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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    So, let me get this straight.

    Necrons currently rely on Dolmen Gates for FTL.

    Dolmen Gates connected to the Webway, but the Webway amputated most of them, so now there's effectively a Dolmenway and a Webway that function exactly the same, but the Webway is much much bigger.

    Ergo, Necrons can only be relevant if there's a Dolmen Gate nearby, and the Dolmen Gates are few and far between, yes?
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Well, they still can hack into Webway. Dolmen Gates are just sure access.

    Also, while Webway might be larger, a lot of it was abandoned, has nasty things like Daemons or Dark Eldar lurking about, or even normal Eldar from less friendly places. I'd consider 'Necron' part to be well mapped and well maintained, at least, though Eldar raiding parties appear there, too.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Eh, another Necron change I don't like. I preferred it when they just had unexplained and unexplainable non-warp FTL travel.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    It makes sense Necrons would want to get into the webway, actually; The Third edition codex mentions that the Webway allowed the Old Ones' fleet to run rings around the Necron's ships. So perhaps the Necrons used to use the old inertia-less drive, but during the War in Heaven, using Dolmen gates proved so superior that the inertia-less drive was obsolete, and the Necrons didn't count on not the webway deteriorating during their long sleep, and keeping an obsolete form of travel on their ships strikes me as at odds with the ruthless efficiency the Necrons would have practiced at that time.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Quote Originally Posted by Gwyn chan 'r Gwyll View Post
    Eh, another Necron change I don't like. I preferred it when they just had unexplained and unexplainable non-warp FTL travel.
    How do you know they still don't have it?

    Necron Codex mentions other forms of travel they use, Webway is likely only the fastest/most convenient of these.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    It has lines like "Since they don't have psykers for Warp travle, without the Dolmen Gates, they'd have only slow moving stasis ships and be doomed to isolation" in the codex, suggesting that inertialess drives are gone.

    This change I am pretty sad about. I don't like the Necrons have super limited mobility.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Yeah, you just have to ignore this change as making no sense at all.

    In the same codex it says all the rubbish about Dolmen Gates, it also mentions wormholes that they can bolt on flying transports like it was nothing, and a more versatile one that is built into every monolith. That's as well as a Necron Pirate Fleet Overlord, flying about terrorising a sector. How the hell does he do that without FTL?

    More to the point, how did they fight the Old Ones without it? The Old Ones built and had complete control of the webway. This isn't even taking into account their galaxy-wide surprise attack on the C'Tan. Just give them back inertia-less drives, perhaps with a gravity flavour like the only other non-warp-travel species: Tyranids.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    I just say they can travel in hyperspace. They've got a bunch of other technology that lets them go there (despite it never being mentioned before in 40K), why can't they run around in it?
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    First off, its not exactly clear how versatile Dolmen Gates are, but it seems reasonable to assume you only need a gate on one end (Otherwise their construction would not have been the crippling blow to the Old Ones it was). Second... Was it ever established how fast the intertialess drive is? I wouldn't be surpised if the Necrons still have the intertialess drive, but that even in their damaged state, the Dolmen Gates are still much faster, and the loss of them would probably put them in the same boat the Tau are in (Inability to deal with growth, as their ftl is so much slower than that of the imperiums)
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    It's inertia less drive. That's effectively unlimited acceleration. There's no top speed if you don't have to worry about things like mass, and likewise it's essentially perfect maneuverability.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Quote Originally Posted by Maugan Ra View Post
    It's inertia less drive. That's effectively unlimited acceleration. There's no top speed if you don't have to worry about things like mass, and likewise it's essentially perfect maneuverability.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    And there's what? A couple hyrdrogen atoms per cubic meter in interstellar space? And most ships in 40k are kilomoters in lenght? A mass-less ship would be bouncing every which way.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Quote Originally Posted by Trixie View Post
    If the high point of your civilization needs to be defended by equating them to orks it should make you stop and consider if it really is that good...
    ...I mean, people in old Russian Empire (where draft to military was 20 year long)...
    I've tried to come up with a brief rebuttal to this point, and this was the best I could do: The Ork comparison is actually, I think, quite viable. If the Eldar-origins story is correct, then the Tau actually serve a very similar function as, in essence, a species of 'engineered bioweapons'. They simply have a totally different instinctive strategy. We apparently don't have a problem accepting that Orks are, next to humans, intrinsically savage and crude 'because that's just how they are', but the idea that another species in the same setting could be, next to humans, benign and tolerant is, for some mysterious* reason, met with resistance.

