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Fighting Babies?!
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Old 08 Jan 2006, 16:59   #1 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
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Default Fighting Babies?!

On page 9 of Codex: Tau, it states that young Firewarriors start their life on the line. Does this mean that they are combat ready very soon after birth? ???

Knowing that the max Tau lifespan is around 60 years and that it takes a full 16 Tau'cyr to graduate from the Fire Caste, how long do you think Tau childhood is? Also think of how fast Tau mature in comparison to humans.
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Old 08 Jan 2006, 17:02   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fighting Babies?!

some humans never mature.
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Old 08 Jan 2006, 17:05   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fighting Babies?!

Umm... short answer: Hell no.

Long Answer: They begin their military career on line.
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Old 08 Jan 2006, 17:28   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fighting Babies?!

I would bet that they begin their training about the equivalent age that humans start going to school. For a while it may not be firing exercises, but im sure the Tau find some way to sharpen the young ones skills without giving them guns.
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Old 08 Jan 2006, 17:56   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fighting Babies?!

Well kick me in the nuts if i'm wrong which i probably am, but i would believe that tau would be combat ready roughly around age 18-21 (roughly).
as they would need i believe some years before training to learn motor skills like walking etc like us, if that was the case then maybe wait until they are 5 or 6, then begin education and eventual combat training at an older age. as one Tau'cyr is roughly 300 days (we will note this to nearly an ordinary year i am using rough answers here as i am poor at maths) so this would mean it would be roughly 13-15 years in our terms to graduate from the fire caste add this to the few years of being a child would mean roughly somewhere between 18-21 i believe. If they didn't have the whole child stage of learning to walk then graduation could be achieved at age 13-15. but i would figure they have to a child like stage. so i would guess the average age of a fire warrior who's just graduated to be somewhere between 18 and 21 but again i am probably wrong.

Sorry for the long post. :P
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Old 08 Jan 2006, 18:15   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fighting Babies?!

It's very likely this will become nothing but silliness, so I think it might be best to lock it now, but for the record, I belive a fire warrior is a Shas'saal from about eight or so until sixteen, and only Shas'La are ever allowed onto the battlefeidl except in very dire situations.

EDIT: forgot to lock it but meh, I'll keep my eye on this. Besides, someone might have better information.
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Old 08 Jan 2006, 20:09   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fighting Babies?!

ok- long answer
Castes engineer couples who then produce a child- this child is then instituted to begin training- childhood is a very human concept that actually hasn't been developed until very recently in our own history- anyway, this rank is known as a 'saal, training continues through the junior years and then they are promoted to 'La after graduation. anyway, what happens after that is envoy missions and probably security on loyal, border worlds. once a number of these missions are accomplished, depending on success they are assigned cadre duty which they see definitive live fire missions- then they start their trials by fire and move there ways up.
it should be noted- that like human military, the tau don't neccesarily all get promoted, there are degree's of La' Ui' and even 'Vre, some Tau never leave their positions because they are best suited there.
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Old 08 Jan 2006, 22:13   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fighting Babies?!

For my own fluff, I invented the rank of 'Al (meaning "small") to describe Tau that are too young to begin preparing for their roles.

So, the ranking system of the Fire Caste is thus:

Shas'Al: Birth - 4.
The Shas'al is raised by the Training Cadre. Initially, they will be raised by their mothers, ensuring proper maternal bonds and emotional development.
Shas'Saal: 4-16.
The Shas'saal begins their life as a soldier. As well as military training, the 'saal will be tutored in a variety of subjects. This ensures they appreciate and respect the Empire they serve, and that they can cope with unexpected circumstances. After all, there's more to winning a war than just shooting people!
Shas'La: 16-20.
After their first Trail by Fire, the 'Saal becomes a 'La; a line warrior. They fill the bulk of the Cadres, providing sheer weight of fire for the Tau armies. However, they are by no means Cannon Fodder. Whilst promotion is not set, and is chosen based on individual ability, a Shas'La is usually promoted after their second Trial by Fire. These Trials occur once every four Tau'cyr.
Shas'Ui: 20-24.
Shas'Ui rank is where the Shas begins their Suit training. Not all Shas'Ui undergo suit training, however. Some stay on to aid the Shas'La as Linewarriors or Pathfinders.
It is at this stage that the Shas who dislike working as a collective group are singled out, and assigned to the "Stealth Teams". Monats, Tau who have lost all ther squad (usually a squad they were bonded to) also form the Stealth Teams.

