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Invader Nails
17-10-2007, 06:00
How exactly does it work? All the fluff I've found so far basically says that they can't create warp-capable ships, then contradicts itself by saying that they can and do create warp-capable ships (albeit crappy ones).

So are Tau warp drives reverse engineered or something? What's the deal?

Chilltouch
17-10-2007, 06:03
They don't make a Warp capable ship of any kind - however, they do make ships that can essentially 'skim' the Warp. Think of skimming a stone over water. They don't actively submerge themselves in the Warp.

eldaran
17-10-2007, 06:03
they can create warp-capable ships, it's just that they can't really use them, because they haven't got the navigator gene that humans have, which makes it difficult to make prolonged warp jumps.

Invader Nails
17-10-2007, 06:10
They don't make a Warp capable ship of any kind - however, they do make ships that can essentially 'skim' the Warp. Think of skimming a stone over water. They don't actively submerge themselves in the Warp.


Riiiiight .... so how does that ... eh ... work, exactly?


They enter the Warp but don't go into the deep end, where all the nasty demons are? They enter the Warp but don't stay long enough to get eaten by demons? They enter the Warp but can't stay there too long because their minds can't comprehend it?


:confused:

carlisimo
17-10-2007, 06:19
They enter the space that separates the warp from real space. The Battlefleet Gothic rulebook likens it to holding a ball under water and having it shoot up again... I know it's not much. But basically the border between the warp and real space has some depth to it.

Puffin Magician
17-10-2007, 06:22
Perhaps it's like the difference between 0.999 Mach and 1.01 Mach? It's one hell of a bumpy ride until you break the sound barrier and it's relatively smooth from then on. Ships led by Navigators and alien/technological equivalents are able to utilize the intense spacetime-folding effects of the "deep" Warp while the Tau endure a shaky, truncated trip. It would explain the Tau's relatively puny sphere of influence in the Ultima Segmentum despite massive technological advances in other areas.

I'd blame it on a combination of the Tau's lack of powerful psykers, and the technical incapacity due primarily to their lack of psykers and hence inability to study psychic Warp navigation.

MrBigMr
17-10-2007, 16:02
Basicly, how I see it, Tau drives plunge the ship at the Warp, but it is reflected back into real space, never truly entering the Warp. This reflection bounces the ship forwards at great speed. But even with that, the Tau 'jump drives' are only a quater of the speed of Imperial ships with their Warp drives.

Tau got their jump drives by retrofitting Warp drives from a derelict alien spaceship. Many (me included) believe it was in fact an Imperial ship. The Tau studied the drives, but without psychers couldn't replicate the effect, so they had to settle for the jump drives they have today.

As for perfecting their drives into full Warp drives, I believe that in the aftermath of Medusa V, the Tau decided that the Warp was too dangerous and futile to be researched anymore. I believe I've also heard fluff of a Tau ship or something actually entering the Warp. Their AIs couldn't understand anything they were fed by their sensors and went insane, which would be another reason for the Tau to stay out of the Warp. But I just heard it somewhere, I don't know if the story is true or not.

mistformsquirrel
17-10-2007, 16:38
What about the Nicassar? What I mean (and sorry if I sound like a ***** on this) - Why don't they simply get the Nicassar to act as navigators for them? They're MASSIVELY powerful psykers - I mean, the captains move their ships *with their minds*; so I think its a safe bet one could handle navigation duty aboard a Tau warship right?

Basically just put the ship on a sort of 'silent running' (ie: turn the AI systems off in the warp) until the trip is through. Heck, they'd probably do it a bit better than psychic capable races, because only the Navigator would be at all vulnerable to Daemons, and the Nicassar have obviously done the warp thing for awhile, so I'm sure they have a way of dealing with that, yes?

>.< I dunno, just a wondering.

MrBigMr
17-10-2007, 16:44
What about the Nicassar? What I mean (and sorry if I sound like a ***** on this) - Why don't they simply get the Nicassar to act as navigators for them? They're MASSIVELY powerful psykers - I mean, the captains move their ships *with their minds*; so I think its a safe bet one could handle navigation duty aboard a Tau warship right?
Just because they're psychic, it doesn't mean they would be able to point a ship into the right direction in the Warp. Their ships don't enter the Warp. The Nicassar just drift from place to place. When working with the Tau, their ships are dragged with Tau ships during jumps.

mistformsquirrel
17-10-2007, 16:52
Oh <@.@> they are? ... I didn't know that actually... I thought...

<-.-> oh dammit, see? I told you I might sound like an idiot!

carlisimo
17-10-2007, 17:55
The Nicassar probably have the ability to potentially navigate the warp, but it doesn't mean they already know how, or want to. But the Tau aren't into that level of integration... I can't see them letting someone outside the Air Caste pilot their ships.

Puffin, you're right. They don't have powerful psykers... they don't have any psykers. On the plus side they'd be ignored by the daemons of the Warp, but only if they could get in.

But for the size of their Empire, 20% of Imperial speed should be plenty good enough.

Mr Zephy
17-10-2007, 18:05
If the Tau had a few hundred years to experiment with Warp travel and the Niccassar, they should be able to work something out. After all, that's the stated time period it took Humanity, IIRC. They've only had them both a while.

Adra
17-10-2007, 18:12
Like a dummy plug A.I. Navigator.

Imperialis_Dominatus
17-10-2007, 18:19
IIRC Navigators work in relation to the Astronomican; I wonder if the alien psykers could do anything similar. They haven't gone through the Soul Binding that Astropaths and (I think) Navigators have, nor any other augmentations that the human psykers possess.

Without the Astronomican, travel in the Warp is supposed to be directionless, right? How would they find their way?

mistformsquirrel
17-10-2007, 18:23
Well, the Eldar do it. I know mostly they use the webway, even for their ships - but I'm 99% sure its mentioned that on occassion they have to go somewhere where the webway isn't stable... so there's the assumption they have their own method of navigating.

That said, they may be using the webway as some sort of navigational reference somehow (I don't know how!) - so it may not necessarily help the Tau.

Btw >.< Isn't Tau speed more like 33% of Imperium speed? 20% doesn't sound right at all to me.

Mr Zephy
17-10-2007, 18:39
I've heard 33% too. Considering the Tau, it's likely that 20% might have been the first generation of ships, and more speed would be built in to every new class developed.

Mr_Rose
17-10-2007, 18:40
Well, the Eldar do it. I know mostly they use the webway, even for their ships - but I'm 99% sure its mentioned that on occasion they have to go somewhere where the webway isn't stable... so there's the assumption they have their own method of navigating.Yes, Farseers. That is actually one of the primary purposes of rune-casting - correctly choosing a path through the warp.
I've heard 33% too. Considering the Tau, it's likely that 20% might have been the first generation of ships, and more speed would be built in to every new class developed.Also, part of the speed problem with Tau jump drives is the cool-down period between jumps, whilst the drive regenerates its ability to push the ship into the warp. I expect that that has been improved as well as the overall speed gained from the semi-transition into the warp.
I just wanna know what the Tau would make of Necron inertialess drive, being both FTL and firmly fixed in realspace....

MrBigMr
17-10-2007, 18:53
Without the Astronomican, travel in the Warp is supposed to be directionless, right? How would they find their way?
Not really. The astronomican is like a beacon that gives a fixed point inside the Warp. Even without it, the Navigators are able to sense the streams and such inside the Warp and help the ship to work its route. Without even navigators, then the travel becomes tricky.

mistformsquirrel
17-10-2007, 18:59
Yes, Farseers. That is actually one of the primary purposes of rune-casting - correctly choosing a path through the warp.Also, part of the speed problem with Tau jump drives is the cool-down period between jumps, whilst the drive regenerates its ability to push the ship into the warp. I expect that that has been improved as well as the overall speed gained from the semi-transition into the warp.
I just wanna know what the Tau would make of Necron inertialess drive, being both FTL and firmly fixed in realspace....

