People of Interest

Shas’el Ko’vash

Warhammer 40K blog

Shas’el Ko’vash

Shas’el Ko’vash is a Tau commander who was dismissed—with some controversy—in 737.M41 as commander of  Hunter Cadre IV on Al’gel II.

Widely considered a steady and competent military commander, Ko’vash served with distinction in the early days of the Arkunasha Campaign against the be’gel (orks).

In 734.M41, he was promoted to Shash’el and given command of the newly designated Hunter Cadre IV of Kavall Kasi Or’es (Battlegroup Powerful Skill), which then was being formed to lead the invasion of the ork-held Al’gel System.

Once the invasion was launched, Hunter Cadre IV remained in orbit over Al’gel II for several Kai’rotaa (months) as the initial landing stalled in the face of immense ork opposition—and there simply was no room for the hunter cadre to land, let alone deploy for combat duty.

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Although Pathfinders warned Ko’vash that ork forces were building up in front of his command, the Tau commander was unable to convince High Command to reinforce his front. He ultimate paid the price for Bloodsword’s miscalculation.

The unit finally landed on 6.201 736.M41, as reinforcements to support Commander Bloodsword’s successful breakout from the invasion perimeter—a campaign that eventually seized nearly half of the Al’gel II’s largest continent.

During this period, Ko’vash proved a thoughtful, if conservative, commander, minimizing casualties while advancing in the face of fierce ork resistance. As with the rest of the Tau army, his hunter cadre ultimately settled into defensive positions in mid-736.M41 as Bloodsword ordered a regrouping.

On 6 321 737.M41, Ko’vash’s command was attacked by a sizable mechanized ork force under the command of a cunning and aggressive warlord known only as “Greenclaw.” [Greenclaw launches assault on Tau)

The attack was not a total surprise—pathfinders had warned of an ork buildup—but the assault’s scope and ferocity was unanticipated. Tens of thousands of ork infantry, walkers, and trukks slammed into Hunter Cadre IV and, through sheer weight of numbers, broke through the lines.

Over the course of the next dozen Rotaa (human equivalent of days), Ko’vash engaged in a hard-fought battle, struggling to salvage his shattered and retreating command against heavy odds. A lack of air support, coupled with difficulty in communicating with his retreating troops, made it nearly impossible to regroup and form a coherent defense against the heavily mechanized ork force that faced him.

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The fire warriors under Ko’vash’s command fought bitterly to slow down the massive ork attack that nearly shattered Hunter Cadre IV.

Despite the odds—and with the fortunate obstacle created by the muddy-bottomed Stah’la River—Ko’vash finally managed to stymie the ork attack, which turned away from his command and assailed Hunter Cadre V. His forces played a small but useful role in the Tau counterattack that ended the ork menace in the Juegan Hills.

Despite successful salvaging his command, Ko’vash ultimately was dismissed from service. He was one of a number of officers purged after Greenclaw’s attack, although several commanders came to Ko’vash’s defense.

But, while acknowledging the failure of High Command to identify the impending ork attack, Bloodsword would not be dissuaded from his decision. He insisted that Ko’vash and other dismissed commanders had fallen short in their response. Their mistakes did not warrant a loss of rank, he added, but they did deserve rebuke—and Bloodsword was within his rights to assign officers to command in whom he had more confidence.

Although deeply offended by the rebuke, Ko’Vash has defended his actions—and insisted he will continue to serve the Greater Good as best he can.

After his dismissal, Ko’vash returned to Dal’yth Sept and subsequently was assigned as a reserve officer to Tau forces engaged in the Yaisdra Campaign. He left on a transport for Yaisdra IX soon after, and his current location is unknown.

The picture of the Tau in the grass is titled “Tau Tropic Thunder,” and is courtesy of Eric Tan (thevampiredio on the DeviantArt webiste). Click here to see more of his work.

The picture of the Tau in battle is titled, “Pathfinder,” and is courtesy of Russell Ng (artofrussell on the DeviantArt website). Click here to see more of his work.

TheGM: I couldn’t resist. Although there are any number of recurring “heroes” in this campaign, the dismissal of Ko’vash seemed inevitable after reading about World War II’s Battle of the Bulge.

I learned of several officers who endured a horrific tactical fight during the Bulge—and through herculean efforts managed to keep their commands together—yet they were dismissed as victory finally came to U.S. forces. This is my nod to their hard work—and the injustice that can befall an officer in any military defeat.

I also decided to treat Ko’vash cruelly as a surprise to Chris, the GM of the Yaisdra Campaign. He certainly doesn’t have to use Ko’vash in his campaign, but I like some “back and forth” between our campaigns, so shipping him this disgraced Tau officer strikes me as a “hoot.”

The Corvus Cluster is a Warhammer 40K blog documenting our adventures in the fantastical sci-fi universe of Games Workshop.



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