SRM’s Ongoing Imperium Review: Week 39

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.

Welcome to the final Imperium review of the year – you’ve made it! No, we’ve made it. We’re perilously close to the midpoint of this series, and I hope you will join me in the new year to go over the veritable mountain of plastic that will be yeeted at my door by my FedEx guy.

The Magazine

Adeptus Mechanicus - Kataphron Breachers
Adeptus Mechanicus – Kataphron Breachers
Credit: Pendulin

We are nearing the end for the war for Tsiphos, the Moonbase Klaisus-esque warzone we have been fighting over since issue 21. This final battle will be the the Siege of Bastion Primus, and the Necron noose is closing around the throats of the Imperial defenders. Our Battle Record this week is not detailing a particular unit, but is instead a Mad Lib to fill in with our game results. This week’s mission – to be detailed in a later paragraph – will impact next week’s, determining the Attacker and Defender. There is a space to write the outcome of these two battles, and ultimately define the fate of Tsiphos. There are cute little victory screens written at the bottom here for our two results. Should the Imperials win, they drive the Necrons off Tsiphos and must continue their battle whilst mourning their dead. If the Necrons emerge victorious, they control Tsiphos and will continue hunting and exterminating humans wherever they find them. These may sound fairly similar to you. There is Only War, after all.

We have another short story, a continuation of issue 29’s Into the Swarm. Even if this story were particularly well-written (which it is not) it would be hard to remember the details of a two-page story you read 10 weeks ago. Typos are occasional but present, and confusingly placed pronouns make it unclear whether they are referring to the Tyranids or Blood Angel heroes at multiple points. I don’t know if the short stories just aren’t given the same oversight as the rest of the magazine, but the writing quality of this particular piece of bolter porn isn’t especially inspiring.

Skitarii Vanguard. Credit: Rockfish
Skitarii Vanguard. Credit: Rockfish

We get details on not 1, not 5, but 4 new forge worlds this week. As someone who is, at best, cog-curious, these were largely new to me, and I don’t know why all the cool Adeptus Mechanicus schemes were saved for now. Triplex Phall, despite sounding like a movie theater with only 3 screens like the one where I saw Machete for $5 in 2010, is amongst these. Their whole steez is unearthing ancient tech and keeping it to themselves, which is a very Admech thing to do. They look cool doing it in their black and cream uniforms. Deimos, wearing an aqua and red uniform, are the personal forge of the Grey Knights. The lede is well and truly buried here, as they earned that honor by moving Mars’ moon to Titan. This is, according to an extremely Web 1.0 website for children I checked, “…about 1,200.401 million kilometer or about 8.0241 AU (astronomical unit)”. That is quite far. The next forge world is Voss Prime, who have an absolutely sick quartered red and yellow scheme like the Howling Griffons. There’s a real Renaissance look with this scheme and the big honkin’ wooden rifles Skitarii have. They mine planets hollow and turn them into floating fortresses, and their plasma guns are bad, probably as a joke. Lastly, we have Gryphonne IV. Their scheme has white robes and caution striped pants, and their lore is that they mostly got eaten by Tyranids. They can’t all be winners.

The Hobby Materials

Mutoid Mek. Credit: SRM

As the hobby section is largely a reprint of issue 32’s section regarding Kataphron Destroyers, I thought I would share a personal narrative from my Dorkamorka days. With 2016 dawning before any of us knew just how horrendous that year would be, one of our group members held a conversion contest. Jack, sweetheart that he was, is, and will continue to be, gave everyone a Kataphron sprue to work with and would piece out a Betrayal at Calth set to the winners. I was painting Blood Axe Orks at the time, and as a huge fan of Smash TV, I thought making my own Big Mek would be in order. This isn’t even my first time linking this video in this series, but Smash TV absolutely rips and is worth your time and quarters. Anywhomst, this Big Mek, alternately a Big Mek with Kustom Force Field or Mega Armored Mek with something or other, regularly found his way into my army lists. When it came time for judgment, he took first place, and I proudly took home a sprue of Cataphractii Terminators for my efforts. It’s a fun kit to work with, and the opportunities for Ork or Chaos techno-weirdos make for strong conversion fodder.

The Gaming Materials

Kataphron Breachers. Credit: Rockfish
Kataphron Breachers. Credit: Rockfish

This section continues on from the previous issue, detailing the end of the Fight phase through the Morale phase. This leads into our mission this week, wherein we must Stem the Tide. It continues on from the narrative earlier this issue, emphasizing how dire this climactic stage of the battle for Tsiphos is. The Necrons are attempting to keep open portals to teleport in more reinforcements, while the Adeptus Mechanicus defenders are trying to disrupt these portals and avoid being overwhelmed. The Mechanicus forces, consisting of their Tech-Priest Dominus, Tech-Priest Enginseer, 10 Skitarii Rangers and 2 Kataphron Destroyers, must cross the board and seize one or both of these objectives to win. The Necrons holding these objectives consist of a Technomancer, 10 Warriors, 5 Immortals, and a solitary Tomb Blade. It’s a lot of ground to cover for a bunch of fairly slow Mechanicus units, but I feel the grinding advance of those Kataphrons, with some topping off by the Tech-Priests, could tip this in the Mechanicus’ favor. As with a few recent issues, this is an asymmetrical mission and I very much appreciate that.

Final Verdict 38/80:

Kataphron Breachers. Credit: Corrode

Much like in issue 32, this is $20 of model in a $13.95 bag. It’s a good savings, even if it very much is putting the “part” in “partworks” to get one kit over 3 issues spread across 9 weeks. I don’t know all the intricacies of the kit as my experiences are making an Orky weirdo, but you generally need bits from the first sprue on the models included this week and next, so it might even be a tricky one for those of you who purchase issues at a brick and mortar establishment. The lore in this issue varies in quality, but if you’re following along with the war for Tsiphos at home, this would be a good issue to pick up.

See you next year, warhams.

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