Before we begin, I'm going to have to apologize for the lack of detail in the majority of these recaps. I was busy monitoring the frequency clips and running them back and forth between arenas so the next fight could take place, after all. So pretty much the entire first day's worth of summaries will be very succinct or nonexistent as I settled into my position. They'll become more detailed as I learned how to juggle my two jobs over the course of the weekend. Ready? Let's start with the middleweights.
Who's Your Daddy?, once again, is the box with wedge sides and a drum embedded in the front wedge. The Evil Spinner Destroyer is a big wedge. It's designed to... destroy spinners. I should have asked whether the "Evil" referred to spinners or to this spinner destroyer.
From my place at the frequency table, I could see most of the arena floor with the exception of whatever was being blocked by the driver on the left side of the driver's wall. However, the wall to the left of the drivers was the wall which anybody in the pits could come over and look through to see the fights. And sometimes those people would ooze around the corner and block my line of sight (for obvious reasons, I had to stay near the frequency table). At the beginning of the fight, I saw Who's Your Daddy? twice get under The Evil Spinner Destroyer and make sparks on it using the drum. Then a bunch of people got in the way and I missed the rest of the fight. All I know is that it ended with The Evil Spinner Destroyer in the pit, unable to get out. Who's Your Daddy? wins by knockout.
Psychotron is the same Psychotron you've seen at other competitions. Stahl is the new name of the robot formerly known as Armadillo.
I didn't see this fight at all, but I know it lasted all three minutes and the judges gave the victory 27-6 for Psychotron.
And here's the only multibot at the entire event. Point of No Return is a box with an axe in it. The axe is obviously the weapon. TapOut has that honking big spinning blade for a weapon. Once again, it's two unrelated lightweights competing as a middleweight multibot. Mortician's weapon is that horizontal spinning bar.
Again, because of the crowd, I didn't see this fight. I didn't even write down how it ended. I must have been busy figuring out the frequency clip system. I know that Point of No Return/TapOut won, but I don't know how.
Whacker of Weeds is, simply, Weed Whacker with a different name. That's the only thing different I notice about the robot. Just Another Wedge is... well, just another wedge. Your standard parallelogram design.
This fight results in Whacker of Weeds KO'ing Just Another Wedge. I promise I'll start getting slightly more detailed, like explaining how robots got knocked out, after a few more summaries.
Once again, Devil's Plunger is a box with a hinged wedge. Stewie has a drum for a weapon.
The fight ends with Devil's Plunger putting Stewie in the pit and Stewie being unable to escape. I don't know whether I actually saw this fight or whether I'm going by what the announcers said. Either way, that's what happened.
VanillaBot is labeled BravePart, its BattleBots alter ego. It still has the one side of actuated spikes for a weapon. Blumpy has that hammer weapon.
For the deciding moments of this fight, Blumpy uses its front wedge to shove VanillaBot into the I-beam, tilting VanillaBot's body and taking its wheels off the ground. Blumpy accepts the knockout.
Jimmy looks identical to the way it did at the last Steel Conflict, save for the addition of a metal strip to the front of the wedge so it comes closer to scraping the floor (as it had problems defeating the other wedges in the past). Whiz! looks like it should have some kind of spinning weapon in it, but it only consists of that pentagonal body.
This is a quick fight. Jimmy slams Whiz!. Then Whiz! goes into the pit. Whiz! can't get out of the pit, so the fight is over. Ta-da.
Titan is the robot formerly known as The Devastator. Its weapon is still that pneumatic lifting wedge. Tuka the Cat has a very slow electric lifting arm for a weapon. The cat head isn't attached all that securely.
Hey, my fight notes are now more than one line long. For the entire match, Titan shoves Tuka the Cat all over the floor, though despite a couple of near-flips, Tuka the Cat never gets inverted. The cat head does fall off and roll away, though. There's also a moment where Titan presses Tuka the Cat against the I-beam. Near the end of the three minutes, Titan lifts Tuka the Cat and rests it against an I-beam. Tuka the Cat's wheels are off the ground, and that's a knockout.
