T’au Codex Review – Troop: Kroot Carnivores

Charlie here from 40kDiceRolls, here again to discuss the most common auxiliary T’au force, Kroot Carnivores. As always, for more tactics articles, check out the Tactics Corner!

Though their savage ways are viewed with distain by the T’au, that doesn’t stop Kroot Carnivores from being the most common T’au auxiliary force. Their ability to stealthily hunt their prey, only to viciously stab and hack at it with their crude knives (followed by ritualistic consumption of their fallen enemy’s flesh) has turned out to be pretty handy against the countless horrors of the 41st millennium.

Kroot Carnivores

 

On the tabletop, Kroot Carnivores consist of at least 10 Kroot models armed with rapid firing weapons that double as close combat weapons. Up to 20 Kroot models may be included in a given unit.

Kroot Carnivores

M WS BS S T W A Ld Sv
7″ 3+ 4+ 3 3 1 1 6 6+

Wargear

Each Kroot Carnivore is armed with a Kroot rifle (shooting: 24″ Rapid Fire 1 S4 AP0 D1, melee: S+1, AP0, D1).

Special Rules

  • Stealthy Hunters
    • After deployment but before the first battle round, this unit may move up to 7″.

Tactics

Kroot Carnivores are a somewhat decent screening and “speed bump” unit. With their 7″ pregame movement and then 7″ regular movement you will find yourself within rapid fire range and within range of a long charge first turn, assuming standard 24″ separated deployment zones. With the first turn, a full unit of 20 Carnivores will put out 40 shots from 10″ away, which is not insignificant, even with their BS4+. Every now and then, you might get lucky with rerolls and make that long charge to try and tie up some units or touch some tanks.

They could even be used to try and hold mid-field objectives turn one, since their movement will give them easy access to them. I say “try” because Carnivores die to a stiff breeze. With their Sv6+, even in cover they’re only getting a 1/3 chance to save against an AP0 attack, which is pretty bad. You’re probably going to want to take larger units of them to overcome this drawback, but then you’d be falling victim to their Ld6. With any significant number of them being killed in a turn, you’re all but ensuring that you will lose several more to Morale tests.

One way around their lack of resiliency and “sticking” power is to buff them with an Ethereal, thanks to the Carnivores having the <T’au Empire> faction keyword. You’ll probably want the Ethereal to be on a hover drone in order to help keep up. The Ethereal won’t get the pre-game 7″ movement so make sure you leave at least one Kroot straggler within 6″ of the Ethereal to benefit from his leadership buff (Ld9, or Ld10 if he’s Sa’cea) and Sense of Stone invocation (6+++ FnP). They will be far less susceptible to Morale losses this way, but any sort of dedicated firepower will be able to take them out relatively easily.

Though they do have WS3+, they no longer have any sort of Sniper Rounds like they had in previous editions and don’t get any sort of extra bonus to cover saves for being in wooded areas. Even with a Kroot Shaper (a Kroot <Character> who gives all <Kroot> rerolls 1 To-Wound) it’s nowhere near enough to make Kroot competitive. They’re not enough of a threat to have to deal with in most situations (thanks to their singular attack) and the worst they can really do is try and assault a Leman Russ so it has to fall back and can’t shoot the next turn. That’s not nothing, but there are other units who can do that as well or better. As a result, there’s really not a lot of flavor to them and not many things they uniquely bring to competitive T’au lists.

All in all, if we look at the things they do somewhat decently (cause disruption in the middle of the board early game as well as hold mid-field objectives) we can see that Stealth Teams do it better. Stealth Teams have better toughness, -1 To-Hit always, two wounds a piece, more movement, more flexible deployment, better save, and better leadership. If you’re wanting a unit to get in your opponent’s face and throw a wrench in their plans, that’s your unit, not Carnivores.

Counters

The obvious is to kill them and kill them easily. Don’t get caught off guard if you have any specially deployed units like Scouts and be first turn-charged using hostage tactics by a unit of Kroot.

Summary

Overall, I love Kroot. I love the fluff, the model conversions of things like a Carnivore driving a Piranha, and seeing a table full of 60+ green Kroot bodies. I like Kroot in narrative and fun, friendly games. They just don’t have the resiliency or toolkit to stand up to any sort of actual competition. This makes me really sad because for some reason I really like the idea of Kroot. Maybe it’s the ferocious looking models, maybe its the hope of playing in phases other than the Shooting phases that they give me, maybe I just like the color green.