    No, the tau are not just biological robots. But given that morale impacts performance, it strikes me as pretty counterproductive to engineer a sub-species with talent for a particular set of tasks, without the enthusiasm for applying said talent. I suspect that the various castes have, with very few exceptions, corresponding proclivities for their broad roles in life. It's conceivable that the Tau deliberately thwart the ambitions of a minority of oddballs, but it's also conceivable they try to accommodate 'strange tastes' where possible. We just don't know.
    Not much has been said about the castes interbreeding, but I get the impression they can't anymore, or at least if they can, there are no half-castes.
    I imagine the castes do socialise, but you need to remember that these are gene-jacked aliens created for a purpose by even more enigmatic aliens, and there's only so much use to human psychology.
    While they mostly act like Ghengis Khan's golden horde, as equipped by a 23rd century Leonardo Da Vinci, they aren't humans. All we know for sure about their society's break points is that constant expansion is needed to keep the fire caste happy, and that taking away the Ethereals is a bad idea. Oh, and that it works.
    * Not actually mysterious.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Gaaah. Why do I do this?

    Quote Originally Posted by Squark View Post
    And there's what? A couple hyrdrogen atoms per cubic meter in interstellar space? And most ships in 40k are kilomoters in lenght? A mass-less ship would be bouncing every which way.
    I'm not nearly as up-to-date on Necron fluff, but I get the impression that mobility isn't especially vital to them either way, since they already have overwhelming force in dormant bases scattered around the galaxy. The Necrons don't need to spread out to conquer, since they already have the setting thoroughly 'occupied'. The younger species just haven't caught on yet.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Quote Originally Posted by Trixie View Post
    If the high point of your civilization needs to be defended by equating them to orks it should make you stop and consider if it really is that good

    Yeah, I'd expect intelligent being that is good at flying but nevertheless wants to be, say, scuba diving explorer, to be unhappy to learn it can only fly. Or, in even more extreme FC case, that your 'retirement' will likely take form of lifetime of killing until first bolter shell, earthshaker projectile or gauss ray comes your way, unless it literally is engineered bio-robot like ork.

    I mean, people in old Russian Empire (where draft to military was 20 year long) often ripped all teeth or asked to have all four limbs broken to become ineligible for draft, and that was in state that fought maybe two wars per half century. Moreover, it was only stable job and free education available back then, yet people tried everything to get out of that "prison".
    I don't think we should be assuming that the Tau of each caste have the same psychological makeup as the entirety of human society. Even among humans you get a lot of variety. Maybe, just maybe, Fire Warriors are wired to be comfortable in constant warfare (Google "Warrior Gene") and not wet themselves or develop mental problems like peace-loving modern human civilians would.

    The same logic applies to the different castes. Eugenics or what means that 99% of Earth Caste are comfortable doing Earth Caste things. IQ, aptitude for intellectual activities, these characteristics have a genetic component. Sure, it's likely not all of them get the job that they want (interested in physics but gets stuck in chemistry) but that is how it works in real life too.

    Saying that their society is oppressive because not everybody gets their dream job and dream life is very strange.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Quote Originally Posted by Haruspex_Pariah View Post
    Saying that their society is oppressive because not everybody gets their dream job and dream life is very strange.
    No, we're saying their society is oppressive because the very birth places you behind the bars of inescapable prison. For life.

    And then inmates of it are given pulse rifles and are told to drag as many others as they can inside. For their good, of course.

    Yeah, that's not, like, warped and oppressive at all, after all, something that can squick even IG officers accustomed to seeing worst things Galaxy has to offer must be good, no?
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Quote Originally Posted by Trixie View Post
    No, we're saying their society is oppressive because the very birth places you behind the bars of inescapable prison. For life.

