The Conclave

The Ordos Majoris - Hobby, Painting and Modelling => The Dark Millennium => Topic started by: Brother_Brimstone on July 25, 2010, 06:36:41 PM

Title: 'Gaunt Question
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on July 25, 2010, 06:36:41 PM
I read on Lexicanum that Hormagaunts can lay eggs and thus breed independently of a Hive. Is this an ability unique to Hormagaunts or can Termagaunts and Gargoyles do the same?

I ask because i was thinking of putting together a few 'gaunt NPCs with the eventual goal of playing a scenario wherein an Ordo Xenos Inquisitor has had some Gaunt eggs transported to his lab for investigation. The gaunts hatch and run amok, laying more eggs. The gaunts have no Hive directing their actions and thus have returned to instinct (i.e. kill, feed, lay eggs), and it's down to the PCs to wipe out infestation or make it out alive or some other objective. If i can only use Hormagaunts to keep it in line with fluff then that's okay, but i'd quite like to throw in a termagaunt or two to make it a bit more interesting. As a secondary question, does this sound like a reasonable scenario setup? I didn't want complete tyranid invasion, just a few gaunts running amok - a bit like in Aliens where there's a nest of Xenomorphs in the human settlement and the marines have been brought in to deal with them.

All advice appreciated.
Title: Re: 'Gaunt Question
Post by: Myriad on July 25, 2010, 07:44:04 PM
Only hormagaunts are noted as doing so in any army book, as far as I know.  The codices are hardly all-encompassing though, and it may be that other gaunts simply don't reproduce so quickly as to constitute a planetary infestation.  In any case, the tyranid race evolves rapidly to suit a particular purpose, which gives you fair carte blanche to be creative.  It seems a wholly credible scenario.  I'm not certain if feral termagaunts would be likely to have fleshborers though.  Maybe you could go with a variant that spits acid or something.
Title: Re: 'Gaunt Question
Post by: greenstuff_gav on July 25, 2010, 07:55:23 PM
i thought the background specifically picked out hormagaunts as part of the landing, Hormagaunts would lay eggs under the planets' surface; if the 'Nids were beaten off, the planet would end up covered in hordes of feral hormagaunts; their instinctive behaviour has them fight ferociously  ;D
Title: Re: 'Gaunt Question
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on July 25, 2010, 08:03:50 PM
Ah, fair enough. Is there any way I could incorporate any type of projectile weapon wielding 'nid in such a scenario, or is it going to have to be a melee based bloodbath? (to which i'm not particularly averse, but it's always nice to have some bio-bullets flying around!).

Thanks for the responses.
Title: Re: 'Gaunt Question
Post by: RobSkib on July 26, 2010, 09:33:05 AM
Hormagaunts equipped with spinefists? They wouldn't be averse to getting stuck into melee, but without the whopping great talons, they wouldn't instakill every PC on the board as soon as they got in contact with them :P
Title: Re: 'Gaunt Question
Post by: Brother_Brimstone on July 26, 2010, 01:20:09 PM
See, this is where my lack of expertise on the 'nids shows through, I didn't even know hormagaunts could have spinefists. Thanks for the suggestion, that should be good and will allow me to convert the warrior models a bit more.
Title: Re: 'Gaunt Question
Post by: Holiad on July 26, 2010, 02:24:09 PM
'Codex' hormagaunts can't, but as mentioned earlier tyranids evolve very rapidly, over the coarse of as little as one or two generations, and gaunts are one of the most mutable genotypes, so you should feel free to introduce a lot more variation than occurs in the codex, versions of ranged bioweaponry included. It's even possible an unusually intelligent strain might manage to figure out how to use firearms salvaged from dead guards or the armoury-undocumented behaviour in the hive fleets or genestealer cults, but feral gaunts are a significantly different situation to both the above.
Title: Re: 'Gaunt Question
Post by: Swarbie on August 01, 2010, 02:02:53 PM
Hormagaunts on their own are nasty enough - they're hellishly fast, pretty smart (I'm thinking a bit smarter than a smart dog, and smart dogs are actually pretty smart), they reproduce quickly and presumably prolifically, they are armed with meter-long talons of fused bone and are actually venomous (carrying tyranid phage cells and other single-cell symbiotes in their saliva). The same symbiotes that give them their venom will be able to disintegrate solid rounds that hit them over a period of a few days, meaning they don't cause themselves extra injury by trying to dig out bullets. They also have a double skeleton (both an endoskeleton and an exoskeleton) which gives them a degree of armour on any feasible body part apart from their joints. Oh, and did I mention they're fast?

Of course, that's just the view I've accumulated of the little horrors after thinking about the tyranids and their levels of inter-organism cooperation. Also after reading some fan fiction and writing some. In my eyes, 40K does hormagaunts no justice.

Then again, this means attempting to scour an area of them would make for an interesting game of Inquisitor. Just combine the rules you might give for a velociraptor, an Alien and a large reptile (the Komodo dragon comes to mind) and you should be good.

