The One Who Squats

First post of 2020! So…. errr……2020! Amirite? *laughtrack*

It’s hard to think this Blog’s been around for 6 years. I started it to kind of document my progress through the hobby, and I guess this continues to serve its purpose. At the height of my writing I was getting a lot of gaming in. These days, not so much. That’s ok, because priorities change. So… How do I provide a snapshot of the milestones in the life of Oak?

Since my last post even, so much has changed in the world it’s difficult to know where to begin.

Well, yeah, I suppose there was that whole pandemic thing that happened around March. It’s impacted everyone a bit differently, and frankly my household has been very fortunate in that both breadwinners remain employed and the biggest hurdle has been looking after our now 2 year old son who never stops moving, while also remaining employed. That’s meant getting the same amount of work done on a weekly basis in a matter of 3 days, and providing front-line childcare services with the remaining 3 days (while fending off clients and coworkers and making the best of regularly scheduled nap-times), and maybe getting a half day off on a Sunday afternoon if we’re feeling frisky. Even if we could go out (because lockdowns are a thing) we probably wouldn’t have had the time. That said, IT COULD HAVE BEEN MUCH WORSE.

(errrr… And I suppose it’s still going on so I shouldn’t be using the past-tense for fear of becoming complacent…)

Actually, 2020’s been great at demonstrating how disciplined I can be when I put my mind to it.

For example, the Mrs. had been on me for a while to be ‘more active’ in the winter months, and I guess i didn’t know what that meant, for literally the longest time. Eventually I guess I felt some conviction, likely as I went clothes shopping and nothing fit properly… But what to do…? Usually I would start something and it would just kind of… flop… for whatever reason. My running career started and stopped due to knee injuries, and no sports that ran through winter really appealed…

…and then there were those cheapy “PLANET FITNESS XL” gyms, which largely left you to your own devices, with those intimidating, dangerous looking dudes not-so-quietly hoarding the bench-presses and squat racks while you tried to figure out what you could do on a Lat pull-down machine. A routine would be made, and then some life changing event would derail my schedule, and I’d never go back after paying for 4 months of the membership without using the facility over the same period…

Since October 2019 or so I’ve been going to a crossfit gym instead. The class set-up worked perfectly with schedule keeping, the workouts were more than challenging enough to do me some good, and had a strong enough community to keep me coming back. More expensive, yes, but this is something I sunk my teeth into.

By January I had dropped 30 lbs, and at the time of the Pandemic and the gym closed, I had started putting it back on again (in a good way!). The pandemic would have been a perfect excuse to pack it in, and probably would have represented the speed-bump I needed to kick me out of my schedule but I rented some equipment, and had a program rigged to get me through until such a time as it re-opened. Now I am the danger. I am the one who squats.

It’s been good, and I think it’ll continue to be good. Considering I’ve never worked out like this before, I’m setting personal bests seemingly every week, but eventually it’ll kind of plateau a bit, and that’s when the real discipline will settle in. In about 6 weeks, I will have kept this up for a full calendar year. Crazy.

It should be noted these gains in discipline have been ramping up over the years, particularly since becoming a dad. With free time no longer being a luxury, I’ve been more careful as to how I spend it. I’m sleeping better (mostly) and not eating as much garbage as I used to. I’m reading more, and playing World of Warships less.

Where does the mini-wargaming hobby kind of fit in with all of this? Well, to be honest, it’s really taken a back seat for now. I’ll pick up a brush occasionally, but with the work/childcare situation there just hasn’t been an opportunity to get a (socially distanced) game in, and thus the motivation just hasn’t been there. 9th edition really couldn’t have come at a worse time in that respect, because it seems silly to run out and blow a bunch of cash on books and models that I won’t be able to use for an undefined period of time.

Anyways… This is a brief progress post, and i might follow up a bit with some painting and other stuff but… yeah… lets not get too far ahead of ourselves…

2019 – First Half Progress!

Every now and again I feel a bit down on myself, and there’s no one reason to point at necessarily. It’s one of those situations where the dark thoughts, while few, seem to stand against the many very good things that are going on around me. If this is the problem, I just need to allow myself to feel good about my accomplishments this year, and allow the weight of evidence to take over.

So – if you’ll oblige me – I’m going to get a jump start on my year end post where I’m always shocked at what I’ve accomplished throughout the year. For this post I’ll focus on the first 6 months of the year…

Continue reading “2019 – First Half Progress!”

