- "Our goal is to inspire Chinese builders to be even better than they can be, and to really push, push, push - and become champions!"
- — Gabriel Stroud in King of Bots II
Tánshè (written in Chinese as 弹射) is a British heavyweight robot which competed in both seasons of King of Bots, and Season 1.5, the debut of This is Fighting Robots. It was entered as a collaborative effort between long-running Robot Wars competitors Team Legion and Team Hurtz, alongside Samantha France. Gabriel Stroud was the team captain and weapon operator. John Reid designed and drove the robot, while Alan Cannon hand-crafted many parts of the robot, and Samantha France assisted with repairs. The name Tánshè is Mandarin for "catapult".
Tánshè achieved two consecutive knockouts against Dark Knight and Hammerhead Shark in the first two rounds of Season 1, before falling to the destructive Great White. Tánshè was also able to collect a Tag Team win over Saber and Greedy Snake, alongside Vulcan. In Season 1.5, Tánshè was selected by Zheng Shuang, allowing it to advance to the main bracket, where it threw Saber II and ORBY Blade out of the arena in the same battle, and followed this up by throwing Chronos out of the arena in its next fight, before narrowly defeating Weber on a Judges' decision. Tánshè then defeated Shrederator Tiger Claw on top form, dominating the battle which was ultimately won with a single flip. Tánshè then won two consecutive Judges' decisions against Greedy Snake and Xiake in order to reach the Grand Final, where Tungsten resigned Tánshè to second place.
Tánshè also appeared in the 2019 Opening Battle, where it fought one head-to-head battle against a horizontal bar spinner, Ghost No. 1. Representing the blue team, it won the battle via knockout, after flipping and causing Ghost No. 1's entire weapon assembly to fall apart.
In King of Bots II, Tánshè joined Zhu Zheng Ting's team by defeating Reaper in its first battle, and collaborated with Snake to win a 2v2 against Mr Hippo and Pixel Hunter for the benefit of their celebrity captain.
- "Tánshè has a very powerful flipper with 6 tonnes of force. It should launch opponents 2 meters in the air."
- — Gabriel Stroud in Episode 2 of King of Bots
Tánshè is a low wedge driven by two wheels, with its speed geared to 17mph for maximum control and acceleration from its 48V AmpFlow motors. The robot is armed with a broad flipper, which blends into the robot's appearance. The weapon was powered by nitrogen (season 1) and CO2 (1.5), resulting in 7 tonnes of power at the ram, and 2 tonnes at the tip of the flipper. This could launch other robots up, and also provide Tánshè with a self-righting mechanism. The team could adjust the power at which the weapon fired, to conserve gas for pivotal flips. The robot's outer shell was constructed from HARDOX. At the center of the robot is an 'eye', an electric light piercing out of the robot's shell. According to Gabriel Stroud on his podcast Inside the Bot, the robot was built at an extreme cost of £35,000.
- "The defence and attack are both excellent. This is is the best combat robot we've ever built."
- — John Reid
Tánshè incorporates design elements of many robots built by Team Legion and John Reid, most noticeably Gabriel Stroud's featherweight flipper Legion. The team's robots such as Terrorhurtz, Beta and Sabretooth all contributed design elements to Tánshè. For This is Fighting Robots Tánshè was altered to have four wheel drive instead of its prior 2WD. To get the 3kg needed to convert Tánshè to 4WD, Team Legion reduced the robot's bottom armor from 8mm to 6mm aluminium. In addition, the robot had lighter bulkheads, and also as a result of this switch a wheel has to be removed to swap out the Co2 tank.
- "John and I (Gabe) discussed building a robot for KOB. We wanted to be very careful of not building a robot we had already done. So a flipper was a natural choice."
- — Gabriel Stroud
The outward appearance of Tánshè was largely unchanged in Season 1.5, but now featured sets of vertical red stripes running down the robot and central flipper arm.
Tánshè received further revisions for its appearance in the 2019 Opening Battle, sporting new armor and a choice of two interchangeable flippers. The second flipper featured a larger front plate with an elongated lower lip, which was intended to be used against opponents armed with vertical spinning weapons. These changes carried over to King of Bots II, where Tánshè again sported new decals.
King of Bots (Season 1)
- Gabriel Stroud: "Our team is an amalgamation of two great teams."
- John Reid: "In the [sixth] Robot Wars in 2002, we beat Gabe's robot. He's waited fifteen years to finally beat me in the same show in 2017. I'm an old rival of Gabe, but we're teammates now."
- — The history of the combined team
In the first round, Tánshè faced an invertible 8000rpm drum spinner, Dark Knight. Gabriel Stroud strategized that Tánshè should strand the robot against the wall for a knockout win.
- Gabriel Stroud: "What do we want to say the most when we face our opponent in the arena, John?"
- John Reid: "Best of luck!"
