Saber-X (alternately spelt as Saber X and referred to in Chinese as 骑士王, translated as Cavalier) is a Chinese featherweight robot built by Team Saber, which competed in several featherweight events organized by King of Bots. In August 2018, it won the inaugural King of Bots featherweight championship in Beijing, before competing at the 2018 UK International Championships later the same month.
On its UK combat debut, Saber-X performed strongly in the qualification rounds, winning two of its three battles to reach the Top 20. However, while being prepared for its knockout battle against Blunt Force Trauma Remix, Saber-X accidentally fired its flipper with its locking bar still fitted, and ultimately lost the battle after getting itself stuck on the arena wall within seconds. Saber-X subsequently lost its Losers’ Melee to DB12, and was eliminated from the 2018 UK International Championships at this stage. However, it would proceed to win a Tag Team battle alongside Get Shrekt, flipping Aegis onto its side and throwing Vega out of the arena in the process.
Saber-X is a white and blue, four-wheel drive robot armed with a powerful rear-hinged pneumatic flipper. The version seen at the 2018 Beijing and UK events featured a solid low-profile chassis with many of the robot’s components exposed, while the flipper incorporated a solid front plate with two wedgelets or two large forks on either side. These additions allowed Saber-X to breach opponents’ ground clearances, while the flipper plate itself enabled the robot to absorb frontal impacts from spinning weapons. Two additional panels on either side of Saber-X's flipper offered further protection for the front wheels.
King of Bots UK 2018Edit
Saber-X’s first battle in the 2018 UK International Championships saw it face Rocket, a featherweight version of Robot Wars Series 8 champion Apollo, and Team Darklight’s Broadax 2. Immediately, it slalomed across the arena towards both of its opponents, only to be scooped up a few times by Rocket. When Saber-X responded by trying to get underneath the front of Rocket, it was tossed into the air by the British machine’s flipper, and retreated. Seconds later, Saber-X briefly charged underneath Rocket, and attempted to get underneath Broadax 2 before Rocket threw it into the wall. Self-righting, Saber-X charged under Rocket again in response, and twice threw itself over while trying unsuccessfully to flip Rocket over. Eventually, it proceeded to throw Broadax 2 a far distance across the arena, despite momentarily being nudged by Rocket.
Saber-X sped away, eventually ramming into Broadax 2 and throwing it a second time as Rocket drove underneath the axe-wielding robot. The two flipper-wielding machines circled round each other for a few seconds, at which point Saber-X dodged a flip from Rocket which resulted in the latter throwing itself over instead. Capitalizing on Rocket’s error, Saber-X pushed and flipped it back upright against the wall, but inadvertently threw itself on top of an approaching Broadax 2 in the process. Saber-X continued duelling with Rocket for some time; after being lifted onto its rear wheels, it catapulted Rocket into the right-hand wall, which lead to Rocket becoming immobilized after self-righting and firing itself towards the other side of the arena.
With Rocket eliminated, Saber-X refocused on attacking Broadax 2, throwing it into the air twice more. These flips dislodged both of Broadax 2’s top armor panels, the second causing the top-left panel to detach from Broadax 2 completely. Saber-X dodged a few axe blows from Broadax 2, and shuttled back and forth before again throwing Broadax 2 into the air. Withstanding a blow from Broadax 2’s axe, Saber-X momentarily drove away from its remaining British opponent, and threw itself onto its rear wheels before being briefly axed and pinned against the wall by Broadax 2. Escaping, Saber-X circled around the arena and attempted to flip Broadax 2 again, but missed. Eventually, it flipped Broadax 2 several more times across the arena, although Broadax 2 was consistently able to land on its wheels and self-right in response. With its gas supply dwindling, Saber-X avoided a pursuing Broadax 2 until time ran out, with the battle going to a Judges’ decision. The decision ruled in favor of Saber-X, awarding it three points after a closely-fought and entertaining battle.
