Spears are the term used to refer to a type of long spike which can exist as static or active weapons. Series 1 Grand Finalist T.R.A.C.I.E. and Arena Semi-Finalist Nemesis were among the first robots to use either kind of spear in Robot Wars, with other notable examples including Tornado (both retracting (Series 4) and static (Series 6)) Spikasaurus (static), 101 (retracting) and Spawn of Scutter (retracting).
Spears differ from spikes in that they are generally longer, while spikes can exist in any length. Their purpose is to specifically pierce through robots' armour with the intention of damaging internal components, as well as puncturing tyres or dislodging tracks. This differs from most other types of static blades, which primarily aim to batter and damage opponents.
Retracting spears, such as those used by 101 and Spawn of Scutter, are usually concealed within the robot, and powered by a pneumatic/hydraulic ram or a rod connected to a flywheel or camshaft. They thrust out of the robot's body at high speed, causing instantaneous damage to an opponent's armour or wheels. They solve many of the problems affecting static spears, notably being less liable to being damaged or broken off because they are usually concealed within the robot's body until they fire. This also improves the robot's manoeuvrability, allowing it to turn without having the spear catch on opponents, walls or other objects.
Retracting spears may also be referred to as spike cannons.
Advantages and DisadvantagesEdit
- Like spikes, static spears are light and easy to attach to a robot.
- Spears are especially useful damaging weapons if the robot has a powerful drive system and is manoeuvrable and well-driven enough. It is possible for static spears to deal considerable amounts of damage to their opponents through ramming them or impaling their armour or wheels, as Spikasaurus demonstrated against Suicidal Tendencies and Killerhurtz during the Series 4 Northern Annihilator.
- It is especially possible for retracting spears to be considerably effective in causing damage to opponents' armour. Nemesis and Ruf Ruf Dougal were both able to punch holes through Roadblock and Gemini with their spears before losing to their respective opponents.
- Both types of spears are easily compatible with invertible designs, and equally effective when the robot is inverted. T.R.A.C.I.E. and Mr Nasty are notable examples with static spears, while 101 and Spawn of Scutter are notable examples with retracting spears. Tornado also enjoyed considerable amounts of success when equipped with either type of spear in various series.
- Retracting spears could offer an ingenious synergy when combined with elements of a particular robot's design. By far the best example of this is through Spawn of Scutter's spear, which was combined with its front wedge to act as a very effective flipping weapon, hurling robots such as Banshee and Onslaught over effortlessly at various points throughout Series 4.
- Spears, especially longer ones, can be fragile and prone to breaking off.
- They are only effective at attacking in one direction and, unless they are retractable, are difficult to use effectively without a strong drive system and a good run-up on opponents.
- Often, they are so sharp that they can catch on parts of the arena and leave a robot equipped with them stuck on that particular part. Spikasaurus became impaled on the wall in its Heat in Series 4, resulting in its subsequent elimination, and T.R.A.C.I.E.'s spears prevented it from getting out of its pocket during its Snooker Trial in Series 1. This would have eliminated T.R.A.C.I.E. if the stock robot Eubank the Mouse had not been deemed as having irreparably broken down.
- Also, if they are successfully used, they can impale through opponents so effectively that it becomes difficult to separate both robots. Suicidal Tendencies and Spikasaurus both had to be dismantled in order to become separated during the Northern Annihilator, after Spikasaurus' spears became impaled through Suicidal Tendencies' side panels.
- Generally, both kinds of spears are less effective at piercing/puncturing other robots than other weapons, especially those with tougher armour. For example, Tornado was unable to use its retracting (Series 4) or static (Series 6) spears to good effect, instead relying on its immense pushing power to win battles in which it was equipped with them.
List of Robots with Spear WeaponsEdit
Robots are listed alphabetically. Robots which are not heavyweight entries are listed with a green background. House Robots are listed with a yellow background. Robots with retracting spears are listed in bold.
