PDA

View Full Version : Tau Fire Caste Inspiration



Inquisitor Engel
06-10-2005, 12:20
Working on my Tau army, I realised that despite the extensive information on Tau battles tactics and some degrees of culture, we have little idea of what actually inspired said culture.

Now, to me, the Fire Caste see themselves as different than other Tau, and rather than fight FOR the Greater Good, they have a loyalty and duty TO the Greater Good. (Subtle difference, I know)

What do I see in the Fire Caste? I see the Jaff'a (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jaffa_%28Stargate%29) of Stargate. I don't know why, but an entire sub-race of beings dedicated to serving something out of honour and sacrifice just seems to fit.

Tau language is also fairly "Jaff'a" in nature, not to mention a dead giveaway on O'Shovah (Sho'vah being Jaff'a for "traitor") with lots of apostrophes and intonations being the key to correct pronunciation. Add to that that Andy Chambers was apparently a very big Stargate fan, and I might have something.

But probably not. ;)

It's been suggested elsewhere that some see them as a more brutal group of Tau, similar to the Jem'Hadar (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jem%27Hadar). Whilst I can certainly see this approach, the relative success of Farsight's little "expedition" is a good display of the fact that they're not quite as brutal and mindless as the Jem'Hadar might be, but, to each his own. ;)

Anyway - I'm not sure why I decided to post this. But that's my point of view on it. :p

Khaine's Messenger
06-10-2005, 16:26
Of course, the fact that both of those "races" are essentially slaves who have had traits (underdeveloped immune system due to dependancy on young guo'uld) and addictions (ketracel white) engineered into them (physiologically or psychologically) so that they will be obedient and docile for their "masters" kinda kills it for me. Yes, there's the "duty and honor," but the road to perdition for them is just a nice chat away ("my but isn't your life full of aweful incidents of your masters cruelly abusing their positions at your and your peoples' expense?").

In the general case, the Jaffa sound like a good, solid bet, though. Especially the Jaffa of SG-X...or the Bra'tak/Teal'c sorts, who have a rather intimate sort of warrior ethic that goes beyond their loyalty to their erstwhile masters. Of course, problem there being the whole rebelliousness thing. Maybe I'm reading too much into this....

Anyway, I see them more like the Elites in the Covenant. They joined the Greater Good believing it was on their own terms--that they would monopolize a certain role, that it would be "theirs" and no others'. And they are "good" at what they do...before the rise of the Brutes, of course....

Inquisitor Engel
06-10-2005, 18:26
In the general case, the Jaffa sound like a good, solid bet, though. Especially the Jaffa of SG-X...or the Bra'tak/Teal'c sorts, who have a rather intimate sort of warrior ethic that goes beyond their loyalty to their erstwhile masters.

I agree with this entirely - The Fire Warriors probably have many traditions, ideosyncracties and cultural ideologies that date back to pre-empire times.

Reason being that the Fire Caste were the strongest, and on the verge of some conquests (though by no means invincible) when the Ethereals showed up.

The other Castes would have been quick to drop many of their own unique cultures and assimilate, being significantly weaker than the Fire Caste and hoping a unified culture would create a more secure environment for their caste and the race as a whole.

The Fire Caste, now given a larger purpose, might have gone the opposite direction in some ways, codifying and formalising some traditions (the Bonding comes to mind), whilst dropping the more extreme tenants of their culture.

Tradition and culture all play an important part in Jaff'a culture (which was to a large degree, entirely seperate from the Goa'uld) something we're seeing with the new Free Jaff'a Nation is their attempt to keep many aspects of Jaff'a culture whole and there, whilst establishing a new form of government.

I knew discussion would get better ideas out of me. :)


Of course, problem there being the whole rebelliousness thing. Maybe I'm reading too much into this....

On the part of the Fire Caste, or the Jaff'a?

There's elements of rebellion in each. There was obviously a large portion of the Jaff'a who wanted freedom since they were created, but could do nothing about it.

Likewise, there was a large, large degree of sympathy amongst the Fire Caste for Farsight and his cause to "go rogue" and independent. (Trust me on this ;)) It's almost as if there were that burning desire to be independent and govern themselves, although this has o a large degree disappeared since the Fire Caste was put to good use (and given something to do!) in the third sphere expansion.


Anyway, I see them more like the Elites in the Covenant. They joined the Greater Good believing it was on their own terms--that they would monopolize a certain role, that it would be "theirs" and no others'. And they are "good" at what they do...before the rise of the Brutes, of course....

Interesting parallel, I hadn't thought of that. Good one.

