Commander is the Imperial translation of a Tau rank. The Tau rank includes two grades, Shas'o and Shas'el. Both ranks indicate the authority to lead a Hunter Cadre. Usually Commanders go to battle in a Crisis Battlesuit. Tau Commanders differ in doctrine depending on their Sept of origin. Commanders hailing from Vior'la, Tash'var, and Kel'shan are noted for their personal kills while those from Elsy'eir and T'olku are known to be more cerebral in nature.
- Shas'o redirects here. For the anthology, see Shas'o (Anthology).
A Shas'o is the highest rank in the Tau army which a Fire Warrior can attain. Becoming a Shas'o means going through several Trials By Fire and progressing up the ranks from Shas'la to Shas'ui to Shas'vre, then becoming a member of another commander's bodyguard, to Shas'el and then finally to Shas'o. After becoming a Shas'o, the only remaining option is to either teach at an academy, become a military advisor to the Shas'ar'tol or join in politics and be on one of the many councils in the Tau Empire. Besides death, this is the only way a member of the Fire Caste can leave the Tau military.
Some Shas'o wear armour with inverted colour schemes. For instance, O'Shaserra and O'Kais both wore white armour with sept markings picked out in yellow, the reverse of the regular T'au Sept's colour scheme. O'Shovah is another example of this. Whether this is the norm for Shas'o is unknown.
Shas'el is the second highest rank which a Tau Fire Warrior can attain. A Shas'el usually only gains the rank after years of training and battle experience. A Shas'el will usually command smaller engagements of small Cadres leaving full Cadre and multi-Cadre actions to a full Shas'o.
Notable Tau Commanders
- Dawnstrike, the Desert Beast[8a]
- O'Kais, The Living Weapon
- O'Ka'tu, Commander Moonblade
- O'Shalas, Commander Swiftflame
- O’Sharrek, Commander Darkwind (See also his quote)
- O'Shaserra, Commander Shadowsun
- O'Shovah, Commander Farsight
- O'Ta'Sar, Commander Sternshield
- O'var, Commander Brightsword
- R'myr, Commander Longknife
- R'th - see his quote
- Shien, Commander Swiftwing
- Starshrike - Sa'cea Sept
- Suam Eldi, Commander Flamewing
- Vorsheem - Shas'O, fought with the greenskins. See also his quote
- V'ors L'ar
- Wise Hunter[8a]
- 1: Codex: Tau (3rd Edition), [Needs Citation]
- 2: Codex: Tau Empire (4th Edition), [Needs Citation]
- 3: Games Workshop
- 4: Codex: Tau Empire (6th Edition) pg.57
- 5: Strategy Cards for Planetary Empires expansion game, card "Sensor Array - Minor Stratagem", (saved archive page, dated February 2011, last accessed 6 October 2015)
- 6: Strategy Cards for Planetary Empires expansion game, card "Ambush - Minor Stratagem", (saved archive page, dated February 2011, last accessed 7 October 2015)
- 7: White Dwarf 91 (2015), Tau Empire Commander
- 8: Codex: Tau Empire (7th Edition)
- 9: White Dwarf 92 (2015) - Armies on Parade 2015
- 10: [GW - Medusa V Campaign (save archive page, dated March 2007, last accessed 7 August 2019)
- 11: Redemption on Dal'yth (Short Story)
- 12: Warhammer 40,000 9th Edition Rulebook pg.171
- 13: White Dwarf December 2019, pg. 90
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