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Discussion Starter #1
What do you think of the implications of the tau managing ti infiltrate or harness the Webway?

Do you think this could be a galaxy changing development or the last nail in their impending coffin?

How do you suppose the eldar would take the intrusion? :)
 

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Well given the one thing that has limited the Tau expansion is their poor warp jump ability I'd think that getting access to the Webway will make a massive difference to their ability to expand.

The Imperium might find itself in more or less in another civil war as planets join the greater good to escape the fascist yolk of the Imperium.
 

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Well given the one thing that has limited the Tau expansion is their poor warp jump ability I'd think that getting access to the Webway will make a massive difference to their ability to expand.

The Imperium might find itself in more or less in another civil war as planets join the greater good to escape the fascist yolk of the Imperium.
The Tau's lack of efficient warp travel is not the only thing which limits the Tau's expansion. There's also the matter of the Imperium being in the way. It's one thing for the Tau to take some far flung, insignificant border worlds; it's quite another for them to make a major incursion into Imperial space.

The Tau benefit locally from being a big fish in a small pond but on a Segmentum Scale the Imperium would crush them. The Imeprium responds to threat in order of priority, a major incursion by the Tau would ratchet them up the list.

I also very much doubt vast swathes of the Imperium would join the Tau. Xenophobia has been a part of Imperial history for 10,000 years. I don't see a couple 'good' interactions changing that. The Tau attract the discontented, disconnected worlds, not those which are hubs of Imperial activity and authority.

You can't generalize and say everyone hates living under the Imperium. There is no standard Imperial rule. each world governs its own affairs in its own manners. You have Utopian paradises alongside despotic hellholes and everything in between.

Regarding the op however.

Could the Tau even access the Webway? They have far less knowledge of it and other psychic phenomenon than the Imperium does and the Imperium can't access it. The only other beings who have are the Necrons with the aid of what amount to gods. The Tau are nowhere near that level of technology (they don't even surpass the Imperium).
 

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Could the Tau even access the Webway? They have far less knowledge of it and other psychic phenomenon than the Imperium does and the Imperium can't access it. The only other beings who have are the Necrons with the aid of what amount to gods. The Tau are nowhere near that level of technology (they don't even surpass the Imperium).
What the tau have is a determination and open minded approach to new things. Granted the Imperium is still more advance, however they are also largely ignorant of the webway's existence and even those that know consider it Heresy and techno sorcery. Only the Emperor came close to cracking it, and even he had to start somewhere right?

I'm not claiming it's definitely possible, but I don't think it's something we can so easily rule out either. The necrons and dark eldar prove that having psykers is not required, all that is needed is an understanding. Given enough time and opportunity, I don't think it is unreasonable to speculate that the tau could crack this labyrinth as well.

Another question worth considering is if they do, how will they contend with the myriad of threats already inside? :wink:
 

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What the tau have is a determination and open minded approach to new things. Granted the Imperium is still more advance, however they are also largely ignorant of the webway's existence and even those that know consider it Heresy and techno sorcery. Only the Emperor came close to cracking it, and even he had to start somewhere right?

I'm not claiming it's definitely possible, but I don't think it's something we can so easily rule out either. The necrons and dark eldar prove that having psykers is not required, all that is needed is an understanding. Given enough time and opportunity, I don't think it is unreasonable to speculate that the tau could crack this labyrinth as well.

Another question worth considering is if they do, how will they contend with the myriad of threats already inside? :wink:
Yes but the Dark Eldar had the advantage of already knowing how it works. They've always had access to it. The Necrons with the aid of the C'tan had mastery of physical space. In fact wasn't it only due to the C'tan that they were able to construct the Dolmen Gates to force their way in the first place?

The Tau posses neither of those advantages and know near nothing about such warp/psychic based phenomena to boot. I just don't see them getting in.
 

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Yes but the Dark Eldar had the advantage of already knowing how it works. They've always had access to it. The Necrons with the aid of the C'tan had mastery of physical space. In fact wasn't it only due to the C'tan that they were able to construct the Dolmen Gates to force their way in the first place?
The c'tan only showed them how, and only one of them apparently understood it. From this we can assume that the other c'tan either couldn't decipher the webway or had no interest in parting the knowledge for however long the war had dragged before this. Personally I find that unlikely, and put more stock in the theory that the one c'tan able to figure it out was forced to study and learn. It is stated that he had long desired to bring his infernal fire to that realm.

