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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well it is essay time again, which means I am developing new and inventive ways to procrastinate. My latest idea is for some background fluff which would have no bearing on game mechanics. It involves the Tau creating a new way of faster than light travel. It is inspired by the books by Dan Weber, and the question of what would a galaxy be like in which there are multiple ways to travel through space. I have no read any novels which have this in them. Anyways enough rambling this is an initial piece of poorly written fluff containing some of my initial thoughts. (If only I could type essays this fast :( ).


Classification Level Vermilion
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Ordo Xenos Report on Tau Technological Breakthrough
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Strength In Unity Brothers
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I write to you my brothers to tell you of disturbing information I have received through from the xenoTau Empire. Information has reached me of a new technology recently developed by these resourceful aliens. It appears that a new method of faster than light travel has been discovered by the scientists of this alien race. Initial rumours are not all in agreement but I will here attempt to decipher and collate the most persistent and plausible.
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Within the last few of years an asteroid was discovered on the fringes of Tau controlled space which contained an previously unknown elements capable of massive energy release. This asteroid is the only known source of this element and my contacts on Mars report no previous knowledge of its existence. The Tau name is roughly translated as “the gate opener”, an apt name since it opens the way for a massive advancement in the Tau’s ability to expand their empire.
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This element is the key to a newly invented engine that is capable of folding space time and allowing a starship to pass through a gate/wormhole and instantly appear in a spatially distant location. The size of engine necessary to generate the power required insures that this technology is only practical on a vessel the size of a typical escort class spaceship. This technology has a number of other limitations. In order for the gate to be opened the ship must be relatively free from all forms of gravitational influence, preventing a ship from travelling to or from a close proximity to a planet or store. Effectively creating a wall around solar bodies which must be crossed before a gate is opened. In addition the time required to generate the necessary power is considered to be equivalent to between 20-40 Terran hours. This prevents a ship from any sort of rapid jumping away from danger.
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However these limitations are far outweighed by the potential benefits, especially for the Tau who have hitherto possessed only limited warp capabilities. Not only will this technology allow the Tau’s ability to contest imperial space, it will also open up whole new swathes of the galaxy which have been previously been unreachable due to the vagaries of warp travel. This would allow the Tau to exploit and expand to planets free from the ability of the Imperium to intervene. A most troubling situation indeed.
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It is my earnest recommendation that immediate action be taken to either destroy utterly or else acquire the means to this new technology in order to continue to protect the Imperium of Man
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Yours Faithfully *************
 

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The Tau currently have no warp capacities. This idea, though, would make the rest of the galaxy brick itself.

Which of course makes it a good idea. ;)
 

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The Tau DO have warp capacities, thought a somewhat "slower" version that other races possess. From Lexicanum: "The Tau achieve faster than light travel by "diving" into the warp and being subsequently flung out a great distance from where they entered."

Back on topic, sultansean I smell an Event Horizon type disaster befalling the Tau! I'm no fluff expert, but would it be too far fetched for this to happen? Breaking any rules of the 40k universe? (I love the movie if you can't tell :dance:)

To expand on the idea, given the rate at which the Tau are advancing technologically, it would only be a matter of time before they overcame some of these obstacles, such as the power requirement. The Imperium should be very worred indeed!
 

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They have Warp capacities like Hollywood has morals - for a short time and not much while they're at it. They "bounce" off the warp, more like compressing a spring, sitting one it, and releasing.

Tau cannot enter the warp of their own accord - they are Warp neutral and have no psychic mutation at all; therein they don't have Fallen, are less vulnerable to mind-based psychic powers, but more vulnerable to manifesting psychic powers such as Fury of the Ancients, having nobody to shut down enemy psykers.
 

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This kinda contradicts a lot of what I see as the intentions of Tau fluff.. Tau are not very high tech, in fact, they're one of the most primitive races in the galaxy, thousands of years behind everyone else. The big difference is rather than clinging onto the secrets of the past, they're in an active state of technological and social growth, and as a result their technological infrastructure and general availability of high technology is better than everyone else.

Having them develop something only the C'tan have ever managed (not even the Eldar have warpless FTL), not to mention a technology which has no disadvantages and is faster and better than anyone else has ever managed is just kind of wierd and doesn't fit with them at all. They don't make massive leaps forward, they build on existing designs and technologies and occasionally, by trial and error, come up with new theories, just like real research.

And yeah.. Tau as a whole don't even believe the warp exists, as far as they're concerned they've just built a 'warp drive' in the Star Trek sense, which skims along the different levels of material space. The fact that they're touching something else doesn't occur to them. The existence of the warp is a highly classified secret and Tau empire is reluctant to devote any time to researching it. The Medusa V campaign ending for Tau was basically 'the research worked, but it scared the Ethereals so much they don't want to try any more.' Tau work on deep preconceptions, they don't just randomly invent new shit whenever it would be vaguely useful.

Sure, the needs of drama outweigh a lot, but I can't quite stretch this one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Ahh Giant Mantis I hear your concerns. In fact visistor Q's comments about the orks, reminded me that there are other races in the galaxy that travel FTL without the warp, the Necrons.



