Who Are The Tyranids?

Not much is known about the origins of the xenos known as the Tyranids, even their name comes from Tyran, the planet they were first encountered on. Despite this they’re widely recognised as one of the largest threats to the life in the galaxy. Even the constant war of the Orks and soulless technology of the Necrons are overshadowed by the brutal drive to consume that fuels the Tyranids. They come from somewhere outside of the galaxy, no one knows where exactly, and have travelled for countless millennia through the intergalactic void in their ceaseless search for biological matter to devour and absorb in order to fuel their evolution. There’s no way to tell how many other galaxies have been snuffed out by their advance, and how many millions of intelligent species have been devoured for their genetic material.

While the Tyranids are a race of xenos creatures that at first glance appears to be individuals that function separately, the reality is every single Tyranid is part of a larger Hive Mind that controls their every action. They have no technology or machines, everything is based on bioengineering as the Hive Mind adapts and evolves, creating new entities to serve whatever purpose it requires – an immeasurable predator continually working to overcome its prey.

A hungry horde of Tyranids charge across the battle field to consume the biomass of an Ork warband, supported by powerful bio-forms. Image courtesy of Warhammer Community.
A hungry horde of Tyranids charge across the battle field to consume the biomass of an Ork warband, supported by powerful bio-forms. Image courtesy of Warhammer Community.

This hyper specialisation makes them unbelievably effective at their task. An entrenched enemy position? Waves of hormagaunts can overwhelm them. A particularly skillful general leading an effective resistance? The hive mind releases Lictors to infiltrate and assassinate them. Powerful war machines halting the assault? Carnifexes can be unleashed to bring them down. Tyranid biology has an answer to any problem they face – many of which still haven’t been seen by the Imperium due to their specialty. All of these different bio-forms are created from the consumed biomass of their prey by the Norn-Queens. These highly intelligent creatures are the single most important members of a hive-fleet and can be found in the most heavily defended areas of the hive ships. If they’re killed, the Tyranids have no way to reproduce and replenish their forces.

It is believed that the Tyranids were drawn into the Milky Way galaxy due to the overloading of the Pharos; a Necron-built device that was used as a beacon for Warp travel. it’s similar to the Astromonican, projected by the God-Emperor from the golden throne, though far less powerful – a candle next to a roaring inferno comparatively. During the Loyalist defence of Sotha, the planet the Pharos was located on, from the Night Lords the Pharos was overloaded by Iron Warriors Warpsmith Barabas Dantioch in a suicide mission that disabled the Night Lord’s fleet, allowing the remaining Loyalist forces to prevail.

Unknown to the Space Marines or anyone else the huge spike of psychic power released by this overloading reverberated across, and beyond, the galaxy. Advance scouting tendrils of the Hive Mind detected this force, and turned the Great Devourer’s attention towards this newly identified source of biomass. It would take 10,000 years for the threat to be recognised, but it was unstoppably approaching.

A weapon for any fight; hordes of smaller bioforms skitter under the feet of hulking xenos monsters as the Hive Mind produces whatever is needed to bring down it’s prey. Image courtesy of Warhammer Community.

Several Hive-Fleets have invaded the galaxy, tendrils of each bringing devastation and total destruction for the planets they overcome. With cults of worship emerging in the addled minds of some Imperial citizens, the Tyranids are cutting a swathe across the Imperium, despite titanic resistance from both Xenos and Imperial forces alike overcoming several Hive-Fleets. Each loss serves merely as an inconvenience to the Hive Mind, as the absorbed genetics of their foes is used to learn and improve their bio-forms in order to overcome their prey next time.

The Hive-Fleet’s unstoppable advance is primed to engulf the galaxy, with the inexorable invasion fueled by the biomass of those that have already fallen to the Tyranids’ maws. There’s no negotiating, surrendering or capitulating with the Hive Mind. You either kill or are killed. They are widely regarded as the single largest threat to life in the galaxy and there seems to be nothing capable of stopping them – except perhaps the return of the mighty Silent King and the re-awakening of the full force of the Necron Empire.

If you liked this article you might be interested in learning some of the lore of the various Chaos factions, check out our posts on Khorne, Tzeentch, Nurgle and Slaanesh!

Did you enjoy this article or found it helpful? You could always tip the author with a coffee (or something stronger). If you want to pick up any Necrons for your own army (or buy something else) then check out Element Games. They have up to 25% off on a wide range of units, box sets and accessories. Finally, make sure you’re following us on Instagram to stay up to date and get involved in our community!

Leave a Reply

Create a website or blog at WordPress.com

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: