SRM’s Ongoing Imperium Review: Week 60

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.

The vagaries of warp travel/UPS/Hachette Partworks have meant that the shipment containing this week’s issue showed up extremely late, as has my resultant coverage. At the very least I can bring you, dear reader, the news that Imperium will soldier on and carry out its duty to run for 90 issues, even with 10th edition at our proverbial (and in many cases, literal) doorsteps. The rules may change, but the vibes remain good.

The Magazine

Grey Knights Army. Credit: Colin Ward

Grey Knights get the marquee treatment this week, and we get to learn just a little bit about the Imperium’s most elite cadre of daemon hunters. Founded in the twilight of the Horus Heresy by the Emperor, Malcador the Sigillite, and 8 of the most devout Space Marines around, they’ve since gone on to fight the forces of the Warp through faith, psychic powers, and arcane knowledge. Now, every time I read a book about Malcador I fall asleep, and I don’t really know how this all jives with the whole “666th chapter” thing the Grey Knights have going on, but they’re a cool faction. We also learn a bit about their fortress monastery on Titan, its Hall of Champions and Chambers of Purity. There are quite a few hooks to latch your imagination on here, and for the most part things are kept pretty mysterious. We also see some of the Grey Knight wargear, from their powerful Psycannons and Nemesis Force Swords to the groanworthy pun of Psyk-Out Grenades. The worst pun in their entire codex is the Psilencer, which is mercifully left out of this article. If you want to get a great feel for the Grey Knights, I implore you to check out Chaos Gate: Daemonhunters, it’s a real good time. They’re not even paying me to say that, I’m just a fan.

Cobalt Scions Techmarine. Credit: Charlie Brassley

Not content to call it a day there, we get to learn about the necessary weirdos who keep Space Marine chapters up and running: The Techmarines. They go to trade school on Mars for 30 years, learn how to empathize with machines, and come back ready to repair and inspire the Space Marine motor pool. They’re sort of outside the typical Space Marine culture due to their time studying with the Adeptus Mechanicus, and I think most narratives about them lean on that pretty heavily. There’s a short blurb about Techmarine equipment and a slightly longer one about Servitors, one of the most quintessentially 40k concepts out there. It’s kind of a shame they don’t have more in the way of model support, because lobotomized cyborg manservants doomed to perform the same rote task until they die, naturally or otherwise, is so 40k it hurts. It’s also something that feels dangerously close to a reality now. Trust me, I’ve worked food service.

The Hobby Materials

Black Templars Primaris Outriders. Credit: SRM

This issue contains part 2 of our Outrider Excursion, containing the remaining 2 bikers and parts to build the one we received in Issue 59. This kit goes together easily; without glue even, and with a little bit of craftiness an intrepid converter could swap the arms and heads around. In the picture above I simply added a tilting plate, performed a headswap or two, and called it a day. I would advise following the instructions fairly closely since there’s a certain order to putting these guys together, and they only go together in a very certain way. Regrettably, a nasty seam runs down the middle of these bikes. I’m no sprue designer and my 3D modeling skillset doesn’t go far beyond an exhaustive donut modeling tutorial in Blender and some genuinely ghastly work from my college days, but I feel like there has to be some way to solve for this. The older, smol Marine bikes had this same issue, and the identically named Outrider bikes from the Horus Heresy line have their own solution.

There is also an extensive painting tutorial for Outriders in this issue, taking them from basecoats to highlights on almost every surface. It’s genuinely exhaustive, with no detail being too small for coverage. The only thing missing is highlights on the blue armor – most of the model by volume, mind you – as we do not yet have a pot of a lighter blue with which to highlight. Even still, if I saw models painted to this standard on the tabletop, I would be thrilled to play against them.

The Gaming Materials

Sisters of Battle Seraphim
Sisters of Battle Seraphim. Credit: Corrode

Contrary to what one may expect, this week’s scenario does not focus on our shiny new Outriders. While there are full rules and a tutorial for them, plus many associated Space Marine faction rules, our mission is instead Sisters-focused. This week’s scenario, Assaulting the Basilica, sees 50PL each of Necrons and Imperials duking it out. The Necrons must take an Overlord and 2 Troop choices, with the remainder of their PL being free to spend. The Imperials must take a Canoness, 10 Battle Sisters, 5 Seraphim, and 1 other Troop choice before spending their excess PL. It’s possible they could squeeze in an Outrider squad, but depending on what they take in that Troop slot, it could be difficult. The Canoness and Battle Sister squad must deploy dead center in the table’s only terrain – a square of ruins representing the titular Basilica. The remainder of the Imperial forces must be divided evenly between the two corners of their table edge, with the Necrons splitting their own force between their respective corners. Whoever holds the objective in the middle at the end of turn 5 wins. I’ve played countless missions like this over the years. Some end quickly, with the defenders being overrun in the center and the attackers handily holding their holdout for the remainder of the game. Some are thrilling, desperate affairs, with the cavalry arriving in the nick of time and saving the day. Whichever way this pans out, I’m happy to see an asymmetrical mission.

Final Verdict 60/90:

Outriders. Credit: Rockfish
Outriders. Credit: Rockfish

On its own, this issue is kind of a rough sell – you really need issue 59 to make a complete unit of 3 Outriders, and with the new squad sizes being defined based on box size, just getting a biker or two wouldn’t do you much good anyway. Normally $60 is the going rate for 3 Outriders, but these two issues will only set you back a combined $27.90, saving you more than half off the normal price. I’m no mathemagician, but that sounds pretty good to me! The laboriously thorough painting tutorial in this issue may prove genuinely useful to anyone painting these bikers, and while the fluff sections are short, they’re covering some fun material.

See you next issue, warhams.

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