Introducing the BattleBots Bracket Challenge

Two of my favorite things on this Earth are 250 pound death machines destroying each other and getting myself irrationally excited about my terrible March Madness bracket.

If that sounds like you, then I have got some terrific news: Right here on BattleBlogs I am introducing the BattleBots Bracket Challenge. The rules are simple.

  1. Go here to look at the bracket.
  2. Print it out.
  3. Fill it out.
  4. Take a picture and tweet it to me at @ReynoldsRant or post it in the comments here before the next episode airs on Thursday night.
  5. Scoring will be 10 points for each correct fight in the round of 32, 20 points in the round of 16, 40 points in the quarterfinals, 80 points in semifinals, and 160 points in the title fight.
  6. The winner receives fame* and bragging rights.

*Your mileage may vary on how far this fame extends.

To get us started, I’m going to do a quick run through of my bracket, with a short paragraph explaining each of my decisions. If you’re too lazy for all these words and stuff, I’m posting a picture of my bracket at the bottom, so you can just look at that instead. I don’t care, I just want the #clickz. Alright, now let’s get into it.

battlebots-s2-screen-bracket

Round of 32

Tombstone (1) vs. Escape Velocity (32)

This one doesn’t require a lot of explanation. Tombstone absolutely eviscerates anything that’s not heavily armored. Escape Velocity has its weight split up between two different bots. This fight probably won’t take very long.

Winner: TOMBSTONE

Brutus (16) vs. Lock-Jaw (17)

Of all the fights in the round of 32, this is one of the ones I had the most trouble picking. Brutus isn’t quite as destructive as it looked in its first fight, since the guns don’t actually do anything and Moebius blew itself up, but it’s still a powerful vertical bar spinner bot.

Lock-Jaw was impressive in its bout with Yeti (and it likely would have won if not for how heavily the judges weight damage, since it bossed Yeti around the arena despite only being half functional), but it took a beating — its launcher stopped operating and the wheels got beat up pretty bad. It’s amazing it was able to move around as well as it could in the final minute.

I’m taking Brutus, mainly just because I’ve seen Lock-Jaw take heavy damage, and also because I have a massive bias towards vertical bar/drum spinners.

Winner: Brutus

IceWave (8) vs. Nightmare (25)

IceWave has potential to blow itself up spectacularly. It’s happened before. Nightmare on the other hand is an iconic bot. Keep in mind that iconic doesn’t necessarily mean good. In its history Nightmare has been pretty average at best. That being said, I love Nightmare to death, and if it can take a hit from IceWave and land a solid blow then IceWave can detonate like a bomb. Am I being too optimistic because I love Nightmare? Probably. I don’t care.

Winner: Nightmare

BETA (9) vs. Overhaul (24)

I will not make a top 10 anime deaths joke I will not make a top 10 anime deaths joke I will not make a top 10 anime deaths joke I will not make a top 10 anime deaths joke I will not make a top 10 anime deaths joke I will not make a top 10 anime deaths joke I will not make a top 10 anime deaths joke I will not make a top 10 anime deaths joke I will not make a top 10 anime deaths joke I will not make a top 10 anime deaths joke I will not make a top 10 anime deaths joke I will not make a top 10 anime deaths joke I will not make a top 10 anime deaths joke I will not make a top 10 anime deaths joke I will not make a top 10 anime deaths joke

Winner: BETA

Bite Force (4) vs. Ringmaster (29)

As we’ve seen before, Bite Force is a bot that can dominate spinners. Ringmaster is a full body spinner. All it does is spin. This is a rock paper scissors matchup, and barring some sort of mechanical failure or something really weird happening Bite Force will have the upper hand.

Winner: Bite Force

Chomp (13) vs. Captain Shrederator (20)

Can somebody please remind me why Chomp is even here? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?

Winner: Captain Shrederator 

Stinger (5) vs. Mega Tento (28)

I’m a little worried about this fight being dreadfully boring. Tento has a drum spinner, and Stinger destroys all spinners, but Tento is so unconventional with the giant sandbox that I’m not sure if Stinger will be able to really push it around. That being said though, Stinger is still the definitive anti-spinner/drum bot, and it won’t be damaged easily.

