The War of Independence of Robot Wars: The Fourth Wars was a special tournament held during the Christmas Specials of Robot Wars: The Fourth Wars. It featured four British robots fighting against four American robots to see which side had the best machine in a simple knock-out tournament.

The episode featuring the War of Independence was originally broadcast on December 31, 2000 on BBC Two. The broadcast managed to attract 3.19 million viewers, a decrease of 770,000 viewers when compared with the previous episode. According to BARB, this meant it fell to fifth in the top thirty highest rated BBC 2 broadcasts during 25-31 December 2000.

Robots Competing[edit | edit source]

UK Robots[edit | edit source]

Weight 79.3kg
Dimensions 0.36 x 0.76 x 0.91m
Clearance 0.05m
Power 3 x Electric powered motors
Weapons Axe and lifting arm
Notes Made from aerospace materials
From: Nottingham and Cambridge
Team Members: Rob Knight, Paul Ford & Arthur Chilcott
Panic Attack
Weight 80.6kg
Dimensions 0.16 x 1.00 x 0.70m
Clearance 0.01m
Power 2 x Windscreen wiper motors
Weapons Electric lifting forks
Notes Shell is bullet proof
From: Cwmbran
Team Members: Kim Davies, Michael Davies & Christian Bridge
Ming 2
Weight 80.0kg
Dimensions 1.03 x 0.28 x 0.78m
Clearance 0.02m
Power Electric powered motors
Weapons 2 x spikes and flippers
Notes Nose cone raises and lowers
From: Bath
Team Members: Andrew Cotterell, Alexander Cotterell & Oliver Cotterell
Weight 72kg
Dimensions 1.20 x 0.80 x 0.60m
Clearance 0.07m
Power 2 x wheelchair motors
Weapons Spikes and ram
Notes Wheels from a wheelchair
From: Dartford
Team Members: David Crosby, Clare Greenway & Tegan Crosby

US Robots[edit | edit source]

Weight 51.7kg
Dimensions 1.30 x 0.57 x 0.47m
Clearance 0.00m
Power Electric motors
Weapons Wedge shape
Notes Lightest in competition
From: Michigan
Team Members: John Angeli, Al Ruhoff & Joe Taylor
Rammstein sf00.jpg
Weight 95.0kg
Dimensions 1.30 x 0.82 x 0.34m
Clearance 0.03m
Power Electric motors
Weapons Ramming spike
Notes Works both ways up
From: Miami, Florida
Team Members: Korey Cline, Nola Garcia, Alex Espinosa & Eduardo Ampuero
The mangulator4.0.jpg
The Mangulator
Weight 86.8kg
Dimensions 0.47 x 0.92 x 0.50m
Clearance N/A
Power Electric motors
Weapons Axe
Notes Built in three days
From: Los Angeles, California
Team Members: Dan Danknick, Adam Clark & Bob Pitzer
Weight 95.1kg
Dimensions 0.77 x 0.77 x 0.47m
Clearance 0.05m
Power Electric motors
Weapons Very powerful axe
Notes Axe Head is a meat tenderiser
From: Los Angeles, California
Team Members: Patrick Campbell, George Melero & Emile DeMillo

Round 1[edit | edit source]

Mortis vs Ghetto-bot[edit | edit source]

"Well, Ghetto-bot will have to go some here to stop Mortis in its tracks!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Ghetto-Bot gets underneath Mortis in the opening seconds

Mortis leaves hole marks across the top of Ghetto-Bot

Mortis began the battle quickly by charging at Ghetto-bot, but it simply drove straight up Ghetto-bot's wedge, although this wasn't enough to affect the British robot and Mortis drove straight off. Mortis quickly turned and missed four axe blows in succession, before Ghetto-bot began pushing it from the front. Mortis' axe continued to fire, making numerous dents in the American robot's armour but doing no more than that.

