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Eldar and Dark Eldar

    Why would Eldar be good? 
  • In the early editions of the game, what were the Eldar up to that made people believe they were the good guys?
    • For one thing, they had a sympathetic backstory. For another thing, they were opposed to Chaos. You know, "Enemy of my enemy" thing.
    • Also, everything is relative. Remember, the other races are Orwellian space communists, ultra xenophobes that create an absolute dictatorship, tribal war bands killing for fun, creatures from beyond the galaxy seeking to devour all life, Undead skeleton robots wanting to end all life, and a group who inflicting torture is a daily meal. In comparison, the manupilative Eldar are Jesus Christ.
    • In the Grimdark world of 40K, "Good" doesn't mean you don't do awful, awful things. It just means you don't do them because you enjoy it.

    Dark Eldar and mathematics 
  • How do the Dark Eldar maintain their population? They are constantly taking casualties from raids, not to mention the enormous amount of betrayal and lethal backstabbing going on 24/7 in their society. To make all of that up, their birthrate would have to be huge. and somehow I don't see them as staying home to raise the kids.
    • I think because the DE are all the survivors of the Eldar worlds way back when, perhaps they started off with a huge population, but didn't have the resources to mobilize it. Alternatively, I see the Dark Eldar brainwashing captured Eldar or rival Dark Eldar, then using the victims as breeding slaves, and some of the kids they torture to death, some of the kids survive and become contributing members to society. Alternatively, the DE are in fact dwindling, but it is still taking thousands of years to finish them off. If there was a WH50000, then they might not exist (heck, maybe the lack of support the DE get is evidence that they are dying and not very graciously)
    • I really like the idea of a 'contributing member' of Dark Eldar society... I know what you meant, but I can't help picture a Dark Eldar waking up in the morning, shaving, eating cereal while reading the newspaper and then going of to his 9-5 at the local Rape-arium.
    • One thing the Dark Eldar have going for them that the regular Eldar don't is that they can have a prodigious birthrate - unlike their Craftworld cousins, they don't run the risk of Slaanesh ripping out their souls though their genitals if they have too much pleasure during sex.
    • Thank you for that mental image.
    • Dark Eldar are always looking for the extremes of pleasure; their rape rates must be off the charts, so it would stand to reason that they have a lot of children.
    • A theory for you: if we assume that dark eldar can have lovers, then it stands to reason that some female dark eldar might want to stay out of the fighting, so will keep getting pregnant. If we also assume that dark eldar don't have a menopause, then the population is being kept up via the few determined females who don't want to fight. Alternatively, playthings of the opposite gender of the capturer may find themselves "helping" keep the population up in exchange for being allowed to live for longer (presumably before discovering that they will never be allowed to die).
    • It seems the new codex provides an answer: While some Dark Eldar are "Trueborn", apparently a lot of them are Designer Babies. Being Dark Eldar, the Trueborn look down on the ones that were grown in vats.
    • What, not the other way around?
    • In a new article, GW has a Youtube interview with the creators of the new Dark Eldar. Thankfully(?), this is issue was one that they did discuss, rather than saying that there are just enough of them to last that long, which appeared to be part of the implied solution up 'til now. The Dark Eldar have higher birth rates than their Craftworld cousins, and they may have a number of Half-Eldar Hybrids in their ranks. Then the Haemonculi have a sort of "medical sarcophagus" that can restore one of them entirely from a simple body part were they to get killed in battle, although this can have potential downsides. Also, similar to real life, population can grow rapidly from keeping people from dying, which the Dark Eldar can do since they're practically immortal and regularly rejuvenate themselves.
    • It doesn't hurt that 5th Edition Dark Eldar are pragmatic villains, able to think things through and keep their casualties to a minimum with some sense of racial self-preservation instead of the cartoonish Stupid Evil Card Carrying Villains of the 3rd edition codex.

    Dark Eldar slavery policy 
  • What I never got about the DE is that what they seem to have two priorities- first is don't die and second is get slaves. Yet their method of getting slaves is to risk life and limb. This puzzles me because slavery is rampant in the Imperium (and ork kulture). Why risk your life raiding the Imperial planet when you could just buy (perhaps with some proxy human)what you're after and avoid that whole lascannon to the face thing? Sure raids are exciting themselves but as a method of getting slaves they're downright stupid.
    • For that matter, why buy slaves when the ones you have can always make more?
    • It seems to be that the very act of killing rejuvenates and sometimes even resurrects the Dark Eldar, and their souls don't seem to be in that much danger while they're doing it, as many of them can be resurrected by haemonculi afterwards. In addition, many DE are Blood Knight Sense Freaks who love fighting and prioritize it above their own survival. Also, certain objectives just require that you leave Commorragh. And finally, what we see on the tabletop are actually very unusual situations - most DE raids take very few casualties, as they mostly attack defenseless feral/feudal worlds.
    • Because they need billions of them.
    • Because it's substantially less fun to buy, assemble, and paint your minis, making your gorgeous and awe-inspiring army, allocating points to the subset of them you want to use, sitting down across from another player. . . and spending two hours debating exchange rates, values, price-per-unit, transportation fees, and taxes.
    • You got the Dark Eldar priorities wrong. Their first priority is the pursuit of extreme sensations. Their second priority is not losing their soul to Slaanesh while pursuing those extreme sensations. Raiding for slaves is both a pleasure and a necessity. They get a kick out of raiding and they get slaves to drain of life force for more kicks and to rejuvenate the drain put on their souls so that they can keep raiding and torturing. They're ultra-hedonists first, survivalists second. If all they cared about was survival, they would join their Craftworld or Exodite kin instead. It's also reasonable to assume that most raids don't meet as much opposition as those detailed in lore. We hear of battles, not the untold millions of people just disappearing into the night. As for trading for slaves, you got to remember that these are still Eldar, will all the arrogance that entails. They would be reluctant to stoop as low as to bargain with vermin and cattle.

    Howling Banshees' gender issues 
  • So, the Howling Banshees is an "order" of female Eldar warriors. Alright. But then, why are the Autarchs wearing a Banshee mask (which means they followed and mastered this path at one point) always male? And if the Banshees actually accepts both sex, why, on the other hand, is there no male Banshee figure ? They do put a few female torsos in the Guardians' boxes, after all...
    • Most of them are female; the option is there to convert a male Banshee or a female Autarch should you want one. It could be that female Eldar are for some reason less likely to succumb to Becoming the Mask (pun not intended) and as such tend not to become sociopathic Blood Knights Autarchs.
    • Actually, it could be some of those Howling Banshees are male, but wear the armour patterned after the Howling Banshee founder.
    • It is my understanding that the banshee from eldar myth is a female spirit. Since aspect warriors already have MPD, emulating a woman wouldn't be unreasonable.
    • According to an older Codex, thats the reason- the founder of the Howling Banshees was female, so all Howling Banshees are female, even when they're male. During their stay in the shrine, the male ones feminize their name, get referred to with female pronouns, wear armor shaped for a female body, and in general become women for the duration of their stay.