|Robot||Series Appearances with Spears||Notes||Image|
|101||Series 3-5, Extreme 1||UK Series 3 and World Championship Semi-Finalist, Series 4 Tag Team Terror champion with King B3. Spear was activated by an Extraperceptive Central System (ECS) which allowed it to automatically fire when an opponent was in range.|
|Alien Destructor||Dutch Series 1-2, Extreme 1||Competed as Alien Destructor 2 in Dutch Series 2.|
|Ansgar||Extreme 1||Capable of punching out at a speed of 300rpm. Interchangeable with a flipping arm.|
|Aggrobot||Series 3-4||Future Aggrobot models featured a set of pincers as weaponry.|
|Atomic 2||Series 5||Secondary weapon, fired from the rear of the machine.|
|Axios||Series 3||Mounted on an overhead pole.|
|Bodyhammer||Series 1-2||Bodyhammer was armed with a static spike during its battles in Series 1. In Series 2, Bodyhammer used a front-mounted reciprocating spike powered by a garden strimmer, often erroneously referred to as a 'flipper'. Paired with a 6-inch circular saw.|
|Broot||Series 2||Rear-mounted spear weapon.|
|Cassius 2||Series 3||Rear-mounted retracting spear extending to a length of three-quarters of a metre. Specifically added to allow Cassius 2 to theoretically escape from the Pit of Oblivion if it reversed in.|
|Cassius Chrome||Series 7||Interchangeable with fists, driven by rear rotary camshafts.|
|Cataclysmic Variabot||Extreme 1-2||18" pneumatic spike was interchangeable with an axe or flipper weapon. Only the axe was used on television.|
|Cobra||Series 7||Only had enough CO2 for seven attacks per battle.|
|Death Trak||Series 2||Wedge spikes were detachable.|
|Demolition Demon 2||Series 3||Competed in Robotic Soccer only.|
|Destruct-A-Bubble||Series 4||Used like a tongue.|
|Detonator||Series 1, 4|
|Dragbot||US Season 2||Unusual sets of moving spikes on its wedge, intended to drag and lift robots over. Had additional spear weapons that could be attached to the sides, although these were not seen on television.|
|Elvis||Series 1||Armed with a lifter and saw in Series 2.|
|Fire Storm||Series 3||Secondary weapon fired from the rear of the machine. Very limited usage, as Fire Storm primarily used its front-hinged flipping arm to attack opponents.|
|Immortalis||Series 5||Rear weapon.|
|Leighbot||Series 1||Used an four-bar electric arm to thrust the spear. Equipped an electric fan to clear smoke in its Gauntlet run.|
|Mr Nasty||Series 6, Extreme 2||Static weaponry used to great effect in its New Blood Championship opening melee.|
|Nemesis||Series 1-2||The first robot to appear in UK Robot Wars with a retracting spear, as well as static spikes along its sides.|
|Pain||Series 2||A 'kinetic stabber' powered by sparks produced from a mix of oxygen and fuel. Removed before its Gauntlet run due to reliability problems.|
|REALI-T||Series 1||Two long spikes at the front of the robot.|
|Robopig||Series 3||Hinged spike which could double as a lifter and bludgeoner. Referred to as a 'Vicious Piggy Lick' by the team.|
|Ruf Ruf Dougal||Series 5-6||Reciprocating spike powered by a flywheel.|
|Saw Point||Series 4||Spike could spread open after impaling an opponent.|
|Sir Chromalot||Series 3-4||Replaced by a flipping arm from Series 5 onwards.|
|Slippery Strana||Series 2||Pair of custom 10-inch steel spikes, each weighing 1-2kg. Series 2 Lightweight Champion.|
|Spawn of Scutter||Series 4||Spear mounted at an upward angle within the front wedge, and doubled as a flipping weapon. Series 4 Semi-Finalist.|
|Spikasaurus||Series 4||Series 4 Northern Annihilator champion. Pairs of 12- or 18-inch front spears, interchangeable with an unused ramming bar and curved scoop.|
|Techno Trousers||US Season 2, Nickelodeon||A hydraulic 'lance' powered by a truck spring attached to a cable, located within one of the robot's 'trouser legs'.|
|Terrorpin||Series 3||Was in the shape of a small head, inside a tortoise-shaped shell.|
|THE BASH||Series 10||World Series competitor. Two pneumatic spikes rested at either side of THE BASH's pincer.|
|Tornado||Series 4 (retracting), Series 6 (static)||The static spear was only used in one battle, its Series 6 Heat Final against Anarchy.|
|T.R.A.C.I.E.||Series 1||Series 1 Grand Finalist armed with twin lances. Only Grand Finalist to use spears as its only weapon (excluding Tornado in Series 6).|
|The Witch||Series 3|
|Twn Trwn||Series 3||Retractable battering ram. Was removed in order to remain within the weight limit.|
- The reboot was intended to have a dedicated pneumatic spike robot, Point Blank, although it failed its tech check for both Series 9 and 10 and ultimately did not appear on television.