How to Win Warhammer 40k: Blood Angels Tactics 4, Rhino Rush


Time to talk about Rhinos. 5th edition has welcomed the new dawn of 40k, and with the rise of that dawn came the reliable and practical use of the Space Marine Rhino. I use them extensively in my army and walk all over people. In the Way of Sanguinius, the Rhino is the key factor in my plans.

Lets discuss the Rhino first. Armor 11 on front and sides, with 10 back is lacking but not terrible. It protects the squad inside from withering small arms fire, which is the intended use of an APC any way. No armored personnel carrier is intended to withstand the heavy guns carried by tank destroyers. Once you accept that and focus on the Rhino's strengths, you will do fine. You must give your Rhino extra armor. I know, it is a 15 point investment, and when using 5 rhinos can get really expensive, but I cannot tell you how many times extra armor has been useful, especially in tank shock, which I will get into after. I personally feel it is worth while to add the second storm bolter on at least one of your Rhinos. Just think of it as a mobile gun platform. 4 shots can be used to finish off that last lucky couple of guardians, or possibly add a wound to a commander before he assaults you. They can be wonderful for dealing with speeders. Remember, 5th edition is about torrent of fire. You want as many shots as you can get on the table, regardless of STR. Lastly concerning Blood Angels Rhinos, they have Over Charged Engines. This enables them to move up to 18" and get in position to contest/claim objectives, and tank shock enemy troops.

How to use your Rhino.

Use your rhinos as a mobile gun platform. Put a 10 man tactical squad with a lascannon and meltagun inside. Move it up onto an objective. Next turn, fire that Las and melta at any thing you want, keeping the guys inside safe.

Protect your squads. Put a 5 man squad in a rhino, and drive it up onto objectives. Keep the squad in the rhino... your enemy must divert heavy weapon shots onto them to crack em open. In the meantime, the rhino is protecting your 5man squad from annoying infantry shots. You can always disembark the squad and move/assault if you have to. So long as you have gotten your rhino into position, every heavy weapon shot fired at them is one less fired at your Baal Preds and Furioso. That is a good thing in turns 3 and 4 believe me.

Provide cover. Rhinos are great and cheap at providing mobile cover. Move that rhino up on to an exposed objective, and let it get knocked out... now you have a big lump of terrain to hide behind. OR you can use them to provide cover for each other while they are on the move. In the movie The Empire Strikes Back, Luke ordered an "Outside the Box" tactic to attack the AtAt walkers. They flew in a straight line, one behind another, 3 or 4 in a row. The lead speeder maximized its front shields, while the others saved power. When the lead speeder had its shields reduced to a dangerous level, the next in line leap-frogged into the front, always keeping a charged and undamaged shield to take the brunt of the enemy fire. Of course the speeders were weak vehicles and got shot down any way, but they did their job! They slowed down the enemy advance, and even took out a few in the process. Rhinos can pull the same tactic. Use them to provide cover to the ones behind them, each overlapping the next. Pop smoke on the lead Rhino. Next turn, move one up to the front that has not popped smoke yet. If done right, your rhinos should all have cover saves in open terrain up until they reach their objectives. (And if Corbulo is in one of them, you can negate a failed cover save once per turn.) You can also use them to block the enemy charge, and line of sight. Force the ork nob/warboss biker squads to go around them, slowing them down to allow you to get to them first. Use them to block LoS from enemy plasma cannons and battle cannons so you can advance your tanks. Make a wall around objectives you have just secured. The possibilities are endless.

Tank Shock. Perhaps my most favorite tactic! With 18" of movement, you can usually reach enemy squads and tank shock them. This will usually take them completely by surprise. First of all, They may or may not know how TS works. Their lack of knowledge is your gain. It has been my experience that 40k is 1/3 Army List, 1/3 tactics and 1/2 knowledge of the rules... (weird math intentional) Do not deceive your opponent, but don't feel like you have to tell them about all the rules in the book they should have in their own hands. They will probably know about Death or Glory, you can even be a good sport and tell them that they can Death or Glory your tank, but even that is not necessary since they SHOULD already know that. You could get away with simply saying that they have to make a leadership test, and if they fail, they fall back, and if successful, they MAY move out of the way or they MAY DoG. At any rate, wether you tell your opponent if they can use a Meltagun to DoG is up to you. A good player will know that, and knowledge of the rules is what seperates the good from the orks.

NOTE: My tactics are intended to be used against experienced players, usually in tournaments. In fun pickup games, you should always be a good sport and explain rules that less experienced players may or may not know. It is ok to nail em once, but make sure that they know what you did.

