Tau Allies - How would you fluff 'em?

Discuss Tau background and even your own Cadre fiction here.
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Calmsword
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Re: Tau Allies - How would you fluff 'em?

Post#19 » Sep 15 2016 04:50

I'm going to say it one more time just so we're clear as sometimes these forum conversations can get a little lost because it's difficult to express tone: I have no judgment of what people do in their own hobbies or games- but I am a fluff enthusiast and so put that at the forefront of all 40k based conversations rather than gameplay.

But I do love lively conversation, so let's jump in.

Unicornsilovethem:
So far I've only run with Harlequin allies, and their own fluff states how they mysteriously choose to show up and aid basically anyone only to vanish again.


Totally agree. Harlequins appear all over the galaxy serving their own ends. Appearing and assisting a Tau expansionist force is in line with fluff as much as Harlequins showing up to assist the Dark Eldar or Eldar. I would even see an argument that could see Harlequins fighting in the same theater for the benefit of the Tyranids or Traitor/none Slannesh Marines (I don't see them ever working with the Necrons).

ArttesThePerishable:
I figure something along those lines is a good fluff way to explain it. Otherwise it seems unlikely that the Tau would help beings that harvest those they conquer.


The new Necrons are vastly different from their previous incarnation and there hasn't been very much detail regarding their internal politics. As of now, the first-contact event with the Necrons has been the loss of an entire world's population... So working with them would be a complicated scenario indeed. The only other species to have done this to the Tau are the Tyranids (by far the worst with the loss of an entire region of systems) and the Dark Eldar.

counterwave
Perceived magic or not, Necron technology is based on science and physics, the same as Tau technology.


Being that the Necrons can bend and break the laws of physics as easily as a lightswitch, I'd be forced to disagree. But I understand the crux of what you're getting at- I just don't see the Tau being able to understand Necron tech in the same way that no one understands Eldar tech because of the psycho-relationship a user needs to have with everything. If the Tau were able to reverse engineer Necron tech they'd just 'win'. I'd also argue there's probably a cultural resistance to Necron tech as it seems to involve the vampiric reduction of beings and stellar bodies while the Tau are 'humanists' and environmentalists to a fault.

I'd have to read someone's fluff to get on board with a conversion, in short, but it is possible if unlikely.

materpillar

When I say I don't 'get' allies it's because I come from an older batch of 40k player. Unlike Star Wars or Star Trek where aliens are working together constantly, 40k's attraction to me is the inability for the factions to work together. The adoption of 'let's stop shooting each other and shoot at that big guy and when he's dead we'll go back to shooting eachother' was never as intriguing as 'we'll shoot through each other and maybe that will kill that third guy'. If that makes sense.

But your own fluff:
To paraphrase my army's fluff greatly my contingent are working hand-in-hand with two Ordo Malleus Inquisitors.
makes sense and there's a precedence of Tau mercenaries working further afield in the Eastern Fringes. If you were playing the fluff angle you just wouldn't see Riptides and the higher end Tau technologies- but that's a flavor thing. The concept is sound.

I own a knight and I bring it out occasionally. One of my inquisitors is a very powerful psyker.


Now, personally, this is where I would get off-board. You have two very powerful psykers, they have cultists, you have a radical Ethereal (what is a radical Ethereal?) and a large compliment of Fire Caste. They have access all over the galaxy and can call on a knight which is a daemonic entity- that's a lot. It would already be more of a heresy to be working with aliens let alone being a powerful enough psyker to be able to manifest a daemon on a whim. Remember that the Traitor Marines themselves do not regard the use of aliens as palatable- and these guys eat babies... Your army would be the greatest series of heresies that would dwarf any other radical Inquisitor's accomplishments in the history of the Imperium (read Dan Abnetts stuff).

But this seems to be a style of play and a style of fluff- and I respect it, but I personally just think that's too much boom.

But that's not an attack- as stated in the beginning, I just like bing more hardline on 40k fluff.

