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.
As I write this, 10th edition is seemingly right around the corner. It’s going to be playable at Warhammer Fest not too long after this article goes live, which means the lid is likely going to be completely blown off the new edition by Warcom. This will hopefully curb dozens of microcelebrity nanoinfluencers or whatever from making speculative claims based on half-remembered Twitter threads and Dakka posts, but Posters are gonna Post. I will continue this journey through 9th edition undaunted, but it makes me think something like this magazine series would have been better served had it come out earlier in the edition, so it could conclude its run with time to spare.
With no Batttle Record in sight, we’ve got a pretty diesel selection of lore this week. In short, I would call this “late 7th to early 8th edition: the extremely short version” but I don’t want to be too reductive. We open with two pages on Vigilus, the curiously well-defined world where a bunch of our favorite 40k characters came together in a comic book brawl where nobody died; or if they did, it didn’t stick. This isn’t even the CliffsNotes of the two-book series about this world, which was so dense we only covered the first on the Badcast before moving on to something easier and dumber. You really do owe it to yourself to read those books, as this truncated version leaves out all sorts of stuff, like the post office cannon on the moon that kills people with ballistic Amazon deliveries.
The following section gives a brief overview of the Sisters of Battle motor pool, and fortunately they do not bury the lede of “church organ artillery tank” here. The Immolator, Exorcist, Castigator, and ubiquitous Rhino are each given a little boxout describing what they do. Paragon Warsuits round out the selection of Sororitas vehicles, and while I still think they look a bit silly, they’re a useful addition to the army.
Slaughter in The Rift (emphasis theirs) is a short story about the Castellans of the Rift fighting the Black Legion. The loyalists need to wade through a tide of cultists and a squad of Chaos Legionnaires to destroy a Noctilith Crown, which is doing evil energy stuff. Things seem bleak until some Eradicators show up and live up to their namesake. It’s not a particularly novel story, but it is written fairly well and I enjoyed my brief time reading it.
The next Sisters Order to get fleshed out is the Order of the Bloody Rose, which you may know as “the Sisters that punch good” if you’ve ever been on the receiving end of one of their charges. These red-armored Sisters (not Khorne affiliated, we promise) are more about slaughtering heretics than saving innocents, and would prefer to do this up close and personal. Instead of meditating they just choose to get really mad, which is something my therapist would have a field day with. There’s some lovely art accompanying this article, and I can definitely see the appeal of the faction. Their name also always makes me think of Bloody Tears, so that’s nice.
Lastly, we get a big ol’ foldout on the Fracture of Biel-Tan, the birth of Ynnead, and all the characters involved. It’s a who’s who of the Eldar, with Yvraine, the Visarch, the Yncarne, Eldrad, Prince Yriel, Jain-Zar, and Lilith Hesperax all making appearances. The story suffers from a lot of “By god it’s Skarbrand with the folding chair!” sort of events, but maybe these didn’t feel like such big asspulls in the Gathering Storm books. It kinda reads like someone summarizing an entire phase of the MCU in an article half the length of this one. Credit to them for trying, it’s a lot of ground to cover.
The Hobby Materials
This week is Triarch Stalker: Part 2: The Revenge, and includes the remaining sprue to finish our regal scuttling friend. While you’ll need to refer back to last week’s issue to properly finish building the big guy, this week has the instructions for how to paint them. As the model is large and spindly, hobbyists are instructed to hold one half at a time while painting it. Being a model from 2011, big bases weren’t as common, so there’s no 45 record-sized base for this guy, and you have to hold the physical model to paint it. I wish Triarch Stalkers had a base as that removes a lot of ambiguity from the game, but it is what it is. The painting instructions are for the most part pretty standard, but they do introduce glazing near the end. After you 420glazeit, some simple battle damage is to be painted on. This is definitely a bit more advanced than most of what I’ve seen in Imperium, and I’d be happy to see a painter level up alongside it.
The Gaming Materials
We get our first Necron-specific stratagems this issue, a set of 4 with names like “Techno-Oracular Targeting” that can be used by some of the models we’ve gathered thus far. There’s a quick little tutorial for a few of these as well. The main attraction here is the datasheet for the Triarch Stalker, the biggest and meanest model included in Imperium thus far. The Stalker has its own tutorial page, detailing its Targeting Relay and Quantum Shielding rules, so there should be no questions when we embark on this week’s mission: The Triarch. This Necron rules lawyer is here to shape up the Necron forces and make sure they overrun an Imperial weapons storage facility. The stacked Necrons in this matchup have an Overlord, Techomancer, Plasmancer, 10 Warriors, 5 Immortals, 2 Cryptothralls, and the titular Triarch. The Imperial defenders consist of a Canoness, 7 Battle Sisters, a Repentia Superior, 3 Repentia, 2 Arco-Flagellants, 1 Penitent Engine, 1 Tech-Priest Dominus, 1 Tech-Priest Enginseer, 10 Skitarii Rangers, and 3 Kataphron Destroyers. The Tech-Priests are a bit redundant with the shortage of Imperial vehicles and the Sisters squad sizes are still wackadoo since we haven’t gotten their last sprue yet, but it’s what we got. The mission this week is “long ways” or “Hammer and Anvil” deployment depending on how formal/old you are. There’s 5 objectives to fight over, with bonus points for holding more than your opponent and destroying the enemy warlord. I think the Necrons have the upper hand this week with their more coherent force and small bushel of stratagems to play with, and the Triarch Stalker will be tough for the Imperials to deal with.
Final Verdict 53/90:
We got a good one this week, folks. As the requisite part 2 to the previous week’s issue, this installment of Imperium is necessary if you want the Triarch Stalker. I did the math last time, but you’re looking at $27.90 for a $60 model kit all told, which is a banger value. The rules included this week are going to be extremely useful to a developing Necron player, the painting tutorial has a good new trick or two to share, and the lore section is fully featured with some great stories held within. The mission isn’t going to blow any minds, but it’s perfectly serviceable and seems like it would be an enjoyable Matched Play-style scenario to play.
See you next issue, warhams.
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