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 Post subject: Re: Warpshadow Comp. 4- Behind the Fighting: Non-combatants
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 6:57 pm 
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Big One
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Joined: Thu Jan 21, 2010 10:52 am
Posts: 611
Well, here goes nothing! I don't have a gallery account yet, so I'll be linking to offsite images just as soon as I've uploaded them...

Cyclops
A common mistake made by junior Imperial officers is the assumption that the only threat from Tyranids is the brute force they are able to bring to bear. Indeed, a cursory analysis of the reports of swarms of Hormagaunts pressing prey into a building only for it to be shattered by some predator from below, or of the incredible psychic blasts of Zoanthropes smashing open vehicles that genestealers may rend apart the survivors may miss a more subtle, and more significant strength: the unity of the Hive Mind, driving forward every constituent part of its gestalt body in a harmony to which the most well-ordered and disciplined of troops cannot compare.
However, even this knowledge hides another assumption: that all this synergy is driven to combat strength. The thought that something as savage and focussed as the Hive Mind could perform sabotage or espionage is rare, and the only accepted danger in this regard is the horror of genestealer cults subverting entire societies and the occasional reports of assassinations by the unseen talons of lictors- both threats that act independently, fallen outside the range of the synaptic web.
They are a spy or an assassin, working on their own initiative or on those compulsions granted them whenever they may commune with the one mind... too slow, even too unreliable to be of use to an army that acts, as a whole, at the speed of thought.
To this end, Cyclops are the peering eyes and probing fingers of the hive mind: granted with a synaptic link strong enough to cover hundreds of miles, they act as the hive thinks and what they see is seen by the whole. Through this, every glanced computer screen is read by the hive, every sewer exit located and every vulnerable munitions store found- all information that can be used as soon as it is known. Indeed, where appropriate, the cyclops itself may act upon it, compelled to carefully alter an order, assassinate an officer, or shred a fragile coolant pipe.
While generally subsumed, the Cyclops does have those instincts required of it should it somehow fall outside the influence of the hive. Necessarily granted intelligence to bear their synaptic link, they are both cautious and curious, even cowardly: despite their size, they scavenge and steal and hunt small prey, avoiding confrontation with even lightly-armed humans- a reasonable reaction considering how ungifted they are in melee or at range.
Physically, the Cyclops is strong and robust, able to cut through metal and rend stone and bone, and thus able to climb any surface or carve through bulkheads; it is also fast, able to scurry out of sight quickly enough most those whom have ever seen one convinced themselves mistaken. This speed, strength and durability does not in any way help the beast's awkward posture in combat, where the relatively short limbs and large, soft head make the creature incredibly vulnerable.
Rarely is a Cyclops found in any battlefield. When it is, it's generally due to the creature having outlived its usefulness or when it is being used as a synaptic hub for more refined ambush predators.

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Edit: Sorry for the horrible pictures-- I don't know how to use this camera. Hopefully, they're good enough!
Please zoom out until they look ok... :D

_________________
Disclaimer: This member is extremely fallable. Conclusive tests result in a 77-82% idiocy rating. Handle with derision.


Last edited by sofacoin on Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:09 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Warpshadow Comp. 4- Behind the Fighting: Non-combatants
PostPosted: Wed Jun 30, 2010 7:49 pm 
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Big One
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2007 5:10 pm
Posts: 697
Hey everyone! Wasn't sure I'd get the time, but I ended up slapping some paint on the Spiderling. Here are some pics!

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_________________
Hive Fleet Mammoth. Readying itself for the second invasion of Edious.


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 Post subject: Re: Warpshadow Comp. 4- Behind the Fighting: Non-combatants
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 12:23 am 
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Hatchling
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Joined: Tue Jun 21, 2005 12:33 pm
Posts: 47
I've been working on a side project of Genestealer Cult Traitor Guard, so I took the opportunity of this contest to model a piece befitting the bloated, corpulent leader of such a force, the Magus.

Behold! The CATHEDRACHNUS

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...the living, walking, throne/battle carriage of the Genestealer Magus.

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The sessile nature of the Magus, devoted as it is to the exclusive development of staggering psychic power, leads to a bloated form and atrophied muscles, hardly ready to march into the heat of battle. To ensure that the Magus' potent cerebral might can be properly leveraged to crush the weak-minded and fleshy, the Hivemind has created an armored, comfortable, and highly mobile creature to transport the Magus. Known as the Cathedrachnus, this highly specialized xenomorph serves to to propel the formidable Magus forward, to lead the Genestealers and their cult through his indomitable psychic will, and crush those in the path of the Swarm's onslaught.

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(The Magus will be modeled from a new Space Hulk Broodlord model, who will get fattened up and otherwise converted to look like a Magus. Parts shown here for scale and to give you a basic idea of the Cathedrachnus' use.)

The Cathedrachnus also serves as a living throne from which the Magus can lord over his brood. Few cult adherents and leaders are permitted to enter the august but closely shrouded cloister of the horrible, quasi-messiah of those damned hordes, but those who are lucky (or unlucky) enough to gaze upon his bloated form will witness him on this large, living throne. These heretical priests lead covert Genestealer cults, sub-rosa sects unwittingly doomed to smooth the way for their own destruction at the hands (or rather, claws and teeth), of The Great Devourer.

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There are several noteworthy evolutions of this distinct creature. The large carapace ensconces the Magus in a protective shell, helping shield him from weapons fire.

