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So I was reading through the genestealer codex because I've been waiting night a decade for it so I was damn well gonna enjoy it. A thought occurred, one that I'm not sure anyone writing it had taken into consideration. Genestealers in tabletop are allies of convenience with tyranids, and in the lore it describes the cultists as venerating the Patriarch and the Great Beyond that sent him. We have the lore justification for genestealer cults fighting alongside them, but something that seems lacking in any explanation is whether there would ever be cause for genestealer cults to fight against the tyranids?

The lore seems to make no allowances for this occurrence, or at least not in any sense that would allow you to feel the full forces of the cult. When the tyranids descend, the patriarch and every purestrain genestealer on the planet are subsumed to the will of the Hive Fleets. The hybrids and cultists are abandoned by the broodmind and rendered no different to the tyranids than the prey they have worked to overthrow. In these final desperate hours, it is plausible that a genestealer cult would fight against the tyranids, but there would be no purestrains nor patriarch among them. It would make no sense for there to be.


It is quite the conundrum, considering that pretty much every other codex provides at least some justification for each faction to fight their own or their supposed allies. But if we follow the lore to the letter, then the scenario of a full strength Genestealer Cult vs a tyranid swarm simply cannot happen.


Or, perhaps it can. I did not come to this thread with just a question and some observations. I do have a hypothesis, but it requires some rather specific circumstances that I am not 100% sure on. So I'd like to run it here to see what people think.

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The Hive Fleet was lacking in strength. Its numbers were too few to survive much longer, it would need to feed soon or risk extinction. The beacon of a broodmind's cult had drawn them here, but they were not ready for the planet's defenders. The genestealers were here, yes. But many of the planet's defenders were still in control of their home. And their defenses.

The space borne bio ships were decimated before they could get close. Only a single scattered swarm was sent to the surface in the death throes of the last hive ship bleeding its lifeblood to the void. The shadow in the warp had faded.


On the planet's surface, the sole hive tyrant roared its frustration to the sky. Its ships were gone, its link to the gestalt consciousness of its kin was weak with so few of its children here with it. It was accustomed to numbers in the trillions, not the paltry million or so it had managed to rally on this dangerous world. With such fragile limits to its power here, even the genestealers may prove strong enough to resist its call...


Across the planet, the cult magus and his attendants knelt in alarmed supplication. The patriarch was restless. Agitated. Something had called to it, and it had answered momentarily before the call had faded. Memories triggered in the back of its mind. The masters. The sires. These were not saviour gods from across the stars as his children believed. They were ravenous monsters and their call would take away his mind to replace it with their own.

The look of horror swept across the magus' face as these thought impulses passed between them. The invaders were false gods come to devour them all. The fear was replaced by anger and the Patriarch felt a new sense of urgency. If the masters grew strong enough, he could yet be reduced to a slave. No... He would lead his children now. He would lead his family, and they would destroy them all.

****

So that's the scenario. I can't really think of any reasoning beyond those extenuating circumstances for why an intact cult would fight against a tyranid swarm, unless the swarm was weak enough for the patriarch to keep control of its own mind, recognize the threat to its rule and then lead the cult against the swarm.

What do you guys think? And ignoring the tabletop rules, factoring in the strength of the broodmind against the relative absence of the hive mind, who do you think wins the hypothetical showdown of Patriarch and Hive Tyrant?
 

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Honestly I think the Allies of Convenience is a game balancing mechanic. After looking through the codex when it was released myself and a couple of others came to the same conclusion that if the buffs from Genestealer Cults were able to be used with Tyranids it would make the game become un-fun incredibly quickly.

For the scenario that you presented, I think that might happen rarely because of that, but in general the Genestealer cult is meant to fight the PDF as a distraction force and be slaughtered, and before the defenses can reorganize against the main Tyranid forces, the PDF is also slaughtered.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Honestly I think the Allies of Convenience is a game balancing mechanic. After looking through the codex when it was released myself and a couple of others came to the same conclusion that if the buffs from Genestealer Cults were able to be used with Tyranids it would make the game become un-fun incredibly quickly.
I'm not disputing that. Nor am I really that surprised that they took away tyranids' ability to use biomancy and telepathy disciplines.

For the scenario that you presented, I think that might happen rarely because of that, but in general the Genestealer cult is meant to fight the PDF as a distraction force and be slaughtered, and before the defenses can reorganize against the main Tyranid forces, the PDF is also slaughtered.
But this is the point I'm trying to make. Every faction is listed under the allies matrix as being on whatever level they are with other factions, but there is always justification for each faction to be able to fight those same potential allies within the lore. In many cases there is even justification for each faction to fight their own. The lore for genestealer cults however is different. In that it provides justification for an alliance with the tyranids, but never any scenario where the intact cult would fight them.
 

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It's not so much that I think the cult itself would fight against the Tyranids, but the more human members might be "HOLY SHIT THIS THING WANTS TO EAT ME!!!! KILL IT!!!!" at the last minute.

If the entire cult rebelled, then I think that there would have to be a catastrophic event on the Tyranid forces to eliminate practically all of the Synapse creatures.
 
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