Keeping my nose clean in Turf War [1818p, 7(2)-1, N-ZAP '85]

12th December 2017 – 7.00 am

Ranked is still a bit of a mess, so I'm playing a bit of Turf War to guarantee some coins to be multiplied, thanks to one of Crusty Sean's snacks. The N-ZAP '85 worked for me before, so I'm giving it another outing. I'm even being sensible and inking our side of the Towers before trying to infiltrate the green side.

Although my attempt to hitch a ride on the ink rail doesn't quite work, at least I hit turf. And from where I am, getting across to the other side is pretty simple, albeit a bit obvious. No one is waiting for me, though, and I head upwards, inking as I go. I'm pretty sure someone is ahead of me, but thankfully it's just an Aerospray, and my superior range helps me stay unsplatted.

Or was it the Aerospray? A different inkling is hiding in a puddle and jumps me from behind. She feels the pressure, though, and I turn and splat, feeling a bit lucky. I know I'm in a tricky position now, under the green base, so dive off the ledge to make another circuit, once I fall off the bar.

I end up dropping right to the bottom, but the turf needs inking, and I manage to keep myself safe. I realise it's not about finding the biggest patch of turf to ink, but moving in to optimal positions for both inking and safety. There's no point moving forwards if it will get you splatted. If only I thought like this more often.

I'm finally caught out when I try to ambush a green inkling, but my aiming lets me down. So often it does that. I should get on to the practice range more. But with half-a-minute left, the battle looks to be ours to lose. And it could have been lost, had that inkling continued to head up our ramps, and I got a bit too close to getting splatted for comfort.

With a few seconds to go, we hold the central turf, splatting away the one inkling there. I make a slight error in activating my Ink Armour so close to the finish, as it cost me a second or so of inking time, but I don't think it mattered. A pretty good battle, I would say.

Making a fist of it in 3-inkling Rainmaker [10(1)-9, Blaster]

11th December 2017 – 7.00 pm

Oops, we lose an inkling before the battle begins. That doesn't bode well for us, but we'll just have to do our best. More than in the Shipyard, the Blaster's lack of wall-inking ability is really felt on the Mainstage, as is my lack of decent ink-resistant clothing so far, but that's teething problems compared to the Blaster.

After a bit of posturing around the burst Rainmaker, the way looks mostly clear. I give my Splashdown a workout just before grabbing the Rainmaker, and make a run for it. I get a fair distance, but am fairly easily stopped, as Rainmaker carriers can be. The purple team start bringing the Rainmaker back, and with the advantage of numbers, plus some dodgy blasting, are covering a lot of turf.

We somehow retake control of the Rainmaker, I'm not quite sure how, and with two inklings splatted as the shield explodes, I think it's time to make another dash. I once again get a fair distance before being stopped, still feeling my way around the Mainstage, before again being reminded of the advantage the purple team have in numbers, as opening the map sees my squidmates doing their best to hold turf, but unable to be everywhere they're needed.

I track the Rainmaker and, under pressure and so not releasing charged shots, splat him easily enough. I try moving the Rainmaker again, but the Blaster is clearly waiting for me on the other side of the water. I come back to chase away a Blaster from trying to ink a path right to the podium, which goes quite well, but I am caught from behind, which also means there is more of a path for the Rainmaker to use. And here comes the Rainmaker now.

Our lead is finally lost. It stood for longer than expected, to be honest, and at least we prevent the knockout defeat. For now, anyway. Toxic Mist may not have been the best choice, draining my ink tank, but I have just enough ink left to splat the Rainmaker as she is about to squid up the podium. But now the Rainmaker is on our doorstep. Thankfully, we manage to burst its shield and grab it, and I help guide my squidmate away from our base.

I'm not able to splat the Dualie Squelchers I spot, but my aim has never been reliable, and although my splatting buys my squidmate a few seconds, he is splatted too. It is kinda fun to see the Dualie Squelchers roll away from trouble in to the water, though. The purple team seem to be well in control now. I try to get some orange turf going, but soon find myself in trouble. Not even a Splashdown can save me. I should remember that can be done during a super-jump, as it seems a bit easy to dodge normally.