    Making more Eldar 
  • If there are only a small number of Eldar left, why don't they make a law that each Eldar has to have, say, three children? That kind of birthrate would dramatically boost the number of Eldar in the long term. Especially the Biel-tan craftworld, which has made the decision to reforge the Eldar empire. For that, they're going to need a lot of troops. So why don't they increase their birthrate this way?
    • Because sex brings a possibility of having your soul torn out of your body and consumed by a dark god/dess.
    • You'd think that with their advanced technology, the Eldar would have some way of eliminating the orgasm. Heck, even the Mon'Keigh have artificial insemination...
      • They can't use artificial breeding methods, because doing so generates Eldar who do not have souls. That is a Bad Thing for the Eldar.
    • Plus in 40k "small numbers" means millions per Craftworld.
    • It's such a shame that Eldar don't have souls just waiting around to be put back into a new body to fight again...
    • Actually they don't, off the top of my head I don't recall the specifics but the soulstones of those Eldar who die in battle are either strengthening Khaine or being used to create a new god to battle Slaanesh.
      • Why don't the Eldar just mass suicide to create the new god to slay Slaanesh? It worked for Emps, and humans have a smaller psychic presence than the Eldar.
    • They do have a legend that when all the Eldar eventually die, their soul will merge into a new god that will defeat Slaanesh. However, now they have no qualms (well, actually they do, but they don't have much choice on the matter) on drawing the souls of their kin back from the dead to animate tanks and wraithlords. DE call it necromancy and enjoy watching it.
    • Plus, how do we know if Craftworlds DON'T do this; a big reason their population drops is because lots of them either leave the Craftworld to become rangers or fall and become Dark Eldar.
    • As of the new DE codex, feels weird saying that, it's been specified more clearly Craftworld Eldar can't become Dark Eldar, as Dark Eldar lack most of the psychic presence of Craftworld Eldar, and have vastly enhanced nervous systems granting them faster reflexes and better senses. Eldar who fall are said to be Chaos Eldar, who are the most valued of the Chaos Gods' mortal servants. They're scary as hell: Chaos Eldar can go toe-to-toe with Adeptus Custodes, psychically duel the Astronomicon at the same time and not break a sweat. (Un)fortunately, they never leave their Crone Worlds because it would nerf the Grey Knights.
    The young do not desire the discipline of the Path, but rather their curiosity drives them to try every fruit from the tree. Thus it is that so many take the Path of Wandering or the Path of Damnation in their first years of adulthood, and so the great tragedy of our kind is played out again and again as the number of our people shrinks from generation to generation.
    • This quote can be taken either way, then.
    • Eldar reproduction also takes a LOT longer than human reproduction. They have to add genetic material in stages. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to assume that they have to wait a year every time they add more genetic material.
    • Personally, I always thought that this had to do with the (pre-fall) Dark Eldar being the normal ones of the species and adjectiveless Eldar being a bizarre puritanical doom cult. Either that or their species somehow managed to evolve to the point of galaxy spanning Empire without having ever invented the turkey baster.
    • There's actually a mention on the Wiki that as Asuryan was being devoured by Slaanesh, he bound some of his psychic might to the Eldar, increasing their psychic powers and longevity but diminishing their fertility.

     If you don't like it, leave it 
  • Why don't the Eldar just leave the Milky Way? The Warp does not extend beyond the Milky Way itself, since in the empty void between the galaxies, there is not enough life to generate an immaterium, although it has been theorized that other galaxies, if inhabited, might have their warps. The Craftworlds can move, albeit only slowly, but the Eldar are extremely long-lived in any case. So why not just leave the Milky Way behind, and thereby escape from Slaanesh? What is keeping them here?
    • Because the reason there is no Warp beyond the Milky Way is because there are no sentient minds there. The Warp is generated by living beings. If the Eldar fled beyond the Milky Way, they'd bring the Warp with them; they wouldn't be able to avoid it.
    • You said it yourself: the Craftworlds don't move fast. More importantly, there's no Webway beyond the galaxy, which means that they can't just leave it behind.
    • There's also the implication that the Tyranids have consumed several galaxies surrounding the Milky Way. Jumping to another galaxy has a very good chance of landing the Eldars in a lifeless dead zone. They'll die of starvation if the Tyranids stragglers don't get them first.


    All hail the Hive Mind? 
  • How do Genestealer cults actually work? Why are the kids loyal to the Hive Fleet? How do sapient independant life forms have to obey the Hive Mind?
    • All the Genestealer and Genestealer hybrids are telepathically connected to and controlled by the Genestealer Patriarch, just like a Zerg Brood is controlled by a cerebrate. This mini-hive mind also works as a beacon for Tyranid Hive fleets. The hybrids might have some mind of their own, but even so their minds are controlled by the Patriarch. When a Patriarch is killed the telepathic link is disrupted and the cult is thrown into chaos (lower case). Another Genestealer can grow and become the new Patriarch however.
    • Also note that the Genestealer infiltrators and their cultists don't know the true nature of what they are calling to, particularly the bit where they get consumed with the rest of the biomass even if their insurrection succeeds.
    • Have you not noticed that they forcibly implant mind controlling biochips in their cultist? Whatever Phlebotium this is, it is quite enough to fully override person's free will. However, infected can keep their memories and personalities intact enough to deceive people who know them.

    Why can't we spam Swarmlords? 
  • If the Swarmlord is so valuable that every time it is killed and its consciousness is absorbed, the Hive Mind feels the need to reincarnate it immediately, why doesn't it duplicate the consciousness and crank out trillions of the things? Seems reasonable to me, "Bug #5890765435 increases the probability of winning by 35.62%. Make more Bug #5890765435."
    • Probably because it has a unique consciousness that can't be duplicated, as its description clearly implies.
    • ... If its consciousness can't be duplicated, how can it be reincarnated?
    • I got the impression that the Hive Tyrants have independent souls, like humans or Eldar or Orks. The Hive Mind can grab these souls and reattach them to new bodies, but if it creates new ones they are just that, new. Like a human baby, they have to learn. The Swarmlord is valuable because it's the oldest, smartest, and most experienced Hive-Tyrant-soul, so it's the Hive Mind's best general.
    • Actually, on careful reading of the Swarmlord's fluff: its consciousness is kept separate from the rest of the swarm, thus creating its unique cunning. Cranking out trillions of those things will simply fracture the unique "one-ness of purpose" that is the Tyranid's strengths...
    • For those of you who want to know what that would look like, it would be a bug version of StarCraft's Terrans where they would be hugely powerful, if only they could stop killing each other long enough to unitedly pursue an enemy. They'd be like unfunny om nom nom Orks.
    • The Swarmlord is valuable to the Hive Mind because it thinks differently from the Hive Mind. Making more would introduce the risk that they would eventually revolt over a disagreement with the rest of the Swarm.
    • I believe it is also the fact that it cost's a lot. While he may take the same amount of biomass as a Carnifex or a brood of Gaunts, the quality of biomass and/or the amount of energy necessary to form him makes him ineffective in big numbers.
    • Having one independent thinker is vital. Having too many could lead to the Swarm being hampered by endless debates, petty bickering, and in-fighting.

    Old Tyranid had a farm, E-I-E-I-O... 
  • Why don't the Tyranids farm? Okay, I realize that sounds absurd, but clearly the Tyranid hive-mind has the intelligence to understand what farming is, and to realize that, having conquered a life-bearing world, it can generate more biomass for consumption by continuing to farm it than by consuming everything and moving on. After all, there is no particular reason to assume that life-bearing worlds are especially common; out of all the planets and moons in our solar system, only one supports a biosphere (yes, it is possible that there are or were microbes on some of the Jovian or Saturnine moons, but nothing like earth). Isn't it kind of shortsighted for the Tyranids to constantly destroy their only food sources? It seems as though the Tyranid hive-mind forces itself to endure constant cycles of feast and famine, when it could easily maintain a steady source of food over the long-term. So why do the Tyranids consistently kill the golden goose?
    • For that matter, considering their high levels of biological adaptability, and their ability to absorb useful traits from the lifeforms they consume, why don't the Tyranids simply produce forms capable of photosynthesis? They could build organic Dyson shells around blue giant or super-giant stars and get all the energy they need.
    • Answer? It simply wouldn't be GRIMDARK enough.
    • They do. Once the Hivemind caught on the Imperial tactic involving luring large numbers of Tyranids onto a planet and dropping an Exterminatus on it at the last moment, it began seizing worlds and steadily farming biomass off it instead of just eating and moving on.
    • Also, Tyranid adaptability might not simply be a trait, but part of their purpose - and the conflict involved in seeking out and devouring new lifeform forces to adapt in ways that sedentary farming life would not. The Tyranids may be driven to be the intergalactic apex predator.
    • Why would they? Photosynthesis does not produce additional matter. It turns inorganic low energy carbon into organic high energy carbon. Tyranids simply consume ALL carbon at once. And it is entirely plausible that their ships allow them to absorb solar light and radiation (much more efficiently then they would on the planet's surface) to get energy.

