Fifth Sphere Expansion: 8thed Tau Fluff

Use this area for all discussions of the "gaming" aspect of 40K/Tau.
User avatar
SinisterSamurai
Kor'La
Posts: 365

Fifth Sphere Expansion: 8thed Tau Fluff

Post#1 » May 13 2017 09:27

https://www.warhammer-community.com/201 ... ge-post-4/

So, the Damocles inferno got shut down just for the heck of it. Imps are even more strained and hardpressed than they were before, and Tau see an opening. So, they send the 4th sphere expansion fleet. It outright vanishes. So they shrug their shoulders, say, "Meh," and churn out a 5th sphere expansion fleet, no problem.

I literally just got done watching the "Relics" episode of TNG, where Scotty encourages lying to a commanding officer for personal advancement by saying something like, "Oh, you didn't tell him how long it would really take, did ya? Oh, laddie. You've got a lot to learn if you want people to think of you as a miracle worker." I couldn't help but recall that after reading about the 5th sphere production time.

With any luck, maybe Tau can interact with the other races of the galaxy a little more, since they specifically mention Tomb Worlds and Hive Fleets. 4th Sphere is a potential story hook. Maybe Your Guys are 4th, maybe they show up at Terra, maybe they joined Farsight, maybe they became the dreaded Chaos Tau, maybe absolutely nothing ever happens.

User avatar
Val'Sitsor
Shas'Saal
Posts: 139

Re: Fifth Sphere Expansion: 8thed Tau Fluff

Post#2 » May 13 2017 11:52

What worry me is the fact that it looks like GW abandoned all previous plot-hooks about tau. May be it is a good thing, because their previous attempts at tau storytelling were almost entirely a failure, but such a time skip… Does that means that Shadowsun and Farsight conflict is completely irrelevant now? That tension after AunVa death would be unexplored? And so on and on…

Jacket
Shas'Saal
Posts: 354

Re: Fifth Sphere Expansion: 8thed Tau Fluff

Post#3 » May 13 2017 12:27

I always found the forced ooooh the eldar created us thing kind of dumb. So all okay in my book. Necrons are only slightly better if they did. Old ones acceptable I guess. I know something created the Tau, but make it interesting. It just felt lazy to use that as a plot hook going forward. It would mean the Tau that has gotten so popular would suddenly have to radically shift in allegiance or be mind controlled by their "superiors" and they were nothing more than puppets which would totally undermine the faction.

With GW's story telling they have not earned that. They haven't built that up as the Tau's main plot point. So it would come out of nowhere worse than ME3's 3 colors of stupidity. It's okay as a backstory thing, but not a main plot. So far all they have done is show how the Tau are ever expanding forward and nearly unstoppable without huge interventions like the gulf.

A new plot hook of an entire 4th sphere expansion fleet going is a good plot hook. Who says it all ends up affected the same way or let out in one area? They could have multiple outcomes? We could genuinely see Tau show up in other conflicts, or even chaos Tau. At the same time we can still have the tried and true Tau vs IoM thing with the main Empire if need be.

We also don't know who led that expansion wave either. So a chance to introduce new characters. Probably chaos ones. If any Tau eventually tragically falls to chaos after all he did to fight against it. It would be O'Kais or Or'es'Ka. Or even a new super commander.

Honestly my bet is 85% chance of chaos tau faction emerges from this. With the previewed 8th Xenos book picture with the clock there were two missing spots.

User avatar
Panzer
Shas'La
Posts: 2651

Re: Fifth Sphere Expansion: 8thed Tau Fluff

Post#4 » May 13 2017 01:08

Okay I'm really talking out of my ass here but I would actually find it pretty damn hilarious if Tau got to be created by the Emperor. I mean they pretty much follow the Imperial Truth without knowing about it and with their minor warp signature they'd actually have a pretty solid future if all the other races that affect the warp are gone.
Of course that's not the case since big E is all about creating a future for humanity etc.....but it WOULD be hilarious! :D

Jacket
Shas'Saal
Posts: 354

Re: Fifth Sphere Expansion: 8thed Tau Fluff

Post#5 » May 13 2017 02:41

I would be cool with that actually. More interesting than Eldar. Not to mention the face of contorted rage of all spezz marine players everywhere would be so worth it.

User avatar
nic
Kroot'La
Posts: 743

Re: Fifth Sphere Expansion: 8thed Tau Fluff

Post#6 » May 13 2017 02:49

SinisterSamurai wrote:https://www.warhammer-community.com/2017/05/13/new-warhammer-40000-war-zone-damocles-may13gw-homepage-post-4/

So, the Damocles inferno got shut down just for the heck of it. Imps are even more strained and hardpressed than they were before, and Tau see an opening. So, they send the 4th sphere expansion fleet. It outright vanishes. So they shrug their shoulders, say, "Meh," and churn out a 5th sphere expansion fleet, no problem.


