Tau Codex Review: Kroot

It’s been a little while in our discussions, but finally I can get back to the final piece of the Tau troop slot puzzle: Kroot Carnivores. In the previous codex they were speedbumps whose entire existence was to soak up a single charge, fail morale, and let your Tau units shoot the enemy to death at point-blank range. You weren’t allowed to take ALL Kroot because of those 1+ FW units, but they were essentially your only real choice. With the new codex this has changed a lot- Kroot’s statline and gear are different, Fire Warriors are more useful, allies are present, and many other factors as well. However, despite the changes to the overall environment, Kroot still make a solid play for a primary troops choice for many Tau armies.

The Basics
So, for slightly more than a Guardsman each, Kroot come with essentially the same statline, 6+ armor, and no sergeant. However, they do get Infiltrate, Stealth (Forests), and Move Through Cover, all pretty relevant abilities- while their armor save may be kinda balls, a distinct problem in an environment where Ignores Cover is more common by the day, not ALL weapons will be able to bypass it and their cover save can end up being quite high in many situations. They also come with WS4 and Kroot Rifles (Bolters with AP6, basically) that let them cut through GEQs in close combat.

Don’t be fooled, though- despite attempting to convince you that Kroot are a melee unit through abilities and fluff, they are pretty distinctly bad at the role- in fact, they will lose to units of GEQs pretty regularly despite their higher WS and ignoring saves because of their own almost-ignorable saves and lack of grenades or other mitigating factors. Losing S4 was a major blow to Kroot in terms of their melee viability, but really we shouldn’t be too sad about this- they can’t assault out of reserve anymore, so there’s no temptation to do anything but make the smart choice and Rapid Fire their target down.

As a troops choice with deployment options, Kroot are excellent for grabbing uniquely-placed objectives, such as distant ones near board edges, the Relic, etc, as they are often able to get to these objectives much more quickly and safely than other Tau units- and if they die, no big deal; even large Kroot units are relatively cheap in most cases. Though you will almost never see them, a vanilla squad of Kroot is actually not that bad a deal for just grabbing an objective somewhere.

The biggest issue with Kroot tends to be their morale- with only Ld7 and weak saves, it does not take much at all for them to break and run, and their distant position tends to preclude the assistance of an Ethereal or other character. It is for this reason that your Kroot will tend to spend a lot of time Going to Ground in order to protect themselves, and it also tends to dictate their squad sizes (13, 17, 21) to minimize the chances of having to take such a test.

Do note that Kroot are now considered fully-fledged members of the codex and can benefit from all of the gear and rules that benefit only Tau models- so Markerlights, Signature Systems, etc, will all work for them. Note, however, that unlike all the other nonvehicle models they do not have the Supporting Fire rule, so they cannot contribute when someone else is charged- other Tau models can shoot in support of them, though.

The Kroot’s upgrades are truly where they begin to shine, because most all of them do an excellent job of improving their main jobs in the army. First up has to be the most ubiquitous upgrade: Sniper Ammunition. Giving the Kroot the option to fire 24″ Heavy 1 Sniper weapons in place of their normal Rapid Fire, it gives you exactly the tool you need to threaten many different types of models, from Monstrous Creatures to Tactical Marines. For a single point per model, the Sniper option is something of a no-brainer for Kroot, since their atrocious statline prevents them from having any reasonable chance of wanting to get into melee with something. While their Sniper shots might be a bit shorter-ranged than most, the ability to Infiltrate helps make up for that, and in a worst case scenario you can always just shoot your normal bullets, especially on Overwatch, when on the move, etc.

Similarly common will be Kroot Hounds, which come in a point cheaper than basic Kroot, but lack the armor save and the gun. In return they get I5, A2, and Acute Senses (as well as Beast movement, for what that is worth.) While these may not seem like huge improvements, the ability to reroll board edges when outflanking means that your Kroot will almost always come in where you want them to and the higher Initiative is very helpful during a Sweeping Advance (and also occasionally against Blind or other kooky abilities.) Rare will be the Kroot squad without at least one Hound to accompany it, since those 5pts are easily worth the added insurance towards doing their job.

