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View Full Version : The Tau as a "Core" Armies in Warhammer 40 000.



Snakebite
08-04-2007, 22:55
I've been trying to make up my mind for years about the army I want to use in my games of 40K. I have a 1000pts Marine army that I use from time to time and it's OK for the occasional game. Now I have a list of things I want to do with my ideal army (conversions, campaigns, Cities of Death Strategem Markers, Sentries, Dioramas, etc.) but I have yet to find an army that appeals to me in every way.

I have tried other armies in the past (including Tau, Chaos and Guard) but have always lost interest in them. Admittedly, a big chunk of the reason for that was an almost total lack of gaming. I spent my times playing the lists rather than the games and so I became rather disenfranchised by pretty much the hobby as a whole. I should point out at this point that circumstances prevented games, rather than any intention of not playing. I now have friends that are gamers, as well as having a local GW store that I can occasionally play at.

Over the years, I have strayed and tried other armies but I have always gone back to the Imperium - usually Marines. The only reason I'm not going back to them now is pretty much down to the fact I'm tired of painting them!

Anyway, back to the point of this thread. I've been taken with the idea of the Tau Empire. Since their new Codex has come out, and the army has had some shiny new toys to play with, my fascination with them has grown steadily. I have even come to terms with my feeling that they "don't quite look right" - that is, as "right" as aliens from the 41st Millenium can look! The one major bugbear that I have with the army is this:

Are they "core" to the game?

I don't know anywhere near as much about Tau history as I do Imperial history so I couldn't tell you what they were up to ten thousand years ago. For me, Warhammer 40 000 has pretty much always been about the Horus Heresy and its aftermath. What were the Tau doing while Astartes fought Astartes and the course of the Galaxy was decided?

Maybe it's because of the time I have spent in the Imperium's thrall but there are times when the other races seem somewhat out of place in the game. I would love to try something different with the hobby because I'm getting annoyed at myself for being blinkered by the Imperium. The Tau are very attractive right now (in the sense of their army and rules, not physically!) and I have already had a few ideas for them. It will just be weird not thinking of the game in regard to the Imperial storyline.

Bookwrak
08-04-2007, 23:44
The Tau only occupy a small piece of space, relatively speaking, although it is densely populated. Ten-thousand years ago, they were still killing each-other with spears on the plains of their homeworld. They have advanced technologically at a very reasonable rate, putting them on average, at a similar level of the Imperial foes they face. They are currently not 'big players' in the galactic scene, having just recently become aware of problems like Tyranids, and coming to the attention of the Imperium. They might still think they killed Slaneesh (Tau have very little psychic potential, and a poor understanding of chaos and the warp. When the Tau defeated Chaos forces infesting a planet, the commander thought the Slaneesh person they kept hearing about was the chaos commander, who was killed in the fighting).

revford
08-04-2007, 23:47
The Tau were cavemen during the Heresy.

It could have been the older codex or a White Dwarf article that talked about the Imperium scouting 'Tau Space' in ages past but found nothing of note, the Tau race have sprung up from savage to space traveller very quickly in Imperial terms.

Part of the sudden rise to order and advanced tech was to do with the Caste system and the universal order imposed by the Ethereal Caste.

They got it all together and started advancing, before the Imperium came back again they had a sizable Empire and as a result the Inquisition decided this was most odd and called for a Crusade to sort it all out.

wickedvoodoo
08-04-2007, 23:50
Yeah not so long ago the Tau were primitives, then the Ethereals came and showed them the way forward. Since then there has been nothing but expansion on a large scale.

Plus isnt there something about warp travel and astropath viewing not being possible through tau space, so it took the Imperium along time to click on to what was happening.

tchjdaedn
09-04-2007, 00:01
The tau are a recent player on the scene and rapidly taking bites out of the imperium. Just before the age of apostasy, the imperium discovered teh tau homeworld and found the tau as warring tribes much like the orcs, having barely discovered fire and throwing spears at the imperium vessel. They marked the planet for routine cleansing and left. Then freak warp storms isolated the system for a six thosand years or so, and the age of apostasy kept the imperium distracted.

When the warpstorms subsided, suddenly the tau were a highly organized, highly unified, race with technology that far out performed the imperium. Nobody is quite sure what occured to accelerate their development so much.

At any rate, now their fledgling empire, small though it may be at this point, is quickly giving the imperium a run for their money. Fringe human worlds are opening trade for the superior technology of the xenos, if not defecting or being absorbed by the tau empire through annexation.

