Tactical Primer: Enter the Rhino Primaris

The Rhino Primaris, released as part of the new Space Marine command vehicle box set (i.e. Rhino Primaris and Land Raider Excelsior) is a tremendous force-multiplier for the Space Marine faction, and any allied Imperium detachment, for that matter.

What does the Rhino Primaris bring to the fight? Well, first of all it has a 6 man transport capacity and a “built-in” TLed Plasma gun for respectable shooting and infantry support abilities. On top of this, it gives a friendly Land Raider Excelsior within 12” +1BS (which makes the Lascannons and Grav Cannon/Amp of the Excelsior MUCH more potent).

Outside of these “organic” abilities, the Rhino Primaris also has a number of rules that truly enhances the army it is attached to. First, it can shoot a One Use only Orbital Blast (just like a Chapter Master), but with a Massive Blast instead of the normal Large Blast; quite decent offensive capability right out the gate there.

Second, if it doesn’t shoot that blast, it can allow you to AUTOMATICALLY bring in a single unit from your reserves each turn starting turn 2; this cannot be overstated, as competitive games can hinge on this very ability to guarantee units coming in when you need them. Finally, it has a Servo-Skull hub which provides three exceptionally useful, one-use only buffs (which are basically automatic as well, not requiring any leadership check or psychic test):

1 – Repair a Hull Point on a nearby friendly vehicle on a 2+ roll – This is a small, but quite useful, ability which can be a game changer when you really need to keep that Land Raider alive long enough to get its passengers into assault or when you want to give your flyer the edge in a dogfight against enemy flyers, etc.

2 – Make a unit Fearless – Again a small, but still potentially very useful ability, when you absolutely need a squad to hang onto an objective for a turn or hold up an enemy unit in melee for an Assault phase.

3 – Make a unit fire snapshots at full BS – THIS is the game-changer ability! There are so many uses for this ability: allowing a normal unit to shoot at flyers with full BS for a turn, allowing jinking units to get their cover save and still fire at full BS for a turn, allowing a unit to overwatch at full BS for a turn. My personal favorite is to use this on a very shooty unit (i.e. Gravcannon Centurions, Long Fangs, Leman Russ Squadron, etc.) and allow it to fire at full BS at an enemy unit with the Invisibility Blessing cast on it…. All it takes is one turn of solid shooting without the BS penalties of Invisibility and you can neutralize that opposing Deathstar (or wipe it out completely) for the rest of the game.

Remember, not only are the Rhino Primaris Servo-Skull abilities free, but they can affect ANY friendly units, not just units of the same faction. That means that Rhino Primaris servo-skulls can provide the above-mentioned buffs to basically any Imperium codex allied to you, which makes for some tremendous synergy potentials… imagine a Squadron of 3 x Leman Russ Exterminators with MM Sponsons and Lascannons being able to shoot 12 Autocannon, 6 MM, and 3 Lascannon shots at full BS at flyers for a turn, for example. Another example is combining DA Black Knights, Lias Issadon, and a Rhino Primaris… Issadon and Black Knight infiltrate up close, then use Shrouded (from Issadon) and Jink (from Bikes) to get a 2+ cover save… then the Rhino Primaris allows them to shoot at full BS with their TLed Plasma Talons in the following phase… pretty potent combo!


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