Bryan Ansell – A Life in Wargames

Bryan Ansell started with his life in wargames by founding and designing for his own miniatures company Asgard Miniatures. He also had his own fanzine named Trollcrusher.

In 1979 Games Workshop approached Ansell to found their own miniatures branch Citadel Miniatures. The company was set up to allow Games Workshop to be self reliant for its miniature purposes, allowing her to create the miniatures for all the games which Games Workshop had the license for at the time. This took their reliance on other miniatures companies such as Ral Partha away.

In 1980 Ansell wrote his first wargaming rules called Laserburn which he had published via Tabletop Games. Although only a foot note in gaming history, Laserburn contained many elements and wargear of the future Warhammer 40,000 game, such as Power Armour, Dreadnoughts, Jet Cycles and Bolt Guns.

By 1982 Games Workshop was depending on the sales of Citadel Miniatures and Bryan Ansell brought out all of Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson’s shared in Games Workshop and all the operations were eventually moved from London to Nottingham.

Laserburn which you can still find today as a PDF.

Ansell worked with Richard Halliwell and Rick Priestley on Games WorkshopsWarhammer Fantasy Battles. This was originally designed to be given out for free to encourage customers to buy the new Citadel Miniatures range.

Along with Rick Priestley, Alan & Michael Perry, Jervis Johnson, Richard Halliwell, John Blanche and Alan Merrett, Ansell was responsible for the Warhammer boom of the mid to late 1980’s.

He later left Games Workshop to Tom Kirby in 1991 and instead focused on his own company Wargames Foundry, a company which sells historical miniatures. These miniatures were originally sculpted by the Perry Twins for Citadel Miniatures, but were no longer sold as part of the Games Workshop fantasy ranges. Ansell took a number of figure molds used for historical and fantasy figures under Citadel Miniatures and Games Workshop, and they have become part of the Wargames Foundry range. Wargames Foundry continues to sell a range of metal figures for historical, sci-fi and fantasy war gaming.

Although not as prolific a writer as some of the other people focused on in “A Life in Wargames” Ansell has been involved in the rules development of 15+ games.

References

Wikipedia – Bryan Ansell

Wikipedia – Laserburn

Wargames Foundry

Board Game Geek

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