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29-07-2010, 12:56
I'm not well versed in the story of the Tau, so please bear with me for asking the following question:

Are there any other known Tau than Commander Farsight, to have broken with the Ethereals and the Tau mindset of the Greater Good?

29-07-2010, 13:01
No. But there was another fire warrior commander called brightsword, who's actions at Nimbosa were not tolerated by the ethereals, so that they conspired with imperials to assassinate this fire warrior.
And nobody knows if farsight has really abandoned the greater good. So far, he's fighting a war against an ork waaagh that is pushing his forces back and that he will lose against.

29-07-2010, 13:08
Nope - not per fluff.

Well - there was that one guy they offed in "Kill Team" - Commander Brightsword(?) maybe? He was of similar mindset and a friend of Farsight's. (oops - Ninja'd)

Other than that - there are no official Tau renegade Commanders. And considering how the Ethereals have recognized the threat - there would be a tough time having more go all renegade like.

In may ways - the caste system is a warped mirror of the the Imperium. The nature of the caste system will, in many ways, act as the same sort of firebreak against rebellion as the separateion of the Imperial Guard, Imperial Navy, and the Space Marines after the Horus Heresy. The Air caste control the ships - without them - your rebel Fire Warrior generals go no where...

Shas'o Gavner'Elan
01-08-2010, 13:24
There are renegade commanders in the Farsight Enclaves obviously but I think they were probably born and bred in the Enclaves rather than escaping there from the Tau Empire.

01-08-2010, 17:33
Shas'O Shovah led an entire recolonization fleet out to the Damocles Gulf. It goes to say that a healthy number of Shas'el and perhaps even Shas'O (since Farsight was commanding a Coalition) were present alongside him.

It's hard to believe so many thousands (maybe even tens or hundreds of thousands!) of Tau would so easily and willingly turn their backs on the Empire. It's quite possible they don't even know they did, since the order to return to the Empire may have stopped at Farsight, and Farsight alone.

Shas'o Gavner'Elan
01-08-2010, 18:02
Yes that's true. We don't really know much about the Farsight Enclaves at the moment, so we can't go into much depth about the subject... well I can't.
Does anyone have any additional info about the Farsight Enclaves?

01-08-2010, 19:25
We know that they're on the verge of utter annihilation by Waaagh! Grog, who retreated and made the forces of Farsight extend their supply lines too long, and use the ability of the orks to multiply very fast as a means to crush the surrounded and numerically inferior tau cadres.

01-08-2010, 20:01
From where do we know that? I seem to be behind the times on the fluff somewhat.

01-08-2010, 20:19
Codex Ork 4th edition, the war of Dakka.

02-08-2010, 03:20
In hindsight, from Codex: Orks, we also know that Farsight has established no fewer than 4 "Sept Worlds" (since 3 have been taken by the Orks, as per the War of Dakka story).

Sept Worlds are no small outposts, by any means. A world doesn't become a "Sept" until it has been settled for a long time and has become a center for industry, military power, higher learning, and/or enlightenment, and extends such influence over the other worlds in its boundaries.

This means that based on the usage of the word alone, Farsight likely has millions of Tau under his care - not a small number at all, though minuscule in comparison to the billions/trillions of the Tau Empire, proper.

As for the War of Dakka itself, I got a different impression from the story. Yes, Farsight's war against the Orks is currently a losing and defensive one, but for having lasted almost 250 years pursuing and combating the Ork foe, I don't think "on the verge of annihilation" is an accurate depiction of their situation. They are fighting to survive, but we don't know what the strategic balance of forces is, or how long they are able to hold out without strategic support from the Empire itself.

In addition, I thought that the Orks were winning by rapidly adapting looted Tau technology and using it against the Tau, who were unprepared to be beaten at their own game of ranged firepower and maneuver.

Your statement (assumption?) that the Orks are forcing Farsight to overextend his supply lines doesn't sound quite right, considering the War of Dakka is currently being waged in Farsight's own backyard...

Certainly his supply lines extend that far, yes? :confused:

Strategically, the Orks' strategy is simple. Make a big ruckus so that more and more Orks are flocking to the fight.

Operationally, on only a single one of Farsight's Sept Worlds, Warlord Grog Ironteef used the one-trick pony of a tactic of "retreating" to lure the Tau into spreading their forces thinly, only to be counterattacked and destroyed piecemeal, which tipped the balance of the war in the Orks' favor.

