Friday, September 11, 2009

Feeling Peckish?

Kroot Carnivores. Vicious, stealthy, barbaric, yet noble and naked. It's a topic that's been pecking at me for some time. More and more I've been thinking about this unit as something that has really come into it's own in the latest edition of 40k. In past years, I would never leave home without a unit of at least one 10-strong pack of Kroot. I used them as to prevent enemy infiltrators from getting too close. Nowadays, I haven't recruited Kroot Warriors to battle because I had been disappointed by their preference about attending battle in their birthday suits. Fieldcraft does mitigate their vulnerability slightly but generally requires that they stay put, hidden in foliage and generally not taking an active role in the battle.

Recently however, on gaming boards across the Tau Empire, I've seen huge warbands, great kroot hounds in tow, conducting wide sweeping maneuvers and outflanking foes of the greater good with great success. It seems that the outflank ability has greatly increased the usefulness of this seemingly weak troop choice.

The options available to a kroot pack leave much to be desired. The first thing I have to say is don't bother with the Kroot Shaper. He's too pricey for what you get, it's best to get more kroot bodies in the unit than one character. Also, the krootox strips them of their ability to outflank so that won't work either. Kroothounds on the other hand give the I3 kroot some speed. With a good amount of kroothounds (6-10) you'll have plenty of attacks on all those space marines before they get to strike back. When they do strike back, take your casualties from the hounds, so that the Kroot will get their full attacks when its their turn to strike.

Use them to attack any units within range, the chances are that a full 20-Strong Kroot pack with 10 kroothounds is going to steamroller over anything in its path. Until it gets shot to death. Keep them in combat and safe from enemy fire.'s up to you but I've witnessed more success with kroot warbands that outflank rather than deploying at the beginning of the game. Keeping them in reserve will keep them alive. Deploying them at the start of game will likely put them in harm's way and bolter fire rips through their naked flesh. It seems in this case the early bird doesn't get the worm.

By outflanking you'll likely be throwing your opponent out on a limb when 20+ gnarling xenos show up behind his lines. An unsettling prospect for all generals. It creates a huge distraction and can buy time for your faster units, like Devilfish carrying troops, to take objectives in the later phases of the game.

Now, to be honest, I'm speaking straight from my rear end. I barely ever use kroot. What are your stories? How valuable do you think kroot are to the Tau? Are they worth taking or am I full of hot air?


Anthony Yeates said...

I run a pair of Kroot squads, 10 Carnies and 6 Hounds each. They are superb at slowing the enemy advance, you can easily surround your army with a band of kroot to stop those pesky first turn assults or meltas from chewing on something more useful. That said I think that using them to Outflank is too risky, if they come in on the wrong side late in the game you may as well not have taken them, infiltration is the way to go IMO. However you use them they are much better than taking sevral units of firewarriors!

Zeev said...

I run 2 kroot squads

15 Carnies
5 Hounds

They eat my buddies tac squads.

one game killed a tac squad, a rhino, a Thunderfire cannon, a tech marine, and a MotF with a conversion friend switched to eldar after that game.

Raptor1313 said...

I'm with Mr. Yeates.

Well, I run 10 Kroot/7 hounds.

Hounds are better for fleshing out a squad because they're cheaper and have better I.

I'm with you on the 'don't bother with a Shaper'; I'd rather take the 3ish hounds he represents than get my guys a 6+ save. Though, the Leadership would be nice...

I use them as a screen, pure and simple. Can't put a meltagun here if there are KROOT there, and you need some specialist kit to kill them in short order. YOu gotta take a lot because Ld7 leaves something to be desired.

My problem with using them in assault is that they kind of lack frag grenades. Going last with T3 and no save is, shall we say, sub-optimal. Against units with just one base attack it's not so bad, but you're asking for pain against other squads.

My problem with outflanking them is pretty much what Yeates said: they don't have the speed to deal with a bad outflank roll, and you don't have any good way as Tau to manipulate reserves. Best we get is the Pathfinder Devilfish's re-roll ability. Not really that useful.

Plus, to be honest, outflanking is neat but not a game-winner. They put a screen out ( Kroot, for example) or simply deploy far enough away from the flank, and your Kroot accomplish nothing on the turn they arrive.

