How do you do comrades, and welcome to another BattleBots: Bounty Hunters prediction extravaganza. I know, two predictions in two days, isn’t it just a wonderful thing having two bounties drop on the same day? Especially on such a wonderful service like Discovery+ that lets us UK viewers access their entire catalogue of programming at a very reasonable price instead of having to pray for the fights from these episodes to escape copyright infringement on YouTube? Yeah, it’s a joy. Predictions for the Tombstone bounty went up yesterday, and for the second bunch of battles, eight teams are fighting for the right to face the British bruiser itself, the mighty hammer of Beta.
Mercifully, this episode looks a lot more interesting than the Tombstone one, with some actual tough calls to make, some world-class teams competing for the bounty, some actual competition. I’m a little bit surprised that Beta has been handed the “legend” tag for this series, because while it is an undeniably awesome bot, this is only its second time competing on the show. It’s more renowned for not taking part than it is for actually fighting! Maybe other teams such as SawBlaze and Whiplash declined to take part, but it’ll still be great to see some more big time hammer action nonetheless.
Let’s get into it.
Lockjaw vs Axe Backwards
In an underwhelming turn of events, we’re going to be kicking off the night with a classic Bounty Hunters mismatch. The legend of Donald Hutson and Lockjaw (who probably has the better claim to be this episode’s bounty),aformer Giant Nut winner and consistent top 16 participant, square off against Axe Backwards, which, well, it hasn’t wont any Giant Nuts, let’s put it that way.
Kurt Durjan’s bot has sadly never really done anything of note apart from get spectacularly destroyed in several different ways, a trend it has successfully continued into this season. Facing up against Lockjaw, I’m pretty sure that even if its defeat isn’t anything new, it’ll be over quickly and spectacularly. Barring a lucky hit that takes out the drive or weapon, this is Lockjaw’s to lose.
It’s what happens when you keep sticking with a design that didn’t even work in the original series of Robot Wars.
Aegis vs Bloodsport
Taking our traditional jaunt over to the right-hand side of the bracket, we’ve go- oh look, another wildly mismatched duo. Bloodsport, one of, if not the most impressive bots we’ve seen take part in the main competition this season, takes on the newbie Aegis, which lasted about all of ten seconds against Fusion in the only fight we’ve seen it in so far.
Is there really much else to say about this? Bloodsport is essentially Fusion but with even more control and power, and while it’s nothing short of a miracle Aegis has been put back together again, it’s a shame it’ll most likely be all for nought. The producers really have it out for the rookies this season, seeing as this is the same team that have given SubZero two fights against bots that barely even work.
If Bloodsport loses I’ll write an official apology to the Aegis team telling them how incredible their bot is.
Rampage vs Fusion
F*cking hell what are these match-ups? Three fights in and they’ve all been three veterans/powerful spinners against bots from the sh*t-tier. Might sound harsh but it’s the best term I can think of. Here we have Team Whyachi’s big f*ck off Frankenstein bot that is Fusion, against dollar store Bite Force, Rampage.
Admittedly this will be the first we’ll have seen of Rampage in any capacity this season, seeing as it appears not to have had any fights in the main competition. It could be incredible, and could make us question why we’re only seeing it fight now in the spin-off series. But the mere fact that we’ve seen nothing of it with the regular season drawing to a close, coupled with the fact it looks like it’s been made out of assorted scrap metal and being held together with a glue gun, does not bode well for it. Especially since Fusion has already destroyed Aegis and War? EZ!, two bots of a similar calibre, already this season.
I wish I could have faith in Rampage, but I see this being a one-hit KO from the Whyachi clan.
SlamMow vs HiJinx
Look! A fight that requires some thought! And it only took us four fights to get there! Yes, we’ve finally got an evenly-matched contest on our hands in the form of two bots who still slight enigmas to me. The only robot sponsored by a lawnmower company, SlamMow, fights the only bot that looks like an owl, HiJinx. It’s the question we’ve all been asking, who would win between owl and lawnmower?
It’s a big question that isn’t all that easy to answer. Both have had wild ups and downs so far this season, in equal measure dominating their fights and being easily beaten. Both have also had one untelevised fight. I don’t know if we’ve seen both at their full potential, but I would just about lean towards SlamMow. Mostly because its wedge set-up is perfectly designed to counter HiJinx’s undercutter, which has already fallen victim to Claw Viper this season. It’ll probably dish out the damage along the way, but provided SlamMow can keep working I can see it coming out of this triumphant.
