|This article or section is about something oldschool - and awesome.|
Make sure your rose-tinted glasses are on nice and tight, and prepare for a lovely walk down nostalgia lane.
"SQUATS LIVE! *STOMP! STOMP!* SQUATS LIVE! *STOMP! STOMP!*"
- – The Motto that all Squat players react with after seeing the
Kharadron OverlordsSquats in Age of SigmarNecromunda
You can't spell Imperial without Imp. If you spell them both correctly.
A Squat is a space Dorf. They used to exist in Warhammer 40,000 (with a planned Codex mentioned in the Second Edition Codex: Imperial Guard); in fluff, their worlds supplemented the capabilities of Forge Worlds, and were independent of the technology-worship of the Adeptus Mechanicus. As such, they also retained their sovereignity. For some reason, their aesthetic also included a heavy dose of 1970's-80's American "outlaw" biker-club subculture. We suppose this is because, as we all know, GW loves to mish and mash, but above all, because it is muhfuggin badass.
"Squat" is also sometimes used as a verb by fans of Warhammer 40k. This refers to the removal of the Squats from both the game and the fluff behind it; in particular, some people believe that other armies will be "squatted" from 40k, which is to say, their model line will be removed and they will no longer be playable in 40k. There have been cries of "they're getting squatted!" for basically every army that wasn't updated within two years, including, but not limited to, Dark Eldar, Necrons, Sisters of Battle, and Black Templars (were also pretty confident that if a Certain imperial guard player had the power too he would squat the Space bugs in an instant, he certainly tried during 6th edition.) So far, this has mostly been proven false; both Dark Eldar and Necrons got new codices, and Sisters will be released in plastic in 2019. Meanwhile, the Black Templars have been rolled up into the Space Marines, but, importantly, they still exist. Of the Chapters included, Templars are easily the most divergent, and although some of the fluff has been retconned, it was usually in a fairly logical way (how do you get around if you hate Astropaths and Navigators, anyway?). As such, all those whining "they're getting squatted!" are pretty silly, and you're probably hearing them on Warseer.
In Age of Sigmar, the entire Tomb Kings faction was squatted, followed by the Bretonnia faction, with the entire model ranges being moved to the "Last Chance to Buy" section. Cue wailing and gnashing of teeth. ......And then GW added points for them in the GHB 2019 release, so you can now at least play them without your opponent grumbling too loudly. As of mid-2019, the High Elves also got the axe.
The Squats (Homo sapiens rotundus) were mentioned in the original "Rogue Trader" 1987 book and later received their full Army List in the articles published in White Dwarf number 111 in February 1989. The Army List was later collected with other articles in the softback bound "Compendium" (also known as "Red Book" or "Red Compendium") which was released in summer/fall of that same year (and actually were the last item of the Compendium, the original article having been published on WD mere months before). The army list was centered around the Warlord and its retinue which could be equipped either with ceremonial mesh or carapace armour or with terminator-grade Exo-armour (which made the unit virtually unstoppable by anything save Daemons, Terminators, Eldar Avatar or Exarchs and the heaviest of weapons), it could field ten troopers squads (clan warriors) which could select ad-libitum heavy weapons paying a very limited cost for them and Engineers' Guild bikes (complete with some vaguely Hell's Angels style imagery in the First Edition book), sidecars and trikes which provided hit-and run power due to swivel mounted heavy weaponry. Vehicles and Robots were also available at premium points cost (less than other human armies paid) due to the recognized technical savviness of the Squats, Adeptus Mechanicus envoys and Living Ancestor (venerable Squats who were literally millennia old) added more flavour to the troop choice.
Squats in EpicEdit
While in 40K the Squats were roughly half an army, in Epic they really worked. As well as the biker companies you suddenly had access to an enormous supply of hardware with which the Squats would punish anyone who said they were compensating for something. These included giant tracked mortars, Land Trains, and massive tracked crawlers with Void Shields that were basically the Squat version of Titans; one, the Cyclops, was armed with what the modern fluff calls a Lance and could burn through multiple shields before hitting the target. Which is a little odd, because current fluff explains that the whole point of a ship's weapons batteries is to drop enemy shields so they can be finished off with lances (which are supposed to suck against void shields). Then again, the squats have always been more advanced. They had ironclad airships, helicopters back when most Epic armies had no aircraft at all, and generally ruled.
