Warhammer 40,000 home to many strange and peculiar factions, beyond the domain of its Imperial fanatics the Space Marines. There are Haughty space elves both standard and gother varietiesthere are Xenomorph imitations of the hive mind, there are Space Orks (not to be confused with old regular Orcs), and more demons than you can shake a chainsaw-sword hybrid. But none of them compare to the weirdness of the game’s latest returning faces.
The 1st of AprilGames Workshop released a revelation alleging that one of the 40Kthe oldest factions and, for a very long time, retired, the Space Dwarves, also known as “Squats,” would revert to the venerable skirmish game. The players laughed it off and continued on their way, until this week Games Workshop said “well, actually, we are not joking.
The Space Dwarves will be reborn as a new Warhammer 40K faction later that year called the Leagues of Votann – a subspecies of humanity that was cut off from most of the race that would morph into the Imperium of Man, shortened over generations of colonizing environments dense in gravity and flourishing with their own mercantile society outside the fascist and religious dogma of the Imperium. They share the same heritage as Squats when they were introduced in the very first edition of Warhammer 40Kwhen, as a spin-off of Games Workshop’s fantasy gamee, the miniatures maker took races from fantasy tropes like Orcs, Dwarves, and Elves, and turned them into sci-fi counterparts in a game called Rogue Merchant.
Originally more of a joke than a serious faction – the Space Dwarves were, for all intents and purposes, roving biker gangs of tiny V-space.iking-esque warriors – the faction disappeared from Warhammer 40K by the third edition of the game, released in 1998, and since then have been largely consigned to Easter egg references in the tradition. Twenty years after their disappearance from the official rules, only two models for the faction have been released – and even they were only one –off for spinoff gang war game Necromundarather than an autonomous faction.
But everything changes this year. Redesigned for the current ninth edition of 40K, the Leagues of Votann will update the old aesthetic of Space Dwarves – and drop the derogatory name of Squats – and transform the hardy race into a full-fledged faction in the game, with its own rules and, of course, a whole new range of models. Only one has been revealed so far, dropping the old baesthetic iker-gang in favorst of… Powerful dwarf-sized combinations? Shit yeah.
It’s a fun way to expand the current state of Warhammer 40Kbringing back and modernizing something weird and silly from the early roots of the game while retaining some of that inherent quirkiness that 40K walked away as he leans into his “gloomy” tone. Additionally, it gives players who would like to play a human faction that does not involve a cap for the darkly veiled satire of Imperium fascism, what if you could do this while being plasma-armed dwarves in power armor? It’s awesome.
Votann Leagues should arrive in Warhammer 40K Later this year.
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