Evolution of design

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Evolution of design

Post by That Kode Guy » Sun Nov 20, 2016 3:14 pm

I'mma do yet another of these because boredom. :v:

So this is as close as I've ever gotten towards building an actual robot, and this was... oh, I dunno, 13-14 years ago?

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This actually existed as a purely wooden model in my Tech Design class. I called it Poundemonium. I kept it around for a while and then... idk what happened to it.

And it inspired this thing:

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Ultimatum. Double-sided axe. 2WD. I guess it wasn't too bad for its time, tbh. It's only here for a placeholder, though, nothing came of this except the successor:

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Speed: 5
Torque: 2
Armour: 5
Weapon: 10

Hi Perseus! ARC: Reckoning team member. Speed hammer. Still 2WD. Went 4-6... eh, not too bad for a first tournament where I didn't really know what I was doing, tbh. :D Could've broke even if I didn't lose a coin toss to swimm3r. :P

Which led to this, in the very next tournament:

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Speed: 6
Traction: 5
Armour: 6
Weapon: 5

It's Terminus, yep. Fucking piece of shit. 1-8, the only win being a forfeit against Sanitation Engineer, who was basically MW Riot Control. That would've been a loss. So this thing never won a legit match. Also the CAD at the time sucked. So yep.

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Terminus 1.5, I guess? idk, this was probably a cleaner CAD version. The semisphere was moved to the center for w/e reason. Didn't compete, but with better stats it might've made a dent.

So I decided I didn't want it anymore. Lian spoke up, so I gave it to him. Some time after that, he asked me to redesign it.

This is where it split into two separate robots.

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This is Terminus II, which Lian also entered in HW under the name Hammerfell. :P It did much, much better than in ARC: Carnage, both times. :P It's not been redesigned as of yet, so that's its current version.

So what happened to Perseus, you ask? This:

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Perseus II was entered into Lian's tournament, Crazy Bots: New Breed City. It far overperformed imo, but I was generally happy with it. At the same time, I knew it had weaknesses, so I was immediately on a redesign for it.

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Not terribly happy with it, sadly, but here's Perseus III. He hasn't competed yet.

I might redesign him again, but this is what he is now, and it's quite a progression from that old wooden model, don't you think?
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Evolution of design

Post by Archangel » Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:01 pm

I feel like this thread is becoming mono-Kody, so imma interject with my own evolution. "but wait Gabe, you've only been here for a year! how can you have a robot that's gone through more than 2 or 3 iterations?" it's quite simple, actually. wedgebots :V


Flammenwerfer:

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Speed: 5
Weapon: 1
Torque: 8
Traction: 5
Armor: 11

Oh dear god that static circle wedge. still, this was one of the original few robots I made, and the only one other than Cuddle time! that wasn't complete crap :V . oh yeah also it never competed. also check out those stats :V . pushy pushy for days :V

Flammenwerfer v2mk1:

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this one's actually quite good looking tbh, and I considered entering it just for the aesthetics. but im a tryhard and its wedge isn't invertable :V . also I just had general misgivings about it... I don't like useless things, and both the non-invertable wedge and the flamethrower felt like that to me. I never did actually stat this because it got replaced too quicky... also check out this piece of ass anti-spinner set-up I had planned for it :V

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Flammenwerfer v2mk2:

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Speed: 8
Traction: 8
Torque: 4
Weapon: 1
Armor: 9

so naturally, I kept the flamethrower despite that. I didn't want to change the name I guess :V . also it still hasn't competed. well, I guess this one's in mech mash, but NFX is being a scrub :V

Warlock:

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Speed: 9
Traction: 8
Torque: 5
Weapon: 3
Armor: 5 (or wep 0 armor 8 (+3 rear))

I finally realized that I didn't like the flamethrower on it, so I ditched it in some of the configurations. also my armor is equal to my torque :V . I needed something to use for fun. now with a billion attachments, and actually getting entered in something!
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Evolution of design

Post by That Kode Guy » Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:05 pm

Yay, someone else besides me posted bot history in here! :v:

Also it's cool to see how it's evolved, even if it is 'just a wedge'. :V Flamethrowers!
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Evolution of design

Post by playzooki » Sun Nov 20, 2016 5:18 pm

i don't post in this thread because i enter the basically the same robots every time :v:

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Evolution of design

Post by Hiicantpk » Sun Nov 20, 2016 7:36 pm

If i had a bot with more than 2 generations maybe I would. Maybe Bass Drop when I make a new version
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Evolution of design

Post by NFX » Sun Nov 20, 2016 10:55 pm

LET'S DO A THING

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First version of Scatterbrain. Designed for an experimental tournament after ARC: Armageddon with some tweaks to the stat system (which I think I won the HW division in with MiDAS), and did very shit, being knocked out of the tournament immediately. No melty at this stage, just Omni wheels for moving in any direction and 15 Speed for good thwack power. Invertible, because I was no longer a complete idiot at this point in my ARC career. :v: I can't remember how it actually went out of the tournament, but there were clearly a number of flaws with this design, which I attempted to amend for the next version.

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Yes, this is a more recent render of it, but it basically hasn't changed since the initial second edition, apart from a few aesthetic bits here and there. Simplified the design here, just three smashy arms, three regular wheels, and melty brain technology for pure translational thwackbot goodness. Entered in a few tournaments down the road, and made the playoffs one time (I still remember that tournament where it went something like 1-9 and its only win was against the eventual runner-up), but usually is good for a reasonable performance, around the break-even mark, with a decent amount of fun along the way. More or less what I intended Team Mongoose to be about. =D I'm not sure why, then, I decided to redesign it again at one stage.

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This is as far as I got with the redesign before I realised "Hang on, I like Scatterbrain as it is, and this design is kind of shit", so it was never entered into anything, and Scatterbrain has kept the same three-armed design since, that everyone seems to love. Although this thing does look kind of familiar......

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Well who expected that? Kugelblitz - my unorthodox take on the HS/melty thwack hybrid idea - was spawned from a failed idea for Scatterbrain! Which goes to show, even if you think the planned new version of a robot sucks, you can still turn it into something awesome.
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Evolution of design

Post by Archangel » Sat May 27, 2017 10:50 pm

I'm bored, and may as well record Chimera somewhere :V

Chimera V1 - competed in Hammerfall and Ruination: the contagion

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Speed: 5
Traction: 7
Torque: 5
Weapon: 4
Armor: 9 (+3 to front wedge(s))


hey look, my first robot. shall we count the design mistakes?

1 - front wedge was originally static (changed before I competed with it tho)
2 - I hadn't figured out proper lighting and staging yet
3 - I was unable to mount the rear spike directly in the middle of the rear (though no one ever commented on that)
4 - anti-spinner set-up is worse at facing spinners than the normal set-up is
5 - misconceptions about its ability to self-right, though I maintain it could have if I got really lucky.
6 - stats were bad, though not laughably so; got the armor right at least.

I did also do some things right though
- my attention to detail was actually pretty decent; all the bits I modeled do actually fit, and the flipper could probably work - though how effective it'd be with the piston that far back...
- tried to angle the wedge at the sides. I did it wrong, but it still worked as it was
- also my strategies with it carried me to a pretty decent record, despite my shortcomings otherwise - showed me that you can do pretty decent on here if you just try every time

Chimera V2mk1

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no memory of making this or competing with it. I imagine it was an intermediary between two competitive designs, though I might have entered it in the Ruination switcherTWO

Chimera V2mk2

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this one actually competed in FRR: Backlash. did decent - 8-5, went out in quarters again. sides still look like ass and I still have the unnecessary tail spike. also 4WD despite the shape, which messed people up multiple times :V

Chimera V3

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made this one to push the boundaries of size as far as I could, then realized I pushed them too far when I started trying to fit things inside of it :V

still, I love how it turned out from a visual perspective. shame it was too flawed.

