Thursday, April 3, 2014

Future Tactics: The Wyvern

With Astra Militarum about to come out I figured I'd get in my time machine and start talking about a few of the up and coming units (insofar as we know what is actually coming.) Perhaps the best known new unit is the Hydras ugly cousin, the Wyvern.

Every Stick on the Way Down

Ok, I figured that I would start with the negatives. This thing is ugly. It looks like some day the guns might grow up and be a real weapon. I mean, come on! 40k is all about over the top weapons and combat and they give us an artillery tank that looks like its going to hit you with a fist full of pinky fingers! If, when, I field some of these it will be by either converting some of my own from basilisk kits or because I bought the new hydras and was smart enough to magnetize them.

All of these are technically rumors so I won't be surprised if I"m wrong the day my codex comes in. As it stands now though, we're looking at an open topped Chimera chassis (12/10/10) armed with a heavy bolter up front and two fancy new mortars on the back. Each mortar is Str 4 AP 6 with two shots AND twin-linked, meaning you have four accurate shots per tank. This is the first really good news for this guy.

Added to that already capable platform is a few extra rules. Shred increases your chance to wounds, while barrage means that you can hid or hit hidden units (on top of causing pinning.) Ignore cover means nobody gets to increase their save by going to ground (take that Orks.) Plus, it can apparently be taken in squadrons of up to three but it is looking like it will not be able to be combined with other artillery. Not a big deal but I could see it being fun with a Griffon.

Uses, the Positives:
Well, the actual tactics in a tactics article. We had to get here eventually. The obvious key to the Wyvern is its impressive amount of shots. Four blasts with twin-link means a capable amount of hits on any unit not well spread out. Also, do not forget that it has a Heavy Bolter and IS NOT ordinance! That means that Line of Sight gives you an extra three shots of hurt. When taken in a maximum squadron, that is 12 Twin-Linked Str 4 blasts and 9 Str 5 shots. Even terminators will have to be concerned and four of them should come in at under 200 points (the minimum costs of said terminators.)

This is the effect you want
Within an IG army, I would take this unit with three thoughts in mind. The first is their obvious use against horde armies. Green tide, Tyranids, and other IG players will not appreciate seeing this on the other side of the table. The second thought will be eliminating enemy scoring. So many scoring units these days seem to be token units, taking solely for their ability to score and then hidden until they can do that. Barrage plus shots means that you might be able to leave your enemy without any scoring units by turns three or four.

Lastly, I'd build a list with a one two punch in mind. Transports that are slain force the enemy to bunch up their infantry pretty well. Here is where they Wyvern, with planning, can be made to shine. Lascannons (Vanquisher Cannons, meltaguns, or whatever) smoke a transport. Even wrecked you have the enemy in a position where the first Wyvern shot can realistically hit three models. Due to scatter and barrage, the followup shots should not do much worse, and might even do better with hits giving you awesome freedom in placement after the first shot. It isn't too off the wall to keep those three hits as an average per shot (assuming the first comes down on target which twin-linked helps with.) That means 36 hits for a squadron of three.

Mathhammer Time! 36 hits against tactical marines (i.e. most common marine profile) yields 18 wounds, with another 9 from Shred. That is an average of 9 failed armor saves! The survivor (who probably doesn't have any gear upgrades) now also has to make a pinning check. That is also assuming that no marines died from an exploding transport. Now that isn't going to happen every time but if it happens even once per game (or similarly) then that squadron will almost certainly earn its keep and that scenario isn't unrealistic.

NOTE: I didn't even add in the Heavy Bolters.

Uses, the Negative:
We already have units that do similar. Mortar squads (who might be getting cheaper) fulfill much the same role. Griffons and other artillery as well. If your aren't wanting barrage, then IG has a metric ton of units great at killing infantry: from basic guardsmen to hellhounds to the Leman Russ Punisher. Hell, the Valkyrie mounted with missile pods is pretty awesome at this roll. The Wyvern, will kinda cool, is redundant in Astra Militarum.

The closest thing that other codices have to the Wyvern is the Thunderfire Cannon. We might be cheaper, but 12/10/10 isn't that great and open topped hurts our fortitude. Also, we have no Str 6 shot so almost all vehicles have nothing to worry about from us.

The closes thin that we already had to this was the Thudd Gun (Quad Launcher) and if you already have a set then just stick to them or magnetize them onto a Chimera hull for extra mobility. The Str 5 of the Thudd Gun was swapped for Shred but they're very similar otherwise.

This guy will be a matter of taste. Tread heads, especially artillery nuts, will probably want some. Heavy armor guys (here!) and infantry players will probably pass. Air cavalry are probably about to be hit with a big stick (sorry Elysians) so they might consider it even though it doesn't really fit the modus operandi. No AM list will suffer for not taking it but few are going to regret it all the same.

1 comment:

  1. If I ever wanted this I would make some form of rocket artillery conversion. But the guns look like some mini laser battery or something. Not for me this tank. Also I can kill light infantry just fine (in this current codex).

    I agree all round. It could be useful, but its just a beefy mortar squad at the end of the day.