SRM’s Ongoing Imperium Review: Week 16

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.

I was at a bar/food truck lot eating a solid B+ of a pulled pork sandwich, slowly dissociating as best I could with my limited lunch break. I noticed the television above the bar was frozen on an unchanging frame of Diners Drive-Ins and Dives. Every time I looked up, Guy Fieri’s grinning mug was looking down on the daydrinkers and tourists alike, free of judgment or resentment. The mayor of Flavortown did not stand arms akimbo or outstretched like some kind of greasy messianic figure, but crossed in a playful fashion, suggesting a ribbing camaraderie with the audience. Minutes passed, and sure enough, there he stood, unblinking and resolute. I thought this kind of stasis seemed poetic – not even leaving behind a beautiful corpse, but standing as a friendly sentinel, undying, immovable. This issue is about Assault Intercessors again.

The Magazine

Assault Intercessors. Credit: Rockfish
Assault Intercessors. Credit: Rockfish

We open on a pretty standard spread about Assault Intercessor gear, arms, heraldry, and so on. I actually learned something here – those cylinder-shaped leather pouches on their belts are for grenades! I always hoped those were beer koozies. Back when I still had a full head of hair, Marines carried grenades loosely on their hips, so I clearly need to get with the times. Naturally, this is followed up with a Battle Record section for these new friends, where we’ll have to refer back to some previously acquired naming tables.

“Squad Acastian! Sound off!” The four remaining members of the tank-busting Merciless Lance stood before their void-born sergeant, arms at the ready. “Castor Lupus!”, ever the martial academy student, sounded off first. “Caio Caudex!” cried out his name next. He’d given up his father’s dukedom to join the Ultramarines. He did not miss the responsibility. “Albertus Bassus!” butted in the third member of the squad. Against all odds, he too had been heir to a dukedom. He did miss the responsibility, but he’d never tell his sergeant that. “Ignatius Sulla!” came the voice of the fourth member of the squad. You won’t believe this, but he too was an heir to a dukedom. Unlike the other two, he was nowhere near the first in line, so abandoning his paltry titles meant little. The final member of the squad announced his presence; always bringing up the rear: “Linus Cassus!” After surviving an Ork invasion as a youth, he’d taken one too many pieces of shrapnel to the cranium and was not necessarily the brightest of Guilliman’s sons. However, he was loyal, dutiful, and could huck a Krak grenade like a Scrumball champion.

After our time hanging out with the only boys in blue who matter, we’ve got a brief section about Necron weapons. As I’m not a Necron Guy these are largely new to me, and I would very much like to not be shot by any of these. Synaptic Disintegrator? That’s a mind eraser, no chaser. Enmitic Weapons? They make your atoms hate each other and fly apart, causing you to die of Ligma. We get an equally-brief section on Chaos Space Marines and their traitorous steez. It describes them as driven by “hate, bitterness, and bloodlust”, which as someone working in the service industry: big same. It’s presented in-universe as an Inquisitorial report, spelling out that the average Imperial citizen doesn’t know anything about these guys. It’s got a nice mix of new and old art, from the shiny modern digital paintjobs to what looks like Dave Gallagher’s more traditional work. Lastly, there’s a cute little “Burn the Heretic!” jammed between the art in a cursive, handwritten font, which I can only assume is the equivalent of an 8th grader drawing that “S” symbol in the margins of their math textbook.

The Hobby Materials

Black Templars Assault Intercessors. Credit: SRM

It’s a really good thing I like Assault Intercessors, because they keep sending me Assault Intercessors. Room temperature on the heels of issue 13, we’ve got 5 more of those easy to build sword bois from Indomitus. As I also detailed in my review of the aforementioned issue, these are great to use as bodies on shooty Intercessors, Hellblasters, or any other Mk. X armored Marines if you have enough of this particular varietal of Intercessor. This time around I busted out some leftover Primaris Crusader and Sword Brethren bits to make something suitably Templarrific, but the world is your proverbial bowl of clam chowder. Just be sure to follow the instructions specifically when it comes to matching backpacks to different bodies – there are some subtle differences between their fittings that mean they might not all line up exactly how you planned.

The building instructions are nearly identical to the previous time with this same kit, which is hardly a surprise. They want you to build the sergeant with an empty hand and bolt pistol instead of chainsword and plasma pistol, but it’s a functionally identical building experience. The paint section finally has these guys start looking like Ultramarines, using the relatively recent additions of Retributor Armour to pick out some trim, Screamer Pink on the purity seals and sword handles, and some Abaddon Black for the ribbing on the armor. It’s all still basecoating, but fear not: the instructions say we’ll come back to make these guys look more realistic and impressive, because you can never have enough realism in your 8 foot tall hundred year old teenagers with chainsaw swords.

The Gaming Materials

Flesh Tearers Assault Intercessor Squad
Flesh Tearers Assault Intercessor Squad. Credit: Drybrush Threepwood

There’s a summarized rules section of pretty much all the rules thus far, plus some new info on unit coherency, vertical/horizontal engagement, and so on. Cover still isn’t really given much space and Heavy weapons haven’t been introduced yet, but it’s good to have all the rules to this point summed up so a new player won’t have to keep turning back to months worth of drip-fed rules, one page at a time. Incomplete as it may be, it at least looks like 40k.

The adequately named mission this week, Destroy the Warden, is themed around guarding or destroying said Necron Royal Warden. The Space Marines have 3 turns to run their 8 Assault Intercessors across a lengthwise large battlemat before the 10 Necron Warriors and Royal Warden gun them all down. The placement of the cargo containers and other terrain bric-a-brac is going to do little to funnel the Marines or block line of sight, and it’s really going to come down to just how well the Marines can play the role of bowling ball before crashing into a bunch of metallic skeletal pins. I don’t feel this teaches much new to a learning player, and is certainly on the weaker side of the scenario spectrum.

Final Verdict 16/80:

Assault Intercessor Sergeant
Assault Intercessor Sergeant. Credit: Pendulin

I could honestly give this section the ol’ Ctrl+C Ctrl+V treatment from issue 13. You probably wouldn’t notice, and I could break for lunch early. The models are a decent value, the lore is fun, the mission is kinda weak. It’s a pretty middle of the road issue, but I’m not gonna complain about more dynamic Marine bodies to toss into the my collection.

See you next issue, warhams.

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