Enjoying the Specials in Salmon Run [22-20-17, 21/554]

20th January 2018 – 7.00 pm

I think going the long way to the Steelhead will be quicker. It isn't, but I manage to nab a Golden Egg like I deserved it. The Drizzler is easier, and the second Steelhead takes priority over the Steel Eel, but I overlook a Cohock, and get a pan to the face. I get splatted again when a squidmate hides in my wake and snatches a Golden Egg I was aiming for, and rather than head back to the basket I decide to get hit by a Flyfish. So it goes.

I get more Golden Eggs, but maybe not efficiently. More by stealing others who are able to splat the bosses. But they all count. The second wave starts, and again it's low tide, and again a normal wave. That suits me nicely. Unlike being smacked in to the water. At least I avoid the same fate when taking on a Stinger by myself. I get back to cooperating, which seems to go more smoothly, and although I find myself in the wrong place, surrounded by salmonids and bosses, I sneak out unsplatted, and contribute more Golden Eggs. Nice!

Medium tide for the third wave, and the Brella in my tentacles. The only problem about two low tides to start is that none of the rest of the stage is inked. That's not much of a problem, really, as there isn't green stink everywhere either. We start dealing the bosses easily enough, and once again I end up split from my squidmates. At least I'm not making a hash of it, and my timing is nice and lucky when taking the lift up to where a Steelhead's bomb is exploding.

The Golden Eggs are collected nicely, although we aren't gliding our way to quota. And when the Golden Eggs on the floor are gone, the deck of the marooned ship is getting a bit heavy with salmonid bosses. This seems like a good time to use my Splashdown, particularly as there's no Steel Eel or Stinger to interrupt me. The first splats a Scrapper, as an Inkjet comes out, and turning back finds a better opportunity for a Splashdown. One splatted Maws, Steelhead, and loads of little salmonids in one feel swoop. Nice!

We end up meeting our quota easily, and I bet CallieYuga pulls out the Sting Ray just for kicks. Woomy!

Autobombs and Ink Storms in Splat Zones [14(3)-3, Custom Splattershot Jr]

20th January 2018 – 7.00 am

I'm wondering where that E-litre 4K will set up, and hit the flank to lob an opportunistic Robot Chicken her way. It doesn't find anything, but moving up to the Splat Zones level finds the telltale shot of ink, and I try to combine Ink Storm and Robot Chicken to at least make her move. I think it works. I follow up with another automaton to get a super-jumper moving, making it easier for me to get closer to the E-litre 4K, who I just about manage to chase down.

I just about survive some ink splashes from a Suction Bomb Rush, and have a moment of precognition to turn and splat the Splattershot almost on top of me. And with an Ink Storm already over the Splat Zones, I send mine towards the blue base. That splats me the E-litre 4K again. Nice! I help maintain the Splat Zones, but the returning Splattershot gets revenge.

Everything goes a bit blue, with a flurry of action from the blue team. I get my Robot Chickens and Ink Storm working again, but have to take evasive action to avoid being splatted away. I circle around to the other side of the Splat Zones, returning as my squidmates have them nicely yellow again. We keep the blue team at bay for a bit, but they come back with force again, splatting us away and re-capturing the Splat Zones.

My Ink Storm gets me revenge, my splatter running in the same direction as the inkdrops, and it's quite nice that my Respawn Punisher gives me time to see it. We still have the Splat Zones to recover, though, and, as an inkling is splatted in front of me, we need to get past the watchful gaze of the E-litre 4K. I go around the side to be cautious, but it seems my squidmates have done the job already, wiping out the blue team and capturing the Splat Zones. Nice! I celebrate by bouncing a Robot Chicken off a wall.

Some aggressive moves as the Splat Zones stay yellow gets me a nice couple of splats, and even though I am splatted too, I don't mind. The blue team don't get close enough to threaten the Splat Zones, and we win the knockout victory. Woomy!