Chimera V4

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this is from my static wedges are cool phase, but it was also lazily done, and I scrapped it for that. would have done decently, but it was uninspired and I wouldn't've enjoyed it.

Chimera V5

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so to take it to the next level, I went full re-design. properly thought out 4-bar mechanism, wheel redundancy, the whole lot. the hope here is to go from decent but lackluster to good while being fun to RP for. also I like 4-bar flippers :V
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V900? Wheres V1-899 ~NickyDustyOwl
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Evolution of design

Post by Cha0sFerret » Thu Aug 31, 2017 2:31 pm

This thread's pretty quiet these days, isn't it?

I have this unused and unnamed design that I think was going to be my MW for RB2. Let's see how this has evolved.
<img src="http://imgur.com/vXI5vhE.png" alt="Posted Image" width='400' height='225' />

I was probably caught up in the Yeti hype train when I made this. It's a 4WD box with 360 degree lifting prongs and a grinding drum. The idea was to use the lifter to climb on top of opponents and grind away at their top armor. It should be pretty obvious why this never saw the light of day.

This design made me see another use for the lifting prongs, though. If they are wide enough, they can be used as a defense against flanking. However, this design is relatively narrow, and would have to press the lifter to use it effectively for defense, which, well, doesn't work. So, I ditched it and made my actual RB2 MW, Deception:
<img src="http://i.imgur.com/vapRxH1.png" alt="Posted Image" width='400' height='225' />

This one was shaped specifically to take advantage of the anti-flanking applications of unnamed's forks without also losing maneuverability, plus given an actually dangerous weapon.

More about the shape: the wide 2WD design with the giant wedgelets provides the Deception with a hard-to-flank shape, while also minimizing the negative effects of its own gyroscopic forces. The weakness such a design would normally have (angling into the inside of the wedges) is covered by having a big ol' spinning disc there to take a bite out of anyone who tries to angle in like that. So far, it's undefeated in RB2. It might remain undefeated if the tournament continues to flounder :v:

With the success of Deception, I decided to try making a control spinner out of the design. Enter Mudcrab, my ROBOTS FW:
<img src="http://i.imgur.com/foHuHb2.png" alt="Posted Image" width='400' height='225' />

The main thing I wanted to address from Deception was the weakness of the wheels. Any decently fast spinner could have ripped its wheels off easily because of how far forward they were, so for Mudcrab, I moved the wheels back. I also switched the vertical bar out for a drum, to have a wider area with a weapon armor bonus for extra spinner protection. Unfortunately, this meant that I couldn't use Deception's shape, so I had to get creative. That's where the claws came from: long, wide bars with wedges on the ends to make flanking painful. The shape also opened up offensive opportunities by allowing Mudcrab to wedge stuff from the side without having to flank. To do this, though, I had to make the claws hinged, so we're back to the problem the unnamed design had. I tried playing around this by putting more points into speed, and considering how well it fared in ROBOTS, I think I'm on the right track.

Mudcrab's matches against Firebird highlighted its weakness to undercutting and overcutting spinners. I wasn't sure what the best way to combat this was, so I went three different paths with the next step in the design's evolution. Enter White Cat, Scrapyard Miscreation, and Tarantula:
<img src="http://i.imgur.com/2pSNlW8.png" alt="Posted Image" width='400' height='225' /> <img src="http://i.imgur.com/dazMMXt.png" alt="Posted Image" width='400' height='225' /> <img src="http://i.imgur.com/skP4973.png" alt="Posted Image" width='400' height='225' />

White Cat is a Black Dog clone/pisstake first and foremost, but the stats and the changes I made from Black Dog's design have their roots in my experience with Mudcrab. Most major design elements from Black Dog are still present: the drum is set higher than necessary to provide some hammer protection (and coincidentally, overcutter protection), but White Cat has feeder wedges that will still work inverted, so the hammer protection doesn't have the cost of sucking while upside down. The drum is split into three segments instead of two, allowing me to have more feeder wedges for redundancy to make undercutters a little less scary. I've also ditched the Mudcrab claws. It still has control spinner stats, though, because I want to see if I can start making the Mudcrab concept look more reasonable. Performance is yet to be seen.

Scrapyard Miscreation started as its own design family back in January or so, but it was forgotten and left in a folder until a few weeks ago, when I revived it and gave it the Mudcrab family twist it has now. The main defense against undercutting and overcutting designs is that's it's wider than most spinning weapons, so you'd have to get really close and turn in to clip its wheels. It also has the claws still because reasons. To get the width I wanted, I had to ditch the drum for the sake of realism. I replaced it with a sideways hammer. If you haven't guessed already, yes, I took inspiration from the sportsman bot here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m0XQ5-SECl4
This has fewer offensive options than the likes of Deception, Mudcrab, and White Cat, but compensates by being a floppy noodle and a pain in the rear to fight against. Performance is yet to be seen, but it's in CBC2 so I expect results soon.

Tarantula is bordering on parody. It's a more extreme version of Mudcrab in every way. More speed, less drum. In hindsight, the stat spread I used would have worked better with a cheese wedge flipper. The most important aspect is the many claws/legs. The intent here was to have redundancy against spinners, but I went a little bit overboard and ended up with essentially Mudcrab SSJ :v: A toned-down version of it might appear in the distant future.

So yeah, I think I just made an evolution of design post about a bunch of bots with no proper successors. Funny how that works, eh?
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Evolution of design

Post by patrickrowberry » Thu Aug 31, 2017 3:16 pm

I have been making models for nearly 15 years maybe even more
sadly I don't have pics of my old machines

but I have been evolving my style of lifters though the short time I have been here

it started with the Horney one

https://img06.deviantart.net/1271/i/201 ... 99340j.jpg

a semi finalist in arc and in my own tournament and was a bit lucky In both and next years his was destroyed In his heat and because of is never appeared In arc again

but at the same time I was work on jappersquark

https://t05.deviantart.net/U1gbb0CvvjXz ... 9976xw.jpg

with mixed result I almost entered this In with its slow lifter but fast drive
but this got me the idea to combine the two but this was much harder and had many failed attempts
into

a honest good lifter (left bot)

https://img08.deviantart.net/b2a1/i/201 ... 9f2fsc.jpg

a very of lifter that I didn't think much but I realised it had a very unique lifting system and thought of putting the lifting system inside the bot to let it have more rotation has the robot had to have to lifters to self right
but it would be a long time to I built a semi decent lifter witch was

redline (right robot)

https://scorpion1m.deviantart.com/art/p ... -640486658

this lifter may of been but had the centred lifter design that I wanted but its armour was to weak how ever it showed promise despite losing in a tough heat to Pegasus device who would go on to represent me I narc that year so I copied the lifter system and put it into more bots even using it for axes In the future

but the idea of putting a lifter in the middle of centre made me think of more weapons the could be put In the cneter which made me think up of the power house.. blue (right bot)

https://scorpion1m.deviantart.com/art/p ... -640674261

showing form in its first appearance getting into the second round of the semi final on its first go I wonder how well he will do In my model making tournament this year if you want ot find out watch my model uk championship on my yt channel every Friday play list here

https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=P ... qANsf93_y2

the centred lifter was almost perfected by plain as butter as it become last year uk champ and the 3rd robot on this list and I of my best lifters.

https://scorpion1m.deviantart.com/art/p ... -653700765

how ever pab still lacked a bit of speed and I really wanted the fast power lifter jappersquack but with a powerful lifter so I destroyed the robot and using a simple idea of using doors on hinges it made a quick lifter on a 4 wheeled drive and I made a very flat wedge for it witch accidently worked as a tray the wrong way up yes it is ofcosue my latest lifter

ramshock
https://img13.deviantart.net/c511/i/201 ... bhrunj.jpg

I wonder what is next for lifters and my model making in the future

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Evolution of design

Post by Badnik96 » Thu Aug 31, 2017 7:00 pm

Let's do one of these for Shade Fist shall we?

