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alterion
04-06-2005, 10:22
i was lokoing at the 4th edition rulebook yesterday and noticed how small the tau empire really is.. i also noticed that they seem to have 3 parts of that hive fleet which devastated macarrage headin right at them.. how long will the tau empire last with this? will they infact die out before they really get going?

Nazguire
04-06-2005, 10:28
The Tau aren't in as much danger. Sure they'll suffer damage. Sure they'll probably have half their 'Empire' ***sniggers*** eaten up. But they'll survive.

The Tyranid splinter fleets are as you said, what's left of Behemoth. Nowhere near as much as a threat as the full Fleet

They will stop them, plus isn't there an Eldar Craftworld in the area? Seeming as Tau have the pointy ears as sometime allies...or owners depending on your perspective of the alliance, they could <---- (note could) get help.

Shinzui
04-06-2005, 10:38
They aren't 3 hive fleets it merely indicates the attacking path the other tentrils of hive fleet kraken are taking (with one being destroyed at Ichar IV). Unlike behemoth, hive fleet kraken is more spread out so while their fleets are far smaller they are attacking more planets forcing thier oppoents to spread out their forces to try and defend.

If you read the bfg fluff for their fleet mostly Kraken fleets prey on backwater worlds and those that don't have the defences to put up to much of a fight. This is compounded by their 'shadow in the warp' ability that basically makes telepathic communication impossible and warp travel very dangerous. So once the fleet arrives there's no call for help and most likely any reinforcements that try and help get lost in the warp.

Though it should be pointed out that the Tau are not effected by the 'shadow in the warp' as they never break the warp barrier and are unaffected by perfils of the warp. likewise their communication system does not use telepathy or the warp so calls for help can be recieved.

They won't die as GW won't kill a fairly popular army so really speculating background wise if they could take them on doesn't matter. If GW wants them to survive they make it so they do.

Nazguire
04-06-2005, 10:48
They aren't 3 hive fleets it merely indicates the attacking path the other tentrils of hive fleet kraken are taking (with one being destroyed at Ichar IV). Unlike behemoth, hive fleet kraken is more spread out so while their fleets are far smaller they are attacking more planets forcing thier oppoents to spread out their forces to try and defend.

If you read the bfg fluff for their fleet mostly Kraken fleets prey on backwater worlds and those that don't have the defences to put up to much of a fight. This is compounded by their 'shadow in the warp' ability that basically makes telepathic communication impossible and warp travel very dangerous. So once the fleet arrives there's no call for help and most likely any reinforcements that try and help get lost in the warp.

Though it should be pointed out that the Tau are not effected by the 'shadow in the warp' as they never break the warp barrier and are unaffected by perfils of the warp. likewise their communication system does not use telepathy or the warp so calls for help can be recieved.

They won't die as GW won't kill a fairly popular army so really speculating background wise if they could take them on doesn't matter. If GW wants them to survive they make it so they do.



Yeah, but this speculation is still interesting :rolleyes:


The Tau may not use the warp, but that doesn't mean that their communication is going to guaranteed get out. They use drones from what I gather or ships e.g. the messenger boat they talk about in the Codex.

If that is the case, getting a ship through a Tyranid blockade is pretty hard

Shinzui
04-06-2005, 10:56
That's only for communication outside their Waystation network (which is the entire point about having waystations).

Also as Tau don't need to use a warp point to get out of the system, so there isn't a problem getting past a blockade.

Nazguire
04-06-2005, 11:21
That's only for communication outside their Waystation network (which is the entire point about having waystations).

Also as Tau don't need to use a warp point to get out of the system, so there isn't a problem getting past a blockade.

Theres also the question over whether a Tau fleet is strong enough to fight off a Tyranid incursion in space.

They are noted to be inferior to the Imperial Navy, and the IN only *just* managed to defeat Hive Fleet Behemoth in orbit of Macragge

Shinzui
04-06-2005, 11:30
Well we don't know the true strength of Tau warships as the fleet list for the Tau's 3rd phase expansion (their expansion as a result of EOT campaign) hasn't come out yet. was due last week but has be delayed because of some reason.

And as I already point out that Hive fleet kraken is different to hive fleet behemoth in it's approach.

athamas
04-06-2005, 11:31
tau have less ships than the imerial nave, but then they have to cover less space!


tau ships are good in a head on fight, and have far supirior turet syestems on their ships, meaning they would he able to shoot down alot of small stuff sent against them!

[IIRC they have broadsides on the outerhull of their ship on 'patrol' duty!]

tau do kinda use the warp, they jump into it, and they are thrown out, kinda like skimming a stone over water, where water is warp space, and air is real space, the stone skimms the surface, but never enters the warp.. (untill it stops, but you know what i mean!)

Shinzui
04-06-2005, 11:35
The reason they skim like that is because they are unable to break the warp barrier. which consdiering they don't have the gellar field is a good thing.

The pestilent 1
04-06-2005, 11:53
I dont know, it could be quite fun to have a greater daemon or twelve tears its way through some ethereals on Tau'va and rip the heart right out of their empire.
maybe thats just the chaos player in me talking though.

on a side note, what would the Nids do with Tau DNA?
we already have:

Zoanthropes (Eldar, heightened the eldar psycher ability to the max)

Genestealers (human, highly adaptable according to the situation)

Biovores (ork... umm, theyre so heavily built that they can lob artillery from their backs :wtf: )

Tyrant guard (space marines, big, dumb and hard)

salty
04-06-2005, 11:54
The Tau, while unable to defeat Tyranids in HtH, have FAR superior firepower to the Imperium, and could feasibly hold the hordes at bay with their rapid-firing Fire Warriors. Similarly, their tanks are also very advanced. I personally think that, while the Tau will certainly lose territory, they will blunt any Tyranid incursions that near major Tau Sept Worlds.

EDIT: Yay, 400 posts! The Tyranids may well get some new, even-more-rapidly-evolving beast. The Tau after all, have come a long way since the Imperium first encountered them, in a VERY short period of time. Devouring the Ethereal Caste may be interesting...

Or GW might be boring and give them an uber-shooty unit that is crap in combat and only two feet tall... :evilgrin:

Salty :)

The pestilent 1
04-06-2005, 12:01
or in organic battlesuits :p

salty
04-06-2005, 12:06
lol, now THATS an idea! With massive railguns that spit acid on their shoulders :D, and seed missile pods!

In all seriousness though, I wonder what effect assimilation of the Ethereals would have on a Nid?

Salty :)

malika
04-06-2005, 12:15
Perhaps the Tyranids would get the genetic rapid technological growth thing of the Tau, which means we could see Tyranids build technological things...biomechanoids etc

Getz
04-06-2005, 12:18
I strictly mechanical terms, properly handled Tau armies horribly butcher Tyranids in both 40K and Epic. Similarly I used to think the Tau fleet was hopeless but I've been shown the error of my ways by some canny Gothic players recently.

If we look at fluff the the Tau should be able to hold back the Tyranid advance. They are perhaps the only race who's superlumial travel and comminication methads are unaffected by the Shadow of the Warp and their empire is compact, making a rapid concentration of force on an approaching splinter fleet possible.

If we look at their ways of war, their methods of keeping the enemy at arms reach while annihilating them with concentrated firepower should work welll (especially when they don't have the artifical constraint of a table edge you cannot fall back beyond...) and they can easily amass the kind rapid reaction force required to wipe out an infestation as it makes planet fall.

Sure, it will be hard, but I think the Tau are better placed to resist the Tyranids than just about any other Cannon race.

athamas
04-06-2005, 12:27
the biggest prolem tau faced was the nasty T7 critters, and a chuink of terain rite in the middle of the board,


however the new rules remove some of the just plain nasty stuf, and replace it with more cunning things!

Xisor
04-06-2005, 15:36
The Tau are one of the few races who *will* be able to engage the Tyranids at their 'weakest' point...in Deep Space(ie interstellar space, outside of starsystems).

They are the only ones who go there! Necrons Phase, Eldar use the webway and everyone else uses the Warp.

I can imagine the scene, a small Tau Patrol drops back to realspace after a dive only to detect a huge fleet ponderously manouvering between worlds...

The Tau can intercept the Hivefleets before they even enter inhabitted systems, they can fight them without deploying the firecaste!

Another good point is that the Tau are only defending a small area, their Empire is not 'under seige' and they would likely have the support of affilliated races(Demiurg, Hrud, Tarellians) as well as subject races. To put it lightly, the Tau can afford to defend themselves from a Tyranid invasion, the Imperium can't.(No matter what the outcome, the Imperium loses somewhere...)

Xisor

Nazguire
05-06-2005, 00:11
The Tau are one of the few races who *will* be able to engage the Tyranids at their 'weakest' point...in Deep Space(ie interstellar space, outside of starsystems).