What difficult third wave, in Salmon Run [16-14-21, 12/510]

19th January 2018 – 7.00 pm

Bah, that's a poor throw on the Flyfish, particularly as my aiming arc showed the Splat Bomb would fall short. Still, it's the first boss in the first wave, we will cope. Then again, the Flyfish is splatted anyway, and I honestly don't know how. All bombs fell out of the boxes. I'm not complaining. A Steel Eel gives me the runaround, but I escape and feed a Splat Bomb to a Maws, and as things start to get busy I take care of a Stinger by myself.

We maybe lose a Golden Egg by my raising the platform a moment before an egg-laden squidmate joins me, but we've made quota so it's not a huge loss. I've got the Luna Blaster for the second wave, which is a mildly disappointing weapon, given how annoying it can be against me in Ranked battles. It splats a Stinger with ruthless efficiency, though.

The bosses come, the bosses are splatted, and there seems to be enough room to move around them, collecting Golden Eggs, whilst finding opportunities to splat the bosses. It's all working quite well. Even so, we only just make quota. I'm not sure why the haul is so low, but we move on to the third wave. I have the Brella, which is quite fun to use.

The first two bosses are nice and close together, and drop us a clutch of Golden Eggs to collect, as two more bosses come out of the green sea in the same spot. And despite the small working area of high tide, this seems to work in our favour when we're efficiently splatting the bosses.

A Splashdown here and there gets me out of tricky spots that maybe I shouldn't have got in to, but we really don't have any trouble keeping the bosses splatted and salmonids off our back. We finish with a tidy haul, better than the previous two waves, and our results showed we only had one inkling succumb to the salmonids. That was pretty smooth!

Shown no mercy in Splat Zones [13(6)-5, Custom Splattershot Jr]

19th January 2018 – 7.00 am

Uh-oh, our Rapid Blaster isn't moving. Hopefully it's just temporary, and there's not much to be done but press on. Splatting the Inkjet with my Ink Storm keeps my spirits up early, and although I avoid a Splashdown I run in to the inkling that comes out of it. Heading back to base has our Rapid Blaster still there, and as I squid off I hear the noise of him disappearing. Moments later, we lose the lead. This is not looking good.

I send in my Robot Chickens and an Ink Storm, picking up a couple of splats and a couple of assists, and my squidmates and I put up a spirited effort to turn the Splat Zones purple. But with an extra inkling available, the curved paths in to the Splat Zones are quite restricted, and we have to be creative.

We recapture the Splat Zones, no doubt boosting our morale, thanks to a clutch of splats, but we lose our grip after a Splashdown splats a squidmate, and I squid in to a solid block that won't let me pass. Literally unplayable. Worse still, there goes our Splash-o-matic to a puff of purple dust.

That map looks very green. Our options are rapidly being cut off. Inking our flanks for protection does nothing for the Splat Zones, but trying to ink the Splat Zones merely reveals a waiting squid in the ink. The power imbalance is starkly shown when one green inkling can pressure all the way to our base, whilst the other three lie in wait in the Splat Zones.

I manage to get back to the Splat Zones in a last attempt to neutralise them before the knockout defeat, but I barely shoot any ink before the defeat hits us. I do get to see the green team squid-partying their victory, though. I imagine they didn't twig the lack of inklings on our side.

Profreshional Salmon Run [26-20-26, 19/569]

17th January 2018 – 7.00 pm

Low tide seems like an easy start to this Salmon Run, and our squidmate teasing Maws back to the basket makes it easier. A lone Flyfish is only awkward because of the salmonids in front of it, and my first throw just misses. Our second attempt shows that Flyfish who's boss. A couple more bosses are splatted next to each other, before a slightly more difficult test arises, with a Flyfish protected by a Scrapper. I pass this test easily by breaking out the Sting Ray.