Of course, that dynamic can be somewhat boring without the conflict of someone else encroaching upon their territory. ;)

Khaine's Messenger
06-10-2005, 21:08
The other Castes would have been quick to drop many of their own unique cultures and assimilate

Well...maybe. The Water caste was rather bitter that the Ethereals got away with their idea, at least initially (=][= Water Caste background), and the air caste was loosely allied with the fire caste, so the situation is, I think, a little complicated. The Fire caste is noted to be the last of the castes to willingly surrender its independance, though, so I think the overall point remains the same--the others were more willing to embrace such a lifestyle.


I knew discussion would get better ideas out of me. :)

It probably helps that some people have an inkling of what you're talking about. Otherwise it would just be "oh, guys with laser sticks and egyptian outfits...how're those like the Tau?" :p


On the part of the Fire Caste, or the Jaff'a?

Well, in the sense of stressing the analogy as the situations aren't precisely the same. But again, it fits together now that you've expanded upon it....


(Trust me on this)

That's one of the things I've found rather interesting. If Farsight really is a Tau "privateer" as one of the theories goes, you'd think that such sentiments would hardly be felt necessary...although with 40k, one could argue that the "truth" is only known by a select few and practically re-define the entire setting with whatever relationships you want and that everything is deliberate misinformation. So...I'll trust you on that. ;)


It's almost as if there were that burning desire to be independent and govern themselves, although this has o a large degree disappeared since the Fire Caste was put to good use (and given something to do!) in the third sphere expansion.

Sure enough.


Of course, that dynamic can be somewhat boring without the conflict of someone else encroaching upon their territory.

Oh, one could argue that the Fire Caste is going to become supplanted, much as the Tau themselves could be. But that goes back to the hardly-explored dynamic of how demographics of the Tau Empire might shift in the future, and whether or not Tau will always be the "major" race in the relationship or if it will eventually collapse to just the Ethereals...one of the major limiting factors of their Empire's current growth, in my opinion, and one of the open-ended questions that perhaps needs to be asked.

Hmm. I now realize that a lot of those replies are beyond the scope of this thread. Whoops.... :(

Inquisitor Engel
06-10-2005, 23:14
Well...maybe. The Water caste was rather bitter that the Ethereals got away with their idea, at least initially (=][= Water Caste background), and the air caste was loosely allied with the fire caste, so the situation is, I think, a little complicated.

Interesting, seems I missed out on this bit. It makes sense that the Water Caste might be tad miffed, but as you say, the overall point does remain the same, and that's what really matters.


The Fire caste is noted to be the last of the castes to willingly surrender its independance, though, so I think the overall point remains the same--the others were more willing to embrace such a lifestyle.

That's if the Fire Caste did it willingly at all, though that's probably a tad too anarchistic for any Tau. More likely they consented but made sure their own culture would not diluted by what they might consider "weaker" castes.


It probably helps that some people have an inkling of what you're talking about.

I hadn't thought of that, I'd expect most people who enjoy 40k to least have WATCHED a few SG-1 episodes. ;)


That's one of the things I've found rather interesting. If Farsight really is a Tau "privateer" as one of the theories goes...

Commander Farsight is in no way condoned or approved of by the Ethereal Council or the Tau Empire. It'll be get made plainly clear soon enough. ;)


Oh, one could argue that the Fire Caste is going to become supplanted, much as the Tau themselves could be. But that goes back to the hardly-explored dynamic of how demographics of the Tau Empire might shift in the future

Care to expand on this a bit?


...one of the major limiting factors of their Empire's current growth, in my opinion, and one of the open-ended questions that perhaps needs to be asked.

Again, more expansion here would be fun. :)


Hmm. I now realize that a lot of those replies are beyond the scope of this thread. Whoops....

Psh, evolution of discussion is the greatest dynamic of the community! :D

Even if the discussion does just involve you and I...

Sai-Lauren
07-10-2005, 16:16
I think there's a lot of sources for the Tau caste system - Fire seems to be a combination of the Jem'Hadar of DS9 (Vorta would be Water, and the founders Ethereals), the Jaffa of Stargate, the Minbari warrior caste of B5 (Earth is obviously worker caste, whilst IMO Air is split between warrior and worker, and Ethereals and Water are religious caste), and no doubt a few others.

ankellagung
07-10-2005, 16:30
OOH OOH OOH!
Can I join? I've actually thought about this before too......
First I feel obliged to point out the Jaffa has no ' (but at least you made an effort to write it with correct marky things) and Teal'c is the Shol'Vah (which I didn't realise until reading some stuff on the website, the l is very subtly pronounced). You guys have covered most of the ground already, but I was wondering if you guys had considered the similarities of the Ethereals with Goa'uld (which I still have to look up to spell).