- — The team lay down the gauntlet
Tánshè exited its square rapidly and drove straight under Dark Knight to reach its back end. Tánshè then manoeuvred Dark Knight into the spikes on the wall. Tánshè drove under the drum of Dark Knight, and sparks were thrown as the wedge made contact with the spinner, but Tánshè flipped Dark Knight back into the spikes. Dark Knight meandered in the center of the arena, so Tánshè circled around and then rammed into the side of it. It was evident that Tánshè had the lower ground clearance, as it breached the wedge of Dark Knight, and later flipped it over, albeit not with a full-pressure flip. Dark Knight landed on Tánshè and made contact with its drum, as Tánshè pushed it towards the spiked walls, sustaining damage. Tánshè flicked the Dark Knight up, but not over. Finally, Tánshè moved into a position where it could launch Dark Knight into the arena wall with a full-pressure flip. As Dark Knight was stuck on the rail, unable to break free, Tánshè drove around the arena in celebration, flipping itself over, until Dark Knight was counted out, awarding Tánshè the win.
- Gabriel Stroud: "That was our first fight together, how are you feeling, brother?"
- John Reid: "Very happy. Must get that first win. Once you've got that first win, you can settle down into it. Gives you a lot of confidence. So we propose that we get to the final, we become the very first champion of King of Bots."
- — Team Enemy Alliance aim for victory
Tánshè had qualified for the second round, where it fought another drum spinner in Hammerhead Shark. Team Legion were confident going into the battle, and repainted Tánshè.
- Gabriel Stroud: "It's the Hammerhead Shark, is it John?"
- John Reid: "Yes, a young team. They've been up all night before, all through the night, no sleep."
- Gabriel Stroud: "Well, I think we're confident!"
- — Aspirations before the second battle
Within the opening seconds of the battle, Hammerhead Shark's team activated a smokescreen in front of Team Legion to obscure their vision, so the British team did the same, preventing both teams from seeing the battle. Regardless, Tánshè was able to drive under Hammerhead Shark and flip it onto its drum, where it then toppled onto the spikes on the arena wall. After Tánshè had previously defeated Dark Knight in this manner, Team Legion held off while the smoke cleared, and expected to win the battle by knockout. Tánshè spun in circles in the center of the arena, celebrating a prompt 'victory', but despite the referee reaching 9 in his knockout count, Hammerhead Shark escaped from the wall and attacked the spinning Tánshè.
- "We thought we'd won, so John was in the middle doing his thing, but then I saw them coming! I went, John, John, they're coming, they're coming!"
- — Gabriel Stroud
Panicking, Tánshè flipped itself over, and was forced to self-right. This allowed Hammerhead Shark to hit the front of Tánshè directly, and tear away various pieces from it. Tánshè attempted to self-right, but it was too close to the wall, and landed on its back again, losing more parts. Tánshè self-righted, while Hammerhead Shark knocked a loose gear of Tánshè's towards the commentators. Tánshè started to recover, and drove under Hammerhead Shark to then flip it over. With a huge flip, Tánshè then launched Hammerhead Shark into the plexiglass screen straight in front of the commentators, and again into the spiked wall.
Keeping up the pressure, Tánshè then flipped Hammerhead Shark onto the top of the arena hammer, and sent it spiralling forwards with another flip. Tánshè tossed Hammerhead Shark back into the spikes, although its next flip was noticeably weaker. Tánshè shepherded Hammerhead Shark towards the corner of the arena, and attempted to lift it over the wall, but lacked the necessary power. It made another attempt, and this time flipped Hammerhead Shark directly into the wall, but not over. In its retreat, Tánshè then drove over a floor flipper and was overturned. It self-righted, but expended gas in doing so, and then wasted more resources by flipping itself over, taking two attempts to self-right near the grinder.
Hammerhead Shark's drum had slowed but it still pressed a loose piece of armor against Tánshè. Within the last thirty seconds, Tánshè started to rely on its pushing power, pressing Hammerhead Shark against the spikes, although Gabriel Stroud advised that John Reid take Hammerhead Shark to the corner of the arena. Tánshè only had enough CO2 on board for one last flip, but it used this well, and flipped Hammerhead Shark over the wall in the corner, putting it out of the arena with barely twenty seconds left on the clock. The team celebrated their win, and progressed to the third round.
- Gabriel Stroud: "That was the best fight we've ever had, I think, in our entire lives!"
- John Reid: "We had no gas left! We recovered a little bit, we had one hit-- one fire left? We got them to the corner, and-- boof!"
- — John Reid adapts his catchphrase "wait for a good hit" to his new flipper
In the third round, Tánshè fought Great White, entered by an Australian team which also contained a Robot Wars competitor known for building drum spinners, like Gabriel Stroud. Tánshè was modified for this battle to feature a long spike on the flipper, to increase the robot's chances of driving under Great White for the knockout flip.
- Steven Martin: "John's being doing this for many many years, and one good flip is all it takes, and we could be upside-down and not able to get back over. So it's really going to be a battle of, of who's the lowest wedge, and who can get under each other. Great White's coming for your wedge!"
- John Reid: "Where's your parachute, Steve?"
