PDA

View Full Version : Original Tyranids



Ulchishy
24-11-2010, 14:59
Hi guys . I have read something about old Tyranids fluff , informations that have now become obsolete . It said that Tyranids were actually sentient aliens , masters in the art of genetic engineering , that created armies of bio-constructs . So they were civilized aliens rather than being a super-predator guided by a collective mind as they are now . Can anyone give me more informations about this ? Thank you very much .

Bingo the Fun Monkey
24-11-2010, 18:32
Nobody in an unconsumed galaxy would know. Not even Andy Chambers.

Pontiff
24-11-2010, 19:49
yup

In the old RT days the tyranids were just *very* alien but capable of more conventional thought and design. Races like the zoats were slave races and tyranid warriors (they were more like termagaunts than todays warriors) had to equal them in number on the battlefield.

I'm pretty sure there was no 'hive mind' concept with RT era tyranids until about white dwarf 145. At that point genestealers had been introuduced and seeded in (no pun intended) as scouts for the hive worlds... then you had genestealer cults springing up on worlds about to be hit and it all starts to slowly morph into the current background story... the notable deviation was early tyranid armies could incorporate the cults in their actual battleplan (rather than just eating them on arrival) and field cultist units, magos etc etc. Even stranger to bulk out an army that at them time had about seven models designed to actually be in it (four zoats, two metal 'hunter slayers' and a carnifex) you could also field 'mind slave' squads of chaos marines and the like..:)

massey
24-11-2010, 21:24
Hi guys . I have read something about old Tyranids fluff , informations that have now become obsolete . It said that Tyranids were actually sentient aliens , masters in the art of genetic engineering , that created armies of bio-constructs . So they were civilized aliens rather than being a super-predator guided by a collective mind as they are now . Can anyone give me more informations about this ? Thank you very much .

That's not outdated. It still applies today.

Tyranids are sentient, at least some of them. Basically anything that's a Synapse creature is intelligent. They understand tactics and strategy. They can think and plan. A Hive Tyrant could probably beat you at chess if it cared to play.

Tyranids are masters of genetic engineering, at least some of them. Norn Queens custom engineer all sorts of weird creatures for battle. And a carnifex is a bio-construct.

None of that means that they sat around the lab in white coats with test tubes.

Lord Fatwa
24-11-2010, 21:56
Ah, the memories of the Genestealer Cult limousine come flooding back... :evilgrin:

That thing was bad ass.

As far as I can recall, the idea of the Hive Mind only really took shape with the 2nd Edition codex. Prior to that, which is stretching into my deep, dark, prepubescent memory, which is long ago, I think they had complete autonomy as individuals and could more or less do their own thing as units on the tabletop. The models also implied that their weapons weren't as biologically linked to them as they are now; holding guns and swords as opposed to growing them.

Pontiff
24-11-2010, 22:22
White Dwarf 145 has the first RT tyranid list outside of the incredibly random one in the core rulebook. It's got the first rules for hive mind synapse creatures and lesser creatures being cut off from it.

http://www.gamehobby.net/white_dwarf_magazine/white_dwarf_145.html

I only know that because I tend to use exclusively Rogue Trader minis and rules these days and i use the stats in that list for my zoats and hunter-slayers.

ramshackle_curtis
08-12-2014, 09:40
Well, the way the story part of the thing goes is that the imperium knows little about the Nids, but as it learns more, so the background advances. Also, as the nids lose battles against the denizens of our galaxy, they adapt. Plus as well species vary between hive fleets. SO the early sculpts represent early orgaisms that reached our galaxy. As they drop out of production this represents them "evolving". So the same goes for how the imperium sees the race. Early on, the old "fluff" is really just what the imperial scholars THOUGHT, and may have learned more since. Maybe they simply believd that the nids were genetically bred by a race like their own, or like eldar/tau etc. Ie rational, thinking race, who knew good and evil. Turns out the hive mind is more like some kind of super intelligent eating machine, who could be nice and have a chat and make organisms that cooperate, but cant really see the point and simply doesnt chat wit it's food.