If you want to go for hormagaunts with projectile weapons, perhaps a strain that has developed a far more caustic venom and the ability to spit it over short distances? Kind of like a spitting cobra or the Alien from Alien 3 (horrible movie, nowhere near as good as the first two). 
Title: Re: 'Gaunt Question
Post by: N01H3r3 on August 01, 2010, 11:10:34 PM
Hormagaunts on their own are nasty enough - they're hellishly fast, pretty smart (I'm thinking a bit smarter than a smart dog, and smart dogs are actually pretty smart), they reproduce quickly and presumably prolifically, they are armed with meter-long talons of fused bone and are actually venomous (carrying tyranid phage cells and other single-cell symbiotes in their saliva). The same symbiotes that give them their venom will be able to disintegrate solid rounds that hit them over a period of a few days, meaning they don't cause themselves extra injury by trying to dig out bullets. They also have a double skeleton (both an endoskeleton and an exoskeleton) which gives them a degree of armour on any feasible body part apart from their joints. Oh, and did I mention they're fast?
They're also more than 2m long from snout to tail and weigh around 200kg... if one hits you at full pounce, you'll know about it. For most people, such an event would be pretty much the last thing they ever know.
Title: Re: 'Gaunt Question
Post by: DapperAnarchist on August 01, 2010, 11:43:17 PM
... 200 kilos of pointy shell hitting you at, what, 20 miles an hour? They barely need to bother with claws...
Title: Re: 'Gaunt Question
Post by: MarcoSkoll on August 02, 2010, 12:18:07 AM
These things are supposed to be fast, so you're probably talking closer to twice that speed.

The end result would be a bit like getting hit by a moderately sized motorbike doing 30-40 miles an hour. That'd do you one hell of a mischief.
Title: Re: 'Gaunt Question
Post by: Swarbie on August 02, 2010, 12:16:49 PM
Aye, and since the gaunt itself should have evolved/been bio-engineered to withstand such an impact, it should come away without a scratch.

When fighting gaunts, go light, fast and shooty. You'll only need the armour if they get up close, and if they do, you're dead anyway. Unless you're a space marine or the like.

So yeah. If you're gonna have gaunt NPCs, I suggest you give them a new movement rate to show their speed. And maybe a rule for the impact of them hitting at that speed.
Title: Re: 'Gaunt Question
Post by: Alta on August 13, 2010, 10:01:23 PM
'Codex' hormagaunts can't, but as mentioned earlier tyranids evolve very rapidly, over the coarse of as little as one or two generations, and gaunts are one of the most mutable genotypes, so you should feel free to introduce a lot more variation than occurs in the codex, versions of ranged bioweaponry included.

Wrong. This is a very common misconception with Tyranids. Most people think that they can evolve their bio-weapons, when infact the bioweapons themselves are symbiotical creatures modified and birthed on the hiveships then infused into the creatures as they are forming on the hiveship.

Another interesting point that is rather interesting is that, looking at the models and most of the older drawings, the scything talons themselves seem to be an infused symbiote, rather than their original limb end. You can see this clearest on the carnifex scything talon:
(http://www.bitzbox.co.uk.php5-2.dfw1-1.websitetestlink.com/images/carnifex_talons_big_left_large.jpg)
The original limb end would probably look most like a genestealer's rending claw, but I suppose that since the hormagaunts have been engineered to carry long talons, the hormagaunts that hatch out of the eggs will have talons too, but probably slighlty more curved and wider. This will probably make it slightly less efficient, but still very deadly.

On the subject of other things that could hatch out of eggs, genestealers or rippers are other possibilities.
I'm sure I've read somewhere about genestealer eggs, but I'm not entirely sure, you may have to look into that. I know that they can implant eggs into a host but I think the eggs then also absorb traits of the host. But maybe if eggs were found inside a genestealer's body, those might be able to hatch into genestealers.
Rippers I know can, in danger, burrow underground and cocoon themselves. Once cocooned they can hibernate for an almost endless amount of time. It is possible that what appeared at first glance to be eggs were actually ripper cocoons. But as well as these cocoons I'm sure I've read somewhere about ripper eggs.

Hope this helped...
Title: Re: 'Gaunt Question
Post by: TheNephew on August 18, 2010, 02:46:42 PM
Distant memories suggest to me that Ymgarl (pretty sure that's not how you spell it) Genestealers can do eggs, but regular flavour Genestealers are strictly the improbable host cycle.

As for alternatives - Spinefists, Rippers and perhaps a nursery/nest to find and purge?

If I were going to run this, I'd probably make it (while useful, it's mildly irritating that every idea I have these days can easily be compared to a modified computer game scenario) much like Dead Space in layout - lay out the Inquisitors facility so that there's a lot of corridors and rooms and lifts and the like, with half a dozen hormagaunts loose inside.
Clearing them out will either be a laborious sweep and clear with regular ambushes, or they can do the classically foolish divide to speed it up, and be twice as ambushable.
Added to the early discovery of a few small clutches of eggs that may just be about to hatch into Rippers or baby gaunts or even just irritating bugs, the sense of tension and urgency might just survive.

Also, speaking of Komodo Dragons, did you know they eat water buffalo?
Those things are huge.
Title: Re: 'Gaunt Question
Post by: Morcus on August 19, 2010, 12:02:12 AM
I like the Idea.
I think you should mix it up a bit and have different levels of Gaunt running around, that is to say I'd make some of them considerably weaker but not let on which was which just to mess with the players heads.
Title: Re: 'Gaunt Question
Post by: Swarbie on August 19, 2010, 12:58:30 PM
Distant memories suggest to me that Ymgarl (pretty sure that's not how you spell it) Genestealers can do eggs, but regular flavour Genestealers are strictly the improbable host cycle.

. . .

Also, speaking of Komodo Dragons, did you know they eat water buffalo?
Those things are huge.


Hehe, well to get regular genestealers doing eggs, simply take the evolutionary cycle back a couple of steps. I should know, I did it for the genestealers in my hive fleet. Basically, it's a fairly short leap from "implanted egg" to "implanted tumor of genetic material".

As for the komodo dragons, yes I did know that. Last time I looked them up, they basically bit the buffalo and gave it gangrene or some-such infection (their mouths are really rather dirty due to their habit of eating carrion without flossing afterwards). But a documentary I saw a couple of weeks ago suggested they were actually venomous. If that's the case, they're the world's largest (by weight and size that is) venomous reptile.

They also eat the occasional tourist, at the rate of one or two a year . . .