SRM’s Ongoing Imperium Review: Week 34

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.

This week begins with a confession. I was initially going to open this article with a numerically based joke associated with the issue number; namely one where I encouraged an unsuspecting reader to Google “Space Marines rule 34” in some permutation, only for them to be bamboozled that it was not canon lore, but instead pornographic material. You see, we have grown close, dear reader, over these last 34 weeks and change, and have shared many a proverbial sandwich together. The meat of this sub/grinder/hero is friendship, and it is placed gingerly on the crusty bread of mutual trust and understanding. Now, I must apologize for my indiscretion, and I hope you find it within yourself to place your own condiments of understanding and forgiveness on this particular hoagie we share before cracks begin to form in this particularly strained metaphor.

The Magazine

Jack's 2020 Imperial Fists Army
Jack’s 2020 Imperial Fists Army

While we do not have a second Battle Record to fill out for our new ruin, we do have a smattering of Imperial lore and a veritable cover story on those audacious auric Astartes, the Imperial Fists. Before we get to them though, there’s some talk about the Legio Cybernetica and their Kastelan robois.

These automatous metal monsters are as destructive as they are rare, or so the lore reads. My own experiences in Tacoma this May against Goonhammer’s own Administratum Architect Andrew may make these robots seem more common than the lore declares, but that certainly would not be the first recorded divide between the background and the tabletop. We get a lovely piece of art of a Cybernetica Datasmith ordering their Kastelans around the jungle while also learning how these robots work – basically by inserting NES cartridges with programmed orders and brain bits in them, as true AI is outlawed. There’s also an all-too-brief excerpt on the Dark Mechanicum, who embrace AI and think tech-heresy is cool, actually.

We are next introduced to the Imperial Fists, Defenders of Terra. They are heralded with some lovely artwork of a traditional Space Marine Battlepile and some efficient background writing to tell you what their whole Dornian steez is. In addition to waxing about their origins and talents for siegecraft, just as much space is devoted to their hubris and how it so often bites them in their power armored keisters. There’s also that sweet piece of 8th edition art of an Imperial Fists Apothecary doing his grim work while another Fist yeets a Chaos Marine off a cliff. The picture painted of this chapter is a grim one, despite how much yellow is covering the canvas. No mention is given to their successor chapters, but I imagine more of that will come in the future, as it has for the Ultramarines before them.

The Hobby Materials

Manufactorum Ruins. Credit: SRM

This week sees a return to the Battlezone Manufactorum: Sub-Cloister and Storage Fane from issue 31, granting us sprue A, as opposed to the previous sprue B. On first glance it is nearly identical, but there are some slightly different details to keep the painting process from becoming too repetitive. My comments on the construction of this kit could be copy and pasted from that previous article, but in short it is a simple build, albeit one with an odd tongue-and-groove assembly you won’t find elsewhere. It’s only 6 pieces with no options or leftover bits, and shouldn’t take more than half an hour or so to clean up and assemble. The instructions to build and paint this ruin are borderline a repeat of issue 31’s, and again I would recommend our Manufactorum and Fronteris tutorials for good places to start from. A zenithal prime, a drybrush, some contrast and sponging will cradle you gently and take you where you need to go, like your dad carrying you in from the car after falling asleep on the ride home.

The Gaming Materials

Blood Angels Indomitus Captain. Credit: Corrode

The Primaris Captain gets an updated Datasheet this week, along with a tutorial for how to maximize his Rites of Battle Aura. This is a broadly applicable tactics article for all units with Aura abilities, but the Captain is a particularly good example since the unit is ubiquitous and his ability is so easy to understand. Other new rules cover aircraft, transports, and psychic powers, three things that do not feature in this issue’s mission at all.

Instead, this week’s mission, Sabotage, sees the Captain and a pair of 5 man Assault Intercessor squads take on a Necron Overlord, 10 Warriors, and 5 Immortals. A trio of objectives are laid out across the center of a diagonal battlefield, with our ruins and some cargo containers taking center stage. Each player gains a point per turn for each objective they hold, and whoever has the most wins. It’s a simple, straightforward, and generally enjoyable seeming mission, and should prep players for the more typical Matched Play gaming experience to come.

Final Verdict 34/80:

Kastelan Robots and a Cybernetica Datasmith
Kastelan Robots and a Cybernetica Datasmith. Credit: Pendulin

In a manner identical to issue 31, you’re spending $13.95 for half of a kit that used to retail for $60 when it was still available on its own. Sure, you could get the Command Edition 40k starter set and get this same terrain, (as well as a smattering of other models and terrain I believe we’ll see in this very publication), but if you want some cheap, effective, and quick to prepare scenery, this is exceptionally hard to beat. The narrative sections are thin this week, coming in at a scant two double-sided pages, and the hobby section is practically a reprint of issue 31’s. The rules don’t apply to much that comes up this week, but the scenario’s okay and having a more complete picture of the rules is never a bad thing. The ruins are what buoy this week’s issue, and as far as waterborne flotation devices go, they’re fairly buoyant.

See you next issue, warhams.

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