THe way I see it is that any pubished material from GW can be seen as the propaganda of the Imperium. Ie misleading, falsified and with an agenda. The truth is not what GW say, but what you yourself make up about your own army.

harlekin
08-12-2014, 10:28
I think the propaganda aspect was expressed literally in 3rd and 4th edition, which added much to the athmosphere of an unevitable threat humanity seeks to understand and destroy.

Since 5th edition the perspective was drawn from imperial to hivemind/objective observer stance, the clues and schemes of the hivemind uncovered more. There is simply to much information imho for being imperial propaganda only.

In short, it shifted pretty much from ghost stories to monster manual la DnD. Personally I preferred the former style more.

Of course that doesn't contradict ramshackle_curtis' notion: Tyranids exist in various ways and find different solutions for anything. As Tyranid player you have a lot of freedom to invent your own fluff and explanations.

AndrewGPaul
08-12-2014, 13:57
In the original Rogue Trader rulebook (1988), the bestiary section had entries for a Tyranid (looking rather like a giant Termagant), a Zoat (a repitilian centauroid race, often found as servants/soldiers of the Tyranids, but also as renegades, or in the employ of pChapter Approved: The Book of the Astronomican had an Eldar pirate lord with Zoat bodyguards) and a genestealer (an unrelated remora-headed monster). At this point the Tyranids used biological technology, but they had the same weapons as everyone else (fleshy boltguns, missile launchers, flamers, etc), as did the four Zoat models made for the game. I think the Hive Fleets were also mentioned, but since there's only a half-page of text in the entire book, it doesn't go into much detail.

Moving on, the genestealer was redesigned with the arrival of Space Hulk (1989), and the lifecycle expanded upon to give us the idea of the genestealer cult. This gave us the idea of the groupmind, and the "genestealer god" in the warp (although cults also worshipped Chaos, now and again, leading to things like a Genestealer Patriarch with a daemon sword).

In Advanced Space Crusade (1990) we were introduced to the hive fleets properly - Tyranids using symbiotic living weapon-creatures (rather than just biotech machines), and the genestealers were retconned as being created by the Tyranids. The hive mind as a gestalt entity formed from the minds of every Tyranid entity (from the fleet Norn Queens to the beetle-ammunition of the fleshborer) was created then, as was the shadow in the warp which blocked out psychic communication. At this point, the idea of Chaos-aligned Genestealer cults and the Genestealer god were quietly left to wither away.

A short story in WD 130 introduced us to Inquisitor Kryptmann and the Tyranid Deathspitter (actually three symbiotic organisms; the ammunition creature, one that strips the shell off the ammunition, and the firing creature which spits it out). This particular deathspitter was recovered in space by an Imperial feighter. After this, it somehow psychically overwhelms the ship's astropath and possesses him, forcing him to kill everyone else on board and put the deathspitter into stasis. Interestingly, in this story, Kryptmann was terrified to learn this meant that the Tyranids had returned. The implication is that the Tyranids as mentioned in the original Rogue Trader rulebook are from Hive Fleet Behemoth, and the missions undertaken in Advanced Space Crusade are against Hive Fleet Kraken, culminating in the victory at Ichar IV.

It's not that the Tyranids aren't sapient*; as a whole, the Hive Mind almost certainly is, and individuals such as lone genestealers seem to be, too. It's just that they're alien, in ways that even Necrons and daemons aren't, and there's nothing we can discuss with them. That's ranged from the idea that they're all individuals linked together telepathically to the idea that each creature is only a tiny part of an overall single consciousness.

Hrw-Amen
10-12-2014, 21:24
I do recall (and have.) some of those very old tyranid Termagant type creatures form RT days, they are actually quite small even compared to modern gaunts. I also recall that although there were Genestellers they were not at first considered as part of the Tyranids but a seperate entity. I to remember that Zoats were a slave race of the 'nids and I have some of the old Zoat models which I actually quite like. They are also something pretty alien compared to humans (Being a sort of lizard / centaur creature.) and 'nids alike which would be a good start for a race to be introduced nowadays I think.

