User:DataSnake/Technology of the Tau Empire (Warhammer 40,000)

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Infantry[edit]

Most of the infantry in a Tau army is the Fire Warriors. The models are packaged with pulse rifles, and enough pulse carbines to equip about a quarter of them. However, the rules of the table-top game allow for an entire squad to be equipped with carbines. Kroot rifles are equipped to Kroot mercenaries allied with the Tau. A Shaper (the leader of a Kroot team) may be assembled with a pulse weapon by a player. Infantry are never equipped with heavy weapons, and only a soldier wearing a battlesuit is likely to be able to destroy a vehicle. A line-trooper must use a markerlight to call in a missile strike.

Standard Weapons[edit]

Standard equipment for line-troopers is intended to allow for a single team of Fire Warriors to lay down a powerful salvo at long range, and to blanket the enemy with fire at closer ranges. When Fire Warriors are deployed in large numbers, they are able to fire on almost any infantry unit with good effect.

Pulse Weapons[edit]

Tau equip their Shas’la, the general infantry of the Fire Caste, almost exclusively with either a pulse rifle or pulse carbine. The weapon propels a particle with an induction field, and the particle breaks down into a plasma pulse by the time it has left the barrel. [1] Both rifles and carbines are notable for their exceptional strength as standard weapons, and rifles also have a longer range than most basic weapons. Pulse carbines trade range for greater mobility and a photon grenade launcher. [2]

Special equipment[edit]

The Tau employ two kinds of grenades. One style, EMP grenades, is used in an anti-vehicle role similar to that of other armies, and is usually the only anti-armor weapon available to troops. The other kind of grenade is used in a manner opposite that of other armies’ anti-personnel grenades. Photon grenades are meant to slow a charging enemy, rather than force enemies down when charging. Photon grenades may be thrown by hand or fired from the launcher on a pulse carbine.

Tau infantry do not carry as much equipment as other infantry in Warhammer 40,000. Normally, only a team leader will carry extra equipment, including a bonding knife or drones. The leader of a Fire Warrior team may be a Shas’ui, one rank higher than the others, and will have access to more options. These include hard-wired systems normally available only to warriors in battlesuits, such as a drone controller to allow the leader to command robotic allies, as well as items that allow more versatility in shooting.

A well-known piece of special equipment is a bonding knife. A bonding knife is not meant for combat, and is purely ceremonial. It is used when a team performs a ritual after serving with each other for some time. The ritual, called the Ta’lissera, is akin to marriage in that it is a sacred union of Fire Warriors who have been brought together by battle.

Any Tau with a drone-controller may use robotic drones. They are not particularly powerful, but they can block weapons fire. When grouped together, they may operate independently for long periods. Drones are available in many forms, the most common being Gun Drones and Shield Drones, though Sniper Drones and Marker Drones are not a rare sight.

Other Infantry Weapons[edit]

A few infantry in the Tau forces may be equipped with special weapons, usually to fit a particular battlefield role, or simply because the character is entitled to a weapon based on rank.

A pulse pistol is a pulse weapon issued to personnel for desperate situations. It is just as powerful as the pulse rifle or carbine, but it has less than half the range.

Ethereals, the Tau leaders, may carry an honour blade. Honour blades consist of a lightweight metal shaft with a broad blade fixed to each end. While they are normally used in bloodless, stylized duels, the honour blade is used in sweeping movements that make the edge nearly invisible, making it a deadly weapon. An Ethereal using an honour blade can fight as though he had much greater strength.

Rail rifles are a new asset in the Third Phase Expansion. They utilize the same technology as the railguns on Broadside battlesuits and Hammerhead tanks. Rail rifles are used only by Pathfinders and Sniper Drones, and Pathfinders may not use markerlights if they have rail rifles.

