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Adeptus Mechanicus Data Files
Crossfile: Magos Biologis Data Files

Low Gravity Encounters with Tyranids

From a request by: Brigadier General Berdan, 15th Lavarikian Rifles

Regarding: Performance of Tyranids in lunar conditions.

General Berdan,

You have touched on a rarely considered aspect of tyranid adaptations. I will attempt to address each of your concerns.

*How do Tyranids survive the low pressure, micro-particle bombardment and temperature extremes without EVA suits.

Tyranids are capable of operating within extremely low pressure environs [<.1 atm] for extended periods of time primarily due to structural integrity of the coetaneous tissues. [Genestealers are often encountered within hulks which contain nearly no atmosphere] Extraneous musculature’s allow for the closing of all orifices including the gill cases and body temperature is maintained by a secondary vascular system which contains “tyr-gel” a substance with extreme insulation ability. However the limits of these adaptations vary based on hive fleet and organism. The “Beast of Dunfinnin” a lictor variant is known to have survived unprotected in hard vacuum on the hull of a derelict spacecraft for several weeks while being bombarded by solar winds. This is thought to be the upper level of “terrestrial tyranids” ability. Radiation shielding within the tyranid biome is accomplished by the heavy carapace, high thermal capacitance and the genetic redundancy within the cells. The thermal operation range of the tyranids is typically -60 C to 105 C with little change in performance, gradual degradation of abilities is expected beyond these ranges. Micro-particle bombardment survival is dependent upon duration, velocity and size. Tyranids are significantly more durable than humans and are on par with marines for their ability to deal with localized trauma. Thus only the redundant systems within the creature would save it from death in the case of a vital area impact.

*Do Tyranids adapt well to low gravity? Is this adaptation instantaneous?

Tyranids are within the low gravity environments far more than within the gravity wells of planets. Thus they should experience bone loss and muscle atrophy due to prolonged weightlessness. This, however, is not the case. Likewise one would expect tyranid forces used to the weightlessness of space to suffer greatly from the strains of gravity on planets, again this has not been observed. The reason behind this is simple. The terrestrial forces of the tyranids are kept in stasis almost continuously while the fleet is hunting. During this time the tyranidic forces operating within the bioships are those specially bred to perform these duties. Records from initial encounters seem to bear this out when bioships have been boarded there are rarely any recognizable terrestrial tyranids cognizant unless assaults have already begun. Hormogaunts, warriors and genestealers have all been encountered within the confines of bioships and often utilize the weightless environment to enhance movement and attack vectors.

*Do the Tyranids suffer any problems with their ranged weapons in this theatre of combat?

No appreciable decrease in accuracy has been noted in the few low gravity battles chronicled, given the scope of tyranidic theaters of operation it seems they are able to judge the affects of various atmospheres and gravity levels upon the ordnance they employ. [Something our techmarines constantly have to optimize and adjust to attain peak performance.] The somatric nature of the propulsion system commonly employed is unlikely to suffer from lesser gravity. Ranges of many kinetic weapons are enhanced proportionately with the gravity gradient. [Your commanders should study the Gravity Gradient calibrations for all kinetic weaponry in your arsenal and assume proportional variance within the tyranid weapons.]

It should be noted that the maneuvering ability of many tyranids will be compromised by low gravity and open spaces. Causing them to move in predictable arcs when leaping. [Also the disruption caused by ordnance will be enhanced, often tossing the creatures high into the “air” to float gently down. This affords troops ample opportunity to fire on them. Minefields thus are valuable assets in defense of a compound such as yours.]

Magos Biologis Salk
Draco Legion Biomedical Research station: New Hallefuss,
[Grand Artificer Keplar, Talos Forge World Command and Control Center]

< End transcript>

Addendum

 

General Bergan,

In zero -Low Gravity environments the tyranid artillery should suffer a remarkable increase in drift. This will vary depending on the climatic actions present on your sphere of operation and the extent of reduced gravity. Besieged Fortifications on the doomed planet of Flaix Mon unitized a unique tactic devised by Techmarine Hulkiar [KIA, Posthumously awarded Draconian Crest]. They placed target arrays on air rams and mounted them within the compound walls. These air rams [Gt.453A class speeder thrusters] would track any spore mine which cleared the perimeter defenses. This was over 95% effective in preventing spore mine impacts within the compound. Heavier and faster kinetic ordnance could not be reliably affected.

Individual tyranids, especially Hormogaunts, were also repelled using this method until they ceased their characteristic leaping movement.

Plans are available here <ERROR data transfer inoperable>

Grand Artificer Keplar
Talos Forge world Command & Control Center

Game Rules

Spore mines drift 3d6 and roll twice for direction with the one closest to the direction the Air rams are facing used to determine drift.

Hormogaunts within the air rams affect (two flamer templates side by side) may not use the additional movement afforded by their Bounding leap rule.