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View Full Version : Tau Battlesuits, how do they work and how big are they?



Flightleader
03-02-2008, 04:36
I've been a Guard player for a long time but I guess I must have fallen for the greater good somewhere along the way because I found myself buying a Tau army the other day... everything was great.. the models are great but then I had to build a Crisis suit.

Now what strikes me as odd is that they are small, it seems to me that a battlesuit should be a cross between a sentinel and a drednaught both of which are far larger... and dreds have a half rotting corpse inside of'em! It also seems impossible for a fire caste member to fit inside.. at least not in any conventional way... so what gives? Penitent engines, sentinels and dreadnaughts are all large machines manned by a single pilot.

are crisis suits really this small? How does the pilot actually work the suit?

Chaplain of Chaos
03-02-2008, 04:44
Think of it as oversized power armor with jetpacks and weapon mounts and you'll be spot on. They also have a neural interface, the Taus feet are about where the knees are and his body is in the chest area.

Thats it, pretty simple.

Similarily structured to some Anime Mecha.

Vaulkhar
03-02-2008, 05:07
They're basically small Dreadnoughts - think of them as Tau Killa Kans and you're not too far off. The Fire Warrior controlling it is curled up in the chest cavity and runs the thing through a neural interface - which still has long-term side effects (at least, according to the Fire Warrior novel, which has a veteran musing on litle details like addled suit pilots wondering why they can't fly anymore...)

Iceheart2112
03-02-2008, 07:00
So far, they've got it right. If you're in to Battletech, think of it as a somewhat larger version of an Elemental suit. The tau inside it has his/her legs inside the legs, down to about the Crisis suit's knees, and his torso/arms inside the main body (the arms are lying beside him, not in the suits arms). The suit's head is just sensors, so you don't have to worry about a 'headshot', though there are drawbacks that come along. Because its controlled through a neural connection, most veteran Crisis suit pilots have, what they call, "ho'or-ata-t'chel": sympathetic ghost pains. Some basically 'become' the crisis suit, and so when their sensor head of the crisis suit is blown off...they slip into a coma because of the massive trauma; or when an armor-piercing round slips through and hits their 'flesh' body, they don't understand why they can't move their arm because there's no damage to the crisis suit's arm.

Goq Gar
03-02-2008, 08:09
Some basically 'become' the crisis suit, and so when their sensor head of the crisis suit is blown off...they slip into a coma because of the massive trauma; or when an armor-piercing round slips through and hits their 'flesh' body, they don't understand why they can't move their arm because there's no damage to the crisis suit's arm.

... that's disturbing.

I've always thought the suits were sort of just an over-built exo skeleton (as Iceheart described), but that the tau inside was far more "built-in" to the suit. I.e. Dreadnought armour reminiscent.

So they would have a neural connection, but also tons of wires sticking into them, literally controlling the suit through the motions of their body. (Im getting the image of the girl in the mothership in Homeworld (pc game)).

Asi the Red
03-02-2008, 08:15
I've always been of the mind that the model is simply not to scale and it's a bit larger than it actually is. The pilot's arms and legs don't fit into the suits arms and legs, but he instead curls up in a fetal position in the chest cavity. Tiny wires insert into the back of the pilot's head (neural interface) and hijack his body's voluntary muscle control - he tries to move his arm/leg/whatever and the suit moves instead.

This is of course my view on it, and isn't necessarily backed up by any canon source.

Burnthem
03-02-2008, 09:46
Im sure ive seen a cut-away conversion of a Battlesuit somewhere, with the Tau pilot curled up inside, his whole body inside the Torso of the suit. The ball and socket joints on a battlesuit certainly dont look like the most comfortable things to stick an arm or a leg through!

I expect that the models are simply just not to scale, they need to be slightly larger to accomodate the pilot.

Bregalad
03-02-2008, 10:03
Here is the pic: http://demonwinner.free.fr/uk/2003/uk03_open_2.jpg
But yes, it seems a bit small inside.

Argastes
03-02-2008, 13:57
... that's disturbing.

