Space Marine Review: Dedicated Transport: Razorback

Hi everyone, Michael (from St Andrews Wargaming) here with a review of the Space Marine Transport vehicle which has seen a nice resurgence in 8th edition, the Razorback. For more reviews and analyses, check out the Tactics Corner.

Overview:

The Razorback is a variant of the Rhino that sacrifices some transport capacity for greatly increased firepower on the battlefield. The Razorback is a great option to add some tough firepower to your army. A lot of the time you will rarely be making use of its transport capacity, as its additional firepower is a great boost to your army, you will want to keep it still for increased accuracy. The basic Razorback with Twin Heavy Bolter costs 82 points, the Twin Assault Cannon variant costs 100 points, while the Twin Lascannon variant costs 115 points.

Wargear:

  • Twin Heavy Bolter
  • May replace its Twin Heavy Bolter with a Twin Assault Cannon or Twin Lascannon.
  • May take a Hunter-Killer Missile
  • May take a Storm Bolter

Abilities:

  • Smoke Launchers- Once per game, instead of shooting, this model can use its smoke launchers. Until your next shooting phase, your opponent suffers -1 to hit for all ranged weapons that target this vehicle.
  • Explodes- When the model is slain, roll a D6. On a roll of a 6, each unit within 6″ suffers D3 mortal wounds.
  • Transport- Can transport 6 <Chapter> Infantry models. Cannon transport Jump Pack, Terminator, Primaris or Centurion models.
  • Degrading Profile: 6-10W- move 12″, BS 3+, A3; 3-5W- move 6″, BS 4+, A D3; 1-2W- move 3″, BS 5+, A1.
  • Keywords: Imperium, Adeptus Astartes, <Chapter>, Vehicle, Transport, Razorback.

Tactics:

The Razorback brings a great package of transport capacity and boosted firepower to the Space Marine army and has become a very popular choice in 8th edition 40k thanks to the changes to the vehicle rules and the way twin weapons now work.

Let’s take a look at the profile of the Razorback itself. With the standard vehicle toughness of 7, ten wounds and a 3+ armour save, the Razorback has the standard durability of a vehicle in 8th edition, making it a tough prospect to deal with outside of dedicated anti-armour firepower or combat ability. Given the increased durability of vehicles, it is still going to take a couple of Missile Launcher/Lascannon shots or a ton of small arms fire to bring it down. This gives the Razorback some nice bonuses in that it should stay alive for longer and can help keep the squad inside it protected for longer. At the standard Marine BS of 3+, its improved firepower can actually be quite potent.

The Razorback has three main armament options. It comes with a Twin Heavy Bolter as standard. This gives it six S5 AP-1 shots and is the cheapest option available. This gives your army a nice boost to its firepower and can help support any squad that is embarked upon it, softening up enemy units before they charge or adding to the firepower of the squad. This is a nice option if you want to keep the Razorback cheap or are more concerned with getting the unit inside into the fray, but I would generally upgrade the gun to one of the two other options.

My personal preference is to take the Twin Assault Cannon. Twelve S6 AP-1 shots is a lot of firepower for only 100 points. I like the volume of shots on the Twin Assault Cannon, as the Razorback can still keep up a good rate of fire when on the move (as it will suffer -1 to hit from moving and firing a Heavy Weapon). On average you will be hitting with 6 of your shots and generally wounding with around four of them. This makes the Twin Assault Cannon Razorback great for adding firepower on the move. I often use mine to support my backfield units, either moving it around to grab objectives close to my deployment zone or camping next to my Devastators to add supporting fire and benefiting from a nearby Lieutenant.

The final option (at least in the Codex) is the Twin Lascannon. This is a very popular option to add some additional anti-tank/monster firepower to your army. In fact, a Twin Lascannon Razorback can be a nice, cheap way to add this anti-armour firepower to your army and shore up some weaknesses in your list if you are building an assault-heavy Space Marine force. It is cheaper than a Twin Lascannon Predator and only has one wound less, making it quite a bargain in this role. I find that this Razorback suits a more static role on the battlefield to maximise the firepower of the Twin Lascannon. However, if you do need to move it around, you will still hit with one of your shots on average, so you still keep up a decent rate of fire on the move. As the Razorback starts to take damage and its profile degrades, you probably will want to keep it more static, as it will be hitting on 5’s or 6’s on the move. Again, this is why I like the Twin Assault Cannon Razorback, as its high rate of fire means that even hitting on 5’s or 6’s, you can sometimes sneak in some good shots with it.

The Razorback has a reduced transport capacity of 6 compared to the Rhino. This isn’t really much of a problem though. Given the changes to morale, it is rare to see 10-man Space Marine squads on the field often, as there is more risk of losing members of the squad to a bad morale test.

The transport capacity of the Razorback has dual capabilities for your army and deployment. The first is that it can decrease the number of deployment drops in your army, being able to transport a 5-man squad and a single character, or multiple characters within it. This gives you a better chance of getting the first turn if you have fewer drops than your opponent. The second is increased durability for the squad inside. Obviously, if they are not on the table, they cannot be shot at. I will often run the Razorback with a 5-man Tactical Squad and a Librarian. The Tactical Squad can be armed with short-ranged special weapons such as a Flamer or Meltagun. The Razorback allows them to get up close and utilise their weaponry to greater effect. It also makes a great transport for small close combat squads, such as Assault Squads or Vanguard Veterans without Jump Packs. Add in a Chaplain for combat re-rolls, and this can make a nice assault element for clearing cheap troop choices off of objectives. The added firepower of the Razorback is also great for softening up the target unit before launching an assault.

