SRM’s Ongoing Imperium Review: Week 17

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.

“EIGHT MINIATURES with this issue” – so declares the seventeenth installment of this august publication. In boldfaced, becapslocked lettering we’re told this issue will contain info about battlefield terrain, the psychic phase, and our second Munitorum Armo(u)red Container with its attendant barrels. You might think “oh no, is he going to write another thousand words about a plastic box again” and your worries would be wholly justified.

The Magazine

Munitorum Armored Container. Credit: SRM

Despite this issue supposedly being all about the best cuboid models currently available from Games Workshop, PLC, much of the fiction and background section in this issue focuses on other, non-Munitorum Armo(u)red Container content. First up is an Ultramarines Injuries and Grudges table. As a Necromunda player and random table enthusiast, this is firmly My Shit. The art accompanying it is a colorized version of some Tyrannic War Veteran art that Mark Gibbons did back in 4th edition, and to me was like looking at a picture of an old, departed friend. Death comes for us all, dear reader.

Alessio Cassus’s hand drifted towards his belly. His abdominal pain stemmed from an old war wound, his gut pierced by a Cryptek’s staff on the killing fields of Derek’s Mom’s Dining Table IV. The apothecaries said the injury was almost fortuitous – the impromptu appendectomy he had suffered at the hands of the Necron hadn’t been a moment too soon. It turns out even the Emperor’s Finest can have appendicitis, and in Cassus’ case, it was quite serious. His quest now was one of thanks, but also of vengeance for the indignity he had suffered at the hands of that Cryptek.

This is followed up with a hefty hunk of lore sections. We get a lot of info about Necron outcasts – Flayed Ones and the various flavors of Destroyer. We’ve had a whole issue about Flayed Ones before; a gaggle of crazed flesh eaters who can’t actually digest anything and exist in an extradimensional realm, appearing unbidden before battle. Destroyers meanwhile want to destroy all organic life, which, good luck guys. The interesting thing to me is that they’re not made that way from the start. Destroyers started out as Lychguard, Deathmarks, Immortals and so on, but they’ve modified their bodies to be something new and better at murdering. Other Necrons also don’t want to spend time near any of these guys, on account of Space Madness being contagious. I think it’s neat!

The next section concerns the Worlds of the Imperium, how they operate, and how they communicate with each other. There’s some banger art showing hive city spires jutting into the mesosphere while Imperial ships fly away towards some sort of horrible galactic phenomena, it’s real FortyKay.jpg stuff and it owns. An invitation to create their own worlds is handed to the reader, as it is unknowable how many worlds are truly colonized by mankind. Here is where I have to level with you reader – the jig is firmly up. Derek’s Mom’s Dining Table IV does not appear in any official Games Workshop publication. I know, this is a massive breach of trust and my journalistic integrity is on the line, but I had to come clean. It is of my own invention, and would likely fit the description of a Feudal World as defined in this issue.

Lastly, we get a centerfold about the Necron dynasties. This shows off myriad color schemes and has a map of the galaxy with where these dynasties are located. Defining where these dudes are is extremely helpful to me when fleshing out a setting as vast as 40k’s, and helps give the game context. The map also has some evocative names to inspire the imagination, like Moebius, the Twisted Catacomb and The Bone Kingdom of Drazak, to name a few. There’s also a smidge about Dolmen Gates, the warpgates that Necrons use to yeet themselves across the galaxy, so you can handwave away why they’re on this planet or another.

The Hobby Materials

Credit: Fowler

The instructions on how to build a Cargo Container are identical to week 14’s, as that too was an issue all about Cargo Containers. They’re perfectly functional instructions. The painting section afterwards goes a bit further than the last one, varying up the paintjobs on the container and barrels included. It introduces several new techniques, like recess shading (as opposed to slathering a wash all over the place), getting a drip effect, and stippling to put some basic weathering on the container. I painted my own from issue 14 in about 3 hours using a lot of drybrushing, sponging, washing and weathering powders, which you can see at the top of this article. They’re fun little palate cleansers, and they end up on almost every single Necromunda or 40k table I throw together. A little line of sight blocking is never a bad thing.

Robnote: If you want to know more about painting munitorum storage containers, we did a How to Paint Everything article on them, which you can find here.

The Gaming Materials

Phobos Librarian. Credit: SRM

The mission here pits the Phobos Librarian against 8 Necron Warriors and a reserve of 5 Flayed Ones. The Librarian needs to run and touch the objective by turn 4 to win, hiding behind cargo containers to break line of sight between casting Smites. I feel it could very easily become a situation where the Librarian is facing a firing squad, as a turn or two of not wholly improbable die rolls could see him gunned down rather quickly. As a way to teach how the psychic phase works it’s effective enough, I just fear a new player’s cool new tactical wizard is going to underwhelm when placed against the blades and blasters of a Necron phalanx.

Final Verdict 17/80:

Munitorum Armored Containers. Credit: SRM

While we don’t have the thrilling tables to define just what’s on your fictional cargo manifest like we did in issue 14, the lore section here has some quality stuff. The models, as I said last time, are some of the highest utility models available, and paint up in a speedy and enjoyable fashion. The hobby section introduces some new ideas, and the gaming section is a bit on the weak side but still fleshes out some core concepts. Any issue with The Imperium’s Finest Hexahedron will always get a bump in my mind, but the accompanying lore sections bump this one up even further. It’s a good issue, y’all.

Robnote: I also want to jump in here to say that while the small crates and barrels are whatever – they’re great as decorative items on larger terrain pieces, I find – you can really never have too many of these shipping containers. While individually they’re so-so as terrain, you can stack them to create walls and L shapes that serve as adequate line of sight-blocking terrain. Good stuff.

See you next issue, warhams.

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