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This question has bothered me for a long time, about 6 years ago when i first saw warhammer 40k. However, i got marines first because I chose to go with the starter pack and i fell for the black tempalrs instead, but the tau have always been angging me ^^.

Anyway, i read somewhere, wikipedia not being the most reliable source of info. but apparently the tau fire warriors were modelled around chinese foot soldiers. To be honest, i don't see that in the fire warriors at all and i am chinese as well!

I have also played the Dawn of War games and i don't really see the connection of chinese and tau.

Am i just plain bliind here or not? And if anyone has any ideas or facts about wether i am right or wrong, i would like to know.

If they aren't modelled around the chinese, then who are they modelled around?

thanks
antique_nova
 

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In a lot of artworks the Tau have some kind of katana or wakizashi, feudal japanese weapons. Also their suits really seem based on japanese mecha science-fiction. (Never seen gundam wing ?) Their general look, like for example the firewarrior also suits the general japanese science-fiction. In a lot of animes/mangas the forces are wearing similar stuff (helmets for example)

It's perfectly clear that the Tau are based on japanese science-fiction.
 

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The deep down truth
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It's perfectly clear that the Tau are based on japanese science-fiction.
Pffftt rubbish.
Anyone with any knowledge of GW knows that the background to the Tau is based upon an obscure tribe of :chicken:chicken fettlers called the T'oww ya chuff, who originate from a small village in the foothills of south Yorkshire between Rotherham and Barnsley. Chicken fettling is a notoriously dangerous occupation and the "Chuffs" as they liked to be known developed advanced tech based on Yorkshire mining equipment to protect their operation.
 

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the pulse rifle was a simple developement from then due to chickens themselves having 4+ armour saves but the dirt adhering to them only a 5+. Thus they danger can be eliminated by getting a large group of dirty chickens together and the chuffs rapid firing into them.
 

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Sir Proofreader
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Pffftt rubbish.
Anyone with any knowledge of GW knows that the background to the Tau is based upon an obscure tribe of :chicken:chicken fettlers called the T'oww ya chuff, who originate from a small village in the foothills of south Yorkshire between Rotherham and Barnsley. Chicken fettling is a notoriously dangerous occupation and the "Chuffs" as they liked to be known developed advanced tech based on Yorkshire mining equipment to protect their operation.
While I'm somewhat inclined to agree with the Japanese Sci-Fi angle, I have to say I like this idea much better!
 

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Ancient Spacefarer
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Due to my in-depth understanding of all things Tau Empire, I have come to the conclusion that the Tau and their allies are based on Animal Farm, the reasons being; Tau are the cows, Kroot are the chickens, Vespid are the cockroaches and the Imperium are the evil bankers about to reprossess the said farm. :soldier:.

There is no definite way to base the Tau on any one culture, though if your that picky, the closest that I can put you towards is the Japanese as pointed out by the above posters. Also, if you've played the DoW1 pc game, it just screams "Japanese" to me with both their theme music, and the way that they talk/respond to threats.
The Kroot on the other hand are of a completely different culture; The Native Americans - or in my wording, the Indians - it's the way that they seem to use the land around them to survive, such as the trees to live/take refuge in, as well as to eat everything that moves, where nothing get wasted from their kill and everything has a use, right down to the bone.
And the Vespid, as stated earlier, are most definitely the cockroaches, willing to survive even in the most hostile of environments, even our cockroaches can survive a nuclear blast, apparantly!

Though it doesn't stop them from getting blasted to bits by the most basic of weaponry :p


Hope this helps :)



-Kai-Itza-
 

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Kut Maar Krachtig
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even our cockroaches can survive a nuclear blast, apparantly!
You often hear that, so i went and did a little researching:

It is popularly suggested that cockroaches will "inherit the earth" if humanity destroys itself in a nuclear war. Cockroaches do indeed have a much higher radiation resistance than vertebrates, with the lethal dose perhaps 6 to 15 times that for humans. However, they are not exceptionally radiation-resistant compared to other insects, such as the fruit fly.

The cockroach's ability to withstand radiation better than human beings can be explained through the cell cycle. Cells are most vulnerable to the effects of radiation when they are dividing. A cockroach's cells divide only once each time it molts, which is weekly at most in a juvenile roach. Since not all cockroaches would be molting at the same time, many would be unaffected by an acute burst of radiation, but lingering radioactive fallout would still be harmful.
I find this quite interesting, so i thought i'd share.

I would have to agree to most poster above, it has strong influence from japanese mech-culture, but it's also, i feel, an attempt by GW to create a race that's very much advanced in technology as we would recognize it: based on humanoid types of technology, unlike the more organic Eldar and ancient necon techs.
 

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It's HALO and Star wars phantom menace that inspired the Tau.

halo-
1 - covenant between multiple alien species
2 - Pihrana = halo ghost
3 - Aun'va Ethereal = covenant prophet
4 - Tau Empire symbol is in halo - the marathon symbol
5 - Tau Ionhead = covenant wraith tanks

Star wars-
1 - Tau tanks = droid trade fed tanks - same colour too
2 - Vespid = Geonosians (attack of the clones)
3 - Kroot = gungan army
4 - Ethereals - trade federation leaders
5 - The tau face/looks - trade federation leaders looks.
 

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That's another reason I think they are inspired by them - GW getting on to the popular sci fi material at that time.
I think you missed what I was getting at. To prepare an army for release would take at least a couple of years starting from the initial concept, just think about how long it takes for them to update our army books and codices. It would have been impossible for GW to base the Tau off of Halo or Star Wars, well it is possible for Star Wars Phantom Menace (1999), but definitely not AotC as it released in 2002 and Halo in 2001 (the same time the Tau came out).

Tau are definitely based off of Japanese culture, anime, and sci-fi. It is apparent in their architectures simplified design, weapons, and machinery. Have you ever watched any Gundam? I know it has already been mentioned, but if you have seen it, you would realize that there is not much room for argument... don't listen to riki.
 
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