You may remember Ze Uber Wedge as Malvolio from "BattleBots." Those hammers still spin around and hurt things. And take a wild guess which famous combat robot was the inspiration for Terminal Velocity. Obviously, its weapon is the spinning vertical blade.
Fight. First, a few seconds as both robots get their spinning weapons up to speed. Then they move out, and there's a big hit! And Terminal Velocity's blade has been completely torn off! Since there's nothing else to attack, Ze Uber Wedge continues to spin its weapon and hit Terminal Velocity's body. The fight ends, and while I don't know whether it was a knockout or a tapout, it's pretty clear that Ze Uber Wedge is the winner.
Red Viking Dragon is a box with no active weapon on it. CH53 has a horizontal spinning blade. I heard that the "CH" in CH53 stands for "channel," though that doesn't make sense, since there isn't even a channel 53 on the 75 MHz band. Maybe it refers to a TV channel 53? Or maybe the team has discovered a new molecule in which 53 atoms of hydrogen have somehow managed to bond to one atom of carbon, I don't know.
For the fight, CH53's weapon sometimes works, but usually doesn't. Though I would assume it's a rammer, Red Viking Dragon's offensive strategy is to simply spin in place. As a result, this isn't a very interesting fight. Both robots try to push, but can't. Eventually, the fight ends and the judges go for CH53.
Deb Bot still has an electric lifting arm with a recessed foot for a weapon. WarSaw has a horizontal spinning disk for a weapon and a really unique body shape, which is nice to see, since there are approximately four thousand other robots with horizontal spinning weapons out there.
Since there's a spinning weapon involved, Deb Bot attacks WarSaw by ramming it with a reinforced butt (my notes don't tell me what Deb Bot used to strengthen its rear; all I know is that I really like the phrase "Deb Bot attacks WarSaw with a reinforced butt"). There's some back-and-forth action between WarSaw and Deb Bot. But then Deb Bot drives itself into the pit, where it can't escape. Victory for WarSaw.
Nasty Attitude is Bad Attitude being sneaky by changing its name. If you remember Back Stabber from the last Steel Conflict, then you'll note that while the body is the same, the weapon of the robot has turned 90 degrees. Yes, Back Stabber has gone from being a horizontal spinner to a vertical spinner. It's still technically not a stabber, but "Back Gouger" doesn't have the same ring to it.
Fight. Nasty Attitude willingly absorbs any and all blows from Back Stabber's weapon. After Nasty Attitude rams into it enough times, Back Stabber's blade starts to hit its own body, so they ultimately quit spinning it. With no strong offense left for Back Stabber, Nasty Attitude goes to town, repeatedly slamming it into walls. Time's up, and Nasty Attitude gets the nod.
Max Wedge looks the same -- a box with a wedge and some fins on top that further launch opponents that fly up the wedge. But those fins prevent it from being invertible, uh-oh. WulfRam has an electric lifting plate in its front wedge there.
Despite the lifter, though, this is a wedge fight. And Max Wedge wins wedge fights. It goes to work, flipping WulfRam once. Then it nearly throws WulfRam out of the arena. Then it flips WulfRam right side up. Max Wedge slams WulfRam a lot, and the judges' decision goes to Max Wedge.
We're jumping all the way up to the super heavyweights now. Ouch! is a shell spinner that looks pretty darn intimidating. Seismic has no active weapon.
Boy, you put a couple of super heavyweights in the arena and the builders just flock to see them. There was such a large crowd, I couldn't see anything going on on the floor. But I could see chunks of Seismic flying through the air. Ouch! wins by knockout.
Marvin's weapon is a gasoline-powered drum. And then there's Alcoholic Stepfather.
