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A Unified Empire
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Old 18 Oct 2006, 15:54   #1 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default A Unified Empire

Theres been talk over many of the forum posts about the Empire and the universalization of tactics, Septs, and whether or not the Ethereals are united or fractured- so consider this.

The Empire lacks FTL communication as stated, so by the very nature of the Empire it IS fragmented. Thats why there is one main Ethereal leading the Third expansion, he was charged with jumping the Damocles gulf and then settling worlds/annexing them- the Aun's are only responsible for ensuring guidance to the other Castes and that they remain respectfull of the doctrines of the Tau'va. They, and the commanders of all castes, will have their own style of dominion, using the word fragmented would be incorrect.
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Old 18 Oct 2006, 17:41   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Unified Empire

My opinion of the Tau empire is one lead by a general cause, but the dealings of that expansion are down to individuals across the empire.

So yes I do think that the empire is unified but only in respect to its general beliefs and polices.

I would presume that Aun'vre to Aun'els would be the equivalent of a planetry governors but who only 'advise'. A bit like the 'Jedi consul' in star wars (but not the same as). As for the 'aristocracy ' I would presume that the Shas'O, Fio'O, Por'O, Kor'O would be them, probably with more emphasis put on the Por and Fio classes. I would also add that there must be diffrent levels of importance in these top 'Os OR that at that level, each 'O is so specialised that there is only one per colony for each 'specialisation'. Having said that, that would suggest that their must be 'Os with other 'occupations' away from the front...
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Old 18 Oct 2006, 18:35   #3 (permalink)
Ethereal
 
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Default Re: A Unified Empire

While the Tau don't have direct FTL communication that we know of, they still have FTL means of transmitting information. That is what messenger boats are for. The Ethereals on T'au may not be able to have live discussions with other planets, but I am guessing they can send messages anywhere in the Empire in a matter of a few days. Septs are thus not going to be that autonomous or isolated.
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Old 18 Oct 2006, 19:13   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: A Unified Empire

Shadowsun blew up Farsights statue with everyone in the EMPIRE watching, so maybe FTl comms, just maybe...
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Old 18 Oct 2006, 19:29   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Unified Empire

Quote:
Originally Posted by shasocastris
Shadowsun blew up Farsights statue with everyone in the EMPIRE watching, so maybe FTl comms, just maybe...

Good point...

But; if anyone has any knowledge here (both physics and Tau fluff related) would it be possible to calculate how long time it would take to send a message throughout the empire? I probably could do the maths part, but I don't know the speed nor the distances.

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Old 18 Oct 2006, 19:42   #6 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default Re: A Unified Empire

Quote:
Originally Posted by Olannon
Quote:
Originally Posted by shasocastris
Shadowsun blew up Farsights statue with everyone in the EMPIRE watching, so maybe FTl comms, just maybe...

Good point...

But; if anyone has any knowledge here (both physics and Tau fluff related) would it be possible to calculate how long time it would take to send a message throughout the empire? I probably could do the maths part, but I don't know the speed nor the distances.

~Olannon
Well, the Tau Empire is 300 ly across. The radius is 150ly. If Shadowsun blew up the statue on T'au, and let's say the communication is 750c or so, the outer reaches of teh Empire would have to wait a few months to get it, but I really think Tau comms are much faster, say 3000c, or maybe they actually use the warp for comms. I don't know.

P.S. c = the speed of light for you not so savvy in astronomy people
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Old 18 Oct 2006, 22:03   #7 (permalink)
Kroot Shaper
 
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Default Re: A Unified Empire

Sorry the empire had 300 Light Years the Radius before 3 Phase of Expansion now I believe that it has but by that 32.6 % of expansion of 13 Black Crusade
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Old 18 Oct 2006, 22:27   #8 (permalink)
Ethereal
 
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Default Re: A Unified Empire

Actually, I had forgotten about that broadcast. I guess that clinches it, then. I wonder if GW really thought through all of the implications. The statue was on Vior'la, so it wasn't exactly at the center. I doubt the Tau are able to use the Warp for communications. Maybe some kind of quantum entanglement system. Or perhaps they figured out a way to bounce a continuous pulse of energy off of the Warp/Realspace interface. If they can transmit information that way and pick it up at relay stations, it would be a lot faster than their ships can travel, but it would need dedicated communcations stations scattered throughout the Empire (which is also fluffy).
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Old 18 Oct 2006, 23:12   #9 (permalink)
Shas'Ui
 
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Default Re: A Unified Empire

To hell does it clinch it. It's a poorly thought out phrasing...much like the idea that 'those who do not immediately surrender to the Greater Good are utterly exterminated with extreme prejudice...'

