Custom fun in Tower Control [12(5)-9, Custom Splattershot Jr]

15th January 2018 – 7.00 pm

I like the Splattershot Jr, and now the Custom version is here, with Robot Chickens and a stormier Ink Storm. That sounds like a great combination to me, both sub and Special forcing inklings to move, perhaps where they don't want to, allowing for more nuanced battling over the standard weapon. I grab one from Sheldon and head in to Tower Control with it.

My first few outings aren't great, although one opportunistic Robot Chicken chucked at the Tower finds a target, but I've never said I was good at battling. As the Tower heads our way again, I try to avoid a direct confrontation and be a bit more tactical. That's pretty much why I've chose the Custom Splattershot Jr after all. I think that does the trick.

Another Robot Chicken splat and some ink sprayed here and there clears the Tower, and we get to push it the other way. Having not been splatted in a few seconds lets my Ink Storm charge, and that provides some needed cover for our push, as I get some inky revenge on the Octobrush super-jumping to a dangerous location.

It looks like my Ink Storm helps splat a couple of inklings away, and although we don't take the lead we make a good statement of intent. I put by Robot Chickens to work next, and they do a good job of getting the orange team inky. I meet the Octobrush again, whose wild flailing beats my wild spraying, but my Ink Storm has the last word.

My next outing is short, falling off the ledge throwing a Robot Chicken. So it goes. I hassle an orange inkling sticking around our high turf afterwards, and it's fun to watch him run this way and that from my little automatons, but there's a battle to fight too. I drop down to get some revenge for a squidmate, before the squidmate I was hassling with Robot Chickens tracks me down to get her own back.

My flanking move doesn't catch anyone, but it baits the Sploosh-o-matic to chasing me again, this time without a Splashdown. I still get a bit lucky with the result. We get to push the Tower again, with not much time left, so it's good I have an Ink Storm ready to help. That Octobrush catches me out again, though, and my last-ditch attempt to recover the Tower is foiled by a jumper.

It was a close battle. Better than that, the Custom Splattershot Jr looks like a lot of fun!

Taking back the Splat Zones [14(3)-6, Tri-slosher]

15th January 2018 – 7.00 am

Activating the ink rail as a distraction clearly doesn't fool that Octobrush, and I bet that's not the last I'll see of him. I try to be more pragmatic on my return, hoping to neutralise the Splat Zones and dropping down only when there's clear opportunity. But, as happens curiously often these days, I overshoot my target and end up victim to a Splashdown that I react too late to avoid. So it goes.

Everyone's hurting as I return, which isn't a good sign. I decide not to be quite so direct, just in case, and end up finding a good position to slosh from. We even briefly capture the Splat Zones. I should probably try to stick around here for a bit. I do some loops, keeping turf inked, and I think my ink-rail gambit pays off a little. Or the brush is covering our Burst and Splat Bomb ink.

My Burst Bomb throwing still needs work, as I keep hitting walls and not inklings, but I hold my position fairly well. It's only when an Ink Storm passes overhead that I get a bit inky. Still, we've take the lead, which is good! The teal team capture the Splat Zones soon after, and my running in to a Splashdown doesn't help us much. I take the alternative route down, and help neutralise the Splat Zones, as well as fight over super-jumper splats.

I activate the ink rail again, and this time decide to ride it, to see what happens. I am ignored, which is good, and I get to drop down on top of one inkling, and sneak up behind another, before helping re-capture the Splat Zones. Nice! Trying to sneak around the side again just has my sloshing this way and that, before finally hitting my target as my target hits me.

I get back to the Splat Zones in an excellent position to get some swift splats, but I don't make the most of the opportunity and get flanked before I can get two of them. My squidmates are still around, at least, and the Splat Zones stay a healthy shade of orange as the ten-second countdown appears.

One last splat boosts my numbers nicely, as we win the battle. My Fake Contacts come out looking quite nice too. Woomy!

The Rainmaker goes both ways [15(5)-9, Tri-slosher]

14th January 2018 – 7.00 pm

E-litre chargers remain annoying, unfortunately, but I get to have a bit of fun with the Rainmaker kind of as a result. I get a fair distance, but the blue team recover it and look to want to get splats more than advance their lead. Whatever, weirdoes. What's worse is my timing to activate my Ink Armour, right after a squidmate did it. I need to pay more attention. Either way, it emboldens me to charge the Rainmaker, and helps me splat the Nozzlenose.

I don't manage to sneak up on the E-litre 4K, which isn't a surprise when I am sloshing my ink ahead of me. At least my squidmates have grabbed the Rainmaker, and I can super-jump back to them to support with my bucket. We take the lead from the blue team, and when we lose the Rainmaker I take a step back to avoid getting splatted for nothing. Instead, I get some height, and apply some inky pressure, splatting the brush and, better yet, the E-litre 4K.

