One of the coolest and unique things about the T’au is their ability to bring in alien auxiliaries into their army and onto the battlefield. Today we’ll have a little look at what is possible one of my favourite 40k races, the Kroot, specifically the Kroot carnivores.
Why take them?
First and foremost, they’re dirt cheap at just 5 points a model, so you can have a lot of them without causing too much of a dent in your army. Being troop choices they also gives the added benefit of being objective secured, and with their 7” scout move before the game begins, it means you can get these guys up the board and capturing objectives early on in the game. Their Kroot rifle is effectively the same stat line as a boltgun, with the added bonus of a +1 in combat, making these guys strength 4. This leads onto my next point, they are the only unit that can do melee somewhat effectively as they hit on 3+’s in combat, so effectively they are the equivalent of a regular Space Marine attacking in combat.
Cons & Weaknesses
I did mention they were dirt cheap and unfortunately that is for a variety of reasons. The most obvious one being their resistance to any kind of attacks. At toughness 3 with a 6+ save, they die in droves to absolutely anything that targets them, so they are very easy points for the opponent to score if playing No Mercy or Kill Confirmed. Even if the unit doesn’t get wiped out, they are also incredibly vulnerable to failing morale with leadership of 6, so even if only a single model is lost, they are already in territory of losing more.
Another big negative is their lack of the <sept> keyword so they lose out in almost every buffing option available to the T’au. The one unique stratagem they do have access to is also quite abysmal. That stratagem being “Hunting Hounds”, which basically allows a Kroot unit to reroll failed charge rolls, only if a Kroot Hound unit successfully made a charge and only again if that Kroot unit is within 12” of the said unit of Hounds. Extremely situational to put to any good use, but at least it only costs one command point.
The other negative point is the debate of why taking Kroot Carnivores at all when for an additional 2 points per model you could bring Firewarriors instead. Firewarriors who shoot at strength 5, have a 4+ save and can benefit from all the <sept> trait abilities.
Tricks, Tactics & Strats
Even after the abundance of negative points I do still firmly believe that the Kroot Carnivores can have their place in a T’au army. Yes I can see that Firewarriors can bring a lot to the battle, however you can field 100 Kroot Carnivores for 500 points and still have a significant amount of points to bring your heavy hitting units. I for one have played this tactic a number of times and it is very intimidating to your opponent, especially after their 7” pregame scout move. It forces your opponent to direct some of their attention at the horde of chaff that will be running up the board towards them, something people are not accustomed to when playing against T’au. Most T’au list builds tend to be very static and thus gives the enemy a lot of freedom to move around the board as they choose, while potentially capturing objectives. The fact that you can have a 100 of these guys moving up, not only does it add pressure but they can be used to deny reserve units arriving where they please. As well, once in range of assault they can tie up key enemy units from firing at your remaining forces, and with careful positioning, screen any units in your backline from being assaulted themselves.
Now despite not being able to benefit from any rule that affects <sept> units, there are a couple of auras they can use. One of them being the Kroot Shaper’s rerolls of 1’s to wound. Don’t underestimate this aura as it works for both shooting and combat, and against vehicles or infantry alike. Personally I have managed to take down a Stormfang with a 100 Kroot Carnivores firing at it from benefit of that reroll. Shapers also make Kroot leadership 7, which isn’t amazing, but will mean one less model is removed from morale. The other aura they can use are from Ethereals. Ethereals are great for Kroot as they can use their leadership of 9 instead with the option of making it 10 with the Calm of Tides invocation. Storm of Fire for the rerolls of 1’s in shooting is good, however from my experiences you are probably not going to be standing stationary a lot. The invocation that works the best is Sense of Stone, for effectively a 6+ feel no pain roll to increase the resistance of your Kroot blobs.
There is one <sept> where they gain a slight perk, and that is with the Dal’yth warlord trait, which simply gives the Kroot units around 12” of your warlord the “For the Greater Good” ability. It is ok, nothing game changing in my view, but the <sept> trait does synergise well (+1 cover save if they don’t make move of any kind or perform a manta strike that turn) with a horde of Kroot advancing forward.
In conclusion I really do think that the Kroot have their place in any T’au army and not something that should be overlooked simply because they can be wiped out so easily. Weight of numbers is a big thing I find in the current edition of 40k, and the Kroot Carnivores can pack a punch if ignored. Yes, you could simply take a small unit or two to do the screening and bulk out the rest with T’au units and Firewarriors, but with turn 1 reserves arriving and assaulting having been ruled out since the second big FAQ, those small screening units will be easily dealt with by the opponent. T’au being able to tie up units is also something that is not commonly seen and is a great way to limit the effectiveness of your opponent (I have neutered a unit of Wraithguard almost an entire game by surrounding it with a unit of Kroot, not leaving any space to escape combat). So yeah, I understand they’re not great, or going to single handedly win you games on their own, but if played right they can be used to force your opponent to alter their tactics in what they would normally do when playing a T’au gunline.
P.S. I’m still hoping to see if GW will ever release a Kroot Codex, anybody else think the same?
By Julian Chichon (SN Team)
Disclaimer: This article is the authors opinion. Please note that opinions can vary. SN holds no responsibility of any tables being flipped by you or your opponent as a result from reading this article.