    And then inmates of it are given pulse rifles and are told to drag as many others as they can inside. For their good, of course.

    Yeah, that's not, like, warped and oppressive at all, after all, something that can squick even IG officers accustomed to seeing worst things Galaxy has to offer must be good, no?
    They do what they are genetically predisposed to do. It's not free, but it's hardly the oppression of the Imperium.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Quote Originally Posted by bluntpencil View Post
    They do what they are genetically predisposed to do. It's not free, but it's hardly the oppression of the Imperium.
    Saying something isn't as oppressive as the Imperium of Man is hardly a ringing endorsement.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Even the most oppressed of the Imperium, even the most disadvantaged hive dweller, even the lowest of the low have the freedom to dream of a better way in the Imperium.

    The Tau are not even free to imagine any other way of things. There is only the Greater Good and the will of their Ethereal Masters.

    (It amuses me how desperate any kind of greyscaling of the Tau is opposed sometimes).

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post
    Even the most oppressed of the Imperium, even the most disadvantaged hive dweller, even the lowest of the low have the freedom to dream of a better way in the Imperium.

    The Tau are not even free to imagine any other way of things. There is only the Greater Good and the will of their Ethereal Masters.

    (It amuses me how desperate any kind of greyscaling of the Tau is opposed sometimes).
    Actually, it depends on the planet in the Imperium. Large swathes of the Imperium have feudal nobility, others have slave classes (lol mutants) who cannot advance at all. Many planets will have you born into a job, regardless of your genetics. On an Agri-World you will be a farmer. That is all. On Cadia, you will be a Guardsman. That is all. Those that aren't are unusual.

    The Tau cannot leave their Caste, but can advance within their Caste. An Earth Caste can become a professor, a Fire Caste a General, an Air Caste an Admiral, a Water Caste a Foreign Minister...

    Okay, the Ethereals are in charge, but there is more mobility here than in the Imperium.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Quote Originally Posted by bluntpencil View Post
    Actually, it depends on the planet in the Imperium. Large swathes of the Imperium have feudal nobility, others have slave classes (lol mutants) who cannot advance at all. Many planets will have you born into a job, regardless of your genetics. On an Agri-World you will be a farmer. That is all. On Cadia, you will be a Guardsman. That is all. Those that aren't are unusual.

    The Tau cannot leave their Caste, but can advance within their Caste. An Earth Caste can become a professor, a Fire Caste a General, an Air Caste an Admiral, a Water Caste a Foreign Minister...

    Okay, the Ethereals are in charge, but there is more mobility here than in the Imperium.
    The difference is, the Guardsman can dream of one day, somehow, getting leave to go home and open a shop. The Agri-world farmer can daydream about his alternate life as the chapter-master of the Blood Angels, saving the universe in the name of the god-emperor but the Tau Fire-Caste is not even free to imagine a world where he is anything other than a fire-caste warrior. There is only that and nothing else.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    You assume that is a bad thing. That's the thing about aliens - their worldviews are, well, alien to us.

    And the teachings of the Imperium are to know your duty and to follow and obey, not to aspire (source: various inc. numerous Thoughts For the Day). Many canon sources have people wanting to join the guard to leave their homeworld as they will have opportunities on new worlds that they won't on their old ones.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Quote Originally Posted by Zorg View Post
    You assume that is a bad thing. That's the thing about aliens - their worldviews are, well, alien to us.

    And the teachings of the Imperium are to know your duty and to follow and obey, not to aspire (source: various inc. numerous Thoughts For the Day). Many canon sources have people wanting to join the guard to leave their homeworld as they will have opportunities on new worlds that they won't on their old ones.
    Firstly; Depending on what you take to be the case on the Tau, it may be a world-view alien to them, too. YMMV of course, depending on what sources and inferances you consider canon at any given point in time.

