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/8 November 2000
Battlebots by E.C. Ostermeyer




"The Quest for the Giant Nut" continues this week. Three go on. Three go home.

This is the Battlebots report for Wednesday, 8 November 2000, and I'm your recapper, E.C. Ostermeyer.
Coming to you live on tape, we're just sittin' on the dock of the bay in San Francisco.
Your hosts are ESPN renegade Sean Salisbury, and the male gender's answer to Scary Spice, Bill Dwyer.
Helpers this week are class sweetheart and former "Baywatch" babe Donna D'Errico, the reason why cloning will never work, in twins Randy and Jason Sklar, and Bill Nye (see in dictionary under "Guy, Science" listing.)

Our first contest tonight involves Heavyweights Overkill (HW208) of Team Coolrobots, and current defending Heavyweight Champion Vlad the Impaler (HW205) of Team Vladmeisters.
Dwyer and Salisbury give brief run-downs of how the contestants got to this point, with Vlad trashing a hopelessly outmatched Tazbot (shot of Tazbot flying across the ring, upside down), and Overkill outlasting a slugmatch with Frenzy ( shot of Overkill's 44" steel cleaver carving a big groove in Frenzy's aluminum carapace.)
Down on the floor, Jason Sklar's interviewing Overkill's designer/operator Christian Carlberg.
"How long's the blade?" he asks.
"Forty four inches," says Carlberg.
"That's a long blade," says Sklar.
"It's long, it's hard...and it's ready to come down!" says Carlberg, grinning.
"You heard him, folks," says Sklar who sends it back upstairs.

Match #1: Vlad the Impaler (HW205) v. Overkill (HW208), Battlebots Heavyweight Division quarterfinal match.

Ring announcer Mark Biero introduces the combatants. We learn that Vlad's designer Gage Cauchois also designs custom lighting systems for home and office. Christian Carlberg's affinity for Legos at an early age is what got him started building killer robots.

The match gets underway with both combatants rushing at each other, trying for that first vital wallop.
Vlad charges in, but gets Overkill's cleaver right across it's forklifter tines. As Vlad backs away, trying to avoid an arena KillSaw hazard, Overkill gets in two more whacks with the cleaver. Overkill backs off, and Vlad circles warily, looking for an opening. Overkill won't give one, rushing in to clobber Vlad twice more. Vlad charges back, and catches Overkill's front wedge against an arena RamRod hazard, which crumples Overkill's wedge like it was a tin pie plate. Overkill backs off, but doesn't seem to be hampered by a front fender bender, and charges back into the fray. Vlad backs off, then tries a raking sweep with the tines of the forklift again. One of the tines gets hooked through Overkill's cleaver, and Vlad takes the opportunity to shove it's opponent into an arena SpikeStrip hazard.
Overkill backs off, then takes a couple of more swings at Vlad, all of which go wide of the mark. Overkill runs afoul of another set of RamRods. As Overkill lunges after the gyrating Vlad, it gets snatched by the KillSaws and flipped over.
This creates a problem, since, being inverted, the now-crumpled wedge won't let the blade come all the way down. Vlad begins to pick and choose his moves, rushing in for a Jab here, darting in for a Slam there. As Overkill tries to get control of it's situation, Vlad rams it over the protective barrier. Overkill escapes, only to be flipped back upright by a big wallop from Vlad. Overkill spins, and gets stuck on one of Vlad's forklift tines again. Vlad takes advantage, and shoves Overkill on top of the KillSaws for some Hazard Damage points. The KillSaws chew up Overkill's tires and there's sparks coming from Overkill's chassis. Vlad shoves Overkill into the SpikeStrips again, but Carlberg manages to spin Overkill free of the hazard. As Overkill tries to get out of the corner it's pinned into, Vlad lands a tremendous Slam from all the way across the ring. Another charge, and Vlad lifts Overkill off the floor, allowing it's wheels to spin impotently. Another massive charge by Vlad nearly snaps Overkill's cleaver blade in half, as the buzzer sounds, ending the match.

Vlad got 7 Jabs with it's primary weapon, the forklift, 10 Slams, and 4 Hazard Damage.
Overkill got 10 Jabs, but only 2 Slams and 1 Hazard Damage.

Your winner on points: Vlad the Impaler (3:00)

Randy Sklar talks with Gage Cauchois, who says that it usually takes him about a minute or so to get the feel of the arena floor and hazards before he starts in clobbering his opponent. His strategy is to wade in and start swinging.