    • Also, it will be time-inefficent.
By harvesting the planets the normal way, they get all the biomass and carbon in some weeks, while farming they will need many monts, and it will result in a lower output of gaunts, and in greater cost of energy in orbit and on the planet, even if we don't count the retaliation of whoever they are eatyng.By assimilatin all at once thay have all resources immediatly disposable.
    The biggest Tyranid EVAR 
  • This may seem like a dumb question,but what is the biggest Tyranid ever
    • Well, if you're talking about the biggest known tyranid, than probably one of their Living Ships. The largest terrestrial tyranids are the bio-titans, which are the size of- you guessed it- titans.

     Tyranid Warp Presence 
  • Unless I'm very much mistaken, as far as I can tell Tyranids are automatons that lack any real emotions (unless "Insatiable Hunger" counts as an emotion). The Warp is fueled by emotions. So how does something lacking emotion have a warp presence, let alone one powerful enough to give the Chaos Gods an aneurysm?
    • Tyranids do have emotion; each individual Tyranid has its own rudimentary instinctive emotions, which is why when a Hive Mind link is lost the Tyranids behave like animals instead of simply shutting down. The Hive Mind itself also has emotion, but that emotion is primarily hunger. However, this question makes a fundamental mistake about the Warp: the Warp isn't exactly fueled by emotion, but rather by thoughts. Even an entirely emotionless being would influence the Warp if they have a slight psychic presence... and the Tyranid Hive Mind is an impossible vast thinking machine.

Necrons and C'Tan

    You can't keep on fixing it forever! 
  • Why don't the constant repairs ever affect the quality of Necron troops?
    • It does. Every time the resurrect, they get crazier and remember less of their mortal life. According to the new fluff, half of the Necrons are now outside of C'tan control because of this.
    • The thing to remember about Necrons is: Necrons never talk. Ever. The only sources of real information about the Necrons, their history, and their abilities is the C'Tan. Nightbringer isn't very talkative (other than "KILL!", and the Deceiver always lies. The entire thing about Necrons being unable to make new troops is probably either a lie by the Deceiver for one of his ridiculous games, or propaganda by the Imperium to make the Necrons seem less unkillable. We know that Necrons can make new soldiers. That's the entire fluff for Pariahs.
    • The Necrons can no longer make new troops (including Pariahs). However, it is clear that yes, the Necrons do degrade (primarily mentally) after each reanimation, although much of the damage is more do to spending the majority of the human species' existence in stasis than the combat they've seen in the last few hundred years. It's also established that the Necron Warriors were the uninfluetial civillians of Necrontyr society, and as such, got the short end of the stick as far as control goes even when they were just stepping out of the transfer.

    Necron's Ragnarok Proofing 
  • When a Necron is severely damaged, it teleports away for repairs, right? But why is whatever technology they use to do this never damaged to the point where it stops working?
    • It's archeotech. You don't need to explain the details, just the effects.
    • Maybe it's not actually on the Necrons themselves but part of whatever Necron building they're near.
    • The Necron sends out a constant signal telling the tomb complex it's ok. When the signal is lost, the tomb teleports the Necron home.
    • Fridge Logic here: Once the signal is lost, wouldn't the tomb thereby also lose its fix on the Necron's position?
    • They have the last position, and use that. Maybe they can even make it so it only teleports Necrodermis.
    • As the new codex states, it is rare, but not impossible, for a Necron to be irreparably damaged. If they can't be teleported out and repaired, they self-destruct instead, but in such a way that is visually indistinguishable from the teleportation method.
    • It is actually not that rare.

    Why not take over the universe? 
  • Why haven't the Necrons taken over the universe yet? I mean, they're completely unstoppable. Reducing one to a puddle of liquid gloop is nothing but a minor inconvenience to them. They'll just be back by next week, good as new. Since they cannot take casualties, how have they not overrun the rest of the factions?
    • It's because they aren't all awake yet, half of the awake ones are crazy, Eldar Farseers are running interference, and they don't need to overrun the universe.
    • Half the ones awake are crazy? What does that mean? Aren't they just mindless drones animated by the will of their Star Gods?
    • The Necron Lords are saner. But several Necron Lords have gone insane due to faults in the revival technology, so they don't really follow the will of their gods anymore.
    • So long as their gods are happy with their amusements there is no reason for them to do anything more.
    • Because the last time they were fully awakened, they almost killed all life in the galaxy. If everybody died, what would we all do then?
    • Several reasons. One, the Inquisition will happily blow a planet to bits if they even think that ther's a necron on it. Two, Necrons only come back sometimes. Lasguns could turn them into a pile of goo and they would repair 50% of the time, but a Lascannon would vaporise it.
    • Correction, they may not come back on the field, but it is virtually impossible to prevent their remains from teleporting back to Necron facility with the appropriate equipment for repairs. Even melting or outright vaporization has failed to stop them from teleporting back for repairs.
    • I would like to point out that teleporting home for repairs does not automatically mean repairs sucsesful. It may be that they get a bucket of molten metal back and just discard it.
    • Also Necrons can never truly die, a Necron is really a mechanical body operated by a vengeful spirit, so even if the body is destroyed the host can find always find a new mechanical body to occupy.
    • No, that's just the C'tan. A Necron is trapped in it's mechanical shell, and once it's truly vapourized or cast into the Warp, it's gone for good. The 5th Edition rulebook fluff even tells of how the ravages of time are finally catching up to the Necrons, eroding their repair systems and minds.
    • Don't quote me on this one, but I've heard it might be possible that the Emperor's powerful pysker abilities is in fact blocking the majority of the signals sent to the Necrons while they slumber that would otherwise reawaken them, similar to how he prevents the walls of physics from collapsing and letting the Chaos gods loose on the galaxy. The one's already awake are the ones that the signal managed to get through too.
    • That's no longer the case in the new codex; The reason the majority of the Necrons have not woken up is that they didn't have time to ensure the stasis technology, and as such, the timing mechanism often malfunctioned. Some Necrons woke up early, some have woken up late, and a lot of them may never wake up at all if they aren't found by already active Necrons.

