A Bio-Titan is a monstrously large Tyranid bioform intended to counter the greatest war engines deployed by the other intelligent species of the Milky Way Galaxy. Towering above the battlefields, leading the swarms of lesser Tyranid creatures, stand the vast forms of the Bio-Titans. These massive biomechanical war-machines stalk the warzones of the Imperium spitting death and destruction, cutting down their foes with potent bio-weapons. Their approach is a terrifying sight to behold as they rip apart buildings, tear to pieces infantry and tank formations and even destroy Imperial Titans, Eldar Wraithlords or Ork Gargants with their armoured claws and ripper tentacles. Propelled relentlessly forward on their powerful legs, these horrifying creatures smash enemy defences into rubble with their deadly arsenal of bio-weapons. In return their enemies can do little; even under the heaviest fire, Bio-Titans are notoriously hard to kill as their huge bodies are protected by ridged plates of chitinous armour, and even when a lucky shot does penetrate their armoured sides a Bio-Titan is capable of rapid tissue regeneration.
Known Bio-Titan StrainsEdit
- Hierophant - The Hierophant Bio-Titan is an immense, hideous creature, towering over the battlefields and bristling with spines, tendrils and symbiote weapons. They are amongst the largest biomorphs yet encountered by the forces of the Imperium amongst the swarms of the Hive Fleets, comparable in size and power to an Imperial Titan. A brood of Hierophants are likely to be at the forefront of a major Tyranid attack -- striding forwards, drawing enemy heavy weapons fire away from the lesser creatures of the swarm, absorbing huge amounts of damage before smashing into the enemy line with devastating force. The Hierophant is the Tyranids' largest shock trooper, armed with monstrous Bio-Cannons, multiple claws and razor-sharp blades, and armoured with a thick chitinous hide that exudes poisonous spores from rends in its plates. Like all Tyranid biomorphs, the Bio-Titan seems to be able to mutate its genome rapidly, evolving new organic weapons and defences. Other variants of the Hierophant Bio-Titan, such as the less well-known Viciator, have been identified with huge crushing claws or long scythe-like blades, cluster spines and other bio-weapons. How the Tyranids have developed such large biological constructs remains a mystery to the Imperium's Xenos Biologis. Whilst it seems a Hive Tyrant or Carnifex could easily be the result of a further genetic manipulation of the basic Tyranid Warrior genotype, there is no known genetic antecedent among the existing Tyranid bioforms for the Hierophant. It is speculated by the Magi Biologis of the Adeptus Mechanicus that the Hierophant was derived from the combined genetic strains of the Tyranid Carnifex and the Dominatrix. The forces of the Imperium have learned that combating Hierophants is simply a matter of applying the heaviest firepower available; large ordnance weapons and heavy artillery have so far proved the only effective weapons in destroying Bio-Titans.
It is speculated that the Harridan Bio-Titan is derived from a combined strain of the Gargoyle and the Winged Warrior subgroup of the Tyranid Warrior genus.
- Harridan - The Harridan is the largest flying Tyranid bioform the Imperium has yet encountered in its bitter war against that inter-galactic alien menace. Harridans are truly massive creatures, likened to the flying drakes and wyverns of ancient Terran legend. They are the largest Tyranid bioform capable of atmospheric flight, soaring through a prey world’s skies on vast, leathery wings. Though they lack the sheer speed of an attack aircraft, it is a brave fool indeed who thinks them an easy target. They are the Gargoyles' "brood-mothers" and carry their "young" into battle. Circling high above, the Harridan waits patiently before diving down over the battlefield, strafing its foes with Bio-Cannons or swooping low to rake a tank with its two massive claws, or snapping its great fanged jaws around an infantryman. This creature's fearsome armament makes the Harridan capable of attacking just about any target on the field of battle. The Magos Biologis of the Adeptus Mechanicus have noted that Harridans have been encountered in a variety of sizes. Some are huge, upwards of 30 metres in length with a sizable wingspan of 40 metres, while other, far smaller Harridans have also been encountered that were well below the size of what would be considered a Bio-Titan. Instead, these Harridan variants are more like larger and somewhat tougher Gargoyles.
