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Kroot Tactica for newcomers to Tau
Kroot are one of the harder Tau units for a beginner to get the best use out of. The usual problem is that beginners and newcomers to the Tau army see the Kroot as the close combat arm of the Tau list. While this is true to a limited degree the strength of Kroot and their uses lay in very different areas to just close combat.
The Kroot are one of the best units for distraction, influencing opponents tactics and are one of the best deployment influencing units available in the 40K universe.
Kroot have point for point one of the best infantry weapons available in the Kroot rifle. The also have point for point some of the best unit abilities in the game.
Kroot can be structured to provide a multitude of different battlefield roles and they perform all these roles well. Kroot and all the related Kroot off-shoots are ridiculously cheap. Even a Krootox equip[ed with a Kroot gun costs only 35 points.
The main problem with Kroot is newcomers tend to take them and send them into close combat where they promptly die horribly. Either this or they deploy them ineffectively (usually out of cover) and the unit gets shot to pieces.
Both these scenarios result in dismay and usually the Kroot sitting on a shelf unused.
To this end I thought a basic guide to Kroot would help to stop this happening.
So to begin.
Kroot have undergone some major changes under the new Tau codex. So I think it best to start by describing thse new changes.
Force organisation changes
All the Kroot variants are now classed as troops. Now this is a major change and one of the few truly positive changes made in the new Tau codex.
This means Krootox are no longer a heavy support option and Kroot hounds no longer occupy a fast attack slot.
Kroot no longer have the 'Eating the dead' rule. This makes for some changes to how they can be deployed and used.
Kroot hounds no longer have the pursuit rule. So no free attacks if an enemy is beaten in close combat, but this is a good change and makes for some major and positive changes to Kroot units.
The Infiltrate and the cover rules have stayed the same as per the old codex. However remember as per the old codex if Krootox are taken the Kroot cannot infiltrate.
The cover rules allow for a +1 improvement to the Kroots cover save when in jungle/wooded type terrain. It should be noted this cover save bonus does not apply to any other form of cover (so no improved cover saves in cityfight for instance).
The Kroot never have to roll difficult terrain tests while in jungle/woods. With this in mind always try to move to full effect in jungle /wooded terrain, but again this only applies in jungle/woods.
So the new rules and force organisation changes have lead to some interesting unit configurations in addition to the tried and tested unit uses.
Next I will detail these separately.
The standard Kroot pillbox unit
The pillbox unit is usually taken as one of the following:
(1) A large 20 man squad.
(2) As multiple smaller (usually 10 Kroot strong) squads.
The large pill box type unit is mainly used as a Fire Warrior fire support and counter assault unit.
A large unit (usually 20 Kroot) is positioned in cover as near to the Fire warrior units as possible. They are used to deny lines of movement to the Fire Warrior units and to provide some quite effective fire support (20 rapid fire shots at 12”).
Some also use smaller 10 man teams (usually 2) which have the benefit of denying the opponent more of the field, but also have the down side of less effective concentration of firepower. The smaller squads also mean reduced casualty absorption.
The main use for smaller teams is infiltration because the smaller units are better suited to this role.
The Kroot rule for shooting through 12” of cover is a major bonus for pill box units, as it allows the Kroot to shoot in safety and usually not receive return fire. Remember that they also receive a +1 to their cover save.
It should be noted though that for this cover save bonus to work the unit has to be in cover. A Kroot unit cannot stand at one side of cover and shoot through it even if it less than 6”deep.
The Kroot unit can also be used as a counter charge unit to support any Fire Warrior units caught by in assaults.
However Kroot should not be used to directly initiate an assault unless accompanied by Kroot hounds.
Kroot lack the initiative and armour save to perform well in an assault instigation role and this should be avoided at all costs.
Kroot pill box units are best left in cover as this offers an initiative 10 bonus if they are assaulted.
If a unit has engaged a FW unit in close combat the additional counter attacks of the Kroot can be effective because the attacking unit has to split its attacks between two units. It is also usually possible to inflict enough wounds to force a moral test with at least one of the Tau units.
The Pill box is and has been a tried and proven tactic and works very well with hybrid and static lists. However it is weak when used in conjunction with Mech type lists as the large 20 Kroot teams are vulnerable when trying to keep up with the Tau. The large teams also offers very poor anti infiltrator countering ability.
The Krootox heavy pill box unit
The new rules have allowed the strengthening of this tactic by allowing the inclusion of Krootox without the downside of losing a heavy support slot.
With their strength 7 long range Kroot gun a couple of these in a reduced unit of 15 Kroot is a real danger to light armour and dreadnoughts. It should also be remembered that the the Krootox is also a formidable opponent in close combat.
I have seen a deployment in action where two units of Kroot (10 strong) with 2 Krootox have set up on opposite flanks of the Tau deployment zone. The 4 Strength 7 shots set up a quite nasty fire zone out to 48” where any transport or semi heavy walker type models were very vulnerable.
The units set up in cover (woods) and the 10 Kroot offered significant casualty absorption (10 wounds) with a 4+ invulnerable equivalent save.