    Where are all the Necron girls? 
  • How come there don't seem to be any female Necrons? For the lower ranks (Warriors and such), I can buy that they are more "it" than "he" or "she" anyway, so you probably couldn't tell if they had been female before biotransference. But the upper levels, the Lords and Phaerons, they retain all or almost all their mortal minds, so you'd expect that there would be a suitable proportion of Necron Ladies intermingled with the Necron Lords.
    • We have no idea how they reproduced as Necrontyr, no females have ever really been mentioned. They could use spores like Orks for all we know. The most likely answer is that the ranks are actually genderless terms and the genders just look identical to humans. That's what they do for Tau.
    • Like the culture they're based on, all the female rulers wear fake beards.
    • There are female necrons and they don't hide it. The Maynarkh dynasty is ruled by phaerakh (she-phaeron) Xun'bakyr, known also as Mother of Oblivion. She apparently managed to perma-kill a C'Tan once.
    Let's steal phase sword! But... how? 
  • The C'Tan phase swords, that Callidus Assassins use. Where do they come from? I thought Impreirum could never get their hands on any Necron tech, since the Nec's teleportation is so advanced it wisps away every last bit of Necrodermis, if the Necrons are defeated.
    • Rogue Trader Era Rulebook. They picked them up then when a bunch of people had access to C'Tan tech and carefully tuck them somewhere GW can't find whenever a new rulebook is coming.
    Kill the unkillable 
  • How can you kill Necrons?
    • Complete de-atomization seems to do the trick most of the time. Basically damage it to the point where it can no longer be repaired. Or better yet, to the point where there's nothing left to repair. Both of which a Melta gun or Lascannon could probably do quite nicely.
    Why do we even have that retcon? 
  • Judging from the new codex, the Necrons no longer seem to be Omnicidial Maniacs. Why would that be retconned? They were scarier when they were mindless automatons that harvested people.
    • Because they were boring. That was the biggest complaint about the Necrons. there was no personality to them, nothing interesting, just killer robots led by star gods who controlled the entire galaxy. The new ones were created because a lot of people found them really, really boring.
    • It could have been handled in a way that would have let them keep their scary factor, however. We have so much information on them now that they don't feel as implacable, as deadly, and as mysterious as before. They were an unstoppable and ancient force of evil, now they're... A bit more generic invasion army.
    • Go and tell this to the man that wrote that codex then - Matthew Ward.
    • Let me clear this up as why I think they did it. As 1d4chan says it's so you can make "your dudes", in other words let the player make their own army. Want a Necron dynasty with a Lord who is Skeletor in space? New fluff lets you. Want old Necrons worshiping a C'tan transcended shard? Again new fluff lets you. There is even a canon dynasty who are basically the old scary necrons.
      • Exactly. Under the old fluff, every Necron force was basically the same, fluff wise. The new fluff creates much more variety of narrative, while still letting people play the "remorseless slaughter machines" if that is what they prefer.
    C'tan diet 
  • Where did the "C'tan devour souls" bit come from? Forgive me if my knowledge is a bit out of date, but don't they and the Necrons have no real concept of the Warp, and therefore no concept of a soul? I even remember one bit about a demon who was particularly looking forward to the "cast off souls" that result from the Necron harvest.
    • The Necron Codex. It says that they used to feed off stars, but when the Necrontyr made contact with them, they began to feed on souls because they tasted so much better. They had a concept of the Warp, they just hate it because it's horrible and only causes problems (especially since their enemies, the Old Ones, were powerful psykers). If a species already has a form of FTL travel that doesn't require the Warp, I think it would be justified in trying to separate that literal hellscape from the material world (especially, once again, if your archenemies feed of its energies). The "soul" thing doesn't make any sense, but souls just don't make any sense in WH40K anyway. Sometimes it's just a life force (Necron Codex), other times it's a Christian concept of a soul (In Imperial fluff), sometimes it's something that the Dark Eldar and Chaos can actually eat (and is it destroyed when its consumed, or just taken and tortured by the gods?), and other times it can basically be stored in a waystone external hard drive (Eldar codex) or even stay in a body part to be regenerated (Dark Eldar codex). The metaphysics of the setting are very inconsistent.
    Emotions of non-emoting creatures 
  • The Necrons hate all life. Hate is an emotion. All emotions are stored in the Warp. Necrons are anti-Warp. How is that possible?
    • They have no souls. No souls means no warp presence.
    • Emotions are not "stored" in the Warp. The Warp is a realm of pure emotion and thought, and emotion influences the Warp if the one feeling it has a warp presence. In order to do that, you need to have a soul.
    • Emotions do go into the Warp, many of them form daemons, and mass amounts of the formed gods.
    • It could simply be that "hate" can be a relative term, in the sense that Necrons feel the need to destroy all life; beside their need to kill, few of their emotions, if any, are elaborated on. It's also important to note that their fluff tells us that the Necrons' technology and robot bodies leave them unable to sense, use, or interact with the warp. Because it's something that has rivals, spits out daemons and something is something that is almost completely out of their influence, they hate the Warp; beside the Pariahs, they are not exactly "anti-warp". There's also a bit of a discrepancy, since several novels show Necrons using what other characters call, or at least think happens to be, a Warp Gate.
    Poorly Evolved Necrontyr 
  • It's stated that the Necrontyr home star was constantly bombarding the planet with intense solar radiation and as a result the Necrontyr had poor health and short lives but if the sun had been like that for millions of years wouldn't the native lifeforms have evolved to the harsh solar rays? I mean we have animals living just fine around nuclear meltdown sites here on earth.
    • There's only so far that an organic being can go in terms of evolution before the carbon making up their bodies starts getting wonky. A short and unpleasant existence is about as far as such an entity can go while still being alive under that kind of intense radiation that it just brutal enough to affect their DNA but not harsh enough that life cannot evolve at all. That and it's implied that the C'tan feeding on the star was part of the reason why it was giving off so much radiation and that it didn't do so originally, which would mean that earlier life on the Necron homeworld didn't face such issues during their evolutionary development.


