Being a Robot Wars fan for most of my life, it is probably natural to have thoughts and opinions about the show. Hence, I have created a subpage to detail my top lists and my detailed thoughts about one of my favourite TV shows of all time.
I want to talk aboutEdit
This section is dedicated to talking about Robot Wars in general, rather than a top list of anything.
TX-108 vs Hypno-DiscEdit
This Wild Card Warrior battle has been subject to a lot of controversy amongst this wiki, especially when it was time to do Series 5 Audited on the forums. You see, it appears that the main reason TX-108 was voted in (as well as being voted to beat Immortalis) was because it defeated Hypno-Disc. Although this is true, it was not offically a clean win, as Hypno-Disc suffered a malfunction which was not caused by its opponent. Overall, I'm afraid that in my opinion, TX-108 cannot be voted to win a battle in The Arena on the sole reason that it "beat" Hypno-Disc. That's not to say people will however; TX-108 is quite underrated in my opinion and can defeat decent robots.
Now I am sure that if you are a casual fan reading this, you may be wondering why you have never heard of this battle until now. Well the battle did happen, but it was never aired on television. It appeared that everyone, from the Hypno-Disc team, to Mentorn, to possibly the audience, were unhappy with this fluke and wanted a rematch. Because TX-108 could not be repaired in time, a rematch never occured. The producers concluded that the battle was too brief (at only thirty seconds), too boring and too similar to another Hypno-Disc battle (vs Nasty Warrior), for it to be shown on television.
My view however, is that Hypno-Disc needed to look strong in order to sell additonal merchandise, tickets and TV ratings (after all, it, Chaos 2 and Razer were the three biggest draws at this point). Airing losses to robots like TX-108 would cost the BBC tons of money and that is probably why they would rather air the entire horrible Plunderbird 5 vs Mega Morg battle instead. To be honest, I think this was a good decision.
For both Robot Wars and Lost Media fans, this battle remains as one of Robot Wars' most coverted pieces (along with the unaired MTV Pilot). I no doubt would like to see this battle, no matter how bad it is. It does look unlikely that it will be found however, but stranger things have happened.
Atomic 2 vs Hypno-DiscEdit
Time for another Hypno-Disc battle and another controversial moment. This has less to do with the actual battle (with Hypno-Disc dominating cleanly this time) and instead more to do with the events leading up to it. In Series 5, both Hypno-Disc and Atomic 2 were seeded (3rd and 22nd respectively) and had just dispatched their first round opponents. Hence, they were preparing to do battle with one facing Bulldog Breed 3 and the other taking on Lambsy, as the seeds typically face each other only in the heat final.
At least, that was what we thought. Instead, to our confusion, Hypno-Disc vs Atomic was announced as one of the two heat-semi battles. This was the only time in Robot Wars history that the two seeds faced each other earlier than the heat final. And to this day, me and most of the casual and hardcore Robot Wars fanbase do not understand why the producers decided to pair these two up earlier than expected. I mean, what was the point? Why this lone exception to the seeding tradition? All it achieved was Atomic being destroyed earlier than expected as well as making its seeding look worthless.
Although I do not know the reasoning behind this decision, I have come up with a couple of theories that could explain and answer this controversial moment. Keep in mind that they are just theories, however. Maybe none of them are the truth. But here they are anyway:
1: The producers were 'afraid' that Hypno-Disc was going to lose to Bulldog Breed. After all, Bulldog Breed was very impressive in its Mayhem and in its battle with Juggernot 2. It was also well armoured and that flipper could be a counter to that dangerous flywheel. Because Hypno-Disc was one of the biggest draws for Robot Wars, having it lose to a robot in the heat-semi would have been disasterous. And possibly due to Hypno-Disc struggling in Robot Wars Extreme, the producers would rather have made sure that Hypno-Disc made at least the heat final in response.
2: The Atomic team wanted this battle to happen as soon as possible. Maybe they assumed that Bulldog Breed was going to eliminate them anyway, and wanted a showdown with Hypno-Disc at a moment's notice. Or that they knew they stood no chance against Hypno-Disc and would rather have as much time as possible to repair Atomic in time for the Annihilator. Or even that they were convinced they could beat all three of its opponents but were concerned that they would not have enough time to repair Atomic in good enough condition for the semi-finals. Hence, they would rather be weakened in time for the heat final rather than the semis.
3: It was an error made by the machine in charge of deciding the battles (in a fashion similar to Random.org, for example). However, all three parties (the Hypno-Disc and Atomic teams and the producers) were OK with this battle taking place a round early and thus nothing was done.
