Why it shines:
- It's immune to bolters
- For units with scout it increases the scout move to 12"
- It can take a combi-melta or heavy bolter
- It has 2 fire points
- It has 3 disembark points
- It's cheap
- It is usually scoring with objective secured
- 2 guys get to shoot if someone charges it
- TANK SHOCK
All that said, what really makes the rhino shine is the tactics you can do with it
- Defensive LOS blocker: If you are using a unit like Mor Deythan with flamers, you have infiltrated, scouted into position, and oh shit they seized on you... Well I hope you thought ahead and had your rhino turned sideways. Because if they glance that tank to death you can usually hunker you 5 man squad behind the husk and keep it alive.
- Offensive LOS Blocker: I can't tell you how many times I've played a guy who has set up their 5 lascannons behind their Aegis Defense line all proudly, and then I've driven up a rhino and turned it side ways in front of them... It's blocks their LOS to shoot anything, and worse of all if they shoot it dead it's probably still blocking their LOS unless they blow up it up, which blows them up... and then they have to walk around it and snapshot for a turn.
- Sniper Rhinos: In 7th ed, you can only kill what you see. Simple enough. But that means you can block LOS and snipe out parts of squads. This is super important for Raven Guard since we have preferred enemy Independent Characters. It allows us to kill off parts of a squad and expose that IC to a melta support squads and melt the praetor or what ever you are after. It also let's you block LOS to that pesky Artificer Armor sgt. and since wounds can't be allocated to what you can't see, feel free to melta the rest of the squad on their 3+ saves.
- Peekaboo: In 7th ed, you also can't charge what you can't see. So a well placed rhino can often stuff a charge. You can also make a V shape with 2 rhinos so you can shoot through the gap, but your opponent has to go all the way around to pull off a charge.
- Speed bumps: Playing Raven Guard effectively is all about playing the game on your terms. A lot of times that means slowing down units that are trying to get places. A spartan with characters and a big chunk of termies is not cheap. Throwing one or two rhinos side ways in front of it basically wastes all those points for an entire turn and probably made it go though dangerous terrain.
- Trapped: A lot of time with Raven Guard you take units in big enough size so you KNOW it's going to be successful at popping a transport. A clever trick is blocking one of the disembark points. This forces units out into the open. It's especially good against land raiders if you can block that back side door as the other side door and front are probably down range and in LOS of you units. You can also usually combo this with the unit inside to get infront of another door.
- Zig and Zag: In the shooting phase your rhino can often move after you have shot, which often let's you shoot something and then it can't return fire.
- Flier Manipulation: This is especially viable with outflanking armies or when you have deployed near a board edge. You know a flier has to move 18" at a minimum and can only make one turn at 90 degrees. So you can find where the extreme short movement points of a flier exists. If you put your transport there it has to move further than your tank of move more directly forward than it wants. In addition, it usually means that aircraft can't shoot that tank either. AND it means you will have rear shots on the flier next turn.
Units I use with Rhinos:
- Vets with 2 meltas in a rhino with a combi melta
- Vets with 2 plasma in a rhino with a hvy bolter
- 10 tacs in a rhino for scoring
- Destoyers w/ 2 missile launchers, phosphex greande in a rhino
- Mor Deythan w. 5 combi flamers
- Mor Deythan w. 6 combi flamers, 3 meltas, 1 melta bomb in a rhino w. combi melta
- 10 mor deythan w. 10 combi volkites in a rhino
On a final note, I do wish there where slightly different rules for MKI and MKII rhinos like they did with the different termi armor. That said, with my Raven Guard Rhinos I went with Hover rhinos to portray their stealthiness. Pictures coming soon!
Did I miss any sneaky rhino Tactics?