Other Bio-Titan StrainsEdit
- Dactylis - The Dactylis Bio-Titan is speculated to be a larger genetic derivative of the Tyranid Biovore. The Dactylis hurls large Spore Mines for very long ranges. Their forelimbs are long and covered in tightly-corded tendon and muscle that makes a distinctive cracking sound when used to hurl its deadly payload. When initially encountered by the forces of the Imperium, the Dactylis was noted for using the bio-weapon known as a Bile Pod. This living ammunition is a parasitic creature which feeds off the toxins emitted by the poisonous glands of the Dactylis' cranium. In recent encounters, the Dactylis has shown the Tyranids' innate ability to adapt to any combat situation or tactical need -- its cranial glands have grown a variety of spore-generating colonies that can be used to produce a number of different types of deadly ammunition that can be chosen for their particular utility against specific classes of foe.
- Dominatrix - The Dominatrix is a specialised Bio-Titan, commanding the forces on the battlefield and providing the highest level of psychic control as exceptionally powerful -- and valuable -- Tyranid synapse creatures. It is a fearsome opponent, for its sheer mass and panoply of bio-weaponry dwarf that of an Imperial super-heavy tank. The Dominatrix is no unthinking beast –- its level of intelligence is akin to that of the Hive Tyrant, and the strength of its telepathic link to the Hive Mind surpasses even those mighty creatures. Whilst within range of the Dominatrix's psychic aura, lesser Tyranid creatures become little more than an extension of the Dominatrix's will. As a result, a swarm under the Dominatrix's direct supervision functions with uncanny efficiency and a tactical genius that is beyond compare. Fortunately, such beasts are extremely rare in all but the most advanced Tyranid swarm, for where the Dominatrix treads, doom surely follows. Dominatrixes are the Tyranids' largest known Bio-Titans, and it is rumoured that they sometimes carry the Norn-Queens themselves into battle on their backs. They are armed with an immensely potent Warp blast weapon, Bio-plasma emitters, and their massive chitinous claws. They also serve as synapse creatures, the Hive Mind's primary battlefield coordinators for the Tyranid swarms. Because of this role, the destruction of a Dominatrix can severely incapacitate a Tyranid swarm that it is responsible for directing, though the firepower required to bring down a Dominatrix is immense.
- Norn-Queen - Tyranid Norn-Queens fill the role of the "queen" of a Hive Fleet, similar to that of a Terran queen ant, termite, wasp or bee. As far as it is known, they are bound to a Tyranid Hive Ship and cannot leave it save under the most extreme of circumstances. They are responsible for the engineering and birthing of new Tyranids of every known bioform and they psychically communicate with the other Tyranid synapse creatures, directly transmitting the will of the Hive Mind. A Norn-Queen is always the most protected Tyranid aboard a Hive Ship, so the humans of the Imperium have been unable to garner much data about them save in the rare instances where they have been able to penetrate to the heart of a Tyranid swarm in deep space. The death of a Norn-Queen will sever the synaptic link between the Hive Mind and those Tyranids who are directly linked to that Norn-Queen, rendering them mindless, enraged beasts. The death of the Norn-Queen at Tarsis Ultra as a result of the heroic actions of Captain Uriel Ventris and the Ultramarines 4th Company caused the entire Tyranid swarm present on that world to turn on each other and become feral beasts. Norn-Queens also, to a great degree, control the evolutionary course of the Tyranid swarms. Upon arrival at a new world they intend to strip of its biomass, the Tyranids disgorge the "Alpha" swarm of biomorphs, which contain the genetic material of that particular fleet's Norn-Queen. These creatures then relay telepathic information to the Norn-Queen on the new world's environmental conditions and battlefield requirements, which spawn the second and subsequent generations of Tyranid bioforms, sometimes with tens of thousands of casualties during the collection of the initial data. Capture of an Alpha Wave Tyranid bioform can lead to the creation of a deadly neurotoxin that directly affects the Norn-Queen, as was done by the Ultramarines during the invasion of Ultramar by Hive Fleet Behemoth. When a Norn-Queen is killed, the psychic backlash of its death in the Hive Mind causes nearby Tyranid Hive Ships to calve, creating more Norn-Queens within their interiors. This is an instinctual survival mechanism known to the Magi Biologis of the Imperium as the Hydra Effect, and is the reason why even when a Hive Fleet is seemingly defeated, it can quickly form splinter fleets that in time become larger than the original.
- Rending Claws - These are massive versions of rending claws that are only used by gargantuan Tyranid bio-forms like Bio-Titans.
