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This article is being created or revised.
|This article is about the Original Rogue Trader-era Squats; for the Rebooted 9th Edition Squats, see Leagues of Votann.|
- 1 History
- 2 The Squat civilization and culture
- 3 The Squats and the other races and factions
- 4 Fate
- 5 Known Squats
- 6 Notes
- 7 See also
- 8 Sources
- 9 External links
Colonization of the galactic core
When the worlds around the galactic core were first colonized by humans in the far distant past they discovered vast, almost limitless mineral deposits. These resources included compounds that had been smelted in the furnaces of dying stars and also strange substances that had been formed when the galaxy was born and before the laws of physics had stabilized. The discovery of these materials was very auspicious as the resources of Earth had been long exhausted and as a consequence the exploration and exploitation of the galactic core had been deemed imperative for the survival of humanity.[2a]
Hundreds of thousand of miners, engineers and explorers in specially adapted spacecraft were sent to exploit the newfound wealth of the core which quickly turned into one of the most densely populated parts of the galaxy. Due to the inhospitable physical characteristics of the worlds here (see further down) they are generally considered to be quite unlikely places for human colonization and life. The original colonists coming to these worlds were hardy frontiers folk. These tough miners and explorers dreamt of reaping fantastic riches and then return to Earth.[2a]
The colonists settled down and created self-contained communities by digging and drilling underground homes into the rocky surface of their new worlds and linking up the exhausted mines' tunnels and load-chambers. To feed the increasing population it was not possible to rely on the food brought along on huge cargo ships. It was necessary to construct artificially lit hydroponic tanks in the depths of the planets and cultivate nutritive algae there. These algae were then dried and processed and served as the base material for all kinds of food such as flour, coarse synthetic food and even crude but very potent ale.[2a]
The Squats themselves do not know if this is true or not, however, and they have been forced to accept that – after a certain point – their ancient histories blur into myth. While their Votann Ancestor Core may contain the truth, such anicent history is likely buried beyond recovery. While the Squat may not know of their earlies days any longer, there are still certain articles of the species' lost history that they have deemed indisputable. These principles are known as the First Truths, with one being that the First Ancestors departed their orginal Homeworld - almost certainly pre-Imperial Terra - millennia ago for the galactic core. This was done on vast fleets of Generation Ships and another First Truth, is that the First Ancestors were prospectors, miners, and void-dredgers, who were charged with exploiting the riches of the heavens.
While the First Ancestors did reach the galactic core, what happened to them afterwards, is unknown to the Squats. For their records of this period boast the last references to the First Ancestors – and the earliest mentions of the Ancestor Cores. It is a First Truth, however, that the First Ancestors created the Squats through the use of Cloneskeins.
The advent of the Squat race and culture
Over the course of probably thousands of years the physical appearance of the settlers of the galactic core rapidly changed and they began to develop into a new race. Adapting to the hostile environment, the monotonous diet of algae-derived food and specifically the high gravity of their worlds the colonists became shorter, more compact, more resilient and tougher. This was also accompanied by the development of a distinctive cultural identity, eventually even acquiring a new name: the Squats.[2a]
According to the First Truths of the Squats, their First Ancestors created them through the use of Cloneskeins. These gene pool systems were developed by the First Ancestors and resulted in stable mutations that still underpin the entire genetic structure of the Squats to this day. And while the Squats are all clones, the Cloneskeins draw upon deep and varied genetic pools, which enures they are not identical. In practical terms, the Cloneskeins have produced the Squat to have denser bones and muscles than baseline Humans. Their species also have higher red and white blood cell counts, and formidable strength and resilience.
Such was the First Ancestors' craft in creating the Squats, that even the species' souls are engineered. As a result of this, the Squat's souls shine more dimly against the tides of the Warp than Humans and there is no evidence of uncontrolled psychic mutation within them. Indeed, only those Squats with the appropriate psychically active Cloneskein, can activate the so-called Barrier-tech the Squat employ to access the Warp. The Cloneskeins also differentiate the division of labor in the Squat's society, and impart useful abilities to them upon their creation. Some Squat's Cloneskein might give them enhanced reaction times, the ability to see the infrared spectrum, or limited resistance to cosmic radiation and extremes of temperature or gravity. Many Cloneskeins also manifest in visible fashion, with giveaways including distinctive bodily odors, unusual eye colors, or thick subdermal layers. Such physical variations would be a cause for concern in Imperial society – but to the Squats, they are a badge of honor.
