- "...as tenacious and nippy as a Jack Russell terrier, constantly on the attack, worrying, gnawing..."
- — Jonathan Pearce on Onslaught in Series 4
Onslaught was a grey, compact robot that competed on the television game show Robot Wars. Onslaught's best performances were in Series 2, reaching the Heat Final stage, and in the Southern Annihilator of Series 4, where it finished second. However, it faced mechanical issues shortly before the main competition of Series 4, and had to forfeit its place to reserve robot V-Max. By this time, it was nearly a kilo over the then Heavyweight Limit.
Alan Wood also became a team member for Dutch competitor Tough as Nails in the second series of the Dutch Robot Wars. The team were planning to build a new robot called Devastation but these plans were put on hold after Onslaught qualified for Series 5. Team Onslaught, in cooperation with another local team, applied for the Series 8 of Robot Wars with their joint effort, Ka-Pow!, which did not compete in the main series, but reached the Heat Final of the pilot episode.
Its name came from the character in the X-Men comics, as suggested by David Wood.
Onslaught was armed with a front lifting scoop capable of lifting 140kg 16" off the floor, and two mild steel spikes at the rear. Onslaught was one of the few robots to use car steering, giving it a turning circle of 2 metres. The robot was quite fast at 20 mph, but the team chose to gear it down to 7-8 mph in its début run, and 12 mph in Series 4, to give it better control; the limiter was removed for Series 5. Despite being one of the smallest heavyweights, Onslaught toed the weight limit due to its 15mm steel armour and gigantic drive motor (which was bigger than even Sir Killalot's).
- "I got bitten by the robot building bug after watching Series 1 and saying “I can do better that!" Easy to say but a lot harder to achieve!"
- — Alan Wood on building Onslaught
The scoop weapon was static in Series 2, but was converted to a lifter for Series 3 onwards, with power provided by CO2 paintball bottles. The scoop was redesigned in Series 4 with a more shovel-like appearance, and a self-righting mechanism was added on top.
- "The mild steel spikes at the rear carry a sting in the tail"
- — Jonathan Pearce on Onslaught's arsenal
In its début appearance, Onslaught fought in Heat G of the Second Wars. Onslaught chose to take the Sentinel route in the Gauntlet stage of the heat. Onslaught showed its competitive speed of 7 mph by quickly getting past the Sentinel. However Onslaught was then impeded by house robot Dead Metal and its rear tyres slipped off. Without the grip from its rear wheels, Onslaught was left going nowhere and was pushed into the Pit by the Sentinel. The end result calculated that Onslaught had covered a distance of 10.5m, but despite this being fairly impressive, it only put them 5th out of 6 overall on the leaderboard.
Nevertheless, it had covered enough ground to qualify for the Trial stage, which was Skittles. Onslaught once again used its speed to quickly get into the triangle of skittles. Onslaught managed to knock down 57 skittles before time ran out, this meant that it had done enough to come second overall on the leaderboard and therefore they had qualified for the arena stage of the heat.
In the heat semi-final, Onslaught was drawn up against Robot Wars veterans Nemesis. Onslaught didn't have to do much in this battle, as Nemesis looked very sluggish, especially in comparison to Onslaught. After briefly tussling with the spiked ball, Onslaught rammed Nemesis a few times, seemingly doing some damage internally to its furry adversary, as Nemesis began moving more sluggishly than usual. Onslaught then took the opportunity to make a run-up, and pit Nemesis with ease, putting Onslaught through to the Heat Final.
However, Onslaught then had an unfortunate draw as it came up against the reigning champions, Roadblock, with Onslaught going in as the clear underdogs. Onslaught struggled to move at all in this battle, and was pushed a bit by Roadblock, who then pushed it onto the arena spike and tipped it over. Onslaught was declared immobilised, and the House Robots soon came in and did some extra damage to the newcomers' machine. Cease was eventually called, and Onslaught was eliminated from the competition.
- "This is the one that burnt out last year. Thrown in the bin! We don't need to see those anymore!"