The next match pits a 308 lb. heavyweight StompBot, Gammatron, and Ramiro Mallari's 203 lb. titanium wedge, Punjar, in a quarterfinal match to determine a position in the Heavyweight Division's Final Four.
Dwyer and Salisbury show us how Gammatron's pickaxe nailed it's Round One opponent, Suicidal Tendencies. Punjar's powerful flying wedge design made short work of the 203 lb. Kill-O-Amp.
Bill Nye's TechSpecs check out Punjar, a classic wedge design using an electric motor hefty enough to power a full-size RAV4 S.U.V. It's drive wheels are recycled out of old Camaro tires for added traction. It's definitely NOT "street-legal."

Match #2: Gammatron (HW308) v. Punjar (HW203) Battlebot Heavyweight division quarterfinal match.

Gammatron's designer/operator Mike Okerman, of the Gammatronic Robot Brigade, built Gammatron out of the remains of his previous robot.
Ramiro Mallari spent $3000 and three months building Punjar.

The Box is locked, the lights are on, and it's Robot Fightin' Time!
The slow-footed Gammatron waddles out to the center of the arena floor, wielding its pickaxe and looking to get the first blow.
Punjar swerves out of the way just in time, as the pickaxe bounces off the arena floor.
Gammatron winds up for another blow, and just misses as Punjar scoots out of the way. Dwyer says that Punjar should stay to the center of the arena, and not get caught up against the SpikeStrip hazards where Gammatron could do the most damage with that pickaxe.
The match progresses at a slow pace, until Punjar gets Gammatron's timing rhythm on the pickaxe blows. Then, it's just a simple matter of ducking the blow, slamming Gammatron, and backing out fast enough to avoid a retaliatory wallop. One of Gammatron's design flaws is that the pickaxe arm is too long, so many of the pickaxe blows overshoot their target. This is apparent when Punjar, giving away almost 105 lbs, is able to Slam into Gammatron, shoving it halfway across the arena floor. Another Slam by Punjar sends Gammatron into the SpikeStrip hazard.
Cameo shot insert of Gammatron's co-designer Curt Nemeth. Curt explains that he'd just got out of jail, and wasn't looking for a regular job, when this opportunity came along. He figured, "Why not?"

Punjar's busily shoving the flailing Gammatron down the length of the SpikeStrip, at the end of which there's an arena SledgeHammer hazard just pounding away.
Gammatron's getting shoved ever closer to the SledgeHammer, as Punjar backs up for another charge. Dwyer says that Gammatron should be picking up litter with the pickaxe's spike, because it's been useless against the speedy Punjar.
Another Slam by Punjar, as Gammatron's pickaxe impotentlly wallops the floor directly behind it's opponent.
Dwyer says that Punjar is giving a clinic on how to beat a StompBot; it's just lining it's opponent up and taking it's shots. Another Slam by Punjar puts Gammatron over the KillSaws, which, adding insult to injury, rip up the StompBot's legs for a bit. The buzzer sounds, and we're done.

Gammatron got in 2 Jabs, scored 0 Slams, (not surprising, being a StompBot), and1 Hazard Damage.
Punjar Scored 15 Jabs (misnamed, should be Slams) with it's flying wedge, one Slam (Jab) and a Hazard Damage point for the KillSaw shot at the end of the match.

Your winner on points: Punjar (3:00)

Post-match, Donna D'Errico consoles the grief-stricken warriors of the Gammatronic Robot Brigade.
"Do you think the floor hazards are more hurtful to a StompBot ?"
"Yeah," replies a glum Curt Nemeth, "our slow speed means we can get away from them (the KillSaws). We got pushed onto them, and they cut us up pretty bad."
"Well, I think your robot looks the coolest," gushes D'Errico. "It has a sexy, Darth Vader-look about it."
Nemeth grins. "That's the look we were trying for."
"Really?" chirps D'Errico, happily, "I nailed it!"
Designer/operator Mike Okerman gives D'Errico "The Look."


The final match of the evening features two crowd favorites, the pickaxe-armed "Pride of the United Kingdom", Killerhurtz (HW205), and the "Pride of Portola Valley, California", Mauler (HW209).

Battle report from Dwyer and Salisbury show that Killerhurtz's first round victory put it's opponent, the 208 lb Monster literally on the "spike" with a pickaxe blow that shattered it's opponent's drive motor. Mauler is shown ripping the starboard side wheel off Jim Smentkowski's awesome Nightmare.
Salisbury says that, although we may not have royalty, we do have the engaging Tilford family of Portola Valley, CA.

