40K: Let’s Talk Squats


Hold on to your stuntie trousers because we’re going there. Let’s talk about the Squats!

Hey BoLS Readers. If you’re an old veteran you know that every time you mention the name “Squats” you reset the clock. For you new players you may not even know what the “Squat Clock” is – or who the Squats are for that matter! Well, it’s time to get you all educated in the ways of the Space Dwarves for yore.

squat-commandSo mysterious, yet popular enough to have an actual wikipedia page..

From Lexicanum:

“Squats (Homo sapiens rotundus) were short, stocky and tough abhumans. Of all the abhuman types, they most closely resembled humans. Squats were the descendants of humans who colonised the worlds around the galactic core in the far distant past. These worlds are some of the oldest in the galaxy, formed when the laws of physics had yet to be stabilized.”

The basic description of Squats is that they are descendants of human colonists that colonized world around the galactic core where the gravity caused them to become “abhuman” and-squat like. Basically gravity created these Space Dwarfs. For the earlier editions of the game, the Squats were a full fledged army as well.

squat-trikeSquats reminded me of a vertically challenged motorcycle gang…

Somewhere along the line Games Workshop decided to kill the army. At first, the disappearance was due to the “new” Tyranid threat that had invaded the core worlds and basically ate the Squat civilization. But then things got pretty ugly. As fan outcry got louder, Games Workshop retreated further and further away from the Squats to the point where they basically just retconned their existence away.

That was the case until the 6th edition Rulebook where there was an unexpected side note:


So someone either slipped this in or wasn’t in the loop about the Squats. Now, I know what many folks are thinking: “So what, it’s just a blurb about abhumans, what gives?” Well there is some “evidence” that Games Workshop might be bringing them back – but not as Squats, but as the Demiurg.

weirdalfoil_2322Who doesn’t love a good conspiracy theory, right?!

Note: I just want to say this up front – this is all speculation and I’m half-joking about this but it’s all in good fun so bear with me.

The Demiurg were already in Battle Fleet Gothic:


and have shown up AGAIN in the digital frontier as well:


Games Workshop has concept art for them:


Squats are also one of the last remaining…let’s call them “Nostalgia Armies” from Rogue Trader days:

5a8880bcf0cf023b8ebfae45a922fee3via Mundo warhammer (Pinterest)

Many of their weapons already have stats in the game:

“Several of the weapons now in regular Imperial service were originally developed by the Squats: this includes the Leviathan super-heavy assault transport, Thunderfire cannon, Thudd gun and Mole mortar. “(Lexicanum)

SM-thunderfireThat’s Squat-Tech, baby!

But I think the BIGGEST reason is a business reason – the competition is already tapping into the Squat sized void left in gamer’s hearts:

Mantic’s Forge Fathers

forge-fathers iron-ancestor

If you think Games Workshop hasn’t noticed these guys around Nottingham you’re only fooling yourself. Personally, I think it’s a matter of time before the Squats DO make a resurgence. I’m frankly surprised we haven’t seen them come out as an ally to the Tau already. Maybe that was the intention the whole time. The Demiurg fleet is basically part of the Tau forces so how long until we see some ground support? Only GW knows…

Want to Learn more? Check out our sister site Lexicanum at the links below:

Squats Page

Demiurg Page


What’s your take? Should the Squats make a comeback? Also how would they be represented on the Tabletop? What Type of “army archetype” would they fit under?

  • Severius_Tolluck

    So let’s see. If they retconned most squats to the eastern fringe where the the hive fleets hit imperial space, and where the tau come from. I can see where the Tau rescued some thought to be lost to the imperium.

    • ZeeLobby

      There were a ton of rumors back in the day that the new Tau dex would have demiurg characters in it. Or that a tau supplement would introduce more alien races. Sadly it never panned out.

      • Severius_Tolluck

        yeah boo… seems GW kinda had that cool aliens mercenary hodge podge for the greater good fall away to bots, more bots, bots inside bots…. I get it the mechs are cool but I would love to see the kroot get some new toys too! Tau Aux like humans (thankfully allied guard in with counts as is a thing), more vespid, or other kooky things!

        • ZeeLobby

          Yeah. Tau were such a cool concept that’s kind of been binned for the almighty $. I feel like while GW was struggling to decide where to go with 6th and 7th, they looked at GW successes, and tried to emulate their release approach. Big walkers, big robots, SMs stuff galore, oh and plastic 30K. It’s a concept that worked fine for GW cause they had a very diverse 40K framework to build niche things for, but that shift has caused 40K to become less diverse. We’ll see I guess, and like you said, counts as at least reopens some doors

          • grim_dork

            Less diverse? Hard to see where you arrive there.