- — The mutual challenge between teams
Tánshè zoomed off the mark and deflected Great White's minibot Remora into the air, shunting Great White into the side spikes. The impact caused Great White's fragile sides to splinter and fragment, pieces of metal and plastic strewn across the arena. Tánshè pressured Great White against the side of the arena, the heavy blade chewing the paint away and leaving deep scratches. Tánshè did not flip its opponent, and backed off for another attack, throwing Remora again, but as Great White continued to smash at the front wedge it became apparent that the flipper was bending out of place from the repeat hits. Tánshè flipped itself over and with its flipper buckled, struggled to self-right, though it did eventually do so.
Its flipper wedge now bent almost perpendicular to the arena floor, Tánshè kept the pressure on, Great White momentarily impeded by the arena spikes and against the side walls. Tánshè pushed the speedy Remora into Great White's blade, smashing its wheel and limiting the minibot's effectiveness. However, Great White showed no signs of slowing down, whilst Tánshè's effectiveness was impeded, and Great White succeeded in tearing off the side panel. Great White kept up the attack, tearing off another side panel and landing a terminal blow that immobilized Tánshè, eliminating it at this stage. A slightly tearful Gabriel Stroud and his teammates were congratulated on a strong performance.
- John Reid: "Tired, exhausted! Emotional, but it's just been such a great competition, it's been great. Just being here, new, totally new experience, and yet... few faces we know, so many new friends were made. I mean it's just wonderful to come to a new location, a new country. It's quite surprising really, it took us by surprise. You come here, and there are brand new teams, and they have all these amazing machines already!"
- Gabriel Stroud: "What I love about China, and I can see why you build things so easily, the ability to make things is just tremendous, and I think that's why you've got such good teams. We need to refine the design of Tánshè. You haven't seen the last of her, she's going to come back stronger, to win!"
- — Team Legion reflect on their experience
While the four robots gathered, Tánshè sandwiched Saber against the other robots, forcing it to fire its flipper at thin air. While Vulcan focused on Saber, Tánshè launched Greedy Snake into the plexiglass wall, and then flipped Saber in the same manner. In doing so, Tánshè exposed its back end to Greedy Snake, which picked it up and held it aloft. Tánshè fired its flipper in an effort to escape, but Greedy Snake maintained its balance and carried Tánshè into a Grinder. Vulcan fought a private battle with Saber, while Greedy Snake turned Tánshè over and released it, forcing Tánshè to self-right powerfully.
Tánshè then caught Saber from behind and threw it over, where it slid towards the wall. Greedy Snake charged in to assist it, but Tánshè and Vulcan both trapped the Chinese team there. Vulcan landed two axe blows on the chassis of Saber, while Greedy Snake once again grabbed Tánshè, prompting Vulcan to pound the top of Greedy Snake, including its weapon system, throwing sparks. Greedy Snake was able to pick up Tánshè and turn it over, but Vulcan prevented Saber's self-righting by trapping it under the spikes on the arena wall. Vulcan pinned Greedy Snake against the arena wall, but while Saber struggled its way out of its current position, Tánshè launched it into the corner of the arena.
From there, Tánshè flipped Saber onto the arena wall, under the hammer, before releasing it from the wall in a sportsmanlike move. While Tánshè flipped Saber again, Vulcan slammed into Greedy Snake, and the Chinese robot responded by driving it across the arena, towards the Grinder. Tánshè was still hounding Saber in the corner of the arena, but Saber eventually escaped, and Tánshè drove onto the floor flipper, which threw it over. Greedy Snake drove under Vulcan's wedge and edged it backwards, while Tánshè self-righted. In a head-to-head collision, Saber's wedge breached Tánshè's, but Tánshè pinned Saber against the wall, with Greedy Snake also making the same move on Vulcan. Saber lightly flicked Tánshè up, but Tánshè then threw Greedy Snake into the air powerfully.
All four robots bumped into one another, until Tánshè threw Saber over, this time leaving it idle, as Saber lacked the power to self-right. Vulcan drove over the arena saws, and Tánshè mistimed a flip to throw itself over, while the clock displayed the final ten seconds. Greedy Snake held Tánshè against the arena floor as the battle timer elapsed, and the battle was sent to a Judges' decision. The immobility of Saber at the very end of the battle proved costly for the Chinese team, and the Judges awarded the win to Tánshè and Vulcan.
- "He's a big fan of Beta!"
- — Ling Zhou on the youngest team member of Greedy Snake, who was a fan of John Reid
This is Fighting Robots (Season 1.5)
Tánshè was the second robot to be selected by Zheng Shuang, allowing captain Gabriel Stroud to influence the host into picking robots that he favoured, in order to build the strongest possible team of five robots. Stroud successfully convinced her to select Tungsten and Megabyte, alongside her existing choice of Spectre, forming a very strong team. This allowed Tánshè to advance to the main bracket, where it fought Saber II and ORBY Blade.
