Congrats on Claw Viper and Minotuar for reaching 3-0 and already achieving terrific seasons.
One of those is, er, more surprising than the other.
Interestingly enough, I was discussing the fight with my friend before it began, and we concluded that Bloodsport should use its speed to try to smother Gigabyte, control-bot style, even at the expense of using its own weapon. That was funny because a) Bloodsport concluded the exact same thing, and attempted such strategy, but then b) the strategy failed miserably! Gigabyte was getting up to speed and then kicking Bloodsport around. Largely the issue was that Bloodsport didn’t have an effective enough wedge to pull this off.
Ok, so Bloodsport steps back, regroups, and goes with Plan B. The thing about when you have speed as an advantage, you can always just stretch your legs and play keep away. That allowed Bloodsport time to reset, and also get their vicious spinner up to full blast. Sure, Gigabyte did the same thing, but at least now BS could counter. Plan B was the idea that if both weapons hit at absolute full throttle, they could survive the nuclear blast better than the other.
HIT of the Week
Anyhow, it worked!
In its first fight Gigabyte seemed poorly driven, this time they just hold up to damage as well as they have in the past two seasons. Yes, it was a cataclysmic hit, I get it, they still could have survived it. They survived much worse a year ago. So yeah, horizontal spinners are dead, the Wonderful Gigabyte Magic seems exhausted, and that’s that. Now I have Claw Viper and Huge and maybe even Quantum to be excited about as the new out-of-the-box contenders. Gig is out. For now.
Claw Viper: A
Honestly that might have been Claw Viper’s worst performance of the season? They didn’t get a knockout, and they had a ton of trouble gripping Overhaul due to its shape. That’s something to watch – some robots will be the right shape for Claw Viper, some will not, it’s partially by chance. Overhaul was lucky in this regard. Nevertheless, Claw Viper still kicked its ass, especially for the first two minutes or so, before there was a little more back and forth down the stretch.
CV finishes up against the very dangerous and very clumsy Hypershock. That could go very well for them! Either way they’re already in and worthy of mention when people talk about this season. 3-1 will make them, I don’t know, maybe the 16-20 seed, 4-0 will put them top ten.
Overhaul is just not built for the modern era. Too slow, and also a very inflexible and awkward design, especially for a lifter. When they’re not facing Huge or Starchild (their first victory!) the arms are not well lined up to pick up a modern-shaped robot, I’m sorry. This could have been closer with Viper struggling to grab and carry, and Overhaul actually being more durable! But it wasn’t.
We lost Uppercut and gained Monsoon, that’s a fair trade. Looks like Monsoon has both a higher floor and a lower ceiling. Uppercut could literally beat anyone in the sport, in seconds, or they could die all by themselves at any moment. It was kind of awesome. But, if you were a big fan and wanted them to achieve greatness, it was a far cry for that.
Anyhow, I like Monsoon, but probably lacks the stamina to win long fights against durable opponents (see their match against Black Dragon). In a pinch though they are very powerful and impressive.
Horizon is just godawful. The design is rather Seussian. That’s the only good part. Let’s see who are the beneficiaries of their awfulness in the remainder of their schedule.
Lol, I was going to check Triton’s schedule in the same exercise, ok then! I think they win lose to Shatter!
Yeah, I’m going to write a post called “The Worst Robots On Earth” where I discuss the extremely shoddy quality of the 2023 Battlebots Lower Class. The worst 10 robots (I believe there is 50 total) are really, really putrid. I have a feeling these two will be covered there in some amount of detail.
As for this particular fight, this was a better performance by Mammoth, in that they actually achieved a self-right (as labored as it was), and hung around for 3 minutes. The driving was good, he smothered Starchild and didn’t let him “get going”. I use quotes because I don’t know if Starchild can get going, if there’s anything to get going. But he certainly kept the pressure on and prevented the arm from swinging freely.
(In case I haven’t piled on enough here – I bless a robot each year with the designation of Worst Weapon In The Field. Mammoth won many years ago! They’ve slightly improved, but Starchild may have already clinched this year. It hasn’t had a moment yet. Not a single thing. Is there a spinning blade in there, even if the swing isn’t effective?)
Anyhow, it’s kinda funny that Huge is having a great year while these other two bots, using similar strategies, have been mostly dreadful. But who knows, we’ll see how Mammoth finishes the season out. Starchild, of course, is done, and is an automatic win for whichever lucky ducks face it the rest of the year. Along with Horizon, and probably Triton. Look forward to reading about all of them in a Loser Post coming up soon!
Who gets an automatic W the rest of the way from facgin Starchild, let’s see
Huh, Gigabyte has been pretty terrible on their own! But they should be able to carry that one. Hey, congrats to Huge on 3+ regular season wins in 2023!