I've always thought the suits were sort of just an over-built exo skeleton (as Iceheart described), but that the tau inside was far more "built-in" to the suit. I.e. Dreadnought armour reminiscent.

So they would have a neural connection, but also tons of wires sticking into them, literally controlling the suit through the motions of their body. (Im getting the image of the girl in the mothership in Homeworld (pc game)).

Nah, it's just a suit of armor; before battle they climb into and plug in the neural interface doodad, and afterwards they unplug and hop out.

SV_Harlequin
03-02-2008, 14:35
They are meant to sit inside the torso and a sort of seated position. The models are not to scale though, everone should know this, you can't get 10 Marine figures in a Rhino or 10 Aspect Warriors in a Serpent. All the Vehicles etcs are not to scale with infantry.

MrBigMr
03-02-2008, 15:41
The models are not to scale though, everone should know this, you can't get 10 Marine figures in a Rhino or 10 Aspect Warriors in a Serpent. All the Vehicles etcs are not to scale with infantry.
I agree on the serpent (not to forget a falcon, which has like less than 50% of the space of a serpent and should hold 6 models), but I've seen someone once cram 10 marines into a Rhino. You have to remember that they'd sit side by side with a quite tight fit.

If you've ever been at the back of an army lorry with 29 other guys and all their equipment, you'd be amazed how well people can fit into small spaces. But it's also the army logic: If the text on the side of a vehicle says "Max. 30", it'll damn well hold 30 people. The size of the vehicle has no bearing on the matter there.


Here is the pic: http://demonwinner.free.fr/uk/2003/uk03_open_2.jpg
But yes, it seems a bit small inside.
Just the thing I was going to look for.


Anyway, by the art it would seem that battlesuits are a tad larger than the models. So taken that and what I've read and heard, the pilot sits inside the torso in a cockpit. He doesn't need his arms nor legs, since all is done via neural interface.

I did like Fire Warrior about the problems of battlesuits. The ghost pains and all that. Makes Tau tech look not so advanced. Such things are also supported by the CA2004 article on rail rifles, where a fire warrior's interface shorcircuits and fries his brain (aka. the Gets Hot! rule of the things).

Keemperor
03-02-2008, 16:36
The best representation that I could find from the inside of a Tau battlesuit comes from the 2004 appleseed movie.

These link might help though:

http://asensio.laurent.neuf.fr/Intron2.jpg
http://www.world-art.ru/animation/img/3000/2742/i2.jpg

Iceheart2112
04-02-2008, 19:59
I think of it as the opposite, MrBigMr. Tau's technology is *so* advanced that the body can't tell the real one from the crisis suit. And while the ghost-pains aren't the most healthy of things, it does help the pilot get a better feel for it, allowing him to be more effective.

MrBigMr
04-02-2008, 20:14
If Tau tech was that advanced, they would have eliminated such problems. It's like you have this high tech laser targeting thing that can guide a missile onto a penny, but have someone walk past the beam or aim it at something a little too close, and you'll fry the thing (happened to a guy I know).

Or plasma tech. Sure, an Imperial plasma gun is more advanced than what we have ever made, but it still backfires. Tau and Eldar have cleared such problems and their guns are not only reliable, but almost as effective. It's like comparing a WW1 rifle to an M16. One is powerful as hell, while one is as strong as needed to be with other features.

bosstroll
05-02-2008, 08:34
http://www.world-art.ru/animation/img/3000/2742/i2.jpg

I always wonder why you'd wear a bikini while piloting a warmachine...

MrBigMr
05-02-2008, 08:36
I always wonder why you'd wear a bikini while piloting a warmachine...
Marines don't wear much under their power armour either.

bosstroll
05-02-2008, 08:44
Marines don't wear much under their power armour either.

True, but they probably dont wear the male equivalent of a sexyly high cut bikini, do they ? :)

totgeboren
05-02-2008, 10:43
hehe, im sure there is atleast One marine out there that wears a bikini under his powerarmour. ^^

Hellebore
05-02-2008, 11:00
The information about tau battlesuits in the Taros Campaign book says they are ~2.8 metres tall.

