Cake or splat in Cake Splatfest (11/2 Splattershot)

23rd November 2017 – 7.00 am

Time to switch out for the Splattershot, if only to have a Special that may be a bit more useful than the Stingray. I haven't really played a shooter in Splatoon for a long, long time, which makes the limited selection of weapons in this Splatfest a bit more of a handicap. But the selection will stay limited for a while whilst I level up on release, so it's good to get an early feel for the Splattershot again.

I'm mostly getting an idea of the layout of the Starfish Mainstage, particularly with which surfaces are inkable and which aren't. I also notice water, and have to be careful not to accidentally drop in to it. My first use of the Inkjet goes well, with respect to splats, but not to control. It takes me some time, and poking about in the info pages, to realise that you can press B to gain a bit of height.

I waste a bit of time trying to knock an inkling off a perch, and then squid around the side to catch one below me. There's probably a lesson there about having the high ground. I dunno, just because it works then, and with the Inkjet above me. I'm just not sure.

Trying to find uninked turf in an unfamiliar area is tricky, but I am drawn to that big, neon green patch. But the green inklings are drawn to our pink patch too. A bit of luck, a bit of skill, and I get a splat with the Splattershot and assist with my Splat Bomb, and push my luck a little charging at a pair of Splat Dualies.

Another Inkjet gets another splat, but I disorientate myself again getting it. A bit of wandering around inking turf finds another splat, but a couple of inklings sneak past below me. I think I'm just happy to see lots of pink turf.

I spy one inkling squidding nearby as time runs out, and just about get my Splattershot aimed his way, and get handed a final splat from a super-jumper that lets me steady my aim first. It's a solid victory for the team, and a decent individual effort from all of us. I think we still woomy. Woomy!

Going for turf in Cake Splatfest (2/1, Splat Charger)

22nd November 2017 – 7.00 pm

Cake Splatfest! Splat Charger for me to start with. I'd like to try holding the charge whilst squidding, but I don't think I'll be able to put that to much use. I'd need to aim quickly when popping up again, and I can't do that at the best of times. Still, I find out that the pigeon is turf to be inked and perched on, in a strange turn of events.

I get forced off the pigeon quickly, and soon overwhelmed at short range. Dunno where my squidmates are, as there's precious little inked turf for me to squid away to safety. I come back an ink the turf myself, which charges my Stingray, and this is early enough in the Splatfest for me to realise that you can't just keep firing the Stingray, you need to do it in bursts, or you'll hit nothing. Splatting anyone is still hit-or-miss, though. It's a tricky Special to use effectively.

My squid sense tingles, but the Roller is on top of me far too quickly for me to react. I head back along the other direction, and look for opportunity. I am shooed from my minor perch, but that pushes me towards a couple of splats that I'm happy for, even if splatted in return.

Hey, it's the map! Super-jumping from the base is actually pretty straightforward, and you have plenty of time to check things out. I still land in trouble, but that's generally the way. The map also shows me that we're in a spot of bother, as regards to turf inked.

Aiming for the other team won't win us this battle now. Instead, I squid around the side, and hopefully bypass their attention to try to ink as much turf as I can in the final thirty seconds. Ignore what people say about chargers being inefficient inkers, check out what I managed to do. A win by 1.5%, and my charger lines are mostly untouched.

That's a good win!

Keeping things moving in Tower Control (12-4, Carbon Roller Deco)

22nd November 2017 – 7.00 am

My early flicks may not hit their target, but I ink our side of the Dome fairly well to start with, and spot, avoid, and splat the Octobrush before she causes us problems. Early control goes to the yellow team, though. I try to rectify that, once the Tower is cleared, but hop off to try to relieve some yellow pressure. I miss my splat from above, and the super-jumper, but thankfully the Suction Bomb Rush doesn't splat me, probably thanks to the inflatable, and my Seeker Rush counters nicely.

I ink more turf swinging around to hop on the Tower again, when I hear what sounds like a Kraken appearing. I don't see where, until the Tower comes in to view. Not a problem. One flick pushes the Kraken off, and then I'm treated to a trio of splats, two super-jumpers and the retransformed inkling. The fourth inkling sees the blue mayhem and sensibly tries to retreat, but a little jink and flick and I splat him too.

