(BFG) Tau fleet- The Great White (and Tan) Fleet

General discussions about the hobby side to Tau & 40K.
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foto69man
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Re: (BFG) Tau fleet- Merry Christmas ATT!!

Post#91 » Dec 26 2013 12:47

Kakapo42 wrote:Heh heh, somewhat hilariously RAW Tau ships are quite solid when defending against boarding actions - a boarded ship adds it's turret value to it's boarding value, and since Tau ships tend to have plenty of turrets it generally only amounts to a -1 boarding penalty (for example, an Explorer's boarding value would be 6 for half it's hull points, +5 from it's turrets for 11, only 1 off from what it normally would be), so you might be onto something there.

The chin turret actually caught me completely off guard! I'd only ever seen pictures of the topside of the Warden before ordering them, so I had no idea what was underneath them. It saddens me to think that I might never discover what secrets might lurk on the underside of the Protector..



You are only an ebay auction away from finding out my friend...I bought one the other day off of there, so hopefully min comes in the mail soon.

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Kakapo42
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Re: (BFG) Tau fleet- Merry Christmas ATT!!

Post#92 » Jan 11 2014 01:02

Yes ebay does look to be where I will have to go in the future if I ever want to expand my fleet further (which I do).

So then, here are my Defenders. Funny story, I actually finished painting them some time ago, along with the majority of my Kor'vattra ships, and kept them 'back-logged', waiting for more replies before posting pictures of them so that this thread didn't degenerate into a massive endless string of posts by me. Then when I went to post them up after getting new replies, I found out I hadn't actually taken pictures of them. So here they are now, with a double-dose of background.

Vessels of the Kor'vattra

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Part 6: Kir'qath


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The second of the two classes of ship to be developed in the immediate aftermath of the Damocles Gulf Crusade, this time as an intended counter to the Imperium's escort squadrons, the Kir'qath or Defender class has always been somewhat unpopular with many Air Caste admirals. While it admittedly has on paper a number of disadvantages, chiefly it's slow speed and low manoeuvrability, it is nonetheless a potent escort when used with the correct tactics, and it's bad reputation is largely undeserved.

The root of the Kir'qath's unpopularity can be traced back to it's design. In the wake of the Damocles Gulf Crusade the Tau studied and analysed the new threat of the Imperial Navy extremely closely, and came to identify that the two main spacecraft of escort displacement employed by the Gue'la were a high-powered gunboat, the Sword class, and a smaller torpedo ship, the Cobra class, both of which had long range and were able to operate independently for extended periods of time. Taking this into consideration, as well as examining the common tactics used with the two classes of ship, the Earth Caste sought to create a long range escort vessel that could fulfil the roles of both ships at once, in theory allowing the ship to perform as either a gunboat or torpedo launch as the situation demanded, and simplifying fleet logistics. The end result was one of the largest and most heavily armed escort vessels in the Eastern Fringe, sporting both a small gravitic launcher with extended missile magazines for prolonged firing and a trio of capital-grade railcannon turrets, giving it enormous firepower, while it's point defence systems were further augmented with a pair of long-barreled mass driver turrets mounted under the prow. This heavy armament came at a steep price however - the power requirements needed for all the Kir'qath's weaponry meant little energy could be spared for propulsion, giving the Defender it's poor speed and agity. Featuring a revolutionary new gravitic drive, the Kir'qath was also one of the first Tau escort vessels to be fully self-sufficient and able to make etheric translations on it's own, but the drive's immense bulk left no room for a dedicated power-plant, leading to a long recharge time once the drive's energy reserves were depleted and limiting the ship's effective range.

This has led to a large amount of confusion for many Kor'Os who are unsure how to best use the Kir'qath. Some see it's nature as an escort vessel and attempt to use it in hit-and-run raiding attacks or as a flanking force in much the same way as other escort vessels are used, and in this capacity it's slow speed and crumbersome turning rate means the Defender performs poorly. Others see it's large size and armament and attempt to use them as a ship of the line in place of regular capital ships, where the Kir'qath's comparatively small size leave it extremely vulnerable. Instead, where the Kir'qath truly shines, as some Kor'Os have learnt, is as a Kau'yon element, positioned in a key location with excellent approaches letting the enemy come to it, and supporting the rest of the fleet at range, effectively acting as a floating artillery piece. The Kir'qath is extremely effective in this capacity, as it's missile armament allows it to bombard enemy targets from extreme range while it's small size limits the effectiveness of return fire. Should enemy ships get too close, the Kir'qath squadron can defend themselves with their potent railcannon armament, reducing the need for a guarding force. The independent nature of a Defender squadron also allows for flexible targeting, with each Kir'qath able to engage a different target with missile fire if necessary. This makes Kir'qaths well-suited for engaging multiple small targets, especially incoming enemy ordinance, and consequently Kir'qaths are equipped with a supply of anti-ordinance cluster missiles for this very purpose. While their limited etherdrive capacity can be a liability in offensive fleet actions, this is of no disadvantage in defensive missions, and so Kir'qath squadrons are commonly stationed in Tau space where they can quickly move to intercept invading forces if the need arises, acting in a similar role to Imperial defence monitors.

This last role has left a lasting impression on the citizens of the Tau Empire, as evident by it's translated name of 'Defender'. Kir'qath crews, often little more than 72 Kor, a couple of teams of Fio and two or three Firewarrior Shipboard Security teams, generally spend extended periods of time working together and often become extremely close-knit, and the image of a lonely Kir'qath and it's closely-tied crew working together to protect the Tau Empire from danger has become something of a cultural icon amongst those living in the Empire. Indeed, a Tau media production chronicling a fictional Kir'qath and it's crew and their adventures patrolling the fringes of the Empire became extremely popular before it's untimely cancellation to allow more coverage of the Third Sphere Expansion, much to the chagrin and vocal outcry of it's viewers.

Like the Kass'l, the Kir'qath and it's crews are greatly respected by the Fire Caste, who often refer to the Defender class as the Broadside of the Kor'vattra, though vehicle crews will often instead liken them to the Skyray. There is much joking and friendly debate as to which comparison is 'correct'.

With it's heavy armament and iconic status amongst the people of the Tau Empire, the Kir'qath has certainly left a lasting, though perhaps controversial impression, and will continue to watch over tau interest for years to come.

Tau Missile Warheads


Tau naval class heavy guided missiles are extremely advanced, featuring sophisticated drone processors that can network together in much the same way as a drone squadron to perform complex tasks. These missiles are also highly modular, and are able to accept a large number of different warheads. The fleets of different Septs and even individual Kor'Os and Kor'els will often have their own preferred warhead types and combinations. Some of the more well-known missile warheads are listed below.

Fusion Warheads
Favoured Septs: T'au, Tau'n, Vash'ya, Sa'cea, Vior'la, D'yanoi, Bork'an, Fal'shia, Tash'var, N'dras, T'olku, Dal'yth, Kel'shan, Elsy'eir, Au'taal

The standard Tau naval missile warhead, the Fusion warhead is a staple of all Tau fleets, providing an excellent combination of power, armour penetration capability, simplicity and reliability, being one of the older missile warheads in current use. Following the Damocles Gulf Crusade and analysis of recovered and captured Imperial torpedos an upgraded fusion warhead was developed that interfaced with the fusion rocket that propels the standard Tau missile to, upon final approach, set the fusion rocket into critical overcharge, resulting in it's detonation and effectively turning the entire missile into a giant tandem-charge warhead. While this leads to considerably more destructive power against enemy shipping, this newer series of warhead is more difficult to install, and so the older model of fusion warhead remains popular amongst many fleets.

High-yield Pulse Burst Warheads
Favoured Septs: T'au, Tau'n, Dal'yth, Bork'an, Fal'shia, D'yanoi, Vash'ya

An older form of warhead, High-yield Pulse Burst warheads are one of the most potent examples of Pulse technology, and share a large number of mechanisms and design features with the smaller pulse bomb generator featured on board the Sun Shark. Upon terminal approach, the warhead produces a number of large plasma pulse charges and sends them through a cyclic pulse accelerator, causing them to build up more and more energy until they are released upon impact with tremendous force. The scattering pulse blasts leave a distinctive pattern on the impact site, leading High-yield Pulse Burst warheads to be nicknamed 'clover cutters' or 'flower punches' by Imperial Navy Crews on the Eastern Fringe. Though powerful, they were ultimately rejected by the Air Caste as a mainstay warhead in favour of the concurrently developed Fusion Warheads, which proved to have superior armour-penetration ability. Nonetheless, they have remained in service, and a popular tactic amongst many Tau fleets, pioneered by the Air Caste of Tau'n, is to combine both Fusion and High-yield Pulse Burst warheads in the same salvo. The Fusion warheads then punch holes through the target ship's hull plating which the Pulse Burst warheads impact through, scattering the plasma pulse charges through the target ship's more vulnerable internal structure for catastrophic results.

Plasma Warheads
Favoured Septs: Dal'yth, T'au, Fal'shia, Tol'ku, Tau'n

One of the rare examples of 'purebred' plasma weaponry employed by the Tau, alongside the battlesuit-mounted plasma rifle and vehicle-mounted plasma cannon, Tau plasma warheads are nonetheless just as capable as those employed by other galactic powers. The most frequent users of these warheads are the Air Caste fleets of Dal'yth, and those plasma warheads produced by Dal'yth are the most advanced examples seen in Tau space, featuring technologies and design elements reverse-engineered from Imperial torpedos captured or salvaged during the Damocles Gulf Crusade or acquired through secret trading with Rogue Traders and Free Captains, to the extent where Dal'yth plasma warheads are almost miniature replicas of Imperial torpedo warheads, though with a large number of improvements made by the Tau.

EMP Warheads
Favoured Septs: T'au, Kel'shan, Au'taal, Vash'ya, Tol'ku, Tau'n, Bork'an, Sa'cea

Closely related to the EMP charges occasionally carried by Mantas performing deep space bombing missions, EMP warheads emit a powerful electro-magnetic pulse upon impact, overloading any circuitry or electrical systems near the impact point. Modern EMP warheads also feature a series of powerful neutron-pulse emitters, developed from Vespid technology, to overwhelm the electromagnetic radiation shielding common on starships as well as a gravitic shock-wave generator to shatter any physical protective layers to ensure the target's electronics are affected. EMP warheads are commonly used to neutralise dangerous but mission-critical targets, disabling them while keeping them intact for capture, and it is believed that the Farsight Enclaves frequently make use of them for this reason, allowing them to salvage enemy ships for resources and to neutralise threatening ships from the Empire without resulting in the needless loss of Tau lives.

Ion Pulse Warheads
Favoured Septs: T'au, Vior'la, Sa'cea, Kel'shan, N'dras

A recent development of ion technology, an Ion Pulse warhead is essentially an enormous one-shot Ion cannon. Upon terminal approach, the warhead sets to overcharge and builds up an enormous amount of energy, far greater than even a nova-charged ion accelerator, which is released upon impact. While simple in design, the results are devastating, as the ensuring ion blast delivers both kinetic and thermal energy, as well as releasing a minor EMP burst. It is this rugged simplicity combined with such sheer destructive force that makes this form of warhead popular with more militaristic Septs with strong Fire Caste influences and traditions, as well as Septs who have suffered more at the hands of alien races and are quick to employ any means to safeguard their populations.