    Secondly, yeah, the doctrine advises against aspirational, break the mold thinking to some degree, but you also give an achievable example of something that can be aspired to. Dislike your boring old planet? Aspire to join the guard/a rogue trader/etc to get away from it.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    While rare, it isn't unheard of for a guard legion to be granted the right to settle a conquered planet, and there is some degree of mobility within the guard. So yes, odds are you're stuck in the job you're born into in the Imperium. But you do have something to hope for, and that can be enough to keep people going (Imperial sayings generally attempt to disabuse them of that notion, though, "Hope is the first step on the road to disappointment," after all.
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Tau Fire-Caste is not even free to imagine a world where he is anything other than a fire-caste warrior.
    Well, strictly speaking you can retire from the military after 20 years, assuming you pass the exams, so to speak (trials by fire.) Most of 'em seem to stay on, though.

    But you're still kind of missing the point. The castes are not political entities, but biological ones. Even if the Tau had a completely open, free-competition labour-market, I'm betting that, like, 95% of fire caste-ers would wind up serving in the military. Similarly, the average imperial citizen may have the delusion of being able to escape his/her lot, but the statistical odds of him/her making it are almost negligible.


    Here is the Imperium's character-generation method: Roll 3d6 for your attributes, then roll to see if you get put down as a mutant freak, then roll to see if you get drafted as cannon-fodder, and then roll to see if you were born to a family rich enough to educate you, and then, maybe, if you rolled high enough stats, you have a shot at promotion to something other than intensive offal-farming.

    Sure, every so often you get a Universal Man with 15+ in every attribute, who can do whatever they want with their life, but it's not something you can rely on. (Unless you just clone 'em directly, and even that can go hilariously wrong.) And what about about the poor sods who roll 6-or-less across the board?


    The Tau method is basically close to a roll-and-keep system on behalf of your kids. And unless the tau are purpose-breeding hundreds of separate sub-castes, there seems to be a lot of variety in the kind of work available even within a given caste's traditional purview, along with reasonable opportunities for promotion. It could be some kind of micromanagerial fascist apartheid, but I get the impression that the lines between caste responsibilities are often blurry. (Air and fire both serve in the military, earth and water both do science research, water and ethereal both serve in government, etc.)

    Hell, for all we know, air caste-ers go scuba-diving on weekends.
    Last edited by Carry2; 2012-11-08 at 01:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Quote Originally Posted by Tiki Snakes View Post

    (It amuses me how desperate any kind of greyscaling of the Tau is opposed sometimes).
    Again, I'm not saying that tau policy couldn't stand major improvements. And I'm not saying that grit and ambition and upbringing and environment don't contribute substantially to individual success (though the imperium earns very few points there.) But that's only half the picture. And saying they're worse than the imperium is, quite bluntly, delusional.

    EDIT: Look, how can I explain this. The Tau caste system is not like a Hindu untouchable saying "can I be a doctor?", and getting told, "no you have to sweep the sewers."

    It's more like a Vulcan saying "when I grow up, can I be a Klingon?" "No, lil' miss T'Pol, I'm afraid you can't be a Klingon. There might be overlap in the things that you can do well, and maybe, if you're very, very good, you can work together on some projects. But you don't become a Klingon. Now, go study your fourier analysis!"

    They'd just find the whole question quaint.
    Last edited by Carry2; 2012-11-08 at 02:04 PM.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    I think Carry2 is on to something here. If it's true that Tau are genetically engineered to BE their caste (I really don't know much about Tau) than this is iffy by modern human ethics (even then, not all would likely disagree), but in the grimn future of the 41. millenium, it's downright charitable.

    Because while a worker in a chemical plant might dream of being Lord Governor, when he wakes up the next morning, he is still a chemical worker, and he knows that, in 15 year's time, his health will have detoriated such that he won't be able to work anymore. Because for 99% of the Imperium, social mobility only goes downwards, and hopes and dreams are a source of misery, which is why the Imperial dogma often discourages wishing for things outside of your station.

    And if you'd ask the Tau what they thought of their lack of freedom, they'd probably ask you "What lack of freedom?"
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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Gaah. This is coming across as way too angry. I generally try to avoid getting stuck into long debates for exactly this reason.

