SRM’s Ongoing Imperium Review: Week 64

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.

Man, if you said the words “Imperium 64″ to me as a kid, I would imagine it was the sickest videogame ever made. Alas, this is not an article about a forgotten gem of the early polygonal era of videogames, but a review of the 64th issue of our favorite Warhammer partworks magazine: Imperium. While this series may be entering its final trimester, in the near future we will have Stormbringer, which will be doing a similar thing for Age of Sigmar. Register your interest over there, tell em Campbell sent ya.

The Magazine

Deathmarks. Credit: Rockfish
Deathmarks. Credit: Rockfish

Necron Deathmarks take center stage this issue, and we learn about what these sneaky assassin androids (assassandroids? whatever) can do. Their Synaptic Disintegrator rifles disintegrate neural pathways of whatever they hit, which I’m pretty sure is what meth does. Synaptic Disintegrators: Not Even Once. These snipers seldom miss, with their occult monoeyes giving them excellent vision, the better to see their prey. An Imperial Commissar provides an in-universe blurb, detailing the autopsies of those slain by these very weapons. There might be a slight singe on their clothes, but otherwise, they’re just dead as hell. Honestly, as far as ways to die in 40k go, you could do worse.

The uncouth tongue of the Imperial vermin called this world “Derek’s Mom’s Dining Table IV”. Were they as ancient as Makhret The Magnificent, they would know it by its Necron designation: Solemn Crag. In an effort to restore this glorious, Craggy name to this benighted world, Makhret the Magnificent, Right Hand of the Triarch, Loyal Retainer of the Silent King, tasked his finest Legions to sever the foul, fleshy head of the Imperial command.
The Bloodied Annihilators materialized as if from nothing. Though some had cracked ocular sensors, they were still glorious, in a way, in their gilt armor. Unfortunately for Makhret the Magnificent’s finest assassins, said gilt armor reflected the light of Derek’s Mom’s Dining Table IV’s low hanging sun, alerting the Adeptus Mechanicus honor guard to their presence. Before the assassins could ready their Synaptic Disintegrators on Tech Priest Dominus Kas-575, The Seeker Supreme ordered her own maniple of cyborg warriors to annihilate the Necron intruders. In the span of seconds, the xenos androids were left as little more than irradiated metallic bones.

This is not ‘Kill Team Cassius’…this is ‘A Kill Team that includes Cassius’ Important distinction. Photo Credit: Musterkrux

We next get to learn about the Deathwatch, more specifically Watch Captain Artemis. He’s a loosely sketched character; basically he was born into a barbarian cannibal tribe, was especially good at killing things, and the Mortifactors chapter found him. The Deathwatch took notice when they realized “Man, he really is good at killing stuff” and off he went. He rose through the ranks, shooting cyclonic torpedoes at the Enslavers and thwarting Eldrad in a late 7th edition boxset. It’s cool that this dude is still around after being introduced in 2001’s role playing/skirmish game, Inquisitor. Great model too.

We continue our Deathwatch adventure with Ortan Cassius, Ultramarines Master of Sanctity. While he is an Ultramarines special character, he once served with the Deathwatch, and you can still field either version on the tabletop. Unfortunately there is a specific rule that prohibits one from fielding them in the same army. If you wanted to houserule that out and enjoy a temporal paradox, I do implore you to go off, king/queen/themperor. Canonically, Cassius is old as hell, remembering Dreadnoughts when they were still regular dudes and even now calling Office Manager Marneus Calgar “Young Calgar”. Cassius really hates Tyranids, and has been Six Million Dollar Man’d after getting mauled by a Carnifex. He’s an old man who’s too angry to die, and he’s gonna be here until they put him in Legends or make a Primaris version of him.

