MechWars IV

June 22-23, 2002
St. Paul, MN, USA

Becky and I left Thursday afternoon from Louisville, CO and drove straight out through the night, getting to the Embassy Suites hotel in ST. Paul, MN at 10:AM on Friday. We rested up and went over to the National Guard Armory where they were setting up for the fourth MechWars Tournament. The staff was generous in allowing us to unload right away so our stuff wouldn't have to stay in the back of the truck overnight.

On Saturday we got to the armory and had to claim our pit location. We weren't aware that we needed to have extension cords so we found a place next to the wall to plug in our chargers. Unfortunately there wasn't much air movement in that corner but we were able to take advantage of a fan close by. There were no chairs or pit tables provided so we went out to a nearby Sears and bought a couple of camping chairs to sit on. Others bought fans. This was a first time for us at this event, but next time we'll be better prepared, now that we know the layout. The only inspection was to make sure your bot met weight and that you had the right kind of batteries. Every team member is required to carry an 14 channel FRS (Family Radio Service) radio so that the organizers can tell you when you are up (channel 3) and to give instructions before and during the match (channel 2). These things only cost $20 each at walmart, so we had these in advance. Another difference from other venues was that we also had to install a beeper or light on our bot so the cage crew could tell if the bot was on or not.

We took Heavy weight Kumite (pronounced Koo-mitt-tay), which is a lighter version that I made of Pro-Am, a Battlebot Super Heavy Weight. We were asked to change our weapon so it would throw debris down instead of up. The Battle cage (I think they should call it the MechWars War Room) had a horizontal spinning blade about 3 inches off the floor that would send lightweights flying. The other hazard was a giant flaming pire that would emerge from the center of the box when you were over it. The floor was steel diamond plate, which Kumite's weapon had interference with anytime it would turn on. It created a heck of a noise and the audience had to plug their ears when it fought. The noise added to the excitement of the fights though. As treat for the kids they had a little arena setup that the audience could use to compete with little bots. By the way, my apologies for not having more pictures of the lightweights and medium weights. I'm drawn toward the bigger iron, as I can't figure out how you guys make the little ones pack so much punch in your weight catagories (amazing).

The tournament was double elimination, where you have to lose twice to be eliminated from the tournament. This which was fortunate, as we lost our first match.. We thought we had won the match as we appeared to be able to control the opponent, but because I lost a cover running into the arena sides (I started upside down), ran into the hazard (by myself), and melted down a victor (I pinched a wire with the cover exposed), The judges gave me the loss. After conferring with the judges on what they were looking for, we then went on winning the rest of our matches putting us in the championship final. In the final we had to fight a tough flipper and we were fortunate to win, then had to fight them again, 20 min later, as they showed up to the final without a loss. We got flipped all over the place, but that doesn't count with the judges (unlike Toro-centric BB's), as they were looking specifically for damage, smoke, and more damage. Flips were counted the same as hits, if no damage occurred because of the air time. Whew! Anyway, we got this cool trophy (a big rusty bolt) and the promise of some cash at a later date, so it was a good trip for us.

I'd like to thank all the other teams that provided assistance when we needed it, for lifting Kumite, saving my back and my marriage to Becky, for wire to replace the burnt ones, for Terry Ewert and Ray (?) for helping to catch loose bolts and especially Tony Hall, from Baltimore, MD for acting as a temporary team member during the final matches.

We especially would like to thank the promoters who generously allowed us to enter late, and all the volunteers and staff that worked hard to make this event happen, and who excersised enourmous patience in dealing with all the new rookies to MechWars (myself included) and to all the local Twin City robot builders who were the epitome of mid-west hospitality.

A couple of interesting side notes, Son-Of-Whyachi (who didn't compete) gave a demonstration of destroying a couch and a computer monitot for the audience. By that time the floor was so mangled and cupped that Terry had ground clearance problems and had difficulties moving SOW about the floor.

During a break, a competitor showed of his robotic blackboard eraser that clung to the sides of the lexan on the cage and traveled around wiping it clean. Neat!

MechWars IV

Final results/standings


1 2 3 4 5 6 7
1 YU923___ W14, W10, W6, L2, W4, W3, W2*, 6, 1st
2 Bob_____ W15, W9, W4, W1, W5, L1*, 5, 2nd
3 JoJo_____ L9, W14, W15, W8, W7, L1, 4, 3rd
4 Wedged Wood, W8, W13, L2, W6, L1, 3
5 Parallax__L7, W17, W9, W11, L2, 3,
6 Ricky Ticky, W18, W7, L1, L4, 2
7 2x4_____ W5, L6, W12, L3, 2
8 Black Plague, L4, W11, W10, L3, 2, MELEE
9 Baby Gouda, W3, L2, L5, 1
10 Grunt Force, W17, L1, L8, 1
11 Doomsday, W16, L8, L5, 1
12 Can Opener, L13, W16, L7, 1
13 M2_, W12, L4, X 1
14 Squid Weird, L1, L3, 0
15 Detassler, L2, L3, 0
16 Hug of Death, L11, L12, 0
17 Bad Grammar 1.1, L10, L5, 0
18 Snipe____, L6, X, 0
*championship match


1 Stanley___, W18, W15, W11, W6, L2, W3, W2*, 6, 1st
2 Centipede, W13, W9, W4, W3, W1, L1*, 5, 2nd
3 Pea Pod__, W14, W12, W6, L2, W5, W4, L1, 5, 3rd
4 Disco Techno, W5, W7, L2, W8, L3, 3
5 Mad Cow__ L4, W13, W14, W7, L3, 3
6 Loki______, W10, W8, L3, L1, 2
7 Turbo Gnome, W11, L4, W9, L5, 2
8 Morphling_, W15, L6, W10, L4, 2
9 Ickabot___, W16, L2, L7, 1
10 Minnesota Mangler, L6, W16, L8, 1
11 The Kaptain, L7, W17, L1, 1
12 Goudabot, W17, L3, X, 1
13 Sponge Bot, L2, L5, 0
14 Happy Scrappy Hero Pup, L3, L5, 0
15 AL________, L8, L1, 0
16 Gnome___, L9, L10, 0
17 Amputater, L12, L11, 0
18 Mirror Image, L1, X, 0
*championship match


1 Kumite___, L6, W8, W7, W3, W2, W2, 5, 1st
2 M3__, W9, W6, W3, W4, L1, L1, 4, 2nd
3 Tornado__, W8, W9, L2, L1, W4*, 3, 3rd
4 Bug Bite__, L5, W10, W6, L2, L3*, 2
5 MidEvil____, W4, W7, X, X, 2
6 Psychotic Reaction, W1, L2, L4, 1
7 Thresher__, W10, L5, L1, 1, MELEE
8 Dunwoody Destroyer, L3, L1, 0
9 Thorr, L2, L3, 0
10 Wild Child, L7, L4, 0
*extra match for 3rd place

Copyright © 2012 Mike Konshak. All Rights Reserved.

Contact HM 303-673-9853