he charger likes that perch in Splat Zones [10(6)-4, Carbon Roller]

10th January 2018 – 7.00 pm

There's some nice to-and-fro for the Splat Zones, and I manage to keep myself inking for a decent amount of time. The E-litre 4K sets himself up on the obvious perch, overlooking the Splat Zones and without an easy route to him, and although an occasional Robot Chicken moves him a little, he's not going to be easy to splat. Before I worry more about that, though, I am reminded that my aim even with a Carbon Roller is as weak as the flick. I should have pointed down the slope more.

I win the battle of the Robot Chickens on my return, mostly because my opponent is in the Splat Zones and has more to worry about. I next try to counter a blue Ink Storm with a green one, but running in to the rain gets me splatted. At least a squidmate deals with the E-litre 4K responsible.

Our brief control of the Splat Zones is lost, and the blue team look to dominate us. I think we need to move that E-litre 4K, or at least get him looking around occasionally. I don't think I have the right weapon to get close without being spotted, but that's rarely stopped me from rushing aggressively forwards before.

My first rush on the E-litre 4K is excellent, even with setting off a tactical Ink Mine. Of course, the E-litre 4K goes right back to his perch, and when I see that I go back for seconds. My Robot Chicken beats me to it, though. I should pay more attention to names. I also need more practice at the jump-flick, or maybe just staying out of the Inkjet's exhaust.

I go back for the E-litre 4K, who will rue leaving those blotches of green ink untouched. A couple of splats later and we have captured the Splat Zones again and are looking to be in a good position. A minor Robot Chicken skirmish has my retreating, which is as good an opportunity as any to poke the E-litre 4K again, and even though I sit on the Ink Mine it's my flick that lets me down. Or the Carbon Roller's redesign, making the flick so weak. So it goes.

I sensibly don't hang around, but leave a Robot Chicken in my wake. I circle back and look to help out with inking the Splat Zones, but again the lack of ink in the Carbon Roller's flick is felt, as three flicks can't even splat the Aerospray. To cheer myself up, I go back for the E-litre 4K, and get the splat, but it needs two flicks again. Even though I'm frustrating a charger, this is almost as disappointing as the lack of UK localisation.

Another attempt to help out in the Splat Zones has my hitting an inkling solidly, but failing to get a splat. So it goes. I get another one eventually, maybe indicating I need to be much more careful with my aim, but I am soon overwhelmed by ink, as the blue team coasts to victory.

Keeping Flight grounded in Invisibility Splatfest [2041p, 8(2)-2, Splattershot Jr]

10th January 2018 – 7.00 am

A good bit of inking to start, aiming off the ramp for maximum ink distribution, and dropping down to meet the Flight team coming our way. One Splat Bomb pushes back the Squiffer and splats his squidmate, and activating my Ink Armour replenishes my tank for another Splat Bomb as the Squiffer advances again. Nice!

Pushing up with my squidmates meets blue resistance, but I seem to do alright, maybe because a squidmate or two takes the splat instead of me. I get a bit lucky with the Squiffer again, where a rolled Splat Bomb may have increased my chances, and again after that, as I serendipitously duck under his shot.

I turn back towards base, and see a blue inkling boldly inking up the ramps, but I leave him to it. My time is probably better spent holding turf closer to the middle. Or I could get splatted and cover the intruder's ink, as if that was part of my plan all along.

I am cautious coming down the final ramp, as my view is blocked, and I'm right to be. Almost the entire blue team is there! I clear a path with Splat Bombs, and work my way out, getting back to reclaim turf as the battle enters its last minute. A bit of jinking here and there keeps me out of the sights of one inkling, but I can't quite avoid the second whilst still a bit blue.

One last romp down the side, after a squidmate deals with the Aerospray, and two of us ink a nice patch of turf. I get to meet the Squiffer one last time, and activate my Ink Armour so I can pop out a final Splat Bomb. As the Judds inspect from on high, we've done enough. Woomy!

Keeping a green ship in Invisibility Splatfest [2105p, 11(5)-1, Splattershot Jr]

9th January 2018 – 7.00 pm

Keeping the high ground seems like a good idea on the Manta Maria, at least to start with. It's also a bit tricky to do that and advance, as going around the mast without dropping down gets you away from recovering ink, being on a grating. You can be sneaky and shinny up the mast for a bit, but it's all about making a claim on the turf early on.