The Time of Isolation and the Homeworlds
At an unspecified point in the distant past devastating Warp storms cut off the galactic core from the rest of human-inhabited space, causing havoc and destruction amongst the worlds of the Squats: The Warp swallowed a huge number of planets, other were trapped in Stasis and were lost. But the majority of the Squat worlds survived but were isolated from Earth and the other parts of the galaxy, forcing the worlds who were still in contact with each other to organize for their mutual defence. This was also the time when the Squats began to refer to their worlds as Homeworlds.[2a]
This isolation lasted for thousands of years and during this time the universe became more and more hostile. Cut off from human fleets the Squats resorted to building their own spaceships and weapons to fend off Orks and Chaos warbands. Not all Squat worlds survived this time of turmoil, some were invaded and lost, others were destroyed by environmental instability and some were ravaged by infighting. Those worlds who did manage to come through on the other hand prospered and grew and the settlements turned into big and fortified Strongholds.[2a]
The End of the Isolation and the Reestablishment of contact
The Warp storms isolating the Squat worlds finally abated about ten thousand years ago and space travel between the Homeworlds but also to the other parts was reestablished. Contact between previously cut off colonies and the newly founded Imperium was also quickly restored.[2a]
The Squat civilization and culture
During their time of isolation from the rest of humanity which lasted thousands of years the original human colonists evolved so much that they are no longer considered human and the Squat civilization took a divergent path. This adaptation gave the Squats many advantages over the Imperium of Mankind when contact was reestablished.[2a]
Squat society and life
The stars in the galactic core are very old and - in comparison with our sun and other stars of the spiral arms - dim. The worlds orbiting these stars are big and rocky and rich in minerals. But they are also barren and lifeless. There is not much daylight and as a consequence these worlds are grey, shadowy, sombre, cheerless and inhospitable places that are hostile to plant life and therefore impossible to terraform. In addition to these characteristics they also possess a huge gravity that usually is two or three times that of Earth or even higher.[2a] The atmospheres of these worlds is mostly made up of inert gases, meaning that outside of the Strongholds the environment on the vast Homeworlds is hostile, barren and - apart from the outposts that are strewn across the planet's surface - unpopulated.[2b]
There are daunting continental shelves and seas of dust as most Homeworlds feature thick layers that are made up of finely pulverized rock. This material behaves very much like water, flowing and moving. This dust often contains high degrees of ore that can be mined with specialized equipment (see Squat technology), one example being the Iron Sea of Grindel which constitutes the single biggest source of ferrous ore in all the Squat Homeworlds. But there are also dust seas that are made up of silica, chromium compounds or small mineral crystals.[2b]
The weather on the Homeworlds is unpredictable and fits the vast size of the planets. The dust seas can be whipped up into lethal and abrasive dust storms that are able to completely desintegrate men in mere seconds. These storms that sometimes can blow for days or even weeks can appear rapidly and without warning. In extreme circumstances these dust storms can envelop the whole planet and blot out all the scarce light. Under these conditions no air travel or spaceship landings are possible. The Squats have learned to recognize the subtle changes in the breeze that precedes a dust storm.[2b]
The other danger lies in the location of the Homeworlds as their vicinity features two big threats: the Eye of Terror and its marauding Chaos warbands and the extensive Ork empires of the nothern spiral of the galaxy.[2c]
The Homeworlds and the Strongholds
Today there are several thousand known Squat Homeworlds, but it is not improbable that some of their worlds have not yet been rediscovered after the Time of Isolation. Every Squat world has at least one Stronghold - settlements which are to greater or lesser extent independent from each other and whose communities live by their own traditions and laws.[2b] They are each ruled by a Lord.[2e] Each Stronghold also maintains its own military forces. On worlds with more than one Stronghold usually one Stronghold dominates the others and exerts the nominal rule over the other Strongholds.[2b]
Below every Stronghold there is a labyrinth of mining installations which reach deep into the planet's crust. They are self-contained and vast communities that dispose of all necessary infrastructure (e.g. workshops, hydroponic plants for the food supply, power generators and atmospheric pumps) to maintain the Squat civilization. They also protect the inhabitants from the deadly dust storms, if necessary for years on end.[2b]
Known Strongholds include:
Squat outposts can be found across the Homeworlds, dotting the landscape between the Strongholds and serve different purposes. Some are just watch towers for the observation of the atmospheric approaches while others are defensive installations safeguarding the Homeworld and housing colossal lasers. But by far the most common type of outpost can be found over the original mining sites. These mines are not yet completely exhausted but since their remaining mineral deposits are far underground it is time and money intensive to exploit them, making it more economical to simply establish new mines in ore-rich regions.[2b]
Note: role and function of Kings? Note: role and function of Champions?
