With Games Workshop (Finally) confirming that the 'Squats' will be making a return to the Warhammer 40000 universe I thought I would do a little deep diving into my own past and have a bit of a look at what the Squats were like when 2nd edition dropped.
As most folks know Rogue Trader was the first edition of Warhammer 40k and I've you've ever read the book then you will probably know that it reads more like a D&D book than a current Warhammer 40k Rule Book.
The OG game was a science fiction version of Warhammer, right down to the naming of armies. Orks were Space Orks, Aeldari were Space Elves, and Dwarfs become Space Dwarfs. It was even rumoured that the Warhammer World was a Planet within the Warhammer 40k universe
Eventually, all races would be given names at a later date, with Space Elves becoming Eldar and Dwarfs becoming the Squats. With the introduction of Epic more and more of the Warhammer 40k universe was fleshed out and by the time 2nd edition came out each race had a good deal of fluff behind it.
As squats never got a Codex (in fact, I don't think they even got new models in 2nd ed) their rules existed between the books provided in the boxed set.
2nd Ed included a book called 'Codex Imperialis' which provided a detailed look at the armies that existed when the game was released. Their army list existed in the small black pamphlet simply called 'Codex Army Lists'
In Imperialis the Squats are found on page 71 and only consist of 5 pages of fluff and rules. In fact, three of those 5 pages are fluff. On those pages, we find out that the Squats are a long descended race of Humanity, one that travelled to some of the core worlds, which became known as the 'Homeworlds'. Because these colonists travelled out from humanity's cradle they carried with them original STC technology which explains why Squats had access to Land Raiders and Rhinos (in reality GW had few tank kits and this was a good excuse for them to use them). They also had access to the standard list of Imperial Support Weapons such as the Mole Mortar, Rapier Laser Destroyer and the Thudd Gun, with their entries in the big yellow wargear book stating they were originally invented by the Squats.
The bit of fluff also explains why the squats hate both Eldar (Aeldari) and Orks in this universe, pretty much copying what Dwarfs were like in fantasy.
They also mention that Squat Strongholds form into Leagues, with approximately 700 leagues in total, the largest of the leagues being the League of Kapellar. This might be where GW is going to be kicking the re-birth of the Squats off from.
The two pages of rules just basically outline squat characteristics with a couple of entries explaining the Guildmaster and Ancestor Lords. It isn't until you get to the Codex Book that you discover what units the Squats could have.
The Codex book didn't contain a lot of things for each army, it was a quick easy reference telling you what a unit's size would be, weapons and wargear and how much they would cost. It also showed you the main stat line for that unit.
Squat squads were simple affairs, broken into Warrior Squads, Attack Squads and Thunderer Squads. Each filling the role of Tactical, Assault and Heavy Weapon Team respectively. These squads were fixed at 5 figures per unit and couldn't expand on size. Squats could also field Exo-Armoured Hearthguard Squads, which had to be a unit of 4+ and were considered to be a bodyguard for other Characters. They were an expansive unit to take (252pts before weapons) and came out of your character allowance meaning you could end up limiting your options.
A typical 2000pt army typically would have a good chunk of its points sunk into Hearthguard (to get some tough Exo-Squad units) and loads of 5 man teams with a variety of weapons kicking around the battlefield, backed up by land raider units and thudd guns. Mainly sitting still waiting for your opponent as you were limited to a 3inch move (6 if you ran).
2nd Edition wasn't a fun time for the Squat Warlords out there and I remember many of my friends that played Squats having a small force because they primarily played them in Epic, where they had a plethora of units to play with.
...Hmm, maybe I will look into those next.