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View Full Version : Are the Hive Fleets independent with their own Hive Minds...?



grayghost
18-01-2011, 17:16
...or are they all part of one giant superorganism?

Herne the hunter
18-01-2011, 17:24
One giant superorganism.

Harriticus
18-01-2011, 21:34
Nope, think of the Hivemind as the brain of an organism and the Hive Fleets are just fingers on its arm.

Silent_Moebius
19-01-2011, 05:55
I think of Starcraft 1:

You have the Overmind, the superorganism. And then, you have "Zerebraten" (Don't know the English word for that). This are the "Generals" of each Hive Fleet. They have a kind of free will and intelligence, but are on the other side controlled by the Hive Mind if it wants.

I personally stick with that, because not evry Nid player can be the Hive Mind, but every Nid player can be a "Zerebrat".

oCoYoRoAoKo
19-01-2011, 10:51
Previous to this edition of the Tyranid Codex (in the older, and vastly superior fluff), each fleet had its own hive mind. This was heavily retconned by Cruddace and now there is just one hive mind driving the Tyranids as a whole.

sigh.

Cy.

El_Machinae
19-01-2011, 15:58
I think an analogy could be the left and the right hemispheres of your brain. It's one integrated consciousness, because the cross-talk between the parts is much more rapid and integrated than the actual 'act' of 'being conscious'. However, if the halves of the brain are separated, the cross-talk is vastly reduced. This allows the development of two consciousnesses. So, if the Hive Mind is one consciousness, it's because the integration is sufficient to allow the maintenance of one consciousness.

Exitas-Acta-Probat
19-01-2011, 16:16
surely that would mean it was (in theory) possible to isolate a small part of the hive mind - allow it to mature, and thus create a rival hive. or would the original simply assume control of it do you think?
isnt that what happens with stealer cults???

[lexus]
19-01-2011, 16:43
Well, there is some sort of hierachy right? Not every Tyranid is part of the hive mind itself. If you kill synapse creatures, the smaller ones suddenly loose control. I believe its similar for a Hive Fleet. Kill the big ships, and the smaller ships temporarily lose control until connection with the hive mind is reestablished by some other ship.

Wasnt that how the Tau fleet managed to wipe out an entire Fleet with almost no losses?

El_Machinae
19-01-2011, 17:24
surely that would mean it was (in theory) possible to isolate a small part of the hive mind - allow it to mature, and thus create a rival hive. or would the original simply assume control of it do you think?
isnt that what happens with stealer cults???

That's the way I'd go with it, though I don't have a good idea of how easy it would be to 'isolate' enough 'nids to allow them to grow their own hive mind. It might be an epiphenomenon requiring a few billion tonnes of synapse creatures, or whatever.

ForgottenLore
19-01-2011, 17:34
I think an analogy could be the left and the right hemispheres of your brain. ..... So, if the Hive Mind is one consciousness, it's because the integration is sufficient to allow the maintenance of one consciousness.

Interesting analogy.

Since earlier fluff indicated that each fleet was a separate consciousness, but the current fluff indicates a single consciousness, that could imply that the main body of the Hive Mind is now close enough to allow such full integration of the hive fleets in the Milky Way.

ryng_sting
19-01-2011, 19:48
They're all linked. All the indications are that the bulk of the Tyranid race is about to hit the Imperium, and at all angles. Behemoth and Kraken came in through the Eastern Fringe, Jormungandr attacked through the north-east; Leviathan came through the south and Scylla and Charybdis are emerging from the west. Perhaps the next Tyranid book will mention a Hive Fleet invading through the north.

Iracundus
20-01-2011, 04:57
Interesting analogy.

Since earlier fluff indicated that each fleet was a separate consciousness, but the current fluff indicates a single consciousness, that could imply that the main body of the Hive Mind is now close enough to allow such full integration of the hive fleets in the Milky Way.

Earlier fluff didn't indicate that. The background from Epic Hive War and 2nd edition supported a singular Hive Mind. In 3rd edition, Sherman Bishop's articles (written in-character btw and hence potentially inaccurate) tried to claim hive fleets were independent and separate with their own "dialects" of communication. However, if one looks in the 5th edition Tyranid Codex the 3rd party POV out of universe narrator supports again the view of a single Hive Mind.

Thus the Imperium drew an erroneous conclusion. Though Hive Fleets may have differences between each other, they may still be all part of one super organism. In a similar way, your organs are very different from each other, and interact and communicate with different chemicals and hormones, yet still function as part of one being.

Lothlanathorian
20-01-2011, 06:07
Leviathan came through the sout

Incorrect. They attacked from beneath the Galactic Plane and in Sol Segementum. They came from under the Galaxy.

