Ramming Blades (also known as ploughs or battering rams) are a general term for static blade weapons which are used to ram, scoop or push opponents, but otherwise do not fall into any other category of weapon.
This weapon was a common staple in Series 1 of Robot Wars, with robots such as Bugs and Full Metal Anorak using blades to target tyres and pierce weak armour. Although two robots in the first two series - Bodyhammer and Napalm - achieved success with ramming blades, they quickly became obsolete and were used as secondary or tertiary weapons on other competitors such as Killerhurtz and The Steel Avenger.
Shunt utilised a rear plough in all of his iterations, and Sergeant Bash used a ramming blade before being upgraded with pincers. The Sentinel also operated as one giant moving blade, as the arm ended with various blades to pin or pierce competitors. Fellow House Robot Refbot was also equipped with static plough- and scoop-like blades to help him free other robots if they became locked together or stranded on the arena walls.
There is no single definition of ramming blade, as the weapon itself can take a number of different shapes and sizes. The basic concept of a ramming blade is to cause damage to opponents by driving directly into them. Skillful drivers use their weapons to aim at certain areas for damage, but in most cases, the ramming blade is simply an auxiliary weapon which is used for extra damage and pushing capabilities. Ramming blades are typically arrow-shaped blades mounted at the robot's front, however some can exist in the form of scoops, such as the weapon of Scutter's Revenge. These types of ramming blade focus more on lifting an opponent up to push and drag them around the arena or into specific hazards.
Advantages and DisadvantagesEdit
- Ramming blades could be used to good effect with exploiting exposed or vulnerable areas of other robots. The best example would be The Steel Avenger's attack on King B Powerworks during their Extreme 1 Mayhem, when the impact of The Steel Avenger's blade sheared King B Powerworks' wheel off, ultimately resulting in the former winning on a Judges' decision.
- Ramming blades in the shape of scoops are very effective at pushing other robots, especially when combined with powerful drive systems. This was best shown during Scutter's Revenge's run in Series 3, as its scoop-like blade allowed it to push opponents around the arena and into hazards with ease.
- A ramming blade often drastically lowers the robot's ground clearance, which prevents opponents from getting underneath them. For example, Robopig was unable to get underneath Napalm's plough during their Series 3 battle; instead, the former simply drove up the plough, resulting in Robopig getting stuck on its rear panel and subsequently losing the battle.
- Many ramming blades - especially plough-shaped ones - are ideal for separating other robots. Refbot's bulldozer ploughs were specifically intended to separate two robots which became locked together in combat or to help free competitors which became stuck on the arena walls.
- They can be incorporated into invertible designs, as proven by Eye of Newt, later versions of Scorpion and many others.
- In the event of the robot's main weapon breaking or malfunctioning, a ramming blade can easily be substituted, using parts from the original weapon on a case-by-case basis. This notably happened to Mortis and Bodyhammer in Series 1, where their respective axe and hammer weapons were converted into ramming blades following various mechanical and reliability issues.
- As more advanced and powerful weapons became commonplace in robot combat, ramming blades or battering rams became very uncommon, as they gradually became less effective with each subsequent series of Robot Wars. Many robots with these weapons often failed to qualify or lost easily in later series, as they were either considered uninteresting by the producers or proved ineffective in battle.
- Ramming blades, as with all static weapons, were prohibited from Series 7 onwards unless paired with an active weapon of any kind.
- Many ramming blades often have a narrow attack range, which can easily be avoided by most opponents. This proved problematic for robots like Sergeant Bash, who after two series with a front ramming blade, adopted pincers for the remainder of his appearances on the show.
- Robots equipped with a ramming blade as their primary weapon often lacked a self-righting mechanism; if they were not invertible, this could easily result in a knock-out loss. This was best shown in Ally Gator's Series 3 fight with Berserk 2, where Ally Gator's effective use of its front spikes was negated once the latter turned it over.
- One robot equipped with ramming blades - Cerberus - broke the record for the shortest battle in Series 3, after using its front claws and ramming tail to push Griffon into the pit within ten seconds. This record would not be broken until Series 7.
