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Souleater
29-04-2008, 14:36
'ello.

I'm sure I read in a WD about the time the Tau were launched that Fire Warriors suffered from a lack of depth perception or something.

Am I just mis-remembering because it seems very odd given the way Air Caste, for example, have adapted to their role.

Was this just a one off by GW to explain their BS of 3?

Burnthem
29-04-2008, 14:44
I remember the same thing, IIRC they were explained as being naturally poor-sighted, perhaps thats why they all wear helmets that presumably include targeting arrays?

Helmetless Tau should be BS 2 ;)

Bregalad
29-04-2008, 15:10
It was hinted at in the 3rd edition Codex to explain their poor BS and probably hinting at old bad jokes about Japanese. This was dropped and never mentioned again with 4th edition. Still, Tau make heavy use of visual enhancements fed with tactical informations.

Suicide Messiah
29-04-2008, 15:46
Its probably a nod to what the american soldiers where told in WW2. Basically that the Japanese couldnt see very well. I guess this was deemed racist (which i guess it is) and so scraped.

ViperMagnum357
29-04-2008, 16:11
The Tau are supposed to have a different kind of lens in their eye-better at focusing at far objects, but slower to focus on closer objects-giving rise to their preference for long range combat, and their subsequent pathetic Ws/I.:rolleyes:

Faustburg
29-04-2008, 16:16
Heh, I think you are reading way too much into it there... I really, really doubt the writers were thinking about american racist WWII stereotypes when they wrote that...

They needed BS 3 to be balanced in the game, with their good basic weaponry, and since they are supposed to be a hi-tech species who certainly would have targeters and other aids in their helmets and gun-sights, they needed a justification as to why they only still came up to BS3...

Sojourner
29-04-2008, 16:24
Compared to what? Humans? Somewhat, I suppose. However; aren't Tau supposed to be a desert species? With even more open country than what humans are ancestrally adapted to, you'd have thought they'd have better distance vision than us.

FarseerMatt
29-04-2008, 17:08
The WD from the month Codex: Tau Empire was released said something about Tau having "keen eyesight that allows them to pick out detail, but they lack the ability to focus as quickly as other species, hence their average level of Ballistic Skill".

mistformsquirrel
29-04-2008, 17:48
That makes sense. Kind of like a precision set of binoculars. Once you calibrate it properly you can see *everything* - but it takes a minute to fiddle with the knobs and such.

Melchor
29-04-2008, 17:56
That, and you have to remember that BS 3 represents the BS of a well-trained soldier (if you assume Guard are well trained, which I do).
A BS of 4 or better is reserved for the cream of the crop (Marines, Stormtroopers) or warriors with better equipment.

Adiem
29-04-2008, 18:27
Sounds to like like a throwaway comment to explain their poor BS, which would have been chosen for balance anyway..

Promethius
29-04-2008, 19:18
Except that BS 3 is the average for a trained soldier in 40k, and the arguement that Tau should have higher ballistic skill than guard because of their intensive training regimen doesn't really wash when you consider that some guard regiments recruit from worlds were kiddies can shoot straight before they can walk, and others come from deathworlds where only the best survive to adulthood, combined with training, and still have 'only' BS 3. I quite like the fluff regarding Tau eyesight; it's one of those little nuggets that make Tau individual & not just another humanesque-clone.

Grimbad
29-04-2008, 19:20
The Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer makes it very clear that tau cannot see more than ten meters.
It also says tau are afraid of water.

Leftenant Gashrog
29-04-2008, 19:25
I also could have sworn that they were said to have poor depth perception, which should be noted is a completely separate thing from short sightedness: short/long sightedness is about an inability to focus on objects, depth perception is the ability to focus on something and know how far away it is - which is in part down to the brain triangulating the data gathered by our eyes, Tau have two eyes, but appear to have only a single sensor on their helmet - which would make triangulation impossible.

Burnthem
29-04-2008, 19:56
The Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer makes it very clear that tau cannot see more than ten meters.
It also says tau are afraid of water.

QFT

If it's in the Primer then its true, no question about it! ;)

Thud
29-04-2008, 21:07
QFT

If it's in the Primer then its true, no question about it! ;)

It's not in my Primer. But then again, mine's from before there ever was blue Space Commies running about.

Lord Malorne
29-04-2008, 21:09
Says it is so in the Xenology book IIRC.

Hellebore
30-04-2008, 01:23
It was in the Index Xenos about the tau.

They have a good BS, they just have a low WS and I. You might as well say EVERYTHING that describes EVERY race is merely there to justify game balance if you are going to claim that the only reason they describe the tau as having a slow focusing time is to justify low table stats (I believe it also said that they had no pupils, or not well developed ones).

@Bregalad are you talking about the 4th ed codex, the one you decry for its emphasis on the tau being more aggressive and less nicey nice? Can't have your cake and eat it too.

