Tayne’s Tau Tactica: Operation “Hide behind the Krooties” by Graeme Nicholls

4 Feb


Ok, so this time I thought I’d go back to my old favourite and discuss the Tau troop option, Kroot, and their uses. I’d wager nearly every non-Farsight based Tau list has at least one small Kroot squad in because they’re so useful. If not, try them, I promise they can have a valuable role in our army.


This is one of Dave’s favourite manoeuvres as discussed on the show, and I know it’s basic to a lot of players, but getting the basics right is a fundamental step in developing your gaming so let’s take a look. The goal of bubblewrapping is to protect your valuable units by surrounding them with an expendable option. Your opponent then either shoots/assaults the unit in front, leaving the valuable one behind safe, or shoots through you and (hopefully) your cover saves granted by this squad save the day.

Kroot are definitely the unit that can bubblewrap well in the Tau codex. They’re cheap, so disposable, and can come in sufficiently large numbers to take some casualties before any morale tests. You want the unit to survive taking some hits. A small unit won’t protect anyone as it runs after that third casualty after all. Here I recommend playing the numbers. The “magic” numbers to aim for are the ones that might just beat the 25% marker that means a morale test.

How does this work in practise? Ok, little bit of Maths time folks! A squad takes a morale test after losing 25% of its number to casualties in a shooting phase, so for a squad of 10 the test is taken after 3 models die. The same applies to a squad of 12 BUT a squad of 13 need 4 members to die. Likewise a squad of 16 models runs after 4 deaths, but 17 laugh in the face of four measly wounds (they run after 5).

One final note for bubblewrapping is to remember to close in when assaults are likely. When you’re assaulted, the opponent moves the closest of his models to closest of yours. After that, he can then try and multi-assault you, if possible. If you’ve left space, a model with, for example, a powerfist can sneak through the ranks and get into the model behind. And those S8 powerfists love our suits or hammerheads. Really, they do. Bunching up prevents this, assuming you have enough numbers to prevent your foe going around.

Counter Assault:

Ok, here I’m not talking in the sort of terms that most armies think of counter assaults. When assaults start hitting, we start losing out and we don’t have anything like Death Cult Assassins hidden in our ranks.

No, for Kroot I mean assaulting first. That’s right, first. For my kroot, I often run one smallish unit, and one of at least 20 bodies, 10 of which are Kroot Hounds, and the scenario that comes up frequently is roughly as follows:

My opponent, let’s call him Bobra the Everliving or Bobra for short, has a unit getting close. It maybe some sternguard that drop podded in with their combi melta’s, or some Khorne Bezerkers that are chomping, ready to eat some fish-sticks next turn. One movement phase later, I rapid fire some shots into Bobra’s men, taking a few out. Of course, there are other threats around so I can’t afford to focus my fire too heavily.

Time to unleash the hounds.

I’ve not shot with the kroot, 20 bs3 shots aren’t going to do much, instead the kroot charge, surprising Bobra (have a camera ready, Bobra was not expecting a Tau assault). Overcoming his shock, Bobra grins and shrugs “Ok, you assault, I hit you with my initiative 4 ‘marines”.

Of course he does, right after your hounds launch 30, S4 I5 attacks. 30 attacks lead to 15 hits, leading to 7.5 wounds and 2-3 dead marines. They punch back and kill a few no doubt. So I take off the hounds, and then my kroot attack. Assuming they weren’t shot previously (and they often aren’t, as they are so “rubbish”) so –another- 30 S4 attacks go in. Assuming you’ve softened the unit up enough, a miracle happens.

A Tau unit won an assault.

I’ll admit this tactic is far from the sure thing other armies can expect from an “assault” squad, but it’s fun, hilarious and potentially game turning. Try it out when you can.

Objective Camping:

Deckchair unit’s are a term the show love, and kroot aren’t bad at this. Ok, they are not a 12 henchman or 30 point wrack unit, but for 70 points you can have 10 wounds that are low priority on the opponents kill list. If you can, get that objective in woods and utilise the +1 cover saves Kroot have there. Oh, and go to ground. An objective camping unit isn’t there to pew-pew, get the extra cover save everytime you need it.


Ok, this is similar to the counter assault piece I wrote above. Kroot units (without a Krootox) can infiltrate. If you plan in advance and place a marker at one or both board edges (even better if your opponent’s done this for you), then this is worth a shot. With a two in three chance the squad comes on the right side, even 10 kroot can do damage to an opponent’s deckchair unit. The outflank option may not be one your opponent expects from you. Add in a positional relay and reserve management, and you could potentially contest or even claim on a key turn.


That’s some of the uses I have for kroot, any readers have any to add on?



The Pledge:

Oh man have I stormed it this month. The new army vibe (along with some sick time leaving me stuck indoors) and I’ve worked like a machine. I’ve assembled the last 4 bloodletters, 5 seekers and converted up the 10 fiends I mentioned last time. Then I started painting.

I painted 17 bloodletters (I somehow missed 3 when I did the undercoating), 6 Bloodcrushers and a Daemon Prince. All based and up to a gaming standard. I’ve almost finished the 10 fiends and 10 Horrors, just a little basing to go. All I need finish is the 10 seekers and the Bloodthirster. I never imagined I’d be this close to having a gaming standard army already! How are you all doing?


5 Responses to “Tayne’s Tau Tactica: Operation “Hide behind the Krooties” by Graeme Nicholls”

  1. Embolden40k February 4, 2012 at 15:55 #

    An interesting read, I remember the day when my Harlequins where squished by a group of kroot with attached hounds! I have a very healthy respect them in combat!

    • Graeme Nicholls (@TheTayne) February 5, 2012 at 09:43 #

      Ha! That’s the kind of moments I love in 40k!

      Though my favourite for Tau was an 8 man Firewarrior squad in a friend’s farsight army. They got assaulted in cover by a Death Company Dreadnought, he revealed they had emp grenades and wrecked the combat monster before it’s first swing. The look on the Blood Angel players face was priceless!

      Of course, he then proceeded to table the Tau, but hey ho.

  2. Andy Ovel February 4, 2012 at 19:02 #

    Nice one good article 🙂

    I don’t play Tau, and none of my local group do either, BUT knowing some Kroot tactics may save me when I get to the GT, because I need all the help I can get! :$

    YES I did some painting as promised. I got my Scout Sergeant converted and painted, I painted my converted Yarrick model.

    AND got two Warpath models from Mantic done too; the Forgefather and Orx heroes, which I think may have been my best painted models yet 🙂


  3. Franco Marrufo February 5, 2012 at 04:20 #

    I go with 3 squads of kroot in my current army because they’re simply better than firewarriors at everything. I use 1 or 2 as bubblewrap and the other one outflanks to grab a board edge objective. If the other guy has scouts that can ruin my day I use one of my 10-man squads to line the other guys deployment zone so their scout move goes no where. 17 is the number I go for for the big squad (7 hounds), and will tend to take warriors off before hounds if they get shot at.

  4. Graeme Nicholls (@TheTayne) February 5, 2012 at 09:41 #

    Ditto Franco, I really do think Hounds are the best bit of the squad. Saying that, I’ve never tried the Krootox. On paper it hasn’t made an impression, but for completion’s sake I should give it a few tries.

    I might get hung up on the whole 60 attacks at two different Initiatives, I do keep running that 20 man squad (or even higher, despite my own advice above).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: