Tyranid power supply [40k]

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Tyranid power supply [40k]

Post by Feil » 2006-12-16 11:48am

It's obvious that the 'Nids can't get their energy in any biological way and still perform the things we know they can perform. A quick estimate reveals that if one were to absorb 100% of all the energy that strikes an Earth-like planet (in stead of the small fraction available by harvesting plant life on Miracle Grow) it would take 5ish thousand years to strip the planet of oceans and atmosphere--a feat which the 'Nids are explicitely stated to perform on a regular basis. This doesn't even begin to adress the problem of ship-ship combat.

We must, therefore, conclude that the Tyranids get their energy by some other means. Solar power, obviously, is out of the question, as is combustion. Is there any evidence for one form of power generation or another--fusion, fision, matter-antimatter annihilation, "the warp did it", some sort of technobable singularity whatsit, etc?

Some basic figures that may help:

mass of Earth's hydrosphere: 1.4E21 kg

Earth's escape velocity: 1.12E4 m/s

Gravitational binding energy of hydrosphere: 9.0E28 J

Assuming 1 month time scale for Tyranid attack,
power generation of a tyranid fleet: 3.4E22 W

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Post by Lord Zentei » 2006-12-16 11:50am

At a guess, it is probably some Warp nonsense or other. I haven't actually seen anything to corroborate that, though.
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Post by NecronLord » 2006-12-16 12:03pm

Part of the problem is that we don't even know what powers (most) of the conventional powers. There's frequent references to plasma (and occasionally warp-plasma) reactors, which suggests fusion, though the quantities you'd need to burn would be staggering. The eldar appear to draw energy from the warp, and the Necrons are supposed to look like they're powered by the 'raw energy of creation' but other than that, it's hard to say what powers anything. Mass-energy conversion exists (in the form of conversion beamers, at least) but it doesn't seem to be reliable or useful enough to use as power supply.
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Post by Adrian Laguna » 2006-12-16 02:56pm

If I were to guess, it's fusion and the warp together. It's consistent with their technology, the meagre description of their reactors, and the fact they already use the warp for FTL travel, nagivation, and communications.

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Post by white_rabbit » 2006-12-16 04:57pm

Its a psychic power cop-out.

Probably a biological mechanism to do what the Squats used, "Warp fission", pulling psychic energy into the real world. Or a varient on Orkish psychics, generating their own personal psychic field.

Refined handwavium in other words. Although they have been described as having solar sail "wings", Warriors of Ultramar indicates these might have been mistakenly identified, as they use such things as defenses against Lances and their ilk.

Eldar materials technology comes complete with inbuilt Warp taps, the Imperium uses technobabble "self perpetuating" plasma reactors in both weaponry and power, supposedly fusion + extra technobabble. Their ships are supposed to use solar sails for propulsion, which of course means that what the Eldar think of as solar sails doesn't resemble our own idea of the technology in any way shape or form.

Squats used the aforementioned Warp fission as their hush hush ultimate secret tech.

Orks use whatever the hell works.

Jokero use for all intents and purposes, Leylines.....


In otherwords, the Nids aren't alone in their bullshit.
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Post by Adrian Laguna » 2006-12-17 02:39am

white_rabbit wrote:In other words, the Nids aren't alone in their bullshit.
Well, quite frankly, the advanced technology of the entire universe is bullshit.

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Post by 2000AD » 2006-12-17 07:24am

Adrian Laguna wrote:
white_rabbit wrote:In other words, the Nids aren't alone in their bullshit.
Well, quite frankly, the advanced technology of the entire universe is bullshit.
Or is it sufficiently advanced that it's indistinguishable from magic?
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Re: Tyranid power supply [40k]

Post by Inquisitor Ryan » 2006-12-17 08:09am

Feil wrote:It's obvious that the 'Nids can't get their energy in any biological way and still perform the things we know they can perform. A quick estimate reveals that if one were to absorb 100% of all the energy that strikes an Earth-like planet (in stead of the small fraction available by harvesting plant life on Miracle Grow) it would take 5ish thousand years to strip the planet of oceans and atmosphere--a feat which the 'Nids are explicitely stated to perform on a regular basis. This doesn't even begin to adress the problem of ship-ship combat.

We must, therefore, conclude that the Tyranids get their energy by some other means. Solar power, obviously, is out of the question, as is combustion. Is there any evidence for one form of power generation or another--fusion, fision, matter-antimatter annihilation, "the warp did it", some sort of technobable singularity whatsit, etc?

Some basic figures that may help:

mass of Earth's hydrosphere: 1.4E21 kg

Earth's escape velocity: 1.12E4 m/s

Gravitational binding energy of hydrosphere: 9.0E28 J

Assuming 1 month time scale for Tyranid attack,
power generation of a tyranid fleet: 3.4E22 W
Perhaps they absorb energy from the warp during their travel within it? Or previously consumed worlds provide the energy through mass to energy conversion.
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Re: Tyranid power supply [40k]

Post by Big Orange » 2006-12-17 09:16am

Feil wrote:Solar power, obviously, is out of the question, as is combustion.
Well plant life and animal life need sunlight to grow and operate, why not Tyranid ships who could have plant like solar sails?

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Re: Tyranid power supply [40k]

Post by Raxmei » 2006-12-17 10:29am

Big Orange wrote:
Feil wrote:Solar power, obviously, is out of the question, as is combustion.
Well plant life and animal life need sunlight to grow and operate, why not Tyranid ships who could have plant like solar sails?
Solar power is out of the question because you can't get nearly enough power out of it to do the sort of things that Tyranids so often do. That's also the reason why combustion and other chemical processes are out.

