Wednesday, September 26, 2007

REVIEW: Imperial Munitorum Manual

I've been totally immersed in the world of Games Workshop since Games Day and there is no let up yet. I've actually got some red paint on my Blood Angel tactical marines now. I'll press on with the painting and post photos when I get the chance. I have finished reading the Imperial Munitorum Manual and a full review follows below. I've also read the limited edition Horus Heresy short stories and will review them in tomorow's post. Simultaneously I'm whipping through the Apocalypse sourcebook and I'll post a review of that shortly. Meanwhile, my bookshelf is groaning under all the other books I bought at Games Day and I will be reading and reviewing soon. Then I get home from work and find the latest White Dwarf has dropped through my letterbox. Aaargh, it's all too much!

If you're hankering for something other than reviews of Games Workshop fiction I've posted the third report in my Nemesis Crown Warhammer campaign on my battle reports blog. You can read it here.

Phew! Now I can get on with the main event. Drum roll please...

The Imperial Munitorum Manual (IMM) by Graham NcNeill. 96 pages.

This book was obviously inspired by the Imperial Infantryman's Uplifting Primer (IIUP).

It is presented as a handbook for soldiers of the Imperial Guard so that they can better understand the work that the clerks and officers of the Departmento Munitorum carry out in support of the Imperial Guard. The book itself is a hardback, covered in rough green cloth and embossed in gold with it's title. It is relatively small, but packed with information presented on cream coloured pages with dense text.

There are nine parts.

The first describes the history of the Departmento Munitorum and it's structure. I was surprised at just how much useful information could be found here. The IIUP was a very funny book but couldn't really be used as a background book (other than to get into the mindset of a Guard dogface). There just wasn't anything new about the organisation of the Imperial Guard. IMM is different. It shows the whole structure of the Departmento from High Lords of Terra level to the planetary level, for example. There are lots of hard facts here, and many of them I haven't seen anywhere else.

The second section introduces the Cadian 91st, the Imperial Guard regiment which is used as an example throughout the rest of the book. Again the information is useful and practical, describing the structure of the regiment and the supplies it needs to function (the basic load of each trooper is 25kg which works out as 52 tons for the whole regiment!).

Section three looks at the requisitioning of equipment and supplies. Amusing sample forms are included; principal purpose to which kit will be put - shooting the enemy. The supplies chapter has a stab at describing how the regiment copes with acquiring supplies whilst on campaign and outside the Imperium. This is something I hadn't given too much thought to but it did spark all sorts of ideas in me, for scenarios, models and background fiction.

The fourth outlines the proper use and maintenance of Departmento Munitorum. The importance of conformity is stressed at all times here, as is the fact that the trooper's equipment is far more valuable than he is! The chart of punishment procedure is hilarious with every permutation ending in the deliver guilty verdict box. Five pages of offences are listed and are again very funny. Virtually every crime is punished by shooting, flogging or a combination of both.

The fifth, sixth seventh and eighth sections explore the equipment, regular weapons, support weapons and regimental equipment of the Imperial Guard. These are probably the least interesting chapters because they tread very old ground. In fact most of this information has been around since the Wargear book of second edition 40k. The only exception is the regimental equipment which covers medals, the Tactica Imperium and things like bodybags.

The ninth and final part contains a selection of forms needed when dealing with the Departmento. The bureaucratic doublespeak in the rules outlined here are worryingly well written. Maybe Mr McNeill has worked for the same council I have?

I liked this book, as I did the IIUP. It's not quite as funny, although the whole book is littered with footnotes which often inject some humour into the more straightforward text. It is of practical use as a background book though, and that makes it a better book overall.

I award the Imperial Munitorum Manual 9/10.


All of my reviews end in a score out of ten for the product. The table below explains what that score means.

  • 10/10 Perfect, absolutely nothing better
  • 9/10 Excellent, highly recommended
  • 8/10 Very good, recommended
  • 7/10 Good
  • 6/10 Above average, some problems
  • 5/10 Average, some good points some bad points
  • 4/10 Below average, some redeeming features
  • 3/10 Poor, major flaws
  • 2/10 Very poor, avoid if possible
  • 1/10 Absolutely appalling

No comments:

Post a Comment