Not so much a matter of supply as it is a matter of poor distribution of combat power, and presenting too many juicy gaps to an underestimated yet tactically and operationally cunning enemy force.

Shas'o Gavner'Elan
02-08-2010, 10:07
Wow, this Warlord Grog Ironteef guy sounds pretty smart for an ork!!! It annoys me that theres more info about Tau in other codexes than in the Tau Empire one! Thanks for detailing the War of Dakka, I hadn't even heard of it.
What I don't see is why doesn't Farsight ask for the Empire's aid against the orks. I know he's stubborn and doesn't want associated with the Ethereals, but the whole Farsight thing seems very suspicious, especially since Farsight uses a Daemon-Sword-thing! And surely even a Tau like Farsight would turn back to the Empire if he was "on the brink of annihilation".

02-08-2010, 10:16
As for the War of Dakka itself, I got a different impression from the story. Yes, Farsight's war against the Orks is currently a losing and defensive one, but for having lasted almost 250 years pursuing and combating the Ork foe, I don't think "on the verge of annihilation" is an accurate depiction of their situation. They are fighting to survive, but we don't know what the strategic balance of forces is, or how long they are able to hold out without strategic support from the Empire itself.

We actually do know about the strategic balance to some limited extent. After the initial victory by the Orks, and then subsequently drawing more Orks to the combat area, it has turned into a battle of attrition. Such a situation ultimately favors the Orks:

Since that day many more warbands have flocked to the Warchief's banner. Grog has taken three sept worlds in the space of a year, locked in a war of attrition that the Orks can afford but the Tau cannot. No matter how many times Farsight and his cadres cut down the Orks, more follow close behind as new armies of greenskins make their slow but deadly approach. p. 28, 4th edition Ork Codex

02-08-2010, 20:13
There are a lot of possibilities, Shas'O Gavner'elan.

The first is that Farsight initially overextended himself strategically in pursuit of the Orks, realizing too late that all contact was soon lost with the Empire itself, and that he was forced to establish his string of fortress worlds in order to provide a logistical base of operations.

His bitterness with the Empire may be influencing his stubborn refusal to do business with them, or perhaps at least influenced his initial drive to hunt the Orks down before accidentally cutting himself off from support completely.

These two are the most logical conclusions, in my mind, because influencing thousands or even millions of Tau to turn their backs on the Empire in the face of a lifetime of rigorous indoctrination seems almost impossible to accomplish.

I'm not going to comment on whether or not Farsight himself is "bad" or "good" (a futile endeavor, at best), but I definitely believe that the masses of the Farsight Enclaves don't quite realize that they are currently branded as renegades, or haven't consciously turned their backs on the Empire itself, or at least didn't at the time of Farsight's secession.

After 250 years, who knows?

@ Iracundus, fair enough, though even the Codex says that the Orks' approach is "slow".

I'm more contesting the "imminent" aspect of his henceforth-dubbed "Chronology of Annihilation", than the ultimate outcome itself. :)

Like I said, he's fighting a losing, defensive war.

We just don't know how long it'll be before he is destroyed, regains the initiative, or is forced to call on external aid in his war against Ironteef.

Shas'o Gavner'Elan
03-08-2010, 18:34
Thanks for taking the time to give your explainations DoombringerATT your answers seem like the most sensible solutions. And I think it's best that Farsight's morality and the origins of the Dawn Blade remains a mystery - it adds to the story. :D

03-08-2010, 19:04
OK, I re-read the war of dakka section and remember now why I discounted it as not very reliable fluff. The author seems to be under the impression that Farsight is still part of the empire since he comments on the Tau High Command not being able to send Farsight reinfocements quickly enough and that they are shocked that an Ork outmaneuvered "their" forces.

That tells me that either the intention was for that particular Waaagh! to have happened before Farsight split with the empire (and that it was apparently won by the Tau eventually) or that the writer was so completely clueless as to basic Tau background as to completely destroy his credibility as a source for Tau fluff.

Doombringer: Where do you get that the War of Dakka has lasted for 250 years? I didn't see any dates or time periods assigned to it and I certainly didn't get the impression that this was the Waagh! that diverted him from his recolonization mission just before his break with the Empire, especially since the Tau codex says he won that war.