We're sad to report that British game designer Bryan Ansell passed away on December 30th, 2023.
His name might not be instantly familiar to those with only a passing interest in tabletop gaming, but if you're a fan of Games Workshop or Warhammer, you owe a debt to Ansell.
A successful sculptor of lead-based figures, Ansell founded Citadel Miniatures in 1978 in order to create products for use in the tabletop wargames made by Games Workshop, which Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstone had established in 1975.
He would later design 1983's Warhammer Fantasy Battle with Rick Priestley and Richard Halliwell, the series which would propel the company to new levels of commercial fame and would also spawn Warhammer 40,000, an off-shoot set in the far future. 40k has become the company's main focus in recent years, but it continues to sell the 'fantasy battle' game.
In 1985, Ansell bought out Jackson and Livingstone's shares in Games Workshop, becoming Managing Director. He moved the company's base of operations from London to Nottingham, where its HQ remains to this day.
Under Ansell's watch, Games Workshop grew to become one of the world's leading creators of role-playing wargames. In 1991, Ansell sold his shares to Tom Kirby but continued to work in the wargame miniatures sector, establishing Guernsey Foundry and Foundry Miniatures Limited.
Our thoughts are with Ansell's family and friends at this difficult time.