Necron Destroyers have always been one of my favourite units in the army, even way back when the models were monopose metal and had a tendency to snap off their flying stands at the slightest provocation. Their role hasn’t really changed much since their first iteration, but today I’ll be looking at their current rules and how they work alongside the rest of the Necron army. I don’t actually tend to use Heavy Destroyers much, so for now this will just be looking at the regular ones.
Destroyers are one of the tougher Necron units, boasting a toughness of 5 and a 3+ armour save alongside, of course, the Reanimation Protocols special rule. However, despite all this they’re not that hard to put down given their small unit size and a bit of focused fire, especially from short-range rapid fire weapons where the volume of hits outweighs their high toughness and my limited ability to roll 3’s. As such, I think that their maneuverability is one of their greatest assets, where they can quickly redeploy to meet or escape threats as needed with a strong amount of firepower. I do tend to take a Destroyer Lord with Resurrection Orb and Sempiternal Weave, though, which does help increase the survivability of a unit – in particular, with today’s targeting rules, he’s especially good at tanking most anti-infantry weapons due to a toughness of 6 and a 2+ armour save(!).
Destroyers fill the niche of anti-armoured infantry in the Necron army, presenting an effective way to cut down Space Marines, Necrons, Grey Knights and generally anything else with a 3+ save. Due to the low number of shots per weapon and the smaller unit size, Destroyers are ideal for targeting smaller elite units while the massed Warriors tackle the bulk of the enemy army. Their speed allows them to keep up with faster opponents, so they can chase down elite units such as Assault Marines. They’re not limited to anti-marine capabilities, of course – as with many other Necron units they have the gauss rule to help them take down tanks. On that note, thanks to their higher strength and movement they can even tackle light vehicles or the side / rear of some tanks with a good chance of penetrating rather than just glancing.
Personally, I tend to run them in one of two ways. Firstly, as two small flanking units of three Destroyers each which maximizes their speed and ‘hit and run’ approach. They tend to hang around the flanks of my Warrior units, complementing the massed rapid fire of the Warriors with their own lower number of higher strength / AP shots. This helps to even out the offensive power of the army, and the Warriors can help protect the Destroyers if need be. Since both have the gauss rule, they can play off each other as needed; for example, using the Warriors to destroy a Rhino so the Destroyers can hammer the now-disembarked Space Marines with their AP3 cannons, or using the Destroyers to target a Chimera so the massed Guardsmen forced out can be cut down by the increased number of shots from the Warriors.
The second way I like to run my Destroyers is as one bigger unit, usually of five led by a Destroyer Lord. This unit acts as more of a power formation, using massed fire and the Lord’s Resurrection Orb to hit vulnerable parts of the enemy line and break units. Their combined firepower makes them a stronger offensive power, where they can tackle much stronger units with a good chance of coming out victorious. The Lord helps to keep the Destroyers going through the eponymous Resurrection Orb, and I tend to equip him with a Warscythe in case the Destroyers end up in hand-to-hand combat. Taking this unit also lets me take more Wraiths or Scarab Swarms, two units that I also have a fondness for and will no doubt cover in a future Tactica Tuesday :)
All in all, Destroyers are a good unit that compliment Warriors in particular well with their higher movement speed and stronger weaponary. Since they tend to come under quite a lot of fire (understandably), it’s important to keep them safe through multiple units, a Resurrection Orb or just hugging cover to get them most out of them. As always, it’d be great to hear from you with any comments or ideas on Destroyers you have, and I hope to see you next time!