The 700 Leagues
While the individual Strongholds are independent communities they maintain relations with other Strongholds. Alliances usually serve the purpose of defence or trade, but they also define power blocks within the Homeworlds. Powerful rival Strongholds organize the other communities into mutually supportive groups called Leagues. A League is headed by one particularly influential Stronghold and the other Strongholds in the League rely on their leader Stronghold for defence but also trade. Sometimes these follower Strongholds also identify themselves with their leader community on historic or cultural grounds. Some of these Leagues are permanent structures while others are of a more loose or temporary character. [2b]
Currently around 700 Leagues exist that vary in power and size. The absolute number of Leagues varies (see above), but the most powerful of them are rather constant and constitute the largest united political structures of the Squats. Examples include:[2b]
- the League of Thor: gathers together more than 300 Strongholds and is the most powerful League[2b]
- the League of Kapellar: the size-wise largest League[2b]
- the League of Norgyr: the League closest to Earth[2b]
- the League of Emberg: the smallest League, it consists of a mere four Strongholds and is situated close to the Eye of Terror[2b]
- the League of Grindel[2b]
Alliances between Strongholds can date back thousands of years and the degree of interactions and interchange of peoples and cultures have turned them into virtually one nation. Other alliances take the form of loose federations in which the duties of patrolling space and the defence of outlying worlds against enemies such as Orks or Chaos are shared duties.[2b]
It is not unheard of for rivalling Leagues to engage in open warfare against each other - despite the otherwise strong sense of Squats for mutual preservation. When such wars happen, they can result in lasting enmity between the Squat factions as the Abhumans tend to not forget deeds of infamy for many generations. One such example is the conflict between the League of Thor and the League of Grindel. This unusually bitter war that was fought some two thousand years ago was caused by settlers from both Leagues clashing over the exploration of the Lost Stronghold of Dargon. During the course of the conflict several Strongholds were destroyed and the Strongholds of Thungrim and Bruggen were conquered by the League of Thor. The war only came to an end due to an external common threat when the massive Ork invasion of Grunhag the Flayer fell upon the Squats, forcing all Leagues to cooperate against the Greenskin menace. But even after the defeat of Grunhag's forces the League of Thor and the League of Grindel remained distrustful of each other and each League claims that it is still owed heavily in blood and honour by the other.[2b]
During the Time of Isolation, being separated from the rest of human-populated space it was essential for the Squats to safeguard and preserve the technology to keep their Strongholds running, e.g. to maintain the technology and knowledge to maintain the technology for generating air and food supplies. Another crucial issue was defence. To tackle the task of preserving the necessary engineering skills and know-how the Guilds were created. These Guilds developed into a complex system that collected all available information and knowledge and archived them for future generations. It is the Guilds that are responsible for the training of all specialists that are necessary for running a Stronghold such as Engineers, miners and other experts. It was also the Guilds who headed the effort to develop alternative technologies and the Squats' unique machines (see Squat technology).[2c] So Guild Engineers fulfill the role of scientists and technicians in Squat society.[2d]
As the technical know-how was originally scattered across the different Homeworlds the first task was to gather all this knowledge together and make it freely available throughout Squat civilization. One objective is to ensure the free passage of information like advances in technology or rediscoveries of ancient knowledge between the Homeworlds without regard for or hindrance by individual rivalries (see above). To achieve this the Guild system permeates the whole structure of the Squat culture and the Guilds extend across all Leagues and Strongholds. As a consequence the Guilds are considered the common factor that unites all Strongholds, no matter where they are or which League they belong to. This also means that while a Guildsman is a member of a specific Stronghold which they are loyal to, they are also loyal to their Guild and engaged to spread know-how to the other Squats.[2c]
Note: role and function of Guildmasters?
The Ancestor Lords
The role of advisors to Kings, Guildmasters and Squat Generals is fulfilled by the Living Ancestors (see also below Squat physiology). In addition to guiding and advising the Squats in their dealings with allies and enemies hey also form an inalienable link between the Strongholds and the past. The Ancestor Lords move without restriction between the Leagues. There is however not a huge number of these individuals.[2e]
The fighters of a Stronghold are organized into what is called fighting Brotherhoods whose actual size varies depending on the size of the Stronghold itself. Each brotherhood is led by its own commander and the Brotherhoods from the different Strongholds make up the military forces of the League the Strongholds belong to.[2d]
During the Time of Isolation the Squats, cut off from other human planets and external supplies as they were, were forced to defend themselves and to develop their own technology. This included re-inventing spacecraft, advanced weaponry and other complex technology.[2a] Also much of the civilian equipment had to be converted into efficient wargear (for example the Exo-armour).[30c] Another issue was maintaining and keeping their life-support systems and hydroponic tanks running that they needed for their air, heat and food supply. Achieving these objectives was helped by the very nature of the Squat population - the tough miners knew how to exploit the resources at their disposal. They were thus able to rapidly come up with alternative technologies to replace the ones not longer available from Earth.[2a]
The Squat Guilds (see above) have developed a number of technologies that no other race possesses and that are so specific that not even the Technomagi of the Adeptus Mechanicus can fathom how they work. Examples for this Squat ingenuity in technological matters include the Neoplasma reactor which is powered by a Warp core and harnessed by a zero-energy containment field.[2c] Another of the inventions of the Squats are the Land Trains - gigantic moving fortresses with broad tracks designed to cross the treacherous dust seas and massive continental shelves. However not even these behemoths are immune to the dangers of the environment of the Squat worlds and Land Trains can sink without leaving a trace when travelling into deep dust. Factory Land Trains that are equipped with giant scoops and that tow powered track-cars or living quarters or ore supplies can mine the ore of the dust seas.[2b] But there are also many other technological advances of the Squats, including some which the stocky abhumans even consider too dangerous for use.[2c]
While the Guilds ensures that all their members have access to the discoveries and knowledge they refuse to share their know-how with other races. Their attitude towards the Adeptus Mechanicus is also shaped by this and their character (see Squat character below).[2c] To check: The Squats are said to allow the Adeptus Mechanicus free access to their technology.