The Krootox is, unfortunately, an option I haven’t gotten to experiment with as much as I’d like, but on the surface they seem like a very good deal. 25pts gets you a two-wound critter with a S7 AP4 gun with 48″ range and Rapid Fire; it also nabs S6 in the bargain, for the rare times you get into a fight. With a relatively hard-hitting gun that can come in from a side board edge, the Krootox definitely has some viability in order to bring a heavy weapon to the squad and the significantly-decreased price is a major boon. However, considering their vulnerability to morale tests, the possibility to having your not-cheap gun platform go fleeting off the table (or be useless because you went to ground again) is a little disheartening. Certainly it’s something I want to try out more in the future, but right now I am hesitant to recommend them as an option; they’re not horrible, but I’m not yet convinced they have a place in a competitive list.

Shapers, despite getting a major price break and having some of their bonuses made universal (like the 6+ save), are still not a particularly ideal option. T3 multiwound characters are pretty vulnerable and having no save to go with it doubles that issue; Ld8 for the squad is nice, but it won’t save you all that often, so I’d generally rather just take more bodies. (Not having a character also prevents any kind of challenge shenanigans from being used against you.) If you’re taking a large squad and your Commander isn’t going to hang with them- which shouldn’t happen, but some people won’t be dissuaded Beat me then :).– then he’s probably something you’ll want, but he’s still not exciting. Oh, and all his upgrades are crap, so ignore them.

Roles and Strategies
Tau armies in 6th Edition have pretty shocking firepower, especially on the alpha strike. Their ability to selectively ignore cover, improve BS, and put out enormous numbers of high-strength and low-AP shots can be hard for many armies to compete with, not to mention being utterly indifferent to Night Fight and enemy aircraft. However, if there is one area the codex suffers the most in its lack, it is scoring units. Not that Tau don’t have options there- indeed, they have two good troops and a useful transport to pick from, but Fire Warriors are not unusually cheap and relatively easy to kill. Devilfish, while useful, are expensive and only work well in certain types of armies. There’s also the issue of penetration into the enemy’s DZ, since it is usually necessary to at least be able to attempt to do that or risk losing any match where the enemy starts with more objectives.

Enter the Kroot, a good generalist scoring unit. Are they resilient? Oh no. Oh god, no, they are not, but they are at least cheap and disposable and can get where you need them to. Infiltrate/Outflank can get you a lot of places on the board and can help you get to spots where you’re well-protected, and then the enemy needs to send melee forces or flamers or dedicate a ton of shooting to dig you out. This, then, is the fundamental purpose of Kroot- they are scoring units that take a disproportionate amount of effort to get rid of while still being mildly threatening if you ignore them.

Part of their ability to threaten things is their Sniper weapons. Now, don’t misunderstand- the actual wounds inflicted by Sniper weapons are… well, they’re not really much different than what you would get from Bolters, at least against a lot of infantry. Even against MCs, a normal squad of Kroot (12+hound) is only gonna cause about one wound to the guy (if we assume he finds some area terrain to touch.) However, looking at the raw damage is rather missing the point, as that’s not what Sniper weapons are out to do, even in the real world. The point of snipers is twofold: one, flexibility against all targets. There’s virtually nothing Sniper Kroot can’t threaten, and that gives you options when you need them. Two, and related to that, is hitting the models you need to most.

See, in most squads in the game, the majority of their threat from shooting is concentrated into 1-2 non-character models, which is to say the heavy/special weapons they carry. Often enough, a big part of the value of the other squad members is in their ability to shield these models from taking wounds until the very end, allowing the squad to functionally preserve its firepower in the face of casualties. In a Tactical Squad, for example, is is not the eight Bolters that you usually care about, it is the Flamer and the Lascannon (or whatever) that are doing most of the work. Certainly all of those extra bodies count for something, but if you’re getting ready to charge or have a tank that needs to get somewhere, none of those other guys in the unit matter, only the golden two. Sniper weapons allow you to partially bypass the normal rules and aim for the guys you care about most- not generally the characters, but really, who cares about the sergeant? It’s Multimelta Tim that is holding up your assault, not the guy ordering him to point his gun and pull the trigger (thanks, sarge, wouldn’t have known what to do without you.) Since every member of the squad is getting Precision shots, you can expect 1-2 most any time you shoot and getting significantly more than that will not be an uncommon occurrence. Of course, most of those will be shrugged off by armor or cover or whatever, but so would any normal shot- you haven’t lost anything in that regard. However, the one time in twelve or so a Kroot puts a bullet in the brainpan of some idiot with a Grav Gun that thinks he can get cute with your Riptide, you will be very happy. Sniper squads- and this applies to more than just Kroot, but especially Kroot because of their cheapness- are there to harass many different types of things and selectively pick out targets that can hurt you, not to deal crippling damage to regular infantry.

