Top 5 Robot Wars Robots

20 07 2016

New Robot Wars Logo

In 1998, a TV Show began airing on BBC Two that would change Friday Night Programming for many years to come and would become a highlight in many people’s TV Calendar’s. It was a show about engineering, construction, but mostly fighting. The show was called Robot Wars and each week involved people from all walks of life, stepping into an arena with a homemade contraption of weaponry and forcing it to fight with another homemade contraption of weaponry. It was so much fun, it was new, exciting, revolutionary, futuristic, but above all…fun; and now it’s back. Yes, coming soon to BBC Two, the game show about creating but most of all destroying robots returns for a brand new run. I have been excited since the day it was announced, and have already begun to celebrate: my profile picture on Facebook is a picture of my favourite robot from the original show, and I have written a post about the House Robots from the original show too. It has been my goal to write a post though on my Top 5 Robots from the original show, and now that teaser trailers have already been appearing to air on BBC Two for the last few weeks, I thought I should better hurry up and write it.

It has been something of a struggle trying to choose my Top 5. There have been so many great Robots (Steg-O-Saw-Us, Rameses II, GBH, Dantomkia, Cassius, Pitbull, Dominator 2, Roadblock, Panic AttackBerserk 2Pussycat and Behemoth to name but a few) in the show’s history, and whittling them down to 5 was going to be hard. My top 3 were easy as they have always been my top 3, but choosing another 2 was hard. Number 4 was chosen over time as eventually it made sense that it would be in the Top 5, while the 5th position was being fought for by 3 machines. At one point I was sure that it would be those 3 machines holding that title equally, but then it came to mind that one of them stood out more than the other 2 (Tornado and Dreadnaut): so I got 5. Anyway, enough of how I chose the 2 bottom machines, here is the list of my Top 5 Favourite Robots from Robot Wars (original series).

Trident

5. Trident –During series 3, a new format was introduced in the form of more battles, less trials. Because of the more pro wrestling style format; more of certain performers would become firm fan favourites in the future. Many of the future crops of Robot Legends did not actually debut until the third wars with such (and other related) robots as: Firestorm, Wild Thing, Bigger Brother, 101, Spawn Again and Hypno-Disc. One thing though that was good about series 3, it was still virtually about homemade machines that anybody could enter, and still make a name for themselves with relative ease. As the show progressed, some teams poured thousands of pounds into their machines making it look more like a professional gig rather than a fun thing to do. Series 3, and 4, were the place to be, with some machines still carrying that homemade feel, while also making some really interesting designs, and one such entry that stood out more than most (at least for me) was Trident. Trident was an interesting design, it seemed to be very long, and a bit over balanced, but kept upright. It shined both gold and silver, had a triangular wheel axle and a pretty impressive axe. It debuted in series 3 and reached the semi-finals with ease. It stood out for me as 1 it had an Axe and 2, it just looked pretty awesome, but still looked like it could deal a world of hurt to whomever it challenged. I don’t know what it is specifically that makes it stand out for me, except maybe for a flare of je-ne-sais-quoi, which is more than most robots had.

Mace

4. Mace – As the second wars dawned, it was still anyone’s game as to who will achieve immortality. By series 2, Weapons still had a point, and the age of flippers was still over a year away, lifters had more purpose than flippers, and a good weapon would always go far. Series 2 though was a time for new blood to join the fold, as more and more people got in on the act and wanted to compete, and into this fold came Mace. Mace was very box like in shape, but on the front it came with a sort of sloped angle which easily merged with its thin but still effective lifting arm, and while mostly for rear defence, it came with a terrifying looking flail, possibly the only time in the show’s history where one of those was actually effective. It wasn’t the most terrifying of robots, nor was it a looker, for the most part it looked more like a thin shopping trolley than anything else, but Robot Wars is not about looks: it’s about conquest, war and the fight to be the very best, and Mace on several occasions showed that it too followed this belief. It may not have been the hottest date at the prom, but it was definitely one you did not want to meet outside. Mace would appear in both Series 2 and 3 and on both occasions do pretty well and carries an impressive fight record of 6 wins and 2 losses. While it may never have won a title; it is clear that Mace is a bona fide Robot Wars Legend.

