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Sunday, July 11, 2010

Tau Codex Review: Kroot Squads


The unloved unit of Tau but one of the most important units a Tau general has at their disposal. The inability for Farsight armies to take Kroot is one of the two biggest reasons that list isn't competitive and suffers in comparison to a balanced Hybrid Tau list (the other being limiting the other important units outside of Crisis suits). Kroot are the defensive unit Tau need to fend off enemy assualts and are basically a meatshield. If you don't like it, tough because Tau need them to survive. Whilst Kroot provide some decent anti-infantry firepower through their rapid fire guns and in combat against low I units, they are a DEFENSIVE unit. Don't bother with outflank unless you are playing against a crappy gunline who will not advance (i.e. foot IG/Eldar) and can actually damage things in combat without suffering mass carnage in return. Infiltrate is very important for this role however as they can therefore deploy in front of (and after) the main body of the Tau army has deployed as they can deploy outside of the deployment zone. This is important to layer up your lines properly and expand the area with which your Tau army has to move behind its protective bubble. Make sure this isn't messed up by enemy infiltration though.

Let's take a look then at the Kroot options. For the most part, they suck and only the basic 10 Kroot and up to 7 Hounds should be taken. It is important to aim for numbers which require an extra casualty to get over the 25% mark (i.e. 11, 13, 17, etc.) as it forces your opponent to cause just one more kill and can keep your Kroot from taking those crappy Ld tests. The Shaper provides a minor Ld buff which Commanders can do better (with Target locks), takes away from the squad's numbers and encourages individuals to spend more points and give the Kroot armor saves. Pass on this as cover gives you a better one for free. The Krootox are the only other place outside of Ionheads Tau can get S7 firepower but are very expensive for a unit that is meant to die for the Greater Good, so they should be given a miss, too. Hounds are taken over more Kroot because they are 1pt cheaper and have I5 which enables them to do some damage to assaulting units before falling over and dying.

Remember, Kroot are there to protect your army from assaults and two squads should be taken buffed out with Hounds to avoid as many Ld tests as possible. Their offensive application is minimal but there and they can provide decent anti-infantry fire. Where forests are available, attempt to deploy your army nearby so Kroot can gain +1 cover but otherwise ensure half the unit is in cover and go to ground when a lot of firepower is directed their way. 2+/3+* is hard to shift and annoys your opponent (especially on 7/6pt models). Kroot squads need to be layered so your opponent cannot take out both squads in one turn. This is very important as you are paying the points to delay your enemy and allowing your opponent to take out multiple delaying units at once is inefficient.

So, another good unit for Tau which doesn't really need fixing but more streamlining. The main issue with Kroot again is their lack of options. Whilst they don't really need options because they are a defensive unit, much cheaper Krootox would be a welcome sight as the Kroot unit would be able to put out suppression fire (much like IG blobs). Otherwise a 1pt reduction in Kroot/Hound costs and universal Stealth and Move Through Cover are musts. Like newer books I would also imagine Shapers would come as standard in the squad providing the minor Ld buff and some special options for him would be nice but not really needed. Thoughts are welcome there! I think an upgrade character like Lukas, Arjac, Telion, Lemartes, etc. would be a good option here though no idea what...

So let's hear it people!

10 pinkments:

Gx1080 said...

Also, the one unit that most people don't want to take until they realize that they are going to lose until they do.

Dunno about sergeant-upgrade characters. GW always make them too fucking expensive for what they do(except for Telion).

Cost/Benefit they are fine, although making thinks like the Krootox and the Shaper actual options (the first by point reduction and a suppresion fire weapon, the second for being and auto-include for upping LD) would be welcome.

MasterSlowPoke said...

The only change I want to kroot is to put a kroot unit or two in every FOC slot. I want to do a full Kroot army.

VT2 said...

Supershaper, that grants fleet to all kroot, kroothouds, and krootoxen in the army.

The kroot themselves don't need much, besides the obvious work getting their rules, gear, and stats in line with 5th edition - stealth, move through cover, probably furious charge, infiltrate, probably scouts, 2 attacks base, shape becoming a free upgrade character, with some minor abilities, and so on.
Option for sniper rifles would be good, so they can help the army out with long-ranged dakka.

Kirby said...

Any other USR's the Kroot should have there VT2?

JeffF said...

I think the bonus cover from forests needs to be changed to at least all area cover.

Without some rule to make it so there will be forests around a terrain type specific bonus is bad game design.

JeffF said...

Yea, which is "universal stealth"... I'm tired.

TMiles001 said...

Don't forget Feel No Pain, Relentless, Stubborn and Counter-attack - also need Hit & Run, Preferred Enemy and Fleet...

;P

AbusePuppy said...

And, inexplicably, Swarms.

I don't know why, but I really, really want to give the Swarms rule to one of my models in a Combat Patrol game. You see, Trooper Johnson is actually just a collection of well-trained ducks in a man suit, all working in concert...

Updating Kroot to 5E is easy: Fieldcraft becomes Stealth and Move Through Cover. Infiltrate stays. Same for the Kroot Rifle. Shaper becomes a mandatory squad member and costs way less, with largely the same crappy upgrade options. Possibly season with other special rule upgrades to taste (Fleet for XX pts per model, etc, a la the old Kroot Mercs codex.)

@MSP
I really wanna see more allies in the new Tau codex if it ever gets written. It's one of the biggest distinguishing factors for the Tau empire and it would be a good way to add a lot of really cool units to their book. I'd certainly be on board with more kinds of Kroot, too.

Kirby said...

This needed posting for the lols. From Wolf's Lunch on msn:

heavy support knarlocs
or ones with railguns mounted on them
MC's with railguns on their back
and beast status
no, they need a really big kroot with T6 and W6 that pumps out 3d6 kroot hounds a turn
i'd definitely suggest gnarloc squads though

I love the ideas for lols =D. More pooping, less talking!

TMiles001 said...

Don't even get me stsrted on the vespids....

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