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Interchangeable Weaponry is the name given to a modular BattleBots competitor which can be fitted with a variety of weapons depending on its opponent. This term typically excludes robots which sport different configurations while keeping their primary weapon the same.

History[]

Interchangeable weaponry tends to be many different types of weapons all belonging to one robot: for instance, Bombshell has a vertical disc with a wedge, a horizontal bar on an extension, and a pickaxe. Robots who possess so many weapons can only use one at a time and all the weapons must have offense potential to be eligible.

Interchangeable weapons can be beneficial as they allow better odds of success than a robot with only one weapon, as these robots can choose which is the most advantageous. Additionally, if the current weapon gets damaged beyond hope of repair, it can be replaced, and a weapon that doesn't help at all can be discarded. They also make it hard to counter for opponents.

Despite the benefits, interchangeableness does have downsides: while a robot may not have a weakness with one weapon, another can automatically give it one. Other times a robot will face an opponent where no weapon it has will be helpful, and some weapons may get outlawed or rejected, while simply building so many different weapons is very laborious, time-consuming and money-grubbing, and some may end up being built for nothing if they're never needed. They also demand being familiarized to be effective as they can backfire otherwise.

The first known interchangeable weapon-using robots are probably Junior and The Missing Link of Long Beach. When Comedy Central's series began, only The Missing Link returned, but it wasn't alone: the walker Gammatron was also an interchangeable. Others followed in the form of the even older The Master and more.

In more recent years, notable robots with differing primary weapons include Ribbot (armed with a vertical disc, an undercutter, and initially a lifting arm resembling a frog's tongue) and MadCatter (armed with a hammer and also a vertical disc spinner).

Advantages & Disadvantages[]

Advantages[]

  • They can offer better chances of success than just one weapon. Bombshell was able to reach the finals in its debut season because of it.
  • Some weapons can provide more success than others. Bombshell used a vertical disc the most and despite not always being reliable, it never lost a fight with it (at least in its debut year).
  • If the current weapon turns out to be useless or gets irreparably damaged, it can be replaced. Bombshell first used a pickaxe, but after being bested by Complete Control with it, Bombshell avoided using the axe for the rest of the year, and Warhead still had the dinosaur-head grabber after its disc fractured.
  • They can be hard for opponents to predict which they'll face and therefore use the appropriate countermeasures.

Disadvantages[]

  • In some cases, the interchangeable will face an opponent where no weapon it has will be effective, and all the weapons are not immune to malfunctions like all electronics.
  • Some weapons may give the user a weakness that it otherwise never had. Warhead found it couldn't self-right with its dino-head grabber (which became its downfall against Whiplash), whereas it can with its disc.
  • Some weapons may get outlawed or rejected.
  • Making so many weapons takes up a lot of time and money.
  • Some weapons may get built for nothing if they prove unnecessary. Bombshell possessed a grappler, and Ribbot a frog-tongue lifting arm, but both were rarely or never used by their owners, and seem to be scrapped by the time of their comebacks.
  • Some weapons get neglected of familiarization and this can backfire when used in battle. Bombshell never tested its disc prior to using it against Red Devil and the disc died after landing just one attack.
  • In some cases, the robot may choose the weapon that wouldn't be effective against the opponent, especially if it's an unfamiliar opponent. Bombshell believed its pickaxe would be the right choice against Complete Control, but it became the opposite in the fight itself.

Notable competitors[]

Robot Seasons Image
Bombshell World Championship II

World Championship III

World Championship IV

Bombshell BB2016
MadCatter World Championship IV - Present
MadCatter BB2022
Ribbot World Championship IV - Present
Ribbot BB2022
Ultimo Destructo World Championship II

World Championship III

Ultimo destructo bot2016
Warhead Season 5.0
World Championship I

World Championship II

World Championship III

Warhead-2-Bot-S2018
More...
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