Defence and attack in Rainmaker [10(2)-7, Sploosh-o-matic]

17th February 2018 – 7.00 pm

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I wonder why that green inkling hasn't seemed to spot me, right up until he turns around to splat me. It shouldn't surprise me, I've done exactly the same thing before around that same corner to others. I don't make the same mistake when chasing the Roller, or when trying to engage the Splatling. I seem to be adapting.

Sending a Curling Bomb along with the Rainmaker works better than I imagined, catching an inkling trying to flank our carrier. I hold back in defence, but realise I'm not doing much good so move up to support. It's a bit late, but with a Splashdown available and the Rainmaker just sitting there, maybe it's an opportunity. Or maybe not.

I sit back, expecting the Rainmaker's shield to burst at any moment, and it takes longer than it should. I send a Curling Bomb up to try to catch whoever grabs the Rainmaker, but that turns out to be me. Well, best run for it, I suppose. I don't get far. But I won't let the green team get far either, and I suspect I know which way they are going to try next.

I tidy up all the green ink on and leading up to our podium, and fall backwards off the ledge to ink the block too. I bump in to the Rainmaker, where I expect it to be, and although I am splatted I manage to stop them. A bit more defence is required, and I'm splatted again by a suspiciously powerful Rapid Blaster. So it goes. At least the Rainmaker resets.

I get another go with the Rainmaker, and get about as far as before, and with a fresh start decide to hit the green team's flank. I don't have the Rainmaker yet, but it inks the turf for a quick run, if the green team don't notice. I make it to the podium, but the green team have the Rainmaker and are moving it. I had better catch up.

I move to intercept the Rainmaker, but they are retreating to use the ink rail again. I was closer before I dropped off the ledge! I don't catch up, but I disrupt the ink rail before they can jump to the ledge, so I stop them all the same. The Rainmaker resets, and the green team reclaim it. I move to stop the ink rail manoeuvre, but they go the floor route instead.

No problem, I catch up more easily, as they reach the choke point, and a Splashdown clears the way as they lose the Rainmaker. This is perfect. I burst the Rainmaker's shield and move to our ink rail, which is fiddly to activate with the Rainmaker, but my squidmates help out. And it's off to the ledge, which one green inkling foolishly hops off as I pause on the ink rail.

On to the ledge, and a little inkling gets me in sight of the podium. A bit of blasting splats one threat, but I encounter a surprising amount of resistance. But it doesn't matter. Our lead has greatly increased, and time runs out with us in control of the Rainmaker, to give us the victory. Woomy!

Low tide causes the problems in Salmon Run [29-27-18, 19/418]

17th February 2018 – 7.00 am

These wellies don't do much, but the Golden Egg wasn't really in a good place either. Otherwise, high tide in the fog doesn't cause too many problems. Sure, a Scrapper blocks my path, but that just stops me getting in to too much trouble. And the Drizzler somehow is splatted as it hides under its metal umbrella. And maybe using both Splashdowns is an overreaction, but it helps us boost our Golden Egg collection to a healthy level.

I've got the Splatterscope for the second wave, and with the first boss coming out of the inky green being a Steel Eel, I think I'll get the first splat. But the head slinks in front of the tail, and my shot is blocked. I then wait for the Maws to make an appearance, but it's not after me, and by the time it's found its target, I'm in a poor position. I get knocked in to the water. So it goes. I'm revived quickly.

I'm torn between two Drizzlers, but at least I get one, and then two Steel Eels. I have to manoeuvre to get a clean shot at one of them, but I pull to the right and end up just inking turf and trying to stay afloat. My squidmates are on the ball, at least, and we make it to the third wave.

All the conscientious inking I do at the end of the second is to nothing as the tide goes out. But I have the N-ZAP '85, which suits me nicely. I hold up a Scrapper whilst deflecting Drizzler missiles, which don't splat the Drizzler sadly, before teaming up with our Splatterscope to splat a Steelhead. The Splatterscope nearly gets eaten by a Maws afterwards, but jumps out of the way as it swallows my Splat Bomb.

The next Maws causes me more problems, as it refuses to stop to try to eat me, and as I'm trying to save my ink to roll a Splat Bomb in its mouth I can't also deal with the Flyfish nearby. And when Maws does pop up, I feel compelled to revive a squidmate first, which maybe I could have done second. Still, we both gang up on Maws to get that threat out of the way.

Now for the Flyfish. Or to throw a Splat Bomb wildly to the side of one. As another Maws sneaks under my feet. I move back to get on to more solid turf, and find another Maws hunting me, with more bosses wandering around. I don't have the ink for this, and a Splashdown would really help right now. I wonder what happened to them.

At least we've made quota, so it's more a matter of surviving than collecting more Golden Eggs. And we survive, pulling in a decent haul in the end. Maybe it could have been better, given the first two waves, but it's still a good result.

