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Tactica Astartes 5E - Transports

Rhino Transport

Scythes of the Emperor Rhino by Turalon


Now that everyone has the ability to run, mechanizing your Space Marines is no longer a do-or-die thing. However, footslogging armies still have the disadvantage of having to take fire while moving. The Rhino is now cheaper than it was before, making a fully mechanized force possible without taking your Marine’s punch away.

Though vehicles in general have become tougher thanks to 5thEd’s vehicle damage chart, the Rhino has always been a light tank. It is durable enough to have a chance of getting your Marines to where they need to be, but with broad and vulnerable flanks, it won’t stand up to much attention. The ability to repair immobilization is nice, but should never be counted on; if you’re worried about getting stuck on something, grab a dozer blade to clear the way.


The Rhino comes equipped with one Storm Bolter, Smoke Launchers for an instant cover save, and a Searchlight in case you have to do some night fighting.


Storm Bolter: The Rhino already comes with one standard, and its nothing more than a weapon of opportunity anyways. While amusing, two storm bolters aren’t really needed. Most people take this option to feed to weapon destroyed results in order to keep the Rhino moving, and in such a scenario it might possibly be worth it. It really depends on the environment you’re playing in.

Hunter-killer Missile: These can actually be hilariously frightening when taken en masse, but with only a single shot, one krak missile on one Rhino can’t be counted on to do much even with unlimited range.

Dozer Blade: The Rhino’s self-repair ability can’t be relied upon on its own when it counts. The doze blade and the self-repair ability, however, can ensure that your Rhino gets to where it’s needed when it’s needed. It is very cheap, and is a good investment if you are expecting lots of terrain.

Extra Armor: Forge World’s kits look cool, but since your Rhino’s aren’t likely to be doing much shooting, half of the upgrade’s bonuses are already made redundant. It’s simply over-costed for what it can do.

Razorback Transport

Crimson Fists Razorback by Augutus


The Rhino’s younger and angrier brother. The transport capacity is almost halved, but you get to mount a Heavy weapon on the back in return. Many wonder why anyone would consider trading a full squad of Marines out for one extra gun when the platform is just as fragile as a Rhino, but the Razorback does have its good points. Razorbacks have just enough capacity to make them ideal for Command Squads led by a Captain or acting in support of a Devastator squad. They’re also not that bad when taken as a total replacement for Rhinos. Only six marines can hitch a ride, but the plethora of heavy weapons on the field can potentially make up for the lessened maneuverability.


Like the Rhino, the Razorback has Smoke Launchers and a Searchlight. Unlike the Rhino, the Razorback has a twin-linked Heavy Bolter mounted on top. This weapon is decent enough to hold on to if you want to keep points down or can’t convert any of the other options, but you do get a few interesting choices for replacements, albeit at a hefty cost for a lightly armored transport.

May replace the Twin-linked Heavy Bolters with:

Twin-linked Heavy Flamer: An odd choice for a tank. This should only be taken for a Razorback carrying a Command Squad with a Captain. Don’t expect this tank to survive the game though, as the short range of this weapon places it in an ideal position for melta-weapons and power fists.

Twin-linked Assault Cannon: This option can put some serious teeth on your transport, but with its cost, you’ll have make the most of the weapon’s average range to keep it worth it. (The Assault Cannon bit that comes with the Land Raider Crusader/Redeemer fits the ring on the Razorback perfectly, saving you the trouble of converting one yourself. You can get this bit as part of a sprue from the GW website.)

Twin-linked Lascannon: This option works very well with a squad of Devastators, and the weapon’s immense range will help protect your investment. This is probably the best alternative to the Heavy Bolter option (which is just as well since it comes with the Razorback kit already).

Twin-linked Plasma Gun with Lascannon: Another retro-upgrade from 40K’s past. This option is clearly for facing against TEQ-heavy armies. The wide range gap between the two weapons means that you’ll have plenty to shoot at, but this option only gets good within 24”. One trick a lot of people have noticed,is that the since the turret weapon counts as two weapons instead of one, its difficult to disarm.


Storm Bolter: If you’ve upgraded the Heavy weapon at all, you’ve already hit your spending ceiling for a single Razorback. Anything more is just wasteful use of points.

Hunter-killer Missile: Again, these can be good when equipped on a fleet of Rhinos/Razorbacks, but individually they aren’t very impressive. They can be somewhat worth it on a Lascannon-equipped Razorback camping with a squad of Devastators to add a tiny amount of extra punch, but again, only if you have the points to spare.

Dozer Blade: With the range of most Heavy weapons bar the heavy flamer, its not so big a deal if your Razorback gets stuck. I would save this for the Rhnos, but it’s so cheap its no big deal if you want to take it either.

Extra Armor: Marginally more worth the cost than on Rhinos since Razorbacks have guns worth mentioning, but still simply too expensive for my liking. The worth of this upgrade really varies depending on how central the Razorback is to your plans. It’s worthless on a Devastator squad camping at the back of the field, but a Razorback heading into the thick of things might get some use out of it.

Drop Pod

Iron Hands Drop Pod by precinctomega


Perhaps the coolest thing about Space Marines in their written form besides the Marines themselves, the Drop Pod arrives onto the table top as a cool-looking but frustrating to paint model. The Drop Pod gives your Marines the ability to be exactly where they need to be from turn one (or close to it), but once it lands, it’s utility ends and it becomes and easy killpoint for cutthroat opponents. The Drop Pod Assault rule means you should take about four or so in order to get a good beachhead on the field, as any less would have the force cut off and destroyed early in the game by deploying too far ahead of the main force.


The Drop Pod comes equipped only with a single storm bolter.

May exchange Storm Bolter for:

Deathwind Missile Launcher: Not only is this option not cheap, but it’s range is half that of the storm bolter. This weapon might seem like a good dissuader against opponents looking for an easy killpoint, but AV12 will not stand up to too much firepower anyways.


Locator Beacon: Unlike the teleport homer, the locator beacon works for all forms of deep strike. A drop pod with this upgrade can get everything from assault marines to terminators in the middle of field on turn 2. The downside to this is that the drop pod has to be on the table at the start of the turn, which can be hard to do with the drop pod’s light armor.

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Article written by Ironsight. All images belong to their respective owners.


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