SRM’s Ongoing Imperium Review: Week 89

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. 

Welcome to the penultimate installment of this ongoing review series! I’d say I’ll miss you all, but hopefully you’re following along with my Stormbringer coverage at this point. If it’s not exactly more of the same, it’s at least additional of the similar.

The Magazine

Inquisitor Kyria Draxus. Credit: Rich Nutter

The star of the show this week is Lord Inquisitor Kyria Draxus, who likely has never had this many words written about her before. She’s a radical Ordos Xenos Inquisitor, and Necrons are her chief quarry. She has allies amongst the Aeldari, hence the gifted shuriken catapult. Among her bionics and esoteric wargear, she also has Shang, her Wyvach companion. This little dragon thing shares a psychic bond that lets her see through its eyes, kinda like your bird in Assassin’s Creed. Now, despite this being a special character, we get to roll up a Battle Record and find out what she’s doing on this side of the galaxy:

Derek’s Mom’s Dining Table IV. One may wonder what Lord Inquisitor Kyria Draxus was doing on such a backwater world. It had neither the strategic importance of Carportia nor the rich resources of Kit’Chen Coun-Tarr. Her reason was simple: Hate. Hate for the Necron, hate for the xenos, hate for the incompetent Imperial command that had yet to drive these interlopers from Imperial territory. Her Wyvach, Shang, screeched and landed on her shoulder. She fed the winged creature a regulation tuber-wafer; one of the few exports of Derek’s Mom’s Dining Table IV. If she was going to be leading here, she may as well develop a taste for what passed for local cuisine.

Ûthar the Destined. Credit: Rockfish
Ûthar the Destined. Credit: Rockfish

We next have a brief article about how the Leagues of Votann have been dealing with the whole Cicatrix Maledictum thing. Örgvayr is their name for a corner of the galaxy’s most famous tear in reality, and ties them into the greater narrative of post-8th edition 40k. They see the Cicatrix not as one big event, but as a series of smaller warp storms. Örgvayr dumped Chaos into the Greater Thurian League’s holdings, with the World Eaters and the Purge wiping out some unnamed Kindreds. Ûthar the Destined personally led the Votann preemptive strikes that kept the entire system from falling to Chaos, besting Lord Hakatar in single combat and leading the Votann retreat away from Örgvayr. While the lore here isn’t anything too deep or special, I appreciate that it both places the Votann in context with the wider galaxy, and that it culminates in a Chaos guy getting yeeted into a space volcano.

It’s back to the Inquisitor Draxus show with Converging Fates (emphasis theirs), a short story that sees her hunting down the Necron Cryptek Illuminor Szeras. We can glean a bit about who Draxus, shutting out the greater conflict in favor of focusing exclusively on her target. Mostly we learn about how she fights, channeling psychic powers through her Wyvach familiar and punching Necrons with her big ol’ power fist. The story pulls a neat trick, switching typefaces halfway through and pivoting to Illuminor Szeras’ perspective. He’s doing some experiments on hapless captives, as you may have seen in the excellent Pariah Nexus series on Warhammer+. A few are resisting his interrogation due to this pesky human concept called “faith” that he doesn’t understand. Before we can get too far into the genuinely interesting concept of how a nihilistic species would view faith, a Necron Overlord named Khatekh shows up. We get a page of Megatron/Starscream bickering between Szeras and Khatekh before Szeras peaces out from the planet Helvetica to escape Draxus. Little is written about Helvetica, but I can only assume it’s a more ordered, stately planet than Curlz MT or Jokerman. The Szeras half of the story had some potential, and was a load more interesting than Draxus Murder Death Killing her way through some roboner legions with some unnamed Tempestus Scions.

Imperium Hobby Decision Maker. Credit: Hachette Partworks and Games Workshop

Lastly, we have a foldout with a map of the Ramasus System, the place we’ve been fighting for all this time. It’s been Derek’s Mom’s Dining Table IV for me, but Warhammer is all about making your own stories, especially stupid ones. Surrounding this are pages with little blurbs for Necron or Imperial victories in this campaign, but overleaf is a flowchart for planning your hobby progress, pictured here. The green on green (on green) design is visually cohesive while being somewhat hard to read, but more importantly it lays out a structure for how we should tackle our collections. This is interesting to me because it is not strictly a document of instruction, but one of philosophy. It highlights the multiple ways we can engage with the hobby through an ordered framework, working through steps in sequence until we have completed our Imperium journey. I feel that this should have come much, much earlier in our collection. Setting a framework is easier to do at the outset of a venture rather than at the end, but ideally hobbyists getting into Warhammer through this magazine can take this method with them on their personal hobby journeys. It’s also pretty damning that I’m beginning this flowchart with “No” but I’m trying not to take that personally.

The Hobby Materials

Lord Inquisitor Kyria Draxus
Credit: Evan “Felime” Siefring

As you likely surmised from the bulk of this article, the focus of the Hobby portion of our program is also centered around Inquisitor Draxus. I’ll be straight up: I think the Goonhammer painters have done a lovely job painting this miniature, but I don’t like it. I think her head looks like an Idoneth Deepkin, and her design is all over the place. She’s not overladen with tchotchkes, but her details don’t really harmonize. I get that she’s meant to be a radical Ordos Xenos Inquisitor, but she just looks like any ol’ lady in armor with a skull on one shoulder. Also, as a Lord Inquisitor, I’d expect her to look more regal. At least she isn’t wearing Greyfax’s stupid power stilettoes and has some sensible footwear. I like her powerfist and Wyvach too.

Assembling her is easy, as even with her base she’s under a dozen parts. You could leave the head off for ease of painting or easily (preferably, even) swap it with another. The paint guide is comprehensive; necessary for this wholly new model laden with heretofore unseen details and equipment. The results are a fine approximation of the studio paint scheme, albeit with a cooler black. It’s a good tutorial.

The Gaming Materials

Credit: Mathias Leahy

We naturally get a Datasheet for the good Inquisitor, chockablock full of psychic powers, weird weapons, and special rules. Her Paralysis Grenades and Dominate power get some helpful tutorials, and then we’re onto the next mission: Void Battle. Inquisitor Draxus’ ship, Rapacious, is boarded by Necron raiders on the way towards Kjalma’s Skull. The Necron attackers are aiming to disable the engines on her ship while the Imperials understandably want to prevent that. This isn’t very well represented in the mission, where each player has a half-depth Dawn of War deployment, a single objective in the middle, and 5 player-placed objectives. Points are scored by the typical 1, 2, more system that most missions have. It’s not a bad mission by any means, but it doesn’t really sell the narrative.

Final Verdict 89/90:

Inquisitor Kyria Draxus- Credit: Neon

Inquisitor Draxus is $35 on her own, pretty standard for this kind of character model. You’re saving $21.05 by getting her through Imperium, which makes attaining this kind of rarely used weirdo much more palatable. The hobby tutorials will take you from bare plastic to a fine finished product easily, and the mission is strictly okay. I quite liked the foldout section, and even found some glimmers of narrative inspiration while reading through the lore sections. I don’t think this issue was as strong as the last few, due in large part to my dislike of this model and her skim milk backstory, but I’m not here to yuck too many yums.

See you next issue, warhams.

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