Tau Command/Rank Structure

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Shas'O Ora
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Re: Tau Command/Rank Structure

Post#37 » Feb 05 2018 03:16

Today you have platoon leaders commanding about 3 Groups/Squads of up to 10 or 12 soldiers.
To do this they even in modern armies don´t need more than a map and radio link from them to their subordinated squad-leaders and one radio link to the superordinated command.

So leading the infantry units works well without a battlesuit. Assuming they are between 3 and 6 per cadre (like mentioned in one codex) and are fighting next to each other.

Furthermore the leader has to be able to do everything his subordinates are able to do.
Looking at infantry warfare, for example in an urban fighting terrain, it is better to go without suit.
Otherwise the leader could not follow his troops or even divulge the position of his troops because of his not-as-stealthy-as-a-single-soldier battle suit.

But I agree that it gets hard leading 6 strike Teams in this way, and leading a whole cadre would be impossible or at least much to slow to be effective.

I don´t have a problem with Commanders being on the front.
Only know about German military but leading from ahead is still common practice cause only then you are able to really assess the situation your troops are in and you are able to react instantly.

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Temennigru
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Re: Tau Command/Rank Structure

Post#38 » Feb 05 2018 06:39

Kakapo42 wrote:
Not necessarily. The Tau might indeed be extremely technologically advanced, but they're still bound to laws of physics (as much as physics apply in the 40k setting), so their communications and command and control equipment will still take up space and weight. Thus, a counter-point would be "If the Shas'nel is sitting inside a devilfish or a dedicated command vehicle loaded up with radios, computers, displays and other such gear then OK, but they're not are they? They're standing around by themselves or in a Firewarrior team". At the end of the day between its larger size and mechanically-assisted strength, a battlesuit can carry a lot more useful command and control equipment than a Fire Warrior can on their own (because from a perspective of how much equipment they can carry, that's exactly what the average Shas'nel is).

Have you ever seen your phone?
I highly doubt that in the future radio and AI equipment will be bulkier than it.
Especially since we already have something so amazingly compact in our time.

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TauMan
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Re: Tau Command/Rank Structure

Post#39 » Feb 05 2018 08:24

Temennigru wrote: Kakapo42 wrote:

Not necessarily. The Tau might indeed be extremely technologically advanced, but they're still bound to laws of physics (as much as physics apply in the 40k setting), so their communications and command and control equipment will still take up space and weight. Thus, a counter-point would be "If the Shas'nel is sitting inside a devilfish or a dedicated command vehicle loaded up with radios, computers, displays and other such gear then OK, but they're not are they? They're standing around by themselves or in a Firewarrior team". At the end of the day between its larger size and mechanically-assisted strength, a battlesuit can carry a lot more useful command and control equipment than a Fire Warrior can on their own (because from a perspective of how much equipment they can carry, that's exactly what the average Shas'nel is).


Have you ever seen your phone?
I highly doubt that in the future radio and AI equipment will be bulkier than it.
Especially since we already have something so amazingly compact in our time.


Wow, I was writing my response when Temennigru jumped in and stole my thunder! :P In fact who needs bulky helmet HUDs, or even clumsy retina eye HUDs? Why bother with crude engram chips jammed into someone's cranium? Why not a direct feed into your cerebral cortex via your cybernetic implants? The Tau live in the world of Ghost in the Shell after all?

Image


And as far as that goes, the difference between what a shas'o or -el has in his or her head, and what a shas'nel or a shas'la in their head's would really be a matter of what software was installed. The higher the command level, the more advanced the software. The only thing is the connection between the shas'o or the shas'nel and the larger fire caste command network. Which leads me to the command link drone.

Image


Since all other special issue equipment are now standard issue equipment, it could be argued that Shadowsun's command and control node (the drone's original title) of would be now be an option for all commanders in the field of the rank of -El or -O. And that a smaller version would be available for the use by the -Vre and -Nel ranks in the infantry, as well as being a vehicle upgrade to both tank and light skimmer teams.

Now, I am officially calling this off topic! And will now start a new discussion thread "5th Sphere Technology: Ghost in the Shell?" :D

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nic
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Re: Tau Command/Rank Structure

Post#40 » Feb 05 2018 03:35

TauMan wrote:

Somewhere among the thousands of posts on the A.T.T. forum, a member made the comment about crisis battlesuits that they were in effect like the cavalry. Wow, things were never the same after that for me! And if you add in the stealthsuits as light cavalry, then you have the complete nobility! With the firewarriors being the infantry, you have the complete feudal order - High nobility, lower gentry, and commoners.



I am in total agreement with that. When we think about Farsight jumping out of a Manta we should stop thinking about anyone remotely like this guy

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and instead think about someone like Alexander the Great

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Having played T'au for a while now it is almost impossible to go back and re-read accounts of Alexander's battles and not believe they had him at least that slightly in mind when they invented Farsight and the concept of Mont'ka :crafty:

The leadership style we see time and again in GW accounts of the T'au are those of a warrior rather than a soldier culture. They epitomise the warrior virtues of personal courage, honour and loyalty.

It can to our modern eyes appear odd that the supreme commander gets close enough to use fusion blasters (or a sword) but it is firmly fixed in the backstory that this is how Shas'o operate. They are frequently seen arranging a battle so that they and their companions (battlesuits rather than Alexander's companion cavalry) can perfectly strike a decisive blow to send the enemy forces reeling. It all reinforces what we know about the fire caste, they are a warrior caste rather than professional soldiers and they act accordingly.