Neutron Warheads
Favoured Septs: D'yanoi, Vash'ya, Au'taal, Kel'shan, Vior'la, N'dras

A recent development of Tau naval ordinance and the larger cousin of the Darkstar warhead sometimes used to support large-scale ground offensives, Neutron warheads release a brief but intense radiation burst on impact, destroying any nearby organic matter but leaving non-living substances largely unaffected. This makes Neutron warheads useful for neutralising sensitive targets, much like EMP warheads, although the more common EMP warheads tend to see more frequent use, due to both allowing any living creatures on the target to be captured alive, as well as a lingering belief that Neutron warheads are an excessively cruel weapon to employ. The Septs of Kel'shan, Au'taal and Vash'ya have begun to readily equip their fleets with them in recent times, with the warheads having proved highly effective against the enroaching Tyranid swarms, shown during fleet actions against Hive Fleet Gorgon. In an interesting case of Tau technological development, one of the first Septs to begin employing Neutron warheads was the comparitively backwards Sept of D'yanoi, which not only began using them several Tau'cyr prior to any other Sept, but also developed them entirely independently of the rest of the Empire, basing them off technology obtained from the Vespid shortly after their inclusion into the Tau Empire.

Multiple Recursive Independent Payload Delivery Vehicles ('Cluster missiles')
Favoured Septs: T'au, Tau'n, Vash'ya, Sa'cea, Vior'la, D'yanoi, Bork'an, Fal'shia, Tash'var, N'dras, T'olku, Dal'yth, Kel'shan, Elsy'eir, Au'taal

Cluster warheads are common to all Tau Septs. Unlike other missile warheads, which are intended for use against enemy escorts and capital ships, Cluster warheads are designed to be employed against enemy ordinance. Each warhead contains a number of smaller independent missiles, which are released when the 'parent' missile reaches the correct distance from the target. These smaller missiles feature advanced drone processors and co-ordinate with one another to ensure that all objects in the ordinance wave are evenly targeted, and are extremely fast and agile. While their warheads are too small to pierce the armoured hull plating on most full starships, they are capable of tearing apart attack craft and can easily detonate long-range missiles and torpedos prematurely. Due to their nature as an anti-ordinance weapon, Cluster warheads are rarely present on capital ships, instead being issued to gravitic launcher armed escorts to effectively counter most enemy ordinance, lifting some of the strain from a fleet's fighter squadrons.

Thermobarric Warheads
Favoured Septs: T'au, Tau'n, Vash'ya, Vior'la, Fal'shia, Elsy'eir, D'yanoi

Thermobarric warheads, using air-fuel explosives, were once contemplated by the Earth and Air Castes as a potential space-combat weapon in the early days of Tau expansion, but were quickly dismissed as a practical weapon due to being ineffective in a vacuum. It was only recent advances in composite materials and kinetic penetrator munitions, as well as rapid hull-sealant technology, that has made Thermobarric missile warheads a viable weapon in space combat. With these developments however, Thermobarric warheads have proven to be brutally effective. The main payload of thermobarric munitions is encased in a re-enforced penetrator casing, which punches through the target vessel's hull, releasing hull-sealant as it passes to close the resulting breach. Once inside the target vessel, the casing is discarded and the thermobarric payload detonates, using the target ship's internal atmosphere as an oxidiser and igniting the ship's own air supply. The tight confines of most starship interiors amplifies the already considerable destructive force of the thermobarric explosives by producing enormous amounts of concussive overpressure, resulting in grievous damage to the target vessel's crew and internal structure. These modern Thermobarric warheads were developed along with the newer Kor'O'vesh generation of warships, and are used extensively by Kor'O'vesh fleets, most notably during the T'ros campaign where they proved devastating against Imperial troop transports.

Conventional Explosives (including shaped charge and concussion warheads)
Favoured Septs: T'au, Tau'n, Dal'yth, D'yanoi, N'dras

One of the oldest warheads in the Tau arsenal, conventional warheads are by and large scaled-up versions of the same missile warheads employed in ground battles, and come in a very large variety of forms, each of which have their own advantages and uses (shaped charge warheads, for example, have improved armour penetration, while concussion warheads rely on their shockwaves to inflict damage and so do not need a direct hit to be effective). They were phased out of use following the development of more powerful Fusion and Pulse Burst warheads, but a number of more established Septs still possess a stockpile of them in their inventories, and their low cost and ease of production makes them a popular choice for Septs and colonies with a lower amount of resources or technological base to draw on. The Tau also frequently trade them to friendly alien races, and so they nonetheless are frequently employed against other powers on the Eastern Fringe, even if no longer used by the Tau themselves.

Fission Warheads
Favoured Septs: T'au, Tau'n, D'yanoi, Vior'la (no longer in use)

Fission or nuclear warheads, mounted on long range missiles, were the first naval weapon employed by the Tau in their earliest forays into space, and were featured in both planetary defence systems and as the primary armament on the earliest marks of Gal'leath. Employing multiple devices they could cover a large area in destuctive fission detonations, but were ultimately never used in a space battle. They were phased out as a ship-to-ship weapon once capital-scale railcannons became viable, shortly before the Tau's first wars against the Nicassar, but continued to see use as a super-heavy ground bombardment weapon, and proved highly effective in the early wars against the Orks, as the radiation and fallout they produced acted to counter the pervasive spores left after an Orkoid's death. In modern times they are no longer used, and have been officially phased out of service, but a small number of Tau ships, especially older Kor'vattra warships, still possess a small supply of them.

Nova Warheads
Favoured Septs: T'au, Tau'n, Vash'ya

The latest in Tau naval ordinance, these advanced prototype warheads are still in the experimental stage, and have been issued to only a select few fleets for field-testing. They are the largest example so far developed of Nova munitions, a new form of explosive developed after the successful miniaturisation of the nova reactor, and feature a number of technological features that have resulted from the project. Nova warheads work on many of the same principals as the nova reactors used to power starships and the XV104 battlesuit, using exotic matter reactions to produce colossal amounts of energy and radiation upon detonation. So far Nova Warheads have proven to be extremely powerful, but also highly volatile, and a number of ships have been crippled or even destroyed as the result of an accidental detonation, and the Earth Caste is currently working tirelessly to resolve this issue.
A Shas and a Kor walk into a bar...
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Kakapo42
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Re: (BFG) Tau fleet- Defender and missile background

Post#93 » Jul 21 2014 07:50

So I'm taking a break from my long sojourn into Warhammer Fantasy and getting back to my beloved space fleet, and the ships for it that still need painting. Last year for Christmas I painted up a surplus Warden as a test model for my Kor'O'vesh scheme, and it always seemed so lonely on its own, standing there amidst a sea (well, lagoon really) of grey unpainted resin. So the first thing I did was go about painting up the rest of the Wardens, now a full squadron. I present to you the first of my Kor'O'vesh elements, Cristina squadron.

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I'm a long way off from finishing my Custodian any time soon, so in the mean time they'll be stationed at my orbitals. I'm also experimenting with a new photo size that should ideally be a bit easier on the monitor.

And because its a new post and because I want to show off my trusty Kor'vattra fleet more, here's the next instalment of the background, this time about the Messenger class.

Vessels of the Kor'vattra

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Part 7: Skether'qan


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The smallest starship in Tau space capable of independent faster than light travel (though considerably larger than the Kass'l), the Skether'qan or Messenger class starship is rarely seen by observers and spacecraft enthusiasts, or indeed much of the Tau Empire's population not directly related to the operation of one. They are mostly found in deep space in the depths of the Empire between Septs, where they regulate and monitor data remotely and keep watch over shipping routes, and commonly act as a 'mobile waystation' relaying communications between Sept worlds. The class was originally designed to patrol the space around Sept worlds, guiding shipping or intercepting smugglers, and so while perhaps no longer common within its intended habitat, the Skether'qan does nonetheless excel at such roles commonly assigned to it.

Possessing only standard armoured hull plating and shielding for its size, the Skether'qan is not particularly intimidating by itself militarily. Its trio of light railcannons, which when combined are roughly equal in power to the deck guns of an Imperial Cobra class destroyer, are paltry for the primary armament of even an escort sized vessel, though the Skether'qan does possess a formidable close in point defence armament for a ship of its size. The Skether'qan, however, is not intended for direct ship-to-ship combat. The vessel's real strengths lie in its electronics and phenomenal speed. Much of the Skether'qan's mass is given over to the vessel's large and extremely powerful engines and gravitic drive, which makes the Skether'qan the fastest starship operated by the Tau - only Barracuda space superiority fighters can match a Skether'qan's top speed. The ship's gravitic drive, a development on the older model used in the Kir'qath, allows the vessel to travel immense distances for much longer periods of time without needing to recharge, giving the Skether'qan excellent operating range. The Skether'qan is also the only Tau vessel to possess advanced tracking systems, an extensive suite of sophisticated and state-of-the-art sensors, tracking equipment, communications centres, supercomputers and data storage and processing facilities normally only seen on orbital stations. These tracking systems are extremely valuable in fleet engagements, where they can be used to route this data to nearby Tau ships in the form of a direct data feed to the ships' turrets and weapon systems, making both their long-range railcannon fire and their close-in defence systems unerringly accurate, much to the shock of many Imperial admirals and captains facing Tau fleets with Skether'qan support. These tracking systems, placed on the highly mobile platform of the Skether'qan, also afford a Kor'O an immense wealth of situational awareness information, and a combination of the Skether'qan's speed, tracking systems, sensor suites and extended supply stores make it an excellent scout, with Skether'qans acting as the eyes and ears of the Kor'vattra in military actions. Indeed, it was a small flotilla of Skther'qans that first identified and then tracked and shadowed the Imperial response force to Nimbosa during the Tau annexation of that world, relaying the Gue'la fleet's progress to the Tau leadership, information that proved invaluable during the initial negotiations with the Imperium. The Skether'qan is also fast enough to intercept small fast shipping, and has enough firepower to at least threaten small light craft such as merchant transports, allowing the vessel to be used, in a pinch, as a commerce raider. A number of Skether'qans were used in this way to inflict significant losses on supply convoys during an Imperial incursion into the abandoned artefact world of Arthas Moloch.

There is, finally another, perhaps more sinister use for the Skether'qan class. Skether'qans are frequently used by the Tau Empire for covert insertion missions into hostile territory. While most of the Skether'qan's internal space is taken up by its engines and gravitic drive, tracking systems and the other necessities of a starship such as a bridge, stores for supplies and tools and living quarters for the 7 Kor, 2 Fio and 6 Shipboard Security Firewarriors that make up the vessel's crew (along with numerous drones of varying kinds), the Skether'qan does possess a modest cargo hold, enough to carry roughly 24 personnel and 2 vehicles of Devilfish size, allowing it to transport small forces across interstellar distances. Once near the destination, the Skether'qan is able to use its advanced tracking systems to detect holes in enemy patrol patterns and sensor grids, which the ship can then use its speed and small size to exploit. The Skether'qan's small size also enables it to land on planets if need-be, allowing it to touch down on the surface of a world to deliver its passengers, though they are more commonly deployed in a high-altitude pass using grav vehicles or jetpacks to allow the Skether'qan to escape more easilly. Such operations are commonly used to insert advance Pathfinder teams onto a world targeted for invasion so that they can reconnoitre potential landing sites, enemy concentrations, and other features and points of interest, but they are also used to deliver Stealth Teams and infiltration cadres, and it is rumoured they are used to deploy even more covert elements.