Other Squat technology:
- Bikes and Trikes are used extensively as personal transports throughout the hostile landscapes of the Squat Homeworlds. But especially younger abhumans make use of them in battle. This is particularly true for the Engineers Guild whose Guild Bikers call their bikes and trikes Hogs and Sickles. Subtypes include:
- the Guild Trike which is exclusively used by the Engineers Guild
- the Exo-Armour Trike which is ridden into battle by a Stronghold's warrior aristocracy wearing Exo-armour (see below) and carrying a Doom Lance, a spear or lance like weapon that upon impact fires a single Heavy bolter shell at extremely close range at its target
- Exo-armour: similar to Terminator Armour the Squat exo-armour combines a mobile exo-skeleton with heavy armour plates. The exo-armour was developped during the Age of Isolation from the sealed environment suits the Squats use for working in hostile environments like chemical storage tanks, plasma reactor pressure chambers or mining on asteroids. This item of Squat technology is considered one of the most abiding inventions from the Age of Isolation and is usually lavishly decorated with precious metals and with traditonal designs or runes telling of the wealth, lineage and accomplishments of the wearer of the armour[30c]
- Mole mortar: invented by the Engineers Guild, copied by the Imperium and adopted by the Imperial Guard[30a]
- Thudd gun: this quad launcher is likewise an invention of the Engineers Guild who supplied it to the Adeptus Mechanicus who then copied the design[30b]
Squat physiology and psychic abilities
Due to the physical characteristics of the worlds they live on Squats have evolved from the originally human settlers and have become short, stocky and tough abhumans. Their average height is 1.4 metres. They are long-lived, often attaining ages two or three times that of a normal human. Some Squats even live for many hundreds of years and with the progression of age they develop Psyker powers. To begin with these Psi abilities are rather modest and can manifest in second sight, intuitive telepathy and mild psychokinesis, but this changes the older the Squats become - their ancient minds become more aligned with the Warp. In the end these old Squats turn into what is called Ancestor Lords, revered, respected and feared individuals who possess powers beyond comprehension. They can hear the voices of dead and long-gone Squats and are protected by these spirits from the many dangers of the Warp who also provide them with knowledge of secrets of the past (see also Ancestor Lords above). But these are not fragile and decrepit ancients, Ancestor Lords are awesome figures of impressive strength and girth, sporting big gnarled beards that they have grown over hundreds of years.[2e]
Among the more prominent psychic powers of the Ancestor Lords are the following powers:
- Domination: a psychic power turning individuals into temporary puppets of an Ancestor Lord[27a]
- Force Dome: a psychic dome protecting or entrapping individuals[27a]
- Hammer of Fury: a very powerful supernatural blow[27b]
- Mental Fortress: a powerful mental barrier[27b]
Among the typical character traits of Squats are their famously long memories which result in them never forgetting acts of treachery or broken promises (see also Relations with the Imperium). The short abhumans are not exactly famed for being diplomatic by nature, on the contrary their manners are regarded as bluff and brutal and their tempers as fiery, fitting their robust body stature. Squats consider other races as fragile and and lacking in comradeship and directness - virtues that the Squats regard as good and honest.[2c]
All stocky abhumans are fierce and determined warriors, proficient in the use of their weapons and prepared to take up arms to safeguard their Strongholds. As a result of denturies of experience in fighting in the tunnels under their Strongholds the Squat warriors are experts in close quarters fighting with short ranged weapons and axes. They are resolute and famed to stand their ground even in the face of impossible odds. And due to their history with the Orks all Squats hate the greenskinned Xenos.[2d]
The approach of the Squats towards technology is decidedly different from the one taken by the Adeptus Mechanicus: the straightforward and practical attitude of the Squats towards technology differs fundamentally from the neo-arcana of the Imperium of Mankind and the Squats regard the Technomagi as little more than sorcerers steeped in superstition and ignorance.[2c]
The Squats and the other races and factions
The Imperium of Mankind
Relations between the Squat Homeworlds and the Imperium are mostly of a peaceful and cooperative nature, especially considering the many common enemies such as Orks.[2a] There is also trading for the mutual benefit of both sides.[2a] There have however also been instances of not so peaceful relations going as far as frequent bouts of war and ill-feeling as the Squat character makes them prone to take offence at any slight to their honour or doubledealing, especially in trade matters.[2a],[2c] Squats are stubborn and quite probable to pursue retribution in such cases.[2a] As a consequence the relationship has always been strained.[2c] The very character of the Squats (see above) does not always inspire the confidence of other humans and the Squats find the ways of men to be effete.[2c]
Technology-wise the Adeptus Mechanicus have trouble understanding the Squat advances made during the Time of Isolation which has not stopped them from conducting experiments with the Abhumans' technology. One such experiment with Warp reactor technology however resulted in the notorious Contagion of Ganymede and subsequently these experiments were given up.[2c]
The Imperium first encountered the Squats during the age of reunification called the Great Crusade as the Emperor's forces reached the worlds near the galactic core. Many of these worlds were the Squat homeworlds. Stubborn, insular and fiercely independent, war between the Squats and the Imperial forces was inevitable. High casualties suffered by the Space Marine Legions led to the development of the Mk. III Power Armour, suitable for the conditions being fought in - confined tunnel complexes with little cover.
