SRM’s Ongoing Imperium Review: Week 74

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.

This one’s an issue for all you ‘hams of taste and class. Some unkind words were said by many about the Firestrike Servo-Turret at release, and, well, I don’t think they’ve changed their minds at all, but I’ve always loved this little guy.

The Magazine

Blood Ravens Firestrike Turret. Credit Soggy

This is probably the first Battle Record article to subtly dunk on its subject. While the Firestrike Servo-Turret’s weapons get all the praise you could hope for, at every opportunity we are reminded that this thing moves very slowly. It’s on little hover plates like a Repulsor, but without any sort of propulsion, so I imagine the Techmarine just pushes it around like a grocery cart every time it moves.

Beleron Venerus rocked his controls to the left, the twin autocannons of Defensor taking turns spitting foot-long autocannon rounds into the sky. The rounds punched through a trio of Necron Tomb Blades, knocking two out of the air and causing the third to immediately explode. Venerus scanned the skies for a moment, his view of the rest of the battlefield obstructed by the fortification around him. He looked skyward again, hearing the sounds of combat at the north end of the compound, well outside of his field of vision. The fight was not coming to him. With a weary sigh, he unplugged the integrated gunsight from his left eye, dismounted Defensor, and began the laborious process of pushing the hovering gun turret towards the next firing position. “We really should have some servitors for this” Venerus said to no one in particular.

We next pivot to the choppiest of bois, the forces of Khorne.They star in a story this week, The Fall of Domenor (emphasis theirs) in which the red armored melee-focused Space Marines take on the other red armored melee-focused Space Marines in a World Eaters vs. Blood Angels throwdown. It’s not all that notable and the Blood Angels could basically be any generic defenders. Two different dudes get shot in the eye specifically. We get more detail on Chaos Daemons afterwards, giving us a broad overview of the servants of Khorne. The W+M1 faction has never appealed all that much to me from a gameplay perspective, but brass rhinodonkeys from hell are certainly a vibe.

After this we get another pair of character profiles, this time of the Space Wolf variety. First is Ulrik the Slayer, everyone’s favorite Space Odin. He’s the oldest Wolf Priest and the oldest Space Wolf outside of some Dreadnoughts, and he knows he’s nearing the end of his life. His goal is to take as many motherfuckers with him as possible when he goes, which is pretty one note for character motivation but is probably something he could do just fine on the tabletop. Maybe they’ll actually let a Space Marine named character die in the next Space Wolves codex. Wolf Priests are also defined here, the special boi Apothecary/Chaplain hybrids that the Space Wolves employ. Bjorn The Fell-Handed is also old as hell, the oldest dude in the Imperium save for Guilliman, The Lion, and probably Belisarius Cawl. The only reason he’s still around is because he’s in a Dreadnought, and he is only awoken when times are most dire or a Space Wolves player has 180 points to spare. A little boxout here defines The Wolftime, which is just Ragnarok, and is when Leman Russ will return. Accompanying this is the headshot illustration of Leman Russ from one of the Heresy rulebooks where they made him very, very hot. No notes.

The Hobby Materials

Firestrike Servoturret. Credit: SRM

I remember when this model dropped, some folks scoffed. I saw it for what it was – an update/reimagining of the Thunderfire Cannon, Thudd Gun, and the Tarantula Turret from Space Crusade. It’s a pretty lovely model all around, and while it lacks options as an Easy-to-Build kit, you can still swap out the weapons. I glued the autocannon ammo boxes on mine and just push in the lascannons or autocannons depending what I want to use. I also found subassemblies real easy for this one, since it’s designed to be push-fit and is easy to work around. The instructions here will do the job on what is a pretty easy kit. The painting guide here too will get the job done, though being limited to only the materials to come in Imperium thus far shows how much the gun shield is screaming for some transfers or freehand. I would also recommend leaving the gun shield off so you can more easily paint the gunner.

Ultramarines vs. Adeptus Mechanicus. Credit: SRM

I also have some pretty fond memories of using my own Firestrike Servo-Turret against my friend Kaitlyn’s Adeptus Mechanicus when I first moved to Oregon, so I can’t help but love this little guy.

The Gaming Materials

Included here is the Datasheet for our new largely stationary friend, who hilariously could, and still can, potentially charge up to 4 times their movement speed of 3″. I don’t know why you would, but it’s funny that you could. They’re a solid little fire support platform that can add some anti tank punch to a Marine army, and have some fun extra niches in 10th edition too. The gaming tutorial shows that how I deployed my own Firestrike in the previous picture was illegal, and I do believe I’m past the statute of limitations to be convicted for my Gamer Crimes.

This week’s mission, The Legions Rise, sees the Necron forces attempting to take advantage of the Imperial defense on Kjalma’s Skull. Resultantly, this mission is an ambush scenario, represented by half of the Imperial forces being in reserve. The scenario itself is your pretty typical modern objective mission beyond that. I like the nod towards asymmetry, but the Imperials being able to come in from multiple avenues in later turns makes it seem less like the Imperials are being ambushed, and more like they’re the ones surrounding their enemies.

Final Verdict 74/90:

Automated Firestrike Servo-turret. Credit: Charlie Brassley

Firestrike Servo-Turrets usually run $35 a pop, so you’re saving over 20 bucks with this issue’s $13.95 cover price. These puppies are priced to move in-game as well, and fitting one in as a backfield objective holder/fire support piece is a pretty appealing prospect. The rest of this issue is fairly middle of the road, but I love these stupid turrets.

See you next issue, warhams.

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