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"They say time goes quickly when you’re having fun, and even quicker if you’re mashing up robots, ‘cause here we are at the first of our Robot Wars semi-finals. Now, as you can imagine, our semi-finalists are an absolute bag of nerves. I’ve never seen so many robots rush off for an oil leak. I even caught one roboteer praying earlier on; either that or he’d stuck his hands together gluing his engine back in! But they’ve every right to be worried, ‘cause each of our eight qualifying robots fighting today has already kicked some serious robo-botty! Oh yes!"
— Craig Charles' introduction

Semi-Final 1 of Robot Wars: The Fourth Wars was the first of two semi-finals which determined the Grand Finalists of Robot Wars: The Fourth Wars, out of eight semi-finalists. The eight robots were paired off in Round 1, with the four victors pairing off in Round 2 to determine two Grand Finalists. The episode featuring Semi-Final 1 was originally broadcast on February 2, 2001 on BBC Two. The broadcast managed to attract 5.08 million viewers, an increase of 380,000 viewers when compared with the previous episode. According to BARB, this meant it ranked fifth in the top thirty highest rated BBC 2 broadcasts during 29 January-4 Februrary.

Competing robotsEdit

NewcomersEdit

Dominator2
Dominator 2 (winner of Heat E)
Weight 79.9kg
Dimensions 1.40 x 0.65 x 0.80m
Clearance 0.01m
Power 2 x Industrial motors
Weapons Pneumatic axe
Notes Plasma nitride coated titanium
From: Huntingdon
Team Members: Peter Halloway, Chris Hall & Paul Tolliday
Tornado1
Tornado (winner of Heat F)
Weight 78.2kg
Dimensions 0.85 x 0.25 x 0.70m
Clearance 0.02m
Power Industrial motor powered
Weapons Fixed spikes
Notes Steel and polycarbonate body
From: Huntingdon
Team Members: Andrew Marchant, David Gamble & Bryan Moss

VeteransEdit

Chaos2
Chaos 2 (seeded 1st, winner of Heat A)
Weight 79.4kg
Dimensions 0.38 x 0.90 x 0.71m
Clearance 0.01m
Power Electric powered motors
Weapons High powered gas flipper
Notes Cost £250 to make
From: Ipswich
Team Members: George Francis, Ian Swann & Richard Swann
Firestorm2
Firestorm 2 (seeded 5th, winner of Heat C)
Weight 79.9kg
Dimensions 0.29 x 0.97 x 0.82m
Clearance 0.06m
Power Electric powered motors
Weapons Powerful flipping arm
Notes Took 3 months to build
From: Durham
Team Members: Graham Bone & Alex Mordue
Pussycat
Pussycat (seeded 19th, winner of Heat B)
Weight 79.7kg
Dimensions 0.56 x 0.76 x 0.43m
Clearance 0.04m
Power Electric powered motors
Weapons Blade
Notes Hand painted by Alan
From: Gloucester
Team Members: David Gribble, Robin Herrick & Alan Gribble
Steg-2
Steg 2 (seeded 7th, winner of Heat D)
Weight 80.0kg
Dimensions 0.33 x 0.85 x 0.66m
Clearance 0.08m
Power Electric powered motors
Weapons Pneumatic flipper
Notes Aerospace aluminium body
From: Romsey
Team Members: Rob Heasman, Dan King & Peter Rowe
Thermidor2
Thermidor 2 (winner of Heat G)
Weight 79.9kg
Dimensions 0.32 x 1.30 x 0.70m
Clearance 0.05m
Power Electric motor powered
Weapons Lobster claws and flipper
Notes Has two wheels from small car
From: Norwich
Team Members: David Harding & Ian Harvey
Wheely big cheese
Wheely Big Cheese (seeded 15th, winner of Heat H)
Weight 79.4kg
Dimensions 0.42 x 1.43 x 1.07m
Clearance 0.02m
Power 2 x Golf cart motors
Weapons Throwing device, spiky wheels
Notes Has tungsten golf shoe spikes
From: Langport in Somerset
Team Members: Roger Plant, Paul Otten & Jon McGuigan

Round 1Edit

Chaos 2 (1) vs Steg 2 (7)Edit

Steg 2 vs Chaos 2

Chaos 2 employs tactics and Steg 2's flat sides to its advantage

Prior to this battle, Steg 2's tail and armour had needed significant repairs after taking damage from its previous battle with Mortis.

