The Tyranids from Warhammer best the Zerg from StarCraft in any sense
Debate Rounds (4)
First round is for acceptance
all following rounds are free game so long as you defend and attack arguments based on the topic.
If definitions are required, please specify what needs to be defined in the comments, if no one has taken the spot that is.
The Tyranid void ships are large living creatures themselves, much like how the Zerg void ships work, however, the sizes of the Tyranid warships and the mere ferocity they exhibit in combat is reason enough to their superiority over the Zerg. Majority of the Zerg ships are meant as transport regadless, with few real means of defending themselves from combat in space. In the alternate universe where the Zerg and the Tyranids run head to head in the vastness of space, the ferocious zeal and lack of self preservation would cause chaos among Zerg ships, with numerous Tyranid bioships rushing to tear apart the living ships of the Zerg, and the main tendril or splinter continuing its journey to the planet in which the land massacres begin.
Tyranid and Zerg forces both test their opponents and adapt accordingly. However, the extent at which those adaptations can go is without limit in the Tyranid forces, while the Zerg only have those that they assimilated. This leads to tactical adaptation to the Tyranid being far greater than that of the Zerg. For example, the Terran forces all understand that they need to diversify their forces in order to combat each kind of Zerg unit. Making a preparation easy, the Zerg could adapt by using strategy, but their units would always constant. Their swarm units being vast numbers of Zerglings and their tanks being Ultralisks and Roaches. Yet, this just means that all a defending force has to do is be ready to combat the expected strains. In the case of the Tyranids, a full wave of Termagaunts could be sent and destroyed by defending forces. As a result, the Hivemind then creates an entirely new breed of Termagaunt, if the bullets are strong enough to cut the chitin armor, then the Termagaunts will be given an even more reinforced chitin plate and possibly adrenaline glands to enhance their speed and ferocity. Or, there is the possibility that warriors with Devourer cannons will be sent in to attack defenders from long range while Termagaunts run blindly and angrily into the guns of their prey. Where the Zerg would employ Ultralisks to destroy a formidable wall of guns, the Zerg would simply send thousands of highly diversified forces. Raveners burrow underground while Gargoyles fire from above and the different Gaunts scale the wall and fire at defenders. Zerg forces may infest the populous and utilize a type of undead unit to demoralize their foes, yet, how does that compare to a literal sea of 1 meter high monsters of teeth and claw whose sole purpose is to kill and rend anything that is not it? How does that compare to the Tyranid Bio-titans that stand taller than an Ultralisk, or the tiny worms that eat men alive in a furious appetite for biomass? Where the Zerg forces possess numbers and specific breeds, the Tyranid forces possess even larger numbers and a means of changing every aspect of every biomorph to combat everything they encounter.
The Zerg rely heavily on the leadership of Cerebrate, such as the Queen of Blades, the Overmind and his generals, or the Queens that the Queen of Blades employs. Should these Cerebrates be killed, all manner of organization is lost and the Zerg hordes turn feral and mindless. Therefore, all a general would need to do is assassinate the leader and mop up. The Queen of Blades demonstrated this tactic and its efficiency in her rise to power over the Zerg forces as a whole. In the Tyranids case, this task is not so easily carried out. Each hive fleet is guided by a Norn Queen, a massive Tyranid bioform that oversees the genetic make up of each Tyranid breed, as well as the navigation through space to nearby planets for devouring. She sits upon a throne in a massive Tyranid Tendril or Splinter and is the most ferociously guarded Tyranid of them all. The prevention of breaking the Atmosphere during a Tyranid invasion makes her death near impossible. Also, the Norn Queen employs numerous Synaptic Tyranids on the fields of battle who relay her commands or the commands of the overall Hivemind. These synaptic leaders range from the small Warriors to the massive Hive Tyrants, and the death of these creatures is difficult in its own way. The chaos each one leads keeps commanders and opposing forces more focused on surviving than attacking, and even if a synaptic leader were to be killed, numerous others surround it and are located all over the battlefield, making turning the Tyranids against themselves an even more daunting task than turning the Zerg against itself.