At the end of the day, however, scoring is still going to often be the thing that you need Kroot to do and that will generally dictate their placement and behavior. As said before, the rest of the Tau list can often put out enough firepower to hammer the enemy pretty solidly, but if your troops are all gone by the end of the game, not a lot else matters, so be careful not to throw them into the meat grinder. Rather, play defensively with Kroot and do everything you can to keep them safe- find area terrain and especially forests to hide in (2+ legit!), stay out of LoS if you can, etc. Make the other guy work to kill off your troops, and if he doesn’t look to be trying then go ahead and re-task them with killing whatever they need to.

A lot of people will use allies to fill the scoring role in Tau, and especially the mobile scoring- this is certainly a good idea, and one I’ll get to talking about specifically in a later article, but it does well to keep in mind the limitations of allies: you can only take two of their troops, which won’t always be enough. Especially in larger games, you can easily find yourself struggling to hold onto objectives in the face of casualties if you rely heavily on your ally slots to fill that job for you, so taking a useful contingent of Tau scoring is something of a requirement, I feel. Allies supplement the main codex, but do not replace it.

So, who wants Kroot and why? Well, the breakdown is actually fairly simple. Tau foot armies, of course, will want to make use of Kroot pretty extensively- three or even five squads are hardly out of the question, ranging from twelve Carnivores plus a Hound to sixteen-plus or even twenty-plus. I don’t favor the larger squads, as I don’t feel they add proportional survivability to their cost, but I do think their use at least bears mentioning. Such armies will often use an Aegis Line to put cover where it needs to be in addition to the normal terrain; Kroot provide the old-school meat shield against charges in such a list and also supplement its firepower in the usual way as well as providing the major mobile element that it needs to take enemy objectives.

Hybrid lists also will see a lot of Kroot, although here they are fairly likely to be mixed with Fire Warriors as well. Devilfish tend to be too expensive to rely on entirely, and Kroot let an army fill out its number of separate scoring units without bloating the price too much.

Mechanized lists, however, will rarely want Kroot, as they break the target saturation of AV12+ hulls that makes such an army completely immune to anti-infantry weapons. Though I’ve seen it done, it inevitably gives the enemy an easy outlet for many of the weapons that otherwise would be doing nothing, which I feel is a poor plan overall; this is especially true because the Devilfish/Fire Warriors combo is good enough that one doesn’t need to jump through hoops to find alternatives.

Ally forces of Tau will quite commonly use Kroot; they are cheap and flexible and can fill many roles in an ally force as needed. If you’re taking a Commander as the HQ for whatever reason (signature systems, anti-air, etc) Kroot are all but a given in terms of your troops choice, though if the Fireblade is making an appearance his team of shooting support becomes somewhat obligatory. Here again, though, it’s important to look at what the parent army is bringing to the table in terms of targets for enemy guns, as mixing foot and mech targets should only be done carefully.

While Kroot might not generally be a flashy troops choice (except when a squad of them one-shots an unwounded Trygon- cha-ching!) or all that reliable of one, they are solid in their job and cheap enough to take in numbers. They can plug a variety of different gaps in a Tau list without having to overspend on upgrades and can shift roles quite easily from match to match. More expensive and impressive units might draw the other guy’s attention, but at the end of the day you still need to be sitting on objectives in order to win and Kroot do a bang-up job of that. They’re definitely a strong inclusion in the Tau codex, even if their presence isn’t always felt directly.

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50 Responses to “Tau Codex Review: Kroot”

  1. Prometheus says:

    The main reason to use large squads over smaller ones is for markerlight efficiency….20 sniper kroot firing at BS5 is truly frigthening. Myself I use one small kroot squad without snipers one huge 20 man one with snipers for obvious reasons.

    You hit on it, but didn't give the the emphasis I think it deserved….the main difference between last edition and this one is that kroot can use markerlights. That is HUGE.

    • abusepuppy says:

      Mmm. I certainly do use Markerlights for my Kroot sometimes, as it can be very handy, but Tau have so many other good shooting units- Broadsides, Riptides, Crisis, Stealths, even just squads of FW- that Kroot are often lower down the priority list when you're handing out ML hits. Doesn't mean you won't do it, but they generally aren't my go-to.

      20 Kroot is expensive enough that they aren't really disposable anymore, but with Ld7/8, they are still pretty vulnerable to all kinds of things, that's the main reason I'm not a fan of the big blobs.