They are the only ones who go there! Necrons Phase, Eldar use the webway and everyone else uses the Warp.

I can imagine the scene, a small Tau Patrol drops back to realspace after a dive only to detect a huge fleet ponderously manouvering between worlds...

The Tau can intercept the Hivefleets before they even enter inhabitted systems, they can fight them without deploying the firecaste!

Another good point is that the Tau are only defending a small area, their Empire is not 'under seige' and they would likely have the support of affilliated races(Demiurg, Hrud, Tarellians) as well as subject races. To put it lightly, the Tau can afford to defend themselves from a Tyranid invasion, the Imperium can't.(No matter what the outcome, the Imperium loses somewhere...)

Xisor

The Tyranid fleet isn't small. Nor are they big bloated sacs used for target practise. They have hundreds of thousands of drone fighters and other boarding craft like the Kraken. The Tau fleet may be able to defend a smaller area, but so was BattleFleet Tempestus (I think that was what defended Macragge) as they were only defending the Ultramar system. And seeming as the Tau fleet is no where near as hard edged or experienced as the Imperial Fleet, it'd take a lot more than just their punitive fleet to defeat the Tyranids. Considering an Imperial Crusade destroyed a fair amount of their outer Empire, a determined Tyranid Splinter Fleet could easily devour a fair amount of planets before being stopped.

Heres a thought, if the Tyranids ate the Kroot, would their DNA have any effect? For example, would their evolution become even quicker?

The pestilent 1
05-06-2005, 00:27
the imperial fleet won because the flagship (an emperor class) detonated its warp-core in the middle of the nid fleet, tearing it apart in a warp implosion.

i would love to see the Tau even think about doing that.

Shinzui
05-06-2005, 01:17
The Tyranid fleet isn't small. Nor are they big bloated sacs used for target practise. They have hundreds of thousands of drone fighters and other boarding craft like the Kraken. The Tau fleet may be able to defend a smaller area, but so was BattleFleet Tempestus (I think that was what defended Macragge) as they were only defending the Ultramar system.

Note that the FLEETS of hive fleet kraken are no where as big as the single hive fleet Behemoth so that comparison is flawed.


And seeming as the Tau fleet is no where near as hard edged or experienced as the Imperial Fleet, it'd take a lot more than just their punitive fleet to defeat the Tyranids. Considering an Imperial Crusade destroyed a fair amount of their outer Empire, a determined Tyranid Splinter Fleet could easily devour a fair amount of planets before being stopped.

Though the Air caste have naturally surperior skills in space compared to humans which makes up for their lack of experienced pilots and crews.

And for the record the Daemocles crusade destroyed 2 worlds, that out of an empire of over 100 worlds which is hardly a fair amount. Also that was achieved 234 years from the current date when the Tau didn't even have full fledge warships.

Sephiroth
05-06-2005, 02:09
Considering an Imperial Crusade destroyed a fair amount of their outer Empire, a determined Tyranid Splinter Fleet could easily devour a fair amount of planets before being stopped.

Actually, they didn't. They retook two isolated Imperial colonies known to trade with them, fought them in space, took an agri-world they were abandoning anyway, and bombarded a unprotected fishery colony from orbit.

After that, they actually entered Tau space (crossed the Damocles Gulf), got ambushed (nearly defeated) and then landed on Dal'yth, were both sides ground each other into a stalemate.

So they only really landed on a single planet (although the capital) in a Tau system.


the imperial fleet won because the flagship (an emperor class) detonated its warp-core in the middle of the nid fleet, tearing it apart in a warp implosion.

i would love to see the Tau even think about doing that.

From the free article on Tau battlesuit configurations on the GW UK site:


THE KRA'SYLTH LIBERATION

When a system of Tau worlds was first threatened by a tendril of Hive Fleet Kraken, many hundreds of Tau and Kroot were slaughtered. Eventually, the Ethereals ordered all battlesuit fire to be concentrated on the alien monarchs and their bodyguard. Despite swarms of clawed beasts descending upon the Tau firebase, the Crisis teams stayed calm, each member of the team synchronising a devastating fusillade into one creature at a time before choosing another target. They had little to worry about in the way of enemy firepower, and so the larger Tyranids were blown apart one after another. Once the Crisis and Broadside teams had done their work, their drones pinned the smaller, disorganised aliens in place, allowing the Fire Warriors to destroy them with massed firepower.

Evidently, they've already fought elements of Hive Fleet Kraken, and developed strategies against the Tyranids. That they've also figured out the 'shoot the big ones', I doubt they'll have a hard time also making the comparison against the larger organic-craft leading Tyranid fleets.

Lordmonkey
05-06-2005, 02:35
Bah, the Tau are no n00bs to warfare, this is what makes them so reminiscent of the eldar - they have the brains to brawl with any comer on their own grounds, and win. The tau are one of the most flexible races in WH40K, imho.

The Emperor
05-06-2005, 02:49
The Tau, while unable to defeat Tyranids in HtH, have FAR superior firepower to the Imperium, and could feasibly hold the hordes at bay with their rapid-firing Fire Warriors.

Difference between the Tau and the Imperium is sheer numbers. The Tau's an empire of 100 worlds, while the Imperium has, what, over a million? Point is, the kind of army that the Imperium can throw on the field is VASTLY superior to what the Tau can put there. Yeah, the Tau pulse rifle is better then the lasgun, but the Imperium can put down several hundred Guardsmen for every Fire Warrior the Tau can put down if the need arises.

PBGhost
05-06-2005, 03:04
Yeah, the Tau pulse rifle is better then the lasgun, but the Imperium can put down several hundred Guardsmen for every Fire Warrior the Tau can put down if the need arises.

And leave the rest of the galaxy open to the array of other aliens (plus chaos...) duking it out with the Imperium, eh? The Imperium is much larger but it is under attack on all sides.

Eldacar
05-06-2005, 04:50
And leave the rest of the galaxy open to the array of other aliens (plus chaos...) duking it out with the Imperium, eh? The Imperium is much larger but it is under attack on all sides.
Several hundred Guardsmen wouldn't be that much of a depletion, IMO. Several thousand probably would be, but several hundred wouldn't be missed much. Of course, this is all IMO.

Twisted Ferret
05-06-2005, 06:25
I think that the Tau are probably very well equipped to deal with Kraken. But Kraken, AND the Orks, AND the Imperium, AND Chaos, AND whatever else is attacking them? I'd like to think so, but it will be difficult at best... ;)

On a somewhat-related note - has the Tau Empire really encountered/fought Chaos? What effect could Chaos have on them?

And what on Mars is a "gellar field"? :P

Nazguire
05-06-2005, 06:36
I think that the Tau are probably very well equipped to deal with Kraken. But Kraken, AND the Orks, AND the Imperium, AND Chaos, AND whatever else is attacking them? I'd like to think so, but it will be difficult at best... ;)

On a somewhat-related note - has the Tau Empire really encountered/fought Chaos? What effect could Chaos have on them?

And what on Mars is a "gellar field"? :P


A geller field is a field that protects a ship against the Warp and Daemons. I believe it is a projection of real space, though I probably am wrong.

Tau fought Chaos? Yes, yes they have. They believe to have killed Slaanesh lol, by destroying a horde of Slaaneshi warriors and a Keeper of Secrets. Kroot that ate the mutated flesh became Chaos worshippers almost instantaneously as the mutations mingled with their DNA. On a grand scale I don't believe so, but it is only a matter of time before they are introduced to it en masse by the humans that they captured during the 13th Black Crusade. That and when they are attacked by roving Chaos Warbands. Is the Maelstrom anywhere near the Eastern Fringe? I can't remember. If so , then a visit from the Word Bearers of Kor Phaeron to "destroy the heathen xenos" or the Red Corsairs isn't out of order.

Darius Rhiannon
05-06-2005, 06:46
Actaully if you consider the potential Guard recruitment from a single hive world....

Take a hive world with 25 billion people. That is 25 000 000 000. Even a 1% conscription rate taking only the best available candidates would result in 25 million soldiers.

Considering the the small sizes of Regiments (3000-8000) that would mean that a potential 3125 maximum sized regiments could be raised from a hive world at any raising.

With a 10% conscription rate that same hive world would produce 250 million soldiers, or 31 250 regiments.

However given the numbers given for regiments in the fluff (Armageddon III featuring only about 500 regiments) I have concluded that despite the "There is only war" line is false as less than 0.025% of the imperial population is ever used to fight the threats that humanity is facing. If there was something like 25-30% of the population involved in military activites we could say "There is only war!" Except given the numbers the fluff claim that the Imperium is overstrecthed is only propoganda being used to keep the citizens afraid/compliant.