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The fleshy area on the creature's back gives the Magus a place to comfortably perch, whether at rest or in the frenzy of combat.

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The Cathedrachnus' six legs give it the ability to move about freely in most terrains. It is believed that the creature is linked to the Magus in a more direct and immediate way than the rest of his brood, enabling the Magus to move the Cathedrachnus about as effortlessly as if he were any other ambulatory Tyranid.

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Finally, a curious external xenomorph, in the form of a worm-like creature with a chitin fore-shell in a semi-circular shape seems to exist to hold cylindrical objects, of the sort that might contain critical bio-nutrients in liquid form. (Drink-holder! But no spill guard... Credit to my neighbor's son Max, who plays Tau, for the suggestion.)

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cup holder!!

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I was originally very disappointed that the Doom of Malan'tai was not chosen, but I have to admit I had a lot of fun making this model! In addition, I learned a few new techniques, particularly with using greenstuff. It's tough to see in the pics, but i even used my new dremel sanding/polishing bits (the reason it looks "dusty," but it's actually very smooth.)

Hope everyone likes it. I really wanted to paint it, but was sculpting right up to the deadline. When I paint him up though, my Magus will be carried into battle on this pimped-out ride! :)

-C6


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 Post subject: Re: Warpshadow Comp. 4- Behind the Fighting: Non-combatants
PostPosted: Thu Jul 01, 2010 6:53 am 
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Hatchling
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Joined: Tue May 25, 2010 4:07 am
Posts: 31
Location: UK
Tyranid Siren Fluff
(i am trying to write a skirmish game around the idea of an infestation, here is one of the critters - pics in competition folder)
sadly had no time to finish painting it, so had to go with basecoat pics (before sanding) as they were the best looking.

Infestation Fluff
The Tyranids have evolved myriads of creatures specialising in direct brutal assaults. However it is not always efficient for a hive fleet to invest vast reserves of biomass in a full planetary assault. The target may be too well defended, or the population or ecology may be too sparse or too competitive for easy harvesting. Alternatively a very rich target might be identified that the hive fleet is not able to attack en mass for strategic reasons. In these instances a specialised Kraken fleet may be dispatched stealthily to a low orbit of the planet from whence they rain all manner of seeds, larva and eggs onto the planet below.

Each of these seeds or eggs will develop into a form of Tyranic life. Whilst these creatures are not true assault organisms and have no awareness of the hive mind, they and have digestive systems and reproductive systems which allow them to operate totally independently of synaptic control. These creatures are in general not a direct threat to planetary control, (though many view humans as a tasty snack) however due to their Tyranic genetic heritage they quickly come to dominate any ecosystem that they are introduced to. When the swarm descends the tiny dormant synapse link in these infestation creatures is triggered and they make their way to be digested, meek as lambs.

Siren Fluff
The Siren is one of the many Tyranid creatures used to infest worlds before an assault begins. Unlike the Ubiquitous Genestealers, Sirens are not designed for open insurrection. They are bred for one thing alone. Psychological warfare. A single Siren larva will make its way to a dark corner of a human city and slowly grow, preying on local fauna and the occasional child, or, as it grows, even adults. Sirens hunt by focussing their impressive psychic presence onto a single individual close by, and making it that creature’s hearts desire to run to and to embrace the many toxic tentacles of the Siren. If it were not for these Psychic powers and its venomous touch a Siren would be virtually defenceless, as it is soft bodied and physically weak.

Once fully grown a Siren begins its mental assault. A single adult Siren has such a developed psychic presence that it can read and subtly affect all sentient minds within about several hundred meters. A person experiencing the initial phase of a Siren attack would think that they hear things, ranging from mild tinnitus, half heard whisperings or a sound like glass being scratched. The siren then focuses on any incidences of anger, frustration fear and amplifies them, to the exclusion of ‘positive’ emotions. The cumulative effect of a Siren attack in a city where dozens or hundreds of these beasts are at work is a gradually increasing level of violence and disorder. Additionally those individuals that the Sirens detect are most malleable to their manipulation will be subjected to a different type of interference. They will experience both the pits of despair but also rays of desperate hope, like shafts of golden sunlight. The combination can unhinge a rational mind, and in the right individual can create a devoted prophet. These crazies may band together to begin to form cults like “The Cult of the Great Devourer” or “Cult of the Sky Mother” etc. A City or hive exposed to concerted Siren activity for a prolonged period of time will eventually become ungovernable as constant crime and minor rebellion plague the forces of law and order. The Hivemind use these creatures to increase the chance of successful Genestealer uprisings, to disrupt civilisation and to tie up large numbers of troops in law and order capacity.

Some of the Biologis Orders have suggested that large groups of these or similar creatures may be responsible for some navy tragedies, in particular the loss of “flame of Purity” a lunar class cruiser that during a fighting withdrawal form a splinter of Hive Fleet Leviathan switched of its shields, stopped firing and altered course taking it into the heart of the swarm. She was never seen again.

Sirens are also becoming a hugely valuable commodity on the black market as their emotion enhancing abilities make them favourite torture method or pleasure enhancer among the criminal underclass. How much information Sirens are able to return to the Hive Mind is unknown as they seem to be autonomous, and may only have a very limited Synapse connection.

Good luck to all, - love the ambassador modle.

_________________
Before you make a man your enemy, walk a mile in his shoes. Then, if he does become your enemy, you are a mile away, and he has no shoes!
(ancient Klatchian proverb)


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