List of Robots with Ramming BladesEdit
Robots are listed alphabetically. Robots which are not heavyweight entries are listed with a green background. House Robots are listed with a yellow background.
|Robot||Series Appearances with Battering Rams||Notes|
|Ally Gator||Series 3||Pair of front ramming spikes attached to the wedge; robot also featured serrated spike strips on top to catch opponents which drove over it.|
|Anty Geddon||Extreme 2|
|Bodyhammer||Series 1||After the Cold Fusion Team encountered reliability problems with Bodyhammer's hammer, they converted it into a ramming spike for the Arena battles, in a similar manner to the modifications carried out to Mortis earlier on in Series 1. Reached the Series 1 Grand Final in this configuration.|
|Bugs||Series 1||First robot to enter with the ramming blade as its primary weapon.|
|Cerberus||Series 3-4||Cerberus' hard circular saw was removed for safety reasons in Series 3, leaving it with its claws and tail as its only weapon. In Series 4, similarly, its head was removed for weight, leaving it with the tail and claws, in addition to a ramming half-crusher.|
|Dantomkia||Series 6-7, Extreme Series 2||The Series 4 version of Dantomkia (Dantomkia 1.0) had no moving weapons and failed to qualify, but it did fight in many live competitions. The version that did qualify retained the spike wedges but had a flipper as its main weaponry.|
|Delldog||Series 6||In the UK vs Germany, Delldog's weapon broke. Delldog was forced to use only its dead full body spinner as a ramming blade. It still managed to defeat Dynamite in this way.|
|Demon Duck||Series 2||Super Showdown competitor.|
|Eye of Newt||Series 3||Pinball Competition only.|
|Full Metal Anorak||Series 1||Designed specifically for targeting tyres.|
|Havoc||Series 2||Interchangeable with a flipping/lifting arm and mace. Used once during Havoc's Sumo run.|
|Mortis||Series 1||Only used during Mortis' Heat Final against Recyclopse, after its axe mechanism broke before the battle. The blade essentially consisted of Mortis' axe head attached to the front, and technically made it the first competitor to use this type of weapon.|
|Napalm||Series 2-3, 5, Extreme 1||A large plough made out of titanium (Series 2-3, 5) or reinforced steel (Extreme 1, original version); the original version also featured twin spikes on top of the plough. Series 2 Semi-Finalist.|
|Onslaught||Series 2||Stainless steel front scoop with a wedge-like profile, initially a static weapon in Onslaught's debut series. Weapon was upgraded into a lifting scoop for Series 3 onwards.|
|Refbot||Series 4-7, Extreme 1-2, US Seasons 1-2, Nickelodeon, Dutch Series 1-2, German Series||Front bulldozer plough and twin rear scoops used primarily to separate competitor robots if they became locked together.|
|Robo Doc||Series 2|
|Rosie the Riveter||US Seasons 1-2||Season 2 Grand Finalist.|
|Scorpion||Series 6-7, Extreme 1|
|Scutter's Revenge||Series 3||Series 3 Semi-Finalist. Relied on its pushing power, along with the scoop-shaped blade, to win battles.|
|Sergeant Bash||Series 1-2||Later replaced with a set of front pincers.|
|Short Circuit||Series 6|
|Shunt||Series 1-9, Extreme 1-2, US Seasons 1-2, Nickelodeon, Dutch Series 1-2, German Series||Rear bulldozing plough, used alongside a pneumatic front scoop.|
|Spikasaurus||Series 4||Featured a 'bull bar' and a curved scoop, both of which were intended to be interchangeable with the robot's ramming spears. Only the 'bull bar' would be seen in combat, fitted to the rear and used in tandem with one set of spears.|
|Steel Sandwich||Extreme 2||Originally equipped with a static front wedge and ramming spikes; the spikes were removed for Series 7. Extreme 2 Middleweight Championship Finalist with both weapons.|
|The Sentinel||Series 2||Spiked ramming blades on a 'club', itself mounted on a modified JCB arm.|
|The Steel Avenger||Series 3-5, 7, Extreme 1-2||Large pointed arrow-shaped plough, built into the front of the robot. Succeeded in tearing off an opponent's wheel. Series 4 and Series 7 Heat Finalist; Extreme 1 Tag Team Terror co-runner up. Won the 'Best Engineered' award in Series 4.|