I try to move the Tower a bit more, but the yellow ink keeps coming and the going is slow. At least I don't stick to the Tower to be splatted pointlessly, hopping off when required, and happy with incremental progress. I'm also really happy to come away from being between two inklings with just a bit of yellow ink on me, but that lasts until I hop on to the Tower underneath the Grim Range Blaster.

No one has gone down our flank yet. This is a little surprising, but I do notice a little directness with most of the inklings. I think I have time to have a poke around. I think I'm nearly caught by the Blaster again, so hop here and there to avoid him, but as he moves forwards so do I. My flicking seems to be just amiss, but it's quick enough and from an angle unexpected enough to eventually catch two inklings at once.

I hop on the Tower to keep it moving again, and get far enough that my Seeker Rush could come in handy, sending waves of them towards the ramp coming out of the yellow base. It would help more if I didn't hit the Tower's column, and if the Range Blaster wasn't waiting at optimal range around the corner. I do a little tidying on my return, and although I do well to avoid the Octobrush's Kraken, I do less well against the Octobrush herself.

Everything looks nice and blue, so I try some directness myself. I end up keeping the Tower if not moving forwards then not moving backwards. I wonder if the Grim Range Blaster thinks he's doing well to stop me advancing? Personally, I think keeping the Tower in an advanced position whilst we have the lead is doing a bang-up job. Not even the Killer Wail helps the yellow position much.

The Blaster eventually splats me off the Tower, but I've taken almost thirty seconds off the clock, and there are less than ten seconds remaining in the battle. A squidmate simple takes over from me, amongst the remnants of a good Suction Bomb Rush, and the battle is won. Woomy!

Supporting from the back in Tower Control (16-6, Kelp Splat Charger)

21st November 2017 – 7.00 pm

Shooting an inkling in the back may not be honuorable, but it clears the Tower and gets me a good first sighting splat, and is leagues better than my first Sprinkler throw. My second splat is pretty good in and off itself, encouraging me to move forwards a bit to support the team, but not too far. I am also aware of the E-litre 3K on the yellow team, who I try to shoo with a Killer Wail. He evades that, unlike the Grim Range Blaster, who wanders in to its fading wail, right after blasting me to ink.

All looks quiet for a bit, so to keep things moving I drop down and move on to the Tower. That's when I find out where the E-litre 3K has got to, and that maybe sitting back was working quite well. The E-litre 3K clears the Tower again, but I know from where, so when I hop when he isn't expecting, I get the drop on him. That was satisfying, which, along with a Sprinkler splat, makes me worry less about skidding right off the Tower in the Blaster's splat cam.

The Grim Range Blaster looks slippery himself, but outside of his ink I get a clean shot. And although this far we have done well to keep the yellow team back, at least their Splattershot has decided to be a bit more aggressive. I would say it works, as she manages to advance the Tower further than so far in the battle. I splat her anyway, because she's on the wrong team.

My Killer Wail charges as the Tower moves forwards, and I think about pointing it towards the source of the yellow Killer Wail. But I think again, and play the odds. It works better than expected, splatting three yellow inklings, only missing the E-litre 3K. I correct that when we keep the push going, aiming up through the grate to splat the E-litre 3K and a returning inkling with one shot. Nice!

The Splattershot pays us a visit again, and I don't quite get my aim right. My Killer Wail hits my target, though, splatting the E-litre 3K away, although a bit late to keep our push going. But we get another push going, with the E-litre 3K further back, so that when the battle comes to a close we have a good lead, and only need a little defence, coupled with a tinge of desperation from the yellow team, to secure the victory. Woomy!

Back to A- with some hits and misses in Tower Control (13-4, Tri-slosher)

21st November 2017 – 7.00 am

I'm glad that E-litre 3K isn't a perfect shot. It makes up for a messy start. And the lick of ink that hits my back warns me to turn around, which helps, although I'm a little disappointed someone has got to the E-litre 3K before me. But only a little. Him being gone from the perch is the main thing. Gone, but not splatted, it seems, as he's behind me, and in full tunnel vision mode. Nice!

Jumping down requires a Bubbler to stay safe, and a squidmate's Killer Wail lets me squid up to the top, where I splat one surprised inkling, and the probably irritated returning E-litre 3K. But it's not enough, as the Tower is going the other way. And I run out of ink near the Carbon Roller! Thankfully, I get away with it, and maybe help recover the Tower. Maybe not, though.

