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View Full Version : The third sept of the tau, whats the response



Balance-keeper
01-05-2009, 15:28
Just a thought that popped into my mind before... i was wandering what people think the other races reponse will be to the the tau furthering their terrortory deeper towards the imperiums space... will they just leave them to it or will history repeat its self and the imperium try to challange the tau again... or maybe some others will get involved... even tho i do know the imperuims got its hands full at the moment with the hive fleet leviathan constantly getting closr to the home system of the imperium.

just want to hear other points of view as to what they think is going to happen?

Zahr Dalsk
01-05-2009, 16:21
Third Sphere, not third sept.

Anyways, Ultramehreens already took back most of the Third Sphere, I think. Probably going to be an eternal stalemate going back and forth.

Balance-keeper
01-05-2009, 16:24
Third Sphere, not third sept.

Anyways, Ultramehreens already took back most of the Third Sphere, I think. Probably going to be an eternal stalemate going back and forth.

Yeah sorry, im half asleep, lol

Yarick Zan
01-05-2009, 16:27
Third Sphere, not third sept.

Anyways, Ultramehreens already took back most of the Third Sphere, I think. Probably going to be an eternal stalemate going back and forth.

Got a source on that?

Personally I think the Tau will have quite a lot of success looking at places the Imperium hasn't yet. That being said if they went to places the Imperium wasn't, and then started pushing into their territory I think the Imperium would realize they have a much bigger problem on their hands. Albeit the response would take something along the lines of 5 years to start.

Zahr Dalsk
01-05-2009, 16:27
Got a source on that?


I was told it by people who've read the SM 5th Edition codex.

Since the full version I've still been unable to find in pdf form, I can't say for a certainty. They might have been lying.

Fixer
01-05-2009, 16:29
Yes, basically the Ultramarines gathered elements from several chapters and then gave the Tau one giant powered armored bitchslap.

It's the first known example of the Tau losing a battle that mattered.

Balance-keeper
01-05-2009, 16:30
I was told it by people who've read the SM 5th Edition codex.

Since the full version I've still been unable to find in pdf form, I can't say for a certainty. They might have been lying.

Saying that even if the ultramarines did beat them back a bit.... it wont stop them fro movin 4ward again

MajorWesJanson
01-05-2009, 16:33
A force made up of 30 chapters is sent to stop Tau expansion, and drives them back from dozens of worlds, but is then recalled because of the black Crusade before they finish. Kind of ambiguous, but it sounds like they were diven back from worlds they were trying to capture, not really from territory they held. Essentially this ended the 3rd sphere expansion. 4th sphere is delayed as of 006 M42.

Yarick Zan
01-05-2009, 16:39
This makes me wonder if GW will push the time line farther into the future. You know, beyond the 41st millenium. There is only so much they can have happen in 1000 years, and as it is they are having to tweak a ton of history.

Though I do think if given enough time, and enough bodies at their disposal the Tau will give the Imperium a rather big bloody nose.

Balance-keeper
01-05-2009, 16:47
If they advanced the timeline i reckon the tyranids and necron will be the only ones worth playing...
even tho i dont like to say it...

Yarick Zan
01-05-2009, 17:32
They don't have to advance it too far. But it seems all the history is getting quite crowded.

FarseerMatt
01-05-2009, 18:32
A force made up of 30 chapters is sent to stop Tau expansion, and drives them back from dozens of worlds, but is then recalled because of the black Crusade before they finish. Kind of ambiguous, but it sounds like they were diven back from worlds they were trying to capture, not really from territory they held. Essentially this ended the 3rd sphere expansion. 4th sphere is delayed as of 006 M42.

If that was the 13th Black Crusade, then presumably the Tau have since taken it all back again as they made a significant expansion during that campaign.

But then in the Canadian campaign (can't remember the name) their advance was stalled, and they called a halt to consolidate their territory after their failure on Medusa V. The Imperium also launched a second crusade into Tau space (the Return to Damocles campaign weekend) during which they captured Dal'yth, and the War of Dakka (Ork codex) is pushing hard at several Tau worlds. The Tau will need to deal with these enemy footholds in their own space before they expand again. I think that's where they stand as of "now".

