- "A mace and pickaxe mean there's nothing humdrum about Attila! A Kevlar shell protects the 24-volt motors, the drum rolls both sides up even if it's flipped over, and the beat's up-tempo - speeds reaching 15mph!"
- — Jonathan Pearce introduces Attila the Drum
Attila the Drum was a competitor robot which fought exclusively in Series 4 of Robot Wars. Although it lost in the first round of the main competition on a controversial Judges' decision, it performed well in the Southern Annihilator, reaching the fourth round before becoming immobilised and eliminated.
Attila the Drum was a large, two-wheeled axlebot with a barrel-shaped Kevlar chassis and a pair of interchangeable weapons mounted on the end of a long arm. These were a four-bladed mace, which enabled it to attack when spinning on the spot, and a double-headed pickaxe, which could swing overhead and strike nearby opponents. The robot itself could reach a top speed of 15mph, and its tall body and wheels made it especially difficult – if not impossible – for crushing weapons to grab hold of it. Attila the Drum's wheels and weapon bar were both lined with fur, which proved flammable along with its tyres and the 'tassles' attached to its axle hubs. Attila the Drum was also one of very few competitors to have fully floating electronics and other components stored together on the robot's central axle.
Attila the Drum's name is a pun on Attila the Hun, ruler of the Huns between 434-453 and one of the most feared opponents of both the Eastern and Western Roman Empires, with the latter half of the name referencing the robot's visual similarities to an oil drum. As a further homage to its inspiration of Attila the Hun, Team Battlebot dressed up like Mongol warlords during the robot's Pinball Warrior run, although they appeared in the main competition and the Southern Annihilator in ordinary clothing.
As a series newcomer, Attila the Drum competed in Heat A. In its first-round battle, it was equipped with the mace, and faced the seventeenth seed – and former series Semi-Finalist – King B3 as well as fellow Robot Wars debutant Medusa 2000.
In the opening seconds, Attila the Drum charged at both of its opponents, but missed, and was bumped away by Medusa 2000 as it spun on the spot to try and hit it and King B3 with its mace. However, it was unable to hit King B3's chassis, and momentarily avoided the action before pursuing the latter again. In doing so, Attila the Drum drove and spun over a flame jet, hitting Medusa 2000 and setting one of its tassles on fire. It then drove into one of the wall spikes, which allowed King B3 to slam into Attila the Drum and push it around near one of the wall grinders. King B3 shoved Attila the Drum across the arena into another wall, where an attack from Sergeant Bash set one of Attila the Drum's tyres alight.
- "The tyres have caught fire! Will it be a... tyre-funeral pyre, for Attila? Spinning madly this time, getting up a little bit of head of steam, it would seem."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Attila the Drum's fortunes fluctuate
Attila the Drum trundled away and spun in the centre of the arena again, hitting both Medusa 2000 and King B3 before the latter pushed it towards the wall again. King B3 backed away to allow Attila the Drum to drive forwards, with Attila the Drum then being bumped by Medusa 2000 and bumping into King B3 again towards the end of the battle. 'Cease' was called, and the eliminator went to a Judges' decision; the Judges voted to eliminate Attila the Drum from the Fourth Wars, to numerous boos and thumbs-down gestures from the audience. Speaking to Julia Reed afterwards, Team Battlebot asserted that they had performed well enough to progress to the next round.
- "I thought we done really well, because we attacked the House Robots, and got to the other ones..."
- — Ayse Knapp complains about the decision to Julia Reed
Despite its early exit, Attila the Drum made further appearances in two side competitions held as part of the Fourth Wars. In the Pinball Warrior Tournament, and it again competed with its mace.
Attila the Drum began its run by trundling slowly towards the right-hand stack of barrels. However, it turned away from the barrels, swinging its mace around as it spun and drove into Sergeant Bash. After avoiding the House Robot's flamethrower, Attila the Drum finally knocked all but one of the right-hand barrels down, and drove towards the moving sphere, although without hitting it.
- "Steady, but not spectacular scoring so far...."