Classification Level Vermillion
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Ordo Xenos Report on Tau Technological Breakthrough
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The Emperor Protects
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Dear Brothers, troubling news indeed. I have received new information on the disturbing new Tau technology. It seems the initial information I had received contained some glaring inaccuracies, new information presents a much different picture.
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The Tau have discovered, not a new energy source and companion technology, rather they have found an ancient technology. It is my best guess that the Tau have discovered an abandoned ship of that race we know as the Necron. As you well know the Necron’s possess technology for faster than light travel, and their tomb worlds tend to exist on the fringes of the known galaxy. It is therefore not improbable that the Tau in their ongoing exploration of the galaxy have happened upon this discovery. Rumours are that an ancient alien ship was found drifting in deep space purely by accident when a tau ship came out of one of its warp dives and pick the alien vessel up on sensors. It appears that the Tau have as yet been unable to unlock the full potential of the Necron technology, but have succeeded in recreating a primitive copy. My initial estimations from my last report of the technologies current capabilities appear to be consistent with the new information I have received. As you may well know the Adeptus Mechanicum has long sought the ability to study one of the Necron’s ships, to learn of their secrets. What a ship with this level of technology will reveal to the adaptable and shrewd Tau is a cause of major concern.
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Yours Faithfully *************




This seems like a more likely scenario, the difficulty is keeping the Tau capabilities significantly less than that of the Necrons, which is hard to do. I am also unsure how Necron FTL works, the only reference I can find being in the Codex in which it describes the ships decelerating too attack. Any thoughts?
 

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Necron ships don't travel using wormhole tech or stuff like that, they can actually go faster than light, due to somehow being able to take mass out of the equation altogether. That's why Necron ships are always seen to be rapidly decelerating when entering a system.

And to be a physics nerd, you can't get away from ALL gravitational influences unless you leave the universe altogether. Everything outside of the atomic world is affected by gravity, no matter where you are; getting out of the immediate fluctuations in spacetime caused by the Earth's mass won't mean you're free of gravity, it just means you are now affected by the Sun's. Get out of that and you are affected by the galaxy's, then the local galactic cluster, etc etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 · (Edited)
I don't entirely agree Giant Mantis while the Tau in the fluff are young they posses technology that surpasses that of lots of much of the older races. I am, I admit no expert on the Tau however. I think it is a problem in the fluff that GW has not resolved well that this "young race" has all the best technology. GW had the difficult position of trying to combine a high technology race in game terms with a young vigorous race in fluff terms.

At Draake, haven't seen Event Horizon, although I just read the wiki, I think that sort of scenario would now be more probable with these "new developments"

Part of my idea was to have new drone ships that are programed to jump around and map the galaxy. We take for granted that the old races know what is out there, but the Tau are flying blind. In this case these scout ships would warn of a Tau invasion and would be a weakness that could be exploited.

Cheers
 

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Keep in mind though that both the Eldar and the Imperium have technologically regressed. There are a lot of Dark Age of Technology and Pre-Fall artifacts out there which far outstrip anything that isn't Necron or Old One. They can't be replaced now, which is why both factions are extremely reluctant to use them - most of the recovered Dark Age artifacts are on Mars, as well.
 

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Tau are the least Technologically advanced race, but there are so few of them that the good tech can be handed out to everyone.

Therefore while a pulse rifle is not as good as a plasma gun, the Imperium cannot afford to give every guardsman a plasma gun.

Even Ork tech beats Tau tech. Warp drives the size of a large gun, and teleportation technology outstrips anything the Tau can create
 

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Tau are the least Technologically advanced race, but there are so few of them that the good tech can be handed out to everyone.

Therefore while a pulse rifle is not as good as a plasma gun, the Imperium cannot afford to give every guardsman a plasma gun.

Even Ork tech beats Tau tech. Warp drives the size of a large gun, and teleportation technology outstrips anything the Tau can create
Tau are more technologically advance then the imperium. They have mastered the use of plasma weapons with out the recoil of death of a failed shot. Something the Imperium has not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
@Marius, Ok I didn't mean all gravity. Just away from the most severe gravitational interference which would be around celestial bodies, creating a "no-go zone." Could you tell me your source on necron technology? I think it is perceivable that they could use some type of wormhole, they might just emerge out of it going quickly. In fact the disturbance caused by attaining near light speeds might be what acts as a wormhole? Just throwing out ideas.

Glad this has got people thinking.

Off topic @ omegoku: I don't want to get into a fluff argument about whose race is better (I don't even play Tau, filthy Xenos :) ) But I don't the fact that certain races have technology that they don't understand and can't use or replicate is a good judge of how advanced they are. All the races have unique technologies that are on a very similar level, which is why the races are in a sort of equilibrium. Any race which couldn't compete would be wiped out or subsumed.

Cheers
 

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Your best bet for information on Necron ships is Battlefleet Gothic rulebooks - and even better, they're free for download off of the Specialist Games website, as I recall.
 