Think that Squats had it bad? Well, these guys are pretty much the Squats of the Squats. Just as Fantasy had its Chaos Dwarfs, so too did Squats have their Chaotically-inclined counterparts (alas, without hats). While there were no real rules for them on the tabletop, miniatures were released, because this was still when Citadel put out miniatures for things that didn't necessarily have gaming rules. They were allied to Chaos Space Marines and maintained their equipment, including building Titans and Daemon Engines, in a role later taken over by the Dark Mechanicus. Some Squats fell to chaos during the Horus Heresy and fought for Horus. They were banished to the Eye of Terror along with the Traitor Legions when Horus was defeated. Also, Squats who fall to Chaos are willing to fight as mercenaries for Orks and Eldar...for some reason. Congratulations, you've just read everything there is to know about Chaos Squats that was ever written.
They were eaten by Tyranids. It is popularly believed that Games Workshop sends out teams to assassinate, kidnap, or otherwise inconvenience anyone who dares mention them. One possibility is that the Squat nobles demanded that some impossible-to-acquire item be put in each of their rooms, and thus locked up the entire working class of Squats, and the whole race starved. Another theory is that Creed is using his tactical genius to hide them until the final showdown with Chaos. It's kinda likely that, what with their "We haz teknologeez!", being Dwarves, drinking, not being assholes, and generally not being depressing, Games Workshop decided they weren't grimdark enuff, and subsequently fed them to the Tyranids (who exist to eat Games Workshop's mistakes, obviously), and at the same time branding the mention of <censored for heresy> as heresy. Heresy - the perfect excuse to retcon!
A rare case of GW being completely honestEdit
This is from 2004, back when honesty was A Thing, it seems:
I know I shouldn't get drawn on this... but... can't... resist
Seriously, a couple of points just so you can have an informed debate based on the real reasons that Squats are no longer available. Be warned, it is going to be hard reading for people that like the Squat background.
First of all, Squats were *not* dropped because they were not selling well. There were then, and are now, plenty of other figure ranges that sell in the sort of % quantities that the Squats pulled down, especially when you look across all of the ranges produced by GW rather than just those for 40K.
No, the reason that the Squats were dropped was because the creatives in the Studio (people like me, Rick, Andy C, Gav etc) felt that we had failed to do the Dwarf 'archetype' justice in its 40K incarnation. From the name of the race (Squats - what *were* we thinking?!?!) through to the short bikers motif, we had managed to turn what was a proud and noble race in Warhammer and the other literary forms where the archetype exists, into a joke race in 40K. We only fully realized what we had done when we were working on the 2nd edition of 40K. Try as we might, we just couldn't work up much enthusiasm for the Squats. The mistake we made then (deeply regretted since) was to leave them in the background and the 'get you by' army list book that appeared. With hindsight, we should have dropped the Squats back then, and saved ourselves a lot of grief later on.
Anyway, the Squats made it into 2nd edition, and since we were doing army books for each of the races, we started to try and figure out what to do with them. Unfortunately we just couldn't figure out a way to update them and get them to work that we felt was good enough. The 'art' of working on an army as a designer is to find the thing that you think is cool and exciting about an army, and work it up into a strong theme. This 'muse' didn't strike any of us, and so, rather than bring out a second-rate product simply re-hashing the old background, we kept doing other army books instead, with stuff we did feel inspired by.
Now, while this was all going on for 40K, we were actually doing some rather good stuff for the Squats in Epic. On this scale there was a natural tendency to focus on the big 'hand-made' war machines the Squat artisans produced, and this created an army with a feel that was very different to the biker hordes in 40K. However, this tended to reinforce the problems we saw in the Squat background rather than alleviate them, underlining what we *should* have done with the Squats in 40K.