Xisor
07-10-2005, 16:53
I'm sure I thought up a good few little thoughts on the castes too. That said, I struggle to remember them for the life of me. :(

That said, parts of the Jem'Hadar and the Jaffa do strike me as more than quite appropriate. The subcultures and various 'traits' and distinctions between sects of each do present interesting possibilities. I think a strict almost 'addicted' to the Greater Good theme to at least a caste or two of 'super dedicated' Shas would be a very interesting point of view. If you take an Ethereal play them *very* in character, or theme them in such a way. If the Ethereal dies, those that don't run away go into a very aggressive attack. Play up the 'addiction' feel, perhaps later turn the theme following the rebellious nature, perhaps playing to the style(if not the rules) of the O'Shovah Enclaves to go with the way the respective cultures progressed. It doesn't need to be an exact replica of their 'ideologies' and such, but when push comes to shove, I don't think it's supposed to be either. Take the bits that work, destroy with extreme prejudice those that don't.

Xisor

Khaine's Messenger
07-10-2005, 17:21
That's if the Fire Caste did it willingly at all

I don't see why they wouldn't. If they hadn't gone willingly, they would likely have been annihilated or "re-socialized" until they came willingly.


More likely they consented but made sure their own culture would not diluted by what they might consider "weaker" castes.

I don't think that's quite fair. Considering that, as I said, it took the combined efforts of the air and fire "caste" to make life miserable for the earth "caste," I think the earth "caste" was rather handing it to those stodgy plains-dwellers and their sedentary huntsman lifestyle. But then I'm partial to egg-heads and pitchfork-wielders....


I hadn't thought of that, I'd expect most people who enjoy 40k to least have WATCHED a few SG-1 episodes. ;)

Although finding the episodes that have any emphasis on Jaffa culture would be rather hit or miss....


Commander Farsight is in no way condoned or approved of by the Ethereal Council or the Tau Empire. It'll be get made plainly clear soon enough. ;)

Curse you, Engel...curse you. Inna good way....

But it's still all lies. Lies! [/conspiracy nut]


Care to expand on this a bit?

In a way it's the same argument about "first world" countries and immigrants, although it's not really the same because I don't think Tau birth rates are declining (although I imagine they are controlled...).

If the ratio of non-Tau to Tau within the Empire grows due to the expansion of the Empire, and if that ratio grows too large, it is possible that the Fire Caste will no longer be an adequate representative of the Empire's military forces than, say, Storm Trooper regiments are of the Imperium (as there will definately still be quite a bit more of them than Space Marines! ;) ), simply because the scale of forces would be too large, and there might be worlds where they have little to no presence at all, and worlds under the protection of the Empire might have to make do with being sent Tau technology and some instruction in its use. And if the non-Tau have any significantly large groups...say, humanity...well, things could get really fun.

Now, that being said, it is still possible that at the current "rate" of expansion (heavily curbed by hitting the edges of their "cluster" and perhaps the limits of their ability to maintain themselves infrastructurally) they could well assure themselves that the "hegemony" of the Tau race remains in place simply due to hereditary influence and similarities to the Ethereals if not by pure population presence.

And of course I'm also not a social geographer or a statistician, so...grain of salt, perhaps.


Again, more expansion here would be fun. :)

If the Tau (esp. the Fire Caste) wish to maintain their "importance" or major "franchise" in their Imperial model, it behooves them to maintain that position in some way. Given the overall context of this discussion, it is quite possible that the other castes are just fine with this state of affairs; indeed, more variety within Imperial population could make those aspects of Imperial life more functional or expand the baseline of Imperial design, scientific understanding, etc. Whereas the Fire Caste might balk at being "just one of the boys"....considering their current "standard" of using auxillaries as front-line troops and Tau warriors to make rapid salients, it seems they already think this way. Not so much that the others are worth "throwing away," of course...but they still have a "role."

Inquisitor Engel
07-10-2005, 19:02
Teal'c is the Shol'Vah (which I didn't realise until reading some stuff on the website, the l is very subtly pronounced).

Which website? :eyebrows:

I've never, ever heard anything close to an 'L' in it, not by any other Jaffa or any Goa'uld for that matter. Even when Daniel Jackson says it, and he's going to have the worst pronunciation of all naturally, says it with nothing close to an 'L' in it.

Not that I doubt you, although it's possible the L is silent.


Goa'uld (which I still have to look up to spell).

You know Jaffa has no apostrophe, that Traitor in Jaffa [apparently] has an L, but have to look up how to spell something that's spelt out loud on the series at least twice? ;)

Just having a bit of fun. :)


I don't see why they wouldn't. If they hadn't gone willingly, they would likely have been annihilated or "re-socialized" until they came willingly.

I know they did, I was just playing Devil's Advocate, please disregard...


I think the earth "caste" was rather handing it to those stodgy plains-dwellers and their sedentary huntsman lifestyle. But then I'm partial to egg-heads and pitchfork-wielders....