Like other Kor'vattra escorts such as the Kass'l and Kir'qath, Skether'qans and their crews are greatly respected by the Fire Caste, who often refer to the Messenger class as the Stealthsuit of the Kor'vattra, though vehicle crews will often instead liken them to the Tetra. There is much joking and friendly debate as to which comparison is 'correct'.

Much like the Air Caste itself in the greater Tau Empire, the Skether'qan class starship is an often unseen, but nonetheless vital, component in the Tau armada.

Tau Covert Ops: Special Insertion Threat Containment Teams and the Saer'loq


While much of the Tau Empire's direct military might is well-known across the Eastern Fringe, much less is known about the various covert elements used by the Tau Empire. Two of the more common of these secretive special units are the Fire Caste Special Insertion Threat Containment Teams and the alien Saer'loq bounty hunters.

Special Insertion Threat Containment Teams

Not all veterans and heroes of the Tau Fire Caste go on to become battlesuit pilots and commanders. Many of the most skilled and experienced Firewarriors instead go on to become part of the Special Insertion Threat Containment Teams. A joint initiative between the Air and Fire Castes both working together for the Greater Good, Special Insertion Threat Containment Teams are one of the premier special forces units in the Tau Empire, consisting of small teams of exceptionally well-trained, highly-motivated and battle hardened Firewarriors outfitted with some of the best weaponry and equipment the empire can provide. In addition to the combat armour, photon and EMP grenades and pulse weaponry common to line Firewarrior teams, Special Insertion Threat Containment Teams have access to a mind-boggling number of special equipment including flamer attachments, flechette or frag grenades, decoy projectors, longshot pulse rifles, rail rifles, ion rifles, hard-wired support systems, personal shield generators, enhanced scopes and targeting systems, target priority programs, bionics, blacksun filters and even advanced infantry armour such as the XV-12, and much more besides. Team members will also often receive additional specialist training, ranging from standard training courses such as endurance or medical training, to more esoteric training such as advanced computer hacking or the study of alien technology and artefacts. Finally, Special Insertion Threat Containment Teams are also given cutting edge experimental equipment to field-test, such as anti-shield 'screen breaker' rail-rifle ammunition or immensely destructive nova charges.

Rather than being attached to Fire Caste formations, Special Insertion Thread Containment Teams are instead attached to Air Caste fleets, which provide transportation to their missions, which range from assassination and sabotage work, to support of indigenous movements sympathetic to the Tau'va, to abduction of key enemy personalities, retrieval of important objects or information, escort and protection of important personnel, counter-insurgency operations, and many more tasks besides. Once deployed, a Special Insertion Threat Containment Team can count on no additional support, their only link to the Tau Empire being a small number of secret communications channels known only to them and the fleet they're attached to - Special Insertion Threat Containment Teams are expected to complete their missions on their own, using a combination of skill, teamwork, cunning and high-tech weaponry and equipment to overcome whatever obstacles they encounter.

Overall the Special Insertion Threat Containment Team program has proven to be highly successful, managing to accomplish a number of high-stakes assignments. Special Insertion Teams dispatched to the world of New Hael managed to destroy a series of key military infrastructure targets without ever drawing attention to themselves, allowing human rebels wishing to join the Tau Empire to overthrow the Imperial regime and bring the system into the fold of the Greater Good. It was a Special Insertion Team that infiltrated into the Ork Infested world of August's Folly and landed the fatal shot on the Warlord Murguk, ending a potentially devastating WAAAAAGH before it began. When Hive Fleet Gorgon swept through the region now known as the Zone of Silence, a Special Insertion Team made planetfall on one of the worlds being consumed, before making their way through the endless swarms of Tyranids to collect and retrieve genetic samples and research data on Tyranid behaviour, before successfully extracting to deliver the information to the greater empire where it proved invaluable to Earth Caste science efforts. Perhaps even more notably, a number of Special Insertion Threat Containment Teams attached to Kor'vattra fleet K-42 served with distinction during the defence of one of the Tau Empire's most renowned academy stations against a number of assaults. In the aftermath of the second of these battles, instigated by Gue'la Imperial agents, a pair of Special Insertion Threat Containment Teams pursued the withdrawing Imperial forces and managed to infiltrate the damaged battlecruiser Jotunheim as it lay in dry-dock, before destroying all traces of the advanced shielding technology it had been outfitted with and erasing any information about it from the Imperial databases, ensuring that the technology could never be disseminated across the Imperium. Following this both teams managed to make their escapes in the saviour pods of the battlecruiser and the station it was docked with, before exfiltrating Imperial space and successfully returning to the Tau Empire.

Saer'loq Bounty Hunters

The Saer'loq are one of the many minor alien races and factions dotted across the Eastern Fringe. They control little territory, barely a couple of systems, but their technology is highly advanced. Saer'loq society is extremely individualistic, with most honour and credit going only into individual achievements, and Saer'loq warriors are fiercely competitive. As a result most Saer'loq military technology is geared towards the enhancement of single infantry, and includes advanced powered exoskeletons, advanced optics and targeting gear, personal jump-jets and a staggeringly wide range of both kinetic and energy weapons, and a large number of advanced close combat equipment. It is said that a single Saer'loq fighter fully equipped for combat is comparable to a soldier equipped with a battlesuit, and can face down small armies single-handedly. This is fortunate for the Saer'loq, as their population is small and grows slowly, and they have historically been surrounded by enemy powers, making such odds a necessity.

Because of the individualistic nature of Saer'loq culture, their initial response to first contact with the Tau was hostility, as the concept of working for the greater good of the collective at the expense of the individual was an alien concept to them, and shortly afterwards a short but highly violent war was fought between the Tau and the Saer'loq. Initially the Saer'loq did well, scoring decisive victories in a number of early battles, and quickly proved to be formidable adversaries to the Fire Caste. Saer'loq equipment and weaponry proved to be a close match for Tau technology, and Saer'loq warriors proved to be adept at hit-and-run raids, guerrilla attacks and brutal ambushes. However, the Saer'loq's own emphasis on individual achievement and thinking ultimately proved to be their undoing, leading them to have a tendency to win battles but loose the greater war. The collaborative thinking of experienced Tau commanders and a greater sense of larger overall schemes, the result of a lifetime spent serving the Greater Good, enabled Tau forces to gain considerable strategic advantages that eventually allowed them to win the war with the Saer'loq. Tau naval power proved decisive in this conflict, with Saer'loq space forces being severely underdeveloped and limited to little more than raiding actions with small ships, which were ultimately ineffective at stopping the supporting Tau fleets from blockading Saer'loq worlds and providing invaluable support to forces on the ground.

After their defeat, the Saer'loq were sufficiently impressed with the power the Tau had demonstrated and were quietly integrated into the empire, in exchange for military aid against many of their historical enemies. While Saer'loq fighters, or bounty hunters as they are more commonly called, are known to perform mercenary work for a number of powers on the Eastern Fringe, ever since their defeat they have served the Tau Empire as covert operatives, a task that makes the best use of their limited numbers, individual focus and high technology. Saer'loq strike cells are frequently smuggled onto worlds opposing the Tau, where they conduct a wide range of secret missions, and are reputed to be highly competent at performing them. They are particularly popular amongst many Tau leaders as they cannot be immediately traced back to the Tau Empire, especially due to their frequent mercenary contracts, thus allowing the Tau Empire to conduct clandestine operations while still maintaining an attractive image to other powers.


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And in other Tau-related news, a short while ago my local GW store celebrated its birthday with a giffle giveaway, where I was very lucky to win this.

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Its a Tau goody bundle that includes a Hammerhead, a Firewarrior team, 3 Crisis Suits and some Gun Drones. It'll work great with the Tau goody bundle I won last year at the store's Christmas giffle giveaway, which was a Devilfish, Stealth Team and Crisis Suit, that it seems I completely neglected to show off on here.

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Assuming there's another Christmas giffle giveaway, with a bit of luck I may end up with an entire new Tau army completely free. Admittedly, the bundles didn't include any bases (though I was able to find some old surplus ones for the Devilfish bundle), but even taking that into account its still a fraction of what it would normally cost, and I'm very happy with this outcome.

Now, back to Battlefleet Gothic related activities..
A Shas and a Kor walk into a bar...
Naked Metal

User avatar
Kakapo42
Shas'Vre
Posts: 781

Re: (BFG) Tau fleet- Wardens and Messenger background

Post#94 » Aug 22 2014 05:30

So here are the latest products of my shipyards - Lacuna Squadron, a trio of Castellan class escorts, giving the Kor'O'vesh detachment of my fleet some long-range striking power.

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And now for my two Orbitals. Oh how I both love and hate them. I love them for how cool they look (to me at least), but oh how much frustration and pain they have caused me - they are easily the most hellishly annoying models I've thus far ever had to put together. They're also extremely fragile, and will break apart into their component pieces with even the slightest impact. But on the other hand I do like how they look.

Vessels of the Kor'vattra

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Part 8: Orbitals


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For almost all of its history, the cornerstone of the Tau Empire's space capability has been its Orbitals. Indeed, some argue that the network of Orbitals that honeycombs the Tau Empire are the true backbone of the Tau fleet and indeed even the empire itself more than any starship. The tried and true SX-8 modular Orbital station remains the most common of these and, despite being an aging design and no longer as well known as newer forms of orbital stations and platforms, continues to be a vital link in Tau supply chains and communications relays. Much like the Kor'vattra series capital ships that are of the same vintage, the SX-8 owes much of its success to the versatility and simplicity of its modular design. The Orbital core and ancillary modules are easily transported via a Gal'leath or Il'fannor class starship, and can be quickly set up in a variety of configurations, ranging from habitat stations to defence platforms to docking hubs and anything in between. Indeed, SX-8 Orbitals can be found across the Tau Empire fulfilling almost any role imaginable, including defence stations, habitats, manufacturing plants, trading posts, communications centres, engineering bays, dockyards, medical aid-stations, science and research facilities, observation posts, command centres, starbases and much more besides. The modular nature of the SX-8 also enables them to be quickly and easily dismantled, either for redeployment to a new location, or to withdraw the orbital in the face of an imminent overwhelming attack.

