One of only a handful of Black Library stories featuring the Brazen Minotaurs chapter of Space Marines, George Mann’s Old Scars sees Captain Daed and his brothers descend up on ice-bound Imperial world to liberate it from the invading orks. Keen to inflict a decisive victory and dismissive of the Imperial Guard’s efforts to date, Daed plans an all-out frontal assault despite the doubts of his closest brothers, who question whether vengeance for his old wounds is driving his decisions.
Having featured the Brazen Minotaurs in some of his earlier Raven Guard work (check out the Sons of Corax anthology, which also contains this story), this was an opportunity for Mann to really dig into the chapter’s character and background. It’s not a long story, but should still have provided scope for developing Daed and co…but sadly it doesn’t achieve much. The ‘old scars’ theme doesn’t go anywhere, feeling like part of a plot arc we should know about but which is never expanded upon, while there’s not much character development for Daed beyond a tendency towards arrogance, or the chapter beyond a rather simplistic overuse of Taurus-related imagery. It’s entertaining enough for the action scenes, but – a bit like Daed himself – it’s all a little blunt and to the point.