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Captain Blood
09-06-2005, 07:02
About Kryptman's plan to deny the hive fleets biomatter, wouldn't it make a lot more sense to use such a plan as a last resort kind of thing? Make the horde of bugs fight until either the Imperials drive them off or have to pull out, then as the ships move in to start feeding, and indeed, while they feed, we have an Imperial fleet move in burning both the hive ships and the planet to a cinder.

On a side note, this would be the best course of action for the mentioned 'cannibalistic' warfare between fleets. Instead of assimilating the old fleet and getting stronger, the winner gets the torch while eating. It's still scorched earth, but a more controlled scorched earth than just getting the heck out of the way of the fleet and hoping you slow them. In fact, Kyptman's little stunt with the Orks could be used to this degree as well, 'Nids win, tburn the place, it's gonna be a rock anyway, Orks win, see if you can direct them at more 'Nids. Repeat.

Of course, this plan would never make it into the official fluff, it makes far too much sense. :rolleyes:

athamas
09-06-2005, 08:07
um, his plan is AFAIK

> hold planet for a while
>wait for nids to win and commit large force to planet, and begin harvesting
>exterminatus the planet!

trying to engauge the hive fleet is sily, as there are so many ships, however, 'nuke'n' a planet is not that difficult, so as the run for it they mess up the planet, thus destroying the bio matter, just flying in and killing a few ships does naff all, and the ships that survive will eat them and retain the biomass!

Captain Blood
09-06-2005, 09:11
That's a good point, I hadn't considered the sips getting reabsorbed. From the looks of it though, it seems like Kryptman is going into the whole affair expecting to lose a planet. Tyranid invasions have been halted before, and repelling them would have a similar effect on the fleet, they burn resources to take a planet and get nothing. That said, I still think keeping a close ey on the Tyranid/Ork and Tyranid/Tyranid battles would be a good idea. As those are finishing, hit the planet with exterminatus. I don't think there's as much of a downside, foul xenos die, and the planet lost was even Imperial to begin with.

McMullet
09-06-2005, 09:59
...biomass!

BIOMASS

The whole biomass (BIOMASS) thing is a bit odd really, when creatures eat organic matter, the efficiency is very low - just take a look in the toilet next time you go for a No. 2; all that BIOMASS is wasted. Energy conversion is usually about 1/7, so if you kill a hive ship, only one 7th of it's BIOMASS could be recovered; I'm sure nids have evolved to be more efficient, but even mechanical energy converters struggle to hit 50% efficiency (large gas turbines and diesel engines can just about manage it). From this point of view, killing the odd hive ship would be a pretty decent way to slow the nids down.

Of course, then it'd be no fun. Your average piece of organic matter doesn't have the chemical energy to get itself off the surface of a planet, even if the energy is converted at 100% efficiency - which spoils the whole idea of nids harvesting biomass to create new nids; they'd need to expend more biomass to get it into space, before they start making hormagaunts and travelling through the warp and what-not.

ankellagung
09-06-2005, 11:38
Two problems with that statement:

1. These are highly advanced life-forms, and given that we really have no actual data to use, a comparison is pretty useless

2. The Tyranids probably use the 6/7ths that they can't convert into energy to create the new life-forms.

Sai-Lauren
09-06-2005, 11:49
BIOMASS

The whole biomass (BIOMASS) thing is a bit odd really, when creatures eat organic matter, the efficiency is very low - just take a look in the toilet next time you go for a No. 2; all that BIOMASS is wasted. Energy conversion is usually about 1/7, so if you kill a hive ship, only one 7th of it's BIOMASS could be recovered; I'm sure nids have evolved to be more efficient, but even mechanical energy converters struggle to hit 50% efficiency (large gas turbines and diesel engines can just about manage it). From this point of view, killing the odd hive ship would be a pretty decent way to slow the nids down.


It's not energy they're deriving, it's the biomass itself. Creating soldier organisms to fight to take a planet, then re-absorbing it would take energy, that's true. But the hive ships would be able to just deploy something like a solar sail so they can photosynthesise whilst in orbit - that's probably where the energy comes from (although as usual GW aren't too clear on what's happening, but I suppose giant hive ships with photosynthesising membranes aren't as scary).

Kryptmans' plan causes the hive ships to expend the energy to create the solders, but then denys them the biomass at the end. Using weapons which utterly destroy the soldier organisms - from flamers, plasma and melta weapons all the way up to things like D-Cannon, vortex charges and so on - preventing them from being re-absorbed later - would also be a slow, but very effective way of fighting.

It's also said that killing one hive ship causes others elsewhere to calve - IIRC they call it the Hydra effect.


Of course, then it'd be no fun. Your average piece of organic matter doesn't have the chemical energy to get itself off the surface of a planet, even if the energy is converted at 100% efficiency - which spoils the whole idea of nids harvesting biomass to create new nids; they'd need to expend more biomass to get it into space, before they start making hormagaunts and travelling through the warp and what-not.
I get the impression that the capillary towers are grown from the ground up, a hive ship docks onto it, starts pumping the bio-soup up, then once there's nothing else left, releases enzymes to start breaking down the capillary tower from the bottom up.