Both robots started slowly, before Chaos 2 drove at Steg 2, which fired its flipper but missed. Chaos 2 darted aside and flipped Steg 2 in return. Steg 2 was able to self-right, but Chaos 2 charged it broadside on and flicked it.

"And already, we've seen the power of George Francis' flipper!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Steg 2 reversed into Chaos 2 and fired its flipper, but was not underneath the clearance of the reigning champions and so missed. Steg 2's flipper temporarily failed to fall back into place, and Chaos 2 attempted a flip, but couldn't topple Steg 2. Chaos 2 failed with another flip, before Steg 2 hurled Chaos 2 on its back, but it self-righted instantly.

"There he (George Francis) is at the controls. An amateur physicist - loves his astronomy, loves his photography, and takes a snapshot of Chaos 2 in trouble!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Chaos 2 then threw Steg 2 over once more; it self-righted, but Chaos 2 continued to pressurise Steg 2 and tried to force it over the arena wall, before bundling it into Shunt, with the seventh seed taking damage from an axe blow from the House Robot. Steg 2 was noticeably slower now, and Chaos 2 flipped it over, using its open flipper to slow the motion down and strand Steg 2 on its side.

"I think it's all over for Steg 2 after a very good opening few moments to this battle."
— Jonathan Pearce

Steg 2 fired its flipper, but did not manage to knock itself back onto its wheels. Sergeant Bash nudged Steg 2 slightly more onto the floor flipper, which activated. Before the House Robots could attack, cease was called.

"Well, Steg 2 is definitely now extinct. Chaos 2 goes through!"
— Craig Charles

Winner: Chaos 2

Wheely Big Cheese (15) vs TornadoEdit

Wheely big cheese vs tornado

Tornado crashes to earth

Before this battle, Roger Plant made alterations to the drive in an attempt to make his machine faster.

Tornado circled Wheely Big Cheese, running into the side of its flipper and pushing it around. It drove over the wedge and pushed against the wheel, but the larger Wheely Big Cheese pivoted, sweeping Tornado around in a circle and forcing it away. Wheely Big Cheese moved ominously towards Tornado, and managed to flip it, catapulting it into the air and almost over the side wall.

"And look at that power I was telling you about, of the mighty throwing device."
— Jonathan Pearce

Wheely Big Cheese flipped Tornado again, with both robots moving dangerously close to Matilda's CPZ. Tornado moved onto Wheely Big Cheese's flipper but got away just before it fired. After that, Tornado shunted Wheely Big Cheese, which was delayed in closing its flipper, into Matilda's CPZ, where the House Robot flicked up Wheely Big Cheese, before a drive from Tornado caused a weak weld on its right wheel to give way.

Tornado vs Wheely Big Cheese

Wheely Big Cheese's wheels give way as time runs out

"That is a decisive moment! Wheely Big Cheese got sucked into the CPZ, and that was where the damage was sustained!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Matilda rolled Wheely Big Cheese over as it escaped from the CPZ, before Tornado came on another drive and continually pushed Wheely Big Cheese around the arena in an attempt to break the wheel off. The action ground to a halt as Tornado went over a flame jet, with Tornado struggling to push Wheely Big Cheese any further. Tornado then drove onto Wheely Big Cheese again and was flicked over. With the time ticking down, Tornado caught fire, and both robots edged around in circles. The two robots ended up side by side on the cease.