All goes well as I stay above the deck, and only when I drop down do things get a bit hairy. It's not helped by running out of ink, but I spy a safe port and head towards a squidmate, where I regain my composure. My squidmate is splatted away, and I notice in time where the attacker is coming from, even if my escape manoeuvres take me towards another inkling.

That inkling runs from me, looking to hit us high, but I still have one on my tail. I drop a measured Splat Bomb to help with that, and turn back to make things green again. I stick to the middle of the ship, holding our turf, and pounce on an inkling when my Ink Armour protects me. I need it, as the Armour is shed and I am nearly a goner when one last shot splats my target.

The blue team start to come back with a minute to go, and I dance around the mast with a squidmate as neither of us quite knows where one of the Flight team went. Further back, it seems, to pull out a Curling Bomb Launcher. We weather that, before I give chase to an inkling neatly running to get behind us.

I am chased as I chase, but another well-timed Splat Bomb splats me chaser, as I catch my prey. But I catch him mid-Curling Bomb Rush, and there is exploding ink all around me. At least I get my splat too. With half a minute to go, we still hold the central turf and most of the blue team are splatted, letting us tidy up the blue mess near our base on our way back to the mast.

Another Curling Bomb Rush, in the dying seconds, could pose us problems, and my Splat Bomb doesn't stop it. I decide my best option is just to cover up the blue explosions as best I can and hope it will be enough. It is. Another victory!

Shifty rolling in Invisibility Splatfest [1726p, 8(2)-2, Carbon Roller]

9th January 2018 – 7.00 am

Time for some fun with the Carbon Roller, for varying definitions of 'fun'. The Carbon Roller can be great to roll with, but it really does require either a blank canvas, like at the start of a battle, or a good amount of your ink to squid around in for surprise splats. And those surprise splats come less frequently with the weakened flick, but that's a separate matter.

For Turf War, where you need to constantly reclaim inked turf, the Carbon Roller is a little weak, with its lack of projection. But that is mitigated somewhat by the improved vertical flick, the Ink Storm is a nice Special weapon to frustrate the opponents, and the robot chicken is just fun wherever.

Previous battles in this Splatfest have shown that being aggressively forwards with the Carbon Roller only gets me splatted, with little turf gain, so I deliberately hold back this time, with the intention of preventing blue ingression, and keeping what turf I can inked. I get bold occasionally too, rolling around the blue side after a nice splat on the Squiffer.

In general, though, getting close to blue inklings where there is an unhealthy amount of blue ink is too dangerous for me, as I can't escape quickly. My Autobombs do well to push inklings in one direction or another, which often drops their concentration from where they want to go, and the vertical flick can ink a path to move at a decent speed if I need to, which looks like it may be necessary as the blue team encroach on our turf with few seconds remaining.

I head away from the blue team, as my squidmates go towards them, and start rolling when it looks safe. From the map, it looks like my squidmates did a good job of pushing the blue team back, and I managed to roll a decent path on our side. In the end, it's a comfortable victory for us. Woomy!

It's all about inking in Invisibility Splatfest [2053p, 6(3)-4, Splattershot Jr]

8th January 2018 – 7.00 pm

Okay, shooters are for Splatfests, it seems, so I pick up my trusty Splattershot Jr, if only because I don't want to seem too trendy by equipping the Forge Splattershot Pro just yet. Maybe I should find Marie and get the Hero Shot Replica, though. It seems pretty nifty. Or maybe that other inkling is a better shot than me. But so it goes, and I get back to inking.

Splat Bombs are my friends, as is the ink efficiency of the Splattershot Jr. I can pretty much just keep on shooting, which it looks like we'll need to against the Flight team. And I do last quite a while on my second outing, only getting in to trouble when somewhat swarmed. My third outing is less successful, mostly from running headlong in to a Sploosh-o-matic. That's on me.

With a minute to go, our fresh green Track is starting to look a bit too blue. I take my strategy back to basics, and ink and move, ink and move. It's not about removing all traces of blue, it's about spreading green ink. it goes well until I run in to the middle, and two blue inklings. But our coverage looks healthy again, and there's still twenty seconds to go.

A last ink-and-move run around the bottom of the track, and a nice use of my ink tank to lob a final-second Splat Bomb, and victory is ours! I get a healthy individual score too, which is also good. Woomy!

