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THE SQUATS, and how to add them!Warhammer 40K Off-Topic
The Squats. Many know not of these fearless allies of the Imperium, and have not been graced by their glorious beards, massive axes, and adorably egg-shaped Terminator armor. Worry not, for my suggestion will change this!
Specialty 1: The Hearthguard
The Hearthguard teleports into the battlefield and lays waste about him with the powerful and egg-ceptional armor, bringing with him a glorious bearded helmet and massive axe (one might say unbalanced axe, given their size *rimshot*). But have no fear, those who enjoy ranged combat can join in the fun by swapping equipment for the glorious (and more functional than AdMech issue) storm bolters, the better to mow down those tall spikey gitz with!
Specialty 2: The Biker
Love Squats, but hate being short? Look no further! The biker roars onto the battlefield, replacing the protection of armor with the speed of an armed motorcycle! No more will your heavy weapon loadout be plodding along at the rear of the pack, you'll dart forth on wheels of furious, ale-powered beardy wrath. Run down enemies with your armor ability! Drive in circles around Hellbrutes and avoidance tank for your allies! Troll Erebus' ghost by tearing through his legion brothers!
Specialty 3: The Overcompensator
Are these options not enough for you? Do you really feel the need to have MOAR DAKKA? LOOK NO FURTHER. The Overcompensator comes equipped with a Land Train. That's right, you're too good for puny armor. You're of the caliber that requires feet thick ceramite and adamant plating. You require guns that would give a Titan "rifle envy". YOU REQUIRE THE LAND TRAIN! THE EMPRAH'S WRATH HAS NO BRAAAAKES TOOT TOOOOOOOT! Armed with massive, unbalanced, and completely absurd weaponry, laugh as your entire coop party begins to complain that your armored bulk makes it impossible for them to leave the starting point while you shower the whole map in ordance! Crash the game with the Alpha Strike armor ability, that fires all your weapons at once! Be the envy and bane of Orks everywhere as you crank Moar Dakka up to ELEVEN.
Tune in next week when I reveal the truth behind the Orkwizzishun and Deffwotch: Green with Envy, or WAAAAAGH FOR DA EMPRAH?
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That is pretty much what I meant by saying vague reference.
That being said the Demiurge still are not true squads of old. Some reference make them look more like tiny stone-people or some sort of troll rather than the bearded squads that once were and acted as a part of the imperium.
We get some vague reference of Squads or what we want to picture as squads but nothing that actually IS a squat so far.
They were essentially rebranded as the Demiurg and relegated to the status of "Sir Not Appearing in this Film", much like several other major (fluffwise) factions that take place "off-camera".
The Demiurg and an "unnamed stable abhuman" that is physically identical to the Squats of old make an appearance in the officially licensed and canon Fantasy Flight Games titles; and to boot the Squats themselves (sans name) show up in one of the Black Crusade supplements (again, canon) in a corrupted form, complete with their bizarre burrowing contraptions and cave-dwelling clannish nature.
So like I said, they're still around. It's just in odd and obscure places, and you'll never see them officially on the tabletop again. :)
To my knowledge that guy still holds the intellectual property of the Name Malal - GW back then did a shoddy job ob saving their IPs, partially a reason we now rebrand everything (Astra Militarum, etc.)
The Idea of Mala was mostly just turned to be Malice.
I also do know that "letter" yet it wont change the fact that GW currently has done nothing with the Squats and thus not being reiterated into 40k fully they wont sell the rights to use them or iterate them to third parties.
GW is kinda strict about third parties only being allowed to work within the "established" canon.
And given there is no current established canon about the Squats there is no way for third parties to work with it outside some vague reference.
I know that the artist left the company, but as far as I'm aware Malal himself (as it shows up in Fantasy Battles as recently as a few years back, under a different name) is still a GW property.
As to Squats, I know we won't see new armies for sure, as the creators actually stated the following:
I know I shouldn't get drawn on this... but... can't... resist
Seriously, a couple of points just so you can have an informed debate based on the real reasons that Squats are no longer available. Be warned, it is going to be hard reading for people that like the Squat background.
First of all, Squats were *not* dropped because they were not selling well. There were then, and are now, plenty of other figure ranges that sell in the sort of % quantities that the Squats pulled down, especially when you look across all of the ranges produced by GW rather than just those for 40K.
