Friday, July 7, 2017

I Hate Myself: My Month of Xekaar - Final

Well, it is finally over - my month of Xekaar has come to an end. I'm not entirely sure of the total number of games played, I lost count around 18, and I'm sad to say I didn't manage to take pictures or do write ups for most of them. Herein I'll be discussing my afterthoughts given my poor showing at the WMW qualifier in Rochester; I went 2-2, though I don't think I can pin any of that on Xekaar, and one of them I feel like Xekaar would've pulled through if I had dropped him. But first, a quick rundown of my games...

The List!

Skorne Army - 75 / 75 points
(Xekaar 1) Beast Master Xekaar [+31]
 - Agonizer [6]
 - Basilisk Krea [7]
 - Titan Sentry [15]
 - Titan Sentry [15]
 - Titan Sentry [15]
 - Aptimus Marketh [5]
 Tyrant Zaadesh [4]
  - Cyclops Shaman [8]
  - Titan Gladiator [15]
 Paingiver Beast Handlers (max) [7]
 Paingiver Bloodrunners [9]

 Skorne Army - 75 / 75 points


So, I brought Xekaar (Duh) and Xerxis2, with the hope that X2 would be powerful enough to let me scrub through a match with him. Turns out I was wrong, but luckily I got that out of the way game 1...

Game 1: X2 vs Kallus2, battle of the Cav Casters.

This match felt weird, I'm so used to being able to out threaten everyone with X2 lists. 

Instead my opponent moved up fast and hard, posturing for scenario/alpha the next turn, and giving me a pretty pisspoor option for an alpha myself - Archidon and Hydra going in with sprays...

But fuck it, I popped feat and let slip the pterodactyls of war... Then after a few attacks I realized I didn't remember to actually use my feat. I remembered it on my next activation (the Hydra), but he just failed to drop the Scythean, leaving it on one box. I was hopeful the Gladiator and X2 being held back would be able to counter, and didn't think I'd lose the Hydra, Tibbers, and the Archidon...

I was pretty damned wrong.

But hey, live and lose... or I guess die and lose. I got a little more work in, but X wound up being killed the next turn. Womp wompppp...

I feel like Xekaar would've had way better game here. Round 2 I could've just ran into the center and feated, bricking hard and preventing any sort of retribution while also gutting Kallus' feat by just... well... being there anyway. Feels kinda shitty that I wished I had played Xekaar...

Game 2: Xekaar Vs Stryker1

At this point I'm just going to play Xekaar every game, because I need my reps with him in, y'know? So I brick up and start gunning for Stryker. His shooting does basically nothing on the approach.

Still, he's coming forward. Not entirely sure what he's going for, so I just rush as much stuff as I can and take the bait in front of me. It gets wrecked, I pop feat, and the Agonizer runs in to help the brick.

Stryker goes all in with a turn of melee, counter feating, and trying to dent my brick. It goes poorly.

At this point I'm actually debating which of his heavies I think are more worth killing first. I think I decide to scrap two defenders and leave Rowdy up.

He manages to drop a few sentries, while my gladiator and shaman package move in from the side. I wipe his army off the table.

Went exactly how I want a Xekaar game to go. My opponent thought he was playing an armor cracking list, and just couldn't crack the brick. Can't really say I know of anything that easily handles armor 26. Xerxis 1 maybe? I think you really just need to back up from it, though - in 2017 I think this is going to make Xekaar even more powerful, going for a scenario grab round 3.

Game 3: Xekaar VS... robot dude who has an armor feat?

This game made me really sad... It started pretty normally, with my brick running down the center, veering off a little to confront the Axiom. Blood runners are really just there on the right to jam up the TEP and screw with scenario, I expect zero work from them.

And hey, my opponent likewise moves up at me. I brick up in the cloud on the left there, and pop my feat. I'm in threat range of most of his jacks, and hoping I can bait them in.

Note: I have no models in the center, and this is top of 2. I am so screwed.

My opponent comes in, hard, and feats right back at me. He fails to take anything out, though. I throw out some Mortality and do a bunch of damage, despite my dice hating me. It is literally an impressive amount of damage coming out against his feat turn, and Mortality guts the healing. He's left with one functional jack where the action is.

Turns out that is really all he needs, though, as he comes in and wipes out the only sentry I got into the zone to contest. He dominates and goes to 5; I hate SR 2016.

This was seriously my game to lose. If I hadn't given up points round 2, I would've been fine. Hell, I'd taken out most of what he had that could even threaten my army post-feat. He had one functional jack, his caster, and the TEP. The next turn he'd lose all of his heavies and the Axiom, odds are good I could have pushed through and contested until I pulled a win out. Shitsux, Xekaar really did good by me this game though. My opponent wasn't playing the most solid of games, by his own admission, but he was a super fun guy to play against (he could've just ran his caster to the flag instead of going for the win that round). Sometimes it comes to dice, sometimes list selection, sometimes you just play a way worse game than you can get away with.

Round 4: Xekaar Vs Carver

This is a match I have way too much experience with... except this list is not anything I've ever seen before. That is a lot of guns and lights coming at me from across the table. I brick up under the Krea and move in.

Then my shit gets hit by the fury-adding cannons. Uhh... Yep. Frenzy all over my own brick. I move what I can activate and get into contesting positions. This is not good. I pop feat, hoping it will keep me alive while I have to play more forward with Zaadesh' group than I like.

My opponent stays back and keeps shooting. I throw a sentry out to get some work done in the middle.

He feats and takes out the sentry deep field, and does some damage to the rest of my army. I then manage to punch through a lot of his army in retaliation, getting a lot of work out of mortality and the sentries. He does manage to snag my flag for a few points, though.

I fight him off the flag and out of the center zone, I'm not scoring but he isn't either, and I'm way up on attrition. But Carver has a lane.

He comes in and... misses. And misses. And whiffs. Xekaar puts him down.

Holy hell did I not see the frenzy checks coming... that was brutal. Need to give the minion gunline more respect I guess. It was a super fun game, though, with my opponent dropping what he wanted to play, not what he thought was best. All in all, a silly match that I had a lot of fun during.


Xekaar with a sentry brick is... really good. I've been struggling to figure out an ADR pairing for the next season, wanting to ditch him, but this list has me thinking he'll stay. Good brick with decent armor cracking, great play in a centered scenario which seems fairly ubiquitous in SR 2017.  I'm going to be focusing on Morghoul3 as a pair for him, and have a few games in that I want to write up, but I'll wait until next week to do so as to not step on Xekaar's toes. 


After the tournament I played one more Xekaar match. This happened...

Xekaar managed to survive and counter assassinate, because the world is weird and cruel.

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