The T'vaoans, referred by humans as Skirmishers, are a subspecies of the Kig-Yar in the Covenant.

Overview and Background

Skirmishers are of the same species as the more common, lightly-built Jackals, but they are much faster, stronger, can jump higher and are more agile than any ordinary Kig-Yar. In addition, they sport manes of feathers rather than quills. A Skirmisher's voice is more raspy and guttural - this is because they have an expanded voice chamber in their throat. Skirmishers serve as Covenant shock troopers, while the more lightly built Jackals see deployment as dedicated ranger or sniper units. Even so, Skirmishers can be snipers as well. In engagements prior to 2530, mixed units were more common. However, this changed toward the end of the Human-Covenant war.

The Covenant uses Skirmishers as close-range combatants, attacking in packs and using flanking tactics (as opposed to Jackals, who are often used as defensive and long range combatants and assassins). Physically, they seem to be similar to regular Jackals, though in combat they do not wield large rounded energy shields like the Jackals. High-ranking Skirmishers do wear point defense gauntlets or wrist shields, medium-sized ovular shields strapped on to their wrists, to help them deflect bullets and light plasma fire. Their head shape appears to be more avian than their cousins; their skin tone is noticeably darker and not yellowish. They also run much faster than Jackals and can jump incredible heights. Their eyes are yellow with slitted pupils, as opposed to bulbous and pale. They also seem to have a hybrid mouth that seems to be like a beak at the end.

Rank Structure, Weaponry and Equipment




Skirmisher Major Members of this rank have bright orange armor, a helmet, and arm shields. They have more equipment on than any other Skirmisher ranking.
Skirmisher Minor The lowest rank of Skirmisher; members of this rank have black feathers and gray armor.

Gameplay Information


Although they may appear similar to Jackals, they act much different than them. Skirmishers are fast and strafe to avoid fire. They are usually encountered in small groups or apart of larger squads made up of other species.


Due to their speed and manuvering, they can be hard to hit, even at close range. Picking them off from a distance or using effective short-range weapons such as the Shotgun or the SMG, are some of the best ways to handle them.

Developer Information



  • There are actually black Jackals similar in appearance to Skirmishers in Halo: Combat Evolved which also adorned headgear similar to that in Halo 3 and Reach.
  • Skirmishers bear a notable physical resemblance to the Dromaeosaurs and velociraptor.
  • Higher-ranking Skirmishers fight more efficiently than other Kig-Yar and lower ranking Skirmishers. Tactics utilized include constantly strafing targets, and often alternating use of their two point-defense gauntlets to let the other recharge. These gauntlets, while not nearly as large as those that Jackals wield, are used very effectively by Skirmishers to protect themselves.


vde Covenant species in SPV3