          • ZeeLobby

            No updates for xenos factions, no new xenos releases for Tau whose original concept was a collective empire of xenos races, hardly any new xenos mini-factions (genestealer cult being the rare exception). GW has been massively pro-humanity as far as fluff and releases have gone for a long while. Even BL lit is always SM vs something. This wasn’t true back in 40Ks initial days. Heck Chaos didn’t even exist in RT.

    • Liam Wolf

      The Demiurg fluff says they are mostly fleet-based. So Squat and Demiurg fluff could be squished together with the fleets are all they have left after their worlds got eaten, much like the Eldar on their craftworlds. Then they float into Tau space and bam.

      I have a bunch of the mantic models. Would love to add them to Tau auxilaries!

      • NNextremNN

        From what I have seen Squats don’t look like Demiurg. I’d rather see them as two diffrent space dwarf races and not as the same. If anything Demiurg remind me of Duergar these evil underdark dwarfs and squats as normal happy “overworld” dwarfs.

        • Emprah

          Dorf on Dorf warfare!

  • Muninwing

    on one hand… if they are resurrecting any possible faction (Harlequins, Deathwatch, Genecults, AdMech), then maybe giving the Squats/Demiurg a try isn’t a bad idea.

    on the other… they were cut due to having exactly zero real direction or distinctness. “space dwarfs” isn’t a concept so much as a starting point, and they never really got past that. they had a possible niche with the biker gang thing (but biker gang Red Sunz and Ravenwing and White Scars and Eldar Scatterbikes already fit the bill), but never really went anywhere due to lack of vision.

    someone would need to bring back Demiurg OR Squat abhumans as a thing with a distinct and unique flavor. and since GW has been tanking it on setting Chaos in its already-defined place in any way that works, i wonder if it’s just too much to expect.

    • Majere613

      According to some GW staffers I got chatting with during an interview at HQ several years ago (amongst the sample work I brought was an updated Squat list) the Squats were mostly championed by Bryan Ansell, who was simultaneously very powerful, and very unpopular. The mix of bikers with fantasy Dwarfs was all him and no-one else really liked it, so when he left the company the Squats were killed off as quickly as possible.

    • Heinz Fiction

      “Space Dwarfs” is still more of a concept than another Space Marine codex of different color…

      • Muninwing

        given that there’s no alternate codexes that are just “of a different color” i’m not sure what you mean…

  • Roj El Dorn
    • Roj El Dorn

      Even Ann Summers (UK Lingerie shop) has a view on GWs Army removal policy!

  • georgelabour

    Affordable plastic titans, Exodites, more knights, squats and Plastic Vostroyans.

    That’s my GW wish list in order right there.

  • Bryan Ruhe

    I bet I’d like GW’s sculpts of Squats/Demiurgs more than I like Mantic’s Forge Fathers. Bleck!

    • Myu

      Yeah the concept art looked pretty good

  • Koszka

    I’d love to have squats back. I picked up 50 of them for a platoon in my IG army. It would awesome to have a new full fledged books based on them. some of the newer pre AoS dwarf boxes have some decent foundations for conversion. I’m looking at making some pretty badass carapace veterans for myself…

  • david

    You fogot the Squat’s had other vehicles, the land train was their primary transport (the front of one can be seen above) not fogetting the gyro plane they had.
    I’ve got a few rare miniatures, an enginseer and a servitor.The Squat trike was mean looking, a bit like a chopper hog with attitude.
    If I remember there was a novel, which featured a story of a squat engineer, tagging along with an inquisitor and a full squad of marines perched on top or a land raider.

  • dave long island


    Make it happen, gee dub.

    • eehaze

      Chaos Warriors + Space = SPACE VIKINGS

      Make it happen, GW.

      • Emdee

        Can you say….Space Wolves…lol.

        • eehaze

          I was thinking more Raiding and Pillaging and less Bestiality.

      • dave long island


  • HerstonHolt

    I reckon if they do come back, they’ll come back evil.
    Betrayed by the Orcs. betrayed by the Eldar, abandoned by the Imperium, nommed by the Tyranids and an attempt at annexation by the Tau? I’d be salty after that…

    • Moik

      Dwarfs are salty before anything you said happened to them.

  • polyquaternium7

    you know Squat !!!

  • CF

    If they do come back I’d prefer it as the Demiurg as opposed to the bikers they were before. They’d be a lot more interesting. It would also give Tau a potential BB ally.

