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my_name_is_tudor
09-03-2006, 09:15
Base 8:
12345670
No number 8. So why would the tau call a suit XV8, or XV88?

Unless of course GW mean that it is 10 10 (given the pseudo-explanation in the Tau Empires codex of what the numbers mean in suit designations (specifcically: the XV22) This could figure, the Crisis has mass index 10 (as high as it gets))

But, the Tau still wouldn't write it as 8. They'd write 10, one-zero. http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v518/my_name_is_tudor/10.gif.

So yeah.. just wanted to point out this glaring cockup really, or clear it up with those who hadn't noticed. The number 8 does not exist to the Tau, don't get muddled into thinking base 8 means they have the number 8. To the tau, they are base 10, and we are base 12..

IIRC, the old codex showed the tau numeral for zero as eight..

SiegeDragon
09-03-2006, 09:25
this is what happens when they start writing certain fluff after they think of names etc.

it happens, only the new suits (the new stealthsuits and Shadowsun's suit) are numbered correctly, since thy were created after the massindication and production stuff was thought up.

devolutionary
09-03-2006, 09:28
... dammit it's hard to think in the opposite base. So 1->10(8), 11->20(16), gah!

Anyway, you raise a valid point. I will note, however, that the tau mostly do not use the letters X, V, or any combination thereof for military designations, but are merely the "human" equivalent of their term. Their 0, after all, is our 8, and XV is a human linguistic term. Would they use anacronyms and such as well? They are an alien species.

Bleh mad talk I tell ya! I go back to building zombie pirates now.

Edit: Post #1500. Nice

my_name_is_tudor
09-03-2006, 09:31
Actually, the name "Crisis" is the Imperial designation - the XV# is a tau code, and is easily translated as http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v518/my_name_is_tudor/Xv25.gif

devolutionary
09-03-2006, 09:34
*sighs* Because the Tau utilise human designations. I think that's more the root of the fluff issue than anything else. The Tau shouldn't be like humans dammit *mutters, returns to zombie pirates*

Khaine's Messenger
09-03-2006, 09:35
The number 8 does not exist to the Tau

Just like the number 0xf (decimal 15) doesn't exist for most humans, yes? Yes, I realize that most humans wouldn't recognize f as a number, and that there was once a human tribe somewhere that got base-8 from their ten-digit hands (because there are four spaces between five digits on each hand, total eight, eh?), and blah-de-blah. And yeah, I think it's a cock-up, since most Tau probably think in base-eight and as such using another numerical system on something so popularly branded would simply be confusing (base-16 is a number system used mostly by specialists and those looking up bits of trivia). On the other hand, it's quite possible that the name "XV8" is translated from Tau already. Gah....

I was once a proponent of the idea that Tau used base-12 because there are a few math-hippies nowadays who think base-12 is an awesome system (in base-12, 10 is evenly divisible by 2, 3, 4, and 6 instead of base-10's 2 and 5). But I was shut-up pretty quick because the Tau only have symbols for eight numbers. Whoop-dee-dee!

my_name_is_tudor
09-03-2006, 09:36
Also, I draw your attention to the photoshopped image of the broadside suit in the latest UK WD, the writing at his shoulder marks, and the sept symbol on his helmet, mark him out as a member of Vior'la sept, yet he has white barcoding..

It's not just the tau lack of numbers 8,9,10 and 11 that stops them using base 12, its in Jes Goodwins notes on the race that they use base 8 - thats why is surprises me that they got it wrong. They already knew they were going to be base 8 when they first conceived the race.

I don't think XV8 is already translated from Tau.. The Imperial designation is Crisis, why would they go to the trouble of learning the Tau's real code? Unless you mean translated just for our sake.. which I still think isn't the case.

SuperBeast
09-03-2006, 09:39
You're getting confused there, boyo.

Base 8 it Base 10 is not the same as base 10 to base 12.

Regardless of the base, maths is a universal language and constant.