All in all, the tau don't really have much of a history, yet. I'm not so sure I would call them "core" myself, at least not at this point. I play them fervently, though, and they're definitely on the scene to stay.

kaimarion
09-04-2007, 00:02
the tau are fairly easy to paint but since you said you have been playing for years you are probale good at painting...any way there fun to play as and i have alot of fun making an army list for them/ i play chaos and nids/ the hammer head looks like crap it is the worst lookin tank in 40k..just doesnt look right probably the turret not the rail gun

Bloodknight
09-04-2007, 00:05
I didn´t like them at first and I still think they fit no real role in the game (they can do nothing that either Guard or Eldar cannot do), but from a collector´s point of view they brought in a new style. Cool models.

shoot22
09-04-2007, 00:24
As said before the tau were still cavemen during the Horus hersay.

They have grasped technology very fast and are highly organized. The only race that has a better grasp of hover technology is perhaps the Eldar. Many people (including myself) think that Tau are nothing more then pawns of the eldar due to the fact that the ethereals control everything and they seem to be taking orders from someone.

The Tau's major problem is that they have about 0 awarness of the warp and have no psychic signature. This increases space travel time and it also increases communication time which will start to cause even more problems as their empire grows.

Hollopoint
09-04-2007, 00:28
I've just ordered a good 2000 points of the guys to get back into 40k with. I like the fact that they are relatively new and a different style. I think that it adds to the 40k universe and the truly epic nature of it. The idea of many different races with their own empires and separate histories battling it out over the endless expanse of space is very appealing.

I think they look cool, and don’t really understand what people mean when they say they don’t “look right” I think it does nothing but benefit the game and its fluff to have races of completely different aesthetic appeal. As someone mentioned earlier on, this is the 41st millennium! Anything goes. :D

SisterMordagg
09-04-2007, 00:31
The tau are a recent player on the scene and rapidly taking bites out of the imperium. Just before the age of apostasy, the imperium discovered teh tau homeworld and found the tau as warring tribes much like the orcs, having barely discovered fire and throwing spears at the imperium vessel. They marked the planet for routine cleansing and left. Then freak warp storms isolated the system for a six thosand years or so, and the age of apostasy kept the imperium distracted.

When the warpstorms subsided, suddenly the tau were a highly organized, highly unified, race with technology that far out performed the imperium. Nobody is quite sure what occured to accelerate their development so much.

At any rate, now their fledgling empire, small though it may be at this point, is quickly giving the imperium a run for their money. Fringe human worlds are opening trade for the superior technology of the xenos, if not defecting or being absorbed by the tau empire through annexation.

All in all, the tau don't really have much of a history, yet. I'm not so sure I would call them "core" myself, at least not at this point. I play them fervently, though, and they're definitely on the scene to stay.

I'm going to have to disagree with the storyline elements of this post. Please do not take it as I think you shouldn't play Tau. I think they're kinda neat.

But... the Tau are not a threat. They were hammered by a small crusade. They have to push mantas into an anti-Titan role.

They are not a threat to the Imperium- they are a local threat, of which the Imperium has plenty. They are expanding, true, but by colonization, not by conquest.

Their tech is in many ways superior. Plasma, which the Imperium can barely control, is their primary munition. But they don't have the sheer mass and scale of the Imperium.

I think we could say that the Tau are like the Hrud- a local threat. Just the Tau got an army book and the Hrud didn't.

Bregalad
09-04-2007, 00:51
If you like to sneer at younger races, go for Necrons. Everybody is a junior to them. Even Eldar. (Tyranids at least in this galaxy).

Tau have a lot of background and special material, as they are secret favorites of Forge World, who provide a campaign book, decals, flyers (plus pilots), turrets, superior crisis suits and broadsides plus several other vehicles (Tetra and alternative Piranha!).

They have an alien design, but being aliens, that is okay. As novels I recommend reading "For the Emperor". Also "Kill Team" has some nice descriptions, although the story, point of view (paranoid Imperial psychopath) and writing style are of debatable quality.

Just be aware that Tau might be the most hated race among 40k gamers and people like to throw any kind of unsupported accusations and insults at them, ranging from "hippie" to "nazi". But once you know the background material, it is easy to counter most hate mongering.

BTW: The Tau Empire is currently small, but beside the Tyranids they are the only race on the rise, due to their quick technological development. Most other races just fight the decline.

