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Some really weird Tyranid stuff

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Okay, the premiss is this: As weird as we might Tyranids are already there is nothing like an extra helping of good old terran organisms to make us think they are nowhere as weird as they could be. Oh, and if you are one of my players (you would know) stop reading right now if you don't want to spoil the surprise.


Following are three very real organisms found here on earth that Tyranids, or GM like me, could use as an inspiration for some really weird Tyranid stuff:


 


Mind-Control Fungi


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ophiocordyceps


The spores probably enter the insect's body through the cuticle through enzymatic activity, upon which it begins to consume non-vital tissue. It spreads through the ant's body and likely produces compounds that affect the brain and modify behavior, through mechanisms yet unknown, making the insect climb plant stems and use its jaws to affix itself to it. Infected ants bite into the veins of the leaf with uncommon strength. The fungus then kills the ant and continues to grow until it invades the softer tissue and strengthens the exoskeleton, secreting antimicrobial agents to eliminate competition. When the fungus is prepared to reproduce it grows out of the ant's head and releases spores. This entire process lasts between four and 10 days.


Scale this to human size and we've got some really wicked zombie plague spreading around the Hive World. All delivered by the courtesy of your local hive mind.


 


Decapitating Fly


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoridae


Members of Pseudacteon reproduce by laying eggs in the thorax of the ant. The first instar larvae migrate to the head. The larvae develop by feeding on the hemolymph, muscle tissue, and nervous tissue in the head. Eventually, the larvae completely devour the ant's brain, causing it to do nothing but wander aimlessly for approximately two weeks. After about two to four weeks, they cause the ant's head to fall off by releasing an enzyme that dissolves the membrane attaching the ant's head to its body. The fly pupates in the detached head capsule, requiring a further two weeks before emerging.


Scale this to human size and what you have is like the mother of all zombie plagues. People wandering around aimlessly untill they drop their frigging heads! And then aliens start to crawl out of the dropped skulls. Soon your Kill Team will think either their characters or the GM has been tripping on the stuff they fill hallucinogen grenades with...


 


Plasmagun Crab


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pistol_crab


The snapping shrimp competes with much larger animals like the Sperm Whale and Beluga Whale for the title of 'loudest animal in the sea'. The animal snaps a specialized claw shut to create a cavitation bubble that generates acoustic pressures of up to 80 kPa at a distance of 4 cm from the claw. As it extends out from the claw, the bubble reaches speeds of 60 miles per hour (97 km/h) and releases a sound reaching 218 decibels. The pressure is strong enough to kill small fish. The snap can also produce sonoluminescence from the collapsing cavitation bubble. As it collapses, the cavitation bubble reaches temperatures of over 5,000 K (4,700 °C). In comparison, the surface temperature of the sun is estimated to be around 5,800 K (5,500 °C).


Scale this to human size and you've got... Well, basically an oversized shrimp that is shooting short-range plasma-bolts out of its claws. Its like having powerfists for claws but better.

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 Good and creepy stuff, but the first two are pretty much the same thing that enslavers do. Could be an interesting 3 way fight for control of peoples minds...

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As a Tyrandi Table tob player, i find your remarks quite funny.

 

Your first description would correspond to the spores launched by an attack that make plants grow and animals go ravaging in an eating frenzy.

 

Your second idear Directly relates to the Parasite of Mortrex who lays eggs in its opponents from wich hatch Rippers ( small worms with Big Yaws ). They even have the rule to have one unit that arrives later in the game to be " The Sarge is acting Strangely " rule. wich is he was infected before the battle and stumbles his unit into it then dies and spawns a host of rippers.

 

Your third option could go two ways in Tyranid lore. Most ranged weapons of tyranid organisms are muscle tubes that sqweeze the bullets ( most times a living worm or beetle thingy ) outwards. though given the short range and plasma like temperatures the BIO Plasma attack might be a better match to the description.

 

So Yeah I do think the original inventors fo the Tyranids did look a lot to how strange organisms here on earth worked and what they did.

 

Ooh just one more thing.. The Genestealers...

They are ugly 4 armed tyranids that look like humans with bones on the outside. they run from the main hivemind when they sence it apoaching. Going into ships offworld ect, So they spread around. what they do is mingle with the local species, producing offspring that is completely as the local species, Imagine that for an alien abduction and a fatherless conception, then these pseudo indiginous reproduce again with their normal indiginous species, giving birth to mutated halfbroods. these halfbroods then somehow reproduce giving birth to pure genestealers. I gues no matter how ugly you are you will always find a mate.

Converting this into your zomby idear, it would mean that your marines could encounter survivors, even resque them. to find that they actually brought infected back home. spreading the disseas. meyby one of them was pregnant even, spawning mutations, who then wreack havock on the marines home. could be a funny mission.

 

As For another real earth example if you look at tyranids as Raveging Fire Ants, ( the ones always on the move with no fixed home ) they form a swarm of milions of ants. they attack and eat evrything in their way, even birds and snakes.

The Termites however build huge Spires much like the humans in the W40K lore do. If the two meet a huge battle ensues with the ant spilling over the spire, trying to force their way in, and the termites use corrosive seliver to spit at the ants ( guns for the win ) while the ants outnumber the termites in a 100 to 1 advantage they do not always take a termite mount. the termites might endure by locating the opening and ganging up ( squads ) that keep killing all who pass through. If the ants do win though then its dinner time and the swarm will grow again in number.

 

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Deffinatly intersting stuff.

The Fungi and decapitating fly stuff could be used for especially creepy sights especially the first time it happens. very Alien dinner table stuff.

As for the shrimp thing there hasn't been much documentation or classification for sea dwelling tyranids. presumably if the came across a ocean planet they would cook up some new sort of swimming tyranids. Underwater combat can be especially tense what with enemies but also the chance of floating to the ocean floor. Space marines in Bioshock's Rapture anyone?

Good ideas.

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