I probably shouldn't get caught up in a pointless dual with the E-litre 3K, but at least it prevents him pointing his charger at my squidmates on the Tower. It would help more if we were pushing the Tower, so I resolve our differences and head back to the centre to help out. I don't stick to the Tower and get caught out, but after the nifty double splat I still don't stick to the Tower.

A bit of defence is required next, and I get super-lucky when Echolocated not to be hit by the Carbon Roller. I squid back the way I came for a bit of safety, then find the E-litre 3K in the same corridor as before, and renew our acquaintance. Again, it's a bit of a waste of time, but it wastes his time as much as mine, and my squidmates increase our lead, so it's probably worth it.

I try to be clever and squid around the back of the retreating Tower, but it doesn't quite work. I have no idea how the Aerospray avoided my squidmate's Splat Bomb either. But everything is under control anyway, more or less. My sloshing lets me down a bit when over the Tower, and then my footwork gets me dunked in the water. My squidmates are doing well, though. That's the main thing.

A little more defence is needed, with only seconds remaining, and I offer just that. A little more defence. Splatting the Bomb Rusher in the back is a fun way to finish the battle, and with my squidmates on the Tower I can afford myself a little victory dance, knowing that I'm back in A- after so many battles. Woomy!

Tri-sloshing in Tower Control (9-4, Tri-slosher)

20th November 2017 – 7.00 pm

I'm both wary of the E-litre 3K and aiming for it. Going for the charger is a bit different on Moray Towers, with its large, open centre, so I can't just zoom across there, which is why my route is a little circuitous to start. It's quite effective for early defence, though. A Disruptor may get the E-litre 3K's attention, but it slows down their ink-hungry weapon a little. And I pop up closer to them than is normal, hopefully being a surprise.

My squidmates hop on to the Tower and push it forwards, giving us the lead, as I ink my way around the purple side of the Towers. I'm soon caught by returning inklings, which is going to happen, but we're still in control as I return. I move up to support, but even though I get lucky in avoiding a Carbon Roller, I fail to see the second Seeker. Super-jumping back lands me safely, unlike what I do next. I'm sure I had an idea of what I wanted to achieve.

Time for a bit of defence. I kind of help, my second Disruptor not flying past the Tower, and my Cold-blooded T-shirt letting me sneak around the back to get splatted by a Carbon Roller who just about stays out of range of my bucket. I return trying to take better advantage of my Tri-slosher, which means getting some height advantage. That goes better, splatting the E-litre 3K on the Tower, and the Carbon Roller looking to get me off it.

From there, I try to build some charge for my Bubbler by covering the purple ink. I have to dodge the E-litre 3K's laser sight a little, and I see the Carbon Roller coming early enough to turn the splat around. I also hop off the Tower to deal with the two chargers, which goes well and has a squidmate take over Tower duty. I try to join them, but the Tower spurns me yet again.

Turning back to support lets me take a lesser-known shortcut up the wall, narrowly avoiding the Carbon Roller who falls off in his attempts to clear the Tower, and my Bubbler keeps me safe from the Splattershot Pro, a luxury our squidmate on the Tower doesn't have. But I drop down to keep things moving, luckily sidestepping an E-litre 3K shot, luck that a squidmate doesn't have.

I just about stay out of sight of the E-litre 3K, and get a lucky last splat on the approaching Carbon Roller, before we reach the goal. We drove the Tower all the way across the Towers! Woomy!

Not forward enough in Tower Control (13-2, Kelp Splat Charger)

20th November 2017 – 7.00 am

Check out that Sprinkler throw! I mention it not just because of how beautiful it is, but because it really isn't worth seeing many of the others during that battle where I actually try to aim. I don't retreat to a safe perch, but push forwards, spurred on by previous battles, but I soon realise I am in the wrong place. I'm not quite sure how I get out of there, particularly as I squid across the yellow-controlled Tower and an Ink Mine, but I get back to a safer position.

The best I can do from up here is clear the Tower when it gets close enough, which should still give us a battling chance, but it does require me to hit my targets, and preferably not be pursued. A Killer Wail helps a little, but one inkling dodges before pulling out a Kraken. Thankfully, I have that under control, unlike the Tower, which has now been pushed in to a decent lead. Nothing we can't overcome, but we do kinda need to ride the Tower a bit ourselves.