Rich
09-06-2005, 12:25
It's also said that killing one hive ship causes others elsewhere to calve - IIRC they call it the Hydra effect.


I get the impression that with a few exceptions, most 'nid ships are 'born' as escorts and age until finally they become full blown hive ships - so although the hydra effect causes hive ships to calve, they do not make another massive hive ship, but rather a far smaller ship which has the potential to eventuially become a hive ship. Which means that although the hydra effect will replace losses, it is not that much use practically in the short term, because once the big ships are dead the fleet will loose focus and can be taken out piecemeal - its just that if you were to zip in and take out a hive ship and come back in a few years (or however long it takes) you would find that you had actually caused more ships to be made.

It is implied that 'nids work on the same basis as insects such as ants, and so although ships will gradally grow to become cruiser sized and eventually hive ship size, there are usually only so many hive ships (in proportion) and perhaps the hydra effect also causes nid ships to grow exponentionally and mature into larger classes - so that as well as calving to produce an escort sized vessel, it causes cruisers to grow into hive ships, and escorts to grow into cruisers etc.

There appear to be some 'geno fixed' escorts which do not grow - these are the only 'true' excorts and seem to have very specific roles. I would imagine this is to insure that the hive fleet always has escort support irrespective of the hydra effect.

As for Kryptman's plan, whilst it is quite astute, it is also not maintainable, as there are only so many worlds which can be sacrificed. If the gamble with the Orks pays off, and the Orks defeat the 'nids, then the human galaxy may have found a way to defeat the 'nids for good. Use Orks to bear the brunt of the attack and do what they do best, and try to support the Orks by taking the fight to the nids in space. A hammer and anvil approach.

Personally, I think the necrons are the best bet. If the Imperium could think of a way to replicate the psychic calling card which attracts hive fleets, they could draw the nids to necron tomb worlds and watch them kill themselves - the necron's abilities to replicate and their frankly astounding space ships should be able to knock seven shades out of the 'nids, and with the bonus that the planets the necrons inhabit have no biomass, so all of the losses the 'nids suffer would be completely irreplaceable.

McMullet
09-06-2005, 16:33
It's not energy they're deriving, it's the biomass itself. Creating soldier organisms to fight to take a planet, then re-absorbing it would take energy, that's true. But the hive ships would be able to just deploy something like a solar sail so they can photosynthesise whilst in orbit - that's probably where the energy comes from (although as usual GW aren't too clear on what's happening, but I suppose giant hive ships with photosynthesising membranes aren't as scary).

Kryptmans' plan causes the hive ships to expend the energy to create the solders, but then denys them the biomass at the end. Using weapons which utterly destroy the soldier organisms - from flamers, plasma and melta weapons all the way up to things like D-Cannon, vortex charges and so on - preventing them from being re-absorbed later - would also be a slow, but very effective way of fighting.
I see what you mean, but there's biomass and then there's BIOMASS. Unprocessed, inert, dead biomass (like corpses, wood, coal, soil, poo, ripper soup and so on) and then there's quality biomass that makes up living things, and requires not only a lot of energy to produce, but also needs a lot of additional materials (which have to be wasted) to produce them; if you want ot produce a protein, you'll need, at least, two chemicals to react together and an enzyme to catalyse the reaction. The enzyme and probably half the products, as well as whever solution they're in, would be discarded, like we discard water and other waste matter, toxins and so on. Likewise, if the hiveships photsynthesise or collect interstellar gas they are going to have to use some biomass to transfer and generate the energy, like trees using excess water to photosynthesise or a steam engine ejecting smoke and steam.


I get the impression that the capillary towers are grown from the ground up, a hive ship docks onto it, starts pumping the bio-soup up, then once there's nothing else left, releases enzymes to start breaking down the capillary tower from the bottom up.
In the words of Homer Simpson: "Lisa! In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" If the biomass goes from the surface of a planet to deep space, it gains a large amount of gravitaional potential energy (from Earth, it would be 60.5 MJ per kg). That energy has to come from somewhere, unfortunately, or you break various fundamental laws of physics.

alterion
09-06-2005, 17:04
umm but the problem is this is the 41st mellenium in a mostly fictional universe.. we Don't obey the laws of thermodynamics...we obey the laws of cool models and the yearly price increase

Sai-Lauren
10-06-2005, 10:59
I see what you mean, but there's biomass and then there's BIOMASS...
...Likewise, if the hiveships photsynthesise or collect interstellar gas they are going to have to use some biomass to transfer and generate the energy, like trees using excess water to photosynthesise or a steam engine ejecting smoke and steam.

