Bryan Ansell, Visionary Behind Warhammer, Passes Away

Bryan Ansell, a pivotal figure in the development of Warhammer Fantasy Battle and a leading force at Games Workshop until the late 1980s, died at his home on December 30th. He was 68 years old. The news was shared through the Instagram account he managed with his wife, Diane.
Bryan Ansell
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In a somber announcement, the family of Bryan Ansell shared the news of his passing, marking a significant loss for the gaming community worldwide.

Ansell, renowned as the visionary force and “grandfather” behind the Warhammer franchise, transformed Games Workshop into a leading name in miniature manufacturing and fantasy wargaming.

Early Beginnings and Monumental Impact

Ansell’s journey began with his co-founding of Asgard Miniatures in 1976, laying the groundwork for his future endeavors. His innovative vision caught the eye of Games Workshop’s founders, leading to a collaboration that would change the landscape of tabletop gaming.

Under Ansell’s leadership, Citadel Miniatures was born, quickly becoming a cornerstone of Games Workshop’s success.

Ansell’s strategic acumen was evident as he shifted the company’s focus from importing and distributing board games to creating and selling its own miniature wargames, with Warhammer Fantasy Battle spearheading this new direction.

A Legacy in Gaming

The release of Warhammer Fantasy Battle in 1983 marked a turning point for Games Workshop, propelling it into unprecedented success.

Ansell’s design principles were simple yet revolutionary, focusing on compatibility with existing Citadel models and accessibility through the use of D6s.

His approach resonated with gamers globally, creating a fervent following that persists to this day. Even after his departure from Games Workshop in 1991, Ansell continued to influence the industry through Wargames Foundry and his active participation in the ‘Oldhammer’ community, fostering a space for enthusiasts of retro wargaming.

Warhammer: The Old World Miniatures Preview

Coincidentally, Ansell’s death coincides with a revived interest in The Old World, his original Warhammer Fantasy Battle setting.

After being discontinued in 2015, it has seen a resurgence, primarily driven by the Total War: Warhammer series. Recently, Games Workshop announced the upcoming relaunch of this beloved game, now as Warhammer: The Old World, featuring updated plastic miniatures.

Photo Source: the_ansells_attic

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