"Welcome to Robot Wars: The Sixth Wars. The Grand Final. Reigning champions Razer are here. Number three seeds Firestorm in their third Grand Final. Number twelve seeds Tornado never before beyond the series semi-finals. And the surprise package. Unseeded Terrorhurtz. What a line-up!"
— Jonathan Pearce's introduction

The Grand Final of Robot Wars: The Sixth Wars was a series of battles which determined the Grand Champion of Robot Wars: The Sixth Wars. It was fought between the four robots that had progressed through their heats and the Semi-Finals. There were two Grand Final Eliminators to decide which robots would make the Grand Final, followed by a play-off for third and fourth. Finally, the Grand Champion was determined in the Grand Final. The episode featuring the Grand Final was broadcast on October 4, 2002 on BBC Choice and repeated on March 7, 2003 on BBC Two.

Competitors[edit | edit source]

Veterans[edit | edit source]

Firestorm IV.png
Firestorm 4 (seeded 3rd, winner of Heat B, qualified from Semi-Final 1)
Weight 100kg
Dimensions 0.36 x 1.10 x 0.83m
Power Electric motors
Weapons Pneumatic flipper
Strengths Excellent manouverability
Weaknesses 2 Wheel drive
From: Langley Moor in Durham
Team Members: Graham Bone & Hazel Heslop
Razer S6.png
Razer (seeded 1st, winner of Heat A, qualified from Semi-Final 1)
Weight 96kg
Dimensions 0.55 x 1.10 x 0.63m
Power 2 x 1000W electric motors
Weapons Hydraulic Piercer (According to the statboard, a spike)
Strengths Nimble & very accurate
Weaknesses Slow self-righting
From: Bournemouth in Dorset
Team Members: Ian Lewis, Simon Scott & Vincent Blood
Terrorhurtz (winner of Heat I, qualified from Semi-Final 2)
Weight 99kg
Dimensions 0.50 x 1.25 x 1.05m
Power 2 x 1000W electric motors
Weapons Double-headed axe
Strengths Strong armour
Weaknesses Unpredictable
From: Oxford in Oxfordshire
Team Members: John Reid & Dominic Parkinson
Tornado (seeded 12th, winner of Heat G, qualified from Semi-Final 2)
Weight 98kg
Dimensions 0.41 x 1.93 x 1.38m
Power 2 x 750W electric motors
Weapons Interchangeable
Strengths Interchangeable weaponry
Weaknesses Unreliable
From: Sawtry in Cambridgeshire
Team Members: Andrew Marchant, David Gamble & Bryan Moss

Jonathan Pearce Series Recap[edit | edit source]

"Don't forget Craig. Not only ninety-six robots were in there fighting, but also our House Robot team were always ready to rumble including, the gruesome newcomers, Mr. Psycho and his pet pal Growler."
— Jonathan Pearce

Unlike Series 3-5, Jonathan Pearce's recap was considerably shorter, only detailing the Series 6 campaigns of the four grand finalists, rather than the entire series. Jonathan Pearce also recapped the introduction of Mr Psycho and Growler.

The fights covered were:

Eliminators[edit | edit source]

Razer (1) vs Terrorhurtz[edit | edit source]

Razer pierces Terrorhurtz

Razer immediately grabbed hold of Terrorhurtz, pushed it into the arena wall and pierced through its outer shell, as Terrorhurtz cleaved thin air with its axe.

"And look at Razer, already crumpling, already ripping, and tearing through that polycarbonate armour."
— Jonathan Pearce

Terrorhurtz is pitted

Razer lifted its opponent, but Terrorhurtz brought itself down by swinging its axe into its baseplate, only for Razer to repeat the process and cause more damage. Razer then reversed into the pit release button and took Terrorhurtz over to the pit of oblivion. Terrorhurtz frantically tried to escape by swinging its axe, but Razer eventually dropped it into the open pit.