- Razor Claw - Razor Claws are deadly hand-to-hand combat weapons carried by Tyranid Bio-Titans to enhance their already formidable fighting power. Razor Claws resemble gigantic crab claws, but this basic evolutionary design has been made more lethal by bonding a mono-molecular edge to them so that they can slice through armourplas and ceramite. Razor Claws are also implanted with frag spines like those mounted on Haruspex and Malefactors, and these increase the Bio-Titan's short-range firepower against infantry and light vehicles.
- Scything Talons - These are massive versions of the chitin scything talons found on smaller Tyranid bio-forms.
- Stinger Salvo - Stinger Salvos are used against infantry and lightly armoured vehicles at close range. The Stingers themselves are fans of long, needle-like protuberances which contain a vein of lethal corrosive venom. The stings are segmented and when the Bio-Titan directs a pulse of venom into them the tips are launched with tremendous velocity. This reveals the sharp tip of the next segment of the needle and makes it ready for firing. Salvos of the high velocity Stingers are short-ranged but devastating, riddling targets with slivers of bone and corrosive poisons.
- Bile Launcher - Bile Launchers work by belching a jellied lump of cankerous slime which is corrosive enough to burn through flesh and bone in seconds. Armoured targets may last a little longer than others but even they will collapse into piles of pitted and rusted metal within a few Terran minutes. Worse still, the Bile Launcher can have a considerable splatter radius if it strikes its target. These smaller droplets of acidic slime are unlikely to damage battle tanks but they can still kill foot soldiers who fail to take cover.
- Bio-Cannon - Bio-Titans commonly carry large, triple-orificed symbiote weapons which appear to function in a similar manner to the Bio-Cannon mounted on an Exocrine. The heavy cords of muscle that ridge the barrels of the cannon accelerate its ammunition of chitin shells to a speed at which they punch through armour as if it were cardboard. A hardened penetrator core at the centre of the shell penetrates the target in a small explosion of shrapnel and carries the spores of a pernicious slime fungus into it. Large targets that sustain a hit from a Bio-Titan's Bio-Cannon are often rotted from the inside out within minutes of impact.
- Cluster Spines - Cluster Spines are similar to the Frag Spine implanted onto Haruspex and Malefactors for close range, anti-personnel work. They are fired by a muscular contraction and use explosive cellular expansion to detonate on impact and spray razor-sharp chitin plates over the target area. The cluster spines implanted onto Bio-Titans are larger, more densely packed and fire in groups to achieve maximum saturation of the target.
- Pyro-Acid Spray - Pyro-Acid Spray is undoubtedly one of the most fearsome weapons in the Bio-Titan's arsenal. The spray fires a triple jet of highly corrosive acids which melt through plascrete and steel like wax. The interaction of the acids also produces a great release of heat, such that the jets ignite as they leave the nozzles of the spray and the target area is quickly covered in licking flames and explosions where the burning acid has swept over it.
- Spore Pods - Many Bio-Titans carry swollen pods of virulent spores implanted into their chitinous limbs. When they explode, the air around the Bio-Titan is filled with deadly spores which will pierce the surface of anything warm they touch and send burning, threadlike growths shooting into it. Bio-Titans use nerve impulses to detonate the pods, either as an intense cloud in a small area or as a broad bank of spores to sweep a larger area. Though each Spore Pod is emptied when it is used, a single Bio-Titan carries enough Spore Pods to last for an entire battle.
- Advanced Space Crusade Booklet (Board Game)
- Chapter Approved: The Second Book of the Astronomican (2001), "Tyranid Monstrosities - A Guide to Spawning," by Pete Haines, pg. 103
- Codex: Tyranids (6th Edition), pp. 37, 40, 51, 72, 151, 154,
- Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition), pg. 21
- Codex: Tyranids (4th Edition), pp. 4-5, 17-18, 27
- Epic: Hive War (2nd Edition) by Andy Chambers, pp. 64-66
- Imperial Armour Volume Four - The Anphelion Project
- Warhammer 40,000 Collectible Card Game (Viciator Card)
- White Dwarf 146 (UK), "Space Fleet: Tyranid Hive Fleets - The Hivefleet," by Andy Chambers & Andy Jones pg. 21
- Warriors of Ultramar (Novel) by Graham MacNeill