Markerlights[edit]

Markerlights are simple lasers used to guide other weapons. They are most often carried by pathfinders or marker drones. A squad cannot take advantage of a markerlight fired from their own squad, unless it is a networked markerlight, which is larger, found on marker drones, Skyray missile boats, and with sniper team spotters. Markerlights may be used to make another unit more accurate, fire at a target that is not visible during the night, reduce the effect of cover, or suppress a unit more effectively. A markerlight may also be used to direct a seeker missile, a capable anti-armor weapon. This is the only anti-armor option for most infantry, as they are not allowed to carry heavy weapons[3].

Allied Weapons[edit]

Kroot Rifle[edit]

Kroot Carnivores carry Kroot rifles, simple slug throwers modified by the Tau. They have blades fitted to the muzzle and stock, so that the Kroot may use them as two weapons in close combat, which is their primary role.

A larger caliber than the Kroot rifle, a Kroot gun must be mounted on a Krootox, a beast of burden. The Kroot gun is effective against some vehicles.

Vespid Stingwings carry a hybrid of Tau and Vespid technology, the neutron blaster. They are a Tau neutron projector mounted with a crystal from planet Vespid. Only a Vespid can use the weapon, as the ultrasonic tone from their wings helps to stabilize the crystal.

Battlesuits[edit]

Battlesuits are power suits built to mount a wide array of weapons and support gear. Battlesuits are considered infantry rather than walkers, a type of vehicle, despite their size and appearance. The reason for the distinction is that a soldier wears a battlesuit, rather than piloting it. Battlesuits can be found in several varieties.

Crisis Suits[edit]

The XV8 Crisis suit is a versatile and very powerful weapons platform. The suits are worn by teams of Shas’ui troopers who have moved up from the Shas’la rank, sometimes led by a Shas’vre, one rank above Shas’ui, or a Shas’ui who is designated as the team leader. An XV8 is equipped with a jet pack, which allows Crisis suits to use a tactic unique to the Tau: Crisis suits will use their jet packs to dash out of cover, fire their weapons, and then move back before they can be fired upon.

Model[edit]

A Crisis suit is sold as a plastic model, usually in boxes of a single suit. The model is sold with weapons and support systems, which must be glued onto the shoulders or arms. It is roughly twice the size of a Tau Fire Warrior, the standard infantryman.

Crisis Suit Weapons[edit]

Battlesuits are always equipped with three weapons or support systems. They may be taken in almost any combination, allowing battlesuits to take on nearly any role in the battle field, and when equipped properly, more than one.

Anti-infantry[edit]
  • An airbursting fragmentation projector weapon fires bomblets over a wide area, which fragment upon detonation. Because of the fragmentation, the weapon negates the benefits of cover. This weapon is currently available through special issue, as it is going through field testing.
  • A burst cannon uses the same technology as a pulse weapon. It is a four-barreled weapon mounted on battlesuits and vehicles, with a much higher rate of fire but only the range of the carbine.
  • Similar in nature to the ion cannon mounted on Hammerhead tanks, a cyclic ion blaster is meant to eliminate large counts of weak infantry. It generates a stream of ion radiator, which is released through the four barrels. The unstable nature of the ion radiation means that some shots will be far more powerful than others, capable of penetrating vehicle armor.
  • Using the same unstable plasma technology as other races, a plasma rifle is a slightly less powerful form that has the benefit of user safety. Still, the plasma rifle remains a potent weapon for combating heavy infantry, including the thickly armoured Space Marines. It is usable against some vehicles, but only the lightest of skimmers, unless a Crisis suit can maneuver to the rear of a vehicle to hit the thinner armour.
  • Akin to a conventional flamethrower, a flamer is very useful in close-quarters combat. It is capable of hitting large numbers of troops, but it is effective only against light infantry, being much weaker than other Tau weapons.
Anti-armor[edit]
  • One of the most powerful weapons available to the Tau, a fusion blaster is limited by its short range. Primarily designed as an anti-tank weapon, a Crisis suit that gets close enough is almost guaranteed to penetrate even the thickest hull.
  • A simple missile launcher, a missile pod is capable of taking down light vehicles, and occasionally medium tanks. It is also effective against medium-armored infantry.