As well as providing all the main command, communication and sensor facilities and systems for the Orbital, along with the Orbital's primary power-plant and habitation for all its core staff, the core module for an SX-8 Orbital array also incorporates a standard long range deep-space communications suite, featuring all the communications systems, computer networks, communications transponders and transmission broadcast relay antennae needed to relay messages across the Tau Empire, forwarding them onto other stations, ships or even Sept Worlds as required, although dedicated communications stations will often have additional communications equipment. The SX-8 Orbital system is also fully capable of operations in both deep-space and planetary orbit. An SX-8's habitat modules, while somewhat Spartan compared to those in an Air Caste orbital city or Fortress Station, are nonetheless comfortable enough and can hold an astonishingly large number of inhabitants, and SX-8 Orbitals outfitted as habitat stations house a considerably large portion of the Tau Empire's citizens, especially the Air Caste. Indeed, those citizens that are Orbital based are more likely to live on an SX-8 than the more well known Orbital Cities, which are usually only built around the most established and developed Sept Worlds and are thus comparatively rare.

Without the need for forward thrust, an Orbital does not need to power immense fusion drives like those commonly found on starships, and so instead the extra energy can be used to improve the performance of the various systems and equipment on the Orbital, especially any weaponry or defence systems, where the additional energy can be used to give extra-drive to auto-loaders and rapidly charge capacitors, allowing railcannon turrets on an Orbital to achieve a massive rate of fire, firing far faster than those mounted on a starship, which lets Orbitals lay down a vicious hail of fire far greater than what would be thought possible of their comparatively few anti-ship weapons. Such barrages surprised Imperial fleets on numerous occasions during the Damocles Gulf Crusade, most notably during the famous ambush over Pra'yen where Orbital fire crippled a number of Imperial capital ships and destroyed numerous escorts. SX-8 Orbital arrays are still able to deliver more firepower than newer purpose-built Security Orbitals, with their multiple hardpoints allowing for a larger number of weaponry, though even the most heavily armed SX-8 Orbital possesses a far lighter armament than that of the massive Ta'Shiro Fortress Stations. SX-8 Orbitals also often feature more extensive hanger bays than Orbital Cities, being able to hold, deploy and support naval fighter and interceptor wings as well as Manta strike wings.

Finally, the SX-8 modular Orbital station system is also used as the basis for the majority of the deep-space Waystations that can be found liberally scattered across the Tau Empire. Arguably even more important than full-scale Orbitals, Waystations are small outpost stations, usually consisting of little more than a core module and a single defensive security module, positioned in deep space between Septs and colonies, and perform essential functions for passing ships, including repair, resupply, medical treatment and acting as a cargo delivery and transfer point, as well as relaying long-distance communications between Septs. Much like the crews of Kir'qath class starships, the small, tight-knit group of staff manning a lonely Waystation is an endearing and iconic image in the Tau Empire, and has given rise to a number of Tau media products, including a popular text publication series and an unrelated but equally popular video broadcast series.

Though older and less glamorous than newer designs such as the Air Caste Security Orbitals, Orbital Cities and Fortress Stations, the reliable SX-8 modular Orbital station remains at the heart of the Tau Empire's space-based infrastructure, and like the Kor'vattra vessels that are its close relatives, it will continue to serve alongside its newer counterparts for many Tau'cyr yet.

Common Orbital Configurations


Class 1 Orbital: habitat stations consisting of a core module and four habitat modules. These are the most common Tau Orbitals, providing additional living space for the citizens of the Tau Empire.

Class 2 Orbital: an orbital or deep space defence platform consisting of a core module and four security modules with gunnery weapons systems, either railcannons or ion cannons in any combination. Later examples of these Orbitals are often highly automated, featuring only a small detachment of Shipboard Security Firewarriors and a skeleton crew needed to oversee, monitor and direct the various drone controlled systems onboard.

Class 3 Orbital: a general purpose Orbital consisting of a core module, at least one habitat module, at least one security module, and at least one capital-scale docking port including a grav-hook. This configuration lacks some of the advanced systems and extensive docking facilities of the Class 4 Orbital, but is more economical to produce and maintain, and as such is a widespread configuration, especially on fringes and backwaters of the Tau Empire where resources are not quite as plentiful as other areas.

Class 4 Orbital: a general purpose Orbital consisting of a core module, one security module with gunnery weapons systems, one manufacturing and research module, one capital-scale docking port including a grav-hook and one docking facility and launch bay for small craft. This is considered the standard Orbital configuration template, able to fulfil a wide range of roles, and many can be found throughout Tau space.

Class 5 Orbital: a heavy-duty port for capital and escort ships, consisting of a core module and four capital-scale docking ports including grav-hooks. These are commonly found in orbit around Tau Sept worlds and colonies to facilitate the transfer of cargo and personnel between starships and the planet surface, but can also be found in deep space where they act as resupply points for starships, as well as cargo transfer points. These can also be used as trading posts.

Class 6 Orbital: a starbase for small craft up to Manta class, consisting of a core module and four docking facilities and launch bays for small craft. These are most common in orbit above Sept Worlds and colonies to accommodate small craft assets and facilitate the transfer of cargo between starships and the planet surface using small transport craft. They are less common in deep space, as it is unusual for small craft to travel that far independently of a larger carrier ship. These can also be used as trading posts.

Class 7 Orbital: a production site consisting of a core module and a combination of habitat modules and manufacturing and research modules, often including a docking port and grav-hook or docking facility and launch bay. These are industrial and scientific stations, often acting as manufacturing plants, research laboratories or even shipyards, and can be found in equal numbers around worlds and in deep space. This class also includes dedicated Orbital medical centres and aid stations.

Class 8 Orbital: a messenger station consisting of a core module and advanced communications centres and facilities or observation and surveillance equipment and long-range sensor arrays. These Orbitals are used to relay communications across Tau space, to observe distant locations or as an early warning station against enemy invasion.

****


And that concludes the Ships of the Kor'vattra series. The next wave of background will be covering the individual ships and squadrons in my fleet...

Finally, I have a question to ask. For some upcoming projects I will be working with Forgeworld-grade resin, which is still largely unknown territory for me - so far all my work with it has involved cutting and whittling, which leaves the resin in nice big hard-to-inhale chunks. However these next few ones will involve drilling into it, and after hearing of Forgeworld-grade resin's carcinogenic properties I am somewhat paranoid about breathing in any residual dust that might be produced by this. As such can anyone provide me with any advice on how to minimise the health risks involved? From what I have seen a mask is almost certainly a good investment, however I'm a bit unsure of the proper practice required to ensure it effectively protects me from any evil resin-dust. Can I breathe while wearing it without worry? Can I breathe easily while wearing it? How long do I have to wait before its safe to inhale around my hobby space after this work with resin? Will a regular old mask, like the sort I imagine is readily available from a hardware store, be sufficient, or should I look for a more sophisticated sort? And is there anything else I should be aware of, or any good source of information I should be directed to?
A Shas and a Kor walk into a bar...
Naked Metal

User avatar
Bitterman
Shas
Posts: 909

Re: (BFG) Tau fleet- Castellans and Orbitals

Post#95 » Aug 22 2014 09:55

A regular, cheapo mask from B&Q (or your local hardware store equivalent if you're not in the UK) will do just fine. Just needs to cover the nose and mouth and prevent a direct line from the resin to your lungs; you'll still be able to breathe with it almost entirely normally.

If you're just doing a bit of drilling and filing on a model or two, wearing the mask while you're doing it will be quite sufficient. If you're spending an entire day filing an entire army's worth of resin models, it might be an idea to take a break every now and then, and run a vacuum cleaner around the room before restarting. If you're doing it all day, every day, as your full time job or something, it'd be worth looking for something more industrial (eg. an airtight mask with air tank attachment)... but I get the impression that's not the case.

Disclaimer: I am not a hazmat expert, nor a doctor. That's just what I do, and what I understand the generally stated advice is.

Goobermunch
Shas
Posts: 53

Re: (BFG) Tau fleet- Castellans and Orbitals

Post#96 » Aug 24 2014 12:19

I use one of these: http://www.amazon.com/3M-Paint-Project- ... rator+mask

I picked it up for airbrushing, but any time I'm doing work that throws up particulates, I use it. It's handy, light weight, comfortable, and effective. I can spray polyurethane primer all day long and then run cleaning solution through my airbrush for an hour without ever being able to tell that the air is full of chemicals. Once I take it off, it's an entirely different matter (that's why I take it off in another room now).

The price isn't awful, and my health is worth it.

--G

User avatar
Kakapo42
Shas'Vre
Posts: 781

Re: (BFG) Tau fleet- Castellans and Orbitals

Post#97 » Oct 15 2014 05:11

Well I went with a respirator mask from a local hardware store (conveniently only a 30 minute walk away from where I live). It seemed like a good compromise between the suggestions, and the price, while considerably higher than anticipated (which was entirely my fault for not factoring in the cost of the filters), was not totally unreasonable.

I also finished painting up the first of my Kor'O'vesh capital ships, the Emissary class starship Sharon Den Adel.

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And with the foundation for my background, the 'ships of the Kor'vattra' series, finished, I can now start posting up the background of the ships of my fleet. I'll be starting with the most important ship of any space fleet, the flagship.

Kor'vattra Fleet K-42


T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh ('Serenity')


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Ship name: T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
Gue'la Imperial designation: Serenity
Class: Il'fannor (Merchant)
Configuration: Kel'shan standard
Mission role: Flagship
Serial designation code: T356K448446O42
Sept of origin: T'au
Notable deployments:

- Exploration of the O'leath asteroid belt
- Discovery of artefact world Y-19
- Evacuation of Du'vr'Da colony
- First contact with Caityrakan protectorate (NOTE: contact lost with this species at later date. Current status of allied power unknown)
- Transport of first trade shipment to Gue'la world Monarch's Haven
- Fleet engagement in defence against Gue'la Imperial aggression around the Vash'Tor Sound. 2 confirmed kills on enemy shipping, 1 unconfirmed
- Guidammerg relief operation (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Relief of Guidammerg)
- Ufa'Li'Sun'yi incident (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Ufa'Li'Sun'yi disaster, Ufa'Li'Sun'yi reconstruction program)
- Escort of convoy V-03 (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, V-03 incident, Y'he, Y'he Vanguard Swarm, Y'he activity, Zone of Silence, Eldar, Eldar pirate activity)
- Fleet action in Thespa system. 7 confirmed kills on enemy shipping, 20 unconfrimed (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Battle of Thespa, Thespa system, Grand Thespian Armada, Mont'au Gue'la, Mont'au Gue'la activity, Marc Baeth, Eldar, Eldar pirate activity)
- Re-enforcement of Fio'da (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Necron, Necron activity, Tomb World)
- First ATT Station incursion (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Shas'O'T'au Kais'ka'Eoro Da'Anuk, 42nd T'au Guards Cadre/Hunter Cadre Kais'Da'Anuk, ATT, Mont'au Gue'la, Mont'au entity, Etheric anomaly, Tzchael, Change incident, Embrace Change)
- Edge Expedition
- Defence of Tan'is. 3 confirmed kills on enemy shipping, 1 unconfirmed (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Gue'la, Gue'la fleet activity, Gue'la fleet actions, Destruction of Tan'is)
- Fleet action around Celestial Moon. 2 confirmed kills on enemy shipping, 3 unconfirmed (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Gue'la, Gue'la fleet activity, Gue'la Fleet actions, Battle of Celestial Moon, V-47)
- Second ATT Station incursion (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Shas'O'T'au Kais'ka'Eoro Da'Anuk, 42nd T'au Guards Cadre/Hunter Cadre Kais'Da'Anuk, ATT, Gue'la, Gue'la terror activity, Gue'la Inquisition, Jotunheim, Jotunheim raid, Vanaheimr, Taleghan, The Emperor Calls Turn Not Away Lest Ye Be Judged)

