|This article is about the conflict, for the short story see The Arkunasha War (Short Story)|
|Outcome||Initial Tau Empire defeat, Arkunasha return later|
|Commander Farsight||Warboss Toofjaw|
In the aftermath of the Damocles Crusade the Tau consolidated their grip over worlds they had wrested from the Imperium's control. Commander O'Shovah rose to power as the preeminent Fire Caste leader during this period, as he led the Tau to great victories on Arkunasha when the newly established colony was threatened by Orks of Waagh! Dok. In the campaign, O'Shovah led Fire Warriors in a masterful defense against many times their own number, using immense canyons and gullies crisscrossing the desert to maximum effect. O'Shovah sent the Ork invaders to chase shadows, constantly boxing off and destroying isolated Greenskin elements. It is here that he earned his famous title Farsight.
The Ork crusade of violence known as Waaagh! Dok appeared in the vicinity of Arkunasha without warning or reason. The void east of the planet had been empty for years. One equinox, a strange solar storm erupted that appeared to make odd symbols in the sky. When it had subsided, the Earth caste sighted something that defied all logic. The eastern void was now dotted with hundreds of energy signatures, each burning off so much radiation they could not possibly be Tau in origin. More disturbing still, every one of them was heading on a collision course with Arkunasha. Weeks later, the planet was facing a full-scale Ork invasion by Warboss Toofjaw. An Ork invasion of vast size descended, slamming giant asteroid fortresses into the planet’s surface. The crudeness of the Ork assault proved to help the Greenskins. The Earth caste’s firing solutions could depressurise or destroy a conventional fleet before it reached orbit, but there was nothing conventional about the greenskin armada. Even the heavy railcannons that bristled from the Tau bio-domes had proven next to useless against the balls of rock and junk hurtling in their direction. More and more Ork craft hurtled out of the sky and crunched into the dunes in a planetfall the Tau took to calling the ghoro’kha, or death hail. Hunter and Defender cadres were scrambled to each crash site, but greenskins seethed out of the impact crater around each fallen asteroid.
By the time Commander Shoh reached Arkunasha's orbit, the planet had already been overrun save a few scattered units and the civilian population was besieged in their bio-domes. O'Shoh was shocked to find that the Orks had made no preparations for Tau reinforcements, as he had yet to properly understand the Ork mindset. O'Shoh had the initial engagements with the Orks reestablish supply routes and test the greenskins defenses, and soon came to understand that the largest Orks seemed to be in command. Better still for O'Shoh, the Greenskins often fought each other in absence of any Tau. Thus over the next year in a period known as the Great Thinning, O'Shoh had his Stealth Battlesuit teams eliminate the largest Orks, setting off a chain reaction that saw the Ork hordes rip themselves apart from the inside. O'Shoh added fuel to the flame by deciphering the Ork language and using Earth Caste comm-projectors to deliver guttural insults that the Greenskins thought had been made by rival warbands. By this point due to his ability to seemingly foresee what the Greenskins were going to do next, O'Shoh had earned the moniker "Commander Farsight".
However despite Farsights machinations, the number of Orks on Arkunasha was actually increasing and they were adapting to the planets harsh sandstorms. Both of these revelations forced Farsight to abandon his assassination campaign as morale plummeted. Farsight made a concentrated study of the Ork psychology in a work known as The Book of the Beast, which was circulated to every Cadre on Arkunasha. Farsight soon came to understand the Orks completely over the next several years of fighting, and adjusted his tactics accordingly. Teams of Fire Warriors drove Orks into a corner that Battlesuits would blast apart, and Pathfinder teams conducted devastating ambushes. After a series of new battlefield successes, the Tau regained the initiative in the war. Farsight was able to ambush an annihilate an enormous Ork vehicle column at the planets equator as Kroot mercenaries were able to adapt themselves to fight the Orks by eating their dead. Soon, the Ork forces were a quarter of their former size.
Massacre at Ghoul's Gorge
A major development in the war began when a major horde of Orks attempted to break through Ghoul's Gorge and use a drill-equipped Stompa to break into the Tau bio-domes. Fortunately for the Tau, Farsight was able to bottleneck them in the gorge. However the battle soon became a disaster when the it became apparent that the Orks possessed Force Fieldss that protected them from all Tau firepower. With the Orks approaching the Bio-domes, Farsight understood that the only way to deal with the Orks was to step inside their force fields and deal with them in close combat - just where the Orks wanted them to be. So began the most disastrous battle yet of the war for the Tau, for each time the Tau moved into an Ork force field, the melee combat saw the Greenskins dominate. After several failed attack, Farsight was forced to order a retreat.
After the defeat, Farsight met personally with Aun'shi, who informed him that the Ethereals had decided to abandon Arkunasha over the next few years, evacuating both troops and civilians. Farsight was now to fight a strictly defensive campaign until this process could be completed. Despite disagreeing with the Ethereal's decision, Farsight reluctantly carried out the order. So it was that over time, the Tau were evacuated from Arkunasha.
However the Fire Caste returned to Arkunasha only a year later. With the Tau gone the Ork Waaagh! had effectively destroyed itself in civil fighting and was now less than a 100th of its original size. With a fresh offensive and careful planning, the Fire Caste made short work of the Orks.
- 1: Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), pg. 14
- 2: Farsight Enclaves - A Codex: Tau Empire Supplement - The Arkunasha War