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Horus Heresy: Dedicated Transports

Greetings one and all,

You're getting two Horus Heresy articles in a row this week, you lucky people. In our last article we covered Troop Choices, so today we’re going to be taking a look at one of the many ways you can move them around the tabletop: Dedicated Transports. So what they are, how do they work, and what special rules do they have? Let’s find out.

Special Rules

First things first, let’s take a glance at the general special rules for Dedicated Transports and what this means for your army.

Every Dedicated Transport has the special rule Transport Capacity, which is the maximum number of models that the Vehicle can carry. This number can never be exceeded. A Transport may carry a single Infantry Unit and/or any number of Independent Characters with the Infantry or Primarch Unit Type. But at no point may any combination of models exceed the Transport Capacity of the Vehicle.

Furthermore, rules such as Bulky change the number of Transport slots a model can take up. Terminators are an easy example of this as they are Bulky (2) and so take up 2 slots each. But as well as this, there will sometimes be constraints on which models can go inside a Transport: a Rhino can not carry Terminators for example, while models equipped with Jump or Jet Packs can't be embarked in a Transport that doesn't have the Flyer special rule.

There will be other special rules to discuss, but each of these Dedicated Transports has its own special rules according to their designs and capabilities, so we’ll cover these further as we take a look at each of them individually.


So what are the options for Dedicated Transports?

Rhino - Possibly the most well-known Vehicle in the universe, the Rhino APC.

Looking at the statline, we can see the Rhino is rather fast with a Movement of 14, but it differently lacks in the Armour department, so try and keep terrain features or a more heavily Armoured Vehicle between the Rhino and any anti-tank units. However, as an APC, the most important factor is the Transport Capacity and in this case, the Rhino has 12 slots (it used to have only 10, but I guess the extra two marines just sit on another Marines lap or something?)

As for special rules, the Rhino has three. Legiones Astartes means that the Rhino gets the Legion-specific rules of whichever Legion it belongs to. So an Iron Hand Rhino would benefit from any Iron Hand special rules and would count as a friendly model to other Iron Hands units... Next, we have Repair, which means that if the Rhino has suffered an Immobilised result, it may forgo any Shooting in the Shooting phase and instead Repair itself. On the roll of a 4+ the Immobilised result is removed, though hull points are not restored. Finally, we have Infantry Transport, meaning the Rhino can’t embark any models with the Bulky special rule, so, sorry. No Terminators or Primarchs can be transported in the Rhinio.

Another thing to take note of is that a Rhino can not be bought on its own and can only be bought as an upgrade for another unit.

Let's now turn to the armaments. As standard, the Rhino comes with a Smoke Launcher and Pintle Mounted Twin-Linked Bolter. The Rhino may also be given one of the following, Pintle Mounted Twin-Linked Bolter, Pintle Mounted Combi Weapon (any type), Pintle Mounted Havoc Launcher, Pintle Mounted Heavy Bolter, Pintle Mounted Heavy Flamer or a Pintle Mounted Multi-Melta. As well as all these, the Rhino can also be given one hull-mounted Hunter Killer Missile, Searchlights, and a Dozer Blade.

As you can see, there are quite a lot of upgrades that can be mounted to a Rhino, depending on the role you have planned for it. Personally, I like to keep them as cheap as I can, maybe putting a Dozer Blade and a Searchlight on it for those times the Night Fighting rules are in effect. I’d rather lose a Rhino than a more expensive Vehicle.

Drop Pod - This is the iconic Vehicle of the Space Marines, launched from orbit to deliver devastating strikes on enemy command centres, supply depots, or just to drop into the middle of an Ork Waaagh.

So I’m going to say something possibly controversial here, but the only stat that really matters here is the Transport Capacity, which is 10. Once the Drop Pod has landed, it’s really only good for blocking line of sight and firing its Twin-Linked Bolter.

Okay, Okay, I might be being a little bit harsh. So let's look at its special rules and see if there are any worth talking about. The Drop Pod, like the Rhino, has the Legones Astartes special rule, which is exactly the same as the Rhino, so nothing new to discuss here. Inertial Guidance System on the other hand is a handy little rule for if you're Deep Striking. If a unit with this rule is the first to deploy, then it halves the distance Scattered for any other unit that is deploying and subject to the Scatter rule. Furthermore, if the number rolled on the Scatter dice would move you into Impassable Terrain or off the battlefield, then the unit/model is moved the minimum distance required to be placed safely. Next, we have Impact reactive doors, which when summed up means that the doors on the Vehicle open upon deployment and all units inside MUST disembark, and cannot reembark. The door, once opened, can’t be targeted and does not impede Movement. Units deployed cannot declare a Charge on the turn they deploy. Orbital Assault Vehicle is as it sounds, and means that the Vehicle must be deployed via Deep Strike, as part of a Deep Strike Assault, or any other deployment that requires a Deep Strike… With all this talk of Deep Striking, it’s therefore not surprising that the Drop Pod has a special rule of, well, Deep Striking (duh). Finally, there is Infantry Transport. Simply put, it’s a Transport for Marines which, again, is the same as the Rhino.

