There's not really much to say about the Rhino (none of that introductory crap today, straight into it), the only difference between it and the loyalist Rhinos (not including Blood Angels and their special Rhinos) is that it has a Combi-Bolter instead of a Storm Bolter, which means that it's rapid fire instead of Assault 2 but also gains twin-linked. Other than that, it's down to the upgrades, which I'm going to run through now.
The first thing that caught my attention was the Dirge Caster. I think it's quite quirky. Essentially, any unit close to a Rhino with a Dirge Caster cannot fire Overwatch. That's quite a nice little thing to have. The main problem that I have with it though, is that the Rhino will have to withstand a turn of fire before it can get this off.
The way that I was thinking this would work is that the assault troops disembark early, going ahead of their Rhinos, with them moving up behind. Just as your unit gets close enough to assault, you can use the flat out move in the assault phase coupled with the normal movement to speed the Rhino up and stop the Overwatch, also providing so good cover in case your unit gets out of the combat in a single turn. That said, the Rhino still isn't very survivable, and as a Space Wolf player the first thing that I think when I see a Rhino is, 'ooh, free first blood/kill point!'. So I'd worry about this staying alive long enough to pull this off.
The next piece of new wargear around are the Warpflame Gargoyles. Essentially, it gives the Rhino's shooting Soul Blaze. Really, you don't buy a Rhino for the shooting, and the odds of you getting a wound with the combi-bolter are low against the basic troops of most armies, so this isn't going to go off most of the time. I'd say that here they're just points that are getting sunk into a Rhino when it's not useful enough to put those points into such a flimsy vehicle.
The next one up is quite interesting. The combi-weapons. Now you can take a combi-flamer, melta or plasma on the Rhinos. For the measly cost of 10pts. Even staying away from the 40k internets, I've caught snippets of people getting excited by these, and I don't know why. To start with, it's 10 pts into a single melta/plasma/flamer shot.
Thinking about the Melta. When is this really going to get used. Are you thinking of rushing a Rhino with a combi-melta on it to take out an opponent's vehicle? Good luck getting it that close. Are you thinking of sitting it back and waiting for your opponent to bring their tanks to you? Well, what tanks are going to be coming towards you? Assault vehicles is the answer here, now let's name an assault vehicle. Land Raider. Now, the odds of that one Melta shot killing that Land Raider are pretty low, and even if it does, as an assault vehicle the contents are still probably going to come over and punch you in the face, as it's probably going to be full of Assault Terminators, or Death Company, or something like that.
Combi-flamer. Useful against hordes. But realistically, it might kill a few Orks/Termagants, but compared to the number of models that I have on the table as a horde player I'm not going to care that much.
Now the combi-plasma is a little better. That said, I probably wouldn't put this on my Rhinos, as I don't like the idea of pumping 10 more points into a flimsy vehicle for potentially shooting 1 gun once.
Especially considering for 2 points more you get a gun with a long range, decent strength and blast, which can fire every turn rather than just once. It's Havoc Launcher time. I don't think that it's changed at all, but then again I don't have the old Codex, but if I was going for a shooty Rhino I'd go with that. Better against horde armies than a combi-flamer hands down. Higher strength, same AP, has some range and can fire more than once.
I'm bored of Rhinos now but luckily there's not too much more gear to go. However, one piece of wargear did make me laugh, and that is the Destroyer Blades. With the pricing of 15pts and the limited number of opportunities that you're going to be able to/want to tank shock with your Rhino, I really don't think it's worth it. But with a kickback to my Orks, this upgrade has pursuaded me to take some Chaos Rhinos and give them these. Put shortly, a Destroyer Blade is essentially the Chaos Rhino's equivilant of a Deff Rolla. Sweet.
Now onto the final upgrade of Daemonic Possession. And I use the word 'upgrade' in the loosest possible way here, so I'm going to put it this way. Positives of Daemonic Possession. Ignore Shaken and Stunned results most of the time. Negatives of Demonic Possession: Lower Ballistic skill, steep points cost, and a chance that the Rhino will eat embarked units, although doing so will recover a lost hull point. There we go, considering that Daemonic Possession in points cost is almost half way to a new Rhino, don't take it.
Today's analysis is over, hopefully I'll be looking at more exciting units next time. With one half of the compulsory slots covered, I think it's only fair that I move on to the over half and look at the HQ choice. Starting nice and generic. Chaos Lord will be up tomorrow.