Astra Militarum Review: The Wyvern

Hey everyone, Reecius here to talk about the new hawtness in the Astra Militarum book: the Wyvern. For more great reviews, check out the Tactics Corner!

The Wyvern is a multi-barreled, self-propelled artillery piece in the Astra Militarum arsenal that bears some close attention. With the ability to lay down a hail of anti-infantry barrage shots down-field, this is an incredibly useful tool at a great price point, coming in at the cost of a Chimera.


The Wyvern is an absolute infantry lawn mower. The reason it is so good, is because it is fully “buffed” at all times without requiring any other support unit. For a low price point, you can get that vital barrage weapon into your list while keeping your support unit focused on other heavy hitters in your list that want those psychic buffs.


  • Two Twin Linked Stormshard Mortars
  • Heavy Bolter
  • Searhclight
  • Smoke Launchers

Model by Admiral Drax

The Wyvern is a beast, pure and simple. It’s dirt cheap, fills a roll in almost any list, and packs a punch.

At first glance, a lot of folks balked at the primary weapons of the Wyvern. The Strength 4, AP6, small blasts don’t inspire fear on the first read. However, when you factor in the special rules of these weapons, their real power becomes revealed. Being twin-linked, barrage, Ignores Cover, and with Shred, they are ultra reliable.

Rerolling in 40K is incredibly useful. Duh!, right? But a lot of folks miss just how good it is. You get a massive statistical increase in your average results which makes units like Wyverns incredibly reliable. As they reduce so many variables, they will average more wounds on a target, more often than other more expensive, more powerful artillery pieces. Your odds of rolling a hit go from 1/3 to 5/9. Your odds of wounding on a T3 model go from 2/3 to 8/9, against a T4 go from 1/2 to 3/4. Your odds of getting through cover go to 100%! Barrage is also a critically important tool in a good list as it allows you to hit units out of LoS, but also to snipe important models out of a unit. With 4 blasts, you can REALLY stack wounds on a model in a unit to improve the odds of successfully sniping your target. The lower strength means that the Wyvern won’t be as useful against high toughness or armored targets as other barrage weapons, but against light infantry you will be hard pressed to find a better tool.

The reason I take a Wyvern in every list now, is due to the rise in the small, dedicated scoring units–particularly in Xenos armies–that are in so many lists now: Cultists, Guardian Jet Bikes, Daemons troops, Fire Warriors, Kroot, Henchmen, Scouts, other Astra Militarum troopers, etc. The Wyvern is a perfect hunter for those units. Even if they have Stealth, Shroud, etc. the Wyvern is deadly.

A single Wyvern I have found works great, is fairly easy to keep out of danger, and will admirably perform its role of infantry hunter. If you really want to increase the damage output, you can take a battery of two to three, although I do not believe this is necessary. It certainly isn’t bad at all, and the increased damage output helps a lot to overcome the defense of tougher units like Space Marines or for large units like hordes of Ork Boyz or Gants. The risk of both Wyverns getting smoked by a single attack is fairly high though, as they are relatively fragile and two tanks can be difficult to hide.

In all, the Wyvern is a great addition to the IG lineup and I have been thoroughly enjoying using mine.


About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

24 Responses to “Astra Militarum Review: The Wyvern”

  1. Umbo April 24, 2014 11:52 am #

    While it is awesome, if FW was allowed I think the thudd guns are still better due to their toughness and better range. No one will smoke a thudd gun quickly, but yeah if you can hide the tank it would be just as good.

    I assume people are happy you can give thudd guns orders? so can become v powerful too

    • Reecius April 24, 2014 12:07 pm #

      Yeah, Thudd guns are extremely good, no doubt. I think it is a close call between the two, though.

    • Zeos April 24, 2014 2:25 pm #

      Something to keep in mind is that Thudd Guns are Elites. If someone just has to field Tempestus for example they can still fit in a Wyvern. Oh wait Tempestus are platoon now and don’t score when taken as Elites. Yeah, not legitimate reason to every take one over the Thudd Gun if you are going for pure threat and resilience.