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The first Shade Fist was the first ever bot I rendered for ARC. At the time, I was stupid and didn't know/remember how drums worked, so I forgot to give it any impactors, instead doing some weird diagonal lines on the drum for whatever reason. The writers interpreted this as an auger shape (kinda like the BattleBox's screws) and tbh i don't blame them. I had high hopes for Shade Fist in its debut but it flopped big time, getting shit on by just about everyone and ending ARC Armageddon 2-8. I'm pretty sure I gave up on RPing for it about 2/3rds of the way through the tournament, it was doing that badly.

It did get a legit victory over Mineswept Away though, I'm sure Mark was happy about that :v:

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Shade Fist 2 tried to capitalize on things I learned from Armageddon, with the hinged underall-style wedges in the back, and the drum with ACTUAL BEATERS on it. However I continued to be stupid by making the rear wedges really thin as well as giving it super tall flat sides. It only ever competed in my short-lived rumble league side event thing where it got its shit kicked in several times.

ImageImage
Shade Fist was also the first of my robots to get rendered in 3D&#33; The original paint-drawing of it was beyond awful and didnt do the design any justice, so Kody whipped up a quick render of it. It tried to improve on both bots by being completely invertible, a nice wide wedge at the back, and a bigass drum at the front, the biggest SF ever had. Unfortunately that design didn't exactly work, as its record in LoRE 2 showed. The drum was effective, but just didn't do enough to warrant it many wins. I think it went like 3-7 or something pitiful like that.

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I don't exactly remember what bot inspired me to do this redesign, but looking back I wasn't ever a really big fan of it. The back sawtooth wedges were awkward and looked bad, and the wheelguards probably wouldn't have worked too well. Fortunately I never actually entered this one in anything since it's kinda shit. :v:

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This is the final iteration now, inspired totally and completely by Black Dog. Shade Fist has always been shit, so I decided to take Laz's success as a springboard to clone it and see if Shade Fist couldn't reach similar levels of success. The rear wedge ended up getting scrapped entirely in this version however, which I kind of regret, but I also doubt that it'll ever be useful as a backup weapon. We'll see how it does in CBC2 i guess.
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Evolution of design

Post by That Kode Guy » Sat Sep 02, 2017 3:59 pm

Hugely missed opportunity with a Shade Fist/Scarab team-up in CBC2. I mean Mimete/Necroblade is bad-ass in itself but damn, the Black Dog clone-up should have been a thing.

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Anyway... remember when I said Tellu was originally a bot called Intrigue? Let's go back much, much further, and see Pallas' origins.

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Back when I first joined the Robot Wars Discussion Forum in 2001, I made a thread in the "Fun" section (or was it Fanfic?) called "Rate Ultra Gore THE REAL ROBOT&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;&#33;" or something like that. I was pretty much ten times as bad as Pat until some people set me straight. :v:

I think I made that thread intending to intimidate people but it was really dumb. "Ultra Gore" was a dumb Typhoon 2 clone that had really dumb stats and everything about it was dumb.

So what happened... well, after I got put in my place, I tried having a real serious go at making stats.

So behold...

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Super Gore (circa 2002)

I think it was attempt to fuse Kan-Opener with Mega Morg? But Kan-Opener wasn't a thing yet, so idk? It... has 2 losses? I think one of them came from Fowler Fic War 1 by a clusterbot... yeah. :P

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Super Gore GTI (circa 2004?)

Big Nipper&#33; But not really. Why GTI? Blame Volkswagen. :v: I think I was playing a Need For Speed game at the time, driving specifically a Golf GTI. Meh.

Never competed, but... might have done well for its time period? Didn't matter, I was still a little shit so...

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Super Gore: Artificial Intelligence (circa 2006)

Nothing special. Claws went orange, got shorter. At this point I'd lost faith in horizontal clampers. So then this thing happened...

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Super Gore: Total Destruction (circa 2007)

Actually this thing kicked some ass. Namely, Storm II's. In a tournament. That got cancelled. Made by Matt Fowler. Yep. Interpret that as you will. :v: It still got the first win the Super Gore series ever received, so yeah. We'll call this a (marginal) success.

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Super Gore Evo (circa Jan 2008)

Tracks&#33; But man those claws were small. It went 9-6. Came 4th in one of swimm3r's tournaments.

Here's when the Kan-Opener influence reared its ugly head.

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Super Gore Revo (circa May 2008)

Okay, so it had bigger claws. However, it had no real way to fight anything with angled sides. Despite this, went 4-2? Voted Best Horizontal Crusher of 2008 on FRA? Yeah okay. :S

So I'd begun my ARC: Reckoning season. After seeing all those lovely CADs (I remembered nothing from the cancelled ARC: Backlash :V), I actually did improve this thing somewhat.

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Super Gore Septua (circa December 2008)

The tracks are still there, baby. More success in swimm3r tournaments, and an overall record of 5-1. I'd call that a success.

Septua stayed active for a while, but didn't really compete beyond that. After I'd joined ARC: Armageddon, I started updating my FRA Heavyweight team again. Super Gore got this makeover.

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Super Gore Eahta (circa April 2011)

I loved the makeover I gave this thing. Yes, it was just a box, but it was one of the better texture jobs I'd given FRA bots up to that point. Plus, tracks that actually look fuckin' cool&#33;

Eahta actually competed more in Alex MacWilliams' small tourney on here than on FRA Fanfic. I forget what the name was called, but... eh. Eahta didn't do too well. I think he lost to Fish of Doom's Blood Thirsty immediately.

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So now we come to a point.

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Pallas (circa July 2016)

How on earth do Super Gore and Pallas come together? Let's face it: they're both blue, they both have claws, and future iterations of Pallas regain track mobility.

Pallas, well, you know all about her by now. If we're counting Super Gore's success, Pallas is still way more successful than any of the previous iterations. 7-2 and a Finals appearance in CBC1? Choice. She went home... but happy. :v:

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Pallas II (circa July/August 2017)

And Pallas returns&#33; Yet to compete from this date, but I have a fair amount of confidence in winning some fights with her.

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--------

???

Pallas III

It's coming...

...muhuhuhahaha
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Evolution of design

Post by Madman » Thu Sep 07, 2017 2:53 pm

Something mildly self-indulgent about how people should care about my shitty old bots.

<big><big><big>Hellhound I</big></big></big>

V1:

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This was the only paint bot that I ever drew. Still one of the cleanest looking paint bots I've ever seen. Had a totally pointless drill configuration. This version never fought, though, since I learned to CAD immediately afterwards.