That puts them at just a bit taller than a space marine.

Don't forget that the average height of a tau is ~5 feet, and 3 metres is 10 feet (so the above height of the battlesuit is almost 2x the height of a tau).

Hellebore

bosstroll
05-02-2008, 12:12
hehe, im sure there is atleast One marine out there that wears a bikini under his powerarmour. ^^

<cough>Lucius<cough> ;)

MrBigMr
05-02-2008, 13:20
True, but they probably dont wear the male equivalent of a sexyly high cut bikini, do they ? :)
No, I was thinking something in the lines this:
http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/a-borat2.jpg
In chapter colors, of course. For the Emperor!

But don't they wear some sort of tights under their armour? Like the plug suits they had in NGE or the tights the troops wore in Starship Troopers when in the power armours (can't remember for sure if it's so)?

Or was it that they were copletely as the Emperor intended, prancing around in their birthday suits?

bosstroll
05-02-2008, 13:23
No, I was thinking something in the lines this:
http://blog.wired.com/gadgets/a-borat2.jpg
In chapter colors, of course. For the Emperor!

But don't they wear some sort of tights under their armour? Like the plug suits they had in NGE or the tights the troops wore in Starship Troopers when in the power armours (can't remember for sure if it's so)?

Or was it that they were copletely as the Emperor intended, prancing around in their birthday suits?

Well, the black carapace covers their back and chest, and i asume they wear something speedolike around their butts.

Bregalad
05-02-2008, 15:50
"In the grim future, female troopers are required to wear sexy, revealing cloths" ;)

MrBigMr
05-02-2008, 17:52
"In the grim future, female troopers are required to wear sexy, revealing cloths" ;)
That would be funny, if it wasn't so true. So... very, very true.

Brother Siccarius
05-02-2008, 18:12
So far, they've got it right. If you're in to Battletech, think of it as a somewhat larger version of an Elemental suit. The tau inside it has his/her legs inside the legs, down to about the Crisis suit's knees, and his torso/arms inside the main body (the arms are lying beside him, not in the suits arms). The suit's head is just sensors, so you don't have to worry about a 'headshot', though there are drawbacks that come along. Because its controlled through a neural connection, most veteran Crisis suit pilots have, what they call, "ho'or-ata-t'chel": sympathetic ghost pains. Some basically 'become' the crisis suit, and so when their sensor head of the crisis suit is blown off...they slip into a coma because of the massive trauma; or when an armor-piercing round slips through and hits their 'flesh' body, they don't understand why they can't move their arm because there's no damage to the crisis suit's arm.

That's pretty much word for word from Firewarrior, except for one thing. The legs curl up to the body, placing the pilot in the fetal position, when the needle inserts itself into the pilot's spinal column (Man that gives me shivers just typing it).

To be fair to the Tau battlesuit technology, however, you should also look at other version. Aside from the Crisis/Broadside suit, the stealth suit technology is also battlesuit tech, but more compact.

For an accurate look at how large a Battlesuit is, I believe there's still a picture of Farsight standing next to his suit in the codex.

As to Marines, they wear a one-piece body tights thingy ("Bodyglove") that described in the Space Wolf novels and HH novels.

Though I'm sure Lucius wears all sorts of revealing things under his armor, thank god emperor it's chaos armor and he can't take it off though!

MrBigMr
05-02-2008, 18:36
That's pretty much word for word from Firewarrior, except for one thing. The legs curl up to the body, placing the pilot in the fetal position, when the needle inserts itself into the pilot's spinal column (Man that gives me shivers just typing it).
Don't they have sort of Matrix like plugs in the heads where the needle goes? So it's not like "We take this big spike and ram in into your skulls" (which is what the Imperium would do).


Though I'm sure Lucius wears all sorts of revealing things under his armor, thank god emperor it's chaos armor and he can't take it off though!
Oh, it'll come of if we're to believe Daemon World at least. It just hurts a lot and leaves the person in a weakened state (even marines can's skin themselves without problems) for a while.