Support Systems[edit]

Battlesuits gain a large part of their ability from the support systems they carry. They can enhance many aspects of a battlesuit. Some systems are available in a hard-wired form, as cybernetic implants or jewelry, but only to higher ranking soldiers or team leaders.

  • Essentially a set of gyroscopes and sensors, a battlesuit with an advanced stabilization system can remain somewhat mobile even while firing heavy weapons. This system is useful only to Broadside battlesuits in most cases, as Crisis suits do not carry heavy weapons and can compensate for light recoil.
  • A blacksun filter is simply a set of night vision equipment, and is available in hard-wired form.
  • An advanced communication suite, a command and control node helps a leader direct nearby troops.
  • A drone controller allows the user to direct Gun, Marker, or Shield drones. It is available as a hard-wired system.
  • A multi-tracker is a firing controller that lets a battlesuit fire two weapons at once. It can be hard-wired.
  • A positional relay helps to move reserve units into combat more reliably, but more slowly.
  • A shield generator projects a protective field around the battlesuit.
  • A target lock allows a warrior to fire at a target different from the rest of the squad.
  • A targeting array is an advanced suite of equipment that aids the user’s aim.
  • A set of additional maneuvering thrusters, vectored retro-thrusters allow a battlesuit to escape close combat.

Battlesuit Wargear[edit]

Battlesuits that are worn by team leaders will often have access to wargear, which includes hard-wired support systems and upgrades to the battlesuit.

XV88 Broadside Battlesuit[edit]

A Broadside is a Crisis chassis fitted with much heavier weapons and armor, in exchange for the jet pack. They are equipped with a twin-linked railgun, which is capable of penetrating any armor, and a smart missile system. Both weapons are normally found only on the Tau main battle tank, the Hammerhead. The smart missile system may be replaced with a twin-linked plasma rifle.

Model[edit]

A Broadside looks just like a Crisis suit, except that the arms are replaced with missile racks, it has very large, rectangular railguns on its shoulders, and the thrusters of the jet pack are covered with heat sinks for the railguns.

Stealth Suits[edit]

A stealth suit is designed to move rapidly toward the enemy undetected. The original XV15 suit was used in an anti-infantry role, armed with a burst cannon. The newer XV25 suit is significantly larger, and looks more like a vehicle than the XV15, which was a close-fitting suit of armor, but is still much smaller than a Crisis suit. The XV25 is capable of mounting a fusion blaster to take on an anti-vehicle role.

Model[edit]

An XV15 is roughly the size of a standard infantryman, with a little extra height and bulk added by the armor. One of the arms is replaced by the burst cannon. An XV25 is noticeably larger and bulkier, with a somewhat less form-fitting appearance, and the burst cannon or fusion blaster is slung under the arm, rather than in its place.

Armoured fighting vehicles[edit]

Devilfish[edit]

File:Tau arms and Armor Devil Fish and FW.jpg
A Tau Devilfish APC and Fire warrior

Devilfish are the basic vehicle of the Tau Empire. Tough and durable, they are used as APCs, with room for 12 passengers. The Devilfish also carries a burst cannon and a pair of gun drones, and has three entrance doors. The drones may be replaced by a single Smart Missile System to provide heavier fire support.

The Devilfish is a central part of the tactic many Tau players have called the "Fish of Fury". In this maneuver, a Devilfish loaded with Fire warriors comes close to an enemy squad, disembarking its passengers just within the 12" needed for the Fire warriors to use the "Rapid Fire" rule, with the Devilfish providing extra assistance. With the Devilfish between the Fire warriors and the enemy squad, it is nearly impossible for most surviving units of the target squad to get within assault range of the Fire Warriors, and the next turn, the Tau player can try to finish the enemy off, or withdraw the squad to a safer location.

