Monday, 7 September 2015

A tribute to Nick Garden, my friend.

Nick picks up one of many tournament awards
It is with profound sadness that I write this post.

Nick Garden, a friend and former work colleague of mine passed away over the weekend. It was not expected and has come as a terrible shock to the Wellington gaming community and Nick's friends and colleagues. 

Nick was a unique presence, when you first met him he seemed like a bit of a grumpy sod. But you quickly realized that was just his way, softly spoken and a little bit curmudgeonly. But the grumpy exterior hid a guy who was thoughtful, patient, fair and with a wry sense of humour. 

Nick's top hat wearing swamp troll was a local icon. 
He was the kind of guy who would play hard but play fair, if you were learning a game, he would show extreme amounts of patience to walk you through it, and he would always offer sound advice and feedback afterwards. 

If you ever wanted to talk about any aspect of the hobby, Nick had ideas on everything. And he played everything, Nick had armies for dozens of games. 

For some of Nicks models, check out here

He was also a fair umpire and volunteered time to help with events and add to the community. A man who was greatly respected by his peers, for his passion for the hobby and his good nature. 

More important to me was the time we spent outside gaming. I worked with Nick for 18 months, on a programme of work that was at time frustrating and frantic, and the other times dull as dishwater. 

Without Nick and the rest of the "Ministry of Wargaming" crew to talk to at lunch, or chat with over internal messenger I would have been completely miserable there. Knowing that I had a lunch break to sit around with fellow geeks and relax for an hour kept me going, and I don't really know if that crew realized just how important those lunches were to me. 

Earlier this year, Nick devoted a lot of time to the ANZAC miniatures memorial, you can see the full work here. While this is a memorial to our fallen soliders on the cliffs of Gallipoli, from now on i'll have a hard time thinking about it without also thinking about Nick. 

A few words can never tell you the full story of a man, his life and the impact they have had on their friends. Nick was a great guy, and we will miss him, I guess that's all I really needed to say.

Gallipoli Memorial

Nick working on the diorama with Simon (Standing, top left of interior cutout) 

The last time I played Nick at Warmachine

Using cannons, why? because they were cool. 
Nick and I played about a dozen games of warmachine, this was the only time I ever won. 

US Civil War

Flames of War



  1. That is shocking news.

    All the best to Nick's friends and family.

    And salute to Nick.

  2. Terrible news! RIP Nick. Namárië

  3. Very sad to hear, big man hugs to the welly crew.
    Nick is a great guy, real top gentleman.

    Gavin vR

  4. Shock is an understatement. Can't say I am close friend but was part of the group with Nick that play-tested several Shadowrun 4th Ed expansions over the years and still have a small box of 40k miniatures he gave me when I was learning to play 40k many years ago.

    Sadly have not kept in touch, but would like to know where to go to find out more any pay my respects.

    1. When i find out when the funeral/service is i'll post another reply here

    2. Funeral is at 11am, on Friday the 11th, at the Willis street Lychgate funeral home.

    3. Thanks, this info is really appreciated. Will be there.

  5. Met Nick and the first ever FoW event in the South Island way, way back and I am happy to have been able to call him a friend ever since. Always had a place for me to stay when I popped up to Wellington to game, always came down for my events and along with Pooch was a driving force in developing themes for the events and making them memorable and successful. I think you give a very fair assessment of him as a person. He was a top guy and will leave a huge hole in the gaming community. Not sure if I'll be able to make it up for the funeral but will see what I can do.

    1. I'll post those details when they become available. And if you want something read out, i'm sure that can be arranged as well.

  6. Poochie sent me the details, flight booked.

  7. If you guys need accommodation give any of the Regiment team a bell, we can arrange for some hosting. I'm organising things with his parents for the funeral while they are still in Mosgiel but it'd be great to see you guys on Friday.

    Jarrod - great write up mate.

  8. Sorry for your loss. Never nice to lose a friend


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