    I would (assuming I, as a human being, somehow lived there,) love it if the Tau Empire was a 100% equal-opportunities employers and let me vote for my preferred planetary governor with a seat on the ethereal council. I would probably be annoyed at their tendency to make war on every available front (...even if I really don't see long-term alternatives, given the threat of orkish/nid invasions.) I would probably demand more in the way of public debate and reproductive freedoms, and I would certainly suggest that the caste system would not be a good fit for human beings (though there's no indication it's ever been applied that way.) I would have significant beef with the administration.

    But would I, given the opportunity, pack my bags and head off for, say, Armageddon? Or Necromunda? or Holy Terra? Or any of the basketcase fundamentalist slumholes where the vast majority of 40K humans eke out their precarious lives? ...Not a hope in hell.

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    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    The Tau don't apply the Caste system to other races at all. They aren't Tau, after all. As far as I can tell, the Tau think of other species as sort of castes unto themselves. Kroot get to be guerilla warriors, scouts and woodsmen (all jobs that they relish), Vespid do... Whatever the hell Vespid do when they aren't fighting with the Fire Caste? I mean, this is one obvious failing of the Tau fluff, because we honestly have no idea. Nicassar get to hitch rides with Tau ships in exchange for warning the Empire when 'Nids are about to show up, Demiurge are basically left alone to mine and trade however they want to, Gue'vesa are mostly left to their own devices with minimal interference from the Tau. There are no Gue'por or Gue'shas, because humans are all pretty much genetically the same.

    Again, and as Carry2 has been pointing out, the Castes are biologically and socially distinct. It's not eugenics, it's obscenely high-speed natural selection (though the Tau do practice breeding programs within the Castes). The Fire Caste spent most of their time fighting, so they got big and tough and warlike. The Air Caste lived way up in mountains, so they developed a lot of birdlike features so they could glide around. If you asked a Fire Warrior whether he resented not having a choice of career (and they do have some choice, to some degree, despite being the most constrained Caste by far. Every other Caste has many times the job diversity the Shas do), he'd ask you whether you resented not being born with wings.

    Also, anyone who thinks the Imperium is more free than the Tau is just wrong. The motto of the Imperium is "Know Your Place". You can't dream of becoming a planetary governor because you aren't a Noble. Too bad. You can't dream of joining the Mechanicus because you didn't get initiated when you were three. Too bad. Nope, the Administratum has no intention of hiring an illiterate bumpkin. I made this same comment earlier, but unless you're lucky enough to live in an area where Imperial control doesn't really extend to, like an Underhive, you have no freedom other than the choice whether to join the Guard. And if not enough people volunteer, they take that choice away from you too. If you're supremely unhappy at whatever you're doing in the Tau Empire, they'll find a new job for you. Because unhappy workers are unproductive workers, and they want you to be productive. In the Imperium, they'll flog you for not working hard enough, then tell you to do your job For the Emperor.
    Avatar by the wonderful SubLimePie. Former avatar by Andraste.

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    Nov 2006

    Default Re: Warhammer 40k fluff thread VI: They see me Ward'en, they haten

    Also, anyone who thinks the Imperium is more free than the Tau is just wrong. The motto of the Imperium is "Know Your Place". You can't dream of becoming a planetary governor because you aren't a Noble. Too bad. You can't dream of joining the Mechanicus because you didn't get initiated when you were three. Too bad. Nope, the Administratum has no intention of hiring an illiterate bumpkin. I made this same comment earlier, but unless you're lucky enough to live in an area where Imperial control doesn't really extend to, like an Underhive, you have no freedom other than the choice whether to join the Guard. And if not enough people volunteer, they take that choice away from you too. If you're supremely unhappy at whatever you're doing in the Tau Empire, they'll find a new job for you. Because unhappy workers are unproductive workers, and they want you to be productive. In the Imperium, they'll flog you for not working hard enough, then tell you to do your job For the Emperor.
    Yeah, honestly, i think the only race in 40k with more individual freedom than the Tau is the Eldar, while the imperium on the other hand lies in stiff competition with the orks here
    thnx to Starwoof for the fine avatar

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