Other Tau vehicles are modeled on the Devilfish's chassis. Many box sets for the other vehicles will in fact have all the sprues needed to build a Devilfish, along with the separate special sprues for the other vehicle's major parts. Many players take advantage of this and do not glue the specific parts for each vehicle on, allowing them to switch out a Hammerhead or Skyray for a Devilfish should the need arise.

In Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War: Dark Crusade the Devilfish uses stealth field technology similar to that used by Stealth Battlesuits; however, this is not supported by any Games Workshop literature.

Hammerhead[edit]

A Hammerhead Gunship

The Hammerhead is the Tau Empire's main battle tank. Based on the Devilfish chassis, it has considerably reinforced armour and mounts either an ion cannon or a railgun on its turret. It also carries either a pair of burst cannons or a smart missile system in its drone bays.

Based on the hull design of the Devilfish, the Hammerhead Gunship is the main battle tank of the Tau Empire. The troop carrying ability of the Devilfish is removed, as the space is needed for the complex generators and capacitors required to power the Hammerhead's turret weapon. Early models of the Hammerhead were armed with twin-linked weapons similar to those used by Crisis Suits, but scaled up in size, range, and power. Advances in weapons technology replaced these weapons with a single railgun or ion cannon. These alternate armaments are available as conversion kits by Forge World.

Piranha[edit]

The Piranha light skimmer is a vehicle originally designed and sold by Forge World, but was fully incorporated into the official Tau army list in the 4th edition Tau Empire Codex, and re-released as a plastic model by Games Workshop.

The Piranha is a light infantry support vehicle designed to work alongside the hunter cadres, especially on frontier worlds. They can also be used as transports for important figures in the Tau community. The Piranha has room for two fire warriors and two drones. It is armed with either a burst cannon or fusion blaster.

The Piranha Light Skimmer is a small, fast, lightly armoured, two-person vehicle used in a number of roles including scouting, support, rapid response, and VIP transport. They are deployed in squads of up to five craft and are armed with a pair of gun drones and a burst cannon or a fusion blaster. Upgrades to the Piranha give it better protection for the cockpit, and replace the central weapon and drones with a variety of weapons, including rail rifles.

Skyray[edit]

The Skyray is the hunter cadre's first line of defence against aircraft. Another Devilfish-based tank, it has the same options as the Hammerhead in its drone bays, but carries six seeker missiles and a networked markerlight designator on its turret.

A variant of the Hammerhead Gunship, the Skyray Missile Defence Gunship is armed with a turret mounted array of six seeker missiles that can be launched by the vehicle's crew or by Fire Warrior teams equipped with markerlights. Missiles fired from the Skyray have especially large range and accuracy. It is also armed with either a pair of gun drones, burst cannons, or a smart missile system.

A rumored variant of the Skyray, known as the Stingray, carries more and heavier missiles, and seems to be primarily deployed only in larger-scale battles.

Like the Piranha, the Skyray was originally designed by Forge World, then later made official in the 4th Edition of the game.

Tetra[edit]

The Tetra is a light skimmer rarely used by Pathfinders as an alternative to the Devilfish. Like the Piranha, it is a two-tau vehicle, but with lighter armor, and is armed with a pair of mounted pulse rifles and a Markerlight.

Tetras are only available through Forge World as resin kits.

Aircraft[edit]

All Tau Aircraft are only available as resin models from Forge World.

Barracuda Superiority Fighter[edit]

The most numerous fighter in the Tau Navy, often used to support the Fire Caste in battle. The Barracuda is typically armed with an Ion cannon mounted off-center on the nose, and a pair of missile pods. Mounted on each wing is a burst cannon independently controlled by an AI similar to those used in Gun Drones. It may also carry seeker missiles for use by ground troops. In one on one engagements the Barracuda is slightly better than its Imperial equivalents the Thunderbolt and Lightning. However the lack of combat experience of Tau pilots usually balances this out, making for a very even match.

