SRM’s Ongoing Imperium Review: Week 63

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 Tacticoolification of Space Marines is an odd choice to me. Odder still is how it was worked into the Primaris aesthetic so early, well before the more typical knightly look. While I can picture the more straight-laced chapters like Ultramarines or Raven Guard doing the Phobos/recon thing, can you really see the Black Templars doing it? The Carcharadons? Nobody has to do anything with their own armies, and I do have my own plans for how to introduce some sneaky bois into my own Black Templars army (due largely in part to their solid rules and lovely models, included in this very issue), but it’s not exactly a one size fits all choice. It’s kind of like those folks who collect Raptors so they can have the Army Men Space Marines, when that’s kind of missing the point about these fanatical superhumans with jetpacks and chainsaw swords.

The Magazine

Ultramarines Infiltrators. Credit: SRM

We open on a full page about Space Marine Infiltrators, legally distinct from Scouts and far better equipped. They’ve got smoke grenades, medical equipment, sneaky power armor and marskman bolt carbines, and we get little boxouts on what each of those do. Naturally, since we have a new unit, we get a new Battle Record:

Gaius Strabo led his eponymous squad through the shadows of the Manufactorum. The Pringalian Spudstacks of Derek’s Mom’s Dining Table IV had been mauled in the Necron bombardment, but that fortunately gave his squad ample places to hide. Squad Strabo, “The Silent Band”, specialized in disruption and sabotage, and where better to disrupt the enemy than where they felt safest? The child of a chapter serf, Strabo was the closest the Ultramarines 2nd Company got to a legacy admission. There was some grumbling from his squadmates about this, largely from Rufius, who didn’t have much room to talk being the third scion of a noble house. Strabo silenced his overprivileged brother with a hand motion as a Canoptek Spyder drifted through the manufactorum floor. It was gathering components of its fallen Necron comrades, no doubt to reassemble them and return them to the front line. With a curt chop of Strabo’s hand, Corporal Caio (the third scion of an entirely different noble house) opened fire on the construct. It turned towards him dumbly, only for Caio’s combat squad to add their fire to his. Tarqus, a warrior from a feudal world, leapt up from cover and started blasting away at the Canoptek construct next. The Spyder started firing wildly, unable to focus on a single target. Then, with one perfect shot, Strabo ended the mechanical monstrosity, cracking open its faceplate with a single boltround. Their duty done for the moment, the members of Squad Strabo melted back into the shadows, prepared to carry out their next operation.

The Hobby Materials

Imperial Fists Primaris Eliminator Squad
Imperial Fists Primaris Eliminator Squad. Credit: Jack Hunter

Much like the Sisters-centric issues before it, this issue contains an at-first incoherent arrangement of models: 3 Space Marine Infiltrators, a single Suppressor, and a similarly lonesome Eliminator. This was one of the sprues that came in 2019’s Shadowspear box set and the previous iteration of the Space Marine Combat Patrol. Those sets had full sized units of each of these units included, broken up over 3 sprues, with this one being duplicated. The models here are genuinely lovely, and fit in wonderfully alongside their multipart brethren. There are a couple head options for the Eliminator and you can easily swap or reposition the heads on all the models in here. I intend to do so when I eventually add the Infiltrators to my Black Templars.

The bulk of this issue is taken up by extensive tutorials on how to build and paint these respective units. There’s not much to the assembly section – just a few tips and hints here and there on some easy to build models – but the painting section is downright luxurious. Where before we have often gotten a small update to a previous unit we have collected, showing how to use a new paint or technique on a half-finished model, here we have a start to finish guide to painting these Vanguard Space Marines. I was impressed when they even had a guide for freehanding the camo patterns on the Eliminator cloaks, something I really wish I had back when I painted my own Shadowspear set back in 2019. It’s a great tutorial, and could easily be followed on any model in a Space Marine collection.

The Gaming Materials

Suppressors. Credit: Corrode

This issue contains datasheets for Infiltrators, Eliminators, and Suppressors, plus helpful tutorials for each of their special abilities. I feel like learning a game is hard enough before exceptions like “ignores Line of Sight” or “ignores Look Out, Sir” get introduced, so these tutorials are helpful.

This week’s mission, Crucial Resupply, is one I’m really into. The story is thus: Necron air cover is too dense to allow an Imperial landing, so Imperial supplies are being dropped from orbit. The Imperials need these heavy weapons and materiel to continue their advance, while the Necrons want to choke them out. This 50 Power Level game (about 1000 points) has a 3×3 grid of spots where these supplies will drop over the course of the game. Players score points for each they hold. This is wonderfully random while still being at least somewhat predictable, as there’s only so many places for them to drop.

Final Verdict 63/90:

Primaris Eliminator
Primaris Eliminator. Credit: Eifert Posting

As mentioned before, these models came most recently in a Space Marine Combat Patrol, which retails for $160. The Impulsor in that box clocks in at $80, so you’re looking at $80 for the 3 remaining sprues, which contained a Phobos Lieutenant, 10 Infiltrators, 3 Eliminators, and 3 Suppressors. That comes out to $26.66 per sprue, so the $13.95 cover price on this issue is a solid value for the models alone. Also, at the moment this is the only way to get Suppressors, so if you’re really jonesing for jumpy bois, here ya go. This is likely the crunchiest issue yet, with so many pages devoted to painting and playing the game, with the least amount of narrative content so far. Depending what you’re here for, that might be a problem, but the great value of the models, the comprehensive painting tutorials, and fun mission should more than make up for that.

See you next issue, warhams.

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