Winner: Stinger

Yeti (12) vs. Lucky (21)

Lucky is built like a freaking tank. Yeti’s drum isn’t weak, but it’s not going to be strong enough to deliver a knockout, and Lucky should be able to toss it around (and possibly out of) the arena with relative ease.

Winner: Lucky

Bronco (2) vs. Chrome Fly (31)

Yeah, this is pretty self-explanatory. Chrome Fly wrecked its blade in one hit against Bucktooth Burl. It’s one of the weakest bots in the tournament. Bronco is Bronco.

Winner: Bronco

Razorback (15) vs. Ghost Raptor (18)

This is another one that I had trouble deciding on. I maintain that Ghost Raptor’s spinner breaking is the best thing that ever could’ve happened to it last season, and we saw why yet again in its first fight, as the blade caused it to self-destruct.

Regardless, I’m picking Ghost Raptor. Why? I don’t really know. I know, I’m the guy writing the blog. I should have reasons for these things. Well… I don’t. I’m no big fan of either of these bots, so I just kinda said “eh whatever, Ghost Raptor made the semis last year so I guess it won’t go 0-2 this time.” Jesus, why does anybody read this blog?

Winner: Ghost Raptor

Minotaur (7) vs. Blacksmith (26)

I really do feel bad for Blacksmith. It’s a legit pretty good bot, but it had to face Bronco in the last round, and now its up against Minotaur. If somebody said that Bronco or Minotaur was winning this whole thing nobody would bat an eye. They are both considered two of the favorites, and for good reason. Minotaur’s drum is a damn terror, and it’s probably going to leave Blacksmith in pieces.

Winner: Minotaur

Complete Control (10) vs. Warhead (23)

Complete Control is one of the bad boys of BattleBots. Warhead is one of the bad bots of BattleBots. REST IN PIECES OBWALDEN OVERLORD I STILL LOVE YOU.

Winner: Complete Control

Witch Doctor (3) vs. Red Devil (30)

After seeing Wrecks do Wrecks things in the opening round, Jerome Miles and Red Devil are probably excited for their first fight of the tournament in the round of 32. Unfortunately for them, that fight is against Witch Doctor, who KO’d RotatoR in 42 seconds. Wait, that can’t be right. The BattleBots website says 42 seconds, but I watched it and it was clearly 10. Maybe 15. 20 at the absolute most. Did the ref forget to start counting?

Oh yeah, anyway, this fight. Red Devil is slow, and Witch Doctor is capable of beating anyone. This one is pretty simple.

Winner: Witch Doctor

Cobalt (14) vs. Bombshell (19)

Bombshell has several interchangeable weapons. In theory it should be able to counter anyone, but then against Complete Control it decided to use its extremely weak axe. The interchangeable weapons are pointless if you have no idea how to use them. It does make it a little hard to predict, since we don’t really know what Bombshell will look like when it enters the BattleBox.

I had trouble deciding on this one. Cobalt’s armor kind of scares me, but if Bombshell uses the dumb axe again it probably won’t matter. Cobalt can also dish out some damage, and I actually know what I’m getting with it. I have no idea with Bombshell.

Winner: Cobalt

Son of Whyachi (6) vs. Poison Arrow (27)

I tend to believe that drums beat spinners like Son of Whyachi. That being said, Whyachi is awesome and iconic and I love it. I refuse to believe that it will lose this early, even though it quite literally lost this early in every single BattleBots competition its ever entered except for 3.0 season when it won the championship. My head says Poison Arrow, but my heart says Whyachi, and this is a stupid bracket dammit, I don’t need to be trying to justify all this.

Winner: Son of Whyachi

Hypershock (11) vs. Warrior Clan (22)

I hate Warrior Clan because it’s so thin and low to the ground that I’m never sure how opposing bots will handle it and be able to strike. I’m just going to base this off what I think of the bots in a vacuum. I think Hypershock is a good, second tier bot. Warrior Clan meanwhile seems perfectly average.

Winner: Hypershock

Round of 16

Tombstone (1) vs. Brutus (16)

The fun of brackets are the upsets, so let’s get fun.