In its second qualification round, Saber-X faced Take Cover, a sit-and-spin robot with a translational drift system, and Legion, a rear-hinged flipper built by Team Legion. It began by weaving its way over the flame jet and towards the center of the arena, before ramming and deflecting Take Cover into the wall. Saber-X maneuvered away from its Bristol-based opponent, and proceeded to throw Legion – itself suffering from drive issues following an early attack from Take Cover – out of the arena. In doing so, Saber-X activated the pit, and withstood another succession of hits from Take Cover which caused the latter to veer precariously towards the pit. Saber-X drove towards Take Cover again just as it drove over the edge, earning an instant knockout victory and four more points.
With a total score of seven points at this stage, Saber-X was to fight its last qualification round against tracked robot Aegis Mk II and drum spinner Little Devil. As Aegis Mk II withdrew from the battle before it was due to begin, the two Chinese compatriots fought each other alone. Saber-X began by tentatively approaching and dodging Little Devil, only to be collected and pushed back by the Team Xiake machine. Both competitors separated, before Saber-X drove into and was pushed in circles by Little Devil. In the process, Saber-X got underneath the rear of Little Devil and threw it forwards across the arena. It proceeded to weave across the arena for some time, only for Little Devil to tear part of its left-hand side panel off as both robots met each other again. After getting flicked onto its rear wheels by Little Devil, Saber-X responded by throwing Little Devil onto the wall, where Little Devil was left stranded. Saber-X immediately nudged Little Devil free, but got itself stuck in the corner as it reversed, and was counted out despite a couple of interventions from Little Devil. Little Devil drove itself up the side of Saber-X and got stuck as a result, resulting in both robots being counted out at the same time. The Judges ruled Little Devil the winner as a result of Saber-X getting stranded first, resulting in Saber-X finishing second and scoring two more points, for a final score of nine points.
- "All [Saber-X] had to do was to leave the other one alone while he was stuck, and he would’ve won. But he had to get in there and try to interfere… and that’s what happens."
- — Jason Marston explains the reasoning for Saber-X losing to Little Devil
Even with this loss, Saber-X finished the qualification rounds joint-ninth overall, securing it an automatic place in the knockout round. There, it was due to face Blunt Force Trauma Remix, which was brought in to take the place of withdrawal Nelly the Ellybot. While Saber-X was being prepared for battle, its flipper misfired in the arena with the locking bar still in place, damaging the flipper and preventing it from closing fully. The battle was delayed for several minutes while Xuanyuan Wencheng tried to push and hammer Saber-X’s flipper back into position, with assistance from Nick and James Cooper of Robo Challenge. Although its flipper still would not retract fully, Saber-X successfully performed an additional driving test, and started the battle in its damaged state.
Initially, Saber-X rammed Blunt Force Trauma Remix, avoiding its opponent’s flywheel, and continued to avoid the Suvv Industries machine for some time. After turning round next to the closed pit, Saber-X drove itself into the wall, where it got stranded and was counted out. With this, it eliminated itself from the battle, and was required to fight in one of the Losers’ Melees for a chance to stay in the competition.
There, Saber-X was planned to face Utopia, Hell's Angel, Furious George and DB12, although Hell's Angel withdrew due to damage inflicted in its previous battle. At the start, Saber-X pursued Utopia, only to slam into DB12 and Furious George as the two British spinners met it over the flame jet. Saber-X threw itself over while trying to attack Furious George, but self-righted over the top of DB12, and was bumped by Furious George before pursuing and ramming Tim Rackley’s machine on the other side of the arena. As before, Saber-X tried to flip Furious George, but threw itself over instead, and sustained a few blows from the spinners of DB12 and Furious George as it was maneuvered towards the pit release button. For a third time, Saber-X threw itself over trying to flip Furious George, which allowed Furious George to throw it back onto its wheels using its bar spinner.