I'm not completely up to speed on the new tech info in the Tau codex regarding number of mass classes (allI know is that first number is mass class, second number is operational designation or something, eg. 2 = "Prototype"), but if there are 10 individual mass classes of suit, then to the Tau the largest would actually be the XV 1212, counting in base 8 -because that's how "Ex-Vee-ten units-ten units" would be written by them.
Using human numerals, Tau kindergartens would have wall charts reading "0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20".

That's how base 8 works. The nomenclature/written form is irrelevant - they still mean the same numbers.

As it stands, if the tau count in base 8, then the number 8 (as we understand it) doesn't exist - we would read it as "10" - NOT "0".
Hence, when a Tau says "Ex-Vee-eight units-eight units" he's actually referring to, in his own maths, XV 1010.
So the most likely option is that the Imperial translation of the suit's designation is XV88, meaning that, to the Tau, it is indeed XV1010.

Intriguing that they made this mistake, but not insurmountable.

Can't wait to see XV128's next edition... :D

edit: Teach me to spend a leisurely half hour to compose a post... :/

my_name_is_tudor
09-03-2006, 09:43
I understand how base 8 works superbeast, you are the one misunderstanding.

A tau would never say "XV8" meaning XV10, thats like me saying "XVsprog", and meaning "XV 10".

Again, the Imperial designation is Crisis, the code is the tau code, and why would an Imperial translator be compassionate enough to the tau numeral system to translate numbers into different bases?

Also, the tau would not say they were base 8 remember, they would call themselves base 10.

Khaine's Messenger
09-03-2006, 09:50
The Imperial designation is Crisis, why would they go to the trouble of learning the Tau's real code?

Translating serial numbers and labels is kinda pointless, especially when they're more symbols that can be taken as wholes as opposed to actual sequences of characters. However, some pedantic idiot somewhere likely just fed a bunch of characters they read off some sign into a dataslate that got filed away and sent to some translator locked up off in the middle of nowhere and he dutifully translated every last word. It's meaningless gibberish ultimately, but until they make the effort to translate it, they have absolutely no idea it's worthless to them to translate such things (although having audio clues rather than having to know such symbols by sight would be helpful).

SuperBeast
09-03-2006, 10:08
I understand how base 8 works superbeast, you are the one misunderstanding.

A tau would never say "XV8" meaning XV10, thats like me saying "XVsprog", and meaning "XV 10".

Again, the Imperial designation is Crisis, the code is the tau code, and why would an Imperial translator be compassionate enough to the tau numeral system to translate numbers into different bases?

Also, the Tau would not say they were base 8 remember, they would call themselves base 10.
Yes, they would. Remember with base conversion you have to deal with integers, not literal written/spoken form.
You've got the mechanic down fine, but not quite all the theory.
I didn't say a Tau would say eight.
That's why I specified "units" in the descriptions. It's the only way you can compare.
8 = 10 = 08 = fgy=quizblorg = 4444444i = .789 of a bunter, but the numbers mean EXACTLY the same number of integer increments.

8 and 9 don't simply disappear into the ether. They still exist.
A translation servitor who heard a Tau saying "10-10" (meaning eight units-eight units in Tau numerology) in it's own tongue would interpret it as "8-8" in High Gothic.

If you showed a Tau a piece of paper with 8 dots on it and asked him to write down how many there were, he would write "10" as far as literal translation of numeracy goes. That is not the same as Tau thinking that 10 and 8 are the same number.
As such, although the Imperials have their own designations ("Broadside", "Stealth") for the mass classes, there's no valid reason why they wouldn't record other info for them. The 'nicknames' are simply for battlefield id and comms.
In the same way that IG regiments aren't taught the high gothic for all the various 'nid species, they just lump them into approximate groups.
What are they going to call the XV28/22's? Stealth 2's? Stealth Prototypes?
On the battlefield, all that's needed is a cry of "STEALTHSUITS!" and everyone knows approximately what to look out for and what it's capable of.
If Imperial logistical staff or the Adeptus Mechanicus are aware of the suit nomenclature system (mass class/operational index) and knew the numbers, then they would record it as XV-88.
It's just translation.
Because you need to work in your opponent's language and understand it yourself.
If the imperium knew there were 10 mass classes, and then found out that "XV12x" suits were to be deployed, they'd need to understand that this meant the 10th mass class, not some new 12th class.