Bregalad
01-05-2009, 20:41
Yes, basically the Ultramarines gathered elements from several chapters and then gave the Tau one giant powered armored bitchslap.
It's the first known example of the Tau losing a battle that mattered.
Actually it was just one Ultramarine, half asleep, mortally wounded and with one arm tied to his back that defeated the Tau Empire, just to show all gamers which army to buy that PWNES all. ;)

Kraxis
01-05-2009, 22:15
Actually it was just one Ultramarine, half asleep, mortally wounded and with one arm tied to his back that defeated the Tau Empire, just to show all gamers which army to buy that PWNES all. ;)

You serious? No, tell me you're not. If you are, GW just managed to do another blunder of EPIC proportions. Reminds me of when that CC monster Ethereal kept a vastly outnumbered and outclassed army of Fire Warriors together for ages, despite close to zero ammo and a vast greenskin horde. And no ork was able to even touch the Ethereal, while he cut up a few hundred(including some nobz) with a mere honour blade as the only equipment. And the Tau are just about the suckiest CC guys around.

This marine thingy is ALMOST as bad, if it's true.

Vote Kantor
02-05-2009, 00:28
He blew it out of proportion a bit. The Ultramarine wasn't mortally wounded, that isnt possible.

Empire
02-05-2009, 06:10
He blew it out of proportion a bit. The Ultramarine wasn't mortally wounded, that isnt possible.

:confused:
:wtf:
:eek:
:(
:cries:

I can't tell if the joke was intentional or not.

Apparently, in this one game Firewarrior, a single Tau ROOKIE takes out several Space Marine squadrons, a greater daemon, and a titan. Now that's plot armor.

the_raptor
02-05-2009, 06:19
This makes me wonder if GW will push the time line farther into the future. You know, beyond the 41st millenium. There is only so much they can have happen in 1000 years, and as it is they are having to tweak a ton of history.

There is nothing beyond the 41st millenium. The setting is Grim Dark, it is the end of humanity and all order. This is made quiet clear in the big 5th ed rule book.


Though I do think if given enough time, and enough bodies at their disposal the Tau will give the Imperium a rather big bloody nose.

Which is like saying "I am sure Lichtenstein given enough bodies and time could give the United States a very bloody nose". The Tau have only succeeded so far by being a minor threat and pure Mary Sue. A single Imperial Navy battlefleet outmasses and outguns the entire Tau navy by a few orders of magnitude. But the writers keep writing fluff for the Tau as if they had the same level of resources as the Imperium (destroying a hive fleet, turning back an Imperial crusade). There are more humans on Terra than in the entire Tau empire. Yeah if they had the bodies they could probably win due to having a scientific rather than a superstitious understanding of technology. But other than inventing clone tech it would take thousands of years to match the Imperium in population.

Zahr Dalsk
02-05-2009, 06:19
Now that's plot armor.

No, it's player skill.

If it happened in a cutscene it would be plot armour. Not if it's gameplay that the player achieves themselves.

Carkey
02-05-2009, 07:27
You're wrong. I'd say that the entire Tau Navy is about the equivalent to the Navy of one of the smaller Segmentums. Nearly every second Tau world can produce their own Navies and only some Forgeworlds can produce ships of any account, I'd say that the amount of ships in the Tau Empire compared to the amount of ships in the Imperium is staggering.

[QUOTE=the_raptor;3532700]There are more humans on Terra than in the entire Tau empire.

Seeing as there are very few Humans in the Tau Empire, I'd say that there was more Humans on Terra than in the Tau Empire xD
Seriously, seeing as there are more than 17 Sept, each containing dozens of worlds and each as densely populated as an average Imperial world, I think that there are more Tau in the Empire than Humans on Terra.

Bergioyn
02-05-2009, 10:07
Seeing as there are very few Humans in the Tau Empire, I'd say that there was more Humans on Terra than in the Tau Empire xD
Seriously, seeing as there are more than 17 Sept, each containing dozens of worlds and each as densely populated as an average Imperial world, I think that there are more Tau in the Empire than Humans on Terra.