Overall, it did not matter for Hypno-Disc as it dominated both Atomic and Bulldog Breed and would probably have dealt with Lambsy in a similar fashion. There was a notable consequence for Atomic, however. Had it gotten to the heat final in Series 5, maybe the producers would have let the robot qualify for Series 6? And had it done well in Series 6, maybe it would have been seeded in Series 7? Indeed, the big loser in all of this was Atomic. It is a real shame in my opinion; Atomic could have been a semi or even grand-finalist in Series 6 and maybe wouldn't of had to face Typhoon 2 in the series after that...
Bad business decisions I: Robot Wars: Extreme DestructionEdit
Throughout Robot Wars' first run from 1998 to 2004, the BBC decided that it would be a great idea to sell merchandise, like toys, books, board games, DVDs and video games. On paper, this was a great decision, as ever since the first Extreme, the audience was becoming more children and fewer adults, who would likely buy anything Robot Wars related in a heartbeat. However, whilst I believe that the BBC made a massive amount of money on merchandise, I think they actually made a ton of mistakes that prevented them from actually making more money, money that could have perhaps made Robot Wars far more profitable than it actually was. In this series, I will be looking at many business errors that that prevented Robot Wars from becoming more commercially successful.
The first error on my list leads me to the Robot Wars video games. Before I begin, I was (and still is) a major fan of the Robot Wars video games. I do admit however that maybe they were not exactly the best video games ever made. The critics seem to agree with my opinion, with a 50.50% rating on the PS2 version and a 41.00% rating on the PC version of Robot Wars: Arenas of Destruction. Robot Wars games and critics just don't mix, sadly.
Like most LJN games in the 1980s however, regardless of how good or bad the Robot Wars video games are, the fact that it was super popular in the early 2000s meant that the fans ate them up. Indeed, the first three games in the series ended up selling a combined total of 250,000 copies. Not bad in my opinion and it was only going to get better when Robot Wars: Extreme Destruction was going to be released in Christmas season in 2002.
I don't deny that releasing the game in the Christmas season was a good idea, but something went really badly when it was time to release the console/PC version of the game. For some reason, BBC Multimedia decided it was a great idea to release it for the PC and Xbox only. Why? Don't get me wrong, the Xbox is a good console and all, and it deserves a Robot Wars video game, but why was there no PlayStation 2 version like in Arenas of Destruction? If you don't get why I find this a horrible business decision, look at the commercial figures for both consoles. The Xbox sold around 24 million consoles; the PlayStation 2 sold over 155 million.
Indeed, the BBC missed a major goldmine here. My only guess was that they decided to sign a contract with Microsoft to exclusively sell these games on Microsoft platforms instead of the PS2 and GameCube (Yup, I do know there was a Gameboy Advance version, but that is a different version of the game). Although I believe Extreme Destruction would sell enough to cover costs, the BBC threw away a large amount of money by not releasing it on the PS2.
Now you may be wondering why I am not bashing Arenas of Destruction for not being on the Xbox or GameCube. Well, the reason why was because in Europe, neither of those consoles were released yet over here. Henceforth, the release of Arenas of Destruction was OK, whilst Extreme Destruction had no excuse and therefore becomes the first bad business decision on my list.
Why Barber-Ous should have done better in Series 7Edit
As you readers might know according to my userpage, I am a very big fan of Barber-Ous. This demon barber was a rotating drum of doom, capable of causing massive amounts of damage to its opponents, as well as flipping robots high into the air. This meant that Barber-Ous 2 was able to reach the heat final of Series 6, losing to Hypno-Disc, which is not something to be too ashamed of.
After this success, Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit entered Series 7, with a tougher shell (which was needed, since it was made of plastic) and flexible removal links. You would expect that Barber-Ous would repeat its success of Series 6, perhaps even getting to semi-finals if it was lucky. But you would be wrong. Instead, a first round loss in the main competition, as well as losing to Shredder Evolution, made for a disappointing campaign. So why did I feel that Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit should have done better in Series 7? Because only bad luck cost it both of its battles.
In the main competition, Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit faced Tetanus Booster, a rambot with a drum, Leveller 2, a robot with a flipper and Thunderpants, a robot with a hammer. Thunderpants was already eliminated, as they broke down before they even reached the arena. Regardless, though, it would have easily been beaten by the other three. As for the battle itself, Barber-Ous flipped Leveller 2 twice, causing severe damage to its opponent. Just as it looks like Leveller 2 was going out, Barber-Ous broke down due to its own drum and Leveller 2 got through despite being dominated throughout the battle.
