SRM’s Ongoing Imperium Review: Week 12

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.

It’s been well documented by this series that timely shipping is a regular issue with Imperium. I know folks who have picked up issue 15 in the wild as I write this, a pattern that has led to some delays in this very article series, or rushed articles as I cram in a review in the 48 hours before my self-imposed due date. Even if you have stocked up on those future issues laden with all of their beautiful models and mylar-wrapped savings, I invite you to get into character and transport yourself to 3-4 weeks ago and become part of this fiction with me.

The Magazine

Necron Warriors. Credit: Corrode

This issue’s cover has Necron Warriors with their old fluorescent tube gauss guns, which is extremely cute. I jammed a picture of Corrode’s old school Warriors here so you zoomers who don’t remember these toyetic miniatures can get a gander at what once was. This is what peak performance looks like, we used to be a proper country, this nation used to build railroads, etc.

We are greeted with a Necrons Weapon and Wargear Names spread, with a trio of D33 tables for Wargear, Ranged Weapons, and Melee Weapons. We had something extremely similar for Imperials a few issues ago, so it’s only fair the Roboners got to have their turn. As I don’t have any units to roll up for some short fiction this time around, I’m going to roll up a trio of band names from these tables, and using between 5 and 10 minutes of what I remember from Graphic Design 101, will turn them into appropriate logos. If you use any of them for your own band, please direct message me on Twitter. I will buy your EP.

Necron Band Names. Credit: SRM

The associated lore about these pieces of Necron wargear are that they are treasured more than the Necron bodies that wield them. Necrons and the Imperium are not so different in that regard, which feels like an extremely 40k bit of dramatic irony. It also mentions that these combination weapons/symbols of office are given elaborate names by their supremely arrogant masters. Personally, I just named my computer JEBCENTER III, as it is the third JEBCENTER, but I’m humble. I wouldn’t lie to you, reader.

We next get some lore about the Imperium Nihilus and the Nachmund Gauntlet, with some lovely art of Abaddon from the Vigilus books. I have a print of that same piece of art framed. When I went to the framer, the nice lady my mom’s age behind the counter asked “Is this Game of Thrones?” I said “No, but it’s kind of like it.” The Imperium Nihilus is a pretty significant bit of the modern 40k landscape, with even the Narrative event at the Seattle Tacoma Open taking place there. It sells how desperate this particular corner of the setting is, while dropping some cool as hell proper nouns like “Noctis Aeterna” and “Great Rift” and the like. There’s also a boxout about Commander Dante. We love a short king.

Chapter Planets are the topic of the next section, accompanied by some art of a Storm Reaper Space Marine hitting some Chaos yabbo with an axe. It lays out broadly what these planets are and how Marine Chapters come into possession of them – some belonged to their Primarch, some were gained through conquest, others were gifted, and others just don’t know how or why they got there. There is of course a boxout for Fleet-Based Chapters as well. It tells the reader that no two chapters or their worlds are wholly alike, tacitly inviting them to make up their own chapter background and story in the 41st millennium. In a setting as huge as 40k’s, it’s real easy for everything to get codified and Wookiepedia’d, so reminding the audience that they can play in the sandbox too is important for ‘hams of any vintage.

Lastly in this section, we get a brief spread about Chaos Daemons, told mostly through some Access Level Vermillion in-universe text. This Inquisitorial Report spells out how Daemons enter realspace and just how scary they can be. It’s the high-level stuff you’d want when learning about a faction, and its accompanied by some modern digital art of Daemons messing up some hapless Guardsmen. I prefer the sketchy and scratchy John Blanche art ripped from a madman’s brain, but I’m old. Coolest of all are a quartet of tarot cads representing the four Chaos gods, which I’m pretty sure was floating around the 8th or 9th ed rulebook. They give a quick summary of each god with an exceptionally metal illustration representing each.

The Hobby Materials

Canoptek Scarab Swarm
Canoptek Scarab Swarm. Credit: Pendulin

I have changed the title of this section from “The Models” to “The Hobby Materials”, as the previous title was proving inadequate in the face of all the paints and other hobby supplies being sent along in lieu of models. It’s also where the painting and modeling tutorial reviews will go now. That’s what we do here at Go On Hammer Dot Com, we change with the times.

