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Sub-castes
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Old 17 Apr 2008, 13:00   #1 (permalink)
Shas'La
 
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Default Sub-castes

Before anyone yells at me about search I alredy have. Now, does anyone think that there are sub-castes of tau? like there's a sub-caste of the fire caste for controling tanks etc? and a sub-caste of Earth caste for farming etc? Just a thought.
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Old 17 Apr 2008, 13:20   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sub-castes

No. There are five Castes, each with specified duties. Whilst an individual might specialise in one field, the Caste has no broad subdivisions.
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Old 18 Apr 2008, 00:52   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sub-castes

Well, there's no official fluff specifically stating the existence of 'sub-castes', but there's plenty to suggest or even imply it.

I'd point you to a relevant post on ATT where I put forth the concept of a 'Path' system, but ATT is down right now.

Basically, what I suggested was the existence of specialized program where after being studied and monitored for a major portion of 'Saal training, Shas would be split up into specialized focus groups based on the individual's skills and aptitude performing certain tasks into one of three basic 'Paths'.

Shas'saal taking the Line Path would focus primarily on basic infantry training and graduates would begin life as a Shas'la 'on the line'. Rank progression would allow Shas of the Line to become unmounted Shas'vre infantry section leaders, drill shas, and instructors, as well as allow certain others to be able to pilot heavy XV battlesuits.

Shas'saal selected for the Recon Path would be taught and trained specialized reconnaissance, stealth, and subterfuge tactics. Graduates would become Shas'la Pathfinders and rank progression would allow Recon Shas to pilot lighter XV battlesuits (stealth suits).

Shas'saal going into the Support Path would have been selected as the Tau with the highest affinity for three-dimensional situational awareness as well as skill as motor vehicle operators. Shas'la would enter service as Hammerhead, Piranha, or Devilfish pilots, and rank progression would take Shas through the vehicle positions of pilot/operator, sensor/secondary weapon operator, main weapon operator, vehicle commander, and squadron commander. (cref: Apocalypse Armoured Interdiction Force and the existence of vehicle-mounted Shas'el and Shas'O)

Other secondary 'Paths' could include being selected at Shas'ui to become an Ethereal Honor Guard with ranks progressing through the various roles of internal security for the Empire (read: police/guards) or even an intelligence field where Shas would become dedicated battlefield coordinators from Orca or Manta observation suites.
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Old 18 Apr 2008, 13:52   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sub-castes

Thanks doom bringer that really clears up a lot for me. It implies in the codex that the tau start as a fire warrior, then pilot suits, then go onto a commander. i was wondering how a shas'la became a pathfinder, or stealth suit pilot etc
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Old 18 Apr 2008, 14:30   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sub-castes

A Tau becomes a Pathfinder the same way a Guardsman becomes a Sniper; if you are good at a specialist area, you are sent to perfect that role.

Stealth Teams are an exception; they are loners by nature who do not work well within the rigid heirarchy of the Shas military. As such, they are given more leeway to work as "Lone Wolves", rather than chained heavily to command.
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Old 18 Apr 2008, 18:36   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sub-castes

Maybe the shas'saal are shown round all the different aspects of millitary and then given the choice. Probably not but it's a theory
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Old 18 Apr 2008, 18:45   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sub-castes

I am not sure I would really consider those to be subdivisions of the Caste, though. It doesn't seem like that sort of technical grouping would carry the same social weight as the castes do for the Tau.

So a member of the Fire Caste is a Shas, pure and simple. He also has a job, which will be determined by his abilities and training. There are probably dozens of seperate career paths within the Fire Caste and Air Caste, and hundreds within the Earth Caste and Water Caste. Militaries and societies require specialization to be functional. But I don't think these would define a Tau's own personal identity in the same manner as caste would.
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Old 18 Apr 2008, 19:04   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sub-castes

I agree those are not sub-castes they are just careers. If your good at something you do that, but your not born into a career.

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Old 19 Apr 2008, 12:02   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sub-castes

I agree. I imagine that, even if such "paths" did exist, they would be extremely fluid, with Shas able to transfer back and forth between them as their abilities and preferences may warrant it.
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Old 19 Apr 2008, 15:35   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Sub-castes

Quote:
Originally Posted by Doombringer
Basically, what I suggested was the existence of specialized program where after being studied and monitored for a major portion of 'Saal training, Shas would be split up into specialized focus groups based on the individual's skills and aptitude performing certain tasks into one of three basic 'Paths'.
These aren't subcastes unless children are automatically allocated to the 'Path' of their parents. Instead, they're careers.

There don't even seem to be absolute, inviolable boundaries between the duties of the five major castes. There's a bit of blurring at the margins. For example, gunners on a Tau navy vessel may belong to either the fire or the air caste. Similarly, an Ethereal in the old codex seemed to be acting as a diplomat, which is a quintessentially water caste role.
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