Destroyers Vs Tomb Blades: Mathhammer

With my shiny new Necron codex in hand I quickly decided to do a run through and a couple of things immediately jumped out at me. These of course being Tomb Blades and Destroyers. For a long time I've had 15 destroyers sat on the shelf gathering dust from a while ago that I've never really found a place for in the last edition of the codex but with the bump they have now received it does look as though they might be used.

So what's the deal? I will be doing a full codex review at some point in the future but more specifically for this article I wanted to do a comparison specifically between the Tomb Blades and destroyers. As with most cases when building a list I take two units and think "Which is better?". For me better is always a fluid notion as it depends on what the roll is I want them to play on the tabletop. In some cases better could mean they are more survivable, more manoeuvrable for grabbing objectives, more destructive or in some cases whichever I like the look of more.


Tomb blades can be taken in units of 3-10 and can be given upgrades for +1 armor, +1 cover and Ignores cover on all shooting attacks. They come armed as standard with a twin linked Strength 5, ap 4, gauss, rapid fire and count as jet bikes.

In comparison Destroyers can be taken in units of 1-6, count as jet pack and have a Strength 5, ap 3, gauss. They also come with 2 wounds as opposed to the tomb blades single wound and preferred enemy.

The differences mainly are going to come down to how much they can kill and what the difference between twin linked, rapid fire and ignores cover vs ap3 and preferred enemy.


Both units are Toughness 5 and have reanimation protocols for keeping them around on the table for longer. Both have the same stat line and are armed with gauss so can shoot pretty much anything.

In game terms they are very similar in that they both have manoeuvrability as either moving 12" for the tomb blades or moving 6" for the Destroyers followed by a 2D6" thrust move in the assault phase means you should be able to get both of them into cover and into range where they are needed. Both are equally suited for grabbing objectives although a slight advantage would be given to the Tomb Blades in my opinion simply due to the turn 5 turbo boost option.

Points wise there is very little difference with 6 destroyers coming in at 240 vs the Tomb blades 10 man squad with upgrades coming in at 230. Interestingly as a comparison I also compared both of these against 10 warriors in a ghost ark which is 235 points.

On with the show!

For those who are really into Mathhammer I have included the workings out further down but for the most part this will be a general overview for those that try to avoid number crunching...

Please keep in mind this is purely odds and chances and in no way represents your actual dice rolling. We have all had those games where you consistently fail a 3+ save and your beloved army cannot hit a barn door from 3 feet away.

Our first contestant up is a good old squad of marines standing out in the open.

As you would expect the destroyers with their ap 3 make a complete mess of them with 6 dead marines. Interestingly though the tomb blades are not far off with 4 dead if they are in rapid fire range. If the marines are in ruins of course the kill ratio actually switches with destroyers getting 3 kills to the tomb blades 4.

Next up we have the infamous wraith knight. If you Have played against an Eldar army within the last 6 months you can expect to see 2 or 3 of these in every list so its good to know what to kill them with.

For the wraith knight the gap between the two get closer with destroyers on average causing 1.6 wounds as opposed to the 1 wound by the Tomb blades. If the wraith knight is in 4+ cover however the Tomb Blades start to catch up slightly.

Lastly we have Wave Serpents with their annoying 3+ jink save. In this scenario the tomb blades in rapid fire win hand down with over double the amount of hull points stripped and more importantly they ignore any cover saves. Tomb blades should be able to strip 3 hull points (2.96) as apposed to the Destroyers 0.44 hull points stripped. This also takes into account that preferred enemy on the Destroyers re-rolls 1's to hit but doesn't help with armour penetration.

Of course the Destroyers also get the advantage of being able to come as a Destroyer Cult formation meaning they get to re-roll to wound widening the gap much further

So which one is better?

To put it simply there isn't much difference and overall its going to come down to terrain and cover saves from jinks. If you have a lot of terrain the Tomb blades maybe a better choice, if not then go with the destroyers. Either way Tomb blades make a better choice against jinking vehicles.

The tomb blades are arguably more manoeuvrable as they move a fixed amount per turn vs the jump move of the Destroyers. Tomb blades also seem to be more survivable as they can also jink against the ap 3 incoming fire or if you can get them into ruins they will have a 3+ cover anyway. On the other hand with careful positioning and cycling wounded Destroyers to the back of the unit they can maintain their output for longer. I think a lot of it will come down to your own play style. Of course running a squad of each and knowing their preferred target gets the best of both worlds.

Interestingly enough when comparing all of the results with 10 warriors in a ghost ark both shooting at the same thing the warriors in ghost ark seem to come consistently somewhere between the two. Are they more manoeuvrable or survivable? That depends on how effectively your opponent can deal with the armor 13 transport they come in.

A full break down can be seen below


  1. Actually the tomb blades can take tesla carbines instead of the gauss but typically speaking the Gauss works out better within 12" range.


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