After going to Rapture and Burgh last year, it’s safe to say I really like the 2 day weekend events, as tiring as they are. This year, I brought a much improved Déjà Two, with my ultimate goal of beating my rather lackluster 1/3 result from last year! I was put into Heat J, with the scary vert End Boss, nippy front hinge flipper Ares, and tanky wedge Han the Hammer V3.
The night before the event, I found a concerning issue with self-righting, where the motor would appear to stall before it could tip the robot back over (this’ll be important later…). When I got to the pits on Saturday morning, I had to quickly fashion some bunny ears to coerce the bot back over.
My first fight was against Han the Hammer. As we went head on for the first time, I engaged my grabber, but it seemed to immediately die, leaving me with no weapon. Because mecanum wheels don’t offer a lot of traction, even though I was getting under him every time, I couldn’t outpush him, and for some reason I was struggling to drive smoothly over across the arena, which meant I couldn’t get round to his side or rear. Without the weapon, I was relegated to a losing pushing battle. The fight went to the judges and Han the Hammer deservedly got the win.
Concerned, I went back to the pits and swapped the weapon motor. I had time between now and the next fight to pull apart the motor to see what was wrong with it - I could hear it trying to do things but there was no motion.
This was the problem. One snapped gear tooth inside the gearbox seized the whole weapon system. In hindsight, I should have picked up on this much earlier, as the last time DJ2 had fought was back in April at Robodojo, so I had more than enough time to do a teardown and maintenance check. This also explains the self-righting issues, as this damaged gear tooth must have been slipping in those test cases.
With a working weapon again, I fought Ares next. Ares was pretty dominant throughout the fight, getting under me most of the time and getting some good pins. At some point, the pit was opened, and he was unfortunate to oversteer when attempting to charge me, slipping into the pit.
The final fight of the day was against End Boss. With us both being regulars at Robodojo, I am very familiar with how dangerous this bot is. The fight was very quick, as he managed to get round to my side with a hit on one of the wheels, flip me over and snipe the link.
The Sunday fights started early for me - because all of us bar End Boss had gone 1/2, we needed to have a melee to determine who would get 2nd place. In comparison to the Saturday fights, Déjà Two was driving much better, and it was a lot faster and manoevurable. Ares started the fight strong, getting good pushes and pins on us both, but the flipper didn’t manage to invert us. Around half was through the fight, I finally managed to get a good grab onto the back of Ares, hoisting him into the air. I tried getting to the OOTA zone to suplex him into, but the off-centre extra weight made that task non-trivial, and I had to end the grab before I could properly line up the suplex. During the closing moments of the fight, I managed to spear through a googly eye on Han the Hammer, taking it with me! The fight went to the judges, who awarded me the win on a split decision!
I was now facing the possibility of reaching the top 16. However, I had to win a melee with two other bots that got 2nd place in their own heats, the 4WD drisk vert Arcticfurno and the hammer saw Schism, so I went with the top armour package for this fight. As before, I tried to go for them while they were busy fighting each other, but Schism appeared to get its weapon stuck in Arcticfurno, so I was hesitant to go in as I was unsure if there was going to be an unstick. As the pit button became available, I ran over to open the pit, but missed and got my forks wedged under the kickplate! Unfortunately, I couldn’t get free before I was counted out.
My forks are very shallow, so there was always the chance that this could happen, but in the past, I was running 3S instead of 4S and did not have a turbo mode programmed into my Tx, so every time this had happened, I could easily free myself as the forks would not be wedged very far. I think the new setup gives DJ2 enough power to do this now. I think if I make the top arms longer, I can use those to push myself free in future.
Now out of the competition, I was available for the side events. I teamed up with Arcticfurno for the tag team competition, and our first opponents were Ares (again!) and Fang, the bat-themed horizontal, so I affixed the horizontal wedge for this fight. I started the fight against Ares, and after a bit of back and forth, I tagged in Arcticfurno. After another bit of fighting, during which the pit was released, Ares suddenly stopped moving, so Fang came out as Ares was counted out. I got tagged in in response and got a good push against Fang and pushed him into the pit.
The next tag team to face was New York Slice, an undercutter with forks, and last year’s winner Stratus. For this fight, I configured to fight Stratus, as I had an experimental setup that I originally came up with last year when I first heard about Stratus. It involves replacing the top arms with longer straight sticks, with U-shaped 3D prints on the end, and the theory was that I could use those to push the main body of Stratus against a wall and lift him above me, where I would outreach his weapon, or possibly snag a wheel to do the same. The fight started with New York Slice and Arcticfurno going after each other. At one point the fight came to our corner, and New York Slice clipped my left cheek. New York Slice went to tag Stratus in, soi Arcticfurno did the same to me. The configuration, dubbed the Strapoon by the commentary team, worked beyond my expectations, immediately snagging one of the wheels and letting me lift Stratus high into the air! Definitely the highlight of the weekend for me. Similarly to Ares earlier, I wanted to try to get him into the OOTA zone, but the off-centre weight prevented me from completing the manoevure. Upon release, New York Slice was tagged back in, and I retreated to our corner to tag Arcticfurno in. The fight went to the judges, which we won!
That meant we were in the tag team final against Oubley and Mini Spinny. I’ve fought Oubley a few times in the past, and it had resolved previous issues it was having with drive and weapon and Mini Spinny was also hitting very hard, so this was going to be a tough fight. I configured to fight Mini Spinny, as Arcticfurno’s horizontal setup was damaged by New York Slice. I started by charging across, with Oubley quickly punting me back towards our square, so I tagged Arcticfurno in. After some traded hits, Mini Spinny was tagged in, and after a few more hits, Arcticfurno got stuck under the pit button. I then came out to rush Mini Spinny, but his bar managed to get under me, damaging one of the wheels. He then tagged Oubley back in, who inverted me near the pit, and I couldn’t self-right before he put me in a position where I fell in.
Overall, a very enjoyable weekend, and I achieved my aim of getting a better result than last year - this time, I finished with a 2/3 win loss in the main competition and 2/1 in the side competitions, so a total of 4/4! I’ve got some directions to go in terms of potential improvements for Déjà Two, but my focus will be on finishing Percussive Maintenance XL for Subterranean Showdown and Robodojo in August.