I remain cautious, however, not wanting to be ambushed again, and although I do better at keeping the yellow team back, I ought to move forwards with my squidmates. I nearly help out significantly with a Killer Wail, but it just needed to be a little more to the left. It's a great image of three inklings squidding down Moray Towers, though. I'm close enough to support the Tower as my squidmates battle over it, but I'm sure I'm also close enough to splat that Dual Squelcher, particularly when my ink goes under his feet. So it goes. I get him around the corner.

My position feels threatened, causing me to retreat, but I am probably being too cautious. And as I miss a couple of shots, a squidmate super-jumps to me, bumping me off the ledge. My first splatting is blue-on-blue. At least he says sorry. On my return, my caution and the yellow team's aggression gets them a greater lead. I get a couple of splats on the Tower, but the yellow flanking neatly shepherds me away from seeing the Tower, and even though I splat the Killer Wailing inkling, the Killer Wail prevents me from getting close too.

The Tower trundles on, and again I'm forced back a little. When I get a good opportunity, a Kraken appears on the Tower, and positions itself so that I can't knock it off. It's a good move, and the best I can do is get the splat when he transforms back, and hop on the Tower just in time to prevent the knockout defeat.

I've helped stop the defeat, but only the knockout. Ten seconds remain, and I can't afford to get off the Tower. It's a last-ditch effort to help the team ride the entire distance of the Towers, and even though a Killer Wail helps shepherd some inklings to a narrow path, my aiming lets me down just when it matters.

I am splatted off the Tower, and my squidmates suffer the same fate seconds later. Maybe I wasn't splatted much, but maybe you need to get in to risky positions to have a better chance of victory.

Defensive mode in Tower Control (11-2, Kelp Splat Charger)

19th November 2017 – 7.00 pm

I'm back in B+, and I may as well use my time here to practice my probably rusty charger skills. In fact, they are clearly rusty, and this isn't even my first battle with the Splat Charger. This is why I need to practice. At least I can ink turf, and appear to be a credible threat to the blue team. I also get the occasional Killer Wail, which is much easier to aim.

I do my best to move forwards to support the Tower, as the Splat Charger doesn't let me sit back for too long when we're pushing the Tower, but I am always careful not to get sucked in to close-range engagements, which I will almost certainly lose. Curiously enough, my first direct splat with the Splat Charger in this battle is at point-blank range, but that just shows I need to practice more.

I get a Sprinkler splat before my first proper charger splat, although it's only a couple of seconds before, and I get a couple more soon afterwards, so maybe I just needed to warm up a little. I'm quite pleased with my angled Killer Wail, getting a double splat, and clearing the advancing Tower with a charger/Sprinkler double splat.

It's a squidmate who clears the Tower a split-second before we lose the lead, and I'm thankful they do. I didn't see the other inkling on the Tower and looked away, trying to splat the Carbon Roller who I swear is immune to my ink. The Tower trundles back to the middle, and we just need to defend for a few seconds to claim the victory.

I'm surprised I got so many splats in the end. Being defensive with the right weapon and staying unsplatted can pay off, it seems.

Running out of time in Splat Zones (14-5, Carbon Roller Deco)

19th November 2017 – 7.00 am

Maintaining our Splat Zone is a worthy task, but when our squidmates who've headed to the other side don't seem to make it, it seems pointless to only defend. I move around myself, and at just the right time to catch a green inkling coming my way. There's a second one I'm not as aware of as I should be, but thankfully their Inkzooka doesn't hit me, for unexplained reasons, and I get to splat a couple of Echolocated inklings and help capture the green Splat Zone.

One Seeker is never enough, and I remember I have a Rush charged. Lots of Seekers are harder to dodge, and I get a couple of splats. Heading around the side from there is a little unconventional, but it catches one inkling by surprise from behind, and although the second hides very well before escaping, I help protect our Splat Zone from being captured.

I pause crossing the bridge again, fearful of my lack of ink, and have to retreat a second time when I actually manage to spot a sideways Suction Bomb. I get across eventually, but pick my target poorly. I get the splat, but the purple ink puddle goes in to the water, not over the Splat Zones, and I can't do much else.

