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Saturday, September 4, 2010

Squats in Epic 40K Part 2: Riding the Imperium's Coattails

After the Squats Army boxed set was released along with the publication of the Squats Army List in White Dwarf 127 (July 1990), the Epic Squats line of miniatures was mostly ignored in White Dwarf for a couple of years. At this time, the Squats had access to all of the Imperial weapons and vehicles, so there was no urgent need to make some. The army list also allowed IG or SM allies, and could even ally with the Eldar, but only against Chaos. They could also have Chaos allies if they were Chaos Squats.

It took until WD 151 (July 1992) before the Epic Squats were relaunched with their own line of vehicles, along with the Epic Warlords box of rules and counters. Some joker at GW thought it would be funny to put the Squat material in the same set as the Ork material. He has never been seen again. Both sides claim credit for the "disappearance".

Today we will take a look at some of the Epic Space Marine miniatures from the fallow time of the 6mm Squats, the wacky Imperial Knight Titans.

These single-person Titans were actually released a month before the Squats list, and I'm not sure if the Squats were ever allowed direct access to the Knights. But the 3 Knights in the bottom row are clearly from the servo-arms of the Squat Adeptus Mechanicii.

Here is Knight Lancer 3. Someone has been listening to the whispers of Tzeentch. The Eldar Harlequins Army List from Citadel Journal 17 included a converted version of this Knight as a Familiar for the Shadow Seer. It is basically the bird head on Epic War Walker Legs, which is unnecessary in my opinion. The Ordos Xenos needs to inspect this Knight for unholy contamination.

Lancer 1. Same legs, different head/body. More of a robo-reptile than a robo-bird, though both have those tiny Tyranosaur arms.

The slotta tag says Sentinel, another example of the flippity-floppity naming patterns GW has for its minis. Maybe they changed it because the Sentinels were a big part of the storyline of the X-Men comic book around the same time. Or maybe it was because they already used the Sentinel name. But that hasn't really stopped them before. Executioner. Firestorm.

Finally a design an Inquisitor can love, Lancer 3. I don't know why but this one took a long time to find. Rounding up a few of these and doing some weapons swaps and you can probably brew up an interesting IG infantry squad.

Down to the next row, we have "Knight Warden We'll-Call-Him-3-Because-There-Are-2-Warden-1s-in-the-Blue-1991-Catalog". I don't know where this design came from, it is rather different than most Warhammer minis, not just the Knights. He has the aggressive off-balanced dakka-dakka position only an Ork or a Khorne Berzerker could really appreciate. He also kind of looks like one of the old crappier Go-Bots, the ones where you just push the head and gun down and your transformation is complete. Warden 3 looks like he would transform into an APC.

Knight Paladin 1, known to his friends as "Jazz Hands". Finally something a Commissar can love. Or at least not despise as a weak and cowardly elfy-man. But then Mr Commissar looks closer and sees that Jes Goodwin has transplanted an Eldar Dreadnought Hand on Pal 1, and given him the same loincloth as his Eldar Dark Reapers released at the same time. Looks like were gonna hafta keep that Xenos watch on Jazz Hands, boys.

Paladin 2, showing us just how big the daemon that got away was. Same legs as Pal 1 and and the loincloth of a Dark Reaper Exarch.

For giant robo-suits, Paladin 1 and 2 look a bit strange. Paladin 1 looks like he's been surprised while doing something he shouldn't. Paladin 2 is looking confused as to whether he wants to use his chainsword or battlecannon. Use both. Always use both.

Maybe Paladin 2 is looking confused because in the Blue Catalog he is right next to a freaky robot cave spider that somehow shares his name. And that is because the Paladin 3 STC was uploaded to the Imperial databases by Chaos Squat saboteurs*. Silly Imperials, everyone knows spiders are Chaos creatures. The Warp is full of them. Below is a picture of Pal 3 from behind, because this arachnoid weirdo should be admired by all in his fullness.

Next Warden 2.
Another unique freak. If you want to find interesting conversion bits and minis, the specialist games are the place to go. I think the designers for these were given more creative control than the 2 main games. Which resulted in a decade of chaotic cacophony with sparks of genius (Escher Gang) and some awful failures (Eldar Phantom Titan v2).
Here is our bombardier beetle from the side. That's a body made for underground missions.

This is Warden 1, the last of the Imperial Knights. This one has me dumbfounded. In what possible environment could this be a preferred design? When does a Titan need to look up close at tiny things and then blast them, and his own head, to bits with the giant missile launcher on his back? What was Jes Goodwin thinking when he gave all these Titans tiny arms?

Warden 1 from the back, and he is strangely thin. Will he be sneaking into a tight space? And those ribbed overlapping scalloped and bolted plates of armor just about scream "Blood for the Blood God!"

I've been very snarky about these minis tonight, but they really are some of my favorites. But they are some of my favorites because of their strange designs, which made them a mess in gaming terms. Such a mess that when Andy Chambers wrote the rules for Epic Knight Titans in WD 126, even he was unable to deal with the variety-pack Knights.

"There are many different designs of Knight but the differences between some of them are mainly cosmetic. Therefore both Human and Eldar Knights can be categorized into three classes." (p.44)

White Dwarf 126 is one of the best- Horus Heresy Space Marines for Epic, Human & Eldar Knights, and Ork Madboyz. So is 127- just two long Army Lists and some nice Golden Daemon winners in between. Good work, humans.

*This is also why the Dark Eldar only have open topped vehicles.


  1. A tour de force. Years of observation percolated and condensed into a page of riches.

    They were good years for Citadel, GW and WD, a time of treasures, and these are definitely some of the gems - practicality aside of course, as you rightly point out. Scale was also an issue, especially with regard to some of the models from the Squat relaunch. I could never quite reconcile the mining of gas giants with the Overlord model for example.

    Thanks for the post, and count me along for the ride.

  2. Yeah, I think that the scale issue, though always a problem for wargaming in general, and Citadel in particular, is worst when it comes to the planet/outer space environment.

    Having played a lot of games, and having read the rules for many more, my preference is for games that treat the distances abstractly, like Cosmic Encounter.

    Or hilariously tragically, like when you send your poor Paranoia Troubleshooters in a nuclear powered deathtrap to the Moon to search for Space-Commies. Clones shouldn't shoot other clones who are hiding in front of an unstable nuclear reactor.