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After reading several forum discussions on other forums about the Tau and their history, I understand several things that put the Tau in a vulnerable state ripe for extinction, limiting factors on their expansion, and a large number of freak occurences saving them from annihilation. My main questions are, are these points valid? Are most of them valid? Are all of them Valid? Any points that I perhaps missed?
But I think we all know that the Tau will never die like squats as long as they rake in the $$$ for Games Workshop.
- The Imperial Damocles Gulf Crusade, with only a dozen or so capital ships, contingents from two chapters, and a few Imperial Guard Regiments with support from a Titan Legion managed to penetrate all the way to the Tau home world Tau'n and would have utterly murdered the Tau once and for all had Hive Fleet Leviathan not struck the Imperium saving them. Take into account that this was a very small crusade, supported only by one imperial sector, that had no reinforcements while the Tau had plenty. This was of course, before the 13th Black Crusade and the Tyranids, and had those two factors not come into play, pulling imperial troops from the Ultima Segmentum and galactic east to counter them, you could forget about the Tau third phase expansion.
- Should one fanatical Imperial Commander ever decide to take his sector battlefleet to Tau space, he could utterly destroy each Tau world in their empire with the purging fires of Exterminatus, and in space, the Tau cannot compare to the Imperial Navy, as even the best Tau ship is almost matched by an Imperial Light Cruiser, and that is without taking into account the Imperial warp drives that would just outmatch the Tau, zipping to each Tau planet and crushing it before the Tau could send reinforcements to just one planet and outrunning each and every Tau ship that might try to flee. (THIS IS FLUFF ONLY, balancing stats taken out from battlefleet gothic)
- If there is an Ork WAAAAGH the size of the Armageddon Waagh, the Tau would again be mauled.
- A freak warp-storm saved the Tau from Imperial Exterminatus 7-thousand years previously allowing them to develop
- No major tyranid invasion appears to have struck the Tau empire, being strange seeing as how they are in relatively close proximity.
- The Tau are unlikely to survive the next thousand years unless Tyranid Hive Fleets magically teleport OVER their empire, ... wait.... group of planets.
- Alaitoc Eldar saved them from defeat by the Orks on at least one occasion.
- The Tau mode of transport means they will never be able to manage an interstellar empire a-hundredth of the size of the IoM, as the speed of their ships is 1/5th that at best compared to Imperial ships, and Imperial ships are already quite slow in reaching warzones. (Or is that the bureacracy of the IoM?)
- Their short life-spans are limiting as well.
- The Tau empire is very centralized, meaning that as the Tau Empire gets larger, its own weight will crush it. (The Imperium survives as it is very decentralized.)
(ps. before any Tau fanboys come shouting at me saying that their empire is; "Ever Expanding," "Dynamic," and "For the Greater Good of the galaxy", don't bother. The Imperium could quash this upstart race with a finger. Greater Good= Indoctrination from birth. 125 Tau worlds vs 1,000,000 Imperial Worlds? + millions more uninhabited? That makes it about 100,000 guardsmen for every Tau, not even every Tau warrior. Send one crusade their way with any real support or commitment and they're gone before you know it!) Logically, If there was a little mosquito biting your neck, sucking blood, and a pack of wild dogs wanting to kill and eat you, which would be on your bigger agenda?
Last edited by Imperator100; December 13th, 2008 at 13:57. Reason: forgot to add something
First off I'm not a Tau fanboy, I play Crimson Fists.....
From the points you have mentioned the Tau certainly are in a precarious position . Bare in mind of course that humans survived in the WH40K universe up until the rise of the Emperor despite the galaxy being full of Xenos horrors (yes if WH40K is to be believed we could all be swept aside by an Ork Waagh any day now).
The point of course is that the Galaxy is a big place and the Imperium have got at least two other bigger problems than the Tau to worry about (Chaos and Tyranids).
The other thing to bare in mind is that Tau have got the edge on the Imperium in terms of Technology. They aren't constrained by the thinking that Technology is witchcraft or sacred.
In only a few battles against the Imperium they have found ways to counter Titans, to fight against massed Imperial Armies and to negate the advantage of firepower the Imperial Fleet has.
