Week 5 Recap: KABOOM

Week 5 Recap: KABOOM

Uppercut over Free Shipping

I mean, what is there to say? The captain of Free Shipping was laughing during the intro, knowing what was coming.

Well, he knew defeat was coming, he didn’t know the gigantest explosion in BB history was coming his way. Clear Uppercut’s fight schedule and give them only robots with gas tanks to fight. Honestly though that’s probably the biggest one we’ll ever see, that tank is bigger than Sawblaze’s, and we saw Tombstone clip Gruff last year and it was smaller than either of these. Maybe Tombstone didn’t hit it hard enough? I don’t know, explosions are explosions.

Another 2-0 start for Uppercut with some ridiculous knockout work, and yet…did anyone else notice he was limping around and could barely move at the end of the fight? Goddamnit! It’s gonna happen again, isn’t it, he’ll run into a Ribbot type somewhere in the five tier playoffs and they’ll survive the shots where Uppercut, the one delivering the shots, does not. It will happen, I’m almost sure of it, and I will be absolutely devastatated, again. I’m getting sad just thinking about it.

The Hammer Bowl: Shatter! over Blacksmith

That did not disappoint!

Those two delivered on three minutes of clubbing each other with hammers, and that’s all we could ever ask of those two. What else are they capable of?

Absolutely wild sequence to kick off the fight that really surprised me (at least the Blacksmith angle), and I wonder how much was strategy vs impetuous decisions in the heat of battle. Everything unfolds so quickly at the start of these fights. There was some positioning and dodging to begin, then they both were facing the other and the exchange was coming. Well, Shatter!’s hammer came down a fraction of a second earlier than Blacksmith’s did, and Blacksmith ended up landing a pretty good blow. The saw was digging into Shatter’s big juicy Death-Hammer and it looked like BS had the upper hand, for a moment.

Side bar, but my god, does Shatter! look badass or what? Look at this thing!

(picture)

The Mary…Sunshine weapon? Something like that

Hombot is really growing on me. Anyhow, what Shatter!’s blade is that Blacksmith’s is not is simple, it’s just metal, there’s no moving parts or belts that can be broken. Even so Blacksmith had the hammer saw over Shatter!, he really was on top for a moment, and cut up the top a bit (which is more vulnerable than Blacksmith’s hull). Then Blacksmith made a strange decision – he kept the hammer down, so it was reaching out in front of him with the vertical saw leading (I’m assuming this was intentional). Maybe this was a pre-planned tactic to counter Shatter!’s reach advantage and possibly mess up the forks keeping Blacksmith at bay? Or was he just winging it, excited after the early success? The problem is leaving the hammer out like that is obvious – it invites Shatter! to hack at it and try to damage the more complex mechanisms (unlike Shatter!), and wowie, that’s exactly what happened. Once Shatter! disabled the saw and Blacksmith had not cut the forks or done anything to mitigate Shatter!’s reach superiority it was essentially Shatter!’s match.

There goes the hammer saw (note the loose belt). Also fire

Is Shatter! elite? They’re 2-0 (not against top-tier competition but not awful either) and won two playoff games last year. Seems like they’re getting a lot of good draws? We’ll see, it’d be great to have a hammer bot in the mix. That never happens.

P1 over Whoever Those Guys Were

What can we say about this one…It was fun to watch! Multi-Robot teams are a joke, they don’t work ever, and people should stop trying them. Nevertheless, credit where credit is due: I like P1 a lot, they’re 2-0 now(!) and they seem to deliver a lot of memorable performances. Remember that ridiculous fight when they took on the snake robot at the end of last year? P1 will be in the playoffs this year (shouldn’t be any controversy) and I look forward to perhaps a very surprising run!

Hydra over Gruff

What. A. Show.

The variety is truly what makes this sport great – you got robots being thrown in the air, and fire, and the upper deck action by P1 in the last fight, all kinds of crazy stuff. This one was probably predictable but nonethless a blast.

Ok, I made a bad (homer) pick here. I keep waiting for the crazy upsets to occur, and they’re just not happening! I don’t want to miss them when/if they arrive!