No, the reason that the Squats were dropped was because the creatives in the Studio (people like me, Rick, Andy C, Gav etc) felt that we had failed to do the Dwarf 'archetype' justice in its 40K incarnation. From the name of the race (Squats - what *were* we thinking?!?!) through to the short bikers motif, we had managed to turn what was a proud and noble race in Warhammer and the other literary forms where the archetype exists, into a joke race in 40K. We only fully realized what we had done when we were working on the 2nd edition of 40K. Try as we might, we just couldn't work up much enthusiasm for the Squats. The mistake we made then (deeply regretted since) was to leave them in the background and the 'get you by' army list book that appeared. With hindsight, we should have dropped the Squats back then, and saved ourselves a lot of grief later on.
Anyway, the Squats made it into 2nd edition, and since we were doing army books for each of the races, we started to try and figure out what to do with them. Unfortunately we just couldn't figure out a way to update them and get them to work that we felt was good enough. The 'art' of working on an army as a designer is to find the thing that you think is cool and exciting about an army, and work it up into a strong theme. This 'muse' didn't strike any of us, and so, rather than bring out a second-rate product simply re-hashing the old background, we kept doing other army books instead, with stuff we did feel inspired by.
Now, while this was all going on for 40K, we were actually doing some rather good stuff for the Squats in Epic. On this scale there was a natural tendency to focus on the big 'hand-made' war machines the Squat artisans produced, and this created an army with a feel that was very different to the biker hordes in 40K. However, this tended to reinforce the problems we saw in the Squat background rather than alleviate them, underlining what we *should* have done with the Squats in 40K.
In the end (and it took years to really get to the roots of the problem) this led to a realisation that we were going to have to drop the Squats in their 'Squat' form from the 40K background. There was little point having a major race that we weren't willing to make an army book for, and their inclusion in the background meant that people kept asking us when we'd do a Squat Codex. Instead we decided that we'd write the Squats out of the background by saying that their Homeworlds had been devoured by a Tyranid Hivefleet. This would give us the option in the future to return to making a race based on the Squat archetype for 40K. This race was given the name of Demiurg, and a certain amount of preliminary work was done to get a 'feel' for what the race would be like. At present the only hint of the Demiurg in 40K is the Demiurg spaceship for BFG. However, we do have this race 'in our back pocket' as a possible new race for 40K, or an interesting character model in Inquisitor, or whatever. So far the Demiurg have lost out to other projects, and it may be that their time never actually comes, as they will have to win through on their merits, not simply because we once made some Squat models in the past. At present, I have to say that it is more likely that they *don't* make the cut than do, as there is a certain prejudice these days to simply taking races from Warhammer and cross them over to 40K like we did in the early days, so it may be that the Squats/Demiurg end up remaining a footnote in the history of the 40K galaxy. Only time will tell...
I'll finish off by saying that whatever we decide to do 'officially', there is nothing stopping players with Squat armies from using them, either in Epic or 40k for that matter. There is no GW 'rule' against using old Citadel Miniatures, as long as you use them with existing army lists and in a way that won't cause confusion for other players. I recommend taking a positive stand by saying "Have you seen these cool old models? They're called the Squats and GW used to make them back in the late eighties/early nineties. I love 'em, so I count them as Imperial Guard and use them with the current rules..." Put like this I can't imagine that anyone would stop you from using your army.
But, all is not lost. There's a company that puts out Totally-Not-Squats-Don't-Sue-Us-GW minis, and the great minds of the interwebs have assembled a (relatively, though definitely compared to Ward's work) balanced codex for their use in non-Chapter Approved games... and they are still canon (as per the official fluff given to the crunchwriters of the FFG RPGs), just no longer a major race.
Malal is out of the window for the writer that holds the IP left the company.
We do have plenty of placeholders though.
As for squads I doubt we will see them. GM sells each of their races individually to be used in third party products - at last that was the late status quo I heard of on that topic.
Given that GW has pretty much done nothing witch squads I doubt they sold the rights to use them.
I'm just happy they're (sort of) canon again.
Maybe soon we can get some Malal action in!
I have the luck to be old enough to know about the squats :-)
Set this current order state as My default.