Welcome, reader. Do you like a challenge? Do you enjoy stalking through the jungle and hunting your prey down like a Predator? Do you eat your kills to absorb their knowledge and favorable genetic traits? Are you OK working with metal models and rules that are updated about as often? Then consider a Kroot kill team!
- Melee – Kroot are OK – but not amazing – at melee combat. Your average Kroot carnivore model has WS 3+ and comes with a gun that lets them hit at S4 in melee combat. Kroot Hounds and Krootoxen also have some solid abilities and weapons to help them do more damage in melee combat.
- Mobility – Kroot are pretty fast on the whole. Your slowest models have 7″ movement, meaning that you can maneuver around most kill teams and get to objectives really quickly.
- Cheap – At 6 points per model for Carnivores and Hounds, Kroot are pretty cheap, while Krootox Riders are max 1, so you’re going to be approaching games of kill team as a horde of fast warriors. At a minimum, you’ll be looking at 13 models in a 100-point team, and you can easily up that number.
- Leadership – Kroot leadership maxes out at 6 and hounds have 5, meaning that Nerve tests can become a real problem for your team once you start losing models and taking Flesh Wounds. You’ll need to mitigate this by keeping models bunched together.
- Lack of Variety – You get one Krootox and after that your options are 0-4 hounds and as many kroot warriors as you can fit. A single Krootox plus 4 hounds will run you 51 points, giving you room for 8 Kroot Carnivores afterward at 100 points and 12 at 125. There’s your kill team, unless you want to take more Carnivores and less of the other stuff. You don’t really have many options.
- Armor – While Kill Team tends to natively boost horde strategies with the injury roll mechanic acting as a kind of additional 4+ save, your models are still mostly T3 with a 6+ armor save and no options for invulnerable saves, making them among the squishiest bodies in the game.
- Tactics – Kroot only have access to six Tactics. Some of those are pretty good, but you’re going to have to make do with those.
- Lack of Support – Kroot kill teams were originally published in White Dwarf and their treatment since then has made it clear they aren’t considered a “real” kill team. They lack subfactions, only have a Commander option thanks to Blackstone Fortress (which is odd because shapers were already a thing), and only have six tactics. If you play a kroot kill team, don’t expect a lot of new rules. On the plus side, you’re not going to have to buy or paint more models any time soon.
Kroot are among the game’s weakest kill teams, owing to a lack of options, low support, and having no sub-factions. The ITC packet helps this a bit, but ultimately they’re more a novelty than a competitive kill team.
Kroot don’t really have any faction-wide special rules of their own, but the ITC’s rules packet for the LVO Kill Team Tournament gave them access to some custom subfactions. If you’re playing with those rules, these are a big boost, so consider asking (begging?) your opponents to play with this packet if you’re doing ITC format games. You can find those rules here.
Subfactions – Path Practices
The LVO packet introduced 3 subfactions called Paths for Kroot to choose from. These don’t apply to CAVALRY, e.g. Krootox Riders, but those models don’t stop you from getting a Path either. As long as all of the models in your team come from the same Path, you get this bonus.
- Path of the Silent Step – When a model makes a shooting attack that targets a model on your team with this path that is obscured, it gets an additional -1 to its to hit roll. Getting the obscured bonus in Kill Team is pretty easy, and this being an added bonus with no range requirement is a big boost that can help mitigate your nonexistent armor. A
- Path of the Seven – Models in your kill team add 1 to their saving throws. This is also decent, since by default it gives you a 5+ to work with and gives you some protection against AP-1 and in melee combat. On the whole it’s likely to be less useful than Path of the Silent Step, however. B
- Path of the Wind – When a model in your kill team advances, you can re-roll the D6 result. This is OK but you are never going to pick it over either of the other two, since Kroot kill teams are already pretty fast and what you really need is anything that helps you not die.
- Kroot Rifles are the basic guns of the Kroot Carnivore. They pack a boltgun statline in ranged mode and act as a S+1 weapon in melee combat. They’re pretty solid.
- Kroot Guns are the larger guns mounted on the back of Krootoxen. They’re 48″ range Rapid Fire 1, S7, AP-1, D3 Damage guns. It’s a solid profile and the range is really helpful for making sure you never have to deal with the long range penalty. These are one of only two weapons you get that can do multiple damage, and the only one that can do it at a distance.
