Hive Fleet Kronos
"There are few defences more extreme than that of the bombardier beetles. These insects deliberately engineer explosive chemical reactions inside their own bodies, so they can spray burning, caustic liquid from their backsides. The liquid can reach up to 22 miles per hour, at temperatures of around 100 degrees Celsius. It’s painful to humans [...] and potentially lethal to smaller predators like ants."
- – Phenomena, a science discussion, National Geographic
Hive Fleet Kronos is one of the latest Tyranid Hive Fleets to threaten the galaxy, introduced in the 8th edition. Appearing not as another Tyranid fleet coming from outside of the galaxy, but as the melting-pot result of the concentration and evolution of multiple Splinter Fleets (mostly Leviathan ones after its destruction caused by the disasters of the Octarius War and the invasion of Baal), this relatively small Hive Fleet has evolved to better fight the creatures of the Warp.
After the Cicatrix Maledictum started blocking the psychic Wi-Fi of the galaxy, dozens of Splinter Fleets were lost, either fighting against daemons, being lost in the Warp or just by starving after not being able to find food. Hive Fleet Kronos appears to be the first attempt by the Hive Mind to create a Hive Fleet that can thrive in a post-Great Rift galaxy, as can be assumed by its disproportionately powerful Shadow in the Warp.
Another adaptation it has demonstrated is its skill in fielding ranged bioforms, the better to protect itself against the many melee-oriented servants of Chaos. Hordes of Termagants assault the battlefield from afar, while keeping bio-artillery like Tyrannofexes and Biovores in reserve for the final blow. Speed is a vital factor for them, as their armies have fewer close quarters fighters than other Hive Fleets. It also possesses an impressive amount of psychic units, like Maleceptors and Neurothropes, able to hit daemons right where it hurts the most: their link with the warp.
This strategy has worked wonders for this Hive Fleet, having had multiple great victories against the forces of Chaos. They now travel around the regions of space most affected by the Great Rift, taking advantage of the low defensive capabilities of both the Imperium (they are busy everywhere else) and Chaos (the Shadow in the Warp is quite a thorn for them). In fact, the fleet's growth rate has been so fast that its psychic imprint is even able to close small Warp rifts entirely, leaving the affected planets bereft of life after that, of course.
Of particular note is Kronos' interactions with other hive fleets. Normally when two Hive Fleets meet, they battle it out to see which is stronger, with the winner absorbing the biomass and useful traits of the loser. This is not the case with Kronos, and other hive fleets have been observed to strip planets of their defenses, then leave to allow Kronos a free meal. This is a so far unseen level of cooperation between the Hive Fleets.
|Tyranid Hive Fleets|
|Major Hive Fleets:||Hive Fleet Behemoth - Hive Fleet Kraken - Hive Fleet Leviathan|
|Minor Hive Fleets:||Hive Fleet Colossus - Hive Fleet Dagon - Hive Fleet Gorgon - Hive Fleet Hydra - Hive Fleet Jormungandr |
Hive Fleet Kronos - Hive Fleet Moloch - Hive Fleet Naga - Hive Fleet Ouroboris - Hive Fleet Tiamet