Tánshè immediately charged into ORBY Blade, which was attempting to spin up its weapon, but missed, driving under Saber II instead. When ORBY Blade voluntarily attacked Tánshè, the South Korean machine was thrown into the air. Tánshè capitalized by sweeping under ORBY Blade to take it to the corner of the arena, and threw it over the wall. Tánshè then caught a reversing Saber II, and pushed it along the wall while underneath its wedge. Saber II broke free, but could not flee from the quicker Tánshè machine, which pressured Saber II towards the opposite corner of the arena. Tánshè lunged Saber II into the air, and it landed on the wall in the corner of the arena for a second immediate knockout, to the celebrations of Team Legion.
- "That was just for you!"
- — Gabriel Stroud to Zheng Shuang
In its next fight, Tánshè fought the American ring spinner of Chronos.
Immediately, Tánshè charged directly towards Chronos to prevent it from powering up its spinning rim, causing it to recoil into the air. Tánshè then edged Chronos towards the Grinder, and bounced the spinning robot off its flipper repeatedly. Chronos tried in vain to spin up its weapon, grinding on the side of Tánshè, but caused no damage, and was pushed towards the corner of the arena. Tánshè attempted to flip Chronos out of the arena, but was not fully underneath it, and instead flipped Chronos onto the side of the arena wall, hanging from the protruding spikes. Tánshè held off, hoping to claim a win by knockout, but Chronos returned to the battle just one second before it was counted out. Tánshè quickly capitalized, and drove straight back under Chronos to deliver it to the other corner of the arena, and flip it over the wall for an instant knockout.
- "During the fight with Chronos, we knew that we had to get on them very fast. If we let them spin up, we could take damage. So we went straight over to them, and started to worry them, like a dog with a bone!"
- — Gabriel Stroud
In the head-to-head round, Tánshè was selected to battle a fellow flipper, the Russian entry Weber.
Both robots met face-to-face, and Weber was able to breach the wedge of Tánshè and flip it over. Tánshè landed on its wheels, but Weber followed this up with another thrust, which blasted Tánshè backwards, although the British machine still landed on its wheels again. Zhang Yishan also activated the smokescreen in front of Team Legion, restricting their vision.
- "Take him to the sides!"
- — Gabriel Stroud
Tánshè was able to drive under Weber, but as the team could not see clearly, Tánshè missed with its flip, with Weber also flipping at thin air. Tánshè also drove over the floor flipper, which toppled the robot. Tánshè fired its flipper to self-right, but Weber flipped the somersaulting machine, and ensured that it landed inverted once again. Tánshè's flipper had locked, and it lacked the power to self-right, so the referee started to count Tánshè out of the battle, while Tánshè laid, seemingly motionless. However, when the referee reached the number nine, Tánshè fired its flipper, and self-righted powerfully, putting it back in the battle at the last second.
- "In the competition so far, that five seconds was definitely the toughest. When we were flipped upside-down, all the gas was liquid, and it runs into the ram and freezes up. However, we calmed down and wait. Pause, and you can flip yourself back over again. During the second half of the fight, we're not messing about anymore, being professional, and the whole goal was to flip Weber out of the arena."
- — Gabriel Stroud
Tánshè then drove Weber in circles, missing with its flip, but still tricked Weber into firing its own weapon. Tánshè then flicked Weber over, against the arena wall, and pinned it in place to prevent Weber from self-righting properly. Weber was eventually able to self-right, but the quicker Tánshè machine caught up to the fleeing Weber, and threw it into a different arena wall, almost out of the arena entirely. Weber self-righted, but was stuck on the spikes at the side of the arena, and in the final ten seconds of the fight, Tánshè carried Weber over to the corner of the arena where robots could be flipped out for an immediate knockout, and managed to throw Weber onto the lip of this wall, but did not manage to flip it out. As a result, Tánshè was sent to its first Judges' decision, but was declared to have defeated Weber, eliminating the Russian team from the competition.
- "We were, of course we were sad. But on the other hand, we were happy, because Tanshe was really powerful enemy, and you know, it's very good to fight."
- — Alan Gubiev compliments Tánshè
In its next head-to-head, Tánshè fought the American shell spinner of Shrederator Tiger Claw.
Shrederator Tiger Claw attempted to spin up to speed, but Tánshè immediately charged into it, and ricocheted the spinner into the air, causing Shrederator Tiger Claw to land with a crash, showering sparks. Tánshè followed this up quickly, and rammed it again, which kept the robot airborne. Tánshè repeated this attack near the flame jets, and steered Shrederator Tiger Claw into the arena wall, which it bounced away from. This afforded Tánshè the opportunity to drive under Shrederator Tiger Claw and carry it to the corner of the arena, where Tánshè fired its flipper. Although Shrederator Tiger Claw stayed within the arena, it landed inverted after colliding with the arena wall, so Tánshè kept its distance until the referee counted Shrederator Tiger Claw out of the fight, deeming Tánshè the victor.
- "It was by far the worst, I mean we were completely owned! Completely owned, and we never had a chance to drive, never had a chance to spin up. It was almost like he was playing with us like a toy!"
- — Brian Nave on Tánshè's performance
In its quarter-final, Tánshè faced Greedy Snake, a robot it had previously defeated in King of Bots.
