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what the hell is the point of tyranid spires? I mean sure they look formidable but why waste biomass on making spires when you could be making soldiers?
Do you mean this?
Taken from Lexicanum
Capillary Towers are Tyranid plants that reach the upper atmosphere (and beyond). Where they grow,Reclamation Pools then start to appear. The towers are linked to them via underground roots. Later, the towers link up with the sucking proboscis feeding tubes of hive ships in low orbit, which then pump the biomass upwards and distribute it to the waiting biovessels.2
Reclaimation pools are a vital part of a Tyranid invasion. Each invasion goes through identifiable stages. First comes the identification and infiltration of a prey world, when Mycetic Spores land vanguard creatures such as Genestealers and Lictors. These become active, probing defences and assessing the world's ability to resist an attack. Next comes the subjugation phase, when the planet's defenders are assaulted and overwhelmed by swarms of Tyranid creatures. After all major resistance has been overcome, comes the consumption phase as the planet's atmosphere is changed and all genetic material is broken down into reclaimation pools. Creatures such as Rippers and Malanthropes consume all the planet's biological material before jumping into the pools and being consumed themselves. The pools are then harvested by hive ships which enter low orbit and pump the gene-rich biological soup on board via Capillary Towers.
And then there is something called a Spore Chimney
Spore Chimneys are a key part of a Tyranid invasion. They pump out alien spores which not only pollute the atmosphere but also quickly alter the native fauna. Local vegetation will be replaced by highly aggressive alien vegetation. As the process of consumption accelerates, the sky darkens and the planet's temperature begins to rise. The surface is soon transformed into a hothouse environment, accelerating the process still further and optimising conditions for the next stage of consumption. Within days hordes of Rippers will have consumed the vegetation mass and added it to the digestion pools, where all the biological matter is broken down and ready to be collected.
Digestion pools are one of the final stages of 'Tyraniforming' a planet
Larger Tyranid creatures will vomit their prey into these huge pools of acid, but most of the biomass is consumed by the Ripper Swarms which follow the main force. The rippers consume all the biomass they can before returning to a pool and regurgitating it. The pools use powerful acids to turn the entire planet's organic material into liquid, which is then transferred through the many miles high Capillary Towers to the Hive Fleet orbiting above where it is used to create more powerful and dangerous lifeforms using the DNA from the planet.
After the planet is fully drained many Tyranid lifeforms simply return to the pools to be melted down themselves and transported back to the hive ships as they have no way of transportation back to the fleet.
There are also other species, such as:
Magma Vents are Tyranid plants that burrow deep into the planetary crust down to just shy of the the mantle. These plants then vitrify to form hollow tubes. These tubes release the gas trapped in this planetary layer. The gases further the consumption of the planet. The relationship between Magma Vents and Magma Corers is implied, but not substantiated.
Brood Nests provide Tyranid invasion forces with instant reinforcements. Hidden safely underground, Tyranid creatures are nurtured inside the brood nests. On the surface a brood nest only appears to be a series of entrance holes but underneath will be a complex of womb-like caverns, inside which bio-killers grow. Once fully grown they remain in a state of hibernation until the Hive Mind requires them, at which time they are awakened and claw their way to the surface, exploding from the brood nest entrance still covered in amniotic slime and mucus, fully grown and ready to kill.
Barbed Thermotropic Vines are a Tyranid plant species. They spawn from the vast clouds of spores that Tyranid during the beginning stages of a planetary harvesting.
Broodhives are a large network of Tyranid plants that tunnel underneath the surface. Underground the Broodhive resembles a network of giant, hollow roots. They allow tyranids to move undetected from one area to another.
Quote of the Week (Number 3) - "It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument." - William Gibbs McAdoo (1863-1941)
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wow, thanks hive fleet ruina, i had no idea what they did till now. rep