Zerg forces require living bases to effectively take over planets. This results in Hives being key location for Zerg forces, these base also exert a substance known as Creep, which terraforms the landscape to benefit the Zerg further. However, the Creep is the lifeblood of a Zerg base, for, if there were no Creep, there would be no living buildings. In the case of the Tyranids, bases are a foreign concept to them. Mycetic spores land everywhere and vomit Tyranid forces, massive pools of Biomass are formed for the Bioships to collect from, there is no terraforming since the goal of the Tyranids is to turn the planet that they invade into nothing more than an empty ball of rock. An assaulting force could easily destroy a Zerg hive and kill any workers and larvae that survive, effectively ending Zerg reproduction, Yet, a force would need to destroy all of the Bioships in the void of space in order to end Tyranid propagation, a task that is just as impossible as turning the Tyranids against themselves. Plus, worlds taken over by Zerg forces are kept under Zerg control, they utilize worlds as strategic points and require the Crystals and Vespin Gas located on nearly every planet in the StarCraft universe. Meaning, a planet without these resources could hinder Zerg forces. The Tyranids come to planets to strip it of all organic material, that is their resource, they do not need bases or strategic points, they need biomass. This makes a Tyranid campaign even more threatening than a Zerg campaign, a General can figure out why the Zerg would want a world and take action to keep it from them. Nobody ever sees a Tyranid invasion coming until it happens, when all communications are effectively blocked and people start getting massacred and digested to become more Tyranids. There is no strategy in a Tyranid campaign, and that makes them unpredictable and more dangerous than the Zerg.
I await my opponent's counter arguments and opening arguments
The Zerg are genetically modified organisms. Given the thousands of climates that they have seen and conquered, there can be no doubt as to there capabilities. The Tyranid can emphasize a certain trait, but they can't add new traits to existing specimens (or that's how I understad it). If the Zerg get one Tyranid specimen, the Tyranids will not only be assimilated, but whatever weaknesses they have will be removed and subsequently exploited. In addition to this, the Zerg have Abathur. He will guide the evolution of the Zerg and give them exactly what they need to exploit the Tyranids.
Both the Zerg and the Tyranid rely on psychic/psionic communication. For the Zerg they have Queens and Cerebrates. Cerebrates are effectively immortal unless you have access to Dark Templar Energy. Cerebrates are basically very large brains. They are few in number, yet they had the potential to command literally every single unit in the Swarm. (Imagine if a few more were cranked out!) Queens are capable of commanding huge swarms of Zerg via Overlords. After this, they still have a huge amount of extra psionic potential. It wouldn't take much work to have them harness this and take over a large portion of Tyranid forces without budging an inch. This isn't even taking into account Kerrigan. As has been noted, she is the most powerful being in the Starcraft universe. I'm going to go by pre-ascension Kerrigan, otherwise this isn't a fair fight. Anyways, she can take over any being with her psionic prowess (with maybe the exception of the Protoss).
Quick Sidenote: The Tyranid couldn't surprise the Zerg due to their immense psionic presence.
The Primal Zerg are Zerg that were left behind before the Overmind enslaved every individual Zerg. These Primal Zerg, being incredibly powerful and adaptive, can literally eat one small Tyranid, get whatever power it had, and grow stronger in battle. An endless swarm of Tyranids would only help them.
Creep is the only semi-vegitative life form on every Zerg controlled planet. The spores of the Tyranid would have no effect on them, except to tip off the Zerg as to what's going on.