It's worth noting that Terra is first among Hive Worlds, but Imperium also has Agri Worlds and Death Worlds with low population. Meaning that average world isn't necessarily very populous.

Kraxis
02-05-2009, 10:30
It's worth noting that Terra is first among Hive Worlds, but Imperium also has Agri Worlds and Death Worlds with low population. Meaning that average world isn't necessarily very populous.

Ain't it pretty good populations at Agriworlds? I know they don't match the Hives, but planets dedicated only to producing food needs a large force of workers, don't they?

Demon Druss
02-05-2009, 14:37
Bah the Tau won't succeed in the fourth expansion phase they simply ain't GrimDark enough to win!

Kraxis
02-05-2009, 19:02
Bah the Tau won't succeed in the fourth expansion phase they simply ain't GrimDark enough to win!

Bah the Imperium won't succeed in surviving 5 more years, they simply ain't sane enough.


These kinda arguments are pretty stupid.

Havock
02-05-2009, 20:52
You're wrong. I'd say that the entire Tau Navy is about the equivalent to the Navy of one of the smaller Segmentums.

You mean sectors. A segmuntum fleet would (ok, this is GW, let me rephrase: should) steamroll the entire Tau Empire.


Nearly every second Tau world can produce their own Navies and only some Forgeworlds can produce ships of any account.

You mean like a feral world building a Lunar class cruiser (the most bog-standard IN cruiser) in 12 years. The Lord Daros I believe.
And the ship still bitchslaps just about any Tau vessel 1-1.

Really, the Tau are just Mary-Sueing along, eating the crumbs in a corner of the attic the Imperium doesn't care enough for... Yet.

Also: Nova Cannon >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>² Rail gun :p

Kraxis
02-05-2009, 22:49
Really, the Tau are just Mary-Sueing along, eating the crumbs in a corner of the attic the Imperium doesn't care enough for... Yet.

Also: Nova Cannon >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>² Rail gun :p


Alot of true stuff here, but this got my attaention. These things are wrong.

The Imperium don't care for the Tau corner. True. And they won't ever do it. Tell me when the Imperium is going to launch a great crusade into a portion of space with little value to them, a part of space that will se TONS of men and equipment crushed. The Tau aren't worth it, and therefor won't be bothered by the Imperials for a while, and the Emperor's armies won't ever take the alien Empire.

Nova Cannon owns Railgun? Sure. But a Lascannon also owns a flashlight. That is about the difference in size and intended power.

Havock
03-05-2009, 22:09
Alot of true stuff here, but this got my attaention. These things are wrong.

The Imperium don't care for the Tau corner. True. And they won't ever do it. Tell me when the Imperium is going to launch a great crusade into a portion of space with little value to them, a part of space that will se TONS of men and equipment crushed. The Tau aren't worth it, and therefor won't be bothered by the Imperials for a while, and the Emperor's armies won't ever take the alien Empire.

read the "yet" part, right now they are just not noticable.


Nova Cannon owns Railgun? Sure. But a Lascannon also owns a flashlight. That is about the difference in size and intended power.

It was something of a joke to pre-emptively cut short any attempts to argue with "But Tau has the Ra1lgunz, which are teh über!"

Which they are not, they're just not funny unless you fire scyscraper sized projectiles with them :p

Bergioyn
05-05-2009, 15:07
Ain't it pretty good populations at Agriworlds? I know they don't match the Hives, but planets dedicated only to producing food needs a large force of workers, don't they?

Could be so, but I think they still would not have that much population, Imperium still uses machinery, even if it doesn't understand it. So there wouldn't be need for big population.

Kraxis
05-05-2009, 17:58
read the "yet" part, right now they are just not noticable.

That was what i said. The Imperium WON'T EVER attack. It ain't worth it. Unless the Tau begin to lauch their main expansion into Imperial space, of course.




It was something of a joke to pre-emptively cut short any attempts to argue with "But Tau has the Ra1lgunz, which are teh über!"

