Vas'Quez Tau
The Tau Of Vas'Quez 4

     Kroot Carnivore Squad "Good Meat"

Much Gristle is a wily old Shaper, guiding the carnivorous Kroot warriors to devour only those meats that 'feel right' to his shamanistic ways... which provides them with the new DNA they need to mutate their next generation into more formidable forms. The Kroot are slow shapeshifters, what they eat, over generations, they become.

Unfortunately, since their kind joined the inclusive and multicultural Tau Empire as citizens, the many social laws and customs they must endure have severely limited access to new meats. Much Gristle often worries that the Kroot are being made soft, domesticated, by the Tau. And, he is pretty much correct.

Given the chance to 'Serve The Common Good' by deploying to a frontier world, Much Gristle and his carnivore squad felt glad at the hope of finding new and exotic meat away from the disapproving eyes of the Tau castes. Perhaps here, on the distant planet Vas'Quez 4,  tough, dangerous beasts could be devoured to improve the genetic lineage of the Kroot people.

How unfortunate that Vas'Quez apparently sports no native animal life, only endless bush-strewn wastes of desert, and dense steaming jungles with not even insect life to feed on. Why is Vas'Quez so barren? Much Gristle does not care for cosmic mysteries. What he wants is meat. Someone has been cheated, and he is pretty sure it is the Kroot.

If he could signal a passing Kroot starship, he and his squad would leave and become mercenaries. Unfortunately, there are no passing starships out here.

But, apparently, there are some secretive Eldar.

This might not be so bad.

They look.... tasty.

About the Miniatures:

I was fairly conservative with my Kroot, a decision I kind of regret. There is so much that can be done with the mutable Kroot, and I have since seen some astonishingly colorful and even heavily modified Kroot online and in White Dwarf... Kroot all shades of the rainbow, Kroot with wings, Kroot with weird legs or strange arms, or even horns. My Kroot are fairly bland, swampy green, rather stock Kroot. It fits the backstory fluff, but still...

I made my Kroot Shaper 'Much Gristle' custom, however, not knowing there even was an official model of a Shaper at the time. My custom Shaper carries a second gun, a gifted Tau rifle across his back, and wears a skin cape with bloody bones in it. He also carries an unnamed hunk of ribcage, in case his squad wants a mid-battle snack.


I constructed him wielding a knife to make him look more fierce. I also added warpaint spots all over his body, much like some African tribes paint on themselves, prior to intertribal warfare. It helps differentiate Much Gristle as both a Shaper, and a Kroot shaman.

Among the tiny customizations I did do to my Kroot is one Kroot with a sniper sight on his bladed Kroot Rifle, blood stains on several of the blades of many warriors, one Kroot (I consider it to be a Shaper in training) that carries a bone as a weapon, and all have three stripes of teal warpaint smeared across their skulls. 

About the Army Card:

The Kroot are fierce but unarmored, the Shaper gives them the only save they have, and that is very poor. However, the Shaper has a marvelous three wounds which makes him easily my toughest fighter. Kroot can attack twice per turn in melee, and the Shaper thrice, which is also nice. Basically, if they can get somewhere intact, they can dish out the violence. The problem is using terrain to get them where they can be useful.

I have had some successes with the Kroot, though: in one game they slaughtered an Eldar Viper in a mass assault, and they have killed their weight in Guardians at least once.

Some players don't value the Kroot, and I can see their point... they lack any armor. But even so, I rather like them. They are colorful, they help underscore that the Tau include other species in their empire, and they are just a swell meat shield for my more valuable Fire Warriors.

Sorry Kroot. You are basically a wall of ablative armor made out of flesh. 'Good Meat', indeed.

That said, if the Kroot and their shaper can find some kind of cover, especially forest, and shoot... they can pump out 12  shots in one turn, doubled to 24 if the target is within 12". That is impressive... for as long as it lasts.

Additionally, I have nothing but respect for the Kroot leader, the Shaper. With three wounds, and the capacity to dish out SIX strength 5 melee attacks - 3 Attacks with those double-bladed rifles that hit twice in close combat - he is basically a one man army. If he assaults, he gets an additional die, raising his melee for that one attack to seven slashing attacks. Definately a one Kroot army. Rather heroic.

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