Inking the Academy in Invisibility Splatfest [1833p, 11(3)-1, Tri-slosher]

7th January 2018 – 7.00 pm

Sticking with the bucket for now, and we're back in the Academy. Early inking in a safe zone is a straightforward start, and I use my Burst Bombs as minor threats when moving in to the more contested area. My sloshing the wall of the central structure is meant to get me up to the top, but I change my mind in case I've been seen, and jink to the side instead. Maybe it works, it's hard to say.

I provide moral support for a squidmate's splat before activating Ink Armour, which gets me a couple of assists as I try to work my way back up the ramp. Caution pays off, as I stay unsplatted, although a squidmate suffers from a bubble. The blue ink catches up with me eventually, but I've put in a good stint so far.

I pause as Tenta Missiles fly in, taking cover from some, inking over the mess one makes, before heading down our flank. I drop down on the far side, so as not to be spotted, and spy some ink flying as I come around the side. My appearance is well-timed, splatting the inkling there, and one super-jumping in. And, despite yet another poorly thrown Burst Bomb, I avoid attention from a third inkling, and splat him instead.

Things are looking pretty blue, though, so it's time to get some height and spread some invisible ink. Both Tri-slosher and Burst Bombs do this, and get me splats too. The only drawback to my enthusiastic inking is that my tank runs out. But that can always be refilled, and my squidmates are around for support when I need it.

A few bubbles are wafted over the Flight side of the Academy as the clock ticks down, and with good central coverage too, our victory is assured. Woomy!

Becoming less clear in Invisibility Splatfest [887p, 10(3)-2, Tri-slosher]

7th January 2018 – 7.00 am

I like the green bucket, and even though I'm not convinced it's the best choice for Turf Wars I'm sure I can at least be effective with it. Even so, our mixed-weapon group of invisibility inklings may be at a disadvantage to the all-shooter Flight team. Still, I make the best of the Tri-slosher at first sight of the opposition, getting some height and sloshing down, breaking through Ink Armour for the splat.

The inkling on the block is outside of my bucket's range, which I expertly spot and retreat briefly, but follow up to get closer, just as the inkling drops down. That suits me, as does two more inklings following behind. That'll do. And although I miss the Disruptor, I am getting used to the utility of the Burst Bombs.

I'm eventually splatted away by a well-thrown Splat Bomb, as my sloshes go a little awry, but the Academy looks nice and green, and we seem able to hold the territory well. Because of that, I take the opportunity to ink some edges before heading back to the centre.

I get a bit inky when encountering a couple of inklings in quick succession, but stay green, much like the turf, and as the battle has under thirty seconds to go everything looks quite cosy. But circumstances can change quickly. In the last fifteen seconds, we lose most of our team, letting the blue team run rampant at a crucial moment. I'm one of the splatted, and all I can do is look at the map.

It seems our lead is slipping away. It all looked so comfortable not too long ago! And we have lost, by a tiny margin. So it goes.

Splats around The Reef in Tower Control [22(1)-7, Tri-slosher]

6th January 2018 – 7.00 pm

My initial flank works quite well, but I really did have enough time to activate Ink Armour. So it goes. Surveying the situation on my return sees everything really quite orange. It's dangerous to rush in, so I measure circumstances briefly before moving. I get some nice splats, and help recover some turf. I also remember my Ink Armour. Nice!

My squidmates steal the lead, as I hit the flank, as an orange inkling protects the flank. I wouldn't say I react in time as much as the inkling runs in to my sloshes, which works for me. That lets me get behind the orange defence and help our push continue, but I am stopped when I don't see the Suction Bomb sitting where I try to activate my Ink Armour.

The orange team make a good push, but we are not rushed to defend, letting us be more measured. As the Tower starts moving back the way it came, I move forwards to claim some turf, and somehow come out on the right end of a splat against the Rapid Blaster. I must have been an ink drop away from being splatted, as the Slosher proves.

Heading in to orange territory is dangerous, and I'm not sure I should have lasted as long as I did. I also feel a bit skeevy about hiding under the ledge. In my defence, it was in defence, really having nowhere else to go, and I wasn't purposely hiding to ambush the inklings dropping down. That's not terribly sporting, and I try not to do it.

The orange team's next push is repelled, and I try to hold the centre turf, being somewhat aggressive in my sloshing. It's gone well so far, hence my increasingly aggressive posture, and it continues to pay off. The orange team have one last chance, pushing the battle in to extra time, but their support is splatted away, and then the inkling on the Tower, awarding us the victory. Woomy!