The blue team's focus on the Rainmaker left them vulnerable, and with them splatted away and the Rainmaker in front of us, I grab it and push to increase our lead. I'm splatted quickly, but in a good position for the battle. The squidbagging by the Octobrush seems unnecessary. The blue team try another push, but maybe 'push' is the wrong word, as the E-litre 4K treads backwards with the Rainmaker for a while, and doesn't get to the middle of the port before losing it.

As we battle for possession, I sneak around the side to try to surprise the blue team. It doesn't really work, much like the E-litre 4K looking to get a cheeky splat. He has to panic-fire to recover the situation, but maybe he shouldn't be so cocky in the first place. Meanwhile, the Rainmaker is coming our way, and with plenty of support.

We only just stop the Rainmaker before the blue team steals the lead, sloshed in mid-air with support. And with less than thirty seconds to go, we need to be careful with our defence. The Rainmaker is grabbed and moved up a bit, but not much, and the blue team starting inking its shield.

It looks too dangerous to contest the shield, so instead I let them burst the Rainmaker free from a safe distance, and go for stopping the Rainmaker itself. That does the trick. Woomy!

Going against the flow in Rainmaker [13(2)-9, Tri-slosher]

14th January 2018 – 7.00 am

I'm not worried about the low battery as much as that inkling inking his way to our podium, in preparation of a purple Rainmaker drive. I suspect he will be an irritating presence for most of the battle, and I would do well to ignore him, if not his ink. I can't help but feel responsible for our defence, though. Still, I should probably be more concerned about the Rainmaker itself.

My squidmates move the Rainmaker away from our podium and at least get us a score, but the purple team seem to be everywhere, much like their ink. It's looking tough even to defend, let alone make any progress. But as we claim the Rainmaker a second time, I try what the other inkling did and advance to ink a path, and maybe keep it clear of inklings. I don't do too badly, even if the Rainmaker isn't able to follow me.

The Rainmaker is pushed to the purple side of the Academy, though, and it stays there for a little while. I drag my heels getting there myself, mostly because I'm expecting it to come right back, and I'd rather they encountered the green ink of resistance rather than a smooth run, and tidy up as I go. But when I move up, I am quite effective. I squeeze under the Sting Ray and become a distraction. Getting three splats helps too, and our squidmate romps in to the lead, nearly getting the knockout victory! Nice!

I'm beginning to believe, so race back to the purple side, but they are back in control of the Rainmaker and are spreading purple ink again. I think it's time to adopt a defensive posture. But attack is a good form of defence, so I move up to try to keep the Rainmaker out of purple tentacles, but my sloshing lets me down. Throwing a Burst Bomb in to a wall doesn't help either. My squidmates splat the Rainmaker nicely short of our territory, though.

Time runs out, but with the Rainmaker back in purple tentacles. That means extra time. All we have to do is prevent the purple team from sneaking the lead, which means we have plenty of turf to work in and we don't need to rush in to trouble. Even so, despite my tactical positioning, they look to get much closer than I intended.

I think we did really well, considering the general flow of that battle. And I'm glad I was able to contribute at a couple of vital points. Woomy!

Missing a squid in Splat Zones [11(5)-3, Splattershot Jr]

13th January 2018 – 7.00 pm

That's a pretty good Splat Bomb to start with, splatting one inkling and getting another inky. Losing the Splat Zones initially isn't a problem either, not if they are captured from a shaky foundation, and we overpower the yellow team to take control. Unfortunately, we've already lost our Jer Squelcher, making our position considerably weaker.

I keep myself going, trying to ink the Splat Zones as best I can, and hitting the flank when the Splat Zones aren't safe. I see one inkling trying to splat me, and leave a Splat Bomb as a welcoming present, but the rest of their team has captured the Splat Zones and are solidifying their presence there.

Our lead is lost, and yellow ink is everywhere. We really are missing our Jet Squelcher. Not even the odd splat here and there really helps us out, as that only puts us on even terms for a short few seconds. It's no surprise that the yellow team's control continues in one streak.

It was a good battle for a while, but losing an inkling really is felt quite hard.

Settling in to a groove in Splat Zones [13(4)-2, Splattershot Jr]

13th January 2018 – 7.00 am

Caution doesn't really pay off at the start of this battle. The green team lunge for the Splat Zones, capture them, and hold us off successfully. It's hard to know what to do differently sometimes. I look for another angle and hit the flank, and although that catches the Squiffer's attention, it takes some pressure off the Splat Zones. My squidmates take that opportunity to capture them.

