Upon reviewing the Tyranid bitz in my collection, I had an epiphany that would finally allow me to easily turn the adrenal sac bitz into something resembling the face-huggers from Aliens.
This is the result:
The photo below shows the bitz used and where they go. (Click on the photo to view it at full size.)
The Genestealer boxed set contains 4 infestation markers, which have always looked like eggs to me, and that’s what I used for the face-hugger eggs.
The face-hugger itself is composed of 4 parts: one pair of short Tyranid Warrior flesh hooks, one piece of the long Tyranid Warrior flesh hooks, and an Adrenal Sac bit. The short flesh hooks were carefully bent with a pair of needle nose jeweler’s pliers into something approximating insect legs, and then the side that normally glues to a Tyranid Warrior’s ribcage was shaved flat. The flat ends of the left and right leg sets were then glued together to complete a full set of 6 legs.
The next step was to snip the pointy bit between the two short rear legs, where the left/right sets meet, into a flat surface that the tail could be glued to. The longest of the three flesh hooks on the longer set was carefully sliced off, the end was snipped flat in order to mate up with the leg assembly, and the flesh hook was carefully rolled into a sort of snakey S-shape with the help of a convenient dowel. I also bent it a little in the perpendicular plane so it would sort of droop towards the ground. The reshaped tail was then glued between the rearmost legs.
I snipped off the 6 tubes on the adrenal sac and shaved off the remaining nubs to get a more or less smooth shape around its perimeter. I also shaved down the bottom to make the adrenal sac a little bit more flat, then I glued it to the top of the leg assembly.
2 boxes of Genestealers yields 8 egg clusters and 16 Genestealers to use as xenomorphs, which is plenty for what I have in mind. After the xenomorph conversions, there will be plenty of arm bitz left over for converting. The Tyranid Warriors that the flesh hooks came from will be representing fully grown feral Tyranids, and they will be using the leftover Genestealer arms to replace the ranged weapons.
The face-hugger prototype is pretty rough because I was primarily interested in whether or not it could be done, and I didn’t clean the parts as well as I ordinarily would have. (It was an “Eureka!” thing–20 minutes from start to finish.)
Next time, I’m going to heat the flesh hooks in hot water for 30 seconds before bending them, then I’m gonna stick them in ice water so the shape will take. This will probably simplify the conversion considerably, as it required some fairly delicate bending work at room temperature.
I forgot to add this to the Conclusions: each box of Warriors yields the following constituent bitz:
- 3 of the short flesh hooks
- 3 of the long flesh hooks
- 3 adrenal sacs
These bitz are enough to make 3 face-huggers. That may not sound like a lot, but that’s actually plenty because of the specific game mechanics I plan to use, and you don’t really need more than 3 to 6 of the things at any given time.
First, only the egg clusters are actually deployed on the table to begin with. The mechanics are set up so that facehugger models are only placed on the table under certain circumstances, which means the number of times that an actual facehugger model is placed on the table is pretty low. (I had the tables all worked out, but I can’t insert them into my blog for some stupid technical reason. I’ll have to post them in PDF format later.)
Finally figured out the table thing. Here you go!
- Triggering model: Any model that is within 2 inches of an egg cluster at any point during its movement. The model must stop at that point, and the player rolls on Table A below.
The facehugger’s stats depend on what game you’re using it in. The basic guidelines below should be applied when you choose the appropriate stats for the game you use this conversion in:
- Speed: Facehuggers should move at least 6 inches per turn.
- Toughness/resilience/whatever: Facehuggers are weak, but difficult to hit. If the game you use has a saving roll mechanism or a target difficulty number, give it a good enough value that players will have to shoot at least a few times for an effective hit.
- Attacking: Facehuggers shouldn’t roll to hit or anything like that. Instead, the thing should mindlessly attempt to move within 2 inches of the nearest model, at which point you can assume it automatically leaps onto that model. Roll on Table C to resolve all attacks made in this manner.
Facehugger encounters should primarily be considered a “map threat” or some form of hazardous terrain encounter, and shouldn’t happen more than two or three times per game, and should ideally be limited to a specific “egg chamber” region of the map. Otherwise, gameplay might be slowed down.
If the triggering model has friends nearby and rolls a 2-4 on Table C, his/her friends can try to help the triggering model. Each friend helping adds a +1 bonus to the next roll on Table C, up to a maximum bonus of +3.
Event Resolution Tables
|Face-Hugger Table A
||Egg opens! Roll on Table B.
||Egg quivers visibly, and an audible sloshing noise is heard. Roll on this table again, ignoring results of 6.
||Nothing happens…this time. Triggering model completes its movement as normal.
||Empty eggs. Remove cluster from table. Triggering model completes its movement as normal.
|Face-Hugger Table B
||Facehugger explosively erupts from egg and clamps onto the triggering model’s face! Triggering model is now a casualty.
||Facehugger leaps from egg, but triggering model raises its arms or a weapon just in time to partially block the attack. Roll on Table C.
||Facehugger leaps from egg, but misses the triggering model completely. Place facehugger model anywhere within 1d6 inches of the triggering model.
||Legs slowly appear one by one at opening of egg. Triggering model may immediately complete its movement or attack.
|Face-Hugger Table C
||Not good enough! Facehugger finally succeeds in clamping to the triggering model’s face. Triggering model is now a casualty.
||Struggle! Triggering model and facehugger spend the turn grappling. Roll again on this table in the next turn.
||Get off me! Facehugger is thrown off triggering model. Place facehugger model 1d6 inches away from triggering model.