Plebian
09-04-2007, 00:57
I would list the "core races" as follows(in order)
Smurfs
Chaos
Guard
Eldar
Nids
Orks
Tau
Dark Elfdar
Necrons
Inq.

Hope that answers your question.
-Plebian

Scorpion
09-04-2007, 03:36
I would list the "core races" as follows(in order)
Smurfs
Chaos
Guard
Eldar
Nids
Orks
Tau
Dark Elfdar
Necrons
Inq.

I beg to differ! The "Big Four", the races that have been present in WH40K since Rogue Trader (not to mention the oldest, most important contributions to fluff) are Smurfs, Chaos, Orks and Eldar. These are the defining races of 40K. Nids rank are close in 5th place. Their contribution to the universe is paramount. The Imperial Guard is essencial to the WH40K Universe, though their contribution to the fluff mainly consists of them getting slaughtered. Tau are not very "important" in the cosmic scale, but they have a very defined role. Necron and DE are the two races that need re-thinking. Inquisition is just a sidenote on the Imperium.

GraveDancer
09-04-2007, 03:41
why would necrons need re-defining? i thought they actually fitted into the grim and gothic setting of 40k very nicely now?

ehlijen
09-04-2007, 05:38
Necrons are mainly a combination of the must-eat-all-living that the tyranids already stand for and chaos's evil-gods-trying-to-take-over-the-real-world. As such they fit in nicely, but unlike the Tau, who are somewhat more original (they hasn't been a race yet that is not trying to simply wipe everyone else out, even the DE only take slaves to torture and later kill them). They are still grim, even in their optimism, and they are much needed in an otherwise staling universe.

Vaktathi
09-04-2007, 06:00
I beg to differ! The "Big Four", the races that have been present in WH40K since Rogue Trader (not to mention the oldest, most important contributions to fluff) are Smurfs, Chaos, Orks and Eldar. These are the defining races of 40K. Nids rank are close in 5th place. Their contribution to the universe is paramount. The Imperial Guard is essencial to the WH40K Universe, though their contribution to the fluff mainly consists of them getting slaughtered. Tau are not very "important" in the cosmic scale, but they have a very defined role. Necron and DE are the two races that need re-thinking. Inquisition is just a sidenote on the Imperium.

Agreed. The races I've always thought of as "40k" long before I ever got into 40k were the Space Marines, the Eldar, Orks, and Chaos.

Colonial Rifle
09-04-2007, 09:36
Well, going back through the mists of time, in the RT era the top five defined armies/races were:
Marines
Orks
Eldar
Guard and....
Squats!

Seriously, Squats had a more defined & better put together list than Chaos or Nids during RT. The Nid list was basically a genestealer Cult with Tyranid warriors added to it and the Chaos lists were a shambles (a couple of marines and any models you had left over from your WHFB army).

To the question at hand, I'd say Tau are now a core 40K force. They are considerably more popular than DE (expected) and Orks (bit sad really).

Shasolenzabi
09-04-2007, 09:50
If you can get a hand on WD250-252, they have some Background fluff, as well as the original Tau codex, Tau Empire adds to it, and the Tau, based on that fluff IMHO, are actually the newest race made by the Old Ones, the Eldar also were a race used by the Old Ones to fight the 'crons, and are likely pivotal to the Old Ones that raised the Tau being able to make the Ethereals to stop the tau from exterminating each other! the Warpstorms were to stop the Impies from wiping out this race they chose to uplift. Now the Tau are actually on the rise, and with the Imperium worrying about keeping Abbaddon and the 13th Black Crusade contained in the Eye of Terror, the Tau are reaping the benefits of the Imperium's neglect at the Eastern Fringe.

Tau are different, and i like the ranges looks and their alternates from FW as well. Core army from now on and to the future!

FlashGordon
09-04-2007, 10:01
The ethereals control the tau using pheromones. The Tau uses mind controll technology to controll the Vespid. They use the Kroot as cannon fodder.

Shasolenzabi
09-04-2007, 10:05
[[[ Actually, the Old Ones control the Ethereals, the Etherals keep the Tau calm, otherwise they would get cranky all the time!, they have comm helmets to speak with the Vespids, and the Kroot are Hand-to-hand experts, no one is cannon fodder in the Tau perspective.

Mr_Smiley
09-04-2007, 10:24
Necrons are mainly a combination of the must-eat-all-living that the tyranids already stand for and chaos's evil-gods-trying-to-take-over-the-real-world. As such they fit in nicely, but unlike the Tau, who are somewhat more original (they hasn't been a race yet that is not trying to simply wipe everyone else out, even the DE only take slaves to torture and later kill them). They are still grim, even in their optimism, and they are much needed in an otherwise staling universe.