The Anarchist
20-01-2011, 13:54
Totaly my own view (never having been a Nid player personaly) is each Tyranid fleet is like an ant of the Ant hive. by this i mean thy are controlled and under the power of the hive queen, but have enough independance to do things on their own and overcome obstacles as they see fit. however their actions can beome very differnt as they get closer to the Hive queen. this would also work with Nids as the central Hive mind comes slowly closer the our Galaxy i belive?
please correct me if the fluff does not back this analogy people?

Londinium
20-01-2011, 19:14
Previous to this edition of the Tyranid Codex (in the older, and vastly superior fluff), each fleet had its own hive mind. This was heavily retconned by Cruddace and now there is just one hive mind driving the Tyranids as a whole.

sigh.

Cy.

As far as I remember there has always been only one Hive Mind (as far back as '98, maybe Rogue Trader had multiple Hive Minds). That's how the Tyranids learned from their experiences in Behemoth before they came back as Leviathan. The whole point of the 'nids is that they are one super organism that has countless numbers and is always learning. They can't be beaten or if they can be only with massive sacrifices.

If each Hive fleet had it's own Hive Mind it would have undermined the whole always learning, always evolving aspect of the Nids.

ryng_sting
20-01-2011, 20:04
"They came from under the Galaxy."

I'm referring to how it looks on the map in the 40k rulebook, i.e. for newcomers, rather than owners of a Tyranid codex.

"If each Hive fleet had it's own Hive Mind it would have undermined the whole always learning, always evolving aspect of the Nids"

True. They still haven't learned not to mess with Maugan Ra :)

El_Machinae
20-01-2011, 23:38
Totaly my own view (never having been a Nid player personaly) is each Tyranid fleet is like an ant of the Ant hive. by this i mean thy are controlled and under the power of the hive queen, but have enough independance to do things on their own and overcome obstacles as they see fit. however their actions can beome very differnt as they get closer to the Hive queen. this would also work with Nids as the central Hive mind comes slowly closer the our Galaxy i belive?
please correct me if the fluff does not back this analogy people?

:)

Actually, your understanding of how an ant hive works is inaccurate.
The queen doesn't control things. Each ant has its own instincts that it follows, and the sum of their activity is a swarm intelligence (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swarm_intelligence).

It's super-cool.

The Anarchist
21-01-2011, 01:11
El_Machine would i be right then in viewing the Tyranid Hive Mind as being the sum total of all its parts and so like the Swarm Inteligence of an ant hive?

Iracundus
21-01-2011, 02:22
The way GW describes it, the "Hive Mind" of the Tyranids is not a true swarm intelligence like ants, but rather a singular consciousness with all Tyranids being its body. The analogy would be how multicellular organisms, like humans, are collections of cells yet have a singular identity and mind.

ForgottenLore
21-01-2011, 03:27
But they also strongly imply (with the synapse rules and in the fluff) that the lesser organisms are basically being controlled by a greater, but separate, will.

So is it only some Tyranid creatures that compose the Hive mind? If so, how high up does the hierarchy get? Or is it genuinely like the Borg were originally and every little ripper contributes some of the brain power?

Iracundus
21-01-2011, 03:58
But they also strongly imply (with the synapse rules and in the fluff) that the lesser organisms are basically being controlled by a greater, but separate, will.

So is it only some Tyranid creatures that compose the Hive mind? If so, how high up does the hierarchy get? Or is it genuinely like the Borg were originally and every little ripper contributes some of the brain power?

The Hive Mind is the sum total of all the Tyranids. The lesser organisms may be coordinated by Synapse creatures but that doesn't mean they are not part of the super-organism that is the "Hive Mind" or the Tyranid race. Your muscle cells are controlled via signals from nerves that link with neurons in your brain, but that doesn't mean the muscle cells are not part of you. Without direction from your brain, they may do nothing or act in an uncoordinated fashion (such as fasciculate) but that again doesn't mean they are not a part of you.

ForgottenLore
21-01-2011, 04:18
Muscle and Bone are a part or my body, but not my mind. The flavor of the fluff in the Tyranid codex seems to point to a similar arrangement. The Hive Mind


Holds all Tyranid creatures in a psychic bond


the implacable will of the Hive Mind instructs them...

larger, more complicated beings are
still subordinate to the will of the Hive Mind

synapse creatures
Channel the will of the Hive Mind

and
Command lesser Tyranids who are
Slaved to the Hive Mind with a link that can be
Severed

All those quotes (from the 'nid codex) strongly imply that the intelligence is external to the bulk of the little gribblies in a Tyranid army, contrasted to


single coordinating sentience formed from untold billions of consciousnesses

which does not specify which creatures exactly form the Mind.

I just wonder if the "nerve cells" of the Hive Mind are the brains of every single Tyranid, or if they are specialized, like our bodies, with only some specific types of creatures (synapse?) composing the actual psycho-neural network that function as the "brain" of the Hive Mind while the individual rippers, spores and ammunition creatures only function as anologs for muscle, anti-bodies, amino acids and so on.