AndrewGPaul
11-12-2014, 07:30
Those little Hunter-Slayers are the precursor to Termagants, but the original Tyranid Warrior also looks like that:

204359

Saunders
11-12-2014, 14:58
It's not that the Tyranids aren't sapient*; as a whole, the Hive Mind almost certainly is, and individuals such as lone genestealers seem to be, too. It's just that they're alien, in ways that even Necrons and daemons aren't, and there's nothing we can discuss with them. That's ranged from the idea that they're all individuals linked together telepathically to the idea that each creature is only a tiny part of an overall single consciousness.
I dunno, I thought the concensus was that the tyranids essentially act based on instinct, whether it be on an individual level or when under the dominion of the hive mind (which seems to act in an animalistic fashion on a galactic scale). The hive fleets, after all, have no greater awareness than to follow the beacons of their vanguard organisms to the largest biomasses they can find. This has been shown to be consistent and manipulatable; there's little contemporary evidence to suggest that the tyranids are capable of reason.


Those little Hunter-Slayers are the precursor to Termagants, but the original Tyranid Warrior also looks like that:

204359
That's a nice paintjob on an hideous sculpt :P
It's amazing how far things have come.

Rogue Star
12-12-2014, 07:28
Those little Hunter-Slayers are the precursor to Termagants, but the original Tyranid Warrior also looks like that

Fun fact; the Tyranid "Warrior" based off the Rogue Trader bit of B&W art, was intended to be a Termagant or "hunter-slayer", it was just when GW gave the project to the sculptor, way back in those early days, no one thought to tell him how big the creature was supposed to be! This is why it's so huge, on a cavalry-base, compared to the 'gants that followed.

insectum7
15-12-2014, 17:03
^That would make a lot of sense :)

My impression of the original Tyranids is that what we now know of as the Tyranid Warrior would be close to the "primary species" of the race, and very intelligent. These creatures would then surround themselves with products of their advanced bio-technology and then enslave/co-opt other species. I think their 2nd sculpt and depictions from early 2nd Edition 40K and Space Crusade / Tyranid Attack make them appear more sentient and overbearing. They are less animalistic looking, stand upright and "look down on everything". This is one of my favorite drawings of the era, because it looks like the Warrior is commanding it's minions forward. Unfortunately this potential identity of the Tyranids has been a little lost in subsequent books.

204485

There's another drawing from the era of a Tyranid Warrior butchering some Eldar Scorpions in a hallway, which I remember being pretty brutal. I can't find it atm.

farnham
16-12-2014, 15:58
It's in one of the 2nd edition rule books, if I remember I'll look at the books when I get home.

Angelwing
16-12-2014, 19:35
Those little Hunter-Slayers are the precursor to Termagants, but the original Tyranid Warrior also looks like that:

204359

If anyone has some of these lying about that they don't want, PM me please.

AndrewGPaul
17-12-2014, 09:16
No, don't PM him, PM me.

Last time I looked into it, there were about a dozen in existence (it is, after all, an unreleased miniature). While I want one, I don't see one going for sale for a price I'd consider paying. :)

Paul Nexus
20-12-2014, 21:51
There's another drawing from the era of a Tyranid Warrior butchering some Eldar Scorpions in a hallway, which I remember being pretty brutal. I can't find it atm.

Think I remember that one. Has the scorpion firing his mandiblaster up near the tyranid's head. From the Codex Imperialis?

Keep
21-12-2014, 02:22
This is one of my favorite drawings of the era, because it looks like the Warrior is commanding it's minions forward. Unfortunately this potential identity of the Tyranids has been a little lost in subsequent books.
204485
When i started (3rd edition) i had the impression that Hive Tyrants/ special synapse creatures have some kind of personality... mostly through short stories. The lesser creatures (gaunts, absorbers, etc) certainly are animalistic and driven only by synapse influence or instinctive animalistic behaviour. Haven't really followerd fluff updates so far, has anything significant changed since the 3rd and 4th edition?

TheRiverTrollKing
21-12-2014, 03:02
Those little Hunter-Slayers are the precursor to Termagants, but the original Tyranid Warrior also looks like that:

204359

Holy ***! That's one scary 'nid.