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This is still a sort of work-in-progress, the title may be a bit misleading but its basically a rundown on Imperial tech differences with the Tau.

But something I've noticed, the Imperium is often criticized for the fact that the greater portion of humans don't know how their own technology works, and that this is one of the major strengths of the Tau.

But this isn't even true. The Tau Earth Castes knows all the tech, the other people just use it.

Just like the Adeptus Mechanicus' role in the Imperium, and technicians in the present day. Sure most of loosely know how say, a plane is made but few outside the actual employ of an aerospace industry would know the details of construction and each and every piece.

In fact the Imperium actually enjoys some advantages, they know last-ditch methods of recharging their ammo (tossing it on the fire) and they also know how to maintain it.

Despite the fact that Imperial weaponry is seen as having sacred spirits, the way to appease these spirits is just standard maintenance, a spirit is happy if you keep the weapon well-maintained basically.

Another point to make is the fact that the Imperium reveres technology and treats it with a great deal of mysticism, but Imperial technology is actually more mystical!

Take the Golden Throne, Stasis cells, warp tech, bionics, Psycannon bolts, Rosarius and much more. Unlike the Tau where we can see a clear clean-cut nature of a weapon, such as Tau pulse rifles and railguns, Imperial tech actually does seem to be partly reliant on belief and ritual or in some cases at least utilising other powers than the scientific.

People also criticize the Imperium for the low quality of weapons given to Imperial Guard when compared to the Tau's weapons, but anyone with military knowledge knows it takes a huge amount of resources and time to institute new weapons and it is a miracle the Imperial Guard have relatively standard weapons at all. Not to mention the Imperial guard are still quite effective at what they do, sure it'd be great if they had Hellguns instead of Lasguns, but that just isn't feasible.

The Tau are a small force and so they can afford to make things count, changes can be instituted rapidly because there aren't that many Fire Warriors, tens of thousands, maybe a couple of hundred thousand if the figures I've read are to be believed.

Contrast this with the literal billions of men in the Imperial Guard and you can see the differences, it is a miracle an organisation the size of the Imperium keeps its men as well supplied as they do.

People also complain the Imperium can not adapt, but that is clearly false, I'll provide two examples of how they adapted to new threats, such as the Tyranids.

Firstly they developed Gland Warriors to fight the Tyranids, engineering a whole new strain of Guardsmen is something to be impressed by!

Secondly I'm quite sure the Hellfire bolt was designed for anti-Tyranid actions.

Thoughts?
 

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Jac "Baneblade" O'Bite
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Very nice run down mate. I know very little about the Tau so I can't challenge you on any of it but what you say seems to make sense.
 

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Well, I see it as that the citizens of the Imperium of Man have regressed into superstition and view machines as something that should be feared in some cases and given the utmost respect, with the tech-priests sort of like beast tamers however the Tau see technology as something that adhers to their every command and a tool for their advancement, not extensions of a deity as Mankind believes.


Well, that's my two cents.
 

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I agree, and while the IG could have better weapons than the tau simply by giving every troop a las cannon, or his own leman russ, or better yet each IG gets an emperor class starship.

There is a cost for this, the Imperium feels that with so many troops the most effecent way to arm them is with a very reliable proven weapon. They would rather have 1000 IG with las guns on a planet than 100 plasma gunners on a planet.
also the tech is made to be simple to understand and maintain. If they drop off a leman russ off to some ig from a planet bairly out of the dark ages they better be able to fix it after reading the manual. complex hover tanks may take more knowledge than some agri or feral worlds have. Thus the imperium is amazingly technoligical simply because it can build things an orgrin can fix.
and quantity has a quality all it's own.
 

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Tau are exactly the opposite of the imperium they are forever progressing by means of improving their technology while the imperium is in search of technology they lost a long time ago. If you go into the whole mythical stuff about the old gods creating humans and orcs as a last ditch attempt at countering the C'tan and necrons, then Tau are the "third coming" following in the steps of the first attempt, The Eldar.

Eldar have surpreme technology but their main problem is they were connected to the warp which eventually lead to their downfall, the gods did not think of this when they created them. Now the tau have no presense in the warp, they have no navigator strain and no physic powers. So its true what eldrad said when he said he felt a kind of brotherhood to the new tau. The imperium on the other had are like a virus thats got out of control much the same as orcs but in another means. Kind of went off topic but it gets down to the very reason why the Imperium is backward while the tau are forward thinking.
 