Which they are not, they're just not funny unless you fire scyscraper sized projectiles with them :p

True:D

EDIT: BTW, you said something about feral worlds building Lunar cruisers. WTF? Feral worlds are LESS advanced than medieval worlds and are so primitive that they often ain't taken into the Guard, as the culture shock would just about kill them. I doubt they are capapable of building spacecraft.

Jimbobjeff
05-05-2009, 18:21
That was what i said. The Imperium WON'T EVER attack. It ain't worth it. Unless the Tau begin to lauch their main expansion into Imperial space, of course.

The trouble with that argument is that it assumes the imperium is logical, all it would take is a few high ranking members of the ecclesiarchy and suddenly the imperium goes all abhor the xenos on the tau and stomps them without any real reason. The fact that there are filthy xenos in the emperors galaxy is enough reason to destroy them.

Kraxis
05-05-2009, 18:24
The trouble with that argument is that it assumes the imperium is logical, all it would take is a few high ranking members of the ecclesiarchy and suddenly the imperium goes all abhor the xenos on the tau and stomps them without any real reason. The fact that there are filthy xenos in the emperors galaxy is enough reason to destroy them.

So the Tau would be first? The madmen of the Imperium would more likely attack an Ork faction or another such thing. The Tau are not interesting enough to evoke as much hate within the mad, and not practical enough to attract the sane(if you can call Imperials sane.)

Firaxin
05-05-2009, 18:34
So the Tau would be first? The madmen of the Imperium would more likely attack an Ork faction or another such thing. The Tau are not interesting enough to evoke as much hate within the mad, and not practical enough to attract the sane(if you can call Imperials sane.)
Why do you think that? Unlike the orks, the Tau have attracted many human followers/deserters. That's enough to evoke hatred amongst most everyone Imperial, let alone the mad.
I have no idea what you mean by 'not practical enough.' Not practical to invade? The Imperium has cracked harder nuts before.

laudarkul
05-05-2009, 18:35
I think that Tau is in the corner beeing punched by the Orks and Tyranids. This is after the UM and other Chapters just stopped their advanced and took back some systems/planets. They are kept alive by GW (if you take some Hive Worlds from the Eastern Fringe and make some recruitments and training for some bilions of soldiers and then throw them on assault on Tau World together with some SM forces they'll wipe everything).

Balance-keeper
05-05-2009, 18:45
I think that Tau is in the corner beeing punched by the Orks and Tyranids. This is after the UM and other Chapters just stopped their advanced and took back some systems/planets. They are kept alive by GW (if you take some Hive Worlds from the Eastern Fringe and make some recruitments and training for some bilions of soldiers and then throw them on assault on Tau World together with some SM forces they'll wipe everything).

Well thats a down way of looking at it, besides... if you think that the space marines have tried to destroy the tau and they failed..(then they were called away).... Besides the inner most worlds of the tau are heavly deffened a fleet that tries to attack their home system will have to number inthe 10's of thousands just to have a chance... the tau arn't as weak as people always assume..... on top of this everyone keeps assuming that the imperium doesn't want to destroy the tau or that their not worth it, but just looking at the Basic history.. you can see thats not the case... Since the imperium is having trobble dealing with the tyranids and waking necron, aswell as the orks fleeing from the hive fleet..

So its not that they dont want to attack, its that they cant...

Kraxis
05-05-2009, 22:10
Why do you think that? Unlike the orks, the Tau have attracted many human followers/deserters. That's enough to evoke hatred amongst most everyone Imperial, let alone the mad.
I have no idea what you mean by 'not practical enough.' Not practical to invade? The Imperium has cracked harder nuts before.

I think like that because the Tau take in human followers and traitors, but don't pose a real big threat. They are far out on the Eastern Fringe and now that the Third Sphere Expansion has ended and they have other problems to worry about, they are not noticed much in the Imperium.

On the other hand, Orks and Chaos raid, pillage and destroy(or try to) every day. They are also feel more intimidating and honourful to fight, and by such few imperial high commanders will take on the Empire. The last crusade ended in a grinding stalemate before the nids forced the imperials back remember? They don't want to get into that stalemate again. That's resources that would be better spent on more pressing and more dangerous foes.