My point here is that it can be deciphered and harnessed by races outside its creators. And the tau are one of the few races to have the right mindset and motive to do it.
 

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The c'tan only showed them how, and only one of them apparently understood it. From this we can assume that the other c'tan either couldn't decipher the webway or had no interest in parting the knowledge for however long the war had dragged before this. Personally I find that unlikely, and put more stock in the theory that the one c'tan able to figure it out was forced to study and learn. It is stated that he had long desired to bring his infernal fire to that realm.

My point here is that it can be deciphered and harnessed by races outside its creators. And the tau are one of the few races to have the right mindset and motive to do it.
My point is that it took a C'tan to do it. A veritable god with mastery over the material realm. That's what it takes to hack your way in. The Tau may have the correct, innovative attitude but lack the intelligence, skill or technology to make use of it.
 

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The Tau's lack of efficient warp travel is not the only thing which limits the Tau's expansion. There's also the matter of the Imperium being in the way. It's one thing for the Tau to take some far flung, insignificant border worlds; it's quite another for them to make a major incursion into Imperial space.

The Tau benefit locally from being a big fish in a small pond but on a Segmentum Scale the Imperium would crush them. The Imeprium responds to threat in order of priority, a major incursion by the Tau would ratchet them up the list.
Which is why the webway would make said incursion much easier being able to essentially "turn up" where ever they wished rather than have to plod along through a series of planetary conquests.

I also very much doubt vast swathes of the Imperium would join the Tau. Xenophobia has been a part of Imperial history for 10,000 years. I don't see a couple 'good' interactions changing that. The Tau attract the discontented, disconnected worlds, not those which are hubs of Imperial activity and authority.
Which is why the Tau would stand a better chance at this than anyone else. Rather than boiling out of the webway with all guns blazing I see that they would be sending emissaries and trade delegations to treat with the planetary governors and gaining a foothold within the communities in that manner subtly over time making their place in Imperial society a vital one.

You can't generalize and say everyone hates living under the Imperium. There is no standard Imperial rule. each world governs its own affairs in its own manners. You have Utopian paradises alongside despotic hellholes and everything in between.
Perhaps not but we CAN say that seemingly everyone likes living under the Tau. Start with the disaffected worlds and progress to the others in time.

Could the Tau even access the Webway? They have far less knowledge of it and other psychic phenomenon than the Imperium does and the Imperium can't access it. The only other beings who have are the Necrons with the aid of what amount to gods. The Tau are nowhere near that level of technology (they don't even surpass the Imperium).
If the Eldar race is to die out, to whom would they bequeath their legacy? An Imperialist race, vulnerable to the forces of chaos or an egalitarian society who is basically immune to the predations of the warp?
 

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The tau are able to make cheap fast biological limb/organ replacements. They are also able to mass produce safe plasma weapons, power (battle) armor(suits), terraform, better armor for it's grunts, and anti grav vheicles.. True overall the tau don't surpass the Imperium in tech.

I'd be willing to bet if they survive for another 1000 years they will be be closer to eldar tech that Imperium.
In Farseer the astropath was wondering how the eldar traveled and said that he had heard theories among other astropaths that maybe they had some kind of alternate travel method, but couldn't believe it was possible.

If the Eldar race is to die out, to whom would they bequeath their legacy? An Imperialist race, vulnerable to the forces of chaos or an egalitarian society who is basically immune to the predations of the warp?
I think the eldar would decide to take their tech with them...although that's not to say some MAY give some tech to others.
 

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Im just wondering to what extent could the webway be considered safe after all the stuff that has happened in there, i mean you already have dark Eldar, entire sections cordoned off due to the malignant influence of the primordial annihilator.
so while im aware the webway is safer than warp travel, to what extent can we say itd be a game changer? bearing in mind its been invaded almost continuously by the warp, ahriman, the imperium and the Dark Eldar.
 

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Personally I don't think the Tau gaining access to the webway would be as beneficial to them as it could be. The Tau already have very little understanding of the warp and its denizens, and could very easily blindly re-open the sealed sections of the webway through their own ignorance, opening it back up to the warp and causing more trouble.

Theres also the issue of navigation, since the webway is not always a straightforward ordeal. Finding your way around can be a rather difficult thing, and you might not end up where you want to be.