Post-RTT After Action Report

Welp, I’ve had a few weeks to kind of sit back and consider what transpired on the 27th of July. Long story short, I went 1-2, and had a riot playing 3 games in one day.

This tournament was my first experience playing with the ITC format rules. I have to say, they were phenomenal. You never felt like you were completely out of the game, secondaries felt relevant and more or less balanced, and both Board Control and Damage Output/ Resilience were considered. I need to play more of these missions in order to get a better feel for them, but my initial impressions were over the moon.

The tournament roll was relatively small. Initially we had a group of 10 signed up, which dropped down to 8 on game-day.

For info on my list, you can see my previous post on my philosophy and methodology. I’ll try to provide a general breakdown of my opponents as we go. It should also be noted the tournament was comped to only allow for detachments from the same book. So Imperial / Chaos soups were on the sidelines.

BOX’O’TANKS – ready to roll out

Match One – Tyranids

Someone threw my Leviathan Tyranids back at me! The list was a smattering of everything, but featured a lot of the medium sized buggos, including 6 Hive Guard, 6 Venomthropes, and 6 Zoanies + Neurothrope, Warriors + Tyranid Prime, and a Brood Lord. Toss in a Mawloc, Trygon, Winged HiveTyrant (with Miasma Cannon), a Rupture-Cannon Tyrannofex, and a unit of 20+ Devourer Gants.

They were gorgeous, to boot.

On the secondary objectives I took Gang Buster, Big Game Hunter, and Old School. My opponent took Big Game Hunter, marked all of my Leman Russes for Death, and took oldschool as well.

The bugs seemed pretty keen in trying to win a mid-range shooting festival with the Imperial Guard, which doesn’t typically end well (and it didn’t). The Hammer of Sunderance put in some significant work, knocking out most of the venomthropes in the bug backfield, one-shotting the Mawloc, and nearly doing the same to the Hive Tyrant when he arrived. Honourable mention goes to the Hellhound in my list, who simply REFUSED TO DIE and nearly killed the Trygon without assistance on a round of overwatch and the shooting phase thereafter. Everything he had, I seemed to have an answer for.

On the bug side of things, those Hive Guard proved to be particularly murderous, knocking out my transports left and right, though notably lacking the range to really do any significant damage to my heavy armour in the backfield (and his secondary objectives, the Leman Russes). It took a few turns of plunking away, but eventually his Rupture-Cannoned Tyrannofex managed to blast the Leman Russ Punisher into pieces, but not before my Engineseer repaired about 5 hullpoints over that period…

In fairness to my opponent, we were playing the table wrong. With ITC terrain rules, any windows on the ground floor of the building are considered LoS blocking. We were playing true line of sight which really made his life difficult. In the end, we were both piling units on to the center of the table onto the objective, but it was the Guard who took the victory, largely aided by the secondary objectives. If I recall the final score wound up being 21-17 or something close to there…


I really struggle with the army composition of this one, but the long and short of it is that you’ve got yourself about 27×3 Plaguebearers, 30ish Bloodletters that could deep strike, apparently(?), 10×4 Blue Horrors, a pair of Demon Princes, and a bunch of (Greater?) Flamers of Tzeentch. Effectively, it’s a repurposing of the army I faced down in this battle report, including the same grizzled veteran of an opponent.

(aside: MY GOD WAS THAT BATTLE IN 2017?!?!)


For secondaries I opted to go for Reaper, Head Hunter, and Kingslayer. The Demons went with Engineers (selecting two units of plaguebearers), Ground Control and Recon.

Scout Sentinels: Boldly going where no Guardsman has any right to go.

From the Guard perspective, some very critical mistakes were made in the early going, not the least of which was allowing the Hellhound to get charged and completely surrounded by one unit of Plaguebearers, effectively preventing me from directing any kind of shooting attacks in its direction. I happened to park that Hellhound immediately adjacent a critical objective, and well, yeah. I lost the game 14-12.

Shit got real

That gaffe notwithstanding, I put out an absolutely withering fusilade into the demons, easily maxing out the Reaper within 2 turns, which is kind of shocking given how durable those units are (-2 ‘to hit’ debuff, 5++ invul w/ 5+++ FNP? GET OUTTA TOWN), and that I forgot that this little gem was a thing:


There was some typical Guardsmen-level ingenuity, wherein I led a final daring raid nabbing a Herald of Nurgle and controlling the center objective, which was great until my Valkyrie was dragged down by a Demon Prince of Khorne… Another regret of sorts is that I was hoping that taking Kingslayer would force my opponent to keep that Demon Prince away from my front lines, knowing he would be worth so much to me. That didn’t seem to be the case, and I might have been better off taking another objective that actually earned me points…

At any rate, tough army, tough opponent, narrow loss, amazing game. 2/2 in that respect!

