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-   -   Ethereal Elites? (http://forums.tauonline.org/tau/50379-ethereal-elites.html)

Fate13 07 Feb 2008 23:45

Ethereal Elites?
 
Do you think it would make sense for the tau to have a elite choice made up of young ethereals (2-6) that specialize in close combat? the heroes that have been ethereals have all been based on close combat and the 3rd edition ethereal hero was famed for his close combat ability. I was thinking about this when I realized that this is counter intuitive to the Tau attitude.

Tralfagar 08 Feb 2008 00:02

Re: Ethereal Elites?
 
I would like to make two-no. Three points.
1) The Ethereals are a cut above the rest in Tau society. Each caste has its own function within the Empire, and the Ethereal's is to make sure each caste is working in tandem with the others. In addition, Ethereal life is sacred to Tau, and thus it is even more counter-intuitive that an Ethereal would be at the battle at all IMO.
2) Aun'Shi was a very, very big exception; one which I do not personally think should have been made. He's kind of like Farsight(who isn't strictly 'Get into combat! Quick!), in that you might have a tau every 200-300 years who is different than the norm. With those two(Farsight/Aun'Shi), I think we're set until atleast the next millenia. Which relates to my final point:
3) Tau Fire Warriors are not made for Close Combat. Tau Fire Warriors will be the ones fighting the battle, risking getting killed, instead of sending the politicians to fight.

So to answer your question, no I don't believe it would make sense to throw in a caste which is analogous to the US' government bureaucrats into the battle. Especially when said caste is revered almost religiously, and seeing an Ethereal die is right up there with killing your mother on the list of things a Tau never wants to do.

However, if you want to rename them so they are an alien race in the Empire, go right on a head, as long as you keep with what the Tau look for in auxiliaries(it's in the 4th ed codex somewhere. I'll let you look for it ;D). And post/have this moved to House Rules.

Third Sphere 08 Feb 2008 00:04

Re: Ethereal Elites?
 
Hi Fate13,

Your just determind to have a Tau close combat unit aren't you?.

I'd have to say no to this

Third Sphere

Fate13 08 Feb 2008 05:05

Re: Ethereal Elites?
 
I was wondering if everything not strictly related to cannon tau is to be put into house rules? Becuase this is not looking to stat a new unit, but to create a discussion. I realize now that the opening post did not read that way and I am sorry.

as for your points I would like to make some counter points:
1) It has been stated in the codex that the water cast is actually tasked with keeping the multiple casts working together, as well as the other races throughout the empire. The ethereals simply fill an administrative role in the decision making process. Also, if it is so count intuitive for the ethereals to be at a battle, then why would they ever show up in the first place. I would assume they would be like all the other casts in that they are not represented on the battelfeild.
2) I think that Aun'Shi is a good example of how ethereals have a nobility bent to them. Showing that while they are bureaucrats, they can take u arms with their soldiers, realizing that this will keep them (the ethereal) grounded and set a good example for their warriors.
3) I was not asking for fire cast members to be close combat trained. I was wondering if ethereal cast members could be battle worthy in that regard. Since they are cited to be trained in a form of close combat and they use special close combat weapons (i.e. honor blades), I wanted to know if anyone else thought they could be considered effective in close combat unlike all other tau.

I can see your point on the how they could be analogous with American Bureaucrats. However, I think they should be considered closer to medieval nobility or Warrior Priests where while they fulfilled an administrative role in society, they were also commanders and warriors in battle. This would make them being on the front-lines make more sense.

@Third Sphere: I don't want close combat tau, Since i really like the Kroot, and they would no longer exist if there were close combat Tau, but I would like to think that somewhere in all of Tau society a tradition/ability of learning close combat exists.

Korill 08 Feb 2008 08:12

Re: Ethereal Elites?
 
While there could be some Aun on combat when the Tau are sure to win, the only real way to make them good again is to restore their 3rd ed rules.

CmdrBonesaw 08 Feb 2008 10:08

Re: Ethereal Elites?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fate13
1) It has been stated in the codex that the water cast is actually tasked with keeping the multiple casts working together, as well as the other races throughout the empire. The ethereals simply fill an administrative role in the decision making process. Also, if it is so count intuitive for the ethereals to be at a battle, then why would they ever show up in the first place. I would assume they would be like all the other casts in that they are not represented on the battelfeild.

Sorry to rain on your parade, but Ethereals don`t just "fill an administrative role". THAT`S the Por. Ethereals are an embodiement of the Greater Good, its priests and its preachers, its teachers and its most learned students.
That`s why they are revered in the Empire.

Yes, it IS counter-intuitive for an Ethereal to be on the battlefield - but, on the other hand, it is also counter-intuitive for politicians to visit troops in war zones. They don`t do it to actually lead them, or fight with them, but to inspire them, raise morale. In a decisive battle, morale can be a very important factor, and that`s the only reason an Ethereal will ever risk entering a battlefield.