Now I am not saying that the Tau would beat the Imperium if a full crusade was ever launched against them, but I do think that it would take a dedicated crusade to finish them off. Every year the Imperium leaves the Tau they goet stronger, they get more allies and their technolgy base increases.
As I implied at the beginning I think the Tau are in a similar position to humans around M15.
The Tau have the disadvantage of being late-starters in the imperial race. So wherever they look to expand, they will most likely be confronted with hostile races who just don't want the Greater Good, and be enslaved. Who are the Tau to dictate what is best for their planet? (example), generally speaking, the majority of the races encountered by the Tau will not be assimilated.
WATER CASTE ENVOY: "Join the Greater Good! You will prosper with the wisdom of the Ethereals."
-SPACE MARINE: "Xenos Scum!"
-ORK BOY: "WAAAAAAAAGHHHH"
-KHORNE BESERKER: "BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD!!!"
-NECRON WARRIOR: "..."
-LICTOR:" WHAM! CRUNCH! SPLAT!" .... no more water caste envoy
Just to let any body else know, take my comments about the Tau with a pinch of salt. I REALLY don't like them.
Last edited by Imperator100; December 13th, 2008 at 15:06.
Yea really the Tau could be eliminated quite quickly. But unfortunatly the Empire of man have to many other things to worry about. Unfortunatly they also have alot bigger probs than a few aliens. If they wanted to the Imperial Guard and SMs could crush any one force (besides maybe the tyranids). But they have to spred there views in all ways which is there greatest weakness. Its good for them they have so many willing to die for them and impail themselves at any attacking force stopping it dead in its tracks.
Lets go with the example of the Imperium to illuminate the reasons why the Tau have survived.
Somewhere (possibly Codex: Tau) there is a bit of fluff saying that there is no official policy of extermination against the Tau because the Imperium does not consider them too much of a threat.
The reason that they still exist is because no-one has taken the time to crush them. The occasional small WAAAGGHH! (i.e the war of dakka) is no real threat, so long as the Tau keep fighting and all the big WAAAAAAGGHs head into the Imperium, becuase its a bigger fight and thus more fun.
As for the Tyranids, up until now the Tau have been lucky, with (going by that nice map in the Black Reach booklet) a major hive fleet clipping the edge of their empire on its way somewhere else on two seperate occasions. If the rest of the hive fleets come from the galactic east then they are ****ed. But so is everyone else, so I dont think that can be held against them.
Of course, if they last a few thousand more years and work out decentralisation is the way forward, they will prove a most formidable foe on the Galactic scale.
The name refers to facial hair, not playing style.Originally Posted by A news vendor's stand, London, June 1940
Right, let's do this one by one...
1. No, they didn't reach the Tau home world. They reached Dal'yth, a major Tau sept but not the capital. The war there bogged down into a stalemate with high numbers of casualties on both sides and the attack of the Tyranids was just a good opportunity to settle a cease-fire and get the Imperial troops to places where they were in higher need.
2. While the Tau fleet is severely worse than the Imperial fleet, it's by far no push-over. And the Imperium does not run around and scream "EXTERMINATUS!" at everything, because exterminatus completely annihilates the world and prevents any future colonisation. The Imperium only uses exterminatus in the most dire circumstances, when there is no hope at all in reconquering the world. It is a very rarely employed operation.
3. True, but ther eason why the Armageddon Waagh have managed to reach this vast size is because of the Imperiums stubborn defence of the world and that they constantly pour more troops and equipment into the zone. As the war grows, so does the ork Waaagh!
4. What does that have to do with the topic? They don't need warp storms to protect them any more.
5 & 6. Indeed they haven't. Lucky for them. All races are pressed by the Tyranids and the Tau are no exception.
7. No comment.
8. Who says they need a galaxy-spanning Imperium with more than a million worlds? If anything, the Imperium have proved to be a horrible example since it collapses on itself because of its size. A smaller and more centralized empire have a much higher chance of making it in the long run.
9. True, but that inspires bursts of activity to make sure everyone pulls their part for the Greater Good.
I'm more inclined to say that internal conflict will spell doom for the Tau. Farsight have shown that it can happen and if more Tau get lose from the influence of the Etherals then we might have a Tau civil war happening.