"Terrorhurtz, unseeded, and the brilliant run comes to an end, and Razer march on. So close to another title now."
— Jonathan Pearce as Razer disposes of Terrorhurtz to secure its place in the final

Winner: Razer

Firestorm 4 (3) vs Tornado (12)[edit | edit source]

Firestorm flips Tornado

Tornado started quickly, immediately proving that its scoop was lower to the ground than Firestorm's. Tornado pushed Firestorm 4 around the arena and into Mr. Psycho's CPZ, but it quickly escaped. Firestorm 4 came back strong, pushing Tornado into Shunt, who attacked with the axe, creating a large chasm in Tornado's armour. Firestorm 4 chased Tornado around, and the latter activated the pit release button. Tornado pushed Firestorm 4 into a CPZ, where Shunt attacked both robots, but Firestorm 4 came back and pushed Tornado into another CPZ.

"What a battle this is! Very even."
— Jonathan Pearce

On another charge, the two robots' wedges were evenly matched for the first time, which allowed Firestorm 4 to get underneath Tornado on a second try and flipped it over so that Tornado's front wedge became useless. However, Firestorm 4 flipped it back over and Tornado rammed Firestorm 4 into the arena wall again.

Tornado pushes Firestorm 4 towards the pit of oblivion

""Come into my parlour" said the spider to the fly, and Firestorm did just that."
— Jonathan Pearce as Firestorm 4 drives onto Tornado's wedge.

Tornado got underneath again and tried to push Firestorm 4 into the pit, but just missed, then reversed and pushed Firestorm 4 into the pit of oblivion on the second attempt.

Winner: Tornado

Playoff[edit | edit source]

Firestorm 4 (3) vs Terrorhurtz[edit | edit source]

Terrorhurtz axes Firestorm 4, resulting in the latter losing its main drive

Firestorm 4 started quickly and attacked Terrorhurtz, but then it drove into the CPZ and was attacked by Shunt. Terrorhurtz came in, knocked off Firestorm 4's link cover with the axe and dislodged the link itself; however Terrorhurtz stopped moving, its speed controller having malfunctioned. Despite having its main drive incapacitated, Firestorm 4 was still able to turn and shuffle forwards across the arena, resulting in Terrorhurtz being counted out even as it repeatedly threw itself off the floor with its axe.

Refbot counts out Terrorhurtz

"And that maddened spurt and spasm at the start of this third, fourth place playoff did them in."
— Jonathan Pearce as Terrorhurtz is counted out

Terrorhurtz continued to swing its axe, momentarily ending up near the Flame Pit. Dead Metal came in and attempted to push Terrorhurtz away; the House Robot backed off after sustaining two axe blows from the defeated Team Hurtz machine, before trying to slice Terrohurtz's side. Shunt eventually pushed Terrorhurtz away, before slowly positioning it onto the Floor Flipper.

"That's going to be moving at Christmas in the Year 2050, that axe."
— Jonathan Pearce as Terrorhurtz wildly swings its axe

The Floor Flipper threw Terrorhurtz across the arena, resulting in it landing upside-down. Terrorhurtz self-righted despite being pushed again by Dead Metal, and continued swinging its axe even as the two House Robots surrounded and pitted it. With this, Firestorm 4 claimed third place for the second successive series; the third time in which it finished in this position.

Winner: Firestorm 4

Final[edit | edit source]

Razer (1) vs Tornado (12)[edit | edit source]

"The third fourth play-off is out of the way. Now the one we've been waiting for. Razer against Tornado. And what is the secret? What have Tornado got?"
— Jonathan Pearce

This was the first (and only) series to feature the top and bottom seeds in the Grand Final together. In the pits before the battle it was revealed that Tornado had been fitted with a giant spinning blade supported by a massive frame, built especially for battles against Razer. The Razer team responded by fitting an upward-facing claw designed to grab hold of Tornado's massive frame.

Tornado slams into Razer.

Tornado forces Razer into Dead Metal

Razer started quickly and went in on the attack, but the frame on Tornado meant that it was unable to grab hold of the main body of the robot, which meant that Tornado was in full control of the battle and repeatedly pushed Razer around the arena.

"What a final, for Robot Wars: The Sixth Wars! Intrigue, mystery, suspense!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Tornado pushed Razer into the arena wall a few times, and Razer eventually became wedged onto the arena wall and stuck on the side of the arena. Tornado took this opportunity to smash into Razer again and again, before Razer finally broke free.

