The Great Devourer
(An NPC Race, 35 points basic line)
+1 ST, +2 Dr, +1 Pd, Secret Communication, Mute, Unattractive
Beyond the farthest reaches of the Imperium, beyond the edge of the galaxy, there is only the void. This vast gulf between systems was once thought to contain nothing more than cosmic dust - we were wrong.
From the depths of this interstellar abyss comes one of the greatest threats that mankind (or alienkind for that matter) has ever seen. It knows no fear or pity or remorse or hatred. It knows only one thing - hunger!!! The Great Devourer is here, but the Adepts of the Imperium have given it another name in grim recognition of its planet-killing might, the Tyranids.
Totally inhuman, the Tyranids are a deadly race of alien monstrosities that lives to consume all living matter. Encased in chitinous armor and wielding weapons that are an amalgam of living tissue and synthetic material, Tyranid broods rip, tear, slash, maim and mutilate everything in their path, their killing frenzy leaving nothing but dismembered corpses in their wake.
THE HIVE MIND
While Tyranid Warriors and other creatures function individually, each bio-engineered organism is part of a vast and alien intellect known as the Hive Mind. Driven forward by this single consciousness, the Tyranid race forges its way across the galaxy, consuming all bio-matter that it encounters. Entire worlds fall to the hunger of the Hive Mind and all that is left when the Tyranids pass on is a barren, airless rock, completely devoid of life.
While the most common impression of Tyranid armies given by the few survivors of their attacks is one of vast waves of clashing teeth, plasteel-shredding talons and slimy chitinous armor, investigations of dead organisms have revealed several very specific functions that these deadly bio-constructs serve in a Tyranid army.
The largest and most powerful creatures yet encountered have been named Hive Tyrants. Shown on the right, the Hive Tyrant is a gigantic, many-limbed horror who's fearsome fangs, claws and whip-like tail are combined with a variety of symbiotic weaponry. As well as being a terrifying opponent in close combat, the Hive Tyrant seems to be able to direct the other Tyranid creatures in its vicinity, giving them a strategic organization which rivals their relentless ferocity!
Additionally, Hive Tyrants course with the potent psychic might of the Hive Mind. Troops attempting to engage these terrifying alien commanders must steel themselves against the horrifying images and thoughts which can overwhelm their senses, driving them mad with terror!
Unlike the warriors of every other army in the Warhammer 40,000 universe, creatures of the Tyranid Hive Fleets are genetically programmed and modified to fulfill specific battlefield functions from assault troops to living artillery. They have literally evolved to kill!
The bulk of the Tyranid army is made up of legions of scuttling creatures known as Termagants. These vicious creatures fight in groups, making up for their comparative lack of individual size or strength with their vast numbers.
A close assault variation of the Termagant genus is the lightning-fast Hormagaunt (shown below right). Broods of these extraordinarily vicious and single-minded creatures will attack opponents of any size without hesitation. Reports of Hormagaunts running down vehicles have not been exaggerated as their powerful legs can propel them in leaps and bounds across the battlefield with unbelievable speed.
Not a race to let good genetic material go to waste, other variations of the Termagant gene-spore have been observed on battlefields across the galaxy including the highly specialized living artillery platform known as the Biovore.
Bred solely to nurture and fire their living cargo of deadly Spore Mines, Biovores can lay down barrages of these acidic and explosive spores. These seemingly innocent, floating mines can cripple or kill the opposition, while Tyranid assault constructs close in for the kill!
TYRANID WARRIOR Larger, more specialized Tyranid creatures form the merciless heart of Tyranid armies. Foremost among these are the exceedingly resilient and deadly Tyranid Warriors. Often reaching four or more meters in height and armed with a frightening array of close combat, assault, and heavy weapons, Tyranid Warriors are highly intelligent and inhumanly vicious on the battlefield. Like the Hive Tyrants, Tyranid Warriors can influence the lesser Tyranid monsters and suppress their natural instincts. This keeps the Tyranid forces highly organized during the battle.
LICTOR Perhaps the most terrifying Tyranid creature is the seldom seen Lictor. Towering over the battlefield and cloaked by a its chameleonic scales, it is virtually undetectable. Lictors have long been the bane of even the most alert sentries, striking without warning and so ferociously, that its attacks rival even the battle lust of the Hive Tyrants.
Lictors are silent, predatory stalkers which infiltrate behind enemy lines with unequaled skill. They track down all the useful genetic material for the brood to consume. Often they can be amongst opposing units before they are even detected and by then it is far too late. The Lictor's massive mantis-like claws and armor piercing flesh hooks silence enemy troops before the alarm can even be raised.
The most fearsome and vicious of all the Tyranid constructs are the merciless Genestealers. Often infiltrating systems ahead of the Hive Fleets, Genestealers are becoming an increasing problem on many Imperial worlds. Once the Tyranid fleet draws close to a planet, the Genestealer broods form the vanguard of the alien attack. Leading preemptive strikes to smashing the enemy regiments with a deadly wave of flesh and steel shredding claws, the Genestealers pave the way for the Tyranids arrival.
Genestealers are commonly encountered in the floating derelict wrecks of space craft known as Space Hulks. Operations of the Adeptus Astartes (Space Marines) are commonly waged on the Tyranid horrors and the losses to Space Marine forces are often devastating. This is due to the Genestealers highly specialized adaptations for close combat, a skill which they excel at like no other creature in the galaxy. The razor sharp talons of the Genestealer can tear through bone and armor with staggering ease making even the most heavily protected troopers a target for these monstrous shock troops.
When a Tyranid invasion strikes a planet, even the skies aren't safe. Legions of winged monstrosities known as Gargoyles spread terror and confusion among defending forces. Armed with weapons that hurl a variety of biting, clawing, and acid-spewing ammunition, Gargoyles range far and wide over the battlefield making sure that no enemy is safe from attack.
The use of heavy support vehicles and artillery by the races they encounter has caused adaptations among Tyranid lifeforms to fill a heavy support role on the battlefield. Perhaps the most infamous of these clawed behemoths is the living battering ram known as the Carnifex!
The Carnifex is literally violence incarnate on the field as its enormous scythe arms can destroy even battle tanks in an orgy of frenzied destruction. Battlefield reports have also filtered in of Carnifexes which fire gouts of super-heated plasma from their fanged maws, incinerating soldiers and vehicles alike. Covered in thick, dense, chitinous armor, the Carnifex is almost unstoppable, withstanding firepower which would instantly disintegrate any other creature!
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