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Warhammer 40K’s Squats is back with full troops later this year

Warhammer 40,000 wonThe infamous space dwarves, originally known as Squats, are returning to the war game in miniature as a new faction called Leagues of Votann. Notice, Officially made on Saturday by publisher Games Workshop, formerly an April Fool’s Day video trailer which many gave a gag. Fans should expect a new lineup of models and rules later this year.

Squats have a long and long history in the 40K population starting with the very first version of the game, where they were cast as a gang of burly backpackers. But they were eventually dropped from the franchise, and much of their history was wiped clean from its poignant lore. Community Fandom wiki take notes a little-known forum post from 2004 that seems to indicate why.

Square image of the Squat heavy weapons racing team.  Lush beard included.

Image: Paul Bonner / Game Workshop

A page from White Dwarf 111 showing Squat models to order.

Image: Game Workshop

A page from White Dwarf 111 showing Squat models to order.

Image: Game Workshop

Perhaps the most iconic art of the original Squat Faction is this brushstroke by Paul Bonner first published on White Dwarf #111 in 1989. The original sold for £950.00.

“The reason Squats were removed,” writes Jervis Johnson, former Games Workshop designer, “was due to the advertisements in the Studio […] felt that we had failed to do the justice of the Dwarf ‘prototype’ in its 40K incarnation. From the race’s name (Squats – what are we thinking *?!?!) to the short cyclist motif, we’ve managed to turn a proud and noble race in Warhammer and the other races. What is the other kind of literature where archetypes exist, into a joke race in the 40K. We only fully realized what we had done when we made the 2nd version of 40K. ”

For more than a decade, Squats fans have been performing using their army of space dwarves playing legally by the rules of different factions. Then, in 2018, Games Workshop reintroduced classic lore racing with a single miniature for Necromunda, a small-scale fighting game. Few expected more than that.

The new Squat army goes back to the original lore of the dwarves as it was first introduced, but ditches the bikes, chains, and skins. In its place was a small, futuristic warrior, clad in pale armor and wielding what looked like a powerful small plasma weapon.

From the Game Workshop announcement post:

Although their civilization shares a common origin with Humanity, the Leagues of Votann have an uneasy relationship with the Imperium of Man. Unlike their superstitious Human cousins, the Leagues emerged from the Age of Strife with much of their ancient technology still intact, including some notorious advancements that the Imperium would review. extremely Heretic.

Their knack for science and tough nature make for skilled warriors backed by reliable weapons, as you can see from even this basic soldier. And while there is no love lost between the Votann Federation and Humanity, the revival of Chaos and the transcendent xenos means there is regularly more pressing concerns than competing with each other.

Overall, we’re not sure what to expect from this incarnation of Squats. Perhaps this faction will be a glass cannon, with expensive but powerful weapons more suitable for the T’au faction than the Space Marines. Perhaps they will be more mechanized, with a mix of leaflets and ground units. I have a hunch that they will be a mixed force, a force capable of being exercised in many formats like Murder squad and Necromunda as well as all fat 40 thousand war game. Expect more information to be announced over the next few months.

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