Tactica: Devilfish

July 31, 2013 · 11 comments

One of 2 Devilfish I run in my Mechanised Cadre

Next Tactica - the Devilfish.

Unit Description

The humble Tau Battle Taxi – an AV12  11  10 Dedicated Transport that comes with a Burst Cannon and 2 gun drones standard. It’s a skimmer and it’s BS3.

Alien Allies for Tau: Kroot

July 29, 2013 · 1 comments

Greetings, fellow Xenos.

This is the first in a series about identifying and playing alien allies with your Tau Cadre, and in this post we are going to focus on the Kroot.


I had heard that there was to be a Tau supplement in August or September, and before I found out that it would be Farsight, I was hoping that it would have rules for the alien contingents from the various spheres of the empire's expansion.  These aliens are mentioned in various rulebooks from both Forgeworld and Games Workshop, so none of this is made up... erm, well at least not made up by me.

This notion of an alien codex has been further fueled by rumors from way back January or so that someone had seen a large Kroot monster, and that there were also models in play testing for both a Kroothawk and Vespid Spinewings.  Then more recently a Kroot Supplement plus one more Tau Empire book was predicted for next year.  All this talk has the gamer community (particularly Tau players) in a twitter... 

Aside from my poor little Templars Army (which only started because of the human battlesuit (dreadnought) in the AoBR box), I am a die hard Xenos player with a major for Tau and Kroot.  Heck, I even have a warm spot for the six-eyed spikey bug men.  Anyway, those rumors made me very happy, and as great as our new codex is or can be, I was rather disappointed when it came out.  Not only was there no Kroot cc monster, but the previously pathetic cc abilities of my beloved Kroot Carnivores were nerfed somewhat further away from the savagery expressed in the Kroot fluff.  That is not to say that they aren't useful in new and attractive ways, but they're certainly no longer what they were. 

Most people only used ever them as anti-assault "Kroot-loops" for broadsides or other vital assets as it was.  But there were a few of us who actually had the cajones to take on that flying shit-storm of Eldar farseers and warlocks on their little jetbikes with huge units of Kroot and their hounds.  We wanted what little cc they had and longed for more.  I remember a tag from another blog a while back that I really liked, "I power game -with Kroot!" 

At any rate, Kroot Carnivores should be at least a little tougher than a standard guardsman.  And losing the extra attack hurt my little Kroots' feelings.  I'd rather have seen a new Kroot unit with these sniper-lite abilities added to the codex (call them, I dunno, hunters?). Then maybe improve the toughness and/or strength of the existing carnivores and everyone would be happy.  Heck, they could have even kept the point price the same or upped it one and I would have still been ecstatic. 

But that is not to be, at least not for now, so let's move on.

The core question of this particular post is "How can I power game -with Kroot?" (yes, I borrowed that line).

And the answer is, that depends on your local gaming group (at least for now).  There are several solutions that come to mind:

  1. Get consent from your opponent to use the fan-developed Kroot codex
  2. Get consent from your opponent to use the old Kroot Mercenaries data sheet
  3. Model and play them as Tau (or something else).  Simply model Tau weapons on them and use Tau codex rules or play your Kroot models "counts as," like Eldar Oogla, or d'Orkies, or whatever floats your boat.
  4. Start with a Tau HQ, and use Kroot Carnivore, Shaper, Hound, and Ox models in all your troops FOC slots.  Then fill your other slots with Forgeworld Knarloc herds and Greater Knarlocs as appropriate -this option is not as fun or effective as others, and you will never win with it, but it does get your Kroot models onto the table so it works in a pinch.
Let's have a closer look at each of these options, starting with the fan-developed

The Kroot Codex

A while back, Andy Hoare and Lachlan Abrahams developed a Kroot Codex.  The units were similar to those listed in the Kroot mercenary rules for Apocalypse games, with a few extra bits to add capability and survivability as well as fill out the FOC.  It was a cool thing, and while not officially sanctioned, it was fun and could still be used to break monotony --in a pinch.  Also had some beautiful models pictured...

In fact, that's what I liked best, some of the model conversions those guys came up with to fill that codex were quite brilliant.  The shaper (far) above has a chainsword (called an eviscerator in the Kroot Codex) and this one is a master shaper.  But my favorite in the Kroot Shaman below. 

