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Taudar in Deathwatch


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#1 venkelos

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 08:04 AM

Okay, so first let me apologize, as I am well aware that this idea is neither original, nor particularly novel, but while I was putzing around at work, hoping for it to end for the morning, I had this image of a movie clip, where we pan around the bridge of a Tau command ship, while they prepare to head out for a place where battle will occur, and as they are talking in small groups, we pan over to a group near the center. One is obviously an Ethereal, another a Water Caste Diplomat or Ambassador (Por'El or Por'O), and the last of the Tau is the Admiral (Kor'O; wonder what they look like on-bridge? Wearing uniform? Some battlesuit? A containment tank?) The last one, however, is certainly not a Tau, at all, but rather a Farseer, giving them tactical advice based on things she has seen upon casting the runes.

 

The Eldar are a powerful, ancient race, but their golden days are behind them; their armies are depleted, their resources withered, and their attention spread among numerous bizarre things that no non-Eldar would likely understand, anyway. Then add the Tau. Somehow, the young race has amazing tech, the capacity to mass-produce it, a rather formidable, standing army, and more. Their focus on the Greater Good should be a strong protection against the kinds of things that caused the Eldar to fall, and that they fear Humanity will emulate. Their martial focus is almost comparable to that of Aspect Warriors, they are resistant to the warp, in small degrees, and on. The Tau could benefit greatly from the accumulated knowledge of the Eldar, and the Webway could help solve their lack of warp travel; even the Webway must be faster than "skipping" along the border, and the mindset of the Tau would seem to offer some resistance to the degradation effects of long-term Webway exposure. The Eldar could benefit from the decent quantities of fighting force, and possibly even find a rather decent "successor race," those who haven't given up on living, in favor of the Ynnead Plan, anyway. A Craftworld traveling under the protection of a joint Eldar and Tau fleet could be terrifying.

 

So yeah, the idea has been broached numerous times. I'm bringing it up here, mostly, because DW is the aspect of these games where the Tau have a strong, organized presence, as opposed to RT, DH, or what have you. It could do a lot for the Tau, often categorized as the weakest faction in the Reach, to gain the assistance of the Eldar. So, did I miss any cool advantages? What might be some legit tripping points, beyond "the Eldar are arrogant douchebags, who don't believe they need any help!", which is possible, but wrong, because they do. Has anyone in a DW game shown it as attempted? I see the Tau as having prodigious amounts to gain, and the Eldar also benefiting, but mostly having to accept that someone needs to inherit their coolness, in case their other plans fail.

 

I also imagine Ebongrave, were he to hear of it, crapping his pants clear off, and them rocketing all the way back to the Gate, and then needing to tell his subordinate to bring him another pair of brown pants; it's going to be one of those days.



#2 javcs

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 11:55 AM

Intriguing. Although, if the Eldar decide to help the Tau in the Jericho Reach, they're going to manipulate Ebongrave's assassination/removal. Actually, the Eldar might do that anyways, on the grounds that Ebongrave's focus on obliterating the Tau to the detriment of the Imperial war efforts against Chaos and the Tyranids is not in the interest of the Eldar or their plans.

 

The arrogance of the Eldar would likely make any assistance granted to the Tau a limited effort, for specific goals that also benefit the Eldar, and likely benefit the Eldar more than the Tau. That being said, I can completely buy the Eldar granting the Tau limited assistance, in the form of information the Tau could not otherwise readily obtain, but I do not think the Eldar would help the Tau by granting them long-term Webway access.



#3 Gurkhal

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 12:56 PM

No way in hell the Eldar will let anyone but themselves gain access to the Webway willingly.

Also this kind of cooperation sounds like it would be the Eldars giving up everything for a pleasent retirement at the mercy of the Tau. That don't sound like the Eldar I know at all. Manipulating the Tau, certainly, but giving them anything of a lasting value which could somehow, possibly bite back on the Eldar? Never.



#4 venkelos

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 01:33 PM

No way in hell the Eldar will let anyone but themselves gain access to the Webway willingly.

Also this kind of cooperation sounds like it would be the Eldars giving up everything for a pleasent retirement at the mercy of the Tau. That don't sound like the Eldar I know at all. Manipulating the Tau, certainly, but giving them anything of a lasting value which could somehow, possibly bite back on the Eldar? Never.

Much of the common Eldar fluff right now is the typical "Elves give up :( " The Eldar apparently cannot shore up their race, and their best plan apparently involves dying off, and hoping that this act will allow their combined essence, in the form of Ynnead, to defeat the Great Enemy (not taking into account all the Dark and Harlequin Eldar, whose souls will not be contributed to this, or the fact that Slaanesh isn't the strongest of FOUR Chaos Gods, the other three of which lived without Slaanesh for ages, and who would tag team Ynnead, after he spent his energies), and hoping to be reincarnated into a new universe, of all things (where they'll probably duplicate the same mistakes, because they are ARROGANT Eldar.) That's why they don't try to help the other races defeat Chaos. I'll grant that the Imperium, the big kid on the block, despises and distrusts the Eldar on principle, and so anything the Eldar try to tell them might go unheeded, but seriously, the amount of ways the Eldar could help any of several races to finish what they started, and caused, is great, but they just can't be bothered; they're dying out, in their final days, and they still won't lift a finger to help those they'll leave behind; "once we ruled you all. Like Hell will we now lower ourselves to actually helping We'll burn for our mistakes, and you will burn with us." When you know you are going to die, that's when you are supposed to choose a successor, and leave to them in your will the cool stuff you once owned. The Eldar have some cool stuff, but it will just sit there, unused, when they arrogantly die, and then watch, from Slaanesh's stomach, as the other races they COULD HAVE helped eventually follow suit.

