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Tau vs Imperium
View Poll Results: Do you think the Tau will ever manage to beat the Imperium
No way, The tau will be crushed soon by the hammer of the emperor 14 12.28%
No, the tau will eventually be beaten, although it will take a while 16 14.04%
No, although the imperium and tau will fight to a stale mate 49 42.98%
Yes, but it will take a long time, and tau will need to gather a massive military 31 27.19%
yes, it will happen fairly soon, the imperium is weak 4 3.51%
Voters: 114. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 07 Nov 2007, 20:45   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Tau vs Imperium

Hi guys.

In my local gaming group there is a constant argument between people who play imperial armies and tau ones, about which race is better, who will realistically win.

I think that imperium could do it, but doing so would leave them dangerously exposed to more violent and dangerous races, like orks.

Anyway what do you guys think?
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Old 07 Nov 2007, 20:53   #2 (permalink)
Ethereal
 
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Default Re: Tau vs Imperium

I think the Tau are best analysed with a historical metaphor; Three Kingdoms China.

The Imperium are Wei; holding vast tracts of land, the largest army, and some of the most formidable commanders of the age. We will (and did) ultimately win against anyone in a straight-up, one-on-one fight. The problem arises when it isn't a one-on-one fight; whilst nobody can win against Wei alone, they could if the Wei armies were all tied up elsewhere.

The Tau are, most certainly, Shu; small, idealistic, and romanticised to the point where the author would have us believe that roses grew out of their collective arse. Shu can't win in a fight; its armies may be led well, but they're mostly idealistic peasants, and even if they weren't everyone else outnumbers them. Thus, to claim victory, Shu must let everyone else do the fighting on their behalf. Shu can only win if everyone ignores them long enough for them to form a large, powerful base.


So in terms of the 40K universe, the Tau don't really have a hope; to expand my analogy, the Tau hold Xia Province, The Imperium holds North China, Jing, most of Xi, the capital city of Chang An, and are only ignoring the rest because they already nicked everything of value once before.
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Old 07 Nov 2007, 20:58   #3 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Re: Tau vs Imperium

Well, I'd have to say that the Tau will never defeat the imperium, actually I don't think they have the military might to defeat any entire race thats represented in 40k.

You really should have done a search of the sight before posting this because its been done before and you'll probably very quickly be ripped to pieces by nearly everyone who knows what they're talking about. Realistically (as far as that goes with Warhammer), this situation will never arise. The Tau pulling an all out assult on the imperium would be suicide. If by some chance they were able to all attack at the same time, they'd make a small dent in the imperium and then be quickly demolished my the imperial backlash. Then since the entire Tau military was just destroyed, the Tau empire would be picked apart by everything around it.
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Old 07 Nov 2007, 20:59   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau vs Imperium

Mmm you might want to look up this thread:
http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=5481.0

Especially point 6 (see below):
Quote:
6: Polls:
Please do not make the following topics:
"Which army do you collect?"
"Which army is the best?"
"Which army is the worst?"
"Who would win between [army x] and [army y]?"
Or any variation thereof... and definitely do not make polls about them
This could easily degenerate into a flaming war.
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Old 07 Nov 2007, 21:38   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau vs Imperium

Yeah, this is sort of a loaded question that's only going to start an argument...
You can't just ignore that if two faction were just to concentrate on each other like that, that the rest of the factions would just eat them...
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Old 07 Nov 2007, 21:51   #6 (permalink)
Shas'El
 
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Default Re: Tau vs Imperium

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xeran Van Houten
Yeah, this is sort of a loaded question that's only going to start an argument...
You can't just ignore that if two faction were just to concentrate on each other like that, that the rest of the factions would just eat them...
Only, the answer is quite clear in this regard.

SHOULD the Imperium ever decide that the Tau Empire should "check out", and draft a massive Crusade, the Tau would be history in a couple of years (or at least cease to be a significant force in the history, since its most probably impossible to kill all of them - they`re just too spread out already).

Of course, this would cost the Imperium dearly (not just in manpower, sicne the Tau are quite well dug in; also the follow-up would be far from ideal - the Tau are a shield from the Tyranids and the Orks in the Eastern Fringes, and thus provide - in a way - protection for the Imperium), but the outcome would be clear.

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Old 07 Nov 2007, 22:15   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau vs Imperium

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boneguard
Mmm you might want to look up this thread:
http://forums.tauonline.org/index.php?topic=5481.0

Especially point 6 (see below):
Quote:
6: Polls:
Please do not make the following topics:
"Which army do you collect?"
"Which army is the best?"
"Which army is the worst?"
"Who would win between [army x] and [army y]?"
Or any variation thereof... and definitely do not make polls about them
This could easily degenerate into a flaming war.
As long as you ignore what he put in the post, and look at the poll's question, I think this is a very valid, though misplaced post. If I may, I'd suggest moving this into 40k Universe, where it may reach a slightly more diversified audience.

