Warming up to Tower Control on Piranha Pit

10th February 2016 – 5.25 pm

It takes me a little while to get my bearings. The map is still quite new, the changes from Turf War to Tower Control take some getting used to, and sometimes I'm just a bit rusty. My early attempts to ride the tower don't last long at all, but that doesn't put me off. I like riding the tower. It makes music.

Running headlong in to trouble isn't the best strategy for the short-range Tri-slosher. I need to be more cunning, and come in from the side. I'm not always that cunning or subtle, though, which is why I rush in head first. But when my squidmates have the opponents' attention, that's when I can get my splats.

I like to make good use of the Bubbler as well, spreading it around as much as possible to protect the tower, then jumping ahead to keep the opposition at bay. A couple of splats to regain control of the tower, coupled with a timely Bubble, nets me a bunch of successive splats. Although I don't splat all the opposition at once, I must have splatted them all within ten seconds or so.

That little flurry of ink when taking the tower past the opponents' base gives us enough of an advantage to push the tower to the end. It's a knockout victory for us, and a good number of splats for me. And our Splat Charger inkling is clearly on form.

Running out of ink on Tower Control

9th February 2016 – 5.47 pm

The Tri-Slosher can be a thirsty beast, particularly when I mash the trigger continually. That may end up being my downfall on this Tower Control battle on Camp Triggerfish. That, and forgetting that I have a Bubbler special.

I uncharacteristically ignore the tower to start with to get a couple of opportunistic splats, which works well. I run back and around the side, ostensibly to provide cover for the tower, but I think that's a tactic that works mostly in Rainmaker. The opposition aren't likely to take that route when they have a more direct one available.

I cross back to the central corridor, my Bubbler having charged, and either forget it or don't realise as a Blaster takes potshots at me. After that splat, it's a bit of a battle of attrition, right up until I run out of ink as the opposition take the lead. Had I kept some ink, or not have been running over the rope bridge, and so not able to refill my ink tank, I could probably have stopped them a bit earlier.

At least I have a rare death-from-below splat with the Tri-slosher after that. And the battle itself is a lot of fun, with some good back-and-forth play.

Tower Control on Piranha Pit

8th February 2016 – 5.28 pm

My first Ranked battle on Piranha Pit, and it's on Tower Control. I grab my current favourite weapon for the game mode, and get throwing ink around with the Tri-Slosher. It's easy enough to get to the tower, but its path doesn't go far from the centre of the map. Along with the conveyer belts in the middle and the various paths and obstacles, Piranha Pit Tower Control makes for a frantic and tight battle.

Short and sweet for Tower Control, helped by a nice bit of Bubbling as we go past the opposition's base. After I share the Bubble around, I squid off the tower and press forwards. This generally pushes the opposition back, as they either evade me, waste ink pushing me away, or get splatted, whilst my squidmate on the tower keeps it trundling on. In this case, it works a treat.

First look at Piranha Pit on Turf War

7th February 2016 – 5.48 pm

Not much of a first look any more, as Piranha Pit was released at the end of December, but it's my first game on the map. Rather than head directly in to Ranked battles on unfamiliar terrain, I pop on to Turf War first. It's a bit more relaxed, less focussed on a point on the map, and gives a chance to take a look around. And before that, I have a quick recon too, which lets you run around inking the map by yourself.

Piranha Pit looks to be a decent map, with lots of open space, and there are conveyer belts that whiz you around. Having the conveyer belts as ramps in the middle of the map will be interesting, and those at the edges push you in a certain direction, but can be squidded along the wrong way, albeit slowly.

The central part of the part of the map is the obvious place to engage other inklings, and most of the contested turf will be there. This makes the lower level less-travelled, which means it is some easy turf to ink, but also easy to overlook, either on your side or theirs. It's also worth noting that the conveyer belts are essentially one-sided for the sake of inking, which negates any problems with which face is up when the total turf inked is counted at the end of the battle.

As for my first battle, I'm going in with my old faithful, the Splash-o-Matic. I get a whole bunch of splats, which in part look to be because the other inklings are unfamiliar with the map. Recon mode has its benefits!

One squid disconnects at some point, so maybe this first battle isn't totally representative of Turf War on Piranha Pit. But 1534p ink turfed, and going 6-1 with the Splash-o-Matic gives me a positive impression of the new map.

I go straight back in to Turf war. My second battle on Piranha Pit pits me against low-level squids. That doesn't stop me getting splatted in a couple of silly ways early on.

I get a good score again, but it's not really cricket. I'll head in to Ranked battles soon, to get a fairer battle. I think I've got a handle on this fun new map so far.

