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.
Every time an issue of Imperium arrives at my door, I like to check the back page to see what will come in the future. I know I can just Google “imperium magazine contents” and get that same information and then some, but the analog joy of getting a Little Treat in the mail with an included preview of Little Treats to come is so rare and tickles the part of my brain that used to get Lego Mania magazine as a kid. However, this issue, the back was covered with a separate centerfold. What could it contain? Read on to find out!
The star of the show this week is that hovering hunk, the Lokhust Heavy Destroyer. Aside from just having more junk in the trunk than your average parking lot flea market, these sentient weapons platforms are armed to the teeth and driven purely by the need to kill. They even have a gun called an Enmitic Exterminator, which is as subtle as calling your weapon a “hate gun” or “Predator drone” – everyone knows you’re the bad guys now. The Battle Record section also has two little images of this guy with the lines “Hate the living” and “Enhanced to slaughter” written above them, which I suppose is as close to the “Live, Laugh, Love” and “Family” signs hanging in your aunt’s powder room as Necrons are going to get.
Arakh the Atomiser floated down the streets of Pringalia, Enmitic Exterminator scanning each window for life – life he wished to end. His enhanced targeting matrix noticed a heat signature in a window, wherein a primitive being – one of these wretched humans – dropped trou and showed Arakh their behind, slapping it twice and shouting an obscenity. Arakh reached a new level of anger, engaging his Maim All Living Destroyer protocol and firing wildly at the building. The facade fell and the organic creature retreated, leaving their belt and pants behind. Arakh twitched with anger, equally furious about his escaped pantsless quarry and the ancient destruction of his once-noble family. His processors began to cool after this Heated Destroyer Moment, and Arakh began to scan the area again, once more looking for prey.
The Blood Angels get some love next, with a pair of character profiles. First is the Sanguinor, a literal guardian angel that arrives in times of need. Maybe he’s a collective hallucination. Maybe he’s Sanguinius’ most noble qualities coalescing in a psychic manifestation. Maybe he’s Azkaellon, the former leader of the Sanguinary Guard. The Blood Angels don’t think about it too much, they just trust the process and are happy they have their own little miracle man.
Standing polar opposite to the golden boi is Gabriel Seth of the Flesh Tearers. Gabe is not a nice man. Other Blood Angels don’t like him. The Inquisition wants him gone. The only reason he and his chapter have been allowed to live is because Astorath the Grim argued that maybe having an entire chapter you can deploy like a fire and forget missile might be a good thing in the galactic apocalypse to come. If the Sanguinor exemplifies the beautiful ideals of the Blood Angels, the Flesh Tearers represent their failings – brutality, undiscerning violence, and a fall towards the Black Rage.
A small section on the T’au Empire and their Fifth Sphere Expansion follows. Shadowsun’s own force ran into the Death Guard first in this attempt at colonization, then a bunch of human worlds embroiled in civil war. Expecting a layup, her forces made planetfall only to find that said civil war was a series of Genestealer Cult uprisings, and suddenly the war got a load more complicated. This was the T’au Empire’s first real engagement with the Cults, as previously they just thought they were just some disorganized yabbos and not the heralds of a coming bugaboo apocalypse. Knowing the threat, they committed to uprooting the cult, and now my mind is racing thinking about Gue’Vasa and infected T’au Genestealer Cults and there’s a whole color plate showing different T’au Gundams and – oh god, this is how they get you, isn’t it?
Last is a section on our plucky Rogue Trader crew and their various misadventures. This time, the Void Mistress was serving as a heavily armed charter flight for Inquisitor Jyula Stalman and her retinue. They were heading towards a Blackstone Fortress, through Precipice – the very station in the Blackstone Fortress board game. Janus Draik, the Rogue Trader from that same game, meets our narrator, shows off some of his cool plunder, and sends her on her way. This veritable scrapbook of a centerfold has a half dozen journal entries, some gorgeous art of Rogue Traders (including what looks to be an in-universe portrait of Janus Draik, likely commissioned by him as well), a guide to the alien denizens of the Blackstone Fortress, and some boxouts on Arecheotech and Noctilith. This is a rich foldout with so much information about the weirdest parts of Warhammer, and I absolutely love it.
The Hobby Materials
When the Lokhust Heavy Destroyer was shown off on a GW preview stream some 3 years ago, I immediately clocked it as not only being the thiccest Necron yet to float out of the tomb complex, but also as a model heavily based on Jes Goodwin’s original concept drawings from the 90s. Even though Necrons aren’t my specific variety of bag, I can say this is one of my favorite models in their entire range. While this is nominally an easy to build kit, the instructions here will still be helpful in navigating some of the more complex joins as well as the head, weapon, and base options. The painting guide is on the short side, but with fewer textures than some Necron miniatures, it’s more than sufficient. In lieu of more detailed instruction, the bulk of the painting section fleshes out the myriad Space Marine, Sororitas, and Mechanicus models in the Imperium collection with some of the paints we’ve recently acquired. These range from simple highlights to the somewhat daunting task of painting all the eyes in our collection at once. I disagree with their approach to painting eyes, as well as the notion of doing them all in one go. Personally, I like to paint the eye black and dot in the sides with white, which generally centralizes the pupil and leaves enough black around to effectively outline the eye. Instead, they paint the eye black, then white, then dot in the pupil in the middle, which can leave some wonky and walleyed results. It’s a different strokes thing; try both and see what you like.
The Gaming Materials
Aside from the requisite Datasheet and tutorial for Lokhust Destroyers, we have a simple mission this week: Grinding Advance. The war for Kjalma’s Skull has ground to a standstill, stuck in the trenches of the Rukhar Valley. The mission is a pretty standard control 1, 2, or more objective situation, with a spread of 5 objectives across its Hammer and Anvil deployment zone. The wrinkle is that no pre-battle rules that allow a unit to deploy or move forward can be used: they must stay in their deployment zones. There is a mission secondary where players can choose to emphasize taking those objectives in no man’s land, which should make for a real grind in the middle of the table. It’s not the most inventive mission in the world but it’s one I’d happily play.
Final Verdict 73/90:
At $35 a pop for Heavy Destroyers, the cover price of $13.95 on this issue is easily worth it for the model alone. They’re a pretty cheap unit on the tabletop as well, so if you wanted to bulk out a unit of 3, this is an economical means of doing so. Any hobbyist following along at home would do well to pick up this issue just to see how they could take their painting to the next level, and the included narrative sections are a ton of fun. This is another delight of an issue, and one of the higher watermarks of Imperium thus far.
See you next issue, warhams.
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