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Keep in mind that I have only been playing CSM for a little less than a month now and I've never played a Space Marine type army when I talk about this issue.
In another thread, people urged me to buy a few more rhinos for my army since I only have the one that came with the Battleforce. So lets dissect the rhino for a second shall we? Firstly, how important are rhinos in battle. Secondly, how many should you take, one for each troop (excluding units that cannot take a rhino in the first place)? Is there a limit to how many you should have for say 1000, 1500 and 2000 point games? Thirdly, how do you deck them out? Obviously, the less points you have, the less wargear you have on it. I typically play 1500 points and have my only rhino with a Havoc launcher and combi flamer weapon for 60 points. I hear that Daemonic possession isn't worth taking, but extra armour could be. Your input would be welcome.
Where to start? It's probably the most important support model we have. In fact, I'd rank it as high as our Princes and Plague Marines when it comes to the success of mech-Chaos. It's THAT important. I practically sleep with one underneath my pillow.
Upgrades: Best to leave it bare-boned. Lots of reasons I won't go into now. The only upgrade you might consider is the combi-melta. It often takes our opponents by surprise when you roll up beside heavy armor, such as a 250+ point Land raider, and punch a hole straight through it with a measily rhino. That just reeks of irony.
Tactics: Aside from the obvious transport capacity, the rhino is also a mobile wall. They can be used for thwarting the enemy swarm, and channeling your opponent where you want them to go.
Another punk trick you might consider is against enemy devastator squads. Park your rhino directly next to them and block their LoS. While the dev's will likely shoot your rhino to smithereens, at the same time, you're forcing your opponent to deal with an empty transport by targeting it with some very nice tank busting weapons. It's a bargain deal every time.
There are other more subtle uses for the rhino. I'll try and write post a few when I have more time.
How many to include: That's really based on your army. Unless you're fielding a non-mech force, then you can pretty much count on all of your troops needing a ride to the circus-o-slaughter. Of course, some exceptions apply: You can, for example, successfully footslog both Thousand Sons and Noise Marines without any need for a rhino, even in mech-Chaos. Again, this depends on your build. Even then, a lot of players prefer their shooters in tin cans.
Last edited by Rabbit; October 30th, 2010 at 00:02.
Spambot kill tally. . .337
I agree whole heartedly with what Rabbit says, Rhinos are one of the most important models in our codex. I would say, take a Rhino for every troops choice you field because mobility is the most valuable ally we have. Also, other than the occasional combi-melta/plasma (which should be added on only with extra points you may have) never put anything on a Rhino, keep them bare. The Havoc Launcher will almost never be used, Extra Armor and DP are useless on a Rhino as almost every hit against it will be a pen, giving the opponent a better chance of rolling higher than a 2 and you'll usually be moving more than 6", making Dozer Blades useless as well.
World Eaters: W-47 D-10 L-9
Necrons: W-19 D-3 L-2
Protectorate of Menoth: W-36 D-0 L-7
Keep them bare where upgrades are concerned, after all, turns or so in when they've delivered their troops you only need to worry about keeping them alive in annihilate missions. I usually take one for each troop choice, except for 1. This is because 2/3s of the time one of your units needs to hold you home objective and doesn't need the mobility. Of course using a rhino here could keep them safer for longer, but I prefer to save the points and just put them in cover, allowing them to fire all of their weapons. So as said before you may wish to leave some of your shooting units without them if they are hardy enough, as this means they get the most out of their weapons.
I said keep them bare earlier, but you may want to use the combi-melta mentioned earlier, you will have to accept that other than the odd wound your rhino won't deal out much damage, even when upgraded. However, use of a melta weapon can allow it to take out expensive enemy vehicles, whilst your enemy is unlikely to suspect such a tactic.
As for uses, obviously its main use is transporting your troops safely, but it can also be used to block line of site to waste an enemies turn of shooting, of to protect that final troop that could win you the game. You can also block an enemies route, or force them towards your assault troops or heavy weapons.
As a relatively new player to Chaos (and mech SM in general) I am still finding new tricks for my rhinos - but I already think they are the best value tank in the game. The 12" move + 2" disembark + 12" rapid-fire is a winner in my book.
Apart from Bliss-giver's other excellent suggestions, I would add harassment - there's tank-shocking of course, and an empty rhino is still a tank for ramming purposes. My rhinos have vehicle kills to their credit from this. Another bonus is the 'Repair' special rule: I've had this work several times now, and the look on my opponent's face when an immobilised rhino suddenly lurches back into the game (I imagine the burst of oily black smoke and howling engine) is well worth the price of admission.
And although each rhino is a killpoint, your opponent still has to dedicate medium firepower to killing it rather than your more powerful units, so make him/her make that choice.
Funny, I've had about 8-9 games with my CSM so far and I have been winning without having more than one Rhino. I put my Khorne Berserkers in my only Rhino to shuttle them into combat and that's ok, but what I've been doing is adding the Icon of Nurgle to my regular marines and move them by foot. Before you tell me how expensive and stupid this idea is, I've found out time and time again that in most cases, the toughness 5 really seems to make a difference and almost always pays for itself. Tonight, against the vanilla Space Marines, my unit of Marines with the Nurgle Icon, walked up the middle of the table and took out many opponent units. When the game ended on turn 5, I still had two in the unit. That unit took a ton of bolter fire to no avail. I also move my Terminators by foot since I don't have a Landraider, so I give them the Icon of Tzeentch giving them Invulnerable 4. What a difference that makes! So far, I'm just not finding that CSM are that addicted to Rhinos to win as people have told me they should be. Am I missing something? I play 1000-1500 point games.
I agree, rhinos do have their uses, but aren't the be all and end all, I don't have as many rhinos as others suggest, but this is where icons have their uses and become a real bonus against space marines, we can leave units in the (relative) open without worrying too much, but if they do the same they take much heavier casulties. That said, not all of your units will have MoN so definitely a second rhino at some time would be useful.
I had a game against Space Marines the other day and didn't take even one rhino just for a change. It worked out real well and I won by only giving up 2 kill points to my opponent. He gave up about 6 kill points. I'm trying to find ways to win without being addicted to rhinos and the Mark of Nurgle seems to be a good way of doing it. I'm not sure if this plan is even practical, but I'll try it just the same.