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A friend of mine is just getting into 40k and he's really big on the Tau and I'm a vertran of marines. He came up with something and I had a hard time explaining it to him, so maybe someone here can give me some help.
Basically it's about the Tau learning about Imperial technology. The Tau armor offers limited protection and marines have awesome armor. He wanted to know why the Tau never captures any marine armor, power or terminator, and learn the secret of the better armor. I tried to explain 2 things:
1) The Tau would not want to use inferior Imperial technology. His responce was if the tech is better why wouldn't thet Tau want to use it?
2) The marines would never let any armor slip into the enemy hands. The fallen brothers are always come back for and the armor is passed on. His responce was why wouldn't the Tau take the armor as soon as they win a battle?
I've tried my best to explain to him but he's being stubborn. Any help would be much appreciated.
Black Templars 3000 points
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Well, I would think that the Tau would disdain marine armor because of the weight and bulkiness. The armor would be hard to operate without the black carapace which allows the space marine to interface directly with the armor. The Tau would be hard pressed to adapt marine gene-seed to be used in their soldiers.
Also, if you read through the Tau codex they favor a highly-mobile approach and the bulkier armor of the marines (even once adapted to the Tau body) would inhibit this approach to warfare. You could also tell him that the Tau already have armor like the space marines in the form of crisis suits. Crisis suits get the same save as a marine but are much more mobile which fits in with the aforementioned tactics of the Tau.The Eldar are a highly mobile army also, so it would make sense for the Tau to try to adapt Eldar technology for their use.Honestly I am not very sure but I do know that the Tau do attempt to learn Eldar technology from the DOW: DC.
Anyway, that's just my two and a half cents on the matter. Hope it's of some use to you!
well one explanation is that tau tech is actually better than imperial tech in lots of ways. the imperium has very little grasp of skimmer tech for example and the tau are the second most advanced race in this respect only beaten by the eldar (dark eldar included). they also have battlesuits and jetpacks where the imperium's closest counterparts are dreadnoughts/terminators and the significantly weaker jump packs(jump packs make powered boosts, jet packs actually let the tau fly/hover). they probably have captured powerarmour but rather than just using it as it is they have taken it apart and integrated it into their own tech (the latest forms of battle suits are a good example with the armour that shadowsun wears being very power armour like but built with tau tech)
another example (which probebly makes more sence on the practical level) is that space marines happen to be 8ft tall super humans with enhanced strength and stamina who wear heavy power suits weighing several hundred kilos. tau in comparison are comparatively frail in this respect and lack the physique to wear imperial power armour. they however have access to battlesuits which the imperium have no clue how to work and consider "unholy". Tau armour can be compared to the body armour of today with the intention of making sure the firewarrior would survive an impact but not altogether make him impervious from harm.
the power suits them selves are directly linked to the space marine through bionics, this means that the armour works in symbiosis with the marine acting as an armoured skin moving with him accordingly. The Tau do not use implant and genetic engineering technology like the imperium does and probably has moral reasons for doing so (probably like the moral reasons against it today).
hope that helps you out a bit.
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i agree with the above statement entirely, from a game standpoint, if the Tau integrated aspects of space marines into their own,it would make them a little too powerful.
the closest thing they have to Imperial power armor is the far superior stealthsuits (the old kind, XV15), which are just as large as Imperial power armor, but has a jetpack, stealth capabilities and an extremely powerful weapon in comparison to the bolter. Also, it provides them with strength and toughness just as much as a marine, without needing the genetic alteration and bionics.
So all in all, do they really need the Imperial power armor? or the space marine augmentations, the Tau disdain close combat anyways, so they probably wouldn't add physical genetic strength to their soldiers.
“You can live to be a hundred if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be a hundred.” ~ Woody Allen
I agree that in real life it is silly for a force which can integrate beneficial opposing technology into its strategy to fail to do so.
But in metagaming terms.. it destroys the whole theme. What the hell is the point in having space marines if Tau can do what they do and have railguns? In an effort to justify this metagame need, GW has decided that each race has its own technological paradigm (and no, the Tau are not more advanced than the Imperium, their weapons are more sophisticated but not neccesarily any more effective) and is generally too arrogant/dogmatic to believe that the opposing paradigm can yield anything of value.