Alcoholic Stepfather is an omnidirectional robot, meaning it can move in more directions than just forward, backward, and spin in place. It has rollers mounted diagonally in its wheels in opposing directions. So depending on the directions each individual wheel is turned, some of the rollers will grip the floor and act as treads while the other rollers will simply roll, moving the robot forward, backward, sideways, diagonally, or what have you. I've been trying to figure out exactly which wheels need to spin which ways in order to move the robot, say, to the right, but even though Zain Saidin, Alcoholic Stepfather's builder, explained it to me in the simplest terms possible (since I'm sure he's had to explain it dozens of times), I just can't wrap my head around how exactly it works. So I'm just going to say that it controls the winds inside the arena to move around.
Moving in directions that do not fit people's preconceived notions of the directions robots are supposed to travel in is good enough, but Alcoholic Stepfather also has a weapon. In previous tournaments, it had a wedge in front and two hammers mounted on the sides, Diesector-style. For this competition, the hammers have been abandoned and instead, a flamethrower has been mounted inside the sturdy front wedge of the robot. People love flamethrowers and people love robots that do unusual things. Everyone loves Alcoholic Stepfather.
Unfortunately, while Alcoholic Stepfather is awesome, it hasn't fared all that well in battle. Alcoholic Stepfather has been around in one form or another for nearly two and a half years at various competitions. It has lost every single fight that it's been in. Everybody's pulling for Alcoholic Stepfather. It deserves a victory just for being so cool!
Fight. And Marvin is having some trouble with its drive. So Alcoholic Stepfather pushes it around and shoots flames, which don't do much, but always look impressive. Marvin spins its drum, but that's the only part of it that's moving. Marvin taps out, and Alcoholic Stepfather wins! The crowd goes wild!
Gammakaze = Gammacide with new decorations. Shovelhead has an electric lifting plate.
There's some good back-and-forth lifting action in this fight. The fight ends with Gammakaze teetering over the edge of the pit, trying to stay out, then going into the pit and unsuccessfully trying to free itself. Shovelhead wins.
Do you remember Psychoballistic from my last Steel Conflict summary? Well, wipe that image out of your head, because this version of the robot has nearly nothing in common with the previous version. Now it has an undercut blade spinning beneath the base of its body, between its wheels. It's more or less Sweet with the blade in a different place. Windstorm has its spinning blade mounted where we can see it at all times.
This fight was postponed twice, but now it's on. Both robots spin up. Windstorm plays things cautiously, obviously aiming for one of Psychoballistic's unprotected sides. Windstorm runs away to aim. Then... a big collision! The next thing you know, the wheels on one of Psychoballistic's sides are torn clean off! I dare say that's the end of Psychoballistic.
Star Hawk puts a new twist on vertical spinning weapons with its three blades that all rotate around a single point. Megabyte is a heavyweight shell spinner.
Wait, so what's a heavyweight doing in the super heavyweight tournament? Well, having won numerous fights against other heavyweights, Megabyte's team decided to start pitting it against super heavyweights, all without adding any weight to Megabyte. So against all reason, they've been giving themselves up to a 120-pound weight disadvantage. And the crazy thing is, they've been winning. A lot. In fact, right before this tournament, Megabyte fought the super heavyweights at MechWar 7 and took first place. Which should give you an idea of what kind of damage that spinning shell can do.
Before the fight began, Star Hawk's team added some bars to the robot's back side that reached out far enough to press against Megabyte's mast without subjecting the body of the robot to the spinning shell. So Megabyte's team simply removed the mast, rendering those bars purposeless. The fight begins, and Star Hawk wisely chooses to use its rear end to slow down Megabyte instead of risking having that weapon ripped apart. So Star Hawk rams, driving up Megabyte's shell. Many sparks are produced, and Megabyte's shell doesn't slow down. Star Hawk tries again, producing another similar hit. Then Star Hawk drives itself into the pit and can't escape. Yet another win for Megabyte.
There are only seven heavyweights. They can wait. Right now it's time to work through the first round of the middleweight winners bracket.
