SRM’s Ongoing Imperium Review: Week 82

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.

As this door continues to slowly find its way closed, a window has yet opened. Stormbringer, the Age of Sigmar equivalent to Imperium, has dropped in the US and I’m doing my own ongoing review of it. The second review should be dropping today, but until then you can get started on the first. Go read it if you like hearing my takes on this stuff.

The Magazine

Be’lakor, the Dark Master. Credit: SRM

Following up on issues 78 and 79, we return to Obolis and Lirac for phase III of the invasion. Last we saw them, Forgeworld Metalica was having a decidedly bad time thanks to Typhus, and Chaos was ascendant in this corner of the galaxy. This is Warhammer, and things don’t “get better” very often. Now Be’lakor is in the mix, which means I have to double check where the apostrophe goes and if he capitalizes the L or not. Turns out he’s not Irish, and the L is lower case. Back on target: House Raven also has a home in this sector, and while the nobles are away, Chaos will play. Not wanting to meet its defenders in open warfare, Be’lakor shrouds the world in shadow, scaring the populace into hiding – hiding specifically in The Keep Inviolate, House Raven’s unassailable fortress. Those high walls didn’t help when the refugees inside turned out to be Be’lakors agents in disguise, and the fortress ate itself from the inside out. This narrative echoes some of the ickier narratives real world ghouls use to turn away people in need; refugees specifically, but I’ll try and assume the best in the writers here.

We turn away from Be’lakor’s Bad Time Brawl and towards the pads of those perfidious pointy-ears: Aeldari Craftworlds. These world-ships scattered to the stars during the Fall of the Eldar, and the Aeldari aboard refer to themselves as Asuryani, named for their dead god Asuryan. Humans work with them from time to time, but any alliances are of convenience at best. A few of the big Craftworlds are called out and given brief descriptions: Biel-Tan, Iyanden, Ulthwe, Saim-Hann and Alaitoc, with a little boxout explaining that there are more out there. That’s a hook to make your own, which I appreciate, but it’s kind of a minimal article.

Word Bearers Despoiler Squad – Credit: RichyP

It’s story time, and this story is War of Faith (emphasis theirs), which records a battle between Sisters from the Order of Our Martyred Lady and the forces of the Word Bearers. The battle starts in what I can only refer to as a controlled burn, with impotent cultists dying in droves to show you how cool Celestians (and by extension, these Paragon Warsuits) are. The Sisters blindly move towards a Dark Apostle, only to be caught in an ambush and mostly killed, taking the Apostle with them. There really isn’t too much to this, aside from showing how badass Celestians are and how unafraid Sisters are of death. It’s not a great story, but a smug Word Bearer takes a halberd to the chest so I can’t complain too much.

The Hobby Materials

The Hobby Materials, both physical and printed, are nearly identical to the previous issue. This is one of the shortcomings of having a single kit spread out over multiple issues, but my thoughts remain the same: Paragon Warsuits are is kinda silly, tricky to assemble, and can be challenging to paint. For a more thorough review, refer to the 81st entry in this series.

The Gaming Materials

Necron Warriors. Credit: Magos Sockbert
Necron Warriors. Credit: Magos Sockbert

Our campaign continues, taking us to the Battle of Tragis. This world is a worthless rock, but a Necron ship crashed on its surface and Imperial and Necron forces are fighting over the wreckage. The mission has a wholly standard Dawn of War deployment with a quintet of objectives in the no man’s land to fight over. Points are scored when units perform a Salvage action on them, scoring D6 points each time. The twist is that each player can only perform this twice per objective, but multiple units can perform it in a turn. It’s the swingiest mission I’ve yet seen, but for a casual narrative campaign like the one we’re now embarked on, it’s fine.

Final Verdict 82/90:

As discussed in the previous entry in this series, the dollar value here is pretty great. Paragons are $75 for 3, so Imperium’s $13.95 cover price represents a good value. Beyond that, the mission is pretty basic, the hobby material is solid but basically a repeat of last week, and the lore section has to do a lot of heavy lifting. It’s not quite up to the task, so we’re looking at a somewhat weak issue this go around.

See you next issue, warhams.

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