We press up and keep the pressure on nicely, taking the lead. I push my luck a bit, and charge head-on in to ink, naturally getting me splatted. Not too smart! The green team do a good job of recapturing the Splat Zones, giving us a buffer, but we apply the pressure back and make them purple again. I drop down from the bridge at the right moment to stop a Curling Bomb Rush, and catch a super-jumper, but only manage a stalemate with the Squiffer.

The Squiffer doesn't want a draw and comes looking for me. He gets too close, though, and is punished. Holding the high turf looks like a good idea, but you really can't see what's happening under the bridge, which I realise when the green team capture the Splat Zones. I drop down to help out, spreading purple ink and looking for splats. I find quite a few too!

I keep to the purple ink, whilst maintaining our turf and pushing for more where I can, and we keep hold of the Splat Zones successfully. I'm trying to stay away from the Aerospray, whilst dropping Splat Bomb lures, as we win the knockout victory. Woomy!

In the line of woomy in Tower Control [21(2)-5, Tri-slosher]

12th January 2018 – 7.00 pm

I think better of trying to sneak past the Tower to hit the green team's flank. It rarely worked in the previous Port Mackerel. The green Roller finds out that it is a bit harder now too. I tidy up a bit, not fully realising that my squidmates are pushing the Tower, but I find an inkling to play with back here.

I move up and find the Roller trying to do the opposite, and am happy to have Ink Armour as he Splashes down, before I mess up another Burst Bomb throw and fall back to sloshing the Sloshing Machine. We lose the Tower, though, and I can't backtrack quickly or safely enough, so hold my turf to look for opportunity. It almost comes, but the green team jump on the Tower anyway.

We tussle over the Tower, and somehow I manage to stay inked but unsplatted, until the Roller exacts some nice revenge from behind. My squidmates recover the Tower, so I hit the flank to try to be sneaky, but the Tower issue isn't quite resolved. I still find trouble further up, and more than I can handle. Even so, I don't think the Roller came out if it fairly.

Flanking the next green push almost results in an excellent tally of splats, but my little bucket can't quite reach or ink the green inklings enough, and I simply find myself out-numbered. But it nearly was amazing, and I get a splat and an assist out of it. I come out of the next encounter much better, losing the Splattershot and not really knowing what's happening, and I can't help but feel lucky again.

My attempts to clear the Tower are temporary, and deciding to clear the inklings supporting the Tower from behind reminds me once more not to run towards a Sting Ray in action. You just don't know how far away they are. Or who's with them. Still, my squidmates are nicely in control, and re-take the Tower back to the green side of the Port for the first time in a while.

Supporting the Tower gets some decent splats, and I even hop on briefly, until a squidmate joins me and I feel superfluous to needs. That lets me hit the flank and get a trio of splats, just missing out on the fourth. It's quite a massacre, and no one is left to stop the Tower trundling back the way it came.

With seconds left in the battle, we only need to defend our modest lead, which just means being sensible and not panicking. I think we do that. And I get a nice pair of headphones out of things. Woomy!

Too orangey for crows in Splat Zones [14(5)-5, Splattershot Jr]

12th January 2018 – 7.00 am

Some early caution pays off for me in Splat Zones, although my Splat Bomb throws are quite pitiful. My squidmates must be doing something right at least, as we capture the Splat Zones and hold on to them for a huge amount of time. We nearly win by knockout, as our Splat Dualies inkling chases inklings, our Splatterscope and Heavy Splatling send ink all over the Splat Zones, and I just loiter inking patches and lobbing Splat Bombs.

An Ink Storm helps the purple team stop our counter and give us a big buffer to work through, which seems to motivate them to push back harder. With the Splat Zones compromised, I take the long route around the flank to see what mischief I can accomplish, which is pretty much none, as no one is behind the Splat Zones. So it goes.

Heading back in to the Splat Zones helps ink them orange again, although I mostly chase splats rather than getting them. I get a couple after a while, but that also means that the purple team's attention is pointing towards me, and the ink finally builds up enough to splat me. The Splat Zones turn purple again.

I support from the back for a bit, not wanting to rush in to unseen trouble, and push forwards when opportunity arises. The inkling heads down the ramp and is going to want to come back up, and I pick the right moment to drop down. My Ink Armour and a lucky Splat Bomb lets me go back up the ramp myself, dodging a Robot Chicken and Curling Bomb, and I inexpertly get two more splats, for a delayed quad. And we've captured the Splat Zones back. Nice!

I push forwards to solidify our position, which looks to be working, but probably only because the purple team aren't there to defend. When they are, it's at just the right time to support their Tenta Missiles launcher from my ill-advised rush. I come back to survive the Carbon Roller, a nearby Splashdown, and the Sploosh-o-matic who made it, before the N-ZAP '85 splats me away. A squidmate gets instant revenge.