Each unit cost 140pts and is a severe thorn in the side of any army with transports. It should also be noted that any unit getting within 12” of this unit would be hit by 20 rapid fire shots and 4 rapid fire high strength shots from the Kroot gun.
The heavy pill box unit with Krootox is quite a good cheap option for providing some additional heavy support to a static or hybrid list.
The above unit configurations suffer from one major weakness template and flamer type weapons. These automatically hit and negate cover saves. This is a major weakness for the Kroot so deployment should be tailored to avoid these units when ever possible.
The normal pill box units also suffer from a lack of tactical flexibility due to their role as protection to the Fire Warrior units. Providing protection means they are effectively tied to a portion of the field.
The Infiltrating Kroot unit (or speed bump)
This configuration can take two forms.
(1) The standard infiltrating 10 man squad.
The standard form for an infiltrating Kroot unit is a 10 man Kroot unit. Usually two teams are deployed and, this is a very effective means of preventing infiltration by the opponents forces.
The small unit size means that often the optimum 12” infiltration distance can be achieved. The small unit still has plenty of firepower and tolerable assault capabilities (if used in cover for the initiative bonus).
The units can also be used to deny sections of the board for movement of the opponents forces. Simply because a 70pt unit can really damage a larger much more expensive unit, and most opponents will want avoid this.
However this configuration really lacks in assault effectiveness and this is where the second configuration comes in.
(2) The 10 man Kroot unit with Kroot Hound support.
I think before this is discussed the new rule changes for Kroot Hounds should be examined.
The major change to Kroot Hounds is the removal of the ‘Pursuit’ rule.
This basically meant any unit beaten in an assault by the Kroot and Hounds were automatically pursued by the Kroot Hounds, and were hit by an automatic strength 4 hit.
The Kroot also had the 'Eat the dead' rule which meant they could not chase down opponents only consolidate.
Both these rules have been removed from the new codex. Which means the Kroot and Hounds now perform exactly as any standard unit when they win an assault. They can now perform sweeping advances and run opponents down.
These changes have radically affected how the Kroot perform in close combat.
A unit of 10 Kroot with 8 Kroot Hounds is now a quite daunting prospect in an assault for most standard assault or infantry units.
Obviously care should be taken to avoid such units as Genestealers, Eldar or dark Eldar units etc with initiative 6 or higher, as these will negate the Kroot Hounds initiative advantage.
The Kroot Hound initiative boost
The average initiative of a basic infantry model is usually 4 and this applies to a lot of assault troops as well.
The higher initiative of a Kroot hound allied with 2 attacks, good strength and weapon skill means that Kroot Hounds perform extremely well against standard units.
They are also ridiculously cheap which means an opponent with an expensive assault unit will usually think twice about attacking the Kroot (if he has any sense).
This is a major strength of a Kroot unit with Kroot Hounds. If the opponent knows the Kroot Hounds abilities he will be loathe to engage them in an assault with an expensive assault unit or expensive HQ. This can be utilised to funnel units away from sections of the field, and when infiltrated to dictate the deployment of the opponents units or deny parts of the field.
This tactical benefit should not be underestimated and is a powerful tool if used correctly.
If the unit of Kroot and Hounds are deployed and moved judiciously they can perform extremely well in most assaults.
How to use the Kroot Hounds superior initiative
The Kroot Hounds should form the first line of models with the Kroot behind them at 2” coherence.
The Kroot Hounds go into base to base contact with the enemy unit with the Kroot behind them at 2“ and engaged. Usually this means the Kroot Hounds will attack first or simultaneously with the enemy unit due to their high initiative.
If the Hounds attack first due to the better initiative any models killed will not get return attacks. This reduces the number of return wounds on the Kroot models. The enemy unit will then only get to make any attacks from any remaining models.
Any casualties on the Kroot unit can be removed any where from the Kroot unit as all models are engaged. After the Kroot Hounds have attacked we still have the 10 Kroot to hit with at least 20 attacks (30 if they charged).
This is the strength of the Kroot hounds they allow the unit to attack at different initiative steps thus denying the opponent attacks, but still allow the Kroot to remain quite safe. Plus after the assault phase is over the Kroot are still at a decent enough unit strength to contribute usefully with shooting attacks in further turns in the game.
Most units cannot stand up to the sheer amount of attacks the Kroot unit can generate especially with their good strength and weapon skill. So the opponents unit will usually lose the assault, and when they do the new improved sweeping advance rules really come into effect.
Kroot hounds Initiative advantages in assault resolution
If the Kroot player has played the assault sensibly he will have some Kroot hounds left and the opponent will usually be outnumbered at least 2 to 1. So the moral test for fall back will be conducted at -1 or -2 (sometimes greater).
If the enemy unit fails the test and falls back the sweeping advance move should be performed using the Kroot Hounds higher initiative (this is why at least 1 more Kroot hound than Kroot should be left intact). This will usually mean a good chance of wiping out the beaten unit.