First Commander: Kor'el'T'au B'Kyse
Current Commander: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh
Crew: 6,000 Kor, 3,000 Fio, 200 Por, 1 Aun (attached to fleet), 6 Shipboard Security Cadres, numerous assorted Kor'vessa
Powerplant: Hybrid Fusion/Nova system (4 Fusion reactors, 2 Nova reactors)
Propulsion: Standard Fusion Drive/Gravitic Field hybrid system
Defences: Class 2 multi-tier close-in point defence grid, including 4 mass drivers. Class 1 gravitic shield
Armament: Three light railcannon batteries (Total armament composition: 18 heavy railcannons in 6 2-railcannon turrets, 2 single railcannon turrets and 2 2-railcannon casemates in prow)
Docking Capacity: 2 Gravitic Hooks
Compliment: 2 Kass'l (Orca) class gunships
Status: Active in Warzone

Overview:

The first ship Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh was given command over upon his promotion to Kor'el, the Merchant class starship T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, more commonly known by it's reporting name of Serenity, may at first seem an unusual choice for the flagship of a fleet. While many other flagships are often extremely large capital ships such as grand cruisers or battleships, and Tau flagships are frequently lavishly equipped with numerous additional command systems and experimental equipment, the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh has neither of these qualities - aside from the re-enforced hull structure common to later model Merchants, it is a completely standard Il'fannor.

Despite this, the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh has had an illustrious history in numerous guises under a long line of captains. In it's first mission after launching from the T'au shipyards the vessel pioneered the exploration of the O'leath belt, almost single-handedly charting the vast expanse of asteroids over the course of several years, an achievement that earned it's first commander their namesake. The ship also played a major role in the evacuation of Du'vr'Da after the colony was threatened by dangerous celestial phenomena, saving the lives of countless thousands of colonists. The T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh was the first ship to make contact with a number of alien powers, and was instrumental in a number of significant trading exchanges. She served as the secret refuge for Aun'El'T'au Li’Sun’yi when the Ethereal was targeted by Imperial agents, and it was fire support from her railcannons that broke the back of the Ork horde assaulting D'Upt, turning the battle there from an almost certain defeat into a decisive victory.

But it has been in recent times that the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh has made her largest mark on history, participating in a rapid string of major actions and being instrumental in numerous major victories. Twice now the ship has commanded Kor'vattra fleet K-42 in the defence of one of the Tau Empire's most prestigious military academies and science and engineering facilities, the famous ATT orbital, during significant attacks on it, each time relaying important information and delivering support to the Fire Caste hunter cadres fighting against incredible odds, and overseeing evacuation operations and re-enforcement delivery, and both times have ended in victories for the Tau forces. Even now it acts as the nerve centre for K-42 as it fights in the defence of Tau space against an enormous Imperial offensive. Indeed, as K-42 is at present the only combat-effective fleet in the immediate region it is located in, the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh effectively acts as the command centre for the defence of an entire sector.

The general consensus among analysts is that the key to the success of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, in recent times at least, is two-fold. In part it is due to the very nature of the ship's lack of modification, as it's standard systems are, typical of all Kor'vattra vessels, extremely reliable, and without the experimental or customised equipment commonly mounted on other flagships, there is no risk of such comparatively exotic additions failing when needed most - the command and communication systems onboard the vessel are much less likely to malfunction, and it's targeting systems rarely deviate too far off target. The simplicity and familiarity of the ship's systems also allows them to be quickly and easily repaired in the event of damage. The vessel's greatest strength, however, is undoubtedly that of the personnel that man it, and it's commander Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh himself. Kais is an exceptionally gifted admiral, known for his creative thinking, and his crew are extremely close to each other and the ship, each fully aware of his or her fellow crew-members' abilities and limitations, as well as those of the ship itself - indeed a number of them have occasionally boasted that they know the ship better than the Fio that built it. It was this combination that enabled the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh to evade and thoroughly outwit the fleets opposing it in naval wargame exercises, and after these feats earned Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh command of the ship the skills and tactics learned during them were tested to the limit in a baptism of fire when, during it's first mission with Kais commanding it, the vessel and it's two escorts were cut off from the rest of the Tau fleet and left stranded in hostile territory pursued by Task Force Vandal of the Imperial Navy. Over several grueling months Kais and his crew led the Imperial fleet on a cat-and-mouse chase across an enormous tract of space before finally slipping past the Gue'la and making their way back to Tau territory. This would be followed by a long string of cunning ploys and masterful gambits, ranging from successfully running the immense Ork blockade of Nars'Yanoi and delivering vital re-enforcements and supplies to the embattled Tau forces on the surface to the destruction of the heavy cruiser Crucius Imperator by luring it into a black hole.

As an interesting note, upon it's initial construction the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh possessed a small but critical defect that somehow managed to evade quality control. While usually the viewports of any starship are made to be extremely durable, with immense amounts of re-enforcement and armouring to ensure they will not easily rupture and thus form a hull breach, the central main viewport of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh was somehow left much thinner and fragile than usual, enough so that it could be broken through with concentrated fire from high-powered heavy weapons. This fault was quickly discovered early on in the ship's service, but was never rectified, and nearly all of the Kor that served aboard the vessel feared at one point or another that it would spell their doom. As it transpired, the faulty viewport ultimately proved to be the salvation of the ship and it's crew during the first incursion of the ATT orbital station. During the conflict a large host of Mont'au creatures materialised on the bridge of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, but the Shipboard Security units stationed on the bridge at the time were able to concentrate their weaponry onto the weakened viewport, breaking it and flushing the entire Mont'au force into space with the resulting decompression while a quick evacuation of the bridge beforehand and the sealed environments of Fire Caste combat armour and battlesuits issued to Shipboard Security cadres resulted in no Tau losses (although the bridge was left out of action for some time afterwards). In the aftermath of the battle the viewport was repaired and brought up to standard strength.

Whether eluding pursuit in a high-stakes mission or directing an engagement at the heart of an entire battlefleet, Serenity, the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh is a testament to the age old truth that it is not a vessel's power or equipment that makes it a worthy flagship - it's the crew commanding it that does.

Crew Profiles: Key Personnel


Captain: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh

"Unidentified Gue'la vessel, this is Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh commanding Kor'vattra fleet K-42. You are in direct violation of Tau space during a time of war, and are hereby ordered to stand down and surrender your ship. Lower your shielding, power down your weapons and main drives and prepare to be boarded for inspection. Failure to comply to these terms or resistance to inspection will force us to open fire on your ship."

- Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh contacting the Imperial cruiser Terra Unbound, prior to it's engagement and destruction



Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh has had plenty of experience with the darker, malevolent side of the galaxy over his lifetime. Much of his early life was spent as a Kor'la serving aboard the T'au'Gal'leath'Savon'Taal'Fann, an Explorer class starship assigned as a hospital ship in support of Fire Caste campaigns on numerous worlds, giving the young Kais a brutal introduction to the horrors of total galactic war - severed limbs, mutilating scars, gruesome infections and casualties torn and mangled beyond almost all recognition screaming for aid, loved ones, the Tau'va or just in sheer pain were but a few of the sights he witnessed making his rounds on the ship. Eventually the T'au'Gal'leath'Savon'Taal'Fann was boarded and stormed by Ork pirates and Kais got a glimpse of but one of the sources for such misery as he and the rest of the vessel's crew desperately fled the invaders in a frantic race to the escape pods that resulted in just over half the ship's crew reaching safety. Later as a Kor'ui he spent a hellish Kai'rotaa stranded in the ruined derelict of the T'au'Il'fannor'Ko'Eoro'Cea'Cha after it was stormed by Chaos-aligned humans, never quite being sure that his nightmarish tormentors had left, until a Tau salvage team rescued him. Later Kais served on a ship that formed part of an evacuation convoy for a colony recently consumed by the Tyranids, and he and the rest of the crew were constantly accompanied by the bloodcurdling sounds that spilled out over communications channels from those ships unfortunate enough to be caught by the pursuing splinter fleet. Perhaps the two most crushing blows of all dealt to him, however, were the death of the Ethereal Aun'vre'T'au Ko'Ta under his watch when their ship was boarded, and the loss of his beloved companion Kor'vre'T'au Or'Ro, who was swept away by pirates later identified as Dark Eldar and never seen again.

It is perhaps surprising then that despite all this, Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh remains as bright and idealistic as the Tau that first expanded into the stars, and indeed has been described as "A relic of the First Sphere" by his peers. Where recent history has led many Tau, particularly amongst the Fire Caste, to adopt a mindset that might perhaps be described as 'cynical', Kais remains as optimistic as ever about the future and the Tau'va, and genuinely believes in the best of both the universe in general and the various species and powers that reside within it, remaining staunchly so even in the face of a galaxy seemingly determined to break him. While many critics might consider this to be naivety, it cannot be questioned that such a positive influence has proved beneficial to the Kor of K-42, who are reported to be well-motivated and highly diligent as a result. Kais is also known to be somewhat eccentric by Tau standards and is often prone to sentimental or romantic feelings. This has never been considered extreme enough to warrant corrective action however, and he is still fully able to contribute to the Tau Empire in a productive manner, which has meant that he has always been accepted but never been especially popular with the Kor'ar'tol. It is believed by many that this is a key reason for his assignment to the command of K-42 rather than a more prominent Kor'O'vesh posting.

It should be noted, however, that with the recent appearance of Dark Eldar raiders in the regions near K-42, Many of Kais's closest peers and friends have claimed to have noticed a slight, yet unmistakable change in his mindset and behaviour. The ageing Kor'O seems to have become more determined, more relentless in combat and less compromising to both enemies and those under his command, though this is only noticed by those who have served with him for an extremely long time. This change is not officially noted by Water Caste psych-analysists, who claim that his thought-processes are no different to the past and that his aforementioned compatriots are simply over-reacting to the fatigue and stresses near-constant combat action inevitably has. Those who claim to have noticed the change however remain unconvinced and quite concerned..

Fleet Advisor: Aun'O'T'au Ret'Sav'cyr

It is common practice for Tau fleets to have an Ethereal attached to them in order to provide guidance for the fleet and inspire ship crews to operate to the absolute best of their ability. For the Kor'vattra fleet K-42 this role is performed by Aun'O'T'au Ret'Sav'cyr. Despite his prestigious rank the enigmatic Ethereal is little-known within what constitutes the Tau political landscape, having far less of a public profile than the likes of Aun'va, Aun'Shi or even the late Aun'vre that accompanied the T'ros expedition. Instead Ret'Sav'cyr prefers to lead from the background, allowing others large amounts of autonomy and only giving occasional subtle suggestions and advice. An idealist despite his senior rank, he has extremely strong moral convictions and holds a firm belief that for every problem and dilemma there is a solution and there is a correct solution, and strongly advocates the need to do the morally right thing at all times. By his own account the Aun'O specifically requested his current posting after growing tired of greater Tau politics and the High Council's dabbling in questionable actions.

