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.
At this particular point in time, 10th edition 40k is all but confirmed. Will we have learned 9th edition 40k in its entirety, via Imperium, in time for the release? With 40 issues and as many weeks to go, I do not believe so. 40 weeks from the date of this article’s publication will be December 30th – the penultimate day of the year – and some time beyond the typical summer release window for a big edition launch. Maybe making this magazine just wasn’t in the cards in 2019, or it would have eaten into sales of the then-new Indomitus and starter set boxes. As a Certified Business Genius who forgot to charge shipping on his own merch store for a month, I can’t really say.
Despite the included gaggle of Necron royalty (and royalty-adjacent cryptoweirdos), we only have information on the Canoptek Reanimator. The Ewan McGregor lookalike Inquisitor Leonid Rostov presents an in-universe study of this War of the Worlds-esque walker, detailing its equipment, abilities, and weaknesses. Naturally, that is followed with a Battle Record to fill out.
Pvt. Skub Guntney ducked beneath the emerald blast and dove into the trench below. His squadmates were catching their breath in the momentary quiet before another green beam atomized the flakboard Jenkins was hiding behind, and Jenkins with it. The source of this spitting death was the Cycloptic Ghoul, a Necron construct silently stalking its way towards the trenches. Its patrol always stopped just short of the trench itself; it was definitely protecting something, Skub thought. He took a few shots at it with his lasgun and it utterly ignored him. In that moment, and in that way, it reminded Skub of his father. He dwelled on that for a moment before taking cover again, and filed that thought away for later.
We next get a section on the Adepta Soritas Matriarchs, the 6 martyrs who inspired each of the major Orders. Each of these are represented in what looks like a trading card with a CliffsNotes version of their personality and martyrdom, each more grimdark than the last. We’ve learned a bit about these Orders before, and this week the Order of the Sacred Rose is the subject of that focus. Their belief is that the Emperor acts through His lowliest servants, so they are often accompanied by a zealous rabble. Maybe someday we’ll get Frateris Militia or something similar to join them, but for now that’s largely represented in the art and narrative, not the tabletop. The Order of the Ebon Chalice gets the other side of the page. This Order of perfectionists focuses mostly on rooting out heresy and sedition in Imperial territory instead of venturing out and capturing new worlds. These sections don’t have as much meat to them as the similar Space Marine ones, but that can be owed to there being far more written material for [insert author’s pet chapter here] than any of these Orders.
The Hobby Materials
The five models in this issue are quite a haul – a Necron Skorpekh Lord, Canoptek Reanimator, Plasmancer, and a pair of trashcan-esque Cryptothralls. They’re all beautiful models, first seen in the Indomitus launch set at the beginning of 9th edition 40k. None of these models have any posing options or alternate builds, and the instructions are clear about how fragile they are. The painting instructions will certainly get you by, walking through each gribbly detail and even explaining how to paint the structural basing materials on these guys. There’s a lot of edge highlighting here which I think really elevates these models, even if the wash pooling on the all-over shade application looks kinda crummy to me. Personally, I’d just wash the recesses and leave the flat areas alone. Parts of the weapons and various inscrutable orbs are still left white, as we’re waiting on some shades of green to give these Necrons their characteristic glow.
The Gaming Materials
Curiously, the only new datasheet this issue is for the Canoptek Reanimator, with the other models being left on the sidelines. There is a helpful illustrated tutorial to teach how the Reanimator’s aura abilities work and how they combine with existing Reanimation Protocols rules. The Skorpekh Lord, instead of leading his forces, is relegated to an objective marker in this week’s mission, Reanimation. Eh, it’s a living. The Necron force consists of a Technomancer, Canoptek Reanimator, 10 Warriors, 3 Scarab Swarms, and a Canoptek Spyder, while the Sisters defenders (here mislabeled “Ultramarines”) consist of a Canoness, Repentia Superior, 7 Battle Sisters, 3 Seraphim, 3 Sisters Repentia, 2 Arco-Flagellants, and a Penitent Engine. It’s a weird force of
Ultramarines Sisters owing to the partworks nature of this magazine. There are two objectives that the Necron player must perform Actions on to reanimate their Skorpekh Lord. If they do both, they win the game. It doesn’t say when these Actions complete or if the Necron player needs to accomplish both, so an extra sentence or two would have been nice to make that more clear.
Final Verdict 50/90:
This issue is an absolutely wild value, and likely the best Imperium is bound to get. The models included are, at time of writing, only available in the Necrons Royal Court set, which retails at $125. At a $13.95 cover price, you’re saving just shy of 90% off MSRP. Part of that is down to that set potentially being extremely expensive for a single sprue of not altogether that large models, but if you wanted to get them, this would be the most economical means of doing so. The rest of the content this week is pleasantly written or highly instructive, and the mission could be decent were it given another editing pass.
See you next issue, warhams.
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