Shas'Vre: 24-28.
After their third Trial by Fire, the Shas achieve 'Vre rank. Many of these Tau will now retire from combat, returning to the Training Cadres as Instructors to teach the 'Saal. However, those that remain hold imporant positions, usually commanding the Suit teams, or forming the Bodyguard for their commander.
Shas'El: 28-32.
By Shas'El rank, the Shas has completed their fourth Trial by Fire, and achieved Cadre-command. From here, promotion is much more difficult, as the conventional "Four Tau'cyr" cycle rarely applies, save in the most skilled and gifted of individuals. A Shas'El's first command will typically be small, such as a Four-Cadre or Six-Cadre.
Shas'O: 32-36.
Shas'El that show true talent, and complete their appointed Trial by Fire, become Shas'O. Shas'O command massive Cadres, often with multiple Sub-Cadres. However, a lifetime of war rarely leaves them untouched; scarring and bionics are common, and most show quirks and habits that are not quite adhering to Shas'Ar'Tol doctrine. Several commanders degenerate into a "Mont'au" state, developing a desire (some would say obsession) for close combat. Others become reclusive, tormented by the memories of fallen comrades. There is little that can be done to help these Tau, for the mind can only take so much. However, it is rare for the Shas'O to lose their ability to command, and usually their eccentricities are known only by those close to them.
Shas'Ar'O: 36-death.
There inevitably comes a point where a Shas can no-longer fight. In theory, a Shas'O who has served for four Tau'cyr will be taken from the field and placed within the Shas'Ar'Tol. However, many possess combat skills too valuable to lose, and show enough physical (and mental) strength to continue fighting. Others simply refuse retirement, and it is believed more than one Shas'O has turned traitor to escape this fate. It is ironic that a position created as a reward should envoke such emotions... but for a Shas; forged by the flames of battle, and cast on the anvil of war, to be taken from the endless cycle of death is worse than meeting their end on enemy blades. By this stage, the Shas'O fights not for the ideals of the Tau'va, but because they know no other life. Even the endless horror of battle is a comfort to them, for it is familiar, a life they know inside and out. Many Shas'Ar'O pity their companions who throw themselves into every battle, refusing to accept the reality that their foolhardy actions will bring only death, whilst the Shas'O mock the Shas'Ar'O who would rather rot behind a console in some distant hall. The sad truth is that both, in their way, are correct in their conviction.
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Old 08 Jan 2006, 22:30   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Fighting Babies?!

Unless Im mistaken all shas'saal advance to shas'la without a trial by fire. They serve typically for 4 Tau'cyr on small escort duities to envoyes and patrol on secure worlds and rarely see combat. In Firewarrior it was mentioned that during this time Kais fired his weapon only once and others maybe not at all. Then they are rotated to full line duty and enter their first full combat experience. It is at this point that they can undergo a trial by fire to be promoted to a shas'ui either in ritual or through acts during battle. Some Shas'ui stay on and fight with the line warriors, others become XV8, XV15 or XV88 pilots and perhaps then after 4 Tau'cyrs and a successfull second trial by fire they advance to shas'vre. Some then stay and lead battlesuite teams but others that show potential become bodyguards to a shas'el or o. After usually another 4 Tau'cyrs they undergo a final standard trial by fire to advance to a shas'el. Finally the last stage to become eligable for an advance to Shas'O is after yet another 4 Tau'cyrs and a final trial by fire. Those who pass become Shas'O, those who fail remain Shas'el. The last term of service is a final 4 Tau'cyrs of active duty for the Shas'O before they can retire to the Shas'Ar'Tol however not all Shas'O do this and some refuse. For the lack of such veteran commanders the Shas'Ar'Tol does not pressure commanders to retire and some commanders may even be called out of retirement.

It can be noted that the Tau psyche can be vastly affected at any stage, for shas'ui and shas'vre we tend to see this represented in the stealth suite and monat pilots as a visible sign of an out of the normal mental state. Monats tend to be lost and suicidal as even those who lose all their comrades would normally be assigned to another team. Those who willingly chose the monat style tend to be lost, not always but it is the usual reason. Stealth suit pilots represent the lone wolves as the Tau codex says, they are a bit out of the ordinary. Shas'el do not tend to show the overstated quirks of a shas'o yet. The greatest of the psyche differences are seen in the Shas'O. It is these hardened veterans who can deviate or become the most excentric. We see this in commanders like Farsight who broke away from the empire and Darksight (not sure on this ones name I havent read Kill Team) and his brutal tactics.

Thats just the set of oppinions I have formed after reading the material on the Tau that I have.

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Old 08 Jan 2006, 22:31   #10 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
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Default Re: Fighting Babies?!

Nice input, Wargamer. The creation of the Shas'al seems logical, and the Shas'saal is what I was apparently confused about.
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