Port Mackerel Splat Zones with the Splatterscope has seen me holing up on the raised platform over the first Splat Zone, and keeping that zone secure. But it seems that A+ battles demand a more active approach to defence, one that involves a little more aggression.
I can see why, too. I get off my perch and instead of simply keeping the Splat Zone covered, which I also don't quite manage to do cleanly, but try to control the corridors too. That really helps prevent unwanted opposition movement.
I should adopt these tactics more often, not least because I clearly need more practice. It also looks to be quite effective when done properly.
I've been on a number of losing games of Splat Zones where the opposition takes control and simply dominates the turf. It's pretty frustrating when it happens, but is normally well-earned. This game almost goes the other way.
There's a small period where we lose control, btu once we regain it we do a good job of keeping the Splat Zones covered.
The small pauses here and there are me checking the gamepad for telltale ink trails, just to see where my Splatterscope may be needed.
So short! But so good. This battle can stand on its own today.
Enjoying a new-found winning streak in A+ Tower Control, I stick with the Dual Squelcher. The side route is best for my range again, but for some reason I don't ink the other squid enough to splat him, and move on to the tower. What a silly mistake.
Whilst a couple of us muck around with a couple of them also mucking around, control of the tower gets wrested out of their control by our squidmates. I then take a flanking route to catch the opposition from behind, and it works nicely.
Encore: Riding the tower in Piranha Pit Tower Control
Everyone goes one way, and when I change my mind an inkling decides to do the same. It's all a bit hectic at the start of this battle, and I'm not entirely sure that I survive that blaster strike. Definitely not the Inkbrush one, though.
A couple of speculative rides of the tower gets us a small lead and me a few splats, but once we push it forwards, there's no going back. I stick to my Dual Squelcher's range, refill my ink activating the special, and just enjoy the ride.
I keep going with the Dual Squelcher. Taking the side route for Blackbelly Skatepark should let me use its range, but with no one to splat I immediately ignore my own advice and go for the tower. That gets me splatted.
The opposition get an early lead, which we aren't able to equal, and we are constantly fighting fires to get control of the tower back even to the centre of the map.
Thanks to the squid who, at 3'06", lands his super-jump and looks to save me from a splatting by an Inkzooka. But even though it stops another push by the other side, it doesn't look we're going to do more than prevent a knockout.
But with under 40 seconds to go, it all starts coming together. We're all in the right place, our specials trigger, and we work to get the tower where it needs to be, with perhaps a couple of seconds to spare. Woomy!
I abandon Ranked for Turf War to give the Rapid Blaster a fairer test, but only encounter more frustration. I am not in the mood for continued failure whilst trying to learn a new weapon, so I grab my Tri-slosher and head back to Ranked, to see if I can turn my luck around in Tower Control.
No such luck. I'm continually overwhelmed by quick-firing shooters supported by a Splat Charger who can't miss me. At least not everyone has perfect equipment.
My only two splats come a second before the tower reaches our base. What a crappy game.
Let's not finish on such a negative, though: Squelching the opposition in Tower Control
I'm not ready to give up A+ Ranked games yet. Or, at least, I have to slog through a few more losses before I get back to where I belong.
I try to be sensible, and equip the Dual Squelcher, relying on its range to let me stay out of too much immediate trouble. It seems that I also get some teammates and opponents that share my style of gameplay.
The weirdest bit about this game is that although I shoot at a lot of inklings, and a fair few of them get splatted, I end up with no splats. I can't say I mind my squidmates getting the credit in this case, though.
Thinking I should mix up my battles a bit again, this is my first game with the Rapid Blaster. Yeah, I know I shouldn't really take a new weapon in to Ranked, particularly as I have never got used to any blaster, but I didn't think it would make a huge difference.
At least I get my first splat with the Rapid Blaster before I get splatted, even if the difference is tiny. After that, I am pretty much just frustrated. It's partly the new weapon, and partly the opponents I'm facing.
I play for fun, not to win. I don't care to get perfect equipment. I'm not going to be a one-trick pony in a battle. But this is what I feel like I'm encountering, where the win is more important than having a fun battle.
Note to self: don't shoot the fans on Ancho-V Games when an opponent is on the platform. It only helps them.
The other side gets a really good start, hampered only a little by what looks like one of their inklings perhaps not understanding that the Rainmaker needs to build up a charge to be most effective.
Finally getting the other team out of our tentacles gives us a chance to push forwards ourselves, and I take a side route initially, just to get somewhere. I don't get far, but I get somewhere.
I try to be sensible on the next push and let another squid take the Rainmaker, so that I can provide support. It doesn't quite work that time, but you can't expect everything to go your way.
The next push, however, goes nicely. I'm even quite pleased with myself for inking the path up to the podium, and the podium itself, although most of the credit should go to that other inkling who cleared the path of the opposition too.
My only regret is turning back to cover the Rainmaker, instead of watching the dunking.
That E-litre 3K Scope can easily outrange my Splatterscope, and I have to be careful to avoid his attention. On top of that, some squid keeps lobbing Suction Bombs to my position. I manage to stay unsplatted, though.
A quick repositioning, after avoiding the bombs, gets me in to a better perch for the circumstances. The E-litre user did the same, wanting to get closer to me, I think. Getting closer is not what she should be doing, though. My quicker-charging Splatterscope splats her.
My team grabs the Rainmaker and goes around the side, as I pelt the centre with Splat Bombs. Whether the other team thinks that means we're coming down the centre, I dunno, but I get some attention. One squid is splatted, another is not quite out of range as he tries to launch an Inkstrike. I think that is less a miscalculation on his part and more a desperate attempt to cover the podium. It doesn't work either way.
So short! Let's have a second battle: Too close for comfort in Rainmaker
That Octobrush is a pain! Running around really quickly, splashing ink everywhere, dropping Beakons, and then inking a path straight through our territory as a Kraken. It's a mighty weapon in the right suction cups.
Our decent lead is obliterated in that one push through the chokepoint, and it doesn't look like it will be easy to regain it. A squidmate puts himself in the line of inking when I pick up the Rainmaker, and a nicely aimed Rainmaker blast lets me sneak the lead back, not realising that I was being chased a Kraken.
It's not over, though. The other team gets the Rainmaker back and pushes the game in to overtime. Not being able to defend the central zone well enough, the squid sneaks along the side route and we have to be alert to the threat.