Bot Bash 2001 fight report
Fight 1. Neutrino vs. Little Werner, win by decision.
Being my first real fight with Neutrino I was extremely nervous (milk crates don't fight back). Little W. is a parallelogram double wedge, not unlike our 58 pounder, Dark Matter. Little Werner had a very similar drive train to Neutrino, except that he only used 2 wheels. This ended up being the deciding factor. With the arena floor as slick as it was, Neut's 4-wheel drive really helped the control.
The fight started with a face to face charge from our respective sides of the arena. The design of Little W's body lifted up his front wedge just enough while accelerating to let Neutrino get his wedge underneath. Many times Little Werner would spin in place to try to fend off Neutrino's charging attacks. However this made him an easier target for the old across-the-arena-slam-into-the-wall hits. The fight was mostly Neut zipping around trying to line up for the big hit. I was able to pilot him successfully to get 5 big hits including one a.t.a.s.i.t.w. hit just as they sounded the buzzer.
Little Werner was a tough little guy and took the big hits. The fight went to judges' decision. I was so excited by the performance I didn't catch the score. But Neut got the win so I didn't really care.
(I was unable to get any decent frame grabs of this fight)
Fight 2. Neutrino vs. Piranha, win by knock out.
Having just put on a good showing in my first match, I undoubtedly went into the next one a bit cocky. This nearly cost me the match. Piranha is another 2 wheeler, with a saw blade on top. He also had an interesting wedge that looked kind of like a tongue. He also fended off Neutrino's attacks by spinning, but because of the wedge tongue he was much more effective.
At the buzzer I charged across looking for a big hit. Much to my surprise the little guy wouldn't stay still long enough for me to make contact. I overshot about 4 times until realized that I needed a new strategy. I tried to slowly get in close, but with him spinning and smacking me with his wedge, I knew I was giving up points. So I again went for the big hits, but this time I would stay close and wait for the spin move and quickly back up, then full blast froward. This worked great for a couple of hits. I felt a bit of relief knowing I was about even in the points. But then with one charge, the fight took a big turn. Neutrino's wedge was so low that I smacked the seam in the floor, causing Neutrino to do a back flip. Now inverted, steering was a bit off (I had to do the "up is down, down is up" thing in my head). I backed off and hoped Piranha would come for me, letting me figure out my next move. Lucky for me he overshot and got his wedge stuck underneath the I-beam that was acting as the barrier in the arena. I tried to be a sport and knock him free, however I nearly sent Neut into the "hole". (A gap in the arena wall just big enough for a 12 pounder to fit.)
With Piranha stuck, Neutrino got the win with about 45 seconds left.
Fight 3. Neutrino vs. Hell on Wheels, win by knock out.
The butterflies in my stomach quickly came back after I realized that I was fighting a seasoned veteran bot pilot like Jason. He built Hell on Wheels to be a speed demon, and he was even faster than Neutrino. (Neut's top speed is about 9mph). Hell on Wheels is a 2 wheeler built around a carbon fiber body. His weapon (other than speed) is a pair of long spikes. As it turns out, what HOW had in speed he lacked in traction. The slick floor left Hell on Wheels doing spins instead of blasting down the arena.
Despite the traction issue, Hell on Wheels proved to be a formable opponent. He got a couple a nice stabs at Neutrino with his 12-inch spike. Neut returned fire with a couple of lifts from his wedge. The match was about even when I figured out that Neutrino fit perfectly between the pair of spikes. The first time I was able to park him between them Neut was able to drive Hell on Wheels nearly the length of the arena. I was hoping for an a.t.a.s.i.t.w hit but HOW reversed away just at the last second. Neutrino took a few smacks from Hell on Wheels' spiked as he spun, successfully fending Neut off. Knowing that time was running out, I figured I better go for bust. Driving Neutrino straight into HOW's spikes, I caught a break and flipped him. HOW now inverted, I had the advantage. I was able to get a quick board check in before Jason was able to regain control. I figured if it worked once it would work again and sent Neutrino right toward Hell on Wheels' spikes. I knew this was my lucky day when I landed the hit square between his pair of spikes. I took him straight into the boards and flipped him up against the wall. Pinned by Neut's wedge I figured I better hold Hell on Wheels there for as long as possible to run down the clock. I pulled back and Hell on Wheels was now "hell on air", with no wheels touching the floor.
I decided not to knock Hell on Wheels off the wall and just take the win. Previously that day, Tangled Marionette had flipped HOW the same way, but then lost a 5 to 4 judges decision after knocking him down. With Hell on Wheels spinning his wheels, Neutrino got the win.
Fight 4. Neutrino vs. Alpha Pujo, win by decision.