"And Tornado, systematic, in its pressure, in its desire, and in its drive."
— Jonathan Pearce as Tornado repeatedly slams Razer

Tornado then pushed Razer into the CPZ, but it was able to escape before Dead Metal could attack. Tornado continued to push Razer around the arena and back into Dead Metal and then into Shunt, who attacked Razer with his axe.

Razer is lifted up and axed by Shunt

Razer is unable to pit Tornado

The pit release button was activated, but Razer finally managed to grab hold of Tornado's frame and lifted it into the air. Razer carried it toward the pit, but the massive frame of Tornado meant that it would not fit and was suspended above the pit, unable to drop down.

"They can't get them down the pit! Look at that, it's an anti-pit device as well!"
— Jonathan Pearce as Razer desperately tries to pit Tornado.

Razer held Tornado there for the last ten seconds of the battle and cease was called. The judges inspected both robots for damage and finally decided, with one of the most controversial decisions in the history of Robot Wars, that Tornado (the lowest placed seed) was the new UK Champion.

Sixth Wars Grand Champion: Tornado

Craig Charles: "Light the fireworks!"
Philippa Forrester: "Cue the applause!"
Craig Charles: "We've got a brand new champion"
Both: "On Robot Wars!"
— Craig and Philippa's sign-off

Tornado, the Sixth Wars Grand Champion

Aftermath[edit | edit source]

"This has been so controversial! There's been... shenanigans in the pit! There's been psychological warfare going on! Adaptations, alterations, it's far too close..."
— Craig Charles prior to the Judges' decision on the Grand Final

The controversial moment during the Grand Final

Although a close and tense battle, the final between Razer and Tornado attracted significant controversy surrounding the latter's use of its 'anti-crusher weapon'. First seen during the pair's prior encounter in Season 2 of Robot Wars: Extreme Warriors, the weapon's frame not only succeeded in preventing Razer's crushing beak from reaching Tornado's main chassis - and therefore its exposed tyres - but also resulted in Tornado being unable to fit in the pit. This proved decisive when Razer attempted to pit it during the closing stages of the battle, with the 'anti-crusher weapon' preventing the former from doing so. In addition to referring to the weapon as an 'anti-pit device' - implying that it was deliberately designed to stop Tornado from going down - Jonathan Pearce's commentary also claims that Team Razer believed that Tornado was 'suspended in the pit', despite the Judges still considering it mobile by the time of Razer's attempted pitting.

During the Extreme 2 European Championship, Vincent Blood revealed that the outcome of the battle had not been received well by fans of Razer itself. Although he did not reveal the full extent of their criticism on-screen, their responses inferred allegations of cheating on Team Tornado's part.

"Incredible controversy! I mean, all our fans have been emailing us and saying "You were cheated!", "You were robbed!", so we've got to get our revenge for the fans!"
— Vincent Blood, interviewed in Extreme Series 2, speaking of the Series 6 Grand Final

Immediately following the Grand Final's initial airing, Blood congratulated Team Tornado on their victory, acknowledging that the Judges' decision was fair and that Razer's final attack came too late to turn the battle in its favour.

"Razer will be back, we are currently doing a few mods for Extreme (and don't ask what because you won't get an answer). Great final, good feeling to be part of such a fantastic fight - nearly got them with the ultimate sucker punch too! But well done to the Tornado boys, the decision was the right one but we should have tried to lift you earlier."
— Vincent Blood, praising Team Tornado's victory on a Robot Wars discussion forum (archived)[1]

In another post, Blood countered the aforementioned allegations, confirming that Tornado's 'anti-crusher weapon' had been declared in advance to the Robot Wars technical crew and approved for competition. This matter was also addressed by Noel Sharkey before the televised battle itself.

"I've had a lot of fan mail on the subject of Tornado's anti-Razer device - most of which brands them as cheats. I'd just like to point out that their interchangeable weaponry was all declared at the weigh in. It was OK'd by the technical crew and so they can't be 'cheats'."
— Vincent Blood responds to allegations of Team Tornado 'cheating' in the Series 6 final[2]

It should also be noted that Tornado's 'anti-crusher weapon' was built to the maximum dimensions allowed by the technical rules at the time, which enabled robots to be built larger than the pit itself (for example, The Morgue and the Extreme 1 version of Major Tom). In response to questions surrounding whether Tornado should have won the decision, Andrew Marchant reiterated these rules while also suggesting ways in which it could be pitted with the 'anti-crusher weapon' equipped.

