Yesterday, Games Workshop dropped a teaser trailer that seemed to be hinting at the arrival of an entirely new(ish) faction of soldiers in their sci-fi wargame Warhammer 40K. Though normally this would be cause for mass celebration (and the gnashing of teeth) in the Warhammer community, it was met with major skepticism as the trailer was released early in the morning on April Fool's Day. Was this a joke? It turns out... it wasn't a joke at all!
With a brand new article up on the Warhammer community website, Games Workshop officially announced that what they hinted at yesterday is real, and not an elaborate prank. Returning for the first time to Warhammer 40K since the very first editions, Squats - aka Space Dwarves - are returning as their own fully fleshed out faction. Though previously referred to as Squats (and still referenced as such in their sparse appearances in the Warhammer 40K offshoot Necromunda), they prefer to be referred to as the Leagues of Votann, and call themselves "Kin."
Who Are The Leagues of Votann in the Warhammer 40K universe?
Considered cousins of humanity, the Leagues of Votann share a shaky peace with the Imperium of Man, and seem to have come out of the Age of Strife - those untold days before the 30th millennia where much of our knowledge, history, and technology was destroyed - with much more of their ancient technology still usable and understood. So where does this new army fit into the greater faction orders of Warhammer 40K? It's hard to pin down exactly, but as the Warhammer Community post states, "And while there’s no love lost between the Leagues of Votann and Humankind, the resurgence of Chaos and ascendent xenos hordes mean there are usually more pressing concerns than fighting each other."
With a look that is sort of giving us T'au Empire + Dwarf vibes, it'll be interesting to see the design space these units take in the grander scheme of Warhammer 40K. All we know for certain now is that they already look nothing like the kind of Mad Max inspired Dwarf bikers with heavy bolters and sunglasses they originally appeared as in the late '80s. But our big question is: how will they play? Will Games Workshop chart to what you might first expect when you hear "Space Dwarves" and make the Leagues of Votann tough, slow, and stout soldiers with strong blasting and melee weapons? Or will the company flip the script and set them up to be something completely different. We'll keep an eye on all upcoming developments to keep you in the know.