Today I was shocked and deeply saddened to learn of the death of Alan Bligh. For those who don’t know, Alan was the Lead Writer and Game Designer for Forge World and was heavily involved in Fantasy Flight’s Dark Heresy series of Warhammer 40,000 RPGs. Those titles, however, do not do credit to Alan’s standing at Games Workshop. His presence for over a decade hugely enriched the company, and the quality of both his writing and design is something we’ve all been fortunate enough to take for granted. He had a huge role in the development of the Horus Heresy as a Games Workshop staple, and was one of the great fonts of knowledge when it came to all things 40k. The fact that news of his passing comes on the day of what promises to be the hugely successful “Warhammerfest” event is deeply poignant.
On a personal note, Alan was the man who created the Carcharodon Astra as we know them today, as part of his excellent Badab War Imperial Armour books. I never met him, but I desperately wanted to sit down one day and discuss it all with him, where they came from (design-wise that is) and what he thought about what I was trying to do with them. As it stands, all I have now are the two pages of his wonderfully evocative design notes. I can only hope that my future Carcharodon stories are works he would approve of, and that they continue to go from strength to strength.
They are his legacy more so than they will ever be mine, and I only wish I could have thanked him for that in person.