As Beardy_Wierdy mentioned, the Imperium does not perceive the Tau as a threat and see no reason to send vital military forces to crush their insignificant Empire. A Crusade on the scale of the Sabbat Worlds crusade (a billion Guardsmen, a space fleet with more than a thousand ships, dozens of companies of Space Marines, 3 titan legions...) would have a very high chance of wiping the Tau from the stars though, but there's very little chance of that happening sometime soon since the Eastern Fringe is not an area prioritised by the Imperium, being at the edge of the Astronomicon.
And by the way, I play Eldar and SoBs and am in no way a Tau fanboi.
Last edited by Da Mighty Camel; December 13th, 2008 at 16:30.
Didn't see the Camel's post. 1 minute. Sorry, thought they reached Tau'n, my bad. But it reflects quite badly on the Tau that such a minor incursion did so much damage. Fact is, Tau care about casualties MUCH more than the Imperium. A smaller more centralized empire is not necessarily the best choice, as even if the Imperium as we know it is crushed, there will ALWAYS be remnants left. It will be next to impossible to destroy all of it. But it would be possible with the Tau Empire. The Tau fleets are pretty bad. They did ok with the Damocles Crusade as the Imperial Navy only had 1 battleship, and cruisers with support craft. And these were sent in piecemeal. Not coordinated. A properly planned crusade with the same resources could have done A LOT more damage. But even with all those advantages the Tau were hard-pressed to contain the Imperials. And I also read somewhere that entire Tau populaces were eradicated when they didn't evacuate, so that adds to the damage inflicted on the Tau. Remember there are 100,000 guardsmen alone per Tau, not fire warrior, Tau. The warp storm was explaining why the Tau are lucky to even exist in the 41st millenium.
@ Exterminatus: I was reffering to a fanatic madman?
Last edited by Imperator100; December 13th, 2008 at 16:40.
Who is to say that there is not a way to do fast FTL travel without the warp? Or to build a machine that can steer a ship through it? Or just make the gravitic drives faster.
Besides, even if they never do, their technology could advance to the point where nothing and no-one can realitically take the small empire they have off them.
Oh, and camel, Exterminatused worlds CAN be recolonised. There is a bit in Codex: Tyranids where it says "no consideration should be given to the re-colonisation of any world touched by the taint of the hive fleets for, even should the ultimate sanction of exterminatus be enecated...all such worlds are to be declared Perdita...."etc etc.
The implication being you CAN re-terraform a scorched world. Presumeably it is difficult though.
The name refers to facial hair, not playing style.Originally Posted by A news vendor's stand, London, June 1940
Can I also put another point of view forward, perhaps the Tau will be destroyed in 1000 or 100 years time but this might miss the point of the Tau....
The Tau are an emerging race and are one of the most successful, however really they are just an example by GW of the kinds of races and mini-empires out there (like the Kroot or Vespid) for that matter.
So really the debate as to whether the Tau will survive or not is a moot one. The Eldar probably won't survive too much longer wither but they an interesting race so GW has made a codex for them.
As a side note the Tau can travel through the warp by skimming through it. This is a rather safe if limited way of traveling. However technology being what it is it is perfectly possible for the Tau to develop a technique that get the best of both worlds. Say lots of short trips across the Galaxy.
Last edited by Visitor Q; December 13th, 2008 at 17:46.
The Tau and their Empire and a small dot on an Imperium map. A matter of fact they are a small dot on everyones map. So small that they are simply ignored for the most part. Orks as mentioned prior go to where the biggest wars are. That will never be in Tau space. Tyranids try to consume all material they can get there hands on. So is that going to be a small planet with a few Tau on it or is it going to be a human hive world? Granted them might just get unlucky and be in the path. Chaos wanted the Imperium dead, Eldar just want to live, and Dark Eldar just wants slaves and has little desire of holding planets. As for the Imperium, well everyone mentioned is trying to get a piece of them so yes Tau are going to be ignored more or less by the Imperium as long as they are not seen as a threat equal to those mentioned above. If they keep with there 3rd sphere of influence and don't push there luck any farther than they should for the most part be safe.
"Ah, but the truth is like an expensive whore, Jerek. She comes in many dresses and will bend over for any with the money to pamper her." ~ Konrad von Carstein