This grand statement was prompted by me building one last night whilst watching Battlestar Galactica – Exodus parts 1 & 2 if anyone’s interested – and how much I enjoyed building it. I worked out I’ve built at least 10 Rhino chassis over the years (with 3 more sat under my desk) and all of them very immensely satisfying. And here’s why…
It’s such a sublimely easy kit to build and, presumably, because the company churns them out like a veritable Forgeworld, the casting quality is almost perfect. In my experience the mould likes are few and far between. But moreover, it just looks ace. The simplicity of the design encapsulates both the efficiency and single mindedness of the STC principle and the Space Marines themselves.
The RH1N0 has been the workhorse of the Adeptus Astartes and the Imperium as a whole since the Great Crusade. They are a byword for reliability and as much a symbol of the Emperor’s Angels of Death as their suits of power armour. The STC means that the Rhino can be made from any local material and the engine capable of running on anything from refined Promethium to wood. Not to mention its modular construct allowing for Razorback, Predator, Vindicator & Whirlwind adaptations.
It is as every bit as flexible and stalwart as the Space Marines themselves. And, like the Space Marines they transport, can take a pounding and with a modicum of TLC from its driver keep on going.
Which is another thing that is incredibly cool about the Rhino. The driver is a Space Marine. He transports his brothers into the worst of the fighting and then stays on station providing extraction should the need arise in what is, essentially, a big box with a bullseye painted on it. They will drive headlong into the fire and do so out of duty, not for glory. And should the Rhino take damage they attempt to fix it under fire.
The Rhinos and their crews are the unsung heroes of a Space Marine chapter both on the battlefield and on the board. They are quite possibly the best 35 points in the army. They won’t always make it to the end of the game but whatever they’re fate they’ll always be an asset, be they transport, distraction or protection for their disembarked brethren. They’ll give you a needed burst of speed, plus an armoured battle company can give your opponent a real headache because they not only have to deal with a potentially fast-moving Space Marine force but also afford those Marines protection against the first volleys of heavy weapons fire.
The Rhino is an ace kit. It’s an ace tank. And it’s a genuine tactical asset that often gets ignored because it isn’t covered in lascannons or armoured to the tits. It means that for a fraction of the points the main stay of your army can keep pace with your assault elements allowing your to support them with superior fire power. With 6th Edition’s changes around tanks, them possessing 3 hull points makes them even better. And for 35 points, that’s awesome.