Have you ever heard of Faptau?


*don't ask*

Noserenda
17-10-2007, 19:01
You need a Navigator, Psyker or blessings of the Chaos Gods to travel the warp with any kind of certainty, secondly you need a gellar field or equivalent to not get eaten by an unending stream of daemons, from the fluff from Medusa it looks like the Tau managed warp travel, but without protection had horrible things happen to the Earth caste scientists trying it...

And yes, Tau will get eaten by daemons in the warp.

jfrazell
17-10-2007, 19:11
They should breed vassal human navigators. Then bring forth the intergalactic buttkicking...

mistformsquirrel
17-10-2007, 19:13
But could you actually just breed psykers? I mean is it really that simple to make sure someone is going to be psychically useful?

Not that I don't totally understand what you mean... thats actually an interesting idea.

Promethius
17-10-2007, 19:25
It's doubtful that the Tau even want to venture further into the warp. From their experiments which resulted in nasty death for earth caste scientists, they know that the warp is a dangerous place. They may even be beginning to understand where daemons come from. When their current method of warp travel is working just fine, why push it? Recently they have opted to consolidate their third sphere colonies rather than to attempt further expansion, & it's only a matter of time before the nids come for munchies.

Vaulkhar
17-10-2007, 19:28
Plus until they either reverse engineer a Geller Field or develop one of their own, any Tau ship spending more than a few minutes in the warp is probably going to be daemon munchies.

And yes, you can cetainly breed Navigators. Where do you think the Imperium gets its supply from?

TheBigBadWolf
17-10-2007, 20:04
You can only breed a navigator with a navigator, any one else and it doesnt work. I dont believe that the Tau could obtain 1 navigator let alone 2

carlisimo
17-10-2007, 20:29
20% is stated in the Battlefleet Gothic Armada supplement, and yeah my bad, it replies to early Tau ships.

jfrazell
17-10-2007, 20:30
Why not? Hero class corners a freighter.
"Surrender or eat hot Ion Cannon"
captain surrenders
Voila one navigator.
Wash rinse repeat.

Solves the Geller field problem as well.

Vaulkhar
17-10-2007, 21:00
Captain surrenders...navigator probably commits suicide to avoid being taken by xeno scum (it's probably drilled into them - thou shalt not be taken alive by xeno scum. If thou art taken alive, thou shalt not navigate for the xeno scum. And whatever happens, thou shalt not engage in mad passionate lovemaking with another navigator to produce lots of little baby navigators for said xeno scum.'

Noserenda
17-10-2007, 22:05
Captain surrenders...navigator probably commits suicide to avoid being taken by xeno scum (it's probably drilled into them - thou shalt not be taken alive by xeno scum. If thou art taken alive, thou shalt not navigate for the xeno scum. And whatever happens, thou shalt not engage in mad passionate lovemaking with another navigator to produce lots of little baby navigators for said xeno scum.'

Exactly.

Oh and for more chances to help clear things up, Navigators arent Psykers, just mutants :angel:

Kiro
17-10-2007, 22:19
That's the thing I've been wondering since Xenology (save it for another thread :rolleyes:) - if the Q'orl can and do make off with Navigators to compensate for their lack-of-technology-psyker-whateverness why can't the Tau do it? I mean didn't the Tau base one of their ship designs off an Imperial design they were impressed with? Hell, if you can't think of it yourself, doesn't hurt to steal it from the opposition! :p

trydragon
17-10-2007, 22:40
Looking over the Tau Fluff I donít think they every try and obtain a Navigator instead if they did try for longer stints in the Warp they try and invent a more powerful A.I or get the Kroot to do it. {Am sure I read some ware the Kroot can do long Warp jumps}

Kiro
17-10-2007, 22:52
Hmmm, yes, that's something else I considered - Psykers in the Empire. Granted, as has been pointed out, a Navigator is not necessarily a Psyker, but still, makes you wonder why the Tau never bothered to ask 'so how do you it?' to their member races...

LordXaras
17-10-2007, 22:53
That's the thing I've been wondering since Xenology (save it for another thread :rolleyes:) - if the Q'orl can and do make off with Navigators to compensate for their lack-of-technology-psyker-whateverness why can't the Tau do it? I mean didn't the Tau base one of their ship designs off an Imperial design they were impressed with? Hell, if you can't think of it yourself, doesn't hurt to steal it from the opposition! :pThe Q'orl implanted something in the Navigator's brain, presumably to assume complete control of him. The Tau have not indicated possession of any technology that could instantly turn a Human in the same way.

EDIT:

Am sure I read some ware the Kroot can do long Warp jumpsThe Kroot had a freak leap in technology that allowed them to leave the confines of their planet. It is heavily indicated that this sudden technical knowledge came from absorbing Ork genetic material and thus gaining access to the encoded intuitive knowledge they carry. This would mean that, since the Kroot have so far displayed few psykers and no navigator-analogies, they simply launch their vessels into the Warp and somehow end up exactly where they meant (or some other interesting place).

gLOBS
17-10-2007, 23:27
You can only breed a navigator with a navigator, any one else and it doesnt work. I dont believe that the Tau could obtain 1 navigator let alone 2

Heh was thinking about this. Tau end up getting ahold of 2 navigators throw them into a room. Tau start playing some Barry White songs, the large bed in the middle of the room surrounded by mirrors start to vibrate while the 2 male navigators start clawing at the opposite walls.

Invader Nails
17-10-2007, 23:39
With the Earth Caste scientists watching through one-way glass and muttering "why does this always happen? We thought our research into gue'la mating rituals was perfect..."

Vaulkhar
18-10-2007, 00:27
Of course, this is as nothing compared to what happens when they decide to test out that captured Geller Field generator and the machine spirit gets cranky halfway through the test.

Imperialis_Dominatus
18-10-2007, 00:55
Heh was thinking about this. Tau end up getting ahold of 2 navigators throw them into a room. Tau start playing some Barry White songs, the large bed in the middle of the room surrounded by mirrors start to vibrate while the 2 male navigators start clawing at the opposite walls.

That would be cruel and unusual punishment. Tau don't dig torture. :p


With the Earth Caste scientists watching through one-way glass and muttering "why does this always happen? We thought our research into gue'la mating rituals was perfect..."

Ah, the pitfalls of never getting laid themselves. :D


Of course, this is as nothing compared to what happens when they decide to test out that captured Geller Field generator and the machine spirit gets cranky halfway through the test.

:evilgrin::evilgrin: Me like.

Vaulkhar
18-10-2007, 01:04
The inevitable consequence for the daemons: 'Wayhey! Fire Warriors, I love these guys! Crunchy on the outside and a chewy center!'

It could be a while before the Tau develop long distance interstellar travel...

Khaine's Messenger
18-10-2007, 01:15
How exactly does it work?

Until recently, a conceptual and engineering gap prevented the Tau from understanding the "physics" necessary to breach warpspace. The explanation of Tau FTL varies (the key insights for the gravitic wedge technology came from stolen alien tech and the "successful navigation of a warp rift"), but generally speaking it has to do with the behavior of space under the pressure of artificially created and geometrically arranged "gravitic fields." The end result is the analogy of pushing something with positive buoyancy into a pool and watching it pop back up somewhere else. Given the idea that "mass shadows" exist after a fashion in the warp (hence the rules about safe warp jump points), this may not be terribly unreasonable.