I won't rehash that codex here, but it was fun.  The group I play with now is a little more intense and most want noting to do with playing a fun game anymore... for some reason it's become all about winning and winning by codex, not necessarily cunning and strategy.  Gets a little old to me, but whatever.  You can find that codex here

Kroot Mercenaries

Way, way back in 2007 GW allowed Kroot armies in Apocalypse games via Forgeworld books, specifically the quintessential Imperial Armour: Apocalypse and Imperial Armour: Taros Campaign volumes.  There was even a specific data sheet for Kroot Mercenaries.  I do not have my own copy of those books, but I found a copy of the Kroot Mercenaries data sheet here.   

I have not yet seen anything that invalidates this, but then I haven't been looking.  Since the most recent Apocalypse book doesn't seem to include it, I am sure it is obsolete, maybe someone out there can enlighten me?   Whatever the case, I don't think you would get too much guff when asking to play a friendly game with these guys as long as you have a Tau codex (so everyone can see the regular Kroot stats) and a copy of the Kroot Mercenaries datasheet.  If anything they would be silly not to play against you (as they would most likely win).  But oh, the glory of fielding an all Kroot army...
I still have my old Kroot army that I built but only ever fielded a couple of times.  It would be nice to dust it off and give it another go...  maybe in the next Tau supplement (wink).

A "Counts As" Kroot Army

Another way to play your Kroot (or whatever) is to use them as a "counts as" army and make them an allied detachment.  I like using Eldar because they are battle brothers with Tau. 

My Master Shaper becomes an Autarch, my Shaman a Farseer, and my Shapers become Warlocks.  My Eldar Oogla army (named after the Kaezon Oogla from Star Trek Voyager -and the word ugly) is not too extensive, but I have included a possible FOC list a little further below.

Here are some possible Kroot "counts as" Eldar ideas...

      ♦ Kroot Master Shaper (Farseer)      ♦ Angkhor Prok (Eldrad)      ♦ Kroot Shapers (Warlocks)
           (If you model any of these on lesser 
gnarlocs they can be counts as jetbikes)
      ♦ Kroot "abomination" conversion (Avatar)
      ♦ Vulturekind (swooping hawks)
      ♦ Stalkers (with multiple genestealer arms) (warp spiders)
      ♦ Lesser Knarloc riders (jetbikes)
      ♦ Hunters (Pathfinders)
      ♦ Carnivores (Guardians)
      ♦ KrootOx (Eldar Artillery)      ♦ Greater Gnarlocs (War walkers)      ♦ Lizardmen Ripperdactyls with Kroot Riders (Vypers or aircraft)           (c'mon, admit it, these things look kroot-like)

Only problem is that it gets confusing if you have regular Kroot units in your Tau force and you use an allied detachment of Eldar Oogla.  Too many Kroot to keep up with.  I do not use this method because 1) the hounds do not really work, as anything Eldar-ish --though the KrootOx does work well as embedded artillery for guardians, and 2) I have another all-alien allied detachment that uses Eldar rules but no Kroot or Vespids  -but more on that in a later atricle.

Kroot Stuffed Tau

Your last option is to use a Tau Codex cadre and stuff Kroot units into Every FOC slot you can.  Currently there is no HQ or Elites FOC units for Kroot, but there are Kroot units for Fast Attack (knarloc herds), Heavy Support (greater knarlocs), and Troops (Carnivores, shapers, hounds, ox, and baggage herd greater knarlocs).

I think this type of Kroot army would probably suck most.  It forces you to replace three of your Tau strengths with much inferior Kroot units (fire warriors replaced by carnivores, pathfinders replaced by lesser knarlocs, and hammerheads and broadsides replaced by greater Knarlocs).  yay!


Now, rumor has it that a new supplement is coming in Q1 2014 for Tau. Obviously, no one but GW knows what that supplement will be (or even if it will be, for that matter) but it gives me great hope.  I can see every FOC slot filled with Kroot units (wish-listing).  