Fight. Who's Your Daddy? flips Psychotron over. Then bends the front scraping part of Psychotron's wedge. Things are looking good for Who's Your Daddy?, but the robot suddenly stops moving. And Psychotron wins.
TapOut has no blade for this fight. The fight begins. Whacker of Weeds spins up. All of the robots drive around, and nobody hits anybody. Come on! There are three of you moving around in there! Something should happen! Finally, Whacker of Weeds gets its disk to connect with Point of No Return. There are a couple more hits. I didn't write down how the fight ends, but Whacker of Weeds wins.
I was chasing down a rogue frequency clip during this fight, so I didn't get to see it. Just imagine two wedges fighting and I suspect you'll pretty much capture this fight. Devil's Plunger was the winner.
For this fight, Blumpy has replaced its hammer arm with a lifting arm, since sticking a hammer into Ze Uber Wedge's spinning weapon would be an incredibly foolish idea. However, during the fight, Ze Uber Wedge's spinner is acting rather sluggish. Still, Ze Uber Wedge uses its wedge to shove Blumpy all over the place while Blumpy has difficulty getting its lifter under Ze Uber Wedge. And Ze Uber Wedge wins.
Titan uses its pneumatic flipper to flip CH53 upside-down. CH53 can't self-right. Done.
Nasty Attitude charges WarSaw, spinning weapon or no spinning weapon. And even though WarSaw has the spinning weapon going, Nasty Attitude bounces it around. Nasty Attitude gets itself stuck on the I-beam, so it receives its one free unsticking for the fight. The fight ends with WarSaw stuck in the pit.
Sweet received a bye into the winners bracket thanks to a malfunctioning opponent. It still employs a horizontal spinning blade through the center of its body.
Fight. Sweet spins up and makes sparks on Max Wedge. Max Wedge drives underneath Sweet, balancing the robot on its fins. As Max Wedge wears Sweet on its head, Sweet powers its blade up to a full spin. Max Wedge gets Sweet off its head, which causes Sweet's blade to hit the floor hard, stopping Sweet dead. And how! Small pieces from Sweet are scattered inside the box, including some broken batteries! That's most definitely a knockout! It was then my duty to go inside the box while they were cleaning up the acid to retrieve the frequency clips. I risked life and limb for these builders... well, maybe some skin. Okay, just the soles of my shoes. I hope you can appreciate how brave I was.
The loser of this fight is out of the tournament. Forever. Well, I suppose on the plus side, they can go home early if they want.
It's a ramming match. During this ramming match, Tuka the Cat's head again falls off, and Red Viking Dragon squishes it. Audiences always love the destruction of cute decorative robot additions. Eventually, Red Viking Dragon gets high-centered on the lip of the pit, and it's out.
Okay, back to the Steel Conflict arena.
Terrabyte also received a bye into the winners bracket. Those two metal forks wedge under opponents and bring them into the spinning drum. It actually looks pretty effective. Let's see how it fights.
Fight. Terrabyte is having trouble getting going. So Windstorm hits it with its weapon. Terrabyte is able to get its drum to spin, but it's got no drive. Windstorm's blade stops spinning. Terrabyte stops its drum, which enables it to drive around. So it uses the forks to push Windstorm into the pit.
It's a display of random driving! Eventually, Stahl puts The Evil Spinner Destroyer in the pit. In theory, robots can free themselves from the pit. It just hasn't happened yet.
Mortician uses its spinning weapon to repeatedly hit Just Another Wedge's wedge. After enough of that, Just Another Wedge's wedge is ruined and Mortician wins.
We're continuing to eliminate middleweights from competition. Possibly because it was ripped apart in its previous fight, Terminal Velocity's blade isn't functioning anymore. So VanillaBot pushes Terminal Velocity's body around the arena. But then VanillaBot slows down and the whole thing becomes a very dull "push" match. And I put "push" in quotation marks because neither robot is really doing any pushing. Eventually, the fight ends and VanillaBot continues.
