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.
Ya know, I’m looking at the front cover of this bad boi, and it’s the first time I’ve ever noticed that Paragon Warsuits have a holstered pistol on them. The idea of the Sister pilot dropping the controls for her robot’s sword arm to cap a dude is really, really funny to me, like Avatar’s knife-fighting mech levels of funny to me. That’s the only thing I remember from that stupid movie aside from Stephen Lang saying “Shock and awe!” while a jungle got bombed. Subtext is for cowards anyway.
Continuing on from last issue, we’re onto Obolis and Lirac Phase IV. Typhus is up to his old tricks again, spreading a very literal computer virus amongst all the Forgeworld Metalica defense platforms and turning their guns on the Imperial defenders. The Death Guard make landfall, and things only get worse from there. A cool little map of the Assault on Macrosanctum Primus shows, street by street, the major moments of this battle and where they occurred. When so much 40k fluff is big space battles of indeterminate size and scope, it’s grounding to see how actual battles unfold. Also, there are some primo Warhammer vocab words in here. “Data-Daemon.” “Macrosanctum.” “Mutated Hell Factories.” Warhammer owns.
Our Inquisitorial pal Gallius Shaarn shows up next to teach us about Aeldari Mythology, which is not all too different from Aeldari History. Their pantheon is largely dead, killed during the Fall of the Eldar and the ensuing birth of Slaanesh. Their gods and creation myths are given a brief rundown, with gods vying for control before all hell broke loose in a very real way. Despite being a species so broken that even their gods are dead, they sure do like kicking my ass every time they hit the table.
The Eldar train keeps-a-rollin’ as we find ourselves with a new piece of fiction: The Serpent Strikes (emphasis theirs). A maiden world of Mon Faradh (which might be named after distance runner Mo Farah?) has long been protected by the Eldar of Saim-Hann, and some Ultramarines are now bumbling around it. The paradox of tolerance is dangled in front of us and detonated like a firework as a Vyper gunner says “[Humans] lack any respect for life at all. That is why they must die.” The Saim-Hann defenders told the Imperials to get off their world, only for the Imperial colonists to ignore these warnings, slaughter the native Exodite population, and set up camp. What follows is a retaliatory strike by a Windrider Host, which crashes into a similarly mobile Ultramarines force. The story is going for a direct comparison between the elegant, swooping xenos craft and the blunt force trauma that is Imperial locomotion. There’s also an anti-colonialist message seeded in here, as it’s very clear the Imperials are the bad guys. I won’t say it’s a treatise that will be taught in sociology classes in the future, but it’s nice to see.
The Hobby Materials
This issue contains our third and final Paragon Warsuit, the Paragon Superior. She’s not altogether different from her two pals we’ve already received, and the hobby guides here reflect that. There is a tutorial to paint eyes that I don’t quite agree with where they paint the eye black, then white, then dot in the center black. I prefer to paint the eye black then just dot in the sides white; dotting in the center usually leads to cartoonish or crosseyed looking models in my experience.
The Gaming Materials
This week we are Scouring Alectia. This holy moon is home to the relics of Saint Marcius, and many Sisters of the Order of Our Martyred Lady lived up to their name trying to recover said relics. Necron Destroyer Cults have set up shop, and the Imperials have to reconsecrate the ground and clear out the xenos threat. The mission has a shallow Hammer and Anvil deployment and 6 objectives running along the board, with a designated Shrine Area closer to the Necron deployment zone. The Imperial player must take a Canoness and at least one more unit of Sisters, and if the Canoness can get into that Shrine Area at the end of the game, they score an additional 15 points. There was supposed to be a cutout to represent this Shrine, but an insert in the middle of the issue notifies us that this was an erroneous statement. Ironically, said insert might be about the right size for this zone. I like that this mission has an implicit narrative by its force constraints and map layout, and I think it’ll be tough going for that Canoness to make it to the shrine and survive. If she gets tied up for a turn or two in melee, she’s going to need to make some big Advance rolls.
Final Verdict 83/90:
We’ve got what feels like a light one this week, which means my job as a reviewer is easier. I’m reviewing Stormbringer concurrently with Imperium, so this is welcome. The fiction is pretty good, and as I’ve gone over in our last two Paragon issues, the dollar to model value is there as well. The mission also seems like a good time, even if the cutout for the shrine isn’t present. I’d say this is a good meat and potatoes issue, and if you picked up the last two, it would behoove you to complete your grip of Paragons with this one.
See next issue, warhams.
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