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Question about drop pods: Can assault squads WITHOUT jump packs take drop pods as transports?
Could be a cheaper points alternative to deep striking jump troops close to the enemy while being better tactically ie - being able to charge into hand-to-hand combat on landing.
No, an assault squad may never take a Drop pod as a transport--or any other sort of dedicated transport. This can be detirmined by checking either the Drop pod assault rules in the front of the Space Marine codex or by looking at the Assault marine entry in the Space Marine codex.
Also, you seem to be labouring under a misconception. Models can not assault the turn they deep-strike in a drop-pod.
You can use a trait ("take the fight to them", I believe) to replace the bolters in your tactical squads with bolt pistols and close combat weapons--making them very similar to jump-pack-less assault marines, but able to take a drop pod. No marines can deep-strike and assault on the same turn, though.
Thanks for clearing that up. Didn't realise the rules were in the SM Codex... duh! I couldn't find the rules for drop pods in the 40k rule book and had assumed that the Imperial Armour book rules were correct. Obviously the Codex has the definitive rules.
Pity really as I was also planning on drop podding a Dreadnought with AC/HF into battle. Only being able to shoot on landing could leave it quite vulnerable to troops with Melta guns etc.
Still, I might be tempted to just get a Dread DP if I can bring myself to part with Â£60 for the Forge World model. It does look pretty impressive.