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LoneSniperSG
28-10-2007, 01:27
I've been having thoughts on the Tau since getting their Codex.

It would seem to me that the Tau, relying completely on technology to propel their advance, would falter against the Psykers of the Imperium, Witches of the Eldar, Sorcerers of Chaos, and even the C'tan of the Necrons. Even Orks have the power of the WAAAAAAGH! What is it that has yet to see this happen? How can the Tau hope to compete with the other races that have their own innate special powers? I would think that the poor Tau and their Greater Good would get swept under the clash of the Warp.

I suppose this is a holler out to the Tau players of Warseer. How the crap do you guys just not die in the face of the Warp? :wtf:

Voodoo Boyz
28-10-2007, 01:30
Like just about anything that's crazy powerful or made of warp energy, if you shoot it enough, it goes away.

The Tau don't have psychers, but they can shoot. A lot.

mistformsquirrel
28-10-2007, 01:35
I think there are several reasons:

1) First and foremost is the simple truth that the Tau haven't expanded that far yet. They have about 100 worlds or so if I recall. A sizable area; but nothing to the greater vastness of the galaxy.

2) The Tau have make up for psychic deficiency with highly advanced drone AI. The Imperium won't use them; the Eldar are very traditional in their approach to things, and the Orks, even if they could make them wouldn't use them. Thus the Tau are alone in making extensive use of AI. I think it gives them a significant advantage in being able to drop masses of Drones to disorient the enemy.

3) Perhaps the biggest reason though, is the fact that the Tau are more than the sum of their parts. It isn't JUST the Tau you are fighting. You face Tau, Kroot, Vespid, Human, Niccassar, and possibly even more when you face the Greater Good. The Tau themselves may lack psykers, but they have other races that are psychic capable; and they have the combined talents of several species, all working together for one purpose. There is a distinct power to that cohesion.

Bonus) You're forgetting the disadvantages of Warp powers too. Even Chaos Sorcerers have to contend with the fact that the warp is incredibly unpredictable - you can bend it one way, and it may take on a completely different effect. You may even be possessed by a Daemon, or in the case of the Orks, have your head asplode! For every advantage gained by the mastery of pyschic powers, there's the counter-balance that it is also very unpredictable and difficult to master.

Bregalad
28-10-2007, 02:11
Most psykers are susceptible to a good volley by railguns.
And not being susceptible to the perils of the warp or Chaos corruption is not a disadvantage ;)
Not understanding modern engineering is!
*snickering at a human chanting to the machine god to repair his broken car*

Ktotwf
28-10-2007, 02:33
Chaos Tau will solve all of these issues.

Orbital
28-10-2007, 02:34
I've been having thoughts on the Tau since getting their Codex.

It would seem to me that the Tau, relying completely on technology to propel their advance, would falter against the Psykers of the Imperium, Witches of the Eldar, Sorcerers of Chaos, and even the C'tan of the Necrons. Even Orks have the power of the WAAAAAAGH! What is it that has yet to see this happen? How can the Tau hope to compete with the other races that have their own innate special powers? I would think that the poor Tau and their Greater Good would get swept under the clash of the Warp.

I suppose this is a holler out to the Tau players of Warseer. How the crap do you guys just not die in the face of the Warp? :wtf:

Get to know your enemy's powers. If, for instance, you know how Fury of the Ancients works, you'll know better than to clump up too much when you see a Librarian on the table. That kind of thing.

You aren't going to be subjected to the Psychic Hood or Runes of Witnessing, which means that (at best) you don't have to spend points on a power that makes you take a psychic test and you STILL can't cast it, and (at worst) your head won't be eaten from the inside out by an ugly demon (or even a pretty one).

Also, most psychic powers aren't that powerful. They nudge the flow of the game one way or the other. There are a few that rate a "Golly Bob Howdy" for offensive power, but the advantage that most psychic powers give their respective armies is balanced (asymmetrically) by the staggering firepower of the Tau.

Probably my most valuable advice would be: Don't be the loser in the "psychological warfare" game. Most of your opponents are just as scared of you as you are of them. :)

WorLord
28-10-2007, 02:43
Tau chaos renegades...I like it! :evilgrin:

Let's see...tau obey their leaders - either commanders like Shadowsun or ethereals. All we have to do is "influence" a unit's leader to "see things our way" - or replace him w/ a shapeshifter loyal to chaos.

We've already seen tau commanders strike out on their own when they lose their ethereals. What's to say chaos can't convert such a group to "The Greater Evil"? :p

As to the Tau vs psykers problem, 3 thoughts:

1) Psykers tend to self destruct (POTW) a little too often for my taste. Especially the ones w/ no save vs the wound.

2) For the points someone has to sink into a decent psyker (character, powers, wargear, retinue, transport), the tau can field enough firepower to (usually) do away w/ the problem long before he can do too much damage.

3) Worse case, pick up an allied force w/ psykers.

chaos0xomega
28-10-2007, 07:28
I think the Tau's counter to these psychic abilities and such is their seemingly unbending loyalty to the mysterious ethereals, and their complete faith in their ideology.

Khaine's Messenger
28-10-2007, 08:21
How can the Tau hope to compete with the other races that have their own innate special powers?

There are several layers to this question. The first is how the Tau compete with theater-controlling psykers: Astropaths, Farseers, and other infrastructure and planning-focused psykers. There, they don't and can't try to compete, and that's one of their current biggest drawbacks. Infrastructural issues are the main reason the second-most-important mantra of the Tau is "there is no expansion without control." And the Empire just doesn't have the power to back anything like the Astropathic network or the strategic acumen of the Farseers. But still, manual logistics and physical message passing have their own bits of magic to them--Tau strategic planning doesn't require as much juju as Farseeing and serves a fundamentally broader purpose.