Anyway, navigating without Navigators is not spectacularly hard as long as your warp drives don't have absurdly long spin-down and spin-up times. Four-year jumps (and similar) that allow for re-orientation and course-correction are common for ships that can't afford the Navis Nobilite's prices (or can live without paying them, especially if it's just travel from one star system to the next). Navigators are not, and never have been to my knowledge, strictly necessary for warp travel. Just for super-special awesome warp travel (that doesn't rely on the webway network).

Argastes
18-10-2007, 01:49
Anyway, navigating without Navigators is not spectacularly hard as long as your warp drives don't have absurdly long spin-down and spin-up times. Four-year jumps (and similar) that allow for re-orientation and course-correction are common for ships that can't afford the Navis Nobilite's prices (or can live without paying them, especially if it's just travel from one star system to the next). Navigators are not, and never have been to my knowledge, strictly necessary for warp travel. Just for super-special awesome warp travel (that doesn't rely on the webway network).

This is a good point. Every tramp freighter and private cargo vessel doesn't need a navigator, since most of them are probably only making short hauls between neighboring star systems. You only need a navigator to cross galactic distances--thousands or tens of thousands of light years--within a reasonable time frame (i.e., in a single "jump" to warp space rather than numerous short passages through the warp).

Adept
18-10-2007, 02:55
A few assumptions from my end:

1 - You don't need a psycher to enter the warp. You just need a ship with warp drives.

2 - Warp space is like walking to work blindfolded. Every now and then you have to take the blindfold off (drop back into real space) to make sure you're going the right way. Navigators are different and useful because they never need to take the blindfold off.

3 - Daemons aren't interested in the Tau (and wouldn't be interested in the Tau, even if the Tau entered the warp) because the Tau project absolutely no presence into the warp. They have nothing the Daemons could feed off.

As such, I'm not entirely sure how Tau FTL works, or why it is so much slower than the Imperial equivalent.

gLOBS
18-10-2007, 03:00
Yea but vehicles have no warp presence yet still become possessed. So I would think a Tau vessel landing into the lap of daemons would be play time indeed.

Vaulkhar
18-10-2007, 03:16
It's also worth remembering that once in warp space, you're on the daemon's home turf - the normal rules and requirements of manifestation no longer apply. So a Tau vessel fully into the warp without a functional Geller Field or similar daemon-be-gone thingumy might as well have 'Free lunch here' painted on the side in neon pink letters forty feet high.

Adept
18-10-2007, 03:35
It's also worth remembering that once in warp space, you're on the daemon's home turf - the normal rules and requirements of manifestation no longer apply. So a Tau vessel fully into the warp without a functional Geller Field or similar daemon-be-gone thingumy might as well have 'Free lunch here' painted on the side in neon pink letters forty feet high.

Well, thats just it. Daemons can't eat Tau. Daemons, as I understand it, feed off the human emotions that spill into the warp. Their terror, hatred, lust, anger, etc. Tau have no warp profile. Their emotions don't register in the warp.

As such, they wouldn't be interesting to a daemon. It would be like you or I trying to eat a brick. Sure, we could grind it up and chew it down, but why would we bother?

Not to say Tau would be completely safe in the warp, just that most daemons would find them as interesting as an asteroid.

BrotherAdso
18-10-2007, 03:40
Actually, Demons/Gods are CREATED by massive psychic discharges. I think once they exist they find anything fleshy and frightened pretty tempting as a morsel. Tau emotions don't alter the warp because they have low/nil psychic potential -- once they have entered the warp physically, I doubt this makes any difference to a demon (except they may be slightly tough to chew).

The way I see the larger space travel issue:

Tau: "Hmm. I wonder how these Warp Drives work?"
Imperium: "Mysterious magical powers."
Tau: "Right. Well, lets see...we can bounce off this layer of space between the physical world and your magical warp-world..."
Imperium: "Evil and magical!"
Tau: "Right. Evil. But since we have to use so much power, and a bounce can only take us so far, why can't we just go through the barrier into warp-space?"
Imperium: "Evil, we're warning you!"

The posters so far have shown that the Tau can't change over from 'warp bounce' to 'warp leap' because they don't have the psychic technology to do so. If and when they do...well, evil may or may not come a-chomping. There are two or three pieces of psychic tech they'll need here:

1) Gellar Field; which drives off the entities which live in the warp.

2) Navigators and Navigator interfaces, which allow navigation within the warp.

3) Warp computers, which are what smaller vessels presumably use.

Smaller vessels with a Gellar field can still move faster than a Tau vessel, by making a full transition into the warp, speeding along in full "warp transition," popping out to recalculate their course, and then re-Warping.

OK, so. The OP's question kinda remains -- will the Tau ever catch up this gap? How?

Some creative ways:
1) Captured or Co-opted Navigators. They could spill the beans on the Gellar field as well as provide the essential navigation itself.

2) Reverse engineering a Gellar field. This has HILARIOUS possibilities if it goes wrong, like, say, a Tau ship trapped forever in the Warp or acting like a giant 'EAT AT JOE'VAS" sign to demons.

3) Increase the efficiency of 'warp hopping' by using Nicassar telepaths to bend the warp-realspace boundary backwards.

4) Invading the Webway...just imagine what the Tau would do with a Webway portal if they found an old, abandoned one somewhere. "Very interesting runes these ar...urk."

Seem on target to you all. By the way, glad to be here at Warseer.

-Adso

Vaulkhar
18-10-2007, 03:47
Tau have emotions, remember? They're just so thoroughly brainwashed into the Greater Good that it's not worth the effort to turn them to Chaos. I prefer to think of it as a McDonald's versus 5 star gourmet thing. You'll take 5 star if you can get it, just as a daemon will have Eldar soul if it can get it. But in a pinch, well, Tau souls or Big Macs fill a gap.

And besides, it's a pleasant change to do finger painting in blue instead of red...

Khaine's Messenger
18-10-2007, 03:59
The posters so far have shown that the Tau can't change over from 'warp bounce' to 'warp leap' because they don't have the psychic technology to do so.

Actually, the more current problem is that they don't want to because the Warp is *******' crazy (to paraphrase the results of the MedV campaign). They have copies of the technology enough to disassemble them all for every academy in the Empire, and they've had access to warp drive technologies (as well as astrographically local warp phenomena to observe) for centuries.


will the Tau ever catch up this gap? How?

This is something that will probably even itself out as the Tau conquer more Imperial worlds and grow the Imperial tech-base more into that of the Empire (they didn't invent all of their own technology). I don't think it's something that will be easily brute-forced by just stealing things...it's going to result from a sort of technological "osmosis." At least, in my opinion. And it's not like they're lacking for the luxury of time...should they choose to go that option.

Noserenda
18-10-2007, 03:59
Well, thats just it. Daemons can't eat Tau. Daemons, as I understand it, feed off the human emotions that spill into the warp. Their terror, hatred, lust, anger, etc. Tau have no warp profile. Their emotions don't register in the warp.


This isnt true.

Its true that tau have very small "souls"* which makes them a very small target on the usual daemon munchies scope, theyre a hell of a lot of effort to corrupt/possess compared to a human/eldar/pigweasel so its not usually worth the effort.

However, when you dip even a dish of starters into the ravenous swarm of warp beasts lurking the other side... Well it aint pretty...

*Soul is a very loaded term, but technically correct in this circumstance.

But yeah, Tau are cack scared of Mon'tau, which is basically Chaos unleashed, and avoid it at all costs. This is going to ruin their chances of independantly developing true warp craft on their own. Reverse engineering could be a possibility though.

carlisimo
18-10-2007, 06:01
Oh my bad; the Tau codex say they "barely register" in the Warp, not that they don't register at all. So yeah, yum yum.