Nazguire
05-06-2005, 06:54
Actaully if you consider the potential Guard recruitment from a single hive world....

Take a hive world with 25 billion people. That is 25 000 000 000. Even a 1% conscription rate taking only the best available candidates would result in 25 million soldiers.

Considering the the small sizes of Regiments (3000-8000) that would mean that a potential 3125 maximum sized regiments could be raised from a hive world at any raising.

With a 10% conscription rate that same hive world would produce 250 million soldiers, or 31 250 regiments.

However given the numbers given for regiments in the fluff (Armageddon III featuring only about 500 regiments) I have concluded that despite the "There is only war" line is false as less than 0.025% of the imperial population is ever used to fight the threats that humanity is facing. If there was something like 25-30% of the population involved in military activites we could say "There is only war!" Except given the numbers the fluff claim that the Imperium is overstrecthed is only propoganda being used to keep the citizens afraid/compliant.


Even still to take away 25% of the Imperial population would cripple the Imperium. That's a good few malnourished, extremely poor, and mentally unstable men and women given a flak vest and a lasgun. Not exactly viable as a fighting force.

There is only war because even if they extended the 10% conscription rate to say 20% they'd still be over stretched and still be under siege within and without.

athamas
05-06-2005, 08:43
and the logistics of moving that many men around, and suplying then with kit, food and the rest would be such a huge drain it would not be worth it!

alterion
05-06-2005, 09:15
ah well.. i had forgotten about the tau's independance from the warp.. and loking at the epic and 40k gaming perspective it is true that the tau really can whupp a nid force around

Samoth
05-06-2005, 09:33
Afaik:

The tau fleet supposedly has awesome lond range firepower (torpedoes, and lot's of em), and also excellent close in defences (broadisdes on the hull, serious?). They do however lack broadside technology, I dont know how badly that would hurt them against the tyranids.

On the ground... It simply depends who wins in space. Whoever wins in space wins on the ground. If the tyranids only manage to land a few troops, tau win. If the tau fleet is destroyed, the tau will be worn down.

Getz
06-06-2005, 02:08
On the ground... It simply depends who wins in space. Whoever wins in space wins on the ground. If the tyranids only manage to land a few troops, tau win. If the tau fleet is destroyed, the tau will be worn down.

That's about the size of it. As I've never seen the Tyranid Fleet in action and only played against Tau the once I don't feel qualified to sa y who would be likely to win a BFG encounter.

However, the Tau can do the one thing the Imperium can't and that is locally reinforce an invaded plaent. The main reason the Tyranids are such a big problem is that they cut off the planets they attack from the Imperium at large. I'f Tau communications and travel are unaffected by the Shadow of the Warp then the Tyranids have lost their biggest advantage.

Barbarossa
06-06-2005, 06:24
No matter how much the Tau would own the tyranids, they will simply be worn down by sheer numbers.

Isuran Greifenherz
06-06-2005, 10:06
No matter how much the Tau would own the tyranids, they will simply be worn down by sheer numbers.
I don't think so.

malika
06-06-2005, 10:16
The Tau's rapid technological growth could mean they would eventually create better, stronger and more effective weapons...no reason to be too worried for them!

Eldacar
06-06-2005, 10:35
The Tau's rapid technological growth could mean they would eventually create better, stronger and more effective weapons...no reason to be too worried for them!
Actually, when you consider that the Tyranid fleet evolves as they encounter different things, the Tau had better be damn fast with their creation of new technology, otherwise, they're in trouble.

malika
06-06-2005, 11:06
Tyranids dont become immune to a Rail gun hit ;) If they would be they would need so much armour which would slow them down too much which means the tau can just out manouvre them.

Tau development is pretty fast, they dont need to be faster than the nids, just get the job done! Perhaps they could raise auxilary IG regiments which they could use as cannon flodder eventually :evilgrin:

Eldacar
06-06-2005, 13:17
Tyranids dont become immune to a Rail gun hit
*coughT7Regenerating5WCarnifexcough*
:p

I think the Tyranids would quickly overtake the Tau development. They've done it before with other races to overcome them, they can do it again.

Barbarossa
06-06-2005, 13:30
I don't think so.

Well I certainly do. A single hive fleet probably contains more carnifexes alone than the Tau empire has citizens. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if the tyranids output of gaunts is bigger thant the Tau's output of ammunition!
Face it, the Tau 'empire' is just a little snack for the Tyranids on their way to the Imperium and the Adeptus Munitorum can be happy if the Tau delay the nids long enough to move some thousand regiments into the region

Xisor
06-06-2005, 13:50
Barbarossa, all that kind of comparison is meaningless if the Tau can defeat the Tyranids in space. Which they can. Not necessarily will, but it's well within the power of the Tau Fleet to fight the Tyranids in a series of long running engagements *before* they even reach another Tau world, that what the Imperium couldn't/didn't do.

Xisor

Sojourner
06-06-2005, 14:00
We're forgetting something.

The Tau can take losses. Most of their sept worlds are self-sufficient so losing a world doesn't do a damn thing to the capabilities of the others. In the Imperium, the most obvious targets for the nids are the major source of power - hive worlds. If the worst happens, the Tau can evacuate to space or to a world the nids won't find, and rethink their strategy.

If all else fails, they can do a deal with the Imperium. A small number of Tau get to live on a great many Imperial worlds in return for swearing to fight to the death when the nids do arrive.

Eldacar
06-06-2005, 14:17
But would the Imperium agree to a deal between them and a Xenos race? The conditions would be much harsher than just that, IMO.

Khas
06-06-2005, 14:19
A few things regarding the Tau that I would like to point out. Although the Tau FTL technology does not rely on enetering warp space, it is also a great deal slower than , for example, the traveling methods of the Imperium.

This means that although the Tau can get reinforcements to a system under Tyranid attack, those reinforcements are not likely to reach the system in time to make a difference.

The Tau are also unable to take losses, although their worlds are relatively self sufficient, they simply do not have the numbers or industrial capacity to take losses of any scale, and certainly not against enemy such as the Tyranids.

The future is going to be stormy for the Tau.

Sojourner
06-06-2005, 14:31
The Tau are also unable to take losses, although their worlds are relatively self sufficient, they simply do not have the numbers or industrial capacity to take losses of any scale, and certainly not against enemy such as the Tyranids.

No race in this galaxy can afford to fight a war of attrition against the nids so your point is moot. However, with the Tau, it is true that the remainder aren't profoundly affected by the loss of one. This makes them far more tenacious for their size than the Imperium.

SpeedyGonzales
06-06-2005, 18:38
The Tau wouldn't stand a chance against a Hive Fleet. They are optimistic, they believe in a "Greater Good", they look forward to explore the galaxy.
Their beliefsystem will shatter as soon as they encounter something on the scale of a Hive Fleet (or a Full Blown Black Crusade, or a serious-as-in-Armageddon-serious Waagh, or even a real Imperial Crusade).
Experiencing Horror and Hate on such a scale, whole sept worlds put to the sword, populations consumed, sacrficied to the dark gods or purified in fire, will destroy their morale, how could they keep believing in a "Greater Good"? They will recoil, roll up and die.

That is the lesson mankind has already learned and barely suvived. Forget technology, progress and understanding, there is only war.

malika
06-06-2005, 19:07
A few things regarding the Tau that I would like to point out. Although the Tau FTL technology does not rely on enetering warp space, it is also a great deal slower than , for example, the traveling methods of the Imperium.

This means that although the Tau can get reinforcements to a system under Tyranid attack, those reinforcements are not likely to reach the system in time to make a difference.
Note that the Tau Empire isnt that big yet, which means distances are smaller, the Tau can get reinforcements quickly, its not like the Imperium where fleets would have to travel all across the Galaxy almost to reach their target.


The Tau wouldn't stand a chance against a Hive Fleet. They are optimistic, they believe in a "Greater Good", they look forward to explore the galaxy.
Their beliefsystem will shatter as soon as they encounter something on the scale of a Hive Fleet (or a Full Blown Black Crusade, or a serious-as-in-Armageddon-serious Waagh, or even a real Imperial Crusade).
Experiencing Horror and Hate on such a scale, whole sept worlds put to the sword, populations consumed, sacrficied to the dark gods or purified in fire, will destroy their morale, how could they keep believing in a "Greater Good"? They will recoil, roll up and die.
-By the time the Orks are able to launch this giant Waaagh the Tau will be ready for them I think. (Demiurg, Kroot and many other allies within their empire)
-Chaos? They only attack the Imperium on a scale that large...what use is there to feed the Tau to the Chaos Gods if they hardly have a warp presence?
-Hive Fleet would be the only threat, but then again the Eldar and the Imperium would try to keep that fleet away as well since the Hive Fleet's target is Terra IIRC.



