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View Full Version : Why do tyranids need special characters?



Dragonbourn
26-03-2009, 01:25
So I have not been playing tyranids very long but I must say that I love the army and this recent codex isn't half bad either. The one thing that I have been hearing is that people would like special characters in the tyranid army and I don't see why.

I love the idea that they are a very alien species that doesn't work like the other armies and agree to the layout of this codex that they don't have special characters. I mean I can see them making more specialized units/models such as the warriors/zoanthropes and the hive tyrant being able to control the army better or give some special abilities like the broodlord does.

I think that the next dex that comes out should have some newer more interesting units but I don't think that it should have special characters because to tyranids they are all a part of the collective consciousness and no individual is "special".

Anyone have any thoughts on the matter?

I looked to see if this discussion existed and could not find one so if I missed it I apologize a head of time.

sic
26-03-2009, 01:30
I agree. I used Old one Eye for a bit when he was around but mainly as a bullet sink so the rest of my army would be ok.

I play Nids as a counter point to my marine army, the marines are all about heroics and dedication whereas IMO the Nids are just doing what they've been breed to do, namely devour.

I like the fact the nids feel like a nameless horde of destruction and having characters doesnt really fit with that.

Dragonbourn
26-03-2009, 01:41
Exactly my point, they are a gigantic hoard that comes crashing down on a world and devours it like locusts and then moves on to devour the next world. They have no one individual that stands out above the rest but all work together to perform a common goal.

I actually use tyranids in much the same way as a counter point army for the exception that my main army is chaos.

I hope that in the next codex they decide not to put any special characters in because then it will just feel like every other codex that is out now. That is why I chose them as my second army, because they are different than all the rest and it feels like I am actually playing a different army.

axabrax
26-03-2009, 01:45
I can see Genestealer Cult characters, but I agree otherwise it's just too much personality for a Hive Mind race. I guess maybe I could see some really big creatures being tough enough to gain a reputation amongst the 'Nids enemies after a few campaigns, but it would be meaningless to the Nids themselves. The truth is that it's a balance issue--other armies get them, so we are at a disadvantage if we don't get them too...

Dragonbourn
26-03-2009, 02:03
I don't think that we would really be at a disadvantage if, instead of special characters, they allow special biomorphs or some other upgrade but at a limited quantity.

For example if they allow one hive tyrant in an army to take a biomorph that doubles the range of synapse, and under that synapse give all units with a model in range furious charge (for lack of an original idea, but you get my point). They can do that with any of the HQ/warrior/zoanthrope unit that can take synapse.

Or in the case of the broodlord, or like creature that they make in the future, any unit that they are attached to. You could even go as far to say that if the broodlord and his retinue are in an army comprised of more than 50% genestealers then that one broodlord in an army can take a special biomorph that gives all stealers in an army some ability.

You could just go the way of making them different just like you can now but they are just the same base creature that they where before. They just have a slightly different layout.

redbaron998
26-03-2009, 02:12
Well they could do characters, but not named.

Like one "Character" could be that new plastic Tygon, and another could be a Genesteelers Partiarch or something.

So they could have special characters representing big or unqie creatures, but not named.

Kronos
26-03-2009, 02:15
what about tyranids that have been killed already ?

like in whfb there are special charcters which are dead according to the timeline, then perhaps there could be notable tyranid creatures which have been fought during envasions of past hive fleets.

for example the leviathan hunter, some special type of lictor.

The kraken lord, some very powerful hive tyrant.

the behemoth ancient, very old very durable carnifex from hive fleet behemoth.

mattschuur
26-03-2009, 02:19
Nid Special characters could work if done right. If their background is portrayed as a multi-battle hopping individual then no, it'll suck. But, if they are portrayed as specific say, breeds of carnifex's, lictors, ravenor's etc., then they could be cool. Or specific special broods.

Say for example they make a special genestealer unit that portrays the Ymagrl genestealers or a rare Carnifex biomorph that sprouts a special weapon and terrorized the battlefield on a planet. If they keep the fluff narrowed down to a specific event in which they are encountered and don't portray them as actual thinking "characters", just a special mindless beast, they could work.

matt schuur

holmcross
26-03-2009, 03:12
Nid Special characters could work if done right. If their background is portrayed as a multi-battle hopping individual then no, it'll suck. But, if they are portrayed as specific say, breeds of carnifex's, lictors, ravenor's etc., then they could be cool. Or specific special broods.

Say for example they make a special genestealer unit that portrays the Ymagrl genestealers or a rare Carnifex biomorph that sprouts a special weapon and terrorized the battlefield on a planet. If they keep the fluff narrowed down to a specific event in which they are encountered and don't portray them as actual thinking "characters", just a special mindless beast, they could work.

matt schuur

This is similar to my idea.

As I've always understood it, Tyranids creates, after a battle, all jump into a giant digestion pools along with all the planet's digested biomass. The mixture is then sucked up into the giant hive ships and used to create new Tyranids later on.