It is quite possible to beat even tough Marine/Necron/chaos type units etc with Kroot and Hounds in assaults on a regular basis. Even if the unit is not run down the Kroot unit can keep a unit engaged in an assault for 2 or 3 turns. This is a major bonus because it is denying the opponent the chance to use these units to attack the rarer more expensive components of the Tau list. Assaults also blocks line of sight and blocks movement of the opponent.
Infiltrate and Kroot hounds
The Kroot hounds also have the infiltrate rule. A unit of 10 Kroot and 8 hounds can now make a really effective, quite scary anti infiltrator / anti assault countering unit.
They also make a very effective hunter squad which can be used to infiltrate and hunt down annoying long range fire support squads and even HQ squad. Even if they do not destroy these targets they can deny fire support for a few turns to allow the rest of the Tau list to re-deploy to more favourable positions.
The anti infiltrate units are in my opinion (and others) the best and most effective use for Kroot (either with or without Kroot hounds) and should form a part of any mobile list. They should be considered even for inclusion in static lists.
All in all the Kroot are a very effective cheap unit and should not be dismissed without a lot of thought.
The new rules have made them even more effective. Point for point they have superior shooting, assault and cover utilising capabilities over nearly any other unit in 40K. They also come with infiltrate as standard.
When you consider what you are getting for the points they are probably the best bargain in the 40K universe.
This is meant as a simple overall guide to how the Kroot can be used effectively. I have posted this as a beginners guide and I hope it will generate some further tactical discussion about the Kroot.
Any contributions are welcome, and if I have made any errors or omissions please feel free to let me know.
Last edited by Rikimaru; October 9th, 2007 at 01:02. Reason: Re-structuring and clarification.
Hey! Look at that, I disagree with nothing.
You might want to mention the 12" sighting through woods rule paragraph or two earlier, where you talk about their movement and cover saves in woods. I thought you had forgotten ti for a sec.
Extremely helpful and reassuring! I feel much better about my squad of 10 Kroot and 5 hounds now, and I feel that I have a better understanding now of how to play them!
Hmmm.. I'm seeing a use for my 30 some kroot now, instead of making a Merc list. I thought this would be repeats of every other kroot post, but this was pretty well done. Three thumbs up
Sleeping, not dead.
Removed by the moderators.
riki - Good to see this posted. I would like to ask one suggestion, and that's to run through the post real quick and make sure that you aren't posting too many stats, etc. If you can explain something like their cover save bonus as - they get a bonus to their cover save in woods/jungles - instead of saying the full thing, then people still catch your drift and you aren't giving anything away. :yes:
I'm going to go ahead and sticky this, so that anyone wandering around will (hopefully) check it out before asking too many Kroot questions.
Are stats copyrighted? Is that the deal?
This rules. Now Tau have assaulty stuff of doom.
Kroot = Aspect warrior. :yes: Probably like Striking Scorpion.
@Lost nemesis: Yeah, it's wrong, but you can give a general idea all right. Give one little thing away and make complicated cross-references to it with everything so that anybody reading will never guess the stats (what I wish I knew how to do).
Post your army lists in the ARMY LIST section! Not that hard!
Nem I have edited the tactica to remove the direct stat references and replaced them with general references, hopefully the tactica is still clear and concise enough.Originally Posted by Lost Nemesis
How to use Kroot
Kroot are not a combat unit. Kroot with hounds are, but not kroot themselves. Kroot are about par to fire warriors when shooting at the wider range of targets. Kroot offer little damage advantage, what kroot offer is their tactical advantage.
Tactical advantages of Kroot:
Kroot need to be taken to push back infiltrators. This is not a hard strategy to understand, you put them in an area where you don't want the enemy to infiltrate, sacrificing the kroot for more space.
Kroot are an excellent speed bump. Stick them in the way of assault troops so your battlesuits have more room. Kroot get charged, die, and then the charging unit is stuck and you have a turn to shoot it down.
If there is no need to push back infiltrators or be used as a speed bump, kroot are a very good distraction unit. The opponent will often shoot at them just because they are there, what you need to do is take advantage of that by putting them somewhere to get the rest of your army into a better position.
Kroot are also a good scoring unit, especially in alpha mission, or cleanse and secure and control, where the cost of the unit doesn't matter. Kroot are able to sit behind forests, then move through them in the last few turns without movement penalty.
If there is little tactical use for the kroot, they are best as a pillbox unit, sit them in a forest and shoot.
It is often said that if your kroot didn't die, then you're not using them properly. However, this doesn't mean if they die you have used them properly.
Do not put them 18" away from the enemy and expect to charge them. Do not expect to win a firefight outside of forests. You may try to tie up a shooty unit with them, but it's not worth footslogging it to do so.
Now we have that sorted, why use units of 10? Do any of the above uses of kroot work better with larger squads? Well, you can push back enemy infiltrators with 10 kroot just fine. You can use 10 kroot as a speed bump. Kroot getting shot at instead of something else doesn't get better with more kroot. And the damage done per point doesn't increase with the more kroot you have.
The only advantages of a large squad is combat, and getting your kroot into combat isn't something you should be trying to aim for, unless you have hounds.
So, either stick with units of 10 kroot, or make a combat unit with hounds.