Today I was going to do an update post on my workbench then it was with disbelief and great sadness I read on the Wargames Illustrated page of the unexpected death of Duncan Macfarlane.
Like many in the hobby I have known Duncan for many years and would like to call him friend.
My first encounter with him was when he travelled with Peter Gilder to the old Redcar club to take scalps for the WRG society championship - I would have been around 17 and was confronted by Duncan’s early medieval Welsh - big units of 48 figure welsh spears - almost immovable objects. I lost as to be expected and over all the intervening years I don’t believe Duncan ever lost his keenness for competitive Wargaming.
We met him regularly after that at various shows and from the 1980’s a lot more as Gordon, Lee and I started to put on various demo games, in fact Duncan accompanied us on our hike around Tewkesbury and over Newark for the games that were to follow.
There were many attendances at his house in Lovers Lane at Newark for photo sessions and when accompanied by a sleepover I got very little sleep as most of the night was spent browsing through his vast collection of books.
A knowledgeable, charming and disarming individual he was great company and many a social evening was spent in Newark on our visits. One one occasion when he found I was to travel to London for a conference he encouraged my to travel down the day before to catch up and have a chat. A hot day we visited a number of pubs and somehow on each one we managed to miss the serving times for food..
I don’t recall much else until 5.30 the next morning when I woke in my hotel room still fully clothed and with around an hour before I got the train to London, I managed to shower get changed and make my way for the train. I just about managed to survive the conference after drinking copious amounts of coffee and having breakfast.
I guess in some ways he was mildly eccentric but his very nature made it all very acceptable, when he published Wargames Illustrated he somehow talked me into doing an index both by article and author and after the first 244 issues I decided enough was enough and I think he bought it off me for a couple of pints.
And so the memories continue, Warcon, Sheffield Triples nights out and so on - his wit, was regularly missed by many and it’s so unfortunate that many gamers of today will be oblivious to the contributions and changes he has made to the hobby. Even possibly the instigator of having the hobby accepted as a mainstream pastime with the publication of Miniature Wargames.
It was a pleasure to have known him and the circle of friends to sit and tell our war stories to gets ever smaller