:rolleyes: The Necrons are not trying to wipe everyone out, they are simply wiping out resistance to the C'tan, so that The C'tan can take back over again and start a very controlled, consumption of life forces, for more of a delicious meal, whilst Tyranids are for mass consumption and don't care about taste, I assume.
Tau are now a very Core army, although hardly a real threat to any of the "Big" races, they are advancing their technology and advancing their Empire, but are still a fair way off actually being a major threat to any established race. Their Technology would be very close to or equal to Imperiums and are still behind Eldar and Necron. Their biggest problem is the lack of fast travel of large distances.

Bregalad
09-04-2007, 10:37
Just be aware that Tau might be the most hated race among 40k gamers and people like to throw any kind of unsupported accusations and insults at them, ranging from "hippie" to "nazi". But once you know the background material, it is easy to counter most hate mongering.


The ethereals control the tau using pheromones. The Tau uses mind controll technology to controll the Vespid. They use the Kroot as cannon fodder.


In contrast to other races, we wanted the Tau to be altruistic and idealistic, believing heartily in unification as the way forward. This meant that they would happily incorporate other races into their empire without subjugating them, instead enticing them in with the benefits of mutual protection, trade and technology. This set the Tau up superbly for having a close relationship with the Kroot.

See what I mean by hate mongering not supported by facts :rolleyes:

fracas
09-04-2007, 12:44
i would say the core forces are SM, IG, CSM, Orks
the first ring are Eldar, Tau, and Tyranids
the outer ring are Necrons, Dark Eldar and kroots

Darkhorse
09-04-2007, 13:22
As an army type Tau are the most poular Xeno group amongst the players at my club/store tying with IG for 2nd place in "Army you're most likely to face" after the massed ranks of power armour. Chaos in 4th, Eldar and Necrons struggling for 5th, Inq 7th, Nids 8th, Orks 9th, DE 10th.

Sephiroth
09-04-2007, 13:29
See what I mean by hate mongering not supported by facts :rolleyes:

*Nods* :rolleyes:

Zzarchov
09-04-2007, 13:45
I personally think that if any race is going to bump marines out of the starter box, it will be Tau.

Lyinar
09-04-2007, 13:46
Another book to read for Tau background information is Fire Warrior. Simon Spurrier manages to cram enough interesting stuff about the Tau into it to make up for the fact that it's constrained by being a novelisation of a crappy corridor-based, one-guy-kills-everything FPS game.

And if you think about it, six thousand years from hunter-gatherer to space colonization isn't that much of a stretch for a species. After all, had we not experienced stuff like the Dark Ages, and were our priorities set in the right place with regards to space exploration, we would have had offworld colonies by now.

devolutionary
09-04-2007, 13:49
There will always be an Imperial force in the starter box. 40k's most central and important power is the Imperium, simple as that. Without the Imperium holding back all the other powers, the storyline would fall apart.

Red Highlander
09-04-2007, 14:07
There will always be an Imperial force in the starter box. 40k's most central and important power is the Imperium, simple as that. Without the Imperium holding back all the other powers, the storyline would fall apart.

I agree completely, without the Imperium, there are no Space Marines, Imperial Guard, Chaos (as their only goal in the universe is gone)
You would just have the dying race of the Eldar to fight off the Orks, Nids, Necrons as they are the only other real heros in the galaxy (not saying Tau are evil or anything but they are more like young cubs, yet to find their way in the universe)

- Red Highlander -

Getz
09-04-2007, 16:03
Another book to read for Tau background information is Fire Warrior. Simon Spurrier manages to cram enough interesting stuff about the Tau into it to make up for the fact that it's constrained by being a novelisation of a crappy corridor-based, one-guy-kills-everything FPS game.

And if you think about it, six thousand years from hunter-gatherer to space colonization isn't that much of a stretch for a species. After all, had we not experienced stuff like the Dark Ages, and were our priorities set in the right place with regards to space exploration, we would have had offworld colonies by now.

Quite, Human civilisation is currently about 4000 years old. I think it's quite likely that we will catch up with the Tau in the next 2000 years.

Acheron,Bringer of Terror
09-04-2007, 16:13
Tau are not core army and should never be one of The Core Army.

mistformsquirrel
09-04-2007, 16:14
The thing to remember about Tau however, is that it wasn't just *civilization* that took 6000 years to get to where they are.