Kasonic
18-10-2007, 06:39
It's not that Tau are emotionless, but they lack the supernatural evolutions the other races have that tie their subconscious to the Warp. While a Daemon would attack their ships just as easily as any other race, though not as enthusiastically, the chances of a Tau falling to Chaos except through pure cult psychology or becoming possessed are slim to none.

Mr Zephy
18-10-2007, 07:42
But yeah, Tau are cack scared of Mon'tau, which is basically Chaos unleashed, and avoid it at all costs. This is going to ruin their chances of independantly developing true warp craft on their own. Reverse engineering could be a possibility though.

No, Mon'tau is civil war. Admittedly, chaos caused a civil war, but that was because it was evil, not because it was made of warp-stuff.

destroyerlord
18-10-2007, 08:32
Captain surrenders...navigator probably commits suicide to avoid being taken by xeno scum (it's probably drilled into them - thou shalt not be taken alive by xeno scum. If thou art taken alive, thou shalt not navigate for the xeno scum. And whatever happens, thou shalt not engage in mad passionate lovemaking with another navigator to produce lots of little baby navigators for said xeno scum.'
Or more likely the ship's commisar simply goes and shoots him in the third eye. Just in case he ends up captured. Commisars have no problems shooting mutants or psychers as soon as they can.
I doubt Tau will ever use warp tech in the same way that the Imperium does. Tau breaking into the webway would be very interesting, although it requires a very powerful and learned psycher to do so (Ariman is the only non-eldar to ever break in I believe).
It is more likely that they develop their own technological equivalent, or use necron tech. The problem with necrons being of course, that they are necrons, and don't like little blue men stealing their precious metals...
It could make an interesting future plot position though, where instead of just 'forces of order' and 'forces of disorder,' the Tau ended up somehow linked to the 'crons, as an enemy of both chaos and the eldar/imperium 'order.' (note I'm not saying the eldar and Imperium are allied here, just that they both shoot chaos before anything else).

Vaulkhar
18-10-2007, 09:31
Strictly speaking, getting into the webway just needs someone to be careless enough to leave a portal unlocked as the Tau wander by. Getting back out could be tricky though.

Forcing a portal open or making a new one is what needs the uber psyker

Noserenda
18-10-2007, 15:52
No, Mon'tau is civil war. Admittedly, chaos caused a civil war, but that was because it was evil, not because it was made of warp-stuff.

We're both right, Mon'Tau is Chaos, (In the secular sense) anarchy, ignoring the greater good and all the lovely savagery the Fire Caste used to get up to before the Ethereals came. And from waht ive seen, it absolutely terrifies Tau.

BrotherAdso
18-10-2007, 20:10
The Tau fear Chaos and the Warp because they don't have the scientific knowledge or equipment to explain/control it...if they did, I imagine they would utilize it more effectively, rather than swearing off the whole enterprise.

Unlike the Imperium, the Tau approach problems pragmatically -- so the Warp is off limits for the moment, since its effects were so horrifying and unstoppable. If they had new information and means...well, chances are they would have another go.

Re: Whether Tau are afraid of Chaos (Mont'Tau). I read that as more the Tau being afraid of disorder / collapse, not the psychic warp sludginess of capital-C Chaos. Mont'Tau sounds almost like "without Tau," aka, without the order provided by the concept of the common good. When I read the term in the fluff, they use it like philosophers use Hobbes' state of nature -- disintigration of the civilized order, red in tooth and claw, all that jazz.

-Adso

Inquisitor Engel
18-10-2007, 23:41
For the record, the Nicassar do have the Navigator Gene. ;)

Kiro
19-10-2007, 00:03
Errrr, where was this written? :confused:

Invader Nails
19-10-2007, 00:04
On a related note, it seems to me that the Tau's lack of "fast" Warp travel is probably the only thing keeping them alive. If they could expand more quickly, they'd also run into the nastier elements of the 40K galaxy more quickly. They'd overextend themselves, and possibly be enough of a problem for the Imperium to launch a full-on Crusade to wipe them out. As it is, they expand slowly and then consolidate before moving forward. It seems even the Tau themselves have come to this realization after Medusa.

Of one buys into the Eldar-Tau connection, this might have been another bit of intentional engineering to keep the Anti-Chaos Reserve Aliens out of trouble.

Sir Charles
19-10-2007, 02:17
Captain surrenders...navigator probably commits suicide to avoid being taken by xeno scum (it's probably drilled into them - thou shalt not be taken alive by xeno scum. If thou art taken alive, thou shalt not navigate for the xeno scum. And whatever happens, thou shalt not engage in mad passionate lovemaking with another navigator to produce lots of little baby navigators for said xeno scum.'

They could feed the navigator to some Kroot, voila kroot navigators. Though considering their opinion on Kroot dining they might not be willing to do that.

Champsguy
19-10-2007, 02:45
I'm not a big BFG fan, but here's my understanding:

1) The Tau use a more primitive form of warp travel, one which allows them to travel the warp in only the most shallow sense. In the warp, the deeper you go, the faster you go. If you want to cross the galaxy in a month, you need a powerful warp engine. The Tau don't have any.

2) The Tau can't develop any, either, because they're missing the two things that make it worthwhile. The don't have navigators, so they can't see where they're going. They don't have gellar fields, so they'll die if they go too deep.

3) If you go into the warp without a gellar field, it's like Event Horizon. Your ship becomes possessed and your crew digs out their eyes. That's bad. The Tau don't even know they need gellar fields.

So if the Tau are going to get fast warp travel like the Imperium, they're going to need to develop several things. All their experience with the warp tells them to stay the hell away. So, while at some point in the future they may change their mind, it's "so far in the future that the fluff will never get there".

Noserenda
19-10-2007, 03:10
They could feed the navigator to some Kroot, voila kroot navigators. Though considering their opinion on Kroot dining they might not be willing to do that.

Thats actually a good idea, although Navigators do "reek of the warp" and such, so might not be too appetising... :cheese:

iamkion132
19-10-2007, 05:26
How exactly does Tau long range communication work if they don't have psychics? I presume at least one of their allies have the capability or do they rely on probes to send messages?

MrBigMr
19-10-2007, 05:32
How exactly does Tau long range communication work if they don't have psychics? I presume at least one of their allies have the capability or do they rely on probes to send messages?
Messanger drones? Download all planetary communications to a drone ships and send it out. Then, when it reaches a system or a planet it relays all the communications to the target and downloads all the communications from that planet, speeding to the next.
That would be cool. Sort of old school high tech post office.

Argastes
19-10-2007, 06:01
Yes, I would assume communications are via interstellar spacecraft carrying the messages (either manned courier vessels or robotic "message drones"), just as transatlantic communications in the pre-telegraph era relied on ships. Given the small size of the Tau empire, it wouldn't be that big of a problem. We're so used to rapid transmission of information via telecommunications technology that we think of it as essential to effective coordination of any major undertaking (and I'd say governing multiple star systems qualifies), but it's really not.

DantesInferno
19-10-2007, 06:24
3) If you go into the warp without a gellar field, it's like Event Horizon. Your ship becomes possessed and your crew digs out their eyes. That's bad. The Tau don't even know they need gellar fields.

Indeed. I was going to bring up Event Horizon, but it seems someone beat me to the punch.

I'd imagine Humanity's first steps into Warp travel probably ended in similar ways: the crew all die horribly as daemons devour the ship and its crew, the rescue parties end up much the same way, etc. Eventually people start to fine-tune the jumps, develop safety mechanisms, and the first Gellar Fields are on the way to being created...