- — Philippa Forrester "throws away" the burnt-out motors from Series 2
In the first round of the Third Wars, Onslaught was drawn up against the newcomers Armour Geddon. Onslaught's new lifting shovel was well designed for dealing with Armour Geddon. It was able to steer its opponent around the arena well, and the newcomers almost fell into the pit several times. Eventually, Onslaught's assaults knocked something loose inside Armour Geddon, and their mobility was minimal. Onslaught took advantage of Armour Geddon's decreasing power and mobility and shunted the axlebot around, before it finally rolled straight into the pit, putting Onslaught through to the next round.
However, not long into that fight, Onslaught's steering arm had bent considerably, which meant it could only steer left and in circles. The team repaired this fault in time for the next fight, and met the Cornish machine, Beast of Bodmin, in a rematch from Series 2.
Beast of Bodmin's size made it almost impossible for Onslaught to cause any problems for the Grand-Finalist. Onslaught could only lift up its opponent slightly occasionally with its scoop, with no harm caused to the Cornish machine. Onslaught eventually lost patience, made a run and drove up Beast of Bodmin's wedge front, which flipped it over, and without a self-righting mechanism, Onslaught could not recover. Beast of Bodmin finished the round by winking to the TV camera whilst house robot Dead Metal came in and carved deep into Onslaught's chassis with its saw, almost cutting it in half. Cease was called, and Onslaught was eliminated from the competition.
Onslaught returned for the Fourth Wars, this time with a new self-righting mechanism attached to the top of the lifting scoop. Onslaught was originally scheduled to fight against the number 18 seeds Cerberus and newcomers Terror-Bull in the final heat of the series. However Onslaught suffered from an unexpected break down at the last minute before the battle, damage that proved to be irreparable in the time that was available. Onslaught was therefore unable to compete, so it was forced to withdraw, and a reserve for the series, V-Max, was brought in to take Onslaught's place in the main competition. However, Onslaught was repaired shortly afterwards, and was able to return for the side competitions filmed later in the series.
- "I'm afraid it's ceased to function, reasons, totally unknown I'm afraid at the moment. There's not enough time to fix it, even after a whole year's worth of work...again."
- — Alan Wood directly before the Heat P Eliminator
Onslaught still competed in the Sumo Basho competition during The Fourth Wars beforehand, where it was the fourth robot to take part. Onslaught managed to dart around Shunt on the Sumo arena before being lifted up by the house robot's scoop. Onslaught managed to get down again, though. Onslaught then tried to push Shunt, but the House Robot turned, forcing Onslaught to lose control and drive off the ring by mistake. Onslaught had stayed on for 17.31 seconds, which put it at the top of the leaderboard for a considerable amount of time.
- "Onslaught...can lift, a couple of me, I won't say exactly how much that is"
- — Julia Reed
Onslaught also competed in the Southern Annihilator during the Christmas season of the Fourth Wars. Onslaught proved to be a strong competitor despite its size in this competition. Onslaught began the annihilator going in up against Attila the Drum, the similarly designed Behemoth, World Champions Razer, Spawn of Scutter and Vercingetorix. In the first round, Onslaught stayed out of the main action at first, as Razer took on Vercingetorix and Spawn of Scutter took on Behemoth. Onslaught first attacked when Razer grabbed hold of Vercingetorix, and Onslaught lifted Vercingetorix. Onslaught then darted between Spawn of Scutter and Behemoth, splitting them up to pick off one of them, but Spawn of Scutter caught them side on, and threw Onslaught onto its back using its pneumatic spear. However, Onslaught managed to self-right just before Razer could close in on the overturned machine. Not long afterwards, Spawn of Scutter flipped Onslaught over again, only for Onslaught to self-right once again. As Behemoth closed in on Vercingetorix, Onslaught then came in and lifted up Behemoth, before dropping it heavily.
- "and look at little Onslaught!...Anything you can do, I can do better"
- — Jonathan Pearce as Onslaught lifts Behemoth
Onslaught then retreated to the centre of the arena before cease was called for a judges' decision. The judges eliminated the immobilised Vercingetorix, meaning that Onslaught went through to the second round. Here, it teamed up with Behemoth to scoop both Spawn of Scutter and Razer onto the flame pit. The two tried to hold Razer in place on its side, and as Razer was about to self-right, Onslaught flipped it over the other way, keeping it off its wheels. Then, Onslaught flipped Razer over again, right before Behemoth flipped Onslaught this time. The two overturned robots self-righted simultaneously.