Orca
06-05-2009, 04:02
EDIT: BTW, you said something about feral worlds building Lunar cruisers. WTF? Feral worlds are LESS advanced than medieval worlds and are so primitive that they often ain't taken into the Guard, as the culture shock would just about kill them. I doubt they are capapable of building spacecraft.

Basic story: "The Sky gods" arrive on a Feral world, they're hailed as the gods foretold in prophecy and tell the people on the world that they need X amount of Y material. These are brought as tribute to the vistors, and 17 years later the feral worlders get to see their sky gods leave in a new Lunar class cruiser. The feral worlders didn't build it, but they did provide all the materials for one in 17 years. Impressive.

Firaxin
06-05-2009, 04:43
I think like that because the Tau take in human followers and traitors, but don't pose a real big threat.
Pfft.

The main reason Chaos/Daemons aren't just viewed as another alien race (like people thought they were when they were encountered before the Heresy) is because they've coerced so many humans over to their side.

Historically, sedition has been the Imperium's greatest threat, and even the youngest Inquisitor can tell you a single pebble can start an avalanche.

The Tau are just a localized, material version of chaos.

Kraxis
06-05-2009, 06:47
Pfft.

The main reason Chaos/Daemons aren't just viewed as another alien race (like people thought they were when they were encountered before the Heresy) is because they've coerced so many humans over to their side.

Historically, sedition has been the Imperium's greatest threat, and even the youngest Inquisitor can tell you a single pebble can start an avalanche.

The Tau are just a localized, material version of chaos.

By that logic, Chaos, which is easy to rach, would get the Inquisitors wrath far sooner than the distant Tau. Like i said, there is no real reason of why either madmen or geniuses would attack the Tau Empire sooner than Chaos and Orks. Not before the Empire takes a great leap into the Imperium.

InquisitorNiels
06-05-2009, 07:19
Chaos for the most part live in the Eye of Terror, or the Maelstrom making them very hard to attack. At best you can defend and destroyer chaos attackers/raiders. For the few worlds/systems that are in real space and controlled by chaos I'm sure the Imperium is attacking them with what ever they have at hand and then some. Same with Orks, they are attackers, the Imperium will defend against them, but attacking a Ork held world is hard, seeing as how the multiply.

Now we have the Tau, softer then both chaos and orks, much smaller in size, and not only are the xenos, which is bad enough to begin with, but they turn Imperials into some half-arsed slaves soldiers.

The fact that the Imperium tried to take them out before they were the threat they are now show you that the Imperium was and is willing to uses the resources to take them out.

Allen
06-05-2009, 08:17
Well, the Imperium wants to wipe the metaphorical floor of the galaxy with the faces of -basically- everyone. Including parts of the Imperium itself. Starting with that assumption, there are of course some levels of priority.

An aggressive, technologically advanced and politically cunning xenos empire (the Tau) could be quite high in the target priority list...unless it's small (in galactic terms), sparsely populated (compared to imperial space) and confined in the periphery of the know galaxy without the know-how to leave in short terms that corner of space.
The Crusade launched against Tau space was quite doomed from the start...a few imperial guard regiments backed up by an handful Titans, no super heavyies, non-collaborative Astarte support, incompetent leadership and embarassing timing (they launched the Crusade during a major Tyranid incursion in nearby imperial sectors). This in my book does not look like the Imperium placing the Tau high in the priority list of enemies to destroy.

The Sabbat Crusade...THAT is an example of an high priority enemy to crush.

a squig
06-05-2009, 09:11
they may be getting a nasty surpirse when there whole empire is brought own by the genesteler cult and then nomed on by a full hive fleet rather than a lost genetseler floating towards ther whole admarda.

i sort of feel sorry for tau they have great potental but a came around a bit to late, if any race (excluding eldars,) gets annoyed they will be compleately wiped out so all this expansion may be annoying a "sleeping giant" and then get blown to bits. i like tau but ive got a bad feeling about there furture.