Well, we know that the tyrannids, mostly via the rippers, turn all the biomass they find into the soup which then feeds into the capillary towers - to them there's no difference between a live termagant falling into the pool to be reprocessed and a month dead guardsman being digested by rippers. Enzymes used will be reprocessed in exactly the same way as all the enzymes our bodies produce are reprocessed - remember that the majority of the wastes we produce are undigestable components of food, nitrogenous compounds from the breakdown of proteins (mostly in the form of Urea) and CO2 from respiration.

In the body, all protein combination is done through enzymes and RNA, building up amino acids taken from food - against the enzymes and RNA are broken down and recycled. Needing...



In the words of Homer Simpson: "Lisa! In this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" If the biomass goes from the surface of a planet to deep space, it gains a large amount of gravitaional potential energy (from Earth, it would be 60.5 MJ per kg). That energy has to come from somewhere, unfortunately, or you break various fundamental laws of physics.

Yes, you do need energy, but a hiveship pumping the bio-soup from a planet is no different from a giant redwood pumping water from it's roots up to the top leaves - the hiveship just needs more energy to do it, but don't forget that the energy required to lift it against gravity will be inversely proportional to the distance from the planets surface. And where does the tree get it's energy from? ;)

IMO, a hive ships solar membranes could easily be many times the size of the hiveship itself, and much more efficient than any plant.


I get the impression that with a few exceptions, most 'nid ships are 'born' as escorts and age until finally they become full blown hive ships
I think that with the extra hive mind links, the spawning nodes and so on in a hive ship, I would have to disagree with that. It's likely that they're more like queen bees, starting from a generic larval creature, and fed a different mix of nutrients to force it's growth in another direction, whilst the remaining creatures grow into done escorts.

Iracundus
10-06-2005, 11:08
I don't see a Hive Fleet digesting a planet as much different from a human digesting a meal, and that doesn't violate thermodynamics. A human uses energy and material in order to digest food, but ultimately there is more gained than is expended.

athamas
10-06-2005, 11:20
it is noted in amarda that when a nord queen is killed, it trigger thos ships near it to produce proto--nordqueens that can then grow to fill the place of the previos one,

McMullet
13-06-2005, 09:56
Yes, you do need energy, but a hiveship pumping the bio-soup from a planet is no different from a giant redwood pumping water from it's roots up to the top leaves - the hiveship just needs more energy to do it, but don't forget that the energy required to lift it against gravity will be inversely proportional to the distance from the planets surface. And where does the tree get it's energy from? ;)
Trees get the energy to raise water from the Sun, and by losing water. In order to get water to the top of the tree, a large amount of water has to evaporate (and is thus "wasted"), thus increasing the concentration of the sap at the leaves. Less concentrated sap is then drawn up to the top of the tre by osmosis. All this energy is accounted for, and the energy increases the further you lift; it's the force that decreases. The amount of energy you need to go from 500km to 1000km is less than you need to go from 0km to 500km, but to go from 0 to 1000 you need both.

I can't really argue the point effectively, since we're dealing with an entirely fictional organism, but I still feel that any biological process that tries to make use of waste products is going to get less and less efficient at each iteration. If the Tyranids had access to unlimited energy supplies and time they would be fine; but this seems unlikely.

Also, regarding Kryptmann's plan, I had a funny thought at the weekend. It reminded me of Wayne's World, when Wayne is in the guitar shop. The Hive fleet gets to the planet, watches it get exterminatussed, and thinks, "What? No biomass? DENIED!"

pnweerar
14-06-2005, 01:44
Remember guys. This is a universe with magic in it. MAGIC.

gLOBS
14-06-2005, 03:55
Well it does not matter if any water evaporates as the entire atmosphere is drawn in around the ship and the gases freeze into crystals in space covering the ships.

Captain Blood
14-06-2005, 05:49
I wonder just how much of that biomass actually gets used to make new and varied forms of Tyranid and how much just gets used to feed the swarm. We know that it'll take a whole mess of energy to get the stuff up to the orbiting ships to do whatever they do with it; maybe they digest some for the energy they need?

If that's the case, maybe hitting any world lost with cyclonic torpedoes might not be a bad idea. Not only are the 'Nids denied fresh genetic materials and such but food as well, it should hamper them at least a little to have them starve after taking a planet. Assuming of course that they don't already use some sort of photosynthesis, but being denied water should still do the trick.

McMullet
14-06-2005, 07:56
Most of the Biomass they harvest is going to be pretty low in energy, and even very high energy foods don't have enough to get into space - for example, a Twix bar has only 34% of the energy required for it to reach escape velocity, ignoring the mass of oxygen required to liberate this energy, and assuming 100% efficiency and no drag. The energy must therefore come from somewhere else - perhaps the nids have some kind of organic fusion reactors, and are able to fractionally distill water to extract deuterium (The Imperium can then put the leftovers into bolter rounds... :rolleyes: ).


Remember guys. This is a universe with magic in it. MAGIC.
This is true.

Emperor's Light
14-06-2005, 08:17
umm but the problem is this is the 41st mellenium in a mostly fictional universe.. we Don't obey the laws of thermodynamics...we obey the laws of cool models and the yearly price increase

That's pretty much what it comes down to. When I got the codex I knew they were going to introduce some new piece of fluff that's ridiculous and over the top.