The Tau simply do not want to believe that their enemies can surpass them technologically, and that their are things they don't understand. As far as they're concerned, their science is superior to crude human superstition, and their warriors are better than the foolish, misguided Gue'la.. It's very easy to fall for your own propaganda when you're spewing it out constantly.
Here's an example.. how many of the weapons in the Tau army were invented by non Tau. I count one, and the technology was given to Tau scientists as a gift. The Tau just don't seem to like reverse engineering tech they didn't design for themselves.
Besides, for all the 'good guy' image the Tau have.. fire warriors really aren't worth investing the hundreds of manpower hours required to build power armour. Tau strategy is pretty callous about letting the grunts get blown to smithereens, after all, that's the role assigned to them from birth, and it's what they would have wanted. Send in the next wave, for the greater good!
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; October 31st, 2006 at 00:06.
Now I bet your friend will want to know why Tau don't have power armour for their Fire Caste Warrior infantry squads. The reason is that this is completely at odds with the way Tau approach fighting. Tau do not have the life-spans or hypno-indoctrination that Space Marines do, and it means that Tau rank-and-file infantry are much less experienced in battle than Space Marines. Note their lower Initiative, Leadership, and Strategy Rating. The Tau are a small, expanding empire- they have the technology for power armour but not nessecarily the resources to equip every soldier with it. So new recruits serve the Greater Good by equipping with cheaper carapace armour and providing a firebase to support thier experienced veterans, the Tau who actually get power armour (Crisis/Stealth/Broadside suits). Once a Tau soldier has demonstrated that he has the skills and experience to deserve the investment of better equipment he gets it. This way everyone serves their role in the battle without waste. This is the Greater Good for Tau.Well, the Space Marines would try to never let any armour slip into enemy hands. That doesn't mean they succeed. In fact, they probably fail. A lot. When you know no fear and bravely fight to the last man for your God-Emperor you tend not to have people left to pick up your garbage.2) The marines would never let any armor slip into the enemy hands.
I believe mantis is correct in this.
Power armour isn't just a piece of armour. It's a whole bodysuit that integrates with advanced bionics and all that stuff.
About Tau and Eldar. Tau can never understand Eldar tech. Why? Because they build on whole different principles. Were the Tau use tools and machines to construct their technology, the Eldar use their minds and psychic abilities to literally grow their creations from raw energy.
That's what I call advanced.
I would like to point out that the fluff reason for the lack of legions of Battle suits in tau armies is very good, and just one word: "Farsight". The Ethreals deliberatly keep the production of battle suits down so that only trusted warriors who have proven there worth and honour can have them.
The Xv8 chasis represents the hight of Tau battle feild technology, and commands enourmous amounts of power, not only is this person trusted of the Aun, but they are now just about indestructable and have god like fire power, (Hence the joke, 'Tau like fire power.') As Farsight proved, without an Aun to remind them of the greater good Tau, particularly Fire caste, can let that power go to their heads. So the Tau only get suits for those that can be trusted.
I would also like to point out that the Tau have excelant reverse engineering, and do not construct by hand like the Imperium. The Tau learned a lot from looking at Dead Eldar web gates, <We should not meddle in the warp, it is crazy!>. the kroot weaponry (which if I'm not mistaken is in the Tau army) was built by smart hungery Kroot, and the Ion cannon was indeed a gift from the squats, However this does not mean the technology of a lot of other Tau stuff was reverse engineered from other places. I site the Plasma rifle as my probable here, and supporting evidance: 1) The Plasma rifle is the only Plasma weapon in the whole army, where pulse technology is used in no less than four weapons of the Tau. 2) the lack of variants indicates a lack of retouching and extrapolation that is evidant in the rest of the Tau weaponry/systems. 3) The Plasma rifle first appeared after Tau contact with humans, the only other race in the 40K universe with Plasma (Do orks have it? doesn't matter if they do, just stating I haven't found it in theior summary.) Given the rest of Tau technology, which seems balistic based or pulse (S/Ap 5) based, the Plasma rifle sticks out like a teenager at a wiggles concert.
Oh, and before I forget, the Tau use automated factories to produce the Suits, so 'Man hours' don't apply.
I make a point of never laughing at stupid people. They can't help that they're stupid, just as I can't help hitting them.- Aun'Vre