The seconds count down as we repel another purple push, and although we clear our base again, we again don't make it much past half-way before being stopped. But never mind, we were on the back foot for the whole battle, and made a pretty good fist of it all the same.

First Blaster battle is in Rainmaker [23(7)-7, Blaster]

11th December 2017 – 7.00 am

I've got access to the Blaster, a weapon I've used in Splatoon, so let's give it a go. Rainmaker may not be the best mode for the Blaster, but I believe every weapon is viable in every mode, so I'm willing to give it a blast. I've also got some Object Shredder shoes, which sound like they should burst the Rainmaker shield more quickly, and have a Respawn Punisher jersey, because I'm not expecting much from me and would like the other team feel bad for splatting me.

It's a fair start to the battle. I try out the Toxic Mist a couple of times, but need to work out the nuances of using it from the Disruptor. I get caught by Tenta Missile whilst chasing a splat away from our Rainmaker carrier, and although our early lead is bettered, the purple team don't get much further, and the battle is still early. It's nice not to be splatted by the Rainmaker's shield when not in sight of the Rainmaker itself, and the Blaster gets me some good blasting splats as we recover possession.

I forge a path ahead, the Rainmaker close behind me, and get a decent Splashdown to protect me and the Rainmaker. We retake the lead, and extend on it significantly, but are overwhelmed by purple ink before we get too close to the podium. And this time, I am obviously too close to the Rainmaker as its shield explodes. We stop the purple team's first push, but in trying to recover the Rainmaker I am forced in to a poor position by a good Suction Bomb and more Tenta Missiles, and they push forwards again.

I'm caught by the Rainmaker after trying Toxic Mist again, but my squidmates stop the push. We have an extended battle over the Rainmaker, which we win by splatting most of the purple team away. The Rainmaker is taken down one route, as I chase a splat along the other, which doesn't go well for me, but maybe it's not so bad that I distract two of the purple inklings.

I tidy up on my return, trying to prevent some quick movement, and try to lie in wait for the Rainmaker. I'm spotted, though, and purple ink rains down on me. The purple team make a decent push, and are quite threatening as they get half-way to the podium, but my Blaster's blasts splat one inkling and gets two assists to bring the push to an end. Most ink is then focussed on the Rainmaker shield, where I'm hoping my Object Shredder kit is helping, and indeed we prevail, and push the Rainmaker back across the Shipyard.

We lose the Rainmaker as the battle ends, giving the purple team one last opportunity in extra time. My super-jump lands me safely, and I retreat as I see the Rainmaker choose a different route. There's enough ink to get me ahead of the Rainmaker, and with pressure on the purple team and not us, I splat the Rainmaker to end the battle. Woomy!

The Blaster is still a pretty good weapon. I'm not convinced about the Toxic Mist yet, and think it costs a lot of ink for what it does, and, with all blasters, could really use a way of inking walls. Here's hoping for some alternative kit in the future.

A clear run with the Rainmaker [7(1)-0, Carbon Roller]

10th December 2017 – 7.00 pm

Aww, I deny my tenacious little Autobomb a splat by getting it myself. But it's a pretty good start to the battle, and I grab the Rainmaker to give us an early lead. I think I'm getting a better grip on the new model Rainmaker, and I use it quite effectively to ink a path and get some splats, with some good help from my squidmates.

Eventually, the yellow inklings stop throwing themselves at me, and I am encouraged forwards by the incoming Tenta Missiles. Those Missiles are great for forcing inklings to move, but because of that it's perhaps not a great idea to target the Rainmaker.

I'm up the ramp and facing a lot of yellow ink. A blast forwards inks a path, but I need another couple to clear the inklings coming from my flank. Squidmate ink probably does more for me here, which I'm grateful for. The path forwards looks clear, and a quick blast makes me unconcerned about the inkling hiding on the podium.

A bit of yellow ink covers my path, but a squidmate creates a new path for me, another providing covering fire further up, and it's a simple matter to squid uninterrupted to the podium for the dunk. Woomy!

Jumping past to help the Rainmaker [6(1)-2, Carbon Roller]

10th December 2017 – 7.00 am

I'm sure I had a plan at the start of this battle, but who knows now what it was. At least the monitor saves me from the Rainmaker shield, and my Autobomb finds a target, but I struggle to get enough ink to splat the Rainmaker running past me.