Mortis leaves Ghetto-bot to burn

Shunt axes Ghetto-bot

Despite Ghetto-bot having the initial pushing advantage, Mortis eventually got around the side of the middleweight and pushed it towards the flame pit. Ghetto-bot did not appear to have full mobility, which allowed Mortis to adjust itself properly before pushing it on the flame pit. Ghetto-bot was still smouldering when Mortis pushed it off, but could do no more than twitch slightly. Refbot extinguished the flames on Ghetto-bot, but Dead Metal and Shunt started attacking the immobilised robot, with Mortis joining in as well. Shunt was making more of an effect on Ghetto-bot's armour than Mortis' did, managing to puncture its shell.

"Look at Shunt's axe. More powerful, sharper than that of Mortis it would seem"
— Jonathan Pearce, comparing weapons

Mortis attacks Sir Killalot

Mortis eventually left the American machine to the house robots and went to attack Sir Killalot, hitting him on the head numerous times with its tanto blade. As it continued its onslaught, Shunt pushed Ghetto-bot back onto the flame pit, ending its run in the War of Independence.

"Well, it's well and truly a salt-and-pepper pot by the end of it all"
— Jonathan Pearce

Winner: Mortis

Panic Attack vs Rammstein[edit | edit source]

"Panic Attack, worthy opponents, whether it be domestically or on the international stage."
— Jonathan Pearce with high-hopes for Panic Attack

Rammstein shoves Panic Attack across the arena

Both robots began fairly quickly, but after an initial dodge it was Rammstein that landed the first attack, using its spike to snag Panic Attack's armour. It reversed to come in on another charge, narrowly avoiding Panic Attack's lifting forks. It took several more charges and managed to push the former champion around the arena, but eventually, Panic Attack managed to get around the side of its opponent and lifted it up. After spinning it around, it pushed under Rammstein's side and pushed it over. This did not hinder the invertable Rammstein, but it appeared to be a lot more sluggish than it had in the opening stages of the battle. Panic Attack took advantage and lifted up Rammstein again.

"What Rammstein may find, if they go up on their side, they will not be able to right at all and they will be out...and I think that is what Kim Davis is trying to do with Panic Attack now - try to lever it up on its side"
— Jonathan Pearce as Panic Attack takes control

Panic Attack lifts Rammstein

Despite its best efforts, Panic Attack could not lift Rammstein high enough for a side-stranding and eventually had to settle for overturning it again. The American attempted another attack, driving straight up Panic Attack's lifting forks, and this time, the Welsh robot effortlessly picked it up.

"Go on. Lead him to our own, our very own Grand Canyon on our arena floor!"
— Jonathan Pearce, realizing Panic Attack has won

Panic Attack drops Rammstein down the pit

The pit descended moments later, and Panic Attack swiftly carried the far-heavier Rammstein towards it before quickly dropping it down.

After the battle, it was revealed that Rammstein's batteries had run out of power, as they had not been adapted for the length of the battles held in the UK.

"We typically run three minute matches in America. You guys run five, so we're a little unprepared for that"
— Korey Cline of Team Rammstein

Winner: Panic Attack

Ming 2 vs The Mangulator[edit | edit source]

The Mangulator thwacks the back of Ming 2

The two robots got off to a quick start, but missed each other on the first charge. The Mangulator attempted a spinning attack and managed to catch Ming 2, but no more. Ming drove at Mangulator and used its wedge shape to push underneath, and the slippery Mangulator drove away before Ming could use its flipper.

"It is a powerful weapon, isn't it? Crashing against the arena floor which doesn't pick up any points, boys! Never mind, we'll try to explain the rules to you a little later on!"
— Jonathan Pearce, watching The Mangulator's weapon

Ming 2 slams The Mangulator into the jaws of Sgt. Bash

Mangulator continued to spin and swing its "thumperizer", but only managed to hit the arena floor as Ming was nowhere near it. Eventually, Ming took an opening, charging at Mangulator and pushing it into Sgt Bash's CPZ. It then pushed Mangulator onto the flame pit, before forcing it back into the centre of the arena. After landing another minor spin attack, Mangulator fled towards the arena wall. Ming followed and managed to clip one of its opponent's wheels in passing, which was enough to break the wheel clean off.

