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Monday, February 15, 2010

Armies in 5th: Tau Part 3: Kroot & Defenses

More inane comments on warseer seen here. Wisdom doesn't seem to appreciate what Kroot (and Piranhas) can do for a Tau army so we shall answer his confusion here!

Kroot are essentially a bubblewrap unit. Their shooting is okay and whilst their combat prowess is meh outside of the woods/cover (and hoping the opponent doesn't have frag grenades) they are at least capable of doing damage in combat compared to the rest of the Tau army. Now Kroot have a big advantage over other bubblewrap units like IG platoons in they have a form of stealth (+1 cover in woods). Even if there are no woods around Kroot will still get a 3+ GtG cover save and since Tau do not rely on their shooting as a primary threat, there isn't much of a twang when one has their Kroot cower on the floor.

So what does this mean? Kroot are there simply to slow the opposing enemy up and die in the process. Two squads are a must and use your math please for squad sizes. Kroot have shit Ld so you want to create squad numbers where the opponent needs to kill that one more Kroot to force a Ld test (i.e. 13 & 17, etc.) and use Hounds to fill out those numbers. They are cheaper and better in combat. So you've got your two squads (I use a 17 and 13 but 17 and 17 is generally better) and now let's see what they can do for you.

Tau like to shoot. When they stop shooting they like to shoot some more. You therefore want your main army (Broads, Railheads, Crisis and Devilfish) to be shooting for as long as posible. With mech common and even foot units able to run and good calvary units becoming increasingly popular, assault armies get across the board faster. You therefore need to stop them. We've already discussed one option in Piranhas but Kroot are your second layer of defense. Layer the 2 squads 6" apart and as far away from your actual battline as possible (use infiltrate if you can, this is harder against armies with other infiltrators or wargear like Chooser of the Slain but it gives you more room to manuever in Turn1) BUT make sure skimmers like Vendettas/Valks or Serpents/Falcs have to move flat-out to get between your army and Kroot. This gives you a turn to shoot at them or forces a risky dismebark (from Vendettas/Valks) and upon a destroyed result will most likely take the transported unit inside with it. Finally, make sure these squads are in cover (remember the cover rules, too).

So what does this give you? Any tank wishing to go through needs to tank shock two layers which is generally going to leave it surrounded by Kroot. Not good for passengers. Even when it gets through if you've deployed your army right the tank is right in front of your firing line with no cover to speak of. Any infantry wishing to go through or non-tank vehicle has to deal with the Kroot and this takes time. Essentially you've added Castle walls to your Tau army which take time to get through. Add in the movement blocking and delaying tactics of Piranhas and your army gets to shoot more (and as Tau is one of the best shooting armies around...well that's a good thing).

Furthermore this negates alpha striking. All meltas shooting at your tanks are outside of meltarange and sometimes can't even fire. Deep Strikers are forced away from your army lines which negates one of their biggest advantages and even normal weapons have an extra 12" to cope with to reach your main army.

Overall this means the Tau army gets to do what it does best, shoot you. And due to the inheret mobile abilities in most of their units, even if a Kroot line is broken it is still possible to play keep away for a couple more turns. Tau without Kroot and Piranha defense layers will find themselves in combat on T2/3 whilst Tau with Kroot and Piranhas can avoid combat for a full 7 turn game. You pick what you want more.

Next I'll look at the Heavy Support options and why 2x Railheads and a Broadside team are so common in competitive lists.

4 pinkments:

JRV said...

I haven't used any Kroot in fifth, but I loved them in 4th for the same reasons. I am curious how you keep them alive and keep them from running after a first turn wave of shots? Don't they always run since they will take enough casualties to force them back? Or does the addition of hounds get you enough models to prevent the check?

MagicJuggler said...

Kroot Hounds up the number of models needed before a morale check. Going to ground and taking full advantage of 50% cover makes Kroot hilariously durable against all but flamers and cover-ignoring artillery (which generally is suboptimal anyway).

HolyCause said...

Man, that thread makes me nerd rage.

Wisdom likes silence is a complete tool. Has he even played a game of 5th edition?

And people ask me why I don't browse 40K forums...

Kirby said...

@JRV, a 2+ or 3+ cover save is pretty had to break without cover denying weapons and if they do break they have a fair chance of rallying next turn anyways. Then as MagicJuggler said just use Hounds to up the numbers to 13 or 17 to help out with the initial Ld checks.

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