Chaos 2

3. Chaos 2 – During series 3, and beyond, a terrible curse was brought into Robot Wars, one that: to cut a long as tory short; basically the show became more about flipping robots around and out of the arena rather than causing any damage. There was some pretty impressive weaponry, but if you did not have a flipper, you were nothing, pretty much. It stayed like this for quite a while. Anyway, while the show became mostly about flippers, some stood out that were worthy of carrying them and showed what Flippers could do. One Robot more than most stood out, and is the only robot in the show’s history to win the Grand Championship more than once, in fact it won it two years in a row: Chaos 2. Chaos 2 had something of a stumpy small body, and looked like a car in design; however size is not everything, as Chaos 2 proved. With Chaos 2, it was all about the flipper and the power within, the robot was designed with that in mind and it worked as a self-righting mechanism too. It was quite a nippy machine too, one that zoomed around the arena quite happily, which is more than could be said for its opponents. Yes, it may not have had a proper weapon, but everything else in mind, Chaos 2 was a pretty cool little machine.

Killertron

2. Killertron – During the show’s first series, the term War suggested lots of robots fighting each other to the death, and while the machines were a load of contraptions made from stuff around the house, the Weapons were anything but, and Killertron was the first one to show off a viable and destructive weapon. Killertron was an Axe Robot unlike most of that class. It would become more common place in future wars (with robots like StingerThor and Terrorhurtz), but at that time Killertron was the only robot to have an Axe that could attack on two sides rather than just one. The Axe was terrifyingly big, and thanks to the machines design of Big Wheels in the middle, and small on the front and back, The Axe came down with more force than most. Killertron would actually have a successful career, making it to the Heat final in series 1 and the grand final in series 2. From there it sort of got lost in the pages of robot history, but thanks to its terrifying weapon, it’s pink and yellow (and orange) colouration, it’s strange wheel design, and generally how good and amazing it looked; the show for those of us who remember the first episode got a treat but also a taster into what this show had in store for us all.

Mortis

1. Mortis – Throughout the show’s entire run, one robot stood out for me more than most. It was this tracked tank like vehicle, and it sported an impressive Axe (or Tanto Blade as it was called) that from the moment I saw it, just fell in love with it. From then on, it became a case of me cheering it on, and even when it was retired after series 4, I had hope that maybe one day, it may return. Yes, it never was UK Champion nor never reached a grand final (it did win the War of Independence for the UK though), but I always knew it should have been champion, and was pretty annoyed every time it was eliminated. Firstly it had an Axe, and then it gained a lifting arm. In the course of the show’s history, it was the most expensive machine built but sort of relatively underperformed and gained numerous faults, but when it was working just right, it showed everyone how capable it was of causing widespread damage to all its competitors. Many roboteers feared and loathed it and beating it in battle was considered a badge of honour by many. In hindsight, maybe it came in a bit too early, and was better built for later competitions, with some beating it by luck in the first couple of series; but from those early years onward, it remained my favourite; and while it has not been seen since, Mortis is still my Favourite Robot Wars Robot.

GENEPOOL





Top 5 Weapons I Would Choose In The Hunger Games

18 05 2016

Katniss Everdeen

I love The Hunger Games, by that I of course mean the combination of the Film and the Book, not necessarily the setting of jumping into an arena and having to kill people. A few years ago, after the release of the first one, I remember an interview that was conducted on some of the cast members who were asked how they would act inside the arena. Now for me, I would more than likely just hide in the corner, and cry my eyes out until I was either dead, or just go mad and become some kind of psychopath. In my head though, it’s a completely different story as I would see myself being like Blade and just be invincible going round killing everyone, but that is very unlikely. Anyway I thought I would do a post on what my ideal weapon choices would be in the arena.

M110A2 Self-Propelled Howitzer

Now I decided to sort of be semi-realistic in my choices. For one, I know I cannot bring anything in to the ring, so it prevents my 3 main options: Godzilla, a M110A2 Self-Propelled Howitzer and Lisbeth Salander; although fair point, Lisbeth Salander would receive double points for having access to a cool leather jacket.

Lisbeth Salander

It’s certainly better than wearing those swimming outfits in Catching fire. I mean, what would you prefer; the swimming costumes from Catching Fire, or a Cool Leather Jacket?

Anyway, under the point that I can’t necessarily take anything in, this list is made up of choices I would choose if they became available in the arena themselves. Now, I do realise that this list may seem a little bit rushed. I have had these dreams for a while of what I would choose, but have only just decided to do this as a post, and in the end, I don’t think I have used my imagination all that much, and this list is made up of more practical stuff mixed with things from Movies, and so I may eventually regret my choices (apart from the leather jacket), and do another one of these in the future with either some additional thought, a selection of weapons from the films/books, things I just made up. Anyway, here are my choices of what I was able to simple cobble together.

