So, I've been pretty disappointed with one aspect of Transformers: combiners. Sure, they look cool, and generally look great on the shelf, but they have one problem: no matter what continuity, they're always just big, strong guys with intelligence ranging from plain dumb to so smart its unhelpful. So in this thread I wanna have a discussion on how you think combiners should be used in Transformers. In my fervor, I came up with a sort of combiners timeline for my ideal gestalt-using continuity: 1. Using ideas based off legends of Nexus Prime and the thoughts of his teacher Jhiaxus, Shockwave and a few other science-cons (that always bothered me how Shockwave was the only Decepticon who could handle science. I mean, I love Ol' Shocky, but he's just one guy.) create the first prototype combiner: Devastator. 2. Devastator, comprised of six Constructicons, is huge, mean and devastates things right in the mouth, but is lacking the intelligence of his components. However, he takes the Autobot forces entirely by surprise in his first deployment, and Megatron commissions the creation of more combiners. 3. In an attempt to make combiners cheaper to run (they take a lot of energon to keep moving), a template of one centre bot forming the torso with four team-mates forming the limbs is created, allowing for easy replacement of body parts if a component is killed. The first of these "Modular Gestalts" is Menasor, formed from five Stunticons. This is where problems settle in: the logical Shockwave did not account for the personalities of the rather diverse Stunticons: Motormaster's violence, Brakedown's nerves, Drag Strip's competitiveness, Wildrider's recklessness, and Dead end's nihilism, combined with the limb's hatred for their boss, leaves Menasor a raging mess, who can't handle attacks from multiple positions and is killed by bombardment from orbit. 4. Salvaging tech from the corpse of Menasor, Autobot Science creates their own combiner: Superion. Formed from a highly-trained squadron of Aerialbots, the personality problem is rectified by blocking the component's personalities in combined mode, replacing it with a single drive to stop the Decepticons. However, this leads to the titanic warrior having an immense bloodlust, and has to be knocked unconscious at the end of every battle to prevent harm to those around him. 5. Meanwhile, the Decepticons, having learned from their mistakes with Menasor, create Bruticus, formed from the tight-knit group of Combaticon commandos. The skills and general intelligence level of the group allows for Bruticus to carry out much more delicate tasks than any of the other combiners, while still being an extremely combatant. However, the flaws of his components (Onslaught's pride, Vortex's sadism, Blast Off's aloof insecurity, Swindle's greed, and Brawl's stupidity) means he has to be in radio contact with a handle at all times, who relays him exact orders. Nevertheless, Megatron considers him a success. 6. The Autobots begin using combiner tech for more inventive purposes. Defensor is created with a similar design philosophy to Superion. However, instead of a drive to stop the Decepticons, he has a drive to defend Autobots instead. This is accomplished through the use of forcefield tech pioneered by Trailbreaker to both defend Autobots and crush Decepticon attackers. Meanwhile, Computron is designed not as a warrior, but as a massive supercomputer, crunching massive numbers to co-ordinate and even command armies. (Note: This idea comes from a comic written by a friend of a forumgoer here. Thanks to whoever wrote this, and I hope they post in here!) I couldn't think of a way to fit Predaking and Piranacon in here. Piranacon in particular hasn't had much in the way of appearances in fiction, and Predaking just seems to exist as the perfect big dumb guy I was talking about at the start. So, um, yeah. That's my thoughts.