Although Tánshè had been outfitted with sharpened wedges to breach the front ground clearance of Greedy Snake, these modifications were not enough, and Tánshè drove straight into the grasp of Greedy Snake. Tánshè was forced to retreat, and both robots kept slipping underneath each other, but without being able to use their weaponry. Eventually, Greedy Snake was able to clamp down on Tánshè, holding it against the arena wall, but could not lift it. Afterwards, Tánshè drove under the side of Greedy Snake and flipped it into the wall, but Greedy Snake landed on its wheels.
- "Snake is a very powerful robot. The reasons are, they're very low on the front, he can bite very hard, and he can grab us and turn us over. We knew the way to beat Snake was to get underneath his front wedges, so we put on our long wedges which are very sharp, to try and get underneath him."
- — Gabriel Stroud
On its escape, Tánshè was struck by the arena hammer, but it managed to push Greedy Snake into the arena grinder, where a piece was ripped loose from the rear of the machine. Greedy Snake used this as an opportunity to grab Tánshè, but could not maintain its grip while lifting. Despite this, Greedy Snake used its lifter as a clamp to swing Tánshè into the grinder. After Tánshè continued to ride up the wedge of Greedy Snake, the latter finally made its first successful attack, lifting Tánshè up and over, forcing the British flipper to fire in mid-air, and self-right upon landing.
A ram from Greedy Snake dislodged one of Tánshè's front wedges, but nevertheless, Tánshè drove under the side of Greedy Snake to throw it over, onto the top of the arena spikes. Greedy Snake had landed on top of its lifting mechanism, making it difficult for it to self-right, especially as Tánshè continued to push Greedy Snake around the arena while it was inverted. Greedy Snake managed to stand on its front end, but Tánshè had brought it to the arena wall and almost flipped it out of the arena - instead, Greedy Snake landed back on its wheels.
While lining up a follow-up attack, Tánshè flipped Greedy Snake again, which barrel-rolled through the air. After a few head-to-head collisions, Tánshè was finally able to drive under the front of Greedy Snake, tossing it over and into the grinder, despite Tánshè losing the remains of its wedges in the process. Greedy Snake was inverted again, and stood on its back end while trying to self-right. Tánshè sat back and watched, believing it had won by knockout, but on its fourth attempt, Greedy Snake propped itself onto its back wheels, and then drove forwards in order to self-right.
Greedy Snake drove back under Tánshè, but was thrown over by the British flipper again, landing on its wheels. Both robots collided, but Greedy Snake missed its chance to lift Tánshè. At the very end of the match, Tánshè drove into Greedy Snake in a position where both robots' wedges were underneath different parts of each other, and Tánshè overturned Greedy Snake again, just as time expired on the battle. The Judges were required to declare a winner, and they unanimously voted for Tánshè.
- "It's always very difficult fighting your friends, and Snake are our friends. We have to beat him, but it's a terrible thing to do so."
- — Gabriel Stroud
Having reached the semi-final of the competition, Tánshè was randomly drawn against Xiake, to earn a place in the final.
Immediately, Xiake demonstrated that it had a lower frontal ground clearance, and breached the wedge of Tánshè to lift the robot up. On a second contact, Xiake drove under Tánshè completely, holding the British flipper on its top momentarily. Xiake edged Tánshè backwards, although it briefly drove onto the flipper of Tánshè, which did not activate despite the cries of Zheng Shuang. Xiake then drove under the fleeing Tánshè, and threw sparks off its underside, before a more solid blow threw Tánshè over completely. Tánshè self-righted quickly, but Xiake followed up with an attack to its side. Tánshè still wasn't making offensive moves, and skirted over Xiake's wedge to hit the drum again. This damaged Tánshè's front lip, which prevented it from getting under the side of Xiake for a flip. Xiake again continued circling its opponent, landing several glancing blows on Tánshè's wedge through repeated attacks.
- "It's very difficult to get underneath Xiake, he's got some very very sharp wedges, and he hits very hard."
- — Gabriel Stroud
When Tánshè made an offensive drive forwards, Xiake's drum threw it over, and Tánshè took two attempts in order to self-right, before driving straight back into Xiake's drum while rearing up. Xiake's dominance continued over its next few slams, and managed to land a critical blow, ripping an entire wheel out of Tánshè through impact alone. Although Tánshè could still drive freely without this wheel, Xiake continued to grind at the rear of it, and sent it spiralling over with a frontal drum-on-wedge impact. Tánshè self-righted, only to have armour torn off by Xiake.
- "You can't go into the front of him!"
- — Gabriel Stroud to driver John Reid
Finally, Tánshè launched its first attack of the match after reaching the side of Xiake to overturn it, propelling it into the wall behind the Grinder after Xiake's drum collided with the firing flipper. Xiake's drum started to grind at the surface of the floor, and was forced to take evasive action. Tánshè drove Xiake backwards, lifting it lightly, and Xiake also collided with the Grinder twice by its own accord. With only a few seconds remaining, Tánshè pinned Xiake against the arena wall, and edged it to the corner of the arena. Driver John Reid told his weapon operator Gabriel Stroud to wait for a good flip, attempting to line up the perfect flip to throw Xiake out of the arena, but when Reid gave Stroud the signal, it was too late, and Tánshè missed with its flip. Tánshè drove Xiake into another wall, where Xiake lost drive on one side, late into the battle.
