In the continuing quest to bring “balance to the force” by developing counter strategies for non-Eldar armies to deal with Eldar Wraithknights, D-Weapon Wraithgaurd, and Jetbike spam, I have been looking at the Necron codex and trying to find a viable solution.
The best answer to these threats from a Necron perspective, as I see it, is making use of the Destroyer Cult formation. This formation can be fielded as part of the Decurion detachment (and so benefit from 4+ Reanimation Protocols) or as an independent formation “allied” to the Necron main army.
A Destroyer Cult consists of:
-1 x Destroyer Lord
-3 x Destroyer squads
-0-1 x Heavy Destroyer squads
Extra rules that this formation gets are as follows:
-Move Through Cover
-Re-rolls on WL Traits of the Destroyer Lord is your Warlord
-“Extermination Protocols” – All units in the formation re-roll all failed to Wounds and failed Armor Penetration rolls.
Combining these special rules with Destroyers’ baseline weaponry (S5 AP3, Heavy 2, 24” shooting), their Preferred Enemy, and their strong survivability (T5, 2W, 3+ save, Reanimation Protocols, and Jump-Shoot-Jump (from being Jet Pack infantry) and you have an excellent unit.
Combine the 3 squads of 6 x Destroyers (so 18 total) with a nearby Triarch Stalker (for +1BS from Targeting Relay special rule) and you have a very respectable counter against the Eldar uber units:
1 – Jetbikes – Against a 10 man Jetbike unit, a 6 man Destroyer unit (with Triarch Stalker support) has 12 shots at BS5, re-rolling 1s, for an average of 11-12 hits…. With S5 AP3 versus the T4 and 3+ saves of the Jetbikes, incorporating the re-rolls from the “Extermination Protocols” rule you get 10-11 unsaved wounds, in essence wiping out the squad unless it chooses to jink… if the Jetbikes decide to Jink, then they lose an average of 5-6 dead Jetbikes, greatly reducing their combat power and also suppressing their shooting (they go from 40 x S6 shots at BS4 to 20 x S6 shots at BS1, due to casualties and Jinking). Basically, the shooting of a single 6 man squad of Destroyer should either eliminate a 10 man Jetbike unit or cripple it and take it out of the fight for at least the next turn. Multiply this by three and you have the potential to neutralize three full Jetbikes squads a turn.
2 – Wraithguard – Aside from WWP and riding in Serpents, Wraithguard still have to footslog across the tabletop. Destroyers from the Destroyer Cult formation (with Triarch Stalker support) are ideally suited to deal with massed footslogging Wraithguard. A squad of 6 Destroyers gets 12 shots, 11-12 hits, and about 5-6 AP3 wounds against a squad of Wraithguard in the open, either killing a small squad outright or crippling a larger squad (if you need to, use two squads of Destroyers to focus fire on bigger Wraithguard squads and bring the entire unit down in a single turn). If the Wraithguard do ride in a Serpent, then Destroyers can DS in (they are Jump Infantry, remember), shooting their S5 weaponry into the rear of the Serpent (i.e. AV10)… with Preferred Enemy and Armor Penetration re-rolls, they get an average of 12 S5 shots, 9-10 hits, and 4-5 HPs stripped, thereby killing the Serpent, leaving the Wraithguard without a ride, and then being able to Jump-Shoot-Jump in the Assault Phase away from any Wraithguard retaliation. Using this tactic, you could potentially take out three Wave Serpents in a single turn, thus de-meching the Wraithguard and making them far less of a threat.
3 – Wraithknights – Believe it or not, the Destroyer Cult with Triarch Stalker support can make a powerful counter to Wraithknights. With 3 full squads of 6 Destroyers, all shooting at BS5 with Preferred Enemy and re-rolls for all to Wounds from “Extermination Protocols,” that amounts to 36 x S5 AP3 shots leading to an average of 35 hits… with 6s to wound and re-rolls to Wound, the battle group inflicts an average of 11-12 AP3 wounds on the target Wraithknight… if the Wraithknight has cover or a 5++ save, then that is reduced to 7-8 inflicted wounds and FNP further reduces that 5-6 unsaved wounds… either an almost dead Wraithknight or a completely dead one, if you have slightly better than average luck (the rest of your army should be able to finish off the final wound with Tachyon Arrows, Gauss fire, Tesla weapons, Heat Rays, etc.). The net result is killing a single Wraithknight a turn, so over the course of a game your Destroyer Cult could deal with multiples of these beasts, if your Eldar opponent is so unkind as to field more than one of them.
As you can see, the Destroyer Cult, supported by a Triarch Stalker for improved shooting accuracy, is a very solid counter to the major Eldar threats described above. Even better, they are not a “one trick pony,” since they can be used effectively against multiple different enemy army types and really add to an effective TAC list.