It's always some nonsense about how much deeper in crap the Imperium is. There's only so much of this you can take before you become desensitized. Oh DOOM! GLOOM! YAWN!

Here's the rough chronology ever gloomier and doomier tyranid threat:

1st ed: mysterious invaders from another galaxy vaguely resembling xenomorphs from the Ridley Scott movie. AIIEEEEE!!!

2nd ed. Tyranid Codex: The Tyranids invade Ultramar and entire First Company wiped out to stop them. AIIEEEEEE!!!

2nd ed. Ichar IV: Another hive fleet! This time they are along multiple routes. AAAIIIEEEEE!!!

3rd ed. Tyranid Codex: The Tyranids are sneaking "up" from "under" the galactic lens this time. AIEEEEEEEE!!! Plus, Kraken wasn't really defeated at Ichar IV. Instead, they just splintered up and are more horrifying this way. AIIEEEEEEEE!!!

4th ed. Tyranid Codex: The only tactic that will work is exterminatus, and the Imperium can't resettle those planets later. AIIEEEEEEE!!! Steering the Tyranids into the Orks worked, but the Tyranids might absorb Ork DNA and turn green and start yelling WAAAGGGHHH!!!


AIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! !!!

athamas
14-06-2005, 09:45
for energy probles, think solar vanes!

a sun produces alot of energy, they could use this energy much like a plant!

McMullet
14-06-2005, 10:37
The problem there is that they'd have to store it - if they had huge, efficient solar cells (a few km across for a Hiveship seems plausible), then they could generate terawatts of power when near a Sun, but as soon as they were a few AU away, the power would drop to next to nothing (the intensity of the radiation is inversely proportional to distance squared). To store adequate energy supplies chemically is implausible, even if it was something very energetic like then it would still mean the majority of the mass of the ship was fuel in order to get out of a solar system, survive during the centuries of travelling between stars and make new gribbly monstrosities to eat loyal imperial citizens.

Going back to the Twix example (since we all know that Tyranid physiology is based entirely on Twix bars), a Single Twix doesn't have the energy to get to 30% of escape velocity of the Sun when at 1 AU (i.e., the distance of Earth's orbit). This means that the enormous stocks of Twix bars that the Hive ships produce by photosynthesising would be exhausted before they could even leave the solar system. They certainly couldn't survive for millenia in the void between the Galaxies. Since some nids can produce bio-plasma, I think that some sort of hydrogen ram and bio-plasma fusion reactor is the most likely answer. Well, that and magic.

Freak Ona Leash
14-06-2005, 10:44
I wonder what will happen when the next Ork WAAAGH! to come out of Charadon is WAAAGH!Nid? :p

gLOBS
14-06-2005, 19:37
Hehe or WAAAAGH-HISSSSSSS!

Nazguire
19-06-2005, 06:09
Hehe or WAAAAGH-HISSSSSSS!


Then the Imperium will respond with Waaaaagh-Splat!

charlie_c67
20-06-2005, 10:03
Or Waaaaaaaagh-sh**. Or would that be the Tau?

Nazguire
20-06-2005, 10:42
:cries:
Or Waaaaaaaagh-sh**. Or would that be the Tau?


Under no circumstances would it be the Imperium...:D


I thoroughly believe that were the Imperium to take the Nids head on, with no distractions, they'd win..but the thing is, theres too many distractions...

Adept
20-06-2005, 17:03
Yeah, but what then? After they've expended all their resources, could they maintain their galactic empire?

No, the Nids would be, and may still be, the end of the Imperium, even if not through sheer force of arms.

McMullet
21-06-2005, 09:16
The only thing I could see stopping the nids is chaos - if the chaos gods decided they didn't want these upstarts muscling in on their turf, they might send a load of daemons in to give 'em what for. That way, all the nids would get killed, but wouldn't gain any biomass for it.

Like you say, the Imperium doesn't stand a chance against the Tyranids. Nor does any of the other normal races. Perhaps the Necrons could also help, since the C'tan might not want all the sentient life forms wiped out (don't they feed of them or something?).

TenTailedCat
21-06-2005, 09:28
I think the Tau would stand a half decent chance against the Tyranid thread (and I absolutely hate the Tau, so this hurts) whereas the Imperial Forces might sacrifice a world or two - including their populations of a few billion people - to the Tyranids to save a more strategic world, the Tau seem to be the sort who'd evacuate their settlers, leaving substantially less people to be eaten.

But then, next to the Biomass of the entire planet I don't know if a few upright, blue camels are gonna make much difference...