Hydra’s back on track. I mean, Gruff did survive 16 flips(!!!!!! is that a record?) and seem to be still moving, they only lost because they were chucked out of the arena. So that’s not nothing! They didn’t do anything special with the flips, no sword or wacky attachment, and I think that would have helped, the regular ones were useless. Oh well, a learning experience for the still young Gruff. They should be ok with the playoffs with a good showing in their last fight, especially a win. And jeez man, they had to fight Hydra! NOBODY beats Hydra!

Damn, just occurred to me, here are the toughest fights Gruff has had each season

  • 2019: Tombstone after Tombstone Lost
  • 2020: Whiplash after Whiplash Lost
  • 2021*: Hydra after Hydra Lost

Those guys NEVER Lose, especially Tombstone (back then) and Hydra! Goddamnit! That’s not fair, that’s not fair to Gruff. Moving on…

The Spinner Bowl: Gigabyte over Captain Shrederator

A bit underwhelming after seeing the ridiculous and wonderful Gigabyte-Son of Whyachi in the Bounty episode last year. Alas. Honestly the Captain looks pretty good this year? He had that…I don’t what to call it, a blade attachment, around the top of his bot, forming a Saturn like ring as he spun.

And then the match starts and Shred delivered a few choice hits, the last one almost sending Gig into the wall. He definitely got the better of the early exchanges. But somehow it was already over, Shred didn’t seem to move (unless he was tactically standing perfectly still, so Gig wouldn’t see him???) and Gigabyte clocked him a good one after recovering and Shred didn’t spin after that.

Anyhow, nothing else to say here, but point out again our boy Gigabyte takes shots like an absolute champ, better than almost anyone, and is always a threat to win the match and maybe many matches, even in the playoffs. He’s 1-1 and back in the mix.

??? over Duck!

Duck!, I am really really disappointed. I love you. I wanted more than this.

The beak sucks. I don’t know how it survives the first fight against Witch Dr (it broke their spinner!) and then gets eaten up here from the start. Was it a different model? Anyhow, we’ve seen enough, the old model with the giant obnoxious spinning arm was far better, this new beak grabber thing is not getting the job done.

Dragon Slayer(?) looked pretty good, maybe they’ll have some success in this league. My mother really liked the feathers.

End Game over Witch Doctor

Witch Doctor was so close.

They did their fantastic “circling” strategy, flying around End Game and showing off their terrific driving acumen, then picking precision shots and hoping for the best against End Game’s wide and fully exposed weapon. They did ok in the exchanges, took a massive hit in the middle there but was still moving fine, then they circled around for another matchup. This angle was a little better, they got in there, then finally gave End Game a shot to the body a few inches away from the weapon. He was launched a bit and spun away; End Game’s backside was vulnerable, the weapon a non-factor.

And Witch Doctor couldn’t move.

The right(?) side of his drive train died at that exact moment. From the hits, I’m sure, but still, another couple seconds and WD might have been the winner. From there it was all a formality, when a robot can’t really move it’s going to lose to a champion like End Game, even if he sustained some damage in that highly entertaining match. Nothing changes at the top, End Game is still number 1, and I can’t imagine who they’ll be facing in fight 3. As for Witch Doctor, overall they showed well here, End Game had won eight fights in a row and was the champion, this was as well as anyone’s held up to them in a while. However…

At the same time, that’s three matchups against three VERY HIGHLY regarded robots, that Witch Doctor has had in the 2020 and 2021* (to date) seasons. They faced Hydra to start off last season, Sawblaze in the playoffs, and End Game this week, those are definitely 3 of the top 5 in the sport right now, and maybe even the top 3! (For those interested, WD faced Whiplash in 2019 and ate him up) Anyhow, here’s the deal – Witch Doctor had a good performance in each one, went to the judges in the first two before getting knocked out tonight (even got a bizarre vote to win against Hydra) – but lost every match. Couldn’t win any of them. So I don’t know, it’s good that they’re playing the best in the sport very tough and almost to a draw…but a loss is a loss! It would mean much much more if they, you know, won one of these big fights, even if it required them getting lucky. So we’ll move Witch Doctor below the top ten, firmly in the second tier…but I don’t count them out. They might yet have a story to tell.

HIT of the Week

Is there any question?

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