I get a brief go with the Rainmaker myself, but mostly end up shooting it. It's not to look for splats, per se, but there is no clear path to take, and the only way to clear one is to get some splats. It doesn't quite work. I like my Autobomb throw combined with vertical inking flick, but it doesn't get me far when there are multiple purple inklings on the other side of the wall.

It may be good that I don't splat those purple inklings. They think they have a good forward position, keeping is held back, but the map shows me a brave squidmate has grabbed the Rainmaker and is making their way across the stage. This is what super-jumping is for.

I launch an Autobomb on landing, but my Carbon Roller proves to be a better choice of weapon, with a purple inkling close by. But with her out of the way, my squidmate sneaks the lead and, jumping over the ledge, has a short squidding to the podium. Woomy!

That battle turned around very quickly indeed. I know how easy it can be to lose track of the Rainmaker, and how important it is to reorientate yourself.

Back to picking on chargers in Splat Zones [11(2)-1, Carbon Roller]

9th December 2017 – 7.00 pm

Who goes straight to the Splat Zones these days? Not me! Well, not in this battle. I head around the side, looking for the charger. But he's not on the perch. I hear him firing, though, and looking down sees an opportunity. I'm still getting the hang of what seems like a subtly different Carbon Roller, but I get the splat. I am then tempted, when bumping an inkling, to go for a squish, even though that almost never works out. It still doesn't.

Heading straight to the Splat Zones when the other team has them captured seems too dangerous too, so I am a bit cautious on my approach. The Autobomb comes to my aid again, which not only pushes an inkling away, but gives me an idea of where they've gone. An Ink Storm not only adds more ink to the Splat Zones, but refills my ink tank, and I can push forwards, where I find the charger again, and get revenge on the Slosher.

Man, I need my ink-resistance back. I'm still picking up drips and drabs from the shops, and building up their secondary abilities, so nothing really matches at the moment. Maybe I just need to be more careful with my ink tank. Throwing out Autombombs sucks a lot of ink, but when one shepherd's a charger in to my path, it's worth it.

I sit back and watch for a bit, and decide to get some height for protection. What good timing! I go up as the charger walks below me, just ripe for splatting. I feel like I'm picking on him now. I would say that, as our counter nears zero, the charger has seen the last of me, but apparently even my Ink Storm homes in on him.

Our counter is stopped as I'm heading around the side, but it's only temporary. Good thing too, as I wasn't sure what to do next. It's a decent victory, but the teams look a little one-sided at the end. The ranking system is probably going to be a bit wobbly for a while.

Nearly clawing back the Splat Zones [19(5)-6, Carbon Roller]

9th December 2017 – 7.00 am

I'm a little slow moving forwards to start with, mostly because when everyone rushes I tend to get splatted for no reason. This doesn't happen this time, but the purple team also capture the Splat Zones. Still, I can throw an Ink Storm over the Splat Zones, and move up to add my Roller ink, both to the Splat Zones and to the purple inklings.

I manage to stay unsplatted for a surprisingly long time, given that I'm in and out of the Splat Zones. I move up for a splat, retreat to splat an Ink Jet, and get another Ink Storm going. It's not enough to keep control of the Splat Zones, but we keep enough ink flowing to not lose sight of the lead.

Autobombs run this way and that, when I have the ink, and my Carbon Roller helps splat inklings closer to me, and, after a while, we capture the Splat Zones quite assuredly. My first splatting comes when I run out of ink, having launched an Autobomb, and sucking back just enough for a couple of flicks isn't enough when the purple team have Ink Armour active.

The purple team capture the Splat Zones again, but at least we took the lead first. That doesn't last long, which isn't helped by my getting sloshed without having achieved much. I come back with purple ink almost everywhere, but as I spy a couple of inklings moving forwards for splats, I sneak to the side where I hope to sneakily roll some ink over the Splat Zones. The Slosher is cunningly holding back, and has other ideas about my rolling.