On a side note, it’s hard to get more than 3 rounds in in 2.5 hours at 2,000 points, particularly with our armies constituted such as they were. That’s more feedback for the TO than anything…

Match Three – T’au

What I remember from this army is that it kind of turned around Longstrike and 3 more Ion Cannon Hammerhead gunships, but there was so much more than that… 2 Skyrays made for some truly staggering alpha-strike potential, particularly with all the marker light support, plus 3 Ghostkeels to keep everyone else honest. Some fire warriors were scattered around for screening purposes and fireblades because reasons. I think there were also a few battlesuit bodyguards kicking around to help keep Longstrike alive.

For secondaries, I took Marked for Death (hammerheads), Old School, and Big Game Hunter (those Ghostkeels qualified). The T’au picked up Marked for Death (Leman Russes), Big Game Hunter (everything else) and Recon.

Looking over my army list, my opponent noted, “If you survive the first turn, you might really do some damage…”


I seized the initiative. I was elated. The Hammer of Sunderance put in more work, splatting the first Hammerhead, while the rest of my army tried to focus down a ghostkeel at point blank range. Well, the ghostkeel lived but at least I took a nibble out of that damned hammerhead parking lot back there…

Photo taken after the hammerhead went *splat*.
Meanwhile I try to seize this flank, but the Ghostkeel (in cover) proved difficult to remove.

Of course it was then that I learned that the ghostkeel’s drones could be individually targeted, and my day got a bit easier.

*I exhale*. Well, I got some work done.


With overcharged Ion Cannons blazing, he knocked out 2.9 Leman Russes, and one of my Chimeras. The Hammer, which had proven so useful, was removed from the table for the first time all day, in the first turn.

In the end, the game was relatively close (I lost by 3 points, around 19-16?) but I had to really claw for every victory point, made significantly more difficult by the lack of any tools I had available. There were a lot more T’au on the table at the end of the match than there were Guard.

…and yes, that is a pikachu dice bag. I don’t judge.

In retrospect I might have done well to pick up “Butchers Bill” because there were quite a few smaller units (including detached gun drones, etc.) which would have qualified to pick up. I would have maxed out on that pretty quickly, whereas I only picked up 2 on Big Game Hunter and Marked for Death (if I had only taken Big Game Hunter, that would have been maxed b/c Marked units can’t qualify for BGH…). Something to consider for next tournament.

Final Thoughts

I had an amazing time. Three hotly contested games, with amazing opponents and plenty of memories to carry home with me.

I could certainly hope to optimize my list a little bit. The Leman Russes simply carried most of the burden for me, and felt very points efficient for the work they did. The artillery did well too, for the most part. I included them to keep my opponent honest when it comes to hiding badly damaged units. I might consider swapping out the Manticore for another Wyvern or Basilisk to achieve a bit more synergy but otherwise I have no complaints there…

I dunno, I’ll have to sit on this for a bit. The Guard felt right at home in this circuit, and with a bit more practice I figure I could do quite well with them!

Any tips? Comments? Hit me up below! Cheers!

2018 – Hobby in Review

Well, another year in the books.

What were my goals again?

Y’know what?  I’m not even going to set goals for next year, short of “Continue Enjoying the Hobby I Love.”   Anything else would set my expectations too high, and my morale would suffer whenever I come up short of them because of other stuff in my life is happening THAT I AM ALSO IMMENSELY PROUD OF.

On this basis, I’d say this past year was a rip-roaring success.  Those times I grabbed a paint brush were about as relaxing as things could be.  So, without further ado, time for me to cruise through my camera roll and see what I got done.

Continue reading “2018 – Hobby in Review”

Completed: Q2 & Q3 Catch-Up

As part of all my soul searching lately I’ve had an opportunity to identify issues with respect to my motivation.  Specifically on my workflow, I have a tendency to hit a speed bump and then WOOP I’d rather be off doing something else for a while rather than simply running straight through the problem.

So it follows that the speed bump for not posting more hobby progress is that I haven’t posted about hobby progress in a while…

…A-hyep, that’s how my brain works here folks…


Continue reading “Completed: Q2 & Q3 Catch-Up”