In the end, the golden eggs are just lying around waiting to be collected. A really good first wave ends and leads us in to a mid-tide second, with my having a Brella to play with. That'll do! A Flyfish wanders in, and we make no mistakes splatting it. Dropping off a golden egg puts a couple of us above a Steel Eel, just right to splat without danger.

Things start to get a bit hairy down by the water, but I don't panic and find a safer route to take me back to the basket, before jumping off to take care of a Stinger on the other side of the Bay with a squidmate. It's good that he had the same idea, as going alone often gets me out of my depth. We rejoin our squidmates, and start collecting more golden eggs. I nearly squeeze one last golden egg in to the basket, but my desire to jump further has my mistiming it, and I merely drop through the grate. So it goes.

The skies go dark for the third wave. What are we in store for? Ah, glowflies! The team seems pretty solid, so this should work out well. The glowflies are on me first, so I stand behind the basket to lure the salmonids to me, before collecting golden egss when they move on. I spy a golden egg dropping beneath us and, as I am glowfly-free, I drop down to sneakily collect it. Naturally, that's the best time to attract the glowflies again, and things go about as well as you'd expected.

An excellent squidmate hears my pleas for help and revives me, I thankfully noticing his ink tickling my ankles, and we get back to the action above. I learn my lesson not to chase golden eggs on a different level, and stick to splatting salmonids, Goldies, and collecting golden eggs nearby. There are plenty around, and we safely double our quota for the wave.

That was an excellent Salmon Run, which deserves plenty of celebration! I even pull out my unused Sting Ray as a Death-Star salute. Woomy!

Losing our grip on the Splat Zones [20(10)-6, Custom Splattershot Jr]

17th January 2018 – 7.00 am

My Robot Chicken does me proud to start the battle, as I almost get stuck between two inklings. Instead, I get an Ink Storm out of it. I'm also starting out quite sensibly, being mobile, not chasing needless splats, and inking anything I can. Keeping the Robot Chickens flying when I have the ink for them also keeps the orange team on their toes. We're dominating the Splat Zones.

It looks like we're going for a straight knockout, but those Tenta Missiles do their job of keeping us out of the Splat Zones, whilst the Ink Storm helps reduce our purple cover. The orange team capture the Splat Zones, and we have a buffer to work through. Our position remains undeniably strong, though. My exceptionally good run of staying unsplatted comes to an end too, when a cunning orange inkling hits out flank successfully.

Now we are a little on the back foot. It shouldn't be too bad, as we have plenty of time on our hands, and can ink the orange turf to build up our specials. But even though we turn the Splat Zones orange again, even simply waiting for a super-jumper can cause problems these days, particularly if they can roll away on landing. Pretty cool, that.

Despite our lead being eroded away second-by-second, we still have the luxury of time, so I take a patient route around the back. The tactic may have worked had I been more aggressive at the right moment, but choosing the Ink Storm instead gets me splatted as soon as I'm noticed. By now we really are in danger of losing the lead, but thankfully a concerted effort re-captures the Splat Zones and gives the orange team a buffer.

All looks well again, even when pushed out of the Splat Zones by more Tenta Missiles. I spy an inkling harassing a squidmate, and think I help chase them off, but they turn out just to be quite good at not being seen, popping out to splat me when, once again, I think it's a good time for an Ink Storm. I think their Suction Bomb Rush will spread more ink. Or it would, if my Ink Storm didn't splat them.

Being half-forced in to the Splat Zones by an orange automaton, half by increasing desperation not to lose the battle, I come out worse in a direct ink fight, and with thirty seconds to go the tide has really turned orange, and we lose the lead we held for so long. The battle's not over yet, though!

With seconds to go, we stop the orange counter, and recapture the Splat Zones, giving us one last chance to reclaim our victory. In the midst of the action, I splat three inklings in quick succession, and I think surely that's enough to tip the balance in our favour. But apparently not. The orange team get a bunch of splats at the same time, and their last inkling standing makes the Splat Zones orange. So close. Good battle, everyone!