My squidmates recapture the Splat Zones just in time to avoid defeat, and super-jumping back to the action works quite well for a change, helping to get a couple of splats. Dropping off the stage encourages me to roll back around to our side, where I tidy up and build up the charge for another Ink Storm. That doesn't seem to help, though, as the purple team come back in force, capturing the Splat Zones and pushing all of us back to base.

I try heading around the long way to the Splat Zones, which actually is quite effective. It would be more effective if I tried to ink the Splat Zones more than chase splats, which ends up leaving a big purple stain that helps the purple team get closer to victory. Again, my squidmates avoid knockout defeat just in time, and I super-jump back to add some ink to the effort.

I use my Autobombs to pressure the purple inklings, which works quite well. They either retreat, or push forwards in to trouble. It even looks like we may take the lead! But two inklings hit both our flanks at the same time, the inkling flying in to the Splat Zones splatting me and a squidmate, and losing us the Splat Zones.

Only a few seconds remain, so the battle is decided. We came close to securing the victory, but it goes to the wily purple team.

Chaotic Rainmaker [22(2)-9, Carbon Roller]

8th December 2017 – 7.00 pm

I hold back a little to start the battle, as the Carbon Roller is a bit weak without a good helping of ink. It serves me well, though. I catch one inkling trying to flank us, and I get to support the Rainmaker from behind, carried ably by a squidmate. Even when the Rainmaker is lost, I hold up the green team for long enough for my squidmates to come back.

Our presence near the green base is not long-lived, though, but I am happy to let loose an Autobomb as I'm splatted on landing, if only to see it chase an inkling away from the Rainmaker. We stop the green push and make another push ourselves, but are hit from both sides. I try to prevent green ink hitting our backs, although the Autobomb I throw does a better job in front of me.

The battle lingers at one point, making super-jumping there seem like a good idea. The well-timed Suction Bomb makes two of us think otherwise. We try again, and are splatted on landing again. Hint taken, I take the slow route back, which lets me last just a touch longer this time. I'm almost glad that my squidmates are splatted, preventing me from super-jumping, and instead I hold back and watch where the Rainmaker is going.

The Rainmaker looks to be going one way, and then the other, and although it jinks back again, I decide to just pick a direction and go with it. That lets the Rainmaker maybe get a little further, but I get a nice flanking manoeuvre, letting us recover the Rainmaker. I grab it for a run, and make a jump I'm glad of, because I'm still not quite sure where the gaps are in the Shipyard.

My squidmates provide some good support, and we push the Rainmaker a good distance before the ink overcomes me. We don't quite improve our lead, but we've pushed the green team back nicely again. I take the slow route back again, which ends up letting me flank the Rainmaker. A brutal vertical flick splats the Rainmaker, which is the start of my systematic splatting of the green team. I'm splatted at the end, but I think I got my message across.

I super-jump back as my squidmates carry the Rainmaker, and get my flicks working again. The Rainmaker sneaks around the side as I do this, and gets close to increasing our lead, splatted just short of doing so. That's okay, as the green team only have a couple of seconds remaining in the battle to do anything. But what they do is grab the Rainmaker to force the battle in to extra time.

Extra time is no big deal. We have the luxury of the lead, and can sit back waiting for the right opportunity to strike. And that's exactly what I do. My only regret is not splatting all four of the green team. That was a fun battle, woomy!

Getting the splats in Rainmaker [16-7, Carbon Roller]

8th December 2017 – 7.00 am

I think I'm almost faster with the Carbon Roller now that there is the vertical flick instead of the Seeker. That doesn't help me much when my decisions are still a bit poor. Also, the vertical flick is not as good against the Rainmaker as the standard horizontal flick. By the way, the weird pulsing of the screen is what happens whenever the Rainmaker is fired. That confused me for quite a while.

Super-jumping back gets me in to the action quickly, or close to it, from where I let my Autobombs do the dirty work. They're pretty cool. I grab the Rainmaker and aim to head up the wall, but am still a bit uncertain as to how much ink I fire, leading to my taking too long, and getting caught up by chasing purple inklings. A quick check of the map shows that our position gets worse too.

We lose the lead, but I stop the Rainmaker with another Autobomb. My Ink Storm comes in useful too, splatting one inkling, keeping the Rainmaker shield down, and activating a nearby ink rail. I give the Rainmaker another shot (or five), but don't quite manage to clear the path ahead. At least super-jumping back is safe, and a squidmate is willing to carry the Rainmaker instead of me.