      • Prometheus says:

        Meh, 140 pts. They usually live, btw, that's a lot of kroot to work through, and it's 6 dead before they need a panic test.

        20 Kroot, btw, is actually the MOST efficient way to kill a wraith knight, beleive it or not. I actually don't agree with you about not using kroot to do dmg…you sure can. I use markerlights on kroot a LOT.

        • TauKid says:

          I have to agree with Prometheus, Kroot can put out a surprising amount of firepower when you throw a couple markerlights their way, In fact if you do the numbers, an equal amount of kroot vs firewarriors on damage output is almost identical with kroot even having a slight edge just because of more bodies. I find that usually my broadsides or riptides don't need as much support when shooting, given a buff commander or coming twinlinked stock. This allows me to be a little more frugal with my mls and put them towards stuff my opponent thinks is just a "speed bump" or "meatshield", and then they get 40-60 shots hitting on 2s at them! Its pretty scary for any target.

          • abusepuppy says:

            Actually against most things FW put out more wounds per point now, unless you are making some unusual assumptions, but Kroot certainly come close. Kroot's maximum squad size is, of course, larger, but if you're looking at that, I believe the 3 Crisis + 6 Drones squad wins out on most efficient use of Markerlights.

            I'm not saying Kroot have awful firepower or anything like that- many times it's helped win me games- but I don't feel their shooting is so good I would take them just for that alone.

        • abusepuppy says:

          I'm pretty sure Sniper Drone Teams are more efficient at killing a Wraithknight; natively BS5 and up to three shots each (with an Ethereal on the table) is pretty hard to beat. Beside the point, though.

          It does take six casualties to make that morale test, but it only takes one for a Pinning or morale test during the melee phase, which is what I would be more worried about.

          • Prometheus says:

            Hah! No. Just no.

            First of all, no, you aren't getting triple shots with sniper drone teams, at least no where as soon as the krot get their single shots. SNiper teams are going to be on your back line, kroot are infiltrated forward.

            Also, I assume most of the time I went to ground, it just means I have to use 4 MLs instead of 2, (yes, I have the MLs) pinning is meaningless. Not going to go into CC, that was silly to bring up. Generally speaking, with Tau troops, you just always go to ground if it's any significant fire at all.

            BS5 Kroot against a wraith knight hit 16.66, rend 2.78 times wound 5.55 non rends, which means 4.6 wounds after saves.

            Sniper drones, outside 24" hit 7.5, rend 1.25, 2.5 non-rends, for 2.08 wounds after saves.

            If you want to figure at half range with an ethereal (completely unrealistic btw), great triple it all, so 6 wounds, but it's also a 224 pts all told. (and uses a heavy and an HQ slot)

            Which is not to say sniper drones suck, they're actually pretty awesome — more for the markerlights than anything else, but also raw coverage of the board. Oh, and the kroot need ML support to work. But trust me, if you have a wraith knight charging at you sniper kroot are absolutely one of the best ways to deal with it. Plus, scoring, blocking, etc. Kroot using markerlights is scary, so much it was probably broken to allow it.

            • abusepuppy says:

              >First of all, no, you aren't getting triple shots with sniper drone teams, at least no where as soon as the krot get their single shots

              At the range that Kroot get single shots, SDT get triple shots.

              >Also, I assume most of the time I went to ground, it just means I have to use 4 MLs instead of 2,

              Well then you're making a pretty poor use of firepower.

              >completely unrealistic btw

              Because apparently foot Tau lists have no use for extra shots, FNP, or Ld10 bubbles?

              >so much it was probably broken to allow it

              I also am terrified of T3/6+ models supported by T3/5+ models. That combo is completely unbeatable and there's absolutely no way that it will get assaulted and die in a single turn.

              • Prometheus says:

                "At the range that Kroot get single shots, SDT get triple shots."

                NO THEY DON'T. The kroot are gonna be like 12"-18" deeper down the field, at least.

                OMG, you didn't even read what I wrote. That's the same reason you're not going to get 3 shots each. And even when you do that, they barely break even with kroot for the cost. They get assaulted? FINE. Everyone else gets to supporting fire (cuz you have a tendril of kroot going far enough ) then you run away and most times you make it with I5. YOU LOVE IT WHEN KROOT GET ASSAULTED.

                Oh, you don't want to go to ground? So you can do more damage with those kroot you just said were no good at causing damage? You think that's more important than preserving the unit, the obstacle that it represents? An extra two markerlights too rich for your blood? I have had entire games resolve around the fact I could go to ground, take basically no damage, and shoot them in the face with 20 BS5 sniper shots or 40 bolter shots like it didn't even matter. YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO PLAY TAU.