It would be fun if the GW writers really follow through on this because with a civilization that embraces AI that is not unfeasible. The Tau are really the only race in 40K that embody this sort of Science Fiction (rather than Science Fantasy) trope.

Given enough resources (they have dozens of star systems, should be plenty) an empire like the Tau should be able to at least double in capability every generation. The thing is that when on a war footing and setting aside their usual constraints the definition of generation changes - manufacturing AI can build more manufacturing AI much faster than biological Tau can reproduce naturally. It is far from unreasonable for the Tau empire to have been doubling in manufacturing output every year. If it took 10 years to build an expansion fleet that went out on a 5 year mission then by the time that expansion grinds to a halt the next expansion fleet takes 4 months to build and equip. If that one disappears after a year then its replacement takes 2 months. The fundamental limit on Tau expansion is how fast they can travel - until they hit something that can otherwise stop their expansion.

Of course if the Tau want to maintain their core doctrines they cannot keep expanding exponentially without bringing in or breeding more committed sentient supporters of the Greater Good because they do not want to be little more than a self-replicating AI force. So they have an inevitable drive to expand by either diplomatic or military means because natural reproduction is slow. They also need more resources, their need for physical resources will have sky-rocketed while on a war footing.

Honestly it would be a fun tweak to the setting if they put some of that into the fluff, it is pretty standard SF stuff and I'm sure the writers will have read books that incorporate the concept.

Watcher on the wall
Shas'Saal
Posts: 75

Re: Fifth Sphere Expansion: 8thed Tau Fluff

Post#7 » May 13 2017 04:28

True, but I think the limiting factor on growth is as much due to raw materials as to population - a two-fold increase every year would mean a thousand times more resources in 10 years (like the story with the guy who asked for ever increasing numbers of grains of rice on a chessboard): not feasible even with an almost completely automated society. And dozens of star systems is kind of missing the point when each of those star systems is heavily populated too.

R.D.
Shas'La
Posts: 542

Re: Fifth Sphere Expansion: 8thed Tau Fluff

Post#8 » May 13 2017 05:05

Unless the Tau have been under a time boost thanks to the warp or something, pulling out two sphere expansions right out of the last one--and if it's still 999 M41, then in the space of like a month no less--might just be pushing it. Of course we'll see what they do in detail...

User avatar
Hungry_Bert
Shas'Saal
Posts: 41
Contact:

Re: Fifth Sphere Expansion: 8thed Tau Fluff

Post#9 » May 13 2017 05:18

If they do put out fluff for the forth expansion I expect they will pop up on the other side of the rift. Who knows, they may even end up saving the Blood Angels!

User avatar
nic
Kroot'La
Posts: 743

Re: Fifth Sphere Expansion: 8thed Tau Fluff

Post#10 » May 13 2017 05:37

Watcher on the wall wrote:True, but I think the limiting factor on growth is as much due to raw materials as to population - a two-fold increase every year would mean a thousand times more resources in 10 years (like the story with the guy who asked for ever increasing numbers of grains of rice on a chessboard): not feasible even with an almost completely automated society. And dozens of star systems is kind of missing the point when each of those star systems is heavily populated too.


My immediate thought is that with 20 highly populated systems and a larger number of thinly populated ones a simple lack of resources should not kick in so quickly. Star systems are BIG[1].

However in the Grim Dark future it might be fitting that the Tau military-industrial complex is beginning to strip-mine whole systems towards the end of this period to feed its voracious appetite. We could have visions of verdant worlds previously set aside for future settlement being rendered uninhabitable by the swarms of industrial robots of the empire building new war machines. This would in turn drive the Tau outwards into expansion to replace what they gave up by putting themselves on a war footing. After all it is almost the definition of putting the empire on a war footing that it is not sustainable development.

[1] Would anyone on Earth other than a space scientist notice or care if the asteroid belt was mined into nothingness? Yet at an estimated 10^21 Kg you could build an awful lot of Riptide battlesuits[2] with the materials there :crafty:

[2] Honestly I think you would either have a requirement for masses of very exotic elements or be mass-producing Death Stars (like in the movie, not in the 7th edition competitive scene) to exhaust the physical materials of multiple star systems.

Watcher on the wall
Shas'Saal
Posts: 75

Re: Fifth Sphere Expansion: 8thed Tau Fluff

Post#11 » May 14 2017 03:25

[1] is a good point, I'd forgotten about any off-earth resources. It does seem like they could put together a fairly large army in a few years, especially if they've stopped repairing civilian infrastructure. I still think that a consistent doubling in industrial output every is unfeasible (but not a generationnal doubling of capability), but unsustainable exploitation seems possible (and fittingly grimdark)

User avatar
Kael'yn
Fio'Ui
Posts: 1062

Re: Fifth Sphere Expansion: 8thed Tau Fluff

Post#12 » May 14 2017 03:33

When looking at the current (3rd sphere) map, it seems that expansion is not an all-around movement, more like a growing extension somewhere in the Empire.
1st expansion: growing around T'au
2nd expansion: growing around T'au but more to the "south" of the Empire (if "south" means anything in 3D)
3rd expansion: probably launched by T'au, Vior'la, Sa'cea and Dal'yth to the "north".
So the Empire may have been launching new 4th and 5th Expansion fleet from other parts of the Empire (2nd Sphere septs and/or 1srt sphere Bork'an, Fal'shia, D'yanoi, ...) in other directions. These fleets could have been build alongside the 3rd, but this one was the first to be launched and the other were probably still being built/or in transit to their expansion rendez-vous point.

