A Shield Generator is a Tau defensive technology that projects a cohesive energy field around its bearer, protecting him from assaults that might otherwise slay him outright by redirecting them away from the projector, dissipating and absorbing an energy blast, or robbing them of all kinetic energy. Shield Generators are employed at varying scales, from infantry-portable versions to the shields that protect Tau starships.
Shield Generators are commonly deployed as a Support System for Tau Battlesuits, and allow the Battlesuit to survive assaults by heavy ordnance and anti-tank weapons fire. Shield Generators can also be mounted on Tau Drones such as Shield Drones and Shielded Missile Drones, which specialise in using the Shield Generator to protect their master. Ethereals sometimes carry small Shield Generators into battle as a form of personal protection, whilst a Drone Sentry Turret can be upgraded to make use of a Shield Generator.
Notable Shield Generator Variants
- Barrier Shield Generator - A Barrier Shield Generator is an especially powerful form of Shield Generator designed to protect against the devastating attacks of enemy Titans. It is used only by KX139 Ta'unar Supremacy Armour.
- Commander Longknife's Variant Shield Generator - Commander Longknife carries an experimental variant of a Shield Generator, which possesses a larger ablative shield and improved protective qualities against enemies in close combat.
- "Eclipse" Shield Generator - The "Eclipse" Shield Generator is an experimental variant of a Shield Generator whose prototype is only wielded by Shas'O Vesu'r R'alai. His "Eclipse" Shield Generator exerts a drain on O'Ralai's XV9 Hazard Battlesuit power capacity, but is able to project a potent defensive energy barrier that is capable of diffracting light much in the same manner as a Stealthsuit's stealth field generator, making the Commander harder to target at long range.
- Energy Shield or Deflector Shield - An Energy Shield, also known as a Deflector Shield, is an especially large Shield Generator most commonly fitted onto the larger Tau aircraft and spacecraft like the Manta and Moray. Strike-modified Orca transports utilised exclusively by XV9 Hazard Battlesuit Swift Protector Wings are also fitted with an Energy Shield. A Deflector Shield is formed by shaping a gravitic field to repel incoming fire. A Deflector Shield does not stop incoming projectiles, but rather its gravitic profile has been shaped and positioned in such a way as to deflect incoming fire. A Deflector Shield's strength grows in proportion to the energy of the assault made against it. Deflector Shields mounted on the prow of some Tau starships work slightly differently, as they shape a vessel's gravitic sheath into a dense wedge which is most effective against incoming fire from the front.
- Miniaturised Shield Generator - Commander Shadowsun's experimental XV22 Stealthsuit is fitted with Miniaturised Shield Generators. Miniaturised Shield Generators provide a lesser degree of protection than a normal Shield Generator.
- MV52 Shield Generator - An MV52 Shield Generator is an experimental variant of the standard Shield Generator currently fitted only on specialised MV52 Shield Drones. It is able to project the most potent energy shields of any type of Tau Shield Generator. During the Battle of Mu’gulath Bay, an MV52 Shield Drone was easily able to shrug off a single Battle Cannon shell that would have otherwise found its mark.
- Ravelin Shield Generator - The Ravelin Shield Generator equipped on XV109 Y'vahra Battlesuits provides similar defensive properties to an XV104's Riptide Shield Generator, except the Ravelin provides better protection against close-ranged firepower and close-combat attacks. Like the Riptide Shield Generator, the Ravelin can also be super-charged via the XV109's Dark Matter Nova Reactor.
- Riptide Shield Generator - A Riptide Shield Generator is an especially large Shield Generator that has been fitted into an XV104 Riptide Battlesuit's ablative shield. Whilst it provides a lesser degree of protection than a normal Shield Generator, it can harness the energy from a Riptide's Dark Matter Nova Reactor to supercharge itself, making the shield near-impervious to enemy attacks.
- Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), pg. 17
- Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), pg. 27
- Codex: Tau Empire (6th Edition), pp. 33, 45, 59, 69
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse (2nd Edition), pg. 84
- Imperial Armour Apocalypse 2, pg. 60
- Imperial Armour Volume Three – The Taros Campaign, pp. 211, 282, 287
- Battlefleet Gothic: Armada, pg. 98
- Battlefleet Gothic: 2010 Compendium, pg. 159
- Forge World Tau Update
- Shas'O R'myr Experimental Rules