In the end (and it took years to really get to the roots of the problem) this led to a realisation that we were going to have to drop the Squats in their 'Squat' form from the 40K background. There was little point having a major race that we weren't willing to make an army book for, and their inclusion in the background meant that people kept asking us when we'd do a Squat Codex. Instead we decided that we'd write the Squats out of the background by saying that their Homeworlds had been devoured by a Tyranid Hivefleet. This would give us the option in the future to return to making a race based on the Squat archetype for 40K. This race was given the name of Demiurg, and a certain amount of preliminary work was done to get a 'feel' for what the race would be like. At present the only hint of the Demiurg in 40K is the Demiurg spaceship for BFG. However, we do have this race 'in our back pocket' as a possible new race for 40K, or an interesting character model in Inquisitor, or whatever. So far the Demiurg have lost out to other projects, and it may be that their time never actually comes, as they will have to win through on their merits, not simply because we once made some Squat models in the past. At present, I have to say that it is more likely that they *don't* make the cut than do, as there is a certain prejudice these days to simply taking races from Warhammer and cross them over to 40K like we did in the early days, so it may be that the Squats/Demiurg end up remaining a footnote in the history of the 40K galaxy. Only time will tell...
I'll finish off by saying that whatever we decide to do 'officially', there is nothing stopping players with Squat armies from using them, either in Epic or 40k for that matter. There is no GW 'rule' against using old Citadel Miniatures, as long as you use them with existing army lists and in a way that won't cause confusion for other players. I recommend taking a positive stand by saying "Have you seen these cool old models? They're called the Squats and GW used to make them back in the late eighties/early nineties. I love 'em, so I count them as Imperial Guard and use them with the current rules..." Put like this I can't imagine that anyone would stop you from using your army.
Note that all of the Squat material from the Rogue Trader era was written by Bryan, Nigel, and Graeme Davis. Jervis, Rick, Andy, et. al. never wrote anything new for the Squats in Warhammer 40,000. So their lack of enthusiasms wasn't because the fluff was objectively bad - it just wasn't theirs.
The Squats Codex was explicitly mentioned in Codex Imperial Guard (1995), and implicitly mentioned from the first codex ever (Codex Space Wolves, 1993) and every Imperial codex up to and including Codex Angels of Death (1996), plus Codex Eldar (1994). The only Imperial codexes which did not mention Codex Squats were Codex Sisters of Battle and Codex Assassins - both from 1997, the last year of 2nd Edition and the point at which 3rd Edition would already have been well into development. So the decision to eliminate the Squats didn't actually happen until they had already decided to move to a whole new edition.
As this was the transition to the infamous Black Period of total and constant Grimdark, perhaps it's for the best that the writers of the day didn't like them, so they didn't feel obligated to fuck them over in suspiciously extreme detail or fluffrape them into total irrelevance.
Also, Jervis's comment on the Specialist Games forum is actually the only place where it says that the Squats were eaten by Tyranids - in all official sources, they simply stopped mentioning them. But in fact, Jervis and others did continue to mention them after they were removed, in various semi-official places, such as the Citadel Journal (where he simply said that the Squat Homeworlds were "taken over" by the Imperium).
Following Jervis's statement on the Specialist Games forum, Games Workshop began auto-banning anyone who even mentioned Squats on their forums. But not long after that they closed all of their forums anyway.
Then what ever happened to the Demiurg?Edit
Essentially? Nothing. They were given all of two mentions in recent memory: first as a footnote on a list of Tau auxiliaries, then as a small enclave of asteroid miners that Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka killed by accident while fighting some Bad Moonz.
What Happened According to /tg/Edit
Space Boatmurdered. Attempts to thwart the Tyranids with "fuck the world" levers failed. Casualties.... Too many.
Games Workshop continues to show us that somewhere and somehow, a chained-up, barely-fed fluff-custodian is employed at the GW headquarters. He apparently gets loose every so often, and as evidence we present the tidbit he snuck in to the 6th Edition Rulebook.
Apparently, on page 405, the rulebook mentions Squats as a race of abhumans, akin to Ogryn or Ratlings.
Fanmade armylists for the Squats exists, the one most played and best playtested hosted over at 40konline.com, on their "Lost and Damned"-board.
They also have their own facebook group, but searching for "squat" literally fills your screen with ass. Beware.
In the seventh edition rulebook, squats are also mentioned in a list of known abhumans (along with a bunch of feline thingies). They're not even in the list of the extinct and dying out ones!!!
This trend was continued in the eighth edition corebook (page 279) and thus it seems that the idea of Squats being extinct may have been greatly exaggerated. Cue hopes of Squats making a triumphant return.
An entire video game has been made about the squats! Sure the Tyranids look a little weird but they'll still eat you like a Ratling at a buffet. https://www.deeprockgalactic.com/ Play now and die horribly while trying to mine gold on some Emperor forsaken planet.