Stewie hits Whiz! with its drum. Then hits Whiz! again. That second hit causes Whiz! to stop moving. Stewie wins and Whiz! whizzes out of the tournament. Ha ha! Boy, I sounded just like the writer of one of the robot TV shows with that one, didn't I? At least I didn't do a pun about urination.
Back Stabber's weapon is not spinning, which makes this a pushing match. Deb Bot is able to lift Back Stabber once or twice, but otherwise, this is just a bunch of driving. The judges turn in a split decision, 17-16, for Back Stabber.
Even though there was no audience (save for the other builders), the fights went on. I was really glad that I had volunteered now, because it meant I wouldn't miss any of the battles! Hooray!
Screw you, spectators, we're starting the heavyweight brackets without you. (By the way, even though there were only seven functioning heavyweights and they could have fit on the eight-robot brackets with no effect on the pairings, since the sixteen-robot brackets were already printed up, that's what I'm going by.) Compressor still uses giant wheels to speedily wedge those forks under opponents and push them around. SJ is the BattleBots robot known as Slam Job. I know, you never would have been able to figure that out on your own.
Fight. Compressor gets its forks under SJ, but can't push. So SJ uses its wedged body to shove Compressor around. SJ strands Compressor on an I-beam, then frees it. SJ's hammer gets bent as it's doing all of this pushing. SJ shoves Compressor into a corner. At this point, Compressor taps out.
Second only to "Jimmy," "Psycho" was the most overused word in robot names at this event (in case you're wondering, the other "Jimmy" robots were lightweights and antweights, which is why I haven't mentioned them). Anyway, Particle Accelerator is using its spinning grinding drum things and huge wedge for this fight. PsychoX has a spinning drum for a weapon.
Fight. Despite the drums, this is a pushing match. PsychoX charges and drives up Particle Accelerator's non-spinning drum. PsychoX then wedges Particle Accelerator around. It's a back-and-forth match. Particle Accelerator is placed in the pit twice by PsychoX, but both times, it's able to drive back out. Eventually, the fight ends, and it's another split decision. PsychoX gets the nod.
Shiva is a shell spinner. The guts of the robot are the guts of the original Phrizbee. Vicious Circle still employs a horizontal spinning disk.
Fight. The rear of Vicious Circle absorbs all of Shiva's blows. After a while, Vicious Circle pushes Shiva into the pit. Shiva almost charges its way out, but doesn't quite make it. Vicious Circle wins.
Both of these robots received byes into the winners bracket. That spinning bar in the front of Tombstone weighs 90 pounds. I assume you know The Judge.
Fight. Tombstone spins up. The two robots head for the center of the arena and collide. As they collide, The Judge fires its weapon, which securely embeds itself in the "NOT GUILTY" Lexan. The Judge is propped up on Tombstone's body, its underbelly barely out of the reach of Tombstone's weapon. Since that pipe ain't coming out without some help, the fight is stopped. And boy, is that thing stuck in there. It takes about five minutes of pounding and prying to get it out (everybody applauds when it finally come free). While they prepare to restart the fight, I realize that there are still two and a half minutes remaining, which means this could happen again another five times. This could be a very long fight. When the fight resumes, though, The Judge has drive problems. Tombstone takes advantage of this and tears chunks out of The Judge's body! The Judge taps out.
The audience loves Alcoholic Stepfather. The other builders love Alcoholic Stepfather. How dare Ouch! go in there and try to break it!
Fight. Ouch! spins up. Fast. And Alcoholic Stepfather absorbs some big blows from Ouch!'s spinning shell. But Alcoholic Stepfather has a very strong front wedge and keeps coming back for more. After three or four big hits, Ouch! begins to slow down. And stops spinning entirely. Alcoholic Stepfather wedges underneath Ouch!. There goes the flamethrower! Alcoholic Stepfather roasts the belly of Ouch!. And Ouch! taps out! Alcoholic Stepfather has won fight number two!
