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Monday, August 30, 2010

Squats in Epic 40K Part 1: Tunnelers and Troopers

This will be the first in a series of postings about the Squats in Epic Warhammer 40K. The Squats continued to be an army in Epic for several years after they were abandoned in regular 40K. As we shall see, this is because the different scale allowed the production of an interesting range of war machines unique to the Squats.

It would have been impossible to produce many of these war machines in 40K scale due to their size, and there probably wasn't enough demand to make them financial feasible as well. In the end, the only Squats vehicles made in 40K scale were those they shared with the Imperial Guard. But the 6mm Squats Army did have a glorious time in the 1990s.

Hopefully this series will be of some use to Squats fans, I don't think there is a website that has examples of all of the Epic Squats miniatures.

We'll start with the Squat Warriors sprue, released in July 1990, in White Dwarf issue 127. Which is far more famous for the Eldar Army List in it than the Epic Squats Army List.

Here is front side of the sprue. Originally 10 of these sprues came in the Squat Warriors sprue. The sprue had 1 each of a Standard Bearer, Hearthguard, Exo-Armor, Missile Launcher, and a Gunner for the Mole Mortar or Thudd Gun. For the fast attack wing, there are 3 Bikers, 1 Exo on Bike, and 1 Trike Weapon Team. On foot, 5 Assault Troopers (with a Bolt Pistol in each hand), 5 with Heavy Bolters, and 9 Lasgunners. Below is the other side of the sprue.
Here are some pictures of the front and back of the box.
Recycled White Dwarf cover art
The back of these boxes look oddly prescient with their "content in the middle & ads on the side format". The Thudd Guns and Mole Mortars have gained some bulk, probably due to limits on casting small plastic items in the early 1990s. Later, the box set would be reduced to 5 sprues.

Robots & Big Guns
Once upon a time, there were robots in the Warhammer 40K universe. But they were crushed under the pages and pages of insanely complex rules for using the metal buggers. Here are Epic versions of all 5 Robots - Conqueror in the bottom row, Colossus , right abovenext Cataphract, Castellan, and Crusader. These were released in spring of 1989, with Epic rules in White Dwarf 112.

Also shown are both versions of the Rapier, and the Lascannons part of the Tarantula (the base got used as a cyberfoot for one of the Hungry Ghosts troopers). There were also metal versions of the Thudd Gun and Mole Mortar that had Space Marines attached, so they are not shown here.

Tunnelers Small, Large, & Jumbo SizeHere is the smallest underground troop transport, the Termite. Released in the Summer of 1989 with rules in White Dwarf 116. Below is the Termite on its transport vehicle. The 40K Termite from Epicast is almost identical to the Epic Emerging Termite. Seats 10 comfortably.
Next is the grand Mole ready to be launched with its cargo of 20 troopers.
The Mole in pieces.
The Mole and Termite together.
The giant Hellbore Heavy Mole
Still in its package, note GW's lax sticker proof-reading.
Here is the Hellbore next to the Termite and Mole. The Hellbore was released in February 1990, with rules in White Dwarf 120. This underground monster had a carrying capacity of 40 Infantry, 8 Dreadnoughts, 4 light vehicles, or 2 Rhinos. I don't know what they meant by "light vehicles" but shooting some Land Speeders out of an underground attack vehicle sounds fun to me.

These Tunneling machines are of the most fun war machines in the 40K universe. It would be nice to see more of them, but underground assault vehicles are not easy to integrate into gaming rules. The next Epic 40K post will take a look at the vehicles released especially for the Squats Army.


  1. The Squats were/are a great Epic army - lots of fast stuff, big warmachines and high break points.

    Gad, those original Epic sets were such a good value...

  2. By The Dark Gods!!!
    Does this ever take me back, kudos for your work on these guys!

  3. I have one of those squat boxes. Currently in the process of getting some other units to go with it. Got 2 airships, 4 copters, and 2 colossess currently.

  4. It's good to see the Squats are still people still making Squat armies besides me (though my Epic Squats are unlikely to become a functional army).

    The epic Squats Army has just the right tinge of "Dune, Arrakis, the Desert Planet, etc etc for ten thousands guild standard years" to make them different than just about any of the other armies. And just enough to maybe trick you into watching Dune again. Don't. There are some places we are not meant to go.