By and large, Kroot (specifically Carnivores but the other variants do too) feel like someone was rushed with their rules. They have average to below-average stats with little or no special rules to not only make up for that fact, but to let them stand out at all. They’re basically green pathfinders who wish they were stealth suits. I’ve heard a few rumbling of a Krootdex (Kroot Codex) in the works, which I would personally love and buy in a heartbeat, but I have no idea how realistic that is. They certainly need something to give them flavor, more synergy (they totally miss out on sept traits and can only gain For the Greater Good when you take the Daly’th-specific WL trait), and better rules. As it stands, they’re just cool in my mind, not on the tabletop.

What would make Kroot more competitive?

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

secondhandhsop

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About Charlie A.

Mathhammer is best hammer. Follow Charlie on twitter @40kDiceRolls for mathhamer, painting pictures, and a generally good time.

24 Responses to “T’au Codex Review – Troop: Kroot Carnivores”

  1. Dakkath September 17, 2018 2:04 am #

    Dropping to 4ppm or getting their second attack and/or sniper rounds back would be a start.

    As-is, the best uses I can think of for them are a 20 body conga line 9.5″ from your back edge to block deepstrikers and another one far enough in front of your army to absorb a charge without letting them slingshot into the rest of your units. Which will probably put them outside of FTGG range.

    • Charlie A. September 17, 2018 4:01 am #

      True, and that’s about the best role I could think of for them as well. The problem then lies in the fact that your opponent could just shoot them to remove them turn 1, then come in from reserves turn two as if they had not even been there. Disappointing.

    • abusepuppy September 17, 2018 8:18 am #

      A second attack and/or a defensive bonus while in cover (either +1 extra save or -1 to hit) would go a long ways towards making them a more viable competitive choice. The problem right now isn’t really their price, which is pretty appropriate for what you get out of them; it’s more that they just aren’t unique enough or good enough at most jobs.

      A squad of ~15 of them to completely block off your front line from deep strikes is the best use I’ve found for them, as they are a lot cheaper than Stealth Suits in that role (though you get what you pay for.) Pathfinders, who can provide a similar service for a similar price, are also problematic for them.

      • Dakkath September 17, 2018 7:16 pm #

        Yeah, a defensive bonus would probably be even better for them.

  2. Kevin Lantz September 17, 2018 2:41 am #

    A strictly inferior Ork point wise lol. Before the firewarriors went down in price they were a reasonable niche choice, but now strictly worse. They need a bigger price reduction or more options to be worth 6pts

    • Charlie A. September 17, 2018 4:00 am #

      Totally agree with you Kevin. As is mentioned by the other Kroot articles (soon to come), Kroot as a whole really lack in flavor and special abilities, to ultimately make them not worth their points. How do they compare against the same points of Orks or Catachans? Not very well at all :/

    • abusepuppy September 17, 2018 8:21 am #

      Well, I mean, they are 5pts rather than 6, so they aren’t _strictly_ inferior. And their gun is arguably better, or at least on par, with the Shoota, so there’s that. But with one less attack and toughness as well as lacking the special rules (‘Ere We Go, Mob Rule) that can make Orks so good, I think it doesn’t look great for Kroot.

      On the other hand, they are units in very different codices, so I don’t think a one-to-one comparison is really fair to either unit. A unit of Boyz crashing into Kroot will easily annihilate them, but if they take 20 casualties from overwatch and FTGG, it’s an exchange that is coming out in the Tau’s favor overall, even if the Orks are technically “winning” the fight.

  3. Draaen September 17, 2018 8:31 am #

    Kroot need an auxilliary codex. Currently they lack effective character support, stratagems and sept tenants. Kroot are effectively index units competing against codex units.

    I’ve always used kroot as irregular infantry going places where my fire warriors couldn’t, glancing tanks in combat/shooting in the rear and in general being a nuisance that relied on cover and positioning to keep them alive. My tactics were more inspired by how my brothers cheap skinks gave my chaos army no end of frustration and kroot seemed to fit the skinks in space role. With the lack of deployment options and reduction of benefit from cover that play style is significantly neutered.

    Besides having a codex with proper support I would have two major fixes for the kroot.

    1. Cover bonus. Either a -1 to hit or +2 to their save while in cover. More durable when in cover but get wrecked when not in cover. With the large squad size this will require tactical play to continuously take advantage of. I’d be worried of giving too large a survivability bonus to so inexpensive a model.