I'll read your stuff.
~Good Hunting

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counterwave
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Re: Tau Allies - How would you fluff 'em?

Post#20 » Sep 15 2016 08:45

Calmsword wrote:Being that the Necrons can bend and break the laws of physics as easily as a lightswitch, I'd be forced to disagree. But I understand the crux of what you're getting at- I just don't see the Tau being able to understand Necron tech in the same way that no one understands Eldar tech because of the psycho-relationship a user needs to have with everything. If the Tau were able to reverse engineer Necron tech they'd just 'win'. I'd also argue there's probably a cultural resistance to Necron tech as it seems to involve the vampiric reduction of beings and stellar bodies while the Tau are 'humanists' and environmentalists to a fault.


That doesn't make it "magic", that just makes it a very advanced level of physics. There's no reason why the Tau couldn't reverse engineer Necron tech to an extent after extensive study and experimentation. I believe you are under-estimating the ambition and ingenuity of Tau engineers. Every time an enemy throws something at them, they bounce back with a viable counter. The very nature of the Tau spirit is to be constantly expanding and evolving. As to the vampiric nature of Necron technology, Farsight has shown us that no Tau is completely immune to temptation.
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Calmsword
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Re: Tau Allies - How would you fluff 'em?

Post#21 » Sep 15 2016 10:39

Okay.

Farsight has shown us that no Tau is completely immune to temptation.


He doesn't know what the sword is doing and if he did he would probably kill himself. Says it in the codex entry:

"Unbeknownst to Farsight, the ancient sword has a dark secret... he would likely end his own life in a ritual suicide then and there." Pg. 76 Farsight Enclaves

I don't know if it's worth splitting hairs on what I or you think the Tau could backwards engineer.

The reason I use the term 'magic' is that 40k is covered in the blending of the mundane and esoteric. The Necrons do not use benign or mundane tools, the way the Tau do, their weapons are as alive/undead as anything the Eldar have, perhaps more so since they are a race that has transferred their spirits into their technology.

One of the reasons that the Imperium finds the Tau the greatest threat to the Imperium is that they don't seem to be aware of the danger of AI (the Imperium being built upon the ashes of their own civilization's war with the Iron Men during the Golden Age).

Canonically they have two examples of integrated technology that I can think of: Ion tech from the Demiurge, and a Repulsor Impact Field reverse engineered from the Orks.

The idea that someone in the Empire, currently, can even handle Necron technology seems a bit far fetched. Necron 'living metal' is an anathema to non-necron users since it is hostile on a nanite level the same way the Tyranids and Orks are viral to anything not-them on a molecular level.

The only example we have of living metal infecting life and it maintaining their sentience is an Ultramarine and the Primarch of the Iron Hands.
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materpillar
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Re: Tau Allies - How would you fluff 'em?

Post#22 » Sep 16 2016 12:38

I'm not particularly knowledgeable about the necron's lore. So pardon my not having much to add on that topic.

Calmsword wrote:I'm going to say it one more time just so we're clear as sometimes these forum conversations can get a little lost because it's difficult to express tone: I have no judgment of what people do in their own hobbies or games- but I am a fluff enthusiast and so put that at the forefront of all 40k based conversations rather than gameplay.

But I do love lively conversation, so let's jump in.

No worries. Your tone always seemed quite pleasant to me.

When I say I don't 'get' allies it's because I come from an older batch of 40k player. Unlike Star Wars or Star Trek where aliens are working together constantly, 40k's attraction to me is the inability for the factions to work together. The adoption of 'let's stop shooting each other and shoot at that big guy and when he's dead we'll go back to shooting each other' was never as intriguing as 'we'll shoot through each other and maybe that will kill that third guy'. If that makes sense.

I actually also started playing 40k in the 5th edition right before the Ally Matrix was introduced. One of the main reasons I ended up playing Tau was because I felt like they were the opposite of what you describe. When I started with them they felt like the "Good Guys" of the universe (comparatively to the other races), the one race of moral non-terribleness. They were the only race that would always try to offer a diplomatic solution before it was inevitably rejected and the big guns came out.

