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.
In a rare move for Imperium magazine, my latest shipment of issues actually turned up early. This means that I am not hammering away at these keys, jacked up on gas station-brand trucker pills at 3am to get this article out on time, but leisurely typing this on a beach, Mai Tai in hand, holding hands with my wife as we watch the sun set together. All of this is metaphorical, of course. Central Oregon doesn’t have a beach.
I began writing “The numberless hordes of the Necrons” here but most of this issue concerns the 10 Necron Warriors we’ll be getting, so this horde is decidedly numbered. There is some newly written info about the Necron loss of self and what biotransference is, which are both pretty central to the whole Necron steez. The Necron nobles got to keep their personhood and free will while the huddled masses became mindless automatons, able only to follow the will of their superiors. Please nobody tell Elon Musk, he’d cream his ill-fitting idiot jeans over this.
We have a reprinting of Issue 09’s Necron Warrior Battle Record here, which we can use to generate a whole new story about a whole new group of shambling mechanoid robojerks:
The Bloodied Scourge, 1st cohort, 4th phalanx, hunched at attention. Their fractured skull plates exposed what passed for Necron brains to the dusty air of Derek’s Mom’s Dining Table IV. Despite this, Cryptek Takar the Gilded’s gift of threat detection matrices still thrummed with a malign energy. The Bloodied Scourge’s visible damage would not impede their killing capacity on the battlefield, and if anything, would strike further terror into the hearts of the Imperial defenders.
There’s an evocative as heck bit of background about how Necrons don’t so much conquer new worlds, but reawaken on old ones. Fortresses crumble, oceans drain, and skies darken as Necron tomb complexes rise from the ground of their former empire with armies in tow. It’s proper spooky and sets the stage for just how nasty these Necrons can be. There’s a few boxouts on what Blackstone is and how Necrons get around the galaxy, and that’s it for the Necron lore section of this issue. It’s a lot of cool info contained in a tight spread of pages, and I get why reading it might make you want to hold onto this issue’s Necron Warriors instead of offloading them on your buddy Kyle. (Kyle will still be getting my Necron Warriors, this is a hypothetical.)
In a fit of less-than-stark contrast (so not #000000 to #FFFFFF, but more #000000 to #1E1E1E) we get to read about those other machine enthusiasts in the Skitarii legions. Vat-grown, indentured, or otherwise bimbofied and cyborgpilled Skitarii make up the bulk of the Adeptus Mechanicus’ military forces. They aren’t mindless like Necron Warriors, but are definitely programmed ahead of time to serve with unwavering loyalty to their ever-more mechanical masters. I like the implied comparison between these two forces by placing them one page after another; you’ve got one force of pure machines who lost their flesh, and another of fleshy bois who cosplay as robots until they can be fully chromed-up. I could write an essay about this, but I won’t. Maybe someone much smarter or much dumber will do so.
There’s a section afterwards about Skitarii guns titled Artisanal Apparatuses, and my upper-middle-class millennial ass can’t read “artisanal” without immediately slamming “small batch” right afterwards. I went to a bougie bar in Philadelphia a few years ago that had an “elevated” take on a Philly cheesesteak with “artisanal whiz” on it, a phrase that is now permanently etched into the deepest folds of my brain. Anyway, these guns do warcrimes, represented by S4 Ap-1 D1 Heavy 2 stats or whatever.
The Hobby Materials
For the second time in this series, we are grappling, stag beetle-like, with a unit of Necron Warriors spread across two concurrent issues. In the intervening weeks since our last unit of Necron Warriors arrived, the kit has remained unchanged, as has my generally positive opinion thereof. The instructions are identical, .jpeg by .jpeg, guiding the reader through 5 Warriors with Gauss Flayers, and 5 with Gauss Reapers, bringing their previous squads of 5 and 5 to a respectable 10 and 10.
The Gaming Materials
The terrain rules loom above all else this week, as they are finally presented in a comprehensive manner. Everything from the ubiquitous Light Cover to the “probably included as a joke” Inspiring terrain traits are listed here, and most pieces of terrain that Imperium has deigned to gift us with have said traits assigned to them here. Most strikingly, the Haemotrope Reactor from the previous issue has that very Inspiring trait, which grants +1LD to Imperium units wholly within 6″ of it. This would be like if I had a swelling of national/religious/personal pride every time I hung out near a gas pump, which is something I don’t do a lot of as I am not a teenage reprobate trying to score original formula 4Lokos from anyone with an ID. Legally, I also can’t pump my own gas in this state, which I assume would nullify the Inspiring trait in my particular instance.
Among all the scattered rules for wobbly models and dicing off over any disagreements, we have a new mission: Supply Cache Assault. The Ultramarines are trying to take a supply depot full of war material for the Imperial cause, while the Necrons hold it just because they know it’ll inconvenience the Imperials. The phrase “no tactical value” is written in the Necron mission brief, which earned a bemused nose snort from me. The Necron Overlord and two units of 10 Necron Warriors face off with the Primaris Lieutenant, 5 Assault Intercessors, and 3 Aggressors. The three Munitorum Cargo Containers are lined up down the middle, and each have objective markers on them, meaning that the Warriors have a bit of a leg up with all their Objective Secured bodies. They also can camp out on the rear objective without losing effectiveness, while the Marines would have to leave their melee-focused troops in the rear to keep racking up points, which is a more challenging prospect. It’s a simple scenario made a bit more interesting by the asymmetry of the two forces and the more detailed terrain rules.
Final Verdict 28/80:
The amount of recycled material this month is certainly bummer-adjacent. The same Battle Record, instructions, and models from Issue 09 definitely put a damper on my own enthusiasm. However, the value is still very much there – at $13.95 an issue, this issue and the following one will come in at just over half of the $50 price tag on a box of Necron Warriors. At that price point I would just grab the Recruit Edition starter set for all the extra doodads, and boxes of its ilk have definitely cratered the value of Necron Warriors, but it’s still a safer and less environmentally ruinous investment than crypto. “Necron Warriors are easy to get” is the point I’m circling around, but this is a half decent way to get them, and it’s not like you have many other Troops choices to fall back on as a Necron player. This issue is thus a somewhat unexciting middle of the road issue, but like so many middle of the road options – Chipotle, Five Guys, or Waffle House – it serves a purpose and is far better than many of its alternatives.
See you next issue, warhams.
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