Manta Missile Destroyer[edit]

The Manta Missile Destroyer is a versatile ship capable of operating in space or in the air. It is often used in space to support the Tau Fleet as a bomber, or as a landing craft to transport an entire hunter Cadre on to the ground, complete with vehicles, and, if need be, to support them in battle. Armed with Heavy Railguns (the upscaled version of the Hammerhead turret weapon) that fire drone-guided rounds, a battery of Ion Cannons, missiles, and burst cannons for defense, a Manta is a formidable opponent to any force on the ground.

Tau Mantas were deployed towards the end of the Damocles Gulf Crusade to counter Imperial Titans on Dal'yth, and managed to stalemate the giant war machines.

A smaller version of the Manta, called the Moray, is used solely in a support function, and cannot carry troops.

Normally, a vehicle the size of a Manta would only be usable in large-scale games like Epic Armageddon, but Forge World has designed a model of the Manta scaled for use in Warhammer 40,000, the largest single model ever designed by the company. To demonstrate its size, the Manta could easily fit 2 armed hammerhead gunships, 2 devilfishes, along with 8 battlesuits, an Ethereal and 48 Fire Warriors at the same time.

Orca Dropship[edit]

The Orca dropship is a large craft used to transport up to 48 fire warriors, 8 gun drones, and an etheral onto the field. It can change 24 of the warriors for fewer, but larger troops, such as crisis suits. It is lightly armed for its size, carrying a twin-linked burst cannon and a missile pod coupled together on an underside-mounted retractable turret, for clearing enemy infantry and light vehicles from the drop zone.

A vehicle known as the Scorpionfish has also been seen in mass troop engagements. Based on the Orca's chassis, the Scorpionfish sacrifices its troop carrying capacity, as well as most of its flight capabilities, to carry a massive amount of missiles, including smart missiles and seeker and tracer missiles (a much larger and heavy type of seeker missile for anti-warmachine work).

The Orca was introduced in Warhammer 40,000: Fire Warrior, with a resin model being produced later for the Warhammer 40,000 and Epic tabletop games by Forge World. It also appears in Dark Crusade but only in custscenes and scenery.

Tiger Shark Strike Craft[edit]

Essentially a heavier version of the Barracuda, the Tiger Shark is armed with nearly twice the armament of the smaller fighter. In addition, it carries an underside rack containing a large amount of gun drones, which it can drop on enemy positions in its wake.

A variant of the Tigershark, the AX-1-0, replaces the Ion Cannons and drone storage racks with a pair of heavy Railguns, larger versions of the Hammerhead borne variety. This variant is primarily used by the Tau to assist in attacking large enemy war machines. They were first deployed against Imperial forces in the Taros Campaign, where their attack destroyed a Warhound titan and forced the rest of its battlegroup to retreat.

Another variant, the AX-2-2, foregos the main weapons entirely to make room for a pair of Remora drone fighters.

Spacecraft[edit]

Gal'Leath (Explorer) Class Starship[edit]

The Explorer Class Starship was the cornerstone of the early Tau navy. It's massive phased warp drive allowed it to move through warp space at only a fifth the pace of its Imperial counterparts, but this speed was fast enough to facilitate the expansion of the Tau Empire in its fledgling steps outside of the core system. The Explorer could boast massive cargo capacity, extensive research facilities and the ability to serve as a mobile dock for semi-independent ships. Its cargo bays were also large enough to carry modular orbital units, waystations and even (more recently)message boats. It was the galleon of the Tau Empire and for nearly a hundred tau'cyr it was the only class of ship continually in production. During this time it moved from mark I to mark XXIII, benefiting from a succession of improvements and special adaptations. Conflict with the Orks was the class' death knell. It was not a specialist warship and its weaponry was incapable of keeping Terrorships and Killkroozers at a distance. Work on the Merchant class was accelerated. When it was complete production of the Explorer dropped 85%. There are, however, still a number in service. The most recently created Gal'Leath class is Dal'yth Gal'Leath Kessan, the first of the mark XXIV designs, and the flagship in an expedition launched by Aun'shi to research the Farsight Enclaves. It is unknown whether any further plans exist for continued support of this design.