I'd much rather run them as screens, and maybe move them out to deal with an objective later on. Plus, at 112 for 10 kroot + 7 hounds? Hard to beat the price for their utility.

I think Outflanking Kroot might catch someone flat-footed, but to be honest? Too many ways that can go wrong between the dice and the enemy.

UltraLemming said...

I agree, they are definitely best used to take up space. Their benefits are that theyre cheap, troops, and half-decent in close combat. Which means your 9 Fireknives(you do have 9 fireknives right? ;) ) will get yet ANOTHER rapid fire round on the enemy threat.

The other option is to stack up on firewarriors in devilfish, but to me getting 3 of those squads seems so costly for so little damage output.

In the end you have to be very thoughtful about the use of your kroot. They can die, after all you only need one objective to win, which your firewarriors in devilfish will hopefully hold.(after all they are a 1+ option) But the key to that is keeping the firewarriors alive, and successfully contesting all of the other objectives.

And yes, kroot frequently disappoint me as well, but I still think their usefulness has its worth.

Hedzer said...

I don't use them in my mech list atm. Just posting to say that I thought my Kroot were superbly painted, until I saw yours :)

Managarm said...

I must say, I never leave home without kroot. IMO they are better than firewarriors in almost every part of the game (excluding the mandatory devilfish for the firewarriors, but that's another story). I almost always outflank 20 kroot. That puts a good amount of pressure on your opponent as 20 charging kroot can really kill something. and never underestimate 20 rapid firing kroot when they are not in charge range. Heavy weapon teams for example simply die and even marines will take casualties. In objective based missions I put my home objective at one corner so that the kroot could capture it when they arrive from reserve. In that way their outflanking always fulfills something, either they attack something on one flank and if there is nothing, they capture an objective or contest it.
And above all else, they are cheap and if they did nothing in a game, you just have spent 140 points.

Next thing I'm going to try is to take 2x10 kroot with 7 hounds each. That loadout should get them even more punsh.

Old Shatter Hands said...

Great responses and I think I am being persuaded to start including them again. Screening seems like a very important tactic, as I am constantly getting melta gunned by marines and guard jumping out of transports. The extra space occupied by the kroot would really help out.

Outflanking seems like its not as great as I thought but its still a surprise in our bad of tricks, just something to keep your regular opponents wondering what you'll do with your kroot.

@Hedzer, thanks man, I LOVE the kroot models and I remember seeing leaked pics of them before they ever came out. I was so excited that when I got my box i painted each one on its own with as much detail as a character model. It took me almost a year to complete ten kroot!

You know that 10 kroot and 5 hounds is exactly 100 points if you like round numbers...but 10 kroot and 7 hounds seems to be the preferred unit- that means you can take 4 casualties before taking a morale check.

Here's just a thought, when the new Tau codex comes out in 2015 or whenever, I'd like to see kroot like this:

Same statline/cost with move through cover, stealth and infiltrate. Then giving them a special character unit upgrade (like Telion is) that confers Furious Charge to the unit. Then we'd see sales of kroot go up, GW.

Chernobyl said...

I myself would like to see the krootox become worth taking either by giving him the above mentioned abilitys that Shatter hands mentioned or making him a much more survivable independent force ( taken in squads of three and such ) with either rending ( to me fluff wise it would make sense i mean just look at the thing) or some form of assault ability.

Old Shatter Hands said...

The way GW is going with the codexes lately, each one seems to be better than the one before it. A new Tau Codex won't be coming out for ages, so but two and two together and this would mean that when we do get a new codex, Tau will have some ridiculous units That coupled with the fact that they have trouble selling Krootoxen, means that the krootox is going to kick absolute ass.

In the year 2015.

suneokun said...

I love my kroot. They are especially useful for 'gobbling up' pesky remnants that think they can hold an objective after my firepower!

Kroot flanking/reserves is the way forwards, as so many attacks at S6 is a bonus. Additionally, lets not forget that against certain opponents (for example Guard/Orks) large bands of kroot are a very useful tool for wiping out units.

If you're worried about Kroot lack of frag, you could try using pinning weapons and anti Ld markerlights - although it's probably not worth it.

tau rockstar said...

outflanking defencive armies is absoulutely nessacary, because with three attacks at WS4 they own gaurds men, i've had 1 kroot assult a heavy weapons team in cover and kill them with the sweeping advance.