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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Having a look through the tyranid range, it seems apparent that the tyranid gene pool seems to be far more restrictive than their fluff makes it out to be. I cannot offer a complete guide to tyranid genetic variability, however we can form an analysis based on what we know by observation and by reading the lore provided in the codexes.

For the most part, lorewise tyranids seem able to match the technological advantages their foes have by entirely biological means. They can develop carapace that rivals the durability of battle tanks, develop senses that would render nightvision and radar redundant, and grow weaponry that puts the finest armour of the other races to shame. So it is clear that the tyranids have numerous advantages. However it is also clear that the tyranids always have one preferred tactic, one that has seen them with numerous victories to be sure, but also plenty of losses. And that tactic is numbers. No matter how resilient its warriors become, no matter how powerful its weapons and no matter what it faces, the tyranid swarms will always exploit numbers over other tactics whenever possible, even to the point of driving entire swarms to obliteration.


So, why no variance? I have given it some thought and concluded that it is because there are no true alternatives available to the tyranid race. Forgeworld sources confirm the existence of creatures called malanthropes which appear in the latter stages of a tyranid invasion and scour the surviving prey for genetic samples. So the tyranids even have available to them the equivalent of biochemical engineers that can absorb and analyze the genetic makeup of their prey.

An earlier tyranid codex states "It is inefficient use of resources to evolve large and complex brains for every creature." This is why synapse creatures are generally far more resilient and dangerous than the swarming creatures around them, however it doesn't explain why even they are not generally more common. After all, a creature with the resilience of a carnifex or a bio titan is generally also one I would have considered suitable for a synapse creature's brain. It could be argued that being spearhead creatures makes them too expendable for such an upgrade, but this argument loses credibility when you factor in the reminder that flying tyrants and trygon primes are often thrown into the same situation if not worse.

We are told that the tyranids can adapt to almost anything. The Hive Mind is a gestalt consciousness encompassing the collective memories of the entire tyranid race for any battlefield taking hive tyrant to draw upon. Their norn queens can mutate future generations of tyranids at will in response to the levels of resistance the earlier waves encounter. And yet, the creatures themselves appear to have little in the way of any true diversity.


I believe the core genus of the tyranid race is far more restrictive than we think in the level of mutation it will allow. All battlefield taking tyranids bear visible similarities. All of them have similarly predatory instincts when isolated from higher controlling bio forms. And all of them seem to be based on one core genus; that of the common tyranid warrior. The norn queens can make them bigger, make them smaller, make them more complex or less complex, can give them a limited variance of weapon limbs but in the end every tyranid that takes to the field to fight and hunt is an offshoot of the tyranid warrior at its core. Based on descriptions given in novels and the models in battlefleet gothic make it apparent that tyranid space faring vessels are all based off similar genetic templates. Are these also just hyper mutated from the core genus? Or something more elaborate than that?

Just look at the models, and you can see that the variance in form and design all flow upwards.

Gaunt ---> Warrior ---> Tyrant seems to be the easiest core to follow, but it's everywhere.

Warrior ---> Venomthrope ---> Toxicrene
---> Zoanthrope ---> Maleceptor
---> Biovore ---> Exocrine
---> Lictor ---> Dimachaeron

Gargoyle ---> Harpy ---> Harridan

Carnifex ---> Heirodule

Tyrannofex ---> Heirophant

Spore Mine ---> Mucolid Spore ---> Meiotic Spore ---> Tyrannocite?

So after wondering why the Hive Mind, as aware and adaptable as its constituents are, continued to rely on such a limited palette of bioforms to hunt its prey, I've concluded it has no choice. The core tyranid genus simply isn't quite as mutable as it has been given credit for. This is what the malanthropes are looking for, something they can use among the many thousands of genetic codes they cannot.


This ramble has been in my head for a while, I just had to get it out. Feel free to pick it apart, these are just my thoughts and these days I'm prone to missing things. :scratchhead:
 

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DA GOLDEN WAAAGH
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Hmm quite an interesting read that. In just an inital reading your id does sound almost a mechanical method for producing troops.

Each is a iteration from another but each is a variation of a base model. What I'm talking is quite easily represented with the rhino chassis.

Rhino - razorback
Rhino - predator
Rhino - vindicator

How about the varient creatures such as the hive ships themselve?

Sent from Samsung Galaxy Via TapaTalk
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
How about the varient creatures such as the hive ships themselve?
I mentioned the tyranid ships, based on their appearances they all seem to have a similar design template to them as well. Almost all of them are capable of carrying smaller tyranids and engaging enemy vessels by similar close range means. Much like the ground tyranids, there are the more valuable variants such as the Hive Fleets themselves, the more common attack vessels like the kraken, and the specialized ship creatures like the narvhal.
 

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I think this limitation is more based on GW not wanting to make more models/rules rather than the tyranids just having no more options, but your arguments make sense.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I think this limitation is more based on GW not wanting to make more models/rules rather than the tyranids just having no more options, but your arguments make sense.
They came up with five new units and revamped an older one for the sake of an expansion campaign. I don't think not wanting to make more models is holding gw back at all, especially not these days with models and even new armies coming out nearly every other month. :crazy:
 
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