"The wheels have come off the cheese - they've gone for Tornado!"
— Craig Charles announces the judges' decision

Winner: Tornado

Thermidor 2 vs Pussycat (19)Edit

Thermidor 2 vs pussycat

Thermidor 2 flips Pussycat into the air

Pussycat vs thermidor 2

Pussycat cuts into Thermidor 2

Pussycat rushed forward and fell on its side, leaving Thermidor 2's flip to slash the air. Pussycat was slow to get back onto its wheels, and when it did, Thermidor 2 hurled it through the air, where it caught a lick of fire from the flame jet. Thermidor 2 continued to attack and flung Pussycat again, and followed that up with another flip, where it threw Pussycat up, before it landed on the flame jet.

"Its like a cat on a hot tin roof, Pussycat!"
— Jonathan Pearce
Thermador aftermath

Aftermath of Thermidor 2

Thermidor 2 flipped Pussycat again, before Pussycat finally made its mark and dug its blade into Thermidor 2's side. Thermidor 2 escaped from Pussycat and flicked its opponent onto its side. Pussycat landed back and slashed at Thermidor 2's claws. Thermidor 2 closed its claws and Pussycat jumped at the opportunity, landing a blow to the cables behind Thermidor 2's right claw, disabling it and causing it to hang limp. Pussycat then attacked the wedge of its opponent, carving into the top plate.

"And look at the damage here! Slicing into the very head of the lobster!"
— Jonathan Pearce

Thermidor 2 appeared not to be able to use either weapon, and Pussycat slashed up Thermidor 2's left wheel. Thermidor 2 was pushed aside by Pussycat, and then fled for the remainder of the battle, with Pussycat in hot pursuit.

"And I wonder whether the damage sustained by Thermidor 2 at the end will prove too costly."
— Jonathan Pearce

Cease was called and the judges put Pussycat through.

Winner: Pussycat

Firestorm 2 (5) vs Dominator 2Edit

Dominator 2 vs firestorm 2

Dominator 2 axes Firestorm 2

Firestorm 2's first attack was more successful than Dominator 2's, flipping the bi-wedge onto its rear. Dominator 2 rolled onto its side, where it then used its axe to flick itself back onto its wheels. In retaliation, Dominator 2 axed the flipper of Firestorm 2, dragging it around the arena floor. Firestorm 2 attempted to fire its flipper to shake the axe head out, but was unsuccessful and ended up lifting itself off the ground twice before Dominator 2 released it.

"Look at the blade - lifting, plucking at the powerful flipping arm of Firestorm 2."
— Jonathan Pearce on Dominator 2's axe

Dominator 2 was flipped once more, but before it could right itself, Firestorm 2 attacked it and rushed around, ending up pushing it onto its own wheels. Dominator 2 axed into Firestorm 2 as it drove at Dominator 2, with Firestorm 2 batting the axe away with its flipper. Firestorm 2 then drove onto Dominator 2's wedge, and the axe clamped it in place. However, Dominator 2 released Firestorm and backed away for another attack.

Dominator 2 vs firestorm

Firestorm 2 has Dominator 2 at the end

Firestorm 2 recovered and once more hurled Dominator 2 onto its rear. Nudging it, Firestorm 2 pushed it over and Dominator 2 self-righted.

"Scarred, Firestorm, badly as well, but always aggressive."
— Jonathan Pearce

Firestorm 2 repeated this, but Dominator 2 was unable to right itself in time to prevent Firestorm 2 slamming it into the side wall. Firestorm 2 attempted to push Dominator 2 out of the arena, but was not in the right position to be successful, and time expired.

"Chaps, the decision is through. It's the closest decision ever in the war. The judges have gone - 2 to 1 - and it's only by one point - in favour...of Dominator 2!"
— Craig Charles announces the result

Winner: Dominator 2

Round 2Edit

Chaos 2 (1) vs TornadoEdit

Rw4s1-21

Chaos 2 flips out Tornado.

Tornado went into this fight with borrowed motors from Mousetrap and Steg 2.

