The season premiere of BattleBots is exactly one week away and we are majorly behind on these bot previews. Whoops. I’m bumping this preview up to four bots in order to try to catch up a little bit.
Weapon: Two horizontal bar spinners. After some quick research I haven’t been able to find any info on what the drone actually does, so that will be a surprise, I guess.
BattleBots history: None.
What’s cool about it? It’s got two bar spinners, with one in both the front and the back of the bot, which is going to make Chrome Fly very difficult to attack without the other bot taking heavy damage itself. It’s going to be very interesting to see how opposing drivers decide to attack it. Chrome Fly should be vulnerable after dealing a hit if its spinners need to rev all the way back up, but other bots will have to endure the force of the first impact to get to that point.
Big question: Whatever it ends up doing, I don’t see the drone having a major impact, so the big question for Chrome Fly is going to be how strong are its spinners? I’m not expecting Tombstone levels of destruction, but if its powerful enough to knock attacking bots back a few feet after impact then it’ll have time to rev its spinners back up before another attack and it’s going to be a very difficult bot to damage, especially against other bots that need to get up close to be effective.
First round opponent: Bucktooth Burl
Prediction: I’m going to need to see Chrome Fly in action before I can tell just how dangerous it is, but right now I can definitely see it beating Bucktooth Burl and picking up another victory or two before being eliminated.
Weapon: Grappling lifter and flamethrower
BattleBots history: An old version of the same robot first fought in BattleBots 2.0 as a middleweight and fought for four seasons, reaching the finals once. Last season it was rebuilt as a heavyweight and lost its first fight against Ghost Raptor.
What’s cool about it? This is an old fight from BattleBots 2.0, but just watch this to get an idea of what Complete Control is capable of:
Obviously that’s an older version of the bot and Complete Control may not be able to completely dominate and toss around heavier bots like it will face this season (remember this was a middleweight fight in the video). We didn’t get to see the full potential of Complete Control last season, so it will be interesting to see if it can break out this year.
Big question: Can it protect itself? Just by looking at the design of Complete Control I can see horizontal spinners tearing straight into the side and rear of the bot. Builder Derek Young has been doing this for almost two decades, so I don’t doubt his driving skills, but in the event that spinners do get a solid hit in from the side it could be big trouble for Complete Control.
First round opponent: Bombshell
Prediction: I really want to say that Complete Control will have a better outing than last season, but as I wrote last week, Bombshell is probably one of my favorite bots in the entire tournament. With its multiple configurations it can equip a horizontal spinner that can rip into Complete Control’s armor, and also make it difficult for Complete Control to get a grip to lift Bombshell up. If it can get by Bombshell or do well enough to earn a wildcard berth then Complete Control could earn a few victories in this tournament, but Bombshell is going to be a tough fight.
Weapon: Vertical spinner
BattleBots experience: None, but the team has experience fighting robots in Australia.
What’s cool about it? It looks like an alligator. Or maybe a crocodile… look I don’t know, I’m more of a robot person than a reptile person. It looks neat. The Death Roll team was also very transparent about their build process, posting a ton of pictures and updates on their Facebook page.
Big question: It looks cute, but can it really fight? I’m always a little wary of these bots that look more like art exhibitions than killing machines, but as /r/BattleBots moderator Cathalised pointed out in his extensive bot preview on Reddit, this spinner is powered by a massive motor that should be quite powerful.
First round opponent: Captain Shrederator
Prediction: The other day Jonah Jordan predicted on this very site that Captain Shrederator is one of the worst bots in the field and will lose its first fight yet again, but I’m not so convinced. Full body spinners certainly have their issues, but Shrederator fought against Stinger, one of the best bots in the whole tournament, last season. Death Roll’s spinner should be powerful, but I think it’s going to be tough for it to do much against Shrederator as its spinning around the BattleBox. I don’t see Death Roll making much of a run this season.
Weapon: Horizontal spinner, lifter
BattleBots history: Builder Jason Bardis has previously competed in BattleBots with five different robots dating all the way back to 1999, and won two lightweight championships with Dr. Inferno Jr.
What’s cool about it? DISCO THEME. Okay but for real, that’s not the only thing cool about this robot. It’s got both a spinner and a lifter, so it can match up well with multiple kinds of bots, and the spinner also seems to be pretty powerful, if this video on the team’s Facebook page is anything to go by:
Big question: Is the spinner’s rev time going to be an issue? It looks deadly when it gets up to speed, but in that video it’s taking a good five seconds or so to really get going. That could be a problem.
First round opponent: Chomp
Prediction: Chomp looks more impressive than when I first looked at it, especially considering its autonomous aiming (s/o to Personizzle in the comments for the link), but I really think Disk O’Inferno is going to give it a lot of problems. Inferno’s spinner is the real deal once it gets up to speed, and if it lands a couple of clean hits then it could be over quickly. Ultimately I don’t think Inferno can make a deep run, but its fights are going to be a lot of fun.