Charax
09-03-2006, 11:14
wow, I haven't thought about this in years.

A while ago, I worked out a Tau number system based around a base-8 system that uses no 0 (so you'd still have 8 digits, they'd be 12345678) I'll see if I can find my notes.

Khaine's Messenger
09-03-2006, 11:24
0 is only a convenient placeholder in the particular notation we're fond of using (and, of course, a mathematical bugbear to some). So one could write base-8 numbers as "a groups of one and b groups of eight and c groups of eight of eight and...." And so "eight" would just be one group of eight. This is basically how numbers are read anyway, exploded to a more kindergarten level of understanding. Nine is just "eight and one" just as eleven is "ten and one." In fact, when you actually say it, it all becomes quite clear what is meant...twenty-one (2x10+1), one thousand-one, etc. It only becomes a bugger when you're doing things notationally. 88 might mean "eight plus eight" (sixteen) or it might mean something even more twisted (although since the two eights in XV88 are, iirc, distinct numbers, we needn't worry much); how they notationally represent other mathematical operations (and God help us with base-8 real numbers) would be quite something.... However, I think it's unlikely that's how the devs were thinking....

my_name_is_tudor
09-03-2006, 12:16
Anyway, despite all the mathematical tomfoolery behind it, even as far as just rule as cool, I think it is a pretty annoying mistake. (And even if it can be explained in terms of ifs and buts, I still think it was a plain old mistake to begin with).

They could have just said XV00.. or XV77, XV66.. XV55.. whatever. If I was creating a scifi race that used base 8, and wanted to come up with cool, 'feasible' names and such, without having to delve into the deeper maths behind such stuff, I'd just make a point of avoiding the numbers 8 and 9.

The Orange
09-03-2006, 22:58
The race has 8 fingers. GW is paid to make up cool fluff, not to work out every single kink for a made up nuber system. Why would they use nubmers like 55, 77 etc? 8 would obviously stick out to people casually reading over the codex as Tau are a race with 8 fingers. Give them a break, its not like this all really matters when it come down to playing mock battles with painted figures, which IS GW business.

imrhati
10-03-2006, 01:03
uh... duh... um... im confused... what the hell is a base number...

CommunistBrother
10-03-2006, 02:25
uh... duh... um... im confused... what the hell is a base number...While this discussion is pretty much finished allow me to inform you. When you read Base-X where X is any number, it is referring to the number of single digits in the number system. The one humans are familiar with is Base-10. Where you have ten single digits (0-9). However, there is Base-2(Binary) which is only 0 and 1. Then, you have Base-16(Hex) Which you have 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,a,b,c,d,e,f or 16 single digits. All bases can transfer into another. The made up number system of the Tau is Base-8. Which would encompass numbers 0-7. They'd have an equivalent to Base-10 8 but it would be 10 in their numeric system. You get this because once you reach the final single digit you reset the first digit(ones place) and add one to the second digit(tens place).

Actually, if you take a computer course and get the privilege of learning binary and hex, you get the hang of going base to base.


On topic, however, I think that the codexes are written from an imperial stand-point and so would inevitably be written in everything of the imperium including number base and high gothic. Thankfully, however, high goth is translated to English for us to read.

Ardathair
10-03-2006, 04:35
Thinking in non-base ten math gives me a head ache. Probable does the same to other people. Whoever named it the XV88 probably wasn't a math wiz and didn't know. Editors and proofreaders are more english based than math based (go figure) and probably had no clue. Good arguement to have gamers proofread gaming supplements.

Try working out base 13 math for Psychloes.:chrome:

Sir Charles
10-03-2006, 04:52
So just to see if I get this in the Tau base 8 system, 8=10, 16=20, ect. or is it that they just go 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8 and then they would go to what ever they call 8+1 the same as we go 1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 and then start over with 10+one which we call 11. Or am I missing this totally being a math dunce.