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We assume the machine spirit is indead a superstition, but in a world full of demons and gods it is easy to see why such a thing is believed and with possesion and what not, it may even be true.

Also the though of a leman russ with a multi tracker is sick...9 boltershots and the battle cannon? hmmm tasty.
 

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I had always understood machinespirit as either an OS or varying degrees of Artificial inteligence. and quite seriously, there are tons of machines that are in use every day in the imperium that don't get the same treatment as others, for example, can openers, I'm pretty sure it is only the computers and hardcore electronics that are revered, the simple dataslates, picters, and such are common and probably understood by most.

the fluff mystifies the midlevel tech more than it actually is from the perspective of the characters, because the words they use for things are arcane to us, but commonplace to them, an example is that computer terminals interfaces have "runes," But I'd bet that the runes are still in "qwerty" layout.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Tau are exactly the opposite of the imperium they are forever progressing by means of improving their technology while the imperium is in search of technology they lost a long time ago. If you go into the whole mythical stuff about the old gods creating humans and orcs as a last ditch attempt at countering the C'tan and necrons, then Tau are the "third coming" following in the steps of the first attempt, The Eldar.
Words, I think you misunderstand the differences between the Imperium and the Tau.

The Imperium looks back because there is nothing forward, during the Golden Age technology at mankind's disposal was basically limitless, anything could be done.

Basically the Imperium has already done it all, all they need to do is find a path back, retrace their steps and they've rediscovered miracle machine X, then they just need to find Y and Z and all the letters before X.

The Tau however, are still advancing out of relatively barbarity, they're basically still fresh at the whole "space" thing.

Also, provide a little backing for your claims about the Tau, I assumed that the Tau were the spawn of the C'tan.
Because all the Old One's creations have psychic power, even Orks do.
 

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I assumed that the Tau were the spawn of the C'tan.
Because all the Old One's creations have psychic power, even Orks do.
But all the Psychic races have failed, partly because of their Psychic-ness.

The Orks are really out of control, the Eldar accidently created a god and Humanity has to maintain a state of constant vigilance to stop those with Psychic poweress destroying the Imperium. In short, the powers that the Old Ones gave to the Young Races are as much a curse as a blessing.

The Tau, on the other had, have no connection to the Warp. They're Psychic blunts not psychic blanks. They aren't Anti-Psykers like Pariahs, they just have no understanding of the Warp. If they were made by the C'tan, they'd most likely be a race of Pariahs to stop the Psychic Threat to the C'tan. But their not. They are, though, very hard for Chaos to corrupt because they lack Psykers, less likely to mutation form Warp exposer, and, finally, most their Warp technology is based on a crashed Space Vessel found on one of T'au's moons. It was most probably left by their creators. But C'tan have no knowledge of the Warp. They use faster then light echnology to travel. The Old Ones were master of Warp Travel, however.

Of course, this is just my theory. Everyone is entitled to their own, and I am in no way challenging that. This is just what I think.
 

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I feel Tau might be some kind of fluke warp spawned creation. Basically to survive evolution (which was accelerated by the warp storms) their bodies evolved to have very little presence in the warp (which means they are far far less tasty seeming to daemons) which meant that their evolution which was triggered and accelerated by the strange effects of the warp (never play with radiation and the warp kids!) was able to go unchecked and unchallenged.

As far as the tech goes. Currently the Imperium is out and out screwed compared to where they were even 10k years ago. They are starting to recover from that horrible abomination known as a religious state (they 'recently' separated the Ecclessiary's ties to the military) which plunged their knowledge down into the toilet.

The Tau have never had events like Old Night, the Heresy, the Apostasy, or some religious fruit cakes calling the shots (the most harmful of all save for maybe and thats a maybe Old Night)
 

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Words, I think you misunderstand the differences between the Imperium and the Tau.

The Imperium looks back because there is nothing forward, during the Golden Age technology at mankind's disposal was basically limitless, anything could be done.

Basically the Imperium has already done it all, all they need to do is find a path back, retrace their steps and they've rediscovered miracle machine X, then they just need to find Y and Z and all the letters before X.