- Ripping Fangs are the Kroot Hounds’ melee weapon. They’re notable for being AP-1.
- Krootox Fists are the Krootox melee weapon, a S6 AP 0 2 damage weapon. Also pretty good but that AP 0 part just stinks.
Kroot have access to three different models in a standard kill team and one Commander option.
The standard model on a Kroot kill team, Carnivores are 6-point all-rounders. They have good movement (7″), are OK in melee with a 3+ WS S4 attack, and are passable shooting with BS 4+ and a boltgun weapon profile. Generally Kroot Carnivores are going to do their best work when they can stay moving, keeping behind cover and capturing objectives early. They won’t last long in a slugfest against marine targets, but with careful placement and baiting, you can use your numbers to take down larger targets or outflank an enemy and attack vulnerable models in their backfield. Should you manage to do so and kill an enemy Leader, be sure to fire off the Prestigious Trophy Tactic to ignore Nerve tests with that model for the rest of the battle. Also, make your opponent watch as you eat the Leader model they worked so hard to paint.
Carnivores are your only option for a Leader specialist, so take one to keep in the rear for CP generation. Otherwise they can take the Combat, Zealot, Sniper, Scout, and Veteran specialisms and of those you should angle for Zealot and Veteran, since most of the time you’ll be taking Combat on a Kroot Hound. It’s really not worth it to try and make a Kroot sniper happen.
A Kroot kill team can have up to 4 Kroot Hounds, who are essentially your combat specialists. They’ve got a 12″ move and a very low profile, making it easy to hide them completely behind terrain. They have two attacks each and while they’re only S3, they make up for it with AP-1 and the Tearing Jaws tactic, which allows them to roll 2D6 and use the highest result when rolling an Injury roll. This is a powerful boost and helps ensure that when a Kroot Hound does get through, their target goes down. Their Voracious Predator ability gives them +1 to hit rolls against models that have taken a Flesh Wound as well, which is a nice bonus when you need to take down a target you’ve already punched a wound through. You want at least four Kroot Hounds on your roster and you’re going to want 4 on your team in most games. Be sure to add one as a combat specialist and the other as a Scout specialist so you can take advantage when you need better forward support.
The heavy hitters of the Kroot kill team, Krootox Riders sport both the team’s biggest gun and its best melee weapon, being able to do 2 damage with their fists in combat. Their save is still awful but they’ve got T5 and 4 wounds, which will keep them upright for a while and they’re wonderful support for your team. Sadly they’re limited to 1 per team and whenever you take one you’ll be forced to choose between using it as a melee or ranged threat, but there isn’t a team that doesn’t want a Krootox on it. Krootox Riders can be either Combat or Veteran specialists and both have their merits. If you think you’re going to be shooting more, then you absolutely want to make your Krootox a veteran specialist to help avoid the negative effects of only having Ld 6. Krootox Riders always advance 6″ thanks to their Agile Brute rule which is nice but you’ll rarely want to actually advance with one given that it means giving up a turn of shooting your Kroot gun, the best weapon the team has access to.
Commander: Dayakh Grekh
Blackstone Fortress gives Kroot a single Commander option, Dahyak Grekh, who brings higher Ld (7!) to the table, has good Movement, solid BS (3+), and a built-in -1 to hit if obscured modifier. As far as Commanders go, Grekh isn’t great, being forced to be a Stealth specialist, which is a set of OK traits that don’t really help the Kroot kill team with its problems.
Kroot have access to six Tactics, outlined in the 2019 Kill Team Annual. They’re all pretty good.