With Team Cosmos entering 2 robots into the 12-pound class we knew that we had to fight each other eventually. Alpha Pujo is a very low (only 3 inches tall) wedge/pusher with side skirts and spikes on the rear. Unfortunately for AP, he had blown one of his 4 motors in the fight verses Hyper Active (the walker/spinner). But we knew that there could only be one winner, so into the ring we went.
Neutrino was quite a bit faster than Alpha Pujo, even more so now that he only had 3 motors running. The problem was that with AP's skirted design Neutrino had a very tough time getting underneath. I'd say that it was a 3:2 ratio of who got under who. However, with Neut having the speed advantage, he did get a couple of a.t.a.s.i.t.w. hits in. Pete is no dummy and knew he'd have to use his brain to win this one. Using an ancient technique from the East, he was able to turn my power against me. Alpha Pujo's "Bot-Chi" was strong indeed. I'd send Neutrino charging head on into AP, but he'd turn and face me with his hinged skirt, sending Neut over the top of him. This approach eventually worked to put Neutrino on his back. Instead of trying to reverse the controls in my head, I figured I'd just pilot Neut back-end forward and see what he could do. Neutrino got one good butt-first hit in before they called time.
The judges came back with a 6 to 3 decision for Neutrino. Alpha Pujo put up one heck of a good fight. I know he'll be a tough competitor once we get some new motors for him. With the win over AP I was in the FINALS!
Fight 5. Neutrino vs. Sake, loss by knock out.
I didn't think much of Sake upon first inspection. He is a typical "Home Depot Bot" built with a PVC pipe frame and cordless screwdriver motors. However, he was running those 3.6V motors at a crazy 9.6V driving 5-inch wheels. This combination proved to match Neutrino's speed well. Sake's run up though the losers bracket was fueled by his innovative wedge design. He used two 1/8 inch polycarbonate sheets and hinged them at the top and bottom of the front face. Thus even if inverted he still had a zero clearance wedge (like Neutrino's).
At the start of the match, I sent Neutrino screaming over to Sake's side of the arena to take care of business. But just like Piranha, Sake would squeak out of the way just in time, causing Neutrino to overshoot. After one overshot, I reversed Neutrino right into Sake's wedge, sending Neut turtle. Quickly I brought Neut back to my side of the arena to make sure I had the mental reversing thing going. I let Sake come to me, then face to face, I was able to get underneath Sake's wedge. Flooring it, I was able to get a great across-the-arena-slam-into-the-wall hit. But then disaster! That huge hit knocked out Neutrino's left side. Undaunted I figured I could fend Sake off with the spin move that worked so well against me in previous matches. Sake would have none of that and quickly came in with a wedge attack. As luck would have it, he was able to roll Neutrino up on his side, the DEAD side.
Oh no! With Neutrino perched on edge, Sake got the knock out.
Fight 6. Neutrino vs. Sake, win by knock out.
Thank heavens for double elimination! Sake needed to beat me twice to take the championship. There was no way I was going to let that happen! But first I had to figure out what when wrong. Thinking the worst I thought I had blown my ESC. I doubted that I'd be able to swap it out in 20 minutes. But as it turned out, it was a gear in the drill motor. (Note to self, never use those drills again.) So the good news was I found the problem. But the bad news was I didn't have a spare motor! (Note to self, bring spare motors). Well this was my lucky day because several of the 12-pound class had chosen to use the same drill as me. The builders of Piranha saved my butt and lent me a gear from their bot and got me rolling again.
This time I wasn't going to go crazy and zip all over the arena missing my opponent. Knowing that when we went face to face last match I got the upper hand, I opted to try that approach again. Waiting, Sake came straight at me as expected. Nosing into him, I got Neutrino's wedge under him. With a flick of the throttle I sent Sake into the wall, knocking out one of his drive motors. ("Oh yeah, you want some of this?") With Sake limping, I was able to take a few pot shots at him before another trip into the wall, this time just missing the "hole". Amid the crowd shouts of "Hole, hole, hole!" I desperately tried to inch Sake to the right. He was going to have none of that and maneuvered away, back to center ring. I brought Neutrino around to plan the next move. With the wounded Sake dancing center stage I went for the jugular. I sent Neutrino at warp speed right at Sake, scoring a direct hit. Keeping my finger on the throttle Sake was sent into the wall with the best across-the-arena-slam-into-the-wall hit I made all weekend.
Sake's spikes were seriously tweaked by the hit, sticking him the I-beam. Without any wheels on the floor Sake was dead. A quick victory dance and it was all over. Neutrino had just clinched the lightweight championship. Hell yeah!