Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The story behind the models.

As I continue to build and finish my new additions to my army, I've been thinking about the story behind them. That's right, I'm continuing my Spread/Food themed posts.
I'm talking about the Fluff.

Now I've had many people go "Tyranids vs tyranids? well there's no back-story there." Almost every time that is the exact reaction when told of a nidVnid game. Those people are the ones that have not read the 4th edition codex nor have an imagination. According to the codex, when splinter fleets meet with no enemies before them, they will engage each other in fierce combat. All biomass is conserved, and it shares genetic information, while ensuring that survival of the strongest takes place.

And so I introduce to you Hive Fleet Zhuran. AKA zebra nids.
I always look forward to facing another tyranid army. In fourth edition codex rules, it was merely a game of chess, and I managed to table every Nid army I faced. It went...
Shooting > Genetstealers > Hive Tyrant > Carnifex > Warriors > Gaunts(shooting) > genestealers ...etc

I played a balanced army, and so if my opponent was Nidzilla with stealer shock, he lacked the defense against shooting that took him out. One game my Zoanthrope actually did well because of their high AP shots. At the same time my broodlord and retinue were assaulted by a full squad of Hormagaunts and killed them all before they got to attack.

But my little hive fleet also had humble beginnings.

The year 993.M41 saw the tendrils of the Tyranid Hive Fleet Kraken snake their way into the galaxy. Kraken employed a new tactic which made stopping its progress far more difficult. Kraken was made up of many Sub-fleets, each heading in the same general direction, yet acting independently. To stop a few would not be enough to save the galaxy, they all had to be stopped. Imperum intel lead to the defense of Ichar IV which was able to break the majority of the Tyranid invasion. It is not the systems saved, nor the planets ravaged by splinter fleets that are the key to the real threat. It is knowing the path Kraken took and the systems destroyed in their wake.

A relatively small yet lush star system called Tiamet was in the path of Kraken as it made its way to the galactic core. Tiamet was interesting for many reasons, the first being it had Seven lush habitable planets each with their own unique climate and environment. What Tiamet was truly known for was the fact that each planet was a Death world. Like the other Death-worlds scattered across the galaxy, these had predators and an ecosystem so fierce that any settlement would quickly be overrun. To have seven of them in one system was a find that intrigued many Xenologists.
Each planet seemed to have a united ecosystem that worked together to destroy any intrusion upon the planet. They system was fusion bombed and declared Perdita, to be left isolated from human interaction. It was concluded that the planetary system had been seeding with Tyranid DNA in the past and had led to a fierce ecosystem with its own rudimentary Hive Mind, and so it was not surprising for it to be swept over by Hive Fleet Kraken.

What is surprising is to investigate the supposed Sub-fleet that overran Tiamet. It is unclear whether it is a sub-fleet or a small Hive fleet of its own, simply skirting the Kraken path like a Remora to a Shark from ancient Terra. What is known is that when the main Hive fleet was broken, this sub-fleet did not splinter like the others. While the Splinter fleets continued their push to the galactic core forcing many more battles with the Imperium, this one kept to the outer rim and slowly moved its way along the outer edge of the Empire of man. This was largely ignored for it was not an immediate threat. Checking the logs now shows that it was heading straight towards the galactic entry point of Hive Fleet Leviathan. Had proper observations been made of this particular nature, the Imperium might have been better prepared for Leviathans assault.

The return of a major Hive fleet led to the increased activity of many of the splintered fleets. It was then that the habits of this Hive fleet was observed, at the moon-rock of Zhu. A space captain fleeing an approaching Splinter fleet came across a startling site. As the splinter fleet drew near the moon, another hive fleet came forth and attacked it. Tyranid fights had been observed with scarcity, but had been likened to gladiator pit fights, while the carnage this Space captain had seen was nothing short of an ambush. Further investigations confirmed that this hive fleet, now named Zhuran, was indeed preying upon Splinter fleets. An interesting note shows that this unique predatory hunting has led the Hive fleet through a path that has pitted it against an unnatural amount of skirmishes with the feared Necrons and Daemons, which a Hive fleet would not normally engage with.

It is theorized that the consumption the of the entirety of the Tiamet system has lead to a radical change in this Hive fleets composition. As the Death-worlds it had consumed, Hive fleet Zhuran may have developed its own primitive Hive Mind. This is merely speculation from radical xenologists, as it seemed to have known where the next Hive fleet was approaching. More tactical fearing minds have suggested the Hive Mind could intend for this fleet to prey on the others, thus to weed out the weakest splinter fleets. Either are horrifying perspectives as in all forms of nature; "There is nothing more deadly than a predator that hunts other predators."

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