                Btw, ethereals aren't as great as everyone thinks they are, and surrounding ethereals with hordes of infantry gunlines is how band-wagon hopping newbie tau players who think tau are just IG with better toys want to play it.

                Pro-tip: The real reason to get sniper drones is the marker lights, not the sniper dmg.(cuz again, kroot are way better at sniper damage)

                Go back to playing marines or whatever else you were doing before the new codex. Or maybe you did play tau way back when…..relearn. Huddling in a bunch and waiting to fire until you see the whites of their eyes is not a strategy.

                • Shadar_Logoth says:

                  Not that I have a dog in this fight, but, Ethereals are pretty good dude. Not just nubs are saying that either…

                  • Prometheus says:

                    They're fine. But they're not as good as all the newbie tau players think they are. Mostly because the whole "lots of infantry and castle" plan isn't a great plan, it's just the simplest plan that works ok. But they're also pretty easy to snipe out. Delicate.

                • Fraust says:

                  Also relatively dogless, I just wanted to say…you're so close to looking like you have a bigger penis. After Puppy replies next, what you need to do is use MORE caplocks and condescending statements. Do that and I'm sure you'll totally win the internet bra…

                • abusepuppy says:

                  >The kroot are gonna be like 12"-18" deeper down the field,

                  And since no army has a reason to advance towards Tau, it will always stay this way.

                  > And even when you do that, they barely break even with kroot for the cost.

                  Let's try that assumption out for a second; a Sniper Drone is 12pts and gets three shots at BS5; a Kroot is 7pts and gets one shot at BS3. Do I really even have to run the math on that to show you how wrong you are?

                  > Everyone else gets to supporting fire (cuz you have a tendril of kroot going far enough

                  Wait wait wait wait wait. Your Kroot are both entirely 12"+ closer than my SDT are _and_ they are also within 6" of your entire army? (Except that castling is bad because you yourself said so.) I am sensing some pretty weird contradictions in your argument.

                  >YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW TO PLAY TAU.


                  >Go back to playing marines or whatever else you were doing before the new codex.

                  But if I can't play the bandwagon army of the moment I literally will die because I am completely incompetent and have no skills at all!

                  • Prometheus says:

                    None of that made any sense.

                    How do you not get that kroot should be out at front? How do you not get that the kroot can be well out front, but you have "tendril" going back so you get supporting fire from other elements? (EVEN AFTER I EXPLAINED IT) Why do you think having any units nearby to supporting fire = castling?

                    Comparing 12 point sniper drones an 7 pt Kroot is silly. Compare the whole unit. Kroot cost 145, full snipers cost 174. (both are depending upon outside support) Snipers drones do 45% the damage that the Kroot do, cost 120% more.

                    Do you do ok, with Tau, really? Against who? You don't talk like you know tau, since you're confused on how to setup proper overwatch without going full castle, and you think Kroot and sniper drones would be in approx the same place most of the time.

                    Do you mostly play tyranids and orks who are just rushing at you all the time? Great, you might get your 3 shots each at some point. I'm talking about fighting things that matter, like other Tau and eldar.

                    Your article was fine, AB, I was just pointing out a minor thing that I think you could have emphasized more. Your ensuing comments have shown deep ignorance, however.

                    • Jakobokaj says:

                      Prometheus that is a blatantly false statement, apart from the cost of sniper drones (15 pts) Puppy has been right about everything, First up a ssniper drone is 48" rapid fire with t4 and stealth. a full squad with 1 marksman is 148 points.
                      That means they triple tap at 24" with an ethereal. But whats that? Sniper drones are relentless? Meaning a 30" triple tap effective range with the ability to move back to their marksman in the assault phase (still have to maintain coherency).
                      Now lets run the math, well say the kroot get the 2 markers you suggest (or 44 points worth of pathfinders) that makes your squad 180 point.
                      The sniper drone team need an ethereal and just to placate you we'll assume we dont already have one so they are 198 points.

                      The kroot will hit 20*(5/6) shots wound on half of them meaning 8.33 wounds with 1/3 being rends.

                      The sniper drone team will hit 27*(5/6) wounding on half meaning 11.25 wounds.

                      Now lets check your math:

                      You state sniper drones do 45% the damage of Kroot?
                      that would mean kroot have to do 25 wounds… 5 wounds more than shots they have, oh silly me that right kroot must have tesla snipers.

