Squat (Warhammer 40,000)

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Squat Command Squad

In the fictional universe of Warhammer 40,000, the Squats are a dwarf-like race descended from the humans that colonised high gravity worlds. Separated from the rest of humanity over the millennia, they evolved their own distinct morphology and culture. Squats were discontinued from the game in the 1990s by Games Workshop though their existence remains canon. Their omission from the game was explained by a Tyranid invasion of their Home Worlds wiping them out almost to a man. The survivors were then assimilated into the Imperium, however there are rumours that the squats created Tau technology which despite being younger than the Imperium, is more advanced.[citation needed]


Squats evolved from the human miners and explorers sent to reap the mineral wealth at the center of the galaxy. The high gravity environment, combined with the punishing mining conditions eventually changed their morphology. The subsequent generations became gradually shorter and stockier. The Squat Home Worlds were isolated from the rest of humanity during the Age of Isolation.[clarification needed] When they were reunited with the rest of the Imperium, wars were launched against them in the belief that they were aliens. Eventually, the Squats were accepted, along with other abhumans, as being human in nature. They are now considered a separate race, though they are fundamentally human.

History of the Squat Home Worlds[edit]

The Squat Home Worlds were colonized during the Age of Founding (known to the Imperium as the Dark Age of Technology[clarification needed]). The planets were rich in minerals and ores human civilization desperately needed, and so millions of ships full of miners and explorers were sent out. The worlds were high gravity with brutal environments. The settlers dug deep into the bedrock of the planets to survive, and so the first strongholds[1] were born.

The Age of Trade, which lasted for almost three millennia, saw a decrease in the warp storms isolating the Home Worlds. The Squats traded with the Orks and Eldar during this period. The Age of Trade was ended in an enormous attack on the Home Worlds by the Ork Warlord Grunhag the Flayer. The Squats pleaded for assistance from their Eldar trading partners, but were rebuffed. This led to the Squats' enmity against Orks and Eldar that has lasted through the Age of Wars into the current Age of Rediscovery (or Age of the Imperium). The Forces of the Great Crusade launched wars against the Squats in the belief that they were aliens, but eventually the Squats were accepted, along with other abhumans, as being human in nature. The millions of Squat Strongholds spread across their homeworlds joined the Imperium, but continued to retain their autonomy as an independent but allied empire to the Imperium.

The Home Worlds maintained trade and mutual assistance with the Imperium, trading military hardware, allowing Commissar military advisors to join their armies, and sending recruits to the Adeptus Mechanicus. In the forty-first millennium, Tyranid Hive Fleet Behemoth (Citadel Journal 33; "Hundreds of years ago") threatened to sweep through the Home Worlds, capable of destroying the Squats as a power in the galaxy. The council of Ancients decided to unite with humanity to provide a unified front against the Tyranids, and the hundreds of thousands of Squat Homeworlds were integrated by the Imperium (almost tripling its official size) as DaoT protectorates over several centuries before facing off the Tyranids during the attack by Behemoth.

Although the vast majority of the Squat race joined the Imperium, a few Squats remained separated from the council and carried on independently. Some became pirates or mercenaries, others joined the Imperium.

The Squats carried grudges for millennia, and none so strongly as against the race of Orks, who betrayed the Squats on more than one occasion and inflicted many losses upon them in war.


The Squats do not worship the Emperor as a god, but instead (akin to most Space Marines) see him as an extremely talented and powerful mortal. The Squats have their own religion in place of the Imperium-prescribed religion: they worship their own ancestors. They believe their ancestors to be very powerful overseers of their actions, with all Squats having a chance to join them in eternal happiness and share their power to watch over still living Squats. Squats believe that the only way of being refused the chance to join the ancestors is to dishonour themselves by committing a horrible moral crime, such as murder. The souls that are turned away from the ancestors' realm are doomed to wander as ghosts, haunting the living, and urging them not to repeat their mistakes. The Imperium of Man has adopted this as a variant of the standard creed by teaching that the Squats' ancestors join with the Emperor in the celestial realm.


Squat technology is based upon the heavy mining equipment they brought with them to the Home Worlds. During their isolation from the rest of humanity, they adapted it for other uses, notably exo-armour which was engineered from heavy mining suits. Squats continued to innovate and invent while humanity sank into a Dark Age.

As a result, the Squats have developed technologies such as neo-plasma and warp cores far in advance of anything the Imperium owns. Some Squat technologies were absorbed into the Imperium, especially tunneling vehicles and weaponry such as the Termite.

In Warhammer 40,000, Squats had a similar armament to Imperial armies, coming with las and bolt weaponry as standard. Armies also included squads in exo-armour supported with bikes and trikes. Squats were characterised in Epic with colossal war machines, including the Land Train (which supported many different cars, including the Dragon Car, the Berserker Car, the Mortar Car and the Rad Bomb car), Leviathan (used as a mobile infantry transport, capable of holding almost a hundred squats within), Cyclops (a spaceship weapon mounted on a Colossus chassis and used originally to devastate rival Squat warlord's war machines) and Colossus.

Removal from the game[edit]

The Squats have been out of the current games and model production by Games Workshop since the 1990s. The release of the third edition of Warhammer 40,000 in 1998 marked the removal of the final elements of the Squat rules from the game. The last miniatures to be released by Citadel were the Epic Squat war engines (such as the Goliath Mega Cannon) in 1994, though the release of Warhammer 40,000 scale had stopped some four years previously in 1990. Though no new models were released, sales did continue at a low level through retail stores and through mail order for several years until they were eventually discontinued completely.


Games Workshop released a video on the Warhammer TV facebook page on February 1, 2018 showing the return of at least one Squat for use in the new version of Necromunda.


  • Ansell, Bryan (1989). Warhammer 40,000 Compendium. Nottingham: Games Workshop. ISBN 1-869893-71-9. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  • Priestley, Rick (1992). DIE ,000 Battle Manual. Nottingham: Games Workshop. ISBN 1-872372-53-8. Search this book on Amazon.com Logo.png
  1. Squat stronghold Archived 18 December 2007 at the Wayback Machine at Epic scale

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