GUEEEEEESS WHAAAAAAT!? WE BACK NOW MOTHERFUCKERS!!!Edit
"HOLY SHIT THEY ARE ACTUALLY BACK!"
- – Everybody's reaction when they saw the news
"THEY HAVE RETURNED THE GREAT BEARDED SPESS DWORFZ RETURN!"
- – Every Squat Player's reaction when they saw the news
"So uhhhh... what happens now?"
- – Duncan upon breaking the clock like a wazzock
It has been done.
Through either the act of some unseen force, it has finally been done.
The Meme was finally broken. The Squats were....unsquatted....in Necromunda only, but still. We did the unthinkable, we brought a race that has been decommissioned for over 20 goddamned years back into tabletop gaming. Mother of Christ' titties we actually got back our Spess Dorfs before Plastic Sisters did.
The first new Squat in decades was called Grendl Grendlsen. His lore mentioned that his mercenary unit was wiped out, leading him to become a bounty hunter in the underhive. Roughly a year after his release another new Squat model was announced, an ammo-jack hanger-on named Ragnir Gunnstein.
So far they are only playable for Necromunda, with them serving a variety of roles. But the chances of having an actual Squat Codex for 8th edition is still iffy, with the Squats being confined to specialist games being most likely. But so far we are quite content with them returning. Shit man, GeeDubs have seriously been pulling the moves lately.
And so, finally, after 20 years of waiting...
There's also a persistent rumour that they'll come back as a
Astra Militarum Imperial Guard 'theme' alongside plastic Attilan Rough Riders, Death Korps of Krieg and Tallarn Desert Raiders. Yeah right. Additionally, some very easy to miss fluff in the rear of the core Rulebook for 8th edition actually refers to Squats as a species of Abhuman.
Models Are Available!!!!Edit
Mantic Games make a range of models called Forge Fathers which are space-dwarfs for their sci-fi game Warpath, so if you want a Squat army you can have one! They're in 28mm so they could be used for 40K (use the Space Marine list and make up some appropriate house rules). As of now they have tanks, fully posable troopers and terminators too.
Hasslefree Miniatures make a range of models called "Grymm" which are dwarf space soldiers. They have close combat, light infantry, heavy infantry, specialists, and commander models. They even have a dwarf walker mech.
A Kickstarter worth your attention for models for an army of armoured dwarfs is a good option. Though it may have ended by the time you read this.
Ramshackle Games also produces biker gang and Land Train proxies. 
There's also the "Scrunt" by Olleys Armies Wargame Miniatures.
And now thanks to Age of Sigmar you got the Kharadron Overlords, they are steam-armoured flying pirate dwarfs! There is a running gag that states that the Kharadron Overlords are surviving Squats who had fled Warhammer 40,000 into Warhammer Age of Sigmar due to how 40k the Kharadron models look. Time to get the conversions up and running! We recommend one of the space marine codexs that can take flying transport or flyer heavy Tempestus so you can use all those sweet Æther ships.
For playing Squats with the Horus Heresy books. The Imperial Militia and Cults army list will allow players to create a decent proxy. Buy a Force Commander, give him the Survivors of the Dark Age and Abhuman Helots Provenances of War. This allows you to use Rhinos and the Land Raider Proteus as dedicated transports. For small amount of points you can upgrade the Rotor Cannons and Las-weapons of Grenadier and Platoon Command Cadre squads. Since both squads have access to Bolters and Grenade Launchers most players will take them instead. Ogryns outside of the Solar Auxilia suck if you're not taking Power Weapons. Due to their low BS of two. Three Enginseer Auxilia Adepts and fully kitted out Servo-Automata with Phased Plasma-fusils or GLs are the superior Elite option.
|Forces of the Squats|
|Command:||Guildmaster - Living Ancestor - Squat Warlord|
|Troops:|| Brotherhood Heavy Weapons Team |
Commissar - Hearthguard - Mole Mortar Team
Squat Berserkers - Squat Thunderers
Squat Trooper - Tech Priest
|Vehicles:|| Cyclops War Machine - Colossus War Machine |
Land Train - Leviathan - Rhino - Squat Bike
Squat Trike - Tunneling Transport Vehicles
| Iron Eagle Gyrocopter |
Overlord Armoured Airship
|Artillery:|| Heavy Quad-Launcher |