I own a knight and I bring it out occasionally. One of my inquisitors is a very powerful psyker.


Now, personally, this is where I would get off-board. You have two very powerful psykers, they have cultists, you have a radical Ethereal (what is a radical Ethereal?) and a large compliment of Fire Caste. They have access all over the galaxy and can call on a knight which is a daemonic entity- that's a lot. It would already be more of a heresy to be working with aliens let alone being a powerful enough psyker to be able to manifest a daemon on a whim. Remember that the Traitor Marines themselves do not regard the use of aliens as palatable- and these guys eat babies... Your army would be the greatest series of heresies that would dwarf any other radical Inquisitor's accomplishments in the history of the Imperium (read Dan Abnetts stuff).

But this seems to be a style of play and a style of fluff- and I respect it, but I personally just think that's too much boom.

But that's not an attack- as stated in the beginning, I just like being more hardline on 40k fluff.

Do note, my concept of fluff in 40k is limited strictly to the fluff that I've read in the different codexes (of those I've read quite a few). I have never read any books or played any of the video games or such, so I'm not really familiar with what goes on in those at all. I don't mind criticism of my fluff, it's the only way to improve it. So please if you find any lacking logic or inconsistencies with fluff you've read, do point it out, especially if its book stuff that I have no knowledge of. I'd like my fluff to be as bullet proof as I can make it.

Also I really like writing characters that have glaring inconsistencies with prior standing fluff and finding ways to try and explain it. This is more easily explained in D&D terms, so I hope you're somewhat familiar with that universe. My first D&D character was an elf who worked for Gruumsh (the orc god who hates elves). Another character was an undead cleric of Pelor (the one who hates undead). My most recent (and favorite) character is a Drow Barbarian (most drow are scheming, political backstabbers). Its just a thing I enjoy. So some of that has rolled over into my warhammer army too.

you have a radical Ethereal (what is a radical Ethereal?)

You know, I'm not really sure. Ethereals are a huge political entity. So I assume there will be radicals and conservatives just like in any other body of politics. Mostly I just call him radical, as I don't know tau politics very well. That being said the one example of radicalness that I have is that he's had a kid with my riptide pilot, which I know is waaaaaaaaay not ok.

Also, as to your previous point about riptides. My army has a single one. I explain that as my ethereal and commander having a fair bit of political sway coming off of a very large military victory just prior to leaving tau space.

Remember that the Traitor Marines themselves do not regard the use of aliens as palatable- and these guys eat babies... Your army would be the greatest series of heresies that would dwarf any other radical Inquisitor's accomplishments in the history of the Imperium (read Dan Abnetts stuff).

Is summoning a controlled daemonic entity that much worse than creating a daemon host? I honestly don't know the answer. Just curious to know your opinion on that.

I haven't read any of Dan Abnetts stuff unfortunately. What kind of thing have other radical inquisitors done?

Also, I agree the whole arrangement is heresy. Lots and lots of heresy. As a result they fight with other agents of the imperium a lot. Lots and lots, which only means they're even more heretical to constantly oppose the glorious space marines. That being said, they have tons of experience with actual daemons and know what happens if daemons win anywhere. Let's be honest, following the laws of the imperium < letting daemons win anywhere. In my mind my characters are all "good guys" running around in the 40k universe, I'm fine with their actions making them heretics by the standards of the imperium.

Although, I would like to mention that they don't exactly flaunt all this heresy to everyone they run across. Most of the time they're flying around in spaceships and usually only the two inquisitors (with a small bodyguard) show up to interact others planetside (outside of large scale engagements obviously). Though if you have any thoughts on how they'd avoid getting immediately excommunicated and shot on sight I'd appreciate it. My current thoughts on that is they show up, flash inquisitional badge and then proceed to stop whatever evil horde is rampaging around the planet before peacing out. Arriving in a time of crisis with aid (albiet questionable) and not really giving those around them too much time to double check their credentials. Maybe a spy network to sabotage other inquisitors attempts to get them excommunicated. Really I'm just not sure how that whole excommunication process works.

