Saturday, 7 December 2013

The trouble with Zoats

Karl down at the club gave me some ancient GW models the other week (I now yearn to build 'old school' Necrons).  Amongst them was a metal miniature called a 'Zoat'.  I had never heard of Zoats before but he assured me that they were the forerunners of the Tyranid race. I was intrigued.

What the hell is it?
It turns out that Zoats were included in the original Rogue Trader release as a cross-over from Warhammer Fantasy Battle but they never made it into 2nd edition. I think the fluff may have been retconned to gloss over the fact that these beasties don't fit with the eventual Tyranid modus operandi and weren't that popular. So I could have just left the model in the back of a cupboard and forgot about it.  But I resolved to investigate further (i.e. Google it)

Zoats were an ancient race conquered by the Tyranids.  Rather than being absorbed into the genetic Tyranid soup, they were enslaved.  They were powerful psykers and retained the ability to communicate telepathically with other species after their induction into the Tyranid ranks.  Therefore, The Hive Mind used them as 'diplomats', although negotiation was never really the intention.  Their role appears to have been as advanced scouts, seeking out potentially useful host races for the next incursion.  The Zoats eventually rebelled against their masters (or outlived their usefulness) and were eradicated from the Hive Fleets. The remnants fled to Imperial space where the Emperor's finest more or less finished the job. Apparently, they were last seen in Hive Fleet "Colossus" in M39 which was news to me.  I always thought first contact with the Nids was in M41 and Hive Fleet Behemoth.  But I confess that I didn't read all the 5th edition codex fluff.  Watching every single Hive Fleet get its arse kicked becomes tiresome after a while.  I reckon the Imperium has destroyed more planets with Exterminatus than the Nids have consumed.  Its almost as bad as The Black Crusades.

I replaced his missing fleshborer with a mace.  Not very 40k but WFB Zoats used 'em.
Anyway, all this new information got me thinking.  What with the galaxy being under threat of total extinction by the 'Great Devourer', any surviving Zoats would be considered something of a prize.  Having lived under the yoke of the Hive Mind, they might hold vital information about the invaders and even be aware of a potential weakness that could turn the tide.  I imagine that most of the other races would be very interested in capturing one for interrogation.  Conversely, the Hive Mind would absolutely want to remove any potential source of information that could be used to exploit it's weaknesses.  All of which means that a Zoat could be a good objective marker in a narrative game.  So thats what I'm going to use this one for.  I painted it up to be similar to my Nid colour scheme.  Emboldened by my success with airbrush medium I decided to have a play with glazing medium.  Experimentation is great until it all goes wrong.  It does bring out the colours and blend them in, but its shiny.  I probably used too much glaze and I've heard you can add water to make it more matte. I think this consistency would work quite well on armour though.

Pumped and glistening.  Ooo-err missus.

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