Helping out in the Splat Zones [13(3)-4, Custom Splattershot Jr]

12th February 2018 – 7.00 pm

Things get orange quickly in the Splat Zones, and I don't really want to get splatted for no reason. I hold back a bit instead, biding my time, and doing that finds me opportunity in the form of an Ink Storm. That gets the orange team's attention, and although I'm caught in a pincer movement, the Curling Bomb Rush inkling behind me looks to panic and squids through a grate, whilst my Ink Storm ahead of me gets a splat.

The balance has shifted in our favour, and I use it to get behind the Splat Zones and finish inking what my Ink Storm started. The orange team come back, of course, but some combined ink efforts splat most of them away again and keep the Splat Zones purple. I run out of ink briefly, but I find heading back to base replenishes my tank.

I'm not super-jumping in to the Splat Zones. But I will ink a bigger path around the right flank for us. That charges my Ink Storm, which I use when I hit the orange team's flank, and manage not to make the same mistake the Curling Bomb Rusher did earlier. Instead, I move forwards, away from the attention of the Ink Jet, and add more ink to the Storm to splat the Aerospray.

Avoiding some Tenta Missiles finds me a super-jumper to splat, for which I'm grateful, but the rest of the orange team think less of this. So it goes. Everything is getting a bit too orange on our side of the Mainstage, which will require some manoeuvring to get through safely. I choose my side, and hear an inkling coming. Not on my watch, mister! And I think the Splattershot runs out of ink like I did earlier. But she regains just enough to splat me back.

We recapture the Splat Zones, so it's time to tidy up a bit. And we lose the Splat Zones, so I'd better move forwards. But I wait for a handy Ink Storm to provide some cover, which helps nicely. Pushing up to make it difficult for the orange team to advance turns the tables on them nicely, although we still have to watch our flanks.

We keep the Splat Zones captured for long enough to repel flanking attempts from both sides, and although I am splatted at the end, the knockout victory is ours. Woomy!

Awkward last wave in Salmon Run [22-28-19, 23/567]

12th February 2018 – 7.00 am

Uh-oh, dark skies. At least at the Spawning Grounds we can rush to the low-tide area, and not have to wait for the cannon on top of the rusted ship in Marooner's Bay to pop up. And the cannons do pop up. Cohocks! I'll hop in a cannon and wreak havoc! As will two of my squidmates. Okay, I'll hop out and go on Golden Egg-collecting duty, lest we fail the wave.

Maws choosing to pop up right in front of the cannon is unfortunate for Maws, but not for us. That, plus the Scrapper, gives us a nice little haul of Golden Eggs to quickly pop in to the basket, before heading further afield to collect some strays. A pretty successful Cohock wave, I would say.

Splat Dualies at high tide next. That'll do. I make my signature backwards fall in to the water, whilst we deal with wave after wave of Steelheads. After a while, it's nice to see a Maws, Scrapper, and Steel Eel, if just for the change. We deal with everything pretty smoothly, high tide keeping the Golden Eggs close, although my being splatted late in the wave, using a probably unnecessary Splashdown, and not getting my Golden Egg back to the basket could have worked out better.

Low tide again, and with the Mini-splatling. The opening Stinger is easy pickings, and the Flyfish that follows is close enough to not cause problems. But then it's right across to the other side for another Flyfish and Steelhead, which wouldn't be so bad if I didn't have some Smallfry smacking me with a spoon.

I think I thought I had the Sting Ray when I use my next Splashdown. As such, it's not very effective. But I've escaped the Smallfry, which I suppose is something. It's less embarrassing to be splatted by one of several bosses all targeting you. But after the apparent ease of the first two waves, we are now getting overwhelmed.

Three Stingers appear, on two different parts of the coast, and that Steelhead is still loping along. Who's got the charger anyway? But we just about scrape together enough Golden Eggs to make quota, and the low-tide gives us the room to run away for the last few seconds to survive the wave. It could have gone better, but it's another successful Salmon Run.

Down to three in Salmon Run [19-20-14, 14/600]

11th February 2018 – 7.00 pm

I haven't used a Mini-splatling for a while. I quite enjoyed it before, so I should be okay with it in Salmon Run. And things start okay, until I line up the rear of a Scrapper, and get bumped in to the high tide. How embarrassing. I get splatted again soon, but after I make a good throw to get a Splat Bomb in to a Flyfish launcher. Sticking the landing would have helped.