Biopic on the South Bay Robowarriors' Tilford family, who bring us a new family motto: "We're different! Piss off!"
Morgan Tilford: "Some families ski together. Some families race boats. We like to smash robots!"
"'Pound the snot out of them' is the technical term," says Pa Charles Tilford, who brought the topic up one night at the dinner table, and the rest of the family said "hell, yeah!"
"When you're creating something as a family," says Morgan, "you can say 'yes, we built that! That was us!'"
Dwyer opines (in voice-over) that others might find a sort of bitter irony in the fact that, while Mauler tears other robots apart, it's bringing one American family closer together. Great graphic of a waving Stars and Stripes, with Pa Tilford giving a good, old, All-American "thumbs-up."

Match #3: Killerhurtz (HW205) v. Mauler (HW209), Battlebots Heavyweight Division quarterfinal match.

Killerhurtz comes shooting out of the box and bores right into Mauler's extra chunky can of whoopass. Killerhurtz backs off, then Slams into Mauler again, the combined force of which lifts Mauler up off the ground.
"Man, you got to have some robot guts to go toe-top-toe with Mauler like that," says Dwyer, as Killerhurtz rams Mauler a third time, and a chunk of Killerhurtz's Lexan carapace gets snapped off by Mauler's whirling maces.
Another glancing blow by Mauler torques Killerhurtz's pickaxe head. Mauler lunges in as Killerhurtz rolls past, and rips it's opponent's trailing wedge off completely, which gets a huge roar from the crowd.
Killerhurtz wheels around, sets, then hits a BIG Jab at Mauler with the pickaxe...
...only to have Mauler's whirling maces rip the pickaxe right out of it's housing and fling it across the arena.
HUGE pop from the fans at arena-side.
Killerhurtz, ever the game scrapper, risks everything on one last Slam...
...and comes up trumps when the force of the Slam sends Mauler careening into an active arena KillSaw!
The force of Mauler's collision with the KillSaw bends the mace disk up off it's main bearing.
This locks up the 'Bot's entire drive system, and stops it dead in it's tracks.
Killerhurtz Slams into Mauler yet again, and gets what's left of it's pickaxe housing jammed into Mauler's innards.
The Brits are signaling that, though jammed, they can still move, and give evidence by wiggling Killerhurtz' robot butt around.
Meanwhile, on the other side of the arena, the referee finishes his "Eight Count O' Doom," much to Pa Tilford's chagrin.

Winner by BattleBot knock-out: Killerhurtz (1:27).


Though Mauler got in 2 nasty Slams and 2 Jabs on Killerhurtz, the Brit 'Bot, by virtue of it's aggressive driving, got in 1 big Jab and 5 Slams. However, it was the 1 Hazard Damage shot with the KillSaws that ultimately decided the match.

Post-match, Randy Sklar interviews team Killerhurtz, who appear to have most of their 'Bot stuffed into a pillowcase.
"How do you rebound from this and go on to the Semifinals?"
"That was the toughest fight we have ever had to face. We lost the axe, lost the back shield. It's going to take me a few days to recover from that one!"

Donna D'Errico looks REALLY uncomfortable having to interview the glowering Tilfords.
"You had the match won! What happened?"
'We were smashing away pretty good," says a tight-lipped Pa Tilford. "We had 'em right where we wanted 'em. We got an electrical failure. We'll do an autopsy. That was real gourmet damage out there, none of this shovin' and pullin' crap..."
"We will rebuild!" says a morose Morgan Tilford.
"WE WILL REBUILD!" hollers the rest of the South Bay Robowarriors in unison.

Dwyer and Salisbury recap the victors in tonight's contest, as Vlad the Impaler, Punjar, and what's left of Killerhurtz move on to the Final Four in the Heavyweight Division.

Your Slam of the Week is Mauler ripping Killerhurtz' whole pickaxe off it's housing, sending it flying across the arena. Killerhurtz responds by ramming Mauler into the KillSaws for the win.

See you next week for more "Total Robliteration!"

And, as always, do not construct, operate, destroy, wreck, or otherwise lay waste your neighborhood without proper adult supervision.

You've been warned.

E.C. Ostemeyer
[slash] wrestling

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Design copyright (C) 1999, 2000 Christopher Robin Zimmerman & KZiM Communications
Guest column text copyright (C) 2000 by the individual author and used with permission