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Has anyone ever seen any rules or anything for representing the Earth Caste or a specific Air Caste unit on the battlefield? Despite the Tau's suprising efficiency to supply troops to almost anywhere AND expand the empire at the same, surely sometimes the members of the Earth Caste would be called upon to help the main army? I know about the rigid rules on interbreeding in the Tau Castes but there is not anything (I don't think) to stop other castes being used as members of maybe a quickly drafted auxiliary force. Anyone got thoughts on this? :wacko:
I think that there are some air caste models that forge world made to go with a special aircraft or something like that. I personally think that Earth caste would be great soldiers from there description. The tau equivelant of ogryns perhaps?
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The Earth Caste are the builders, but they're also the Artists and the Musicians and the like. I don't they'd fare as well in combat because althouth they might be robust or whatnot - I doubt they'll have the acctual sight or perception the Fire Caste has.
Now the Water cast on the other hand, well just check this link:
= Games Workshop - Inquisitor =
Inquisitor has a Tau Water Caste character.
No, not Ogryns... Definitely not Ogryns. The Earth Caste aren't dumb brutes, they are the scientists, the architects, and general technicians of the Empire. They've been bred for thousands of years to do one thing; research and develope. They've invented drones for the manual work such as harvesting or general assembly. Hence why they can supply the entire Empire; unlike the Imperium, the Tau have automated almost everything to perfection, and the Earth caste are the ones who manage this.
They would be more like cowardly Techpriests or Techmarines. As in, fighting is something that they flee from naturally, they depend on the warriors of the Fire Caste for protection. However, a quickly raised militia would be necessary in some cases... Can't really say. I mean honestly, in those situations it would really be more the drones they're cranking out of the factory that would be doing the fighting. Given fight or flight, the Earth Caste most definitely take flight.
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Para 2: Maybe they are cowardly, but I'd say Techmarines (or Marines of any description) are as far from cowardly as one gets. As for Techpriests, they're basically religious fanatics. If I remember correctly they are Ld 8. Not bad in game terms, and translating to real life (as badly as 40k translates to that) pretty darn good.
I personally think that any Caste would probably be called upon to fight, but would not be as good at it. Air Caste pilot the tanks though, right? So they fire the guns.
If you read the novel Firewarrior by Simon Spurrier , you'll read one scene very early on in the book showing Earth Caste members not being used by (which I don't think is really a valid concept in Tau culture) but actually being Firewarriors. I think they talk about a few members of a fireteam that are Earth Caste members, but I can't remember if they say how they became that way. Also, in the 1st ed. Tau Codex, there's a fluff story in Aun'Shi's section where a group of Firewarriors and Earth Caste members, along with Aun'Shi, prepare to mount a final stand against an Ork onslaught. It says the Earth Caste members were preparing to use there tools as weapons, so keep that in mind if you decide to do some conversions. So here we can see that, yes, Earth Caste members may become Firewarriors. Also, they will fight if with no hesitation if they must. I haven't seen anything regarding why or how an Earth Caste member straight up joins the Fire Caste, though. I would like to believe it's personal choice, but who knows. As far as modelling...if it were me, I would simply use Firewarriors and add some bitz to represent tools that these warriors have brought from their experience as Earth Caste members. Or you could add Earth Caste marking on their shields and armor. Or both. I probably wouldn't go into creating house rules for a new, Earth Caste based unit. But I could definitley see some use for so-called 'combat engineers'. Hammerhead repair, anyone?
As far as I know, the Fire Caste are the sole professional military unit in the Tau empire. Earth Caste members certainly follow them into battle, to repair the tanks and build more drones and possibly observe the fighting to develop new technologies, but they would be strictly non-combat, like a medic or a tank engineer. There'd be no point in modelling them; they likely function behind the front line.
The Air Caste, as their name implies, operate the aircraft and spacecraft of the Tau empire. You will literally never see them on the ground. They've spent so much time in the air, their predecessors had little wings - it's likely this idea evolved into the Vespid. Since they're usually inside the huge Manta Destroyers, you'll never see a model for one.
The Water Caste are diplomats and negotiators. The battle scenarios of Warhammer assume that all diplomacy and negotiation has already fallen through. Hence no point in them being there.
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Agreed. Air Caste members only 'fight' when your orbital bombardments and ship-to-ship fighting is concerned. Button pushing. And that doesn't include boarding actions. If that happens, just hope you've got some Firewarriors on board, because the Air Caste is so light and feathery they probably couldn't withstand a Chaplain's sneeze. Water Caste folk aren't gonna' stick around to watch a fight they were trying to stop. Done and done. They might show up to draw up terms of surrender or some compromise, but then the fight is over. As far as modelling Earth Caste members, I think it could still be done. But I wouldn't make a whole army themed after it or anything. The best fluff I've ever seen on the whole matter of cross-casting showed maybe two or three Earth Caste members in a cadre. So like....maybe one or two Firewarriors modelled that way.
They resemble Kaminoians in build and stature, if I remember correctly.
Agreed, Water Caste *could* in theory as it states in the Inquisitor description fight. But they would probably only do so in self defence, and they usually have battle droids or something or other to accopany them.