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Post by Shroom Man 777 » 2006-12-17 11:27am

Warp has energy. So instead of harvesting solar power, they have chlorophyll that takes power out of the Warp.
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Post by Junghalli » 2006-12-17 07:18pm

Adrian Laguna wrote:Well, quite frankly, the advanced technology of the entire universe is bullshit.
That goes for most pop SF for that matter.

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Post by Connor MacLeod » 2006-12-18 04:42am

NecronLord wrote:Part of the problem is that we don't even know what powers (most) of the conventional powers. There's frequent references to plasma (and occasionally warp-plasma) reactors, which suggests fusion, though the quantities you'd need to burn would be staggering.
Given that a.) earlier sources imply that plasma reactors energy densities (or estimated energy densities) are near-perfect annihliation (or several times better than annihiliation0 reactions, b.) estimated mass and acceleration figures as well as operational endurances tell us that it is unlikely that most Imperium warships could carry the neccearily fuel-mass to sustain the estimated power outputs or accelerations required, certainly not for the durations known, c.) the oddities white rabbit mentioned about plasma, plasma reactors probably behave something akin to the Stargate "amplification/energy tapping "naquadah".

I would surmise that any "fusion" (or "fission" as the case may be) may merely be an intiial stage in the power-generation process (perhaps it provides the needed startup energy to allow "tapping" of the other source, presumably the Warp.) The plasma probably acts as a catalyst somehow for tapping/storing and transmitting the energy to various purposes, as well as serving as propellant (presumably when its used up, if it isn't just annihilated eventually.) Calling it a "reactor" does imply the plasma is a finite resources in the power generation process, at least, even if the means of deriving power seems very exotic.
The eldar appear to draw energy from the warp,
Probably, given what we know the Talismans of Vaul can do (and yes, while Eldar tech is not quite THAt advanced I believe, it still stands as a logical connection between the two.)
and the Necrons are supposed to look like they're powered by the 'raw energy of creation'
warp-like energies may exist (but remain untappable to those with a connection to the warp) in realspace and the Necrons/C'tan may be able to tap it. Alternately, they may simply have very efficient matter to energy conversion (and be able to acquire fuel from virtually any source, possibly even having it transmitted to them via their teleport/gate technologies.)
but other than that, it's hard to say what powers anything. Mass-energy conversion exists (in the form of conversion beamers, at least) but it doesn't seem to be reliable or useful enough to use as power supply.
One of the Space Marine Space hulk missions mentions antimatter:
"When all seemed lost, the Techmarines aboard the Will of the Emperor found a solution to the problem: Terminators carrying powerful anti-matter bombs could fight their way to a level above the reactors and drop the explosives down the shafts." - Space hulk missions:: Duty and Honor (white Dwarf 201)
So there are other means of mass/energy conversion. However, I suspect none of the above really describe the Tyranids. Bear in mind, they ARE a highly psychic race, (like most 40K races) and being the organo-wank tech they are (like the Vorlons, or Vong, or whatnot0 that psychic power probably explains why they can stand up to Imperium warships and weaponry the way they can; psychically generated weaponry and defenses, in other words.

In that context, all they're really doing is "tapping" energy indirectly, much the same way a psyker or a Jedi/Sith do - and manipulate it telekinetically or otherwise (for whatever purpose.) This does not require the Tyranids to actually "store" or "absorb" or "generate" any energy directly (a process I am hard pressed to believe they oculd achieve without some sort o fmagical or psychic form of containment, and this way is much simpler.)

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Post by His Divine Shadow » 2006-12-18 10:39am

NecronLord wrote:Part of the problem is that we don't even know what powers (most) of the conventional powers. There's frequent references to plasma (and occasionally warp-plasma) reactors, which suggests fusion, though the quantities you'd need to burn would be staggering. The eldar appear to draw energy from the warp, and the Necrons are supposed to look like they're powered by the 'raw energy of creation' but other than that, it's hard to say what powers anything. Mass-energy conversion exists (in the form of conversion beamers, at least) but it doesn't seem to be reliable or useful enough to use as power supply.
Raw energy of creation for some reason struck me as going through time back to the near big bang and harvesting energy from that very volatile period in time. But they have never displayed time traveling powers. Nevermind the causality issues tha could arise form such meddling with the primordial universe.
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Post by NecronLord » 2006-12-18 12:03pm

His Divine Shadow wrote:Raw energy of creation for some reason struck me as going through time back to the near big bang and harvesting energy from that very volatile period in time. But they have never displayed time traveling powers. Nevermind the causality issues tha could arise form such meddling with the primordial universe.
Personally, I envision it as some giant tap into a dyson-sphere (self-replicating swarm) like setup around a quasar, using some funky network of "energy nodes" (which have been mentioned) and dissemminating it to anything made of living metal somehow. Very silly, but immensely wanktastic, befitting the theme of the necrons. :wink:
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Post by Teleros » 2006-12-19 07:04pm

I believe in one of the BFG magazines there was a suggestion that Necron warships might get their power from some extradimensional source (obviously not the Warp though :P ). You could probably square this with "raw power of creation" if they were setting off mini Big Bangs or something to tap perhaps: given that their ships have been observed draining the energy from stars they might be able to do similar to a miniature universe assuming they could access it.

[quote=http://www.specialist-games.com/battlef ... s&Nids.pdf]Necron & Tyranid BFG Rules[/url] also points to "stored solar energy" for lightning arcs, indicating they've been draining some stars for power, although I imagine a lot of stars would be needed for this.

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