Trying the Custom Dual Squelcher in Turf War

6th February 2016 – 5.58 pm

I'm giving another weapon new to me a go. This time, it's the Custom Dual Squelcher, a shooter that has perhaps the longest range that isn't a charger. I should probably use that to my advantage, although the habits from playing so long with short-range weapons will probably take a while to shake. Instead of heading straight in to Ranked battles, I'm taking my own advice and trying the Dual Squelcher in Turf Wars first. It looks like we have a healthy bunch of new players after Christmas, with this battle being from 27th December 2015. That makes it easier to play with new weapons.

The battle is on Museum d'Alfonsino, one of the newer maps. I think I have a handle on it, but playing it mostly in Ranked battles, where extra blocks are added to increase movement options. Generally, crossing to the opponents' side is restricted, or just impossible after a certain point, just to prevent spawn camping to an extent, giving inklings more options for getting out of their base than there are to get in to it. But these restrictions cause bigger choke points in Ranked battles, and so extra blocks are added. Moving back to Turf War and playing the same map can be confusing initially, as you look for a block that should get you somewhere, but end up looking at an ink-resistant wall.

Once I remember that there is only one path, I cross to the opponents' half using the central column, and pressing forwards sees me get a good opportunity to Splat on a Roller. He can barely reach past his tentacles, I can hit from a mile away. But I run out of ink, and an emergency recharge then sees me run in to the Roller and not backing away whilst shooting. That's my old tendencies at work.

The Custom Dual Squelcher has the Killer Wail special, which has been used to great effect against me on many occasions. I get at least one splat with it in this battle, which isn't great, but the Museum has so much open space that the Killer Wail is fairly easy to dodge. Even so, I quite like the Custom Dual Squelcher. It doesn't run out of ink as quickly as I suspected it might, for its range. If I can unlock its potential, it could become another favourite.

The last half of the battle is spent trying to work out how to get to the opponents' base. I know it can be done, and I'm sure I saw a gif posted to reddit showing how to do it. But it's not obvious, and I flounder a few times. I finally work it out, with seconds left in the battle, but I doubt I'll forget it again now. And at least I wasn't neglecting my ink-turfing duties, as a healthy 1308p score shows. It was against mostly new players using Rollers, but at least I wasn't concentrating on splatting them.

Pushed back in Splat Zones

5th February 2016 – 5.45 pm

Part of my motivation for trying different weapons is because they often seem so effective when used against me in certain battle modes. This is one of those games.

The .52 Gal weapon splats with a couple of hits, and has a fairly long range. Its sub weapon is the Splash Wall, a curtain of ink that stops incoming fire for a while, whilst letting your own ink through it. Normally, you manoeuvre away from the Splash Wall, as you can't engage effectively. But I tend not to do that normally, and in you back off in Splat Zones, you effectively hand over control.

I need to remember that my Suction Bombs can be thrown over the Splash Walls. Or in to them, as the walls are being thrown. Just before we lose the battle, I get a lucky throw that hits the Splash Wall before it unfolds, and it explodes to catch the inkling with it. That's the sort of timing I'd like to take credit for.

But, yes, we lose the battle. I blame my lack of caution mostly. The other side having all mid-to-long range weapons against our all-but-one short-range weapons is another factor. That, and Splat Zones is the Ranked battle mode I'm least comfortable with.

I should probably pick up the .52 Gal, or similar, and give it a go. I'm sure the Splash Wall isn't as easy to use as it looks, particularly as it probably uses a lot of ink from your tank. But it would give me an appreciation for the weapon I often face and lose to.

Being taken in to overtime in Splat Zones

4th February 2016 – 5.17 pm

Feeling rusty, I revert to the Splash-o-Matic in the hope that I can be useful in Splat Zones. It's a good weapon, and one I am comfortable with, but perhaps not one that is most useful for Splat Zones, with it having a short range. But the Suction Bomb Rush can be useful for covering a lot of ink in short time.

I decide to opt for opposition suppression to start with, and not ink coverage, and it kinda goes well. I am actually surprised not to be splatted, and so do nothing for a second until I realise I came out on top.

Splat Zones tend to concentrate all the ink being thrown around in to a small zone, which can make for manic engagements. I'm sure I don't know half of what's going on most of the time, although it probably makes more sense when playing.

We get a decent lead to start with, which turns in to an impasse for the next couple of minutes. But the opposition start whittling away at our lead, getting closer and closer to our score. But we keep modest control of the zones still. As the timer ticks down, the blue team once again control both zones, and the battle goes in to overtime.

We stop the counter, but either not for long enough, or we need control of the Splat Zones ourselves to end the battle. That, or they take the lead. It was a hard-fought battle, and one that was manic and fun!