they may not even fight over the tau world just exterminatus them all to dust

Kraxis
06-05-2009, 20:14
they may be getting a nasty surpirse when there whole empire is brought own by the genesteler cult and then nomed on by a full hive fleet rather than a lost genetseler floating towards ther whole admarda.

i sort of feel sorry for tau they have great potental but a came around a bit to late, if any race (excluding eldars,) gets annoyed they will be compleately wiped out so all this expansion may be annoying a "sleeping giant" and then get blown to bits. i like tau but ive got a bad feeling about there furture.

they may not even fight over the tau world just exterminatus them all to dust

Exterminatus on the whole Empire? Wow, that's lots of resources down the drain. If they really wanna attack, they would at least not waste such stuff, but rather take the worlds. If they did a full-blown offensive that wouldn't be too hard.

Eumerin
07-05-2009, 03:37
By that logic, Chaos, which is easy to rach, would get the Inquisitors wrath far sooner than the distant Tau. Like i said, there is no real reason of why either madmen or geniuses would attack the Tau Empire sooner than Chaos and Orks. Not before the Empire takes a great leap into the Imperium.

One key difference to remember between the Tau and Chaos is that the Empire can say to the Tau, "We know where you live!"

Defeating the forces of Chaos generally requires (short of launching expeditions into the Eye of Terror) a lot of work and investigation on the part of local officials and the Inquisition, since the forces of Chaos try and stay out of sight as long as possible.

The Tau don't have that benefit. Ergo, the Imperium can decide to leisurely build up a military force to steamroll the Tau. And since the Tau seem to genuinely believe that they're destined to rule the Galaxy, sooner or later they're going to annoy the Imperium enough to merit a good squishing.

Yarick Zan
07-05-2009, 03:57
One key difference to remember between the Tau and Chaos is that the Empire can say to the Tau, "We know where you live!"

Defeating the forces of Chaos generally requires (short of launching expeditions into the Eye of Terror) a lot of work and investigation on the part of local officials and the Inquisition, since the forces of Chaos try and stay out of sight as long as possible.

The Tau don't have that benefit. Ergo, the Imperium can decide to leisurely build up a military force to steamroll the Tau. And since the Tau seem to genuinely believe that they're destined to rule the Galaxy, sooner or later they're going to annoy the Imperium enough to merit a good squishing.

But this fails to take into account the fragile nature of the Imperium itself. It is in a state of almost constant war, and if something big enough (13th black crusade big, if not bigger) were to happen then I think they would have much bigger fish (gazelle) to fry. And if you think Chaos wouldn't take advantage of a massive troop build up in one area by the Imperium then you are sorely mistaken.

genestealer_baldric
07-05-2009, 08:55
Despite unfounded enthesium they are just to small to do any damage to any of the current forces they best they can hope for is carve a small empire then be left alone to build up forces because the imperium has other stuff to do.

is there any more information about what happend to the genesteler infected tau?

Bregalad
07-05-2009, 10:09
they may be getting a nasty surpirse when there whole empire is brought own by the genesteler cult and then nomed on by a full hive fleet rather than a lost genetseler floating towards ther whole admarda.

i sort of feel sorry for tau they have great potental but a came around a bit to late, if any race (excluding eldars,) gets annoyed they will be compleately wiped out so all this expansion may be annoying a "sleeping giant" and then get blown to bits. i like tau but ive got a bad feeling about there furture.

they may not even fight over the tau world just exterminatus them all to dust
Just for the record: These statements are of course proven false by official background. The strongest force, the human Imperium, tried to attack the Tau Empire and got a black eye and didn't gain an inch. The Orks fought a long war around the Kroot planet Pech and were defeated there. But everyone familiar with Tau background, knows this of course.

genestealer_baldric
07-05-2009, 10:15
They were both realtivly small forces for each race if a proper force attacked then it would be thank you and goodnight and iam not going to go into the "hive fleet" they destroyed, and anyway plot armour will eventually fail ;)

NightrawenII
07-05-2009, 11:35
They were both realtivly small forces for each race if a proper force attacked then it would be thank you and goodnight and iam not going to go into the "hive fleet" they destroyed, and anyway plot armour will eventually fail ;)

Plot Armour: 1+ Armour save, 2+ Invulnerable save, may re-roll until succesfull:)

The Emperor
07-05-2009, 11:37
Just for the record: These statements are of course proven false by official background. The strongest force, the human Imperium, tried to attack the Tau Empire and got a black eye and didn't gain an inch. The Orks fought a long war around the Kroot planet Pech and were defeated there. But everyone familiar with Tau background, knows this of course.

