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Monday, September 13, 2010

Squats in White Dwarf 1992-1995, Historia Squataticus Volume 2

Here we have the Second Half of our investigation of Squats in the pages of White Dwarf.

Part 5: The Second Epic Explosion of the Squats Army, 1992-1993.

This period sees the flowering of the Epic Squats Army as a unique force, rather than a sprue with access to Imperial equipment. The Epic game was reorganized with the publishing of a collection of earlier White Dwarf articles and the Epic Space Marine boxed set, which focused on infantry, transports, and tanks. This set contained new rules, and sprues for basic infantry and tanks/transports for Space Marines, Eldar, and Orks.

The development of the Epic Squats Army, like the other Armies, continued in the pages of White Dwarf, and as part of a series of rules supplements containing counters and cards for two armies in each box (SM & IG, Eldar & Chaos, Orks & Squats) for the new vehicles and big guns produced for the Squats.

Given all the attention paid to developing the Dwarfs and Chaos Dwarfs for their other games, a new round of 40K was still in the plans at this time, in the “once we've made it through all the other games” stage. But GW was a gushing torrent of different ways to play with their core creatures & mythos, seeming to be trying to include every type of setting (fantasy, sci-fi, naval, outerspace, football, etc.) and every type of gaming (board, solo, tiles, minis, etc.).

White Dwarf 150 (June 1992)
Back Inside Cover: Painted Mole in ad for Epic Battle Paint Set

Back Cover: Epic Battle Scene Orks assault Squat Stronghold

White Dwarf 151 (July 1992) Cover Art from Ork & Squat Warlords Supplement
p. 38-49: “Mekboyz and Squats” for Epic Space Marine by Andy Chambers, Squats content below.
p.41: Template for Land Train Dragon Firethrower
45-48: Fluff, Rules, Stat Cards, and for Epic Land Trains and Iron Eagle Gyrocopters by Andy Chambers p. 47: A mighty Squat Land Train forges into attacking Evil Sunz Orks, B/W art by John Blanche (full illustration of picture on Land Train card)

p. 50-53: Squat Land Trains, plastic Infantry & Support Units ('Eavy Metal, by Tim Prow)
“Each carriage of the Land Train is dedicated to one of the revered Squat ancestors...” “Banners form a very important part of Squat Tradition. The large banners on the Land Trains show the most revered ancestors of a particular stronghold while the pennants display runic slogans.” (p. 53)

p. 54: Ork and Squat Warlords Supplement for Epic Space Marine (Color Ad £12.99)

p. 59-61, 64-65, 68-69: Battle for Armageddon: The Chaos Wars- additional Chaos counters and cards, including Nurgle Chaos Squat units, for BfA boardgame by Jervis Johnson

p. 78: B/W Catalog Page for Land Train Engine (angled prow), Battlecar Chassis (thick section at rear), and all 4 Battlecar weapons (Berserker, Dragon, Bomb, Mortar (designed by Norman Swales, 4.99 for Engine & Car, 1.75 per Car)

White Dwarf 152 (August 1992)
p. 3: Converted Squat Adventurer (SmurfHat) by Massimo Colombari ('Eavy Metal)

p. 40-42: Epic Battle Scenes of Chaos army attacking Squat Stronghold (scratchbuilt from polystyrene and cardstock, painted mountains in background), Modelling Workshop Hills and Woods article and terrain by Adrian Wild.

p. 78: B/W Catalog Page for New Releases-Land Train (Train & Car £4.99, £1.75), Colossus with Iron Eagle Gyrocopter (£7.99, £1.75 for Gyro) (designed by Norman Swales)

White Dwarf 153 (September 1992)
p. 2: notice that Agmat is the official importer and translators for GW in France. Agmat produced a rare alternate version of the Thudd Gun (notice is in French)

p. 11: Squat Epic War Machines- Colossus, Goliath, Iron Eagle, Overlord, Infantry ('Eavy Metal)
“The Guild of Engineers is a powerful part of Squat society. It knowledge and experience in the art [of] mechanical construction is legendary.”

