In this article, Loopy extols the virtues of the ubiquitous Rhino as they pertain to the Khorne Daemonkin. Check the Tactics Corner for more great articles!
The Rhino hasn’t seen as much action as it once did for various reasons. Rhinos are not assault vehicles and they’re fairly lightly armored (11/11/10). They can be a sure fire way of providing your opponent with the First Blood point in missions which use it and also provide easy kill points in Purge the Alien. Some armies have given up on concerning themselves both of these issues, including Sisters of Battle and, to some extent, Khorne Daemonkin. With the rise of progressive scoring, and free transports the Rhino has even seen a resurgence in other armies as well.
In an environment where progressive scoring is rampant, the Rhino cannot be dismissed. It can be an incredible tool when drawn from the Fast Attack slot to give mobility to Chaos Cultists or even Bloodletters. Since all measurement from a unit embarked on a transport is from the hull, you’re allowed to decide whether the Rhino itself or the Objective Secured unit inside is scoring an Objective since they are technically equidistant. This can be very frustrating for your opponents since they are often loathe to destroy your Rhinos. It’s annoying to have to target something with little to no offensive value, particularly if it has a cover save.
If you’re using Chaos Space Marines or Berzerkers in your lists, then a Rhino Dedicated Transport is almost a given. The only way those units can compete with Bloodletters from a scoring perspective is to be carried about the battlefield in a Rhino. If you’re using the Blood Host Detachment, and therefore a unit of Possessed, consider buying them a Rhino as a Dedicated Transport. Granted, some may argue that this is just conflating the problem of an expensive tax unit. I disagree. If you have a unit you consider to be a tax, it’s important not to think of it as an empty hole in your list. Do not simply lament their very existence and hide them somewhere or charge them up the field uselessly. Use them! When life gives you lemons, blood for the Blood God!
In KDK, the Rhino can present your opponent a unique decision. Do they destroy your Rhinos, thus impairing your units’ maneuverability and durability or do they leave them alone in order to slow your Blood Tithe generation? In most cases, the former is the right choice, but not all opponents will see that. Meanwhile, although you’ve given up some kill points, at least you’re well on your way to executing whatever late-game gambit you had in mind whether that be an impressive assault or a Bloodthirster.
The Rhino does have many options which are almost universally useless to any Khorne Daemonkin player. You can festoon these transports with all manner of trinkets which do little more than increase the points cost of a vehicle which was essentially born to die anyways. I might consider adding a Dozer Blade simply as a way to assure your scoring units make it into position. One glaring omission in the Khorne Daemonkin vehicle upgrade list is the Dirge Caster. Granted, this upgrade is more of Slaaneshi origin, but it would have been quite useful to the KDK in negating powerful Tau overwatch. If you want a Dirge Caster in a pure Daemonkin list, you’ll have to check out some Forge World options.
Boxy, But Good
With deadly threat rolling up the battlefield, it can be tough for your opponents to make the choice to shoot at your Rhinos. Push them forward into scoring position, bravely charge through terrain, and even Tank Shock here and there. You never know when you might get to see a squad of Windrider Jetbikes run screaming off the battlefield. Rhinos have great purpose in a Khorne Daemonkin list. Give them a try.
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