"We were lucky. Some people question whether we should have won as the frame was too big to allow us to drop into the Pit, but that actually wasn't the case. There's a little discrepancy in the rules of Robot Wars that allow a bot to be a maximum of 2 metres long by 1.4 metres wide, which is the size of the anti-crusher weapon. If Razer had got us in on an angle, we would have actually dropped into the Pit, but the judges decided that because we still had two wheels on the Arena floor, we weren't technically in the Pit... had all the wheels been off the ground, we would have lost!"
— Andrew Marchant of Team Tornado, in an interview from Robot Wars: The Official Magazine[3]

As Razer did not let go when it held Tornado completely over the pit, and dragged it back while trying to force it down at an angle, a possible pitting or stranding was not achieved before time ran out.

While Tornado's 'anti-crusher weapon' complied with the Series 6 build rules, some roboteers also expressed concerns regarding the weapon's defensive attributes and its implications for future Robot Wars competitions. Team Hypno-Disc in particular recollect an ambivalent response, which perceived the addition of similar weaponry as technically compliant, but potentially unsportsmanlike.

"I think the general reaction was that [the 'anti-crusher weapon'] was within the rules but not really in the spirit of the tournament but we can't fully remember."
— Team Hypno-Disc on roboteers' reception of the 'anti-crusher weapon'[4]

Indeed, Team Tornado had previously been forced to abandon their 'anti-axe' and 'anti-spinner' weapons after they were deemed to be defensive additions; the latter was originally intended to be used against Hypno-Disc in their Semi-Final battle.[5]

Despite these concerns, judge and former technical consultant Mat Irvine remained supportive of the 'anti-crusher weapon'; during a guest interview leading to the Extreme 2 Challenge Belt final, he again noted its eligibility under the then-current technical rules, and encouraged the use of this and other similar devices pending any further rule changes.

"Personally, I think they're being clever here. I think they don't fall foul of the rules as they are written at the moment, so if they allow it... go ahead, let's do it. It's fun... whether it will be allowed in the future is another matter."
— Mat Irvine on Team Tornado's use of the 'anti-crusher weapon'

The presence of Tornado's 'anti-axe', 'anti-spinner' and 'anti-crusher' weapons ultimately led to defensive add-ons and interchangeable weapons with defensive features being prohibited for Series 7, which also saw the maximum dimensions for competitor robots reduced to 2 metres long by 1.2 metres wide.[6]

Trivia[edit | edit source]

  • Tornado became the first robot ever to win the UK Championship while beating the previous winner en route to the title, and in the process, Razer became the first UK Champion to obtain the runner-up position after being crowned champion. Both feats were repeated in Series 10.
  • Terrorhurtz became the third robot with an overhead weapon to reach a Grand Final.
  • This was Firestorm's third and last Grand Final.
  • The Sixth Wars Grand Final was the only Grand Final where neither of the robots in the final battle were armed with a lifting or flipping weapon, although Razer added a hook on the end of its claw to act as a makeshift lifter.
  • All four Grand Finalists defeated at least one of the previous year's semi-finalists en route to the Grand Final. This had previously occurred in Series 3 and 5.
  • This was the only Grand Final of the original series where the qualifiers from the same semi-final did not fight each other. Razer and Firestorm 4 qualified from the first semi-final but did not meet in this final (nor did Tornado and Terrorhurtz).
  • For the second year running, Razer only had two fights from its heat featured in the Jonathan Pearce recap, out of three, the least of all finalists recapped.
  • In the recap, during the recap of the first semi-final, Razer's battle against Dantomkia was shown before Firestorm 4's battle against S3. In the actual episode, it was the other way round.
  • Only four House Robots appeared throughout the whole episode - Shunt in all four battles, Sir Killalot in the first eliminator, Mr. Psycho in the second eliminator and Dead Metal in the play-off and Grand Final.
  • All four robots in this Grand Final competed in a World Championship at some point.
  • This was the final appearance of Dominic Parkinson from Team Hurtz.

References[edit | edit source]

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