p. 32: Ork and Squat Warlords Supplement for Epic Space Marine (Color Ad, £12.99)

p. 74-75: B/W Catalog Pages for Land Train (Train & Car £4.99, Car £1.75), Colossus with Iron Eagle Gyrocopter (£7.99, Gyro £1.35), Goliath Mega-Cannon £3.99), Overlord Airship (£3.99)

White Dwarf 154 (October 1992)
p. 34-50: Epic Battle Report: Battle for Golgotha Squats vs Orks, Johnson vs Chambers.
Squats led by Commissar Yarrick, many Battle Scenes, recycled art, B/W Illustration of 2nd Ed Squat on p. 49, Squat Army deal for £51.90 on p. 69

p. 71: B/W Catalog Page for Goliath, Overlord, with Mark Gibbons pencil art Squat Infantry (in gear similar to the few 2nd Edition Squats) vs World Eaters, dated 1992.
p. 72: B/W Catalog Page for Land Train, Colossus, Gyrocopter (same prices as WD 153)

White Dwarf 155 (November 1993): None
White Dwarf 156 (December 1993): None

White Dwarf 157 (January 1993)
Front Inside Cover: An Epic Eldar Force Launches an Atttack Against a Squat Stronghold

White Dwarf 158 (February 1993): None

White Dwarf 159 (March 1993): None

White Dwarf 160 (April 1993)
p. 72: B/W Catalog Page for Leviathan

White Dwarf 161 (May 1993)
p. 11-21: Chaos Dwarfs Blast Forth from The Dark Lands and Dominate White Dwarf for 1993!
“The gates [of Zharr-Naggrund] are almost as high as the walls and massive beyond any obvious need.” (p. 13)

Center Insert: supplemental Warmaster rules & counters for use with Horus Heresy boardgame, includes a Chaos Squat squad.

p. 59: Vikas Ingram and plastic Squat with Helmet head in 'Eavy Metal Painting Guide

White Dwarf 162 (June 1993) p. 17-20: Tyranid Attack Dreadnoughts by Jervis Johnson
“Relatively few [Chaos Dreadnoughts] survive and they are carefully maintained and repaired by Chaos Dwarfs artificers”

p. 44: Squats Warriors & Chaos Horde Epic Boxed Sets (Color Ad for small version, $12.99)
Squat Warriors has 20 Bikes, 5 Guild Weapon Teams, 5 Thudd Guns, 5 Mole Mortars, 130 Infantry; Chaos Horde has 105 Chaos Infantry (incl Chaos Squats), 30 Riding Beasts, 10 Minotaurs, 10 Trolls

White Dwarf 163 (July 1993)
p. 2: News including picture of prototype of Banelord Titan, text saying Leviathan variants are being worked on.

p. 9: New pewter range for North America, blister of 2 Squats $4.99, 2 bikes $9.99, 2 Heavy Weapons $5.99

p. 48: Squats Warriors & Chaos Horde Epic Boxed Sets (Color Ad for small version)

White Dwarf 164 (August 1993)
Front Inside Cover: Chaos Squats in Epic Host of Khorne ('Eavy Metal)

p. 84-end: B/W Catalog Pages for entire Epic line, including Squats, Tunnelers, Chaos Engines and Titans

Part 6: The Last Chance for New Squats in Warhammer 40K, 1993-4.

Warhammer 40K 2nd edition was released in the Autumn of 1993. This basic rules set contained “get-you-by-until-a-Codex-is-published” army lists for the various forces, including Squats. However, while the other armies got their codex and promotion in White Dwarf, the Squats were on the sideline waiting for development. Squats received some attention in the Dark Millenium supplement, but did not develop further as a 40K army.

Attempts at development of new 40K Squats resulted in the creation of at least 8 new Squats (3 Champions, 3 Berserkers, 1 Exo-Armor, and 1 Trooper). These were very briefly available, but the Squats never received a 2nd Edition Codex.

