Old guard thinking has your destroyer lord tooled up to be a close combat beast riding with a group of wraiths. Warscythe + phase shifter, and gaze of flame hitting at T6 backed by the wraiths. This worked a few codexes back, but now the very guys that you are going to be throwing your lord at are just buffed beyond his ability- and not being fearless often gets you punked by a sweeping advance. I’ve tried lots of combos to bring the lord back to a close combat beast- but he never really was anyway, so how can he compete now?
I’ve shifted him over to a support and projection role and when combined with some scarabs his more then makes his points back. Here is the setup…
Lord W/ Destroyer Body, Warscythe, Nightmare Shroud, Solar Pulse, Phylactery + 10 Scarabs.
Against non fearless armies his job is to take up position and pop off the shroud getting my opponent to roll some dice and hopefully fail- remember in 40K any time you roll dice something bad can and often does happen! Against back line troops who are holding far objectives or heavy weapon troops in cover also in the back the lord is murder when combined with the scarabs. You string the scarabs out so they are in cover giving the entire unit and lord a 2+ cover save while stacking the lord at the end of the scarab chain to get the 12” of the shroud- remember it is a radius. Now, even if your opponent passes the moral, they are going to have to shift and deal with the lord since they can’t allow you to shroud every turn. Scarabs absorb the incoming fire and when they get down to 3-4 bases you then want to withdraw them and leave the lord standing alone so your scarabs can then shift to an objective contesting role later in the game. At that point T6 with WBB and the phylactery is still going to keep your lord around. Notice I haven’t said anything about assault- don’t try it, and the ‘scythe is there just in case and for some anti-tank.
Other tricks that stack well with the nightmare shroud and the speed of the destroyer lord means failed non marine units falling back can then be assaulted and if they fail they are wiped out. The speed of the lord either moving 12” or turbo boosting will allow you to chase a unit off the table or assault them if needed.
The other nice part about all lord wargear and why you want to 100% exploit it is the fact that they are NOT psychic powers but rather ancient technology. With more and more of the newer codexes offering uber psykers and ways to negate powers like candy- think Eldar and Space Wolves, not having to worry about that is nice.
Fritz, so what happens when you face fearless troops or mech?
Mech is easy to deal with- get them out on foot and then shroud away. Fearless is a problem as it totally nullifies the wargear- in that case you shift the lord over to a projection of force and depending on how your opponent reacts either push his troops into rapid fire range for your warriors or pull them back. Failing that just zoom the lord around soaking up shots that would be going on your destroyers….