  • Kroot Master Shaper (from the datasheet)
  • Character Angkhor Prok.(from his own datasheet)
  • The cc monster in the rumors
  • Headhunters (from the datasheet)
    Fast Attack: 
  • Knarloc Riders from Forgeworld
  • Kroothawks or Vulturekind (from the datasheet)
  • Stalkers (from the datasheet) 
    Heavy Support: 
  • Forgeworld's Greater Knarlocs with large Kroot guns 
  • KrootOx in units of their own.
  • Carnivores (4th edition Tau codex Kroot rules)
  • Snipers.(current Kroot rules)
  • Transport beast? (from playtesting rumors)
And that's not even going into units or characters from the fan-based Codex (which GW will most likely ignore, and we all understand that). There is the potential for GW to do something really cool here.


I think if you want to build an all-Kroot army, then sticking with the units listed on the data sheet is the best of these options.  They have the credibility of GW/FW sanctioned rules, and they retain the true flavor of a truly Kroot force (yuck, can you imagine the flavor of Kroot?).

For now, my little Kroot minions remain on a shelf in my display case.  I look at them lovingly from time to time, remember the times we had together, and sigh.  I think Kroot bring a maniacal twist to the otherwise stoic and regimented Tau.  I really like them and I just know there has to be a better way to play them. 

I hope this predicted supplement is actually forthcoming. But for now it is all wishlisting and daydreaming.  Most of it is based in GW precedent, and rumors from a reliable site, but until we actually see it, it is indeed speculation and fantasy. But hey, that's the game we all play, so why not?  Go ahead, indulge yourself.

Last pic, for your indulgence.  This is a Kroot warlord on a heavily converted Balrog model.  Back when I was building my Kroot army I was digging around the interwebs for conversion ideas.  I am not sure where I found this, but when I find it again I will update this post to give credit where credit is due (click on it to enlarge). 

Just remember, GW may make the models and write the rules, but it's your army, so go crazy!

I play Tau (and sometimes Kroot).

29 July, 2013

Challenge Accepted!

July 28, 2013 · 4 comments


I am Hu Jin Tau.  Well, that's my pen name, my name is Will Lewis and I have just assumed the reigns of responsibility for the Warhammer Tau blog.  But in no way does that mean I "own" it. 

Responsibility and ownership are two very different things.  This blog is owned by the team that publishes articles on it and to the members who tune in to read those articles.  I am simply responsible for making sure it all runs as smoothly as possible and that the lights stay on.  Oh, and I take the blame when something breaks.

We are Tau, but who am I?

I am an avid Tau player, but I also play Black Templars, Vanilla Space Marines (which look very much like my Templars), Eldar, Lizardmen, and fun, unsanctioned skirmish games with Kroot.  I've even started a Tyranids army, but I'm pacing myself on that because all my "play money" right now is ear-marked for my beloved Tau and Kroot.  And from the looks of things, with a new codex, a new supplement, and another two books on the way, I'm not going to have any extra money for Tyranids for a while.  After all, my kids still need to eat, and plastic sprue casserole tastes like crap. 

My non-GW armies include Protectorate of Menoth (Warmachine), the Directorate (Firestorm Armada), and Dragon Lords (Uncharted Seas).  I am not a magic or card games player, but I am starting to get a jones for the Game of Thrones LCG.  I also like board games (Relic, Talisman, Descent, Carcassonne, Settlers, and Advanced Civ, among others).  But I'm not much for video games --that is until the new Space Hulk game comes out.

I am a school teacher by day, algebra, applied technology, graphic design and computer applications.  And I help out in my local game store (LGS) every chance I get.  My LGS is Discordia Games in Bremerton, Washington, (near Seattle) and our store and customer base totally rock.  Pop in and see for yourself some time.

I read a lot, couple of hours per day, if I can.  I follow Naftka, BoLS, 3++ is the New Black, and several other blogs, and I feel compelled to comment on some of those blogs fairly often.  I also read a lot on Advanced Tau Tactica, Kompletely Kroot, and several other Tau-oriented websites.  My moniker and avatar (above) are the same on all of the blogs on which I participate, so you will all know me when you see my posts.  I developed it in Photoshop so it is relatively unique.

So that's what I'm bringing to the mix.  I hope the other Warhammer Tau authors will drop biographies when they get a chance.  To our founder, Adam, and to our previous manager, David, fair winds and following seas, mates!  We'll try to keep 'er right.

