SRM’s Ongoing Imperium Review: Week 87

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. 

These last few issues of Imperium are a blast; it’s clear the stuff that has to be covered has already been hit, so the writers are just wilding out on whatever they want. It’s a hell of a victory lap.

The Magazine

Gaunt’s Ghosts by Crab-stuffed Mushrooms

Case in point, the first part of this issue is about Gaunt’s Ghosts, replete with lovely illustrations and a breakdown of the Sabbat Worlds crusade. The art is largely from the Sabbat Worlds Crusade book, and most of the Ghosts are drawn to be kinda hot. There’s some sort-of spoilers in the article, but when the last arc of the series is called The Victory you can probably guess at the broad strokes. There’s also a page on the Blood Pact and some of the main villains of the series. This touches on a really important note – Khorne isn’t just all Murder Death Kill, but he’s also a martial god. War in all its forms is worship and the Blood Pact fight in an organized way, not unlike the Imperial Guard. Dan Abnett’s book series touches on this sometimes and it’s certainly outside the scope of this magazine, but I think it’s important to show the multiple dimensions of the setting like this. Also this whole article made me pine for an alternate version of Imperium with Imperial Guard and Chaos models. Maybe in 11th edition.

Next is a pair of profiles on Ultramarines successor chapters: The Fulminators (they did the red I thing in their article so I will too) and the Howling Griffons. The Fulminators, aside from just sounding like a Stormcast Eternals chamber, are an all-Primaris successor that pretty much fights by the book. The Howling Griffons also fight by the book, but they look a lot cooler doing it. There isn’t much to say about either here, and the most interesting stuff (like the Howling Griffons participation in the Badab War) is barely touched upon.

Credit: BuffaloChicken

We reach the third and final stage of Tyranid invasions, in which they eat everything and bounce. This is called Devour but I’d settle for Chew and Screw. At this point, a bunch of critters who are basically walking stomachs come down, digest stuff, then themselves are digested and converted to biomass for the next invasion. It’s all suitably horrifying, and one of the less pleasant ways to die in a universe full of awful ways to die. Each planet they leave is an uninhabitable desiccated husk, kind of like me leaving all you can eat wings night at Soul Fire BBQ back in 2010. RIP to that joint.

It’s storytime again, and this time we join an unnamed Chaos Marine for The Ascension. This assumedly Red Corsair (based on the artwork) is gunning for daemonhood, and he’s leading the charge on an Imperial fortress. What follows is a record of what a Dynasty Warriors: 40k level would look like, as he churns through hordes of hapless Imperial defenders. He’s feeling the favor of the Chaos gods in what honestly reads like a dude edging for 4 pages. Exultation is coursing through him, he’s swelling and throbbing with power, power that is begging to be released, and the only way to do that is with a worthy opponent. Unfortunately, his climax is unsatisfactory, and he explodes into a Chaos Spawn. Been there, dude.

The Hobby Materials

Redemptor Dreadnought. Credit: SRM

We get part 2 of 3 of our Redemptor Dreadnought, and the instructions with which to build him. The directions here are thorough as they should be, as this is the most complex model in the entire run of this magazine. The only subassembly presented is to separate the top and bottom halves of the model, which I don’t really think is necessary. The armor over the sarcophagus cover can be left off, and I really think it should be for ease of painting. The instructions also want you to glue the main gun into the arm stub, but you can absolutely fit that piece in without glue and give yourself both options. I’ve been popping the gun arms on and off both my Redemptors for years now, and never had a problem. Should they ever wear out, I’ll probably figure out a magnet solution, but pressure alone works for now.

The Gaming Materials

Thermic Plasma Conduits. Credit: SRM

This week’s battle takes us to Platform Able-Garn, as we are Defending Gliantha. An orbital refinery necessary to the Imperial war effort is under attack by Necron raiders, who want to vent these gases and kill the Imperial work crews. An Imperial relief force is tasked with retaking the station. The mission to do so is largely standard, with Dawn of War deployment and a typical objective set. There is a twist, however: Gaseous Haze. Units can’t see each other past 18″, and you roll each turn to see if the gas dissipates. Considering the narrative mentions weapons igniting the gas, I’d double down on this narrative and offer an additional houserule: Each time a unit shoots, roll a D6 – on a 6 they take D3 mortal wounds. If we’re doing silly mission special rules, let’s commit to the bit.

Final Verdict 87/90:

Blood Angels Redemptor Dreadnought
Blood Angels Redemptor Dreadnought. Credit: Jack Hunter

I still balk when I see a Redemptor’s $75 pricetag, making the combined $41.85 of the Redemptor through Imperium a solid savings on its own. The mission this week is fun, and shows how with a minor tweak you can make a pretty standard scenario tell a story. Lastly, the bushels of narrative material here will keep you occupied for at least one bathroom visit. Ask me how I know.

See you next issue, warhams.

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