Last year Witch Doctor gave out the blueprint on how to beat Tombstone. Witch Doctor lost that fight, but only because it was incredibly unlucky and got flipped on its backside after landing the hit that snapped Tombstone’s blade.

Could the same thing happen to Brutus? Probably. Is Brutus as well-armored as Witch Doctor was? Nope. Am I going to pick Brutus anyway? You bet your ass.

Winner: Brutus

Nightmare (25) vs. BETA (9)

I love Nightmare, but I’m not crazy enough to pick it to go to the quarterfinals. I will admit that I’m a little unsure of how much BETA can do with its hammer against a bot without a conventional body like Nightmare, but oh well. I guess we’ll see (assuming this fight happens, anyway)

Winner: BETA

Bite Force (4) vs. Captain Shrederator (20)

Go back and read what I said earlier in this article about Bite Force fighting Ringmaster and all of that applies here as well.

Winner: Bite Force

Stinger (5) vs. Lucky (21)

Last season Stinger lost by getting flipped out of the arena by Bronco. A week or so ago I was talking to somebody and I said that as long as Stinger can avoid Bronco, Lucky, or maybe Lock-Jaw then it could potentially win it all. Well, looks like Stinger got a little unlucky (I’m not sorry) with the bracket draw. Lucky is gonna toss it around like pancakes.

Winner: Lucky

Bronco (2) vs. Ghost Raptor (18)

Ghost Raptor is a mediocre bot that lucked its way into the semifinals a year ago. If it manages to get past Bronco then I’m going to take that as proof that Chuck Pitzer has some sort of voodoo magic powers at work. I mean, we have a Witch Doctor at the event. Let’s not act like its impossible.

Winner: Bronco

Minotaur (7) vs. Complete Control (10)

If Complete Control can maneuver around to the side or rear of Minotaur and grapple it then things can get real interesting, but Minotaur’s drum is absurd. It sounds like a jet engine. If it can keep Complete Control in front of it and land a clean hit then it’s over. This isn’t a sure thing for Minotaur though. I can see how Complete Control wins, but it’s at a disadvantage.

Winner: Minotaur

Witch Doctor (3) vs. Cobalt (14)

We saw what Witch Doctor did to Tombstone last season. The same should happen to Cobalt, and if the Doctor gets flipped it can right itself now.

Winner: Witch Doctor

Son of Whyachi (6) vs. Hypershock (11)

THE HEART SAYS WHYACHI DON’T TELL ME ABOUT THE DRUM.

Winner: Son of Whyachi

Quarterfinals

Brutus (16) vs. BETA (9)

Of all my predicted quarterfinal fights, this one is probably the most unlikely to actually happen. I’ve been documenting my thoughts in this article and I’m still not quite sure how I ended up with Brutus and BETA here. But now that they are, I guess I have to pick something.

BETA has a wedge on all sides. It can deflect some of the impact from Brutus’ weapon. If this fight goes how I’m envisioning it, then BETA isn’t going to get knocked out easily, and the whole time it’s going to be pounding the top of Brutus with that powerful hammer. I don’t know if BETA can knock Brutus out, but if it goes to the judges it should rack up points for how many hits it will deliver.

Winner: BETA

Bite Force (4) vs. Lucky (21)

Lucky is really pretty terrifying. It has a launcher that can rival Bronco’s. It has crazy strong armor. You know what Bite Force has? The motor of a champion.

#BelieveBiteForce

Winner: Bite Force

Bronco (2) vs. Minotaur (7)

This is a fight that I’m very confident in happening. Maybe Complete Control can upset Minotaur, but that’s a slight chance, and it seems like almost a lock that Bronco will be here.

Bronco is new and improved from last season, but powerful spinners are still its biggest threat. Minotaur has perhaps the most powerful spinner. Technically a drum. Whatever. It tears shit up is what I’m trying to get at here.

The wheel guards most likely will not survive a direct impact from Minotaur, and once that happens the wheels can go flying. For Bronco to win it’s probably going to have to launch Minotaur out of the arena or perhaps onto the screws. Regardless of the outcome, this is going to be insane amounts of fun.