Please stay tuned, we have some great articles in the queue, and I think you're going to enjoy reading them. 

July 28, 2013

Time for a change!


I have been running Warhammer Tau for nearly a year now and I am happy with the way things are going.

I have just returned from my summer holidays (vacation) and while I was away I had time to think things through. My personal input to the blog has been minimal recently (thanks to the great group of authors that regularly contribute articles), limited to approving comments and offering some advice on what to write.

I feel that I have done some good work with the blog and, even though I haven't added many new articles recently, I have led it through a major expansion (mainly due to the new Codex etc.) and then expanded the authorship from one person, up to the team that are presently doing a fantastic job.

I feel that I am now somewhat burned out and even though I am still a keen Tau player and collector, it is unlikely I will be able to add anything to the blog from here on in. As such I have decided that it is about time that my term as leader/owner of the blog came to an end.

As such I have discussed it with the group of authors who regularly contribute, and Will has offered to take on the role of Shas'O and owner of the blog.

This is therefore my last post. I will continue to read the blog on regular basis and I hope to comment on some of the articles from time to time. I will be offering control of the Google + group to member there very soon too.

Best wishes to Will and the other authors and thanks to everyone that has been regularly reading the blog.

Tau Allies Rumors

July 27, 2013 · 3 comments

These belong to Tael over on ATT (100% GW)
I was just reading an interesting rumor over on Faeit212 when I discovered that another Tau supplement was coming... The rumor claims that three supplements are on the way, but it's unclear whether Farsight is included in that three or not.  What could another supplement possibly be?  Is it three total or three more?  Anyway, while we're speculating...

Another breakaway Tau sept is unlikely as the fluff doesn't quite support it, and the only real difference in the septs is their color and markings, not necessarily gameplay. 

There is certainly enough fluff to support a full Kroot supplement.  There's actually already a fan-developed Kroot Codex available if you dig around a little. (so there is one potential supplement right there).

Then, there may possibly be enough for the Vespids, but that would be a bit of a stretch.  Unless GW comes up with some new models there just isn't enough there yet.  Though I could see an allied detachment of the bugmen as a very fast, close combat army (like in the video game).  So there's two.

Another likely supplement would be the other, less prominent Xenos in the empire including the Demiurg, Nicassar, Morallian Deathsworn, Ji'Atrix, Tarellian Dog Soldiers, Galg, Hrenian Light Infantry, and the Ranghon.  Does anyone remember tis picture?  (Each of these were mentioned in at least one GW/FW publication).  There's three.

The last may be the Hrud, but unlike the others I have mentioned, I have never seen anything linking the space-skaven to the Tau specifically.

These allies could potentially bring psychers, speed, and other assets and game-changing mechanics to the Tau. I personally am excited.  But you may take it for what it's worth.

By the way, we have a series of posts regarding Tau Empire Allies coming up in the next week or two, hope to see you all then.

Battle Report: Tau vs. Space Marines

July 25, 2013 · 5 comments

Feast of Blades Qualifier: Round 3

Ok, here is the final battle report from my FLGS's Feast of Blades Qualifier Tourney! It was a real quick game, but restored my faith in my army after my abysmal performance in the second round.

Battle Report: Tau vs. Imperial Guard

July 24, 2013 · 7 comments

July 24, 2013

On Saturday I attended the FoB Qualifier tourney at my FLGS. My first round was essentially a free win, but you can read about that one HERE.

Feast of Blades Qualifier: Round 2

For this round, my opponent was a guy I'd played before. I hadn't played him since because he doesn't remember his rules very well, and basically makes some up as he goes. I was looking forward to playing against his army, because it is always very competitive, but I would rather have played somebody else anyways. Games just aren't as fun when you are constantly noticing little small mistakes that could be a bit of a cheat or could be a real mistake. It's exhausting and sucks the fun out of the game.

Battle Report: Tau vs. Tau

July 22, 2013 · 2 comments

I attended the Feast of Blades qualifier tournament at my FLGS. I wasn't expecting to do super well, but I was planning on learning alot! My first game ended up against the only other Tau player present at the tournament, of course...