The Tyranids are a manifestation of the destructive ravenous unpredictability of nature in a universe that knows only war. The Tyranids are extragalactic beings that have more than likely consumed countless galaxies before the milky way, their ships are living creatures whose innards are living breathing ecosystems. That is the home of a Tyranid, itself. Hundreds of world had already fallen to the Great Devourer in the WH40K universe, each world as different as it is diverse from each other, and the Tyranids consumed them without faltering. Already, with them not being created in the way the Xel'naga created the Zerg, the Tyranids are a natural destructive result of any world regardless of environment. Pods of dormant Tyranids are found on some planets as well, from scorching deserts to freezing arctic environments, the Tyranids manage to naturally be able to counter the natural elements of any world. The Norn-Queens that guide the birthing of new Tyranid breeds can and does add new traits to Tyranid biomorphs as it see fits. For example, there are numerous different versions of nearly every Tyranid, and in some cases, a Tyranid biomorph is changed almost completely to counter the obstacle that lie ahead. Carnifex's can be outfitted with stronger chitin to shrug off tank shells, or be given an adrenaline gland to make them even more ferocious in combat, or be outfitted with a ranged weapon to combat a specific enemy. Warriors can be given larger and sharper talons or a ranged weapon or even a whip, and bio-titans can be given a large array of devastating improvements. In a battle against the Tau forces in a jungle world, Tyranid forces were slaughtered by Kroot warriors, as a result, the hormagaunts were redesigned by the Norn-Queen and they were able to camouflage themselves and traverse the thickets far better than the Kroot, giving them the advantage over the Tau.
It is true that both forces rely on psionic/psychic communications, however, my opponent's claim that the Zerg queens have the potential to interject the synaptic link and control the Tyranids themselves, however, Tyranids are not controlled through psychic commands. They are driven by instinct and the will of the Hive Mind. The Hive Mind is an entity in its own right, a being of pure psychic power that embodies itself in Hive Tyrants and is a part of every Tyranid biomorph. As a result, any non Tyranid organism that attempts to tap into the synaptic web is driven to the immediate insanity. This only occurs because tapping into the psychic mind of a Tyranid essentially means connecting yourself to the synaptic web, meaning, you create a direct path for the Hive Mind to enter your mind as well. Due to the Hive Mind being pure psychic energy and a part of every Tyranid alive, the Zerg queens would not have any chance of controlling Tyranid forces, rather, they themselves would allow the Hive Mind into their psionic mind, essentially giving themselves up to the Hive Mind and having the opposite reaction than anticipated. In the case of Kerrigan, much would need to be discussed, she is the most powerful being in the StarCraft universe, but if she were to allow what is essentially a god into her mind, would she survive? The Hive Mind has spread through countless galaxies before reaching the Milky Way, does Kerrigan have truly have the strength to psychically combat a being that spans the universe and has grown in power for Millennia?
The Tyranid psychic presence has an odd effect on psychic/psionics in the universe. When a Tyranid hive fleet is travelling, it uses psychic energy to propel itself through space, as a result, a phenomenon called "Shadow in the Warp" happens, in which, wherever the Tyranids go, all psychic scanning and communications are cut off. They carry a bubble that nullifies a psyker's/psionic's ability to see them and communicate with another person of the same power. So, in counter, the Tyranids would be able to surprise the Zerg if the Zerg do not react appropriately to all mental communications being interrupted and nullified for seemingly no reason.
I to have read up on the Primal Zerg and can honestly say that I was impressed with their ability to absorb abilities from their pray and adapt almost immediately right then and there. However, my opponent thinks the Tyranids are stupid in the sense where they would willingly run into the jaws Primal Zerg. Tyranids test a foe and adapt accordingly, once locating a large creature whose psionic potential is high, the Tyranids would instead attack with an aggressive force. Warriors, Carnifexes, and a Hive tyrant to control the horde would be more than enough to take down the myriad Primal Zerg. Tyranids do not willingly die for the benefit of the species, they attack and keep attacking until they are killed or their prey is.
I do not disagree that the Creep would definitely alert the Zerg of a Tyranid presence, however, the mycetic spores are not spores that create a Tyranid environment. Mycetic spores are very large living drop pods the size of houses that crash down on surfaces and vomit Tyranid forces, many have offensive capabilities, although many die on impact, waiting to be devoured by the Great Devourer once the world is taken. Other than being living drop pods, the mycetic spores would not have any direct effect to the Creep.
