Battlebots is a robot fighting competition. 2016’s champ, Ray Billings, described it with the statement, “We get together every year and we break each other’s toys.” The first season on ABC started with 24 bots in the qualifying round. This year, that number was bumped up to 48 for even more fun and destruction. I’m sure somebody will wonder why I put those two words separately.
This post will focus on the 2016 champion robot Tombstone and its fights.
The No. 1 seed this season (and last season) is Tombstone. Tombstone’s builder is Ray Billings, the guy on the right in the picture. Although it lost to Biteforce in the finals last year, the devastating horizontal bar spinner bot went home from Season 2 with the big prize, the giant nut.
Tombstone’s match in the round of 32 went excellently for it. The most powerful spinner in the competition easily knocked out its opponent, the rookie launcher bot Escape Velocity. I am pretty much happy with whatever happens in Tombstone’s fights. If Tombstone wins, I can’t blame the losing robot–Tombstone’s arguably the most feared bot in the competition. And if Tombstone’s opponent wins, congrats! You just defeated the most feared bot in the competition!
The next fight was against Brutus, another spinner bot. Brutus’s builder, Adam Bercu (former member of Team Overhaul) said he had a plan: box-rush Tombstone before the bot had a chance to start up its weapon. But short-term tactics against Tombstone are probably not great ideas; as is Tombstone’s usual routine, it knocked the other bot out in less than a minute. Granted, it was only one second short of a minute, but still.
Tombstone’s fight in the Quarter Finals brought a bit more trouble: the powerful hammer bot, Beta. Beta stood its ground for most of the fight with its strong armor, but Ray Billings and Tombstone eventually got in a miraculous hit that pretty much won the match for Tombstone: after being flipped upside-down by Beta, their blade was actually at an optimum height for taking out the base of Beta’s hammer, therefore destroying the other bot’s main weapon. This, and their superior destruction skill over the rest of the match, impressed the judges enough for Tombstone to win by a unanimous judges’ decision.
Next, Tombstone fought Yeti, a robot with a drum spinner weapon and lifting arms. Its game plan for all of its previous fights had been Target locked? Destroy. It was pretty even at first–Tombstone took out Yeti’s tires, Yeti disabled Tombstone’s famous spinner. However, Tombstone eventually was able, through a push match, to exert enough control to win the judges’ unanimous approval.
Finally, it was the finals. Tombstone was facing off against Bombshell, a “Swiss-army bot” (so called because it has interchangeable weapons) that had remained in the competition because of a wildcard after losing its qualifying match. It may have defeated plenty of bad bots to get to the finals, but Tombstone completely owned the fight. Bombshell, after missing a crucial attempt at taking out Tombstone’s blade with its own spinner, was completely at the mercy of Tombstone, getting ripped to shreds until it was knocked out. Ray Billings then went home as the Battlebots 2016 champion with the giant nut. He said on TV he would use it as a pillow. Wonder if he did.