SRM’s Ongoing Imperium Review: Week 70

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.

August is past us, but Marneus Augustus Calgar isn’t! Thank you, thank you, I’ll be here all week. Tip your servitor, try the nutrition paste.

The Magazine

Marneus Calgar Credit: Alfredo Ramirez
Marneus Calgar Credit: Alfredo Ramirez

This week we have a pair of Battle Records to fill out for Marneus Calgar and his Victrix Honor Guard. Their wargear is explained, from the Gauntlets of Ultramar once thought to be wielded by Guilliman himself, to the Victrix Honor Guard’s Ultima Storm Shields, made to interlock into a shieldwall of 2 guys. I like the detail that the power swords are shaped like gladiuses for rapid stabbing action, but I wish it didn’t leave out that Calgar’s power fists were salvaged from a dead Chaos dude 10,000 years ago. Also there’s a boxout from Roboute Guilliman saying he’s proud of his boy Calgar. Finally, a good father figure in 40k.

The Battle Record for Calgar is sparse, as he’s a special character. Kieron Gillen already wrote all the Battle Record you need. The Victrix Honor Guard are a blank slate, however, and these eagle-helmed bodyguards get the full Battle Record treatment:

The sky above Pringalia burned crimson, a painting in violence come to life. Captain Gaius Aurelius lay face up in the mud, his armor broken, his body bleeding. Darrus Numenos, Macragge’s Will himself, rushed to the fallen captain’s side, putting himself between his broken brother and the Necron advance. Without a word between them, Varius Solthas, the Guardian Blade, met Darrus at his side. Their shields, both named the Scipian Defender (no relation), met each other, protecting their fallen ward from the ravages of gauss fire. Necron Flayed Ones spilled from the battleline, rushing into the two Victrix Guard. Their Gladiuses, Tyrant’s End and Tyrant’s End, cut and thrust and cut and thrust until their android attackers were glistening scrap on the ground. All Captain Gaius saw of this carnage was that scarlet sky, with only the sounds of ruin and the exultations of the Emperor to give him comfort.

Our narrative section closes out on some Grey Knights special characters, the first of whom is Kaldor Draigo, Supreme Grand Master of the Grey Knights. If you weren’t around in 2011 or so when the 40k community was choc-a-bloc with parroted half-jokes about Kaldor Draigo, you’re really not missing out. Think of the least funny 1d4chan meme you can think of, and now imagine the worst posters of all time are repeating that joke every time anyone mentioned Grey Knights. This would invariably be accompanied by some teeth gnashing about Mat Ward and incredulity at Draigo carving his name into Mortarion’s heart, something which you could now just do in the assault phase. The world ain’t perfect now, but not all of it used to be better. Anyway, Draigo has since been kind of like David Carradine in Kung Fu, wandering the stars and appearing when and where he’s needed most. How he’s able to perform his duties as Supreme Grand Master while popping out of gopher holes seemingly at random is unknown, maybe it’s a new age management sorta thing.

Castellan Garran “Cameron” Crowe is next, and is essentially the ur-Purifier. The Order of Purifiers are the purest of the pure, so filled with the Emperor’s light that even their touch is anathema to daemons. Crowe is the best of them, so when a cursed, indestructible sword found its way into the Grey Knights’ collection of cursed doodads, it became his job to protect it. Even though it whispers to him every day and draws hordes of crazed weirdos to it from all over space, Crowe still wields it and stands incorruptible. I like him as a character, and both iterations of his model are great. I never got him in Chaos Gate: Daemonhunters, but I can imagine he’d probably just burn the whole map down.

The Hobby Materials

Imperial Fists Gravis Captain
Imperial Fists Gravis Captain. Credit: Jack Hunter

Just a quick aside, even if you’re not an Ultramarines collector, there’s a lot you can do with the kit included in this issue and the last. Maybe I just wanted to post Jack’s Gravis Captain here. He’s a rather good painter.

Where last week was all about assembly, this week is all about painting. With the second half of our Marneus Calgar kit in hand, we can follow last week’s instructions and get painting with this week’s. These instructions are extensive, spanning 10 pages and 95 photographs. If you’re following along with these, I cannot for the life of me imagine you having any questions whatsoever about how to paint a detail on this kit. My only complaint is that the section teaching painters how to paint hazard stripes on Calgar’s piping doesn’t have any hot tips aside from “paint equidistant stripes” and leaves it at that. Regardless, it’s an exhaustive guide on how to paint some of the best models to come out of any Space Marine range, and that’s saying a lot.

The Gaming Materials

Marneus Calgar, Credit: SRM

Rules are light this week, with Datasheets for ol’ Marneo Calgar and his Super Marneo Bros. A brief tutorial walks learners through his Armour of Heraclus and Adept of the Codex rules, and then it’s off to the proverbial races. This issue, we must make a Precision Strike as per Calgar’s own teachings. The Imperials fighting for Kjalma’s Skull are on the back foot, and only by trusting in the teachings of Calgar will they be able to make the surgical strike necessary to defeat their Necron enemies. This sneak attack takes the Necrons by surprise, which is represented in an asymmetrical mission. On a Hammer and Anvil deployment, the Imperials have a harrow 10″ deployment zone vs. a deep 20″ Necron one. Half of the Necrons are forced into Strategic Reserves, and there is one objective at the edge of Necron territory to fight over. No secondaries, no items, Final Destination, nothing – just that one objective. Whoever holds it at the end, wins. I like that the advantages the Necrons gain positionally are offset by only having half their army at the start. The Necron player can wait for the Imperials to come to them, as there’s a good 30″ of ground to cross. I feel like how fun this mission could be will largely be based on army construction, as the Marines will really need to lean into the Vanguard troops recently acquired in Imperium if they want to succeed.

Final Verdict 70/90:

Victrix Honour Guard. Credit – Pete Allison @runebrush

The narrative section this week is on the light side, but with such an extensive painting section and the necessary part 2 to last week’s kit, I’d say this one is one you’ve gotta pick up. I went over it last week as well, but the savings presented on buying these 2 issues vs. buying Calgar on his own are around 50%, and you’re getting some banger models in the deal.

See you next issue, warhams.

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