It's possible, though I imagine the Fire Caste weren't necessarilly winning as much as "holding out rather well" if the Fire Caste were beseiging an Earth Caste fortress, the Earth Caste might well have the only water source for miles in those walls, naturally putting the Fire Caste at a certain disadvantage.

But that's all really besides the point.


They could well assure themselves that the "hegemony" of the Tau race remains in place simply due to hereditary influence and similarities to the Ethereals if not by pure population presence.

I imagine indoctrination does play a large part, as well as something perhaps like the Phoenecians and Assyrians used to do - Resettlement.

Once a people are conquored or "absorbed" they are split up into many small groups and moved around the Empire, removing any cohesive national bond, and thus any threat of mass rebellion. (They naturally move their own people, or those who've already been culturally absorbed)

Those people eventually blend with that of the conquorors, or at least accept their place within it. Of course this would be a little different with entirely different races etc, but the idea remains the same.


If the Tau (esp. the Fire Caste) wish to maintain their "importance" or major "franchise" in their Imperial model, it behooves them to maintain that position in some way.

"Look at these Kroot! They can't shoot worth crap, so we MUST be better!" :D


Whereas the Fire Caste might balk at being "just one of the boys"....considering their current "standard" of using auxillaries as front-line troops and Tau warriors to make rapid salients, it seems they already think this way. Not so much that the others are worth "throwing away," of course...but they still have a "role."

I imagine vassal races warriors are given to be commanded by Fire Caste Warriors anyway, so it's not much of an issue.

Of course, using them as auxiliaries rather than troops wholesale gives most of the victory kudos to the Tau Warriors anyway.

kd7svh
07-10-2005, 20:13
If the ratio of non-Tau to Tau within the Empire grows due to the expansion of the Empire, and if that ratio grows too large, it is possible that the Fire Caste will no longer be an adequate representative of the Empire's military forces than, say, Storm Trooper regiments are of the Imperium (as there will definately still be quite a bit more of them than Space Marines! ;) ), simply because the scale of forces would be too large, and there might be worlds where they have little to no presence at all, and worlds under the protection of the Empire might have to make do with being sent Tau technology and some instruction in its use. And if the non-Tau have any significantly large groups...say, humanity...well, things could get really fun.

I think we can see this as almost existing already anyway even at the current (smallish) size of the empire. What I mean is that even without the Kroot or Human "add-ons" in the Fire Caste, there seems to be enough differences among the seperate septs to create a more dynamic group than can be easily pigeon-holed. It's the one thing I appreciated out of the otherwise crappy book Firewarrior. That though the "Greater Good" was the grand overall social (perhaps even religious) goal, the real world was still in there. Each caste seemed to look down its nose at the others to a certain extent. And while the Mon'tau (sp?) aspect was probably a little overdone in the book I think it did a good job of representing the reality of sentient beings doing their best to reach their own sociatal goals while still dealing with their... um... humanity.. (Tauness??)

Khaine's Messenger
07-10-2005, 20:33
I imagine indoctrination does play a large part, as well as something perhaps like the Phoenecians and Assyrians used to do - Resettlement.

Which is beside the point. Tau cultural mores might persist (assuming that the Tau are emphatic about indoctrination and what they espouse does not become warped over the years), but "the Tau" themselves (beyond perhaps the Ethereals) might diminish in stature in relation to the Empire's growing population and the Tau Empire may not always be the "Tau" Empire. If the Empire established by the Tau is to persist, it must be able to persist without the Tau, or with the Tau in a much diminished capacity...of course, the Tau themselves might not understand this sort of reasoning, as The Greater Good is almost inseperable from their view of Empire and their definition of themselves as a race.

This is why it is almost a check on their power to expand. The Tau simply cannot stomach the chance that they will have to be administering too many people. Resettlement or not, if the Tau Empire was blown up to Imperium-scale, it's likely that the "dominant" race in terms of population would not be the Tau (or at least in the present state of the galaxy, with various heavily-settled races; this might still apply roughly for a situation where you have many smallish races, though, as the question is the simple ratio of non-Tau to Tau). While they might form a clustered ruling class, it is doubtful that their presence will be required to get everything done, as tasks can and most likely would be more and more often delegated to others.

So, currently, they could be waiting until they reach a certain population level before expanding. But I've no evidence that's the case.


"Look at these Kroot! They can't shoot worth crap, so we MUST be better!" :D

Actually if you go by the codex, Kroot can shoot just as well as a line trooper. :p ;) Now, if the Kroot weren't so blasted conservative in relation to tech....


I imagine vassal races warriors are given to be commanded by Fire Caste Warriors anyway, so it's not much of an issue.

Then at what point will the Fire Caste ever be deployed as it is now, if the Empire is of sufficient size that they are nothing but administrators and generals? This is almost my interpretation of what Space Marines should be used for (as I posted in the "how would you re-write 40k" thread back on old portent). Given an Empire of sufficient size, the presence of the Fire Caste as the ruling clout of the military establishment becomes suspect, imho, as the Fire Caste grows further and further from its original purpose.