Between splatting the Maws and trying to avoid the Steel Eel, we've lost a squidmate. Dunno what happened to them, but it helps with our current quota. I'm not sure what it will do to our chances of survival, though, and just when another Flyfish turns up at the end of the grating. Walking backwards in to water again doesn't help either. But some Golden Eggs next to the basket and the first wave finishing does help.

Splat Dualies and low tide, but with three inklings. Sure, we don't need to collect as many Golden Eggs, but I don't think the number of bosses is reduced. I think we could use both the extra firepower, and the extra body for the bosses to aim for. But let's see how it goes. It's not a great start when my squidmates are nowhere to be seen as the first two bosses appear, though.

I could really use more ink against Cohocks, which makes it tough to get close to the Flyfish. But a Maws comes close, which is a nice distraction, and when those eggs are collected the route to the Flyfish is clear. Another Maws appears, and I nearly roll a Splat Bomb its way, but instead decide to lure it closer to the basket. That kinda works, but getting chased by a Steel Eel hinders further progress.

I break out my Sting Ray to counter the Stinger and Steelhead, although I think a squidmate splats the Steelhead, and finish the Steel Eel as another one turns up with a Stinger buddy. It's all go. We've made quota quite easily, with all these bosses around, so again it's a matter of survival, such are three-inkling runs.

Medium-tide sloshing doesn't go too badly, but I have trouble with ink efficiency. The Steelhead's appearance proves tricky, and it's only thanks to a squidmate's Splat Bomb Rush that we get to keep going. I get a bit of luck when falling off a wall to avoid the Steelhead's bomb, bumping in to a splatted squidmate. I don't make it back to the basket unscathed, but the squidmate I revived does, which is good.

With only ten seconds left, it again comes down to surviving. One squidmate manages this, as the other two of us waddle around in rubber rings. But we made it, we completed the Salmon Run!

Always on the back foot in Tower Control [11-5, Hero Charger Replica]

11th February 2018 – 7.00 am

I don't see that blue squid hit our right flank until his ink is hitting me, but I somehow manage to get clear. The same can't be said for my squidmate who is splatted by a Robo Chicken. I also manage to turn a poor position around quite well, avoiding the Sting Ray to get one splat, clearing the Tower of a squid with a second splat, and riding the Tower all the way back to the first checkpoint.

I lose my support along the way, but the team did well to get us this far. The blue team push back, of course, which I stop temporarily with another splat on the Tower. But everything is looking very blue already, and there aren't many angles we can pursue without being in dangerous turf. I take the safest route for a charger and head down the Tower's path.

Avoiding a splat from the Rapid Blaster is a good result, and dodging the Sting Ray lets me clear the Tower again and have another ride. No additional progress is made, thanks to some well-timed Tenta Missiles, and trying to get the Tower back has my squidding right under a Splashdown with little I can do about it.

The Tower continues to trundle on, and I move to intercept, using the stored-charge technique that is taking me a little getting used to. But I clear the Tower and start moving it back the other way. We can't get past the blue-held central column, though. Not even a battle of Sting Rays helps, although I think we won that little battle.

I am distracted by an inkling trying to get behind us again, but am reminded of the Tower when a Sting Ray swings wildly around, like a less threatening salmonid Stinger. I move to the Tower and try to clear it again, being less successful this time with both aimed shots and dropped Splat Bombs. Resorting to wild uncharged shooting works.

But despite clearing the Tower and jumping on, and splatting the Rapid Blaster's Splat Bomb Rush with my own Splat Bomb, Tenta Missiles force me off the Tower with seconds left in the battle. And, I note, the rest of my squidmates splatted. I join them soon after, and the blue team claim the Tower and the victory.

We survived Grillers in Salmon Run [16-13-28, 11/614]

10th February 2018 – 7.00 pm

It's a good start to the run, using my Rapid Blaster to splat a Steelhead. Everything feels quite relaxed for a while too. In fact, I take a lie down, on a grate. In to the water. Now it feels a bit more tense, and with salmonid bosses piling up around us. But I've learnt not to panic facing Flyfish, as their missiles take a while to reach you, and I recharge my tank to lob a Splat Bomb its way before grabbing a Golden Egg and moving on.