Iceheart2112
05-02-2008, 19:09
Nope. Its something like a smart nanoneedle; no plugs, no ports, just skin to sharp, pointy object. I remember it being described as a thin sliver, so its probably not leaving any marks on the back of the neck.

As to the other kind of battlesuits, the XV-8 and XV-88 are based on the same chassis (thus that first '8' in the designation). The stealthsuits are mainly beefed up powered body armor with jets attached, so its more like the Space Marines armor. I would assume that it has a neural link as well, but it doesn't 'short circuit' the body's functions like the bigger Crisis suits, just augments them to make it a seamless translation of movement. This, however, is mostly speculation as there isn't a whole lot of information about the smaller battlesuits (there may be in the IA: Taros campaign book, but I don't have that one).

Dangerman
05-02-2008, 19:43
I always wonder why you'd wear a bikini while piloting a warmachine...

We keep a couple Intron Depot books around work - If you really want to know, that particular image (w/swimwear) is intended to be a sales ad for the battlesuit in question. So it's not really what you'd wear piloting it - it's just intended to make the suit that much more appealing to buyers.

Johnnyfrej
05-02-2008, 22:47
"In the grim future, female troopers are required to wear sexy, revealing cloths" ;)
Sadly someone failed to memo this to the Sisters of Battle :(

Iceheart2112
05-02-2008, 23:50
Haven't you seen the Sisters Repentia?

Johnnyfrej
06-02-2008, 00:42
Haven't you seen the Sisters Repentia?
Yes, but the 6-foot chainswords of death are somewhat of a buzz-kill.
Now, if SoB was hosting a car-wash with Repentia (minus the kill-slashy) that would be a different matter. :D

-Private Jon

bosstroll
06-02-2008, 07:44
Yes, but the 6-foot chainswords of death are somewhat of a buzz-kill.
Now, if SoB was hosting a car-wash with Repentia (minus the kill-slashy) that would be a different matter. :D

-Private Jon

It's called PMS, try talking to one later this month ;)

CrimsonTider
06-02-2008, 11:40
"The best representation that I could find from the inside of a Tau battlesuit comes from the 2004 appleseed movie."
I have to admit, this is about how I have always seen them as well. From the configuration of the suit and the relative size of the firewarrior models, taking into consideration the sizes relative to everything GW does (ie, dreadnoughts would need to be a bit larger than they are, as do land raider, rhinos, etc...) then it seems most plausible to me that the firewarrior sits in the chest cavity, his arms by his side and his lower legs down into the sockets of the thighs of the suit. The suit would open up, the firewarrior gets in, and the suit closes over him, then he plugs in.

Just my two cents really, since there has notbeen an accurate description from GW as of yet.

redbaron998
06-02-2008, 15:17
The stealth suits are much different from the crisis suits, at that point it becomes much closer to power armour than how the crisis suits are.

And as for the ghost pains, i reckon its somewhat like in the Matrix, the mind percieves that what you are seeing through the suit is real, so if your suits arm gets blown off, your body will think its your real one

El_Machinae
07-02-2008, 00:48
Huh.

Until this thread, I had thought they were somewhat similar in size to the battlesuits in the Matrix Trilogy.

MrShhhsh
13-02-2008, 18:36
In the Gav Thorpe novel THE LAST CHANCERS, a squad member in a kill team thought he could crawl up in one of those during a mission in a Tau base. He managed to squeez into it and figured out how to turn it on. If I remeber right, there were some nodes that came up to his head and then the "hatch" closed. A few moments later the hatch re-opened to reviel a fried and blackened human.
Theses suites use a nueral connection without having to "plug in" but it is tuned to the Tau mind and anything else would fry itself like the poor sap above.

The book is the best one so far for me. It has just about everything that you will see on a typical battlefield.

Bregalad
13-02-2008, 19:48
To be precise, it is the Gav Thorpe novel "Kill Team" from his "The last Chancers" series.
And personally, I loathed this novel for its style and content, but there were many useful informations spread in between. Was released with the first Tau Codex. "For the Emperor" is a much better Tau novel though.

MrShhhsh
15-02-2008, 01:58
There's always a critic