I strongly believe to this day that had Barber-Ous not suffered an unfortunate malfunction, Leveller 2 more than likely would of gone out. But then again, I could argue that had Barber-Ous continued, Tetanus Booster would have been eliminated considering it was smoking badly by the end. The sad truth though, is that had Barber-Ous gotten through, it would have beaten Ewe 2, before losing to the current champions Tornado, which, like Hypno-Disc, is nothing to be ashamed of losing to.
Then again, you could argue that you shouldn't bring a glass cannon (an unreliable robot that deals massive damage), into Robot Wars. And maybe you would be right. But that is not an excuse for the Battle of the Spinners, where Barber-Ous faced Shredder Evolution and Infernal Contraption.
To be fair, it did have difficult competition this time. Shredder Evolution was a dangerous robot with two discs, that had already reached the heat final in Series 6. Axlebot Infernal Contraption didn't have this honour, but its captain stated that his robot could cause some serious internal damage, as alleged against Bulldog Breed. Still, in the actual battle, all three were evenly matched, but I could argue that Barber-Ous was causing the most damage, even breaking off one of Shredder's wheel guards. Then, they reached Mr. Psycho's CPZ; both Infernal Contraption and Barber-Ous were trapped, as the pit nearby opened. Then, Mr. Psycho used his closed claw to push the latter into the pit. Curses.
In fairness, maybe Barber-Ous should not have gone to the CPZ, but man was that unlucky! Imagine if there was another house robot in Mr. Psycho's place, one that didn't pit or damage Barber-Ous at that moment. Then, as the battle progressed, perhaps Barber-Ous would have immobilised Shredder Evolution, who was limping after the pitting. Perhaps it would have dealt extra punishment to Infernal Contraption, who at that point only had one wheel working. Alas, Barber-Ous would have won Spin City had it not been pitted.
In conclusion though, we never really will know the full potential of Barber-Ous 2'n a Bit in Series 7, and with the robot now scrapped, we probably never will ever. Still, hopefully the planned Barber-Ous 3 can qualify for the 2017 series and become a danger like its predecessors were.
Top twenty favourite robotsEdit
|20||Trax||There was something about Trax when I first saw it in Series 7 that made me like it and be disappointed when it not only faced Storm 2, but lost in a Judges' decision. Maybe it was down to how, unlike most of the competition in this wars, Trax opted to go for tracks instead of wheels, something that made it unique. Also, the fact that it was painted red and its name sounded cool to me led me to root for it in its battles.|
|19||Pinser||Although I was never a fan of Razer, for some reason I actually wanted Pinser to win its two battles and was unhappy that it did not. First, the name in my opinion again sounds cool, but it was also down to the shape of this machine. Whereas everyone was focusing on how scary The Kraken looked, this machine was the one I would the fear the most, with a beak that looked like it could cause serious damage and a design that appeared difficult for most robots to defeat. Indeed, Pinser never lost to its opponents; what really beat it was a flame pit, which caused it to break down twice. Although it was a shame that Pinser went out despite having the upper hand on Kronic the Wedgehog 3 and Cobra, I learnt a valuable lesson when watching Robot Wars: NEVER back a petrol-engined robot.|
|18||Saw Point (Series 4)||TBA as to why.|
|10||13 Black||After witnessing its Series 6 campaign, despite seeing it beat Stinger, I had to love this robot. I mean, just look at it! I could end it here, but I will elaborate. First, the vibrante colours, only matched by Barber-Ous in my opinion, was one thing; the powerful discs were another. Also, the name 13 Black gives cool connotations, as not only does it state that anyone whom faces it is unlucky, but also the fact that many of its battle tactics, including spinning on the spot, could only be countered by luck. Lastly, no srimech, so 13 Black needed a miracle against Firestorm 5 and Gravity! Even without the name, the fact that it had two powerful spinners, its tactics making any battle it was in be really entertaining and the belief that it could possibly beat Razer meant that 13 Black deserves a place in the top ten of my favourite robots.|