White Dwarf 165 (September 1993): None
White Dwarf 166 (October 1993): None
White Dwarf 167 (December 1993)): None

White Dwarf 168 (December 1993)
p. 40-44: Warhammer 40K Assault Squads by Andy Chambers. “All Squats are excellent hand to hand combat troops by nature.” (p. 40)

White Dwarf 169 (January 1994)
p. 11: 'Eavy Metal Painting Guide to include pages for Squats.

White Dwarf 170 (February 1994)
p. 3: Squat Cyclops (Color Ad, New Release $14.99)
“Armed with the Hellfury Cannon, the Cyclops is able to pulverize even the largest of Titans into bubbling piles of slag.”

p. 5-8: Squat Psyker Powers briefly discussed in intro to Dark Millenium Andy Chambers

p. 11-13: Squat Cyclops rules & pictures (by Chambers & Thorpe). Includes Mark Gibbons pencil art Squat Infantry (in gear similar to the few 2nd Edition Squats)vs World Eaters, dated 1992.

p. 39-45: Epic Eldar Tactics by Mark Watts, p. 45 Battle scene with Leviathan under Imperial command against Eldar.
“Squats are particularly difficult opponents as they have lots of firepower (greater to some extent than the Imperial Guard), good mobility and reasonably good close combat abilities plus a very high breakpoint.” (p. 45)

White Dwarf 171 (March 1994)
p. 7-11: Squat Psyker Powers briefly discussed in intro to Dark Millenium Andy Chambers, on p. 11 with Ink & Wash ill. of Squat Leader by John Blanche. Illustration is likely for 2nd Ed Squat design development.

p. 25-35: Epic Chaos Tactics by Mark Watts, many pictures and illustrations. p. 26 shows Squats defending stronghold from Chaos.
“One of the races where many of their number fell prey to the temptations of Chaos were the Squats. The twisted brethren of this noble race are responsible for constructing many of the special weapons and war machines that feature so strongly in all Chaos armies. On the battlefield Chaos Squats fight with great ferocity, favouring, like their still loyal brothers, the use of heavy weapons to eliminate their foes.” (p. 28)

White Dwarf 172 (April 1994): None

Part 7: The Epic Squats Army Stalls, 1994.

Throughout the first half of the 1990s, the Epic Squat Army appeared more frequently than the 40K Squats because GW had built their Epic terrain table with a Squat Stronghold on it back in 1992. Despite this privileged terrain, the Squats did not develop much further as an Army, perhaps due to the creation of an additional Epic Ork Village terrain table in 1994. The Squats were included as a separate force in the revised Epic Titan Legion rules, but the expansion plans reported in White Dwarf were never completed. The 1993 Cyclops and 1994 Thunder-Fire would be the last models produced for the Squats Army.

In Warhammer 40K articles, Squats would continue to be mentioned as adversaries in updated rules for the more favored Armies for several years, and would make the occasional appearance in Golden Daemon entries and unofficial rules publications until the current day.

White Dwarf 173 (May 1994)
Front Inside Cover: Epic Battle Scene - A Squat Army in Combat with Blood Angels Space Marines

p. 37-40 Epic Q&A, several questions involve Squats.
“Squats would never deliberately shoot at one of their own units. This rule doesn't apply to... Chaos who regard casualties caused by their own weapons as an acceptable fact of war, or simply bad luck.[Also as a cure for boredom, for the sheer joy of explosions, for satiating the red thirst, or just to see if you can hit them, according to General Stalkarlik]” (p. 39)

White Dwarf 174 (June 1994): None

White Dwarf 175 (July 1994)
p. 19-22: Epic Q&A by Mark Watts,
p. 19 has a Battle Scene of a Squats Army assaulting an Ork Town, p. 22 reprint of Warlords box art. p. 21-22 have Questions re Barrage Weapons, Overlord, and Cyclops Hellfury Cannon.