Ming 2 Gets underneath The Mangulator

Immediately afterwards, Sgt Bash, Shunt and Matilda surrounded the fallen American, the latter two causing damage to the body and remaining tyre, respectively.

"All the way from LA and home again in pieces. But home again for tea, which is more important for them"
— Jonathan Pearce watches The Mangulator being destroyed

Ming 2 cleaves off a wheel from The Mangulator

Eventually, Shunt and Matilda took the remains of The Mangulator to the pit, pushing it in.

"We had a failure here on the wheelshaft where the snap-ring holds on. It's a place where a crack can start and under shock, the crack continued and the wheel came off!"
— Dan Danknick, explaining why the wheel broke off

Winner: Ming 2

Detonator vs frenZy[edit | edit source]

"I'd hoped the United States competitors could last as long and be as durable and long lasting as the US presidential election, but that's not the way it's been so far ..."
— Jonathan Pearce on the American side's 0-3 loss

frenZy hammers Detonator

In comparison to the other battles, both machines got off to a sluggish start. frenZy appeared to be slightly faster, and as they made contact, it became clear it had the advantage, hammering Detonator's top armour and making numerous large dents.

"...but look at this! frenZy absolutely pummeling Detonator!"
— Jonathan Pearce finishing his sentence as frenZy lands the first blow

frenZy smashes the shell of Detonator as it pushes Detonator against the sidewall

Detonator was very sluggish in moving away and frenZy quickly followed, landing more attacks with its axe. Each blow landed another dent in Detonator's domed top, steadily flattening it. As frenZy continued to attack, one of its back-swings caused the handle of the meat tenderizer axe-head to become stuck in the arena floor. Despite this, Detonator did not capitalize on the advantage, or even move, and eventually Matilda used her tusks to free frenZy, which allowed it to continue crushing Detonator.

"Poor old Detonator will not thank Matilda for that!"
— Jonathan Pearce

frenZy gets its hammer stuck in the arena floor

Eventually, frenZy decided to use the rear of its axe to hook Detonator's armour and drag it towards one of the flame jets. The Series 1 competitor could not resist, and frenZy used its axe to push it sideways, closer to the flame hazard. Eventually, it went back to hammering Detonator's top, flattening it even more. In doing so, it finally managed to force Detonator over the flame pit and its petrol engine caught fire. frenZy continued its assault and eventually managed to break the top armour clean off.

"They've been scalped! Where's the seventh cavalry when you need them!?"
— Jonathan Pearce in delight at Detonator's destruction

frenZy briefly removes the top lid of Detonator as it burns on a flame jet

frenZy did not let up and continued its assault, causing damage to the sides which began to crumple. Eventually, Shunt and Dead Metal took over and placed the smouldering Detonator on the floor flipper. After being thrown, Detonator was pushed into the pit by Sgt Bash, ending its torture.

Julia Reed: "I hear this is an old robot, though, because we've seen you before with Shadow of Napalm, Napalm ... and this is your first robot, isn't it?"
David Crosby: "This was our very first robot, yes."
Julia Reed: "I think it was a wise decision putting that one in up against the Americans."
David Crosby: "It was indeed. It's been lying idle for four years, then it came back, it got trashed!"
— The sarcastic post-battle interview

Winner: frenZy

Round 2[edit | edit source]

Mortis vs Panic Attack[edit | edit source]

Julia Reed: "Have you faced Panic Attack in other wars?"
Arthur Chilcott: "Yes we have, some time ago."
Julia Reed: "And what happened?"
Arthur Chilcott: "They ... beat us."
— Before the rematch

Panic Attack lifts Mortis

Mortis gets its axe stuck in Panic Attack

As the battle began, neither robot made a real attempt to attack each other, with Mortis only ramming against Panic Attack from behind at best, its axe chopping at thin air. After a little bit of dodging, the two robots met head-on. Mortis fired its axe a few more times, but Panic Attack's lifting forks won out and lifted Mortis onto its side, before driving it into the arena wall. Mortis was able to right itself off of the wall and came back on the attack, hitting Panic Attack with its axe, although it missed several other blows. The axe appeared to be caught in the "down" position after this, so Mortis was forced to ram Panic Attack instead. In doing so, the tanto blade tip managed to get snagged within Panic Attack's forklift mechanism. Mortis took advantage and forced Panic Attack into Dead Metal's CPZ, but the former champion escaped with no damage. Eventually, Panic Attack broke away from Mortis, whose axe finally reset, and forced underneath its opponent, catching it on one of the spikes of its self-righting mechanism. In a skillful driving move, Panic Attack slammed Mortis against the arena wall until it was right on top of it before reversing it into Sir Killalot's CPZ. The house robot picked Mortis up and carried it around for a bit before dropping it heavily.

