Brain dump: Damocles Rhino

5th Edition

A quick look at how to exploit the Damocles' unique role within a Deathwing army. It's cheap enough, offers good buffs but is it worth taking?

What you get

A Damocles Rhino is an 0-1 HQ choice rhino. It has no transport capacity, but comes with a once per game orbital bombardment (based on the Codex Space Marines Masters version, not that of the Codex Daemonhunters); an ability to re-roll one reserves entry roll per turn; and to re-roll any teleporting scatter dice. In Apocolypse games Orbital Bombardment gives the Space Marine player the Orbital Bombardment strategic asset. I really like the fluff concept of a Command Rhino — it would be cool as a transport for a Command squad a role it can't fulfil.

As as choice it doesn't get used that often (I've never seen one being used other than in an online batrep) which is a shame considering how well tactically they could potentially fit in with a deep striking Deathwing force. So it would be novel.

It uses Forge World's rules from Imperial Armour II (IA2) and this might cause issues as some players don't like playing against armies that utilise IA rules. As such it can't be used in most tournaments where FW rules aren't allowed either.

For fun only.

How to use it in a list

Remember the Damocles is here for the reserve re-rolls and scatter dice so let's make sure as much deep strikes as possible.

Unit Points
Belial
Twin lightning claws
130
Rhino Damocles 60
Venerable Dreadnought
Multi-melta / heavy flamer, Lucius pattern drop pod
200
Venerable Dreadnought
Multi-melta / heavy flamer, Lucius pattern drop pod
200
Venerable Dreadnought
Assault cannon / heavy flamer
130
Deathwing Terminator Squad 1
Sergeant, 1 x assault cannon, 1 x chainsfist, 1 x Apothecary, 1 x th/ss
(Belial deploys with this squad)
280
Deathwing Terminator Squad 2
Sergeant, 1 x assault cannon, 1 x chainsfist, 1 x twin claws, 1 x storm bolter / powerfist
250
Deathwing Terminator Squad 3
Sergeant, 1 x assault cannon, 1 x chainsfist, 1 x twin claws, 1 x storm bolter / powerfist
250
  1500

But if three Troop units aren't enough then…

All troops. Just 26 models but no real ranged high-strength anti-armour.

Unit Points
Belial
Twin lightning claws
130
Deathwing Terminator Squad 1
Sergeant, 1 x assault cannon, 1 x chainsfist, 1 x Apothecary, 1 x th/ss
(Belial deploys with this squad)
280
Deathwing Terminator Squad 2
Sergeant, 1 x assault cannon, 1 x chainsfist, 1 x twin claws, 1 x storm bolter / powerfist
250
Deathwing Terminator Squad 3
Sergeant, 1 x assault cannon, 1 x chainsfist, 1 x twin claws, 1 x storm bolter / powerfist
250
Deathwing Terminator Squad 4
Sergeant, 1 x assault cannon, 1 x chainsfist, 1 x twin claws, 1 x storm bolter / powerfist
250
Deathwing Terminator Squad 5
Sergeant, 1 x assault cannon, 1 x chainsfist, 1 x twin claws, 1 x storm bolter / powerfist
250
  1470

To maximise the Damocles' special rules it makes sense to take as many DW squads as you can — and deepstrike them. I've purposely loaded up on units that can take advantage of the Damocles' special rules but of course one doesn't have to be quite so beardy over it. For instance, I wouldn't normally touch Dreads in pods with a barge pole on a costs basis alone. Lucius pod allows Dread to assault on turn of landing, all for the same cost as a Codex:DA pod — can't resist.

Obviously you are losing an HQ slot, but is that so bad? Yes. Belial is there doing his bit and not everyone wants to use a second string Interrogator-Chaplain or Librarian but a second HQ in a DW build plays a crucial role in larger forces and can be a real force-multiplier.

So one unit that doesn't come in on T1 using Deathwing Assault can re-roll for entry timing per turn, but much better they can re-roll scatter dice* too which is brilliant (note: scatter re-rolls can also be taken on the DWAing units too). This takes out a degree of uncertainty that hampers any largely deep striking army. Although not perfect, it means that Ravenwing bikes don't need to be purchased specifically for homer duties. Spend the points on more DW squads.

[*scatter dice means both distance and direction.]

Being 60 points difficult to fit into DW builds without compromise and leaving substantial points left over.

How to use it

Fragile vehicle vulnerable to outflanking and deep striking melta-toting or vehicle-assaulting units. Doesn't need LOS to use Oribital Bombardment so hide behind cover on rear deployment edge. Once the Damocles goes pop your one-trick army has been exposed. Hopefully, all deep strikers have arrived by then so it's done it's job.

Maybe not worth taking any upgrades as it just gets more expensive. However, a dozer blade might be useful to allow you to deploy and move into cover to hide.

Makes good sense to hardwire orbital bombardment to an objective if it is terrain/near terrain.

Conclusion

An Orbital Bombardment per game? It's not quite as ferocious as it sounds given cover and intervening cover saves in 5th — but still it does mean that particularly enemy infantry models will be wary of venturing too far into the open. Does not require LOS to function.

Buy it for the scatter re-rolls? Could be a lifesaver on crowded battlefield, or where you'd rather not scatter in front of that shooty or cc enemy unit.

Is it worth 60 points? Great if it works as intended. Just keep that AV11 vehicle out of LOS and have fun.


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