QUICK REVIEW: Hunting Ground – Ian St. Martin

Another Adeptus Titanicus short story, Ian St. Martin’s Hunting Ground is a natural companion piece to Rob Sanders’ The Ember Wolves, dealing as it does with the actions of a pack of Warhound Titans taking on a larger foe. This time they’re loyal Imperial Titans, of the Legio Debellator (loosely: Conqueror), joining a small force of Subjugators in the defence of an Adeptus Mechanicus forge world. Facing a corrupted Warlord Titan formerly of his own legio, princeps Asander must play to his pack’s strengths if he’s to succeed in his mission and uphold the honour of the legio.

The crux of this story is the battle between Asander’s Warhounds and the Chaos Warlord, but St. Martin sets much of the action elsewhere, showing Asander either in battle against other forces or away from his Titan and longing to be reunited. It’s a good choice, and avoids any sense of Titan fatigue (especially in context of the ongoing March of the Titans), emphasising the massive scale of violence once the God Machines finally face off in battle. There’s an enjoyable sense of the Warhounds working together and playing to their strengths, along with the usual princeps-moderati dynamics, and while not startlingly original, it’s a highly enjoyable story.

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