Would it help them travel farther? Quite possibly; however that could quite easily lend itself to more trouble for the Tau should they attempt to integrate more worlds. Two of the things the Tau have going for them are their location on the relative fringe of Imperial space, and their general ignorance of just how large the Imperium is. If they go further in, they could very easily believe that its going to be much the same, only to get crushed, with no warning sent back.

The Tau being in the webway could also make them a bigger target for corsairs and the Dark Eldar, now that they are on unfamiliar ground and all.
 

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Which is why the webway would make said incursion much easier being able to essentially "turn up" where ever they wished rather than have to plod along through a series of planetary conquests.
They'd still draw more attention to themselves however. Imperial authorities in the know would start wondering why there are Tau turning up all over the galaxy. Having the webway doesn't alleviate the need for planetary conquest, which again would draw Imperial attention.



Which is why the Tau would stand a better chance at this than anyone else. Rather than boiling out of the webway with all guns blazing I see that they would be sending emissaries and trade delegations to treat with the planetary governors and gaining a foothold within the communities in that manner subtly over time making their place in Imperial society a vital one.
Except that only an incredibly small minority of worlds would accept these delegations. It's heresy to interact with xenos. If that world has any level of Imperial activity or authority no trade is going to happen.



Perhaps not but we CAN say that seemingly everyone likes living under the Tau. Start with the disaffected worlds and progress to the others in time.
Tell that to sterilized human colonists.


If the Eldar race is to die out, to whom would they bequeath their legacy? An Imperialist race, vulnerable to the forces of chaos or an egalitarian society who is basically immune to the predations of the warp?
They're not going to be bequeathing anything to anyone. They consider the lesser races to be more akin to beasts than sentient beings. Besides the Tau fit the description of imperialist just as well as the Imperium. I'd hardly call their society egalitarian; a caste system presupposes some level of inequality. There's a definite hierarchy in Tau society.

Tau also are not immune to the predations of the warp. Daemons can still attack them, psychic powers still affect them. They simply have a lower register in the warp, they're not a race of blanks.
 

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The only plausible way the Tau could gain access to the network would be by being in control of an established, working, gateway. Whilst simultaneously hoping the Eldar don't/can't seal of that particular tunnel and that it is stable enough to prevent any daemonic incursions.

Being in control of a single (or even a handful) of gateways wouldn't be sufficient to gain access to the remainder of the webway, especially to a race that has no experience with, or knowledge of, the labyrinth. The Dark Kin (and to a lesser extent the Craftworld and Exodite Eldar, as well as the daemonic legions and other natural/warp predators known to inhabit the network) would pose a gargantuan obstacle to any Tau intrusion, especially given Vect's previously known exploits and mastery of the webway.

Even if, hypothetically, the Tau Empire were able to gain access and/or dominance of the labyrinth I would question how useful it would actually be. Firstly, it would open up the Empire on the galactic stage and therefore multiply it's enemies a thousand-fold. The Eldar utilise it mainly as corsairs and pirates and don't maintain unified realms via it, therefore it remains highly valuable. But going up against the galactic heavy-weights (notably the Imperium) on a large-scale would probably only end badly for the Tau. Not only that, but the webway itself is slowly falling into disrepair and Chaos, with only the Harlequins being in command of a complete map (IIRC). The Tau also would not be able to replicate the psychic technology required to repair/rebuilt it properly (especially considering the Eldar and the Emperor couldn't/can't). Ultimately, the webway is not the answer to the Tau's long-term goal of unifying the galaxy under the banner of the Greater Good, I think it would only provide more problems and could end up being catastrophic for the young civilisation.
 

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How or If the Tau access the Webway is irrelevant, the proposal of the OP is that they have done so. hat is the premise from which we have to start.

I am firmly of the opinion that the Tau would be able to very successfully infiltrate Imperial Society through fair means and foul. Despite Chaos being heresy there are still plenty of planets that fall to it, so to can Xenos permeate and cajole planets to join them.

Being Battle Brothers with Space Marines now shows a definite softening of the hard line towards them from the Imperium.
 

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How or If the Tau access the Webway is irrelevant, the proposal of the OP is that they have done so. hat is the premise from which we have to start.
So we're just brushing aside the fact they're highly unlikely to ever get in? Alright, then see Cote's answer. I agree with him that even if they could get in it would be to their detriment. If whatever lurked in there didn't ruin their day the Eldar or Imperium would when they'd discover the Tau using it.