Of course, as the mantra goes, there is no expansion without control...so I think it will be a long time before this sort of problem ever comes about.

Inquisitor Engel
07-10-2005, 21:25
Which is beside the point. Tau cultural mores might persist (assuming that the Tau are emphatic about indoctrination and what they espouse does not become warped over the years)

That's why I would say the Tau need to be so emphatic about indoctrination, so that their message does not become altered or debased in any way. As well as the threat of rebellion, etc etc.

But that's neither here, nor there really.


If the Empire established by the Tau is to persist, it must be able to persist without the Tau, or with the Tau in a much diminished capacity...of course, the Tau themselves might not understand this sort of reasoning, as The Greater Good is almost inseperable from their view of Empire and their definition of themselves as a race.

I wasn't quite thinking on this scale, and I can see your point now.

One idea that does immediately come to mind is the Tau taking on a much more "Covenant" type society as other races are integrated.

We do know from a bit of the Halo background that there are plenty of Elites that don't fight (Though boy can they!), as well as at least two races that don't do any fighting. I'm sure there's a couple more races that didn't fight at all, as well as significant portions of those that do, doing other things like growing food.

I don't think it's such a stretch that the Tau couldn't evolve their society to do so, although obviously doing so over night would cause mass chaos, and it would require absolute faith in the Ethereal's decisions.


This is why it is almost a check on their power to expand. The Tau simply cannot stomach the chance that they will have to be administering too many people.

Or the fact that they might be administering at all!


Resettlement or not, if the Tau Empire was blown up to Imperium-scale, it's likely that the "dominant" race in terms of population would not be the Tau

Again, I wasn't thinking in that scale, and it's not like it hasn't occured before. Roman citizens were greatly outnumbered by both slaves and people who just lived in the provinces, and Rome had relatively few problems with rebellion for an Empire it's size, mainly due to indoctrination and the tolerance of local religions and cultures, provided they also followed the mandates of Rome.


While they might form a clustered ruling class, it is doubtful that their presence will be required to get everything done, as tasks can and most likely would be more and more often delegated to others.

Delegation is the key to success. ;)


So, currently, they could be waiting until they reach a certain population level before expanding. But I've no evidence that's the case.

It's a possibility, although again, we have no evidence that it's the case, although the Third Sphere expansion occurred to take advantage of a situation rather than anything else.


Actually if you go by the codex, Kroot can shoot just as well as a line trooper. :p ;)

That's why I wasn't. ;)


Now, if the Kroot weren't so blasted conservative in relation to tech....

To play Devil's Advocate, are you sure that it's really THEM that's keeping it down, or perhaps some subtle manipulation by the Tau might make them THINK they're being conservative on their own...

Nazguire
07-10-2005, 22:51
To play Devil's Advocate, are you sure that it's really THEM that's keeping it down, or perhaps some subtle manipulation by the Tau might make them THINK they're being conservative on their own...


That's a good point. We know that the Tau are not as angelic as they make out to be, including manipulating their subjugated and/or allied races. An example is their goal to civilise the Kroot and rid them of the way they evolve (eating dead/alive opponents), or the fact that every one of them must be rendered up for military duty (except for the rebels who are mercenaries and aren't a true part of the Empire). Another example are the Human Auxililaries.
The Imperial faith is deep-rooted, and as long as it is there, still suggests an inkling of loyalty to the Imperium. Which the Tau cannot have. Which is why Tau Propaganda plays upon the idea of the Ethereals allowing the Humans to worship who they want, because the Ethereals accept everybody, unlike your homophobic/xenophobic/sociopathic Emperor :eyebrows:

So I guess what I'm trying to infer, is how far can the Tau go before their 'allies' realise the Tau' attempts to completely and utterly absorb their culture and replace it with their own? How far will the members of the Empire have to go before they realise their Tau allies/masters are not as sincere as they originally hoped?

That's my idea of it anyway

Inquisitor Engel
07-10-2005, 23:57
How far will the members of the Empire have to go before they realise their Tau allies/masters are not as sincere as they originally hoped?

I doubt they would ever truly realise it... There are people in China who still believe Dinosaur bones are Dragon bones, irregardless of the fact that people try and educate them what they really are. People still read horoscopes. People believed, up until the day Germany and Japan surrendered, that they were in fact WINNING against the allies, thanks to propoganda.

People will believe what they want to believe.

I don't think the Tau really will have a problem. ;)

As for the 'darker' side of the Tau... well, you'll see. :evilgrin:

Nazguire
08-10-2005, 00:05
I doubt they would ever truly realise it... There are people in China who still believe Dinosaur bones are Dragon bones, irregardless of the fact that people try and educate them what they really are. People still read horoscopes. People believed, up until the day Germany and Japan surrendered, that they were in fact WINNING against the allies, thanks to propoganda.