Typheron
21-06-2005, 10:23
[QUOTE=McMullet]The only thing I could see stopping the nids is chaos - if the chaos gods decided they didn't want these upstarts muscling in on their turf, they might send a load of daemons in to give 'em what for. That way, all the nids would get killed, but wouldn't gain any biomass for it.[QUOTE]


sadly it does not work like that due to the shadow that the nids form in the warp. this is a bit of a hinderance for deamons. The other problem is deamon typically need a host in this realm to materilise for any lenth of time. Host = biomass even if it is chaos tainted.

unless the nids went into the EoT or some other localiused warp overlap where deamons can manifest at will from the warp.

the final problem is that the chaos gods are like the imperium iun that theres a lot going on and they cant send all there forces to deal with one thing alone as it leaves them lacking.

McMullet
21-06-2005, 10:35
S'pose. Perhaps chaos will find some way to use the warp shadow or something. [/pointless speculation]

I don't see the Tau doing much to stand up to the nids, they don't have the numbers, the ruthlessness or the technology to really make a dent in the hive mind. Perhaps they could survive frio while, in that they might successfully flee from the nids, but that wouldn't defeat the nids, and is hardly a sutainable solution - "You can run," as the hivemind would say, "but you can't hide". To which the Tau respond "Stealth suits, ha!", I suppose. And then the nids eat them.

Which may be another get-out for the Tau, they don't seem to have particularly remarkable biomass (in terms of their stats or their psychic abilities (i.e., the usefulness of their DNA) or numbers), so perhaps they would be lesser priorities for the nids.

Shinzui
21-06-2005, 10:37
Only greater daemons need hosts, minor daemons can be summoned with needing host bodies (but only in a certain situation or ritual).

Though it would be intresting to see the effect of Daemons from shadow of the warp. But sadly the Tyranids codex is too Imperium focused which I'm dissapointedin . It would've been nice to hear how the other races like the Eldar or Tau (and of course Chaos) are handle their own Tyranid threat.

Adept
21-06-2005, 12:21
The only thing I could see stopping the nids is chaos - if the chaos gods decided they didn't want these upstarts muscling in on their turf, they might send a load of daemons in to give 'em what for. That way, all the nids would get killed, but wouldn't gain any biomass for it.

Sure, not from the dead (banished?) daemons, but if they win they still get the entirety of the planet itself.

There was a big thread a while back about what would happen if the Nids ran a hive-fleet into the eye of terror, and I think it stalemated when no-one could be sure how the hivemind in the warp would affect the Chaos Gods abilities.

Personally, I think if the Nids put in a concerted effort, they would at the very least redically change the order of the galaxy. The Imperium would be drained, the Tau would be assimilated into the hivefleets, the Orks would probably be largely unnaffected, operating in many smaller empires as they do, leaving Chaos to basically do it's thang, I guess.

McMullet
21-06-2005, 13:15
Sure, not from the dead (banished?) daemons, but if they win they still get the entirety of the planet itself.

When I say "turf", I mean the galaxy as a whole, not just a particular planet. As per the quote in the new codex: "This galaxy is ours to corrupt, cos we're chaos so there," I think that's how it goes.

Barbarossa
21-06-2005, 13:25
Though it would be intresting to see the effect of Daemons from shadow of the warp.

IIRC the new nid codex cancels the 'perils of the warp' rule*. So I would assume that the smaller demons are usually driven away (or even consumed!) by the Hive Mind. Of course, if the nids run into a chaos dominated world with demons buzzing in and out of realspace this might be quite a different matter!




* Codex owners please correct me if I'm wrong!

Captain Blood
21-06-2005, 19:26
Not quite, one of the powers cancels it, but I doubt I'm allowed to say more. I remember the shadow being described as an overload of warp communication between the Hive Mind and the creatures. It sounds like overloading the 'bandwidth' of the area, if there are any daemons in the area, they either can't do anything, or have been knocked out of the immediate area.

Adept is right, even if they don't get anything from the mass of daemons that'll get killed, the rest of the planet would be worth more than whatever the daemons might have been worth as normal troops.

McMullet
22-06-2005, 10:12
Like I say, I'm thinking more of the chaos gods being upset about the nids being in the Galaxy, and then atacking them either in deep space, or as they attack another planet. In the first case, they get no biomass, and in the second, they get no biomass if they all get killed.

Brusilov
24-06-2005, 05:48
The Shadow in the Warp seems to be like an overloading of all wave length in the warp with psychic communications from millions of Nids. For all intents and purposes, only powerful psykers could combat this and draw upon on the warp

Comissar_Severinus
24-06-2005, 07:25
Well, Greater Daemons are powerful indeed... specially inside the EoT, where even planets can be shaped at their will.


It would've been nice to hear how the other races like the Eldar or Tau (and of course Chaos) are handle their own Tyranid threat.

Well, you have Iyanden craftworld :p.

Captain Blood
24-06-2005, 08:26
I'm gonna bet that the other races get eaten about as badly as the Imperium does, if not worse. The Orks might be having a time of it though, they like brutal warfare, but I doubt even they would be able to out-horde the Tyranids. We know what happened to the Eldar, and Tau seem to think 'Nids are pretty (maybe not so much anymore), Chaos will kill it on the principle that it doesn't serve their gods. In any event, I don't see anyone else doing much better.