    Tau propaganda and /tg/ 
  • Another Tau question: this troper often finds claims on /tg/ that the Tau authorities tell their troops that there are no such things as Titans. Yet nobody ever bothers saying where they get this information; it certainly isn't in the Tau codex. Does anyone know, or is it just one of those things that's spawned from the Internet?
    • /tg/ hates Tau? They seem to have their own Canon there, a Canon that fits their ideas on who are cool and who are not. All fun and games of course.
    • In answer to the question - this troper remembers reading something about that, possibly in the first Tau codex - in which the Tau were only just encountering the Imperium and rumours of building-sized killing machines would be likely to be dismissed as Imperial propaganda.
    • Not so much told as they have trouble believing the things exist- being so colossal, ridiculous, and impractical (which is why the Tau don't have Titans of their own, yet anyway). The main character in Fire Warrior novelisation (better than the game, though that's not saying much) has a rather interesting reaction towards finding one - at first he thinks it's some massive, weird building, and once he comes to grips with it he muses on how destructive and terrifying it must be, but ultimately impractical (as he rigs it to explode).
    • Seconded that the source for this is the novelization of Fire Warrior. However, that takes place shortly after the Damocleas Crusade, when contact between the Tau and the Imperium was still scarce. As such, Tau had heard of Imperial Titans, but had not really ever confronted them by that time, believing them to be Imperial scare-tactic propoganda. It is kind of easy to see why they would believe so, as the laws of physics would require a lot of Techno Babble Handwaving before a Titan could be believed to not sink into the ground it stood on, let alone move in combat. The Tau believed that any civilization with enough Applied Phlebotinum to make such a thing work would certainly find better uses for it. Fluff taking place later (specifically Imperial Armor Volume III: The Taros Campaign which is a great read if you are interested more in overall military doctrine and large scale strategy and logicstics than character driven plots of most Black Library works) do show the Tau reversing this earlier position when they realized that the Imperium actually took such Crazy Awesome concepts seriously and they would be in a world of hurt if they did not have an effective countermeasure to them. Thus was born the heavy railgun version of their Tigershark aircraft, designed to kill Titans at a fraction of the material cost.
    • They could have just used math. Normal physics clearly states that constructs like Emperor class titan will inevitable collapse under its own weight. Ad Mech use arcane science to counter this, but Tau would know nothing of it.
    • With the new Tau Codex introducing the Riptide Battlesuits, I think that's going to change.
    O'Shassera's poor choices 
  • Why is O'Shassera armed with two fusion blasters? She is the highest ranking military commander in the Tau's entire empire. Shouldn't she have a longer-ranged weapon, so she isn't at as much risk?
    • You misunderstand the nature of Tau philosophy. To the Tau (really, anybody in this game), even a commander's value is not irreplaceable- a commander will sacrifice themselves so as to save the lives of their fellows. Equipping O'Shassera with dual fusion blasters means she can plug a desperate hole in their close-combat profile, as well as giving her a badly-needed defense against close-combat threats. While she would clearly not throw her life away without need, if she can serve the Greater Good at the cost of her own life, she would probably consider it a fair trade.
    • In addition, there seems to be a sort of mystical philosophy around a suit's loadout- "Mont'ka" suits, or those designed for close-combat are often designed to provide a pilot already prone to selfish and risky actions a way to burn out their own internal demons. Perhaps O'Shassera has a checkered past, or feels she is slipping into a similar mindset?
    • She's also in a stealth suit... the weapons fit that.
    • The same reason army officers carry pistols and not rocket launchers. The guys in the field take care of the big threats, the fusion blaster are there to stop her from getting flat footed.
    • Then why can Shas O'kais and Shas O'res'ka end up getting equipped with a far more versatile and far more lethal loadout with things like a plasma rifle, flamers, shoulder mounted missile launchers, stealth fields, cyclic ion cannons (the tau's real more dakka weapon), jet packs, gun and shield drone companions, iridium armor, improved sensor load outs, and energy shields when they are presumably of a lower rank than Shas O'Shassera? Shouldn't she be as well equipped as they are?
    • Most likely, those guns were there in Dawn of War so the Tau would have cool commander wargear. Those 'suits were the same model as Shassera's, and she evidently prefers having a tank-hunting ambush loadout over having more guns than she can reliably control (or use without markerlights and massive tracking beacon support).