Sloshing around the edges in Tower Control [20(5)-7, Tri-slosher]

6th January 2018 – 7.00 am

Not a great Burst Bomb, straight in to the wall. Not great sloshing either, taking on the Slosher with my green bucket. I'm a little surprised we both got splatted. I hold back a bit as a result, which helps repel the first purple push, and only goes wrong when I get overly aggressive as our first push goes well. Ink Armour doesn't hold out for long.

I manage to stop the Tower on its return, although the Rapid Blaster is clearly expecting some ink falling on the Tower from above. It's worth the trade, although I still entirely dislike habitual jumpers. I stick with Burst Bombs from a distance in defence, and let my squidmates ride the Tower as I cover the purple ink that's come too far our way.

I push up again as the Tower moves ahead, and this time it works a bit better. The Ink Armour protects me from one hit, and a squidmate from another, and I manage to squid past the Rapid Blaster's shots. And despite being perhaps a little predictable, I get the splat, as well as getting the upper tentacle on the Slosher this time. He gets his own back pretty quickly, though.

I have a brush with an Octobrush, before working a different angle and getting sloshed again when trying to clear the Tower. My squidmates are still around to ride it in the right direction, though, and I come back to sweep up behind their push. Maybe battling with the Rapid Blaster is paying off too, as she ignores the Tower to concentrate on me, which seems like a mistake.

Well, it's a mistake by not making sure of my being splatted. When the Tower no longer can be ignored, I move on the flank and help splat the inklings away and keep the Tower moving. We advance our lead nicely, almost reaching the goal, but the concentration of purple ink picks up, and everyone is splatted away. Nearly everyone.

I hang around to cause a bit more trouble, which works nicely for a while. I'm finally splatted, but with fifteen seconds left and the purple team needing almost a knockout to win, we're in a comfortable position. Indeed, my squidmates re-take control of the Tower, and I have just enough time to super-jump back to enjoy the victory. Woomy!

Exploring the flanks of Starfish Mainstage in Splat Zones [16(4)-6, Tri-slosher]

5th January 2018 – 7.00 pm

Straight for the flank, and I spy my first target about to squid up a wall. Not bad! What is bad is walking right in to the laser sight of the Splat Charger, even if it's not what splats me. I can be smarter than this. I try to be a bit smarter, and get my Burst Bomb working on the opposite Tri-slosher, but then dumb myself down again and pop up just where she expects me to.

My squidmates do well to capture the Splat Zones at least. And with them being greenish (what is this colour?) I hit the flank again. I see a new path opportunity as I run across the grating and explore it, hoping to find the charger, which I do eventually. Or he finds me. But I've found a good way to get back here rather less obviously than crossing the stage.

I go back the same way, hoping to take some pressure off the Splat Zones, but find myself under pressure by just being there. I'm not convinced the Splat Charger knows I'm there, but the Splattershot must hear his ink hit something. Thankfully, the Splat Charger turns his attention back to the front, letting me pounce. Nice!

I go for another circuit, and am nearly successful again, but instead manage to squid right in front of a charger shot. So it goes. I hit the other flank next, and hope my Burst Bombs can reach the Splat Charger. Not quite, but maybe I can close the gap whilst his Sting Ray is active. Only just! It's not wise to run towards an active Sting Ray, and it's only because I hit with a closer-thrown Burst Bomb that I survive.

I learn from my earlier mistake when I don't manage to splat the Tri-slosher, and jink to the side rather than pursue head-on. This lets me survive, activate Ink Armour, and help ink the Splat Zones. I meet the Tri-slosher again and come out on top this time. Pushing past the Splat Zones completes the repeat of the start of the battle, though, with my running in to the Splat Charger's laser sight and the Splattershot's ink.

The left flank interests me again, and despite being spotted I get the drop, somewhat literally, on the Splat Charger. Ink Armour is helpful once again, as I jump in to the very orange Splat Zones in the midst of two inklings. A Burst Bomb weakens them, sloshes splat them, but the third inkling super-jumps in to slosh me back. A squidmate Splashes Down for instant revenge.

Pushing aggressively forwards helps to get a couple of splats and almost clear the Splat Zones to ink them safely, and we re-capture them briefly. But the orange team return and, with the Splat Charger applying some laser-sight pressure, manage to keep the Splat Zones orange enough to prevent us from battling in to extra time. Never mind, it was a good battle, and I explored the Mainstage a bit.