People will believe what they want to believe.

I don't think the Tau really will have a problem. ;)

Agreed, however, the people that were part of WWII Japan, Germany, Italy, etc were all sheltered and had absolutely no access to real-world happenings. If you were part of the millitary that was on the actual front, then sure you understood the situation, if you weren't you were no better off.

However, the auxililaries of the Tau are all on the front of the wars, especially the Human Auxililaries, (whom a lot of them are still from the days of the Imperium, so are considerably more educated in galactic affairs, even if they have to push through the Imperial way of thinking to do that) so these auxililaries (if fighting an intelligent enemy) could realise things.

Perhaps I'm picking straws, but what I'm trying to say is that surely Tau propaganda can not and will not cover every world so convincingly, especially when they (the subjugated races) have been subject to other ways of living before hand.




As for the 'darker' side of the Tau... well, you'll see. :evilgrin:

Damn you :D

Khaine's Messenger
08-10-2005, 00:38
As well as the threat of rebellion, etc etc.

Ah...I'm not talking about rebellion, even if that's a related issue. I'm talking about significant population shifts and their potential ramifications...issues of cultural feedback (as exchange can occur both ways) as well as the possibility that the presence of, say, more humans than Tau in the Empire might cause an overall shift in the opinions and structure of Imperial society (for example, if the castes are marginalized, would the distinction of the "castes" even be relevant anymore?). It is not a question of whether or not the Tau will be destroyed by such population shifts, but how the Tau and Tau world views are changed by them within the scope of the Empire, and how the Empire functions, how its infrastructure will hold up, etc.


To play Devil's Advocate, are you sure that it's really THEM that's keeping it down, or perhaps some subtle manipulation by the Tau might make them THINK they're being conservative on their own...

I don't see any reason to see why the Tau would do that. I've always been of the opinion that the Kroot don't bother to advance because they feel safe enough operating under the Tau banner that the social selection pressures that would encourage advancement simply haven't come into play since the time when the Orks were driving the Kroot to extinction. Introducing the idea that the Tau are intentionally holding back their ally races seems a bit silly, to me...and like something that, if added, would just appease those people who whine and moan about how the Tau aren't "dark enough" to be in 40k.

Inquisitor Engel
08-10-2005, 00:58
Agreed, however, the people that were part of WWII Japan, Germany, Italy, etc were all sheltered and had absolutely no access to real-world happenings.

Yes, and that's where the majority of both current citizens of the Tau Empire and any future aquisitions to the Empire probably won't be fighting. The Tau don't just go out and conquor races that make war, there would be plenty of races, and portions of races, that don't fight.

Those people would be effected by Water Caste propaganda, probably very easily, as that would be their ONLY source of communication.


However, the auxililaries of the Tau are all on the front of the wars

Untrue. Most of the Kroot live in relative peace on their worlds, farming, hunting, evolving for fun, etc. Only a small portion are sent to fight are exclusive mercenaries, and those are bascially payment for the protection of the Empire. Sure they're a mercenary culture, but that doesn't mean they're all mercenaries.

The Nicassar also do very little actual fighting, and a good deal of their population just lives, chilling, exploring, doing what they did before they came under Tau control.

Just because all we see are warriors, doesn't mean that's all there are.


It is not a question of whether or not the Tau will be destroyed by such population shifts, but how the Tau and Tau world views are changed by them within the scope of the Empire, and how the Empire functions, how its infrastructure will hold up, etc.

Again, I think it would change, although not overnight. The Ethereals aren't stupid enough for that.

Eventually, I believe they might adpot another "Covenant" style and work themselves into it, but that's my personal opinion. The model would probably work quite well for the Tau, although they'd have to deal with the fact there'd be strata within strata (so to speak) but I don't think it'd be a problem if done slowly, and over time.


I've always been of the opinion that the Kroot don't bother to advance because they feel safe enough operating under the Tau banner that the social selection pressures that would encourage advancement simply haven't come into play

Perhaps that's true, but I honestly don't think the Tau are completely nice in their intents. Sure the lower castes might believe they are, but I honestly think there would be a much larger, much more ethno-centric ideal with every subjugation.

I'll use the Roman analogy again, when Rome was founded, based upon the overthrow of the Etruscan Kings, aside from vowing never to have a King (a vow they kept, technically) they also madea promise to themselves not to have unequal status within the citizenry.

Naturally, this didn't work out. Roman politics, social ranks and strata were insanely complex, and varied one birth line, a line you married into, how much money you had, the highest rank you had when you served in the military, as well as the ranks of your fathers... etc etc.

Whatever the original intents, the practice will change...