    The problem with shooty Tau 
  • Why do the Tau shun close combat so much? Even if they aren't very strong physically, surely the Battlesuits have futuristic pistons or something to make up for strength deficiencies? Also, surely a power sword could be standard issue. I mean, almost every mecha show includes "beam sabre" or what-not dueling.
    • Tau don't have power weapons because they haven't researched it; power field technology is difficult to manufacture and even most of the tech-priests have no idea how it works. Keep in mind that the Tau have only had a fraction of the time as humanity to develop their technology and though they have made great strides in a short amount of time, not all of their technology is as advanced as the Imperium's.
    • The Tau have poorer reflexes than other races, in close combat, lightning reflexes are a survival requirement, especially in melee combat. Hence why they stick to shooting the shit out of everyone at range, and let their mercenary Kroot (who can be assumed to have far better reflexes than the Tau) do the close combat and melee.
    • Supposedly, its because Tau society considers all physical contact to be extremely distasteful. Hand-to-hand training for them would be like making military recruits make-out with each other as part of their training.
    • Actually in the Codex Xenos article GW put out when the Tau were first introduced there was a cut out box on this subject, basically the way Tau eyes work, they really fucking suck at following rapid movements up close and personal in hand to hand.
    • A good real-life equivalent of why Tau ranged fire is a good idea would be the Spanish Conquistadors. The conquistadors relied on long-range powerful gunpowder weapons to mow down massive waves of Aztec soldiers while using proxy armies as cannon fodder (like the Tau). Had the Conquistadors had swords, and even if their training and armour had enabled them to kill at a 1:10 casualty ratio, they would have been overwhelmed (hundreds vs. thousands). Likewise the Tau are greatly outnumbered by almost all foes, if in ranged combat a Fire Warrior could kill dozens or hundreds of enemies before dying while in melee die at a 1:1 ratio, it's obvious why they choose ranged combat. Another good real-life example is the Anglo-Zulu war.
    • Nitpick: the Conquistadors did have swords and steel armor, and guns in that era were inaccurate and slow to reload. Cortes and Pizarro got an advantage from their guns, but it was more because of the This Is My Boomstick factor than anything else- the natives didn't know what guns were and assumed they were some kind of freakish death magic, much as they assumed that horses were bizarre monsters. With the terror factor out of the equation, the Aztecs would have been quite able to deal with a few hundred arquebus-armed soldiers.
    • Except the second largest force in the setting, the Imperial Guard, are also almost as shooty. Sure, they're not as shooty as the Tau, but a lasgun can punch through Fire Warrior armor just fine, and they've got more lasguns in one Imperial battle group than there are stars in the galaxy.
    • It'll only punch through about half the time, whereas pulse rifles can go straight through a flak vest and out the back of the poor sap wearing it. But Guard are better in melee; i.e. they have dedicated melee units rather than "yeah, we can do OK" units like Kroot.
    • Kroot are superior to almost any unit of guardsmen in close combat, with more attacks, better WS and Strength. Unless facing an entire unit in carapace armour with close quarters weapons and tooled up officers, they have the edge.
    • Unless they've been treated to a shot from a Hellhound or two.
    • Which is an overuse of firepower, like shooting an anti-materiel rifle at an infantryman. Meanwhile, even though the lasgun will only penetrate the Fire Warrior's armor only half the time, the Guard have more than enough men to make up the difference. Remember, the Imperium has individual hive cities with higher populations than entire Tau sept worlds.
    • What is this "overuse of firepower" you speak of? Besides, while the basic Tau will eventually be whittled down, there's the extra range (permitting Fire Warriors to begin killing lasgun-toting Guard first) and the battlesuits (with things like the airbursting frag projector, AKA "your one-stop dead Guardsman shop").
    • Overuse of firepower means that you're using far too much energy to kill your target. The tau would be better off resorting to lower-powered weapons against Guardsmen if only for efficiency's sake. And the superior range and special battlesuit weapons are fine and dandy, except that the Guard can easily withstand those losses and keep coming at the Tau, gradually grinding them down with superior numbers, durability, and industrial capability.
    • I'm not sure "I think we should kill less of them with each volley of shots" fits any sane definition of efficiency. Neither does "I think we should take away the ability for our troops to damage light vehicles". Besides, Tau aren't like the Imperium. They don't look at their troops' guns and think "These are inefficient at killing Guardsmen and other light infantry". They look at pulse rifles and think "These are effective at killing Guardsmen and other light infantry". Their power gives them a versatility that the Imperial Guard have to use special weapons to achieve - they can gun down light infantry, light vehicles, and can use the old "throw enough mud at a wall" tactic to bring down things like Carnifexes or Marines/Necrons. They've already gone for Crippling Overspecialisation by focusing exclusively on ranged combat, and they know that focusing on killing one specific type of opponent with that fire, on battlefields where anything can happen and very frequently does, is a recipe for disaster. (Besides, they're not going to release a Tau codex with "Normal Fire Warriors," "Marine-Killing Fire Warriors With Plasma Rifles", and "Guard-Killing Fire Warriors with Flashlights" entries.) Sure, if the Imperium was able to mobilise all its resources, the Tau would get wtfpwned. But they can't, because of Necrons, Tyranids, Orks, Chaos, Eldar, rebels and so on.
    • I just have to point out, one, the Guard do get special and heavy weapons, while Tau Fire Warriors do not: the addition of heavy and special weapons to basic Guard squads closes the gap between their ranged fire-power, and then some. Second, there are plenty of targets that the Guard can deal with, thanks to their special weapons, against which the Tau are useless. Go ahead, try to fight ME Qs like Necrons or Space Marines with an equal points value of Fire Warriors: odds are overwhelming that you will be masacred. Or, to word that differently, the claim that "you can use the throw-enough-mud-at-the-wall tactic to fight ME Qs or monstrous creatures" is laughably and obviously false to any Tau player who's actually tried. Tau Lesson One is: Fire Warriors are Garbage. One final note: the guard have easy acces to any number of heavy vehicles with template weapons that'll flatten pretty much any single Tau squad in a single voley (i.e. the Basilisk main gun, and anything with a Demolisher cannon).
    • This argument has officially become an exercise in Moving the Goalposts, since the original comparison was between an anti-infantry unit and an infantry squad, not between a single squad of Fire Warriors and an entire Mech Guard army, especially given that if Tau really are that weak then they should get a points cut when they get their codex for this edition (like the Guard already has). In addition, you're rather overestimating the effect of a single heavy bolter - that's what, one long-range kill per turn instead of zero? And a sensible Tau player will set up in pulse rifle range so the Guard lose half a squad in a single volley anyway. Finally, the uselessness of anti-infantry and anti-light vehicle Fire Warriors against OP tanks extends to every other troops unit out there, given that Demolisher shells can vaporise Necron warriors in seconds. (While we're here, consider that the Random Number God often has quite a large say in which side will win - I've been rolling dice in simulated 8 Marine vs. 12 Tau ranged battles for ten minutes now, and the dice vary quite considerably. If nothing else, the Tau are better against Marines than Guard will be because they twice the chance of wounding them with their basic weapons, while the Guard's main anti-MEQ weapon will likely cease functioning after your first 1, since it's a Gets Hot weapon.)
    • And as an additional point, being better at killing Guardsmen at the expense of efficiency means the Fire Warrior is more likely to survive because there's less lasguns being fired at him.
    • The truest reason for this is because of gameplay issues. Hand the Tau Battlesuit a force sword, and you have a weaker dreadnought that can fly around at will. The 'in-universe' reason is that, while tau frequently warred amongst themselves and indeed did have close-quarters fighting, they're just not as good at it as the rest of the universe. They recognized this deficiency and simply stuck to what they were good at. Hence, battlesuits have guns, not swords.
    • Perhaps this is a better way to put it from the Tau perspective: "Why do all these lunatics keep charging our fire lines armed with chainsaws and metal blades? Ah, well, don't look a gift horse in the mouth. FIRE!"
    • I know Dawn of War isn't accurate, but it is possible to beat levels with the Tau and take 0 casulties by simply massing enough upgraded firewarriors to gun everyone down. All you have to fear are teleporters and vehicles- and you will sill butcher light vechicles. Bottom line- ranged weapons give you the possibility of no casulty victories.
    • This fails miserably on the (presumably canonical) table-top, where Fire Warriors can mow down * light* infantry, like Guardsmen or Orks, but are almost completely useless against Marine Equivalents (e.g. Space Marines and Necrons).
    • Thank goodness for sniper drones and battlesuits with plasma rifles, then.
    • This gets much more effective if you support them with battle suits for the vehicles and move them in staggered formations so they can set up at the new location before moving on. Even Terminator Squads are hard pressed to dispose of them if you're careful.
    • Here is the actual reason: Tau have poor depth perception - ranged combat is harder for them than it is for a human. They use ranged combat because it is a mark of skill for them. Technically Tau can fight in melee - Aun'shi, for example, killed hundreds of Orks in melee. However almost all choose not to train in it. It was pointed out in the White Dwarf that accompanied the 4th ed. Codex, and was explained as the reason why most of the army, including veterans who are supposedly on par with Space Marines, are only BS3.
    • While the Tau COULD train in close combat, why bother? everyone else is better at it than them, including the Kroot. Who work for them. It would be a waste of time.
    • The real question is: Why does everyone in the 40k Universe insist on melee combat, when in reality, WWI and WWII proved that bayonet charges and katanas were a great way to get yourself killed? The reason is: everyone in the 40k universe has been driven insane by The Warp. The Tau, who think The Warp/Chaos/Demons are all ghost stories made up by the Imperium, and who have no access to FTL travel, think melee/hand-to-hand combat is idiotic.
    • They don't insist on melee combat. The Space Marines' primary combat unit consists of Tactical Marines, whose primary weapon is the bolter. The only Space Marine unit that insists on melee combat are Assault Marines who, shockingly, assault things in close quarters where melee combat is inevitable. The Imperial Guard relies heavily on shooting targets at long range as well. The Orks go for close combat because they were engineered to enjoy fighting, Chaos goes for close combat because Warp mutations make them faster and stronger and good portion of them are crazy, the Tyranids engage in both close and long-range combat, ditto for the Necrons. Eldar have shooty and melee troops who specialize in their particular fields of focus. Even the Tau recognize that close combat is a necessity and thus employ Kroot. And for a lot of them, it works, because of a combination of speed, armor, toughness, strength, and capability to bypass defenses (i.e. teleportation, jump packs, etc.) Bayonet charges didn't work in WWI and WWII because humans can be easily killed by most modern weapons, but that doesn't work in this setting; a shooting line backed by heavy weapons and armor that would stop a group of ordinary human soldiers dead in their place will just annoy an Ork or Khornate Berserker force, and wouldn't even slow down a Necron or Tyranid army. There's a reason why the Imperial Guard's default methodology is to dig in and pour fire from a distance.
    • Also, consider that vastly superior body armor, including personal force-fields, than has ever existed on earth is fairly widely available in this setting. On the other hand, there are melee weapons, such as power swords, but no ranged weapons, that ignore armor entirely. So a space marine in power armor carrying a power shield and power sword has a fair chance of getting into melee range against a Tau battlesuit, at which point, the fight is probably over. Also, there is always the fact that not all combat occurs in open fields with clear fields of fire. In urban combat, or in combat aboard a spaceship, the enemy may be just around the corner from you. Finally, there is the simple fact that interstellar combat poses unique logistical challenges. If the planet on which a war is being fought does not itself have an advanced industrial base, or if that industry is damaged or destroyed by the war, then all ammunition will have to be brought in from another star system. Needless to say, that can be difficult for various reasons, which means that, prolonged intense combat can easily exhaust supplies of ammunition faster than they can be replenished. When that happens, you are probably going to have to get into melee combat.
    • A better question is, why do Tau ethereals exclusively equip themselves for melee combat, without even grabbing a pulse pistol? Do they have a bad case of Jedi syndrome?
    • That's what the Honor Guard is there for.
    • Speaking of Honor, the Ethereal's blades are there for bloodless honor duels within the caste. They just so happen to be really, really freaking good with them to the point that they are swinging their swords with enough speed to be practically invisible to the human eye and can mow down hordes of Orks at close range. Their Honor guard are skilled enough and well equipped enough to handle ranged combat, so it would be superflous for the Ethereal to carry ranged weapons of his own.
    • Commander Farsight at least seems to think melee is viable. Granted, he's got a powerful magic sword that unknown to him is actually extending his life by stealing it from those it kills, and most Tau lack access to magic or don't even know magic is real thanks to Ethereal censorship. Which is something else Farsight thinks needs to change for the Tau to survive.