That period *also* includes their appearance as a species. (For us, that was over 30,000 years ago to get true homosapiens)

So Tau still have a leg up on us for rapid advancement just because they got organized much much faster. Precisely how that got them into a near perpetual war with themselves at one point I'm not so sure.

Oh also - on the comment that "Kroot are cannon fodder" - it specifically says in the Tau Codex that Kroot are /not/ cannon fodder, and that no group is 'expendable'. Kroot are used primarily (according to the codex, not tabletop play) for breaching assaults where fire warriors suffer in close quarters.

Bregalad
09-04-2007, 16:26
Oh also - on the comment that "Kroot are cannon fodder" - it specifically says in the Tau Codex that Kroot are /not/ cannon fodder, and that no group is 'expendable'.

Most people insulting Tau are not interested in facts and official background. They will invent things and ignore quotes proving them blantly wrong and will repeat their insults the next time nevertheless. They will project everything they hate most (hippies, communists, nazis, Bush, imperialists, name it) onto this race. The better ones will present outcasts and madman (Farsight, Firewarrior Kais, Brightsword) as typical examples of Tau society, or they will cite one paragraph in the new Codex (first one on page 10), that stands in contradiction to all other background stuff and was added in 4th edition to let Tau appear more grey. Seems to be a social thing, as they feel provocated by the "goody" image of the Tau.

Kegluneq
09-04-2007, 16:30
*Major spoilers for Rogue Star follow*

I'd definitely recommend Rogue Star as well, for background material on the Tau. The story follows a rogue trader making contact with long isolated systems in the gulf of Damocles, who offer archaeotech that turns out to be advanced alien weaponry, supplied by the Tau in an attempt to foster trading and political links with worlds ignored and abandoned by the Administratum. At the climax of the story, revolution sweeps across every world in the sector as they turn gratefully towards The Greater Good, and the Damocles Crusade begins.

The story is interesting in that it shows the allure of Tau technology and philosophy to Imperial worlds that are neglected compared to central systems (one turns to the Tau to find culture and amusement, another for military might), as seen from the perspective of the Imperial elite. It certainly shows how potent a threat the Tau are on the Eastern fringe of the Imperium - through diplomacy and trade they can take worlds far quicker and easier than any force, other than the Tyranids.

Getz
09-04-2007, 17:18
That period *also* includes their appearance as a species. (For us, that was over 30,000 years ago to get true homosapiens)


No it doesn't. According to the 3rd ed codex in M34 the Tau were cavemen with fire and spears and not a lot else (although they probably would have had some kind of primitive culture unrecognised by the Imperial Explorators). Clearly, however, they had already evolved into "modern" Tau - there's a picture and everything....

Their inital appearance as a species is most emphatically not mentioned. There is doubtles tens of thousands of years worth of Tau prehistory not recorded anywhere in the fluff...

Therefore, Tau in M34 are entirely analogous to Humans in 4000 BC.

Vaktathi
09-04-2007, 17:53
The better ones will present outcasts and madman (Farsight, Firewarrior Kais, Brightsword) as typical examples of Tau society, or they will cite one paragraph in the new Codex (first one on page 10), that stands in contradiction to all other background stuff and was added in 4th edition to let Tau appear more grey. Seems to be a social thing, as they feel provocated by the "goody" image of the Tau.

Well, to be fair, you also have the entry where it mentions that the Tau obliterate those that refuse to join them in the BGB (p.138), and even though written from the standpoint of the Imperium, gives a fair impression of every other "xeno's" race from a fluff standpoint, biased yes, but not too off by any means. Also on the Tau race description on page 159 it mentions how all resistance is swept aside and that some races are forced to join against their own will, and this is not the standard "biased xenophobic Imperial narrator" stuff, its just the GW race description. Also you have the Dark Crusade storyline which gives a rather dark edge to Tau colonization practices. It's hard to think that so many official sources, even the BGB and the very explicit and profound entry in their own codex can simply be written off as "well...they arent like that, only the bad ones that don't count ."

Nobody is going to try and say the Tau are as bad as the Imperium, but it's hard to stick to the idea that the Tau are the perfect goodytwoshoes some people think of them as.