Hellebore
10-03-2006, 05:38
I think the assumption is that the Tau use 0 like 10 does, to equal 8? The 0 denotes the 'end' of the base and the start of the next one? Is that right, I never really did base number systems so anything I say is highly suspect :p

So if XV88 is supposed to be the tau '8', then it should be XV00? Thus if you want an '11' where '11' is 1 point PAST the end of the first base (or in this case a '9') it would be XV('8'+1)('8'+1) (where 8 is represented by a 0)?

So, the mathematical VALUE of 9 is still 9, it's just the POSITION of the value is different?


Is there any way around this? Couldn't the tau have created an '8'(10) that to them is an independent character, without the need for it to tie into the rest of the base system? Or is that impossible in maths (read: universal maths thus universal system).

Hellebore

Wintermute
10-03-2006, 05:40
Actually, if you take a computer course and get the privilege of learning binary and hex, you get the hang of going base to base.


Compter course? I was taught binary, octal and hex at school in my maths lessons. I suppose this isn't the case in England and Wales any more.

If any of you played Firewarrior you may have noticed tha ammunition readout on the pulse rifle was in octal.

I'm of the opinion that all names and designations of Tau and other Xeno's vehicles and equipment are Imperial designations in the same manner Nato applied reporting names to Warsaw Pact aircraft (eg all Soviet fighter designations began with the letter 'F' eg Flogger, Flanker and Foxbat)



Is there any way around this? Couldn't the tau have created an '8'(10) that to them is an independent character, without the need for it to tie into the rest of the base system? Or is that impossible in maths (read: universal maths thus universal system).

Hellebore

Its a maths thing.

Ardathair
10-03-2006, 06:09
Is there any way around this? Couldn't the tau have created an '8'(10) that to them is an independent character, without the need for it to tie into the rest of the base system? Or is that impossible in maths (read: universal maths thus universal system).

Think of it as representing 10 with * (or some thing similar). {David Letterman's top * list.} Technicaly this would be base 11 math not our base 10 math. What you describe would be base 9 math not base 8.

Wintermute, good brief answer about the math. I like NATO designations, Cub for C(argo), Bear for B(omber), and so forth.

SuperBeast
10-03-2006, 08:51
Is there any way around this? Couldn't the tau have created an '8'(10) that to them is an independent character, without the need for it to tie into the rest of the base system? Or is that impossible in maths (read: universal maths thus universal system).

Basically the second one.
You must have something to signify the absence of anything else, so zero (or at least, the concept of) will be a universal constant in the mathematics of any intelligent life.

Sojourner
10-03-2006, 09:01
I'm going for it being a translation. That is, it would transliterate to XV-10 in Tau octal, or 1010 in binary. So, model number 8 to us, human decimal, expressed as 10 in Tau octal.

A neutral shade of black.
10-03-2006, 09:35
I find the notion of a base-8 system that doesn't use the 0 as a buffer digit pretty interesting, actually. After all, why would the Tau - an entirely alien species located in an entirely different environment - have the same mathematical conceptions as we do? A base-8 system that reads 12345678 has no reason not to exist in the minds of those who weren't muslim scientists.


I'm going for it being a translation. That is, it would transliterate to XV-10 in Tau octal, or 1010 in binary. So, model number 8 to us, human decimal, expressed as 10 in Tau octal.

XV0.0, actually. XV10 would read XV9 to base-10 eyes.

By the way, have we found a way around the "XV" issue yet?

Sojourner
10-03-2006, 09:38
The fact is, there must be a symbol for zero, or their maths doesn't work. Setting 1 as your zero marker and using the digit 8 doesn't change anything; it's still a base 8 system exactly the same as before, you've just changed the symbology. If you're transliterating from a different language in a totally different script, the whole idea is meaningless.