- — Jonathan Pearce comments upon Attila the Drum’s slow pace in Pinball Warrior
Attila the Drum then attempted to hit Sgt. Bash's 50-point target, but drove away after the House Robot blocked it, and proceeded to drive into the side of the see-saw ramp, over the flame jet and through the other set of barrels. Almost immediately afterwards, it drove itself into the pit, and was unable to escape in time before Sir Killalot came and pushed it out using his jaws of life. Time ran out, and Attila the Drum ended its run with a score of only 40 points, putting it joint-fifteenth in the Pinball Warrior standings along with Spikasaurus.
In the first round, it was equipped with its pickaxe, and drove straight at Razer as the battle began. However, it embedded its axe into the floor as a result, leaving it vulnerable to attacks from Behemoth and Onslaught before the former freed it from the floor. Undeterred, Attila the Drum attempted to attack Razer as the latter pierced Vercingetorix, but was pushed away by Spawn of Scutter, before chasing and bumping the latter and hitting Onslaught with the pickaxe. Spawn of Scutter pushed Attila the Drum again, before Attila the Drum attempted to hit Behemoth and succeeded in freeing Vercingetorix from Razer's grip – the former as it was being held aloft by the then-reigning World Champion. Again, it missed an attack on Razer and embedded its axe into the Floor Flipper, allowing Vercingetorix to hit it with its own axe.
Attila the Drum remained stuck to the Floor Flipper until it was pushed free by Spawn of Scutter, and spun around in circles close to the flamethrowers before being joined by much of its opponents. It was then pushed by Razer just as it tried to attack Behemoth again, before hitting the top of Razer's beak and escaping as the latter duelled with Behemoth. Seconds later, Attila the Drum was pinned between Razer and Onslaught, and spent the remainder of the round fighting with Razer; the latter only being able to grab it by the pickaxe seconds before 'cease' was called. With Vercingetorix having already become immobilised by this point, Attila the Drum survived the ensuing Judges' decision.
- "... and Attila the Drum... keeps on trundling on."
- — Jonathan Pearce during the second round of the Southern Annihilator
In the second round, Attila the Drum was refitted with its mace, and began by approaching the flame jet and spinning around on the spot. It continued to stay out of the action despite approaching Razer and spinning round again, only to drive into the side of Behemoth twice and avoid being lifted by the latter's scoop. After briefly hesitating, Attila the Drum approached Behemoth, Razer and Spawn of Scutter as they became locked together over the Flame Pit, and attempted to charge into Razer as the latter struggled to self-right. It drove into the wall and Razer before spinning around again, and bumped into its opponents as they converged to prevent Razer from self-righting properly. Again, Attila the Drum crashed into the wall and Spawn of Scutter in rapid succession, before dodging Behemoth and smashing into the side of Razer, striking it with the mace.
Attila the Drum briefly drove away from Behemoth before rejoining its opponents in the centre of the arena, at one point preventing Razer from self-righting as it and Behemoth knocked it back onto its side. It swung its mace at Behemoth before spinning again, and was pushed back by Onslaught before hitting Spawn of Scutter as the latter tried to push it across the arena.
- "I don't quite know how the Judges would mark Attila the Drum, to be honest. They... just seem be a mad, twirling thing to me."
- — Jonathan Pearce notes Attila the Drum's lack of sustained aggression as the second round progresses
Eventually, Attila the Drum bumped into Onslaught again, before once more attempting to attack Razer and being rammed by Onslaught as all five robots met in the middle of the arena again. In doing so, it got its mace between Razer's beak and wedge, but could not use it to hit Razer as it drove away. Attila the Drum then attacked Behemoth as the latter sustained damage from Razer, before avoiding much of the late action and driving precariously close to the flame jet and Matilda's CPZ. It briefly bumped into and hit Spawn of Scutter while the latter suddenly lost mobility, and was attacked by Onslaught again just before 'cease' was called. Again, the battle went to a Judges' decision, which ruled that Spawn of Scutter was to be eliminated as a result of its late immobilisation.
