Space Marine Review: Dedicated Transport: Rhino

Hi everyone, Michael here with an 8th edition review of the classic Space Marine transport vehicle, the Rhino. The changes to the vehicle rules for 8th edition have given the old classic a big boost and a great way to keep your units safe, just as a good transport should. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.

Overview:

The classic way to ferry your Space Marines into battle is back in 8th edition and is better than ever (ok, it was better when it was free, but you can’t have everything!). The Rhino got a big resurgence in popularity with the release of the Gladius Battle Company, but 8th edition has seen some great improvements to the vehicle rules that have made the Rhino a fantastic transport vehicle and well worth taking in a Space Marine army. The basic Rhino costs 72 points (including wargear) and takes up a Dedicated Transport slot.

Wargear:

  • Storm Bolter- 24″, Rapid Fire 2, S4, AP0, 1 damage.
  • May take an additional Storm Bolter
  • May take a Hunter-Killer Missile for 6 pts- 48″, Heavy 1, S8, AP-2, D6 damage. One use only.

Abilities:

  • Self-Repair- Roll at D6 at the start of each of your turns, on a 6 the Rhino regains one wound.
  • Smoke Launchers- Once per game, instead of shooting any weapons in the Shooting Phase, you can use your Smoke Launchers. Until your next shooting phase, your opponent must subtract one from all hit rolls for ranged weapons that target this vehicle. Can be used if the model Advances.
  • Explodes- If the model is reduced to 0 wounds, roll a D6. On a roll of a 6, the model explodes and all units within 6″ suffer D3 wounds.
  • Damage Profile: 6-10 W- 12″ move, BS 3+, A 3. 3-5 W- 6″ move, BS 4+, A D3. 1-2 W- 3″ move, BS 5+, A 1.
  • Transport- May transport 10 <Chapter> Infantry models. Cannot transport Jump Pack, Terminator, Primaris or Centurion models.
  • Keywords- Imperium, Adeptus Astartes, <Chapter>, Vehicle, Transport, Rhino.

Tactics:

As mentioned above, the changes to the vehicle rules has meant that the Rhino got a big boost in 8th edition. It now has toughness 7, ten wounds and a 3+ save, making it far more durable than it was in previous editions. It can now no longer be taken out in one shot from a Lascannon or Meltagun (or even an Autocannon or lucky Assault Cannon shot). This actually makes it a very durable vehicle for transporting your units around the battlefield in relative safety until they are ready to deploy. Add in the ability of Smoke Launchers and you can further protect the Rhino by making it harder for most enemy units to hit it in the shooting phase. I run at least one Rhino in all my Space Marine armies and it can actually take a fair amount of dedicated firepower to take one down (the joy when your tank makes a 5+ save against a Missile Launcher is actually quite fun!).

Self-repair is a nice bonus, but not one you can really count on. On average, you will be lucky if you roll a 6 once per game, assuming the Rhino survives that long.

The Storm Bolter gives you some nice bonus shots for the Rhino. For only 2 pts, it is well worth taking the additional Storm Bolter for a little extra firepower. Four Bolter shots at range and 8 at rapid fire range is a nice bit of additional firepower to support a unit inside, for not that many extra points. A lot of the time when the transported unit has deployed, the Rhino can be hanging around just waiting for them if they want to redeploy, so having some bonus shots on the vehicle can be a nice boost. I probably wouldn’t go for the Hunter-Killer Missile. Only one shot, hitting on a 4+ if you move is not much of a guarantee, though it is only 6 points, so it you have them spare and simply can’t get anything else in your list, it is nice for an additional shot.

The tastiest of the transport vehicles.

Of course, another big bonus of the Rhino is the ability to soak up overwatch fire. Given that vehicles can now charge it the charge phase, you can always charge in the Rhino before the squad it was transporting to potentially take all the overwatch fire from an enemy unit. Given its toughness, it can be tough for most standard infantry to harm it. This is especially useful for shots that hit automatically, such as Flamer weapons. The Rhino can also be useful to get in the way to protect your own units from attacks such as Smite, which automatically hit the closest enemy model. This can be more useful when combined with the Armour of Contempt Stratagem, giving you a 5+ save against Mortal Wounds and helping you to potentially soak up a number of Smite attacks.

Thanks to the Defenders of Humanity rule, the Rhino has even more use, allowing you to get your “Objective Secured” Tactical Squads and Scout Squads into prime position to steal or contest the objectives. The Rhino is also great for minimising your Deployment drops, allowing you to put two 5-man squads in the one vehicle or a 5-man squad and multiple characters. Obviously, the fewer drops you have, the better your chances of getting the all important first turn.

Overall:

The Rhino has the same role that it has always had. It provides some protection to transport your more fragile units into the heart of the enemy army. Thanks to some of the rules changes from 8th edition, it is now even better in this role, providing some great protection from its increased durability, as well as being able to charge in and take some overwatch fire for another unit planning an assault. They are well worth including in your Space Marine army for a cheap points cost.

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!

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About Michael Corr

An avid 40k player and blogger from Scotland. I started in 3rd edition and have been playing ever since. I detail my adventures in my own blog "St Andrews Wargaming", highlighting my mediocre painting skills, regular battle reports and my occasional random ramblings.

16 Responses to “Space Marine Review: Dedicated Transport: Rhino”

  1. Chandler October 6, 2017 5:24 am #

    Rhinos are very under rated in this edition I feel. The ability to charge and soak overwatch is just amazing. Plus their ability to move to block line of sight, etc. They are extremely effective. Every game I have played with my Rhinos they have been huge for me.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr October 8, 2017 12:24 am #

      I agree, I think they are a very solid transport option now. Cheap and hardy.