- "He's broken! Ten seconds!"
- — Gabriel Stroud
Gabriel Stroud quickly alerted the referee that Xiake was unable to move freely, and the referee rushed over to count Xiake out, while Tánshè held off. The referee began his count, and reached 'two', but time elapsed on the battle before the referee could count any further. Xiake was saved by the timer, and proceeded to a Judges' decision, but on the grounds of Xiake's late immobility, Tánshè was awarded the win, and the place in the Grand Final.
- "We're very proud, and we're very excited. Tungsten is a very powerful robot. It's always very difficult fighting your friends, but now we've got to show you who's got the best robot!"
- — Gabriel Stroud before the Grand Final
The Grand Final proved to be a battle between two of Zheng Shuang's British robots, as Tánshè took on Team Carbide's vertical spinner Tungsten.
- "Tungsten, you’d better find your wings – because you’re gonna learn to fly!"
- — Gabriel Stroud
Both robots started tentatively, with Tánshè repeatedly weaving around the arena and dodging Tungsten’s initial attacks. This was until it turned round and exposed its side to Tungsten; Tungsten promptly flipped the Team Legion machine over and ripped one of its wheels off. Tánshè self-righted, seemingly unaffected by the damage inflicted, and survived a few more blows to its rear end from Tungsten’s flywheel. The two competitors weaved and circled round each other, before Tánshè capitalized on a driving error by Tungsten and flipped it over once the Team Carbide machine drove up its flipper blade. Tánshè spun round as Tungsten recoiled, but soon sustained several more blows from a recovering Tungsten which flipped it and damaged its armor. One of Tungsten's hits caused Tánshè's right-hand side to fold underneath its wheels as it was thrown upright; as a result, Tánshè was left wedged off the floor for several seconds as it raised its flipper a few times to show signs of mobility.
Eventually, Tánshè fired its flipper fully, allowing its side armor to fold back and the robot to regain full contact with the floor. Despite this, it was left immobile on one side as a result of Tungsten’s blows, and resorted to spinning in circles as the referee advised Team Legion to move Tánshè at least three meters across the arena. Tánshè proceeded to follow the referee's prompts, and was safe for a few moments as Tungsten - itself suffering from weapon issues - drove around the other side of the arena. However, it eventually sustained another hit from Tungsten, which sent Tánshè spinning upwards and into the corner.
- "Come on, Gabe - come on, Gabe!"
- — Dave Moulds urges Team Legion to attack Tungsten
After spinning in circles and weaving across the arena for some time, Tánshè sustained a few more hits from Tungsten and a nearby grinder; it escaped further damage as Tungsten’s flywheel was rendered inoperable. Gabriel Stroud urged his teammates to flip the Team Carbide machine over; however neither Tánshè nor Tungsten attacked each other again for the remainder of the battle. Both robots spun around in jubilation as time ran out and their teams celebrated the end of a tense and hard-fought confrontation. The final went to a Judges’ decision, which went in favor of Tungsten, resulting in Tánshè finishing This is Fighting Robots as the series runner-up.
- "We feel disappointed, but relieved that the journey has finished!"
- — Gabriel Stroud reflects on the final
2019 Opening Battle
Tánshè was one of ten heavyweight robots which attended the 2019 Opening Battle, held to promote the upcoming second season. There, it was chosen to represent the blue team, and faced Ghost No. 1, a horizontal bar spinner, in its head-to-head battle.
Initially, Tánshè was slow to move away from its starting position, but eventually drove towards the center of the arena in pursuit of Ghost No. 1. It proceeded to drive around and lure Ghost No. 1 towards the center, before driving into and underneath the side of the latter. Tánshè proceeded to circle around Ghost No. 1 before retreating towards the blue corner; it turned round and absorbed a blow from an approaching Ghost No. 1, causing damage to its flipper and Ghost No. 1 to flip violently into the grinders.
Tánshè rushed in to pressure Ghost No. 1 into the corner spikes, but drove away, eventually getting underneath Ghost No. 1 a second time as the two robots met once more. This time, Tánshè scooped, pushed and threw Ghost No. 1 towards the wall on the opposite side. The flip caused Ghost No. 1 to land upright on top of Tánshè, and the former’s entire weapon assembly to shear off as its bar spinner hit the floor. As Ghost No. 1 short-circuited, Tánshè repeatedly flipped the dismantled machine over in the corner and against the upper walls, although not without catching its flipper on the wall spikes and throwing itself over in the process. Quickly self-righting, Tánshè performed a wheelie as it sped towards the center of the arena, while Ghost No. 1 was counted out and eliminated. With this, Tánshè secured a knockout victory for the blue team, celebrating its win by spinning and firing its flipper.