|9||Shredder||The colour purple is an awesome colour to me and the fact that Shredder is purple already made me begin to like it when I first saw it. When S3 broke one of its discs, I started to back this underdog into kicking the seed's behind (S3 is a robot I dislike, although I mean no offense to its team whom built, whom I thought were friendly anyway). The fact that Shredder managed to survive and progress meant that it was the robot that I wanted to win the heat. It first had to beat The Alien, a robot that I felt would win easily but of whom its unreliability I knew would cause it to lose to S3. Sure enough, The Alien dominated at first, but the plucky underdog did not give up, pushing its opponent around, eventually began to show better aggression and control, which contributed to it winning a Judges' decision. Against S3 in the heat final, there was one small crumb of comfort when Noel Sharkey stated that Shredder was a "bit more maneuvarble", proving that by pushing S3 at the start. Eventually however, the blows from S3's disc took their toll on the machine and Shredder was eventually pitted, earning my respect nonetheless. When Shredder Evolution was introduced, it was not quite the underdog it was, but it did look sleek and its speed gave us one of my favourite Jonathan Pearce quotes ("Oh look at the speed - LOOK AT THE SPEED OF IT!"). It lost in disappointing fashion to Steel Avenger and it did not cleanly win Spin City after Barber-Ous was pitted by Mr. Pyscho, but it was still an awesome robot nonetheless. A couple of years later, I found out that Shredder actually competed in Series 5 against Mousetrap 2; thinking that it was going to be an underdog again against the seeds, I was surprised to see how competitive it was! Sure, it fell in the pit due to bad control, but still it was impressive to say the least. Maybe it was a good thing it lost however, considering it would have faced S3 again...|
|8||Chopper||You just have to see Chopper's first battle in the New Blood to see why I like this robot. It was not competitive, being a robot with a chopper that failed to cause much damage, had no srimech, had poor armour and some of the most kamikaze control ever seen in Robot Wars. The last aspect is what made me really like and respect about this robot; not only did it prove that it was actually tough by surviving blow after blow from Matilda's flywheel, but there was also the fact that the poor control meant that the battle was entertaining rather than a dreary affair which it would have been without it. Indeed, it was a shame that not only did we not see it in Series 6, that it was also dominated by Storm 2 in just one slam. Imagine if Chopper was able to recover and somehow become a hazard to Storm 2 due to its unpredictible control?|
|7||Thing 2||TBA as to why.|
|6||Gravedigger||TBA as to why.|
|5||Arnold A. Terminegger||No doubt that the Annihilator made champions out of robots that were generally unlucky in their heats. For example, Spikasaurus and Kan-Opener never made it past the first round yet proved that they were still championship-material. Whilst Arnold never quite made it as far, it came awfully close to it, especially considering they were fighting against robots that had all reached at least the semi-finals. Indeed, its fights against Pussycat and Wild Thing prove it was underrated and it (plus the team) received my respect for holding their own against tremendous odds.|
|4||Stinger||I first saw this machine in the Series 4 grand final eliminators. Although it lost to Chaos 2, it definitely gained my respect and also intrigue of such an unusual design. Henceforth, I started to cheer it on and became a tad disappointed that it never reached its height in Series 4 again. Mind you though, its comeback against Fluffy is no doubt one of my favourites. A shame it did not get to compete in Series 7, due to the active weapons rule.|
|3||Barber-Ous||The above two, as well as my top two favourite robots, are well liked by other people on this wiki as well. Barber-Ous... Not so much. Hence, I self-proclaim myself as the biggest Barber-Ous fan on this wiki. The reason why I like Barber-Ous so much is that it had an unique design (that should of won the Most Original Entry Award), had vibrant colours (including red, my favourite colour), a destructive nature and the fact I consider it underrated. I believe that had it not been for the expert driving of Kim Davis, Barber-Ous would of beaten Panic Attack in Series 5. I also think that it would have gotten to the heat final of Series 7 as well as winning Spin City, had it not been to bad luck. Overall, it is a shame it only really did well in Series 6, although a heat final is definitely merited in my books. Fingers-crossed that a Barber-Ous 3 comes in the near future...|
|2||Kat 3||No doubt one of the best looking robots in Robot Wars, the fact that Kat 3 was red, is named after my favourite animal and also having one of the most unique and friendliest teams places it high above this list. It also defeated Mantis, a robot that I did not like for some unknown reason, which makes me like Kat 3 even more. Again, a shame that it never escaped the heats but all the reasons above means that it ranks second on my top five favourite robots.|
|1||Firestorm||Not a big surprise here, Firestorm easily is my favourite robot by a long, long margin. The one robot I have wanted to win ever since I first started watching Robot Wars and to this day, I still wish to this day it won more trophies than just the Commonwealth Carnage. The reasons why I like it so much? First of, just look at it! No doubt with two of my favourite colours, a cool and impressive design and its name alone just make it so likeable. Also, its ability to flip robots out of the arena with a front-hinged flipper and that it participated in two of my favourite battles (against Razer in the Series 5 grand final and the Series 7 All-Stars) rank Firestorm as my most-liked robot of all time.|