A special character could be an especially brutal and unexpected mutation in a specific type, so effective that it's genome is stored and the individual is then cloned and sent down to the battlefield.

Of course, the obvious question is: "Why wouldn't they just build the superior model as the standard from there on out, since its just the genetic code that limits nids, not the abudence of raw material?" This is true, but a little suspension of disbelief, or perhaps some kind of gap filling fluff could take care of it. Maybe there is some trace amounts of a material needed to create the special strain, so Tyranids are limited to only a few at a time (they'd still be 0-1 for purposes of the battle, though).

The individual tyranid could then become a latent psionic signature in the collective hive mind, one that effectively tranmists information directly to the unique Tyranid, essentially giving tyranids a "special character"

For BSG fans, think Scar, the uniqe Cylon Raider they faced. Thats kinda my general idea.

The Orange
26-03-2009, 04:10
I donno, I would at the least like fluff on some tyranid creatures of renown, at the very least tied into to specific tyranid builds available in the codex. Like if certain tyrants seems particular destructive or aggressive. You know, some story about how some Hive tyrant has been seen at the forefront of several engagements and has garnered a specific reputation in the Imperium.

shabbadoo
26-03-2009, 04:17
That's how the other unique Tyranids worked- Ol' One Eye, the Red Horror.

Sure there could be special tyranids that get sucked back up from a planet rather than rendered down. Tyranids with memeories would fluff-wise be much scarier than those without- particulalry if you go with a Zoat angle where they are more than just slightly intelligent.

Great_Destroyer
26-03-2009, 04:22
I wouldn't think of them as special characters, but more or less that they a carnifex or what ever that as been seen around alot and has some kind of special marking or biomorph that every one that has seen it knows of the horror stories of it and no one has yet to kill it in the invasion.

Just my take on them.

sabre4190
26-03-2009, 04:33
The only kind of unique tyranids I can think of is an especially bizzare mutation. Thats the only way something can be unique: dumb chance. Even then, I wouldnt really call them characters, as they would then pass their DNA back to the digestion pool, where it would start producing that violent beast again.

sabre4190
26-03-2009, 04:34
Although the Red Terror was pretty awesome, I will say that. That how they can work, if they are legendary creatures in their own right.

Devil Tree
26-03-2009, 09:29
I donít see why the Hive mind couldnít preserve the unique memories and genetic structure of a specific creature. Not everything can be replicated by genes alone, some exceptional individuals just rise above the rest, and even the hive mind can have difficulty figuring out how to create more of them. Doctors havenít found anything special about Einsteinís brain and most of the kids that come from genius sperm donors have been found to have pretty average intelligence.

Mojaco
26-03-2009, 10:52
Their intelligence = the hive mind. Others are just wild beast which have a hard time being smarter/more creative/more furious then the hive mind.

whitewolfmxc
26-03-2009, 11:54
Have any of you guys read the 3ed Tyranid codex ??? the only special characters that were added were "Left overs" of unsuccessful Tyranid invasions or experiments by the Tyranid themselves that themselves think they were not good enough to be brough back to the gene pool so they abandoned them

how does these not make any sense ?

but yes , these can be specific species more than individuals (well old one eye is still awesome even if his unique XD)

NightrawenII
26-03-2009, 12:08
Im not sure but wasnt Death Leaper hunted by tyranid swarms on Medusa V for his unique genes??

Metaphorazine
26-03-2009, 12:26
Maybe instead of special characters, make it so you choose which models count as troops. You could choose either gaunts & gargoyles, genestealers, or MC's. Would represent different phases in the infestation of a planet, and they'd balance nidzilla a bit better if they made it an explicit option. :D

Slaaaaaanesh
26-03-2009, 12:35
Although the Red Terror was pretty awesome, I will say that. That how they can work, if they are legendary creatures in their own right.

Totally agree, call them legendary creatures rather than special characters. Representing nids that were evolved to an extreme specialisation of a role, and those horrendous creatures are mentioned in stories in Imperial guard camps etc.

Logarithm Udgaur
26-03-2009, 13:00
Doctors havenít found anything special about Einsteinís brain and most of the kids that come from genius sperm donors have been found to have pretty average intelligence.

Fun fact: Intelligence is passed along in the female line.

I think the special characters that existed in the past where cool. The all (AFAIR) were one time mutations that got cut off from the main fleet, so it made sense for them to be somewhat unique. Interestingly enough, with the biomorphs currently available it is possible to recreate Ol' One Eye.

loveless
26-03-2009, 14:20
Seeing as how they don't really list "Special Character" anywhere...all they have to do is put in Old One Eye, Red Terror, Death Leaper, etc. etc. and add the little "Unique: You may only have one [name] in your army."

The ideal thing would be to have them open up different builds.
Old One Eye could give you your Elite Carnifexes, Red Terror could buff Raveners, etc. etc.