At some point in the early Imperium, the Inquisition conducted galaxy-wide campaigns of DNA testing on newly rediscovered worlds, exterminating those they saw as mutants and resettling the planets with pure-blooded humans. Only millenia later did Abhumans become regarded as proper humans and integrated into the Imperium. Some Strongholds came under direct imperial rule, but none remain in M.41, the last of them seceding during the Age of Apostasy.[38a]
Somewhat intriguingly originally the relationship between Squats and Orks was one of indifference and even sometimes limited trade between the short abhumans and the Greenskins. And while the Squat Homeworlds lie close to the extensive Ork empires of the galaxy's northern spiral the Squat worlds are inhospitable to the Xenos and therefore clashes of interests between the two races were rare and the Squats were content to leave the Greenskins alone.[2c]
This state of mutual trade did not last too long however and even if Squat records of what precisely happened are incomplete and confused it is clear that massive Ork invasions unexpectedly fell upon the Squats. And while the Greenskin invaders could eventually be stopped in a last ditch defence several Strongholds and many livers were lost to the Orks.[2c]
Taking into consideration the unforgiving and long memories of Squats (see Squat character) it is comprehensible that the Squats have never forgotten this lesson of what they consider an unashamed treachery by the Orks. This traumatic experience has deeply ingrained itself into Squat culture and some of the more enduring folk legends recall the desperate defence of a a fortress or stranded Land Train under siege by the Greenskin warriors. Since the original conflict many more wars between Squats and Orks have been fought, all of them bitter struggles fought to the last proud Squat warrior.[2c]
Given the fundamentally different character and culture of Squats and Eldar it is hardly surprising that Eldar consider the short abhumans as barely better than beasts not much preferable to Orks. The Squats in return don't care much for the mincing delicacies of the haughty aliens.[2c]
Due to the Eye of Terror being close to the Homeworlds, marauding Chaos warbands pose a threat, albeit predominantly in space, the raiders attacking ships while in Warp transit. The Squats have never relented in their battle against Chaos that is - apart from the Orks of course - their great enemy. Squat units therefore always immediately track and destroy such warbands.[2c]
The race of the Squats was devoured by an unnamed Tyranid Hive fleet (see also following notes). They are however listed as one of the officially recognized abhuman races, and at least some Squats still do exist.
During the Psychic Awakening, an Imperial ship seemingly encountered Squats, much to their shock. The vessel was caught in a Squat gravitational weapon near the world of 47-Grendel near the Galactic Core. It has since been explained as of Codex: Leagues of Votann that these "Squats" as well as associated groups such as Demiurg were simply "misclassified" Prospect fleets of the Leages of Votann, which until the formation of the Great Rift had been largely content to dwell within the Galactic Core.
- Brokk - Sergeant
- Dimron Starag - Champion
- Dorak Ironhead - General to Thrund Redbeard[2e]
- Garnil Hullson - Heavy plasma gun specialist
- Gorun - Commander and Warmaster
- Grendl Grendlsen - Bounty Hunter
- Grombrindal - Magos
- 'Mad' Grund Deepson - Champion
- Haakon - Trooper
- Honest Magam Magrog[2e]
- Magnus Ulthang - Commander
- Ragnan Mograk - Commander
- Ragnir Gunnstein - Necromunda Resident
- Thrund Redbeard - Lord of a Stronghold[2e]
Development of Squats
The following information is not written from an in-universe perspective as it contains quotes, statements and remarks concerning Games Workshop's product policy.
First Edition Period (1987-1993)
| Attention Adept of the LEXICANUM!
This article is being created or revised.
Second Edition Period (1993 - 1998)
Although Squat armies were present, the Second Edition period was marked by a reduction in support for Squat army lists. When the boxed set for the second edition of Warhammer 40,000 was released in 1993 it included a black-and-white booklet entitled Codex Army Lists. This booklet also included a full Squat Army List and Squat Wargear List.[21b] The Squats also featured prominently in the other books of this box, i.e. the Codex Imperialis and to a lesser extent, as their weapons were not really different from that of the Imperium, in the Wargear book. But while the other races in this Codex Army Lists would receive their own Codices (or at least mostly turn up in other Codices), the Squats were left out, they never received a newer playable army list or a Codex of their own. They also did not receive any new models for Warhammer 40,000, in how far and how long the old, first edition models remained available is difficult to ascertain.
Somewhat surprisingly maybe the Squats were included in the 1994 expansion boxed set Dark Millennium with their own dedicated vehicle datafaxes, Wargear cards and Psyker powers.[27a] But apart from that Squats were almost not mentioned anymore in a Warhammer 40,000 game context, not even in White Dwarf with some exceptions and then mostly in a very brief and general manner:
- December 1993: Warhammer 40,000 article entitled Assault Squads: "All Squats are excellent hand to hand combat troops by nature."
- January 1994: announcement/ full page advert for Mike McVey's 'Eavy Metal painting book with the title Warhammer 40,000 Painting Guide: "In addition to Space Marines, there are pages for the Orks, the Imperial Guard, Squats, Tyranids, Genestealers and Chaos Space Marines." And indeed there are Squats in said painting guide.
- October 1995: in the rules for the then new Callidus Imperial Assassin[28a]: "The player can select either an Ork, Squat, Human, Genestealer Hybrid or Eldar and substitute the Callidus Assassin for that model". The same source in an article about Tyranid Warriors calls the Squats (together with Orks) "particularly slow-witted".[28b] The latter remark should not be taken as a nod to the "Tyranids ate 'em" thesis, Orks and Squats simply game-wise had lower Initiative values which made them more vulnerable to the Tyranid weapons discussed.
- find more references
Other codices of this edition of Warhammer 40,000 also continued to mention the Squats, albeit in a more discrete way:
- Codex: Eldar (1994) lists them as a possible "Allies" choice
- so do Codex: Space Wolves (1994) and Codex: Ultramarines (1995)
- Codex: Angels of Death (1996) prohibits Dark Angels from allying with Squats[40a] while allowing it to the Blood Angels[40b]
- Neither Chaos, Orks nor Tyranids could obviously ally with Squats.
