Bryan Ansell, the “Grandfather of Warhammer”, has died aged 68.
Ansell, who was one of the original designers of the Warhammer tabletop game and the managing director of Games Workshop, “passed away peacefully at home this morning surrounded by his family” on 30 December 2023, his wife Diane announced.
Born on 11 October 1955 in Nottingham, England, Ansell founded Asgard Miniatures in 1976, a miniature figurine company. He then partnered with board game manufacturer and seller Games Workshop to found Citadel Miniatures in 1978.
Ansell’s most significant creation came in 1983 when alongside Richard Halliwell and Rick Priestley, he developed and launched Warhammer Fantasy Battle.
The first game in the extensive Warhammer series, it made use of the Citadel Miniatures figurines in a role-playing battle simulator. Warhammer Fantasy Battle was an immediate success in the tabletop gaming community.
Following Warhammer, Ansell became the managing director of Games Workshop in 1985 and focused the company’s entire operation on the Warhammer series and its futuristic spin-off Warhammer 40k.
Ansell sold his share in Games Workshop in 1991 but remained close to the industry for the rest of his life. Today, the series has legions of fans who collect and paint figurines to play Warhammer games.
In December, actor Henry Cavill, a lifelong fan of the series, was announced as an executive producer for the upcoming Amazon productions based on the games. Amazon Studios announced they are exploring the possibility of both films and TV series based on Warhammer 40k.
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