    2. Let them scout move or outflank. They could be used to turn 1 screen or in the case where it is not necessary be outflanking reinforcments/harrasment at key locations guaranteeing a round of fire if you go second. Since they are cheap enough waiting until turn 2 to bring them on is no big deal and temporarily removes their large weakness of being killed by a stiff breeze until you bring them out to play.

  4. BK September 17, 2018 9:43 am #

    In their defence they are 5pts a model with a scout move, a st4 gun and CC attack. They gain the benefits of markerlights and Ethereal buffs.

    They have popped up in a few Etc lists iirc.

  5. happy_inquisitor September 17, 2018 10:06 am #

    Kroot being so cheap does give them a certain sort of utility.

    As a forward screening unit they can take Smite on behalf of the rest of your army far better than Stealth Suits.

    They cover a lot of table, if you want a bunch of table covered you can park a cheap unit of kroot there and leave your opponent a tricky choice of letting them camp or using up their shooing on cheap chaff. Kroot plus hounds do give a Tau player the option to play a table control game with sheer mass of bodies; it is far from the best horde in the game but it does get a pre-game move and has a half-decent shooting weapon which does benefit from markerlights.

    They can attract overwatch from their Tau buddies. Realistically this is the main reason you might take kroot, a unit of kroot can tail back to within 6″ of a lot of the big guns making them a real pain to assault especially if their buddies are T’au sept.

    The worst thing about them is that they are bland and rather uninteresting and they even have one of the worst Stratagems in the Tau Codex. They are in fairly desperate need of a Kroot Mercs codex of their own to make them fun and interesting.

  6. Rob Butcher September 17, 2018 11:01 am #

    Again showing the stats direct from the book without GW permission. That’s illegal and GW hate seeing it!

    Stopped reading then and recommending my mates do likewise.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 17, 2018 11:22 am #

      Dude. Lol, why you have chosen to make this your raison d’etre I have no idea but everyone understands your perspective on this issue at this point. No need to keep repeating it over and again. We work very closely with GW, if they feel we’re doing something we shouldn’t they would let us know and we’d be happy to comply. But we, and many others, post stats on units as a part of the review process all the time and it is fine. No need to feel like it is your duty to present their perspectives for them as you are not their representative nor I am willing to bet, are you a lawyer specializing in this area. So if you would be so kind, please let it go. It’s getting annoying.

    • Ujayim September 17, 2018 1:17 pm #

      Reeee

    • abusepuppy September 17, 2018 3:26 pm #

      You still don’t understand what copyright law is. Swing and a miss, buddy.

      • Reecius
        Reecius September 17, 2018 6:48 pm #

        Indeed. Lol, GW sends us (and other reviewers) material with the express purpose of reviewing it. Lol, they ASK us to do this as it helps drive interest in the games and give people the info they need to decide if they want to buy it or not.

        They have kindly asked us not to spoil any of the fluff in advance which we are more than happy to comply with. We have express permission to review stats and such. I’m sure Rob means well but he really, really doesn’t know what he’s talking about here.

        • Ujayim September 18, 2018 6:42 am #

          Don’t worry, everyone but him knows that.

          Beyond that, I can’t imagine a single person who holds the idea in their head of “Oh, goodness no! You’re telling me someone isn’t looking out for the corporation?! Who’s going to stand up for the little guy and protect their slightly vague image someone posted on a sponsored blog?!”

  7. Aeglos September 18, 2018 8:52 am #

    Does… does this mean that they sent/asked you to specifically review the T’au or specific T’au units?

    If so, it gives me hope for CA and the upcoming FAQ.

    #MakeCrisisSuitsGreatAgain

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 18, 2018 9:32 am #

      I think everyone will be very happy with CA =)

      • Ujayim September 18, 2018 10:45 am #

        Even me, Papa?

        *Winks in Tzeentch*

      • Shas’O September 18, 2018 10:54 am #

        Nice! Any hints as to when the September FAQ will drop? Will it at least be in September?

        • Reecius
          Reecius September 18, 2018 11:45 am #

          I can’t any questions to that effect, sorry.

          • Shas’O September 20, 2018 2:58 am
            #

            Fair enough, sorry. Just super pumped is all!

          • Reecius
            Reecius September 20, 2018 7:49 am
            #

            Totally understandable =)

      • NinetyNineNo September 18, 2018 1:03 pm #

        Please don’t get me hype, I don’t want to get hype.

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