With a growing empire, the number of direction they can expand is growing too. So multiple and simulataneous expansion fleet are likely.
Plus, strategically, it is ridiculous to expand the Empire borders equally all-around, better launching your fleet to clusters of star systems to colonize quickly them. So the expansions "spheres" are probably spatially spherical only in their growth from their destination point.

The problem remain the travel speed. 4th is lost in the Warp, so they may be (or not) far away and/or splitted.
Until GW retcon our limited speed for the new spheres, Tau cannot spread far and quickly.
It is likely we have, or are on the verge to have, FTL travel: Bor'kan is an academic sept, Fal'shia made many innovations, Elsy'eir is creative, Vash'ya has skilled Air caste, ... Sa'cea, Viorla, are more military than engeener, so their fleet may not have the latest innovations (ideas spread too at the speed of light before FTL travel).
Even with FTL, recon flight and observation takes time until you launch a new expedition in unknwon areas.
3rd Sphere seems to be oriented toward clusters of imperium systems on the other side of Damocles, "discovered" when interrogating prisoners/turncoats from the 1st Crusade, so it can be planned quicker.

Problems concerning resources (raw material, people, and, the more important, energy) are minor if fleets have been being built from a few decades back in the past.

TL:DR
I expect new spheres to be launched in other direction than Damocles, assembled from other parts of the Empire that are more technically innovative than the current more military septs involved in the Damocles crusade and subsequent colonization in the retaliation move.
I want FTL travel, new battlesuit/vehicle designs, new auxiliaries, ...

And a real 3D map from GW.
I tried to do one in the past, but with little infos, only maps from 2 point of view and some fluff, it is hard to place correctly all the Tau Septs:
Image
(The red arrow is the Tyranid invasion, not Damocles Crusade: its arrow would have been on the "top" of the empire)

Aun'El Ka'mais Varot
Shas'Saal
Posts: 14

Re: Fifth Sphere Expansion: 8thed Tau Fluff

Post#13 » May 28 2017 12:07

My T'au army will be Grey and white like hammerhead sharks. Oddly enough I'm going to have my faction be a part of the 4th expansion fleet that got wisked away by the storms and pretty much allied themselves with a human world. Going to have old-school artwork like on the ww2 planes on my transports.

Gonna be known as the Halnaan Hammerheads. Might even model up some militarium tempestus with T'au weaponry as well.

User avatar
deathboon
Shas'Saal
Posts: 174

Re: Fifth Sphere Expansion: 8thed Tau Fluff

Post#14 » May 28 2017 12:27

One thing I think people are neglecting is the temporal factor. It's possible that a 4th sphere fleet lost in the 40k could exit the warp at the end of old night, just in time to participate in 30k. Tau are a young race, have we considered it possible that their rapid development is because they encountered ethereals from their own future?

User avatar
Kakapo42
Shas'Vre
Posts: 900

Re: Fifth Sphere Expansion: 8thed Tau Fluff

Post#15 » May 28 2017 12:45

deathboon wrote:Tau are a young race, have we considered it possible that their rapid development is because they encountered ethereals from their own future?


Yes, yes we have.
A Shas and a Kor walk into a bar...
Naked Metal

User avatar
deathboon
Shas'Saal
Posts: 174

Re: Fifth Sphere Expansion: 8thed Tau Fluff

Post#16 » May 28 2017 08:22

That's awesome, I meant that discussion of the possibility was absent from this thread, but that is a great story. I've always felt that the time distorting aspects of the warp were severely underplayed be GW. To date they've only been used to ressurect previously thought to be extinct chaos warbands. But the potential is far greater.
I'd love to see something akin to the recent Star Trek movie reboot. For example what if Ahriman went back in time to prevent himself from casting the Rubric, or even to prevent Magnus from breaching the golden throne chamber with his psychic projection and causing the burning of Prospero.

User avatar
Vector Strike
Shas'La
Posts: 936

Re: Fifth Sphere Expansion: 8thed Tau Fluff

Post#17 » May 28 2017 10:15

I guess the Tau High Command didn't send EVERY disponible war-ready material in the 4th Expanse - it would be unwise, after all. I'd say the 4th Expanse was smaller than the previous ones, probing the space in and beyond the Gulf, looking for potential threats. Then, the Great Rift appeared and took it away.
The 5th Expanse would be basically the backbone of the 4th, but now separated. THIS force would be way larger than the 4th.

Return to “General Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 6 guests