First event was yesterday. I started out with 6 machines:
Kitten's Torment. Built on a £10 toy stunt car (invertible, before I got my hands on it) from Smiths Toy Superstore. Unfortunately I can't seem to get more of them or I'd keep using them for cheap machines; they're fast, and the batteries last. Not much torque though.
Teething Problems. Built from a massively stripped down £25 Nikko car. Batteries are actually exposed (AA, not lipo) so not entirely sure how it passed tech checks, but I figured it doesn't hurt to try, and it was allowed in. On reflection, that was the key mistake I made; actually trying to enter it!
The 4 robots that are collectively known as the Beatle...Waits. They are of course named John, Paul, George and Ringo. Of the 4, Paul is the only one who actually goes in a straight line. Again, these are all built on £10 stunt cars from Smiths, although a different design than that of Kitten's Torment.
Anyway. On with Sunday's... I want to say fights, but I think it would be rude to my opponents to say I really put up a fight!
I can't find the first fight of the BWs on YouTube for some reason, but I ran John and my dad had Ringo. Those are the lowest and highest in shot respectively. They are lined up that way for a reason: Paul at the front is the best, and George at the back has a dodgy transmitter so is the final reserve. So I put 2 wonky steering robots in for my first ever fight, with my dad (who had never even seen these things in person until an hour before showtime) grudgingly handling the other remote.
John, in a valiant show of courage and single-minded murderous intent, immediately decided to only run properly on the left wheel and dive straight into the pit. On reflection, that probably sums up the whole day. He was retired from that point on, and I managed to break his ramp off when packing him up. Frankly, he deserved it. Meanwhile, dad and Ringo made it to the other side of the arena and actually made contact with the enemy (I'm Going To Hit Your Face With My Face, I believe is the name - the bracket cuts it off and I may have misremembered, so apologies), but quickly found themselves outdriven by a machine three times the weight of poor little Ringo.
Kitten's Torment was eventually up next, taking on Rampster 3. We won, dominantly! Ha. No. Another defeat, this time because of that lack of torque mentioned above. Pushing was just impossible (remember that for later).
OK. This is the most painful (read: hilarious) fight of the day for me. I was drawn, with a Nikko using curry sauce lids for wheels and elastic bands for traction, against Baphomet. IT. HURT. First hit was square on the face, splitting and bending up the ramp. Believe it or not, things didn't get better from there. He got around the side, took a huge bite out of the right hand side wheel, split the tyre, and left me hobbling. By then, I knew I was dead. Dave hung back and showed mercy but I told him to just go for it. He wasn't sure but I wanted to see her die. The last hit, unfortunately, took a chunk out of the rear, which included the wire leading from the ESC to the left drive motor. How the motor survived I will never know. Sheer luck, I'm guessing. I didn't see the wire at the time, but it was left in the arena and swept into the pit before the next fight. I found it an hour later on a box by the microphone. Whoever put it there, thank you.
As you can see, Round 1 was a ROARING success.
For the losers' bracket, I withdrew Teething Problems because I realised after taking her back to the bench that she had somehow lost drive on the left wheel. It wasn't until I saw the wire on the desk I realised why.
The Beatle...Waits were entered first in the losers' bracket, facing Angory Bob, who took a couple of minutes to show up. Which was lucky, because it took dad that long to park Ringo. I'd, meanwhile, swapped John for Paul. I should point out that I'd forgotten how powerful Paul was - he actually MOVES - and when the battle started I floored the throttle, and Paul charged forwards, flipped himself onto his back, and that was it. Dad and Ringo, after about a second of deliberation, elected to run away and hid in the pit they discovered in round 1. I'm signing dad up for archaeology courses and I fired him as co-driver. Or rather, he had to leave before the next time they 'fought'. It has to be said though, after 2 fights, there was nothing wrong with the 3 that had fought except the damage I'd inflicted myself. George had also lost his face somehow by now, probably in transit.