What the Heck? 101

July 17, 2013 · 4 comments

Ok, so I have this idea for a new line of posts called "What the Heck."  (and I will number them as they appear)

I read a large number of WH 40K and WH Fantasy blogs, and sometimes I am frankly amazed at some of the articles that pop up.  So when I see one that piques my interest as it relates to Tau, I will direct your attention to it, and then probably proceed to piss on it.

I recently noticed a rant over on BoLS about how our beloved Fire Warriors seem to have everyone ducking for cover these days.  This is understandable.  IMHO I think the only feeling that is worse than one of our squads being assaulted is being on the receiving-end of one of our gun lines.

The article is amusing, and well-written.  I'm not sure about the whole reference to deaths caused by the Nazis/Communists thing, but whatever.  In the words of American rapper the Notorious B.I.G., "Chedda breed jealousy."  By "chedda" he means wealth and power, but for Tau it means Firepower, and Tau definitely have the chedda in that regard.  So let 'em hate.

On a serious note though, the author does point out some important strengths and weaknesses in the Tau army, and goes on to tell his readers how to prepare for combat against Tau.  We would be foolish to ignore what our opponents are thinking as they prepare for war against us. 

Hence the saying: "If you know the enemy and you know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt." (Sun Tzu)

We are Tau.

**The image is from shadowhammer on DakkaDakka,

Tactica: Skyray

July 13, 2013 · 11 comments

My Cadre's one of 2 Skyrays

Next in our Tactica series, Skyrays.

Unit Description

The Skyray is an AV13 tank armed with a twin linked burst cannon, 6 seeker missiles and 2 networked marker lights. However, its claim to fame is that it comes standard with a velocity tracker, giving it Skyfire. All for a relatively modest price.

Skyler's Tourney List

July 11, 2013 · 4 comments

Hello All,

My local store is running a Feast of Blades qualifier tournament on the 20th (too soon!). I am in Super Paint mode trying to get 1850 points of Tau ready before the big day. Most likely this time next week I will be in Super Frantic Paint mode.

Tactica: XV8 Commander

July 9, 2013 · 6 comments

This is the first tactica. Remember, this is for all. Comments please - where have I gone wrong, what have I missed? Let me know and I'll edit it before saving for posterity!

XV8 Commander

If you don’t take one of these in your Cadre your doing it wrong!

Well that was a quick one…!

The longer version …..

The Basics

The Commander comes stock in an XV8 battle suit, which has all the benefits of a “normal” suit, but with 2 more. He can take 4 options from the weapons or upgrade lists, and on top of that, any signature system. The other main differences are that his BS is boosted to 5 and he has 4 wounds.

However, what makes him special are the various upgrades you can take. I wont run through them all, you can all read the codex for yourself, but this is the Commander’s strength – you can pretty much kit him out to do anything.


July 6, 2013 · 1 comments

July 6, 2013

The observant among you will have noticed that there is a list of tactica “coming soon” on the right hand side of the blog.  Well, we’ve decided that the time has come to “fill in the blanks.”  But we’re hoping to do things a little differently.

We want the tactica to be more than a simple unit review.  Most of you can get that from reading the codex. What we want to do is produce a guide on how to use the unit, not a simple regurgitation of its stats and rules. So with that in mind we have agreed that, before an author writes a tactica, they need to have had experience of using the unit in most of it’s guises, over a few games, and be able to offer some sort of tactical insight into its use, not just a review if its stats and rules. We will try and keep theory hammer to a minimum!

We also want this to be a community effort.  So, the format we’re going to adopt is that the author will post his (or her!) tactica on the main blog for comment and “peer review," and then use those comments to revise the article before posting it in the tactica sections.

So guys, it's up to you to chip in and make these tactica good.

I'll start us off with a tactica on XV-8 Commanders....  but first I'll try to get through Clan Wars 2013.  Three games down, and 2 to go ... won 2, lost one so far.  Loss was against Newdar wave serpent spam .... nasty!


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About Warhammer Tau

Warhammer Tau is a group of wargamers who feel that they have a little something different to offer other Tau Empire, Kroot, and allied players... even if it's just a starting point for discussion! Our goal is to produce at least one article per week to inform and encourage the Tau and Warhammer gamer community. For the Greater Good, of course!

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