SRM’s Ongoing Imperium Review: Week 76

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.

One may wonder why I’m still reviewing this magazine, week by week, despite 9th edition being done and dusted. I do not regret informing you that I will continue this series until I stop receiving Imperium magazine or I die, whichever comes first.

Stepping out of the bit for a moment, I do think it’s worth reviewing this magazine even if we’re firmly in 10th edition, as there’s a load of narratives, models, and missions to check out and enjoy. I’m also a sicko who goes back and reads the “getting started” booklets from editions past, as it fascinates me to see how players are introduced to a game or setting. Think of this as one of those, but over the course of a year and a half. If you’d like to continue this excitement after this series is over, I’ll be heading over to the Mortal Realms with Stormbringer, should you wish to follow.

The Magazine

Ultramarines Invader ATV. Credit: SRM

This week focuses on a somewhat controversial model – the Invader ATV. Some people derided this model when it was first revealed, thinking it looked silly. I agree with them, but that’s precisely why I love it. Marneo Kart: Indomitus Dash is exactly the kind of thing I’d want to play on Moonbase Klaisus, and I think it’s a reasonable enough design for Warhammer regardless. As a modernization of the now-retired Attack Bike with its sidecar gunner, it absolutely works, and I saw no shortage of conversions attempting something similar back in the day. The written content here details its equipment and role as a long-range recon unit and fast attacker, all leading up to a new Battle Record:

Venatoris roared over the embankment, catching a dozen feet of air before coming back to earth with a metallic crunch. Venatoris’ driver, Lycaris Omenor, wrenched the controls to the right, causing the vehicle to power slide and nearly spin out before he deftly course-corrected. Lycaris’ crewmate, Martan Nemenor, pivoted the Invader’s Onslaught Gatling Cannon, Revengeance, towards a distant vehicle ahead of them, his burst going wide. Lycaris gunned the engine and sent their steed down a dirt path straightaway. He was catching up. Achillion was right in front of them, its own gunner blasting obstacles on the way towards the finish line. A servitor stood at the end, its arm stumps ending in cybernetically extended checkered flags, raised akimbo in anticipation of a passing Invader ATV. Lycaris angled the front bolt rifles of his Invader towards the leading racer, firing two bursts of bolt shells down the track. The second volley connected with Achillion, blasting out its rear tire and causing the lead ATV to veer off into an embankment, killing dozens of bystanders. The people of Derek’s Mom’s Dining Table IV would wait until the next day to mourn. Today they celebrated, as Venatoris screamed past the finish line, securing Lycaris and Martan the Ceramite Cup.

Echoing issues from the past few weeks, we get a short section on Tzeentch from the perspective of an Ordos Malleus Inquisitor. A scheming trickster god, Tzeentch is all about sorcery and subterfuge over sheer brute force. As far as falling to Chaos goes, Tzeentch gets a leg up since being tempted by knowledge and enlightenment is more understandable than falling to the god of road rage or skin conditions. His Daemons are sketched here in brief, but there isn’t enough room for more than Horrors, Heralds, and the big guys. They all do magic and huck fireballs.

Credit: Robert “TheChirurgeon” Jones

We get a pair of character profiles of Silver Templars heroes next, two dudes I’ve absolutely never heard of from books I absolutely have not read. First is Lieutenant Neos, the finest swordsman of the 4th company. As the runt of the litter, he wasn’t expected to survive initiation let alone thrive in the chapter, but he fought hard to prove himself and grew through the ranks. On Iax, his superior was killed by a Lord of Contagion, and Neos suddenly found himself promoted. His first action was to hunt down and kill that Death Guard jerk, and by gum he did. He went on to lead a demi-company of Silver Templars during the Plague Wars, and is assumedly doing just fine now. He has some nice art by Miguel Iglesias as well.

Following Neos is Lampros Hekaton (no relation to the Land Fortress), Grand Oathkeeper and Chaplain of the Silver Templars. He is their head Chaplain, and has been with the chapter since its beginning. He’s most famous for leading an outnumbered force of Silver Templars during a lightning storm, each of his strikes accompanied by thunder and lightning. Whether this is poetic or literal is left up to the reader. We also learn a smidge about what that Oathkeeper title means – turns out it doesn’t have anything to do with bozos getting arrested on January 6th, but with the Sword Oath all Silver Templars must take before entering the 1st company. Each prospect is tasked with some challenge – retrieving a lost relic, killing so many enemies, leading a kill team, what have you – and on completion they are elevated to the 1st. It’s pretty classic knightly stuff.

Lastly we get a starmap of the Sanctus Wall, a line of Imperial systems separating Haarken Worldclaimer and the Black Legion from crossing the Nachmund Gauntlet. A holding action at the Battle of the Narrow saw the Imperial fleet destroyed but Haarken deterred, only to be driven back by the arrival of the Indomitus Crusade fleets. Alongside these splashes of narrative is the map itself, all cold statistics and the kind of wry, tongue in cheek writing that gives 40k its dark sense of humor.

The Hobby Materials

Rainbow Warriors Invader ATV by Craig “MasterSlowPoke” Sniffen

Included this week is one of the larger Marine models in Imperium, the Invader ATV. This model somewhat skirts the line between easy to build push-fit miniatures and a more traditional assembly experience. There aren’t a ton of options for the kit save for an easily swappable multimelta/gatling cannon up top, but as you can see, it’s easy to change up the crew with some simple kitbashing. Even the spare handles from a Repulsor cupola (outside the scope of this magazine but bear with me) can open up some options, as pictured above. The kit itself is easily assembled with seams well hidden, unlike its little brothers. I would recommend leaving the crew, main weapon, and the T-shaped armor plate off while painting the model. The instructions even suggest this, as getting around that gunner sounds like a pain. Said instructions are thorough, and at this point in our Imperium journey, we have a big enough paint collection to get some solid results, with edge highlights galore and no detail left untouched.

The Gaming Materials

Flesh Tearers Whirlwind and ATVs. Credit: Drybrush Threepwood

This week’s mission, Deep Strike, has the Imperials once again pursuing the Necron Dolmen Gate. To weaken its defenses, the Imperials need to halt the flow of power to the Necron stronghold. This is represented in a fairly standard objective-based game, where you score points for having one or more objectives, the objective in your opponent’s deployment zone, and more objectives than your opponent. It’s a slight change to the typical “one, two, more” mission. The twist is that objectives stay captured even after you leave them, a typical Age of Sigmar mechanic that I generally like to see in 40k. The remaining mission mechanic is an optional secondary where your dudes camp on an objective and do an action to extract data from it. This isn’t an altogether exciting mission, but it’s got enough going on to keep players engaged.

Final Verdict 76/90:

Invader ATV. Credit: Rockfish
Invader ATV. Credit: Rockfish

The Invader ATV will normally run you $50, meaning the $13.95 you spend on this issue is an absolute steal, and one of the best values in this entire magazine run. While the 9th edition heyday of this model has somewhat ended, there is still plenty of value in fast, relatively durable, and occasionally dangerous recon vehicles of its ilk. The mission this week is a decent if not exactly earth-shattering one, and the narrative material was almost all new to me. It’s recent lore and I’m a thousand years old, so that scans. This was a damn good time with a fun and useful little model, and if I found two more issues at the newsstand I’d grab them today.

See you next issue, warhams.

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