Sephiroth
09-04-2007, 18:37
On topic, I find what counts as a "Core" part of 40K, will depend on the individual player, and what their willing to accept. That, and there's whole spades of elitism going about (Tau suffer this as they weren't in Rogue Trader - and as we know, nothing good has come since Rogue Trader... :p)

Take the Necrons for example. Technically one of the newest, if not [i]the[i/] newest (yeah, they had models first, but Tau had an army/'dex first).

If you believe every little piece of background the Codex: Necron implies their involved in, or connected to, they are a "core" race, if not the very centre of 40K:

They fought the "Slaan/Old Ones", the Forerunner race who set up the primitive Orks/Eldar, and most of the universe.

Their war with the Old Ones gave birth to Chaos, another very core concept of WH40K.

Whilst sleeping, one, supposedly buried under Mars, might have given humanity most if not all it's technology with it's sleeping mind (Lovecraftian influence), hence the "Age of Technology", followed in turn led to the "Iron Men" rebellion and the Age of Strife.

They created the Pariah-gene, and even the Emperor had a cadre of Untouchables, the Silent Sisterhood.

Going by all that, the Necrons/C'Tan are one of the very "core" armies in 40K - most will refuse to accept this though, because they are new, and feel they were crowbar'd in...

"Core" is whatever you want it to be...

Psycho_Laughs
09-04-2007, 18:38
i personally see the tau as filling a niche in the 40k game. they represent one of numerous local, minimum threats that the empire has to deal with. none of these on their own has anywhere near the power to go toe to toe against the imperium. there are so many of them, added to some really big threats, that the imperium cannot deal with all of them.
in my honest opinion, they covered the start of the tau empire, the rise of the tau empire, next i think they should cover the anihilation of the tau empire.
can keep them as a playable race, and have some remanant planets, but show just how the imperium deals with small alien empires.

Kegluneq
09-04-2007, 19:08
Except as of 999.M41 they haven't, and can't. If the Tau demonstrate anything, it's the inability of the current Imperium to handle threats like the Tau (who are far from a weak, local force. Only their low population prevents them from a sweeping invasion across more Imperial worlds, their superior negotiating skills - and firepower - blasting a way for the Greater Good. What the fluff is perhaps missing is a precise indication of how many Imperial worlds they've taken - so far, we can assume the number is enough to put them higher than a minor threat. I'd say they're at least comparable to Necrons and Eldar, in their ability to wage war in a particular sphere).

Sephiroth
09-04-2007, 19:12
i personally see the tau as filling a niche in the 40k game. they represent one of numerous local, minimum threats that the empire has to deal with. none of these on their own has anywhere near the power to go toe to toe against the imperium. there are so many of them, added to some really big threats, that the imperium cannot deal with all of them.
in my honest opinion, they covered the start of the tau empire, the rise of the tau empire, next i think they should cover the anihilation of the tau empire.
can keep them as a playable race, and have some remanant planets, but show just how the imperium deals with small alien empires.

I'd disagree. The Tau Empire, has far too many "well, that's unusual..." bits in their background to be "Just another small xeno-empire."

Rapid evolution into four separate subspecies? Protected by warp-storms from Imperial extermination/colonisation fleet, in an area of space noted for its unusual number of life-prolific planets, with no psychic potential what-so-ever? And then a fifth Caste turns up out of nowhere, unites them, and guides them towards a goal of expansion?

Yeah, I'm sure all the above are just coincidence - happens all the time. :p

Vaktathi
09-04-2007, 19:21
Except as of 999.M41 they haven't, and can't. If the Tau demonstrate anything, it's the inability of the current Imperium to handle threats like the Tau (who are far from a weak, local force. Only their low population prevents them from a sweeping invasion across more Imperial worlds, their superior negotiating skills - and firepower - blasting a way for the Greater Good. What the fluff is perhaps missing is a precise indication of how many Imperial worlds they've taken - so far, we can assume the number is enough to put them higher than a minor threat. I'd say they're at least comparable to Necrons and Eldar, in their ability to wage war in a particular sphere).

I'd agree that the Imperium has an inability to respond to the Tau at this point, but I don't think I'd rate the Tau as big of players as the Eldar or Necrons. If I'm not mistaken, the fluff directly called the Damocles Crusade a "mere inkling" or something like that of the Imperiums power and that the Tyranids threw a wrench in the plans. the Tau as current hold maybe 30 worlds? World for World at that point the Tau are outnumbered about 33,300 to 1 (going by Imperium with a million worlds), thats not even in terms of population and military forces. If the Imperium can stop a Tyranid Hive fleet (stopped several, redirected another) then it can crush the Tau, the main thing is the Tau have technology, remote location and the fact that the Imperium is distracted on their side. No doubt they could ravage Imperial armies all day and night, but weight of numbers would see the Imperium through in the end.

