Losing a friend
I was very saddened to learn that last week Allen Curtis had died. I’d known Allen for over a decade. He’d been a regular contributor to the magazine and I personally regarded him as a friend.
I first got to know Allen in my WAB days and from the WABlist yahoo group. There, as a complete newbie, I found him entertaining and very informative. He really did know everything, but without coming over as a ‘know-it-all’. He did not suffer fools gladly, and was infamous for his outbursts. While he had a temper, and sometimes came across bluntly, he was usually - no, almost invariably - correct in what he said.
For wargaming in general, his greatest work was perhaps his contribution to Warhammer Ancient Battles in the shape of the ‘Hannibal’ book and ‘The Rise of Rome’, which, while unpublished by Warhammer Historical, was eventually serialised in Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy. Add to that his input on various internet forums where he was a fountain of knowledge and always willing to help.
Allen had his pet hates. He would correct people’s grammar (including mine, on several occasions…), disliked historical inaccuracy, and the all-too-common habit of certain wargamers to glorify one particular unit, or army, above and beyond its historical ability.
I had the pleasure of meeting him once, at Salute one year. We chatted while he waited for his taxi (which ended up being two hours late, so we chatted for a while). He struck me as a quiet-spoken and highly intelligent gentleman. I really regret not having had the opportunity to see him again.