While I never played the same genres (at least at the same time) as Nick, he was well known in wargaming circles and I also had the pleasure of working with him in a professional capacity at Statistics NZ. Many a lunchtime the Stats wargaming/gaming coven would book a meeting room and, for an hour at least, would paint and/or engage in many debates about rules/models/etc..
I was able to attend Nick's funeral on Friday. My heart goes out to Nick's Dad in particular - no parent ever wants to bury a child. Fathers Day will never be the same again for him either, nor will it be for many of the other wargamers close to Nick who are also fathers..
Unsurprisingly there were many wargamers in attendance at the service - a number of who made great speeches remembering the person that Nick was.
One particular eulogy was read by Russell Briant, on behalf of John Hutton (who could not attend). There was a particular part of the message John sent that I want to repeat now - it really resonated with me. He wrote:
"Nick might have lived alone more recently, but he was never alone. He was continually surrounded by friends.
And these are no ordinary friends - the wargaming community is built on the enjoyment (mainly) blokes get from doing stuff together, socially and intellectually. Gaming is story telling and history
infused with strategy, the play of probability and risk, laughter and competition, and a love of the craft of painting miniatures.
But it goes deeper than that - there is comradeship, trust, and a closeness between gaming friends that may surprise people outside the community. Nick had this in spades."
So hats off to the wargaming community in general. It is my pleasure to know you all - in this sad time, and also the good times.