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  1. #1
    Aliens ate my soul. Chubby_Jedi's Avatar
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    Are Tyranids sentient ?

    Hi
    I am doing as much research as I can in the Tyranids and other
    related creatures such as the xenomorphs of Aliens and the
    Bug of Starship Troopers and one thing I am not sure of it
    are Tyranids sentient ?
    For example can a Tyranid come up with plans and follow
    them out ?
    Can a Tyranid choose an angle of attack and
    led their forces to attack a weak point in a defense ?
    Or are they just mindless animals?


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  3. #2
    Son of LO ze_poodle's Avatar
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    Two words: Hive Mind.

    Tyranid sentience is entirely dependent on the number of other Tyranids in the near vicinity. The larger the Hive Fleet, the more aware and intelligent its gestalt consciousness becomes. That's how Hive Fleets form; Tyranids are by nature attracted to one another, and when enough of them get together they reach a breakthrough point where the Hive Mind can start thinking and planning. Gaunts in packs of five or ten with no Synapse creature around are like very, very dumb hyenas; by their lonesome they're just retarded lizards. The important thing to remember is that because of this, they don't have any sense of individuality, so one gaunt coming up with a "plan" beyond jump-at-it-bite-it is totally unfeasible.

    Genestealers are different; they were designed to operate all by their lonesome, and have a certain degree of predatory cunning. It's just cunning, though - like a raptor, they may be smart enough to open a doorknob with their talons, but they couldn't build the doorknob, or conceive of why a doorknob would be a good idea in the first place.

    Important to think of the Hive Mind as a single entity, and the Tyranids it is composed of as cells or limbs of that single entity - the Hive Mind doesn't think "Order my Gaunts to attack the walls" he thinks "I will attack that wall" and some Gaunts go do it. As he would. Every one of them is the same overarching mind.
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  4. #3
    One Vision, One Purpose! X-Slash-X's Avatar
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    I'm pretty sure Lord Poodle just hit the nail on the head pretty damn hard. :yes:
    I'd like to elaborate on Genestealers though. I was under the impression they had more intelligence than that of a cunning predator. Don't they have the ability to adapt to Human society enough to be able to begin a cult? Surely just infecting someone isn't the full gist of it. If the 'Stealer is controlling it's prey, they must at least have enough intelligence to control them in a believable fashion to other Humans?


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  5. #4
    Sadomachiatto Karmoon's Avatar
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    I'm not agreeing with anyone or disagreeing with anyone, but I think it's flawed to try and appreciate Tyranids' intelligence in human terms.

    The whole concept of a hive mind seeing through each and every gaunts' eyes and thinking on every front is simply baffling. But, that's what it is.

    Even orks or Chaos is possible to understand, by nature of them being individual and having personality. It'd be like playing Dawn of War.. except actually seeing hearing and feeling what each marine felt.

    And then, also what every single player around the globe also thinks...
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  6. #5
    The Allmighty Chaos Boots Process's Avatar
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    If you ever read pandoras star and the sequal judas unchained you could draw some paralells to that concerning teh hive mind. But I'm with poodle on this it works a little like waaagh power for orks but in a more focused way. It's like each critter diverst a little of itself to contribute to the hive intellect the hive intellect being an imense ether of manifest warp, like blanket that covers the critters giving them purpose in a direct way.
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  7. #6
    King of France techmarine Rannon Zriker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ze_poodle View Post

    Genestealers are different; they were designed to operate all by their lonesome, and have a certain degree of predatory cunning. It's just cunning, though - like a raptor, they may be smart enough to open a doorknob with their talons, but they couldn't build the doorknob, or conceive of why a doorknob would be a good idea in the first place.
    please, the stealer would just break down the door, duh! *now stop watching jurassic park*
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  8. #7
    Son of LO The_Giant_Mantis's Avatar
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    Agreed.. In space hulk the genestealers can rip through steel bulkheads. They don't usually need to use doors.

    They're smart though, I seem to remember it saying somewhere that they're at least as smart as a human in terms of brain size and activity. Whether they're sentient or not depends on your definition of sentient. Technically, sentient just means having the ability to sense, in which case genestealers qualify (along with virtually every animal on earth.) If you include self awareness, then no.. Purestrain genestealers live in a brood telepathy, and have no individual sense of self. They also can't think abstractly, excercise rational judgement etc. Brood brothers, being normal humans, do think abstractly, but are still partially connected to the brood telepathy and, by extention, the hive mind, which they feel as a kind of massive cosmic unity. Hybrids are probably somewhere in between depending on how human they are.

    In fact, the brood brothers, hybrids and, especially the Magus are likely to be the ones controlling the purestrains (through brood telepathy) after a while, otherwise they'll just carry on stalking and implanting as instinct tells them to. While that works fine in the early stages, once the cult becomes established its a bit of a liability.

  9. #8
    Son of LO ze_poodle's Avatar
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    415 (x8)

    Quote Originally Posted by X-Slash-X View Post
    I'd like to elaborate on Genestealers though. I was under the impression they had more intelligence than that of a cunning predator. Don't they have the ability to adapt to Human society enough to be able to begin a cult? Surely just infecting someone isn't the full gist of it. If the 'Stealer is controlling it's prey, they must at least have enough intelligence to control them in a believable fashion to other Humans?
    They can and do form cults in occupied human worlds, by infecting a human host and then spawning a multi-generational bloodline of part-genestealer hybrids. One of the many signs to look for in a genestealer hybrids include: purple or pink eyes, fangs, hairless skin, partial carapace, and a complete and total lack of creativity.

    Don't get me wrong, Genestealers are smart. They understand that if you kill a IG commander the regiment falls apart, or if you infect the planetary governor you get a hefty foothold into a planet. But they don't think "Maybe I could...[insert original idea.]" They're just acting on instincts programmed into them by the Hive Mind. Notably however, the more-human hybrids - those spawned several generations down the line, such as the Magus - are more human in demeanor and appearance, gain telepathic powers, and are vastly more inventive when it comes to hunting down prey. At least, I think that's how it works. How a half-alien woman gets impregnated naturally by any sane man, I don't know.
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  10. #9
    It's a Trap! Warrior47's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ze_poodle View Post
    Two words: Hive Mind.

    Tyranid sentience is entirely dependent on the number of other Tyranids in the near vicinity. The larger the Hive Fleet, the more aware and intelligent its gestalt consciousness becomes.
    I don't think that this is entirely correct. From the infromation in the last two codices, it gave much more the impression that the Hive Mind was an entity that encompasses all the tyranids, but it didn't lead towards anything about the more tyranids, the smarter it became. For instance, the tyrants embody the hivemind entirely, but destroying them doesn't weaken it. The more tyranids there are, obviously the more psychic presence it has and the more there are, the more it can learn quickly through more outlets, but I don't think that the number actually affects the overall intelligence of the Hivemind. Still, I haven't read Xenology or anything, so if this is written in another source, feel free to correct me.


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  11. #10
    Sadomachiatto Karmoon's Avatar
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    790 (x8)

    Good point Warrior.

    Remember that lictors and the like function far into enemy lines and the like too. Also bear in mind that a lot of nid stuff is 'plant' like, spore based and fungal like too.

    ...
    I have an burning desire to change this thread's title to:

    Are Tyranids players sentient?

    teehee. :rofl:
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