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Monday, August 23, 2010

Email in: Drop Pods vs Rhinos


"heya Kirb, long time lurker, still a lurker.

Ive been attempting to design the future of my Space Wolves I relatively recently acquired, but I seem to be well stumping myself s to what vehicle I should be investing my limited amounts of money into. For my next splurge, I expect I could either end up with 6 Rhino/Razorback or Drop Pod chassis, but not both for quite awhile. This leaves me in my current conundrum.

I can see the perks of both sides, Drop Pods offer a deep into enemy lines sort of instant attack, forcing enemy fire away from long range elements, and giving you those two delicious meltas into whatever enemy thing you deem that you want to die. However, this leaves half your drop pod element of the army stuck in reserve (unless you only use 1), and free usually to be shot at or assaulted if the enemy really wishes that to be so.

Rhinos on the other hand terrify me with the armor of only 11 (Ive been living la vida Chimera for the last few years), although it seems far from difficult to design the army to ensure a 4+ save on almost all the shots, and in my experience they often make about half of them to the other edge of the table. Though on the plus you do not have to leave any of your army off the table if you don't want to, and you have the safety box (even if it is armor 11).

As a larger issue, I see little discussion about when one should consider a Rhino versus a Drop Pod (or maybe even foot? seems dangerous, but maybe I'm too used to T3 5+ as 'defense'). In my play, I see alot of people take 1 drop pod, but hear others say that either drop pod it out or take none. Any chance I could get some input from your experience?

Thank you my Fluffy Looking Pink Overlord
 
Local insolent thinker and lurker, Naiveone"
 
In a nutshell, Rhinos are better. Drop Pods have two uses. As an army style which can be very hit and miss or as minimal support (i.e. up to 3) to give you some disruption ability. Splitting your army between Pods and on-board starters significantly is generally not a good idea so unless you want to go the full Pod route, Pods should be used sparingly. The reason why Rhinos are better is they are less subject to army-wide counters such as reserves denial or bubble-wrap. Pods are. I've used full-pod armies before and they aren't my cup of tea. You can make them work (i.e. Dreads) but the lack of mobility after the drop and susceptibility to bubble-wrap and reserves denial pushes me away from them. I have also used 1-3 Pods in normal lists for some utility and they can be useful but are very often suicide units. Rhinos/RBacks are a mainstay though due to their flexibility of movement and roles.
 
AV11 is solid. For 35 pts, it's even better. With 2 firepoints, are you kidding me? Free smoke? Done. Add in armor saturation and you will hot foot it across the board with minimal worry. If you get the RBack kits you can also magnetise your Rhinos to be RBacks for a completely different army style with less focus on midfield and more on shooting.
 
In the end I'd recommend buy 6 RBacks/Rhinos and building a list around that. Hell, that's halfway to RBack spam :p.

5 pinkments:

chris.bibliophile said...

Agreed. An added bonus of not going for the pods is versatility. The razor kit only costs a bit more than the rhino, and as long as you don't glue down the hatch/turret mounts you can switch back and forth between each depending on which sort of army you feel like running at the time.

Chumbalaya said...

Rhinos keep you moving potentially all game, Drop Pods only move you once.

naiveone said...

Thanks for responding Kirby

I can see that.

and trust me, I had planned to buy Razorback kits for swapping, no worries there. I learned the wonders of magnetizing my special weapons (melta/plasma vets), chimeras (heavy stubbers), and russes (sponsons) a fair amount of time back.

The one thing id still consider though is the 1 drop pod that arrives on turn one. Ive seen it done alot, and it really annoys me, since its right in my face, can assault if I ignore it, gets to shoot, and usually can set itself for at minimum 4+ cover vs shooting (though I suppose less effective vs assaulting armies).

lyracian said...

I think that is a good assesment. APC's give you movement all game and can contest objectives on the last turn.

Pods can be annoying, but for the most part can be ignored once they hit the table.

I do like the single Ironclad in a pod. Even better if you have a gateing Librarian to make opponents think of the pod as a threat due to the locator beacon. May not be that high on competative lists but it is fun.

Kirby said...

You can have a couple of Pod units naiveone but they are essentially suicide units. They provide a bit of disruption and an alpha strike and can make your opponent change their deployment. Otherwise pure pod or nothing is a better rule of thumb and the mobility of Rhinos/RBacks is much better.

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