Curling out the splats in Rainmaker [20(2)-10, Sploosh-o-matic]

16th February 2018 – 7.00 pm

Look out, she's gonna blow! Nope, not fast enough, and we're already on a desperate defence as the pink team almost reach our podium. Not an ideal start. Getting caught out of range by the Splattershot isn't great either. I need to be smarter with the Sploosh-o-matic.

I try going around the back, and although it's slower going than desired, I find some inklings to surprise. I don't quite manage it with the Sploosh-o-matic, but the Splooshdown works for one inkling, and a Curling Bomb finishes the splat on another. I grab the Rainmaker and make a squid with it, using some caution to approach the choke point sensibly, which gets me further, but nowhere near to taking the lead.

It looks like we have good turf control, so super-jumping back should be okay. I launch a Curling Bomb as I land, which bounces off five walls and splats too inklings in the back. If only I trusted this piece of luck more, and didn't walk in to the line-of-splat so readily. Now it's starting to look messier. Messier still when I somehow fail to splat the Rainmaker carrier under my feet.

All our green ink is gone, but I get some revenge on the Rainmaker by splatting them nice and quickly, and follow-up with a second, letting me have another go carrying it. I try the side route this time, but I'm fooling no one. No one except my squidmates, unfortunately, and I simply give the pink team an easy route to our side of the Dome with our team nowhere near them.

I know the way the pink team are coming, though. One inkling runs backwards in to a Curling Bomb that I thought would hit nothing, and I press on to splat the Rainmaker, at the cost of being splat by its blast again. I still don't know what my squidmates are doing, but at least one is nearby to help defend. Sneaking around the side works for me again, getting a quad splat to help with the push.

I honestly don't know what keeps our Rainmaker from moving up. Maybe a pink inkling delayed them. It's a shame, as I help clear the way forwards, pretty much to the podium. Perhaps I needed to stay closer to the Rainmaker instead. As time runs out, the Rainmaker is close to the middle of the Dome, and is hotly contested.

We just about grab the Rainmaker to attempt a last-second comeback, but the pink team are there to end the battle in their favour.

Stinging bubbles in Tower Control [8(3)-1, Clash Blaster]

16th February 2018 – 7.00 am

It's a strong start by the yellow team, and admittedly a bit weak by me. It's my first battle of the evening, after a few days off, but that's no excuse. My aim's generally that bad. Still, I keep the Dualies at bay with my Clash Blaster on my return, and stick the Sploosh-o-matic in ink, and my squidmates are pushing the Tower forwards nicely.

I add a bit of pressure from right at the back thanks to the Sting Ray, and the yellow team being pushed back gets two of them huddled together nicely. We lose the Tower for a bit but regain control quickly enough, and we all work together to keep it moving forwards and keeping the yellow team off.

Another Sting Ray seems to be helping, but I realise mid-way through that I'm only hitting Bubbles. Doesn't hurt, though. My only regret is that I can't catch up with the Tower as it reaches the goal. Woomy!

Clash Blasting in Tower Control [9(1)-1, Clash Blaster]

15th February 2018 – 7.00 pm

I hit 30th level! That gives me access to the Clash Blaster, which I have been waiting to get my grubby little mitts on. Tower Control seems like a good place to test it out, so here we go, with my second battle with the weapon. That Splat Bomb throw is a nice opening move, although it drains a chunk of ink, but I seem to be safe, thanks to my squidmates, and my inability to squid on to the Tower.

I get on the Tower eventually, and start getting the Clash Blaster working. It doesn't hit too hard, but it fires quickly, which could be a bit distracting, and drops ink around the target's feet, potentially locking them in place. I don't need to aim too much either, although direct hits still do more damage.

My first Sting Ray is about as effective as my squidding on to the Tower, where I almost even get crushed by it. And when I do get back on to the Tower, Tenta Missiles force me off again immediately. It's not fair. At least there's enough blue ink to let me squid back on just as quickly. If only I didn't jump right in to the aim of the E-litre 4K in an attempt to apply some pressure.

The green team get the Tower back to the centre of the Towers, but take heavy losses doing so which lets us push it right back. A Sting Ray gets me a splat, the E-litre 4K panic-shoots at the Tower, and I use the last drop of ink to splat away another inkling. I move up to try to clear the path ahead, but before I know it the Tower has reached the goal.

That seems a shorter route than it used to be. I rather like the more prolonged battles, to be honest.

In the pink in Splat Zones [10-1, Custom Splattershot Jr]

15th February 2018 – 7.00 am

A fairly cautious approach keeps me unsplatted again, as the other inklings all battle rather more directly for the Splat Zones. My squidmates take the upper hand, which lets me sneak in around the side and start causing my own disruption, helped by an Ink Storm. That incomplete patch of ink up the central structure is a blessing in disguise too, as jinking right lets me pop up in a better position to surprise the inkling up there.

