They Squats are a long lost army from the Grimdark. But why do folks even care about them any more? Let’s chat.
There as a running gag for a long time about Squats. Every time you mentioned them it reset the “Squat Clock” – a mythical clock that was counting the time until they would be released again. That was until GW “broke it” and released some new one-off miniatures for Necromunda.
Now that gag has ended. GW has consistently been peppering mentioned of the Squats in the lore for the last few editions. Are the Squats due for a return to the tabletop? Maybe. But does anyone still care about the squats? And what happened to them in the first place – where did they go?
A Brief Look At Squats
The last time Squats were a “real” army was circa 1993. They actually had a full army range of miniatures and rules for the game that were a carry-over from the Rogue Trader Era. While they did get an Army List for 2nd, they didn’t really see much support in the game moving forward.
It wasn’t just metal models, either – they even had some decent plastics all the way up until 1992.
Sure, they aren’t mind-blowing by today’s standards but it shows that GW had them in production up until that year. So what happened? Well, as mentioned, they did have an army list in 2nd edition:
However, it was fairly barebones and this was basically all the support a Squat Player had. Through the rest of 2nd edition they didn’t really see much support either. Then 3rd edition happened and their army list was never seen again.
The Squat Legend
If you ask an old vet they will probably tell you that the in game lore reason the Squats went away is that the Tyranids ate them. The funny thing is that’s not entirely true. It’s actually a misunderstanding of a quote from the January White Dwarf in 2000.
“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:”
Would you believe they were all eaten by the Tyranid invasion? Or, due to the Squats biker life style, everyone of them was arrested for disturbing the peace and sacrificed to the Emperor. Where do you think they get all of those souls anyway? All kidding aside, it doesn’t seem likely the Squats will ever again see the light of day. When they were out they never seemed very popular, showed up at our stores, or tournaments, and didn’t sell on top of all that. Their look was really outdated compared to the hundreds of other great Warhammer 40,000 models. Don’t send us hate mail, it’s just the cold hard facts of the 41st Millennium.
It might be a shock to some folks, but yeah, that was how GW basically answered that question at the time.
Fans: “Where are the Squats?”
GW: “Dunno, probably eaten by ‘Nids? Or maybe arrested and fed to the Emperor?”
The sad truth is that it was probably more of a business decision. They “never seemed very popular” and “didn’t sell on top of that” are the “cold hard facts of the 41st Millennium.” Now, looking at it, this seems like a chicken-or-egg thing: They aren’t getting support because people aren’t buying models, but people aren’t buying support because the range is old, dated and is lacking support.
It was a cruel truth and the folks that actually did bother to buy and collect and entire Squat army were left high and dry. These are the people that still care about Squats. And they have kept the legend and hope of the Squats alive.
The Future of Squats
As mentioned, GW has been teasing the Squats are still around. Most recently in the Psychic Awakening: Pariah book. We already covered that, but here’s the section:
We’ve also seen various miniature produced for Necromunda fairly recently, too. Add this all up and what does it mean? Well, not much…at least right now. But that doesn’t mean GW isn’t cooking up something. Could the Squats be the next “new” army in 40k? Could they finally make a return to the tabletop of the Grimdark as a full army? That would be pretty cool. There’s an entire generation of 40k players who are playing that have never seen an entire Squat army on the board. It could be time for GW to bring them back. Maybe those Squat fans who have been carrying the torch for all this time can finally rest on some fancy new models and fantastic new rules. Maybe one day…
Would you play Squats? What a crazy time that would be!