Back to Tank Shock. SO here is how it breaks down. You tank shock a squad, that squad needs to pass a leadership test immediately. IF they pass the test they may simply move out of the way, moving as far as they need to stay in coherency and one inch away from your tank. Fearless models need not roll. If they fail to pass the test, they will immediately fall back as per the rules... In this case, simply chase them off the table by staying within 6" of the squad. They can NEVER regroup so long as you have a model nearby.

If they pass, they may attempt to DoG. They can elect to select one model, and get a free shot against the front armor of the tank with whatever weapon they are holding. Over zealous 4th edition experts may jump to choose that powerfist... but in 5th edition you may use Meltaguns or lascannons to do the same thing. At any rate, which ever model you use, it gets an auto hit. It has to penetrate the front armor. If you manage to stop the tanks movement, either by rolling a 2, 4, 5, or 6 on the damage table you are successful. Glances modify the roll accordingly. But here is where it gets interesting. Extra armor allows you to ignore the 2, it is treated as a 1. So you can still move and now you are only stopped on a 4,5 or 6. That is a 50% chance at being successful... You cant beat that! Especially if you tank shock a squad with 3 Rhinos... They have to make 3 leadership tests, then beat those 50% odds 3 times. If the DoG is successful, then the model stops where it encountered the squad and the damage is resolved as normal.. IE your guys get out if it is destroyed and will probably die next turn. But if the DoG fails, the model dies, and your tank keeps on plowing through. You can even move on to TS another squad! This is crucial for taking and/or contesting objectives. Where Melta guns throw off the math is that they add a +1 to the damage chart... and reduce your chance of success to what 18%? 2 in 6 instead of 3 in 6... (assuming the penetration happens)

I once tank shocked a squad that had 2 meltaguns, with 2 rhinos, and the poor guy failed to stop the vehicles twice... Losing both models. You just never know.

There you have it. Cover saves and Over Charged Engines make Blood Angels Rhinos superb at land grab, take and hold missions. They are survivable, and are good at knocking squads off objetives. Especially if you can get to ones that do not have heavy weapons. Some guys like to take squishy and weak troops just to fill the requirement and hold objectives. They put them in the back and forget about them. Tank shock away!

7 comments:

FoxPhoenix135 said...

Good stuff, Jawa. I now have a new appreciation for tank shock!

Frozencore said...

Good stuff, I have used rhino extensively for many years with my sisters of battle. I rarely use Tank Shock, though, but I might be more willing to try it now.

Someone needs to learn fractions!:P 2/6=1/3 or 33%.

eriochrome said...

I think a close reading of the rules of tank shock says that the model taking the death or glory actually has to be in the way of the tank shock. This might allow you to tank shock the edge of a unit (1-2 guys without the special weapons) to try to force the fall back.

This works well for trying to force fall backs but will not work for most objective grabs since smart players will learn to place said model very close to the objective.

Alliance said...

Fritz just posted in his blog that popping vehicles in kill point missions gives him a easy win. How do you account for that?

jawaballs said...

Sadly transports are an easy kill point for any one that wants them. The only defense is to keep your rhinos back, using cover to protect them, switch them up, pop smoke and press the attack. That's right, take it from good ole Mel, the cook. "The Best Defense is a good offense." Keem em safe, or use them to lure your opponent into trying to pop them. He will take them down, but will hopefully leave himself in a position where he has to expose a KP of his own. If I were playing Fritz in a KP mission, I would do full attack. Press the advance with my predators, mow down his Seer Council. Then focus on his Vypers. That would be my tactic against him any way. But In this case, I would try to position my rhinos back enough to keep them safe. You have to force him to shoot at your tough stuff...

Pendragon said...

"(And if Corbulo is in one of them, you can negate a failed cover save once per turn.)"
do you have a rule reference for that (a page would help)? About the part of it working from inside the tank.
When I'll use use that on my Land Raider with a Terminator Apothecary (DA have the same Narthecium rules as BA) inside I'll need to show it in the rules for sure lol good times :P

Jacob Bodmer said...

@ Pendragon: Page 25, in the command squad entry "Once per player turn ... may ignore the first failed save(of any kind)"

As it doesn't require line of sight, the Apoc is free to use it from within a vehicle (and you measure the 6" from the vehicle's hull, extending it's range)

OFC, many people, myself included, would argue that, while this is true by RAW, it certainly isn't RAR (Rules as Reasonable) It's a med kit! How does a space-band-aid help a tank?

RAW is, typically, a bad way to play, mostly because GW can't write rules to save their lives. I could give many examples, but I'll spare you.

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