It’s funny we’re talking Tyranids here, because our next section is on the First Tyrannic War. For those keeping score at home, we’re currently on the Fourth Tyrannic War as of 2023’s Leviathan box set. A bunch of people smarter than me have written a lot about all them Wars, Tyrannic. We have a cute little galaxy map, and it’s got a planet called Salem that just avoided the tendril of Behemoth. As a resident of multiple states with Salems in them, I feel like Salems have better track records than Springfields for being decent places to live. Unfortunately, that quality of life coinflip is probably gonna land on tails RE: Planet Salem in 40k. Irrespective of the quality of 40k’s semi-urban population centers, this war was the Imperium’s first contact with the Tyranids (named for the planet Tyran on which they were discovered, shortly before they ate it) and its climactic battle with the Ultramarines – the Battle of Cold Steel Ridge on Macragge. The Ultramarines lost their 1st Company and Marneus Calgar was badly wounded, but pyrrhic victory was theirs. This is still a central part of the Ultramarines’ identity, and is accompanied by the beautiful art that adorned the 4th edition Space Marines codex by the inimitable Karl Kopinski. Give him a follow if you’re an Instagram person; he’s still creating beautiful, traditional art, and is one of the best artists Games Workshop ever threw money at.

The Hobby Materials

Necron Immortals. Credit: Corrode

Now you may be seeing some Immortals right here and thinking to yourself: “wait a second, isn’t this issue about Deathmarks?” Well, dear reader, I’d give you a gold star for paying attention in class today, but these two units share the same kit! We also only have like, three pictures of Deathmarks and they’re all of the same unit that Rockfish painted so beautifully, so you’re getting Immortals instead. This kit is part of the refresh Necrons got back in 2009, which is also when seemingly every GW kit was a dual kit. This is one of the better ones, as the differing weapons and heads make the Deathmarks look distinctly like their own thing instead of just being Immortals with different guns. The instructions here are pretty simple and let you go your own way with the posing. The heads are fiddly and attach to a teeny spine piece, which isn’t my favorite part of the assembly process. The arms also can be a little wonky as you’re juggling a few contact points, but if you take your time and work with one body and gun at a time you should be okay. I’ll also say this kit doesn’t really have any options for baubles and other personalization, but you have a lot of freedom in their posing as everything is on a ball and socket joint.

The paint guide here is also on the simpler side, with some helpful advice about waiting for washes to dry to avoid them bleeding into each other. You can have a lot of fun doing that intentionally, but that’s beyond the scope of this paint guide. The end results for this tutorial get you most of the way there; we’re still waiting on a green paint to daub the eye and tubing that traditional Necron chartreuse.

The Gaming Materials

Cobalt Scions Space Marines Infiltrator. Credit: Charlie Brassley

The gaming section opens with a brief tutorial of all the various Space Marine deployment abilities we get to play with. Death From Above, Combat Squads, Concealed Positions, and so on each get some explaining here. Necron players also get to learn about some of their similar rules like Dimensional Translocation and Living Metal. This subsection closes out with a Datasheet for Deathmarks, and a tutorial for how they can snipe out Characters with their methcannons.

Our mission this week, A Rallying Cry, sees the Imperial advance stalling out due to the frequent deaths of their officers. Their latest arriving command staff need to inspire their troops to fight, while the Necrons want to keep up that officer mortality rate. The actual game is a 25 Power Level game where the Imperial player needs to have their characters perform the Rally Up! Action three times to win. This involves having a character hang out on an objective with no enemy models from the shooting phase onward, and survive standing there until their next turn. With the arrival of these new Deathmarks, this won’t be easy for them. All the Necron player needs to do is keep that from happening. It’s a tough victory condition for the Imperial player to meet, but I like the asymmetry of this mission.

Final Verdict 64/90:

Credit: Merton

Deathmarks/Immortals are $45 on their own, so the $13.95 cover price of this issue is an absolute banger value. Beyond that, you’re getting some fun background on some notable Space Marine characters, a decent painting guide, and a fun asymmetrical mission that I haven’t seen anywhere else. I’d say “What more could you want?” but a rhetorical question on a website that allows comments defeats the point, so I’ll just let you know that this installment of Imperium is a very good one.

See you next issue, warhams.

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