  2. Ytook October 6, 2017 6:14 am #

    Working on a Salamanders list based on Rhinos, Vulkan He’Stan, Aggressors in a Repulsor and a lot of flamer/melta.

    Really fun to play so far, not gonna be burning up top tables anytime soon but I find mechanised lists really enjoyable this edition (but then I also find basically all lists I’ve played fun this edition so…)

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr October 8, 2017 12:25 am #

      It’s not all about winning games, so have fun with your list. I love building a themed list and have been trying out some all Ravenwing lists in 8th edition.

  3. Kartr_Kana October 7, 2017 9:39 pm #

    Too expensive, not enough firepower, Marines in combat are Marines that are dying. I’ve used Rhinos a couple of times and they’re usually alive at the end because they’re not worth the effort to kill. Like Tactical Marines they’re a big disappointment that don’t really bring anything to the table in a non-narrative environment.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr October 8, 2017 12:26 am #

      I don’t think they are so expensive for the protection they provide. Yes, they don’t have a lot of firepower, but that is not what they are for.

      A lot of the times, I don’t use them for getting Marines into combat, but for getting into rapid fire, melta or flamer range in relative safety. Plus, Marines can do quite well in combat against weaker units such as Guardsmen, cultists, etc.

      • Kartr_Kana October 9, 2017 6:50 am #

        The problem is that the models they’re protecting have to get out in order to do anything. Then the Rhino isn’t protecting them. Marines die fairly quickly these days and bolters don’t really do much damage. So you’re transporting a sub par unit, that dies the turn after it gets out and then you have a 72 point storm bolter making no meaningful contribution.

        Rhino’s suck, unless your opponent is handicapping himself in order to play a very fluffy narrative game.

    • error October 8, 2017 11:04 pm #

      Just remember that you can embark two units on one transport. Having 2 squads with each a special/heavy weapon and a combi-weapon on the sarge grants you some serious firepower. Getting 4 plasma guns that way clocks in at less than 190 pts – and you get two obsec troop choices as well.

      • Kartr_Kana October 9, 2017 9:09 am #

        And when the squads get out the Rhino is 72 points not contributing anything.

        • WestRider October 9, 2017 11:35 am #

          74 Points. Always take the extra Storm Bolter. At that point, it’s actually kicking out a surprising amount of Bolter fire. As much as a Combat Squad. It does add up, especially if they get ignored.

          • Kartr_Kana October 9, 2017 11:41 am
            #

            There’s not a lot of low toughness, low save units in my meta. Lots of vehicles, lots of monstrous creatures, and infantry tends to be MEQ. Which makes bolters useless.

        • Threllen October 9, 2017 11:56 am #

          “72 points not contributing anything”

          Not at all true.
          >For an extra 2 points you get two stormbolters. So it has the same firepower as 4 tactical marines with bolters.
          >It blocks LoS. So even though the guys are out and firing at something it can be used to block other angles off.
          >It can be used to charge and lock up a squad until they kill it or run. Or used to soak up overwatch for a combat unit.
          >If you put it within range of an objective your opponent has to deal with it. 72pts for a tank hull isn’t that expensive for the firepower it requires to down it.

          • Kartr_Kana October 9, 2017 2:00 pm
            #

            4 bolter shots aren’t going to kill a MEQ or put a wound on a vehicle (let alone degrade it). Nothing is tied up any more. Fall back and pop it with a melta or las cannon.

          • Michael Corr
            Michael Corr October 9, 2017 10:33 pm
            #

            Yes, it’s not going to be useful in every situation, but I still think the Rhino is a valuable addition to the army for many of the reasons listed above.

            You don’t have amazing firepower, but that’s not what it is for. It can be useful for increased transport capacity for a 10-man unit, or for soaking up overwatch fire. Once the unit has disembarked, I find the Rhino useful for charging a number of units.
            They are great for soaking up overwatch fire from conscript blobs (hitting on a 6 and wounding on a 6), as well as for charging enemy vehicles to stop them from firing in the following turn (unless they have Fly).

            As you say “pop it with a melta or las cannon”, that can actually be quite tough in 8th edition. It can sometimes take several Melta or lascannon shots to take out a Rhino unless you are rolling really hot. Plus, that is more powerful shots not being aimed at the rest of your army.

          • Kartr_Kana October 10, 2017 8:32 am
            #

            Maybe it’s just a meta issue. Where I’m at conscript blobs aren’t common at all, (P)MEQ is the most common infantry and people tend to field lots of vehicles and MCs(or pseudo-MCs). Plus my army is largely MEQ with Rhinos/Razorbacks being my only vehicles in most lists. So my experience is that Rhinos aren’t particularly useful and usually a waste of 72-74 points.

            As a Space Marine player I’m not really sure how to build otherwise, because I need the firepower and survivability of massed Devastators. And even then I have trouble bringing down multiple Wave Serpents before they deploy their soul bursting Wrath Guard. Which winds up leaving my army fairly static because moving and shooting (even with vehicles) becomes terribly ineffective when your handful of las cannons only have a 50/50 chance to hit.

  4. Peter de Florio October 15, 2017 8:05 pm #

    Next level tactic:

    Characters can only be targeted if they the closest unit the shooting unit can see. So two rhinos close together can help you snipe characters 😉

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