Sector Imperialis – Building Expectations
By Kenny Wildman
Arguably, a good-looking battlefield is just as important as having wonderfully painted models. Hell, potentially more so! If you care a lot about having a visually appeasing battlefield you’ll know where I’m coming from. Whether it’s down to you using a battle mat or some sort of large board scene, terrain can be a time-consuming but rewarding endeavour. If we look at skirmish games, though, then there’s a little bit of compromise here. Typically using smaller play areas and thus needing fewer models and scenery to paint, these strike a nice medium. This shuffles us stealthily through the shadows onto the new release from Games Workshop – Kill Team.
Combat Beneath the Archways
The latest barrage of products from this line includes the new Sector Imperialis scenery products. If you were a fan of the City of Death scenery from Games Workshop of old, then these will tick all of your boxes. Visually they surmise the wonderful grimdark, gothic nature that comprises Warhammer 40,000 as a whole. The buildings all look like an amalgamation of cathedrals blended viscerally with industrial complexes. The various kits come in numerous states of ruin and destruction with sensational levels of detail.
These kits can be built with limitless levels of elevation. Should you wish you can have a fairly level battlefield of crumbling ruins or an inconsistent towering cityscape. The options can be built to include either end of the spectrum or anything in-between. The kits themselves are also very modular with the smaller ruin sections easily being able to sit atop various higher-levels. The various wall pieces fit together with a clever design against pillars/columns. However, it seems alarmingly easy to have wall sections end up slightly skewed rather than popping into position. The walls slot in without any sort of snapping in so it’s something to be wary of when assembling the kits. You could build them to have somewhat less sharp angles, but admittedly it feels like that’s what they should be expected to do.
It’s worth pointing out that the Sector Imperialis kits, whilst coming alongside Kill Team, aren’t prohibited to that system. These buildings would likely work wonderfully in your standard games of 40K whilst also providing a nice, more contemporary level of quality for your terrain. They’re even designed to be cohesive with the familiar Sector Mechanicus kits that came with Shadow War: Armageddon. This consideration is a particularly welcome addition, meaning anyone who bought Shadow War can make a particularly expansive battlescape.
Intricate Realms of Death
The levels of detail on the Imperialis kits is very, very impressive. The plentiful levels of destruction within these building kits mean that they won’t appear too duplicated across your table. The gothic archways and eagle-adorned gantries help to set an intimidating and foreboding tone to each battlefield, as you’d expect. Better yet, you can paint these things to near any level of detail and they’ll still look good. Priming them, washing them and then drybrushing will have them in a somewhat fair state for table-use. Pick out a few details, maybe some metallic panels or battered ventilation ports and you’re in a damn fine spot! These kits do certainly feel like they’ve been designed to be built and put on the table in minimum time. Surely, a welcome consideration, especially for the more green hobbyist.
Not to say that these terrain models are perfect by any means. Don’t get me wrong though, they’re pretty damn close. My biggest grip is, as mentioned, that the wall sections don’t “snap” into place against the columns/pillars. You can combat against this by building a corner section for example, and then sitting it on an already-constructed section to line them up. It’s inconvenient but if it’s the worst problem with the kit then it’s pretty good all things considered.
If you already have a box (or three) loaded with scenery, then the Sector Imperialis is by no means essential. However, it is a great kit and serves its purpose wonderfully. Should you be a colossal fan of the 40K theme and grimdark setting then these kits will put a big smile on your face. If you do want to build some devastated urban areas for some sneaky skirmish missions and low-scale warfare, it’s hard not to recommend Sector Imperialis. Should you already have some Sector Mechanicus then you can choose to stick with that. Or, you could buy some ruins and a basilicanum to take it to the next level.