Onslaught then took on Attila the Drum, taking blows from their swinging weapon. Both machines survived to a judges' decision, and both went through to the third round as Spawn of Scutter was immobilised late on in the battle. In the third round, Onslaught automatically went through, as Behemoth was forced to withdraw from the annihilator, due to the damage it had received in the previous round.
- "Well I would imagine Attila the Drum very much up against it here, unless Razer or Onslaught decide to take the other favourite out, because I make them co-favourites at the moment for this"
- — Jonathan Pearce at the start of Round 4
In the fourth round, Onslaught started by darting around the arena, trying to escape from the pursuing Razer. Eventually, Razer gave up chasing Onslaught, and assisted the nimble machine in attacking Attila the Drum. Unlike Razer, Onslaught managed to avoid the powerful swinging attacks from Attila the Drum. Onslaught also managed to scoop Attila the Drum around, but the lifting scoop of Onslaught seemed to be out of action, as did the claw of Razer.
Eventually, however, Razer and Onslaught teamed up and were able to steer the out-of-control Attila the Drum into Sir Killalot's CPZ, where the house robot lifted it up into the air. Despite being given several opportunities to escape, Attila the Drum failed to escape from the CPZ for the remainder of the battle. Razer and Onslaught then decided to attack each other, but cease was called just as Razer finally got a good grip on Onslaught. The battle resulted in yet another judges' decision, which eliminated Attila the Drum, meaning that Onslaught went through to the final to go up against Razer, head to head.
Here, despite a valiant effort, Onslaught was unable to gain an advantage against Razer, and kept driving around the arena to get a run-up, one time driving into Matilda's CPZ, and driving right around the house robot and out of the CPZ again, totally unharmed. Despite these run-ups, Onslaught only drove onto the front wedge shape of Razer, right underneath the claw weapon. Razer's crushing arm however was unable to cause any damage to the main body of Onslaught, but it eventually gained a grip on one of Onslaught's wheels, shredding the tyres.
As Onslaught drove around and tried to push Razer, its other tyre peeled off for unknown reasons, having not been damaged by Razer at all. Later on in the fight, Onslaught drove into Matilda's CPZ again, and accidentally drove onto Matilda's tusks, where the house robot flipped it onto its side against the arena wall, where it couldn't self-right. As Razer then decided to destroy Matilda, Onslaught was dragged out of the CPZ and driven around the arena by Dead Metal, before eventually being pitted, eliminating it from the annihilator, after such an impressive display throughout.
- Craig Charles: "When you're fighting a robot like that...what's your strategy?"
- Alan Wood: "Keep away as much as possible!"
- — Post-battle interview
- "Onslaught, very quick around the arena, always has been, heat finalists in Series 2, second round in Series 3, had mechanical faults in Series 4, came back in one of our Annihilators though and did well"
- — Jonathan Pearce recaps Onslaught's history
After missing the first series of Extreme, Onslaught returned for the Fifth Wars having taken advantage of the weight limit increase with new, thicker tyres and the top speed increased from 12 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour. The improved Onslaught machine was drawn up against Tetanus in the first round of the heat. Onslaught did its best to shove around and flip the larger Tetanus, but when it reached the arena side wall, Tetanus grabbed, lifted and pushed Onslaught onto its back. Tetanus pushed Onslaught into the arena side wall just as Onslaught tried to self-right, which caused Onslaught to fall back on its back again. Tetanus continued to prevent Onslaught from self-righting. However, as Onslaught stopped trying to self-right, Tetanus drove over an arena steam jet which sent C02 through a hole in the bottom of the robot and immobilised it. The Refbot came in and counted out the two immobilised machines, though Onslaught's wheels were still twitching. The judges were called to make a decision as cease was soon called, and awarded the win to Tetanus due it mostly controlling the fight, eliminating Onslaught from the competition. This was Onslaught's last appearance in Robot Wars.
- "Onslaught: slaughtered!"