    We really are living in amazing 40k times. I’m back to the hobby 4 years ago and so many nostalgic things have happened that people never thought would …

    – Harlequin Army
    – Adeptus Mechanicus Army
    – Deathwatch Army
    – Genestealer Cult Army

    The only thing that would top it off would be Exodites and the Demiurg. Dare I say Hrud?

    I think GW doesn’t really know what to do with Sisters so have held them back. One has to believe they will one day get that refresh considering them popping up in campaign fluff and still having models. Plus all these other “obscure” forces have appeared. Maybe they are waiting for an old-style Inquisition Hereticus (Witch Hunters) army where they’d reintroduce the Sisters.

    • Runefyre

      Then there’s all the awesome guard regiments that need updating….

  • euansmith

    They shall rise again! Knee hi! Knee hi! Knee hi!

  • Nubu

    We can hope. Mobile, tough AM. Niche of a niche.

    Then again GSC is a thing now.

  • nefu

    Can I say, I think squats are neat, and would be neater as demiurge, to help flesh out Tau coalition stuff better, but:

    I am so sick of GWs style currently of adding newer and newer toys out of a basket of old fluff they ignored for years while continuing to ignore and refuse to update other things.

    If I was looking at some Sisters of Battle minis 10 years ago when I started and was told “Youll get an electronic codex but no new minis, while genestealers, knights, harlequins, khorne, storm troopers, mechanicus, skiitarii, khorne, and (now) squats all get new minis and fresh hardcover codexes.” Then I would have just looking into different games. And this isnt even just about them. How long do you think it will be before the next rules update for this 20+ cluster of minor factions! Are all of them going to need to wait another decade or two to get love while Space Marines get an update a year? How do chaos players feel about this? And Dark Eldar?

    Are we all going to be like Brettonians in Age of Sigmar? You can play them but… pfffft, why?

    Like, really, what is their update schedule going to look like?

    • Josh Watkins

      its a cash grab for sure, wouldn’t it be the ultimate kick in the nards if GW finally released a SoB and Squat dex / army update only to then turn around an drop 40k 8th ed end times …

  • Maximillian Rampertshammer

    I reckon it would be great if the eldar, tau, kroot and demiurge (and other aliens) entered into a grand alliance of sorts of aliens. It would be kinda great to have all these alien races able to ally AOS style.

  • nurseninjha
    • benn grimm

      So cool ! 🙂

  • Kveldulf

    I hope they keep Tau and Squats separate.

    • NNextremNN

      I hope they keep Squats and Demiurg separated.

  • Ronald A Price

    Tried to join the thread. Seems someone on this site dosent dig what I have to say. They always kick off my comment. no matter how simple they are. BLAH BLAH BLAH BLAH. Would that be better???

  • Ronald A Price

    OK I’ll try again.

    I used to play OOLD EPIC. Squats were the best army in the game. even better against Orcs where they had bonuses in HTH against Orcs. Squats didn’t have Titans but they had things like the cyclops, the landtrain, leviathan, These all came with void shilds like a titan. The Cyclops had a laser cannon off a space ship. It was dsigned to kill Orc Gargants. The Squat Gyro Copter was just like a flying landraider .The Land Train had guns and troops mounted in it.and surrounded by void shields. Squats used the guns Marines have today. Thudd guns, and mole morters. And their bikers where the best in the game. And my favorite was a Zepplin style Airship that was hard to kill.

    Back when GW suddenly rid of the Squats, the Tau suddenly appeared. And the only way the Squats would make a comeback would be a Slow moveing army with tons of fire power. Like the ohh Orcs and Guard combined.

  • LordKrungharr

    Ambulls! Any army should be able to field any number of Ambulls.

  • uatu13

    I for one would love to see Squats come back in much the same way they did Ad Mech and Skitarri, but hopefully with one functional codex though.

  • BartTP

    I think squats should have a unit or character in Astra Militarium codex, just as other abhumans, but that’s it. If someone wants, he can build an army based on those units. Same with demiurg if we consider them being aliens not related to humans – as an addition to Tau.

    • NNextremNN

      This I’d rather see them as additions to existing armies instead of own factions with own codices.

  • David Leimbach

    There are awesome 40k beastman armies, awesome 40k lizardman armies. There are plenty of great converted 40k armies from lots of fantasy model sets.

    Squats are only good when looking through nostalgia glasses. Objectively they’re just a terrible idea for a 40k army. Even the kit bash community thinks so.

    You’ve got dwarves and you’ve got sci-fi bits. There are great dwarf armies, but show me 1 cool fan made squat army.

  • nurglitch

    “He’s dead Dave, everybody’s dead, everybody is dead Dave.”

  • SquadPainter
  • Oskar Calvo

    My favorite squats will be the Grymns from HassleFree miniatures