King of Bots II (Season 2)
Before the main filming of Season 2 took place, many roboteers in attendance were required to fight in "warm-up battles" which the producers openly admitted would not be included in the main episodes. Many roboteers protested this idea, and so when Tánshè fought Spectre in its warm-up battle, neither robot used their weaponry for their entire bout, in accordance with a trend set by other robots, and the winner remains unknown.
- "Snake and Two BBQ are the best two Chinese robots, I believe, in China. However, both of them lost their match!"
- — Gabriel Stroud's desire to fight a seasoned veteran goes unfulfilled
Tánshè made its broadcast debut in Episode 3, where Gabriel Stroud declared that he was hoping to fight Snake, believing it to be one of China's best robots. Instead, he was randomly drawn against Reaper of Zhu Zheng Ting's team, which Tánshè needed to defeat in order to join his team.
- "We've been chosen to fight Reaper, it's a very good undercutter, very fast. We mustn't underestimate it. However, I think we'll be able to beat it."
- — Gabriel Stroud
Tánshè showed no fear of Reaper's disc, and sustained minimal damage from the first contact between the two. Tánshè chased Reaper down, and upon the second contact with Reaper's weapon, the undercutting disc flew away from Reaper entirely, leaving it weaponless in the opening stages of the bout. Tánshè went on the offensive from hereon out, and shepherded Reaper into the arena wall, where the spikes were lined.
This was Tánshè's opportunity to launch its first flip, and with Reaper's weight significantly reduced, it flew across the arena until it hit the outer wall near the Out-of-the-Arena zone, although Reaper managed to bounce back into the main arena without falling into the corner where it would have been counted out otherwise. A minute of the battle had now passed, and Reaper was still trying to drive aggressively, but Tánshè caught its back end and bumped it. Not long afterwards, Tánshè drove under the defenceless Reaper, and threw it far backwards for a rough landing against the arena wall.
Reaper did not give up, and drove head-first into Tánshè, also driving over its own disc, but Tánshè drove Reaper back into the spikes, and then launched it high into the arena wall. Tánshè drove the inverted Reaper over to another corner, briefly being clipped by the floor flipper in the process, but here Reaper started to emit smoke. Tánshè collected the struggling machine and somersaulted it into the wall stylishly, until Reaper seemingly came to a complete standstill with less than twenty seconds left in the match. Reaper did come back to life, only to be flipped over lightly by Tánshè until time expired on the battle. Tánshè flipped itself over in celebration, and the Judges comfortably declared it the winner, with Tánshè taking Reaper's place on Zhu Zheng Ting's team as its reward.
- "After Reaper broke its weapon on our armor, and it fell off! We thought, oh, he's beached, but he carried on driving around, and was very very good, very tricky to catch, and he was still hitting us all the time, so he wouldn't stop, and I would say that he should really be encouraged to fix that robot. He can still come back into the competition, and he can still be on the winning team!"
- — Gabriel Stroud praises Reaper
All four robots drove into each other in the opening seconds, with Tánshè scooping up Pixel Hunter, to then throw it into the air. Both of Zhu Zheng Ting's representatives pushed and steered their opponents across different sides of the arena, with Pixel Hunter struggling to get forward momentum as Tánshè tried to line up a flip. Suddenly, Mr Hippo charged into the rear of Tánshè, throwing it forwards into a grinder. Tánshè bounced off the grinder, landed on its wheels and drove away, while Snake simultaneously scooped up and pressed Pixel Hunter and Mr Hippo against the grinder mount. As the three robots became separated, Tánshè returned to flip Mr Hippo over, and pressured Mr Hippo further as the brown machine flicked itself up against the wall spikes.
Later into the battle, Tánshè slammed into the front of Mr Hippo, before chasing, getting underneath and throwing the drum spinner over mid-charge. Tánshè and Snake continued to assert dominance over Tao Shen's machines, again pushing Mr Hippo and Pixel Hunter against the spikes. While Tánshè proceeded to push Mr Hippo away from the spikes and towards the red corner, Pixel Hunter sustained a blow from one of the hammers, right on top of one of its drive systems. A light ram from Snake appeared to stun Pixel Hunter, just before Mr Hippo drove into it while dodging a pincer attack from Snake and Tánshè. All four robots gathered in the red corner, before Tánshè pushed Pixel Hunter under the hammer, and Mr Hippo immobilized itself against the spikes. Tánshè proceeded to flip Pixel Hunter and Mr Hippo simultaneously, leaving the former stranded against the wall in the process. During the countout, Snake and Tánshè celebrated their victory by parading across the arena and performing victory spins respectively, after they had secured an overall victory for Zhu Zheng Ting over Tao Shen.