I beat a useful retreat as the green team makes a return, but they come from different angles, and, with an Inkjet, different heights, and I am splatted away. My Chicken Bomb takes revenge immediately, which is good. Now we must battle back. I decide to hit the flank, and to do so drawing as little attention as possible. I think I succeed until I get close enough that it doesn't matter.

It's probably a bit dangerous to wander in to the fully green Splat Zones, so I lurk at the edge, and head back to see if I can surprise anyone chasing me. Well, they're maybe not chasing me, and it's a bit risky, but stopping the Curling Bomb Rush is a good result. And my support is here now, and we take back the Splat Zones.

I get my Chicken Bombs working for me again, and use the environment to my advantage. I get a bit lucky when interrupting another Curling Bomb Rush, and luckier still that the other inkling decides to avoid me. Another drop of ink would have splatted me for sure. We retake the lead and put ourselves in a strong position.

A squidmate has my back, preventing a splatting, and I try to repay that by keeping as much of the Splat Zones purple for as long as possible. If we lose control, we'll be hit with a buffer to work through. But the Splat Zones keep a purple hue, I chase inklings and harass them with Chicken Bombs, and let an Ink Storm rain over the Splat Zones.

The moment comes when we're back in sync, and we capture the Splat Zones again. The last two points are knocked off our counter, and we win the victory. Woomy!

Applying pressure in Splat Zones [11(3)-3, Custom Splattershot Jr]

14th February 2018 – 7.00 pm

That charger's going to cause us problems, if we don't discourage him from staying on that perch. It's a good thing I have Chicken Bombs! The first one I throw seems to have been dodge, but as I throw another the charger is splatted. Those are tenacious little buggers. That takes off some pressure, and the Splat Zones are a nice shade of purple.

Pushing forwards to engage an Inkjet, which a squidmate splats, gives me the chance to ink the walls a bit. I know it doesn't count for anything, but the added mobility could get us out of tight spots. And I see the Splat Charger is back, having pulled out a Sting Ray. The good thing about Sting Rays is that you can't move whilst firing them, which is just great for lobbing a Chicken Bomb their way. They have to stop firing and move, or get splatted. And stop firing.

But the Sting Ray was threat enough to clear the Splat Zones and let the orange team capture them, but that's fine. We turn them purple again. The charger's back, I see. A squidmate deals with him with a Splattershot, which works, but he comes back soon enough. As he comes back, so does the rest of the team, and I am caught in a nasty crossfire, although I manage to launch my Ink Storm first.

I approach the Splat Zones with caution, which helps me survive and ink turf for a little while, but I am again caught when multiple orange inklings are around. My next outing is shorter again, but I splat the charger with a Chicken Bomb and stop a Curling Bomb Rush in progress, which is worth the splatting. Or would be, if it stopped the Splat Zones turning orange. So it goes.

The Splat Zones turn purple again soon enough, and I return to add my ink. My range isn't great, though, and have to push up to be more useful. Our Roller splats the Inkjet, at least, which takes away some pressure, and my Ink Storm charges to make it awkward for the orange team. And as they are super-jumping in, I think they are feeling the pressure.

The rush for the orange team to get ink in to the Splat Zones forces some errors, and we hold the Splat Zones quite comfortably. The only real threat to come close is a Splashdown that misses its mark, and by the time that ends our victory is assured. Woomy!

Hitting back at the green team in Splat Zones [10(6)-7, Custom Splattershot Jr]

14th February 2018 – 7.00 am

There's no rush to get to the Splat Zones. Too much happens at once for it to be useful. And you can let the other team grab the Splat Zones if it means it concentrates them in a small area. In this case, my squidmates' keen natures lets us split the Splat Zones to start with, and my late arrival helps add a bit of pressure to capture the green one. For a few seconds, anyway.

I refuse to super-jump back in to probable danger, so I take the slow route. It lets the green team steal the Splat Zones and the lead, but at least I can contribute ink that isn't a puddle of green. The green team have pushed up, though. That works against the surprise Splattershot, but it gives the Rapid Blaster more time to splat me. Just when I had a second Ink Storm ready.

I hit the other flank next, for a change of scenery, and hopefully a chance of staying safe for longer on this more sheltered side. I loose an Ink Storm, and hold a central position for a while, but only until the green team return. I wonder where they were. But back to the more contested side, where the ink is needed, and I sneak my way in to green territory to cause a little disruption.

The green team are getting close to winning, but we can't panic. If we rush in, we will likely get splatted, so we have to concede some more points and take a measured approach. A Chicken Bomb splats one inkling, and with my squidmates pushing up we have a good opportunity to turn turf orange. This at least gives the green team a buffer to think about.

