Total i really dont think its feasible or sensical to have been revealed so early. I mean really, say it out loud? I doubt the Tau would even have had that level of technology and THEN develope into the form we know.
It isn't that much different from the canon >.> In canon, warp storms sped up their progress. In DAT, the same thing happens. Your argument against the DAT version works against the canon version just as well.
I swear it was implied that the warp storm sped up the evolution of the Tau...
"Before the Imperium of Man could cleanse the planet of the then-primitive Tau population, a freak Warp Storm occurred and effectively sealed the planet and the surrounding region off from contact with the rest of the galaxy. In the few thousand standard years since, the Tau underwent very rapid technological evolution, emerging as a highly technologically advanced starfaring race just as the Warp Storm dissipated in the 39th Millennium."
Come on, say with a straight face that doesn't imply anything... Even if it doesn't in canon, it could in DAT.
Eh..... Have you seen Star Trek: Enterprise? Your idea is pretty much like the Suliban, the main enemies of the first couple seasons. Not to mention that in 40k, tyranids are the masters of the genes. If they got ahold of engineered DNA, who knows what would happen.
I've had a couple that I think are kinda cool. They aren't completely thought out, but it's a start.
The first was a genetically engineered soldier race that destroyed its creators and established an empire. That empire expanded until the entire galaxy was conquered. Then it pretty much follows what we have for the current Serathi. The biological differences would be huge, since the current form is pretty useless outside of its exoskeleton. Longer lifespans (soldiers live as long as Astartes, upper classes live upwards of a thousand years with a few special cases living even longer) would make for deeper, more interesting characters.
The second idea is closer to the current form than the above. The main difference with his version is that instead of having exoskeletons, they're all cyborgs. Upgrading one's "parts" is a sign of status in their culture. Oh yeah, they have culture too. The best implants are either on the black market, or in the military. The cool thing about the implant idea is that I envision more than one corporation making them, with various models, etc. This is to make characters more interesting, since implants can be a defining point. Someone with cheap implants to compensate for injuries, for example, might've been a mercenary before joining the military. Cheap implant jobs could have side effects, expensive ones could come in sets that work together in some way.
Both of these are pretty big improvements, imo. I haven't thought on the history too much, but once they get to the Milky Way either version could plausibly act in the same way as the current Serathi, with minor variations.
Im interested in the first one. I had a xeno race related to that. Except that they geno-armies ran rampant and the race destroyed itself. So Geno-Soldiers and a Great Rebellion? But how about a hundred year lifespan? Shorter than Astartes.
Nyehhhh I like long life, but I guess it doesn't matter that much.
I picture these guys as opportunists. If they can avoid bloodshed to get what they want, they don't care. They'll try to deal with the Ultramarines before blowing them up. Like "Sup Girlyman, you wanna join with us for some asskicking? No? Well fack you too bro! FIRE THE SUN CANNONS"
That's another thing I wanted to talk to you about. For awesome technology, I was thinking they could make weaponized Dyson spheres. Because how much scarier can you get??? Shooting the power of a star. Awesome. (Note: Since I know you're about to think to yourself "This is silly", the idea for Sun Cannons came from another idea in which the current Serathi would somehow LAUNCH a sun in a direction of their choosing, disrupting gravity and wreaking havoc. This Dyson sphere idea is infinitely less silly)
Then of course you have the xenos themselves. Big bad genetically perfect warriors. I see them keeping other xenos from their galaxy as slaves, since perfection comes hand-in-hand with arrogance and douchebaggery. Eventually they'll start taking Imperial citizens, grots, tau, etc.
Their combat skills exceed those of the Imperium at first, but eventually the Imperium compensates and they become more of a match for them.
Maintaining the numbers of the new Serathi was the issue I concerned myself most with when I was brainstorming today. At first I considered reinforcements from their home galaxy, but then I remembered how exact their opportunity was when they made their move. Steady reinfocements relying on those precise circumstances would be, to borrow one of your phrases, a bit silly.
Instead, I think these guys should have cloning facilities hidden in asteroids, planets, moons, space hulks, etc. The Imperium has to spend resources tracking these places down before they're outnumbered.
Blah. I have more, but I'm out of time. I'll elaborate more tomorrow.
/ Did you say that out loud before posting? Meh, perhaps a super-weapon for a specific campaign. But not firing full scale suns, that is silly and you know it. Perhaps firing super dense bodies of gravitic energy.
I've talked to Tardir, Cal, and my roommate who is hardcore into sci-fi about most of the things I've told you about. As for the Resurgence, Tau have never been one of my strong points as far as 40k knowledge goes, so I'll trust your judgment.