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@Marius, Ok I didn't mean all gravity. Just away from the most severe gravitational interference which would be around celestial bodies, creating a "no-go zone." Could you tell me your source on necron technology? I think it is perceivable that they could use some type of wormhole, they might just emerge out of it going quickly. In fact the disturbance caused by attaining near light speeds might be what acts as a wormhole? Just throwing out ideas.
Its in the Battlefleet Gothic PDF about Necron ships. It states they don't use Warp travel, but are capable of interstellar travel using "Inertia-less drives", which, while it doesn't state it implicitly, suggests that they travel faster-than-light because they take mass out of the equation.
 

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Its in the Battlefleet Gothic PDF about Necron ships. It states they don't use Warp travel, but are capable of interstellar travel using "Inertia-less drives", which, while it doesn't state it implicitly, suggests that they travel faster-than-light because they take mass out of the equation.
Which is something that I've always found funny because while their propulsion system is called an "Inertia-less drive" their unique gameplay mechanic is inertia - they have ridiculously high move for all units (relative to their respective classes) but a very high minimum move as well, still respective to their class of ship.

Aaaannd back on topic.
 

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Bassline: Tau are not the most technologically advanced. They have no bio-tech or bionics, Imperials are masters of biotech and bionics. Tau have no teleportation tech, Imperials have them.

Tau have a LESS POWERFUL plasma gun that doesn't overheat. So they don't have superior plasma weapons, they just couldn't figure out how to overcome the problem and pragmatically lowered the output. That doesn't mean they have better tech, they just decided that since they give out the same level of tech to everyone, it would be more effective to dumb it down.

Your ordinary Tau will have better tech than an Imperial Guard. They have the equivalent tech of a Space Marine, but I see no Tau versions of Titans anywhere, so I'd say less than the Mechanicus. So yes, they have a higher STANDARD tech level. Overall, at the epitome of their tech, no, the Imperium wins. Kind of the reverse of Orks, who are mainly primitive, but their best tech is better than the Imperium (tellyportas can teleport armies and gargants, not just squads. Wow.)
 

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BTW, what is the reason that people are saying "Bassline" for "Baseline"?
 

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Bassline: Tau are not the most technologically advanced. They have no bio-tech or bionics, Imperials are masters of biotech and bionics. Tau have no teleportation tech, Imperials have them.

Tau have a LESS POWERFUL plasma gun that doesn't overheat. So they don't have superior plasma weapons, they just couldn't figure out how to overcome the problem and pragmatically lowered the output. That doesn't mean they have better tech, they just decided that since they give out the same level of tech to everyone, it would be more effective to dumb it down.

Your ordinary Tau will have better tech than an Imperial Guard. They have the equivalent tech of a Space Marine, but I see no Tau versions of Titans anywhere, so I'd say less than the Mechanicus. So yes, they have a higher STANDARD tech level. Overall, at the epitome of their tech, no, the Imperium wins. Kind of the reverse of Orks, who are mainly primitive, but their best tech is better than the Imperium (tellyportas can teleport armies and gargants, not just squads. Wow.)
Tau have Mantas as they do not use walkers. O and the manta shits all over the Titans.
Teleport is not really tech it is just travelling to another realm something the Tau cant do because of there DNA. What has its ups and its down. There plasma weapons are not as strong correct but they are better as they do not risk the lives of the user (Something the imperial has not mastered). They also have the rail gun and being able to mass produce a weapon of that standard is amazing. There battle suits pawn power armour giving a normal user better S T and a jet pack. No need to make DNA edited super soldiers. You can just make a few factories and make a battle suit army. Stealth suits are well advance being not seen is amazing. DH have something like it but its just a blinding light. Others have sneaky things but can be seen the only imperial person who has the same tech as a stealth battle suit is the assians. They are super rare and use old tech no longer made and Vs stealth suits that have millions out there erm....
 

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It's not that the Tau made superpowerful plasma weapons and then scaled them back, it's that the weapons never got as powerful as their Imperial counterparts. The Eldar, or even the Imperium, have far more technologically-superior weapons, especially in regards to plasma.

Tau weapons are far bigger an bulkier than Imperial weapons that do the same thing - viz a viz Lascannons vs Railguns. The guns are very similar in destructive power, but the lascannon is reasonably man-portable, whereas the rail gun needs an entire battlesuit to carry/power it.

Given the size of Space Marines and their toughness/armor value relative to the Battlesuit, the battlesuit doesn't soak up nearly as much firepower, on a basis adjusting for the fact that Space Marines come up to about the "waist" of a Tau battlesuit.

Beamers. Nothing more needs to be said.

And that is just, for the most part, the Imperials.

Eldar - tricknology far surpasses any technology developed by any race except for the Necrons, and often competes with Necron tech.

Which brings us to Necron tech... which is described in their codex as being on the edge of the realm of the physically possible. Never mind that they are self-repairing robots that are unfairly resilient, they have gauss weapons and actual teleportation. Real teleportation, not stint-in-the-warp stuff. The gauss weapons don't even need to be elaborated on... they just rip the target into its atomic components.
 
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