SuperBeast
10-03-2006, 09:45
A base-8 system that reads 12345678 has no reason not to exist in the minds of those who weren't muslim scientists.

If you have two battlesuits and both get blown up, how many battlesuits do you have?

That's the problem.
What number do the Tau use to signify "no unit"?

There has been much discussion by people far, far more clever than I over the years. Literally, professors discussing nothing (zero).
And basically, mathematics in any base, in any system, falls apart without the concept of 0.

Even the Egyptians, who had a multiplication/division system that was based on addition/subtraction, had a zero.

Maths is a universal language that, regardless of who is interpreting, the core messages are the same.

It's why the standard SETI broadcast is a sequence of prime numbers.

Maths is maths is maths.

SuperBeast
10-03-2006, 09:49
XV0.0, actually. XV10 would read XV9 to base-10 eyes.
No. Decimal 9 is Octal 11.
Octal 10 is Decimal 8.
Octal runs like so - 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,20,21,22..

priamus
10-03-2006, 10:02
The only numerical system i know of that didnt use 0 was roman. And they had as much trouble with multiplying as we have with square roots. Not very good for science.

The question I wander about: is the broadside xv-1010(8) or xv-130(8)?

-warning deliberatly confusing math ahead-

You peple do realise that tau shas'la sqad is 12 strong? That ld of a shas'ui is 10? And that hammerhead can move 14 inches?
:D

Mr_middle_way
10-03-2006, 13:03
The only numerical system i know of that didnt use 0 was roman. And they had as much trouble with multiplying as we have with square roots. Not very good for science.

The question I wander about: is the broadside xv-1010(8) or xv-130(8)?

-warning deliberatly confusing math ahead-

You peple do realise that tau shas'la sqad is 12 strong? That ld of a shas'ui is 10? And that hammerhead can move 14 inches?
:D

Gonna try to get away with that next game.

Charax
10-03-2006, 13:17
If you have two battlesuits and both get blown up, how many battlesuits do you have?

That's the problem.
What number do the Tau use to signify "no unit"?

There has been much discussion by people far, far more clever than I over the years. Literally, professors discussing nothing (zero).
And basically, mathematics in any base, in any system, falls apart without the concept of 0.


Absolute BS. you can reference "no unit" without giving it a symbol. many successful systems existed before the invention of 0 - the indian number system being notable.

How many battlesuits do you have? 1-1. You do not need to reference "no value" in any other way. Negative numbers, too, can be represented with the *notion* of no value, without needing a system to represent it.

SuperBeast
10-03-2006, 13:43
Absolute BS. you can reference "no unit" without giving it a symbol. many successful systems existed before the invention of 0 - the indian number system being notable.

How many battlesuits do you have? 1-1. You do not need to reference "no value" in any other way. Negative numbers, too, can be represented with the *notion* of no value, without needing a system to represent it.

Absolutely not BS, thanky.
The concept of zero has to exist in any mathematical system.
That was my point.
Tau numeracy is described as "base 8".
Taken literally, this means they use the same "to the power" columns as we do, except where we have tens, hundreds and thousands, they have eights, sixtyfours and 512's.
Anyhoo, my point was in reference to the suggestion of a base 8 system that ran 1-8 instead of 0-7. You cannot (by definiton) have a base 8 numeracy system where all 8 "signals" signify a number greater than 0, because by definition it is no longer a "base" system.
It can be done with out "zero" as such, but then there would only be 7 numbers in the lexicon, not 8, eg (1-1),1,2,3,4,5,6,7. Either way, it's not a base system by definiton, so therefore the Tau have equivalent to 0-7.

my_name_is_tudor
10-03-2006, 13:44
Wasn't it the indiain numerical system that came up with zero in the first place?

Roman Numerals are the most famous example of a successful numerical system without zero.

SuperBeast
10-03-2006, 13:47
Roman Numerals are the most famous example of a successful numerical system without zero.
There's a reason why roman numerals are a relic now; widespread use isn't a definition of successful when it comes to science theory...

my_name_is_tudor
10-03-2006, 14:03
I know full well that roman numerals made for annoying and difficult calculations, and that they were a cumbersome and annoying method of counting. But widespread use is a definition of success when it comes to cultural norms.