When I use Drop Pods I tend to put units with short-ranged but very potent weapons in them, Legion Support Squad with Meltaguns for example.

Dreadnought Drop Pod - Special delivery… It’s pain!

If you want to deliver a Dreadnought into the heart of the enemy, or maybe their back lines, this might be the choice for you. Okay, so, the Dreadnought Drop Pod can carry either a Contemptor, Leviathan or a Deredeo Dreadnought and deploy them Via Deep Strike… Other than that, the rules for the Dreadnought Drop Pod are the same as the standard Drop Pod, so I’m not going to repeat myself.

One thing I will talk about though is the point cost. The Dreadnought Drop Pod is 100 points. That’s not a small amount of points, but it might be worth it to deploy a Leviathan Dreadnought with Twin Cyclonic Melta Lances right next to your opponent's tanks or murder ball…

Legion Termite Assault Drill - The Mole from Thunderbirds?

Looking at the statline we see two things of note: the low Movement and the transport capacity of 12. The low Movement is deceptive; this Vehicle should be used to get models to where you want them Via the Subterranean Assault special rule, and they should then disembark while the Melta Cutters provide close Support… At least, that's what I think. As for the Transport Capacity, I think 12 is pretty decent. You could almost see this as a slow but better-armed Rhino that can Deep Strike. Not bad for only 80 points.

But let's look at the special rules, of which two I’ve already covered above, those being Legiones Astartes and Infantry Transport.

The one I want to focus on however is the Subterranean Assault special rule. First, you assign which units will be taking part in the Subterranean Assault. Obviously, any models assigned to this action must either have the Subterranean Assault special rule or be embarked in a Vehicle that does have that rule. The Assault will follow the rule for Reserves; roll a single die for all units taking part in the Subterranean Assault, if the roll is successful, select a single unit from the Assault and place them anywhere on the board that is at least 1 inch away from the enemy models, the board edge, or Impassable Terrain. Then, roll for Scatter. If this places the model within 1 inch of the aforementioned objective, then your opponent may place it within 18 inches of the Scatter Point in a position that is 1 inch away from the enemy models, the board edge, or Impassable Terrain. If there isn’t anywhere the model can be placed, however, then it can be repositioned anywhere on the board instead. Next, roll a dice. On the roll of a 1, the Assault is disordered and your opponent may place the remaining units anywhere within 12 inches of the first unit, following the 1-inch rule as before. If it's a 2 or higher then the controlling player deploys the models, again, following the 1-inch rule. Any models embarked in a Transport do not disembark until the Movement Phase. Following this, any enemy unit that has a model with 6 inches of a unit deployed Via Subterranean Assault suffers D6+3 Str 6 AP 4 hits (though these don't cause Morale or Pinning checks). Once all this has been done move on to the next phase.

Unfortunately, as cool as this all sounds, very few units can take the Legion Termite Assault Drill unless they’re using the Underworld Assault Rite of War. Which is kinda a shame…

But let's now talk about the Weapons; firstly, it has those Melta Cutters. Really short Range at only 6 inches, but they’re Heavy 3 and, let's be honest, you’re going to be aiming to get as close to your target as you can, so you should be within that 6-inch Range; next, the Legion Termite Assault Drill comes with two Pintle Mounted Twin-Linked Bolters. These can be upgraded to Volkite Chargers or Heavy Flamers for 5 points, but honestly, I’d not bother personally.

When I’m using this model I tend to pack it full of Breachers (who can take this as a Transport option normally), or again, Support Squads. I might go as far as a Command Squad and a Herald, but I don’t think that's the best use for that unit.

Overall, the Legions have a few very good options for getting your troops into battle. The Rhino is cheap and can be used to block line of sight, if nothing else, while the Drop Pods can get units to where you need them nearly anywhere on the battlefield. Lastly, the Legion Termite Assault Drill is an unexpected terror from below that can cause a lot of panic and mayhem on the battlefield if deployed successfully. Each has good and bad points and as ever, it's down to you to balance what will work best for your list.

And with that, this look into Dedicated Transports is done. So until next time, have a great week.

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