Tau, Nebari, Old Documents, Schitzophrenia, and Smurfs.

November 20, 2013 ·

Chiana, a Nebari Female
So... I was going through and approving comments the other day (unfortunately we have a couple of spammers and I have to scrub their filth regularly), and I came to a rather improved understanding of this site. 

What I discovered was that this is a living website.  By that, I mean that it is constantly being read and remade by fans all over the world.  A couple of the reader comments I published were responses to documents written by Adam back in August of 2009.  Now, four years wasn't that long ago -all things considered, but I was curious that folks were still commenting on those old pages.  So I started looking through them.

Almost every page written on this site has comments, and some of the comments represent ongoing conversations that have been going on for a while now.  Some of them are mere seconds apart, while others are separated by months and even years.  I chuckled to see comments from Mauler, whose name I often see on the Natfka's site.  Hope you're still reading, friend.

But this one comment stuck in my head (not from Mauler).  One of our readers commented that what turned him on to the Tau was their remarkable similarity to the Nebari, an alien race in the SciFi mini-series Farscape.  The Nebari are a chaotic race whose leadership uses Orwellian methods (including chemicals, mind control, and surgical alteration) to control their otherwise ADHD-overloaded population. You can read more about the Nebari here.  In his comment, the reader implied that the Tau were loosly based on the Nebari. 

Earth Caste Smurf...
Farscape was released in 1999 and the Tau made their appearance in the GW universe in 2001, thus one must have influenced the other, right? 

No.  That is wrong.  This logic is called 'post hoc ergo propter hoc.'  I remember this from a logic and reason course I took at university 20 years ago...  Anyway, this way of thinking is called a logical fallacy that states "Since event Y followed event X, event Y must have been caused by event X."  Nothing could be further from the truth--one did not influence the other, any more than the blue coloration being influenced by smurfs (even though the smurfs came first).

Here are some inconsistencies in that argument as it relates to the creative origins of the Tau. 
  • Tau are blue.  The Nebari are silver.
  • Tau women are ugly (regardless of caste).  Nebari women... are anything but ugly.
  • Tau society is socialistic and based on castes.  Stabilized Nebari exist in an autocratic neo-theocracy and un-stabilized Nebari are complete anarchists.
  • Tau do not have noses.  Nebari have sexy noses.
  • Tau, in most cases, have no or very little hair.  Nebari have lots of hair, and two different colors (black and platinum)
  • Tau are conquerors, empire builders, and civilizers in a dark universe that knows only war.  Nebari are a powerful race that maintain the ruse of being a demure, subjugated race within a greater galactic autocracy, but secretly attempt to run everything indirectly through deception, nuance, and treachery.
  • Tau are orderly and loyal to the Ethereals.  Nebari are hedonistic by nature, or sycophantic once 'stabilized.'
The only thing I find in common is the concept of the "Greater Good," but it is implemented differently.  For the Tau it relates to galactic peace through the common purpose and shared values.  To the Nebari it is more of an excuse for zealous and exterminatus-like tactics.

I disagree with the commenter, but I appreciate him reading the blog and reminding me that the site lives --even now, over a year after Adam stopped writing.  I also appreciate the commenter for reminding me of how hot Nebari women are, particularly Chiana, one of the leading actors in the far-fetched series.

There's a photo of Chiana on this page somewhere.  I'm not sure if it was the platinum colored hair, or the perfectly smooth silvery skin, the tight leathery outfits, or her rapid onset self-destructive schitzophrenia that made her so attractive, but I never missed an episode. 

The commenter made me think, and for that I am thankful. 

Adam's original post was intended to explain how the Tau appealed to a specific slice of the wargamer community.  GW wanted to add a race to the collection, and their target was males born in the 70s or 80s who had been influenced by Turrican and Gundam, and the models borrowed a number of aesthetic elements from Robotech and Voltron.  Though released in 2001, the development cycle went back way further than the 1999 release of Farscape.

Ok, So, I have done my part. I posted.  Now what about your part? 

What or who are some of your favorite aliens, and how did they contribute to your love affair with our fishy blue space communists?  Seriously, drop us a line in the comments, maybe a URL to a pic.  Then I will gather it all up and publish a page on the blog.

FYI, one of my favorite alien races of all time are the Cardassians from Star Trek TNG.  The males are calculating, manipulative, and treacherous, and the females  are... well, you know...  beautiful, but disgusting. (come on, work with the pun...)

