Hi everyone, Michael here with a review of another one of the iconic units of the Space Marine army, the ubiquitous Rhino armoured personnel carrier. For more reveiws, analyses and battle reports, see the Tactics Corner.
The Rhino is the basic transport vehicle of the Adeptus Astartes, carrying the Emperor’s elite within its armoured confines. This stalwart of the 41st millennium has been part of the history of the Space Marine army for many years now. The Rhino has front and side armour 11 and rear armour 10, with three hull points, all for the bargain cost of 35 points. This becomes even more of a bargain if you don’t actually have to pay for it to field it (more on this below).
- Storm Bolter
- Smoke Launchers
- May take a Dozer Blade, additional Storm Bolter, Extra Armour and/or a Hunter Killer Missile.
- Transport capacity of 10 (can’t carry Bulky, Very Bulky or Extremely Bulky models).
- Two fire points from the top hatch
- One access point on each side, and one on the rear.
- Repair- If a Rhino is immobilised, you can forgo shooting to try and repair it. On a 6, the Rhino is no longer immobilised (but does not recover a hull point).
The Rhino is primarily a transport vehicle available to a number of Space Marine units. It can carry up to 10 Space Marines and provides them with protection against small arms fire as they advance on the battlefield. It is not the toughest vehicle in the game or the fastest, but it is reasonably durable and is cheap.
With armour 11 at the front and sides, it is immune to weapons S4 and below, but many weapons in the game will be able to glance or penetrate the Rhino. Three hull points gives it some useful durability, but rear armour 10 means that many infantry in the game will have a chance at glancing it to death in combat.
The Rhino provides some added protection for squads as they advanced to shoot the enemy. The speed or the Rhino allows you to get into rapid fire range with your Bolters on turn 1 or 2, which can cause havoc on your opponent with sufficient volume of fire. The Rhino is not the best for carrying troops designed to assault the enemy. As it is not open-topped, they will need to wait a turn after disembarking before they can charge, long gone are the glory days of the 3rd edition “Rhino Rush”.
The Firing Hatch on the Rhino allows up to two models in the unit embarked to shoot out of it. This makes the Rhino very useful for protecting Heavy Weapons in a unit. You can simply park the Rhino and fire out of it each turn, forcing your opponent to destroy the Rhino before they can get to the Marines inside.
When purchased as a Dedicated Transport for a Tactical Squad, the Rhino gains Objective Secured. This makes it very useful for grabbing objectives in the mission. If you wish to take a Rhino, it should generally be purchased as a Dedicated Transport, rather than using up a Fast Attack slot. There are very few units in the Space Marine codex that can be carried in a Rhino that do not have the option of purchasing it as a transport. It is useful for carrying Battle Brothers allies, but when the new draft FAQs are finalised, Battle Brothers allies will no longer be able to begin the game embarked in the transport, decreasing the utility of this tactic slightly.
Repair is a useful rule for keeping the Rhino mobile, if you can remember to use it. It was introduced back in third edition, and I still frequently forget that the Rhino has the rule. You do have a 1 in 6 chance of repairing an Immobilised result. While you cannot count on this every time, it can be annoying to your opponent when they have to devote more firepower to a vehicle they thought was immobilised.
In terms of upgrades, it is probably best to keep the Rhino as cheap as possible. Extra Armour or a Dozer blade is useful for keeping the Rhino mobile if it is Stunned or going through cover, but not a necessary purchase.
The introduction of the Gladius Strike Force has made fleets of Rhinos a common sight on many tabletops. Taking a Gladius Strike Force with two Battle Demi-Companies allows all units that can purchase a Rhino as a Dedicated Transport to get one for free. This has been a huge boost to Space Marine armies. In addition, as all the units in the Battle Demi-Companies are Objective Secured, this allows you to take up to 12 Objective Secured Rhinos for free! By far, the most popular Chapter to use this with is the White Scars. Taking Kor’sarro Khan as your Warlord grants the Rhinos in the Gladius Scout, great for closing with the enemy quickly and securing more of the board. For more information on this, check out the reviews on Khan and the White Scars Battle Company in the Tactics Corner.
The Stormlance Battle Demi-Company also has uses for the humble Rhino. The three units of Tactical Squads and Devastators Squad must begin the game embarked in either a Rhino or Razorback. The formation allows each unit in it a special run-type move after shooting. This means that you can disembark from the Rhino, fire all your available weapons at the enemy (rather than just 2 from the fire point) and then get back in your transport. This is great for getting maximum firepower and durability for your units.
The Rhino is a great transport vehicle of use to many Space Marine armies. It has seen a big increase in its use on the tabletop thanks to several new formations available to the Space Marines.
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