                      For a full supported squad of kroot with the most efficient markerlights you can get its 184 points, a sniper squad is 198 .

                      The way I see it snipers are ~7.6% more expensive than kroot.

                      Using your numbers the sniper drone team would need to be 308 points.

                      Now lets compare points per wound

                      Sniper drone team 198/11.25= 17.6 PP/w

                      Kroot 184/8.33 =22.02PP/w

                      Seems to me that kroot are somewhere around 20% more expensive per wound inflicted than sniper drone teams, whilst also not being able to move and shoot, having a T3 Vs T4 and a shorter effective range.

                      Clean up your math and your attitude.

                    • Prometheus says:

                      "blatantly false"? Sure, what do I know about playing Tau?

                      You called my math wrong, and then you got the same #'s I did (my numbers separated out rends and then accounted for 3+ saves)……wtf?

                      174 is the full cost for a sniper team with 3 marksmen, which you would be silly not to take, same as the kroot would be silly not to have a hound. Markerlights are pretty fungible and hard to cost out, while the ethereal is likewise actually helping numerous units, so I thought it easier just to cancel out.

                      Again, you won't be getting those 3 shots like you think. Fair enough, the drones can move, but they're STILL going to be short of threat range that the infiltrating kroot are.

                      Did I not say that sniper drones are good? They just don't do more raw dmg than kroot do. They just don't. One is also a troop choice, the other I have to get rid of a hammerhead or broadside team for.

                      Again, its fucking hilarious you corrected my math and found the same numbers, you just apparently didn't realize it.

                      My math (correct) and attitude (dismissive) are going to stay the same, sir.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      >My math (correct) and attitude (dismissive) are going to stay the same, sir.

                      Sadly, this might be the only true statement in your entire post.

                    • abusepuppy says:

                      >How do you not get that the kroot can be well out front, but you have "tendril" going back so you get supporting fire from other elements

                      Because, as you say with the Ethereal argument, it's very easy to snipe individual models. If you're entirely reliant on those two Kroot being within 6" of the rest of your army, I bet the other guy will be able to kill two Kroot and deny you your Supporting Fire. Also, if you are daisy-chaining the unit that far, almost by definition all of them will not be in range/LoS to see.

                      >Comparing 12 point sniper drones an 7 pt Kroot is silly.

                      Fortunately, with math, we have ways to compare them on a per-value basis. ANd on a per-value basis, the unit that costs about twice as much but gets three times as many shots and hits half again as often is pretty clearly coming out ahead.

                      >Do you do ok, with Tau, really? Against who?

                      Jeremy Veysseire, who scored sixth at NOVA? Ben Cromwell, who is pretty well-known as a very strong player in the area? I didn't quite manage to beat either of them, because as it turns out they're both pretty good at the game, but in both games I was within a couple dice rolls (and a rules mistake, in one case) of winning the game.

                      >You don't talk like you know tau,

                      No, I talk like I know Tau, you just assume that everyone who isn't you is utterly incompetent at the game. You did it here, you've done it every other time I've voiced an opinion; I've gotten pretty used to it at this point. You apparently just know better than everyone else and any counterarguments are futile because you're so much better than them.

                      >Your ensuing comments have shown deep ignorance, however.

                      Ignorance can be cured by learning, arrogance less so. You've been sounding more and more like Stelek every time you post.

                    • Prometheus says:

                      AB, I'm a little tired of arguing this now, and I'm certainly not going to continue on a point by point basis.

                      Sniper drones are fine and useful unit, but you will not being able to pull off your 3 shots nearly as often as kroot will be able to pull off their single shots. And in the end, against something like a wraith knight, you will consistently be able to do much more damage much earlier in the game, when it matters. Just take my word for it at this point, ok?

                      I typically use a 20 sniper kroot squad that infiltrates and a 10 man non-sniper squad that outflanks. The 20 man sniper unit is insanely useful, sometimes being used to do good dmg (best against MCs), sometimes acting as a road block, sometimes just fending off scouting units, sometimes holding a central objective or grab a relic, sometimes acting as a bubble wrap, and often doing several of those things at once. It is a star unit, and I would always recommend using one.

                      My kroot are fairly durable, whether fire well by going to ground, and while it's certainly possible for them to get wiped out in various ways, it's not a big deal, and they always prove worth their points.

