Just wanted to chime in and say that this thread is awesome, and proffer a few suggestions to keep all our cadres as fluffy as possible.
We don't all have to
, but if we want to keep our cadres/forces/fluff within the same bounds of "realism" and congruency with the established fluff by GW, I'd like to ask that we all, as writers and fellow fluff-reading extraordinaires, make a few minor changes in our profiles to reflect this information and these unofficial "rules" of fluff-writing.1) The Septs are Already Established
A Sept is a cluster of stars/worlds named after the most highly developed star/world in said cluster, and the borders are quite far reaching. Planets conquered/captured in Tau territory would simply be First/Second/Third/Fourth-phase Colonies of
the Sept territory they were conquered in. It is still unestablished in actual fluff whether or not a Tau, when born, takes on the name of that individual planet or the Sept he was born in, so we have some leeway here in naming our Commanders after the relatively minor world they were born on.
For those who claim they are from Sept-World Such-and-Such, please know that as far as GW is concerned, all but five or six Septs are already established in current writing. While we are perfectly capable of imagining what those are and everyone is free to write that their own Tau are from those as-yet-unnamed Septs, please know that doing so is akin to claiming your Space Marines are a Second Founding Chapter from one of the two Chapters that have been stricken from Imperial Records, and is generally frowned upon.
Another thing to think about is that if a planet is newly conquered, how did the Commanding Shas'O come to earn that name? Tau are strictly named for the worlds they are born on. Shas'O Kai'ur Ukos could not possibly exist if he was the one who liberated and captured the planet Kai'ur.
Perhaps we can have a writing contest here to establish exactly what those five or six other Septs are in terms of ATT-Canon. Thoughts?2) Shas'Os Command Contingents or Higher
Unless there is some overriding and explained force at work explaining why a Shas'O is commanding but a single Cadre, please know that in established Tau fluff, Cadre-Commanders are generally only ever Shas'el. Shas'O are relatively rare in GW fluff, being reserved for commanding entire Campaigns or many Cadres worth of Tau.
For example, in Imperial Armour III: The Taros Campaign
, the Tau forces were made up of about eighty Cadres, each commanded by a single Shas'el, with Shas'O R'myr as the "Shas'Uash'O" or High Commander of all the forces on said world. Another example is in the Nimbosa fluff, where Shas'O Ol'nan was in all likelihood the only Shas'O in the system, leading a campaign force comprised of 'borrowed' Cadres led by Shas'els.
On the topic of Shas'Os, there would unlikely be any more than one commanding a single Contingent. The game mechanic of getting to pick two Shas'Os to command your forces in a single game is explained away by the fact that in the rulebook it explains that one game of Warhammer 40,000 is a 'snapshot' of a much larger battle. Where two separate Contingents overlap in an engagement can easily be represented with two Shas'Os fighting in a single game.3) Battles are Temporary
The Fire Caste Organization called a Kavaal, or Battle, is only a temporary one. Battles are formed, in-theater
, by the Commanding Shas'O, out of all available forces in the campaign, to deal with a specific objective or threat. Once that objective or threat has been obtained or neutralized, the Battle is extinguished and the constituent Cadres that made up the force are redeployed back to their previous Commanders/Contingents.4) Breakway Faction "Rules"
Here are some minor "rules" for writing as a Breakaway Faction.
In established fluff, no two Tau forces have ever engaged one another in direct combat. Shas regularly engage one another in ritual
combat, and it's pretty likely that small one-on-one engagements like these could slip through the cracks, but as it stands, no Tau Cadres have spilled the other's blood yet.
Farsight or his forces hasn't actually been seen by "regular" Tau forces since he left the Empire, and Aun'shi is currently (as of ~998.M41) leading an expedition into the Damocles Gulf to find out what he's been up to, but that's about as far as it goes. Shas'ar'tol on T'au would not sanction the creation of a Cadre for the sole purpose of hunting down or engaging schism Tau forces, as there isn't any need - there's no evidence that Farsight has been acting in a way that is directly hostile to the goals of the Empire.
Arthas Moloch has been declared off-limits to Imperial Tau by the Ethereal Caste, but it is still within the Empire borders and as such is also off-limits to Breakaway Tau, who are limited in location to either the Damocles Gulf, the Perdus Rift, or further into Imperium territory.
If your Breakaway Cadre left the Empire prior to, or is set in time chronologically earlier than ~985-998.M41, then they would not have access to more recent technological breakthroughs such as Commerce Protection Fleet/Kor'or'vesh Vessels, XV-25/22s, Tigershark AX-1(8)-0s, DX-6 Remoras, or Forgeworld-chassis Battlesuits. The TX-42, as per its background, is solely being tested by Tau from Sa'cea in Perdus Rift engagements.
This is about all I can think of right off the top of my head.
Hopefully these guidelines help bring everyone's Cadres together in terms of feasibility, in turn promoting increased teamwork and coordination in fluff-writing output and partnerships.