The Primaris Marines need a new tank and it’s got some BIG shoes to fill.
Games Workshop has been expanding the Primaris Space Marine line with the addition of all the new Vanguard units. However, one thing that is holding the army back is the lack of a cheap transport option. Yes, we’re talking about a Rhino-chassis replacement. It’s the backbone of the Space Marine Army, much like the humble Tactical Squad, at least from a lore standpoint. But times are changing and the replacement (whatever and whenever that arrives) will need to be able to be as versatile as the Rhino-chassis. Look at all the jobs it fills:
For starters, the basic Rhino-chassis is …a Rhino! It’s the boxy, well-used army transport that has been in service for YEARS. The Primaris replacement needs to be able to fit that role.
The first “alternate” Rhino-chassis option is the Razorback. Still capable of transporting a smaller unit, this vehicle provides some extra firepower too.
Take a Rhino and slap a rocket-pod on top and you’ve got a Whirlwind. These bad boys haven’t been in fashion since…pretty much forever. Maybe the Primaris can learn from this tank and get it right.
Take the Rhino, slap a turret on top and some optional side sponsons and you’ve got the Predator. Unfortunately, it’s also not a popular option as a main battle tank. The Primaris already have a Repulsor which seems to want to be a Land Raider/Predator replacement already…and we all see how that’s going over. If the Primaris get a Rhino replacement, maybe it can find a better balance.
The Vindicator is a Rhino with some extra armor, a dozer blade and a BIG ol’ cannon up front. Honestly, it’s the closest Space Marine “Tank” we have in 40k to a modern tank – only it has a much shorter range relatively. The Vindicator cannon functions more like a short-range mortar than a tank cannon. Who knows what GW will do if they decide to replace the Rhino-chassis and they have to come up with a Vindicator-style version.
The Hunter is an Anti-Aircraft option that was really brought in to help Marines deal with the Flyers that were introduced in the game. Sadly, as Flyers have fallen out of fashion, so have Hunters (which weren’t all that popular to being with). If the Primaris get a Rhino Replacement, are we going to see a Hunter version? Perhaps…
The OTHER AA variant which was also built on top of the Rhino-chassis, the Stalker traded in the single missile launcher option for quasi-rotary cannons. It also suffers from the same issues that plague the Hunter.
As mentioned above, the Primaris do have the Repulsor as Anti-Grav transports seem to be their thing. However, it does function more like the Land Raider than the Rhino – it’s basically overkill for the job folks need the Primaris to do. And that job is simply being able to move up quickly and take ground. The Repulsor’s issue is that it’s just too expensive. It can lay down some decent firepower, but not every unit needs to be in the “Land Raider” equivalent.
If GW really wants to keep pushing the Primaris as their replacement for Marines, they are going to have to do something about the Rhino and all the Rhino-chassis options, too. I don’t envy the designers on this one as it’s truly a tough spot. The Rhino is such an iconic kit – GW even has a full size one in front of Warhammer World in Nottingham! Like I said, the replacement is going to have some BIG shoes to fill. But the fact remains – the Primaris need a new tank.
What do you think GW is going to do about the Rhino? Will they ever replace the kit? And what will the replacement be like? Maybe a “lighter” Repulsor with Anti-Grav and less weapons? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!