White Dwarf 176 (August 1994): None

White Dwarf 177 (September 1994)
p. 29: Golden Demon 1994: Overlord Airship by Jeff Durocha, 1st Place Epic Model

p. 31-34: Epic Tactics by Mark Watts, with Squats & Eldar vs Chaos Battle Scene (p. 31)
"The Squat Army is an extremely tough force.....don't let the Squats dictate the battle, take the fight to them. Because of their extremely high break points the only way really to neutralize them is to wipe them out." (p. 34)

White Dwarf 178 (October 1994)
p. 6-12: Epic Titan Legions introduction rules & models boxed set by Andy Chambers
“the Squats were tenacious and commanded the most awesome firepower imaginable” (p. 8)
“Norman Swales is also hard at work creating a new range of Adeptus Mechanicus super heavy war machines
[the Ordinatus models] and Squat Juggernauts [Who knows?].” (p. 12)

p. 80: B/W Catalog Page for Colossus, Gyrocopter, Goliath, Overlord

White Dwarf 179 (November 1994)
p. 74: B/W Catalog Page for new release Thunder-Fire Cannon (2 for $7.99)

p. 80: B/W Catalog Page for Colossus, Gyrocopter, Goliath, Overlord

White Dwarf 180 (December 1994)
p. 31: Mole, Thunder-Fire, Leviathan, Scene of Stormhammers & Squats vs Host of Khorne ('Eavy Metal)

p. 79: B/W Catalog Page for Colossus and Leviathan

Part 8: Squats Disappear into the Core of Warhammer 40K, 1995.

The common belief is that the Squats as a race were simply gradually forgotten about once new Squat Army models were no longer produced, or, more amusingly, that they were eaten to extinction by the Tyranids because they had a silly name. But a closer look reveals that the Squats, instead of being forgotten, infiltrated the core functions of both the Imperium's Cult of the Machine God and the War Engines of the Ruinous Powers.

The Adeptus Mechanicus's Epic Ordinatus war machines are revealed to have been largely created by Squat members of the Cult. The Squat Tech Priests of the Adeptus Mechanicus battled back the mighty Ghazghull Thrakka, and remain the rulers of the mighty Imperial Forge World of Golgotha.

Similarly, Chaos Squats remain integral to the creation and maintenance of not only the massive Chaos Titans and Khorne's War Machines, but also to the armor of Chaos Terminators and Dreadnoughts. Chaos Squats have been a welcome source of heavy infantry since the Horus Heresy as well.

White Dwarf 181 (January 1995)
p. 23-30: Imperator Titan by Gavin Thorpe. p. 27 contains vile lies about how to kill Land Trains and Leviathans with the Imperator Titan

p. 40: Imperial Termites in 'Eavy Metal

p. 74: B/W Catalog Page for re-release of Imperial Mole ($8.50) and Termites (3 for $8.50)

White Dwarf 182 (February 1995)
p. 16-24: Waaagh Da Orks Epic tactics guide by Gavin Thorpe.
p. 22-23 provide unreliable rumors about how to combat Squat Super Heavy vehicles.

p. 52: 1995 Golden Demon Guide with Overlord Airship by Jeff Durocha from 1994 GD

White Dwarf 183 (March 1995)
Front Inside Cover: Cyclops and Squat Infantry assault Trygon and Gargoyles

White Dwarf 184 (April 1995)
p. 37-40: 1995 Games Day / Golden Demon Guide with picture of Overlord Airship by Jeff Durocha from 1994 GD. Squat Superheavies invited for Epic Group Battle vs Tyranids

p. 77: B/W Catalog Page for Thunder-Fire (2 for $8.50)

White Dwarf 185 (May 1995): None

White Dwarf 186 (June 1995)
p. 19-20: 40K article on Ratling Snipers, with comparison to Squats.
“Extreme cases of physical adaptation have produced mutant populations which are no longer human. Squats are the most important of these mutants and the most widespread.” (p. 19)

White Dwarf 187 (July 1995): None

White Dwarf 188 (August 1995)
Congratulations to Papa Nurgle on his exciting new Plague Towers!

p. 79: B/W Catalog Page Imperial Mole and Termites

White Dwarf 189 (September 1995)
p. 19-21: Epic Irresistible Onslaught Tyranid tactics.