Ktotwf
19-10-2007, 06:31
The real question is: After the original time that the ship went in to Warp and everyone went nuts and died, why didn't they stop and think, "Hmmm...lets go back to the drawing board shall we?"

DantesInferno
19-10-2007, 06:40
The real question is: After the original time that the ship went in to Warp and everyone went nuts and died, why didn't they stop and think, "Hmmm...lets go back to the drawing board shall we?"

Presumably everyone realised that the benefits of travelling quickly through the warp would outweigh the risks. No doubt lots of the first aeroplanes crashed and burned horribly, but everyone realised it would pay off in the long run.

Ktotwf
19-10-2007, 06:53
An airplane crashing doesn't have the same meaning as something completely and utterly unprecedented happening.

It would be one thing, for example, for our first manned mission to Mars to crash or run out of oxygen or something. It would be quite another for screaming demons to attack the ship, and kill everyone inside in gruesome, horrible ways.

Invader Nails
19-10-2007, 06:59
True enough, but travelling at FTL speeds is a HUGE prize to be won, and I think most civilizations would keep picking at it even if some crazy Event Horizon style stuff did happen. They'd just be very, very careful.



And incidentally, this is my 100th post. Huzzah.

Argastes
19-10-2007, 07:10
The real question is: After the original time that the ship went in to Warp and everyone went nuts and died, why didn't they stop and think, "Hmmm...lets go back to the drawing board shall we?"

Well, since the first human experiments into warp-space flight were thousands of years prior to the beginning of 40K's (even vaguely) recorded history, who knows how they handled it--maybe they DID go back to the drawing board, and do more research, and not send in another manned vessel until they had developed a technology (the Gellar field) to create a bubble of real space around the ship. Maybe after the first test ship's crew was devoured by daemons, further test ships carried no human beings, and instead contained only instrumentation and maybe experimental animals (in the same manner that our initial forays into spaceflight of the standard, non-warp variety used dogs and chimps as test subjects before we sent up manned capsules).

Brother Siccarius
19-10-2007, 08:03
A few assumptions from my end:
...
2 - Warp space is like walking to work blindfolded. Every now and then you have to take the blindfold off (drop back into real space) to make sure you're going the right way. Navigators are different and useful because they never need to take the blindfold off.


Yes, if you're walk to work is set on a constantly shifting and displacing plane. You can pop out of the warp all you want to check where you are, but without someone on board who's at least sensitive to the eddies and currents of the warp you could overshoot you're mark by a couple thousand light years, blunder into a warp-realspace intersection, a warp storm or simply come back and find yourself a hundred years in the future/past.


3 - Daemons aren't interested in the Tau (and wouldn't be interested in the Tau, even if the Tau entered the warp) because the Tau project absolutely no presence into the warp. They have nothing the Daemons could feed off.

As such, I'm not entirely sure how Tau FTL works, or why it is so much slower than the Imperial equivalent.


Well, thats just it. Daemons can't eat Tau. Daemons, as I understand it, feed off the human emotions that spill into the warp. Their terror, hatred, lust, anger, etc. Tau have no warp profile. Their emotions don't register in the warp.

As such, they wouldn't be interesting to a daemon. It would be like you or I trying to eat a brick. Sure, we could grind it up and chew it down, but why would we bother?

Not to say Tau would be completely safe in the warp, just that most daemons would find them as interesting as an asteroid.

The Warp is like the pit at a metal or punk-rock concert, everyone's fair game when they enter. Everything that enters the warp without protection, be you psyker or pariah is going to get torn apart. Demons don't differentiate in the warp as to if it's actually something that could sustain them or not, they'll rip metal as simply as bone.



The Tau fear Chaos and the Warp because they don't have the scientific knowledge or equipment to explain/control it...if they did, I imagine they would utilize it more effectively, rather than swearing off the whole enterprise.

Unlike the Imperium, the Tau approach problems pragmatically -- so the Warp is off limits for the moment, since its effects were so horrifying and unstoppable. If they had new information and means...well, chances are they would have another go.

Re: Whether Tau are afraid of Chaos (Mont'Tau). I read that as more the Tau being afraid of disorder / collapse, not the psychic warp sludginess of capital-C Chaos. Mont'Tau sounds almost like "without Tau," aka, without the order provided by the concept of the common good. When I read the term in the fluff, they use it like philosophers use Hobbes' state of nature -- disintigration of the civilized order, red in tooth and claw, all that jazz.

-Adso

There's also the fact that due to their lack of psykers they don't percieve the warp normally. A psyker active race like the Eldar or even humans who have at least some knowledge that the warp is there niggling at the back of their minds if they're psykers or not, hence why Pariahs are treated naturally as outcasts. The Tau simply don't feel it at all, it's entirely alien to them.


How exactly does Tau long range communication work if they don't have psychics? I presume at least one of their allies have the capability or do they rely on probes to send messages?
One would assume that it's simply a much more advanced version of what we'd use now, hence why Tau would have large communication arrays (such as seen in Dawn of War).


The real question is: After the original time that the ship went in to Warp and everyone went nuts and died, why didn't they stop and think, "Hmmm...lets go back to the drawing board shall we?"

Perhaps because everyone went nuts, died, and everything went cooky with the readings. For a Race that doesn't feel the warp or have understanding of it, it'd be difficult for them to say "A demon did it".


The question also arises that would the Tau know what to do with a Navigator if they found one? Think about it, the only ones on an Imperial Craft who would know exactly what a Navigator does would be the ones probably least likely to give over to the Tau alive. Many on the ship would know of the status of "Navigator", and know that they help navigate the ship, but how many would know that they do it through their unique mutation, that their mutation allows them to see the warp, that it allows them to guide via the Emperor, or that the mutation has to breed pure.

The normal crewman on an average ship was likely born to it, likely in the exact same station as their parent, they might not know much beyond what they see on a regular basis, and a Navigator wouldn't be one of those. Those that are new, indentured, or convict crewmen would be even less likely to understand what's going on with the rest of the ship. Hence the only ones left are the top class in the ship, who take it as a matter of pride to never have their ship taken from them. They'd be unlikely to give over themselves, or information needed to understand the mystery of the Navigator.

Inquisitor Maul
19-10-2007, 08:18
One would assume that it's simply a much more advanced version of what we'd use now, hence why Tau would have large communication arrays (such as seen in Dawn of War).


The answer to that one is that they don't. They use messangers to ferry orders and such betwean worlds.

Kiro
19-10-2007, 09:41
The question also arises that would the Tau know what to do with a Navigator if they found one? Think about it, the only ones on an Imperial Craft who would know exactly what a Navigator does would be the ones probably least likely to give over to the Tau alive.

From the same "other" source the Tau fished for Imperial info - Rogue Traders! :p

BrotherAdso
19-10-2007, 10:48
Actually, the Tau have to have some kind of FTL communication, otherwise even a 'small' interstellar war would be impossible to coordinate, even a modest empire would crumble. When it takes days or months to get orders and news from one planet to another, no central authority can keep up with the changing status.

If you combine slow-ish FTL travel with no FTL communication, you get a wholly new spin on the Tau empire which makes it almost as decentralized as the Imperium. Actually, I kinda like this idea -- it makes Ethereals and Fire Caste Commanders much more empowered individuals, who must preserve the Greater Good without immediate support or counsel from the central government. Kinda like military governors or commanders in mid-16th century Chinese campaigns way in the south -- a law unto themselves, but with accountability and a code of ethics / mission from a higher power.

