For the uninitiated, partworks magazines are little weekly magazines that all contribute to some greater hobby project, such as modeling kits, coloring pages, or what have you. Imperium is a Warhammer varietal of partworks where at the end of it you get an absolute boatload of models across a variety of Warhammer 40k armies. Being American, I had never heard of the partworks concept until Imperium and Mortal Realms reared their heads as Europe-only products over the past few years. Jealously, I saw this opportunity to pre-order an entire hobby backlog at what seemed to be a pretty significant savings. It pleases me to say that Imperium is finally making its way Stateside, and the fine folks at Hachette Partworks recently reached out to me asking if I wanted to review it for Goonhammer. I rapid fired an email out in the affirmative, and found myself the recipient of a Premium subscription. This luxury-class upgrade to the base subscription gives you essentially four more Start Collecting!-sized boxes of various factions, as a treat.
This is the first in a series where I will be going over each issue as they come out over the course of the next 80 weeks. I am committing to this here, in writing, so Rob can fulfill his role as Goonhammer’s J. Jonah Jameson and demand I hit my weekly deadline. Over the course of this ongoing series, I will review each week’s issue of Imperium both as an experienced hobbyist, and by casting my consciousness to my own youth, as a newcomer to the hobby. My friend Kyle is both brand new to the hobby and interested in Necrons, so I will be channeling his experience in my writing here as well.
The cost of a recurring subscription with a few add ons can be a little hard to parse, so I’m going to save you the time required to crack open your calculator app and do the math yourself. This isn’t Hammer of Math, so bear with me. As they detail on the Imperium website:
Issue 01 costs $6.95 and Issue 02 onwards costs $13.95. Premium subscribers pay $3 extra per issue.
Shipping costs $6.95 per delivery to the US and $11.95 per delivery to Canada.
As part of your subscription benefits, you will receive four FREE gifts and a FREE issue during the course of your collection.
Each month you get 4 issues, totaling 80 issues over 20 months. If I were to break down the free issue and half price initial issue, it would equal $1,095.05 before shipping. With the $139 of shipping costs over 20 months, that is a numerologist-tickling total of $1234.05. There are also a trio of binders to organize your magazines that are added to your subscription at $9.95 each, for $29.85. That will total up $1263.90 for the standard subscription, tax notwithstanding.
A premium subscription is $3 more per issue, for an additional $240. Add that to the existing total, pre-tax, and you’ve got a grand total of $1503.90. Most months you will be spending $63.20 for standard issues, or $75.20 for premium. This isn’t beyond the pale for many peoples’ monthly hobby budgets, though tastes and budget will vary.
I have seen posts here and there breaking down the models in Imperium and their napkin math sees between 40-45% savings, but that’s without accounting for paints, free gifts, or the value of the magazine itself. One aspect I hope to explore with this weekly column is the value of each week’s items, with the collection’s grand total to be written in at the very end.
The first thing one will need to do upon receiving an entire backlog at once is to figure out what to do with it. Looking over the vastness of this 80-week collection, you will see an absolute truckload of Imperial models, befitting the name of the product. Chiefly, these are Primaris Space Marines, which I will seed into my Black Templars and Ultramarines as I see fit. The small selection of Adeptus Mechanicus and Sisters of Battle units will likely find their way into kill teams, combat patrols, or the basis for Imperial Weirdo conversions, as is my wont.
The xenos, on the other hand, will largely be going to my aforementioned Necron-playing newcomer. I’ll tell you right now, if you can go in on this with an interested party, you’ve got yourself one heck of a value proposition. There are some other packs of various aliens, traitors, and so on with the Premium subscription, and those we’ll see how I feel about. By the time the T’au pack comes out, maybe people will stop filling their diapers over the T’au codex and I can play them without getting tarred and/or feathered. Maybe by the time the Ork pack arrives in issue 69 (nice) I will be ready to paint green and Blood Axes camo again. Time will tell, dear reader.
Lastly, what I am most hyped about here, is the smattering of terrain. This is at least two Moons Base Klaisus worth, and I am legit mighty excited for them to arrive in my mailbox. Tune in next week for issue 1, and every week thereafter to hear this unqualified yokel’s thoughts on Imperium magazine.
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