So let’s visit, or should I say revisit the destroyer lord and how I’m using him in my warrior horde based army…
For the most part we can break down the Necron HQ choices based on their active and passive powers- active are things like number of attacks, wargear, and how the model reacts on the table- what is it good at, while passive powers are things that impact your entire Necron army like lightning strikes (Stormlord) or adaptive tactics (Zahndrekh).
For the points destroyer lord is purely an active model, he (it) is his own one robot show and at best directly impacts the unit he joins- we need to keep this in mind as we figure out how to use him on the table.
I find that many Necron players tend to overlook the destroyer lord in favor of a command barge HQ choice or a named HQ choice- the destroyer lord is expensive for the base price, AND we need certain upgrades to make him work. Don’t dismiss him based on the points alone, in my horde build of warriors his points are well spent since I’m “saving” points in taking warriors over immortals and I’m not scarab farming so points aren’t spent on spyders. What I’m trying to say is that when we compare the points of a model or unit to judge if they are “worth” it, it can’t be done alone- it depends on the point level of the game and what else you have in your army.
I start out with a destroyer lord and give him a res-orb, scarabs, and a weave as his wargear upgrades. From here I join him to a group of destroyers (5) and employ him and the group as a hunter-killer type unit.
Their role as a group is to find and isolate small marine units like long fangs or MSU spam hanging around the flanks and kill them. In my neck of the woods this works VERY well since everybody plays space marines, and everybody tends to play small marine units with little upgrades- perfect targets for destroyer groups.
Destroyers shoot the tactical marines, and if anybody survives the volley, the group moves in and assaults- which when going against non dedicated assault units, the destroyer lord easily wins against.
This group is NOT a terminator killer or dedicated assault unit killer- the unit and the lord will get smacked down and your points are flushed down the drain. What the unit is, is an opportunist group, picking off stragglers and forcing your opponent to dedicated disparaging resources to deal with it.
What keeps the lord and the group up and running?
Well the first is the combination of the destroyer lord and Stormlord. Nightfight with a chrono-re-roll, while the destroyer lord is hanging to the flanks cuts down on many of the long range shots that would be coming his way.
Those that make it though then have to bypass the 2+ save from the weave, and then there is the res. Orb for the enhanced protocols on the unit.
The secondary use of the destroyer lord + destroyer group is in support of my warriors as they advance backed by monoliths. While I want the DL + destroyers working the flanks, sometimes I need some additional support for the warriors as they engage groups of marines. In this capacity I gate in the group through a monolith portal to suddenly appear and blast away in support- often quite unexpectedly to my opponent.