bouncing around. As Megabyte is doing this, Sewer Snake comes over and tosses it over the I-beam, out of play. Sewer Snake wins.

At this point, somewhere around 10:30 p.m., the event nearly ended for the day. The spectators filed out, but were told that there may be one last fight that would take place. I hung around until 11:00, then decided to call it a night myself. Turns out that the fight took place around 11:15. So I didn't get to see it in person, but hey, that's what the internet is for.

After that nasty confrontation with Megabyte, Carlo Bertocchini took BioHazard back to his shop at home for repairs. In a lucky draw, BioHazard was supposed to face Jawbreaker earlier in the day, but Jawbreaker forfeited, so BioHazard had extra hours to get back into shape. Not to mention that the event was extending the time for this fight to take place. When BioHazard returned, it looked surprisingly good, given how it looked when it left. New front wedges were in place, and the side wedges were in the correct shapes. The lifting arm had a prow again. The only thing that was missing was the rear wedge. Looking at Brutality, it's hard to tell whether the blade is just barely higher than BioHazard's body or not.

Fight. Brutality spins up and BioHazard comes over. The blade is able to make some sparks off the very top of BioHazard. BioHazard is having a little trouble getting underneath Brutality. It does, though, and pushes the robot's weapon into the I-beam. Only problem is, that doesn't slow the weapon down. So BioHazard pushes Brutality into another I-beam. It's still spinning. Brutality ramps over BioHazard's body, causing it to briefly dance out of control. Brutality lands on its wheels and continues to try to hit BioHazard. BioHazard attempts a lift, but Brutality slips off the prow and its weapon comes into contact with BioHazard's arm... but the arm remains attached to BioHazard. Some driving. Suddenly, a hit from Brutality tears off both the left front and left side wedges of BioHazard! Brutality goes in to work on that side some more. BioHazard stops moving, and taps out! My oh my, the BattleBots champion is out of the tournament at the end of the first day!

And with that, the fighting really did end for Saturday. But there's much more ahead on Sunday, don't you worry. Nearly as many fights, plus the featherweights are getting restless. If they don't fight each other tomorrow, they're going to start attacking spectators. I hope they begin with the little kids who kept standing in front of the Lexan while the fights were going on.

Day two