With this, Attila the Drum progressed to the third round, only to advance to the fourth round by default when Behemoth withdrew due to gearbox damage. Still equipped with the mace, it started tentatively, driving past Onslaught before making a run up to Razer, bumping and trying to swing down on the latter. However, Attila the Drum missed, and spent the next few moments swinging and spinning its weapon, at one point nudging Razer once again. It finally hit Onslaught as it spun, and swung madly as Razer drove past and into Onslaught's scoop. The three robots converged and drove around the middle of the arena, with Attila the Drum hitting Razer as it was being pushed around by Onslaught. Onslaught then pushed Attila the Drum back, with Attila the Drum almost being grabbed by Razer before the Bedfordshire machine pushed, chased and tipped it over close to Sir Killalot's CPZ.
- "No point in trying to flip Attila the Drum; it can roll both sides up! Humdrum? Not this one... and the tempo of the drum is beating ever quicker, it would seem."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Attila the Drum is tipped over by Onslaught
Upon driving away, Attila the Drum drove towards the flame jet, hitting both Onslaught and Razer as they tried to attack. It continued to hit Razer as the latter pushed it around the flame jet and tried to grab it by the mace, before retreating towards the wall. Again, Attila the Drum drove over the flame jet, and repeatedly hit both of its opponents as Razer struggled to grab hold of its chassis.
- "And now, they are finally proving worthy opponents here. Look at that, crashing against Razer, and yes, they have been aggressive here – and Razer were stunned!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Attila the Drum hits Razer several times with the mace
The spinning Attila the Drum continued hitting Onslaught and Razer as they repeatedly slammed into it, although without any robot causing any ostensibly significant damage to each other. It was soon deflected onto the closed pit by Onslaught, which then pushed Attila the Drum into Sir Killalot's CPZ with Razer's assistance. Attila the Drum had part of its fur removed by Razer as it was grabbed and lifted by Sir Killalot, who momentarily suspended Attila the Drum over the wall before gradually dropping it back onto the floor. However, Attila the Drum's mobility appeared to have been adversely affected by this attack, resulting in it driving back into the CPZ seconds later after one of its wheels stopped moving freely.
- "They've gone back onto the fringe of the CPZ – that's lunacy!"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Attila the Drum drives itself back into the CPZ, shortly after being attacked by Sir Killalot
Sir Killalot grabbed, lifted and paraded Attila the Drum around by the weapon bar before releasing it, after which it bumped into Onslaught and Razer one last time before driving back towards the CPZ. After this, it lost drive completely, with the battle ultimately going to a Judges' decision. Attila the Drum was duly eliminated from the Southern Annihilator as a result, with Berny Rider stating afterwards that its immobilisation had been potentially caused by earlier attacks from Onslaught and Razer.
- "Ho-hum, out goes the drum..."
- — Jonathan Pearce as Attila the Drum is eliminated from the Southern Annihilator
At the end of the Fourth Wars, Attila the Drum was nominated for the Best Newcomer award, which it lost out to Tornado.
|ATTILA THE DRUM - RESULTS|
|The Fourth Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 1
|Heat A, Eliminator||vs. Medusa 2000, King B3 (17)||Eliminated|
|Pinball Warrior Tournament|
Equal Fifteenth (with Spikasaurus)
|Round 1||vs. Behemoth, Onslaught, Razer,
Spawn of Scutter, Vercingetorix
|Round 2||vs. Behemoth, Onslaught, Razer, Spawn of Scutter||Qualified|
|Round 3||vs. Behemoth, Onslaught, Razer||Qualified (by default)|
|Round 4||vs. Onslaught, Razer||Eliminated|
- Wins: 2
- Losses: 2
The third round of the Southern Annihilator, where Behemoth forfeited, is omitted from the Wins tally.
|Series||Attila the Drum Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Did not enter|
|The Third Wars||Did not enter|
|The Fourth Wars||Heat, Round 1|
|The Fifth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Sixth Wars||Did not enter|
|The Seventh Wars||Entered with Jackson Wallop|
|Series 8||Did not enter|
|Series 9||Did not enter|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
- Tony Knapp was not present for Team Battlebot's appearance in the Southern Annihilator, with his place being taken by Helen Thorpe; however, the Team Members section on Attila the Drum's statistics board was not changed for that episode.
- The team captain of Attila the Drum was spelled as 'Berny Ryder' in Series 4. The statistics card for Jackson Wallop would later spell his name as 'Bernie Ryder'. It is unknown which card is more accurate.
- Best Newcomer - Robot Wars: The Fourth Wars