That is the lesson mankind has already learned and barely suvived. Forget technology, progress and understanding, there is only war.
This is also humanity's downfall...

warlordgrubnatz
06-06-2005, 19:10
possible future for gw:
eastern fringe falls to tyranids and the nids head further towards humanity.
tau mop up straggelrs and expand their empire.

SpeedyGonzales
06-06-2005, 19:23
Why should it be humanity's downfall? The imperium now has lasted for more than 10k years, through constant war.

And why would Orks need time to get organized? A Waagh is an instanteous religous uprising, no organizing required, every ork knows what to do.

Regarding Chaos, perhaps the gods won't like the idea of a race immune to the warp, besides since when does common sense and reason apply to chaos worshippers?

Tyranids: Only One of who knows how many Hive Fleets there actually are, is supposed to be targetting Terra. And if a Tyranid fleets starts eating the Tau, i can't see why the Imperium or even less the Eldar should care.

malika
06-06-2005, 19:42
Why should it be humanity's downfall? The imperium now has lasted for more than 10k years, through constant war.
Humanity has lost its glory...the last 10k years it has slowly been dying...in the long term the Imperium is doomed



And why would Orks need time to get organized? A Waagh is an instanteous religous uprising, no organizing required, every ork knows what to do.
They need to build ships, weapons, etc...then they need to get to the Tau Empire



Regarding Chaos, perhaps the gods won't like the idea of a race immune to the warp,
That is what Im saying!!!



besides since when does common sense and reason apply to chaos worshippers?
Depends on which Chaos worshippers you are talking to...



Tyranids: Only One of who knows how many Hive Fleets there actually are, is supposed to be targetting Terra. And if a Tyranid fleets starts eating the Tau, i can't see why the Imperium or even less the Eldar should care.
Read the Tau fluff...the Eldar seem to be friendly with them to a certain degree, Eldrad liked them, Alaitoc indirectly defended the Tau...
The Imperium would not simply just stare at the Tyranids eating the tau, not because they care for the Tau, but because they know that they will be next after the Tau are eaten!

SpeedyGonzales
06-06-2005, 20:12
Sorry Malika, but i disagree on every point of your post :D

How do you know that the imperium is dieing? There are no facts for that theory, you are simply interpreting story pieces.

Reread the Ork codex. One of the biggest dangers of a Waagh is, that there is no way to predict it. And even if the Tau would know about it in advance, what would they do about billions of orks? Orks are famous for the fact that they need the fewest time of all races (bar nids) to prepare for war.

About Chaos
1. There are no sane chaos worshippers, it's really per definition. Common sense does never apply.
2. The Chaos Gods (at least the older three) have quite bad memories of the last time a race without warppresence ruled the galaxy. And they certainly don't want that to happen ever again.

Eldar. Read the Eldar fluff. Eldar only care for Eldar.

The Imperium would wait until Tau and Nids are nearly finished with it, move in and kill the victor.

PBGhost
06-06-2005, 20:48
Several hundred Guardsmen wouldn't be that much of a depletion, IMO. Several thousand probably would be, but several hundred wouldn't be missed much. Of course, this is all IMO.

The Emperor said several hundered per Tau soldier. As long as there are at least 10 Tau soldiers, we're talking several thousand. Lets just say there are, oh, 1 billion Tau soldiers. Not a stretch considered Eath holds over 6 billion people, the Tau being more advanced and holding an array of planets. Hence, the Emperor was talking about throwing several hundred billion Guardsmen at the Tau.

Falkus
06-06-2005, 21:22
2. The Chaos Gods (at least the older three) have quite bad memories of the last time a race without warppresence ruled the galaxy. And they certainly don't want that to happen ever again.

Tau aren't Necrons. They aren't soulless, they just don't have any chance of developing psykers, and the Tau'Va makes them extremely resilient to Chaos corruption.


Eldar. Read the Eldar fluff. Eldar only care for Eldar.

Read the Tau Codex, page 61.

"I have followed the myriad potential futures of the Tau with great interest. Though barely even striplings compared to us, I feel a strange protectiveness towards them. In time I belive they will exceed even out greatest feats and master the darkness within their souls."

Eldrad Ulthran


Hence, the Emperor was talking about throwing several hundred billion Guardsmen at the Tau.

That would certainly wipe out the Tau, but it would weaken the Imperium severly on many other fronts. No one contests that the Imperium has the power to wipe out the Tau, but it is a fact that the Imperium can't use that power without opening itself up to every other faction.

Sir_Turalyon
06-06-2005, 21:49
The greatest danger to the Tau are Tau themselves. They are experiencing their golden age / Dark age of Technology at the moment, repeating errors of older races, and what awaits them is their Age of Strife / Fall. I have no idea what will make them destroy temselves, but I guess it may be incorporation of every willing race, most notably humans, into their empire. Without guidance of the Emperor humans in Tau domains will be easily manipulated by Chaos, and "enlightened" Tau will consider growing cults just human folklore so long as they nominally preach obedience to Tau. Until the cults will reach critical mass and overpower Tau from within, by surprise.

Race unable to do witch hunts is screwed in 40k.

IceFire
06-06-2005, 22:16
It is possable that even thought the Tau barley have a warp presense that the Warp Gods develope a taste for there little souls, and Taus become a delacacy for the Gods. That would definatly get the Black crusades going for the Tau.

The Imperium might consider the Tau a sattalie state in the same was USSR had sattalite states. Therefore if the 'nids started attacking the Tau the Imperium would help them as much as was conventiant, for them at teh moment (IE if thhere was a Waagh or the Eldar were being bitches tehn they wouldnty send too many people, however if every thing was all quiet on teh western front (as it were) then they would send more troops to help teh Tau)

The Eldar have accepted that they are a dying race, however they refuse to die quietly. Prehaps they think that the Tau couldhelp them survive? the Tau show no signs of being Xenophobic and have already intergrated several alien races, if they added the Eldar as perminant Allies that would considerably boost the power of both races, however the question of control then comes into question.

Even though the Tau cant hunt Witchs, they could find a race of aliens that could, human refugees for example, or maybe even creat some sort of tech to sense witchs

Bruen
06-06-2005, 22:37
About Chaos
1. There are no sane chaos worshippers, it's really per definition. Common sense does never apply.

Horus was pretty sane in that he just wanted to rule the universe and would do anything to achieve it, the primarch of the Thousand Sons (Magnus?) seems pretty rational, the Blood Pact are no more insane than some very comitted soldiers in the last century..

Bruen
06-06-2005, 22:44
or even a real Imperial Crusade).

I would just like to point out that the Tau have already fought off the Imperium at least twice.

Damocles Crusade and the Return to Damocles campaign.


That is the lesson mankind has already learned and barely suvived. Forget technology, progress and understanding, there is only war.

So since mankind almost fell apart the Tuu, being obviously inferior, are bought to fail?

That argument only works if you already believe that that Tau are inferior.

Xisor
07-06-2005, 01:51
Really, look at some of the points:

- The Imperium turn their military might upon the Tau! Of course the Imperium would kick ****, but in turn it's **** would be kicked by Orks, Necrons, Chaos and Tyranids.

- Orks mobilise against the Tau. The Tau have *very* powerful 'backing' in this regards, specifically Alaitoc Eldar, who have already diverted an Ork Waagh that threatened the Empire. The Tau, contrary to popular belief do not stand alone. Every non human(and many humans) in the Galaxy despise the Imperium, and view the Tau as a far more acceptable alternative(from Kill Team).

- Humans can't survive without the Guidance of the Emperor. That *is* supposing that the knowledge and wisdom(if not the power) of the Aun is not limited to the Tau. I personally favour the idea that the Aun have the knowledge to know and do whats best for 'everyone' in their care, not just themselves/the Tau. I don't see why they cannot help humans master the chaos within themselves in a manner similar to helping a Tau master the Mont'au.

Whilst I would agree the greatest danger to the Tau is the Mont'au, the darkness within themselves, I would disagree that the Tau are simply 'remaking' the mistakes of more ancient races. They walk the same path and face the same challenges, but as noted in the Eldrad quote, there is a potential within the Tau, one that surpasses even the Eldar. I think that is a clue that they haven't made *all* the crucial mistakes of those that went before just yet. They have not devolved into hedonism, they have not poured the hope for the future of their race into one individual, they have not 'picked fights above their station' by challenging the primordial life essence of the Universe...

There is alot of hope left for them. They could make the same mistakes and balls it up like everyone else, but it's a good gamble that they won't, so it would seem.

Who says the Tau can't 'hunt witches'. Perhaps they have the technology to detect 'Warp Sensitives' and are well aware of their potency, sending them off to 'Fio'el Xs/Patrick Stewart's' academy for mutants...in fact, I'd venture that between the Nicassar and the advanced tech of the Demiurg, they have *some* way of telling whether someone is psychic or not. Most likely IMO they don't need to 'witch hunt' psykers, just 'find' them.