V2:

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This was my first ever render in TinkerCAD and I find it sad that it's still better than what half of people can do after a solid year using the app. Anyway, it was entered in Reckoning: Extinction, on reddit in the spring of 2016 and went 2-3 in the group stage, though it probably should've done better. I had no idea how to stat and the weapons were shit.

<hr />

<big><big><big>Hellhound II</big></big></big>

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This was the Hellhound that took out Glacier and Popo and made the semis in Pressure Drop. I actually think the design was a step back, even if the render was cleaner. Better stats helped this thing too. Basically, I learned that fast bots with thick frontal armour and good wedges win in ARC, and those lessons were incorporated into future iterations.

<hr />

<big><big><big>Osiris</big></big></big>

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However, an interesting relation to the Hellhound family tree is Osiris. With my blessing (despite the show of public taunting we put on), Alex took the original Hellhound concept and ran with it, creating this thing that actually won a minor championship. I can't say that I buy its wheelbase completely, but the fundamental concept and its use of the armour bonus is clever, and it's given me the idea for another upcoming bot: Bloodhound.

<hr />

<big><big><big>Hellhound III</big></big></big>

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Thankfully, Hellhound III never saw action. I somehow didn't notice that it would high center itself the moment that it tried to press its wedge. Also, though you can't see them in this render, this version had cambered wheels, which are dumb, as well as dubious invertibility. It did, however, pioneer the stat spread and wraparound ABR wedge design that would make Hellhound such a strong contender thereafter. It was quickly scrapped in favour of the next version.

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<big><big><big>Hellhound IV</big></big></big>

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To many people, this is the 'classic' Hellhound, where the design achieved its essential maturity. I think it's also one of the all-time cleanest and meanest looking bricks on ARC, but I'm obviously a bit biased. It went undefeated in Robot Bastards 2 before that tournament sadly died, and I still don't think there was much that could've prevented it from taking the title. It lost a couple of close matches in MonkeyWrench but was in the semifinals when that tournament also petered out. Overall, it was a solid design, but still a bit vulnerable to being high-sided. Its plow was also almost certainly illegal in terms of the armour bonus.

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<big><big><big>Hellhound V</big></big></big>

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The fifth and current version was created pretty hastily for ROBOTS, and its anti-hammer setup wasn't completed on time, which would end up costing it in the quarterfinals against Coup de Grace. It also lost a point of speed due to the new anti-speed rules, but gained one in torque. It's currently in the finals of New Blood and is also competing in CBC2. I have some ideas for Hellhound VI, though the changes will be minor, since this is pretty damned close to a fully optimized design.

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<big><big><big>Midnight Sun</big></big></big>

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An offshoot of Hellhound, just so that I could have a legitimately different second version of the design available in case I wanted to enter it twice in a competition. Midnight Sun takes a slightly different approach, investing more heavily in its weapon at the cost of its drivetrain, though I may end up just giving it traditional Hellhound stats.
Tartarus Robotics Group: Infinitely wise and merciful since 2016
(don't ask about before that)

Black Dog ||| Hellhound V ||| Blood Eagle ||| Santangelo ||| Hellhound VII ||| Hoarfrost

Mechanized Mayhem: 0-0
Heavyweight: Danger Zone (0-0)
CBC4: 26-5
Featherweight: Black Dog III (6-2)
Lightweight: Blood Eagle (7-1)
Middleweight: Hoarfrost (9-0) CHAMPION!
Heavyweight: Santangelo (5-2)
Current Roster: 183-40 (.821)
Black Dog (ROBOTS - MW*, ROBOTS3 - FW, CBC4 - FW): 26-5
Blood Eagle (CBC3 - LW*, CBC4 - LW): 15-2
Danger Zone (Mechanized Mayhem - HW): 0-0
Detroit Iron (ICEcrown - SHW): 6-2
Hellcat (Thunder Underground - MW): 2-0
Hellhound (R: Extinction - HW, Pressure Drop - HW, RB2 - HW, ROBOTS - HW, New Blood - HW*, ROBOTS 3 - HW*, Thunder Underground - HW): 46-11
Hoarfrost (RB2 - MW, Armageddon! - MW, Ruination 4 - LW, Thunder Underground - LW, CBC4 - MW*): 23-5
Krakatoa (Robo-Con - LW, Ruination 4 - SHW, Thunder Underground - LW): 11-2
Meanstreak (RB2 - LW, Ruination 4 - HW): 10-3
Santangelo (CBC3 - SHW*, CBC4 - HW): 13-3
Sundancer (Ruination 4 - MW, R: Revival - MW, REDDIT - HW, R: Evolution - FW): 21-4
Talons Out (ROBOTS - FW): 10-3
Thundercaller (Vexed!): 1-0
Yet to Fight
Hadean, Intimidator, Kurosaki-kun, Midnight Sun, Neon Rampage
Retired
Eye of Newt, Morality, Savage, Tiger, Vicious, Wild Child
ARC Hall of Fame
Hellhound - #1
Black Dog - #2
Blood Eagle - #11
Sundancer - #24
Hoarfrost - #49

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Archangel
Posts: 2680
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Team: ‽ Robotics

Re: Evolution of design

Post by Archangel » Sun Jan 26, 2020 11:29 am

BET YALL THOUGHT THIS THREAD WAS DEAD

Buzzkill. my most controversial bot - I refuse to acknowledge the crown it holds - and if you were around for Bot-O-Rama, you know exactly why. This

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this piece of shit early concept control vert with a fucking 2 inch weapon beat a giant 16 power shell.

in the same tournament where in sportsman 2wd deathflipper with a strong wedge lost to a dumbass 4wd lifter that had no ground clearance and couldnt press. fuck that bullshit the crown I deserved was Wyvern's - and I certainly didnt deserve to steal Caldera's crown.

also fun fact it had a dustpan config that I was wise enough to not use once since there's no room for internals at all

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but anyway, that was a thing I made back when I was first thinking about the idea of a control vert. it looked stupid, but I statted it well and got some good matches and some good RNG. I also more or less retired that design after that out of my own frustration.

except for new era but we don't talk about this thread https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/drownin ... tml#p60270

ahh, for the days when you could see a nuke fight a single piece of paper.

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I attempted a redesign at one point that kept the stupid tiny spinner but put it on a solid 4WD chassis that, of course, would have been absolute ass until the most recent tournament. that new shape eventually got a new color scheme, and then eventually a new drum. Still, this is technically speaking Buzzkill II

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fuckin dopeass drum that I refuse to get rid of on future iterations even though it gets objectively terrible bite. this was before I could like, make a real drum (and tbh when I tried to give it a real one recently it looked fucking awful I might have to rethink the entire shape or just go all in with the giantass drum)

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I did keep it around for a now-mostly-irrelevant wedge climbing config that also looks fuckin d o p e

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but that was really the extent of my forays into drums for quite some time. finally threw in the towel on making them look good for a while and moved around on other projects

(like the acid mountain/broken tooth series, which taught me the beginnings of how to make control verts real fuckin viable)

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(and also Endless Clowns, whose full level of asswhoop still has yet to be revealed after TU died)

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not to mention Monsterworks' Finishing Move, which is going to be one of the most influential bots on the meta for a while - it's honestly an upgraded meanstreak, which was in and of itself an upgraded black dog until the shit it was leaning on got nerfed.

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I honestly didnt notice it had ass wedges until now and that's because they're functionally vestigial - it's acid mountain even more fully tuned for fighting like a normal vert: more or less whiplash with a slightly better ability to do the over the back thing.