First game with the Inkbrush Nouveau on Splat Zones

3rd February 2016 – 5.29 pm

I still want to try out different weapons, to give me options when playing various battle modes on the maps in rotation. I'm giving the Inkbrush Nouveau a chance in Splat Zones. I've seen other players get where they want to go quickly, as the run speed when inking with the brush is increased over normal run speed, and then splash ink absolutely everywhere. It seems like a good choice for Splat Zones. But can I make it work for me?

It probably doesn't help to have having someone else with an Inkbrush on the team, as they are likely to know what they're doing. But I let them take the central route and I go the side route, which surprises one green inkling, and gets us control of the Splat Zones. I push up a bit and get another splat, and then get cocky and forget the short range of the Inkbrush.

Trying the same route finds another inkling to surprise, but I show my hand too early. My short range is my downfall again. I also seem to be relying too much on splashing ink, when running a trail would be just as useful. I need to remember that my speed is a benefit with the Inkbrush.

Finally managing to charge my Special, the Bubbler, I feel confident rushing back to the Splat Zone. If I encounter the opposition, I can pop the Bubbler and splash away. And that would work, were I not ambushed by a hiding inkling. Good move, inkling.

The Inkbrush Nouveau looks like it could be quite useful, but perhaps I need to practice outside of Ranked, as I keep suggesting is more appropriate. The only problem is that weapons are used differently in each of the Ranked modes than they are in Turf War. It would be good not to drag a team down when using a new weapon, but you can't really evaluate them otherwise.

Making amends in Rainmaker

2nd February 2016 – 5.36 pm

A particularly good start in this Rainmaker battle on Camp Triggerfish. The standard Aerospray MG plus Seeker manoeuvre works well, splatting an inkling when bursting the shield, but grabbing the Rainmaker and squidding around to the side has a bit of situational awareness too. I see the inkling waiting to encounter me, and jump down to the lower platform, charging the firing the Rainmaker to splat him. Him and another inkling, apparently.

Another inkling is on his way, using a super-jump. I get the Rainmaker charged, but don't manage to splat the inkling on landing. Instead, I get splatted. That was a mistake, as I should have at least moved forwards, and probably just let my squidmates take care of that super-jumping inkling. It's not the only mistake I make either.

At least I stay out of the way of the Bubbled inkling, in a decent hiding place, jumping out to splat him. But why do I break out the Inkzooka when I know I can't aim that thing for toffee? I could have stuck with the rapid-firing Aerospray to splat the Rainmaker squidding past me. Instead, he gets away and eventually takes the lead away from us. I think I just got carried away with the fact that my special had charged.

Their lead is increased, and it is close to the podium. We'll have a job to beat that. An Inkstrike helps with the shield, and I try to make amends for my mistake by reseting the Rainmaker. I head off to cover up all the teal ink around the podium. We can't have them squidding all the way back there so easily. But a Kraken gets in my way. Thank goodness for the rapid fire! I avoid him, head back around, and make the path orange again.

It may be for nought, as they get the Rainmaker and get it close to approaching our podium again. Thankfully, I notice the change of direction, although a squidmate was on the case. Regaining the Rainmaker, he sacrifices himself in the water to reset the Rainmaker. One failed carry only has my trying again.

This second time, a couple of charges and some good support from my squidmates gets me up to and past the netting along the side route. One last shot with the Rainmaker, and I'm squidding to and up the podium for a knockout dunking!

A little misdirection in Rainmaker

1st February 2016 – 5.03 pm

Another great start to Camp Triggerfish Rainmaker. I lurk for a bit after bursting the shield to refill my ink tank, to see if someone foolishly rushes in to grab it. No one this time, so I take the Rainmaker for myself and squid along with squidmate support around the side route.

We get pretty far, getting a healthy lead early on. There follows quite a tussle in that corner of the map, with the Rainmaker changing suction cups a few times. When purple finally gets it out of that zone, the inkling either makes a poor jump or deliberately jumps in to the water. It's a bit peculiar to do that deliberately, though, despite the pressure he's under.

Losing the Rainmaker where it is impossible to recover—water being the prime example—resets the Rainmaker to its initial position. As the inkling carrying the Rainmaker was only a couple of seconds away from there anyway, it seems a bit odd to sacrifice yourself for so little gain. Either way, it gives us another shot with the Rainmaker.

I try for a little misdirection. The central route is arguably more difficult to progress down, because of the direct line-of-sight the opponents have from their base. I make a start in that direction, hoping it will draw the purple inklings this way, then double-back and go the side route anyway.

Does it work? Maybe. It's hard to say. The ink is certainly coming from platforms in the central corridor, so maybe I did pull them the wrong way to start with, causing them to be in the wrong place. But I also have good support from my squidmates, and I do well to notice the inkling about to flank me, holding back until the way forwards is clear. Woomy!