I am firmly of the opinion that the Tau would be able to very successfully infiltrate Imperial Society through fair means and foul. Despite Chaos being heresy there are still plenty of planets that fall to it, so to can Xenos permeate and cajole planets to join them.
Chaos has the advantage of 1) being recognizable and familiar; it's introduced to an individual by those he knows. 2) being 'magic'. Chaos can warp and twist the mind, it attacks people's souls. It's the most persuasive, insidious force in the galaxy. Xenos diplomats (which would 9 times out of 10 be blown out of the sky on principle) can't compare.

Now i'm not overly familiar with the details of Tau fluff but have there actually been any Imperial planets which have wholeheartedly joined the Tau of their own volition? There are plenty the tau have conquered or issued ultimatums to but i'm unaware of any outright defecting to the Tau.

Being Battle Brothers with Space Marines now shows a definite softening of the hard line towards them from the Imperium.
I wouldn't base such a significant policy shift on a rule mechanic designed for game balance. There's a lot on that table which doesn't make sense. The game's an abstraction informed by fluff, not the other way around.

There's no evidence of the Astarte's xenophobia lessening. That's not to say they that some chapters can't be pragmatic in specific situations but there's certainly been no softer policy in place. The Imperium was founded on the assumption of human superiority. It's the Astartes holy mission to kill the alien.
 

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So we're just brushing aside the fact they're highly unlikely to ever get in?
Yes, yes we are.

The question isn't how would they gain access and what would happen, its what would happen if they somehow did gain access.
 

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Chaos has the advantage of 1) being recognizable and familiar; it's introduced to an individual by those he knows. 2) being 'magic'. Chaos can warp and twist the mind, it attacks people's souls. It's the most persuasive, insidious force in the galaxy. Xenos diplomats (which would 9 times out of 10 be blown out of the sky on principle) can't compare.
The tau offer 1: A longer life 2: possibility of advancement 3: They 'Care' 4: Kick ass gear that's better than that of the IG grunts 5: 3 meals a day 6: Free transfer if requested
 

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The tau offer 1: A longer life 2: possibility of advancement 3: They 'Care' 4: Kick ass gear that's better than that of the IG grunts 5: 3 meals a day 6: Free transfer if requested
It doesn't matter what they offer as it all comes from am alien face. Imperial citizens have been conditioned to hate and fear xenos for the past 10,000 years. It's a central tenant in their religion. If the Tau came proselytizing to a word with any significant level of Imperial presence they'd would be blown out of the sky.

Besides option 1, 2 and 5 are entirely dependent on what world you're on. There are democracies and meritocratic societies in the Imperium. 3's not true. Non tau are second class citizens and the Tau are just as imperialist as the Imperium is. Note that you're not given a choice about joining the empire, just the way in which you're incorporated.
 

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It doesn't matter what they offer as it all comes from am alien face. Imperial citizens have been conditioned to hate and fear xenos for the past 10,000 years. It's a central tenant in their religion. If the Tau came proselytizing to a word with any significant level of Imperial presence they'd would be blown out of the sky.

Besides option 1, 2 and 5 are entirely dependent on what world you're on. There are democracies and meritocratic societies in the Imperium. 3's not true. Non tau are second class citizens and the Tau are just as imperialist as the Imperium is. Note that you're not given a choice about joining the empire, just the way in which you're incorporated.
1: The average Imp citizen life span is 50 in hive worlds, thread here discussing life in the imp, can range from 50-70 in ag worlds. The most common cause of death for Workers in the tau empire is old age vs an accident in the Imp.

2: In the Imp if you are a worker you are going to die a worker, if your really lucky your going to die a worker with a compliment on your record. In the Tau Empire there's a chance you're going to die a foreman or if you show your really good you may even run a factory. Firecaste.

3: notice the (')s They say you're a citizen but atleast you won't be be shot just because the local Governor decided he wanted to have some fun 'hunting' or some local noble's son wanted to see what it was like to live like a ganger, (Ravenor, Lord of the Night, Scourge the Heretic, Eisenhorn, Firecaste, Fire Warrior, Shadowsun).

5: True but the entire tau empire can be argued to be a meritocracy, not perfect. While the Imp is.....theocratic fascism?
 
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