Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Kroot Riders

So I love these guys.  Do you?

In the latest Codex (and the rumors ARE swirling that it is in the schedule for replacement so we shall see what's next for them) almost every unit in the codex was made to work as it was meant to work.  Amazing,  Games Workshop hit a home run with the Codex as they finally lifted one of the most nonsensical restrictions to ever be perpetrated:  Stopping the Kroot Riders from coming along with their Kroot brethren when outflanking and infiltrating.

This undervalued fact has a few neat tricks.

The main one is of course that you now have something that is at least somewhat combat capable in the unit.  6+ saves are cool and all, but lets face it:  the Kroot Riders are necessary for their to be much hope of a tie combat when the unit gets hit.  Their Strength and attacks give the unit a chance to dish a little and at least not get blown out by the lesser melee units.  More competent units will rightly kill them, but thats okay, it's not like they cost much.

The Second thing i loved about this move is that the Kroot Gun when positioned by infiltration or outflanking gets GREAT angles on the enemy.  Think about it for a second.  If you can swing into the side arc of a Vindicator or a Hammerhead and hit it with a pair of STR 7 shots to stun it and start the pain off right, you're in good shape for the cost of doing so and can do it again if the enemy doesn't attend to you.  Take three Riders and you're actually talking about serious punch in the shooting phase.

The fact that Kroot can utilize Marker Lights is huge of course because now you're hitting on 2's with six STR 7 shots.  That just does not suck.  That the shooting can knock out dreadnoughts that are dispatched to end the threat or other like units is equally satisfying (not that competitive players use Dreadnoughts much but it's not unheard of).

The bag of tricks for them is REALLY interesting when you consider the Tau Pathfinders.  A Tau Pathfinder unit can mount up in their vehicle at the 12" line in Dawn of War Deployment (or even closer in Vanguard Deployment), make their scout move of 12", move flat out on their first turn and be 6" from the enemy's rear board edge.  Why does this matter?  Well because the Tau Pathfinders can carry the Recon Drone aboard and by doing so, can absolutely ensure that the Kroot can choose to come on either the side of the board the Pathfinders are on OR on the enemies back board edge.  Since the Kroot Riders are actually Rapid Fire weapons, you are talking about serious rear armor exposure for Imperial Knights etc...  SURPRISE!!!  The Recon Drone being within 6" of the side and enemy rear board edge allows them to come out either way giving the Kroot Riders the Snikrot treatment.  Pretty darn cool.  Imagine the Consternation of the Grots when their artillery batteries are threatened at point blank range by that.  Oh the irony.

I am very pleased with the deployment options of this underused portion of the Kroot unit.  I always see 10 Kroot and a hound, or 20 Sniper Kroot and a hound and so on.  But the lowly Kroot Riders possibilities are often under appreciated.  I hope this makes you consider using them more.

If you have some awesome stories to tell about Kroot Riders, lay 'em on me.

For some other Tau intrigue, read on!


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