I didnt necessarily think about any of these influences when I set out to make Buzzkill III - I was in fact thinking mostly about upgrading Captain Trips, inspired by black diamond's success. I was also doing a 30 minute design challenge on a whim so here's the first iteration of this to remind you why you should always iterate:

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anyway when I made this my brain was like "well fuck why not put a vert on this you've put a vert on every other lifter you've made except for a clamp because that's what saws are for," and then when I was done I realized I had made a cutout in the bottom of hte lifter wedge that probably allowed me to chopsaw with it and thus I have created the foreward facing chopsaw design, since apparently I love making everything front facing. oh also it has wheels on a hollow axle because I saw attackfrog doing that and thought it was cool.

I really appreciate being around people who have good ideas so I can steal them.

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This is also a return to my geometric patterns I used to do all the time. was trying more on the photorealism slant for a while, really just not digging it as much as drawing a bunch of pretty lines on a bot and calling it good.

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Madman
Posts: 563
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Location: Fighting in the shade
Team: Tartarus Robotics Group

Evolution of design: Black Dog

Post by Madman » Thu Jan 30, 2020 7:19 pm

Black Dog

If there are two bots that I'm known for, they're Hellhound and Black Dog. The former heralded the modern era of super-minmaxed, high speed, plow stacking bricks. The latter was my answer to that meta, and a true gamechanger during what was becoming a very stale period. However, it didn't develop overnight and was kind of something that I lucked into. Here's how:


Meanstreak

This was my first spinner, and you can already see the seeds of the Black Dog approach here: it's a vert, it's faster than the average spinner at the cost of armour, and has that wide drum designed to protect its fragile body. It was inspired by Aftershock's success in the then-most recent season of Robot Wars and entered in Robot Bastards 2. It managed to become kind of a meme (Memestreak) and its record stood at a respectable 2-2 before that event was kill, sadly. Nobody gave it much of a chance going in, and its showing really wasn't bad, considering. It also managed to score a couple of big upsets and that was enough to encourage me to iterate.

Its intended statline was: 6 speed / 4 traction / 1 torque / 13 weapon / 6 armour (+1 to the drum). However, I decided to be all ballsy and entered it with stats of: 7 speed / 5 traction / 1 torque / 12 weapon / 5 armour (+1 drum) instead.

I quickly recognized that Meanstreak fell short because it didn't commit to one wedge, having both hinged and strictly inferior to a pure 2WD or pressing wedge under the rules of the time. Its butt wedge and wheel placement also meant that it could be high-ended. Finally, it got caught in a bit of a stat No Man's Land. Its weapon didn't hit quite hard enough to make it an immediate knockout threat, but it also didn't have quite enough traction or torque to really act as a control bot.

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Black Dog

And then it arrived. It was a pretty quick and cheap render. I was just dicking around and trying to give the basic Meanstreak idea another go. Partway through, I realized that adding a center wedge might be clever. I also had the Led Zeppelin song stuck in my head at the time, so ya, that's where the name came from. I was initially debating between three different sets of stats:

Power: 6 speed / 4 traction / 1 torque / 14 weapon / 5 armour
Meanstreak clone: 7 speed / 5 traction / 1 torque / 12 weapon / 5 armour (+1 drum)
Speed demon: 8 speed / 7 traction / 2 torque / 10 weapon / 3 armour (+2 drum)

I originally tossed Black Dog in 'Hobbywham': a tournament that never got past the first round. When that thing died and I still had this render sitting around, I decided to toss it into Gabe's new tournament: ROBOTS as a middleweight, since I didn't see too many big spinners in that division. I took the least ridiculous of those above stat lines and added a slight tweak, giving it a bonus to its drum since 10 armour is kind of a mental threshold in terms of actually being seen to have some armour:

6 speed / 4 traction / 1 torque / 14 weapon / 5 armour (+1 drum)

Pre-tournament, most power rankings had it as a mid-table pick, but it turned out to be an absolute terror, upsetting a load of highly-regarded bricks and exploit bots. The worst was Alex's Safe Space 'cluster'. That was Black Dog's only loss. They met again in the finals and I got my revenge. When the dust had settled, people scrambled to adjust to a new meta where a mobile, squirmy vert with a wide, hard-hitting weapon could conclusively beat low-weapon bricks in the Hellhound mold. Cue a slew of clones.

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Attack of the Clones

It wasn't just noobs copying Black Dog. The new archetype worked and nobody (not even really me) could figure out exactly how and why, so the safest approach was just to copy the winning design. The result was this:

Shade Fist - Team Ignition

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Scarab V - Team Covenant

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White Cat - Chaotic Robotics

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They all did well but none could quite win a title, though they came close. Shade Fist is still going and effectively remains a Black Dog clone, though it's moved on a bit from the original stat line, going for slightly more armour and less speed. I still think it's going to win something at some point.


Meanstreak II

Of course, I was already going in a different direction by then. I'd noticed that Black Dog had actually done a lot of work as a control bot against really tough bricks and had won some matches because of that. It was also just really limited by its low armour against serious deathspinners. So, I hit upon a new idea:

8 speed / 8 traction / 1 torque / 5 weapon / 8 armour

I went whole hog on weapon coverage and those front forks. Back then, any non-shell, ring, or overhead spinner with 5 or more weapon power got +4 weapon armour, so I had 12 armour on my drum, which was generally enough back then, along with 8 speed and perfect control, which we still actually thought mattered. As a heavyweight, I made the semis, getting called out as an exploit bot a whole bunch, and lost the requisite controversial decision. The modern weapon armour rules about 5 weapon for +2 armour and 10 weapon for +4 armour were quickly put in place afterwards and effectively killed this approach.

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Black Dog II

That doesn't mean I'd given up on the original design, though. Instead, I decided to clean it up a bit. I kept the same base design, though I changed the forks and made the dimensions a bit less silly. I kept the same stats, too:

6 speed / 4 traction / 1 torque / 14 weapon / 5 armour (+1 drum)

This was the Black Dog that was offered up in eight different colour variants for people to name, stat, and RP for in The Pound. It was the height of the Black Dog trend. Josh won his final title before retiring with the black and pink 'Donut'. As for the actual Black Dog II, I pulled it from ROBOT2 along with the rest of my team after some questionable decisions that probably weren't that bad. I was mostly just burnt out on ARC. When it finally fought again, it was in ROBOTS 3 as a featherweight, where it had some better matchups than in middleweight. I knew the field still wasn't perfect for it, but I figured I'd probably make about semis or so, which is exactly what happened before HFL's death-melty Idiot Triangle mulched me.

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Recent Black Dog Clones

At a certain point, people started to realize what it really was that had made Black Dog work: its ability to force wedges to either roll on a 50/50 or worse wedge battle or waste their time trying to avoid its direct front, its ability to escape wedges and counter them, and its ability to flip them and capitalize by having enough weapon to deal damage. Once they'd figured this out, the basic design began to evolve:

Abyss - The Monsterworks

By the time that ROBOTS 3 rolled around, Black Dog was kind of an old design and the monster undercutters that had showed up and showed out in REDDIT and CBC3, including my own Blood Eagle, were a serious threat to it. Alex's Black Dog clone, Abyss, came late to the game, but it's the only one to date to win a title. It might've been because he wasn't afraid to break from the traditional stats and go full deathspinner, relying more on its squirminess and ability to hit very hard and less on actual speed. IIRC, it went:

4 speed / 2 traction / 1 torque / 16 weapon / 7 armour.