"Don't panic! Don't panic, Mr Mortis! Panic Attack's on the attack!"
— Jonathan Pearce references Dad's Army

Panic Attack backs Mortis into Sir Killalot

Mortis knocks off Panic Attack's light

Mortis tried to escape, but its lifting arm now appeared to be stuck and Panic Attack rammed into it. Mortis managed to reset its arm eventually and then, as the two met front-on, used its axe to chop at Panic Attack, at one point knocking off its light. Panic Attack tried to overturn Mortis, but only managed to lift itself off the ground, before instead ramming its opponent into the arena wall. Getting underneath, it was unable to overturn Mortis and eventually reversed away. In the last few seconds, Mortis was able to get its lifting arm underneath Panic Attack's rear, but could not flip it. The judges were called to make a decision, and gave Mortis a very close victory by only one point.

"Well, maybe we drove better and pushed them about, but their axe did more damage."
— Kim Davies, gracious in defeat

Winner: Mortis

Ming 2 vs frenZy[edit | edit source]

Before the fight, Team Ming decided that their best tactic would be to hit frenZy's axe front-on, hard enough to dislodge the chain and rendering it weaponless.

"If we hit the axe, the chain might come off and we can flip him then, because that way he definitely won't be able to self-right."
— Alexander Cotterell explains his logic

frenZy knocks out Ming 2

frenZy continues to hammer Ming 2

As the battle began, Ming 2 charged straight at frenZy. frenZy quickly retaliated, striking Ming's body, before landing several more blows to its flipper. It soon became apparent that the first blow had immobilised Ming's drive, as only its flipper was still functioning. frenZy did not hold back and continued to bludgeon Ming's carcass.

"They may be overweight, overpaid and over here, but they're over here on a mission, frenZy: To slam-dunk Ming 2 out of the War of Independence, and they're doing just that, and this is painful to watch!"
— Jonathan Pearce

The House Robots close in on Ming 2

Ming 2 is thrown by the floor flipper

After a while, the house robots closed in on Ming's immobile form. Dead Metal tried to saw into Ming 2, but two attempts missed and he instead placed Ming on the floor flipper. The resulting flip caused a few bolts to break off as Cease was finally called.

"Ming may have been merciless, but now he's motionless"
— Craig Charles

Back in the pits, it was revealed the frenZy had struck Ming so hard it had broken the receiver's on/off switch, which had caused Ming to break down.

Winner: frenZy

Final[edit | edit source]

Mortis vs frenZy[edit | edit source]

"Some robots had their British ends flipped-up, while others are no longer the American beauties they once were, but now, with two robots remaining, national pride is at stake!"
— Craig Charles announces the Final

Mortis gets underneath and carries frenZy

Mortis and frenZy hit one another

Mortis got off to the quicker start, driving straight under frenZy, meaning it was able to dodge its axe. Mortis then drove frenZy into the arena wall and overturned it, but frenZy quickly righted itself. Mortis responded with several axe blows, one even managing to counter the American robot's own weapon. frenZy managed to land a blow on Mortis, but couldn't damage its hard armour, and Mortis continued to attack, managing to overturn frenZy twice in quick succession.