Re: Siccarius

Good point, too, about why the Tau don't simply copy Imperial warp technology and steal navigators -- the Warp is literally outside their concept of the world. I don't see how this would really stop them, though. Two examples: human beings had to struggle to fit, say, Newtonian Physics into their world-concept after the enlightenment, it was literally alien to them, but they did it. Or particle physics today -- much of it has to be taken on mathematical faith and abstracted results rather than direct experience. The Tau may not see the Warp, but they can certainly observe how, when, and why other races employ psychic individuals, and put together an 'outsider's knowledge' of what has been going on.

-Adso

Iracundus
19-10-2007, 10:56
Actually the Tau Empire is decentralized from lack of FTL communications. It's in I believe the BFG background. The Tau use their ships as messenger boats to maintain communication, and individual planets are run by the various caste councils on the planet (headed by Ethereals and their councils). Overall directives might be handed down from the Tau homeworld, but there's time lag involved in getting those messages to the fringes.


Note however than even with FTL communications, the Imperium is still decentralized as there can still be time lag and distortion in their Astropathic communications.

BrotherAdso
19-10-2007, 11:21
I always saw the decentralization of the Imperium as two parts tradition to one part technology, and the Tau as being more 'modern' and less feudal in their outlook.

While there are issues in astropathic communication and warp travel for the Imperium, it is mostly the conflicting power structures and long-running tradition of powerful Governors that make it so feudal in structure.

If the Tau are more like a group of individually governed states in a confederacy than admistrative units in a modern state, that brings up lots of interesting questions. Do the Tau differentiate between local militia or laws and "intergalactic" ones? Do Tau planetary councils have the power to lead attacks / found colonies themselves? To whom do different castes owe their loyalty -- race, caste, homeworld, empire, Greater Good?

Re: Kroot eating navigators. Kroot take on the characteristics of those they munch, to some degree. However, they don't neccessarily understand how to use it and may never be able to. Further, there's no conclusive evidence that they can gain species-unique PSYCHIC powers as opposed to merely physical traits. IE a Kroot that ate a Farseer would probably not develop devastating psychic potential.

-Adso

Iracundus
19-10-2007, 11:32
On p. 42 of the Tau codex it says of Aun'Va that he is the most senior Ethereal upon T'au, sitting upon the councils that rule not just the sept but the entire empire.

Also in the Apoc book it says the Ethereal councils are the final arbiters of what is in the interests of the Tau Empire and the Greater Good.

From these two separate sources, it then seems to indicate that the Ethereal councils rule each planet, and that the T'au Ethereals are "first among equals" so to speak among these councils.

Burnthem
19-10-2007, 12:02
Dont forget that when humans intially started going FTL and using the Warp, it was much more benign than it is by the time of 40K, very little if hardly any daemon activity at all, IIRC its the recent surge by Chaos/Age of Strife etc etc that caused the Warp to become much more dangerous.

Mr_Rose
19-10-2007, 15:04
Re: Kroot eating navigators. Kroot take on the characteristics of those they munch, to some degree. However, they don't neccessarily understand how to use it and may never be able to. Further, there's no conclusive evidence that they can gain species-unique PSYCHIC powers as opposed to merely physical traits. IE a Kroot that ate a Farseer would probably not develop devastating psychic potential.
The Navigator Gene and the third eye mutation that it causes are purely physical traits though and any psychic power attributed to them is innate, much like the anti-psychic power of the pariah. True, you'd need training to learn how to use the ability to navigate properly, but the first Navigators learned from scratch, so why couldn't the Kroot?
Also Farseers don't exhibit fantastic psychic potential, they merely use it; all Eldar everywhere have the potential to become Farseers; only personal inclination and individual talent for the discipline govern who is and who isn't psychic amongst the Eldar.

BrotherAdso
19-10-2007, 15:40
Precisely. There isn't (that I've read) any confirmation that psychic traits can be mimicked by the Kroot cannibal-genome. I have no doubt that Kroot somewhere in the 40k universe have encountered and absorbed DNA from a human psyker or (just about any) Eldar. So why haven't we heard about Kroot who do this becoming some sort of psychic Shaper?

<Shrug>. I know absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence, but in this case, it seems somewhat compelling. Psychic power may have to do with your soul, not your genes -- hence why no matter how Tau try, they can't 'give' themselves psychic potential, and no matter how many Eldar the Kroot eat, they don't start tossing tanks around with their minds.

-Adso

Brother Siccarius
19-10-2007, 17:29
Dont forget that when humans intially started going FTL and using the Warp, it was much more benign than it is by the time of 40K, very little if hardly any daemon activity at all, IIRC its the recent surge by Chaos/Age of Strife etc etc that caused the Warp to become much more dangerous.

Actually, the Demons existed since the Eldar were first created as they were the first race created by the old ones that was that 'close to the warp' with psychic ability. The Chaos Gods would have began their existence around that point. There's really two things to support this, on one end the Chaos Gods weren't around to bother the Old Ones as they went around creating life, and on the other end the other Chaos Gods are much older than Slaanesh, who was only born around the fall of the Eldar and Rise of the Imperium.

You see, during the time leading up to the fall, the Eldar's rising emotional ecstasy, debauchery, and astonishing murder rate caused warp storms to form in the warp, massive ones that destabilized it across the galaxy. To the humans this was the Age of Strife, where humanity was cut off from itself. Slaanesh was born (which ended the warp storms and the Eldar homeworlds) around the time the Emperor left earth for his Crusade. By that time the other Chaos Gods, and the sundry demons that followed, had existed for a good long time now. The Warp would have been just as dangerous when humanity began going through the warp as it is now.

Burnthem
19-10-2007, 18:49
Ok, so Chaos was around, just not as all-powerful as it is now :) Hey, i got it half right!

Kiro
19-10-2007, 19:20
I would have hazarded that if anything, Warp Travel is safer now. Didn't the Fall and the birth of Slaanesh blow out a huge number of warp storms across the galaxy and calm warp travel in general?

Vaulkhar
19-10-2007, 20:43
Less warp storms, more gribbly things trying to eat your soul and turn your body into a novelty artwork that would make even Damien Hurst say 'Hang on, that's a bit much'. It probably evens out...

Kymar
20-10-2007, 01:41
Precisely. There isn't (that I've read) any confirmation that psychic traits can be mimicked by the Kroot cannibal-genome. I have no doubt that Kroot somewhere in the 40k universe have encountered and absorbed DNA from a human psyker or (just about any) Eldar. So why haven't we heard about Kroot who do this becoming some sort of psychic Shaper?

<Shrug>. I know absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence, but in this case, it seems somewhat compelling. Psychic power may have to do with your soul, not your genes -- hence why no matter how Tau try, they can't 'give' themselves psychic potential, and no matter how many Eldar the Kroot eat, they don't start tossing tanks around with their minds.

-Adso

All I can think of from GW material is a reference (still searching for quote) about shapers telling their Kroot families not to eat Tyranid flesh because it would corrupt/hurt them. Now a Tryanid Synapse creature is much different then generic Psyker, but I can see Kroot shapers avoiding any psychic power because of the inherit risks from chaos.

BrotherAdso
20-10-2007, 01:47
All I can think of from GW material is a reference (still searching for quote) about shapers telling their Kroot families not to eat Tyranid flesh because it would corrupt/hurt them. Now a Tryanid Synapse creature is much different then generic Psyker, but I can see Kroot shapers avoiding any psychic power because of the inherit risks from chaos.

