SRM’s Ongoing Imperium Review: Week 24

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 would like to begin this week’s review with an apology, dear reader. My travels and tragedies have required me to keep my Posting Katana in its Posting Saya, and required this particular Keyboard Warrior to temporarily vacate the battlefield. However, I am finally back from NOVA and more besides, and I am able to review once again.

The Magazine

Adeptus Mechanicus - Tech-Priest Dominus
Adeptus Mechanicus – Tech-Priest Dominus
Credit: Pendulin

This issue takes the shotgun approach to lore, covering a smattering of factions and giving us at least one oodle of tables to roll on. I won’t dive deep into these tables just yet, as they are definitely the types that are meant to be referred to later and there’s no Battle Record to roll up. For the Adeptus Mechanicus we get tables for wargear, ranged weapon, and melee weapon names, and there are some extremely 40k words in there. Macropurger. Psychospex. Omnissian Slugger, which I can only assume is an ancient Martian baseball bat. We got some supporting lore about how wargear is more important than the men who wield it, which is extremely AdMech.

Necrons get their own set of tables after this, outlining their Degradations and Grudges. These range from general grudges, like Obsessed with destroying a rival dynasty, to hyper-specific and borderline nonsensical ones like Desires to atomize Assault Intercessors. The fact that these degradations are both physical and and engrammatic is neat, and outlines just how much the Necrons have decayed since they owned the universe. Not to overstep the scope of this magazine, but I think offering some simple bonuses associated with these would be neat. Oh no, I just made Crusade happen. I’m so sorry, I’m trying to fix it now.

Lastly, we get another in-universe Inquisitorial Report on the Tyranids and their whole extragalactic steez. As I have been reading since 3rd edition, there’s a lot of hullabaloo about them probably being the biggest threat the Imperium’s ever faced. In my experience they’re nothing a couple dozen bolters can’t solve, but I’m fortunate enough not to live in the most hellish fictional universe imaginable, just something close to it.

The Hobby Materials

Black Templars Aggressors. Credit: SRM

I hope you like paints, dear reader, because this is another issue with two pots of That Good Wet Stuff. The pair of colors are staples of my own painting, and I’m happy that developing hobbyists will get a handle on two of the most versatile colors in the entire Citadel range. First is Rakarth Flesh, a highly pigmented tan/bone/beige Base Paint that’s great for purity seals, bones, or flesh on your Rakarths, I guess. It’s never read as a skintone to me, but for the pale skin of the Dark Eldar, I guess it’d work with some washes. My bottle of it came fairly chunky but nothing a good shake shouldn’t fix. Second is Nuln Oil, one of those “talent in a bottle” sort of Shades that everyone should already have a few pots of in their toolbox. The size of the bottle implies that it is not the new formulation, as I can’t imagine they’d put the new stuff in anything but the now-standard 18ml pot.

In a move that shouldn’t surprise even the densest of regular readers, we learn how to use these new paints and more besides in the hobby section. Liberal applications of Rakarth Flesh are applied to all the bone, cloth, and purity seals, and readers are taught to layer back over washed areas for cleaner finishes. It took me a minute to figure I could wash an area and paint it again, leaving the shade in the recesses, so I’m glad it’s spelled out here for growing hobbyists. Recess shading and relayering is a great way to give softer surfaces depth without a bunch of ugly pooling on the raised areas, and I would have loved to have explicitly written out stuff like this when I was starting in the hobby. Back in my day we had to learn from posters on Dakka Dakka and report them when they called us a slur. I don’t agree with this issue’s use of Agrax Earthshade to wash the golden relics on the models, as Reikland Fleshshade generally gives a richer, more “gold” look, but there are as many approaches to painting as there are hobbyists and I won’t say it’s bad advice.

The Gaming Materials

Royal Warden. Credit: Rockfish
Royal Warden. Credit: Rockfish

It’s finally here – the real deal, the genuine article, the real McCragge, actual factual Warhammers of the forty thousandth variety. Instead of hyper-specific bespoke scenarios with a turn-by-turn-play-by-play (Turn-by-play-by-turn-by-play?), we’ve got a cute little Scout Mission Pack that will resemble the Open Play missions one might see in the porterhouse steak-thick hardback 40k rulebook. It’s a simple mission with a single central objective and some progressive scoring mechanics, both of which are outlined before the mission proper. Forces are set at 10 Warriors, 3 Scarabs, and a Necron Royal Warden vs. 3 Space Marine Aggressors and a Librarian, and whoever gets the most points wins. I’m just glad the mission is more involved than Imperium’s previous missions, most of which were just “slam your hams against their hams until one of you runs out of hams”. There is some light supporting lore for this battlefield and the data cypher the two of you are battling over, and it’s just the kind of simple framework you’d expect for a non-narrative mission like this. It’s the kind of mission even an experienced player could give a go and probably have some fun with, even if it’s dead simple. You could also definitely add some terrain to it to make it a more interesting battle.

Final Verdict 24/80:

Raven Guard Phobos Librarian
Raven Guard Phobos Librarian. Credit: Dan Boyd

These paint issues are always odd ones. Value-wise, they can almost never compete with the model-based issues. A standard pot of Rakarth Flesh is $4.55, and Nuln Oil is $7.80, making for $12.35 against this issue’s $13.95 cover price. Whether or not the lore and rules make up for that is up to the reader, but if Imperium is your way into playing 9th edition 40k, this one is likely worth it.

See you next issue, warhams.

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