Aun'O'T'au Ret'Sav'cyr has travelled to much of the Tau Empire over his lifetime, helping to resolve a number of diplomatic disputes and monitoring numerous important research and development projects, such as the current development initiative for greater numbers of high-precision fleet support weaponry and options begun after combat experience during the first ATT station incursion highlighted a deficiency in this area. He has also been involved in a considerable number of military conflicts, including both fleet engagements and ground campaigns with Fire Caste Hunter Cadres, perhaps most notably accompanying the renowned Hunter Cadre Kais'Da'Anuk, otherwise known as the 42nd T'au Guards Cadre, in several battles. In following with his indirect approach to guidance, he will often remain neutral in major decisions, especially during fleet actions, but if he does issue a directive it will be considered sacrosanct and carried out to the utmost ability of the fleet, as is typical of all directions and orders given by members of the Ethereal Caste.

Over the course of his time spent in K-42, Aun'O'T'au Ret'Sav'cyr has come to thoroughly enjoy his fleet posting, sharing many of Kais's views and ideals and showing great acceptance of and even fascination with the various eccentricities and quirks of the fleet's personalities, and it is unlikely that he would ever want to return to the great domes and towers of T'au any time in the foreseeable future. It is perhaps interesting to note, however, that many who have encountered the Aun'O claim to have felt as though he knows a great deal more about a given subject, or indeed the nature of the galaxy itself, than he makes immediately apparent, and there have even been occasional reports that he has successfully predicted events or actions before they occur. What to make of this, however, none are certain...

Chief Officer: Kor'El'T'au M'yen'Cha

Though in practice the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh is commanded by Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh himself, the ship's technical captain is currently Kor'El'T'au M'yen'Cha, whose responsibilities include command of the ship should Kais be incapacitated or otherwise rendered incapable of leading, as well as helping in administrative work, informing the Kor'O of current developments, ensuring the Kor'O's orders are carried out and in general acting as a second in command. He has an excellent record, being a veteran captain of both civilian and military missions, including one of the last voyages of a T'au Merchant class starship outside of K-42, and a masterful ship defence against Ork pirates that earned him his current posting.

Kor'El'T'au M'yen'Cha is the newest addition to the crew of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, having been assigned to it after Kais's promotion to Kor'O. This means that he has not had the same amount of time the ship's crew has had to grow accustomed to each other, and as a result he is at times something of an outsider amongst the crew. Although he has since quickly started to adapt to the crew's own particular characteristics and idiosyncrasies this disconnect can at times lead to tension amongst the crew. While undoubtedly a capable officer, M'yen'Cha still lacks some of the experience and command skill of Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, as well as the latter's ability to think outside the box, and his knowledge is slightly more based in academic studies and theory. While this is not usually a problem when in his typical role or when in command of a single ship, it does result in a greater tendency to make critical errors in judgement, especially when placed in situations or duties outside of his main areas of expertise. This was perhaps most prominently illustrated during the first ATT Station incursion, when after relieving Kais of his command M'yen'Cha's lack of direction when giving the order to disengage from the main battle and commence deep space anti-shipping patrols, to prevent enemy reinforcement from outside the orbital station, resulted in the loss of four entire wings of Mantas after they were hijacked by internal saboteurs and turned against Tau forces. Although not severely reprimanded for this mistake, Kais is still yet to truly forgive him for it..

Chief Engineer: Fio'El'T'au D'Yan

"Red sector team 5, reinforce that bulkhead now! If it pops the entire 3 decks next-door go with it! Don't worry about the causeway team 8, just focus on the oxygen feeds, the Juntas gun crews need air more than they need to get to the docking port. Team 2 black sector, what's the status on the number 3 reactor? What do you mean you don't know what to do with it!? To'tau'va, you've been on this metal brick for how long and you're telling me you don't know how to handle a fluctuating reactor!? What does the emission indicator look like!? Then get over and replace the containment unit regulator circuit, it's not plotting an etheric dive! Noo, kna, the spare one is in the passenger quarters, what else do you think would be in a compartment labelled 'Reserve containment circuit', use your head for Aun's sake! Klkn, if I have to go back there and fix it myself you're going to wish that last hit to the engine room had gotten through the hull plating!"

- Fio'El'T'au D'yan, during an encounter with two cruisers from Task Force Vandal during the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh's escape from the Kindjal system


From her earliest days as a Fio'la working alongside Air Caste ground crews to service and repair Mantas, Fio'El'T'au has displayed an extraordinary affinity for machines and exceptional talent for understanding their workings. Such a gift quickly saw her promoted to higher duties in a highly promising career cumulating in the position of chief engineer on a Custodian class battleship. Eventually however, her renown gave way to discontent as her superiors grew increasingly aware of her character. Whatever the reason for it may be, D'yan has a long-standing history and reputation for being notoriously sardonic and derisive, as well as being extremely strong-willed and fiercely stubborn, and has been known to make frequent use of morbid or black humour. While early in her rise to fame such traits were ignored due to a combination of her immense technical skills and a belief that wisdom and experience would see them phased out of her, eventually such a personality proved too much for such a prominent position, and D'yan was transferred to the much less glamorous role of chief engineer aboard the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh when the ship was placed under command of Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh (at the time only a Kor'El). It was thought that placing D'yan on an old Kor'vattra vessel meant to only perform mundane tasks in the quiet corners of the Tau Empire would be the ideal way of getting her out of the way and keeping her busy until she finally learnt more 'proper' conduct.

As it transpired this would turn out to be a stroke of genius. D'yan found the rugged, simple mechanical systems of the Merchant class starship to be an absolute joy to work on, and Kais, himself more than a little unorthodox, proved more than willing to turn a blind eye to her snarking - indeed, Kais would prove to be one of the few individuals of authority that D'yan treated with considerable respect, with the two quickly becoming good friends. Now more motivated than ever, D'yan would go on to prove her worth time and again. During the fateful first voyage of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh under Kais's command her careful monitoring and direction of the engines of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh while the ship was on silent running was instrumental in evading Imperial patrols, while her exquisite command of the ship's engineering teams enabled swift repairs that kept the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh fully operational during the Battle of Thespa despite being targeted multiple times by enemy capital ships.

As the crew of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh has grown closer over time, Fio'El'T'au D'yen has grown to be extremely protective of her shipmates, and will not hesitate to retaliate against visitors that she feels have insulted the crew in some way, making her very popular with a number of the ship's crew members. Her derisive and often dark sense of humour also often makes her popular with Gue'vessa being transported aboard the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, providing them with a source of relate-able amusement on what might otherwise be an uneventful voyage.

Chief Science Officer: Fio'vre'T'au Gal'T'koreth

Not all of the major crew members of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh were placed there by the ar'tols of T'au to hide their quirks. Indeed, Fio'vre'T'au Gal'T'koreth is considered by many to be a model citizen of the Tau Empire, a renowned scientific mind well known for his dynamic enthusiasm and utmost belief in the Tau'va, and is something of a 'rising star' in the Tau scientific community, rapidly establishing a reputation as one of the Tau Empire's leading experts in the field of astronomy. It was because of this extensive knowledge base that Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh personally requested Gal'T'koreth's posting on the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, believing that his expertise could prove highly useful for deep space missions. Gal'T'koreth himself was happy to comply, reasoning that being stationed aboard the ship would be an ideal way to study the mysteries of the cosmos without being likely to be frequently exposed to dangerous combat.

Fio'vre'T'au Gal'T'koreth would swiftly find out he was incorrect in his assessment, as the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, but Kais would be greatly vindicated in his judgement, with Gal'Tkoreth's insights proving invaluable on several occasions. It was his knowledge of celestial phenomena that allowed the crew of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh to lay the fateful trap that doomed the Crucius Imperator, and to escape pursuit from Eldar pirates in the Hydrapses System, using the movements of the system's celestial bodies to mask the ship's course and taking advantage of the local solar winds to hinder the aliens. In return, the various journeys and missions K-42 and the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh have undertaken have lead Gal'T'koreth to all manner of exciting new discoveries and breakthroughs.

But Fio'vre'T'au Gal'T'koreth is not just learned in material space features. He is also a leading authority on Etheric or warp-based events and developments, a subject of immeasurable importance in interstellar travel. Gal'T'koreth's insights have allowed the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh to successfully navigate several minor warp storms, as well as successfully avoiding a number of small warp rifts, and during the first ATT station incursion it was Gal'T'koreth's analysis of the etheric breach in the orbital's Upper Concourse section that allowed the fleet's engineers to jurry-rig several 'etheric polarity reversal charges' that succeeded in sealing the rift, cutting off a key source of enemy reinforcements. Once again this arrangement is mutually beneficial, as the travels of K-42 and the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh frequently bring Gal'Tkoreth into contact with new and unusual etheric anomalies to study, observe and categorise, further expanding the collective knowledge of the Tau Empire.

Chief Security Officer: Shas'El'T'au B'kais

All Tau vessels maintain a Fire Caste shipboard security force of some description, ranging from just one or two Firewarrior teams on an escort to an entire contingent of Shipboard Security Cadres stationed on a capital ship. These forces are functionally analogous to marines or naval armsmen, acting as an internal security force to defend the ship in boarding actions, police any disputes that occur between the occupants of the vessel, and in general act to ensure the safety of all on board the ship. While the Tau are usually loathe to initiate boarding actions against a hostile ship themselves, Shipboard Security forces nonetheless also conduct the task of securing enemy ships that have surrendered to Tau forces, disarming the crew and ensuring they pose no danger, as well as confiscating any illegal contraband the vessel may be carrying.

In the case of capital ships where multiple cadres are present, one of the Fire Caste commanders present will be appointed an overall commander of the entire shipboard security force, in a similar manner to being appointed overall commander of a Contingent or Battle during ground warfare, however unlike terrestrial multi-cadre groupings that are almost entirely temporary in nature, the long-term nature of most deep-space missions and ship crew postings mean that the position of overall commander of a shipboard security force is for all practical purposes a permanent one, lasting until the Fire Caste commander in question is either killed or assigned a new mission. These overall commanders or Chief Security Officers then report directly to the ship's captain, as well as the fleet admiral if applicable, and are not only responsible for organising and directing the vessel's Shipboard Security Contingent, but also for the safety of the ship's commander, effectively acting as a bodyguard for the Kor'El or Kor'O. Hunter Cadres assigned Shipboard Security duty are often met with mixed feelings by other Fire Caste forces, as while they frequently see much less combat than terrestrially-bound Fire Caste units, what combat they do see is invariably extremely dangerous, as the tight confines of a starship interior often place severe limits on the amount and variety of heavy equipment and weaponry that can be deployed, and leaves Tau forces highly vulnerable to close assault. Victory in such circumstances usually comes down to cunning tactical ploys and clever use of the ship's layout, and consequently veteran shipboard security commanders often have a reputation for being devious and underhanded.