@Speedy Gonzales: How can we 'infer'(not know) that the Imperium is dying? That it has been in decline for the last 10k years and is not showing any hint of improvement is likely one such point. Beaten back and stretched within the closing century of the fortieth millenium on Armageddon, all across the Eye of Terror, huge portions of the Eastern Fringe and even huge strips Galaxy wide lost simply to stave off the inevitable return of it's enemies? A hint perhaps that it can't hold out forever? That the Imperium at present lacks the hope of defeating the Tyranids, that it is almost spent it'd seem in it's defence of the Cadian Gate, that if Ghazghull or any other sizable and powerful Ork attacks Armageddon there are simply no more reinforcements to help out. That reserves are being spent Galaxy Wide and not 'major' gains have been made *for* the Imperium since the reclamation crusade of Lord Solar Macharius at the opening of the Fortieth Millenium all surely point to a downard slide in the fortunes of the Imperium?

To say we know it's dying is probably a lie, to say we know it isn't is blatantly a lie.

You weigh it up.

Xisor

Shinzui
07-06-2005, 02:57
Well hasn't this quite degenerated into the "My dad can beat up your dad" Arguement (though as we all know my dad can beat all your dads easy :P).

Someone mentioned the return to damocles crusade. The organisers of the campaign weekend have repeadly said. It is not official fluff, it has no bearing on the outcome in the fluff and was just a reason to get the two sides to fight each other. Using it as part of an arguement for or against Tau has as much weight as me saying that the Tau have a secret alliance with necrons selling them X-TREME waffle makers....

oh and a intresting thing I found on the net about Tau population estimates using the official population numbers from the fluff


This might be slightly helpful. I mapped out the map in the back of the Tau book when I was going graphics at school, it's close esmitaion to the area of Tau controlled space and population numbers from certain sources.

anyway...

This is the area of space occupied to determine the Tau's population. Areas with planets in them are called
"X Sept Space =" or just "X =". Areas not part of Septs but in its area is called the "space near 'planet' =".
This is only a estimation as the boarders are not straigh they do not follow any easy mappable shape..

Area of Space Colonised (everything is in in CM squared)
1st phase Colonies
Dal'yth Sept Space = 2.6
T'au Sept Space = 9.2
Tau'n Sept Space = 0.6
Au'taal Sept Space = 3.75
D'yanoi Sept Space = 4.2
Fal'shia Sept Space = 0.75
Elsy'eir Sept Space = 3
N'dras = 1
Tolku = 1
Bork'an = 1.7

2nd phase colonies
Vash'ya = 7.2
Tash'var and ajoining space = 14.3
Space Around Bork'an = 2.75
Space Near Dal'yth = 5.85
Space Near Vior'la = 0.58

Total Area of Tau space = 58.47cm

300 Light years radius = 169cm

Percentage occupied by the Tau Empire = 34.6%

Adverage of Planets per cm = 0.58

Number of planets in each phase area (rounded the closest number to make 100 worlds)
1st phase Colonies
Dal'yth Sept Space = 5 (4.48 )
T'au Sept Space = 16 (15.86)
Tau'n Sept Space = 1 (1.03)
Au'taal Sept Space = 7 (6.46)
D'yanoi Sept Space = 7 (7.24)
Fal'shia Sept Space = 1 (1.29)
Elsy'eir Sept Space = 5 (5.17)
N'dras = 2 (1.72)
Tolku = 2 (1.72)
Bork'an = 3 (2.93)

Adverage population of 6'500'000'000 per planet (using half the quoted population of a sept from the book 'Kill Team'.
Adverage Population of 1st Phase Worlds = 318'500'000'000 (318.5 Billion Tau)

2nd phase colonies
Vash'ya = 12 (12.41)
Tash'var and ajoining space = 25 (24.66)
Space Around Bork'an = 3 (4.74)
Space Near Dal'yth = 10 (10.09)
Space Near Vior'la = 1 (0.58 )

Total 2nd Phase population (using half population of a confirmed second colony world of 3.5 million) = 178'500'000

Entire Tau population comes to: 31'867'850'000 (31.8 Billion Tau)

Percentage of Population of Different Castes.
Shas - 10% = 3'186'785'000 (3.1 Billion Fire Caste)
Aun - 2% = 637'357'000 (637 Million Ethereals)
Por - 33% = 10'516'390'500 (10 Billion Water Caste)
Fio - 30% = 9'560'355'000 (9.5 Billion Earth Caste)
Kor - 25% = 7'966'962'500 (7.9 Billion Air Caste)


Oh and to add to the arguement that the Imperium is on the dark road to destruction. As per the new Tyranid codex, Hive fleet Leviathan took out Gryphonne IV and were heading towards Earth, in an act of desperation to save Earth the Inquisitor exterminated many planets killing billions to devert the Hive fleet. And this is how important the world was to the Imperium (page 93 of 4th ed rulebook).


The entire surface of the forge world of Gryphonne IV is encrusted with massive machine shops and catherdral-like manufactorums. Factoeires the size of cities clank and hiss, bleching pollutants into the ravaged atmosphere as rank upon rank of lobotomised servitors and devout techpriests toil ceaselessly to churn out a constant stram of munitions and tanks. The titan of the legio gryphonicus, bipedal god machines with the fire power to level fortresses, tower over the scurrying factotums that form the lifeblood of this eternal machine, dwarfed in their turn by the might edifices raised to the glory of the omnissiah. Day blurs into night under the uncaring, soot-choked skies, the industrial landscape constantly ringing with the hymnals of eternal toil. To the adepts of Gryphonne IV the concept of rest is a dangerous blasphemy. For the armies of segmentum tempestus cannot fuction without the constant flow of the war meterial from their iron-clad homeworld.

So not only did they destroy most of the Titan of Legio Gryphonicus (except for the ones else where in the galaxy) they also blew a cripling blow to the armies of the entire segmentum. Considering the Impeirum couldn't defend it's a bad sign even after the loss to Chaos in EOT.

ankellagung
07-06-2005, 04:44
I'm surprised that as yet (excepting, arguably, the previous post) noone has brought up what is probably the single most important issue to any invading army: supplies. Supply line cost the Germans WW1 and the Japanese the Pacific in WW2. The Tyranids wage war for the sole purpose of acquiring supplies, in the form of living organisms, and take the from the battlefields where they are *victorious*. i.e. anyone can win a war of attrition with the 'Nids, just don't give them time enough to eat the dead. So long as then Tau mass a large enough force on the first planet the 'Nids hit, and don't let any of the biomass get taken back to the mother ship things (the ones where the 'Nids get spawned), they're safe.

This could also explain why the Imperium has been losing the war: meatshields are no good if the enemy screams "more please".

PBGhost
07-06-2005, 05:06
That would certainly wipe out the Tau, but it would weaken the Imperium severly on many other fronts. No one contests that the Imperium has the power to wipe out the Tau, but it is a fact that the Imperium can't use that power without opening itself up to every other faction.

Which is the point I was making. :p

SpeedyGonzales
07-06-2005, 06:48
Horus was pretty sane in that he just wanted to rule the universe and would do anything to achieve it, the primarch of the Thousand Sons (Magnus?) seems pretty rational, the Blood Pact are no more insane than some very comitted soldiers in the last century..


Honestly, :wtf: ? Saying that Horus, Magnus and the Blood Pact are pretty sane...this is so :wtf: i am left speechless. That's like saying my grandpa was pretty sane as he only wanted to crap in his hand and make a hat out of it...


About the imperium and it's decline.

Ever considered that all the stories like armageddon, cadia etc. are all only propaganda by the imperial authorities to keep the populations in check? A way to justify a system a brutal extortion?
When has any of these stories ever mattered? Has anything at all changed in the imperium? Was the RT-era Imperium background any different?

Eldacar
07-06-2005, 07:22
Entire Tau population comes to: 31'867'850'000 (31.8 Billion Tau)
Two Imperial Hive Worlds would probably have more than that, IIRC.


Ever considered that all the stories like armageddon, cadia etc. are all only propaganda by the imperial authorities to keep the populations in check? A way to justify a system a brutal extortion?
AFAIK, Cadia is supposed to be something of a wasteland now, the Eye of Terror has grown larger, and the Imperium is losing on the Chaos front, with a number of Chaos bases springing up outside the Eye of Terror.

Bruen
07-06-2005, 07:43
Honestly, :wtf: ? Saying that Horus, Magnus and the Blood Pact are pretty sane...this is so :wtf: i am left speechless. That's like saying my grandpa was pretty sane as he only wanted to crap in his hand and make a hat out of it...

