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Question: By how far do the Tau recognise and understand the Eldar factions?
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Old 20 Aug 2008, 11:21   #1 (permalink)
Shas'O
 
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Default Question: By how far do the Tau recognise and understand the Eldar factions?

Question: By how far do the Tau recognise and understand the Eldar factions?

Point of debate. We from an independent observers position of access of the background fluff could be expected to interpret that the TAu know about the Eldar as a much as we do. Yet from corresponding fluff from an Imperail point of view it can be read that the Imperails have knowledge albeit very limited of the Eldar factions.

Hence by the same token with the naivety of the Tau. I would ask the question how far can we say the Tau know of the Eldar?

With Wargamers recent fluff I thought to myself how would the Tau recognise Eldar as Eldar. The Imperium has a several thousand years of history and a detailed administration in the Ordo Xeno to make these types of conclusions. Yet the Tau only have a few thousand years and no detailed branch.

Having said that as a technologically proficient alien race it is safe to assume they have certain forensic sciences that allow a study to be conducted as to if it were Eldar pressent, yet how far can we say said forensics can be applied in the general context of recognising a threat?

Many other threats in the 40k Universe are transparent, Tyranid Lictors, Chaos Cults, Kroot ambushes. How far would a tactical event be interpreted as an Eldar attack rather than one of these other threats which are far more numerous.

Again Tau knowledge of the Webway if the Tau understand this system or have insights into it is it not supprising that it makes the research list and in a few thousand years alot of research can be done (consider what we humans have done with the scientific method in just over 200 years[sup]1[/sup])

This brings me to wonder how far do the Tau really know about the Eldar. Surely to the Tau missing Cadres and strange fleeting shadowy warriors are best described as the Swordwind but taking the philosophical line of what this wordphrase might mean it suggests the Tau can no more control or fight the Eldar than they would the wind...?

What I suggest is that the Tau are pretty much got a void of knowledge when it comes to the Eldar, perhaps a void to the average Tau, but through millennium perhaps the Aun have been able to draw together the sporadic influences of the Eldar to understand them as a guiding force or power that exerts itself. Yet that does then bring about the question of how exactly do the Tau view the Eldar and how far do they understand them?

As Wargamer will probally add there are multiple factions of Eldar from the Craftwords, to the Exodites, Corsairs and Dark...Yet that is our infinitive knowledge of the 40k Universe rather than an observers point of view. Would a Tau be able to tell those factions apart and would they see the Eldar as a unified power as the Imperium, Ork or Tyranid is 'unified'.

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Old 20 Aug 2008, 15:59   #2 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Question: By how far do the Tau recognise and understand the Eldar factions?

This is assuming that the Tau have had contact with the Eldar at all, opposed to investgating rumors.

The Water caste is out there, attempting to recruit, but I also assume, like good diplomats, acquiring bits and pieces of knowledge they hear or come across. It is safe to assume that they did come across enough data to see if the Eldar would be a threat or not.

Could the Tau figure out the differences between Dark Eldar and Craftworld Eldar, probably not. There would be rumors of Craftworld Eldar just randomly attacking for their own purposes. This might seem piratical to the Tau and they might see all Eldar as pirates.
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Old 20 Aug 2008, 16:20   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question: By how far do the Tau recognise and understand the Eldar factions?

Short answer; they wouldn't.

Even the Imperium doesn't know the difference half the time - Eldar are Eldar. Orks are Orks. Tau are Tau. Unless you actually study the Eldar, would you really know the difference? Physically, all the factions are nearly identical. The Tau could (and probably would) view the Eldar the way they view themselves - the difference between a Craftworlder and an Exodite is akin to the difference between a Fio and a Por, or possibly a Vior'la-Tau from a Bork'an-Tau.

We know that Space Marines, the Inquisition and certain Guard officers know the difference, but when your life is dedicated to war the subtle difference between Biel Tan and Saim Hann might be the difference between a flawless victory and a massacre. In that situation, you cannot afford to confuse Dark Eldar and Eldar. That said, the Imperium does have a very big head start - the Tau do not appear to have had much contact with the Eldar as of yet.

We must then combine to this the nature of deceit. The Dark Eldar can, have and will pose as Exodites, Craftworlders and other Eldar factions to suit their own ends. If Ataloic are active near Vior'la, for example, a Kabal might pretend to be Ataloic soldiers and assault the planet. This might cost them a lot of forces, but the Tau will retaliate against Ataloic, and thus ideally hinder the Craftworlders more than the dead Kabalites ever could.

This is the underlying problem of dealing with the Eldar - they are all lying, deceptive bastards. Getting facts about them is rather like doing a jigsaw, in the dark, in a room with ten other people, each doing their own jigsaw, and all of them ordered to rip your spleen out with their teeth if you try and talk to them.