Fun Fact: I watched this episode with a group of people, and we gambled on every fight. Which made a mediocre week of fights great. Because Gambling!
The most memorable bet (and win, for me) of the night by far was taking Under One Minute Match twice. Monsoon Horizon, and Copperhead Triton. Both were 50 seconds or so. This one even dawdled for a bit with the judges seemingly confused. It wasn’t enough. Sweet Victory.
A thought I’ll take the opportunity to voice – I can’t think of a sucessfull robot that is less interesting to discuss than Copperhead. There’s nothing going on there. They have a very potent weapon (top ten or so in the sport), they are of average speed and average durability, and yeah. Their matches are never interesting. They don’t have any moves or cache associated with them. The most interesting thing they’ve ever done is be on the wrong end of some of the most stunning upsets in the modern era – against Mammoth (a different Mammoth, a much better Mammoth than the one we have now) and Gigabyte. Otherwise, yeah, they usually win, and it’s usually dull. Even End Game, who largely just punts the opposition, has to win matches a lot of different ways, and has a great combination of power and durability and ground-hugging all at once – see look, I’m just spouting off interesting thoughts about End Game, off the top of my head. I can’t do that for Copperhead. There’s nothing there. (In my opinion, of course)
Honestly Triton isn’t terrible, they did ok in a couple weapon on weapon shots, but they were driving out of control, and left their back(!) wide open for Copperhead to attack and knock the stuffing out of. So they lost, but they could beat…somebody! Let’s check the rest of the schedule, what the hell.
I mean, Glitch looked downright sedentary in fight one, but they should still be favored against Triton. At least I’m hoping for it so we get 0-3 Triton against 0-3 Horizon, and I can give it a great nickname like The, I don’t know, Stupid Bowl.
Speaking of terrible robots…
Yeah I can’t anymore, I have a limit. The incredibly offensive thing is due to all the terribleness, a robot like Lucky is 2-0. 2 wins against 0 losses for this chucklehead!
Credit as deserved, they drove really well here; the driver is excellent, and I liked their heavily armored look in fight one, but their flipper seems worse than ever, a puncher really, and it’s just not going to be competitive with a good robot. Lucky is fast but he’s not Claw Viper fast. He’s not unaccounably fast. But good lord, they got a joke in fight 3, I can’t live in a world where this robot is 3-0 and one crazy End Game-Ripperoni type accident away from 4-0. I don’t like that. It doesn’t sit well.
As for Kraken…Yeah, like I said, there’s a limit to talking about bad robots. He couldn’t move at all, it was brutal. Goodbye.
For me the two best fights of the year to date were Witch Doctor vs Fusion, and then this one. They’re certainly the best two fights of that type (long drawn out battle with tons of sustained damage on both sides), and also instructive in who won, and how. Both were won by the experienced favorite, but they were not the lower bot, and they did not win the majority of the exchanges. They won because they were more durable, and more persistent, and also of course they were driven better. Eventually the other robot gave out (This also happened in Black Dragon vs Monsoon).
Anyhow, pointing it out because it’s an interesting trend of the season so far, and does fit with some stuff that happened in the playoffs last year: the winner being the grittier bot that can win a dogfight and sustain big hits as necessary(link). Let’s keep an eye on that.
That’s the macro. The micro is – this fight was awesome! Wow! If you like bit hits this was it. I honestly didn’t think Minotaur was that durable, apparently they are (this season). Unreal. Cobalt man, they were winning pretty much the whole time until it ended. Minotaur correctly focused on destroying the wedges by any means necessary, and the battle was transformed once they succeeded. Without the wedges Minotuar could land a lower shot, send Cobalt back on its head, and yeah, their sefl-right game sucks! Has this come up before? I guess it’s just the weapon? (This also might be the case with Deathroll(link)). Yeah I don’t know guys, I don’t know.
Here’s the good news, for Cobalt – they’re gonna get under 90% plus of the opponents they face. Who else can do what Minotaur did and literally chew on their front for over a minute? Very few. They gotta revisit the self-right game, but again, they were grounded great all season until the wedges came off here. I don’t recall them getting flipped even once last year, so yeah. They are vulnerable to certain low opponents for sure, but man oh man, these guys are contenders. For sure. They could beat Minotaur in a rematch no question, of course they could. And they might be the 1 seed.
(I should probably gush about The Move again, Minotaur’s unbelievable trick where they float up on one side of their robot, effortlessly spinning and rotating as desired. They would not be 3-0 without it. I’m thinking a separate post to celebrate this and other “moves” in the BB community will be coming soon)