Horus seems like a regular, run-of-the-mill power-hungry leader with more pride than sense; we have lots of people like that in business and politics. I don't understand why you think he was insane.

Magnus tried to do his best and warn the Emperor. The Emperor turns around and tries to get Magnus and his legion killed. Magnus is understandably annoyed and decides to switch sides. Seems perfectly rational to me. All that stuff with the Rubric was a mistake, a failed attempt to stop chaos mutations.

What makes the Blood Pact insane? They seems just like any other fanatical military unit to me. Sure they commit atrocities if it will give them what they want and have wierd unit bonding rituals but that does not make them insane. Evil - yes, insane - no.

SpeedyGonzales
07-06-2005, 07:51
Bruen, i have the feeling our definitons of insantiy don't overlap, just out of curiosity what would someone need to do to be classified as insane by you?

Bruen
07-06-2005, 09:48
The best definition that I can come up with on short notice is:

"Insanity is the condition of being in some way mentally "out of touch" with the real world or with "normal" human functioning, often assumed to be a result of a mental illness. A person may be said to be insane for a number of reasons. In many countries' legal systems, insanity is a legal category, designating a person as either unaware of their actions, or aware of them but unable to determine whether those actions are right or wrong."

None of the three cases that I metioned were out of touch with the real world (as much as that can apply to a fiction setting :P ) and they all knew that what they were doing was wrong. They just did it anyway, thus evil rather than insane.

Magnus in particular reacted in a very normal way IMHO.

Examples of what I consider to be insanity:

1) Believing things that can be objectivly demonstrated to be false. For example people who believe that they are someone else like God, Napoleon etc.

2) People who are unable to distinguish between what is true and what they want (or fear) to be true. For example people who act paranoid even when there is no evidence that they are being persecuted.

Why do you consider those three example that I gave to be insane?

SpeedyGonzales
07-06-2005, 12:08
"Insanity is the condition of being in some way mentally "out of touch" with the real world or with "normal" human functioning..."

And exactly that happens to worshippers of chaos, as soon as they sell their soul to chaos (which in 40k has to be assumed to be a real thing) normal reality does not apply anymore, their reasoning, motives, knowledge structures, cognitive maps etc become warped by the influence of chaos. While it might make sense to them, untainted humans are not able to comprehend.

Look at the Blood Pact, they don't kill for reasons like greed, racial purity or even religious beliefs. They commit their atrocities because their masters, the powers of the warp demand it.
The Gods however are not sane, why they choose to do and wish such things cannot be understood, is not in touch with normal human functioning.
Furthermore the warp changes body and soul, Blood Pact Troopers cease to be humans on a molecular level, their perception alters, they become .....insane

malika
07-06-2005, 12:57
And exactly that happens to worshippers of chaos, as soon as they sell their soul to chaos (which in 40k has to be assumed to be a real thing) normal reality does not apply anymore, their reasoning, motives, knowledge structures, cognitive maps etc become warped by the influence of chaos. While it might make sense to them, untainted humans are not able to comprehend.
Doesnt the same thing sort of go for the Imperium, but then instead of Chaos they go all mad for the God Emperor?

SpeedyGonzales
07-06-2005, 13:18
No, the Imperium does what it does for a reason, it's continued existence.
The Chaos Gods simply do it for fun and alter their followers minds in such a way as to be according to their wishes. Now as the motives etc. of Chaos Gods can't be understood, neither can those tainted minds still be assumed to be sane in anyway.

This also makes a difference to the victims. Be killed by the imperium and you are simply dead, be killed as a sacrifice to the Dark Gods and your soul will suffer in eternal torment.
While such things don't apply in the real world, it is the literal truth in the 40k universe.

Bruen
07-06-2005, 14:17
And exactly that happens to worshippers of chaos, as soon as they sell their soul to chaos (which in 40k has to be assumed to be a real thing) normal reality does not apply anymore, their reasoning, motives, knowledge structures, cognitive maps etc become warped by the influence of chaos. While it might make sense to them, untainted humans are not able to comprehend.

That does happen to some chaos followers, but by no means all. Many chaos followers are only doing it because thats the only way for them to survive or because they are evil and that's what they want to do; they are just normal people who are being used as slaves or cannon fodder.

What was insane about the way that Magnus reacted to the Emperor turning on him? What was insane about Horus wanting ultimate power?

Blood Pact in particular are basicaly IG who have changed sides or a copy of the IG for use by chaos.

They might be evil but they are not irrational.


Look at the Blood Pact, they don't kill for reasons like greed, racial purity or even religious beliefs. They commit their atrocities because their masters, the powers of the warp demand it.

Just like most other armies. They do what they are told because they want to or are forced to.

Or are you suggesting that every soldier who follows a bad order is insane? Was every concentration camp guard insane? I doubt it.


The Gods however are not sane, why they choose to do and wish such things cannot be understood, is not in touch with normal human functioning.

Cannot be understood by humans.

By your logic every alien is insane because they do not think like humans.


Furthermore the warp changes body and soul, Blood Pact Troopers cease to be humans on a molecular level, their perception alters, they become .....insane

Not necessarily. They only become insane if they loose touch with reality and start believing things that are objectivly not true.

Just because some of them stop being human does not mean that they are insane, it just means that they have a different point of view.

Look at it this way- imagine you could see emotions. You would see the world and society differently to everyone else because you have a different point of view. This would not make you insane, only different.

Of course if you only believed that you could see emotions then you might be insane.

Bruen
07-06-2005, 14:20
No, the Imperium does what it does for a reason, it's continued existence.

As does Chaos.


Now as the motives etc. of Chaos Gods can't be understood, neither can those tainted minds still be assumed to be sane in anyway.

Just because humans cannot understand them does not make them insane.

BTW sorry about the thread hijacking.

Calgar
07-06-2005, 15:30
Well I certainly do. A single hive fleet probably contains more carnifexes alone than the Tau empire has citizens. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if the tyranids output of gaunts is bigger thant the Tau's output of ammunition!
Face it, the Tau 'empire' is just a little snack for the Tyranids on their way to the Imperium and the Adeptus Munitorum can be happy if the Tau delay the nids long enough to move some thousand regiments into the region

Well spoken!!

And by the way, how can TAU stand against the never ending waves of Tyranids when the TAU dosn`t even have the ability to make long range warp jumps in order to get their troop support ships to the frontline planets?

Bruen
07-06-2005, 15:33
And by the way, how can TAU stand against the never ending waves of Tyranids when the TAU dosn`t even have the ability to make long range warp jumps in order to get their troop support ships to the frontline planets?

Tau-controlled space is small and thus does not require long range warp jumps.

Rich
07-06-2005, 15:35
Their best bet would be to stop the nids in space and then wipe up survivers on the planet's surface - however, I doubt that they are entirely up to the task. Especially since they don't seem to understand the concept of 'total war' and the sacrifices it entails - even if they did win, the encounter would change their optomistic outlook so much that they might fall upon each other. For starters, certain castes (especially water) would be next to useless in an all-out war, and would see their influence decline accordingly - and once that happens, it might not be too long before the fire caste figure out that they don't need ll the others to survive.

malika
07-06-2005, 15:48
The Casts need each other...the Air cast transport the Tau from planet to planet and give air support.

The Earth Cast has to produce the weapons for the Fire Cast and build the ships for the Air Cast

The Fire Cast are the warriors who are fighting the wars

The Water Cast are the diplomats who are supposed to get allies for the Tau, btu are also the scientists alongside the Earth Cast who design new weapons for the Tau.

Xisor
07-06-2005, 16:06
The Por are not scientists. That was a cock-up of the BFG Fluff for the Tau.

Calgar: Have you read the rest of the thread? The Tau are fully capable of travelling long interstellar distances, just at a speed 1/3 of the average Imperial speed(which varies *alot*, with any warp travel. Tau on the otherhand have reliable Warp Travel).

Whilst Tyranids may be wave after wave of gribbly nasties, they are not never ending. How did Ultramar and Iyanden manage to fight of their respective Hive Fleets if they were never ending?

Alot, but nothing is infinite.(don't get into physics)

SpeedyGonzales: I believe your definition of insanity is what everyone else terms as inhuman. Since when did we really understand human behavior? Are we insane? How do we know we aren't? Just because it is incomprehensible does not make it insane, it makes it incomprehensible.

On another note, we are taking some liberties by claiming to know the minds of the Chaos Gods. Thats stretching it a bit isn't it?

The Fire Caste 'can't' simply just decide they are better off on their own. Thats the handy thing about Ethereals, they stop that kind of thing.

As for the Water caste, looking at our 'all out wars': Did diplomats, pen pushers, desk jockies, politicians, quartermasters, managers and beauracrats become unneccessary?