I divert from joining my squidmates to splat the Stinger before it causes any problems, and pause on my way back for a Flyfish. But with ten seconds left in the wave, I realise I'm wasting my time, and simply head back to drop off my Golden Egg. I get the Tri-slosher for the second wave, which is good. But the skies are darkening. What are we getting? Ah balls, Grillers!

I'm not sure I've survived a Griller wave, at least not at all recently. But I've been wiped out by them enough to have a good idea of what to do and what not to do. With my bucket, I'm probably best served taking care of the smallfry when I can, so my squidmates with their more appropriate weapons can splat the Grillers. It seems to work quite well. We make quota with a few seconds to go, and then it's just down to survival, which we all manage. Woomy!

I've got the Heavy Splatling for the third wave, at low tide. I should be okay. Even with the first Flyfish facing the wrong way, I still get my Splat Bomb in its launcher. Not too shabby! I also sensibly wait for the Scrapper to reach the basket before inking it, and send a Drizzler's missile straight back at it.

My confidence guides me to the edge of the jetties, jumping behind a Scrapper. A cry for help catches my attention, but I think splatting the two Stingers is probably a better use of my time. Of course, I am somewhat isolated where I am, and nearly get caught out, but just about manage to squeeze my way past the boss salmonids to get back to the basket.

The Steelhead seems strangely impervious to my Sting Ray, but we seem to have everything under control. Indeed, we collect a bumper lot of Golden Eggs in the third wave, and finish the Salmon Run quite comfortably. Woomy!

Where's the support in Tower Control [9(2)-3, Hero Charger Replica]

10th February 2018 – 7.00 am

I miss that Octobrush by a small margin, which isn't a bad shot but is disappointing, because they run so quickly it would have been good to splat him whilst thinking he's hidden. The next shot is sweet, catching the inkling in the ink. And although I miss the inkling on the Tower, I catch the Octobrush's feet sticking out around the corner.

I catch up to help clear the Tower, and get a flukey assist when trying just to ink. The Sting Ray helps clear the path ahead for squidmates to push, but when the Dualies miss my backwards squidding I should have retreated further, and not try to get cute with a Splat Bomb.

We just miss stealing the lead, and I don't think I quite spot at the time the tiny puddle of ink where an intruder is hiding. But he stays there, so it probably doesn't matter. The green team push and increase their lead, as I don't get in to the best position to defend. But we stop the push, the Tower comes back our way, and I do my best Maws impression to headbutt an inkling to splat him.

My next Sting Ray hits nothing, and I probably could have spent another second looking for targets. Once again, the Tower comes our way, and I am left trying to splat the inklings off it at closer range than I ought. I'm wondering where my support is, the shooters that can do this better. And even though I get one splat, the Hamster Ball is not Kraken-like in its untouchable riding.

I finally try to hop on to the Tower to drop a Splat Bomb, but I end up being caught by green ink on the sides, and green ink being splashed at me. And as an Inkjet bobs up and down to frustrate my aim, the Jet Squelcher takes advantage of a stationary target to splat me away, as the Tower rides to the goal.

At least I find out that we lost of Dualies early on, hence the change in tide. It did feel like we didn't have enough ink.

And some are good people in Front Rolling Splatfest [1560p, 5(2)-2, Sploosh-o-matic]

9th February 2018 – 7.00 pm

I am Queen of Toilet Roll. It has been a long Splatfest of battling my own kind. So when I see a temporary truce being called, and thanks to my terrible aim missing the emissary, I am happy to take some time for myself. Battling can wait. But not everyone feels this way. That's fair enough.

Back to battling as usual, holding the high turf, where we have good visibility of incursions on all sides. And of the prancing inkling coming towards me. She's splatted with no ceremony. Much like me, when I get too close to an approaching Hamster Ball.

I tidy up a bit on my return, but there's my friend again! She's made it to our side and is holding in a puddle. I'm happy to dance a little with her, and don't fully compromise my squidmates by lobbing the occasional Curling Bomb in to the centre. But it doesn't last.

I almost splat the Aerospray coming for me, and when fall and am chased, I fully think my Splashdown is charged. I survive longer than I expect, despite this, and my Splashdown does charge, but just a little late.