Introducing the idea that the Tau are intentionally holding back their ally races seems a bit silly, to me...and like something that, if added, would just appease those people who whine and moan about how the Tau aren't "dark enough" to be in 40k.

Oh they're still very shiny, in contrast. I don't think holding back would be the correct wording, I was simply using the Kroot as an example of which might occur elsewhere, and in other ways. Besides, the Demiurg are close to being vassals, and may well be soon, and are more advanced than the Tau in many, many ways.

That's my take on it at least. ;)

Khaine's Messenger
08-10-2005, 01:30
Again, I think it would change, although not overnight. The Ethereals aren't stupid enough for that.

Quite right. There is no expansion without control.... ;)


Eventually, I believe they might adpot another "Covenant" style

That's a possibility; of course, even if they do that, it brings up the possibility I noted earlier about the conflict between the Brutes and the Elites. I haven't really put together my thoughts on the matter yet other than to say "hmm, isn't that an interesting question?"


Perhaps that's true, but I honestly don't think the Tau are completely nice in their intents.

Of course not. The Tau are empire builders. Empire building is generally rife with some really deplorable things that history text books I've seen never stop harping upon....

On ethno-centricism? That's certainly possible; again, something that I think is common to empire building....


Oh they're still very shiny, in contrast.

I don't concern myself with their relative grimness. I just think that those who think the Tau aren't dark enough simply possess a distinct lack of imagination. :)


Besides, the Demiurg are close to being vassals, and may well be soon, and are more advanced than the Tau in many, many ways.

Eh...? The Demiurg are like miner-Gypsies, from what I've read. Claiming them as vassals and permanently dominating them would be like claiming to have enslaved all the Romany in the world by conquering Ukraine. I see your point, though.

Nazguire
08-10-2005, 01:52
Eh...? The Demiurg are like miner-Gypsies, from what I've read. Claiming them as vassals and permanently dominating them would be like claiming to have enslaved all the Romany in the world by conquering Ukraine. I see your point, though.

Agreed, the Demiurg may be more than happy to trade technology, gain access to asteroids or whatever in the Empire to mine, fight Orks for them or whatever. I can never ever see the Demiurg leaving their entire culture to the wind. Plus the Tau would find it next to impossible to keep track of them, more resources would be needed than feasible to understand where they all are at all times.

Inquisitor Engel
08-10-2005, 01:53
Quite right. There is no expansion without control.... ;)

Sort of like this thread! ;)


That's a possibility; of course, even if they do that, it brings up the possibility I noted earlier about the conflict between the Brutes and the Elites. I haven't really put together my thoughts on the matter yet other than to say "hmm, isn't that an interesting question?"

True enough. Of course, it's easy to say that the auxiliary situation only works because there are more Tau than Kroot/Nicassar/Vespid (Though possibly not combined) and once you get having entire forces of a race, rather integrated militias... well...

I imagine that a serious downscaling of aquired peoples' militaries might go on, perhaps to just enough to form a semi-effective PDF.


Of course not. The Tau are empire builders. Empire building is generally rife with some really deplorable things that history text books I've seen never stop harping upon....

Bloody history books! ;)


I don't concern myself with their relative grimness. I just think that those who think the Tau aren't dark enough simply possess a distinct lack of imagination.

It's not that I don't think they're dark enough, it's that I think that them just beince nicey-nice is relatively one dimensional and, well boring. Something more dynamic is a much better use.

And perhaps 'dark' is the wrong word for what's implied. "Less than perfect" might be better wording. They're not pawns of Chaos or anything. :p


Eh...? The Demiurg are like miner-Gypsies, from what I've read. Claiming them as vassals and permanently dominating them would be like claiming to have enslaved all the Romany in the world by conquering Ukraine. I see your point, though.

"Goujo!" (Catch the reference! Win nothing!)

The BFG fluff does state that the Tau offered the Demiurg a place in the Empire, early in the expansion, but they "respectfully declined", but oddly enough are getting suspiciously close with the Tau.

It's likely that the Tau indeed know their limitations, galactically at this point, and don't want a race that can roam without being under their control. The Nicassar are fairly local, and the Kroot, as far as the Tau know, don't really travel too far from their kindred.

The Vespid would be a pointless thing to bring up at this point, simply because noone knows anything about them. (And no, I don't know all that much on them either!)

Ja'ei'makiir
08-10-2005, 03:23
Wow.
I see the language comparisons you were talking about.
That is a strange, and strong, comparison.