What gets me wondering right now is if things like the Fenrisian Kraken is supposed to be a holdover from a failed 'Nid invasion, like the Catachan Devil might be, then why did they fail? I mean, these bugs adapt to just about everything, what could possibly get them to decide taking Fenris and Catachan was too hard and leave their big creatures behind to become kraken and Catachan devil?

Nazguire
24-06-2005, 09:06
I'm gonna bet that the other races get eaten about as badly as the Imperium does, if not worse. The Orks might be having a time of it though, they like brutal warfare, but I doubt even they would be able to out-horde the Tyranids. We know what happened to the Eldar, and Tau seem to think 'Nids are pretty (maybe not so much anymore), Chaos will kill it on the principle that it doesn't serve their gods. In any event, I don't see anyone else doing much better.

What gets me wondering right now is if things like the Fenrisian Kraken is supposed to be a holdover from a failed 'Nid invasion, like the Catachan Devil might be, then why did they fail? I mean, these bugs adapt to just about everything, what could possibly get them to decide taking Fenris and Catachan was too hard and leave their big creatures behind to become kraken and Catachan devil?


Where'd you hear that? New Nid Codex? If so care to elaborate some more? :D

Comissar_Severinus
24-06-2005, 11:14
Possibly a very small Nid fleet somehow got lost and arrived there. The remnants were unable to take over the planet so they just adapted to it and eventually lost connection with the Hive Mind. :D

McMullet
24-06-2005, 12:06
What gets me wondering right now is if things like the Fenrisian Kraken is supposed to be a holdover from a failed 'Nid invasion, like the Catachan Devil might be, then why did they fail? I mean, these bugs adapt to just about everything, what could possibly get them to decide taking Fenris and Catachan was too hard and leave their big creatures behind to become kraken and Catachan devil?
I never saw them as failed invasions, just small scale scouts (some sort of spores or visurses to modify the local flora and fauna) that turn up to test the waters a bit, and maybe seed some likely planets with nid organisms.

Adept
24-06-2005, 16:18
They also state that the reason so many deathworlds are populated by nasty monsters and covered in dense (and lethal) plant life is due to the Tyranids.

Captain Blood
24-06-2005, 18:28
On a similar, and maybe creepier, note in 2nd edition they mentioned the Tech-priests thinking that the virii and bacteria that had been making us sick all these millennia are very primative constructs. Makes you wonder about that cold that laid you out for a week, doesn't it?

Nazguire
26-06-2005, 11:04
They also state that the reason so many deathworlds are populated by nasty monsters and covered in dense (and lethal) plant life is due to the Tyranids.


So the idea is that the galaxy was eaten by Niddies before, or that they failed once or that small scouts attacked or...Barney invaded the world of Cuddlyco or what?

Delicious Soy
26-06-2005, 15:12
I'd say that the idea is that being an intergalatic race means that the nids have to employ a series of small fleets so that they can mark out things worth eating. Following the theory things like the Catachan Devil and the Kraken would be part of the advance force to either propogate life to give the nids something to feed on or establish a few good places to chow down before utilising a more in depth search.

Heh, nids creating life in the galaxy just to eat it, that would be funny.

MorningStar
26-06-2005, 15:59
On a similar, and maybe creepier, note in 2nd edition they mentioned the Tech-priests thinking that the virii and bacteria that had been making us sick all these millennia are very primative constructs. Makes you wonder about that cold that laid you out for a week, doesn't it?

So what your saying is to beat the nids we need humanity's ultimate secret weapon, chicken soup and bed rest? I like that idea. :)

The pestilent 1
26-06-2005, 18:38
So what your saying is to beat the nids we need humanity's ultimate secret weapon, chicken soup and bed rest? I like that idea. :)

heheheheh Phouton torpedoes away :D :p

Adept
26-06-2005, 20:20
So the idea is that the galaxy was eaten by Niddies before, or that they failed once or that small scouts attacked or...Barney invaded the world of Cuddlyco or what?

I think the idea is that tiny forces, maybe half a dozen mycetic spores, would have been seperated somehow from the main forces, and crash landed on various planets. The general Tyranid spore thing rapidly accelerates plant growth and the monsters do their evolution thing to evolve into the nasties that inhabit the planet.

Which of course indicates that even single tyranid organisms are able to reproduce and evolve.

Interesting...

Brusilov
26-06-2005, 20:32
Or that the Nids seeded the galaxy before they came to pave the way for the invasion. When you're crossing intergalactic distances probably over the space of millions of years you can send spores ahead of your fleet to prepare for your attack.

Honestly if the Nids did already invade our galaxy millions of years ago do you truly believe they would have left planets with life on them, I seriously don't. And the Eldar would have either repelled them (meaning exterminating them because Nids never surrender and never give up) or died. And the latter is not possible since they're still around.

Just think of the Zoats (introduced back into the fluff as one of the early hive fleets, can't remember its name on top of my head)...

charlie_c67
27-06-2005, 13:09
Colossuss, think that's spelt right. Was it this thread where the argument over the efficiency of the nid way of life was raging?