Winner: Minotaur

Witch Doctor (3) vs. Son of Whyachi (6)

I have said that I love Son of Whyachi, and I really do, but Witch Doctor is my absolute favorite. I am #TeamWitchDoctor until I die. And let’s forget about my personal biases and note that this will be Whyachi’s third straight fight against a drum spinner. Is that some terrible luck or what? SOW probably won’t make it this far anyway if we’re being honest, and if it does I’ll be impressed if it can keep it up and down the Doctor.

Winner: Witch Doctor

Semifinals

BETA (9) vs. Bite Force (4)

Oh man, I really put BETA in the semifinals, didn’t I? This looks bad… I don’t know about this. Too late to change it now, I suppose. I justified BETA beating Brutus by saying that it would use its wedges to deflect damage from the vertical spinner and keep hammering away to rack up points with the judges.

Literally all of those things apply to its fight with Bite Force. By my own assumptions that I have clearly laid out I should put BETA in the final, but… I just can’t bring myself to do that. It seems so improbable.

Winner: Bite Force

Minotaur (7) vs. Witch Doctor (3)

IMAGINE THE ENTERTAINMENT VALUE. TWO OF THE MOST POWERFUL DRUM SPINNERS IN ROBOT FIGHTING HISTORY. TWO BOTS ENTER THE BATTLEBOX, ONE LEAVES IN A COFFIN. THERE ARE GOING TO BE PARTS EVERYWHERE. #TEAMWITCHDOCTOR TILL I DIE. I CAN’T STOP SCREAMING. PLEASE GOD LET THIS FIGHT HAPPEN.

Winner: Witch Doctor

FINALS

Bite Force (4) vs. Witch Doctor (3)

Bite Force brought home the Giant Nut after defeating Tombstone in the finals last season. I’ve got it making a return in an attempt to go back-to-back, but not if Witch Doctor has anything to say about it. This could be a magnificent final. Both bots are pretty similar. Witch Doctor has the more destructive weapon, but Bite Force has more pushing power. I’m not convinced pushing power will matter a lot in this one though. Witch Doctor will likely just head straight for Bite Force, and if it lands its hits there won’t be much opportunity for pushing.

It’s not a one-sided fight at all, but Witch Doctor has the stronger weapon, and more often than not that’s what decides fights.

Winner: Witch Doctor

Final Bracket

CmYGyUuWAAErT7wRemember, if you want in the bracket challenge, fill yours out and tweet me @ReynoldsRant or post it in the comments below by the next episode Thursday night.

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5 thoughts on “Introducing the BattleBots Bracket Challenge

  1. Tombstone over Escape Velocity
    Lockjaw over Brutus
    Nightmare over Icewave
    Beta over Overhaul
    Bite Force over Ringmaster (Sadface, Ringmaster’s one of my favorites)
    Chomp over Shrederator
    Mega Tento over Stinger (!!!)
    Yeti over Lucky, only because I think their retraction issues vs. Bronco are indicative of lasting damage which will bite them.
    Bronco over Chrome Fly
    Ghost Raptor over Razorback
    Minotaur over Blacksmith
    Warhead over Complete Control
    Witch Doctor over Red Devil
    Bombshell over Cobalt
    Poison Arrow over Son of Whyachi
    Hypershock over Warrior Clan

    Tombstone over Lockjaw
    Beta over Nightmare
    Chomp over Bite Force
    Yeti over Mega Tento
    Bronco over Ghost Raptor
    Minotaur over Warhead
    Bombshell over Witch Doctor
    Hypershock over Poison Arrow

    Tombstone over Beta
    Yeti over Chomp
    Minotaur over Bronco
    Bombshell over Hypershock

    Tombstone over Yeti
    Bombshell over Minotaur

    Tombstone over Bombshell

    Bombshell posted sensible justification for their weapon choice vs. Complete Control. Basically, they wanted to set the loser up to be a wildcard, whoever it was, to reduce the spinner count further down the tournament, by making it a judge’s fight rather than a destructive one.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I hope I’m wrong about Bombshell. I had pretty high hopes for it, and then pretty much all of those hopes went away when I saw it against Complete Control.

      Like

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