The two competitors faced each other again in the bottom-left hand corner, with Furious George throwing Saber-X against the barrier with a powerful slam. Saber-X reversed out of the corner, before dodging Furious George, driving underneath Utopia and coming under pressure from DB12. Initially driving away from DB12, Saber-X attempted to get underneath the front of Ed Wallace’s spinner, but was pushed back over the flame jet and sustained minor damage from its opponent’s flywheel. Seconds later, Saber-X was tipped onto its back by DB12, and lost one of its tires as it was pushed towards the pit and forced to throw itself upside down. Self-righting, it met DB12 in the center, drove around to the rear of the red and gold machine and threw it across the arena. However, Saber-X sustained another blow from DB12 which sent it somersaulting, and struggled to self-right as DB12 attempted to slam into it again.
Saber-X sustained more damage as it drove into DB12 and was flipped by its opponent’s flywheel again; with both of its wedgelets ripped off, it circled around in the corner and drove up DB12’s wedge in an attempt to dodge the latter. As both robots maneuvered further into the corner, Saber-X took more hits from DB12's flywheel, getting flipped over and pushed into the wall in the process. With another powerful blow, DB12 catapulted Saber-X over the railings and out of the arena; Saber-X self-righted and threw itself around a few times in the flip-out zone. As a result of this attack, Saber-X was eliminated from the Loser’s Melee and the 2018 UK International Championships, despite having started the competition strongly.
In addition to the main championship, Saber-X fought a single Tag Team battle alongside Sam Price’s vertical spinner Get Shrekt. Together, they fought Aegis and Aegis Mk II, as well as the spinners of Straddle 2 and Vega. Saber-X was the first of the pair to leave its corner, approaching and circling around Aegis in an attempt to get underneath the scoop of Rory Charlesworth’s machine. In response, Aegis pushed Saber-X over the flame jet; Saber-X escaped, driving across to the other side of the arena before again attempting to exploit Aegis’ ground clearance. Aegis pushed Saber-X into and alongside the wall, in turn allowing Saber-X to get underneath and throw Aegis into the corner as the two robots neared the pit release button. Both competitors self-righted, with Saber-X retreating to its corner as Aegis and Vega clashed nearby. Taking advantage of this, Saber-X got underneath Aegis from the side and threw it towards the other side of the arena. Although Saber-X flipped itself in the process, the attack left Aegis sliding on its side and in a position in which it could not self-right, eliminating Aegis from the battle.
With one of its opponents already defeated, Saber-X retreated to its corner again to tag Get Shrekt, although Get Shrekt initially did not move out after having attacked Vega seconds before. Eventually, Get Shrekt left the corner to fight Aegis Mk II and Vega, allowing Saber-X to stay out of the fray for some time. Once Get Shrekt lost mobility on one side, stopped moving and got counted out, Saber-X rejoined the battle, tentatively driving into and deflecting Vega towards the pit. Saber-X sent Vega recoiling again with another slam, flipping itself over in the process; it immediately righted itself and turned round to face Vega once more, which in turn was beginning to suffer weapon and mobility issues.
Saber-X retreated to the corner and drove in circles around the center of the arena as Vega powered its shell spinner up again. It again deflected a spinning Vega, this time into the top-left hand corner, before throwing an already-immobile Aegis Mk II against the side rails. In doing so, Saber-X flipped itself over, landing precariously close to the edge of the pit; however, it self-righted, and drove towards the bottom-left hand corner minus its front-right panel. After several seconds maneuvering away from the corner, Saber-X crept towards Vega and threw it on top of the railings; the Team Vortex machine fell out of the arena, awarding Saber-X and Get Shrekt their solitary Tag Team victory.
|SABER-X - RESULTS|
|King of Bots UK 2018 (Insomnia 63)|
|Rumble||vs. Rocket, Broadax 2||Won via Judges’ decision (3 points)|
|Rumble||vs. Take Cover, Legion||Won via knockout (4 points)|
|Rumble||vs. Aegis Mk II, Little Devil||Lost (2 points)|
|Knockout||vs. Blunt Force Trauma Remix||Lost|
|Losers’ Melee||vs. Utopia, Hell's Angel, Furious George, DB12||Lost|
Paired with Get Shrekt
|Tag Team||vs. Aegis & Aegis Mk II, Straddle 2 & Vega||Won|
- Wins: 3
- Losses: 3