- "The thing I learnt was to trust nothing; not the air, not the water, not the ground beneath your feet. Make no assumptions, and you might live to tell someone else."
- — Advice to fresh troops on fighting the Tyranids, given by Sergeant Gorth of the Volg 3rd "Mercy Bringers"
The Ravener (Tyranicus Ophidius Subterra) is a Tyranid bioform that is a variant of the standard Tyranid Warrior specialised for assault that is capable of digging underground to launch surprise ambushes upon unsuspecting foes.
Appearance and HistoryEdit
Imperial researchers believe that the Ravener is a variant of the Tyranid Warrior genus. Further still, the same researchers believe that other Tyranid creatures, such as the Trygon or Haruspex, may be in turn descended from the Ravener genus.
Like most other Tyranids, Raveners have six limbs. One pair of these are large scythe-like claws which they use for tunneling, a second pair will be similar scythe claws or smaller claws useful for tearing apart armored foes. The last pair of limbs are sometimes used to carry ranged weapons such as devourers though otherwise have no special function (The newer models have the last pair of legs as more claws, stating that the ranged weapon is mounted in the creature's thorax, although older models still have them held in hands). Rather than move on legs, as most other Tyranids do, the Raveners rely on their long, snakelike tail to move at high speed across the battlefield.
Some Raveners are seen wielding the typical bio-weaponry of the Tyranids. Rather than carry these in their claws, as other Tyranids normally do, Raveners have evolved the ability to carry their weapons in their thorax, keeping their claws free for digging or killing. Utilizing their ability to tunnel underground, the Ravener can burst from the ground underneath their foes, launching frightening surprise assaults. They can also use their great speed to quickly move across the battlefield, engaging their foes in close combat, where they excel. Unlike enemy Deep Striking models, Raveners usually do not burrow from the ground in newer Tyranid rules- they often use the tunnels left by their larger Trygon cousins to assault the same turn they emerge.
There is one famous Ravener known to the Imperium, a monstrous beast known only as the Red Terror. The beast took out a squad of twenty Space Marines without dying, including the captain. In-game, the great beast's attacks do not count as normal attacks, but rather those of a Force Weapon, as every blow of the creature's scythes inevitably leads to a slimy grave inside the monster's gullet.
Raveners are one of the many assault specialist troopers found in the Tyranid army. Utilizing their ability to tunnel underground, the Ravener can burst from the ground underneath their foes, launching frightening surprise assaults. They can also use their great speed to quickly move across the battlefield, engaging their foes in close combat, where they excel.
While they lack the adaptability and "synapse" of their Tyranid Warrior forebears, Raveners are still formidable foes. Unlike the heavy assault troops available to Tyranids, such as the Carnifex, Raveners are less durable, and are unable to survive heavy weapons fire. However, this can be somewhat mitigated by the presence of Tyranids with the "synapse" ability. Their incredible senses were once believed by the Imperium to be unable to comprehend motionless targets, a theory quickly disproved in a terrible battle where a Biologis ordered all his men to stay still in the face of Ravener attack.
- Codex: Tyranids (6th Edition), pp. 119-121
- Codex: Tyranids (5th Edition), pg. 37
- Codex: Tyranids (4th Edition), pg. 42
- Codex: Tyranids (3rd Edition), pg. 14
- Deathwatch: Mark of the Xenos (RPG), pg. 41