Gavin Thorpe foolishly underestimates the power of the Squat Super Heavy Tanks against Tyranid Bio-Titans, while praising efficacy of Eldar Doom-Weavers. You are in The Book of Grudges now, Mr. Thorpe.

White Dwarf 190 (October 1995)
p. 21-24: 40K Callidus Assassin rules, Polymorphine Wargear allows Assassin to appear as a Squat.

p. 26: Epic Squat League Defends Stronghold against Tyranids ('Eavy Metal)

p. 37-41: 40K Tyranid Warriors tactics by Andy Chambers.
p. 38 falsely accuses Squats of being slow-witted, like Orks. Slow-footed is not slow-witted. Book of Grudges for you, el Andy.

White Dwarf 191 (November 1995)
p. 40-46 Dwarf Tacticus (for WFB) by Jeremy Vetlock.
“After my Dwarf Army was well underway...I began keeping my own Book of Grudges. This is great fun! … It's very pleasing when you avenge yourself and can cross off a past dishonor!” (p. 46)
p. 48-53: Epic Ordinatus rules and tactics by Gavin Thorpe, showing Squats to be the creators of Ordinatus technology.

p. 48: “This huge tunnelling machine [Ordinatus Priam] was assembled during the siege of Priam, a city overrun by the traitor forces in the Horus Heresy. The immense creation was designed to tunnel through the planet's crust and and then navigate through the white-hot mantle underneath. This rendered it undetectable to Priam's defences and allowed four companies of elite Imperial Guard troops to storm the city's Generatum Vulcanis, breaking the siege. However, Ordinatus Priam was irrevocably damaged during the attack, as parts of its heatshielding gave way.”

p. 50: Epic Battle Scene - The Hellfire missiles of Ordinatus Golgotha devastated the Ork army of Warlord Ghazghull Thraka, driving him from the Squat Homeworld of Golgotha and freeing the inhabitants from slavery – Squat Stronghold terrain with Bikers, Russes & the Ord.

p. 51: “Ordinatus Golgotha was constructed in the recaptured strongholds of the Squats. Golgotha's terrifying Hellfire missiles devastated the Orks, slaying thousands over the course of a week. The Orks were routed from the Squat Homeworld and since then the Ordinatus Golgotha has always been in the forefront of any battle against enemies who have a strong numerical advantage.”

p.52: “Geronimus Undersen devised an Ordinatus [Armageddon] as a defence against the marauding war machines [of Chaos]. Undersen mounted a massive starship weapon onto a land-bound chassis, giving the Imperial forces an immense machine powerful enough to destroy even the largest and most heavily armored foes. This idea was by no means original, and followed the concept behind the famous Squat Titan-killer – the Cyclops.”

White Dwarf 192 (December 1995)
p. 51-56: “Death from Above” Epic Air Tactics by Gavin Thorpe, includes discussion of Squat Overlord and Iron Eagle, battle scenes vs Eldar and Orks showing most of range of minis.
“the Overlord can lay down a murderous curtain of fire before the enemy can even try to shoot at it...Groups of Overlords are capable of obliterating whole companies of enemy troops at a single blow!” (p. 56, excited, though logically inconsistent)

p. 97-109: Eldar vs Chaos Epic Battle Report, Eldar player reported as usually Squat Commander (Steve Anastasoff)

p. 120: B/W Catalog Page for Adeptus Mechanicus Ordinatus Mars, Golgotha, and Armageddon


So now we've made it halfway through the 1990s, and roughly halfway through the history of Warhammer 40,000 and Epic Space Marine. Many of the Rogue Trader Era 40K armies have their 2nd Edition Codexes already (Eldar, Orks, Tyranids, assorted Space Marines) or would soon have them (IG, Chaos, more Marines), with only the Squats and Inquisition/Arbites left out. The Inquisition/AAs would have their own bumpy ride splitting them into multiple codices and introducing new types of troops. They would eventually have an interesting range of miniatures develop. Then stagnate. But that is someone else's war.