The second tier is how the Tau compete with psykers on the battlefield. The answer to which is, they don't really have to reply to psychic powers specifically. Being able to shoot lightning by thinking it or predicting my next move are things the Tau could conceivably replicate with technology or study of the enemy, so there's nothing special or magical about such abilities except the tang of ozone it leaves behind. Mind control effects can be a pain, but then again, not all psykers can use those for free or for lightyear distances, and with a strong will, you can never tell.

Then there's how psychic powers play out on the table-top. And how psykers are treated in Tau society. And a couple other factors. The general take-home of this is that the powers of the warp are somewhat quantifiable and needn't be treated all that differently from mundane effects from a sort of "I wonder what's out there?" point of view. If the Imperium had ansibles instead of astropaths, it wouldn't make much difference.

Ktotwf
28-10-2007, 08:35
The Tau seem like the "I'd rather have a trusty blaster by my side than some hokey ancient religion" types to me. Psykers are only a problem if they can't be blasted with a railgun.

ZigZagMan
28-10-2007, 09:04
mistformsquirrel:
The imperium DOES have AI, they just don't recognize it as such, they call it the machine spirit, many times in the fluff the machine spirit of a vehicle is described as intelligent.

Khaine's Messenger:
Wow someone who knows what an ansible is!

Shockwave
28-10-2007, 09:33
Off Topic, form what i have of an Ansible (In fiction, Elizabeth Moon) it is pretty similar to a Hyper Pulse Generator from Battletech.

Indrid Khold
28-10-2007, 11:00
It just refers to faster-than-light, usually instantaneous, communication. Ursula LeGuinn came up with the name, and it floats around a lot in SciFi.

Khobai
28-10-2007, 12:04
While the Tau may not have any psykers, they do have the power of innovation. Everything the imperium builds is based on 10,000 year old STCs; the imperium's technology never advances or evolves beyond the existing blueprints. the imperium sees the Tau as a threat because they know tau technology will gradually keep advancing and eventually the Tau will become so advanced theyll be unstoppable.

Latro_
28-10-2007, 12:12
How can the Tau hope to compete with the other races that have their own innate special powers?


they'll invenet a device that mimics the behaviour of psyhichy type gubbins using the tissue samples and cloned body parts of caputred imperial/eldar.

simple :P

graveaccomplice
28-10-2007, 12:42
Psychers are by no means a controllable asset.

1) Psychers are generally rare. Being sucked into the warp and all.

2) Psychers that don't capitulate are killed, adding to their rareness.

3) Tau don't have to worry about a psycher getting possessed and opening a hole into the immaterium.



We as players use psychers so frequently because there's no risk to us. It's just numbers. In the WH40k world, those with psychers have to be on constant guard. Whole worlds become corrupted (and subsequently become the target of exterminatus) by one psycher that slips up.


Tau should worry less about competeing and figure out ways to use this constant divertion of attention to their advantage.




mistformsquirrel:
The imperium DOES have AI, they just don't recognize it as such, they call it the machine spirit, many times in the Fluff the machine spirit of a vehicle is described as intelligent.

Isn't there some fluff out and about concerning Isenhorn and a piece of old earth tech? Something about destroying a machine that created robots with AI?

elvinltl
29-10-2007, 02:07
Like just about anything that's crazy powerful or made of warp energy, if you shoot it enough, it goes away.

The Tau don't have psychers, but they can shoot. A lot.

Remember this famous Eldar quote? "Their arrogance is only matched by their firepower" Worst still you cast a Doom and pour all your firepower.

mistformsquirrel
29-10-2007, 02:39
mistformsquirrel:
The imperium DOES have AI, they just don't recognize it as such, they call it the machine spirit, many times in the fluff the machine spirit of a vehicle is described as intelligent.

Khaine's Messenger:
Wow someone who knows what an ansible is!

The Machine Spirit is *not* AI actually. A Machine Spirit is an organic computer; think of it as a servitor, but just the brain part.

mistformsquirrel
29-10-2007, 02:40
Off Topic, form what i have of an Ansible (In fiction, Elizabeth Moon) it is pretty similar to a Hyper Pulse Generator from Battletech.

Holy crap! Someone else who's read some Elizabeth Moon books! <@_@> cool!

*Sorry <,<; I just finished Trading in Danger and Marque and Reprisal a couple months ago; looking to get Engaging the Enemy when I can*

Shrike30
29-10-2007, 03:28
I learned the term from Ender's Game, but it's the same thing there.

If and when Tau find the need to use psychic powers, they'll get allies to do it. They don't have the genetic capability within their own race. The "communication helmets" they provide for Vespids are pretty obviously mind control devices of some sort...

Dais
29-10-2007, 04:08
so far the only drawback to not haveing psykers seems to be the lack of warp travel. being able to only move at sub-warp slows their expansion a great deal.

Jayden63
29-10-2007, 06:41
Well from a game point of view (not fluff), I see markerlights as the Tau psychic power. These things definantly give you an edge. I'd take +1 BS (per hit) over guide any day. They are very versitile and something that the enemy cannot defend against. It may not be as broken as FOTD, but then again the look on the other guys face is priceless when he realizes that your throwing out 24 shots that hit on 2s and wound on 2-3s.