I dunno if I get lucky or unlucky against the Sploosh-o-matic on my return, but I do know that I messed up jumping as celebration of our impending win, and instead opened and closed the map. But no one saw that. Woomy!

Splats here and there in Splat Zones [23(8)-5, Tri-slosher]

11th January 2018 – 7.00 pm

I try to create and maintain a good foundational inking to start the battle, which would serve us well in any initial tussles, with a bit of close-range support for our Splatterscope. No splats for a while, but with my Ink Armour active and the Splat Zones nice and purple I push forwards to see what I can do. Not much! Only because there's not much to be done.

I like hitting the Splattershot with two Burst Bombs, and still they come to me to be sloshed. That's nice of them. It's still looking quite straightforward too, and it's only until almost a minute of battling that the green team get any kind of influence over the Splat Zones. Unfortunately, despite squidding this way and that, I can't quite stop the Splat Zones turning green, and we get our buffer to work through. But I also start getting splats, which my Respawn Punisher shirt is pleased with.

Our buffer is worked through before the next minute has expired, and our score starts counting down again. I rack up more splats, some luckier than others, until a jumper dodges over a slosh. The green team capture the Splat Zones again, we get another buffer, and I am splatted back to base.

The green team's ink is everywhere now, my foundation inked over! I think about hitting the flank instead, to come from an unexpected angle, but the pressure from the bridge convinces me to focus some attention there. That works out well, but I should have claimed the bridge instead of heading to our ramp to the Splat Zones, which turns out to be well-guarded.

We capture the Splat Zones once more, but they are better contested now. Sloshing around the side and back doesn't help much, and mostly just gets me caught from behind. I have to work through green ink again on my return, and this time hold the bridge. But I can only slosh so much of the Splat Zones from up there, which isn't much, and have to drop down. I get lucky against the Sloshing Machine, surprise the Sploosh-o-matic, and get some revenge on the jumping Splattershot. Naturally, it is the Tri-slosher who proves my undoing.

The Sploosh-o-matic gets her own back on me quickly, with some stray ink finishing me off, but I come back to get some more splats myself, including interrupting a newly started Stingray. Our own Stingray helps clear the Splat Zones, and as time runs out our early lead pays off. And with that tally of splats to my name, I think my choice of jumper worked well. Woomy!

Not really in control in Splat Zones [14(3)-5, Carbon Roller]

11th January 2018 – 7.00 am

That's an excellent first ambush, even with the disappointing need for a second flick. The Robot Chicken throw is less excellent, but I'm happy with the Ink Storm. Coming around the back of the Tenta Missile inkling highlights the weakness of the Carbon Roller, though. The first flick is aimed as well as it can be, and only damages. The second has all the ink falling short. The sweet spot for the horizontal flick is dreadfully small. I hope Sheldon can do something about it.

Going back around for the E-litre 4K finds him moved, which I don't react to particularly quickly, and although the Octobrush wipes the Ink Armour off me effectively, my Ink Storm has the last laugh. That Jet Squelcher could be dangerous, particularly as he seems content to sit back and ink from afar whilst charging Tenta Missiles, but I'll get to him at some point. At least I can get my vertical flick working occasionally, as the E-litre 4K finds out.

There's a neat little flurry of activity, with ink flying everywhere and Robot Chickens running around, before I get frustrated with the Carbon Roller again. I hit the brush with my vertical flick, but not enough for the splat apparently, and ambush the Hero Replica Splattershot nicely, but still not enough for the splat. He manages to Splashdown as a result, pausing our control of the Splat Zones, before a second flick splats him away.

Green ink flies around me, and I have no idea how I walk out of the Splat Zones in one piece. I make the most of it, and spy a super-jumper waiting to be splatted, but again it takes two attempts, at which point a Robot Chicken is coming from me, and some incidental ink from the Octobrush happens to catch me from somewhere. I think my grip on this battle is slipping.

As the Splat Zones are blue and looking to stay that way, I aim to head around the flank to catch the E-litre 4K. He's not there, but the Jet Squelcher is, and I wish I could say I splatted her, but even at close range I only helped. At least I walk away from the encounter. As I also do after wandering in to the aftermath of Tenta Missiles, not that I know how, and manage to splat the E-litre 4K before succumbing to my inkjuries.

Our lead is threatened now, so I do what I can to take the pressure off, and head right around the back to come from behind, which does the trick, but not before we lose the lead. We have precious few seconds left to retain the Splat Zones, which we manage, and a precarious session of extra time where it looks like we'll just about take the lead, but the green team wrest control away from us with less than a second to spare.

Can we throw enough blue ink back in to the Splat Zones to steal the victory? Maybe if I hadn't thrown that Robot Chicken and hadn't run out of ink as a result. Or maybe the green team just had more ink available at the right moment. So it goes. Good battle, everyone!