Abyss by Floating Castle Robotics on Sketchfab

Shade Fist - Team Ignition

Shade Fist is still going strong too, though the drum's not as wide as before and its stats have shifted to be a bit tankier. It's looking good in CBC4, but it's still early going.

5 speed / 3 traction / 1 torque / 14 weapon / 7 armour

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Drummy Thicc - Code Pink Robotics

Code took the design to a half-serious extreme as only Code can do, crossing the idea of Black Dog with real life SMEEEEEEEE. Will it fight? Will it win? Will it even work? Who knows, but this thing belongs here.

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Black Dog III

The third and most recent version of Black Dog is currently entered in CBC4 in the featherweight division where the field is just too good for it to pass up. There are almost no really dangerous spinners and plenty of low-armour control bots. I made this render prior to deciding to enter it because I wanted to have a clean, new interactive 3D model of the bot in sketchfab, for nothing else if not for doing it justice. I'd actually intended to cave and return to middleweight with an Abyss stat line of 4 speed / 2 traction / 1 torque / 16 weapon / 7 armour. However, given the opportunity that I saw in featherweight, I went with the classic:

6 speed / 4 traction / 1 torque / 14 weapon / 5 armour (+1 drum)

While it seems like largely the same bot, there are actually quite a few changes. The drum remains toothed, but the teeth, along with the weapon are now fully reversible, so it can run either way up. Part of the reason for that is for better survivability against undercutting horizontals. When inverted, Black Dog's frame sticks up enough that its weapon doesn't touch the floor and it doesn't have feeder wedges where an undercutter can reach them. The other big change is the replacement of the bot's customary side shields with a pair of side drumlets similar to those from Meanstreak II. These allow for some interesting defensive and offensive opportunities. You'll have to wait and see how I use them in competition.


Black Dog III by Floating Castle Robotics on Sketchfab

Tartarus Robotics Group: Infinitely wise and merciful since 2016
(don't ask about before that)

Black Dog ||| Hellhound V ||| Blood Eagle ||| Santangelo ||| Hellhound VII ||| Hoarfrost

Mechanized Mayhem: 0-0
Heavyweight: Danger Zone (0-0)
CBC4: 26-5
Featherweight: Black Dog III (6-2)
Lightweight: Blood Eagle (7-1)
Middleweight: Hoarfrost (9-0) CHAMPION!
Heavyweight: Santangelo (5-2)
Current Roster: 183-40 (.821)
Black Dog (ROBOTS - MW*, ROBOTS3 - FW, CBC4 - FW): 26-5
Blood Eagle (CBC3 - LW*, CBC4 - LW): 15-2
Danger Zone (Mechanized Mayhem - HW): 0-0
Detroit Iron (ICEcrown - SHW): 6-2
Hellcat (Thunder Underground - MW): 2-0
Hellhound (R: Extinction - HW, Pressure Drop - HW, RB2 - HW, ROBOTS - HW, New Blood - HW*, ROBOTS 3 - HW*, Thunder Underground - HW): 46-11
Hoarfrost (RB2 - MW, Armageddon! - MW, Ruination 4 - LW, Thunder Underground - LW, CBC4 - MW*): 23-5
Krakatoa (Robo-Con - LW, Ruination 4 - SHW, Thunder Underground - LW): 11-2
Meanstreak (RB2 - LW, Ruination 4 - HW): 10-3
Santangelo (CBC3 - SHW*, CBC4 - HW): 13-3
Sundancer (Ruination 4 - MW, R: Revival - MW, REDDIT - HW, R: Evolution - FW): 21-4
Talons Out (ROBOTS - FW): 10-3
Thundercaller (Vexed!): 1-0
Yet to Fight
Hadean, Intimidator, Kurosaki-kun, Midnight Sun, Neon Rampage
Retired
Eye of Newt, Morality, Savage, Tiger, Vicious, Wild Child
ARC Hall of Fame
Hellhound - #1
Black Dog - #2
Blood Eagle - #11
Sundancer - #24
Hoarfrost - #49

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Madman
Posts: 563
Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:00 pm
Location: Fighting in the shade
Team: Tartarus Robotics Group

Re: Evolution of design

Post by Madman » Tue Sep 01, 2020 11:45 pm

Hellhound


If there are two bots that I'm known for, they're Hellhound and Black Dog. The former heralded the modern era of super-minmaxed, high speed, plow stacking bricks. The latter was my answer to that meta, and a true gamechanger during what was becoming a very stale period. However, Hellhound was far from finished and, in success and influence, has arguably outlived its counter. That's not to say that I set out to make an uber-brick. To be perfectly honest, it was kind of something that I lucked into. Here's how:


Hellhound I

This was the very first fantasy bot that I ever designed and there's something gratifying about how far it's come and how well it's done. The original design was a direct response to Alex's Glacier. He was still in China at the time and I made it in a single evening with a bit of help from Jules' imagination and entered it in 2016's REDDIT: Pressure Drop for the sole purpose of pissing him off/knocking Glacier out. The design was janky as hell, but the essential components that would later mature into a multiple-championship hall-of-famer were already present:
  1. An armoured plow that could soak anything. Glacier hit with a then-unheard-of 17 weapon power without self-destructing, and I needed something that could stand up to that long enough to smother and control it.
  2. A drivetrain capable of smothering big spinners and flat-out outdriving other control-based designs. In those days, 7 speed was considered fast in the way that 9 speed is now. I went for 9 speed. Back then.
  3. WEDGE. Hellhound I had this seemingly-pointless actuation on its plow. Part of this was for effective invertibility: I could flatten it against the floor if I was flipped. The greater part was about winning wedge battles. Back then, pressing was loosely considered better than 2WD static by the majority of writers. I wanted my wedge to be damned unbeatable.
There was one problem: I didn't know how to use CAD. I'd never tried so, instead, I hopped on MS Paint and came up with this:

V1

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Second view
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This was the only paint bot that I ever drew. Still one of the cleanest looking paint bots I've ever seen. It had a totally pointless drill configuration. This version never fought, though, since I learned to CAD immediately afterwards.

V2

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This was my first ever render in TinkerCAD and I find it sad that it's still better than what a lot of people can do after a solid year using the app. Tutorials matter, noobs. Anyway, a warmup tournament popped up on the subreddit, so it was entered in Reckoning: Extinction in the spring of 2016 and went 2-3 in the group stage, though it probably should've done better. I had no idea how to stat and the weapons were shit.

Let's take a moment to talk about how weird this thing is. So, basically, the idea was to have a low, sleek plow that, combined with my sheer speed, could slide far enough underneath opponents that they'd overbalance and tip into the area behind, becoming high-ended. The arm was 90% for self-righting, though I passed it off as a clampy thing. It mounted a saw and there were some bogus flamethrowers just so I could claim to be using weapons and maybe score a few cheap damage points. Saws weren't viewed seriously as weapons in those days (ditto for flames), and weren't really given points, but I figured that, using weapon splitting, the tiny investment was worth it.


Hellhound II

I was learning CAD pretty quickly at that point, however, designing things that I didn't end up posting (and never will) so, with Adam (the TO's) permission, I decided to rerender Hellhound. I took the time to ditch the vestigial saw and dump the saved point into traction, as a -3 control ratio and attempts to 'drift' had cost me in Reckoning.

