Robot Wars First World Championships

Filmed October 1999, Elstree Studios, London
Immediately after Robot Wars Series 3, Razer took part in this tournament, in which sixteen robots were chosen to represent their country in single elimination battles:-
101 (England), All Torque (Scotland), Behemoth (England), Cerberus (Cyprus), Chaos 2 (England), Depopposaurus Rex (Belgium), Diotoir (Eire), Killerhurtz (Czechoslovakia), Mortis (England), Panic Attack (Wales), Prometheus (USA), Razer (England), South Bay Mauler (USA), Technolease (Holland), Terror Australis (Australia), and Weldor (Eire).

Round 1
We really needed to do well in this competition after the disappointment of the Series 3 UK event. Our minimum objective was to win two rounds and cause some serious damage on the way. The problem with the hydraulics had been fixed and we were ready to go. Our first round opponent was All Torque from Scotland - a low, flat, reversible design with pushing power as the main weapon. Both machines attacked from the start and we quickly gained a grip, piercing their armour. They were a brave team and they kept on attacking, despite knowing that they were vulnerable to our crushing beak. The best moment of the fight came as we grabbed the edge of their chassis and crushed down both machines were levered up off the arena floor. We continued to attack and crush and were surprised at how tough All Torque's armour was. We wanted to pierce some of their electronics but simply couldn't find a weak spot. Razer suffered next to no damage, and eventually pinned them into a Corner Patrol Zone (CPZ) after their drive motors partially burned out. Sergeant Bash cut into them with his claw and we continued to crush them ourselves. We won the fight on a judges' decision as both machines were mobile. Our greatest concern was the smoke seeping out from Razer at the end of the fight. It turned out that we were suffering from a short in the electronics which was causing the arm to crush even without us operating the controls. When we had thought our arm was simply stuck in All Torque, it was actually jammed on full power and burning the motor which runs the hydraulics. We couldn't trace the fault - it was Ben from the Mortis team who kindly came to our rescue. He rigged some LED lights on the arm so we had a visual aid to see whether it was active. Then we could at least hit fail-safe and reset Razer without incurring serious damage. Another thing we discovered after the fight was the reason All Torque proved so difficult to pierce - they had installed seven layers of armour on their machine. The mixture of Lexan, steel and plywood stopped even our mighty, fearsome crusher from destroying them (See Pics Below)

Round 2
We could hardly have picked a tougher opponent than Chaos 2: the newly-crowned Series 3 UK champion. We had met in battle during the Kent Challenge Trophy a month previously, and although we won, George Francis had worked us hard and knew he could flip us. The fight commenced and both machines flew at each other before dodging around in a game of cat and mouse. We so very nearly got caught by Chaos 2's powerful flipper but stayed upright and chased them down. George made a rare driving error, allowing us behind his machine. Ian powered Razer in, pushing both robots into the arena's side. Simon then brought the crusher down, puncturing Chaos 2's polycarbonate cover: a gush of carbon dioxide confirmed that we had pierced their pneumatics. Having disabled the flipper, the pressure was off:we took our time making sure there was no coming back for George. We fed Chaos 2 into Dead Metal's arms - he cut into their flipper as we continued to chomp away on their rear end. We let go and moved round to gain a grip and cause further damage, but Chaos 2 was still mobile and escaped. Would George try and shove us into the House Robots and go out fighting? No, he had decided that enough was enough and he intentionally took a dive into the arena pit! We were delighted with the result - defeating the UK champion had shown the potential power of our machine. We awaited the outcome of the other matches to see who our next opponent would be...

The Semi-final
...and it was to be 101, a tracked machine which had proven its durability in Series 3. The main weapon, a pneumatic spike, was fortunately not working and we felt pretty confident about qualifying for the Final. We made our customary start of going for the throat, crushing and piercing 101, once more using Dead Metal as a brace to hold our victim. All credit to Mike Franklin - despite taking heavy damage, he continued attacking and we couldn't quite finish him off. We did manage to display one of our favourite moves as we pierced deep into 101, bore him aloft and paraded him around before then toasting him on the flame pit. As they were still mobile the result went to the judges, but it was a mere formality and there we were in the Final of the Robot Wars First World Championships!

The Final
Our opponents for the Final were Behemoth. We were very confident of utterly trashing them and should have taken note of how they had overcome good machines such as Diotoir and Mortis in earlier rounds. An even bigger problem was our own machine - as battle commenced, the glitch in the crushing arm recurred and we had to hit the fail-safe no less than seven times during the course of the Final. We also had terrible steering and this was later found to be due to the aerial being broken in three places. It is a wonder we managed to keep going. With so many distractions, Ian strayed onto the lifting scoop of Behemoth. We were overturned and Behemoth pinned us down. The House Roboteers saw that we were trying to self-right but as we were being obstructed, they intervened and let us up. It did us precious little good as we were turned straight back over and then we were pushed on the flame pit. We were having trouble self-righting again - this time because the tip of our wings kept catching on the grille of the pit. We received a lucky shove from a House Robot and finally got back on our wheels. At this stage, we were truly disoriented. The final's huge adrenaline rush, coupled with the pressure Behemoth applied, really got to us. We had no idea if we had minutes or seconds left, but we knew we had to do something and quickly! Finally Ian got the angle of attack correct and we got a solid bite into the skirting which runs around the base of Behemoth. We gnawed away at them, released and attacked the other side, and in the dying seconds managed to get hold of their bucket arm and snap it.

The Judges' Decision
When 'cease' was called, both teams looked across to one another and shrugged. It was just too close to call and the judges went into deliberation. It took a full 20 minutes for them to return a two-to-one verdict - in Razer's favour! We had won!!! It was a fantastic moment for the team - the disappointment of breaking down in Series 3 was washed away. We made our way back to the pits area and were presented with the trophy by none other than Marc Thorpe - the American creator and godfather of Robot Wars.

Pics from the First Robot Wars World Champs
Click on a thumbnail to see the full image

All Torque looking rather sieve-like!
More damage to All Torque
Simon with the seven layers of All Torque armour
Chaos2 after the chewing!
101 after our fight
101 battery - how did it keep going?
101 damage from the inside
Behemoth show their battle scars
The snapped bucket arm of Behemoth
Marc Thorpe and Phillipa present us with the trophy