"Our final televised fight for Series 4 was against Chaos 2. Except that it was the fourth of the semi for us, as we had to fight Chaos 2 three times! The first fight was stopped as the arena got damaged, in the second we pushed Chaos 2 into Shunt's CPZ and Shunt axed them, they lost a chain, but so did we and the judges called a tie."
— Team Tornado[1]

Tornado initially retreated and drifted near the flame pit as Chaos 2 pursued. Tornado then drove into Chaos 2 and narrowly missed a flip from its opponent. Both robots circled each other, before Tornado drove straight up the front of Chaos 2, which flipped it.

"Tornado, not surprisingly, trying to stay out of trouble."
— Jonathan Pearce

Tornado rammed Chaos 2 twice in quick succession, before Chaos 2 bundled Tornado over towards the arena wall with two flips back-to-back. Chaos 2 pressed Tornado to stop it escaping and then stacked it against the arena wall.

"This is Chaos 2 trying to flip Tornado out of the arena, and succeeding! That's what he lives for, George Francis, and again he's pulled it off."
— Jonathan Pearce

Chaos 2 carefully took position and flipped Tornado out of the arena for an immediate KO and a place in the Grand Final.

Winner: Chaos 2

Pussycat (19) vs Dominator 2Edit

Pussycat vs dominator 2

Pussycat disrobes Dominator 2

Dominator 2 attempted to reverse its armoured rear into Pussycat, but the nippy seed sped around and landed an attack on Dominator 2's exposed tire. The bi-wedge of Dominator 2 pushed Pussycat onto its side, but it managed to land back on its wheels, avoiding Dominator 2's weak axe blow. The two robots collided, with Pussycat damaging the wheels again.

"Look at that, very, very simple tactics - go for the new tyres, shred them, and Dominator 2 would be out."
— Jonathan Pearce

Despite Dominator 2 managing to overpower Pussycat, its axe was not in a position to land a blow, and Pussycat was able to continue slashing its right wheel. Dominator 2 finally used its axe/wedge configuration to shove Pussycat into Matilda's CPZ, who propped the 19th seed on the side wall and very nearly out.

"Dominator 2, on top at the moment, perhaps, after the bright start by Pussycat."
— Jonathan Pearce

Dominator 2 continued to ram Pussycat into the corner wall, but finally Pussycat escaped and made a long charge on Dominator 2, glancing off and bouncing away. Dominator 2 axed Pussycat and trapped it again, but Pussycat's attacks finally took their toll and Dominator 2's bodyshell came loose.

"And that could be the telling assault that earns Pussycat a place in the series final."
— Jonathan Pearce

Pussycat launched numerous attacks, and as time counted down, it caught a tooth in the rear armour, pulling at the loose bodyshell. The judges voted for Pussycat on damage alone.

"One of the judges commented - and this is why the judges are not comedians - that you need to get your axe together."
— Craig Charles to Dominator 2

Winner: Pussycat

"We've chosen two of my favourites, I hope they were yours, will they survive the final of Robot Wars?"
— Craig Charles' sign-off

Trivia Edit

  • All battles in this semi-final bar the two involving Chaos 2 were decided by a judges' decision - all of which were very close. There were also no pittings, making this the only episode of Series 4 not to contain at least one pitting.
  • This heat contained both newcomers to the Fourth Wars UK Championship that made the semi-finals. It also contained three of the previous year's Grand Finalists, two of which lost in the first round.
  • This Semi-Final marked the worst performance of Firestorm in a UK Championship.
  • Chaos 2's battle with Tornado was the single time that Chaos 2 defeated Tornado in three televised appearances. This battle was the fourth occurrence of a machine being Thrown Out of the Arena, and is ranked equal 24th in the Shortest Battles in UK Robot Wars - the only battle in Series 4 to make the list.
  • Pussycat's regular captain Robin Herrick, who was missing from the team during the heats, returned for the semi-finals, replacing Robert Bettington.

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.teamtornado.co.uk/rwfights.htm

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