    Evil Tau? 
  • Just how evil ARE the Tau, anyway? I know they're not the "nicest" people out there, but depending on who you ask, the Tau are either well-intentioned and idealistic, though they have a few skeletons in their closet, or they're not much better than Nazis, sending any alien races to concentration camps and castrating them for no good reason, with the cynical Ethereals brainwashing the lower castes via pheromones. The truth likely falls somewhere in the middle, but I wish Games Workshop would just come out and say it instead of having them be intentionally ambiguous.
    • By the standards of Warhammer 40k, they're practically saints. By the standards of any other universe, they're the most despicable bastards that ever lived.
    • Seriously. They're the 'good guys' because they give you the choice of 'join us or die'. The Imperium on the other hand is 'Be Human (DEATH TO THE ALIEN), worship the Emperor, pay taxes or be BURNED ALIVE AT STAKE AS A HERETIC.
    • Heh, I do love the fact that the Tau are undeniably the "good guys" of the 40K universe, just because you COULD make an argument that they're not pure evil.
    • Keeping the Tau's relative morality ambiguous is kinda-sorta the whole point.
    • Look, when the Tau first came out back in 2001 (yes it really was that long ago) there was NOTHING in their background that implicated them as evil - thoroughly naive about the universe, yes, but not evil. Of course, then the Imperium had to go on that Damocles Gulf Crusade and invade their brains out. They've been made more "morally ambiguous" largely because people complained they were "too nice" for the setting! And so we come full circle...
    • Not disputing this, but is there evidence that 'people' complained. I remember the Tau being, at least at first, received as a breath of fresh air for a lot of players at the time (myself included). The Tau came out when 40k had gone from being really dark cyberpunk to really dark gothpunk to ultra dark batshit crazy nonsense. I always thought that GW started to add in the 'moral ambiguity' (IIRC, this started shortly after WD put out rules about Imperial defectors and the fan reaction (that I saw) was 'makes far more sense than staying with the Imperium) to move players back to the games intended focus. I always assumed that it was just a matter of Creator Backlash, but considering the Broken Base, maybe I just saw the one side of things...
    • From the fluff I would say that the average Tau in the street has a fairly enlightened outlook on life and many of the commanders/leaders are relatively benevolent, if a little cynical. But the higher-ups and the Etherials are more aware of how generally shit the universe is and act as ruthless as everyone else. The difference between them and Imperial authorities is that the humans don't bother to lie about being tyrants any more. Basically, Tau on the street are Lawful Good with Lawful Neutral rulers, while Imperial citizens are Lawful Neutral with Lawful Evil rulers. On a good day.

    Getting ahead of the curve 
  • One thing I do not get about the Tau is well, why don't they take advantage of the fact that they have AI that haven't encountered the rebellion problem yet? I mean they could have AI-run ships, AI-run Battlesuits, and other things that they can be invaluable for. Like for example how Tau suck at close combat. A Brain–Computer Interface can be used to give the Tau using it a much needed reflex boost that can allow them to not only contend with the other races in hand to hand and win those fights but could also make them even more effective in ranged combat as well (There's one thing where your very good in ranged combat but suck at close combat due to having poorer reflexes, there's another when you can not only Dodge the Bullet but also gain Improbable Aiming Skills and Improbable Fencing Skills). And an AI-run Battlesuit can not only have those benefits but they can also benefit from the same connection that the drones in Canon also have. And not only those examples but (As fiction has already shown) by virtue of Computers Are Fast and not having to worry about the needs and detriments of a flesh and blood body (Food, Water, Air, Radiation Poisoning and Sickness, etc) they can be (potentially as they still have "growing" to do) absurdly effective in combat. To use an example: The Humbling of Battle Group Seven from Marathon. And they can (due to said examples) be a close combat attacker's (For example a Khronate Berserker or a Black Templar) worst nightmare in the process and thanks to once again Computers Are Fast and the "Don't have to worry about the needs and detriments of a flesh and blood body" they can do well in pretty much all fields of combat even including things that a Tau would normally dread like urban combat and in combat aboard a spaceship. And they can be also invaluable for Research and Development as (Once again as fiction has shown) they can also be very effective at doing that too.
    • I think the fluff's meant to imply that the Tau haven't run into Turned Against Their Masters yet because they haven't made an AI sophisticated enough to rebel. The one example of an AI Battlesuit we have in canon is Ob'lotai and he's a unique case because he was created from an imperfect replication of a dead Tau's consciousness. The AI in a Drone has an intelligence equivalent to that of a squirrel or other small animal. The Tau aren't as superstitious as the Imperium about technology, not least because they haven't had to deal with a Men of Iron scenario, so the likely explanation is that the Tau haven't developed their AI technology enough to have an AI intelligent enough to operate a Battlesuit, ship or the like without Tau oversight (Ob'lotai being a unique exception). If Games Workshop advance the story (or want to sell a new model), we might see AI-controlled suits in future.

Old Ones

    Canon status of Old Ones 
  • Are the Old Ones still canon? They seem to have been forgotten about.
    • Unless they've been deliberately retconned out, they're still canon.
    • They still existed, but they're likely all dead, and not many people know about them. Probably only the Necrons really remember the Old Ones, but they're not talking.
    • The other possibility is that the Eldar and Ork gods (Khaine/Mork and Cegorach/Gork) are the last two surviving Old Ones.
    • The New Necron codex confirms that the Old One's are still Canon, but claims the Necrons and the C'tan eliminated every last one of them. Then again, GW's fluff policy means that isn't necessarily the truth.

    How deep can Tau sink into the Warp? 
  • Since the Tau have a minimal Warp presence and thus to not draw the attentions of Daemons, does that mean that they could presumably travel fully in the Warp (as opposed to the skimming that they currently do) without the need for a Gellar Field equivalent?
    • They can't because of their minimal warp presence, they can't travel through the Warp at all. If they have weak enough of a soul to travel through the Warp safely, they don't have a soul strong enough to travel through the Warp at all.
    • Canonically, the Tau do travel through the Warp. That's how their FTL works. Traveling through the Warp has nothing to do with a creature's own Warp presence. Things that have no Warp presence, such as inanimate spaceships and their totally inanimate cargoes, travel through the Warp all the time. Humans with even lower Warp presences than the typical Tau's, such as blanks like Jurgen, travel through the Warp aboard spaceships all the time without difficulty (well, no more difficulty than anyone else). To address the original question, the Tau would probably still need the equivalent of a Gellar Field. It's one thing to generate a minor Warp presence while in realspace; it's another thing while in the Immaterium. Daemons have been known to possess inanimate objects within the Warp, never mind living beings. Not that this would be a huge problem for the Tau: they could probably figure out how to build a Gellar-field generator, if they haven't already, if necessary by reverse-engineering captured Imperial vessels. The real reason the Tau don't travel deeply through the Warp is that they don't have Navigators.
    • But Blanks DO have a Warp presence. They are psykers, after all. That's why they can short-circuit any psyker stuff.

    Jurisdiction conflict among the Tau 
  • If Fire Caste Tau are warriors, and Air Caste Tau are pilots, why do Fire Caste Tau drive Hammerheads/Devilfish/Pirhanas?
    • Because they're ground vehicles?
    • But they're all capable of flight (at least in the fiction).
    • They're still "ground" vehicles. The same way most modern militaries have an Army with an aviation wing.
    • There's a thing in the Codex about the Tau organisational structure, and it mentions that the four Castes' chains of command only get coordinated at quite a high level. Since vehicle tactics are an integral part of the battleplan, they need to be coordinated with the rest of the battlegroup, and thus need to be Fire Caste. Also, they're combat craft, and you need a nice warrior-type in that; space combat's a bit different, and that's where the Air caste are particularly important.
    • See below.
    • Air Caste have this beef with Gravity, it just wants to pull them down and crush their fragile organs. Seriously, Air Caste HATE being on a Planet and outside their special environment Domes. Why would put someone who is effectively like Samuel L. Jackson's character in Unbreakable, in a tank in the middle of a battle on a probable hellhole of a planet in this depraved a universe?
    • It is actually not clear if Fire Caste pilot skimmers. I'm pretty sure that I read somewhere that it was Air Caste that pilot all airborne (which is pretty much all) Tau vehicles. Lexicanum, WH wikia and two latest Tau codices have no clear information on the matter.