"It's the weightier weapon, certainly, but the more frenzied attack comes from our very own Mortis."
— Jonathan Pearce

Mortis lifts frenZy over

Sgt. Bash crumples the side of frenZy as Mortis continues to attack

frenzy managed to right itself both times, but Mortis pushed its opponent into Sgt Bash's CPZ, who gripped the American machine with his pincer, allowing Mortis some more attack opportunities. frenZy escaped and tried to land a few more blows, but the British robot's armour resisted the axe blows, and frenZy was flipped again. As the two forced their way back to the centre of the arena, one of frenZy's attacks nearly turned itself over. The two met head-on and landed axe blows, but Mortis' weapon landed more blows, nonetheless both robot's armour held firm. Eventually, Mortis went for a different attack, wedging itself underneath frenZy and pushing it into the arena wall, near a flame jet.

Mortis' axe hits frenZy's underside

Sir Killalot picks up frenZy as Mortis chases Sgt. Bash

Mortis then slowly dragged frenZy away and slowly levered up the American robot using its lifting arm before pushing it onto its back. Mortis then quickly began hammering at frenZy's underside with its axe, causing no obvious damage aside from a few dents.

"It's the Woody Woodpecker song from Mortis!"
— Jonathan Pearce

The damage, however, had clearly been done, as frenZy's weapon had been rendered immobile and it was unable to right itself. After a few more blows from Mortis' axe, the house robots closed in. Sir Killalot took hold of frenZy and placed it on the floor flipper. As Mortis was attacked by Sgt Bash and Shunt, frenZy was thrown across the arena, landing on its back again.

"California, here I come, right back where I started from!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Having finally won its first competition, Mortis' team announced its retirement from Robot Wars after the battle.

War of Independence Champion: Mortis

Mortis, the War of Independence champion

"They fought long and hard, they battled for a cause, and they reclaimed America, for Robot Wars"
— Craig Charles' sign-off

Trivia[edit | edit source]

The arena during the War of Independence

  • The first two battles of this episode (Mortis vs Ghetto-bot and Panic Attack vs Rammstein) were filmed immediately after the unaired MTV Pilot - one month before the rest of the competition - as both Ghetto-bot and Rammstein had travelled to England but did not have a chance to fight. This is particularly noticeable in that in each of these battles, many of the arena hazards - including the Flame Pit and Pit of Oblivion - lack their borders and/or markings, Mortis is still in its Series 3 colour scheme and Sir Killalot still has the jaws of life used in Series 3. Additionally, alternative lighting sequences are used for the arena, similar to those used at the Robot Mayhem live event.
    • Both of these battles were also the first to use the Series 5-7/Extreme/Dutch/German versions of the 'Roboteers Standby' and '3-2-1 Activate!' announcements.
  • Of the American robots, only Ghetto-bot actually met the weight restrictions for heavyweight robots at the time of Series 4; even so, it weighed significantly lighter than the maximum limit of 79.4kg.
  • Due to this episode being broadcast after Heat D, this episode marked Mortis' final appearance on Robot Wars.
  • Mortis and Panic Attack's second-round fight was actually fought twice, due to a disagreement between the Judges and the producers as to which robot should go through. The fight shown on television featured a mixture of footage of the two battles edited together into one.[1]
"What you see is edited, it was actually two fights, the judges gave it too [sic] us but production wanted PA. The judges argued with production so we went again, I still have the lifter actuator from PA that we destroyed."
— Arthur Chilcott of Random Violence Technologies
  • Five of the competing teams also competed on BattleBots, although Team Ming would later compete in the one-off US series, Nickelodeon Robot Wars.
  • Team Minus Zero - who built and entered frenZy - would later compete in Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors with The Bat.
    • frenZy would also end up fighting every UK representative in this competition at some point in its career; three in the War of Independence itself, and Panic Attack in BattleBots Season 2.0.
  • This episode marked the only appearance of The Mangulator in any robot combat competition, excluding its appearance in the unaired MTV Pilot.
  • The Dartford Girls Grammar team were the only UK representatives in the War of Independence not to compete in any international series of Robot Wars or any other robotic-themed competitions.
  • This episode marked Ghetto-bot's first appearance in a televised robot combat competition. It had previously competed in a competition called Robot Rivals, and was not selected to compete in the MTV Pilot.
  • According to its statistics board, Detonator's weight was allegedly increased by 20kg from its original weight in Series 1.

References[edit | edit source]

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