Sephiroth
09-04-2007, 19:25
I'd agree that the Imperium has an inability to respond to the Tau at this point, but I don't think I'd rate the Tau as big of players as the Eldar or Necrons. If I'm not mistaken, the fluff directly called the Damocles Crusade a "mere inkling" or something like that of the Imperiums power and that the Tyranids threw a wrench in the plans. the Tau as current hold maybe 30 worlds?

A 100 worlds, twenty or more heavily settled systems, and an Empire of 300 light years in diameter, which makes it bigger than the "average" Imperial sector (That's Sector, not sub-sector).

But you're correct, the Tau over the Imperium little to no overt threat, but on the Eastern Fringe, far from the centre of Imperial power, can contest their rule.

But I feel this debate has been done to death, so that's off-topic.

Hollopoint
09-04-2007, 19:28
I've always thought of the 40k universe as infinite and that there are thousands, if not millions of races in eternal conflict with each other. GW have just made a select few playable and therefore it allows for continual introductions to new playable races and the only thing holding this back is the real world.

infernus31
09-04-2007, 20:39
I think the Tau whilst not neccesarily being core fluff wise are definetly core gaming wise, they do very well and have been well recieved (at least in my gaming community) as a widely used and generally competitive army.

Zzarchov
09-04-2007, 21:38
I'd disagree. The Tau Empire, has far too many "well, that's unusual..." bits in their background to be "Just another small xeno-empire."

Rapid evolution into four separate subspecies? Protected by warp-storms from Imperial extermination/colonisation fleet, in an area of space noted for its unusual number of life-prolific planets, with no psychic potential what-so-ever? And then a fifth Caste turns up out of nowhere, unites them, and guides them towards a goal of expansion?

Yeah, I'm sure all the above are just coincidence - happens all the time. :p

Well, rapid evolution happens because they were Bred like animals, so no different than Dogs currently. So that is common. To say nothing of the majority of species on this planet which have veritable sub species.

Humanity had no psycic potential for most of its space empire (up until the age of strife) and had no psycic potential at all.

As for a fifth caste appearing out of "nowhere", isn't a similar myth about the miraculous nature of any royal caste pretty normal in earth cultures?

Kings being appointed by god himself, etc etc and saving a country from total war. Very similar the stories about the past of the Emporer. They could be true, or they could be 10,000 years of diefication at once.

And lets not fool ourselves people. The starter game isn't to fulfill some fluff purpose.

Its point is to hook new players. And Tau have a potential to do that better than Space Marines.

golembane
10-04-2007, 00:41
Back in an old white dwarf back when Tau were first introduced, Eldrad himself stated something along the lines of 'This new race may well be our successors' when speaking of the Tau.

Not the exact quote, but I'll have to see if I can hunt down that codex. Eldar are fighting a losing battle, and being the masters of fate, seems odd that they wouldn't look to a race that is doing everything right that the Eldar did wrong to succeed them.

Tau won't be creating any gods anytime soon like the Eldar did, Tau are generally fair and tries to at least negotiate peace before having to go to war, unlike the Eldar who looked at everything as lesser creations, and other ties not even counting the sudden mastery of anti-grav vehicles, the preference for range combat, and whatnot.

In the grand scheme of things, the Tau are a small group focused in one area. Eldar are a small group spread through out the galaxy(and really the exodites don't wage war nearly as often as the primary craftworlds), Orcs just spread like crazy and hard to get rid of, but not to the point worlds falling easily to them, Armageddon has proven that a couple times now. Only force that is attacking en masse is the Tyranids, and that's because no one has any idea just how many bioships are outside the galaxy's rim(Emporer's light doesn't extend past the galactic rim and thus ships can't get out there to explore, and be expected to return). Chaos only wages large scale wars every few years since they are so busy fighting over their own internal feuds for the most part.

One threat to the Imperium isn't alot unless we are speaking of the Tyranids, but the Empire of mankind is getting spread out in multiple directions. That's why Orcs keep popping up, why plants keep falling to both the tau and the Eldar. why planets seemingly devoid of life springs forward Necorn raiders. The Imperium is just spread to thin to fully deal with any of the threats 100%.

A hint that the Imperium is on it's last legs, fighting to keep the boat afloat.

