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The Tau Castes
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Old 18 Aug 2005, 19:40   #1 (permalink)
Shas'Vre
 
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Default The Tau Castes

One thing I'm curious about is how many people take for granted that the division of the castes is an even split. I.e:

20% Earth Caste
20% Water Caste
20% Fire Caste
20% Air Caste
20% Ethereal Caste

Now, this doesn't sit well with me. For starters, having 20% of your population... permanently mustered for war, is a huge thing. Likewise with the "rare and reclusive" Ethereals... being everywhere!

Personally, I see the Earth and Watercaste (Labour and Administration), being the vast majority of the Tau.

40% Earth
35% Water

With the large amount of ships and orbitals in the Empire, saying that 15% of the Tau are por, isn't an impossibility.

15% Aircaste

The number of Fire Caste estimated, to 10%, which is still a -huge- number!

Ethereals would be far less then 1%.

What do you think?

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Old 18 Aug 2005, 19:48   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Tau Castes

The split won't be even. Ignoring the Ethereals, it should be roughly 25% for each Caste. Obviously, Fire Caste have the highest fatality rate (ground troops), followed by Air Caste (naval forces). However, I'd imagine they would make up a higher birth percentage to counter this.

I'd say it's something like 24% per Caste, with the final 4% being Ethereal.
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Old 18 Aug 2005, 20:20   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Tau Castes

I'd say
40% Earth
15% Water
15% Air
30% Fire

Etherals are so rare that they don't even have a percent. Fire is really high because the Tau are constantly at war, and this includes young Tau that are still being trained.
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Old 18 Aug 2005, 20:58   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Tau Castes

50% Earth
20% Water
15% Air
15% Fire

Under 1% Ethereal.

If the Fire caste were much bigger they would sweep away the enemy in vast numbers. The Tau in an entire Sept come to under 1 Billion (say 800 Million), If we take 15% Fire warriors, that would make 120 Million Tau Fire Warriors per Sept. 8 Major Septs 960 Million Fire Warriors. Going up to about 1 Billion. I just really can't accept that there are a Billion Fire Warriors in the Tau Empire, in such a small region of space it should sweep all aside. So with that I'd say less than 15% for Fire Warriors. This is all of course assuming that there are about 800 Million Tau per Sept (All I know is that a Sept doesn't equal the population of even one major Imperial Hive). If there are about 400 Million Tau per Sept then that would make 500 Million Fire-Warriors, which is a lot more reasonable.

But then again the Tau Fire-Warriors deployed on Taros were a significant part of Tau's (the Sept) forces and it consisted of about 10,000 Fire Warriors. So it is either that a Sept population is far, far less than I am estimating or the Fire caste population % is very low.

I think the Earth caste would be in the majority, they do more things, keep every day life running etc etc. They are the Tau work-force, I'd imagine they make up a huge part of the Tau population.

If we look at the real world for kind of a comparison. The UK IIRC has between 180-230,000 soldiers (so say 200,000), from a population of about 60 Million. So 1 in 300 people are in the army. So 0.3*% of the population.

In the US its about 1 in 215 people IIRC, so about 0.49*% of the population. [assuming I haven't made any silly mistakes, which I have a strange feeling that I have. Yep I did, lol, now fixed].
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Old 18 Aug 2005, 21:04   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Tau Castes

well, you're operating with HUGE amounts of FW's, at least the initial posts. I'd say the Tau empire has... a dozen (12) billion Tau in total. And veq, I don't get your math?

'The Tau in an entire Sept come to under 1 Billion (say 8000 Million), If we take 15% Fire warriors, that would make 1200 Million Tau Fire Warriors per Sept'

okay, if it comes to 8000million, that's 8 billion, ain't it? a thousand millions is one billion, right? You're talking about a billion firewarriors per sept, that sounds an AWFUL lot!

I'm kinda agreeing, there can't be more than a billion, if it is that many... But veq, please explain your math, or am I dumb or misunderstanding?
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Old 18 Aug 2005, 21:07   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Tau Castes

I think he added a 0 somewhere...

