SRM’s Ongoing Imperium Review: Week 20

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’ve had a lot of fun in this award-eligible series. Honestly, up until a very recent hobby hang out with Rob, I didn’t know anyone else found their way to SRM’s Vanity Project Corner. If you’re new here, you’re welcome and also I’m sorry. If you’re a returning reader, this marks the quarter mile marker. We’re 25% through Imperium’s 80 issues and 4 bonus issues, and my growing backlog is screaming for paint as I write this. This package also contained the second grimdark Trapper-Keeper in which to store my Imperium collection. This will be the final issue of that first binder, bringing it to a prodigal 5.81 lbs, or approximately 1/2 of my beloved cat Noomi.

Approximately 40 issues worth of Imperium magazine. Credit: SRM

The Magazine

The Emperor. Credit: Games Workshop

The cover of this issue is the above classic John Blanche illustration of The Emperor, with the becapslocked promise that we are going to learn all about him. While it details that humanity was united and even prosperous under his reign, it also makes clear his vision for humanity didn’t exactly pan out. This is not a complete portrait of this man-god-king, as nowhere in his description does it say “lousy dad”. You may be thinking “he’s a single father, give him a break”, but you’re fooling yourself if you don’t recognize Malcador the Sigillite as co-parent. Daddy Emps went to the garage to tinker with his train layout and got pissed when his large adult son told him there was a raccoon in the shed.

The rest of the lore section details a bunch of Necron wargear, but most importantly, sections to name and define your Space Marine Strike Force and Necron Tomb World. These are largely spaces to write in the names of your future and existing units, and it gives us a wee preview of some upcoming units. The Marines are going to be getting some bikes, an ATV, a Firestrike Servo Turret, plus some Vanguard boys, while the Necrons are going to be getting an absolute boatload of Canoptek units, Destroyers, and royal weirdos. I could have Googled that same information, but the delight of opening a crate full of plastic and cardboard every month with no foresight of its contents is one of the few pleasures that I will not have taken from me. I will refrain from filling out this section with my typical creative writing exercise, as I do not possess all the units at this time. Neither Militum Celeris or Imanekh’s Crag would be adequately defined, and that would do them – and you, dear reader – a great disservice.

The Hobby Materials

Black Templars Primaris Aggressors. Credit: SRM

This issue is one of those rare instances where there are no models, only paints. Included here are Khorne Red and Troll Slayer Orange. The former is one of those foundational paints (not Foundation Paints, those were a different thing) that are just fantastic for laying down a deep, dark red. I use it on all my purity seals, Templar crusader seals, some lenses, and anywhere else I want that dark, rich red. It’s one of the better colors in a range of already good paints. Troll Slayer Orange isn’t one I’ve involved in any of my schemes, but it’s a smidge more saturated than Fire Dragon Bright, my typical brightest highlight on any given red. It sits somewhere between Flamin’ Hot Cheetos and Cheetos Classic in its particular hue of orange.

We add these colors to our previously painted models, generally using Khorne Red to paint purity seals, decorative ropes, and the details on certain weapons. Troll Slayer Orange is thinned down and used to add rust to the Munitorum Cargo Containers of previous issues. There is an extremely helpful photo of what the paint looks like thinned down on a palette, which should remove some guesswork from any first time weatherers. Personally, I think Troll Slayer Orange is a smidge too saturated for this purpose and could detract from an otherwise neutral piece of terrain, but it’s an extremely good technique to learn. I prefer to use Skrag Brown for these effects, which is an orangey mid-brown.

The Gaming Materials

Necron Warriors
Necron Warriors. Credit: Chris Cowie

It feels like we just had a “here’s the rules so far, all collected” issue, but we’ve got that again, only somehow even more comprehensive. Most importantly, we have the rules for Reanimation Protocols, or We’ll Be Back if you’re old. These are central to how Necrons play, and I’m glad they’ve finally been included here.

The mission this week is Total War, something of a misnomer since it only uses a dozen models. 3 Assault Intercessors and 2 Aggressors face off against 5 Necron Warriors and 2 Skorpekh Destroyers on a bowling alley of a field with no terrain to speak of, and the last player standing wins. It’s a weak mission, but I guess they really want you to focus on learning Reanimation Protocols so they cut out all the cruft. I’m curious how previous missions would fare with these rules in effect, and I think that would be a better use of the Necron player’s time.

Final Verdict 20/80:

Black Templars Assault Intercessors. Credit: SRM

Even with the recentish price increases, the value prospect of this particular issue’s physical material is somewhat wanting. At $4.55 per paint pot, the $13.95 price tag means that if you’re just in this for the hobby supplies, this is the first issue where you’re not just failing to save money over the MSRP, but actually losing money. The lore and hobby sections are a bit thin, but the rules are useful if you’re using Imperium for its intended purpose to learn the game. What we end up with is an unusually weak issue in a series that has been, up to this point, both a good value and a good time. However, there is the promise of both Adeptus Mechanicus models and new terrain in the back of the issue, so this is hopefully a mere pothole in an otherwise smooth road.

See you next issue, warhams.

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