Either the tau ARE more aggressive and have good eyesight, or they have poor eyesight and are goody goody.

If you start CHOOSING parts of each text to believe then you are going to look like you're biased...

Hellebore

Nazguire
30-04-2008, 05:41
Still, Tau make heavy use of visual enhancements fed with tactical informations.

As do Tyranids, Imperial Guard (depending on the regiment of course:)) Eldar etc. They all have BS 3 (asides a few exception in the individual armies such as Aspect Warriors, Stormtroopers) More 'visual enhancements fed with tactical information' doesnt' necessarily mean that they deserve BS 4...
*Shudders at the thought of 12 BS 4 Fire Warriors.

starlight
30-04-2008, 06:00
Simply accept that the d6 basis of GW games combined with the 0-10 range of Stats doesn't allow for enough differentiation across the range of IG/Tau?Marine/etc Stats.

Average IG recruits might be BS2.5 (rounds to 3), fully trained BS3, elite/veteran BS3.5 (rounds to 4), Marines BS 4.

It's a game, not a simulator. Relax, eat your pizza, drink your choice of beverage, roll the dice, move your men and have some fun. :D

Nazguire
30-04-2008, 06:08
Simply accept that the d6 basis of GW games combined with the 0-10 range of Stats doesn't allow for enough differentiation across the range of IG/Tau?Marine/etc Stats.

Average IG recruits might be BS2.5 (rounds to 3), fully trained BS3, elite/veteran BS3.5 (rounds to 4), Marines BS 4.

It's a game, not a simulator. Relax, eat your pizza, drink your choice of beverage, roll the dice, move your men and have some fun. :D

So says Starlight, ruler of men.:eek:

Goq Gar
30-04-2008, 06:32
Indeed.

I would think the fact they have 2 eyes... and the helmets only have one lens to see through (though assumedly its a camera that links up to a HUD for the wearer), that would give terrible depth perception. Like closing one eye when looking through binoculars.

If they are so technologically advanced, wouldn't their targeters be better? And wouldn't their drones be better at shooting too? Tekmologie cant flail when it's that advanced, right?

Nazguire
30-04-2008, 07:45
Indeed.

I would think the fact they have 2 eyes... and the helmets only have one lens to see through (though assumedly its a camera that links up to a HUD for the wearer), that would give terrible depth perception. Like closing one eye when looking through binoculars.

If they are so technologically advanced, wouldn't their targeters be better? And wouldn't their drones be better at shooting too? Tekmologie cant flail when it's that advanced, right?

The drones of the Tau aren't that advanced if I remember correctly. Individually they are dumb, quite dumb and run on a set of parameters (if enemy here, go here, otherwise go here). Only when linked together through a slaved intelligence network do they have any sort of real 'artificial intelligence'. I'm guessing the same applies to the drones as well in terms of shooting-

-They have the same sort of targetting equipment that the Tau do, which finds it hard to instantly focus on moving targets.
- They have inaccurate short range weapons (carbines)
-They are just dumb flying disks;)
-GW needed game balance...:D

Imperial technology isn't backward, just the distribution of technology has huge gaps between planets. In the same system, one world may be feudal age, one may be stone age and one may be a highly advanced metropolitan civilisation. Imperial targetters (such as the Astartes 'auto-senses') are highly advanced technologically and would easily leave the Tau targetters in the dust.

azazel_fallenangel
30-04-2008, 10:14
Just because they only have one lense, doesn't mean the lack depth perception. They could have some sort of radar range finder built in (Think similar things exist today), displaying the distance to the object seen through the lense.
This could possibly be an easier option than triangulation using two video feeds, such as our eyes do.
Think that made sense, did in my head anyway. but things often make sense to me, but fall flat when I try to explain things :confused:.

MrBigMr
30-04-2008, 10:29
Lets not forget that the cream of the crop in Fire Warriors, the Ethereal honour guard has BS4.

Nazguire
01-05-2008, 05:30
Lets not forget that the cream of the crop in Fire Warriors, the Ethereal honour guard has BS4.

I'd say thats just to distinguish them from normal Fire Warriors, otherwise what's the point of paying for them when you can just chuck your Ethereal in one of your Core selections?

Adiem
01-05-2008, 18:15
They have a good BS, they just have a low WS and I. You might as well say EVERYTHING that describes EVERY race is merely there to justify game balance if you are going to claim that the only reason they describe the tau as having a slow focusing time is to justify low table stats (I believe it also said that they had no pupils, or not well developed ones).


I see what you're saying here, but I would have though there are core pieces of fluff, and then odds and ends that get stuck on to explain things. I'd imagine that if you were designing a new race, you'd get some core concepts together, to give them some kind of flavour, then design a workable army. After that, if there were some areas that stood out (such as low WS & I), you could go back and justify them in the fluff; I'm just not at all sure if poor eyesight would be an absolute core concept for the tau when they were being envisioned...