Our sturdy Squats had already seen some R&D that resulted in 8 Squats, most of which were much more similar to their contemporaneous WFB and Blood Bowl Brother-Dwarfs than the Rogue Trader Squats had been to the WFB & BB Dwarfs of their time. Whether due to neglect or lack of interesting ideas, this narrowing of design was in contrast to the general trend toward increasing the variety of the other forces, the endless fractination of Space Marines that look alike but fight different, the endless stream of Imperial Guard that look different but fight the same.

1995, however, also saw the introduction of a new game that was destined to greatly expand the variety of Citadel miniatures in type and individual appearances for years to come: Necromunda.

While the semi-serious official line is that the Squats were eaten by Tyranids, the true story ends with the Squats digging deeper into the fabric of the Imperium and the warp of Chaos to let us explore human jungles of The Underhive.

Though it was a worthy trade of Squats for Necromunda, we all know that those 3 Squat Berserkers would have made much more sense as Underhive Outlanders than the Eldar Farseer and Fire Dragons.


  1. That's a lot of information. Good information, but a lot of it. I've just never understood why space elves, and different flavors of space humans, and space orks are all judged to be worthy by GW, but they don't think that Space dwarves would be a big draw?

  2. Seconded both.

    I especially liked the reflections having gone over the sources again. It throws a whole different light on the fading out. The suggestion that the models converged with the Warhammer dwarves is provocative in that in neutralises one argument for the continuation in 40K, that the designers couldn't get excited. Perhaps they progressively narrowed their options and locked themselves into a design that looked fresh and effective in Epic scale, less so in 40K.

    You even channelled Dr Johnson at a one or two points, and you deserve to.

    All in all, as brilliant a read as ever. The lurkers can hardly disagree and are surely learning or recalling plenty. Posterity will reward you.

  3. Really, really good work. I have enjoyed your blog immensely, please keep up the hard work it is really appreciated! :)

  4. This is a brilliant well-researched post full of information. I'm going to use it as a reference for years to come.

    I'm envious of your collection of 2nd edition Squats. I've only got the one myself. I look forward to seeing yours painted.

  5. I think it was a combination of a lack of interesting ideas for the Squats when they were compared to other things. Looking through all the White Dwarfs chronologically, one thing that stands out is that GW spent a tremendous amount of time pumping out "specialist" games, many of which lasted a single edition, others many years. Meanwhile, every so often the core games get updated and the existing lines get new models.

    I get the impression that these specialist games were where GW's creative minds wanted to be, especially in the 1990s. These games allowed them to make more radical changes in game play, to try out new environments and rules systems. In general, to refine their game-design skills and devote their time more intensely to specific times or places. At the same time, it seems that the refreshments of the existing armies were either designed by their chief creative force (like Jes Goodwin and the Eldar), while others were opportunities for new designers to get their models out there.

    So I think the Squats got cut because they missed a development cycle and didn't have a creative champion at GW when the next cycle of new models came around in the late 1990s.

    It's obvious that there is a market out there for Space Dwarf miniatures, and GW has stated that the Squats were not selling poorly when they were discontinued. And Bob Olley has designed more variants for his Scrunts range than ever existed in the 40K Citadel range. But the Olley's Armies Scrunts also reinforce the idea that Space Dwarfs are shorter and hairier versions of various human or mutant armies.

    This isn't really a problem, as the success of the Scrunts shows. But the more obvious example of mutual-and-similar coexistence would be the WFB Dwarfs and Empire.

    This is the key to the success of the Dwarfs in the world of fantasy over the past century: while Elves and Orcs and Hobbits were refined and distinguished more from whatever the human normal is for a system, Dwarfs do just about everything that humans do, just in the mountains and with more firepower. There is even a Dwarf Vader miniature available from Heresy.