Book Review: The Kauyon

September 26, 2015 ·

"The Kauyon" was written by Andy Smillie and narrated by Toby Longworth.  This review is for the short audiobook, not the campaign book released in 2015.

Synopsis (SPOILERS)

Kauyon is the account of a single Tau pathfinder who is the survivor of a team assigned to assassinate the leader of an Human garrison.  The Imperials include countless guardsmen (Cadians) and a tactical squad of Imperial Fists space marines, all under the command of a techmarine.  

Kal'va is currently alone, but was originally part of a sniper team of three assigned to kill the techmarine.  He has a couple of flashbacks to the deaths of his teammates  O'Shara and Sas'lah and to the taliserra ritual that bound them together.  Sas'lah died helplessly due to a foolish mistake, and Kal'vas died killing five space marines with rail guns and sniper drones before he came to his untimely demise.

After his team is savagely murdered, Kal'va is released from the assassination mission, and assigned to monitor a convoy heading for the compound. It is comprised of three tanks, four armoured transports and a couple of walkers.  The types were never specified, but since guardsmen and marines were embarked, well, your guess is as valid as mine...  Kal'va decides to delay the convoy because he now seeks vengeance for the deaths of of his team mates, and believes the techmarine who personally killed O'shara is in one of the transports.

Kal'va is armed with a rail rifle, a markerlight, a drone controller, and a bonding knife with a markerlight embedded in the handle.   He also has an amazing assortment of drones at his disposal.  He uses recon drones hidden in the clouds to identify targets extensively, then a group of shield drones to deceive the convoy into taking on a perceived armoured squadron.  

He then uses heavy gun drones to attack a couple of walkers, and self-destructs a gun drone to complete his ruse.  These drones are in addition to the sniper drones he has strategically deployed around the battlefield. His extensive use of drones make him a combination of pathfinder and firesight marksman -separate roles in teh actual game. 

Anyway, Tal'va discovers which vehicle the techmarine is in, and calls down six seeker missiles from a nearby SkyRay to take the other vehicles out.  In the process, he kills four more space marines and a boatload of guardsmen.  Kal'va should have died a couple of times, but luck intervened.  The Tau then uses two sniper drones to take down the last space marine (the techmarine's meat shield), the energy shield, and his last round to crack the armoured breatsplate, but it is not enough.  

The techmarine survives and goes through the evil monologue thing just before Kal'va finds a creative way to kill him.  Much like in the tabletop game, space marine HQs are damn near impossible to kill. 

Included on the recording is a second story of Kal'va after his promotion to a crisis team.  His new team is to hold off an ork attack on a research facility for five minutes while an earth caste team recovers some objective.  The countdown starts with his team jumping in and a gory account of the battle ensues.  His two new teammates dead, and almost out of ammo, the counter switches to "four."  

This fifteen minute recording is possibly better than some of the space marine books I have read, and unfortunately, I can never get those wasted hours back.  Kal'va dies horribly, like all fire warriors do, but I was happy that he died with his fire caste honor intact.


Kal'va manages to complete both his mission and his need for revenge just in the nick of time, which makes this an exciting "read."  My favorite part is where after an ethereal questions Tal'va over the revenge issue, he tells Tal'va that there is no shame in revenge so long as its outcomes align with the greater good.  

I also appreciated how Toby Longworth was able to produce voices that were passable Tau.  They has that old asian sage sound mixed with the trade federation guys.  Very believable.

I mentioned all of the drone business because I want to do that on the tabletop.  Imagine a team of three guys with a dozen drones of various types at their disposal...  The possibilities are endless.  This, by the way is where I got the idea for one of my wishlist suggestions in a previous post.

Both stories are excellent, I give Kauyon a 9 (out of 10) because the story moves too far away from the fluff and doctrine.  Pathfinders are not the drone masters that firesight marksmen are.  Nor does a markerlight fit in the handle of a taliserra blade.  

On top of that, I had to go back several times and try to figure out what happened to a couple of the transports.  There were seven plus the two walkers, but he only destroyed six vehicles..."leaving one." Great story, and exceptionally well done, just a little off.

Kauyon is about 60 minutes, and Tau'Va is another 15 minutes.  Too short, because i wanted so much more.

Tau'Va gets a solid 10.  It's that good.

I play Tau.


Wadmaasi said...
September 27, 2015 at 1:05 PM  

Am I blind or is there no link on where to check this out?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Join us on Google Plus

Join us on Google Plus
Join the WT community on Google Plus

About Warhammer Tau

Warhammer Tau is a group of wargamers who feel that they have a little something different to offer other Tau Empire, Kroot, and allied players... even if it's just a starting point for discussion! Our goal is to produce at least one article per week to inform and encourage the Tau and Warhammer gamer community. For the Greater Good, of course!

Who's Watching?

Tau Army Tactics
  • XV-805 Commander
  • Skyray
  • Devilfish
  • Coming Soon:
  • Ethereals
  • Commander Farsight
  • Commander Shadowsun
  • Riptide Battlesuits
  • Crisis Battlesuits
  • Stealth Suits
  • Fire Warriors
  • Pathfinders
  • Piranha
  • Broadside Battlsuits
  • Sniper Drones
  • Hammerhead
Books About the Empire

Favorite Blogs

Non-Tau Blogs

  • Saim Hann Progress Update - Ok, update! The Saim Hann army has grown a bit. I have purchased three Warp Hunters and two Dark Eldar Jetfighters (I really do not like the Crimson Hunter...
    2 years ago
  • The 5th Crusade - This blog will document the Black Templars 5th Crusade. Here's my narrative. In 41399, Elements of the Black Templars were dispatched to the Kybiss sector ...
    3 years ago
  • The Gates Open... - So like most people, I have a couple of armies. This blog is for my chaos armies. I never really planned on being a Chaos player, in fact, 5th edition da...
    3 years ago