It should be noted that the last codices of the second edition did not mention the Squats at all, namely Codex: Sisters of Battle (1997) and Codex: Assassins (1997). The reasons for that are unknown. While obviously the phasing out of the Squats might be a reason, one could also easily argue that the fanatical fighters of the Ecclesiarchy would hardly ally with abhumans. And in the case of the Officio Assassinorum the Codex does not include a stand-alone army list, instead simply and categorically stating that all Armies that are allowed to include Imperial Agents can make use of the described Assassins. And the only Codex-like book for the Squats being the Codex Army Lists did not allow the Squat army to include Imperial Agents.[21a],[21b]
But of course the Squats had not only been a playable race in Warhammer 40,000, but also in Epic with many models, rules and texts being published for the game's second edition. The dedicated expansion box Ork and Squat Warlords for example had only been released in 1992, so a mere year or so before the second edition of Warhammer 40,000. It is therefore not completely surprising that mentions of Squats throughout White Dwarf magazine during the later 1990s were mainly in this context. Likewise the corresponding products remained available (to what extent and for how long is again difficult to say, but certainly the Ork and Squat Warlords boxed set was advertised and sold as late as August of 1996).
- Insert explanatory paragraph about the 2nd ed here: Epic (Ordinatus, Khorne daemon engines etc), mentions, pictures
But the party seemed to be finally over when the third edition of Epic was released a bit later around April/ May of 1997. Explain why.
Third to Fifth Edition Period (1998 - 2012)
The period from the Third Edition to the Fifth Edition was marked by a disappearance of Squats, and the planned development of Demiurg in their place. At first the disappearance of the Squat army from the game rules seems not to have been explained at all. They were seemingly just gone and Games Workshop did not mention them or what happened to them (as far as we currently know) for a very long time. Nevertheless many players and readers believe that Games Workshop sometime in the early second edition of Warhammer 40,000 officially stated that all of the Squats had been devoured by the Tyranids. The truth however seems to be more complicated. The whole "myth" seems to originally stem from a very selective and imprecise interpretation of the answer of an unnamed Games Workshop employee who was in charge of answering readers' letters in the January 2000 (US) edition of White Dwarf which places this event during the third edition of Warhammer 40,000 which came out in 1998. Reader Tim Gutierrez had vented his frustration at GW dropping the Squats with a message entitled "WE WANT SQUATS!!!" and the answer of the unnamed GW respondent was as follows:
Seeing this actual quote makes it quite clear that the "Tyranids ate 'em all" urban legend originally was neither formulated as a definite statement (there even is a question mark there), nor was the text that was often erroneously assumed to have spawned this idea really a very official statement. It was simply a somewhat strange answer by an anonymous Games Workshop mail responder. Based on this source it was just as probable or improbable to believe that all Squats had been sacrificed to the Emperor of Mankind for disturbing the peace on their bikes.
In 2001 (teased in Battlefleet Gothic Magazine Issue 5, published in Issue 6) the Demiurg made their (quite limited) appearance in the Warhammer 40,000 setting in Games Workshop's niche Space battles game Battlefleet Gothic with their Stronghold Class and Bastion Class Commerce Vessels. The Demiurg should however on no account be confused with the Squats, according to presumably Jervis Johnson (see clarification further down) who later (in 2004) stated that the Demiurg are "a race based on the Squat archetype for 40K". In this context the choice of words is important: based on, not identical or lore-wise derived from. Apart from two ship models for Battlefleet Gothic no models or artwork were released that at this point would have allowed to draw a conclusion how far the Squat-inspiration of the Demiurg in a physical sense actually went. There are photos of alleged concept sketches by Jes Goodwin taken at some event floating around on the Internet, but the authenticity of these sketches cannot be confirmed. And it should be noted that a concept is exactly what the term says. This being said, there are a number of intriguing elements: Already the names for their space vessels, i.e. the "Bastion" and the "Stronghold" could be interpreted as not very subtle nods in the directions of the Squats (see above). In 2004 (note: and this was probably just an exact reprint of the 2001 Battlefleet Gothic Magazine article, as is probably the case with most information about these two ship classes cited below) it was stated that the Demiurg space vessels are "nomadic" and "technologically advanced and extremely well powered". (Asteroid) "Mining" is mentioned as one of the activities of the Demiurg. They are also noted for the following behaviour: "In most cases these ships withdraw their craft and disenage [sic] if challenged but in some instances have inexplicably turned on their attackers with surprising ferocity. It is worthy of note that every known encounter between Demiurg and Ork vessels has resulted in combat." This could be interpreted (or not) as a nod at the well-known Squats-Orks enmity. This is also elaborated on in Battlefleet Gothic: Armada:
Note the use of the word "aliens" in the last quote. Another source also states that the Demiurg "are a mysterious and solitary Xenos race, previously virtually mythical to the adepts of the Imperium. In recent centuries, however, the vast, stately commerce ships of the Demiurg have become an increasingly regular sight in the Segmentum Tempestus, although they scrupulously avoid Imperial space unless specifically invited." It should be noted, that here the Demiurg are specifically designated as "Xenos", which is an entirely different category of race from the "Abhuman" designation of the Squats. In yet another source it is also emphasized that the Demiurg are "Aliens": "Unfortunately, less than scrupulous planetary governors have been known to employ Demiurg forces to bolster their own positions, inviting Inquisitorial censure for their truck with aliens". It was in the same source that the location of Segmentum Tempestus was quietly changed by Games Workshop to Ultima Segmentum which considering where the Tau, as whose allies the Demiurg had been introduced, are actually located could be simply a correction of a previously made mistake. It is in this source that the term "Brotherhood" (very reminiscent of the Squats) as an organizational term in connection with the Demiurg can be found:
The concept of the Demiurg "brotherhoods" is further explained in the same source:
So clearly by March 2004 at least Games Workshop internally the "Tyranids"-story had been established as the explanation.[9 introduction] It remains however unclear, what official status the "Tyranids story" had before this.