 

And this is me, to whom the Eldar are my favorite race. Still, it would be nice if just one race, to break up the monotony, if nothing else, could see past themselves, and help another out, for the betterment of all involved. While I don't actually like the Tau so much, they seem the best candidate, at least for now. They'd be hard-pressed to enslave the Eldar to their will, and the psychic nature of most of their things would boggle even the most capable Earth Caste workers, so they'd need to keep them around. Orks are thoughtless monsters, Humans are all bad thoughts, and the sole focus of all Chaos, everywhere, and few other advanced races are presented, who could do anything meaningful. "Uplifting" the Tau could be problematic, as every sci-fi has their Salarian-->Krogan-->WAR!!! progression somewhere, but... 

 

Also, there's that little bit of me that still partially believes that the Tau were created by the Eldar, or some other aspect of the Old Ones, and if they could be bent to serving the Eldar's dwindling motives, the Eldar could be seen to give them some bonuses.

 

Okay, I'm done for now. ;)



#5 Ramellan

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Posted 10 August 2014 - 05:51 PM

One thing you missed that might be a problem is that the Eldar are not united like the Tau are. Each craft world and exodite world is it's own kingdom, and they don't always get along with the other Eldar. So getting them all to agree to an alliance of this kind would be a campaign in and of itself. Then there's the Ethereals of the Tau, who may (absolutely) or may not be controlling the Tau through some unknown means, for some unknown goal. My own personal theory is that the Ethereals were created by members of the Cabal, who decided that the Tau would make an ideal race to rule over the galaxy, what with their measly little souls that couldn't properly feed daemons. So the Ethereals are using their weird hypno powers to lead the Tau on a giant crusade to conquer the galaxy for their unseen masters.

I'm a fan of the Tau, slightly less so of the Eldar, but I've had my fair share of fantasies about the whole galaxy uniting to bring the smack down on Chaos. Mine usually start smaller, with the good guys of each faction meeting each other through random (read: just as planned) encounters. In my fantasy it starts with Commander Farsight, some famous humans (who would you choose to represent us? Kryptmann?) and probably Eldrad. Then there'd have to be a primarch, who's the only being so revered by everyone in the Imperium that they might be willing to stop shouting 'Heresy!' for a second and listen to them. And if you want to get extra, Extra heretical, you could even bring in Szarekh, the Silent King of the Necrons (the same guy who joined forces with the Blood Angels that one time). I'd given some thought to the Orks, but I really don't think you could ever do more than a temporary alliance with a large group of them. Individual Orks might be able to stay on our side, but a Waaagh could only be trusted so long as there were bad guys to trick them into fighting first.

#6 venkelos

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Posted 11 August 2014 - 06:35 AM

Actually, the fractured aspect of the Eldar is something I was using for this plan. One group of them, say a smaller, undermanned Craftworld, uncaring what the rest of their beleaguered brethren might say, could parcel out some of their benefits to the Tau, at least of an area, and in a way where the Tau can't afford to get rid of their ancient allies.

 

As for the other Eldar, they certainly can, and almost certainly WILL object, and try to do something about it, but they're limited in what all they can do, with whatever else they are doing demanding their attention. Occasionally, usually to lame story elements, and I've done several, I like to step back and look at at an individual Eldar, or small group, and see them as a person, with their own goals and plans, rather than just under the racial profiling that the Eldar, as a race, are known for. The Eldar would not give up their secrets, be reasonable, or what have you, but a small group, down on their luck, and in need of allies, could try to form alliances, especially if they think it is right, or if their Farseers had a vision that seemed to lead to this option. With so much riding on the Eldar's powers of foresight, it would ill serve them to start questioning the accuracy of their powers now, at least after several glimpses, to hedge out risk of Tzeentch-meddling.

 

I also like it because, IMO, the way Space Marines are done up, Eldar, as they are presented, can't fight them, it seems. Granted, most of the Eldar stats are for Rogue Trader, which is a step down, or so, for Space Marine power-creep, but nothing in the Eldar ranks can believably Horde, unless you use some optional house-rules for Guardians (I liked them, because they could still Dodge, and some other stuff), and individuals just won't often have the staying power, once the Astartes can start hitting them. Tau, on the other hand, can stand up to Space Marines, in certain scenarios, and with the aide of some Eldar options, such as Guide, and some assault-specialist Aspect Warriors, such as Howling Banshees and Striking Scorpions, and a few tricky units, like the long-range Dark Reapers, or surprise blitz of Warp Spiders, the already impressive Tau forces could become a real threat in the Reach, beyond seditious whispering into the ears of colonists who will just get eaten by the Nids, anyway. Granted, some of these tactics work for stand-alone Eldar, anyway, but they just don't have the number of bodies for some staying power, and there are always plenty of Tau.

 

And, of course, there's always the chance that the Eldar know something about the Tau that we don't, and that's why they haven't allied "officially"; that and the fact that GW always makes their factions hate everyone else, unless shite authors are writing Space Marines allying with Necrons, or what have you. I think it could just be amusing, if nothing else, for the Kill Team to discover that this alliance might be starting to form, and having to decide how the Deathwatch might want to deal with it.






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