BattleBots Episode 1 Preview: Minotaur, Mohawk, Nightmare, Obwalden Overlord

Four days until the season premiere, and 15 bots left to preview. Here’s the next four:

Minotaur

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Weapon: Drum spinner

BattleBots history: 13 years of experience in robot combat.

What’s cool about it? I haven’t been able to find many details about its design, but according to the team’s website Minotaur is the heaviest combat robot ever built in Brazil, weighing in at 250 pounds.

Big question: How are the team’s driving skills? Especially with a bot like Minotaur, driving skills are going to be massive in how far it’s able to advance. If the driving is good then it can be a dangerous bot, but if not and it allows robots to get around its drum then it could spell trouble.

First round opponent: Photon Storm

Prediction: I haven’t done any research on Photon Storm yet, but at first glance this first fight seems like a toss-up. It’s really hard for me to make a solid prediction about Minotaur, but I can see it winning a fight or two.

Mohawk

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Weapon: Grabber and flamethrower

BattleBots history: Competed last season and was eliminated in the first round after being dominated by Hypershock. Also fought in a three-bot qualifier rumble at the start of Season 2, defeating Lycan and Invader, although it looked pretty unimpressive.

What’s cool about it? The flames come out of its hair, which looks pretty badass. That’s really about it though…

Big question: Can it actually do anything? That seems like a dumb question, but after watching it in the rumble it feels like a fair one. Mohawk just didn’t really do much, as it just bumped into Invader and Lycan a few times until they dismantled themselves. It worked in the rumble, but against the better bots in the tournament its going to have to do something.

First round opponent*: Tombstone

Prediction*: Well, thanks for playing Mohawk. I’m slightly skeptical of Tombstone making a deep run again (I’ll say more on this when I preview Tombstone later in the week), but I see no reason why it won’t totally annihilate Mohawk. If Mohawk comes out on top it’ll be one of the biggest upsets I’ve ever seen.

*NOTE: I’ve seen some conflicting reports on Mohawk’s first round opponent, and it might actually be Bite Force instead of Tombstone. Either way, I don’t see Mohawk being able to win its first round fight.

Nightmare

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Weapon: Vertical spinner

BattleBots history: Where do you even begin? Nightmare has been almost like the face of the sport over the last two decades, with it competing in every single televised BattleBots event since 1999. But as popular and well-known as Nightmare is, it’s not only never won a championship, but has never advanced further than the quarterfinals in any event. Last season it fell in the opening round, being eliminated by Warrior Clan.

What’s cool about it? Nightmare’s design is iconic. It’s probably the most intimidating looking bot ever made. According to Cathalised’s predictably awesome preview at /r/BattleBots, this year’s iteration of Nightmare features legs that can swivel around, meaning that maneuverability might be a little easier for it this time around.

Big question: Has the maneuverability really improved? The new legs will help, but they’re going to need to help a lot. Nightmare’s biggest problem has always been that it can’t turn very well, and against smaller, quicker bots this leaves it at a tremendous disadvantage.

First round opponent: Stinger: The Killer Bee

Prediction: This is a nightmare horrific matchup for Nightmare. Stinger is the polar opposite of Nightmare in that it’s always perfectly in control of its movements and is driven excellently. I think this fight is going to be really entertaining, because these are two high-profile robots, but I just can’t see how Nightmare will be able to steal a win.

Obwalden Overlord

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Weapon: Interchangeable

BattleBots history: Team captain Rob Knight previously fought in two seasons of BattleBots with his old bot Mortis, which finished with a career record of 3-2.

What’s cool about it? Everything is cool about Obwalden Overlord. It is very far from the best robot in the field, but it is without a doubt the coolest. It’s got the sleek humanoid design, and the technology behind it is incredible. If you haven’t guessed from the picture yet, yes, its arms really are controlled by those motion controllers around some of the team members’ arms, and at the end of the arms they’ve got a load of interchangeable weapons that can be swapped in and out.

Here’s a short video of the arms in action from the team’s Facebook page. Obwalden Overlord is awesome, and the team behind it is having a ton of fun with it as well, doing stuff like making fake Kanye West tweets about the bot.

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Big question: The technology is remarkable, but can it actually fight? I’m inclined to say no, but it’s going to go out in style.

First round opponent: Warhead

Prediction: That last fake Kanye tweet actually sums things up pretty well. It’s like bringing an art project to a tank battle. Obwalden Overlord is most likely going to get destroyed. I really hope I’m wrong, because it’s an incredible machine, and I’ll be rooting for it, but at the end of the day it’s not really built for combat.

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2 thoughts on “BattleBots Episode 1 Preview: Minotaur, Mohawk, Nightmare, Obwalden Overlord

  1. Minotaur is without a doubt one of the top contenders. It’s from the team behind Touro, Touro Light, and Touro Maximus, and is basically a slightly re-scaled version of their favored design. They have been absolutely dominant across every 60+lb weight class for the past few years, regularly taking out the competition in spectacular fashion.

    Mohawk is fighting Bite Force, not Tombstone.

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    • Hmm. The thread I’ve been referencing on Reddit for the matchups had some confusion on Tombstone and Bite Force’s first round opponents. I’ll make an edit. And thanks for the info on Minotaur. I always enjoy reading your comments. You know your stuff.

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