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.
Imperium‘s lore blurbs and character spotlights certainly do remind me just how many Necron special characters currently occupy my memory hole. In 2011 some Citadel sculptors decided they wanted to make a bunch of weird little guys and we’re still picking up the pieces all these years later.
Our issue starts with a pair of those aforementioned character spotlights, with the first being all about Nemesor Zahndrekh and his loyal bodyguard, Vargard Obyron. Zandrekh is cartoon crazy and thinks he and his legions are still Necrontyr (“Meat Necrons” to the uninitiated) and that all the upstart xenos races he battles are other Necrontyr kingdoms. Obyron, his bodyguard/loyal friend/roommate(?) enforces this delusion and protects Zahndrekh at all times. The second spotlight illuminates Illuminor Szeras, the only one of these three we actually have any images of in the Goonhammer archives. He’s responsible for pulling the trigger on the Necrontyr biotransference way back when and is actively attempting to transform himself into a god. Given how important he is to the Necron creation myth, this would be like having Adam or Geb as a playable model on the tabletop. He’s a very bad spider-guy, and he likes disassembling living things to find out how they work. I somehow doubt he waits til his specimens have died of natural causes to do so.
Azrael of the Dark angels gets the next shoutout. This bio contains more words about his cool gun than his actual experience as a leader, we’re just expected to go with it. He was probably a tribal head hunter before the Chaplains of the Dark Angels were like “yeah, this teenager seems sufficiently bloodthirsty” and they whisked him off to be a Space Marine. He rose through the ranks, eventually joining the Deathwing, becoming Captain of the 3rd company then Master of the Deathwing, and again getting promoted to Chapter Master after Supreme Grand Master Naberius died. Honestly, the idea of Azrael in Terminator armor never crossed my mind til now and I’d love to see it. Otherwise he’s a man of few words and he has a very cool gun, a very cool sword, and a weird little guy. The unsubtly named Master Lazarus gets the next spotlight, as he was the first Dark Angel to cross the Rubicon Primaris. Get it? Lazarus? Getting brought back to life? It’s my place as a lapsed Catholic to tell you I remember the myth of Lazarus less from Sunday school and more from Ra’s al Ghul’s Ra’s al Pul* in Batman: The Animated Series.
*I don’t know how well this works in text, just read it out loud so it rhymes, it’s funny, honest
Space Marine Flyers and Speeders get the next article, though 3 of these 11 units are currently getting hucked into the Legends dumpster. RIP to the Land Speeder trio, but those flying shoes served well. The vehicles among the living have more staying power, both commercially and on the tabletop. Stormravens, Stormtalons, and Stormhawk Interceptors cover the skies of all chapters, while the preposterous Viking longboat Stormwolf and church plane Dark Talon cover the Space Wolves and Dark Angels respectively. All of these flyers are very brick-like, with a sort of Advance Wars stubbiness. I’ve warmed to most over time, but I’m wondering when Primaris Marines will get a slightly bigger plane. Speaking of Primaris Marines, the Storm Speeder trio closes out this article, sweeping aside those dinky little Land Speeders for something with a load more presence and firepower. Each has a distinct role, with an anti infantry, anti tank, and anti fortification variant. On the tabletop I love my Thunderstrike, if only so I can put on my best Brian Johnson voice every time it uses its Thunderstruck rule.
We get a short story this month – The Festering Hordes (emphasis theirs), which sees a squad of Grey Knights take on a bunch of Nurgle Daemons, culminating in a boss fight with a Great Unclean One. There’s some vulnerability to the Grey Knights (physically, not emotionally, this ain’t winning any Hugos) which gives the story some weight. My favorite bit is when Paragon Rayne starts attempting to pronounce the Great Unclean One’s true name like my dad ordering Italian food, and despite stumbling over the words is able to weaken and frighten the daemon before another Grey Knight, Thracian, cuts the daemon open. The story’s written well enough and shows how Grey Knights fight, though if you told me it was a transcript of a mission in Chaos Gate: Daemonhunters I’d believe you.
The Hobby Materials
Along with the second half of the Lychguard kit, we get a painting tutorial on par with the previous issue’s construction guide. This article takes a painter all the way through painting these models, extensively covering most everything a hobbyist would need to know. I question making a newer hobbyist highlight all the banding on their Warscythes, if only because it’s such a tedious task, but they gotta learn somehow. The only thing I’m not wild about is the attempt at glowing green blades; I get that there are a limited number of paints and materials they give subscribers to work with, but getting a blend without a wet palette is a rough scene. The end results look respectable though, and anyone following the tutorial will have a great looking model by the end of it.
The Gaming Materials
Adepta Sororitas Warlord Traits open up the rules section. There’s also rules for the Lychguard, a tutorial for their various abilities, and some editorialising about which weapon choice is suited to what purpose. These aren’t too useful now so I won’t interrogate them further. Our mission this week is Locating the Gate, in which Imperials are attempting to find the Necron Dolmen Gate which is summoning new Necrons into the fray. I believe we’ve already had a few missions about finding or destroying said Dolmen Gate, so I imagine there’s either many Dolmens Gate on Kjalma’s Skull or some things got published out of order. This mission has a fun deployment, with a Tetris L-block deployment zone in each corner. Players have to split their forces between two diagonal corners, with their opponent taking the other pair of diagonals. The mission itself is pretty simple, with 4 objectives along the dividing lines of the table quarters, and one in the center that the Imperial player needs to perform an action on. This is their secondary objective, and Necrons get to choose their own. With a force geared into taking Outriders and Infiltrators, I believe the Imperials could do pretty well here, and I like the deployment a lot. It would definitely make for a chaotic game, and I mean that in a good way.
Final Verdict 72/90:
As was established previously, these two issues save you more than 50% off an otherwise $60 box of Lychguard. That’s hard to beat, and the included smattering of narrative content, thorough painting tutorial, and inventive mission make for a solid issue all around.
See you next issue, warhams.
Have any questions or feedback? Drop us a note in the comments below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.