Nazguire
28-06-2005, 10:11
Or that the Nids seeded the galaxy before they came to pave the way for the invasion. When you're crossing intergalactic distances probably over the space of millions of years you can send spores ahead of your fleet to prepare for your attack.

Honestly if the Nids did already invade our galaxy millions of years ago do you truly believe they would have left planets with life on them, I seriously don't. And the Eldar would have either repelled them (meaning exterminating them because Nids never surrender and never give up) or died. And the latter is not possible since they're still around.

Just think of the Zoats (introduced back into the fluff as one of the early hive fleets, can't remember its name on top of my head)...



I agree, Tyranids leaving life is as likely as the Emperor forgiving Horus and that it was all just a big misunderstanding.
I believe that the Kraken and Devil are just the Universe's way of saying "We're bigger than you" to all the upstart races :D :p ;)

Spectre
29-06-2005, 03:31
I can't really argue the point effectively, since we're dealing with an entirely fictional organism, but I still feel that any biological process that tries to make use of waste products is going to get less and less efficient at each iteration. If the Tyranids had access to unlimited energy supplies and time they would be fine; but this seems unlikely.

Regarding the above and the whole question of how the ‘nids get enough energy from biomass to go anywhere, my take on the answer is that they don’t primarily derive energy from biomass at all.

If harvesting energy was the sole purpose for the collection of biomass, then the nids would be better off chewing on C-type asteroids and basking in the sunlight – but they don’t.

So then why all the biomass?
Because it’s a raw material, both physically and genetically.

Energy may be lost during the process of metabolism, but biomass is not. Primary producers fix carbon using sunlight at the beginning of the carbon cycle, the plant is consumed by a first order consumer, and that by a second, and so on. At each level, organisms excrete waste and eventually all organisms die – but the biomass remains to be broken down by microbes and returned to the start point, where it is once again fixed by the primary producers.
And so the cycle continues.

That is why the Tyranids seek bio-matter – for the more biomass they accumulate, then the greater the total mass of the hive-fleets available to wage war on the prey.

Water may be lost to a plant during transpiration, but it is not lost to the biosphere – and there is the crux, for the Tyranids are a biosphere unto themselves.
The ‘nids derive their energy from their own primary producers, and their fighting forces gain sustenance from those they vanquish as a stop gap measure – but the bulk of it likely comes from the Tyranids own light harvesting organism.
The biomass, is only needed for the raw materials.

I imagine that the process of harvesting a world would involve a great deal of light harvesting on the surface, and then further light harvesting once in orbit to recoup any losses used to move the mass up from the surface. As a hive fleet collects more and more biomass, then the greater the available mass it has available to put aside as a biological energy store, and the greater the range it will be able to travel before having to stop near a star and resume light harvesting.

As for capillary towers, I doubt that they would use capillary action as the only means to raise fluids up to the bio-ships.

Gravity close to the planet would fix the root of the capillary tower, while the centrifugal pull of the planets spin would fix the head – in between, the likely best solution is a step-wise chain of pumping organs, valved vessels and storage sacs.

The root draws digested fluid up into itself via capillary action where it is collected in a storage sac. The sac, empties gradually into a pumping organ, pumping the fluid up through valved vessels, much like arteries, to a higher collecting sac, allowing pressure changes at the higher altitude to be equalised gradually. The cycle is repeated, tier after tier, until the capillary towers reach the hive ships above. At each level, symbiotic photosynthetic organism would be necessary to feed the pumping organs and associated tissue.
Once the job was done, the tower would shut down and resorb from the ground up.

After all, life rarely does things in one big step, rather, finding an avenue using a number of smaller, more manageable steps (such as deriving energy from glucose not in a single oxidation step like combustion, but from a number of controlled, one electron processes.

Once away from a planet, how the hive fleets leave the system is any-one’s guess – especially seeing as how there is no parallel in modern physics to warp travel. It may be that the ‘nids have some kind of ‘warp sail’ that extends from the hive ships into warp space as a means of accelerating out system – after all, in the days of advanced space crusade, they had ‘warp nodes’ to move creatures within the bio-ships that comprised a worm like organism who’s head and tail existed in real space, but who’s body entered into warp space.

It may be that they just use a cunning gravity slingshot – it may be that they just use warp travel all the way – or it may be that they use a combination of these things.

So what is the problem with Kryptman's plan? You can burn all the biological material on the surface, but the atoms remain. The soil left after a fire is highly fertile. All that would be needed would be for the world to be re-seeded by the Tyranids by hardy strains of microbes at first. Utilising what little water is available, along with sunlight to fix the newly liberated carbon and nitrogen. As the process continues, more and more complex Tyranid life could be seeded, or induced to develop, to speed the process, until once again, a total Tyranid bio-sphere has been created, and all the available elements desired by the hive fleet leached out of the planet.

And in time, as always, the Tyranid juggernaught would drift onwards.