Il'Fannor (Merchant) Class Starship[edit]

The Merchant class was originally developed to be the new workhorse of the empire. Its reactors were a fraction the size of the much larger Explorer's power plant but were capable of reaching a third of average warp speed, making them significantly faster. This was deemed essential to bind together the emergent Tau Empire. Conflict with the Orks caused significant revision of the design with field modifications that allowed virtually all of the cargo space to be converted to weapons systems if needed. The continued requirements of the fleet ensured that the Merchant class remained predominantly a warship until the Hero class was laid down.

Lar'Shi (Hero) Class Starship[edit]

The pinnacle of Tau technology, the Hero class was the product of Tau experience during the Damocles Gulf Crusade. The Tau were determined that they should have a ship that could match the Imperial Lunar class. As it became evident, they failed but they did succeed in producing a credible ship of the line in the Lar'shi.

Kir'Qath (Defender) Starship[edit]

Just as the Lar'shi is the Tau response to the Imperial Lunar Class, the Kir'Qath is their answer to the Imperial Sword class. The Kir'Qath is the only true escort in the Tau fleet and is used in squadrons to provide close support for the larger vessels. Its main weakness is the lengthy recharge time for its drives. It can make up to half a dozen warp dives in succession but will then be unable to do any more for at least a rot'aa. This means it is not suitable for scouting as it either travels slowly across interstellar space or risks being unable to retreat when it arrives. This can make it a liability in rapid fleet manoeuvres. Consequently, squadrons are spread through Tau space where heavier units can call upon them for support if required.

Skether'Qan (Messenger) Class Starship[edit]

The Messenger is the smallest self-sufficient Tau vessel. It mostly comprises a gravitic drive and a hold but it is occasionally used as a fleet scout as it is quite maneuverable and has unmatched data handling and communications facilities. These systems were soon adapted for combat applications. The Messenger's weaponry is purely intended to deter pursuit so in fleet actions it tends to stay close to a capital ship, helping against attack craft in return for protection against true warships.

Kass'L (Orca) Gunship[edit]

The Orca was designed to provide the Tau fleet with an Escort. Unable to build a drive light enough to produce a normal escort the Orca is transported within a capital ship's gravitic sheath. Once unleashed, however, it is a powerful gunship able to contend with any Imperial or Ork escort vessel.

Orbitals[edit]

The Tau have made extensive use of orbitals since their earliest forays in space. The Air caste had always been at the forefront of the conquest of the upper atmosphere and provided enthusiastic crews for the first orbitals. Many orbitals exist purely to provide homes for the Air Caste. Others are used for manufacturing and Trade.

Normally individual orbitals are assembled into arrays of up to five individual orbitals which are all linked together.

Waystations are distributed through the Tau Empire. These mark the main routes between Tau septs and are used to speed communications between outposts, since Tau cannot rely on Astropathic messengers. These waystations typically consist of a core orbital module, and a security module.


Allied Vessels[edit]

Nicassar Dhows[edit]

Nicassar Dhows are small but elegant yachts that are propelled by the minds of the Nicassar themselves, who are powerful Psykers with particular mastery of telekinetic powers. These ships are very maneuverable but lack any practical interstellar capacity and until recently also lacked any notable firepower. Since being incorporated into the Tau Empire however the Weaponry of the Dhows, and all other Nicassar vessels, have been updated to Tau levels.

Kroot Warspheres[edit]

Unlike the Tau, the Kroot are capable of true warp travel but the exact method has been kept secret from their employers.

