Imperium is a weekly hobby magazine from Hachette Partworks. In this 80-week series, our intrepid magazine-receiver will be reviewing each individual issue, its included models, and gaming materials. A Premium subscription was provided to Goonhammer for review purposes.
As I was roller blading for the first time in my life, I had the thought to myself: “If I totally beef it, here and now, no one will be left to write my Imperium review column”. I then had to duck and weave around a dozen 8th graders who were far cooler than I was in 8th grade, and almost certainly cooler than I am now.
Right from the word go, we’ve got not one, not two, but three D33 tables for Ultramarines weapons and wargear. This veritable Legend of Zelda inventory worth of equipment covers ranged weapons, melee weapons, and the generic “wargear” that covers shields, armor, and what have you. Some of these names make more sense for some things than others, but let’s see what we roll up:
“Yo Vinny!” shouted his brother. Ollonius Vinius loathed the Old Terran nickname, and his grip tightened on Hammer of Purity, his bewilderingly named power sword. “Vinny, let’s say yous and me get some Joliq from the canteen, pile into one a dem old Rhinos and paint the town Macragge Blue?” Vinius rolled his eyes behind the Plate Impervious, his ancient warhelm. If only it protected him from cringe damage. “Our duty is here, brother. Derek’s Mom’s Dining Table IV won’t defend itself.” He racked the slide on his bolter, Vengeful Demise, for emphasis. “You used to be cool” his brother intoned, his voice heavy with disappointment.
This is followed up with an excerpt from the logbook of Sergeant Giulus Icaris, an Ultramarine who looks suspiciously like Josh Brolin. It’s extremely cute that he journals. My therapist keeps telling me I should journal too, but who has the time? There’s excerpts about why Marines name their equipment and how revered these weapons are, which is pretty foundational stuff. We also learn the difference between all the different varieties of Marine ranged weapons, which I think is actually pretty important for lore and gameplay reasons – try explaining to a newbie the difference between a flamer and a meltagun, or plasma and las weaponry. For years my friends and I would think melta weapons were the ones that Got Hot, because after all, why wouldn’t the melta gun be the one that melts the guy firing it? The two pages of this spread have some illustration of bolt rifles, plasma incincerators, and so on, with legible graphic design and typography. It’s a good looking spread of cool astroguns is what I’m getting at.
We come back to more Necron lore, this time a pair of pages about Necron Warriors. This is issue 2 of the Necron Warriors 2-Part Necrosperience, so it was a matter of time til there was some talk about the Necron Legions. This is mostly about how their battle formations are deployed and the roles of their combined arms forces. You also get a smidge of flavor text about some of these different units. I particularly liked this excerpt about Necron Warriors:
They are slow in both mind and body, but are utterly implacable, devoid of emotion and bound completely to the will of their masters.
As someone working in food service, big same.
This issue contains the second half of the Warrior sprues from Issue 9, and expects you to refer to that issue to assemble your models. This issue instead focuses on painting them, with the hot tip that if you don’t glue your Scarabs down, you can pop em off and paint their undercarriages. This is all still in the basecoating stage, blocking out areas in black, white, and metallics, but it hits that coveted 3-color minimum. The models themselves are pretty lovely, as I mentioned last week, albeit just a little finnicky since their limbs are fairly thin.
The Gaming Materials
It’s finally time to use all your Warriors in The Legion Assembles. This mission takes place on the larger battle mat, and has a pair of 5-man Warriors squads try to break through and escape the opposite table edge, while a trio of Assault Intercessors run in to stop them. This mission also introduces Unit Coherency and how to utilize the movement and combat rules with multi-model units. Until this battle every model has been their own unit, so now they’re forced to be team players. These rules are the same as the ones in mainline 40k, and one of the last things I think your aspiring player will need to play the game proper. I feel like this is a mission where the Necrons can gun down the Marines with little worry – 6 wounds aren’t that hard to chew through – but the invitation to switch sides and rematch is always there to allay those worries.
Final Verdict 10/80:
This issue completes issue 9, making it stronger in retrospect. The trio of weapon naming tables are laser beam focused on my stupid brain, so I’m delighted to see them in here. For a newcomer to the game, this issue gives them the tools to play a more manageable version of 40k. I don’t think the included missions could get much bigger if each model was its own unit as in the previous 9 issues, and I think this issue’s lore is plenty enjoyable. Ultimately, this is a solid issue depending on how much you enjoy naming tables. Personally, I love them, and my word is law in this column, so this issue is a good ‘un.
See you next issue, warhams.
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