Captain Blood
29-06-2005, 05:46
Those are some interesting points about the Tyranids, I guess they could be considered a self contained biosphere. Anyway, I disagree with what you said on exterminatus however, IIRC, a full scale exterminatus like Kryptman has been using wouldn't even leave soil left, nothing biological anyway. At least that's my take on it. and I think the idea is to wear down the swarms by essentially destroying their invasion force along with whatever biomass is on the planet. That way, you force them to consume whatever reserves they have.

Spectre
29-06-2005, 06:31
a full scale exterminatus like Kryptman has been using wouldn't even leave soil left, nothing biological anyway. At least that's my take on it. and I think the idea is to wear down the swarms by essentially destroying their invasion force along with whatever biomass is on the planet. That way, you force them to consume whatever reserves they have.

I never said there needed to be biomass left after exterminatus for the nids to stage a comeback…
Even in the face of the total incineration of a world, the destruction of all biological matter, the base elements will remain - and that is exactly my point - the ash remnants after fire are full of the kinds of things photosynthetic plants and microbes thrive on. Carbon, nitrogen, sulpher, trace metals, these things will remain.
They are the building blocks of life. Biological tissue is not a unique material all of it's own, but a selective arrangement of these same elements.
The only way I can see to totally deny a planet to the tyranids would be to blast it completely apart, but even then, the nids may be able to make use of the rocky remains of even that.
The result would certainly slow the tyranid advance down, as they would have to spend much longer feeding on a world, but it would not stop them.

'Salting' a planet with high half life isotopes to render it a nuclear wasteland may also work, but there is mention in places of tyranids developing a resistance to cobalt bombs and such devices - so hard radiation may not be a long term solution.

Axel
29-06-2005, 12:53
I agree that a "normal" Exterminatus fails to explain Kryptmanns strategy. The Nids use, according to their fluff, the matter, not the organism, and these are not destroyed. It is imho likely (or rather the only possible explanation) that the "Exterminatus" a la Kryptmann contains some ingredients that make the resulting biomass indigestive for the Nids. If they only could find a way to seed those without also "exterminatusing" the affected planet, the galaxy would be saved.

McMullet
29-06-2005, 13:42
Regarding the above and the whole question of how the ‘nids get enough energy from biomass to go anywhere, my take on the answer is that they don’t primarily derive energy from biomass at all.
Yeah, I think that's pretty much agreed on. But whatever the source of energy, it still needs to be stored, and that means either biomass (twix bars), or deuterium (for fusion reactors). I reckon the only way they could get enough energy is from fusion, and we already know that nids can produce plasma (bio-plasma attacks) so they should be able to make a bio-fusion reactor as well.

The problem of energy is pretty much there then, although I still reckon they use a ludicrous amount of it to get biomass. The remaining problem to my mind is that the biomass they use can't be used with complete efficiency. On Earth, not all biomass remains within the biosphere - some of it ends up as coal, oil limestone and other such matter which is no longer of use to living organisms. Well, nids have access to lots of energy, so maybe they can process this matter using said energy. That will take a LOT of energy, however, and almost certainly be very inefficient, meaning that a lot of excess heat is generated.

This in turn will cause the hive ship to heat up, and to avoid overheating it would have to dump heat - presumably by outgassing biomass, since radiation is not particularly effective when you have loads of heat to dump. So, in exchange for processing some biomass, you have to lose some biomass. Also, there will be a constant loss of material from the hiveship due to the fact it's in vacuum (almost all materials will do this, even metals will slowly, but evaporate), which will be aggravated by this high temperature causing further significant losses even if the heat is lost by radiation.

The eventual point of this long, rambling post is that Kryptmann's plan means the nids get less biomass from exterminatussed (SP!) worlds. This is because they will lose some of it when they have to reprocess the "raw" biomass, thus slowing them down, if not stopping them. This assumes that exterminatus does not in some way remove the biomass, by evaporating it all into space or sucking it into the warp.

El_Machinae
02-07-2005, 22:34
that the "Exterminatus" a la Kryptmann contains some ingredients that make the resulting biomass indigestive for the Nids

The Exterminatus might also remove all the potential chemical energy from all of the life-essential elements (CHNOPS), this way, the 'Nids have to completely reduce all of the biomass before they can incorporate it into their fleet.

It's not a 'final solution', but making the 'Nids get their nitrogen from elemental nitrogen instead of from amino acids greatly slows the process of harvesting a planet. If nothing else, it buys time. They can't consume the biomass for energy in the process of conversion.

Finally, removing all the living matter from the planet prevents the 'Nids from harvesting any useful DNA (and thus slow any evolution)

Jaq Draco
03-07-2005, 14:14
its still an interesting plan

remove all biomass from a tyranids grasp and kill off a bucketload too. even thbough people might consider it to be a drop in the ocean, considering the sum and total of all nid organisms


why do i have images in my head of Krpytman acting like Baldrick and saying to a higher up =][= "i have a cunning plan" ala Blackadder