More turf to be inked. But with a few seconds left, my happy little companion reappears. I am nearly ambushed this time, but I survive the last second by activating my Splashdown, knowing it won't splat anyone once the time runs out. It's a fitting way to end the battle.

Sure, the turquoise inkling didn't help her team and pretty much threw the battle away. But she really lifted my spirits after a long evening of battling, and for that I am thankful.

Lucky splats in Front Rolling Splatfest [1108p, 10-2, Sploosh-o-matic]

9th February 2018 – 7.00 am

Front-rollers versus front-rollers again. But this time, the ping is with me. I'm not the one seemingly getting hit with a splotch of ink and inksploding, and everything seems fair from my side. I can only imagine that some of the inklings I splat are seeing it differently. I feel for them, as I've had a bunch of battles that look unfair from my side. But I'm also enjoying that I feel competent at last. If you ignore that first Splashdown, anyway.

Facing Aerosprays head-on, and surviving that and a couple of flicks from a Inkbrush, whilst my Sploosh-o-matic squirts the drop that splats back as I'm turning to gain range. This is going very well indeed. Even hitting my head as I jump for the second Splashdown doesn't get me splatted.

I eventually am overwhelmed by purple ink, when two or three inklings converge on me. It was bound to happen. But I'm still feeling invulnerable enough that I rush back to have almost the same thing happen immediately. That was a bit reckless.

It looks like we're in danger of losing the battle too, and there's not much time left to make a difference. I try to surge out of our base to ink and squid, ink and squid, but a Hamster Ball holds me up, then the Inkbrush makes an appearance, and I don't want to get recklessly splatted again.

In the end, not even all those splats made the difference. But so goes Turf War, where the last minute can be more important than the previous two.

End on a bang in Front Rolling Splatfest [1883p, 11(2)-1, Sploosh-o-matich]

8th February 2018 – 7.00 pm

I'm back for more Splatfest fun, and back with the Sploosh-o-matic. And the back-rollers are making another appearance. Maybe they only come out at night. Either way, we're at Musselforge Fitness, and with the central raised area I'm wondering if holding that is as important as in other maps. Maybe, maybe not. It's a bigger arena than the Pump Track, so more can slip by, although it is surprisingly similar to the Shipyard. I rush to the centre and try to stake a claim, to see what happens.

All goes well, as I help to hold the central turf and try to monitor the edges. This isn't a time to super-jump around to Splashdown on some unwary inkling, but I do use the Special to get myself out of a tight spot. It helps for a few seconds, at least.

A bit of filling in the gaps, and it's back to the centre. This does seem quite effective as a strategy. I'm sure a charger on the other team, or a bit of coordination, could oust us from the middle turf, shifting the power, but that doesn't seem to be happening.

I ink around the edges a bit more, and can't resist using my Splashdown with a super-jump. It goes well. More inking and a couple of splats even recharges the Special as the battle draws to a close. I just about have time to pick a new super-jump target and land with a bang. Nice!

Rare back-roll battle in Front Rolling Splatfest [2275p, 4(2)-1, Custom Splattershot Jr]

8th February 2018 – 7.00 am

Hey, it's the mythical back-rollers! Hopefully I can add a positive win to our righteous Splatfest. As it's Turf War, there isn't as much direct engagement either required or desired, and lots of inking of turf. But sometimes to ink the turf, you need to displace the occasional inkling. I'm okay with that.

I get a bit lucky in avoiding the Splashdown, and move on to see a Splat Charger and Heavy Splatling holding their side of the Canal. It's a smart move. You only need to hold half the turf to win, so use your long-range weapons to keep inklings away from your side, and send the short-range weapons out to tip the balance. I've done it myself.

Those two present a problem. Not one I can solve head-on, but the occasional Robo Chicken should shift their attention, and an Ink Storm sent their way should get them to move. In-between attempts to move or splat them, there's plenty more inking to be done.

With good application of inky pressure, we get to ink the low turf around the back-rollers' base, which gives us a good advantage in the latter parts of the battle. I get lucky in a few encounters too, as well as against the Sting Ray.

I really push my luck as the battle comes to a close, which gets me splatted. But we hold most of the turf, and a battle that actually counts in this Splatfest is won. Woomy!