With a minute to, circumstances don't look favourable. My ink doesn't manage to splat the Herobrush Replica, for some reason, and chasing him finds a second inkling to double my problems, and our lack of presence lets the green team capture the Splat Zones. We just about manage to steal the Splat Zones back with twenty seconds left on the clock, but is it enough time?

We dodge a Splashdown, and I just about avoid falling off the ship as I do, and the Splat Zones stay orange as the battle enters extra time. This is tricky, as we can't sit back and merely ink the Splat Zones, but being aggressive could be costly if we're splatted. Thankfully, the aggressive tactic works, and I have the sense to move Tenta Missiles away from the Splat Zones.

I fall victim to the Rapid Blaster, but my squidmates hold fast, and as I'm splatted back to our base we snatch victory from the green team. Woomy!

3 seconds to Salmon Run [28-17-28, 10/571]

13th February 2018 – 7.00 pm

Hey, those three names have something in common. I hope I'm not going to embarrass myself in front of a cohesive group. I don't think I will with the Sploosh-o-matic, and I show off how I know how to easily ink a path up a wall before the wave starts. All good so far! I'm surprised they stop the Scrapper early, but they also do a good job of turning it around. More Golden Eggs for us!

I take the initiative against a Stinger, and try to balance collecting eggs with splatting bosses, but I don't think my contribution is going to decide much here. Everything goes along without too much trouble, and we move in to the second wave. High tide this time, so I make sure as many walls and edges are inked as possible. We could need them.

A couple of Steel Eels are splatted simply enough, and although a Flyfish and Steelhead appear on the end of the grating, my squidmates splat them like they were Chum. I simply clear up a bit behind them. I get diverted on my way back by a Scrapper, which doesn't faze me, but I get a bit flustered when a couple of Flyfish mix with a Drizzler and I don't have ink for either. I don't last long.

I redeem myself soon enough, reviving my squidmates who have also been caught by drizzle, bottle rockets, or the Steelhead's bomb. It is getting a bit sticky. But we meet quota and pull through, although it did get close at times. Now the tide goes out, and I have Splat Dualies. I'm a bit ineffective to start with, as we trip over each other to splat bosses and collect eggs, but as the pace builds up I start to become useful.

As a Maws tries to eat me, whilst I'm preparing to throw bombs at a Flyfish, I decide a Splashdown would ease the pressure. If I time it right, I can splat the Maws as well as clear away some salmonids. It was a good plan, which would have worked better had I not been jumping over water as I activate the Splashdown. I'm also disappointed that I don't even make a splash.

The wave is coming to a close, and I see a Flyfish about to become a menace. I check behind me. It looks busy, but manageable, so I make the executive decision to deal with the Flyfish myself. It goes well, ignoring the aiming markers to recharge my ink, and I splat the Flyfish in one cycle. Good job, me! But what I haven't realised is what happened behind me.

I don't know what happened behind me, I wasn't looking, but it didn't take long for all three of my squidmates to be splatted. This wouldn't be so bad if I had some ink, or a Splashdown, or didn't have a Steelhead cutting me off from the mainland. I try to make some space for myself, knowing we are seconds away from completing the run, but I realise our collective plight too late, and the salmonids sense it.

So close to a successful run, and with a very healthy tally of Golden Eggs. There's probably a lesson to be learnt here.

Second ever S+ battle goes well in Splat Zones [7-0, Custom Splattershot Jr]

13th February 2018 – 7.00 am

I have never been S+ before. My first battle doesn't go so well, going an inkling down, but I was encouraged by what I saw. I'm sticking with the Custom Splattershot Jr for its utility, and will try not to rush in to situations recklessly, which is pretty much what got me to S+. Why change it?

A Chicken Bomb catches an inkling unawares, and my first Ink Storm gets another inkling wet. That takes enough pressure off the Splat Zones for me to get a direct splat with the Splattershot Jr, and move forwards to catch a landing super-jumper. I retreat after that, showing a bit of caution and responsibility to protect the Splat Zones.

Hiding from the Inkjet seems sensible, and I use the opportunity to throw a Chicken Bomb or two, and another charged Ink Storm. That gets me another splat, and another chance to push forwards a bit. I meet another inkling, and get a couple of hits, but wisely don't chase her as she retreats. I throw a Chicken Bomb her way instead.

It stays quiet in the Splat Zones for a bit. That lets me find approaching inklings and apply some pressure with Chicken Bombs. They seem to do a better job than Splat Bombs at keeping inklings on their toes. And my plan to hang back and take care of the Splat Zones seems to be working nicely.

Before I know it, we're about to win the knockout victory. I think my first S+ win deserves a little celebration. Woomy!