I can see that as a possibility, but it does seem more likely than that Psychic power is non-transferable, dependent on the soul (which is a real thing in 40k) more than on the brain structure or genes. I acknowledge that the notion that humanity is evolving towards psykerdom and the Pariah gene are tenuous counterexamples -- but too tenuous.

I would say Kroot avoid eating Tyranids because it would be like circuit feedback -- two self-evolving mechanisms trying to re-interpret one enother simultaneously. Could get ugly....literally.

-Adso

Vandur Last
20-10-2007, 02:15
Re: Kroot eating navigators. Kroot take on the characteristics of those they munch, to some degree. However, they don't neccessarily understand how to use it and may never be able to. Further, there's no conclusive evidence that they can gain species-unique PSYCHIC powers as opposed to merely physical traits. IE a Kroot that ate a Farseer would probably not develop devastating psychic potential.

-Adso

Maybe, maybe not. There is a precedent from the Tryanids though.
Whats that troop they have... the Zoanthrope i think...

Anyway its basically a big psychic cannon creature that was developed by the Hive Mind after it had absorbed and imitated the powerful psychic capabilities of its Eldar victims from the invasion of Iyanden.

Vaulkhar
20-10-2007, 02:44
Yes, but the bugs had pisonic abilities before that. It wasn't until they'd had a few hundred Hive Tyrants Mind Warred to death that the Hive Mind realised 'Hey, the food might be onto something here...' and came up with a new application.

Kiro
20-10-2007, 03:47
All I can think of from GW material is a reference (still searching for quote) about shapers telling their Kroot families not to eat Tyranid flesh

It was from a WD but for the life of me I can't remember which, exactly!
IIRC the Shaper realised at the last minute that eating Tyranids would be...bad...no real elaborations on why, or for what reason, but in true Star Wars fashion he simply had a 'bad feeling about this'!

On the other hand, I don't think Kroot would necessarily avoid eating Psykers. We know that they have minor Psykers of their own and it isn't unreasonable to assume one or two weirdboys might have ended up on a Kroot dinner plate during the brief occupation of Pech.

Odenetheus
20-10-2007, 20:56
Perhaps the reason that they do not use Kroot psykers is that the ethereals have been informed by the eldar (Or some other source.) of the inherent corruption risk associated with psychic powers, and thusly have banned any and all such activities from being used with tau forces.

Mr_Rose
20-10-2007, 23:25
Perhaps the reason that they do not use Kroot psykers is that the ethereals have been informed by the eldar (Or some other source.) of the inherent corruption risk associated with psychic powers, and thusly have banned any and all such activities?
As unlikely as that is, it is equally unlikely that the Kroot would actually obey such an order except in the presence of the Tau.

Or maybe that's what the Kroothawks are for....

Odenetheus
20-10-2007, 23:43
Oh, you misunderstood. I didn't say that the Kroot didn't have psykers, I merely stated that it might be a reason as to why Tau doesn't use them. See the difference? ^^

Edit: I just realised that I had misphrased myself in the original post, sorry for the confusion!

Noserenda
20-10-2007, 23:46
Perhaps the reason that they do not use Kroot psykers is that the ethereals have been informed by the eldar (Or some other source.) of the inherent corruption risk associated with psychic powers, and thusly have banned any and all such activities?

Seems unlikely, the Tau seem fairly naive in all aspects of the Warp and related tomfoolery. And yes, the Kroot dont really listen either.

Vaulkhar
21-10-2007, 01:24
Presuambly the Shapers learnt to steer clear of orks that were spitting random bolts of electricity after the first few attempts at psykers resulted in the relevant Kroot first going bonkers, then dead...weirdboy powers are not the most controllable of things.

Part of it, I suspect is that psychic ability is not purely an on/off thing controlled by genetics, with a significant factor being how closely the target's soul is linked to the warp. It may simply be that the Tau, who are a relatively young species and are about as far from any significant warp rifts, psychic races or other gribbly influences as possible whilst still being in the galaxy, simply haven't had enough exposure to trigger this development.

Burnthem
21-10-2007, 11:38
Just to clear up a point that some people seem to get confused about, navigating the warp without a Navigator is entirely possible, and in fact very very common. Not having a navigator simply means you just do short hops rather than long 'dives' as you have to come back to real space every now and again to get your bearings before you enter the warp again.

Its the same with the Astronomican, people think that if it stopped 'broadcasting' that warp travel in the Imperium would grind to a halt, this is simply not true. The Astronomican certainly makes warp travel easier, by giving an easily seen point of reference, but losing it wouldnt be all that bad, after all, humanity managed without it for 20000 years (ish) before the heresy didnt they/we?

Mr_Rose
21-10-2007, 12:00
Exactly; the Astronomicon is a navigational beacon, much like a lighthouse, not any sort of power source. I doubt most experienced Navigators even reference the Astronomicon for shorter trips or familiar routes, rather relying on local beacons (not hard to make since you pretty much just need a pet psyker or two) or their own experience.
The Astronomicon shutting down would strand a lot of exploration vessels though, as they generally operate waaay out there with few properly mapped references, even in realspace.

Iracundus
21-10-2007, 12:21
Navigator based warp travel has been stated by GW in sources to be one of the major advantages the Imperium has over other alien races in terms of strategic mobility as it allows for faster and reliable movement through the warp. The old way using calculated warp jumps was more a series of hops while the Navigator based is making one long dive into the warp and then re-emerging directly at the destination

The BFG background mentions that psykers can create their own beacons. The Astronomicon therefore isn't unique but is the most powerful since it can be seen throughout the Imperium.

While interstellar travel could still function without an Astronomicon, the impact of reduced mobility on the Imperium's military, as well as the impact on trade, resource collection would have enormous deleterious effects on the stability and prosperity of the Imperium.

graveaccomplice
21-10-2007, 12:42
What about the Nicassar? What I mean (and sorry if I sound like a ***** on this) - Why don't they simply get the Nicassar to act as navigators for them?


My turn to play *****. What is a Nicassar?

graveaccomplice
21-10-2007, 12:46
It was from a WD but for the life of me I can't remember which, exactly!
IIRC the Shaper realised at the last minute that eating Tyranids would be...bad...no real elaborations on why, or for what reason, but in true Star Wars fashion he simply had a 'bad feeling about this'!

On the other hand, I don't think Kroot would necessarily avoid eating Psykers. We know that they have minor Psykers of their own and it isn't unreasonable to assume one or two weirdboys might have ended up on a Kroot dinner plate during the brief occupation of Pech.

The one in 'Xenology' didn't. Granted, she was already dead but he still took a nibble. The book hinted at the kroot gianing an improved immune system because of it.

graveaccomplice
21-10-2007, 12:49
I would say Kroot avoid eating Tyranids because it would be like circuit feedback -- two self-evolving mechanisms trying to re-interpret one enother simultaneously. Could get ugly....literally.

-Adso

Wouldn't the kroot become part of the hive mind... and signal a nearby hive fleet to come get them (subconsciously)?

Mr_Rose
21-10-2007, 13:04
First, please don't multipost like that, it's against the rules and some people consider it rude. We have multiquote and edit buttons for a reason.

My turn to play *****. What is a Nicassar?
Giant space polar bears that float around Tau space in sublight ships powered by the captain's psychic powers. A client race of the Tau, often found aiding Tau fleets in battle.

The one in 'Xenology' didn't. Granted, she was already dead but he still took a nibble. The book hinted at the kroot gianing an improved immune system because of it.
Kroot don't necessarily gain all the traits of their food, or they'd just look like whatever they ate last, nor do they necessarily incorporate all the abilities quickly or within a single generation. It might easily take a while for the Kroot to manifest psychic powers after eating a psyker.

