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Okay, I was coming up with a backstory for a campaign with a couple of friends and wanted to know if the fluff was correct. Doubt it is because i know nothing about Tau and Eldar XD
Four armies are fighting over a planet for different reasons.
The Eldar had a civilisation on this planet years ago but had to leave it for some reason. Now that they forsee a large war on this planet, the Farseer wants to retrieve ancient artifacts before the world is destroyed, enslaved etc.
After the Eldar left, a human settlement was made and eventually grew to a large civilisation. The world is defended by a Chapter of Space Marines and must fend of all of the attacks of the coming armies.
A small Hive Fleet attacked the planet shortly after the settlement was founded but was put down by the Space Marines. The few survivors have been living in a system of caves under the planet for years, gradually growing in number until they had a big enough army to make another attack.
The Tau also made an attack on the planet, after the tyranids but were defeated as well. As they retreated one of the ships was shot down and crashed on a nearby moon. The moon was infested by large creatures and the Tau had to adapt to this. Once they had fixed their spacecraft, they decided to make another attack as their stay on the dangerous moon had made them foolish.
Is any of this plausible?
Eldar and Marine fluf is more or less fine. Altough I'd change the planet to a full planetary system - more diversity and possibilities for plot hooks, even if brunt of the fighting takes place on a single planet.
You could slip in some random "bonus" games which depending on their outcome may bring a bonus of some sort to one of the players. Examples might be:
* Eldar are attempting to activate a warp gate on one of the planetary moons. If they succeed the Eldar player can use a small squad of Harlequins for free (the squad cannot exceed a certain points value, of course) in the subsequent battles.
* The Tyranid hive has found several exceptionally lethal creature species on one of the planets. If the Tyranids win, the tyranid player may add one free biomorph to a limited number of broods.
* The aliens approach a burial site of a legendary Space Marine hero. If the Space Marines defend it, they may use a certain special banner or holy relic for free (you could swipe special standard rules from the Dark Angels codex, perhaps?).
* The Tau must secure a site for a communications relay station that will permit them to better coordinate their forces. If they succeed, their Infiltrator units function better (think, a bonus to the pre-game move?) and one non-Infiltrator unit may be given this ability before the battle.
Also, if there is a Space Marine homeworld (or a mobile Fortress-Monastery) in the system, you'll need to have a logical reason for their presence there - like something very important to the Imperium for them to defend.
For the Nids, they're unlikely to be able to survive separated from the hive for years - and they are NOT able to reproduce by themselves. Also, even a "small" hive fleet is pretty sufficient to wipe out the whole planet. So this has to be reworked from ground up.
For the Tau... they wouldn't go that berserk, and I doubt they'd be able to repair their ship just like that. The survivors of the crash might have activated a rescue beacon, however, thus prompting other Tau forces to return and become dragged into the conflict.
Thanks for the help. I'll try and redo the tyranid and tau stuff. I tried to do the tyranid plot a bit different because I didnt want it to be "Hive Fleet appears. Tries to devour everything" =P I'll post my next ideas later ^_^
Regarding the nids, I've thought about what could be the most possible non-catastrophic cause for theri presence.
Let's say there was a Genestealer cult on one of the planets in the system, and it was destroyed just as it began emitting the usual psychic beacon. The signal only managed to reach a small splinter of the hive-fleet that was separated from its parent fleet a long time ago, and it is that splinter fleet that is currently approaching the system.
Actually, Imperial Armour 4: The Anphelion project establishes that Tyranids can indeed function as you first described. Given time, almost any one of the innumerable Tyranid bio-forms, up to and including the largest bio-titans can be bred from underground brood-nests. There is no real indication of exactly how this works (as The Fifth Horseman is correct that Tyranids do not breed as other creatures do), but the Anphelion events show that it is possible.
If enough of them survived, they would form a rudimentary hive-mind (assuming that each group is its own hive mind which is in turn part of the greater hive-mind of the “race” as a whole, just as each creature has its own mind which is in turn part of the hive-mind). They would then build up their bio-mass until; a) they have enough bio-mass to consume the planet and/or, b) their psychic presence becomes great enough to attract the attention of the rest of the hive-mind.
This could add a time-critical element to the Tyranids, as once their presence becomes known; they must be eradicated before they reach critical-mass and draw another hive-fleet in…
As for the Tau, Horseman is again correct that a banzai style attack does not suit the Tau (especially as surviving in an extremely dangerous environment would most likely engender caution, not foolhardiness).
