SRM’s Ongoing Imperium Review: Week 23

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 fear the some of the images in this article may be somewhat misleading – this issue’s contents are a Canoptek Spyder, of which there is only one image in our photo gallery. Resultantly, you’re going to see some other, non-Spyder Canoptek models herein. I would hope this peek behind the curtain would not cause you to lose faith in Goonhammer, but unless you are the world’s biggest Canoptek Spyder Enthusiast, in my opinion you should maintain your established level of dis/respect.

The Magazine

Necron Canoptek Reanimator
Necron Canoptek Reanimator. Credit: Pendulin

Inquisitor Leonid Rostov, a guy who looks like Ewan McGregor by way of a tumble dryer, introduces us to the main attraction of this issue: The Necron Canoptek Spyder. I really love this in-universe approach to defining the myriad threats of the 41st millennium. It reminds me of the fluff from the 3rd edition rulebook I read as a wee one, before a more omniscient narration style had taken precedent. Most of the weapons on this Construct Formerly Known As Tomb Spyder are shown with 3D renders from the instructions, which is utilitarian enough. It also shows us that there isn’t really any existing art of the Canoptek Spyder’s massive JO crystal. Of course, we get to define this big guy with a new Battle Record, and a few tables to find out what his whole steez is:

“Gather round, children! Let me tell you the tale of… The Dread Spider!” The youths gasped. Emelda Ianthe loved telling scary stories to the kids at Little Gregbot’s Home For Wayward Chitlins. The war over Derek’s Mom’s Dining Table IV had left no shortage of orphans, and the firsthand accounts of those atrocities had been told time and again as ghost stories and cautionary tales. “The thing you need to fear most about The Dread Spider is that it’s dead silent, more silent than… the grave!” the kiddos held each other in fright. “And this terrifying monster was programmed solely for the purpose of… repairing defense networks? No, that can’t be right. For… destroying enemy infantry! It- it was programmed to kill!” That last minute save didn’t quite seal the deal, but the weenies among the children were practically wetting themselves in terror. Emelda smirked to herself at a job done, not exactly well, but certainly well enough.

The Canoptek train keeps on rolling (scuttling?) with a spread all about the various gribbly robots that accompany the Necron legions. Like your average Redditor, these constructs are incapable of independent thought and are fiercely defensive of their programmed spaces. Most of these seem to be maintenance constructs for tomb worlds, so Wraiths can phase in and out of existence to reach hard to access areas and the like. It’s the little details like these that can make something as preposterous as ancient Egyptian spider robots feel real, or at least real-adjacent.

This is followed by some absolutely sicknasty AdMech art and a suitably grimdark passage about how servitors come to being. You run afoul of one EULA or loiter outside the gas station too long and the next thing you know you’re a lobotomized cyborg carrying girders for the rest of your artificially extended life. There’s a smidge of lore about the combined arms approach of the Adeptus Mechanicus cohorts and legios, a popout box about Techmarines, and that’s it for our Adeptus Mechanicus 101 lesson for today. The prose are a particularly warhammery shade of purple, and exactly what I’d hope to see in these explanations.

The Hobby Materials

Canoptek Spyder. Credit: Rockfish
Canoptek Spyder. Credit: Rockfish

This issue’s contents concern the above Canoptek Spyder, with a more advanced assembly guide than normal. Along with multiple subassemblies, the hot tips du jour concern double clipping and these particularly tricky legs. The legs should be cut out and glued one at a time to ensure they’re in the correct spots, and double clipping is a technique where you clip a bit once on the sprue, leaving a hunk of sprue in place, then doing a second clip to remove that plastic sprue spur. It seems like a smart way to remove delicate, weird pieces, of which this Spyder has quite a few. Hachette also hasn’t sent me a knife, so it’s as good as I’m gonna get if I were to LARP being a new hobbyist for the purposes of this review series. In a most helpful manner, hobbyists are told they can use whatever assembly options they’d like, but that if they use certain prescribed ones they’ll find the painting guide more helpful.

The painting guide is straightforward, instructing hobbyists to paint in subassemblies and paint over a Runelord Brass basecoat. I think more care could have been taken to instruct someone how to physically handle the miniature, as it’s a funky model that sits oddly on a flight stand, the most cursed varietal of base. Personally I would rather prime the model separately, paint the subassemblies on some temporary bases, and then glue/magnetize to the flight stand after the fact. At least nowadays the Canoptek Spyder isn’t metal, so fate won’t be quite as tempted to pull the model towards the floor.

The Gaming Materials

Phobos Librarian. Credit: SRM

The big new rule introduced is one of my favorites: explosions! While it is but a small bang to introduce this rule with, the Canoptek Spyder is the first model in Imperium to feature the Explodes rule. Said Spyder is joined by an updated Canoptek Scarab Swarm datasheet, featuring the various protocols and weapon rules you would find for this unit in the full Necron codex. Also introduced here is Deny the Witch. While Necrons have no psykers of their own, the Gloom Prism borne by the Canoptek Spyder can deny psychic powers. This week, that ability will be put to the test.

Storm the Battery has the Necron forces attempting to storm the guns of Battery Omicron-455, which I can only read as a 1337speak version of “Omicron-Ass”, my least favorite COVID-19 variant. 10 Necron Warriors, 3 Scarab Swarms, and our new Canoptek Spyder are trying to kill 3 Aggressors and the Phobos Librarian, with the last model standing being crowned the winner. I feel like the Marines are gonna have a pretty tough time here, especially as Overwatch has not yet been introduced to buff up those Aggressors. Much like the last issue, I wish the scenario was one where the Necrons were just trying to break through or accomplish some other objective. That would both support the narrative and is more interesting than just making the other player’s models not be alive anymore.

Final Verdict 23/80:

Necron Scarabs. Credit: Corrode

While the Canoptek Spyder has been around for a minute, it’s a $42 model, so at $13.95 it’s a nearly criminal acquisition. It seems like the kind of multipurpose support/melee unit a Necron player could want more of, but my knowledge of roboners is mostly limited to how hard it is to bolter them off the table. The written content this week is particularly enjoyable, and the Canoptek Spyder’s comprehensive assembly instructions will likely serve as a welcome update to the previous, somewhat less detailed directions. This issue bangs, is what I’m trying to get at.

See you next issue, warhams.

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