The Razorback also makes a great transport vehicle for Devastator squads. You can start the game deployed in the Razorback for added protection in case you don’t get the first turn. You can then deploy in your first turn and use the Razorback to support the firepower of the Devastator Squad. As you only suffer -1 to hit for moving and firing Heavy Weapons now (rather than snap firing), this can be a useful sacrifice of some measure of firepower to keep the squad alive for a turn, or prevent a first turn charge from tying up the valuable firepower of the Devastator Squad. This works well if they are armed with high volume firepower weapons such as the Heavy Bolter, Grav Cannon or Plasma Cannon.

Adding a Storm Bolter to the Razorback is also a great option, giving you 2-4 additional shots for only two points. I generally wouldn’t bother with the Hunter-Killer Missile, as it is too expensive for a one-shot weapon that will generally be hitting on a 4+.

Overall:

The Razorback is a great choice for transport vehicle in the Space Marine army. It doesn’t have the durability of the Land Raider, but is a fraction of the cost. It doesn’t have the transport capacity of the Rhino, but it has greatly increased firepower. For its cost, it is one of the most efficient dedicated transport vehicles or a potent gun-tank in the Space Marine arsenal. Add one to your army, and I am sure you will not be disappointed with the results (hell, add two or more!).

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

secondhandhsop

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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.

13 Responses to “Space Marine Review: Dedicated Transport: Razorback”

  1. Sossen October 25, 2017 5:31 am
    #

    It is odd that the base predator is so expensive in comparison to the razorback. Paying 25 extra points for two sponson *options* and an extra wound but losing the transport capacity doesn’t make any sense to me. I don’t know what the price of an option alone should be but that is clearly too much. It isn’t prohibitively expensive but there’s a reason why tournament players are bringing razorbacks as their battle tanks instead.

    I think they should drop the price of a base predator by at least ~15 pts (and/or increase the pts cost of razorbacks if that leads to better balance). Predators are supposed to be the main battle tank, razorbacks should only be more worthwhile if you actually want the transport capacity.

    • abusepuppy October 25, 2017 6:44 am
      #

      I feel like the Predator should get a bump to 13 wounds like the Tau Hammerhead is- it sits way too close to the Razorback, as you say.

      • Michael Corr
        Michael Corr October 25, 2017 7:11 am
        #

        I think that would be a decent option. Such a disparity in price costs for essentially the same unit seems a bit odd.

    • WestRider October 25, 2017 4:15 pm
      #

      I personally feel that the Predator should get an extra point of Toughness, like the Vindicator has. They were the same Armour profile for the past 6 Editions, but now suddenly the Predator is more vulnerable.

      That would help differentiate it from the Razorback further, rather than just the two of them being so similar that the Points per shot ratio is basically all you need to decide which to take.

  2. Matt-Shadowlord October 25, 2017 6:28 am
    #

    Good post, but I hope you don’t mind my mentioning that this article about the rise in popularity on razorbacks, and the twin assault version in particular, somehow omitted mention of the elephant in to room;

    Gulliman 🙈🙉🙊

    • abusepuppy October 25, 2017 6:44 am
      #

      Right? Rowboat singlehandedly takes the AC Razor from being extremely mediocre (in my opinion, at least) to a solid choice. S6 ain’t that great against a lot of things normally, but when you’re rerolling wounds it gets a whole new life.

      • Threllen October 25, 2017 7:56 am
        #

        Not to mention the fact that assault cannons went from 4 shots to 6 (to compensate for loss of rend) AND twin-linked weapons now just get double shots. So not only are you re-rolling wounds on those S6 guns you also get 12 shots at BS3+ re-roll. A single twin assault cannon averages 9.5 wounds of 12 possible against stuff it wounds on a 3+ and 5.9 wounds when it’s wounding on 5+. Both numbers before saves but they illustrate just how damn consistent twin assault cannons are when babysat by the rowboat. Almost 90% chance to hit and still get over 50% chance to wound even against the toughest MCs and vehicles.

    • Michael Corr
      Michael Corr October 25, 2017 7:10 am
      #

      That’s a fair point Matt. Perhaps we should just have a bolierplate sentence to copy and paste at the bottom of almost all the Space Marine reviews: “Adding Guilliman makes this unit even more awesome” 😉

      Would save a lot of time and effort!

      • abusepuppy October 25, 2017 7:44 am
        #

        😛 Some units benefit more from Rowboat than other do, ya know.

      • Reecius
        Reecius October 25, 2017 7:59 am
        #

        lol

      • Matt-Shadowlord October 26, 2017 6:47 am
        #

        Hah great idea Micheal. Maybe something in the sing-off line, like ‘And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, and adding Gulliman makes many of them more awesome’ 😀

        But what I actually meant was that few benefit from RG as much as the assback, and RG is a big contributor to the mini tank’s New found popularity.

        Thanks for the post, looking forward to your next!

        • Matt-Shadowlord October 26, 2017 6:48 am
          #

          Sign off. Sign off line 😜

          • Michael Corr
            Michael Corr October 26, 2017 9:45 am
            #

            Haha, yes, that is the perfect place to put the tag line!

            I’ve never actually faced Guilliman, so often forget about him in the reviews. Maybe I just don’t have an overly competitive gaming group, or I do some bad at tournaments that I never have to face him!