The famous Kroot Warspheres are self-contained towns wherein is kept the retained knowledge of Kroot technology and the choicest items they have received as payment for their services. As such they do not risk them in battle willingly and try to avoid direct action against warships unless the need is great or they are being exceptionally well rewarded.

Warspheres have a single drive running through their core from North to South pole and maoeuvering thrusters along their equator. These engines are reliable but very basic making Warspheres very slow. They are powerful enough to allow the Warsphere to land and take-off from a planet although the process is not elegant. When dirtside the manoeuvering thrusters will normally be used to bury the warsphere.

Demiurg 'Stronghold' Commerce Vessels[edit]

The Demiurg are an ancient and nomadic race known to have a deep reserve of hatred of the Orks. They work as mercenaries for various armies when seen at all, but seem to have a far closer relationship with the Tau.

The type classified as 'Stronghold' class is fairly typical of Demiurg vessels, being very large, technologically advanced, and extremely well powered. Strongholds appear to act as factory/processor vessels and bases for a fleet of intersystem asteroid mining pods, haulage flyers, and prospector probes (it is theorized that many of these are automated). Typically, lone strongholds have been encountered in the flare or mercurial zones of uninhabited star systems, hanging motionless and prow-on to the star with a cloud of small craft busily hustling to and fro to exploit local resources.

In most cases these ships withdraw their craft and disengage if challenged but in some instances have inexplicably turned on their attackers with surprising ferocity. It is worthy of note that every known encounter between Demiurg and Ork vessels has resulted in combat, and that renegade elements have often hired Demiurg vessels to fight as mercenaries in interplanetary and intersystem power struggles. As Warships, Demiurg vessels are slow but well defended, boasting considerable firepower at close ranges and the capacity for launching mining craft reconfigured as attack craft and torpedoes.

A notable trait of the Stronghold class is its employment of an array of electromagnetic fields around its prow to scoop up interstellar hydrogen. This is accelerated to the rear of the ship to provide motive power in a ram-jet effect but the complex shielding it requires evidently produces numerous other benefits. This process is little understood by the Adeptus Mechanicus and they would dearly like to secure an intact Stronghold for investigation but thus far the opportunity has eluded them.

Demiurg 'Bastion' Commerce Vessels[edit]

More common than the larger Stronghold Class, the Bastion is nonetheless only occasionally sighted in the giant vastness of wilderness space along the eastern rim of the galaxy.

Bastion class vessels appear to be more heavily configured for asteroid mining than the stately Stronghold, which is known to function as a factory/processor. Presumably resources and finished goods are exchanged between these vessels but there are no eye witness reports of such. Scattered reports by Rogue Traders indicate that a Bastion Class vessel is crewed by a 'brotherhood' and that Strongholds are homes to typically two or three brotherhoods, it is possible that Strongholds and Bastions form some extended affiliation but if this is the case each group must be widely scattered in different systems light years apart. The only exception to this is when the Demiurg muster for war, when two or three Bastions gather to protect each Stronghold.

As warships, Bastions compare to cruisers in most respects, though impressive lance turrets and battery firepower at close ranges make them a thorny prospect. As with the Stronghold class, Bastions have the capacity for launching mining craft and probes reconfigured as attack craft and torpedoes.

Also, like the Stronghold, the Bastion uses an electromagnetic field to scoop up interstellar hydrogen and accelerate it to the rear of the ship to provide motive power and energy for specialized cutting beams it employs for cracking asteroids or enemy ships.

  1. ^ Warhammer 40,000 Codex: Tau Empire. Hoare, Andy. 2005, Games Workshop, Nottingham. ISBN 1-84154-712-3
  2. ^ Warhammer 40,000 Codex: Tau Empire. Hoare, Andy. 2005, Games Workshop, Nottingham. ISBN 1-84154-712-3
  3. ^ Warhammer 40,000 Codex: Tau Empire. Hoare, Andy. 2005, Games Workshop, Nottingham. ISBN 1-84154-712-3