There is a momunemtal difference between "successful" and "good". Just look at the Spice Girls..

Sir Charles
10-03-2006, 15:03
Absolutely not BS, thanky.
The concept of zero has to exist in any mathematical system.
That was my point.
Tau numeracy is described as "base 8".
Taken literally, this means they use the same "to the power" columns as we do, except where we have tens, hundreds and thousands, they have eights, sixtyfours and 512's.
Anyhoo, my point was in reference to the suggestion of a base 8 system that ran 1-8 instead of 0-7. You cannot (by definiton) have a base 8 numeracy system where all 8 "signals" signify a number greater than 0, because by definition it is no longer a "base" system.
It can be done with out "zero" as such, but then there would only be 7 numbers in the lexicon, not 8, eg (1-1),1,2,3,4,5,6,7. Either way, it's not a base system by definiton, so therefore the Tau have equivalent to 0-7.
so base 10 is 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 with 10 being the begining of another set. so with Tau base 8 it's 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7 with 8 being the start of a new set:confused:

A neutral shade of black.
10-03-2006, 15:19
so base 10 is 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9 with 10 being the begining of another set. so with Tau base 8 it's 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7 with 8 being the start of a new set:confused:

No, because 8 does not exist to the Tau. It's like binary - you don't go "0, 1, 2" - that's no longer binary. As said further up, base-X refers to a system in which there are X different numbers, full stop. 0-8 is nine numbers.

my_name_is_tudor
10-03-2006, 15:24
No, because 8 does not exist to the Tau. It's like binary - you don't go "0, 1, 2" - that's no longer binary. As said further up, base-X refers to a system in which there are X different numbers, full stop. 0-8 is nine numbers.

So, (for Sir Charles) it goes: 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,10,11,12,23,24,25,26,27,20.. and so on. but 10 to a tau (octal) = 8 to a human (decimal), and so on.

Sojourner
10-03-2006, 15:26
No, Charles is right, though the intent wasn't clear. 8-decimal is the start of a new set. In Tau it would be expressed as 10-octal, which given the context of the sentence wouldn't have been clear, so he didn't say it.

People who understand mathematical base, good for you. People who don't - give up, stop arguing, and wiki it. End of discussion.

Wert
11-03-2006, 01:14
If XV-8 and XV-88 are imperial Translations of Tau markings, then is it not possible that the numbers are translations from the Tau system to the Human system? So what the Tau markings actualy say in the Tau system is 10 and 110 (88 in Human = 110 in Tau, NOT 1010), but in order to prevent Imperial officials from becoming totaly confused as to the numerical value the number represents, they have been translated to the Human 8 and 88.

Hellebore
11-03-2006, 01:22
Perhaps the imperials don't really care what the tau use- they just use their own decimal system?

If the tau correctly refer to their XV88 as XV1010, but imperials know the '10' is actually value 8, then they would simply translate it as 8, because it doesn't matter what character is used, simply its value. And 0 in tau is still VALUE 8, so imperials would use the numerical value of 8.

Hellebore

ankellagung
11-03-2006, 01:46
For the record, I'm with hellebore. When a Tau says "10", it has a base-10 value of 8. Therefore, hellebore is correct. (In what he just said. I can't be bother going back to check which authors said what previously).

Rlyehable
11-03-2006, 11:22
I put "120" on my Devilfish, because it was Devifish #80 (as we would read it).
I plan to put "100" on a different one and since it is Devilfish #64.

Sojourner
11-03-2006, 12:00
Then we all agree. It's a transliteration. End of.

Gaebriel
11-03-2006, 21:11
A nice tidbit to deliver to our friendly local Tau players...

And for the future I'll make sure to only build Firewarrior units with 4, 10 or 14 models... :D

Wert
12-03-2006, 11:51
Gah, got it wrong first time round. 88 would be 130 in base 8...