Better to say that a ship from a Tau exploration/scouting force crash landed on the moon when the scout fleet was driven off. They have managed to repair their emergency beacon to let the Coalition force they originated from know they are still alive, the Coalition has decided to rescue them and bring this world into the fold of the Greater Good…
Cry woe, destruction, ruin and decay;
The worst is death, and death will have his day.
-Shakespeare; King Richard II
So, the tyranids were beaten back and fled into the subterrain (is that a word?). They weren't heard of for many a year, but now, when two other armies are on the verge of attack, they have emerged from their underground caves. Noone knows how they regianed their former body count but they have and are bearing down on the cities of the imperium...
That's only genestealers, I think.. Genestealers are designed for opperation away from the Hive Mind, and form their own telepathic networks. Even they still retain a degree of contact with the Hive Mind though.. For the rest of the Tyranids, the whole thing is one enormous psychic network. The hive mind is literally the collective mind of the Tyranid race as a whole.. Its strength can vary due to poor or good reception, but it's always there. Not really relevant to the fluff, but just saying..If enough of them survived, they would form a rudimentary hive-mind (assuming that each group is its own hive mind which is in turn part of the greater hive-mind of the “race” as a whole, just as each creature has its own mind which is in turn part of the hive-mind).It depends if any Ethereals survived the crash, of course.. The entire Tau social fabric is held together by the Ethereals. Without them, the entire thing could easily fall apart in a matter of years, if not months..As for the Tau, Horseman is again correct that a banzai style attack does not suit the Tau (especially as surviving in an extremely dangerous environment would most likely engender caution, not foolhardiness).
I think your idea makes more sense, though.. Having them set up a rescue beacon and summoning a nearby colonization group or military taskforce, then having the taskforce decide to stay and make an attempt to retake the world makes more sense.
Finally, Space Marine worlds are not normally heavily settled.. The idea of a large civilization inhabiting a marine chapter world is exceptional to a few cases like Ultramar, and besides, such worlds would have IG regiments to defend them and would thus not warrant a space marine presence except in the most exceptional cases. Normally, marine chapters are founded on sparsely populated deathworlds with small groups of incredibly hardy human colonists.
I don’t pretend to know exactly what process they use to breed. I am basing my understanding on the events described in The Anphelion Project, during which an unspecified number of the smallest/most basic Tyranid forms were gathered on Beta Anphelion for study, from these creatures alone the full range of Tyranid forms spawned (culminating in the appearance several of Hierophant Bio-titans). The only real restriction seemed to be that they were still planet-bound and unable to spawn the enormous space-going forms.
As far as the function of the Hive Mind goes, again I am using Anphelion as a reference; the Inquisition theorizes that the creatures brought to the planet were able to form a “proto-hive mind” and start coordinating and breeding more diverse forms. Beyond that I am making educated guesses about how the Hive Mind functions; it is known that the higher forms of Tyranid (e.g. Hive Tyrants, Dominatrixes, etc.) have their own intelligences that are at the same time part of the Hive Mind. Remember, the term used to describe the Hive Mind is “gestalt consciousness,” i.e. a whole which is more than the sum of its component parts. Given this fact I assume that each brood, each swarm, and each fleet are their own “mini” hive minds that are part of the greater whole which is the racial consciousness of the Tyranid “species.”
As for the Tau, you are right Mantis, they would behave erratically if they lost their Ethereals. If AnAngrySquirrel wants to stick with the idea of a small isolated unit of a few Tau Hunter Cadres from a crashed ship attacking the planet, then what if one of their Ethereals was captured in the first attack? The Tau might take insane risks to rescue him/her. The only problem is that a force of this size would not represent a really credible threat to a planetary system or even a civilized world, but they might be able to cause havoc if they used the larger conflict with the other forces to cover their actions. This idea could be combined with my other suggestion of course, maybe a small force that fell behind are trying to rescue their captured Ethereal, and has signaled its “parent” Coalition for help.
There is precedent for Space Marine homeworlds being on civilized worlds; the afore mentioned Ultramarines are one such, so while not common, it is not unheard of or even terribly unlikely. My own chapter fluff has them based on a civilized world, but that is partly because I decided to imagine them as warrior-philosophers, like some of the medieval knightly and monastic orders, as well as the samurai class of Japan, Kshatriya of India, or Xia of China, with a little bit of Tibetan monk thrown in… So I at least see no issue with having a civilized world serve as an Astartes homeworld, although it would be good to give them a theme which fits with their more “urbane” origins. Such a world would not have an obligation to raise Guard regiments, as Astartes homeworlds are exempt from this obligation, and the IG regiments don’t defend their planets of origin anyway, that’s the job of the PDF forces, which the world might not have if it has a Fortress Monastery either there or in near orbit
One last nitpicky detail for AnAngrySquirrel, the Eldar would not have left the world in question “for some reason,” I think the concept you are looking for is that they had an outpost or colony there before the Fall, and are now returning to retrieve certain artifacts before the conflict they have foreseen has a chance to destroy them. Sorry if that comes across as being rude or anal , that’s not my intention, I am just trying to give you some more information about them.