The current chief security officer in command of the shipboard security forces aboard the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, Shas'El'T'au B'kais is relatively new to the position, having been promoted to Shas'El for her valorous actions during the first ATT Station incursion, where she played a key role in fighting off the Mont'au forces' assault on the ship's bridge, and then given the role of chief security officer after it's previous holder was killed protecting Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh from an assault by a boarding party of Gue'ron'sha heavy infantry that teleported directly into the interior of the T'au'Il'fannor'B'Kyse'Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh. Nonetheless B'kais has a considerable amount of leadership experience despite her relatively new posting, having commanded small forces of Shipboard Security Firewarriors in several boarding actions during her time as a Shas'vre - a common occurrence among shipboard security forces due to the frequently chaotic nature of fighting in the confines of a starship, which often sees force elements cut off from main command channels. She has already displayed an impressive aptitude for the unique challenges of starship interior combat, and her tactical approaches and thinking on the subject are beginning to revolutionise the way such battles are fought, having already been adopted by many of the other shipboard security forces in K-42, and are even starting to diffuse to other Tau fleets.

As for Shas'El'T'au B'kais herself, she is soft-spoken and will often prefer to speak through actions rather than words, and is reputed to be highly honourable in battle, in contrast to the common stereotype of shipboard security commanders. Tall and powerful even by Fire Caste standards, she often presents an intimidating sight, and is extensively trained in combat and leadership both from within and without a battlesuit, a requirement for shipboard security commanders due to the restrictive nature of many starship interiors. Despite this imposing presence, she is often surprisingly compassionate, and frequently acts as a comforting presence in times of stress.

****


So there it is, my first piece of individual ship background. Now to do the same for the other ships in my fleet... urk. :fear:

Finally, I have another question for everyone, that is critically important for a top-secret project I intend to work on in the not-too-distant future. I am wondering if anyone might be able to point me in the direction of some good guides or tips for blending colours when painting, as I am wanting to get a smooth transition of colours on the aforementioned secret project when painting it, going from dark at the bottom areas to light at the top (So far I haven't been able to find any resources on here that are really helpful for what I want). If it helps the colours I am looking to blend are light blue-greys and blue-whites. It's something I've never tried before, but it's the only way I can think of to properly capture the look of what I want, and I'd prefer to get it right the first time, partially because I'm an almost obsessive perfectionist that makes the Emperor's Children legion pale in comparison, but also because thanks to the Specialist Games ranges being discontinued, I'll only be getting one shot at it. So any help would be greatly appreciated.

(P.S. And can someone please remind me what 'ATT' is supposed to stand for in-universe? I remember it's not 'Advanced Tau Tactica', but I can't remember what the official in-universe name is. It's something Tactical something right?)
A Shas and a Kor walk into a bar...
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Kakapo42
Shas'Vre
Posts: 781

Re: (BFG) Tau fleet- Emissary, and some stuff about a flagship

Post#98 » Nov 13 2014 08:14

Right then. A couple of days ago I finished up the other Emissary class starship I have, the Charlotte Wessels.

Image Image Image Image

No background for this update sorry. I was going to put up some background about my other currently painted Merchant, but that's unfortunately had to be postponed while I remain locked in eternal war with the arch-nemesis of Battlefleet Gothic admirals everywhere: flying base stems. The stabilising cross I put on the Merchant's stand broke off while I was cleaning dust off it, and I decided to take the opportunity to use the new trick I had learnt for solving the flying-stand dilemma, cutting off the top tip of the stem and sitting the ship on it's main body instead. Unfortunately, the hole for the Merchant is too small for the main body of a flying stem to fit in, so I had to reduce it's diameter. I ended up, however, shaving off a little bit too much of the flying stand, so while it now fits, the Merchant ends up leaning upwards on it (like the Emissaries, it is a back-heavy model, but being made of solid pewter metal the weight is much more pronounced), and so I'm currently in a state of applying see-sawing amounts of greenstuff to the top of the stem to try and get it to a thickness that will both fit in the Merchant's hole and keep it stable. It has so far been a long, tedious and extremely frustrating task, and I have still yet to get it just right, hence why this is just a quick update with only pretty pictures.
A Shas and a Kor walk into a bar...
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Kakapo42
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Re: (BFG) Tau fleet- Emissary Update

Post#99 » Dec 06 2014 10:04

After a very long, bloody and frustrating conflict, I have finally managed to solve the flying stand problem for my second (well, first really) Merchant. All crew assemble for inspection, all non-essential personnel clear the docking berth, launch in T-minus 10 minutes!

Kor'vattra Fleet K-42


T'au'Il'fannor'Vral'Myr'J'Kar'tyr ('Tantive IV')


Image Image Image

Ship Name: T'au'Il'fannor'Vral'Myr'J'Kar'tyr
Gue'la Imperial Designation: Tantive IV
Class: Il'fannor (Merchant)
Configuration: Kel'shan standard
Mission Role: General-purpose Utility, Tactical engagement, Transport, Command and Control, Communications, Diplomatic Emissary, Blockade Runner
Serial Designation Code: T1316K47847O16
Sept of Origin: T'au
Notable Deployments:

- Smuggling of Hermia and Lysander Goshawk, along with their household attendants, following their defection to the Tau Empire
- Transport of clandestine weapons shipments to pro-Tau'va rebels in the Helveitios Cluster.
- Raid on Imperial port Sierra Aleph. 1 confirmed kill on enemy shipping, 3 unconfirmed, all mission objectives completed.
- Retrieval of design blueprints and technical specifications for Imperial Ramilies class starforts and research data on 'Blackstone' fortresses from Adeptus Mechanicus world Imperator Palatine
- Raid on Imperial convoy in the Locken sector. 2 confirmed kills on enemy shipping, 4 confirmed kills on cargo transports.
- Guidammerg relief operation (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Relief of Guidammerg)
- Ufa'Li'Sun'yi incident (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Ufa'Li'Sun'yi disaster, Ufa'Li'Sun'yi reconstruction program)
- Escort of convoy V-03 (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, V-03 incident, Y'he, Y'he Vanguard Swarm, Y'he activity, Zone of Silence, Eldar, Eldar pirate activity)
- Fleet action in Thespa system. 3 confirmed kills on enemy shipping, 9 unconfrimed (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Battle of Thespa, Thespa system, Grand Thespian Armada, Mont'au Gue'la, Mont'au Gue'la activity, Marc Baeth, Eldar, Eldar pirate activity)
- Re-enforcement of Fio'da (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Necron, Necron activity, Tomb World)
- First ATT Station incursion (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Shas'O'T'au Kais'ka'Eoro Da'Anuk, 42nd T'au Guards Cadre/Hunter Cadre Kais'Da'Anuk, ATT, Mont'au Gue'la, Mont'au entity, Etheric anomaly, Tzchael, Change incident, Embrace Change)
- Edge Expedition
- Defence of Tan'is. 1 confirmed kill on enemy shipping, 3 unconfirmed (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Gue'la, Gue'la fleet activity, Gue'la fleet actions, Destruction of Tan'is)
- Fleet action around Celestial Moon. 1 confirmed kill on enemy shipping, 4 unconfirmed (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Gue'la, Gue'la fleet activity, Gue'la Fleet actions, Battle of Celestial Moon, V-47)
- Second ATT Station incursion (Cross-reference: Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh, K-42, Shas'O'T'au Kais'ka'Eoro Da'Anuk, 42nd T'au Guards Cadre/Hunter Cadre Kais'Da'Anuk, ATT, Gue'la, Gue'la terror activity, Gue'la Inquisition, Jotunheim, Jotunheim raid, Vanaheimr, Taleghan, The Emperor Calls Turn Not Away Lest Ye Be Judged)

First Commander: Kor'el'T'au'Vral'Myr
Current Commander: Kor'el'T'au'J'Kar'tyr
Crew: 6,000 Kor, 3,000 Fio, 200 Por, 6 Shipboard Security Cadres, numerous assorted Kor'vessa
Powerplant: Hybrid Fusion/Nova system (4 Fusion reactors, 2 Nova reactors)
Propulsion: Standard Fusion Drive/Gravitic Field hybrid system
Defences: Class 2 multi-tier close-in point defence grid, including 4 mass drivers. Class 1 gravitic shield
Armament: Three light railcannon batteries (Total armament composition: 18 heavy railcannons in 6 2-railcannon turrets, 2 single railcannon turrets and 2 2-railcannon casemates in prow)
Docking Capacity: 2 Gravitic Hooks
Compliment: 2 Kass'l (Orca) class gunships
Status: Deployed to Warzone following extensive repairs

Overview:

"Gue'la warship Athena this is the T'au'I'lfannor'Vral'Myr. We are a civilian merchant freighter transporting a standard shipment of ores, there is no cause for alarm. We have full authorisation from your authorities to be flying this trade route, and are currently departing Imperial space and entering an officially sanctioned non-militarised neutral zone as established by accords between our two peoples. We pose no threat to you. I respectfully request that you call off your pursuit, there is no need to board this ship for inspection. I repeat, there is no need to come aboard.

[closes communications channel]

Right, navigation prepare to plot an Etheric dive, try and get us closer to Tau space, but put us on a tangent vector, don't make it a linear transit, and make sure it's hard to track. Propulsion, get ready to divert all power into the Ether-drive, black-out the lights if you have to. Make it subtle though, don't tip off their sensors. Helm, prepare for Etheric translation on my mark. Fire control, prepare to target the cruiser, don't lock on or bring any turrets to bare, just plot some firing solutions, charge capacitors, and load the railcannons. Again, make sure they don't notice. Por'vre, if they come aboard stall them for as long as you can, and keep them away from the cargo hold at all costs. All Shipboard Security Cadres to standby positions, things could get violent. All hands prepare to jettison the cargo if needbe, if they find out what we're really carrying none of us will ever see the Empire again!"

- Kor'el'T'au'Vral'Myr, upon being hailed by the Imperial cruiser Athena


First commanded by the Air Caste captain Kor'el'T'au'Vral'Myr, legendary for his cunning, deviousness and ability to complete even the most daring of missions, the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr, or Tantive IV as it is commonly identified as, has an infamous reputation amongst Imperial authorities on the Eastern Fringe for being a notorious blockade runner. Since it was first launched from the T'au shipyards the vessel has been a constant thorn in the side of the Imperium, regularly slipping into human controlled space and performing all manner of clandestine missions, including secret trade exchanges, smuggling operations, extraction of key defectors from hostile areas, discrete long-range observation, transmission of propaganda, transporting stolen technology or information and even raids and strikes on military targets, all before quietly making it's way back to the Tau Empire. Over the span of it's service history the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr and the crews serving aboard it have been accused of over 100 instances of illicit activity by Imperial authorities and suspected of numerous more (although little conclusive evidence has ever been found and thus most remain baseless), and on 35 occasions the ship has been pursued by Imperial Navy warships, but has managed to escape capture or destruction every time, albeit with varying amounts of damage.