The robot had signed up under the pseudonym Blue Max for the competition. But in a fight at the previous tournament it attended, one of its Blue Max wedges was badly torn up (the team put it on display by their pit table). And since there were no restrictions on BattleBots-licensed robots at this event, why not fight under the original name?
Speaking of things being torn up, while wandering through the pits, I noticed that Team Gladiator brought a total of 14 extra wheels for Maximus, since they are kind of susceptible to being violently removed.
Fight. Maximus does its thing and slams itself into the walls at high speeds. But every now and then, its wedge gets caught in a seam in the floor, stopping it. Shovelhead, no stranger to shoving other robots, pushes Maximus around a bit. Maximus continues to carom around the arena, but one of its high-velocity slams into the I-beams knocks it out.
I asked one of the team members whether the robot's name was Blue Engine or Little Blue Engine, since it was registered as Blue Engine but the body of the robot still displayed "Little Blue Engine." The team member said they didn't care, so since it's seven fewer keystrokes, I'm just calling it Blue Engine. Blue Engine is using its Maximus-inspired pipe wedge in the front, reinforced with metal and wood. Megabyte has reattached its mast.
With the spectators gone, things were moving a bit more casually. Plus I had gotten the hang of juggling frequency wrangling and summary writing. So my notes are back to being useful. Here we go.
Megabyte spins itself up nice and fast, but it has a little trouble with its drive. The first time Blue Engine attacks, Megabyte's shell tears the metal and wood additions off of it. This slows Megabyte, so it spins back up. The next hit tips Blue Engine upside down. Megabyte, spinning, drives back and forth. It almost looks like Blue Engine is afraid to attack. Megabyte shatters a piece of the wood lying on the floor. Blue Engine attacks Megabyte, losing small chunks of its yellow pipes in the process. One of Blue Engine's attacks puts Blue Engine's body on Megabyte's shell, which causes smoke to come out of one of the two. Megabyte gets out from underneath, spins up, and now seems to be driving fine. I think it healed its drive problems by sucking the life force from Blue Engine, because now Blue Engine isn't moving. Megabyte spins and chews on Blue Engine until the knockout is declared.
Both robots spin up their weapons, but neither is driving straight. WarSaw makes its way over to Mortician and hits it. Mortician stops spinning its weapon and is now able to drive properly. Meanwhile, WarSaw is driving somewhat randomly. Some occasional hits from WarSaw to Mortician. Mortician slowly loses its drive. WarSaw wins.
Not much happened in this fight. CH53 uses its weapon to damage some of VanillaBot's armor. VanillaBot lifts CH53 once or twice, but doesn't flip it. The judges give a 20-13 decision to CH53, removing VanillaBot from the tournament.
In the first minute or so, Blumpy's hammer connects with Tuka the Cat twice, but no damage is done. Then Blumpy's hammer stops working, so the robot turns thwack and starts swinging it around. Tuka the Cat tries to lift, but its lifting arm is way too slow to be of any use. Blumpy stops moving a couple of times, but Tuka the Cat's lifts are ineffectual. The judges score this one 20-13 (I think that was the score) for Tuka the Cat.
Sweet spins up, but Stahl's armor is able to absorb all of the blows Sweet can deliver. After a few of those blows, it looks like Sweet might be having some drive issues. Each hit between the two robots knocks Sweet backward. And one of those hits knocks Sweet right next to the pit. So Stahl pushes Sweet in, where it can't escape. Sweet is gone.
This fight is all about Who's Your Daddy?, which dominates over WulfRam. A lot of pushing, and at one point, Who's Your Daddy?'s drum flips WulfRam over. Eventually, WulfRam ventures too close to the pit and Who's Your Daddy? puts it in.
Things have been getting progressively worse for the multibot with every fight. Now, in addition to having no blade, TapOut has no partner. Don't get down, TapOut, Megabyte's doing pretty well with a severe weight disadvantage. Although it does have an offense, which TapOut is lacking for this fight. Early on, TapOut drives near the pit. Back Stabber hits it, and TapOut goes in, unable to come back out.