Quote:

2) I think that Aun'Shi is a good example of how ethereals have a nobility bent to them. Showing that while they are bureaucrats, they can take u arms with their soldiers, realizing that this will keep them (the ethereal) grounded and set a good example for their warriors.
Again, Aun`Shi was one in a million. First of all, he led a completely "normal" life, until his last assignment before retirement (sounds like a bad cop-movie to me: "I`m too old for this shit!" ;)). The only reason he took up his blade in this scenario was that there was, frankly, no other way for him (and everyone else) to get out of there alive.
He didn`t CHOOSE to become a honour-blade-wielding-killing machine (and he isn`t, by the way - any halfway specialised CC character will tear him to shreds). These Orks just stood between him and retirement. ;)

Quote:

3) I was not asking for fire cast members to be close combat trained. I was wondering if ethereal cast members could be battle worthy in that regard. Since they are cited to be trained in a form of close combat and they use special close combat weapons (i.e. honor blades), I wanted to know if anyone else thought they could be considered effective in close combat unlike all other tau.
No. Look at the Ethereals stat-line. Now imagine a unit of them. They are NO CC unit.
First of all, it makes a difference whether you`re trained for a ritualistic application of martial arts, or for combat application. Or do you really believe someone who is fencing is actually any good on a medieval battlefield?
Secondly, the, lets call it "genetic drawbacks" of the Tau are still seen in the Ethereals. Just because an Ethereal is well trained in sports compared to other Tau, this doesn`t mean much on a galactic scale.

Quote:

I can see your point on the how they could be analogous with American Bureaucrats. However, I think they should be considered closer to medieval nobility or Warrior Priests where while they fulfilled an administrative role in society, they were also commanders and warriors in battle. This would make them being on the front-lines make more sense.
Sorry, where do you get this "warrior-priest" stuff from? Ethereals are preaching peace and prosperity, as this is the path of the Greater Good. They don`t actually enjoy using military might. Would be counter-intuitive to pick up a weapon for someone like this, wouldn`t it?
Think of an Ethereal like some kind of Gandhi. Space-Gandhi. With hooves. ;)

If that fluuf-interpretation is not enough, here a couple of rules thoughts: Your CC-unit of Ethereals would be completely useless. If they are "Auns in training", they couldn`t have better stat-lines than the run-of-the-mill Ethereal. The "Price of Failure" rule would still be in effect (they ARE Ethereals, after all). And I doubt they would be wearing armour.

In the end, you`d have all the disadvantages of an Ethereal in your army - in a unit you`re about to send into this unit of Khorne Berserkers over there, or into the Genestealers who are about to careen into your Firewarrior line.

No thanks.

Cheers,
-Bone

Fate13 08 Feb 2008 17:33

Re: Ethereal Elites?
 
Ok, Tau society is obviously a theocracy inspired government and the ethereals fit in this system very similarly to how those who work in the Vatican. They fill an administrative role setting goals, objects, laws and generally streamline/governing the empire on a whole. Were as the POR are tasked with making sure these things are done in a proper and timely fashion, acting as moderators between the races/casts and voices of the ethereals. Sure if something was to get out of hand then an ethereal would step in, but they don't micromanage every little thing, there are simply not enough of them.

As for the whole counter intuitive thing of the ethereals being in battle, I think that is malarkey. All tau view each other as equals, in regards to their existence being important. Ethereals are special in that if they die a philosophical truth to the tau has been disproved, which is a very big deal. This is why the price of failure thing exists IMO. BTW where does it say that Aun'shi was one in a million, if there is one then there could be many that we don't know about. Also, Farsight wasn't one in a million, anyone remember brightsword (i think that was his name) the shas'el assassinated by the ethereals because he was to much like Farsight.

As for the warrior priests thing I am refereeing to groups like Shoulin Monks or the S?hei of Japan. I think that the ethereals are more like budhists then Gandhi, since the Tau are not actually pacifists. Also, from the fluff I have been able to read, they also, seem to have a European nobility bent to them in their view that to truly inspire your people you need to set an example and be willing to fight with them. Anyways, the codex (both 3rd and 4th ed.) describe the ethereal as a combination of royalty and spiritual leaders which could lend the idea of being combatants possible, but equally as much them not being too I guess.

However, I do see what you mean about younger ethereals not being worth making into a cc squad. Also, your point about being good compared to other tau doesn't mean crap when compared to the galaxy is well made and if the fighting style the ethereals learn is in fact completely ritualistic then again you have made a very valid point, but I am not 100% sure if that is the case.

Sorry for the long reply, and thanks for the viewpoints/opinions. :)

Third Sphere 08 Feb 2008 22:31

Re: Ethereal Elites?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Fate13
1) It has been stated in the codex that the water cast is actually tasked with keeping the multiple casts working together, as well as the other races throughout the empire. The ethereals simply fill an administrative role in the decision making process. Also, if it is so count intuitive for the ethereals to be at a battle, then why would they ever show up in the first place. I would assume they would be like all the other casts in that they are not represented on the battlefield.

Hi Fate,

As Bonesaw has pointed out you have this the wrong way around the Ethereals are not the administrators, they are infact the guiding essence of the empire. It is the Por moderate/administrate.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Fate13

@Third Sphere: I don't want close combat tau, Since i really like the Kroot, and they would no longer exist if there were close combat Tau, but I would like to think that somewhere in all of Tau society a tradition/ability of learning close combat exists.

It does say in the fluff that the Ethereals use honour blades (ie close combat) to settle some disputes, so it is studied in the empire it just doesn't fit with their approach to war which is based on Fire Warrior traditions.

And I'm confused a little, if you don't want to see a Tau CC unit what was the point of the post in first place?

Third Sphere

Bird III 08 Feb 2008 22:44

Re: Ethereal Elites?
 
Has anyone seen any fluff indicating what young ethereals are like? I always assumed that they just show up mysteriously one day full-fledged.

Third Sphere 08 Feb 2008 23:01

Re: Ethereal Elites?
 
Quote:

Originally Posted by Bird III
Has anyone seen any fluff indicating what young ethereals are like? I always assumed that they just show up mysteriously one day full-fledged.

Like it :-)


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