This is one ground where the Zerg and Tyranid are equal. Both of them can actively change themselves to match any foe. It would essentially be a situation where both would evolve and counter-evolve so many times that neither side could win on that alone.
I want to point out that queens would run interference prior to connection. Both sides would be capable of destroying each others psionic capabilities, but the Zerg would ultimately win out. The Zerg have access to cerebrates, which, I have noted are essentially immortal. These cerebrates are devoted to psychic capabilities. This implies that they are far stronger than whatever half combat, half amplifier that the Tyranid employ. Keep in mind, the Zerg are the ones being attacked here.
Kerrigan has defeated the fallen Xel'Naga Amon. In Starcraft, this is basically the assassination of a god. She defeated him in his homeland, a place where nobody should've been able to go.
This "Shadow in the Warp" phenomenon is irrelevant. The Tyranid aren't cut off from their hive mind. Why should the Zerg?
It is worth noting that the Primal Zerg have no connection to the actual Zerg hive mind. They merely follow it because it's really powerful.
The Zerg have had psionic disruptors employed against them in the past. Due to the Primal Zerg, they were able to defeat it. Because of this, the Zerg have acquired many of these devices. It is hardly inconceivable that they be used by the Zerg in tandem with the Primal Zerg to deal with whatever threat is present.
I am merely pointing out that the first stage in Tyranid take over would be effectively nullified. The instantaneous reaction from the Zerg would actually help them with studying the new invader.
The Synaptic Web and "Shadow in the Warp" are two of the greatest weapons possessed by the Tyranid faction when dealing with Psychic/Psionics races and weapons. The shadow phenomenon is actually not irrelevant, the reason it does not cut off the Tyranids from the Hive Mind is because the Hive Mind is a physical being of psychic energy. When caught within the bubble of a Hive Fleet where the Shadow of the Warp takes place, Pyskers/Psionics are hit with a wave of psychic energy, using their abilities in any way allows the Synaptic Web to touch the psyker/psionic, which results in the millions of instinctual thoughts and psychic chatter of the Tyranid force being heard by the individual tapping into it, it creates a pain that is as unbearable as being a survivor during the Tyranid aftermath where they mop up the remaining biomass. The only reason the Zerg would be cut off is because of the alternative and more immediate presence of another Hive Mind in the vicinity, a creature whose influence spans numerous galaxies rather than a few star systems.
In this sense, the Primal Zerg would be the best defence against the Tyranid invasion. If a counter to such a phenomenon exists to help keep the Zerg forces under control, then I suppose at that point, it's a battle of strength.
Synaptic Tyranid forces do not possess the ability to link to non-Tyranid forces, linking with them however is suicide in its own right, they are the physical embodiments of the Hive Mind, a being of pure psychic energy who connects all Tyranids, if more info existed on him and Kerrigan's true and full power, then that would be a discussion of another day that would be well worth the talk. However, at this point, it would be impossible to tell if the Hive Mind would destroy Kerrigan's mind or it Kerrigan could withstand its psychic backlash and attacks to take over some Tyranid forces. Since a lack of evidence exists no matter where I look, I would like to say that at this point, it comes down to a test of strength.