- Unfettered Aggression (1 CP) – Use when a model in your kill team fights. Until the end of the phase, it gets +1 Attacks. This is really great, and an easy slam dunk whenever you’re in a fight that isn’t hopeless. It’s wonderful on Kroot Hounds and Krootox, and combines well with Primal Savagery. A
- Primal Savagery (1 CP) – Use at the end of the Fight phase, pick a Krootox Rider in your kill team within 1″ of an enemy model and it can immediately fight again. This is also great, and a good way to punish an opponent for double-charging your Krootox. It works well with Unfettered Aggression to double the number of extra attacks you get and it’s priced to move at 1 CP. A+
- Prestigious Trophy (1 CP) – Use when a Kroot Carnivore kills an enemy Leader in the Fight phase. It automatically passes all Nerve tests until the end of the battle. This is helpful because Kroot have poor Leadership, but it’s rarely going to be something that happens unless you’re already dominating a game. C+
- Hyper Evolution (2 CP) – Use when a model in your kill team takes out an enemy model in the Fight phase and isn’t within 1″ of other enemy models. It can’t consolidate, but instead gets +1 to its Move and Strength characteristics for the res of the game. This is great when you can pull it off and while pricey, can really turn a Kroot Hound into an immense threat or help a Kroot Carnivore Combat specialist do some extra damage. A
- Agile Hunter (1 CP) – Use in the Movement phase to jump a gap of 4″ instead of 2″. This won’t matter in most games. It should have been a built-in faction special rule. D
- Tearing Jaws (1 CP) – Use when you make an injury roll for a model taken out by a Kroot Hound. Roll 2D6 for the injury and use the highest result. This is wonderful, and makes Kroot Hounds worth taking in your team. Plan to use this every time one gets into combat. A
The battle plan for Kroot Mercenaries is relatively straightforward. Keep out of line of sight, maximize your time spent obscured to protect your models, and use your superior speed to reach objectives early and get good angles on your opponents to support the approach of your kroot hounds.
- Keep your models in small groups to mitigate their low Leadership. Kroot kill teams can be fragile and once you lose a couple of models Nerve tests are going to become a real issue.
- Pick your targets. Kroot are OK in melee but they’ll struggle against marine targets and things with heavier armor or multiple wounds. Make sure the battles you’re taking on are the ones you can win.
- Give your kroot hounds some support. Soften up their targets and look for opportunities to use the Tearing Jaws Tactic on models that you weren’t able to take out of commission.
- In Arena you can use your numbers to plug up hallways and control doors in key passageways while your faster models flank around.
- In ITC format, hold/hold more should be relatively easy for you to score against more elite teams and something you can manage against horde teams, but kill/kill more will be a much bigger issue. You don’t hit as hard in melee as Orks or Tyranids so against those factions you’ll need to rely more on your shooting and where you can isolate models from those teams and remove them. Against elite teams you’ll need to hide your models to prevent your opponent from scoring.
Playing Against Kroot
Kroot aren’t particularly complicated as a faction; keep away from the hounds and use screening models to protect your specialists and shoot the rest of the team full of holes. Elite teams shouldn’t have too much trouble against Kroot Carnivores and Hounds despite their speed and attacks, so as long as you aren’t getting double-charged you can hope to reliably tank an attacker for a round of combat, then kill them after they’ve bounced off your armor.
Kroot Kill Team List
There’s really only a couple of ways to build a Kroot Mercenaries Kill Team Roster, which makes this a bit easier. How many extra specialists you’ll load up on will mostly depend on whether you’re playing 100 or 125-point teams; in the latter case you’ll need to trade out some specialists for more Kroot Carnivores so you can fill out an entire roster. This gives you multiple options for your specialists and leans into the melee prowess of Kroot. Most games I’d take a Combat specialist hound, Veteran specialist Krootox Rider, and a Zealot specialist Carnivore, plus 3 non-specialist hounds and 6 Carnivores. For 125-point games, I’d nix the Scout Hound for one more Carnivore so you can fill things out.
Path of Silent Step
Kroot Carnivore – Leader
Kroot Carnivore – Combat
Kroot Carnivore – Zealot
Kroot Carnivore – Veteran
Kroot Hound – Combat
Kroot Hound – Scout
Krootox Rider – Veteran
Krootox Rider – Combat
Evolve and Improve
That wraps up our look at Kroot Mercenary Kill Teams. It’s a tough team to play, and you’re definitely playing on “hard mode” if you pick them, but it’s a cool team to run and you’re guaranteed to impress people who may have never seen a Kroot model in person before. As always, if you have any questions or feedback, drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Otherwise, good luck – you’re going to need it.