That seems like a jaundiced view of events, and not a very accurate read of the situation. For one, it assumes that the Damocles Gulf Crusade consisted of the absolute most powerful force which the Imperium can muster, which isn't the case. According to this (http://74.125.47.132/search?q=cache:sol01M8tCaAJ:wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Damocles_Crusade+%22Damocles+Gulf+Crusade%22&cd=1&hl=en&ct=clnk&gl=us) page, the Imperial force consisted of two Imperial Guard regiments, five Imperial Navy ships, a Rogue Trader vessel, and elements from two Space Marine Chapters. Seems like a pretty small force.

And yet despite their small size, they were able to destroy several settlements and fight the Tau on Dal'yth Prime to a stalemate, even though that world was an important and heavily populated world in the Tau Empire. The only reason the war concluded was because of the threat of Hive Fleet Behemoth.

So the Damocles Gulf Crusade did pretty well given its small size and their lack of knowledge of Tau tactics, equipment, and fighting methods. Could a much larger force, much more knowledgable when it comes to Tau military capabilities, do better? Most definitely. And we certainly know that the Imperium could produce a force much, much larger than that. Just look at Codex: Armageddon. These're the forces they assembled to fight in Armageddon.

Space Marines: 144 Companies (Plus 3 Black Templar Crusades and 5 Storm Lord/White Scar Brotherhoods)
Imperial Guard: 224 Regiments, 5 Companies (Armageddon Command Guard), 1 Legion (Arphista Penal Legion), 14 Squadrons (Elysian Drop Troops), 17 Batallions (Jopall Indentured Squadrons), 3 Legions (Minervan Tank Legions), 9 Batteries (Semtexian Bombardiers), 18 Companies (Storm Troopers), 4 Brigades (Zouvan Skirmishers)
Sisters of Battle: Equivalent of 10 Companies
Adeptus Mechanicus: 4 Ordinatus, 2 Demi-Legio, 1 Quarto-Legio, 14 Legio, 14 Skitarii Regiments
Imperial Fleet: 2 Apocalypse Class Battleships, Emperor Class Battleship, Oberon Class Battleship, 6 First-Line Cruiser Squadrons, 9 Second-Line Cruiser Squadrons, 12 Light Cruiser Squadrons, 36 Escort Squadrons, 43 Bomber Strike Wings, 67 Interceptor Strike Wings, 14 Space Marine Battle Barges, 103 Space Marine Strike Cruisers

So clearly the Tau Empire did not face the Imperium's best during the Damocles Gulf Crusade. They faced a force which was only a tiny fraction of the size of the force which the Imperium assembled to defend one world, and the best they could manage was a stalemate on one of their most important worlds. If the Tau Empire had faced a force even half as powerful as that assembled on Armageddon, and if the Imperium didn't have to withdraw due to Hive Fleet Behemoth, then the Tau would only be a pale shadow of what they are, now, assuming they even still existed.

As for "official background", let's see what recent official background has to say about Imperial/Tau match-ups.


SABLE SWORDS
Founded in the latter years of M41, the Sable Swords have swiftly proven themselves the equal of more established Chapters with a series of decisive victories over the upstart Tau Empire.

A single Space Marine Chapter wins a series of decisive victories over the Tau. Hmm, interesting. Of course, those victories may consist of victories over small Tau forces. But if you can claim the Tau victory over the pigmy sized Damocles Gulf Crusade as a defining battle indicative of how Imperial/Tau matchups would turn out, then I can certainly claim this.


989.M41 The Ultramarines 3rd Company liberate the Lagan system from the Tau Empire.

A single Company, not even a Chapter, removes an entire world from the grip of the Tau Empire.