                      Sniper drones, while perfectly good, I'm not sure it's worth replacing the other stellar heavy support choices Tau have. They're good for cheap markerlights, and they good for picking off special weapons and the like, pinning units, anywhere on the table. They are not, generally, nearly as good as the kroot at damaging MCs.

                      Using sniper teams to dmg and markerlight an MC (cuz sadly, no target locks) and then finishing them off with a Kroot unit would be an excellent strategy, however. I recommend getting two marker drones on your ethereal, you will then be up to 5 BS5 markerlights, btw.

                      If you have not experimented with a full sniper kroot squad, using as many MLs as required and boosting them to BS5, you have done yourself a disservice, and you should do so just so you can appreciate what they can do.

                    • Alastores says:

                      Y'know, if your argument had been "Regardless of the compision between Sniper Drones and Kroot, the fact is that Kroot are in the shoddy troops slot, while Sniper Drones are in the amazing Heavy slot", you may have managed to make a point without all the shouting happening?

                      I don't think anyone is likely to disagree that taking 20 Kroot has a much, much lower opportunity cost than taking a unit of Sniper drones, as all you are 'losing' by taking the kroot is a troops slot (because..um..you wantedm ore fire warriors?), whereas for Snipers, you are losing access to a Big Gun Tank or Broadsides.

                      But..no. You tried to argue it on "My Kroot can get supporting fire AND are all in range AND will get more shots than Sniper Drones". Regardless of whether or not it's true – I do not know and do not care – it's a weaker argument than "Sniper Drones have a much higher opportunity cost".

                    • Prometheus says:

                      All those things are also true, but my main argument is that you will actually do more damage with the kroot. All the rest is ancillary shit AB brought up.

                • Matt-Shadowlord says:

                  Well…. that escalated quickly.

  2. lords2001 says:

    Bubblewrap is what I often see kroot used for – the first layer to soak up a charge, probably lose and then run with that low LD – but it often stops that charge flat so you get another turn to shoot it.

    The large sizes for bubblewrap squads means that its not easy to clear out to make a hole to charge through, and you can string them long enough to make sure the opponent knows that he will be overwatched by most of your army if he does charge.

    • Ish says:

      I still mostly see Kroot used as speedbumps and bubble wrap… but that's mostly because this was the only viable role for them in the first two Tau codices. That Kroot now have uses above and beyond this role is a fantastic example of how codices should be revamped. Kudos, Geedub, you got this one right!

      (Even if those damned snipers are playing havoc with my Guardsman. No more relying on a single vox caster in a "blob." No sir!).

  3. Hugz says:

    I knew you weren’t going to be able to make it through this article without mentioning those stupid trygons…

  4. Really enjoying these Tau codex articles AP, thanks!

  5. Shadar_Logoth says:

    Good write up AP. I've wanted to see someone play around with a full, maxed out blob, probably with an ethereal inside. 3 Oxen, maxed carnivores and hounds. Would be crazy efficient use of Marker Lights, and could be setup in such a way as to get support fire from pretty much everything.

  6. Matt-Shadowlord says:

    @AP – White Scars seem to have a good chance to become one of the new foils to Tau. If that turns out to be the case, it seems to me that the value of Kroot would go up even further because they have the chance to infiltrate before the scars get to scout, pushing their scout redeployments back away from the Tau lines.

    That could be even more significant if the Tau have first turn and the kroot then run at the bikes screaming obscenities in order to block their movement.

    If an extremely popular codex just got a way to gain virtually army-wide scout, the value of all infiltrators just went up. Any thoughts on this?

    • abusepuppy says:

      Using Kroot to push back Scouting units is definitely a significant tactic; White Scars, Ravenwing, Dominions, and Khorne Dogs are all pretty relevant in that respect. Kirby had already done an entire article on the subject, which is why I didn't focus on it here.

      As for WS being a natural foil to Tau, I'm not sure I entirely buy in to that; certainly they are a matchup that can be pretty tough for Tau, as their speed and firepower hit hard and hit early, but there are some major factors that can be a detriment to them. Like Ravenwing, WS rely heavily on getting the first turn to alpha strike the other guy out- if Tau go first (or, god forbid, Seize) they can inflict a LOT of damage to the bikers and very likely cripple their ability to fight back. With good torrent shooting from missiles and Ignore Cover pie plates from Riptides, Tau have exactly the kinds of firepower to dispose of their bikes en masse, so it shouldn't be surprising if 20+ bikes die on the first turn.

      Of course, if the Scars go first they can likewise pummel the Tau pretty hard, but a matchup where half the games are wins and half are losses doesn't feel like something I would describe as a "foil."

