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.
Part of me wishes I had the diligence, purity of purpose, and painting speed required to paint every single model from this magazine, all in time for publication on this very website. How cool would it be to lay out the entire run of Imperium, painted, on a table together? Not even GW’s done that in their official material! While the true Final Battle at Derek’s Mom’s Dining Table IV may not quite be able to manifest as such, know that when this series is finally over, we will settle it once and for all. Maybe by then it’ll be 10th edition. Maybe by then my regular Sisters and Necron opponents will have a new lease on their respective armies and will be excited to take them to the table for their own sake, not just to satisfy A Bit on a website they don’t write for. Should they require bribery, I at least know what kinds of beer they both like.
The entire lore section this week is dedicated to a pair of Battle Records: one for our new Penitent Engine, and one for our Repentia Superior. These two sections do what most Battle Records do, detailing equipment, providing a bit of lore about these particular units, and giving the opportunity to personalize your models with their own stories. I especially enjoy the Penitent Engine’s section, since in addition to having Name and Crime Tables, it has a little Path to Redemption checklist where you can redeem this penitent of their crimes after completing a few objectives. It’s very cute. The Repentia Superior’s section tells why Sisters of the Order of Our Martyred Lady dye their hair white and what all their doodads and burning braziers are for. Their duties are also given explanation, including their off-battlefield task of reminding Sisters Repentia of their failings and guilt so that their self-loathing remains strong. Here I was just thinking that was my aunt’s job.
Subject: Vidka. Crime: Murder. Sentence: Penitence.
They were the last words he heard as a free man. These six words echoed through what remained of Vidka’s mind as he burned and sawed his way through the mechanical horrors of the Necron host. His flamers burned, buzz-blades cut, and torment amplifiers skyrocketed his feelings of guilt and self-loathing, all of which he took out on the ranks upon ranks of Necron Warriors ahead of him. Derek’s Mom’s Dining Table IV was infected, and Vidka would not be redeemed until every last drop of the xenos poison had been purged.
Not one to be outdone by some common criminal, Repentia Superior Isidora Talasan, The Blessed Blade, whipped her fellow Sisters into a frenzy. Razor of the Apostate, her sacred whip, cracked in her right hand, as her bolt pistol, Penitent’s Breath, spoke louder than words in her right. “Show them the meaning of faith!” she shouted, attempting to drown out the din of battle. The Necron host before her had no concept for what faith even was, but it would be delivered upon them just the same.
The Hobby Materials
We are given another 10 miniatures this month: the second of three sprues from the Sisters of Battle launch box that was later included in the Combat Patrol. This particular sprue contains 4 Battle Sisters, 2 Repentia, 1 Repentia Superior, 1 Arco-Flagellant, 1 Seraphim, and most exciting of all, a Penitent Engine. These models highly prescriptive in their instructions, with few choices to make save for which head you use where and how you angle it. Even with their limited options, each of these models is expressively posed and genuinely gorgeous. There are some kits and ranges where you can tell the Citadel designers went hard, and the Adepta Sororitas range is certainly one where they went hardest. The instructions walk you through how to build each of these models, with extra care given to the Penitent Engine – it is the star of the show, after all, and one of the larger models included in Imperium thus far. The paint guide will get your Sisters looking battle-ready quickly, with instructional phrases like “Apply a heavy Drybrush to the smouldering corpse on the flamer-wielding Sister’s base.” The limitations of the paints supplied in Imperium are starting to really be felt here, as the unhighlighted black armor of these sisters in the Order of Our Martyred Lady scheme looks flat. The lack of a skintone is also keenly felt, as the Repentia, Arco-Flagellants, and titular penitent of the Penitent Engine all have an awful lot of exposed flesh. Corax White with a Reikland Fleshshade wash is still the best we’ve got. It makes them look sickly and pallid, like they grew up in a cave, or, heaven forbid, England. These color limitations aside, the models own, the painting instructions are solid, and it’s genuinely helpful to see such a granular approach to painting miniatures as detailed as these.
The Gaming Materials
The Repentia Superior and Penitent Engine get datasheets and accompanying tutorials for their Driven Onwards and Endless Suffering abilities, respectively. Some tricks, like consolidating onto objectives after fighting are given some textual real estate here, and while I can only imagine tutorials for abilities like these are starting to get a little repetitive, it’s good to clear up any ambiguity.
In a first for the series, this issue’s mission takes up a centerfold, I guess to really sell that this is a big mission. We set up three of the included mats from all across Imperium‘s run for a 66″x30″ bowling alley of a map, and we’re using almost everything we’ve gotten in Imperium thus far. All the Marines, all the Sisters, and all the Necrons join in for one big party – the fittingly named Overwhelming Assault. Ultramarines reinforcements have joined the Sororitas defenders of the basilica’s shield generators, and the Necron Overlord is personally leading an assault to destroy it. The Imperial defenders are given the center mat to deploy on, while Necron attackers split their force between the two far edges. I believe there is a typo here as the defender is told to put 4 objective markers down but only 2 are shown on the map, and they’re to be placed in specific locations. I think it’s meant to say 2, given the volatility of the mission. If the attacker is able to perform a Critical Overload action on either objective, they win the game. Said action doesn’t complete until their following Command phase, so there’s dramatic opportunity for the Imperial defenders to stop them. The game lasts a typical 5 turns. I like this mission quite a bit, and I think it’s perfect to show how you can have an asymmetrical narrative mission without going hard in the paint on Crusade or whatever.
Final Verdict 49/90:
In my 46th entry of this series, I did the napkin math required to ascertain that this sprue would cost something like $17.33 if you could somehow divorce it from the Combat Patrol box it is being sold in. However, since that entry, the price of Combat Patrols has gone up by $10, meaning this sprue would now be more like $20.66 on its own. That’s already a solid savings given the $13.95 cover price, but given a multipart version of the included Penitent Engine would be $30 on its own, this particular Imperial pie is worthwhile any which way you slice it.
The included hobby materials will be helpful for anybody starting with Adepta Sororitas, and the included mission is one I genuinely want to play with my own forces. While the lore section was truncated due to the sheer depth of the painting and modeling tutorials this week, I think this is one of Imperium‘s strongest issues to-date.
See you next issue, warhams.
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