Well if we are going plant intelligence let me introduce my Treeranids, which I built up an army of 1500 to 2000p when the Kurnoth Hunters came out. Unfortunately I then discover the that the brown spray paint was redish rather than more brown and tree/bark like so I have not yet got round to undercoating/painting them.
A group shot of models from a bunch of units followed by some close-ups.
Any way if we are going with a plant theme how about a plant which evolved a Gaia intelligence (a single global mind) through a interconnect route system of the planets tree equivalents as well as a low level psychic connection. Once the mind had grown from a single starting forest to cover the entire planet it became self-aware. It’s thought process where very slow due to the individual trees acting as neurones in a giant brain. It began to adapt and nurture the rest of the native flora to better suits its purpose. As the mind was partially psychic and of such a large size and complexity it generated its own calm in the nearby wrap (small localised version of the Tyrannid effect). This did mean that it had a natural anti-chaos defense.
At some point many centuries/millennia later a more conventional civilization came along and settled on the planet. It took many many years or the Gaia mind to release what was going on and that these small fast things where sentient. So it grew Emissaries that could interact with them. Modeled on the foreign species in terms of body plan the end result was something akin to the Kurnoth Hunter from Fantasy. However before it could make contact another/or more of the same species arrived in the star system and there was a war. (so could be eldar v necrons or humans during the heresy or some other time frame)
Once the Gaia realised what was happening and why so much of it was damaged it used its Emissaries to kill the victor of the war that had been fought on its surface. Analysing the remains of machinery and so on the Gaia gained an understanding of the greater universe and how to make star ship engines.
Fearing that more foreign species might come and damage it the Gaia used its newfound technology to mine the asteroid belts and other planets for the resources to build Arkships, each of which was seeded with a splinter of its mind that became self-aware and is a daughter mini-Gaia within each Arkship. Each daughter became distinct with its Arkship being its body in the same way that the planet was the Gaia body.
Early warpdrive experiments failed. This is because the calming effect on the warp from the Gaia mind's size and psychic component only give a protective effect in real space. In the wrap the low-level psychic field instead becomes a beacon to a feast. As such this method of travel was not developed and instead Arkships would travel at subligth speed. Arkships are part grown, part built with machine based engines as Gaia never managed evolve efficient engines compared to machine built. Given the slower thought process of larger and larger minds slow travel between solar systems was not so much of a problem that it takes centuries to get to places.
When an Arkship reaches a new solar system it scouts it and if it deems it safe it gathers the resources to build more Arkships and repair itself/grow. Seeding any new build Arkship with fragments of its own mind new daughters are borne. Every once in a while they will also seed a planet.
The Emissaries in the mean time, due to their faster thought process, started to develop theire own culture. Upon recognising this Gaia granted them independence. So as to still communicate with them still Gaia developed the larger Translators (fantasy Treemen equivalent). These could merge into the thought process of Gaia and then separate again whereas before an Emissary would have to die and be absorbed for Gaia to learn what it had learned. Due to the usefulness of the merging in and separating of Translators Gaia and its daughter Arkship will have entire Forests of Translators as part of their thought process.
The Emissaries live in Arkships and help maintain and build the mechanical parts. They have develop their own culture which differs between Arkships/Arkfleets (groups of Arkships that have decided to travel together) but in general most revere the Arkship as living gods and tend to them.
There are some Emissaries that have split off and gone their own way, either on planets or on purely mechanical ships.
When Emissaries have to fight other species they use a combination of grown and shaped voidwood (really hard stuff that Arkships use as their hull) such as swords and so on (basically the Kurnoth weapons) as well as metal made weapons such as guns (starting heavy bolter equivalent for the basic gun and going up to Autocannon equivalent for special weapons). Occasionally Translators join them in battle using similar weapons or Psychics might.
I don’t see any need for there to be smaller dryad/tree revanant sised units, in part because dryads are not as detailed, and tree revenants have to humankind spirit parts.
So a playable army would have a low model count but each one would be quite large and individual strong.
So in summary, Arkships are grown and built and each is a giant plant/mind. Mechanical engines and similar are maintained by Emissaries, a plant based independent species, which live in the Arks ships due to a shared ancestry. Sound like a plan?
Edit: adding some spaces so this is less of a wall of text.
Edited by Trokair, 27 October 2017 - 08:14 PM.