I'll read your stuff.

I would be quite curious to know your opinions of it.
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Calmsword
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Re: Tau Allies - How would you fluff 'em?

Post#23 » Sep 17 2016 05:51

They were the only race that would always try to offer a diplomatic solution before it was inevitably rejected and the big guns came out.


Agreed, I also enjoyed their overall naivety. Every other faction and race has a deep understanding of the inner workings behind the 'curtain' as it were and it's nice to see an alien species that just thinks things are constantly weird and overly complicated for no reason all around them. Sending diplomatic envoys to the Tyranids and welcoming the Necrons as their saviors or making a deal with the Dark Eldar and not expecting to get shafted= all fantastic.

I don't mind criticism of my fluff, it's the only way to improve it. So please if you find any lacking logic or inconsistencies with fluff you've read, do point it out, especially if its book stuff that I have no knowledge of. I'd like my fluff to be as bullet proof as I can make it.


And any criticisms there might be are always supportive. The selections you've made to your army are very 'big' in terms of the abilities that have been outlined in canonical fluff. I would, personally, scale things back and have one aspect of your army be the 'knockout' aspect. To relate it back to Tau Allies and this subject- I would say the same thing for anyone wanting to blend factions.

Do note, my concept of fluff in 40k is limited strictly to the fluff that I've read in the different codexes (of those I've read quite a few). I have never read any books or played any of the video games or such, so I'm not really familiar with what goes on in those at all.


That's why the Orbital is such a good resource with oodles of canonical points brought up by members and compiled in forum posts.

I guess my only response is 'you should!' The 40k universe is a diverse and infinitely interesting place where all kinds of stories can take root. The Tau have it difficult because they're basically split between three 'factions': Black Library, Forgeworld and GW itself with contradicting fluff all over the place.

Depending on your level of self-interest in your army, I would highly recommend doing the research (figure it makes sense to do it with single models sometimes costing upwards of 35$.

D&D terms


I think this is where the major discrepancy for most hobbyists are. Dungeons and Dragons is a place of ultimate blending with powerful individuals bumping into one another on a casual basis. With 40k, the universe is much much bigger with Space Marines being as commonplace as biblical Angels (there are many instances where common human beings literally go crazy in the mere presence of the Astartes let alone being on the opposite end of their wrath). That's why piling all those characters into one army, to a hard(er) lined player like myself seems going over board.

Ethereals are a huge political entity. So I assume there will be radicals and conservatives just like in any other body of politics.


This is where the cheese separates for a lot of Tau gamers. For me, the Tau still don't even kill one another as it would be the ultimate example of a return to the Age of Terror (the Mont'au). So, in my interpretation, while there might be Ethereals that disagree with one another, the most alien thing about the Tau is that it will never go to violence and especially not a schism.

I know Farsight is everyone's poster-boy for a breakaway faction amongst the Empire- but consider this: He has never renounced the Greater Good, he has built up the 'northern' most borders and commits a hardline pro-Tau aggressiveness against the Orks, Imperium and Tyranids and even when on the same planet as Aun'Va= Nothing happened. If anything this is the exemplification of how the Tau go about disagreeing with one another. In the case of Ethereals, they can be opposed but I don't think ever radical enough to 'break' much as a Tyranid fleet can't 'break' with the Hive Mind.

Is summoning a controlled daemonic entity that much worse than creating a daemon host? I honestly don't know the answer. Just curious to know your opinion on that.


Much much much worse. Creating a Daemonic host is to be declared, instantly, as a Radical and a Heretic. To summon a "controlled" daemon would be to risk the very real possibility of the end of a planet, maybe even a sector). A human mortal would have to sacrifice everything that kept them sane to do something like this.

I think the best, most important thing to do, is divorce your rational entirely from D&D and read up on 40k with a clean slate.
~Good Hunting

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