My favorite STTNG episode was "The Wounded" with Mark Alaimo.  It was political, intriguing, and exceedingly well done, and it encompassed the true nature of the relationship between the Federation and the Cardassians.  On the other hand, "Keeping up with the Kardashians" was pure rubbish.  Easy on the eye, in fact quite pleasant in that regard, but you have to watch it with the volume turned all the way down --otherwise listening to them speak would reveal the stupidity and plasticity endemic to the women and the show, and thus would burn all the goodness of their outward beauty away.

At least Mark Alaimo's plasticity was limited to cosmetic scales and brow ridges for artistic effect.


On another note, well, just some statistics about the blog.  We have 251 posts, 399 followers.  I have deactivated three and archived four that were not about the Tau, which is our main focus.  We have 1390 comments.  Our blog hosts between 800 and 1200 posts per day, with a ten-day average of 879 per day.  Obviously we have more views on the days we actually post something new...  We had 24,961 page views in October, and 1,238,397 in the last 12 months. 

Most of our readers this week are from the United States, The UK, then Mother Russia, then Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, Singapore, and Sweden (in order).  Aside from that one guy in Brazil, South America looks pretty bleak.  Vamos mis hermanos, haz que tus amigos latinos de revisar el sitio... Por el bien comĂșn (for the greater good).

I play Tau, (but that may be because there are no Nebari models available, and they have no rules -at all).


David Drage said...
November 21, 2013 at 3:15 AM  

I disagree with a couple of your bullet points on the differences with the Nebari.

I assume they are togue in cheek but they are worth commenting on!

Tau blue / Nebari Silver - true but the similarity in in the non-standard skintone...

Tau women are ugly - surely that is in the eye of the beholder!

I am sure that GW were influenced by many things when they designed the Tau, and that may well have included the Nebari... Lets face GW are not known for their originality when they design races etc. Just look at the Michael Moorcock influences...

TheGraveMind said...
November 21, 2013 at 4:26 AM  

The Cardassians from deep space nine were one of my favorite of star trek. I'm more of a Starwars guy myself. But zerg and protoss have always held a special place in my heart. (from star craft)

Tim said...
November 21, 2013 at 5:48 AM  

Tau aren't socialistic, nothing in their fluff suggests this. Socialism is typified by the absence of classes and castes, Tau caste system is a foundation of their society.

Narric Techna said...
November 21, 2013 at 1:57 PM  

Here is my semi-long-winded story about how I got into Tau.

I watched Stargate a lot when I was about 10, and around the times of the first few Seasons, SG regularly had sponser ads before and during the show. One of these was Fire Warrior. The game interested me, and when I finally found a copy in stores, I had to buy it. Didn't greatly appreciate it to begin with, but it grew on me. When you don't play games that much it can be hard to play something with a difficult difficulty curve like FW (hey it was difficult to me at 10yrs old :P)
My first introduction was in a GW store here in south west england. Instantly recognised the Tau, but knew nothing of the game and universe they were connected to, despite playing the intro to Fire Warrior numerous times. Was given an introductory game, a box of Fire Warriors and some hobby supplies, and was on my way.

Not the most awe-inspiring tale, but its my tale nontheless :P

Hu Jin Tau said...
November 21, 2013 at 10:08 PM  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hu Jin Tau said...
November 21, 2013 at 10:10 PM  

@ David, yes, my tongue in cheek tends to permeate everything I write. Sometimes it is subtle, othertimes not so much.

Nice to hear from you David...

@ GraveMind, excellent points. Zerglings (more appropriately Hydralisks) and Protoss (but not the dragoons) were great units. I'd love to model some tyranids after the Zerg... I think Protoss would be more Eldar-like.

@ Tim, they are indeed socialistic. Their society may not have yet acquired a state where they are truly communal, but they aspire to the greater good. And within that goal, they function under a philosophy in which the ends justify the means. They seek a greater galactic society in which everyone (and every caste) contributes according to his means, and each member of the society will draw from it according to his or her needs.

There is no thought of individual achievement or exceptionalism, only the greater good. If that's not socialism, nothing is.

@ Narric, Love the Jaffa! Particularly the large serpent and horus guard regalia. And the concept of Primes. Never cared too much for the Ori, but I loved Richard Dean Anderson's portrayal of Colonel O'neil.

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Warhammer Tau is a group of wargamers who feel that they have a little something different to offer other Tau Empire, Kroot, and allied players... even if it's just a starting point for discussion! Our goal is to produce at least one article per week to inform and encourage the Tau and Warhammer gamer community. For the Greater Good, of course!

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