To answer the question:
I believe the Imperium's armies are quite spread out, fighting the other 5 or so different factions, all spread across the universe. Meanwhile, the Tau cannot themselves spread further due to limiting factors(travel time, man power, etc...). However, I believe that once those limiting factors are met and exceeded, the Tau may not be able to take over the universe, but they will be able to grow larger in size and be a young "America" in those parts. Namely if you take the surrounding region to be the Caribbean/South America, and the Aun to be Teddy Roosevelt. Or perhaps Monroe.

But the point stands, as it is, the Imperium could wipe them out if it could spare the men. However, if/when the other factions advance on the Imperium, it will have to take men from defending against the Tau, meanwhile, the Tau will take up the lost ground. It'll be slow, but eventually, I could see the Tau outlasting(not destroying) the Imperium.
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Old 07 Nov 2007, 23:16   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau vs Imperium

I think the only thing really saving the Tau is that the Imperium has much bigger fish to fry, this is all assuming another Armageddon sized Waagh doesn't decide the Tau need to go...

The way I see it, the Tau if they grew too large would find themselves under the weight of a Crusade. I admit the Fire warrior is better equipped then the guardsman but there are just too many guardsmen... Also, the Tau probably have not been on the receiving end of too many Exterminatuses but what happens when a powerful full scale fleet action raids and virus bombs the Tau Homeworld or one of their core worlds? What will they do when Inquisitorial eye lands firmly on them for the first time, viewing them as a priority and they find terrorists in their midst?

its these kinds of threats, combined with the imperial guard that almost guarantees a succsess for the Imperium
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Old 08 Nov 2007, 00:07   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau vs Imperium

None of the powers in 40k are strong enough to upset the current net status quo in their favor. That is what keeps everything balanced. The Tau may be severely outnumbered by the Imperium, but Tau forces as a whole are as dense as all but the strongest Imperial clusters of similar size. The Imperium has a million worlds, but they are spread out over the entire galaxy, and Imperial forces are stretched thin protecting all of them. So no, I don't think the Imperium will ever again have enough disposable forces to destroy the Tau Empire. They could at best send something one or two orders of magnitude larger than the Damocles Gulf Crusade, which the Tau would now be far better suited to meet. Aside from Abnett's Sabbat Worlds Crusade, which is several orders of magnitude larger than anything else we have ever seen in the background and thereby somewhat inconsistent, a typical Imperial Crusade just isn't that large. We know approximately what was involved in fighting off the 13th Black Crusade, and we also know that the Imperium had to strip reserves from all over the galaxy in order to stop it. Most of the Imperium's military strength is really made up of the PDF. Forces capable of attacking between stars like the Imperial Guard are the Elite rather than the norm, and things like the Space Marines are far rarer than that.

The Damocles Gulf Crusade was the best chance the Imperium will ever have.

Of course, the Tau don't have the strength to push the Imperium very hard, either. So the fighting will continue over the worlds along the border, and neither side will be able to break the stalemate. In the long run, even if the Tau did push the Imperium back, they would have to deal with all of the other threats the Imperium is currently keeping in check.

So I see Warhammer Fantasy as a better analog. The Imperium is the Empire and Bretonnia combined. The Tau are more like the Wood Elves. They can't challenge the major powers, and they can't expand very far, but to fight them on their own ground would destroy much greater empires.

Both games work because all of the playable races are balanced to maintain a status quo. The background is written so that battles on any scale are plausible, and so that the forces can be understandably equal at any scale GW makes a game for. So while the Tau might not be winnable if we made a 40k version of Risk for the whole galaxy, they are definitely competitive on the Epic, BFG, and 40k scales, which together represent all of the scales the races of 40k are capable of fighting at. All the races are threatened, but all of the races are strong enough to survive. All of the races win and lose some of their battles. That is just something you have to accept when you are working with a background based on a game with many playable factions.
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Old 08 Nov 2007, 00:27   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Tau vs Imperium

Quote:
Originally Posted by Khanaris
Aside from Abnett's Sabbat Worlds Crusade, which is several orders of magnitude larger than anything else we have ever seen in the background and thereby somewhat inconsistent, a typical Imperial Crusade just isn't that large.
I really don't think that there is a typical size for an Imperial Crusade, it all depends on what is going to be fought over and where it is. The Sabbat Worlds was, IIRC, in a pretty densely populated area of the Imperium and had a very significant pull on the religious end. Being in a very populated area, they could pull a regiment or three from every nearby world and end up with a billion or so well trained troops. The Macharian Crusade was very big as well.

The Damocles crusade, on the other hand, took place at the ass-end of the Imperium, and as it was said many times before, it was only the first wave. So if the Tau do indeed manage to get into a more densely populated area of the Imperium, a much larger response could indeed be well within the Imperium's limitations.
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