Further on in this re-issue of Inquisition War Trilogy in a "letter" preceding the novel "Draco" the following statement was included by either autor or editors (it had not been present in the original print):
This add-on tidbit seems to possibly imply that the supposed devouring of the Squat race had taken place after the events described in the book.
In addition in a post on the old and now deleted company-run forum of Specialist Games a person assumed to be Jervis Johnson (if that is accurate cannot be verified) not much later (on 28 July 2004 to be precise) wrote the following:
This forum post (assuming it was really Jervis Johnson writing that of course) now unequivocally stated that "Instead we decided that we'd write the Squats out of the background by saying that their Homworlds [sic] had been devoured by a Tyranid Hivefleet." The only problem with that statement being that apart from Ian Watson's introduction and the second mention in the same book so far no other official source where this "writing out" had actually happened could be found (which does not mean that it does not exist, we just have not found it yet). And we do not know if Ian Watson received his information from Games Workshop/ Black Library directly or if it really had been published someplace else before. But taken together the line at this point was that the Squats were gone, but that they had indeed existed (without obviously taking into account any specific details and implications for the Imperium of the race and quite a sizeable piece of the previously established galactic map close to the Segmentum Solar simply vanishing from the background).
In Dan Abnett's Ravenor novel series in 2006 a shipmaster named Sholto Unwerth made his appearance in the second installment of the series, Ravenor Returned.[34a] He is described as being squat in stature[34b], so "short and broad he looks like a dwarf or mutant, with a flowing crest of hair, a goatee and strange, idiosyncratic speech", his "comical appearance and mannerisms" belying "his intelligence, and his perseverance". Abnett returns time and again to the diminutive stature of Unwerth: "The shipmaster’s penmanship, like the shipmaster himself, was small and intricate."[34c]; "Unwerth drew himself up to his full height – which put his eyes on a level with Worna’s navel [...]"[34c]; "A nobody midget in a tramp ship."[34c]; "Sholto Unwerth, so small his feet swung off the bench seat and didn’t reach the ground [...]"[34c]; "The runty thing goes by the name of Sholto Unwerth [...]"[34d]; "[Sholto Unwerth:] I am racing as fast as my foreshortened under limbs can go! I am not provided with lissom leggage such as you display, mamzel!"[34e]; "Sholto Unwerth, my erstwhile shipmaster, [...] the little man [...]"[35a];
So while Abnett ultimately refrains from an outright confirmation (or denial) that Sholto Unwerth is a Squat, it is noteworthy that the term was actually printed at all. Later on in the novel he nevertheless stops one of his characters to utter the name again:[35c]
Later however Games Workshop took the stance that the Squats never existed - older republished novels have been edited to remove all references of Squats.[Needs Citation] In other cases books have not been republished due to the stories featuring Squat characters or other obsolete races.[Needs Citation]
Sixth Edition to Present Period (2012-2021)
Since the Sixth Edition, Squats had begun reappearing in Games Workshop publications. The rulebooks of the sixth and seventh edition. (2012 and 2014 respectively) of Warhammer 40,000 then re-established the Squats as existing in official lore as one of the "officially recognized, abhuman races" (without going into more detail):
Note: add new info that Golgotha is once again a confirmed ex-Squat homeworld, German WD #452
In 2018, Games Workshop formally reintroduced Squats model-wise into the setting with one Squat mercenary character and miniature in Necromunda: Underhive. In Grendl Grendlsen's back story it is stated that he was a Banner-jarl of the famous Vega Rams mercenary company. The name of this mercenary company could be taken as a direct reference to the Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader era, as the Vega Ram Company (without the word "mercenary") is featured with a banner and a symbol in The Book of the Astronomican (1988). It is unknown if this 2018 name choice by Games Workshop is simply a nod to the old lore, an acknowledgment by the game company to the original Squat lore, a real continuation of the old lore or something else althogether.
In 2019 another Squat character for Necromunda: Underhive followed: Ragnir Gunnstein, Forge World produced the corresponding model. This Ammo-jack is stated to have come to Necromunda after a "colourful career" and that he had been "in retirement". Furthermore it is written that "few on Necromunda know much about the Squats beyond that they are fierce abhuman warriors" - a possible indicator that Squats are maybe not so rare that nobody has ever heard of them as they certainly seem to have made a reputation for themselves.
In 2021 Liber Xenologis included an entry on Squats, saying that "there was a time when they were a common sight in Imperial warzones" but "they have become rare", with rumours that "many of their home worlds were devoured by xenos fleets and they are now nomads, either drafted into Auxilla regiments or offering their services as mercenaries."
Return as a playable faction (2022)
On April 1st, the return of the Squats as a playable army was hinted at in a video. A derelict Imperial warship is boarded by a shadowy dwarven figure, who says in a stereotypically dwarven accent, "Alright, we're back. Did we miss anything important?", followed by the text "They're back ...after a short absence" and a dwarven face icon.