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This was the Hellhound that took out Glacier, Terminal Velocity, and Popo's Corkscrew and made the semis in Pressure Drop. It was a statement run from a rookie team and helped me build some cachet immediately. However, I actually think the design was a step back, even if the render was cleaner. Better stats and RPs are what helped this thing. Basically, I learned that my core suppositions were right: fast bots with thick frontal armour and good wedges win in ARC, and those lessons were incorporated into future iterations.

Of course, other people had already been doing that to great success. Nick F (NFX/Snap! for those of you who don't know him) had a few bricky things that did the business, and Lian's Klarinette was already a legend. Hellhound minmaxed to a new level, however. It was all speed, all plow, and the weapon was vestigial: solely for pressing. It just didn't really have bad matchups.


Osiris

Before we get into that, however, an interesting relation to the Hellhound family tree was Osiris. With my blessing (despite the show of public taunting we put on), Alex (The Monsterworks) took the original Hellhound concept and leaned into it, creating this thing that actually won a minor championship. I can't say that I ever bought its wheelbase completely, but the fundamental concept and its use of the armour bonus was clever.

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Osiris and its (dubious) success actually gave me the idea for another bot: Bloodhound, which was going to explore the sawbot aspect of the original design more heavily, but with more believable proportions. Sadly, that never materialized. Black Dog and Blood Eagle happened instead, and I can't say that I regret those.


Hellhound III

You may notice that Hellhound III doesn't appear in the competitors lists of any old-timey events. It was supposed to offer dual wedging capability, from either side, acting as a chassis wedge in reverse and pressing head-on. Of course, looking at it now, anyone reasonably good at ARC can easily see what its fatal flaw was.

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Thankfully, this version never saw action. I somehow didn't notice while designing it that it would high center itself the moment that it tried to press its wedge. Also, though you can't see them clearly in this render, Hellhound III had cambered wheels, which are dumb, as well as dubious invertibility. It did, however, take another step towards the current stat spread and pioneer the wraparound ABR wedge design that would make Hellhound such a strong contender thereafter, in addition to the Cerberus logo that has become a hallmark of the series. After a couple of PM exchanges from people who wanted to help me improve and probably later wished that they hadn't, it was quickly scrapped in favour of the next version.


Hellhound IV

To many veteran ARC members, this is the 'classic' Hellhound, and was where the design achieved its essential maturity. At the time, I was convinced (along with a couple of others) that it was one of the all-time cleanest and meanest looking bricks on ARC. I may have been a bit biased. Anyways, this was the first 4WD version. I didn't want to have to deal with oversteer. However, with the huge buffer space between plow and body no longer present, I was terrified of eating hits to more vulnerable areas. That was the reason for the comically huge plow. It was an absolute nightmare to get that shape (somewhat reminiscent of an F-117 Nighthawk) and, on top of that, wasn't even close to legal size. People tried to point that out, but they were polite and I wasn't and I got my way. I fudged a hammer blocker in there too just because I could. There's a lesson in there somewhere.

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Despite Drew (W0lf/Team Alpha) insisting that it just '[didn't] feel like Hellhound', this version went undefeated in Robot Bastards 2 before that tournament sadly died, and I still don't think there was much that could've prevented it from taking the title. It was pretty far ahead of the game and I knew that I had a winner. It lost a couple of close matches in MonkeyWrench (one I agreed with and one that I really didn't) but was in the semifinals when that tournament also petered out. Overall, it was a solid design, and almost certainly would've been a champion if those events hadn't died, but I saw room for further improvement: Its low ground clearance and side overhangs left it vulnerable to being high-sided. Plus, there was that plow. I was pissing people off. Sometimes, that can be fun, but not when it might cost you wins.


Hellhound V

The fifth version of Hellhound was thrown together pretty hastily for ROBOTS (yes, the first one), and the plow, while a more acceptable size, was janky and I never warmed to it. Other big improvements included loads of ground clearance and no more side overhangs. Hellhound would never be high-sided again. Due to some pretty restrictive speed vs control rules in place for that event, I was also forced to drop a point of speed, which I instead put into torque and have kept there ever since.

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This didn't mean, however, that it was unbeatable. In my hurry to finish it before the submission deadline, I omitted the anti-hammer plow in a field stacked with walking death-hammers (those were a regrettable trend at the time). Despite a stellar run to that point, this fatal flaw would cost it in the quarterfinals against eventual champion beta with 'legs' Coup de Grace. Thankfully, with a bit more time to prepare and submit, I was able to get the anti-hammer attachment finished on time for Pat's New Blood Tournament ('new blodo' for those who know). Despite not really being a rookie, in true Tartarus Robotics fashion, I managed to slip in on a technicality and romp to the title without facing a single serious challenge. Hellhound was now a champion, but it still didn't feel like a real champ and I was busy riding the wave of Black Dog - the meta's big breakout star - at the time. It was entered in CBC2, which died a horrible death, and I took a break for a few months. Upon returning, I made a Hellhound VI mostly just because the plow annoyed me and I wanted to render something.


Midnight Sun

Before that, however, came Midnight Sun. Basically, it was made for the following reasons:
  1. So that I could make another Hellhound without the pressure of being tied to that infamous name.
  2. There was a song that I really liked that I wanted to link in my submission center post.
  3. I wanted to try a different stat spread that used a 5 point lifter and gamed the armour bonus, and I didn't want to do it under the name of Hellhound.
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The graphics were pretty decent on this thing, and it probably would've done alright too, but I never ran it. I took a break from ARC, gave it away to Ethan, IIRC, and it never fought that I'm aware of. It would've been cool to see if the 7/6/2/5/10 (+1 plow) spread would've worked. The torque might've been a bit low. I was honestly toying with just running the usual spread and using this as a way to enter a second Hellhound without being called out on it.


Hellhound VI

Welcome to Square Wave city! If you don't know what 'Square Waving' is, then congrats, you're a noob! Basically, it means 'overbalancing' and, like so much of ARC's jargon, is named after the bot that first and most famously did it. Hellhound VI shares the dubious distinction of having never competed in an event with Hellhound III. It rendered smooth, clean, and sleek in TinkerCAD and, after a few months, in Sketchfab as well. The swoopy, curvy design was an evolution of Hellhound V's softer lines, and I just never liked it. Also, it would've overbalanced like crazy and I don't design bots with exploitable flaws.


Hellhound VI by Floating Castle Robotics on Sketchfab

I think it was actually entered in some minor event (I don't remember which), but that either died early or never even got off the ground. In addition, anti-Hellhound sentiment was running high at the time. The older generation or ARCers were making their final push against minmaxing and a lot of them slipped into inactivity and retirement after what they believed to be its failure. It would take us a few more years to get there, but we'd eventually realize that they were right. Anyways, I was never brave enough to use this flawed design in that climate and it was probably a good thing. Hellhound got shelved for a little bit and I won titles with Blood Eagle and Santangelo. It still rankled that Hellhound's only title was the lightly regarded New Blood, though...


Tiny Torque

First, however, I decided to give back. My undercutter, Blood Eagle, had absolutely romped to a lightweight title in CBC3, with its only loss being to Code Red Robotics' (now Code Pink Robotics) mean brick Tiny Torque. I liked and respected that bot, but not Code's then-mediocre rendering skills (he's since improved in a big way). The result was this:


Tiny Torque by Floating Castle Robotics on Sketchfab

I don't remember if it ever actually fought after that. I think Code wanted to focus on improving his rendering game, and he did. Either way, it got me hooked on designing a bit more realistically.