      • winterman April 24, 2014 2:40 pm #

        Thudd guns are not elite in the most up to date FW book. I think only Death Corps have them as an elite option.

        • Reecius April 24, 2014 4:31 pm #

          Yes. They are a troop choice, doh! They should be a heavy choice.

          • Christian August 15, 2014 11:01 am

            In what book are they a troop choice?

          • Reecius August 15, 2014 12:18 pm

            IA V1 2nd Ed. They are a HWS squad for an Infantry Platoon.

          • Christian August 15, 2014 1:21 pm

            Weird, the 2012 copy I have, p. 198 lists a field artillery battery as a heavy support choice for Codex: IG. Are you thinking of Sabre Platforms?

            Slots in a platoon would certainly solve the Vyvern vs. thudd gun question

  2. Slaede April 24, 2014 12:32 pm #

    It loses to a roof!

    But yes, it’s very good.

  3. ChaosReigns April 24, 2014 1:42 pm #

    I always agreed the Wyvern was good reading its rules; when I found out how cheap it is I was almost insulted. Militarium definitely have their cake and get to eat it, too.

    • Reecius April 24, 2014 4:32 pm #

      True story. They have been revitalized in a big way.

  4. Hush April 24, 2014 1:52 pm #

    Love the wyvern read codex buy two, so far not looked back. Outflanking kroot, cammo cloak scout sitting on objective, eldar jet bikes lining up for turn 5, Bang! And the dirt is gone! Just got to watch out as they are fragile and 48″ range leaves board space to hide apposed to thudd guns.

    • Reecius April 24, 2014 4:33 pm #

      Mine has been excellent in every game.

  5. Adam April 24, 2014 2:40 pm #

    I definitely think it’s a solid choice, but it’s more anti-infantry in a book full of anti-infantry. It’ll be disruptive at first for the reasons you mentioned (people relying on cheap scoring units), but I don’t think it’ll be as much of an auto-include in the long run.

    • Reecius April 24, 2014 4:30 pm #

      Perhaps not. If so, I can always go back to old trusty: my Basilisk! That old boy has never let me down over years and years of playing it!

      • Ulrik April 25, 2014 12:50 am #

        Amen. Im planning on making my Basilisk and Wyvern friends. And add uncle MoO and then maniacally juggle with all whose blast markers…:)

        But seriously, I was thinking about getting Wyvern for some time. Its damage output seems insane and I like the idea of pure wound overload even in ceramite clad units. But so far I was thinking about three of them but you certainly have point about losing squadron for one attack. Maybe one Wyvern is enough.

      • Adam April 25, 2014 9:48 am #

        Ol’ Reliable! What’s not to love about a S9 AP3 large blast barrage that can shoot people on the opposite side of the room?

        • Reecius April 25, 2014 11:45 am #

          It was Grandpa’s artillery!

    • TinBane April 24, 2014 11:26 pm #

      Maybe, but with shred they are decent against tough infantry as well.
      Sheer number of wounds that will convert, means that even against MEQ it will lay out some hurt. Meanwhile it’s a low cost option, and it’s hidden out of sight, which is incredibly frustrating.

      I think taking one, will always be justified, similar to the griffon. Everyone underestimated how much pain the griffon would dish out, because it was Str 6 and AP 5 and it didn’t look good on paper. But with a reroll for scatter, it was likewise a really good source of hits on annoying units across most of the board.

  6. Blightstar April 24, 2014 10:32 pm #

    Damn I had to wade through half of the whole internet to figure out what those missile launcher were on that wyvern conversion… and they were old FW sentinel missile-launcher. No longer available. FML :<

  7. RoockieBoy April 25, 2014 2:24 am #

    How about 2 wyverns, separated, and one Manticore? Would it be competitive? The griffon was really cheap for what it did, i’ll miss it… Btw, it was AP4 XD

  8. Zatoichi July 9, 2014 2:38 pm #

    So, is the twin linked for the initial shot, not the scatter arrow dice that follow? Some debate about it, since twin link requires the distance dice to be rerolled if you use it, and all the rds after the first hit do not involve distance dice…

    • Reecius July 9, 2014 2:52 pm #

      We play that you reroll any of the shots.

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