Zerg forces are the ones being attacked here, so yes, the Creep would allow a quick response time to Tyranid invasion forces. That is where the most interesting point of the conversation would arise... Since Tyranid invasions begin at a center point where a cluster of mycetic spores land and vomit the first of the Tyranid forces, would the Tyranids be able to establish a beach head? Or would every impact zone be overwhelmed by Zerg? If a faction that was very unlike the Tyranid and Zerg were the topic of conversation was the one invading, then I would say yes. However, in the case of the Tyranids, the sheer speed at which they mobilize and begin attacking would allow a beachhead to be established. While Zerg are more sophisticated by the individual and strategies do exist among the Cerebrates and Kerrigan, the Tyranid way of fighting is "Quantity is its own Quality", this is the quote that best fits the Tyranids because they deploy and attack in such large forces. One mycetic spore can house hundreds of Hormagaunts whose tenacity and resistance to faltering under pain would result in a shock on Zerg forces. Zerg units are not instinctual monsters like the Tyranids, they can think, they can collaborate, they have a hierarchy. However, in the case of the Tyranids, the lack of one is its own benefit. This being because Tyranid forces are given but one instinct to act upon, Hunt, they do not retreat, they do not stop to rest, they do not defend areas of value. In this sense, the very shock and awe of their entire military is enough to throw Zerg forces off in the beginning of a battle. Soon, I am sure the Zerg Queens will surely attempt a psionic link with the Extragalactic forces, however, even if a Queen were to bypass the pain and horror of the synaptic web, they would find that the Tyranid forces are nothing but animals who are sensitive to Psychic energy. Not sensitive as in susceptible, sensitive as in, they can find it faster than anyone else and they hunt it.
Synaptic Tyranid leaders would surely be deployed after the beachhead is secured, this would indicate that more Tyranids are currently en route to the surface of the planet, since Tyranids work like an explosion, meaning, the front lines attack attack attack while the smaller wormlike ravagers consume the biomass in conquered land. The large amount of Creep and bodies, both Tyranid and Zerg, would allow fast propagation of the Tyranid forces during the fight. Seeing as how in every battle the Tyranids fight in, their forces seemingly double at the very least during a campaign, and increase dramatically after all resistance has been dealt with. No doubt, Zerg forces would need to adapt to the oncoming hordes of more dangerous form of primal animal, one that seeks nothing but to consume and grow rather than become omniscient and perfect. Adaptations on the Zerg side would, in my mind, be mostly armor and weapon strength based, allowing Zerg forces to withstand the rending claws and scything talons of the Tyranid forces and also be able to cut through whatever chitin armor the Tyranids bear. After a synaptic Tyranid witnesses this, the memory is sent to the Norn-Queen aboard the largest and most defended Bioship and she begins making new strains of Tyranid forces. This is where the adaptations and counter adaptations exist. However, Zerg forces can only adapt so much before their genetic strain cannot be modified or stretched any further. The Zerg only seek out specific DNA to assimilate, only the most beneficial so that they can reach perfection. The Tyranids take everything and utilize everything, Zerg forces would reach an evolutionary deadend quicker than the Tyranid forces would, this would be the turning point in the counter adaptation point in the war, eventually, Zerg forces would no doubt begin producing ultralisks, the giant scythed behemoths that kill everything. This would only spell disaster for the Zerg, Tyranids send forces in response to an adapting foe, this is where the Bio-titans would arrive. Tyranids the size of the Tallest Sky scrapers would arrive, bearing weapons that bristle all over their bodies. Hive crones would assume complete air superiority once the scourges and mutalisks become a nuisance to the Tyranids, and the frontlines would be pushed back. Eventually, there will be so much that happens that no real strategy that exists could stop the Tyranid advance. If the Zerg were fighting a foe that relied on any resource besides biomass, then tactics to hinder supplies could be taken. But the Tyranids seek any type of living or life giving material and utilize it in their propagation, the dead would fuel the Tyranid advance and the surrounding Creep and living Zerg buildings and ecosystem would be devoured. The Zerg have a self preservation where the Tyranids do not, Kerrigan is smart and powerful individual indeed. But what could she for the planet that is currently under attack by Tyranids? In any universe where either of these two exist, there is a constant state of war. Kerrigan's Zerg worlds would bear the forces capable of reinforcing and fighting back the Tyranid Hive Fleet, but is she really willing to pull Zerg units out of positions on key locations just to keep a planet that was being consumed during the war? Even Kerrigan knew when and where the fights that were worth it existed, and I say that Kerrigan would rather save the remaining Zerg forces and make an escape than to continue a war with a force who has more different types of weapons than she does different types of Zerg.
Even Kerrigan would understand that the only real way to defeat a force of nature built on war would be to have the entirety of the Terran and Protoss races unify with her and fight the Tyranids.