Xisor
08-10-2005, 12:44
Indeed the Demiurg-Tau relationship appears to be very close according to the CPF.pdf. It indicates that through the Kroot the Tau met the 'Bentu'sin'(lit. Wise-gifted ones in Tau) [Bentusi anyone? I like the link though], the Demiurg, and though they did not join the Empire en mass(a couple of brothehoods did join, but nothing major), the Demiurg and the Tau are essentially allies. It even goes so far to suggest the Demiurg contacted the eldar(or some other race, but I believe this is a reference to the Alaitoc intervention):


Despite these advances, it was likely that they would not have prevailed against the might of Waagh! Scraghurtz. Unknown to the Tau however, the Bentuísin cultivated relations with races even far more ancient than themselves, and in less than a kaiírotaa the grim pressure this mighty Orkmada applied to the fledgling race vanished as suddenly as it came.

Though this could imply something terribly sinister about Demiurg: Necron relations, or give a good indication of the Demiurg's place in the 40k prehistory.

Xisor

Tastyfish
08-10-2005, 19:35
Makes me wonder really, is this a sign that the Eldar and Demiurg are a relationship of mutual respect (as much respect the Eldar can give anyway) due to being ancient star faring civilisations - and a way of not being quite dwarves, or a reference to someone else as they are dwarven based. Ah well - I aways though Bentusi more than Squat when they first came out (before the picture).

Other than providing military assistance, is there much pressure for other races to find a specific role within the Empire? On one hand it seems as if this is really all there is to it (other than research teams, but those would be a very select few) but then on the other it seems from various stories that the Kroot at least are spread quite widely through the Empire.

Do we have an idea of how many member species the Tau have and in which order they joined? Seems to be Demiurg, Kroot and Nicassar at the moment who seem to have fairly small roles within the Empire compared to the Tau castes.

Nazguire
08-10-2005, 20:36
Do we have an idea of how many member species the Tau have and in which order they joined? Seems to be Demiurg, Kroot and Nicassar at the moment who seem to have fairly small roles within the Empire compared to the Tau castes.


Well there are also Human and Vespid. Who knows when the Vespids joined as we haven't got a single scrap of background information about them. Humans would join semi-regularly, whether they desert their regiments, are born on a Tau conquered world or are simply absorbed when their world is taken.

Undoubtedly there are other species that dont' have a military role, but since this is WARhammer 40,000 we'll be unlikely to hear about them :cries:

Tastyfish
08-10-2005, 20:37
Given that (outside of IA) we don't really have much information about the Tau after Damocles I was kind of missing them out - looking at the first few to see what precedent is set for races joining later - humans being the most important due to the numbers

Wintermute
08-10-2005, 21:06
I've always reguarded the Tau Fire Caste to be inspired by the Samurai and the code of Bushido.

However, the Samurai considered individual combat to be honourable and dispised the use of firearms when they were introduced to Japan by European traders - the Tau are the exact opposite.

Sephiroth
09-10-2005, 01:29
Though this could imply something terribly sinister about Demiurg: Necron relations, or give a good indication of the Demiurg's place in the 40k prehistory.

Its Eldar. In the BFG magazine which they first published the Tau Fleet rules, it had a fair bit of background, the first part to the Damocles Crusade fleet actions, etc, and it mentioned that Waagh! Scraghurtz was effectively trapping the Tau within a few system, until a force of Alaitoc Craftworld defeated it, allowing the Tau to continue expanding.

Xisor
09-10-2005, 02:42
Very true, but the CPF.pdf is quite screwy with 'established' timeline, so we can only assume it'll be clarifed when the pdf is modified.

Personally I too prefer the Bentusi aspect the Demiurg are asserting. Whilst it seems apparent that auxilliaries are taking 'backseat' roles in the Tau Empire, I think it's more likely the Tau are taking 'lead roles', to make the distinction.

For the 'fighting on the ground', it will be Kroot, Humand, Demiurg, Galg etc etc forces that make up any mandatory 'army' to hold a position, or even simply act as a temporary 'Anvil' whilst the Shas Cadre 'Hammer with Master Rune of Flight and 2*Smiting' hurtles across the sky. I predict(with a blatant expectation to have this position being unfalsifiable) that the Shas will be more akin to a Storm Trooper Regiment or SM detatchment as opposed to a massed auxilliary formation. Or rather that any (predominately)Shas'la(or Kor'vesa) cadre act as the anvil wher predominately battlesuit cadres act as the Hammer...if that makes any sense.

As for the Demiurg-Tau relation, for my part, they were quite instrumental in the 3rd Phase Expansion of the Tau Empire. Literally. They helped me win battles with the newly released Tau Fleet during the EoT campaign. And lo' and behold, we expanded 32.6%! Not bad I'd say!

@Tastyfish: I agree again on the Bentusi vs Squat PoV, but Jes Goodwin himself said(a long time ago on the GW Mainsite BFG forum) that 'that' picture was a rejected concept sketch of the Demiurg, so I take it as what the Demiurg 'won't' look like, but then it seems to be only a few of us that think so these days... :(

Anyhows...

Xisor