      • Matt-Shadowlord says:

        I don't mean they hard-counter Tau, but at the moment many players would be more than satisfied with 'should win half of all games vs Tau' 😀

        A 30+ biker list with gravguns combined with 300 points worth of Thunderfire Cannons delivers exactly the kind of firepower to dispose of their troops and Riptides en masse.

        If both players have the tools they need, cunning deployment and player skill should be the decider… nah who're we kidding, just roll for first turn 😀

        But anyway, the main thrust of my post wasn’t about who wins this matchup, but rather that imho there’s another compelling argument in favour of Kroot over Firewarriors – even Firewarrior fans would need a really good reason not to take at least a token amount of their carnivorous friends.

        • Prometheus says:

          My missile crisis suits kill 2 WS a turn pretty reliably. (buffed, twin linked, ignoring cover, tank hunter all that) I'd generally rather see WS spam than 3 wraith knights.

          • _Garnet_ says:

            So, one squad plus a Commander, worth over 300 points total, kill two models a turn. And that's… good?

            • Prometheus says:

              Yes? It's like 260 pts of WS you're killing, but even less would still be fine. Not sure why that's confusing. Also, pt for is horrible way to look at it — say he has 6 WS, once I kill them, I have him. My army as a whole will pretty reliably kill 3 WS a turn, and that's enough.

              • _Garnet_ says:

                Hang on, I think I'm missing something in your abbreviations. Are you killing two White Scars, or two White Scar squads?

                • WestRider says:

                  I think he's actually talking about Wave Serpents, given the mention of Tank Hunter.

                • Prometheus says:

                  Uh, yeah, shoot, I saw "WS" though we were talking about Wave Serpents, sorry.

                  For what it's worth, not that worried about White Scars, either. I only run one riptide, so I'm less vulnerable, but hit them with Plasma, AP3, AP2 templates, seeker missiles, shouldn't really be a problem.

  7. Nom says:

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but aren't Kroot Rifles AP5 in combat now? That's kind of handy, particularly against stuff like Imperial Guardsmen.

    • abusepuppy says:

      You are correct about the AP5, but I don't feel it's much use against Guardsmen, which is why I didn't go into any real depth about it in the article. This is due to a number of reasons, not the least of which being their stat losses (-1Str, -1A) in the new book.

      However, beyond that, Kroot are much more likely to be static now (due to their Sniper weapons) and are punished heavily by Overwatch fire. Moreover, without Assault Grenades, they are likely to be striking after the Guardsmen, turning the equation against them even further.

      In short, while AP5 melee is certainly an advantage, it's enough enough of one to give up other strategies to try. If some Guardsmen or Scarabs or whatever assault you- great, it helps out a bit, but it is unlikely to really change a battle ever.

      • Prometheus says:

        Kroot were never really a CC unit, in some ways losing the stats is good because it takes away the illusion. They still kill IG alright though.

        • abusepuppy says:

          Losing S4 is sad because it means you can't glance vehicles out, but at the end of the day, yeah, it just removes the temptation to make the wrong decision.

  8. AnonAmbientLight says:

    Look, it's almost not even worth it to get into nerdguments. Believe me, I've done it in the past. People get so butthurt over this game and I can only assume it's because they hold their opinion so close to their heart that any criticism of said opinion, they feel, is an attack on them personally.

    I get why you would want to continue a discussion so as to inform other people that come and read it. Honestly? It's not worth the headache and waste of time.

    As for Kroot, I like their tactical applications, and their shooting doesn't suck so much. I just…I don't like them haha. I guess i'll eventually get some more as it's always good to have options, but for now, i'll go with out. Although, i'm sure I'll be punished for it later.

    • Shadar_Logoth says:


      Seriously though, some might not derive anything out of the juxtaposition of opposing ideas, but I certainly do. I debate with AP precisely because I respect his opinion, honestly agree with him more then I disagree, and know he's going to give me a fair (most of the time 😉 ) alternate perspective that I can use to properly appraise my own position.

      But you do have a point in that, for many, hell even for myself at times, we tend to take criticism of our positions too personally. Sometimes this is a result of patheos riddled jabs from our opponents that are designed to get us to jump offsides. Really, getting emotional about it is playing into their hands.

      But, that just so happens to overlap with traits of good generalship. If you can get into your opponents head a bit, get them to overvalue some targets and undervalue others, you can often create an advantage that doesn't appear "on paper."