The innocuous nature of the Il'fannor class starship often works to the advantage of the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr in it's escapades. The ship class tends to be remembered more as a cargo freighter than a warship, especially with the introduction of the Kor'O'vesh series of vessels and the widespread phasing out of Kor'vattra ships from active combat duty, and so inexperienced commanders are likely to believe that the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr genuinely is on a mundane civilian voyage, and can even cause those who are old hands to the Eastern Fringe to have a moment of hesitation that can mean the difference between escape and failure. Even if the ship is fully identified, the reputation Il'fannor class starships have for being under-gunned can make pursuers underestimate the weaponry the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr carries, although Imperial captains and admirals are quick to learn that it is the clever tricks and ploys that the ship's crew invariably proves to be adept at that are a greater strength of the vessel than it's firepower. The ubiquitousness of the Il'fannor in civilian merchant fleets also allows the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr to blend in seamlessly with nearby convoys or docked station traffic if it manages to give pursuers the slip, and the vessel carries a wide selection of alternate ident codes and identification signals to aid in such instances.

At the same time, the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr also possesses an impressive array of internal alterations. While it is by no means uncommon for Il'fannors to obtain a number of subtle alterations to their internal structure, this is especially pronounced in the case of the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr, and the ship's interior is thoroughly riddled with a mind-boggling number of hidden weapon and supply caches, concealed causeways, conduits and other passages, camouflaged entryways, secret compartments, covert observation systems and other such clandestine features. Many of them date back to the early Tau'cyr of the ship's service under Vral'Myr, but every subsequent commander has added their own set of secrets over their tenure. These alterations never cease to prove useful in the sort of missions the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr is often sent on, whether by giving the Shipboard Security Cadres on board a decisive edge in boarding actions or, much more commonly, allowing cargo or passengers to be hidden during inspections - after all, there is no need to risk the ship in a costly struggle if the enemy never finds out about it's true mission in the first place. Many of these features are further hidden through the use of various countermeasures and sensor-baffling materials, some of Tau manufacture and others obtained from alien sources.

The frequent incursions undertaken by the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr ensure that it's crew inevitably come to possess a wealth of knowledge regarding Imperial space around the Tau Empire, as well as an abundance of insight into Imperial fleet tactics and the capabilities of Imperial warships. This has made the ship an invaluable asset in the ongoing conflict with the Imperium, where such knowledge has proven decisive in several fleet engagements, but is even more useful outside of open battle. The crew's experience with the Gue'la has lead Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh to place the ship at the head of K-42's recently expanded raiding operations against the Imperial offensive, ranging deep into Imperial-held territory to strike at vulnerable supply convoys, fleet bases and other critical infrastructure. These actions have had an extraordinary impact, rendering many Imperial battlegroups unfit for combat or incapable of action due to a lack of supplies or maintenance and delayed or even halted repair efforts on a number of crippled ships and salvaged hulks, and has taken a considerable amount of pressure off the hard pressed Kor'vattra fleet in the face of the seemingly inexhaustible numbers of the Imperial Navy.

But the successes of the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr have not come without cost. The ship has recently been out of action for a considerable amount of time after it was nearly completely destroyed during an engagement with an Imperial fleet. Long range gunfire from Imperial capital ships inflicted immense damage on the vessel, which only barely managed to limp home, with little more than it's basic drives and navigation functional and the overwhelming majority of it's crew killed or injured. Such an instance illustrates a new shift in the tactical doctrine being employed by the Imperial fleets arrayed against K-42, with an increasing emphasis being placed on long-range gunnery after suffering heavy losses to the superior ordinance capabilities of the Tau. It remains to be seen how this will be effectively countered.

Nonetheless, the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr is once again fully operational, including an upgraded navigation system and grav-stabilisers, and the ship's crew has been re-enforced, the new additions being watched over by the hardened core of veteran survivors. With a combination of luck, cunning and skill, the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr should continue to confound the Imperium for some time yet.

Crew Profiles: Key Personnel


Captain: Kor'el'T'au'J'Kar'tyr

Throughout its history the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr has been commanded by captains with a reputation for being sly, and this tradition is more than maintained with the ship's latest captain, Kor'el'T'au'J'Kar'tyr. A quiet and reserved individual by nature, she has nonetheless proven to be an extremely intelligent and capable captain, having commanded the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr on a long string of successful sorties into Imperial space, and is widely regarded to be the most brilliant commander the ship has had since it was first commanded by Kor'el'T'au'Vral'Myr himself. Interestingly, it has been noted that while Vral'Myr's skill and cunning was always centred primarily around clever manoeuvres and devious ploys with the vessel itself, J'Kar'tyr's greatest ability is argued by many to instead be her talent for exploiting trade and diplomatic agreements, and any loopholes they may contain, as well as astute negotiations and diplomatic posturing - in these areas J'Kar'tyr's skill rivals that of many Por'ui and even some Por'vre. She is still fully able to make shrewd use of the ship under her command, as evidenced by both managing to slip the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr past nearly the entirety of Battlegroup Ventrue following an incursion into the Venetaris sub-sector, and her masterminding of the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr's brilliant escape from the Imperial capital ship Decimator above the desert world Tathicon IV.

While usually non-confrontational, and indeed somewhat elusive, Kor'el'T'au'J'Kar'tyr has been known at times to display a very different temprament. There have been a number of instances where the Kor'el has shown herself to be highly stubborn and opinionated, especially when confronted with moral dilemmas where she believes the appropriate course of action is not being taken. This has lead to conflicts between her and commanding officers in the past, and it is widely believed that this is one of the primary reasons that she was assigned a more prestigious posting on a Kor'O'vesh vessel despite her proven abilities. Nonetheless, command of the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr has proven to be the ideal role for her, and the more idealistic nature and pronounced moral compass of Kor'O'T'au Kais'Y'eldi'Aloh means that such instances of conflict are kept to a minimum (indeed reported incidents of critical dispute under Kais's command are lower than with any other admiral that she has served under), although this is helped considerably by the somewhat greater degree of autonomy J'Kar'tyr is often given being commander of a vessel traditionally employed as a blockade runner. As the missions she is usually assigned are often dangerous and frequently require her ship to operate deep in hostile territory away from any support besides the two Orca class gunships that the T’au’Il’fannor’Vral’Myr’J’Kar’tyr can transport, Kor'el'T'au'J'Kar'tyr has also come to be considerably more proficient at direct combat than many other Kor, frequently wielding a pulse carbine rather than the usual pulse pistol when required to use a personal weapon, and is by all accounts an excellent shot with it. Perhaps the most notable demonstration of this was when she engaged in a firefight with a boarding party of elite Tempestus Scions when they managed to uncover her location during a boarding action. While only inflicting a single casualty, J'Kar'tyr was able to keep the Imperial troops tied up long enough for a Shipboard Security Firewarrior team to properly eliminate them.


****


And that's the second lot of ship-specific backstory. Now to work on - gulp - the Custodian...
A Shas and a Kor walk into a bar...
Naked Metal

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Kakapo42
Shas'Vre
Posts: 781

Re: (BFG) Tau fleet- Merchant Background

Post#100 » Mar 30 2015 06:58

(NOTE: before continuing, I would like to recommend you play this in the background while reading the rest of this post.)

Well ladies and gentlemen, there she goes - the Zelbinion. To my knowledge it is the last Custodian class battleship Forgeworld ever sold.

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While it is a fantastic model, it also proved to be an absolute nightmare to paint. To cut costs I elected not to buy new Tau Light Ochre paint for it and instead used what was left of my ancient stockpile of Tausept Ochre (which dates back to when the first Citadel Foundation paints were ever released!) like I had done for the other Kor'O'vesh ships I have. Unfortunately for me, in its age the paint had deteriorated far more extensively than I had anticipated, and simply refused to settle properly, either producing ugly bulging 'blisters' or leaving equally ugly 'stains'. With the perfectionist in me hell-bent on making the paint scheme on this model as perfect as possible, this left me spending the better part of the last 4-5 months going through a seemingly endless cycle of see-sawing layers and touch-ups that I can only describe as the painting equivalent of trench warfare. Eventually I worked out a breakthrough (thinning the paint down to effectively the level of an ink wash and applying several coats of it), but even then it dragged on for months longer than I had planned, and only a long full day of frantic edge-highlighting detailing action finally saw the model finished, a monolithic feat of painting insanity second only to the time I stayed up until 4:30 in the morning applying all the highlights to one of the Emissaries in one fell swoop. Still, I quite like how it turned out, I'm particularly pleased with the engine glows - they are the neatest ones I've done yet, which is all the more impressive seeing as they were done at 2 in the morning while going on less than 7 hours of sleep. :eek:

I also pinned the main hull and keel section rather than gluing them together, mostly so I could get at all the hard-to-reach parts of the model, but also to allow the 'interior' tunnel of the model to be seen. It also means I can easily attach Wardens to the model if I wish (which I regrettably won't be demonstrating again until I've properly sealed their paint schemes in with varnishes).

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But that's not all, because now I am the proud owner of not only one, but TWO Custodians. After a long journey in the warp, my fleet now has a new addition in the form of a Custodian model from the Farsight Enclaves very kindly given by Nevar.

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I'm not entirely sure how I want to paint it yet. I could strip it and simply paint it up in the colours of my other Kor'O'vesh ships, but then I'm wondering about the possibility of salvaging what there is of its current paint scheme - it looks like I could work with the dark grey as a base colour for the traditional red and grey colour scheme of the Farsight Enclaves, which would be fitting as my understanding is that it is an Enclave vessel. The third option I'm considering is painting it in the ATT colour scheme, as Nevar's wish was that it remain "In the ATT family". I'm also undecided on what to name it, contending names include (but are not limited to) Kapella, Pride of Vior'los and Jeff Kakapo.

And, before I forget, I also just today received a veritable treasure trove of old GW publications from Noble Knight games.

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Perhaps most important for this thread is a copy of issue 17 of Battlefleet Gothic Magazine, which covered the first release of the Tau fleet. A cursory inspection has revealed it contains assembly guides for all of the Kor'vattra capital ships (which would have been very helpful had I not gotten it -after- I had finished putting together most of my Kor'vattra ships already), as well as a little bit of extra background and rules for extra celestial phenomena (including black holes! very handy since there's a reference to them in my background).

I was going to post up some more background, but it will have to wait for when I have more time - right now I'm juggling the first wave of University assignments for the year, and there's an update to Into Silence Rosa Vitae sitting in my drafts area that needs attention. This was a quick update mostly to show off my swanky new painted Custodian (and to prove to myself that it was finally finished).

IMPORTANT NOTICE


As a few of the veteran members will probably know, the 1st of April is just around the corner, and with it is very likely another major attack on the ATT orbital. My fleet is currently on high alert and maximum readiness. I recommend that other members prepare their forces for battle - stall any potential enemies for as long as you can, it's the diplomatic thing to do and it will take some time for my fleet to finish it's warp transit, but if I'm right, things will get quite heavy in a couple of days time. I don't know what force it will be this time, but I have 200 currency units and a round of Tau'Shi'T'koreth Galactic Dumplings riding on Orks or Genestealer-cult focused Tyranids in the fleet betting pool. Whatever it is, be ready for anything. :fear:

This is Kakapo42 saying goodnight, and good luck.
A Shas and a Kor walk into a bar...
Naked Metal

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