The Tau however, are still advancing out of relatively barbarity, they're basically still fresh at the whole "space" thing.

Also, provide a little backing for your claims about the Tau, I assumed that the Tau were the spawn of the C'tan.
Because all the Old One's creations have psychic power, even Orks do.
A quote from Eldrad Ulthuan in codex tau-

"I have followed the myriad potential futures of the tau with great interest. Though barely even striplings compared to us. I feel a strange protectiveness towards them. In time i believe they will exceed even our greatest feats and master the darkness within their souls."


The warp storms that blew up around the tau were no coincidence, the imperium found the world and was sending a fleet to settle it claiming only primitive species lived there, then all of a sudden the storms blew up to protect that region of space and the fleet was lost and the tau's evolution rapidly increased is it a coincidence this happened with the coming of the c'tan and necrons again?

A race that can develope quicly assimulate different species into their race to benefit them all and havean infinity with technology which could lead them to developing an anti necronw eapon.

I can't find the information about the old gods and their war with the c'tan but its easy to put the tau in perspective when you think of how the eldar fell and how the tau can not fall to the same problem.


The imperium however is locked looking backwards, yes there maybe great machines they had in the past but they ain't trying to make any new things themselves now. As you said anything could be done and so could it be now but they are trapped in superstitionand not wanting to offend some "machine god" which maybe infact a necron god. This fact alone is stopping the imperium from creating something to destroy necrons easily. Tau as i said are the opposite to what the imperium are...Democracy vs Communist.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Well this is getting a bit off topic, but what you quoted in no way implies that the Tau and Eldar came from the same source, just that the Eldar see a bit of themselves in the Tau.


The imperium however is locked looking backwards, yes there maybe great machines they had in the past but they ain't trying to make any new things themselves now. As you said anything could be done and so could it be now but they are trapped in superstitionand not wanting to offend some "machine god" which maybe infact a necron god. This fact alone is stopping the imperium from creating something to destroy necrons easily. Tau as i said are the opposite to what the imperium are...Democracy vs Communist.
First point, I'm rather sure the Machine God is a facet of the Emperor, or vice versa, not the Void Dragon as has been theorised. The C'tan does have some influence and connection with the AM, but generally the Adeptus Mechanicus do not actually worship something they know to be a Stargod, the evidence in favour is circumstantial.

A lot of people diss on the Imperium's management, but democracy is simply impossible on the galactic level, it would be even more bureaucratic than the already chocked nature of Imperial legislature, even in the representative form.

But to say the Tau are opposite to the Imperium...is simply untrue, even socially they have some similarities with an Earth Caste and the Adeptus Mechanicus and both stress giving everything for a goal, for the Tau it is the Greater Good, for the Imperium it is the Emperor.

They aren't that different, one culture is just several millennia 'ahead' (if it can be called that) of the other.

I also would point out the Tau are not as stable as one might think, although Farsight is the only Tau to have deserted for now, that will likely change as the Tau Empire grows, it is also probable that ethnic fissures will become apparent as this happens. There is a reason the Imperium lets only humans reside in it, to do anything sacrifices long term stability.
 

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But some rituals are actually pointless, for example, the use of incense to 'appease the machine-spirit'. Also, chanting to machines. WTF? Why would you sing to a machine? Surely this is just a waste of time.
 

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Theres a major difference between the Earth cast and the Adeptus mechanicus, the earth cast is fully intergrated into the ruling body and works very very closely with the rest while the Admech can decide what they like and are not part of the imperium fully, they even made the emperor change the aquilla sign (supposedly) the open eyed eagle being the emperor while the blinded one being the admech. The emperor had to "conquer" mars before he could start his crusades. Its why theres so much distrust in what the admech tell the imperium since they definately have secrets deep beneath mars.

As well as that i remember a short story where a necron ship flew past mars to investigate terra and the defenses etc on mars simply turned off. Very suspicious if you ask me.

As i said i can't show the evidence about the whole old god stuff but merely saying, just because of that statement, the whole idea is devoid of truth is not right. As i said even orcs and mankind were created by the old ones to, so just because i said they were from the same source doesn't make them the same, i simply stated that quote to show theres a definate connection between the way the eldar were (being the first created to fight the c'tan) and the tau (being the latest) who in the eyes of eldrad will surpass what the eldar had.
 
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