As for the Imperium always being in the box, that's not always the case, if it was true then the Empire would always be in the fantasy box set because they too are holding back enemies on all sides(and in all the fluff, if the Empire falls then so to will the rest of the 'good' races), even from within their own borders, and yet we've had high elves vs goblins, Dwarfs vs orcs and goblins, and Bret vs lizardmen. Just because the Imperium isn't shown in the box set doesn't mean the storyline is suddenly nullified. Just means GW is putting the light on a shiny new set of mini's.

revford
10-04-2007, 01:08
The Empire in WHFB doesn't really dominate the game the way the Imperium in 40K does.

It's not like 80% of WHFB players play various orders of Empire Knights. There seems to be a fair share of love for all the core WHFB armies. (other than Chaos Dwarfs, but are they still a core army?)

Maybe putting Tau Vs Orks in the core 40K box would help to spread the love a bit more?

Tau really are a solid part of 40K these days, nice army, nice models and all around good stuff. They are on better ground popularity wise than some armies that have been around longer such as Orks or Dark Eldar.

If by 'core' you mean are they here to stay, then most definitely Yes.

If you're asking are they part of the huge Imperial plot, are they a mighty empire or a threat to all other races, then No. They have their own little plot out there on the Eastern fringe and it suits them fine.

Getz
10-04-2007, 02:34
Guys, I've noticed a fair bit of Trolling on the thread. Can we all keep it civil before the Inquisition show up and shut us down...

Plebian
10-04-2007, 03:42
I'm ok with Imperium being "in the box", but why does it always have to be SMurfs? Why not IG for a change or *Gasp* Sisters? Just a thought.
-Plebian

zbeam
10-04-2007, 14:34
There will always be an Imperial force in the starter box. 40k's most central and important power is the Imperium, simple as that. Without the Imperium holding back all the other powers, the storyline would fall apart.

why couldnt 40k starter boxes have other races in them? it'd be quite easy to make a few starter kits with different forces/scenarios/terrain catering to peoples tastes.

the biggest thing to consider about the tau is the artistic freedom they provide as a game designer. they are rapidly evolving and changing unlike the majority of 40k races that are in a state of decay and decline. the imperium is a mad and paranoid place that fears anything new, while at the same time is forgetting how to make things they used to.

tau will allways be a part of 40k now. they will allways have new weapons of war released far more regularly than most other armies. theres only so much "ancient machines that are revered but hey we redesigned them!" GW can get away with. tau on the otherhand can be redesigned and collectors will buy the new models far more willingly as it is not only cool to have new figures, but it fits in with the fluff.

the other thing to note with tau is how guerilla they are. they will not only make war, but attemt to allure your allies to side with them. even if the imperium did manage to wipe out the entirety of the tau race the ideals of the greater good would survive and spread. you can destroy an enemy, but thier ideals will be eternal if they were worth dying for.

Tastyfish
10-04-2007, 15:00
I'm ok with Imperium being "in the box", but why does it always have to be SMurfs? Why not IG for a change or *Gasp* Sisters? Just a thought.
-Plebian

Because it should be marines, they are the most iconic parts of the 40K range and they are perfect for introduction boxs - a small group of bad guys fighting off a horde of faceless grunts doesn't have the same sort of appeal that the 'last stand' type scenario's marines go for. Plus they just look like army men and don't really capture the far future aspect of 40K as well as marines and Tyranids do.

Count de Monet
10-04-2007, 15:19
Are the Tau part of the "central" story of 40K? No. IMO the struggle with Chaos is the central story - so Chaos, Eldar, Imperial forces all are "central".

Do the Tau contribute something useful to the background? Yes. Along the fringes of the central story the struggle of human against Xenos is important - and prior to the Horus Heresy was the big central story. You've got the big random bio-incursions of the Tyranids, the large but disorganized persistent Ork menace. The Tau to me take the role of the many but smaller-scale Xenos threats out there. That they have other alien allies is extra icing on the cake.

Prodigalson
10-04-2007, 15:28
If you have a codex book, you are a core army.
No core army books are being disscontinued.
GW is committed to support all core armies.

Ergo, Tau are core.

Core armies are:
Marines
Chaos Marines
Orks
Imperial Guard
Eldar
Dark Eldar
Tyranids
Necrons
Tau
Sisters of Battle
Grey Knights
Dark Angels
Space Wolves
Blood Angels
Black Templars

All are core.

The preceding information was from a discussion with Jervis at adepticon a week and a half ago.