The Tau in an entire Sept come to under 1 Billion (say 800 Million), If we take 15% Fire warriors, that would make 120 Million Tau Fire Warriors per Sept
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Old 18 Aug 2005, 21:14   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Tau Castes

Yep, I was adding an extra 0 to most of my calcualtions. Oops.

Now fixed.

So if we assume 400 Million Tau per Sept. Then 12% for Fire Warriors. If we assume that it is 800 Million Tau per sept then I'd say 6%. But still that would leave around 48 Million Fire-Warriors per Sept which is still huge considering that 200,000 Imperial Troops faught a pretty even war on Dal'yth. They couldn't have done that against even 1 Million Tau Fire-Warriors.

So I think It needs to be dropped either a lot further, or, we are way off with our Tau population assumptions.

If we go off real world and assume 10 Billion Tau in all. This would leave us with about 50 Million Tau Fire-Caste. This is if 0.5% of the population are Fire-Caste. This would still leave 6 Million Tau per major sept. Which from fluff on Tau combat etc, still seems a bit much. Due to this I think we must be a little off with Tau population.

Also another supporting fact (IMO at least) for the Fio caste having the overwhelming majority of the population. I have seen the term 'as the Fio would say', used pretty much as we would use (or someone in power would use) 'as the people would say'.
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Old 18 Aug 2005, 21:45   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Tau Castes

I don't have any statistics or percentages to contribute, but I will comment! It never occured to me that the one caste would significantly outnumber another. I keep thinking of the Fire caste as merely the Military wing of Tau population instead of looking at it from a racial standpoint. In our reality, anybody can join the military, work in a factory or educate themselves and get a position in administration. But Tau society prohibits freedom of choice. You are what you are born as, which is quite scary. If you think about it... The Fire caste has to have it's own breeding population since they die off the quickest. Not everyone can constantly participate in battles and wars on the borders of Tau space. Are there any NCOs (Non-Combat Officers) in the Fire Caste? Or is there really a Fire Caste breeding sect where females are paired with strong warriors to breed strong children who are then nursed by these Fire Caste breeders until they are ready for Shas'shee training? I wonder if anything about Tau society is covered in the current fluff or in Codex: Xenos (if rumors are true.)

Oh yes, interesting thread.
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Old 18 Aug 2005, 22:11   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Tau Castes

Not all Fire Warriors are going to be part of a Hunter Cadre though - most are going to be garrison troops.

Think of them less in the modern way, but more in the ancient ways - there were alot more warriors percentage wise. Also while comparing them to today, do these numbers include retired soldiers, ex soldiers or children wanting to join up when they are older? All these would still come under the term 'Fire Caste', even if they aren't actual Fire Warriors.

I would still say they are lower in number then the Earth Caste, but not drastically so. Even a million Fire Warriors is barely a dent to the overall numbers in the Empire, and I doubt they've lost anywhere near this number at one point in time.

While this will mean they can easily swamp any of their neighbours with numbers like this, it'll mean that they aren't defending their own terrority. If the Imperium did this, the Tau would be doomed - but then so would the Imperium.

I would say the %'s are something along these lines:

Earth - 40%
Water - 15%
Air - 20%
Fire - 25%

The Earth Caste would be the most numerous - they are put into battle situations the least often and do the most varied tasks.

The Water Caste wouldn't need numbers - they have drones to assist in admin duties. Ambassidors aren't needed in huge numbers.

Numbers are unimportant to the Air caste on the whole - they make heavy use of drones to assist in crewing vessels. I doubt they have anywhere near the number of crew an Imperium ship would have. Despite this they still have alot of ships to man, plus stations, etc.

Fire Warriors are in great demand - I expect couples are expected to have several children to increase numbers of soldiers to defend their realm. Including hunter cadres, defense forces, training instructors, generals, recruits, etc this would come up to a large number still.

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Old 18 Aug 2005, 22:19   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: The Tau Castes

There isn't much evidence to support too much quantitative analysis, but I agree that the Earth Caste is probably the most populous, followed by the Fire and Water castes with roughly equal numbers. The Air Caste is probably fairly small, given that they generally live only in orbital facilities anymore. The Ethereal Caste is extremely small.

Not all Fire Caste become Fire Warriors, but they are all involved in the Tau military for some portion of their life.
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