Monday, 8 March 2010

Quick Battle Summary - Tau vs Orks, & Reflections on Kroot & Pathfinders

Last Thursday I got in a game with my Tau against an Ork army. The Ork player was a long time fantasy player that was getting back into 40k. Unfortunately he didn’t have 1750 pts, so I had to cut my army down to 1500 pts. Below is the list I used (basically I lost one of the pathfinder units, 1 broadside, and downgraded a plasma rifle to a missile pod on my shas’el):

Shas'el Commander – 102
Missile Pod, Cyclic Ion Blaster, Multi-tracker,
Hard-wired Drone Controller with 2 Gun Drones

Crisis Battle Suit Team - 137
1 Crisis Battlesuit with
Twin-linked Flamers, Missile Pod
2 Crisis Battlesuit with
Twin-linked Missile Pods, Flamer

Crisis Battle Suit Team - 163
1 Crisis Battlesuit with
Twin-linked Missile Pods
Drone Controller with 2 Gun Drones
2 Crisis Battlesuits with
Missile Pod, Burst Cannon, Multi-tracker

Crisis Battle Suit Team - 186
3 Crisis Battlesuits with
Plasma Rifle, Missile Pod, Multi-tracker

6 Fire Warriors – 60

10 Kroot & 5 Kroot Hounds – 100

10 Kroot – 70

6 Pathfinders – 72
Devilfish with Disruption Pods – 85

Hammerhead Battle Tank – 165
Railgun, Burst Cannons, Multi-tracker, Disruption Pods

Hammerhead Battle Tank – 165
Railgun, Burst Cannons, Multi-tracker, Disruption Pods

Broadside Battlesuit Team - 195
2 Broadsides with Advanced Stabilisation System
one upgraded to a Team Leader with Hard-Wired Drone Controller with 2 Shield Drones

Total Points: 1500 (57 Models and 13 Kill Points)

I was playing against a double battle wagon army, led by a warboss with mega armoured nobz, grots to hold home objectives, and the usual support of lootas and a dreadnaught, with the less common choices of tandbusta boyz and a looted wagon with boomgun to round out the list. The full list was:

Warboss with 6 Mega armoured Nobz in Battlewagon
Mek with Kustom Forcefield (who joined the Warboss and Nobz)

15 Slugga Boyz, including Nobz and Rokkit in Battlewagon

6 Lootas

6 Tank Busters (with a few bomb squigs)

2 x 10 Grots

Looted Wagon with Boomgun (same as a battlecannon)

Dreadnaught (with the 24” range, Str8, gun, a big shoota & 2 powerclaws)

We rolled up a killpoint mission with normal pitched battle deployment. I won the roll for sides and let my opponent choose the sides and go first.

Main points from the game were:

  • Looted Wagon was exploded by broadsides turn 1 (there was no way I wanted a battle cannon template firing on me, especially when it was only on a armour 11 chassis).
  • My hammerheads failed to hurt either battlewagon for the 1st 3 turns (even with markerlight support, and half the shots being against side armour).
  • I killed the dread turn 2 which allowed the missile/burst crisis suit team to move up the flank and finish off the lootas in turn 5
  • The warboss and nobz hit my line turn 3 unscathed. They fisted a hammerhead out of the sky, killed the pathfinders the next turn, and then killed a kroot squad the turn after (more on the kroot later)
  • The boyz on the second battlewagon followed closely behind the warboss, but their fate was completely different. Turn 3 I killed the battlewagon, 5 guys died in the explosion, a few more were killed by twin missile crisis suits, and after firing a few pistol shots the rest were killed the following turn.
  • At the end of my opponent’s 5th turn it was 4-4 on kill points (Hammerhead, Pathfinders & both Kroot units vs Battlewagon, Slugga Boyz, Looted Wagon & Dreadnaught). On my 5th turn killed the last tankbusta boy, and the last of the lootas, meaning that when my opponent rolled a 2 for whether the game continued I won 6-4.

Thoughts on the Tau performance

The volume of missile pod fire was really nice, and the drone protection on the crisis suits worked perfectly, I lost all the drones by the end of the battle (half of them from shots that would have instant killed a crisis suit), but my main firepower was intact.

The firewariors did nothing as expected. They came on from reserve went into the pathfinder devilfish and ran like girls for an empty corner than nothing in it apart from a hammerhead taking side shots (and later rear shots) at battlewagons all game.

The kroot on the other hand surprised me. They killed nothing, but what they did could really be put to good use in future games.

The large kroot unit came on turn 2, and came on where the crisis suits and broadsides were. In turn 4 the mega nobz were finished with the pathfinders and were looking menacingly at the crisis suits. The kroot moved forwards to restrict their forward movement and the crisis suits were able to jump behind the kroot. In the next turn the smaller unit of kroot came on, and they formed a second line for the crisis suits to jump behind. Unfortunately the small unit of kroot took 3 wounds from long range fire and ran off the board, meaning the cheapest crisis suit had to more forwards to make it too long a route to go round them and get the other crisis suits in combat (the orks still hadn’t called the waargh so had a 18” threat range).

The way the kroot formed a double layer of protection meant that by turn 5 the orks hadn’t got to the crisis suits or broadsides allowing them to fire all game. Seeing this I will have to deploy the kroot on the board more often because if the kroot hadn’t come on from reserve when they did the orks may have got at least one of the crisis suit units before the protective line could be formed.

The kroot running from 3 casualties showed the vulnerability of this tactic when using small units. To mitigate this risk I’m considering equalising the kroot units to 10 with 3 hounds, or at 1750 pts I could make both kroot units 10 with 5 hounds at the expense of reducing the pathfinders to 2 units of 5.

My hammerheads were poor again, it’s probably just bad dice rolls. At 1750 points I’m tempted to change one to a skyray (same points cost), as I’ll still have 4 railguns that can fire at 3 different targets, and having 2 vehicle markerlights would make me more comfortable dropping 2 pathfinders to afford a 2nd larger kroot squad.

How do you use your kroot ? What unit composition and tactics work best for you ?



  1. I am running them at 20 kroot, 10 hounds and a shaper (30 models for 221pts). This unit, sitting in cover, defeated most of a tyranid horde... resisting assault as well as shooting.

  2. Isn't that a lot of points in one fragile unit ? Wouldn't 2 units of 10 kroot and 7 hounds be better for some redundancy, allow the kroot to be in 2 different places if necessary, or stall the enemy from getting to assault your firepower for 2 turns rather than 1 ?

    Do you normally deploy or outflank your kroot, and have you ever suffered from whirlwinds, hellhounds, or units with multiple flames (eg. IG platoon hq with 4 flames in a chimera with heavy flamed) ?

    I've never used such a big unit, so I'd be interested to hear your experiences.




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