The aforementioned Materials, Hobby in this issue are a trio of paints – Agrax Earthshade, Screamer Pink, and Canoptek Alloy. Agrax Earthshade is an all-timer, a paint that literally every single painter should have in their toolbox. I go through this stuff about as quickly as I go through bottles of mid-shelf bourbon, so it’s good to have more on hand. I won’t stoop to calling it “talent in a bottle”, but that delightful dark brown wash finds its way onto almost every model I paint, whether that’s in the folds of their clothes, shading on their skin, or rocks on their bases. Screamer Pink is a nice medium magenta, solid as a base for building up to a true pink. I typically use it as a base for purity seals, which I build up with Pink Horror and Emperor’s Children. It covers rather nicely. Lastly, Canoptek Alloy is a new one to me. It looks like a lovely highlight color for the pot of Runelord Brass included in a previous issue, and by and large I’m a fan of GW’s metallics.

The two painting sections here are using Screamer Pink and Agrax Earthshade on your Marines, and using Agrax Earthshade and Canoptek Alloy on your Necrons. Really you’re just picking out Purity Seals and layering up some metallics respectively; the draw is teaching users how to use Shade paints. It tells you what to do when you get too much shade on an area, how to deal with shore marks, and some general best practices for shading your models. I remember when Citadel Washes dropped in 2008 or so, it was tempting to just drown your models in the stuff. Restraint is important with washes, and more isn’t always necessarily better.

This package of magazines also included a set of 3 Citadel brushes – a Large Base, Medium Shade, and Medium Layer. These are, like all Citadel brushes, strictly fine. Still, these are the kind of workhorses you’ll want when slathering basecoats and the like on your models, and for the new hobbyist these are solid enough tools. I personally use Scharff Series 0 Red Sable brushes, which are pretty great aside from the whole needless cruelty of using animal hair in your brushes, but I’m working through a lot of my own stuff right now and for the time being they’re what I’ve got.

The Gaming Materials

Warscythe Overlord. Credit: Rockfish
Warscythe Overlord. Credit: Rockfish

This issue introduces some added complexity with characters, namely featuring the Character keyword, Look Out Sir, and Heroic Interventions. This is one of those rules in the core game I frequently forget, and then get summarily bodied when a tooled up character eats my Intercessors alive.

The mission, Defending the Crypts, has 5 Warriors and the Overlord fight the Primaris Captain and his 3 Assault Intercessors. The Necrons have to kill all the Marines, while the Marines only have to kill the Overlord, which seems a bit unfair. The two sides face off on the small Martian mat in a bowling alley of a battlefield. In what I think is a first, this battle also asks the player to refer back to issue 10’s rules to resolve the sequence of play. Now this is podracing, folks. The mission isn’t anything special, but it drives home how characters work in full scale 40k reasonably well.

Final Verdict 12/80:

White Scars Assault Intercessor
White Scars Assault Intercessor Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

In a wild turn that doesn’t quite compute for my cannonball-smooth brain, the paints included here are each different prices when purchased from the GW web store. Screamer Pink is the standard $4.55 while Canoptek Alloy is in a 12ml pot the exact same size at a bewildering $6.10. Meanwhile, Agrax Earthshade is in a pot twice the size of the other two, and runs $7.80. That’s $18.45 worth of paints alone, which handily eclipses the $13.95 issue price. That’s a $4.50 savings; that’ll get you, I dunno, a load of laundry? Probably not enough to dry it too, but it’ll definitely get the stains out.

Ruleswise, we’re fully getting into the weeds, the nitty gritty, the thick of it, the cruft, the sticky rules I regularly forget. Every time I finish an issue and think “wow, they’re basically at true blue, real deal, full fat 40k!” I realize there’s so much more to go. 40k is fun bit it’s still a lot, y’all. We still haven’t touched morale, terrain, or anything with a degrading profile, but it’s just a matter of time.

See you next issue, warhams.

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