I help guide the Rainmaker up the wall, letting us retake the lead by a healthy amount, but wander in to danger a bit too readily. Heading back lets me sneak up a wall and behind an inkling, but she disappears before I can splat her, and things get too inky to be safe. I drop back down and retreat, and let my Autobombs work for me. Two of them splat the entire purple team. Nice!

We go back up the wall, and even though I miss one inkling squidding around me, I splat a peripheral inkling coming up the ramp, and the vertical flick works very well against the Ink Jet. That clears the way to splat the just-grabbed Rainmaker, keeping us in a good position. I then put myself in a pretty terrible position, surrounded by inklings. At least my squidmates are around to keep things positive, and one survives for me to super-jump mid-squidding. This new map is okay.

Another vertical flick splats another Ink Jet, but there's still too much ink flying around to keep me safe. I track the Rainmaker's progress, and drop down to send an Autobomb its way, but my squidmates beat the bomb to it. Ignore my falling to my doom, that isn't important, it's better just to appreciate my next couple of splats.

Everything seems nice and peaceful as the clock ticks down, and I squid a little to celebrate our victory. Woomy! Hey, our Aerospray has no score. Huh, it looks like we were missing him after five seconds. That's a pretty good result, although it looks like maybe two of the purple team were perhaps still learning the ropes.

Dunking the Rainmaker [13(1)-5, Carbon Roller]

7th December 2017 – 7.00 pm

Okay, I like this vertical flick, and I think I'm getting the hang of it. It's great for inking a path, which the Carbon Roller really needs now that it's lost the Seekers. I do like the Autobombs, though. I just wish I could get to grips with the normal flick. It doesn't seem quite as potent as before. Still lots to understand about the new environment.

After carelessly rolling under the last sight of the Splat Charger, I super-jump back and use an Autobomb for a fine splat, before heading towards the Splat Charger. He's probably a veteran, though, and obviously is expecting me. I can't be quite so blasé about these battles.

I come back to try to release the Rainmaker, but the Splat Charger is overlooking me. I retreat, having released an Ink Storm, and head around the side. The splat comes as a surprise, but it's nice to see the Ink Storm is more effective than the Sting Ray.

I hit the flank more cautiously, as the Splat Charger looks to still be around. An Autobomb here, another path up the wall there, and a Splat Bomb drops down on me. I avoid that, and as the Splat Charger is on the next level up, I use the vertical flick to beat an obvious but speedy advance, which happily lets me meet my squidmate with the Rainmaker.

I'm not convinced the Splat Charger could see my squiddy self, but there's no arguing the result. At least the Rainmaker reaches the ledge, and super-jumping back lands me safely. An Autobomb seems like a good idea, but the yellow inkling keeps his back towards me, and I don't turn away easy splats. The Rainmaker is burst free, and I look towards the podium. A couple of Autobombs and Rainmaker blasts, and the path ahead looks clear.

Sadly, the path ahead only looks clear, and the path behind isn't much better. But we have a pretty good lead now, and I don't panic super-jumping in to a Sting Ray. They don't do much. The Curling Bomb Rush is rather more worrying, and the yellow team grab the Rainmaker amongst an ink explosion and take it back to the middle of the Towers.

We recover the Rainmaker easily enough, and as my squidmates go one way I go the other, using an ink rail to get to, well, not quite where I expect. But I see an inkling on the ledge, and it's the Splat Charger trying to be sneaky. I'm happy to get this splat. I press forwards, and with some flicking and an Ink Storm, get the path to the podium relatively clear and inked.

Trying to keep the podium inked will only get me splatted, but we remain in a positive position. The Rainmaker is at the foot of the ramp leading to the podium, with squidmates available to super-jump to. We lose the Rainmaker once more, but, trying to shield myself from the Splat Charger, I burst it free again, and make a dash for the podium.

With a good helping of blue ink up to the podium, and the Splat Charger just a little bit behind where he wants to be, my dash gets me right to the podium. My first Rainmaker dunk under the new rules! Woomy!