- — Craig Charles
|ONSLAUGHT - RESULTS|
|The Second Wars - UK Championship|
|Heat G, Gauntlet||10.5m (5th)||Qualified|
|Heat G, Trial (Skittles)||57 Barrels (2nd)||Qualified|
|Heat G, Semi-Final||vs. Nemesis||Won|
|Heat G, Final||vs. Roadblock (1)||Lost|
|The Third Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 2
|Heat I, Round 1||vs. Armour Geddon||Won|
|Heat I, Round 2||vs. Beast of Bodmin||Lost|
|The Fourth Wars - UK Championship|
|Heat P, Eliminator||vs. Cerberus (18), Terror-Bull||Withdrew|
|NOTE: Onslaught was originally supposed to fight Terror-Bull and Cerberus, but was forced to drop out. It was replaced by V-Max.|
4th (out of 16)
|Sumo Basho||17.31 seconds||4th|
|Round 1||vs. Attila the Drum, Behemoth, Razer,|
Spawn of Scutter, Vercingetorix
|Round 2||vs. Attila the Drum, Behemoth, Razer, Spawn of Scutter||Qualified|
|Round 3||vs. Attila the Drum, Behemoth, Razer||Qualified (by default)|
|Round 4||vs. Attila the Drum, Razer||Qualified|
|Round 5||vs. Razer||Lost|
|The Fifth Wars - UK Championship|
Heat, Round 1
|Heat I, Eliminator||vs. Tetanus||Lost|
- Wins: 5
- Losses: 4
The third round of The Fourth Wars Southern Annihilator, where Behemoth forfeited, is omitted from the Wins tally. Similarly, Onslaught's withdrawal from the main competition of the Fourth Wars is omitted from the losses tally.
|Series||Onslaught Series Record|
|The First Wars||Did not enter|
|The Second Wars||Heat Final|
|The Third Wars||Heat, Round 2|
|The Fourth Wars||Withdrew|
|The Fifth Wars||Heat, Round 1|
|The Sixth Wars||Withdrew from qualifiers with Savage Toaster|
|The Seventh Wars||Did not enter|
|Series 8||Pilot only with Ka-Pow!|
|Series 9||Not selected with Ka-Pow!|
|Series 10||Did not enter|
Outside Robot WarsEdit
Like many other Robot Wars competitors, Onslaught competed in Techno Games 2003, going under the name of Wipeout. It entered the Football and Sumo (having large pneumatic tyres in the Sumo), it lost in Round 1 of the Sumo to British Bulldog. The Onslaught team also used a machine in the last two Techno Games series called Savage Toaster. Savage Toaster teamed up with A.A.T. for the Football in 2002, which beat Celestrial Terror and Smash and Grab in Round 1 but lost to Team Snow Cat in Round 2. In 2003, Savage Toaster worked with Ickle Toaster but Ickle Toaster withdrew after its speed sent a bowling ball into the audience. Savage Toaster was also intended to enter Robot Wars and was armed with a rear hinged lifting arm but it was forced to withdraw from qualifying for the Sixth Wars.
Despite not competing in the final two series of Robot Wars, Onslaught also briefly fought on the live circuit afterwards, virtually unchanged from its final appearance in Robot Wars, and had fairly adequate success there. Onslaught has since retired to make way for the team's newest robot, Ka-Pow!
Onslaught is still in Alan's possession and is still used to drive around on tarmac with pneumatic tyres for fun. However, Onslaught has been deemed too fragile to being tossed around by modern-day flippers nowadays, and so it will not return to combat.
Appearances in MerchandiseEdit
- Onslaught was powered by a Forklift Truck Motor from 1967, which the team claimed was the biggest motor in Robot Wars, as it was bigger in size even than those of the house robots.
- Even when it was equipped with a srimech, Onslaught was always prone to lose via being flipped, with each of its losses outside of its début resulting from it being flipped (the final loss was a judges' decision but was triggered by both robots being immobile).
- Onslaught was the only robot from Bedfordshire to compete in Series 2 and Series 5.
- Even at just .14m3 Onslaught was not the smallest 100 kg robot in Robot Wars. The smallest was Gyrobot at just under .08m3.
- Onslaught cost around £1,500 to build.