Jervis Johnson – A Life in Wargames

Jervis Johnson officially retired from Games Workshop in July. As such I thought it was a great time to cover his career as a games designer, from his first game to his last and the impact he’s had on the hobby.

If you don’t know who Jervis Johnson is then this will introduce you to a man who has created many of the great games you know and love today.

Jervis joined Games Workshop as a trade sales assistant in 1982. During this time he started writing rules for Games Workshops’ own games in his spare time (them being the seller for dungeons and dragons in Europe.and not producing their own game of Warhammer Fantasy until 1983). What would become the first edition of Blood Bowl was produced in 1986, followed closely by Rogue Trader (the 1st edition of Warhammer 40k) in 1988.

During his time Jervis has designed or has been involved in the design of over 93 games and add-ons. Both for Games Workshop and other companies.

These include;

  • Blood Bowl (1st, 2nd & 3rd Editions) – 1986, 1988, 1994
  • Adeptus Titanicus (1st Edition) – 1988
  • Advanced HeroQuest – 1989
  • Advanced Space Crusade – 1990
  • Armies of the Imperium – 1991
  • Battle for Armageddon – 1992
  • Black Powder (2nd Edition) (Warlord Games) – 2019
  • Blood Bowl (2016 Edition) – 2016
  • Epic Armageddon – 2003
  • La Haye Saint (Warlord Games) – 2014
  • Necromunda – 1995
  • Space Hulk (2nd Edition) – 1996
  • Space Marine – 1989
  • Warhammer 40,000 (3rd Edition) – 1998
  • Warhammer 40,000 (4th Edition) – 2004
  • Warhammer Ancient battles – 1998
  • Warhammer Fantasy (8th Edition) – 2010
  • Warmaster – 1993

Many other companies have taken inspiration from some of Jervis Johnson’s games. Whether you know it or not, your favourite game has probably been worked on or has used inspiration from one of Johnson’s game.

His retirement is well deserved, but the wargaming community is losing a true giant of the industry. Goodbye Jervis, and enjoy your retirement.

Why don’t you let us know in the comments below which of Jervis’ games was your favourite?

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Next Week

Alessio Cavatore

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