Next up was Kitten's Torment, fighting Palette Pusher. This, being serious, was probably my best fight of the day. It was just a nudging match for a few seconds, then I got cornered, so made a run at Palette Pusher but as I floored it, she moved. And me, being an amazing driver, continued straight across the length of Peter's beautifully smooth arena, and flew into the pit. But I did have to go back after and find out the specs of Palette Pusher because that's the only robot KT has ever pushed successfully, aside from the BWs. Apparently it's not because PP was lighter that I pushed it, so I'm guessing for a moment there was no drive input so there was no resistance for KT. Until she faceplanted a wall. Once again though, 2 fights and not so much as a scratch.
Now came the loooooong wait, because it turns out if you can't stop losing, they stop you playing. This made me sad. But frankly it was probably a relief for everyone
Being serious, it was far more useful for me to see other people fighting, seeing what I was doing wrong (other than using unbalanced motors, and driving into pits) and what sort of things I need to work into my more serious designs for next time.
Somewhere between 5 and 6, the fleaweight rumble happened. This was the reason I'd been wanting to save Paul, and luckily he was alive for this. He was one of 15, as far as I can count from the video, so I thought he might not come last. Almost immediately, I was upside down, driving over a ramp. Then I was knocked back over and carried on being useless. I cornered myself against the plastic in Ringo's favourite corner, watched one robot die next to me, and went back into the fray. I ended up on my back again, and then in the pit. but 14th isn't last! Paul beat someone! I spent the rest of the fight playing in the pit, seeing if I could use the walls and my fellow eliminated robot to right myself, just out of academic interest. The answer, unsurprisingly, was no.
Back to the antweights, and the wooden spoon qualifiers.
The BWs were first up, with (so I thought) me driving Paul and a very helpful co-driver whose name I completely forgot to ask (owner of Plank) driving what was meant to be Ringo. Unfortunately, with the way Smiths make their toys, I turned the remotes on in the wrong order and the robots synced to the wrong controllers. As it turned out, this was a great relief. We went into battle and Paul, now not under my control, went flying at the hands of a vicious vertical spinner. A tyre came off, the ramp came off, Paul flew, and landed in the pit. Myself and Ringo battled on, until he took a spinner at point blank range. To the face. As with Paul, the ramp came off. But that wasn't all. Something broke (the receiver, I think, because the light on the transmitter started blinking at me, which is usually does when I haven't turned a robot on yet, but the lights were still dancing on poor Ringo) and I was dead in the water. The 2 ramps took different damage though; Ringo's is basically a write off. Paul's needs a new piece of plastic.
Somehow we lost. Probably rigged or something. The fact Paul survived to fight again makes it a moral victory!
I'm going to buy replacements for the BWs, but I'm going to make them thwackbots instead of pushers. A pusher weighing under 50 grams isn't exactly viable! Not without being properly designed and built, anyway.
Next up, Kitten's Torment. She handled herself well, but I very quickly made a mistake and drove her into the pit again. Her second time in that corner, the same one as Ringo fell in love with (and came to rest by). I think if Peter had left only the other corner as a pit, I may have won! OK, maybe not. But let me dream! I'm not posting another photo of her because she's in exactly the condition she was at the top.
Finally, the one wheeled Teething Problems was entered as a joke for the spoon. In the same fight was Plank and a pair of verts. Plank got pitted, and very late really I got counted out after taking my balancing screw out pre-fight (one wheel drive won't topple it, right? Wrong...) toppling over and continuing my donuts. I really wanted to see TP get utterly destroyed but the verts played it safe so I brought her back out as she went in. Now she'll make for great soldering practice, fixing that remaining drive motor. I'll try and get her fixed up for another tournament, but I'm not making any promises.
Overall, that's a very successful 9 defeats and a withdrawal. A great time was had, lessons were learned, fun will be had again next time. And I'm going to keep entering Kitten's Torment until a spinner demolishes it.