Xisor

Bruen
07-06-2005, 17:09
Their best bet would be to stop the nids in space and then wipe up survivers on the planet's surface - however, I doubt that they are entirely up to the task.

Agreed, but then I doubt that anyone except the Necrons are up to stopping the Tyranids in the long run and even then its going to be a toss up as to who wins.

Khaine's Messenger
07-06-2005, 17:15
The Casts need each other

An illusion, mostly. The castes could indeed function independantly (they did so once upon a time, but their capacity to act independantly has arguably been compromised) given enough growing pains to reassert such independance. The only obstacle these days would be the idea that all sectors of Tau society are so utterly dependant on the interaction of the four castes that they would cease to function if the castes became belligerant again. The question, then, is how this dependance is established.


the Air cast transport the Tau from planet to planet and give air support.

Given the numerous alien species the Tau have incorporated into their Empire, I don't think it would be that hard to ensure continued interplanetary or even intersystem travel with a few kind (or harsh) words. Further, there is nothing in the combat roles of the Air Caste that cannot be replicated by the Earth Caste or Fire Caste.


The Earth Cast has to produce the weapons for the Fire Cast and build the ships for the Air Cast

Ah, the wonders of outsourcing....

The central dependance on the Earth Caste is not that they build or develop things, but the fact that they maintain them. The Air Caste has ground crews for its strike craft, but like stereotypical science fiction starships since near the dawn of the genre, the ships of the Tau inevitably have a whole warren of Earth Caste engineers down in the bowels of the ship making it so that the ship continues to function correctly. The entire crew of a Tau vessel is not Air Caste any more than the ground-pounders are supported entirely by Fire Caste personnel (where's the Tau "Munitorum," eh?). The Fire Caste may have "ground crews" for its battlesuits, but ultimately it falls to the Earth Caste to manufacture replacement parts and repair the worst sorts of damage. Further on the issue of maintenance, the Earth Caste is also traditionally heavily involved in agriculture, which is required, to maintain the entire Empire.

Ultimately, the Earth Caste has traditionally been the caste with the strongest and most indefatigable political power base, which is why the Fire Caste and Air Caste made war upon it during the time of the Mont'au. It could easily revert to a militarized state, and even "today" the Earth Caste is not above beating its plowshares into swords to defend itself from aggressors.


The Fire Cast are the warriors who are fighting the wars

Given what we know, this is not necessarily the case; every caste is capable of waging war in its own way (even if it is an "incomplete" fashion much like the segregation of the Guard/Navy/Marines in the Imperium). But once more, alien auxilla are readily available to replace them, if not warriors raised from the other castes themselves.


The Water Cast are the diplomats who are supposed to get allies for the Tau, btu are also the scientists alongside the Earth Cast who design new weapons for the Tau.

The Water Caste are not scientists. If you're referring to that oddball water caste scientist from the Railrifle article, I'll just point out that a correction was published a few WD later; he was indeed Earth Caste.

Further, while they are diplomats, they are not the only politically savvy members of the Empire, as every caste has its own internal political matters that could be extrapolated upon for dealing with outsiders. This would not facillitate matters as well as the Water Caste, but the point is that each caste has some replication of function and a bit of redundancy with the other castes.

Indeed, the most obstinant groups in the formation of the Empire were the Water and Fire castes--the Water Caste because this whole "greater good" thing had been their idea in the first place (grumble, grumble), and the Fire Caste because it took a while for the other castes to become militarily indefensible enough for them to just give up on the whole idea of internecine warfare in preference to defending the race as a whole (which I imagine was a hard sell when the Tau Empire didn't even yet consist of T'au's immediate star system).

The only members of the Empire completely dependant on the other castes are the Ethereals; much like Imperial Astrotelepaths, they facillitate the continued existance of the Empire in its present state and tacitly sell themselves as the only way that the Empire can remain as tightly knit as it is (if every Ethereal just up and vanished, I don't think the Tau Empire would fall apart overnight, as there's a good 4000+ Kai'rotta of tradition binding the Empire together alongside the influence of the Ethereals; yes, things would become different, but the "interdependance" of the castes has enough momentum).

Xisor
07-06-2005, 19:43
Khaine's Messenger, what you are effectively suggesting is that if one caste should assert dominance and independence of the other castes and becomes fully independent all it needs to do is shift dependance from the Castes to the Alien Aulliaries?

Thats why it's not possible. The Tau'va is not, in my opinion, an Empire of Tau, it is a Tau Started Empire where the four castes have no more importance(much to their own chagrin) than any other Auxilliary.

The Castes and the Auxilliaries are 'auxilliary' to the Greater Good, to the Tau'va as manifested by the Aun.

In the way that a Tau 'vessel' works, I see it like this:

Kor- Man the majority of stations, direct the shipboard drones, 'control' the ship basically. The prime caste on board, a severe majority.
Por- The second most significant caste on board, they oversee the logistics of the operation, work out the mundanity of the ship. Oversee the relations between all castes and auxilliaries
Fio- Close behind the Por, it'll be a relatively small delegation of technicians used to do any irregular repairs that drones can't handle and will also man any science/manufacturing plants on board. This is only a small complement because Tau systems *are* reliable, and the drones can handle most 'routine' repairs, or damage or such and the Fio are only required for monitoring and extreme repairs or unorthodox things, otherwise a Kor'la can monitor a power readout.
Shas- A small complement, mainly used to oversee defense and security, and if necessary to direct the defense of boarding operations.

Unless it's specifically carrying a complement of the above castes or auxilliaries, I can't imagine it'd be different form the above.

I'm sure the kor *could* learn to make and maintain things, the same for the Por, Shas and Fio, but realistically we've seen that the Tau Castes cannot stand alone, not successfully anyway. Thats what the Mont'au is. What happens if a Tau puts his own importance above that of society. Most likely this can be paralleled 'outside' the Tau by seeing what happened with Horus,Goge Vandire and the crumbling Imperium itself in Humanity, and the Fall for the Eldar, bad things happen when people get greedy.

Xisor

zealousheretic
07-06-2005, 20:42
Well I certainly do. A single hive fleet probably contains more carnifexes alone than the Tau empire has citizens. Hell, I wouldn't be surprised if the tyranids output of gaunts is bigger thant the Tau's output of ammunition!


Agreed.

I think we have a lot of people severely underestimating the sheer scale of a Tyranid ground assault. Aside from the environmental wierdness that starts happening, the ground swarms are huge.

For example: the Imperium has managed to stop full scale Tyranid planetary invasions a handful of times; each time, they've done it through concentration of overwhelming force. Macragge, Ichar IV, and a few others. The fact that it costs such massive amounts of military power is one of the main reasons the Imperium resorted to it's current "scorched earth" policy.

This is the truly dangerous thing about the Hive Fleets. Even a heavy garrison can ultimately do little more than slow the ground swarms down. They'll kill an awful lot of Tyranids, but they'll lose in the end, and the Hive Fleet gets its casualties back as biomass.

The only way to stop a Hive Fleet in the conventional sense is overwhelming force, both in terms of massive reinforcements of ground troops, and a strong enough fleet presence to challenge the hive fleet in space (the latter being more important, as the Ultramarines demonstrated). And the Shadow makes this difficult for races that rely on Warp travel and communicaion to do.

The Tau do have the advantage of being indifferent to the Shadow; this is their best edge in this war. Unlike the Imperium, they can call for aid with some reliability, and move reinforcements without too much trouble. These factors are probably the main reasons they're holding their own.

Khaine's Messenger
07-06-2005, 20:53
Khaine's Messenger, what you are effectively suggesting is that if one caste should assert dominance and independence of the other castes and becomes fully independent all it needs to do is shift dependance from the Castes to the Alien Aulliaries?

Not entirely. What I'm suggesting is that the castes could exist independantly of one another period, whether through outsourcing (to whomsoever they chose) their manufacturing, protection, etc. and/or simply using what they already have. And I would not say they would try to exert dominance over the other castes--merely independance from them. The bid for dominance didn't work out too well the last time that was tried. If domination and independance are ideologically the same concept to the Tau, though, this point would be utterly negligible.

[edit]But of course the likelihood of any of the castes trying this is minimal, because it would be severely to their detriment to try.


In the way that a Tau 'vessel' works, I see it like this

Yes, that's pretty much how I see it, too. But maintenance is still, abstractly, a very important factor in the political position of the Earth Caste, and if you add drone maintenance workers then all you're doing is increasing the complexity of the system and adding more of a maintenance requirement in other phases of use despite ridiculously high reliability. The use of drones may seem balancing because it keeps the majority of the "crew" as Kor in order to keep other castes from having too great an emphasis on them, but I don't see it as a very effective balance. Further, I imagine you would suggest that the only reason the Earth caste are allowed onboard is to keep the Kor dependant on them so that the Kor cannot use their position to their own further glory. A delicate balancing act, no?

