|Destroyer Tank Hunter|
|Models||Pattern I to IX|
|Origin||Mars, Stygies VIII, Triplex Phall, Tolkhan, Estaban VII, Lucius, M'Khand, Voss|
|Maximum Speed||50 kph on road, 36 kph off-road|
|Crew||4 - commander, gunner, driver, loader; 2 sponson gunners (optional)|
|Armament||Turret-mounted Laser Destroyer|
|Main Ammunition||20 shots from power pack|
The Destroyer Tank Hunter is a relic. Once it was a common vehicle amongst Imperial Guard armoured regiments, but now it is rarely seen and numbers are still declining. Whilst the hull can be mass produced, the Laser Destroyer cannot be easily reproduced, and only a few Forge Worlds have the skills to be able to hand-craft each weapon. This is a painstaking and laborious process, resulting in demand far outstripping supply.
The Destroyer utilises the old Mars Alpha pattern hull design, modified due to the removal of the standard Leman Russ' turret ring. In place of the turret ring, the roof includes the main crew hatch along with forward and rear maintenance access hatches. There is also the primary gun sight, fitted front and centre and accessible by both the vehicles gunner and commander. The gun is positioned off-set to the left side of the hull in a limited traverse mount. The Destroyer retains the same engine, transmission and drive train components as the standard Mars Alpha pattern hull.
Destroyers are generally issued to specialist tank destroyer squadrons, and occasionally enough vehicles are gathered to form an entire Tank Destroyer Company. An armoured regiment is lucky to have a single squadron attached, and most do not, relying on their tanks or infantry anti-tank teams to fulfil the same role. Those Imperial Guard units that do still possess Destroyer Tank Hunters guard them jealously and each vehicle is continually patched up and repaired to keep it operational. Once lost, a regimental commander knows he is unlikely to get any replacements. Wrecks which can be reconstructed are high priority salvage after a battle. Even if the wreck cannot be repaired, the hull can be patched up and a new weapon added. In this way, there are many field conversions of the basic Destroyer hull, replacing the Laser Destroyer with a Demolisher cannon or a Battle cannon. Even the Vanquisher cannon has been used in this way.
The Destroyer's main role on the battlefield is to seek out and eliminate enemy tanks.
Tactical doctrine dictates that Destroyers are best used on the defensive, deployed well back, in hiding, weapons trained ready to ambush enemy armoured columns. After a couple of long range shots, the Destroyer will quickly change firing positions to avoid return fire should they have been spotted. This tank 'sniping' makes the Destroyer a notorious hazard to tank crews, who value a confirmed Destroyer kill far greater than other vehicles.
The Destroyer is less useful during an assault; lacking the turret or secondary weapons means it is vulnerable to flank attacks or enemy infantry assaults. Wise commanders know that it lacks the versatility of a true tank and it is generally relegated to a supporting role behind the spearhead units.