Lone survivor in Salmon Run [21-26-19, 15/322]

16th January 2018 – 7.00 pm

Nice first bomb at the Flyfish, whilst wading through green muck! There's not that much pressure on, though, and we're waiting for the bosses to appear. I bet I'll miss this time by the middle of the third wave. The Steel Eels are nice and easy to take care of when you know who they're aiming for, and with good altitude changes available. They can't turn on a sixpence. I find myself in an excellent position for the Steelhead too. I solo him and collect all three eggs. Still, I bet my squidmates are busy too.

The second wave could start better, as I try to indicate which way the Stinger is, but that makes me fumble with the controls mid-jump over a grate, and I fall through. At least it's not high tide. And the Splat Charger I have really is not the weapon for Stingers. The Blaster is there to help out at the end, at least.

It's all rather straightforward for a while, until we're fragmented by nasty bosses on both sides of the Grounds. But we cope well enough, and we've easily made quota already, so we don't need to worry too much about collecting eggs, just keeping the numbers down. And when you splat the bosses, the eggs just seem to come. We get a good haul.

And look at that sloshing to start the third wave! I'm not completely au fait with the Sloshing Machine, but I make great use of its arc to splat a Steel Eel sloshing over its head. Nice! I'm a bit stymied by the salmonids as I try to splat the Scrapper, though. And as we drop here and there, even though we're revived, that time spent bobbing lets the bosses accumulate. It gets pretty inky out there.

We've made quota, which is good, but can we stay unsplatted as a team until the end? Kinda, maybe, sorta. It's a good run!

Almost the comeback we deserve in Tower Control [16(4)-7, Custom Splattershot Jr]

16th January 2018 – 7.00 am

A Robot Chicken seems like just the right thing to lob over the Tower at the start of a battle, more so than a mere Suction Bomb. Or any time, anywhere, really. I like them. A bit of flanking gets me a splat too, and an Ink Storm solidifies our early position, the blue inkling on the Tower realising the discretion is the better part of valour. I cling on to the Tower for as long as I can, but the blue team's return forces a minor retreat.

My squidmates are more bold, but they get splatted. I hang around the edges attempting to apply some control, which goes quite well, but I have to admit that my little tussles make me completely lose where the Tower has moved to by the time I want to launch a new Ink Storm. I decide to play it safe, and launch it backwards, in case the Tower has passed me by, and go looking for it. Oh, I was completely wrong. So it goes.

Sticking to the edges has my running in to and avoiding trouble, and throwing Robot Chickens here and there helps keep the blue inklings moving or splatted too. But I am eventually caught out by, rather ironically, sitting in one place for too long. Running in to the N-ZAP '85 wasn't a great idea, but I thought my automaton had forced him elsewhere. No matter. I'm rather more disappointed with not quite surprising the Forge Splattershot sufficiently. I could have made a difference there.

Our lead has been destroyed, and although another flanking move is much more effective, and I wrest control of the Tower back, a blue inkling sneaks back on as I am distracted by the Dualie Squelchers, increasing their lead and making my Ink Storm far less useful. But I head back and help splat the blue team away again, and we hop on the Tower to push it in the right direction. We've got a fair way to go, though.

The N-ZAP '85 splats me, I splat him, and I try to take control of the Tower. I spot the Suction Bomb just in time, but that gives the Slosher enough warning to trade ink with me. My Ink Storm helps a little ahead of us, at least. I'd like to do more, but I get in a bad position as a right-handed inkling against the Slosher.

It's good that a squidmate holds on to the Tower, so that with seconds to go the whole team super-jumps to him and we have one last try to secure the victory. Robot Chickens, plus some height advantage and strength in numbers pushes us a good distance, and I hope that an Ink Storm will rain on the blue team enough to keep us on the Tower.

We almost make it. Good battle, everyone.

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!