    Tau naming conventions 
  • And while we're at it, why do the Tau use the names of (Earth) fish/sea mammals for their aircraft?
    • I always assumed that those weren't the actual names for the vehicles, just human (most likely Guardsman) nicknames for them.
    • Yep, they're Imperial designations.
    • Then why do they call all their vehicles gunships?
    • Agreed. The Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer, however, claims, "Tau name their vehicles after fish, for no discernable reason."
    • Because the IIUP is *clearly* a work of impeccable accuracy. =p


    Orky psychic physics 
  • Are the Orkz aware of the Psychic field? They know that Wyrdboyz have to be separated, but do they know why the red ones go faster?
    • Of course they know why the red ones go faster: It's because they're red. The Orks don't have our perspective on the psychic field and so the effects they observe are to them as the laws of physics is for us. And they're about equal so the Orks beliefs basically are laws of physics whenever many Orks are around. Of course both can be bent or broken.
    • Orks perceive the physics of the universe "right", i.e.: governed by what should work. Since for it to work it has to be cool ork-wise, they do know that rule of cool governs the universe. Ergo they're genre-savvy about rule of cool, no need to be aware of anything complicated.
    Da godz 
  • Why don't da Ork god's exist? They have the collective ability to make reality warp to what ever the species believes, why hasn't the belief of several trillion Orks in their two Gods created beings on level with the Chaos gods? Even the Imperium made one by accident.
    • Who says they don't?
    • They do exist. They're implied to be more than a match for the Chaos Gods. They just spend most of their time fighting each other. Occasionally they intercede via Weirdboy Foot of Gork.
    • The Ork Gods are by no means on equal footing with the Chaos Gods. Where did you get the idea that they were?
    • The fact that gods in 40k are powered by the emotions and beliefs of their followers, and that there are unimaginabely more orks then humans in the galaxy. Even if they have less of a psychic presence, there is more then enough of them ALL fighting to make gods more powerful then the Chaos Gods. It's the same reasons that a united Ork race could obliterate EVERY other faction easily and simultaniously.
    • The 6th edition rulebook (and every rulebook beforehand) outright states that the Chaos Gods are the most powerful beings to come from the Warp so get off it. Also, the Orkz's propensity for violence would likely feed Khorne just as much, if not moreso, than it does the Ork gods as all aspects of war and rage fall under his purview.
    • Wrong. Rulebook states that Chaos Gods are the most powerful of daemons which does not equal being the most powerful being in the warp.
    • Note also the fact, that orks don't need a geller field and astropaths to navigate through the warp.
      • Geller Fields and astropaths aren't *necessary* to travel the Warp — lacking those things won't stop a ship from going into the Warp. It's just a tremendously bad idea because without a Geller Field the ship will be invaded by endless hordes of daemons and without an astropath the ship will just wander and come out at a random place. But Orks *like* daemon invasions (gives them something to fight while they're traveling!) and they don't particularly care where they come out because they'll always find **someone** to fight.
    • Maybe the ork gods are actually two different halves of Khorne.
    • There was a story in one of the earlier Ork codexes. It involved Gork and Mork wandering around looking for something to fight, eventually they happened upon a daemon in a cave. They proceded to beat the shit out of it. Guess who that daemon was? Nurgle.
    • I wouldn't put much stock into what the army codices say because they're pretty much written to aggrandize their chosen race to increase sales.
    • As far as I can tell, the general suggestion is that while the Chaos Gods feed off of their respective emotions from every living, sapient being in the Galaxy, direct belief is the more potent power source. It's also suggested several times that belief in something other than the Chaos Gods actively weakens them, cancelling out a bit of the power they get from the raw emotions - which is why Emperor worship could be considered a good thing. By those rules, Gork and Mork would be getting the lion's share of the power generated by da orkz, and their worship would be just as important to keeping Chaos in check as the Emperor, if not more so. Of course, the "worshiping something else weakens chaos" could be Imperial propaganda, or it could be unique to the Emperor because what isn't.

    Ork tech vs. Blanks 
  • Wait, if Ork technology only works because their latent psycher powers allow it to, what happens when Blanks and Pariahs take them on? Does their stuff break down or something? I am speaking as someone who doesn't know the material beyond what he reads on TvTropes and the Warhammer wiki.
    • It's less of it only working because the Orks believe it to - an Ork shoota or buggy, for example, would work regardless. Pretty much the only thing actually subtle about the Orks is this particular characteristic - it's not quite as blatant as something working if they believe it to work, just something working more efficently because they think it should - like a buggy painted red going faster. Ork engineering, crude as it is, doesn't require pure belief to work.
    • Seconded. The "a stick would shoot bullets if an Ork believed it would" talk is hyperbole. Ork vehicles require engines, and fuel, and axles, and wheels, and such. The Ork psychic gestalt just keeps these ramshackle devices from malfunctioning constantly.
    • What the others said, though I have to say, from what I've heard, it varies wildly according to edition — some of the older editions have ork tech as being little more than inert hunks of metal that look like they should work to Orks. More recently, it tends to vary from "Works, but poorly" to "more likely to explode than anything." So... yeah, Up against a Blank/Untouchable, they'd have problems with their tech, but it wouldn't just stop working entirely. Not to mention that their tremendous physical strength leaves them far from helpless even without their technology.
    • Orks use their own psychic ability for this. The enemy's psychic ability or lack thereof doesn't come into play, so they get the same results fighting anything from Greater Daemons to Pariahs and Necrons. Anti-psychic abilities and weapons are all employed to counteract the enemy's conscious use of psychic powers and defenses. And, in battle, you'd have to shut down the psychic fields of a lot of Orks, simultaneously, to prevent their red vehicles from moving a bit faster. Waste much?
    • There's more than a few hints, at least in earlier editions, that a lot of the "it only works because the Orks think it does" is because the Adeptus Mechanicus looks at this Xenos tech, says "Well, that just doesn't make sense," and instead of admitting that they don't understand it just chocked it up to Ork psychic power. That said, the WAAAGH!! does enable *some* things, like red vehicles being a little faster, louder guns being by default more damaging, or purple and orange camouflage working at all.
    More Dakka, Enuff Dakka, Too Much Dakka 
  • We all know there is More Dakka, and no such thing as Enuff Dakka. What would happen to an Ork's mind if someone introduced him to the concept of Too Much Dakka? Would his head explode? Discuss.
    • "Dere ain't no such ting beecuz More Dakka is best an' Enuff Dakka iz even bester!" *smacks previous troper's head* "You iz mukkin' about!"
    • The Orks are already familiar with the concept of "too much dakka," It's just something they don't believe in.
    • In Dawn of War II, the Orks actually scream, "Waaaah! Too much dakka!" when they come under surpressive fire from, you guessed it, a lot of dakka. My guess is that their ideas of dakka are very Ork-centric. There is only too much dakka if the enemy is sending it your way, but not enough dakka if you are sending it the enemy's way. After all, where is the fun in a fight where the enemy shoots all your forces down before you can get to grips with them?

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