Hellcat

Inspired by this new initiative and by the Generix kitbot that Alex had made on our shared TinkerCAD account, I decided to meme on Hellhound and also improve on it under a different but related nameplate. As usual, I also just wanted an excuse to be able to enter a second Hellhound if I felt like it.


Hellcat by Floating Castle Robotics on Sketchfab

Hellcat actually didn't see any action until after the later Hellhound VII but, when it did, it was a monster, wrecking house in Thunder Underground before that tournament joined so many others in the great scrapheap in the sky. Someday, Hellcat, someday.


Sixpounder

I wasn't the only one in the Hellhound business, however. Since the design first started grabbing attention, Alex has been trying (with little success) to make his own. Variously, they've been named KillTank, Banana for Scale, and other stuff. He can't RP a brick to save his life, though. This one was named Sixpounder and, in true Alex fashion, he slapped skulls, exhaust pipes, chrome, and whitewalls on it for a visual effect that I'm still on the fence about. It was either badass or needlessly baroque and somewhat grotesque. You be the judge.


Sixpounder by Floating Castle Robotics on Sketchfab

Sixpounder entered ROBOT3, just like Hellhound, but did considerably worse. To this day, I think it's his only bot to complete a tournament and have an overall record below .500. I think it goes to show that there's more to Hellhound than optimized stats and design. It still takes skill to win with: a skill that I'd mastered and he hadn't.


Hellhound VII

After four years and seven versions, enter the current iteration and the first one that I was truly satisfied with: Hellhound VII. At the time that I made this, I was pretty sure there would never need to be another. I was that happy with the design. All of my previous concerns had been ameliorated:
  1. The plow was a reasonable size, looked clean and well-designed, and offered great coverage.
  2. The design and dimensions looked badass and realistic. It was basically a better Breaker Box.
  3. It wasn't going to be high-sided unless tipped to an extreme angle (I was still a bit paranoid about this)

Hellhound VII by Floating Castle Robotics on Sketchfab

All that remained was for the right event, in terms of rules and field, to come along. Hellhound VII sat there in my portfolio, poised and pretty and waiting for its moment. Then came ROBOT3. The field looked perfect. I just sat back and watched people swap their bots in and out a half-dozen times, and I did the same with my other entries... but not Hellhound. Alternate configuration rules were also loose for that event, so I ran three different configurations with varying degrees of plow stacking and weapon power. That paid off in a dominant title run and established Hellhound's credentials beyond a doubt. It also led to serious discussions about the virtual unbeatability of the design and changes to the wedge rules for the next event: CBC4. I decided to keep my flagship design away from that meta and see if the changes stuck. Of course, it was inevitable that at least a couple of others would be braver than me.


Boring Gray Wedge

The biggest change for CBC4 was the equalization of hinged wedges with 2WD chassis wedges. Previously, they'd been considered lower in the wedging hierarchy, and only pressing with an actuated wedge could make them equal. That was and had always been the main purpose of Hellhound's lifter from its earliest versions. Code, however, adapted quickly to this new development. Boring Gray Wedge (BGW, for short) was essentially Hellhound without the 360 lifter.

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However, it struggled for a number of reasons before Code abandoned it. The first was a mediocre group composition. The second was my victory over it with Blood Eagle. That was a huge matchup and one in which he had such a type advantage that everyone expected him to win without much fuss. I know this kind of design inside-out, however, and I know how Code RPs. I was eager to avenge Blood Eagle's previous loss to him and I was able to leverage these familiarities and maybe a touch of overconfidence on his part to pull out the win. The third, and most important reason, however, was a lack of full invertibility. BGW was a good bot with a fatal flaw: its wedge was useless when flipped. That doomed it. With that one small fix, however, I think it could become a really strong contender, and I hope that he doesn't give up on it.


King Crimson

SIRENS (Team C/D) has great taste in bots and even better taste in music. Unfortunately, at the time that he entered CBC4, he'd convinced himself that he couldn't render for shit and it had largely proven to be a self-fulfilling prophecy. When he wasn't allowed to copy Hellhound VII, he recoloured Hellhound VI with my blessing, named it King Crimson, and said that the lifter worked on a burst system, turning it into a flipper.

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He caught a lot of flak for this thing, but he RPed solidly and it nearly held true to Hellhound form, despite losing some fights that it probably should've won. It also Square Waved like crazy - the main reason why I'd never used the bot that it was based on. He's since gone on to improve on this concept with his own series of designs. I wish him luck in that regard.


Thundercaller II

With the pressing lifter now rendered nearly obsolete by rule changes, as well as the multiple hits rule acting as a check on plow stacking of any sort, Hellhound stands at a crossroads. One option is to remove the weapon and embrace being a simple brick. However, Hellhound's weapon has proven to be a lot more than the vestigial pressing thing that I originally conceived of it as. While the option of turning it into a clamp exists, I already have Krakatoa and Talons Out. Instead, something like Thundercaller II may point the way forward.


Thundercaller II by Floating Castle Robotics on Sketchfab

A rear-hinged flipper that can run pseudo-front-hinged in reverse a la Bronco, Tartarus Robotics Group's most recent design has competed only once: in the currently dormant Vexed team event, going undefeated. These promising returns are no surprise, especially since Thundercaller incorporates many lessons learned from the Hellhound series and that may very well find their way back into it. Only time - and the metagame - will tell.


Tartarus Robotics Group: Infinitely wise and merciful since 2016
(don't ask about before that)

Black Dog ||| Hellhound V ||| Blood Eagle ||| Santangelo ||| Hellhound VII ||| Hoarfrost

Mechanized Mayhem: 0-0
Heavyweight: Danger Zone (0-0)
CBC4: 26-5
Featherweight: Black Dog III (6-2)
Lightweight: Blood Eagle (7-1)
Middleweight: Hoarfrost (9-0) CHAMPION!
Heavyweight: Santangelo (5-2)
Current Roster: 183-40 (.821)
Black Dog (ROBOTS - MW*, ROBOTS3 - FW, CBC4 - FW): 26-5
Blood Eagle (CBC3 - LW*, CBC4 - LW): 15-2
Danger Zone (Mechanized Mayhem - HW): 0-0
Detroit Iron (ICEcrown - SHW): 6-2
Hellcat (Thunder Underground - MW): 2-0
Hellhound (R: Extinction - HW, Pressure Drop - HW, RB2 - HW, ROBOTS - HW, New Blood - HW*, ROBOTS 3 - HW*, Thunder Underground - HW): 46-11
Hoarfrost (RB2 - MW, Armageddon! - MW, Ruination 4 - LW, Thunder Underground - LW, CBC4 - MW*): 23-5
Krakatoa (Robo-Con - LW, Ruination 4 - SHW, Thunder Underground - LW): 11-2
Meanstreak (RB2 - LW, Ruination 4 - HW): 10-3
Santangelo (CBC3 - SHW*, CBC4 - HW): 13-3
Sundancer (Ruination 4 - MW, R: Revival - MW, REDDIT - HW, R: Evolution - FW): 21-4
Talons Out (ROBOTS - FW): 10-3
Thundercaller (Vexed!): 1-0
Yet to Fight
Hadean, Intimidator, Kurosaki-kun, Midnight Sun, Neon Rampage
Retired
Eye of Newt, Morality, Savage, Tiger, Vicious, Wild Child
ARC Hall of Fame
Hellhound - #1
Black Dog - #2
Blood Eagle - #11
Sundancer - #24
Hoarfrost - #49

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