[hr]

Out of interest, what stuff of mine prompted this question? :P
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Old 20 Aug 2008, 18:27   #4 (permalink)
Shas'Saal
 
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Default Re: Question: By how far do the Tau recognise and understand the Eldar factions?

Also, briefly looking at the history of the Tau, most of their conflict has been kept in confines to a few races. Fought against a tendril of a Tyranid fleet(I forget which one), Farsight and his people against the orks a lot, and then the Damocles crusade saw a lot of fighting against the Imperium.

They could have come into contact with Eldar and Dark Eldar during Medusa V. But I bet the only Tau who may know the Eldar to any extent are Water Caste members who have made successful negotiations and the Ethereals they report to.

Other than that, it seems as if the Tau and Eldar don't have much interaction, much like tau and Chaos.
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Old 21 Aug 2008, 00:41   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question: By how far do the Tau recognise and understand the Eldar factions?

Well its not6 like the eldar and tau are neighbors really. I wonder if the tau have sent water caste emissaries to dark eldar. They would since they metthe eldar on Medusa 5. Likely to say those water caste emissaries would be enslaves and tortured.
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Old 21 Aug 2008, 01:29   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question: By how far do the Tau recognise and understand the Eldar factions?

Even if the Imperium knows that there is a difference, it is unlikely that all but a few Inquistors actually understand it in full. For most, it is going to be as simple as analyzing tactics and technology.

The Tau are perfectly capable of comparing notes between battles to figure out that the Eldar race has groups that fight with different tactics and with different weapons. They might make out some of the strategic differences. But they wouldn't understand the nature of the division unless the Eldar told them outright. That said, it is possible that the Eldar would have warned the Tau that a difference exists, even if that warning was itself a lie.

And as Wargamer pointed out, all it would take is a Dark Eldar raiding party using Shuriken catapults and the Tau would likely assign blame to the wrong faction, since technology and heraldry are really the only means they would have to tell them apart. At least the Inquisition has methods of psychic scrying to use on prisoners.
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Old 21 Aug 2008, 16:56   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question: By how far do the Tau recognise and understand the Eldar factions?

Wargamer ;
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B'myr'la: A world of dense forests and carnivorous beasts, B'myr'la is a Death World that would normally be left alone by the Tau. However, in addition to its abundant resources, the Tau found evidence of Eldar technology on the planet. The presence of the Eldar was confirmed when violent attacks began, with Eldar forces striking out of nowhere and enslaving entire expeditions. The Tau are determined to conquer the planet, and thus secure the 'Webway' the Eldar pirates rely upon. Only when the threat of these dark raiders is quashed can B'myr'la, Ts'kaio and the other worlds rest easy.
A big question resulting from this is how do the Tau know about the Webway and if they can't perceive any difference in Eldar factions then why would they wish to capture such a device when it is the possible home of the evil Dark Eldar...?

I'm fine with the Tau standing up to an Eldar attack and understanding that, but a big thing would be if say an Eldar attack had just passed through an area how would the Tau know that had been the Eldar.

Leaving it down to technology I don't think the Eldar leave much behind other than some very interesting chemistry and enemy's blood. I don't think the Eldar would be in the habit of leaving their 'better' technology to be retroengineered by the Tau, the Eldar would be waaay too arrogant for that.

Perhaps this is why there are so few Eldar-Tau actions because the Eldar might have some 'fear' of the Tau race, but then it might be a numbers game for so few encounters. But if it's a numbers problem then surely the Tau know as little about the Eldar as I know about the London Stock Exchange (sources crop up on the news from time to time, but all I can say is that it's a stock exchange [enemgy] and I know they buy and sell shares [do stuff then disappear randomly]) is this an accurate mental image?

...If so then your average Tau would know almost zilch about the Eldar.

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Old 21 Aug 2008, 19:12   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question: By how far do the Tau recognise and understand the Eldar factions?

Well, the Eldar leave their webway gates everywhere, although normally dormant and usually hidden. But their arrogance goes both ways. They wouldn't believe that any of the lesser races could possibly fathom their secrets, so they are not always as cautious as they should be. And their architecture is distinctive enough that the Tau would not mistake it on close observation.

Furthermore, if the Eldar lose a skirmish and are driven off, they may not have the luxury of recovering the fallen before the Tau have a chance to take a look at their gear. They only get to decide on what to leave behind when they are successful.
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Old 21 Aug 2008, 21:42   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question: By how far do the Tau recognise and understand the Eldar factions?

Well actually the eldar have had several meetings with the tau water caste and on several occasions the eldar have turned down an alliance with the Tau as we are, supposedly, to young and foolish. With time comes trust.
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Old 22 Aug 2008, 02:07   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Question: By how far do the Tau recognise and understand the Eldar factions?

Where did you find this information (I want a link!).
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