Battle Clash

Battle Clash, formerly known and advertised as “Raptor Robotics” (named by and after a tangential robot combat team affiliate), was a robot combat event hosted in South Texas by Twilight Foundry from 2001 – 2002. In keeping with Twilight Foundry’s affinity for naming things after obscure games, the event took its name from a Super Nintendo title. A total of four events were held spanning two years with plans announced for a fifth and sixth, however the dissolution of Twilight Foundry resulted in the death of the project. The first Battle Clash event was held at the personal property of the event’s benefactor while the second, third and fourth events were held at the community middle school campus.

Unlike other robot combat events held throughout the country, Battle Clash was a tournament held for budding bot builders who built their creations out of scrapped RC car toys. Because of this, there were only two predominant frequencies in use at the events: 27MHz and 49MHz. This prevented the creation of standard tournament-style brackets so to combat this robots from the two frequencies were put into piles and then any outlier frequencies were added to the piles to balance discrepancies; robots were drawn from these piles to create match-ups and points were assigned based upon a judges’ decision (based upon the BattleBots 45-point system) or a knock out (considered to be a 45-0 win) — whoever had the most points at the end of the tournament was considered the champion. Awards were also given out for standard titles like “Most Aggressive”, “Most Destructive”, and “Best Newcomer”.

The combat arena was 12′ x 12′ and did not feature extensive support for hazards. For the first Battle Clash event a one pound wooden replica of the BattleBots “Pulverizer” hammer was featured on one of the sides of the arena; plans to include a rotary concrete saw as a hazard opposite the hammer were considered but ultimately passed on. Due to safety and property concerns at the middle school event center no hazards were used for the second through fourth events. The events held at the school instead featured a sub-event in the form of an obstacle course where robots would take turns competing for the best completion time. The course changed each tournament but generally involved straightaways and sharp turns, slalom gates or cones, inclines, and for the final two tournaments a pile of wood blocks that needed to be toppled over and navigated away from.

After the fourth Battle Clash event future plans for the tournament were drawn up with a larger community venue in mind, one that would allow for the usage of arena hazards and offer more “pit area” space for teams repairing or readying their robots for upcoming battles. Extensive work was put into “Battle Clash 5.0”, however the event was ultimately unable to be carried out. For a brief period of time in 2003 Battle Clash traded hands to a secondary media group looking to retool and repackage the tournament but nothing came of these plans.

Twilight Foundry Robotics creations were featured heavily in the Battle Clash events (some events included as many as six entries from the team) in an effort to help pad numbers and stir up local interest. For the events held at the middle school a robotics club was formed where students learned the basic functions and inner workings of radio controlled toys and watched the process of constructing a robot from concept to completion. Twilight Foundry creations aside, Battle Clash saw approximately two dozen different robots entered across all four events.

Below are links to the participants and results of each tournament along with accompanying multimedia (where available) plus extra content pertaining to the canceled fifth event and other general event-related bits.

Date Source Article Author
05/20/2002 Battle Clash Battle Clash Event Photos Twilight Foundry
05/20/2002 Battle Clash Battle Clash 4.0 Photos & Results Twilight Foundry
04/19/2002 Battle Clash Battle Clash 3.0 Photos & Results Twilight Foundry
03/21/2002 Battle Clash Battle Clash 2.0 Photos & Results Twilight Foundry
04/13/2001 Battle Clash Battle Clash 1.0 Photos & Results Twilight Foundry