Everything looks a bit green now. A cautious pause just about protects me from a green inkling crossing the bridge, but I fail to see the green Suction Bomb next to one of our own, and my survival is short-lived. I have a quick path back, thanks to a squidmate, and the Seeker from the side is a dead giveaway to an inkling's position, who I splat after a little chase. I consider going the long away around the back, but the bridge is probably good enough with a charged Seeker Rush.

My ambush goes better this time, but I don't want to ink the Splat Zones with the green inkling on the fence. I head around the side instead, but seeing an inkling dropping down, I try to launch another ambush. It goes exactly as planned! Well, better than charging towards an Inkzooka anyway. My return is brief, although at least I splat the N-ZAP back.

I head back the same way, hoping to beat the N-ZAP there, and find another inkling instead. Maybe 'find' is the wrong word, and I do well just to not get splatted. I let them go their way and, with the Splat Zones green, head around to see what I can do. A Splat Bomb tells me it's not safe, but my caution is weighted against needing to ink the Splat Zones, and the N-ZAP has a greater luxury of time when lying in wait.

Circumstances get more critical as the ten-second timer appears, and the Splat Zones turn green again, their score perilously close to our score. I zoom to our Splat Zone and splat an intruder, but before I can start flicking ink in earnest, the battle is lost.

That's quite a discrepancy in splats in the results. Everything seemed fairly balanced to me, but scanning back it looks like we lost an inkling less than two minutes in to the battle. I think that probably made it a better battle, in the end.

Can't finish the Splat Zones (14-4, Carbon Roller Deco)

18th November 2017 – 7.00 pm

It seems like those Splat Bombs won't stop being thrown across the gap, and I will keep flicking to cover their explosions for the rest of the battle. I'm almost relieved that the Splatling wants to get rid of me. Plus, it's great seeing my squidmate who got around the side splat him with an Inkzooka. I'm cautious about the teal ink below our ledge too, more so than my guinea pig of a squidmate, who shows that it's safe. I feel a bit bad for stealing a splat from his Kraken. He gets one ahead of my Seeker, at least.

I think my squidmate's Kraken deserves a 'Nice!', but the teal Octobrush doesn't think so. Our good position is lost, as are the Splat Zones. But our E-litre 3K remains in a good position, letting me return quickly and ink our Splat Zone. Pushing forwards to make use of my Seeker Rush doesn't go quite as planned, as I am surrounded by inklings that are all shooting at me. I probably should have gone across the bridge. No matter.

I will get the rampage I want, even if it means getting lucky running headlong in to a Luna Blaster. But starting the Seeker Rush closer to the base is quite effective, when you can manage it. Seekers and splats in both directions, and the Luna Blaster popping up to be splatted again. That was some nice squidding by him, though. And I feel a bit bad about that last Seeker splat, but that'll teach him for having some Quick Respawn gear.

It's tempting to look for the Splatling, but the Splat Zones need attention first. And, yes, that helps recharge my Seeker Rush, which offers more opportunity. A lone Seeker splats Wei again, whilst I wait for a Killer Wail to end, after which I can let loose with the Rush. That only bags one more splat, but brings Wei to me once more. Maybe he really does need the Quick Respawn gear.

I think I have time to go around the side, and I destroy a Beakon, but not before it has been used. I try to wait for the super-jumping inkling to come to me, but another one wants to get rid of me with a Killer Wail. So be it, and I flick from the ground. All is going well now, and our counter is about to hit nought, so I do a little dance and shout a little celebration, just as the Luna Blaster ruins it all. So it goes.

I head around the side and, with enough to spare, take my time reappearing. I do a good job of avoiding the Splatling and protecting a super-jumping squidmate from him, launching a Seeker that maybe he didn't see. Splatting him lets me ink and capture the Splat Zone, which charges my Seeker Rush, and I use that to ink all the way back down to their base. The Splatling returns before my Seekers have run their course, and four or five all track down the Splatling.

One Seeker hits, the Splatling is splatted immediately on his return, and maybe that was enough for him. I can understand that, as multiple Seeker Rushes down that corridor can be very frustrating. Or maybe something unconnected occurred. Either way, the battle is a stalemate. That's a shame, I was just warming up to it.