They are critical to the success of any hive fleet's advance, acting as telepathic synapse nodes for the bio-ships around them and serving as massive bio-factories that churn out the endless swarms of bio-forms that characterize the forces of the Tyranids.
Despite their seemingly impossible size, Hive Ships are living creatures incorporating millions of bioengineered organisms.
Each is a biological factory capable of creating millions of Tyranid organisms, of replicating genomes and splicing together new creatures perfectly adapted for each new world and environment encountered.
Tens of thousands of Tyranid Warriors are carried aboard Hive Ships, the cocooned officers of nightmare hordes yet to be born.
In addition to their roles away from the battlefield, Hive Ships are fearsome enemies in combat. Though there is a vast amount of morphological diversity among Hive Ships, stone-like armour plating and plentiful weapon growths are common to nearly all of them.
Protected by thick clouds of defensive spores and armed with Pyro-acid batteries, Bio-plasma spines, launch bays, and even gigantic claws, Hive Ships are a force that are a match for even the mightiest Imperial and xenos Battleships.
- Battlefleet Gothic Armada, pp. 80-94
- Battlefleet Gothic Resources - "The Harvest Fleets: Necron Vessels", pp. 80, 87
- White Dwarf 146 (UK)