Mortis

5. Mortis – What could be better than if one of the choices was the robot Mortis from Robot Wars? What could be better than Mortis, the best robot in all of Robot Wars? Now he would be ranked higher if it wasn’t for the case of a remote-controlled robot being relatively impractical as you would spend most of your time behind the robot directing it rather than looking out for the girl from district 6 creeping up on you. But forgetting that bit, its axe would be so deadly an attack, you don’t necessarily need to kill anybody, just puncture them and let them bleed out. It’s a grim idea, but it might be easier on your conscience.

M4A1

4. M4A1 Assault Rifle – Ok, this one is mostly based on what fun I could get out of MW2 Multiplayer, but yeah. Why not choose a Gun? It makes complete and total sense; you can get it over with good and quick as long as your aim is good and true. Why not add the attachable grenade launcher, then that way you can set fire to any forestry around you and force people out before shooting them. Ok, it relies on you not wasting ammo; but why on earth would the Capitol only give you one clip?

Crossbow

3. CrossbowKatniss Everdeen had her bow and arrows; I would have my Crossbow (even though I should point out this is all hypothetical and I don’t actually own one). It’s similar to the above mentioned Gun, but this time it’s a bit more quiet and lethal. Yes, I can see a Crossbow coming quite handy in the Hunger Games, and I don’t mean just some old relic of a device, no! I mean a proper modern beast of a weapon, similar to the one used in Brainiac: Science Abuse for testing armour in a modern civil war, or like at the end of Reign of Fire when Christian Bale’s character kills the Big Dragon.

Quarriors

2. Quarriors Dice – If you have no idea what those 2 words mixed together mean, it’s obvious you have not played my Favourite Board Game. In Quarriors (using a similar sort of game play to Dominion, if you know what that is), you roll and collect dice to attack other people. Dice can be used to summon spells, and summon monsters. Just imagine it, you roll the dice, and in a similar vein to Yu-Gi-Oh, Monsters and Spells come out of the dice to attack your enemies.

Heimdall

1. Equipment from Thor – When I think about me being in The Hunger Games, one thing that always comes to mind is the film Thor, quite possibly because the night on the day that I first saw The Hunger Games, I went home and watched some scenes from Thor. Anyway, I have decided to call this bit Equipment of Thor (I know it does not sound all that exciting), because there are 3 things I can think of that would be quite useful to have in The Hunger Games. As to how you would get them is relatively obvious, basically you will be covered in lightning like Thor and receive the equipment as it is bonded to your body. Anyway, the items in question; Heimdall’s Armour, Heimdall’s Sword, and Thor’s Hammer. It’s all you really need isn’t it, just the basics, and the hammer could prove to be a useful escape route as you could just plough through a wall or the roof, or better yet, send the hammer flying and destroy the Capitol, end of The Hunger Games, everyone is free, let’s go home. Basically, all this time, I just see myself becoming Thor while also receiving some equipment from the mighty Heimdall too.

GENEPOOL





Top 5 Robot Wars House Robots

23 02 2016

New Robot Wars Logo

Robot Wars is back. Yes; the fiercest, deadliest quite possibly the finest game show to grace the home TV screen is set to return to its rightful home on BBC Two. Announced just a couple of months ago, a lot of excitement has already begun to build for the return of a TV game show Icon with announcements including who is going to be hosting it in the form of Dara O’Briain and Angela Scanlon with also the return of Jonathan Pearce on commentating duties, to some sketchy videos showing the possible return of the House Robots. While little has been announced in terms of show content, it has already begun to get some momentum, and excitement is already high. For me, it is a big thing as I absolutely loved Robot Wars and I have wanted it back on for many, many years. Well now it is happening, and I am brimming full of nostalgia. So; while I try to figure out exactly which were my favourite robots for a later post (although I am sure of who Number 1 is), I thought I would do a post on who were my favourite House Robots.

The House Robots for those not in the know were the shows sort of villains. They were a group of robots suggested to be so good that they were unbeatable. They were presented as bad guys, and there was always a cheer when one of them was taken out of action. They were loved, but most of all hated. In more basic terms though they were just an extra addition to add to both entertainment value, plus the overall destruction content of the show. They were sort of like characters in pro-wrestling that would invade the ring and beat the other wrestlers up. But still they were entertaining and enjoyable to watch. Over the course of the shows run there were 9 house robots in total; but this list is really only going to be filled with the best 5, which also happen to be the first 5. So there will be no RefBot, Growler, Mr. Psycho or Cassius Chrome, (or the Sentinel…..or Shove) because no matter who got introduced in later shows, to me there was only 5 real House Robots (the others were more like sidekicks). So, prepare yourself for a destructive route down memory lane, as I present to you, my Top 5 favourite House Robots from Robot Wars.