Everyone in the Empire Watching

The capture of the sequence could have been transmitted directly as it happened straight out to the Skether'qan boats(Messengers), at the nearest Waystation and the sequence would begin. Within a matter of...months? the capture of the sequence would have been transmitted to all the Empire, and likely most of the Empire would have viewed the transmission as soon as they recieved it (ie as soon as it was downloaded to their local system/world from a Messenger-Waystation-link).

In essence the whole Empire watched, but not instantaneously. The rammifications of the Tau having instantaneous information exchange is perhaps more worrying than the C'tans ability to simply phase into other existances or the Living Metal Ships capacity for Inertialess Drives...

No, the entire Empire did not watch like we all watched the moon landings (or would have, had we been alive).

The Unity of the Empire

The Empire is not 'unified' as such. The vast bulk of 'decision making' for the Empire goes on at what can be assumed is a 'High Shan'al' on T'au. The highest representatives of all the castes of all the Septs sit before the dispatched conclave of Ethereals and debate their policies. Any major decisions, edicts, decrees or similar are likely transmitted with extreme haste (i.e. the best Skether'qan vessels) across to the main Septs via the Messenger-Waystation Chains.

The Septs are, excluding Phasic Expansions and Matters of the Ecumenical Tau'va, essentially autonomous. Each 'Sept world' would simply be a coordination hub that governs and generally watches over anything from a handful to hundreds of smaller colony worlds. I'm quite surprised that Vespid, Niccass* and Pech are not Sept Worlds, but there we are!

* No one really knows the name of the Niccassar homeworld, or if it even lies within the boundary of the Tau Empire (that is an assumption, but nothing indicates it is not, and it doesn't seem an unreasonable assumption)

Sept *traits*, however, are likely not the general case. Not in the way we envisage traits from a 40k perspective e.g. Chapter Traits, Doctrines etc. Each Sept and World will have it's respective castes and auxilliaries, and they'll be trained on varying bases. Some may be adhering to doctrines, but I don't think the entire Sept's 'Command' of a Caste or auxilliary would be configured the same. That's just folly, IMO.

(The Imperium is quite fallible, hence having entire worlds who's regiments are, shall we say, rather one dimensional isn't much of a surprise)

Instead, they'll be varied, and some formats may be roughly unique for a short time, they will proliferate throughout the Empire. A case in point would be the implementation of Auxilliaries and the variance of Starship Classes and their nomenclature. The 'Bork'an' Mark 24 Explorer, for instance, is an Experimental missile-laden class of colony ship which was originally developed in bulk by Bork'an. It was experimental, but it's not entirely unsafe to assume that other Septs have copied the design at a later stage, perhaps continuing to experiment with features that are abstracted out of the BFG Game.

Additionally, we see the T'olku, Vash'ya, Tau'n, Sa'cea and Fal'Shia (and if I have my way: the Elsy'eir Fleet Command Battlestarship) variants of the Merchant and Hero (Il'Fannor and Lar'shi) hulls: but they are widespread across the Empire. They simply distinguish the patterns by applying the Sept name where the design or variant is first issued or particularly associated.

In essence the Empire is diverse, and generally autonomous with Sept-Shan'als presumably assuming the bulk of the Workload. Ecumenical Shan'als (whole-Empire-Shan'als) will likely coordinate the vast bulk of the things like Phase Expansions and coordinated Colonisation Efforts, but generally speaking, the Septs will be roughly autonomous in their actual 'ruling' and governance.

They aren't autonomous in the sense that they are isolated, I'd say. Rather the opposite: whole Empire saturation of information and knowledge is key. But it is decisively slower than the Tau'd like. Not being able to transmit comunications much faster than your fleets can travel means that, often, when a fleet is dispatched, it'll be extremely difficult to retract them or alter their orders unless they have distinct holding stations in their route.

This is an excellent facet to the Empire, and adds to the rather archaic form of the 40k Universe, even though the Tau are supposed to be vibrant and forward thinking: they just can't correct this problem yet.

Well, they can, but they feel the price is too high...

Xisor

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Old 19 Oct 2006, 01:41   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: A Unified Empire

Nicassar were originally described as nomadic. Like the Demiurg, they may not really have a settled homeworld any more.
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