The next day a follow-up article assured readers that the teaser video was not an April Fool's prank and depicted a new model of a Squat soldier. The article also noted that the faction name is officially the Leagues of Votann, and while they are kin to Imperial humans the Squats utilise a lot more ancient - even 'heretical' - technology, although common enemies such as Chaos and aliens ensure that the two factions are usually allies.
It is explained that the "Squats" as well as other affiliated races such as the Demiurg were in fact misclassified Prospect fleets of the greater Leagues of Votann civilization, which until the Great Rift largely kept to itself within the Galactic Core.
League of Votann miniature
- Squat Armoury
- Squat Forces
- Squat Quotes - Squat-related background quotes.
- Chaos Squats
- 1: Warhammer 40,000: Compendium pgs. 164-183
- 2: Codex Imperialis
- 3: Warhammer 40,000: Compilation, pg. 21
- 4: Codex Titanicus (2nd Edition), pg. 60
- 5: Warhammer 40,000 6th Edition Rulebook, pg. 405
- 6: Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader, pg. 175
- 7: White Dwarf 240 (US), p. 99
- 8: Specialist Games forum, subforum: Epic Armageddon, thread: "Squats" (saved archive page, dated 29 January 2006, last accessed 21 February 2020)
- 9: Inquisition War Trilogy (Novel Series) (2004 omnibus edition)
- 10: Warhammer 40,000 7th Edition Rulebook e-edition, Section Dark Millennium, subsection Abhumans
- 11: Warhammer Community: News from the Horus Heresy & Necromunda Weekender (saved archive page, dated February 2022)
- 12: Xenology (no pagenumbers, according to own counting p. 83 "Miscellany")
- 13: Games Workshop: Battlefleet Gothic downloads New threat alert - Experimental rules for Forge World’s new alien ship, by Andy Chambers - Demiurg "Stronghold" Commerce vessel (saved archive page, dated 28 July 2004, last accessed 22 February 2020)
- 14: Forge World: Demiurg Bastion Class Cruiser (saved archive page, dated 22 October 2012, last accessed 22 February 2020)
- 15: Battlefleet Gothic: Armada (Book), pgs. 109-111 digital distribution document
- 16: Forge World: Grendl Grendlsen, Squat Bounty Hunter (last accessed 22 February 2020)
- 17: Necromunda: Gang War II, pg. 5
- 18: Warhammer 40,000 Chapter Approved - The Book of the Astronomican, pg. 42
- 19: Battlefleet Gothic Magazine Issue 5, pg. 8
- 20: Battlefleet Gothic Magazine Issue 6, pgs. 4/5
- 21: Codex Army Lists:
- 22: Codex Imperialis (Background Book), pgs. 71-75
- 23: White Dwarf 200 (AU), pgs. 100 and 129
- 24: White Dwarf 168 (UK), pg. 40
- 25: White Dwarf 169 (UK), pg. 11
- 26: Warhammer 40,000 Painting Guide, pgs. 80/81
- 27: Warhammer 40,000: Dark Millennium (Box Set)
- 28: White Dwarf 190 (UK):
- 29: Warhammer 40,000 2nd Edition Rulebook:
- 29a: pg. 17
- 30: Warhammer 40,000: Wargear (2nd Edition):
- 31: Warhammer 40,000: Vehicle Manual - Entries for Squat Bike, Squat Guild Trike and Squat Exo-Armour Trike
- 32:Warhammer Community: Short on Ammo? Get a Squat Ammo-jack (posted 19 July 2019) (last accessed 26 March 2020)
- 33: Forge World: Ragnir Gunnstein, Squat Ammo-jack (last accessed 26 March 2020)
- 34: Ravenor Returned (Novel):
- 35: Ravenor Rogue (Novel)
- 36: The Inquisition (Background Book), pg. 90
- 37: Pariah (Novel), Chapter 19
- 38: Codex: Imperial Guard (2nd Edition)
- 39: Codex: Eldar (2nd Edition), pg. 77
- 40: Codex: Angels of Death (2nd Edition):
- 41: Codex: Space Wolves (2nd Edition), pg. 61
- 42: Codex: Ultramarines (2nd Edition), pg. 63
- 43: Psychic Awakening: Pariah pg.21
- 44:Necromunda Gang War 2, pg. 5 — The Gang Wars Rages On
- 45: Warhammer Community: Amazing Axe and Stunning Beard? Must Be a Dwarf (Posted 15/12/2019) (Last accessed on 15 December 2019)
- 46: Forge World: Ragnir Gunnstein, Squat Ammo-jack (last accessed 26 March 2020)
- 47: Citadel Combat Cards: Spacewar
- 48: Warhammer Community: Breaking News – You Won’t Believe What’s Coming to Warhammer 40,000 (Last accessed on 3 April 2022)
- 49: Warhammer Community: What April Fools? The 41st Millennium’s Next Faction is Real – Here’s a Model to Prove it (Last accessed on 3 April 2022)
- 50: Warhammer Community: The Lore of the Leagues – Who Are the Kin, and Where Do They Come From? (Posted on 10/05/2022) (Last accessed on 10 May 2022)
- 51: Codex: Leagues of Votann, pgs. 6-10
- 52: Liber Xenologis, pg. 29
- 53: Codex: Tyranids (2nd Edition), pgs. 36/37