Face it, what is the purpose of a Rhino? To carry your troops from one side of the board to the other without getting shot up. Oh, it has a Storm Bolter to help you out.
What is the purpose of a Drop Pod? To allow your troops to land on the other side of the board without getting shot up. Oh, it has a Storm Bolter to help you out.
So, what are we looking at here?
- Rhinos are for delivering troops where you want them. Drop Pods are for delivering troops where you want them.
- Rhinos are forced to stay on the board while maneuvering under fire. Drop Pods sit on the side immune to fire until they deploy.
- Rhinos can serve as mobile bunkers, but are more fragile than Drop Pods. Drop Pods make more durable pieces of terrain and while open top makes them more vulnerable to destruction, AV12 means it takes at least S6 to glance them.
- Rhinos can die under fire before they get the troops to where they need to be. Drop Pods cannot be stopped, they will get the troops to where they need to be.
- After Drop Pods fall, the units are stuck as foot troops. After the Rhino gets popped, the units are stuck as foot troops and the quicker the Rhino gets popped, the longer those troops get to collect mud on their boots.
The ultimate pushback: "I like to have control, I don't like reserves, it makes things too random."
Excuse me? Oh, you prefer pushing your thin skinned transports across the field in the face of AT fire over getting to put your squad where you want it as it comes in. What did you miss? The joy of zipping from bit of cover to bit of cover while popping smoke and plinking with your Storm Bolter (if you are lucky)? In something that the Heavy Bolters on my Typhoons have a darn good chance of stunning, which kills a turn of movement for you? For Templars, half my stuff will be able to shoot on turn 2 and assault on turn 3. IMO, about the same as a Rhino Rush will give you.
Oh, you don't like the randomness of reserve rolls? Well, sit around on the board, maybe you will see a different kind of randomness.