ComBot Championships

Welcome to Part Two of denkbots’ meta-analysis on combat robots: Analysis of Championship Fights!  We will use much of the terminology established in Part One: Introduction to Robot Archetypes so take a moment to review if needed.


In the United States, competitive robot fighting has had four major running events that have crowned champions.  The first was the original Robot Wars which took place form 1994 to 1997.  The second was/is its progeny BattleBots which originally aired form 1999 to 2002 and returned to TV in 2015.  The third is the Robolympics (aka RoboGames) which ran from 2004 to 2013 and returned in 2015.  The fourth is the ComBots Cup, which originally took place in 2005 and then ran from 2007 to 2012.


Below is a table of the 36 championship level events from the past two decades:

KEY: W = Wedge; L = Lifter; G = Grappler; S = Spinner; D = Drum; K = striKe.

2015-05-23 BattleBots Season 6 Bite Force (G) Tombstone (S)
2015-04-03 RoboGames 2015 Touro Maximus (D) Original Sin (W)
2014-05-04 STEM TECH OLYMPIAD Touro Maximus (D) Polar Vortex (L)
2013-04-19 RoboGames 2013 Original Sin (W) Sewer Snake (L)
2012-10-20 ComBots Cup VII Last Rites (S) Original Sin (W)
2012-04-20 RoboGames 2012 Original Sin (W) Electric Boogaloo (D)
2011-10-29 ComBots Cup VI Original Sin (W) Sewer Snake (L)
2011-04-15 RoboGames 2011 Sewer Snake (L) Last Rites (S)
2010-10-23 ComBots Cup V Original Sin (W) Sewer Snake (L)
2010-04-23 RoboGames 2010 (no video) Sewer Snake (L) Touro Maximus (D)
2009-12-19 ComBots Cup IV (no video) Original Sin (W) Sewer Snake (L)
2009-06-12 RoboGames 2009 Original Sin (W) Last Rites (S)
2009-04-21 BattleBots Pro Championship Brutality (S) RootCanal (S)
2008-06-13 RoboGames 2008 Original Sin (W) Last Rites (S)
2008-05-03 ComBots Cup III (no video) Last Rites (S) Vlad The Impaler II (L)
2007-06-14 RoboGames 2007 Sewer Snake (L) Last Rites (S)
2007-05-19 ComBots Cup II Brutality (S) Sewer Snake (L)
2006-08-11 2006 RFL Nationals Shrederator (S) ty (W)
2006-06-16 RoboGames 2006 Original Sin (W) Brutality (S)
2005-11-12 2005 RFL Nationals * Sewer Snake (L) Karcas 2 (G)
2005-03-24 RoboGames 2005 (no video) Sewer Snake (L) Typhoon 2 (S)
2004-10-08 2004 RFL Nationals SJ (K) Megabyte (S)
2004-07-02 NPC Charity Open Karcas 2 (G) Verbal Abuse (W)
2004-03-20 Robolympics 2004 (no video) Megabyte (S) SJ (K)
2003-09-19 TSN (Triangle Series Nationals) Megabyte (S) Shrederator (S)
2002-05-19 BattleBots 5.0 – San Francisco Biohazard (L) Voltarc/Voltronic (W)
2001-11-04 BattleBots 4.0 – San Francisco Biohazard (L) Overkill (K)
2001-05-22 BattleBots 3.0 – San Francisco Son of Whyachi (S) Biohazard (L)
2000-11-19 BattleBots 2.0 – Las Vegas Biohazard (L) Vlad the Impaler (L)
2000-06-09 BattleBots 1.0 – San Francisco Vlad the Impaler (L) Voltarc/Voltronic (W)
1999-11-17 BattleBots – Las Vegas Vlad the Impaler (L) Voltarc/Voltronic (W)
1999-08-14 BattleBots – Long Beach Biohazard (L) Killerhurtz (K)
1997-08-15 RobotWars 1997 Biohazard (L) La Machine (W)
1996-08-16 RobotWars 1996 Biohazard (L) La Machine (W)
1995-08-19 RobotWars 1995 The Master (K) Thor (K)
1994-08-20 RobotWars 1994** (no video) Ramfire 2000 The Beetle

*NOTE: Also known as ComBots Cup I

**NOTE: RobotWars 1994 is not included in the analysis below due to unique robot designs that do not fit into the classification system used in said analysis.


In a high level overview, the following observations can be made:

  • Lifters* hold 13 Championships and 9 Runner-Ups (59.09% Win Rate)
  • Wedges hold 8 Championships and 9 Runner-Ups (47.06% Win Rate)
  • Spinners hold 8 Championships and 10 Runner-Ups (44.44% Win Rate)
  • Grapplers hold 2 Championships and 1 Runner-Up (66.67% Win Rate)
  • Drums hold 2 Championships and 2 Runner-Ups (50.00% Win Rate)
  • Strikers hold 2 Championships and 4 Runner-Ups (33.33% Win Rate)

*NOTE: In this analysis, and all following analysis, Sewer Snake is categorized as a LIFT type robot.  This is based not only on its weapon configurations, but on his fighting style.



By comparing the match ups in each championships fight, we can build a match up analysis to determine the win rate of each archetype versus other archetypes.  Below is a table summarizing this analysis.




While this simple analysis might not seem to provide overwhelming insight at first, the tools we have employed scale with sample size.  This means that when we expand from 30 robots in 36 matches to 400+ robots in 1300+ matches, we can begin to piece together a clearer picture of the interactions between robot archetypes.

As always, feel free to join the conversation on our Facebook or Twitter with your questions, thoughts, and feedback on these articles!  Also, we have enabled comments now, so please feel free to leave your additions, corrections, and musings below!

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