It makes you wonder if there was ever a time before drones on ships, doesn't it?


I'm sure the kor *could* learn to make and maintain things, the same for the Por, Shas and Fio, but realistically we've seen that the Tau Castes cannot stand alone, not successfully anyway.

You mean the fact that a situation was not allowed to actually resolve itself except by external stimulus is evidence that the Castes could never independantly coexist? I suppose I'll have to accept that, since our eye-of-god narrator for that history pretty much stated that as the "100% truth."

Xisor
07-06-2005, 21:29
No, no need to accept it. During 'The Mont'au' the only affiliation between the Tau was alliance, essenitally. Otherwise, the castes *were* independant. The Fio stronghold was doing fine on it's own, fighting and farming, administering, leading etc. The problem, now recalling, wasn't the dominance of one over the other locally, it was overall. The castes simply could not deal with coexistance, so it seems to me.

Again, I agree in part with the position on maintenance. The point is, drones are extensive in Tau society, and are not sufficiently independant(I'd be keen to see if the Tau have ever had problems with AI). The position of the Fio within Tau society is not replaced by the Kor'vesa, but augmented by it.

I wouldn't say the 'only' reason Fio are onboard is enforced dependance. It's 'real' dependance IMO. The Tau vessels require Fio to make sure they keep running. Whilst mostly drones can handle it, they can't handle extensive repairs, and aren't fully capable of intuition or beyond the book thinking. Fio must be there to 'lead' the repairs, the Kor'vesa are more like a set of gloves or tools IMO. On board a starship, I'd venture that the Fio are *VERY* important members of the crew because their actual responsibility is far more than your average techpriest on an imperial vessel. Any particular Fio'la is likely responsible for structural repairs and a good degree of low level drone coding and supervision, wheras I'll bet there is a legion of techpriests 'employed' only for watching a switch.

It's a funny old world the 40k Galaxy, but I'm sure the description of this delicate balance is one not dealt with yet by GW Studio. That said, I get the impression that population control itself is a very 'important' part of Tau Culture. If there suddenly was a population boom with no real 'need' for the population, simply creating jobs like 'lightswitch monitor' as was done in China could be a point they don't want to have to deal with.

I forget the name for that though, simply creating ridiculous/unnecessary jobs to give the impression of zero unemployment. I doubt the Tau go for it though, hence why the population control. I wonder how they deal with this with auxilliaries and auxilliaries on primarily Tau worlds...

Xisor

alterion
07-06-2005, 21:46
tbh what i thnk we have is a lot of people underestimating the scale of the 41st mellenium here.. you have to remeber that un reality an emperor class titan is a pretty piddly unit when compared to the fact that in a major conflict such as the 13th black crusade both side will have had trillions of billions of billions of men... infact a single world is also quite insignificant heck new ones are still being found all the time.. of course there is also the fact that scales in 40k are always massivly skewed for whatever event..
in regard to xisiors point i was under the impression taht they pretty much allow them to go about thier own buisness when not needed... didn't the human's in an auxillaries fluff piece set up thier own farm or something? Another moot point is how the shadow of the warp would affect the tau's ability to "skim " over the warp.. surely it would affect it as the shadow fundamentally alters the fabric of warp space?..

Xisor
07-06-2005, 22:07
Alterio: I don't think the shadow would affect the Tau at all. They never actually *enter* Warpspace. They enter the little 'void' barrier between Warpspace and Realspace, but can never cross into Warpspace, so are bounced off back into the realworld. At tremendous velocities, and likely displaced somewhat spatially...

That the Hivemind has pacified the warp does not appear(or at least has not been mentioned ) to affect this. Perhaps it would actually 'improve' the Tau's ability, providing an even stronger 'Warp-real' barrier for them to 'bounce' off of.

Xisor

Khaine's Messenger
08-06-2005, 01:16
The point is, drones are extensive in Tau society, and are not sufficiently independant(I'd be keen to see if the Tau have ever had problems with AI). The position of the Fio within Tau society is not replaced by the Kor'vesa, but augmented by it.

And again I wonder what it was like before drones....


I wouldn't say the 'only' reason Fio are onboard is enforced dependance. It's 'real' dependance IMO.

Well yes...if I said only (*checks* apparently I did), then my bad. There is indeed a "real" need.


That said, I get the impression that population control itself is a very 'important' part of Tau Culture. If there suddenly was a population boom with no real 'need' for the population, simply creating jobs like 'lightswitch monitor' as was done in China could be a point they don't want to have to deal with.

Which is one of the things Fire Warrior deals with, albeit briefly. It seems that "breeding" is done by lottery or by social duty almost like being drafted or called up for jury duty, instead of recreationally or "because I/we want kids"...but then we only have the one brief source for it, and I imagine few people if any want to know how/why Tau get "bizay."

Xisor
08-06-2005, 01:52
I had a vision of this image when imagining the Portent response to


and I imagine few people if any want to know how/why Tau get "bizay."

http://spamusement.com/index.php/comics/view/27

Anywho...

Before drones, I imagine a huge dependence on the Fio would have been there. As much as they may have been quite resisitant to the idea that they were being 'downsized', I can imagine the transition from 'No Drones' to 'Drones Galore' being emphasized by a huge 'expansion' in the rest of the population *and* drones, with Fio being static. A bit of a juggling act again to retain the delicate balance.

Xisor

Falkus
08-06-2005, 02:50
As much as they may have been quite resisitant to the idea that they were being 'downsized'

I rather doubt that they were resistant. That's implying that Tau have human, self-centered motivations, when it's quite clear that individuals in Tau society routinely put the good of society over the good of themselves.

Hellebore
08-06-2005, 08:19
The tau would also provide for any workers laid off. By this though I would think retraining and new jobs.

Tau must do things, its ingrained culturally. So if drones lowered jobs in a certain field, then those unemployed would simply learn something new and do that.

THe tau I imagine have an extensive welfare system, but would probably not need it becuase everyone WANTS to work.

hellebore

Xisor
08-06-2005, 14:06
Exactly. The Tau pity those who cannot do their most for the Tau'va, not like humanity where they are viewed as layabouts and leeches...

Xisor

Deathmasterskon
08-06-2005, 19:09
Yep. Eventually.

Th whole galaxy is pretty screwed, given that either chaos'l destroy it or th 'nids'll eat it. But the Tau are not in as much immediate danger as the Imperium, simply because they aren't a major threat and the Imperium has better things to worry about. The main danger the Tau pose to the Imperium is the attractiveness of their "let's be friends, or else" ideology, as opposed to the Imperium's "let's kill all the aliens" policy, which may, one day, bring down the Eastern Fringe. Then the 'nids will eat them and everyone else. I'm going to ignore the Genestealer cult in the Tau Empire for another day...

One feels GW desigend the Tau so that should they be unpopular, they could be destroyed wihout another Squat fiasco

Warlord Gnashgrod
09-06-2005, 13:18
They're only screwed if their sales become as bad as the old squats were. ;)

Eldacar
09-06-2005, 13:33
I don't think so. The Tau are probably here to stay. Unlike the Squats.


I'm going to ignore the Genestealer cult in the Tau Empire for another day...
I haven't read too much of the Tau background. Genestealer cult? In the Tau Empire?

Typheron
09-06-2005, 13:39
there was a bit of fluff from not too long ago that involved reports of odd activity within a system in the Tau emprire, i cant remember the exact details of it but it sure did sounds like a stealer cult. I think they ended up being chased from the planet they were on and are actuing like pirates right now, im not too sure as my memory is hazy and i dont have any of my refernece books with me at uni.

Wolflord Havoc
09-06-2005, 14:55
In one of the Cyphas Cain Novels several Water Caste get infected by the Genestealers and When Cyphus goes to warn them the Inquisitor Woman - who narrates the story - tells him not too as they need something to slow down the Tau Empire till they could deal with it!!!

Khaine's Messenger
09-06-2005, 15:23
The Water Caste sample character for =][= is noted for uncovering a Genestealer Cult on a Tau colony world and was reprimanded for the rather short and harsh campaign he, along with some Kroot to whom he'd promised some fairly lucrative rewards in addition to the bevy of Tau weaponry he'd provided them for the campaign, prosecuted against said cult. The "potentially infected" Tau from For the Emperor were the Pathfinders who'd formed a temporary alliance alongside a small squad of Kroot with =][= Amberley and Ciaphis' penal squad kill team. We don't know if they were infected or not, or even how a genestealer cult could propagate within the Empire (as previously noted, we're not exactly sure about the nature of Tau sexuality).

I hope none of you are thinking of my genestealer cult tau, though. Completely unofficial, they are.