Wouldn't the kroot become part of the hive mind... and signal a nearby hive fleet to come get them (subconsciously)?That may well be why the shaper decided it was bad to eat 'nids. That or Tyranid DNA is too unstable/otherwise incompatible with Kroot biology to integrate properly. Maybe the Tyranid DNA would act like viral DNA and take over the host or something....

graveaccomplice
21-10-2007, 13:09
First, please don't multipost like that, it's against the rules and some people consider it rude. We have multiquote and edit buttons for a reason.

I'll pay more attention to this in the future. :)


Kroot don't necessarily gain all the traits of their food, or they'd just look like whatever they ate last, nor do they necessarily incorporate all the abilities quickly or within a single generation. It might easily take a while for the Kroot to manifest psychic powers after eating a psyker.

I was commenting about the kroots possible aversion to psycher meat more then abilities gained in a meal.

MadDoc
22-10-2007, 01:17
To all those asking why the Tau don't just use the Nicassar as navigators I'll quote another poster below and highlight (bold) the most important part...


Giant space polar bears that float around Tau space in sublight ships powered by the captain's psychic powers. A client race of the Tau, often found aiding Tau fleets in battle.

So back to the question, "Why don't the Tau just use the Nicassar as navigators"? Quite simply because the Nicassar don't actually navigate the Warp themselves, for interstellar journeys they set their Dhows on their course and go into virtual hibernation, these journeys can last for centuries which doesn't bother the Nicassar (now though they are towed over long distances on the Gravitic hooks of larger Tau vessels). It's all right there in their background. Which you can get from GW for free here (http://www.specialist-games.com/battlefleetgothic/assets/lrb/E_BFGTau.pdf), alongside the Tau BFG list.

setekhite
22-10-2007, 10:58
Presuambly the Shapers learnt to steer clear of orks that were spitting random bolts of electricity after the first few attempts at psykers resulted in the relevant Kroot first going bonkers, then dead...weirdboy powers are not the most controllable of things.


Kroot Master Shapers can manifest battlefield psychic powers, and a lot of their totem wargear looks suspiciously like unconscious psychic powers (invulnerable saves, rerolls, precognition etc).

In BFG, Kroot ships are the only truly warp-capable element of the Tau fleet - albeit their navigation is apparently instinctive. This capability has apparently not been shared with the Tau; ironically, the clunking Warspheres are the fastest ships in the fleet...

Mr Zephy
22-10-2007, 11:58
Also, since "storing DNA and only choosing the good bits" is something I cannot imagine pure biology achieving, I's imagine that would be done by psychic power as well.

BrotherAdso
22-10-2007, 12:21
Well, if we've concluded that the Tau cannot use the Warp for two reasons:

1) No psychic protection, but similar psychic vulnerability in the warp.
2) No ability to navigate in or penetrate to the depths of warp due to poor psychotech,

Then I wonder: being the technologically awesome race they are, might they not just forge ahead and find another way to move FTL? After all, the Eldar built the Webway, and the C'Tan created inertialess drives, and the Demiurg do SOMETHING.

My theory is that the Tau may develop their gravitic-hook technology or use it to supplement their warp-skip method. Gravity fields or particles (just 'cause OUR particle physics can't isolate gravitons yet...) can be powerful manipulators of space and time. If the Tau can already use them to some degree, might they just try to avoid warp travel altogether?

-Adso

ThorOdensson
22-10-2007, 12:41
... After all, the Eldar built the Webway ...

-Adso

The Eldar didn't build the Webway, The Old Ones did. The Eldar just claimed salvage rights when the Old Ones disappeared/were destroyed

Mr_Rose
22-10-2007, 14:12
The Eldar didn't build the Webway, The Old Ones did. The Eldar just claimed salvage rights when the Old Ones disappeared/were destroyed
No, you're both wrong; the Old ones built the Stargate system (the one that collapsed on the Warhammer world), the Eldar upgraded it to the webway whilst the Old Ones were still around.
Anyway, both of those use the warp in a pretty direct manner, so it is unlikely that the Tau would develop anything similar if they were trying to stay away from the warp....

Maybe they could capture a few necron ships and reverse engineer something like inertialess drive?

BrotherAdso
22-10-2007, 14:39
I brought up the Webway in order to point out that there are plenty of ways to effectively get around the universe outside of Navigators, Gellar Fields, and Imperial-style warp travel.

Re: Stealing Necron ships. I wonder if they are simply so far beyond the Tau they couldn't get anything out of them? Or would they phase out the way the wee ones can?

-Adso

Rockerfella
22-10-2007, 14:54
I brought up the Webway in order to point out that there are plenty of ways to effectively get around the universe outside of Navigators, Gellar Fields, and Imperial-style warp travel.
-Adso

Which is fair enough. There are many ways to travel the materium etc. The above poster hit the nail on the head. The old ones did indeed create the webway, although it wasn't nearly as comprehensive as it is today, and not nearly as advanced. The Eldar took the technology and added to it, creating the webway we see today. Well, thats wrong actually. The webway we see today is a fractured and tiny proportion of the pre fall webway. So, i'm talking waffle really.

I've always been under the impression the Tau system works by bouncing the ships on the 'surf' that lies between the materium and the immaterium? Sort of like a bouncing bomb/skimming stone principle? The tau drive places the ship somewhere other than the warp and the materium. I've no idea where that is mind!

Cheers.

Tastyfish
22-10-2007, 18:51
Also, since "storing DNA and only choosing the good bits" is something I cannot imagine pure biology achieving, I's imagine that would be done by psychic power as well.

Actually pure biology does this now, sort of, many bacteria have the slightly unfortunate tendancy to tear their neighbours to shreds and incorperate random bits of their DNA into themselves when they come under stress, relying on the vast number of clones to work out which were the good bits. Its one of the reasons antibiotic resistance spreads far quicker than it should do, especially in hospitals.

Not sure where the Nicassar polar bear thing came from, thought they were supposed to be incredably weak due to living entirely in zero G and using psychics to assist movement.

Mr_Rose
22-10-2007, 19:16
Not sure where the Nicassar polar bear thing came from, thought they were supposed to be incredably weak due to living entirely in zero G and using psychics to assist movement.
The "Nicassar polar bear thing" came from a discussion on Portent-that-was that spread to the official boards and is pretty much the accepted description these days, seeing as there is literally no description of the appearance or even the vaguest physiological aspects of the Nicassar.
It basically started when someone said something along the lines of "for all we know they're giant polar bears" and it just stuck. Also, it's fun and kinda cool.
Maybe I should resurrect my Niassar Triumvirate psychic squad rules....

BrotherAdso
22-10-2007, 21:21
Hmmm. It would be really interesting if the Tau found out how to exploit the psychic potential of the Nicassar somehow. Enslaved or otherwised coerced Nicassar psykers used to power the ships that spearhead the fourth sphere expansion...hee. It might give a slightly shiny race a darker cast, fitting them into the grimy groove of 40k a little better.

Also on Nicassar: do they live entirely in Zero-G? I just got the impression they had an awfully large number of wandering fleets that span sectors in colonization and trade. They're called Dhows, which reminds me of short-run trading ships a la Arabic vessels along East Africa. My mental image of the Nicassar based on their being psychic, friendly, trade-hungry, and itinerant was of a kind of trader-monk or interstellar 'tramp steamer' crew.

-Adso

MadDoc
23-10-2007, 21:40
It basically started when someone said something along the lines of "for all we know they're giant polar bears" and it just stuck. Also, it's fun and kinda cool.

Actually, I think you'll find it came from a comment by a Games Developer... who basically described them as "Big Blue Space Polar Bears".