Dead Metal

5. Dead Metal – Dead Metal has always been something of an outsider in comparison to the rest of the group. He has always been difficult to place nor had much of a personality in comparison to the rest of them. This however has also sort of worked in his favour. In comparison to the rest of the House Robots, he has changed very little. He has always sported a pair of pincers and circular saw. Like some of the others he was updated a bit more by series 3, by having the saw not on an arm like it had been, but instead more on an extending beak position. He started out as something more like a scorpion before becoming something more hawk like. His look has always been off-putting and has not look as crisp as the others. This however is his charm, because while the others are more like personalities, or characters; Dead Metal is more like a grotesque Monster; A Beast to say the least. A creature of pure destruction, sacrificing looks for power. So while he did start of relatively boring, and has not been in as a favoured light to the others; he has his own characteristics and charm, and that is in by having none of those things in the first place.

Sgt Bash

4. Sergeant Bash – The original leader of the Gang. Sgt Bash had a great start to his career carrying a magnificent yet terrifying (as well as very effective) flame thrower, his main weapon of choice. He also came with some kind of frontal ram later replaced with some claws and a circular saw at the rear. Given his name, he was dressed up to look like a military commander, and until the arrival of Sir Killalot was the group’s leader. Sgt Bash always remained something of an up front leader and continued to enjoy a popular career as a house robot and continued to remain a main figure-head in the arena all the way through the series run.

Sir Killalot

3. Sir Killalot – When first introduced in series 2, Sir Killalot made a quick impression thanks to new host Craig Charles giving a live demonstration of the machines powerful claw hand attachment. I remember his debut quite well, and I believed he was far too overly powered (but not in the same kind of language, as I was not even in high school yet). I thought his size was far too big, and his strengths far too good. Basically he had to far and unfair an advantage to everyone and everything else. But to come to think of it now wasn’t that the point? I mean, these guys were villains, they were not her to battle and win, they were here to bully and destroy, and now they had the perfect leader to send them into the battlefield. Sir Killalot was always magnificent. He was huge and came packed with weapons as iconic to that of Bash in series 1. He was big, came on tracks, but more importantly, looked like a cyborg. He had human like features. Arms, hands, even a face that would put those Brotherhood of Steel Fallout 3 characters to shame. He was imposing and deadly; and remained so throughout the show’s run. While he may have been copied slightly with the arrival of Mr. Psycho in series 6, there was only one true leader of the House Robots, a robot so deadly, it did not need any form of back up…..unless it fell in the pit.

Matilda

2. Matilda – The show’s first real personality and everyone’s favourite (for a time at least) Matilda was iconic the first time she rolled on-screen. She was a simple enough idea but came backed up with a whole lot of weaponry. Her charm was in what she was, she was a Dinosaur. She looked so detailed, and was a very close embodiment of a robotic Triceratops, complete with tusks that acted like fork lifts. But this was not all she had though, because she also came armed with a tail, a tail chainsaw, and a cool looking one at that. While she may have had that replaced with a fly-wheel, the chainsaw armed Matilda was always her most beautiful form. She was simple, beautiful but always deadlier than her male counterparts.

Shunt

1. Shunt – Shunt is a little bit different to all the other house robots. Yes, while they are all independently different from one another in look and abilities…and of course name, Shunt has one extra level of difference which makes him that extra bit unique. You see if you look at all of them, there is a certain level of character and personality, suggesting that there is more life in them and that they, as robots are the next stage in earths cycle for the need of a dominant life form. Shunt though, is less cyborg, less android. He does not look like a living creature, nor has a name to suggest it. You see, Shunt is more like a machine. He/It looks more machine like, more robotic than the others. His design is more like a bulldozer than anything else. Armed with not one, but two bulldozer blades and a terrifying axe and suggested that it can pull a land rover. He has virtually no colour nor personality. But because of that he always stood out for me. I like Axe Robots, plus I like big imposing robots that look like they can deal damage instead of just flipping robots up and over. Shunt is not a robot to make others less powerful or invulnerable, he is a robot designed to do what House Robots are meant to do; once again, Bully and Destroy. Using its scoops and axe to pin robots just where he wants them, and then use the axe to kill them all together. Not so deadly an assassin, but more like a vicious tank, plus he just looks unstoppable, and as far as I remember, he was; and that for me is why he was my favourite.

GENEPOOL








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