Dice Men: The Origin Story of Games Workshop

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Dice Men: The Origin Story of Games Workshop

Dice Men: The Origin Story of Games Workshop

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That inflection point comes in the form of Citadel Miniatures, and its physical manifestation is in the person of Bryan Ansell. There’s a couple of hints as to why they seem so passive in letting it go; they’re overcommitted and exhausted, and Livingstone claims that they didn’t pay themselves much from GW and so the financial rewards of writing more of the now obviously-successful Fighting Fantasy books probably loomed large in the mind – why go through all the bother of the day job when someone else so clearly wanted to do it? They make an effort to hold on to half their shares each, which is firmly rebuffed, and that’s that. I am more familiar with the history of the Citadel Miniatures side of the story, so it was interesting to see how the London based board games side of the business developed the brand that eventually became the miniatures oriented company that GW now is.

If you’re into the GW artwork of that era there’s a bunch of that in here, and also personal photos from Livingstone and others on a range of subjects – GW’s various London offices, early Games Days, some holiday photos from Ian and Steve’s road trip around America that led to their first meeting with Gary Gygax, bits and pieces like that.

Excellent book on GWs early past, and a must have for fans of old miniatures ("Oldhammer"), classic RPGs, Boardgames or Fightng Fantasy gamebooks. There was a certain magic, a feeling of adventure, that overcame me when I walked those aisles and gazed at the fantastic miniatures.

It’s a publicly-traded company comfortably ensconced in the FTSE 250, with annual revenues that are positively eye-watering when you consider they come from selling toys to a relatively narrow audience of teens and adults who want their free time to be taken up by building and painting the things with which they then play pretend, or at least consider using to play pretend before realising it’s been another six months since they actually arranged a game.It’s a nice touch, and it highlights just how many people’s contributions served to make something special out of humble beginnings. Miniatures” there means other people’s; they have been selling miniatures, but they haven’t been making them. That first iteration of GW is very different to the company it would later become, but the seeds of it all are sown during a whirlwind decade that established Livingstone and Jackson as the foremost names in British tabletop fantasy thanks to their canny decision making, incredible work ethic, and commitment to pursuing opportunities wherever they might lead.

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