One of the first things that I wanted to do was split up the shas'el and shas'o. While I like shas'els, shas'os are supposed to be the utter badasses of the Tau Empire. I wanted them to have true distinction other than just being powerful crisis suits. That task is delegated to the shas'els.
Codex: Tau Empire
All members of the Fire Caste start at the rank of shas'saal, and slowly work there way up to the rank of Shas'el if they are skilled enough to survive. However, mere suvival skills are not enough to be promoted to the rank of Shas'o. It requires a conscious knowledge of the Tau way of war, and the ability to wield it too its full potential. It also requires absolute mastery of battlesuit operation and, most importantly, utter devotion to the Greater Good.
On the battlefield, a Contingent Commander sows destruction to the enemies of the Tau'va wherever his attention turns. Equipped with the latest technology that the Earth Caste has designed, and with a mastery of battlesuit mechanics, the Contingent Commander is ranged combat leviathan, making all enemies wary of approaching him. In addition, they have the most advanced combat control systems of the Tau. These include the Command and Control Node, and possibly the Positional Relay, both which give the Tau Shas'os unparalleled tactical control over the flow of the Tau forces. It is this that has made facing a High Commander truly devastating to the enemy.
Shas'os are not really born. They are made. Once promoted to the rank of Shas'el, they may either choose to stay at this rank and guide the cadre they have always known to victory, or to face the hardships of learning to use multiple cadres during grand campaigns. Only through successful victory does a Shas'el even get consideration for the promotion to Shas'o, and even then, final decision rests with the Ethereals.
When a Shas'el has succeeded every trial his mentor has set before him, and recommendation is sent to the Ethereal accompanying the cadre. If the recommendation is accepted, the Ethereal will assign the aspiring Shas'o one more task to accomplish. The Aun himself will take to the field of battle to watch the Shas'el, watching every move with an intensity that only the Ethereals can do. Once the battle is over, and the objective was complete in no uncertain terms, the Ethereals will grant the esteemed rank of Contingent Commander.
Once given this rank, a Shas'o will be put in charge of their original cadre, and at least two others, forming a contingent. From here on, the three cadres (possibly more) will operate together to perform the missions designated by the Ethereals for the Greater Good. It is a fearful sight indeed to know that a Tau Contingent Commander is on the battlefield, because it means that the Tau will stop at nothing to achieve their goal.
Contingent Commander (Tau: Shas'o) 100 points
Shas'o (WS 4, BS 6, S 5, T 4, W 4, I 3, A 4, Ld 10, Sv 3+/4+ inv)
Unit Composition: 1 Contingent Commander.
Unit Type: Jump infantry (jet pack).
XV-8 Crisis Battlesuit
Command and Control Node
Hard-wired Shield Generator
Battlesuit Master: Normally, when a weapon on an XV8 Crisis battlesuit is chosen twice, it is twin-linked. However, a High Commander may choose two of the same weapon system and use them as separate weapons. Note that the High Commander pays the full points for two separate weapons, not the twin-linked price. This may only be used for weapons that have the option to be twin-linked.
Crisis Suit Combat Systems:
A shas'o must select three Combat Systems from the following list (some weapons may be taken twin-linked, and use the second cost listed, taking up two hardpoints):
A Drone Controller for Free
A Multi-tracker of Target Lock for 5 pts
A Positional Relay for 10 pts
A Burst Cannon or Flamer for 5 pts / 10 pts
A Fusion Blaster or Heavy Flamer for 10 pts / 15 pts
A Plasma Rifle or Missile pod for 15 pts / 20 pts
A Rail Repeater for 15 pts
A Cyclic Ion Blaster or Airbursting Fragmentation Projector for 20 pts
A Fire Support Relay System for 25 pts
A hard-wired Drone Controller for Free
A hard-wired Multi-tracker for 5 pts
A hard-wired Target Lock for 5 pts
A Defensive Suit for 10 pts
An Ejection System for 10 pts
Stimulant Injectors for 10 pts
Iridium Armour for 20 pts
If a High Commander has a drone controller, he must select 1 to 2 drones from the following list:
A Gun Drone (may be taken twice per controller): 10 pts
A Shield Drone (may be taken twice per controller): 10 pts
A Marker Drone (may be taken twice per controller): 20 pts
A Failsafe Drone (may be taken once per controller): 20 pts
PS Please tell me about any typos!!!!