I have gotten your request for information regarding the recently encountered alien race
known as the Tau. I am happy to oblige, and present this report, explaining the vehicles
employed by the Tau, as the first in a series of detailed reports.
So far, we have seen two Tau vehicles using the same basic chassis, the Devilfish and the
Hammerhead. This chassis is sturdy and well armoured, as well as having a sleek design
that both enhances speed and aids in the deflection of weapons fire directed at the
vehicle's fore and sides. With plenty of space, the chassis allows a lot of flexibility in
Locomotive power for the Devilfish and Hammerhead, as with all other Tau vehicles, is
provided by a series of engines that provides elevated movement. This movement is not the
result of an advanced anti-gravity engine, but instead is the result of a series of
'hover' engines. While not being able to provide the same speed seen in an anti-gravity
engine, the cushion of air used to lift the vehicle and keep it elevated has its own
advantages. First, all engines can be turned downward to provide lift for the vehicle,
allowing quick vertical take offs and landings. Once the vehicle is off the ground, the
rear-most engines swivel in a ball socket to face aft, providing ample thrust to propel
the vehicle forward at a rapid pace. In the event that the vehicle needs extra speed and
can sacrifice a great deal of altitude, other rear engines can be rotated slightly to the
aft, providing some extra thrust while reducing the overall lift. Should the vehicle need
to make a quick ascent, for any reason, it can rotate all engines to race downward and
generate a massive amount of lift in just a few short seconds, effectively
"bouncing" the vehicle upwards.
All Tau vehicles based on this chassis (hereafter referred to as the Tau Basic Chassis, or
TBC) have two built-in housing units to carry drones, either shield or weapon. These
drones will be discussed in detail in a later report. For now, it is sufficient to say
that they provide a great aid to the Tau vehicle in terms of support.
The TBC is also able to carry a number of upgrades. These upgrades range from missile
launching systems, to shield generators, and other offensive and defensive hardware. I
will go into more detail in a later report.
The first vehicle encountered by our forces that was based on the TBC is the Devilfish.
This is an armoured personnel carrier designed to carry eleven Tau and their equipment.
The passenger compartment uses up a great deal of the vehicle's space, minimizing
firepower. Two side hatches and a large rear hatch allow quick deployment from the
passenger compartment, made easier by the hover engines' ability to hold in one
position for extended periods of time. The Devilfish's armament consists only of a single
burst cannon mounted under the vehicle's nose on a swivel mount. The burst cannon is
effectively a high powered multi-barreled laser, able to cycle quickly and provide a high
rate of fire with potent lasers.
The other vehicle we have encountered based on the TBC is the Hammerhead. This vehicle is
designed only as a moderate weapons platform. Its main armament is always either a rail
gun or an ion cannon. Due to immense space requirements for the rail gun's ammunitions and
loading/feeding systems and the ion cannon's power generators and gas storage chambers,
these is no room for any passengers, ruling out use of the vehicle as a transport. The
weapon most often associated with the Hammerhead, the rail gun, is a long barreled gun
that is lined with several powerful magnetic accelerators. When the weapon is fired, these
accelerators come online and begin to apply massive amounts of magnetic pull to the
weapon's ammunition. A large shell is rapidly pulled down the vehicle's barrel, then
encounters an extreme shift in magnetic polarity, expelling the shell from the vehicle
with high velocity and force. The rail gun uses two forms of ammunition. These include
hollow point shells, which explode on impact and rain shrapnel upon an area, or solid
shells, which impact a target with such force that even the strongest armour is penetrated
as if it were mere paper. The Hammerhead's other weapon, the ion cannon, is not so
devastating in its effect, but it is still powerful enough to cause damage to any target.
The ion cannon uses gas that is ionized in a special chamber and then expelled toward a
target. The ionization gives the gas explosive force, which is pushed outward upon impact
with a target, allowing a wide area to be affected to some extent.
The third vehicle encountered by our forces is not based on the TBC. This vehicle is known
as the Barracuda. It is a heavier weapons platform than the Hammerhead. The Barracuda is
designed with a more powerful hover engine system, combined with an actual anti-gravity
system. Its surface contours allow it to sustain a decent speed while moving through the
air. The Barracuda's armament consists of a forward-mounted ion cannon, two
side-mounted burst cannons, and a set of belly-mounted missile racks. The Barracuda seems
better equipped to take out groups of infantry than to harm vehicles, though the ion
cannon and missiles are more than capable of damaging vehicles faced by the Barracuda.
I hope this report has helped you better understand the Tau vehicles. I am certain we will
see more Tau vehicles in the future, and so I will update this report when necessary with
APPENDIX I: Resources
This report was compiled from observations made from battlefield holos, testimony recorded
during debriefings of soldiers, and a number of scavenged Tau vehicles. The most extensive
source of Tau vehicle scrap came from the Battle at Tyr Gorth, known to some as the
Slaughter in the Plains. In that particular battle, a large force of Tau was caught
unexpected by Imperial Guardsmen from the Pryian III who had signed a treaty with the Tau.
The Pyrians launched an all-out assault on the Tau, downing several vehicles quickly
before the Tau had a chance to recover their senses and retreat. This allowed us to have a
large stockpile of Tau vehicle parts with which we could base our reports.
APPENDIX II: Images
Appended to this report you will find some images recorded from battlefield observation
equipment. These images give you a rough idea of what the Tau vehicles are like in size
and form. They are very useful for helping our forces distinguish between the
different types of Tau vehicle, as well as aiding in familiarization with the locations of
key weapons points.
Your obedient servant,
Magos Biologis Justov Thon