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Crab Fight!
Posted by Purple_Dave on August 8, 2001 at 08:18 PM CST:
When I opened the plain brown box I used to carry them to work and pulled them out, the first response I got was Drew (age 8) immediately asking if he could try them out. We started dueling, and after a few minutes I managed to knock off one of his masks and trigger the braking mechanism. We started another round, and it ended with me losing both masks and him losing one. He had some sort of appointment at this time, so he left for a few hours. His sister Laura (age 9) tried a round, and then their step-sister Megan (age 12) tried two rounds, and as I'd gotten a feel for crabby strategies, I won all three. My lunch hour was over, so I had to go back to work, but I left the crabs for Laura and Megan to mess around with. When I clocked out, Drew asked if we could run a few more rounds. He won the first, but I took the next three, leaving me with a 4-2 record. We got a seventh round started, and he had popped one of my masks loose, when his mother came to collect him so they could go home. All told, the results seem clear. Kids love these things. Unfortunately for most of them, they run $90, so a lot of them probably won't be getting their hands on them. I know I wouldn't have ever owned them as a child...

As for crabby strategy, here's the basics:

1. The yellow KOMAU seem like they are a bit harder to knock loose as the RURU sit just high enough that you can sometimes hook the crab claws underneath them and pop them loose from below. The KOMAU hang low enough that they will just take the impact and probably sit tight.

2. The safest way to go after your opponent is to spin so that they are 45 degrees to either side, and try to get your leading claw into the open space between theirs. This will give you a good shot at both of their MASKS but leave at least one of yours out of reach. It also opens up the possibility of hooking a claw on their braking mechanism and pulling it down, even though it's supposed to be designed to trigger with impact to one of the heads used to mount the MASKS.

3. If you've lost a MASK, keep using strategy 2, but lead in with the side that is already missing a MASK so your one remaining MASK stays safely out of reach. You're also usually better off trying to trigger your opponent's brake than you are trying to knock the MASKS loose, especially if you knock loose the one you are facing before the one to your side.

4. If your opponent is trying these tactics on you, it's usually best to push forward with full power. This will often cause your opponent's leading claw to get tangled in the non-important parts of your crab and prevent most movement of the claw. It can also save you from losing due to brake triggering as you can sometimes ram your brake into their leading tread and reset it. (I actually saw this happen when I triggered Drew's brake mechanism)

5. If your brake mechanism gets set off but doesn't fully engage (i.e. lift your crab off the floor) and you can't shove it closed on part of your opponent, you might be able to delay the loss by only using reverse. Basically, you usually need to go forward to heft the crab up on the brake mechanism, so running hobbled might give you a slim chance at salvaging a victory.

6. Buy rechargable batteries. I got high output alkalines from one of the big brand names, and $12 worth of batteries kept them going for around 2 hours total, which will get expensive if you have to throw them out each time they run dry. It's more of a concern for the crab motor-boxes than it is for the controllers because they actually have to run two motors to push the crab around whereas the controllers just send out IR signals.



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