Cry woe, destruction, ruin and decay;
The worst is death, and death will have his day.
-Shakespeare; King Richard II
The stuff about the Gaunts/Genestealers being the only breeding Tyranids was from the previous Codex, if I'm remembering right.. Xenology might have said something on the matter, but I can't remember. Breeding Hierophants from rippers and gaunts sounds.. odd, to me at least, and kinda defies the whole point of how a seeding swarm is meant to work.. plus the fact it was written by forgeworld doesn't incline me towards it.. but hey, any fantasy setting is held together by suspended disbelief anyway.. I don't think there's an 'official' right answer here.Originally Posted by Just_MeIs that implied as an objective truth or a subjective opinion? The Inquisition does get things wrong, and it wouldn't be the first time deliberately false information has been put into the mouth of an Inquisitor.Originally Posted by Just_MeWhich doesn't explain why genestealers, who do function like that, work differently to other non-synapse creatures. If that was the case, they'd have a functioning leadership value from the brood telepathy, rather than simply reverting to animals when deprived of synapse. They'd still be able to coordinate, at least, while the point of synapse disruption, fluffwise at least, is that the coordination disintegrates.Remember, the term used to describe the Hive Mind is “gestalt consciousness,” i.e. a whole which is more than the sum of its component parts. Given this fact I assume that each brood, each swarm, and each fleet are their own “mini” hive minds that are part of the greater whole which is the racial consciousness of the Tyranid “species.”
My main problem with the 'mini hive mind' theory is that genestealers aside none of the smaller creatures, up to hive tyrant level, actually do any real thinking. They're transmitting sensory data and recieving commands from the synapse network, they're not creating new thoughts or feeding them back in on any level above the randomly instinctive.
I think you're also underestimating (though I have no real evidence, it's just my general impression from the tone of the fluff I've read over the years) the degree to which it is a gestalt consciousness.. I don't think even the bigger creatures can be said to have consciousness in the way we understand it.. It's a megaorganism, it's always been described as such.. The bigger creatures may contribute brain matter, but it's not like they're individuals sharing their thoughts and achieving consensus. They're part of the same being, and each 'cell' within the body plays a role in the functioning of that being, no more, no less.That's just the point though.. Most of those organizations went to great lengths to sever themselves from the rest of society. The Knightly orders, for example, lived in full monastic seclusion.My own chapter fluff has them based on a civilized world, but that is partly because I decided to imagine them as warrior-philosophers, like some of the medieval knightly and monastic orders, as well as the samurai class of Japan, Kshatriya of India, or Xia of China, with a little bit of Tibetan monk thrown in…
I think the main problem though is that civilized worlds do not produce 12 year old children who can kill bears.. Ultramar has that crazy gladiatorial system, and some of the other early founding worlds (which tend to be the official ones with people - possibly because there was little choice in the matter) had similar things.. The Night Lords lived in a city which may as well have been a deathworld.. Generally though, civilization produces soldiers, not heroic warriors..
Not criticising, though.. You have a cool image which works, I just don't think it's that normal.
Last edited by The_Giant_Mantis; June 15th, 2008 at 01:30.
And really, the only thing that stops civilized societies from producing such children is a lack of necessity. Like Ultramar gladiator thing, lets go with the knightly order theme, they might have a system like the ancient knight. Promising young children from all over the planet would be sent to the Space Marines monestary, and from there they would work for the chapter as pages, learning from the Space Marines and their Serfs about fighting and Space Marine equipment, and they would take care of menial tasks. After a while they would upgrade to Squire. Squires would just train for years, and then they would have competitions. The winners would have the honor of becoming Space Marines (and the losers would become Serfs) And what are soldiers but heroes in training?
"A souls screams are merely their cries of thanks to the Chaos
"Horus was weak. Horus was a fool. He had the whole galaxy within his grasp and he let it slip away!" -Abbadon The Despoiler
The Kroot: You are what you eat.
Tyranids: YOU are what WE eat.