9E Tau Codex Review: Troops: Kroot Carnivores

Today we talk about the first of the Troop choices from the Tau codex, Kroot Carnivores. Click to read on or check out the Tactics Corner for more reviews and strategies.


Kroot Carnivores are one of the auxiliary forces supporting the Tau Empire, less well-armed and -armored than their Tau counterparts. A movement of 7″ makes them reasonably quick, although not exceptionally so. Weapon skill 3+ and ballistic skill 4+ are likewise acceptable, but not particularly impressive. Strength and toughness three are definitely subpar, and combined with the 6+ armor save it leaves the unit woefully vulnerable. One attack and leadership six are both likewise very underwhelming, giving the unit one of the worst overall statlines in the game. Kroot Carnivores can be taken in units of ten to twenty, and cost 6pts per model.

Special Rules and Wargear

Unlike other Tau units, Kroot do not have the For the Greater Good rule, meaning they are unable to fire overwatch without spending CP (although nearby units can still support them.) They also do not benefit from Sept rules, as they lack the Sept keyword. In fact, their only special rule is Stealthy Hunters, which allows them to make a 7″ movement at the start of the first battle round, ending more than 9″ from any enemy units.

Each member of the squad is equipped with a Kroot Rifle, which can be used either in melee or in shooting. In shooting it is exactly like a Boltgun; in melee it adds +1Str but confers no other benefits.

A Kroot Carnivore squad cannot select any options.


Kroot are, to be blunt, unusably bad. In earlier editions they would function as a screening unit that could hold back enemy assaults or use Infiltrate to deploy onto objectives in order to score the Tau player points- however, in 9E they are incredibly unsuited to either of those roles.

This is largely because of their fragility; Kroot have the second-worst defensive profile in the game, being surpassed in this regard only by Gretchin (who have one lower toughness.) Even Lasguns will make short work of them if they come under fire, and their low morale also means that they are likely to take a lot of extra casualties even when the unit isn’t wiped out. Even when standing in cover, they are sufficiently vulnerable that one can expect to lose significant portions of a squad to even the most trivial of shooting attacks, such as the random Boltguns carried by characters and transports. Any kind of dedicated anti-infantry weapon will absolutely annihilate them without even a second thought.

However, their problems go beyond simply the defensive. Although nominally a melee unit, the miserable statline of a Kroot means they are no real threat to even paltry melee units such as Guardsmen or enemy Strike Teams. (In fact, body-for-body, a Strike Team will generally outfight Kroot in close combat.) The lack of AP means they are utterly nonthreatening the Marines and other armored foes, which the single attack per model means that horde enemies have little to worry about, either. A full-size squad of Kroot puts out fewer attacks than a basic unit of Intercessors, and with worse AP and other statlines to boot, and yet are still more than half again the price.

One might think that Kroot would be useful for controlling objectives early, but you would be mistaken. Although Kroot can get onto an objective very quickly thanks to their pregame move, since no scoring happens until turn 2 your opponent will always have the chance to interact with them before you can get any points from them- and as we have already explained, it takes very little firepower to remove a squad of Kroot from any objective. They also present a very tempting charge target when used in this role, allowing the enemy to leapfrog forward more quickly than usual, a feature that makes them worse than useless in terms of defending you from assaults.

Final Thoughts

Kroot are truly exemplary as a showcase of Tau design in 9E- outdated, inapplicable, and not even good to begin with. If you want your Tau army to be anything resembling functional I suggest avoiding them at all costs, as other options are both cheaper and more effective.

As always, remember that you can get your wargaming supplies at great discounts every day from the Frontline Gaming store, whether you’re looking to start a new army or expand an existing one.


About abusepuppy

I was there, reader- I was there three editions ago. When Games Workshop released the Ynnari. When the strength of men failed.
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1 year ago

Continuing to enjoy the Tau unit reads and am hopeful the long con eventually pays off and we get a solid dex. Your efforts have truly been for the greater good.

1 year ago

– A full-size squad of Kroot puts out fewer attacks than a basic unit of Intercessors, and with worse AP and other statlines to boot, and yet are still more than half again the price.-

Hitting the nail on the head right there.

1 year ago

They get even worse when you realise that other Tau can not give the kroot supporting overwatch due to the new wording for the Greater Good.

Going up 50% in cost from 8th to 9th edition when they are so fragile has been a death sentence for the carnivores 🙁

1 year ago

Kroot were worth considering at 4ppm with the 8th edition rules. Certainly once they got some access to stratagems they had some sort of play.

Losing the ability to trigger For the Greater Good would have been bad enough but a 50% points increase crippled them beyond any use. I’ve tried in practice games, the stratagems are still neat for pivoting onto an objective with ObSec but they just don’t work in the numbers you can now afford to take.

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