Imperium is a weekly hobby magazine from Hachette Partworks. In this 90-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.
If some iteration of Derek’s Mom’s Dining Table IV finds its way into an official Games Workshop publication I will do a backflip, immediately break both of my ankles, and thank Games Workshop for the privilege.
Our cover star this week is Saint Celestine, one of the most beloved special characters across all of Warhammer’s various flavors and iterations. As a martyred Repentia of the Order of Our Martyred Lady, she was miraculously resurrected, only to find cool armor and a cooler sword. When she arose from her tomb, she was surrounded by a John Woo-esque cloud of doves and horrible Imperial cyberbabies, and she was pronounced a Living Saint. The Geminae Superia are her two flygirls, always in attendance. I don’t really know what their deal is. Celestine lives, she dies, she lives again, and will keep doing so, inspiring the people around her and striking fear in the hearts of anyone who gets in her way. It’s a quick little crash course on the Sisters’ oldest special character, a hero who has consistently had one of the best models for her time.
We next get a small exposé on Sithoza, a system I have either never heard of or purged from my memory immediately upon first reading it. The war for Vigilus sucked in many surrounding worlds, and the Sithoza system contained a few of them. This system was where Imperials were loading up on supplies as the guns of Vigilus started to run dry, and naturally there were more Chaos forces hanging out there being a nuisance. Black Templars, Imperial Fists, the Raven Guard, and then a bunch of C-listers like the Fire Lords and Mantis Warriors found their way into this particular warzone. On the feudal world of Hediarth, feudal feuds between the fuedal fiefdoms flowered into full on Chaos corruption, and fortunately the Sisters of Battle preceptories there were able to “[slaughter] thousands in order to preserve the sanctity of the world”. When there maybe were too many dudes to slaughter and not enough boltrounds to do so, the Black Templars showed up and helped in the only way Templars know how. It doesn’t sound like a particularly hard uprising to put down for the Imperials. It makes me think of when you’re playing Skyrim or something and you’re running around with a pair of flaming swords and armor made out of the bones of a dragon you killed, and some poor schmuck with a rusty knife is like “oh, I can definitely take this guy” shortly before you yell them off a cliff.
We next learn about the Deathwatch, The Shield That Slays. Each chapter ships off a few of their best to the Deathwatch so they can hunt down the nastiest aliens the galaxy has to offer. They paint their armor black, as they don’t expect to return alive. Some friction arises from the clashing cultures of different chapters forced into squads together, but that’s all the better for coming up with cool narratives for your dudes, and it makes sense that they made a whole RPG about it. As the most elite of the most elite (save for the Grey Knights, who are somehow even more elite, depending who you ask) they get access to all kinds of specialized equipment, some of which gets described here. On the one hand, you have Xenophase swords, mysterious blades of possibly xenos origin. On the other, you have frag cannons, which are just the flak cannon from Unreal Tournament 2004.
Lastly, we get to learn a bit about the non-militant orders of the Adepta Sororitas. These are often Sisters who are on the front line, but have more of a supporting role. The Orders Hospitaller are battlefield surgeons, physicians, and nurses who tend to all of the armies of the Imperium, save for Space Marines. They are seen as saintly by their patients, and are one of the few compassionate arms of the Imperium. Orders Dialogus are codebreakers, vox operators, translators, scholars, and advisors, who relay orders and prayers in battle. Orders Famulous are diplomats charged with making Imperial noble families and the like play nice together, but don’t really have any roles on the battlefield. Lastly there are Orders Pronatus, who are the Sisters tasked with protecting holy relics and the like. These would be units like the Triumph of Saint Katherine, or other relic-bearing Sororitas. I don’t feel like Sisters necessarily need more units as the range is pretty well fleshed out, but there’s definitely room to expand into some of these orders if the designers or some intrepid hobbyist felt like it.
The Hobby Materials
We return to our unit of Necron Tomb Blades from 21 weeks ago, and finally reinforce that unit with a second floaty roboner. The instructions are not appreciably different, as it is the exact same model, but the painting section has since been expanded. In the intervening weeks we have gained so much knowledge about highlighting and targeted shading, and that is all utilized in this week’s painting tutorial. Hobbyists are also instructed to carry these techniques over onto their legions of rank and file Necron Warriors, which are starting to look pretty dang good.
The Gaming Materials
This week’s scenario is Forcing a Breach. I would have called it Life’s a Breach, and Then You Die, but Games Workshop turned down my job application in 2016. This week we get our choice of two armies each for the Imperials and Necrons, but each respective side has the same cadre of HQ units leading their respective force. We’re getting to the point where listing each army’s constituent parts will balloon the wordcount of this article by half, so I’ll dispense with the formalities and say that you’re basically getting all the Sisters or Admech we’ve collected thus far with a bushel of Marines, or your choice of a Canoptek or Warriors-heavy Necron force. Both armies available have their own synergies and abilities that work with their respective commanders, and much like last week, this should do a bit to help teach how army construction can work, and why you might take one HQ choice over another depending on your build. This mission has four objectives and units will need to perform an Action to either breach or secure said objective. Each Action does the same thing; the name is just a narrative distinction. It’s a straightforward mission, as the focus this week is on choosing different army lists. I’d suggest players try a game out with each list to get a feel for just how different two builds of the same army can be.
Final Verdict 57/90:
Since our last visit to the Tomb Blade Depot, prices have increased, and instead of $55 for a trio of these bad to the robone space bikers, it’s $60. While no consumer likes price increases, that does mean the value of this issue has gotten a smidge better, as you’re getting a $20 model for $13.95. At no point am I going to revisit previous entries in this series to update them to modern pricing, save instances such as this. While I may not genuinely have better things to do, the very notion makes me tired, and I would prefer not to. As for the rest of this issue, the fluff section is enjoyable and shows a few corners of the Imperium readers may not have encountered yet. The hobby section will certainly get you by, and the scenario this week does a decent job at teaching players just how much variety a single faction can hold.
See you next issue, warhams.
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