303999.M41 Captain Sicarius leads an army to halt the Tau expansion. A crusade drawn from thirty Chapters drives the Tau back from dozens of Imperial worlds, but is recalled before its work can be completed.

And here's an Imperial victory that absolute dwarfs anything accomplished in the Damocles Gulf Crusade. The Tau are driven off of dozens of worlds. Let's say that "dozens of worlds" equals, hmm, 36. Doesn't the Tau Empire consist of about 150 worlds? So the Tau Empire was driven off a number of worlds totalling nearly 25% of the size of their entire empire, and all in a single offensive! To flip that around, imagine the Imperium, which consists of a million worlds, embarking on a massive new crusade to add hundreds of thousands of worlds to their territory, and ending up getting pushed off of 240,000 of them by a single campaign. Wouldn't we all class that as a catastrophic defeat?

And to top it off, if we look at the details of that conflict, while the crusade consisted of Space Marines from thirty Chapters, the total number of Space Marines equalled less than one chapter (By the time Sicarius' force struck Augura it had swollen to nearly Chapter strength"). So the Tau suffered these massive defeats at the hands of one... thousand.... Space Marines. Pretty sobering thought, isn't it? Here're some highlights.


Sicarius immediately went on the offensive. His first act was to rout the Tau from the heavily embattled forge world of Praetonis V, and use the momentum to drive the invaders from the sector. Further successes followed by the score as Sicarius fought the Tau at their own game, striking with speed and precision at lightly defended targets and using the resulting confusion to destabilise more keenly defended worlds. The Tau expansion slowed, and then stopped completely. With the Tau onslaught blunted and most of the invaded worlds liberated, Sicarius' task was almost complete - only the staging post on Augura remained.


For all their technology, their battlesuits and their weaponry, the Tau could not hope to prevail against such an assemblage of might - it is doubtful that any foe could have. Augura's fortresses were smashed asunder, its shipyards and weapons factories destroyed. The Tau expansion was ended and their remaining expansion forces retreated to secure territory in dismay.

Sicarius would've continued the offensive if a familiar theme hadn't resurfaced, in that they had to withdraw due to the oncoming threat of the 13th Black Crusade. So once again, the Imperium pulls back to fight a bigger fish, and the Tau catch another lucky break. Whatever the case, the Damocles Gulf Crusade is hardly the final word on Imperial/Tau battles. It certainly isn't even one that's favorable towards the Tau, given that they couldn't even annihilate a force as piddling as that. If they couldn't deal with a force that small, which was nearly completely ignorant about how the Tau operated, then how'll they fare when the Imperium decides to assemble a force as strong as the one on Armageddon, and which is lead by commanders who're extremely familiar with Tau tactics, on the day they decide that those 150 worlds of the Tau Empire will look better with an Imperial Aquila flying overhead?

Keichi246
08-05-2009, 15:09
Yes Emperor, you are correct.

Your point is proven. Any and all supposed plot armor of the Tau has long since evaporated. I don't think the Tau have definitively won a damn thing since their codex.

Just about every codex since the Tau Empire Codex has had the Tau been beat upon. The Ork War of Dakka, numerous IG battles, etc. The Space Marine Codex* has just been the worst of them.

*of course - everyone KNOWS the Space Marine codex was the *epitome* of fair and balanced fluff writing - with every aspect carefully balanced in the 40k universe... ;)

So please - everyone - enough with the Tau Empire hate - ok? Some of us rather enjoy playing them.

~~~~~
Although... I do want to point out we haven't seen the 5th edition Tau codex yet. I do expect to see some dramatic reversals of Imperial fortune there.

Like maybe those 'lost' worlds get retaken in a lightning series of invasions by Commander 'Tau special character of the week' - killing an entire chapter of anonymous marines in the process and expanding the Tau Empire into a larger, more threatening, entity.

Because that's the way GW rolls. Every army is kick butt in their own codex, and are pansies in someone else's. And the if the Imperium is definitively winning - well - that just isnt the 40k universe... The Imperium HAS to be teetering on the edge of destruction - that's one of the major themes of the 40k-verse.