|TÁNSHÈ - RESULTS|
|King of Bots (Season 1)|
|Round 1||vs. Dark Knight||Won|
|Round 2||vs. Hammerhead Shark||Won|
|Round 3||vs. Great White||Lost|
Partnered with Vulcan
|Tag Team||vs. Greedy Snake & Saber||Won|
|This is Fighting Robots (Season 1.5)|
|Rumble||vs. ORBY Blade, Saber II||Won|
|Head-to-Head||vs. Shrederator Tiger Claw||Won|
|Quarter-Final||vs. Greedy Snake||Won|
|Grand Final||vs. Tungsten||Lost|
|King of Bots (2019 Opening Battle)|
|2019 Opening Battle|
Part of Blue team
|Head-to-Head||vs. Ghost No. 1||Won|
|King of Bots II (Season 2)|
Part of Zhu Zheng Ting's team
|Challenger Round||vs. Reaper||Won|
|2v2 (with Snake||vs. Mr Hippo & Pixel Hunter||Won|
- Wins: 12
- Losses: 2
|Series||Tánshè Series Record|
|Season 1||Round 3|
|Season 2||Selected by celebrity, two wins|
Outside King of Bots
Gabriel Stroud and Alan Cannon
Gabriel Stroud and Alan Cannon are both members of Team Legion, who have competed in Series 5-6 and 8-10 in the British TV show Robot Wars, although Alan Cannon was only present for Series 9 and 10. They did so with Sabretooth, which started its career slowly, failing to accrue a single combat win in its first three series. It improved upon this record in Series 9, winning two battles to reach the Heat Final, and Sabretooth also finished third within its heat in Series 10 before representing the United Kingdom in Robot Wars: World Series. Gabriel Stroud also mentored Yorkshire Olympians, the Brownlee Brothers, as they competed with JAR in one of the Robot Wars: Battle of the Stars celebrity specials.
Team Legion's featherweights Django and Legion are both successful competitors on the featherweight circuit. Both robots competed at the Featherweight World Championship in 2016, where Legion did not experience high success, but Django reached the Grand Final, placing second after being flipped out of the arena by Explosion. At the King of Bots UK featherweight championship in August 2018, Legion won its first battle against Luna-Tic before losing a melee to Saber-X when it was thrown out of the arena.
Gabriel Stroud acquired the successful featherweight drum spinner 720, which he has rebranded as Sabre20. His heavyweight Sabretooth also briefly competed as Atom, using a white color-scheme similar to Tánshè, before Series 10 of Robot Wars had aired. Gabriel Stroud also appeared in the 2019 season of BattleBots as a member of Team Black and Blue, when DUCK! competed with relative success.
Alongside Will Sedgwick, Gabriel Stroud hosts the robotics podcast Inside the Bot, which covers King of Bots alongside other robotic combat shows.
John Reid is the captain of Team Hurtz, veterans of both BattleBots and Robot Wars. He first competed in Robot Wars with Killerhurtz, although despite receiving a seeding, Killerhurtz was largely unsuccessful, only winning one battle in the main competitions despite entering three series. It was, however, much more successful in BattleBots, finishing as the runner-up in its untelevised event at Long Beach in 1999. It competed in the four following series, and never failed to win at least one battle.
Reid's second machine was Terrorhurtz, which competed exclusively in Robot Wars. In only its second series, it reached the Grand Final during the sixth series, and placed fourth out of 96. However, Terrorhurtz was disqualified from Series 7 due to arriving in an unfinished state, and then it competed regularly across Series 8, 9 and 10, without progressing beyond the Heat Final. John Reid also mentored rapper Jordan Stephens, who competed with Dee in one episode of Robot Wars: Battle of the Stars.
John Reid, alongside Grant Cooper, competed in ABC's second season of BattleBots with Beta, which made a cameo appearance in King of Bots. It initially attempted to enter Season 5.0 and the first season of ABC's reboot, both seasons being decades apart, but withdrew from both due to various complications. In its competitive run, Beta reached the final eight of ABC BattleBots Season 2, defeating Lucky, Overhaul and Nightmare before losing to the eventual champion Tombstone. Under the moniker of Basher, the robot also competed in the pilot episode of Robot Wars: Series 8, filmed in 2016.
Sabretooth and Terrorhurtz fought each other three times in Robot Wars, with Terrorhurtz emerging victorious in Series 6 (2002), and Sabretooth emerging victorious in Series 9 (2017). Both robots also participated in the 10 Robot Rumble during Series 10, and then fought as a combined team in Robot Wars: World Series in order to defeat international entries Diotoir and Rabid M8. The latter event eventually lead to the two teams collaborating.
- At a build cost of £35,000, Tánshè is one of the most expensive robots in the competition.
- The King of Bots website refers to the team name as "Enemy Alliance", but Gabriel Stroud has confirmed that Team Legion is the accurate name.
- The team's decision to build a flipper was made as a result of neither Gabriel Stroud or John Reid building a flipper in the past - Stroud's speciality was drum spinners, while John Reid typically builds robots with axes and hammers.
- Robert Pickford, builder of Rhino, was Gabriel Stroud's teammate in all of their appearances on Robot Wars with Sabretooth.
- ↑ Tánshè - KoB Facebook post
- ↑ Private correspondence with ToastUltimatum
- ↑ http://kobchina.com/robot/71