A few races in the WH40K universe know that unification is the only way to truly defeat such a foe, but unification is as far fetched an idea as defeating the Tyranids.
I await my opponent's final argument.
It is worth mentioning that any form of life that the Zerg make use of have no capacity for brains. That honor is reserved for a small number of organisms in the Swarm. Cerebrates and Queens are the two non unique organisms with this trait. Abathur, Izha, Kerrigan, and Primal Zerg are the others. So for all intents and purposes, the Swarm has no will beyond that found in its leader.
Keep in mind, their are many other organisms in this swarm. You have mentioned Zerglings Ifor this debate they are using the Swarmling Strain), Mutalisks, Scourge, and Ultralisks (for this debate they are using the Terrasque Strain). These are but a few of the existing creatures. The ones that I think are especially important for the counter to the Tyranids are as follows: Swarm Host (Tunneling Adaptation), Viper, Lurker, Baneling (Leaper Adaptation), Abberant, Corruptor, Sunken Colony, and Bile Launcher.
Also, the Zerg have made use of biomass before. One notable usage was when Abathur remotely triggered the cells in a dead ultralisk and brought it back from the dead without any significant effort.
So back to first contact. Zerg have swarmed in, but they don't care what the Tyranid attempt. They slaughter every last one. This gives Abathur the "essence" of the Tyranid creatures. He picks out the most useful strains and begins incorporating them into the swarm. By the time the Tyranid have come back, the Zerg are fully entrenched. If they send down any force, they are immediately countered with a host of banelings (creatures that literally explode into acid upon contact with their target). As for the few that get through next, they are taken by the Primal Zerg, and put as fuel into the Primal Zerg's ever evolving nature. The Tyranid would ramp up their attempts to establish a beach head. This would be countered by the incorporation of Bile Launchers (creatures that launch acid at incredibly high velocity towards airborn targets) and Sunken Colonies (an stationary organism that has a tentacle that it can stick into the ground and, less than a second later, have it come up within a 30ish meter radius with enough force to pop a Terran marine) into the global defense system. The beachhead wouldn't be established.
For the sake of argument though, what if it was established? Keep in mind, a defending and entrenched force, at least on this planet we call Earth, can usually take a force 3x as large as itself before it can't survive. In the case of Tyranid invasion, the Zerg would be well ahead. This would lead to a large amount of adaptation occurring. The Tyranid would send better armed and armored units. The Zerg would absorb their essence and incorporate it into the swarm. This would keep happening until the Tyranid started to send in Bio-Titans and Hive Crones out of desperation. The Bio-Titans wouldn't arrive en masse. The beachhead is strained at best. They can't harvest as much biomass as usual because their opponent is also harvesting as much as possible. So what of the couple of Bio-Titans that do get produced. Kerrigan sees to them personally. She is incredibly powerful, so much so that she defeated Zurvan, a Primal Zerg that had lived for six centuries and had grown to the size of a small mountain. After she defeated him, she absorbed his essence. The majority of his power became hers. She could definitely deal with predictable Bio-Titans as they lumber out one at a time. As for the Hive Crones, they die quickly to the Corruptors (air superiority unit capable of taking down a Protoss Mothership [which is about 3x as big as a Hive Crone] in a group of 7). These Hive Crones get picked over by Abathur, and the useful bits become assimilated selectively. Keep in mind, there are a large number of units in the Zerg that I'm not even paying homage to. Whatever the Tyranid pull out can be repulsed quite easily.
Finally, we came to the last ditch scenario. This scenario would never occur, but, if it did, this is what would happen. If all else fails, every race in the sector would unite. They did it before in the fight against Amon, they can do it again.
The Zerg couldn't launch an offensive on the Tyranid, but they would never lose the fight.
No votes have been placed for this debate.
You are not eligible to vote on this debate
This debate has been configured to only allow voters who meet the requirements set by the debaters. This debate either has an Elo score requirement or is to be voted on by a select panel of judges.