Iracundus
21-01-2011, 05:27
I just wonder if the "nerve cells" of the Hive Mind are the brains of every single Tyranid, or if they are specialized, like our bodies, with only some specific types of creatures (synapse?) composing the actual psycho-neural network that function as the "brain" of the Hive Mind while the individual rippers, spores and ammunition creatures only function as anologs for muscle, anti-bodies, amino acids and so on.

To avoid confusion in terminology, I'm going to use Hive Mind just to refer to the identity and consciousness. In that sense yes, the Synapse creatures whether they be Tyranid Warriors, Tyrants, Hive Ships, are what compose the equivalents of nerve cells and the sum total of these is what forms the "Hive Mind". However all the Tyranid creatures from the lowliest ripper on upwards, all are part of the singular Tyranid super organism. This super organism has a consciousness, the Hive Mind, and this Hive Mind perceives its "body" as the Hive Fleets and their constituents.

grayghost
21-01-2011, 14:57
I wonder if a strong enough psychic will can usurp control of individual Tyranids...or even whole groups.

El_Machinae
22-01-2011, 12:58
El_Machine would i be right then in viewing the Tyranid Hive Mind as being the sum total of all its parts and so like the Swarm Inteligence of an ant hive?

Well, it would have swarm intelligence aspect, just like humans have a swarm intelligence aspect. No one person intends for oil to trade at $90 US per barrel, but it's what humanity does as a result of all our individual activities.

The Hive Mind itself seems to be conscious, like you're conscious. Your brain neurons each individually operate with a 'swarm intelligence', slaves to their genetic programming and their environment. But the sum of the parts creates 'you'. And 'you' have the ability to influence your neurons. When you think of a polar bear (on purpose), you're controlling specific neurons to behave in specific ways. If you actually knew what each neuron would do when you intentionally formed certain thoughts, you could control them on purpose.

But we don't need to. We happily let each neuron do its thing, and we just ride the epiphenomenon.

The Hive Mind is even more impressive, because it seems that some of its components are individually conscious. So, it's a consciousness composed of both conscious and unconscious organisms.

Col. Tartleton
22-01-2011, 17:54
The best way to describe the Tyrannids is as a single organism. The "Hivemind" as an "Overmind" is similar to our consciousness. It's more than the sum of it's parts. However the Hivemind has near limitless processing power.

The Hive Ships essentially act as a Central Nervous system. They are the Grey Matter. Together their consciousnesses are unified into a supermind. The Hivemind should be able to make predictions of things before they happen. Look up the "Web Bot" to comprehend what we're dealing with. It's a Godlike entity. It crunches so many numbers, absorbs and processes so much data that it can extrapolate with a degree of accuracy that means it's essentially omniscient. Luckily for the "Good Guys" they've got a lot of psychics and the Emperor's Tarot which I figure work similarly only at a smaller and less accurate level. This keeps things slightly competitive. While the Tyrannids can predict your actions before you even start thinking, some humans are psychic and can to an extent see how the Tyrannids will respond to counter your most likely decisions. If the hivemind as a whole focuses on you nothing you can do will prevent them from outsmarting you, but if the hivemind can be divided as was done with Kraken it looses it's edge because splinter fleets act reflexively.

Individual Hivefleets have their own characteristics. There is a level of independence which can be compared to reflexes. Entire hivefleets move to the beat of the Overmind's drum, but locally they will respond to stimulus quickly. These are like reflexes. Splinter fleets are much easier to defeat because they have less resources at their disposal physically and their actions are reflexive. Now their "reflexes" are probably still smarter than entire planets worth of intelligence officers, but occasionally they'd make oversights because they act with more variance. You can use a trick to fool a splinter fleet of the Tyrannids, albeit only once.

A creative genius can defeat them. Like Calgar :evilgrin:. Calgar was even able to trick the hivemind during Behemoth, presumably because it hadn't gathered enough sensory information to really crunch the numbers, or perhaps he simply got lucky and exploited a glitch in the system. Tigurius' "unique" ability to infiltrate the hivemind means he can actually see beyond the seemingly mindless chatter and comprehend the hivemind's groupthink. Essentially the Ultramarines can predict with accuracy the Hivemind's actions as it carries them out allowing Calgar to use his Ultramarines to make counters too quickly for it to second guess itself. Tigurius and his "Hood of Hellfire" is like Proffessor X with the Cerebro in X-men 2 in how he can simultaneously observe all the people in the world, that's how he can "touch" the hivemind.

Individual Hiveships would have even less processing power and as you move down the chain they became more and more odds stacked against them. These are the actual cells of the organism. They basically function as Nervous tissues and you're moving steadily away from the CNS into Peripheral Neverous System. Hiveships act as both Sensory and Motor neurons. They can absorb information and make decisions.

Then you have individual tyrannid Synapse creatures, but even the most powerful ones might only be considered organelles and the weaker ones have more in common with the very molecules of the structure. That's how large we're talking. The non-synapse elements of the tyrannids are more along the lines of muscle and connective tissues and such.