Jwolf here. Aventine and others are starting the process of bringing the Horus Heresy campaign book up to 5th Edition and the current Codices. I’m building a new Heresy-era Word Bearers force to play in the campaign, and thinking of which transports best suit my purposes. During the Great Crusade, the Word Bearers were thorough and much slower to assimilate planets than most of the other Chapters, so I’m focused on lots of infantry without too many expensive upgrades, so Land Raiders aren’t going to be the vehicle of choice. I’m weighing the merits of the three basic transport options, and here are my thoughts so far.
Rhinos seem to be the best overall for my purposes. As the mainstay Marine transport, and I expect to use Rhinos more than anything else. First, the whole squad fits inside, meaning that I’m not required to combat squad the unit for the transport to be viable. Second, they’re cheap and simple – Rhinos are a bus, and nothing else. Third, the Repair ability means that an immobilized Rhino might get moving again (and they do so at annoying times when I play against them, so hopefully they’ll be as annoyingly resilient when I field them). Rhinos will generally hold my standard Tactical loadout of Sergeant with Powerfist, 7 GIs, Missile Launcher, and Meltagun.
Razorbacks present a complex set of problems. Since they are FAV 11, I can’t see spending the points to get any of the fancy turrets, so it’s the twin-linked Heavy Bolters that I’m considering. That’s not an inconsiderable bit of firepower to add for only a few points. I like Razorbacks as bunkers for a combat squad with 5 bodies and nothing else, or perhaps a reaction unit of Sergeant with Powerfist, 3 GIs, and a Flamer. The other half of the squad with a Missile Launcher is cheap and expendable, and used in an anti-transport capacity.
Drop Pods have been done to death locally, and pretty much every knows how to deal with a Pod heavy force, so I won’t feed my Marines into the meat grinder. I am considering adding a Drop Pod or two. My plan would be to add a Drop Pod first for a Devastator Squad and another for one Tactical Squad. I could then drop the Devastator’s Pod empty on turn 1 or the Tactical’s, depending on the situation after deployment.
~I’m particularly interested to hear what other Loyalist players have found to be useful, especially in Razorbacks, as my Marine play is primarily either Chaos or themed games, and Razorbacks aren’t commonly used by anyone locally (which may answer the question of how good they are, but it’s worth a shot, right?)