As Alexander the Great showed on many occasions the approach is not ineffective even though it is clearly dangerous to the life and health of the commander. If we presume that the meritocratic T'au have a far smoother way to cope with transition of control from an injured or slain commander then really there is nothing irrational or foolish about this style of leadership. It just seems alien to modern western military thought. Bringing this back to our discussion of command structure - it is intentionally fluid because this is how the T'au can be efficient and effective while retaining their cultural values.

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TauMan
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Re: Tau Command/Rank Structure

Post#41 » Feb 06 2018 12:27

I don't know about Alexander the Great though nic, still not tribal enough for me. Maybe if one thinks of Alexander as a "wild Macedonian" than, he'd be more tribal? Certainly, the "lead from the front" philosophy of WH40K fits better with Alexander. FYI GW specifically modeled Lord Solar Macharius on Alexander the Great.


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At least when I think of Farsight, I think of Genghis Khan? And yes, I have made more than one "William Wallace" reference to him here on the forum; but in terms of a tribal leader, the Great Khan might be a better fit for Farsight. What to do you think? :D


TauMan
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Temennigru
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Re: Tau Command/Rank Structure

Post#42 » Feb 06 2018 02:07

TauMan wrote:I don't know about Alexander the Great though nic, still not tribal enough for me. Maybe if one thinks of Alexander as a "wild Macedonian" than, he'd be more tribal? Certainly, the "lead from the front" philosophy of WH40K fits better with Alexander. FYI GW specifically modeled Lord Solar Macharius on Alexander the Great.


Image

At least when I think of Farsight, I think of Genghis Khan? And yes, I have made more than one "William Wallace" reference to him here on the forum; but in terms of a tribal leader, the Great Khan might be a better fit for Farsight. What to do you think? :D


TauMan
To'muk'xux'ten'grii - "For the Eternal Blue Sky"

A friend of mine once told me the tau were based on the iroquois confederacy. They were unified in a similar manner to the tau.
They even had a policy of meeting the enemy with diplomacy before using overwhelming force.
Last edited by Temennigru on Feb 06 2018 02:56, edited 2 times in total.

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nic
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Re: Tau Command/Rank Structure

Post#43 » Feb 06 2018 02:38

TauMan wrote:I don't know about Alexander the Great though nic, still not tribal enough for me. Maybe if one thinks of Alexander as a "wild Macedonian" than, he'd be more tribal? Certainly, the "lead from the front" philosophy of WH40K fits better with Alexander. FYI GW specifically modeled Lord Solar Macharius on Alexander the Great.


Image

At least when I think of Farsight, I think of Genghis Khan? And yes, I have made more than one "William Wallace" reference to him here on the forum; but in terms of a tribal leader, the Great Khan might be a better fit for Farsight. What to do you think? :D


TauMan
To'muk'xux'ten'grii - "For the Eternal Blue Sky"


I have always thought of the Great Khan as more of a genius at tribal politics than on the battlefield but I am not an expert on him.

I think we are in agreement that we should be looking at warlords rather than generals as parallels to the Shas'o.

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gunrock
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Re: Tau Command/Rank Structure

Post#44 » Feb 06 2018 07:51

Arka0415 wrote:
I can definitely see Fireblades having a real command rank, but from a tactical standpoint I think there might be some issues. The Fireblade is probably really preoccupied by directing the infantry gunline- I feel like it'd be difficult for a Fireblade to work so closely with infantry while also being the cadre commander.

A battlesuit-equipped Commander, on the other hand, would have access to communications grids, analytic AI, drone information networks, and so on from their battlesuit's cockpit, allowing them to focus on the command of the cadre itself. I'm sure an AI software suite could control the weapons, while the majority of the Commander's concentration was on formations and tactics.


I agree with your conclusion about fireblades, the scope of their command is the infantry and coordinating multiple squads to work together.

The problem we run into with the way our units work is that the commander has a similar scope of leadership as the fire blade and cordinative role, that distracts from adressing the cordination of multiple branches.

So here's my take on it: Battlesuits have a parallel structure to that of infantry. While in the infantry, the chain would go from individual -> squad lead -> fire blade, in a battle suit section this would go individual suit (shas'ui) - Squad lead (shas'vre) -> commander (shas'el or nel). In this way they occupy similar spheres of direct leadership and responsibility.

TauMan wrote:This is the 41st millennium and the Tau Empire has the most advanced integrated battlefield systems. Everything the shas'o, the shas'nel has too. It has to be, otherwise the fire caste would be the Astra Milawhatnow. The shas'o is the person with the authority of command, but the responsibility for command lies with the shas'nel. The tactical command of battlefield operations is with the shas'nel; which frees up the shas'nel or shas'o to focus on strategic or larger meta aspects of the battlespace.


I think what you're getting at is the problem of scope. Because the 'Commander' (Shas'el) is in a direct leadership position, the shas'nel is the person charged with supporting the two parallel elements of fireblades and commanders.

So what do shas'nel do? they coordinate firepower in support of both the fireblades and shas'el. If the fireblade hits a problem and needs fire support who does he talk to, the Shas'o (maybe), the shas'el who is busy directing his own forces? The broadside team directly lead by a 'vre who's authority is only within the individual squad? He talked to the shas'nel who has authority over all of the support elements and directs the best available resource to the task.

I did a quick sketch of how I think this works out:
Image
Basically, I think the shas'nel are the missing branch of the tau tree. Commanders don't deal with directing external fire support. Fireblades, don't ask battlesuit commanders for support directly (they ask through the shas'o, or they ask the shas'nel). Fireblades, Shas'nel, and Shas el are the head multi-squad coordinators of their respective branches.
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