Friday, February 8, 2013

Space Marines in 6th Edition: Dedicated Transports


The Rhino was a very common feature of Space Marine armies in 5th Edition, but it’s less required now. As discussed in the Tactical squad entry, most infantry now move and fire well without needing a transport to close with the enemy. The Rhino’s role is limited to protecting the squad inside from fire (particularly overwhelming anti-heavy infantry fire such as plasma cannons and Flamers of Tzeentch) and moving the squad quickly across the field (which it does better now that it can move 18”). One or two Rhinos may be worth taking in order to take objectives from your opponent, but they definitely have a downside. Rhinos are an easy kill, and they make it very easy for your opponent to pick up First Blood. If you take some, keep them hidden until First Blood has been scored.


Razorbacks sacrifice some of the transport capacity of the Rhino in exchange for a turreted heavy weapon. While it can add some extra firepower to your army without taking up a FOC slot, a Razorback is just as easy to kill as a Rhino but attracts a lot more attention because it hurts the enemy. I tend to avoid Razorbacks now because they always seem to die almost immediately without much return.

Drop Pods

Drop Pods provide an exceptionally reliable way to Deep Strike your units and it allows Space Marines to be more aggressive than usual. Drop Pods allow safe placement of any squads inside, allowing them to shoot but not assault on the turn they arrive. In general, this benefits close-range shooty squads, and Sternguard, Command Squads, Tactical squads, and Dreadnoughts are often deployed by Drop Pods.

Due to Drop Pod Assault, half of the Drop Pods in your army (rounding up) arrive automatically on the first turn while the remainder arrives as normal. This allows you to stack your damage dealing units (Sternguard, Command squads, Dreadnoughts) in the first drop while the scoring Tactical squads arrive later once it’s (presumably) safer.

One common upgrade for Drop Pods is the Deathwind Launcher, which gives it a S5 large blast with a 12” range. While this sounds really handy for the turn that the Pods arrive, its short range and high points cost


  1. nice roundup. And you are right rhino's and razorback's are wrecked too fast. But because of the 6th edition cover rule, they should be able to get one most of the time.

    Concerning the drop pods "While this sounds really handy for the turn that the Pods arrive"
    Deathwind launcher can't shoot the turn it arrives, since blaste weapons can not be fired as snapshots :/

  2. While I agree that it's pretty easy to get a 5+ cover save on Rhinos now, I don't see it making much of a difference. Most of the guns that target Rhinos are fired en masse, and I'm used to my Rhinos taking 3 or 4 lost hull points at a time. Occasionally cover saves will save them, but it's too rare to really make them better.

    Great catch on the Deathwind Launcher! I hadn't even thought about Drop Pods having to snap fire when they land. That makes the launcher even less useful for its exorbitant points cost.


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