It’s one that could easily go either way, but this is just the fun that predicting things brings you.
Lockjaw vs Fusion
Moving on to the second round, my favourite part of this prediction game dueto the hypothetical nature of the fights in question. At least this one brings us an interesting tie, with Lockjaw paired up against Fusion.
Now, the thing about Fusion is that not only have we seen it at its most deadly against weak opposition, but if its fight against Mad Catter is any indication, it’s vulnerable to the box rush, and also needs to get its fights over and done with quickly. Lockjaw can be kind of similar in some ways, but this is also the kind of opponent Donald Hutson it accustomed to facing. Drive its back plough into the spinner, send the other bot flying about until it’s disabled, and then move in for the kill. I’d expect something similar here.
Sure, Fusion could easily break Lockjaw with a couple of massive hits, but I personally think its overall lack of control will come back to haunt it, and put Lockjaw through to the final.
Bloodsport vs SlamMow
Over to the right-hand side of the bracket, it’s Bloodsport against SlamMow, and sadly, I don’t think this will be as hard to predict as the latter’s first-round tie was.
I don’t want to sound like I’m looking at Bloodsport through rose-tinted glasses, but it looks destined for a deep run in the main tournament, and looks measured, controlled, destructive, potentially unstoppable. Okay, the last one might be an exaggeration, but the point is that it looks really f*cking good. And I think SlamMow will be another victim of its deadly bar spinner, no matter how much they throw the wedge at it. They could certainly use said wedge to deflect away some of the hits, but I think I’ll be a matter of time before they break.
Sadly this looks like the end of Suplex City. For now.
Lockjaw vs Bloodsport
And so to the final. The hypothetical match-up of legend vs. apprentice. Lockjaw vs Bloodsport. A possible match for the ages, a really exciting prospect.
I think this might have already come across in the article, but I think Bloodsport looks like a pretty phenomenal beast this season. I don’t think that gives it an automatic win over Lockjaw, and I don’t think it’ll be an easy fight, but I do think it will ultimately win the fight. Both are so well-controlled, both have such powerful weaponry, but I think the greater reach of Bloodsport’s bar will be the deciding factor. There’s more potential for it to cause damage to Lockjaw than vice versa, in my humble opinion.
I might be completely wrong, as I so often am, but that’s just what I think. Call me a fanboy.
Beta vs Bloodsport
And now, it’s the big ‘un. The bounty itself. Bloodsport has fought tooth and nail to get here, and its reward is the most powerful hammer in the current field – Beta. Does it have what it takes to claim the $25k prize?
Honestly, I think they do. I’m not just saying that because of my aforementioned love affair with Justin Marple’s bot, nor am I saying it because the bounties so far have been f*cking useless. This will be a heck of a tough fight for all involved, and both are awesome machines. But I can’t help but compare this to Beta’s fight against Rotator earlier this season. Considering John Reid was too nervous to fire the hammer at Rotator because of its spinner, I can’t imagine us seeing much hammer action here, seeing as Bloodsport’s bar takes up the whole top area of the robot. And even though Beta is incredibly well armoured at the front, Bloodsport knows where to hit its opponent to cause the most damage. We saw it with Skorpios, we saw it with End Game, and I think we’ll see it here. I’m worried about the back end of Beta being torn apart by that blade.
Of course, Beta could just as easily negate the force of Bloodsport’s weapon and rain down the pain once they’ve stopped the blade. That could very easily happen. But I’m putting my faith in what is, currently, the most impressive bot on the whole show.
And there we go, everyone, another day, another set of predictions done and dusted. I’m looking forward to seeing this episode (if we ever see it in the UK that is), because for all of the ludicrous mismatches, we’ve got some cracking action in prospect. Reviews of both bounties will be up at some point, probably after the main competition has come to a close, just so that more people will have been able to watch the two episodes, and so that there’s less of a clustered upload schedule.
Speaking of a clustered upload schedule, remember to check back on Thursday for predictions of the upcoming tenth episode, Friday and Saturday will feature some very belated reviews of episodes eight and nine, and Sunday will be the review of episode ten, the close of the regular season and the reveal of the top 32. What that means for power rankings remains to be seen, but I guess we’ll just have to see where the wind takes us.
Thanks for reading, folks, and see you tomorrow.