On June 29th, my best friend finally lost his fight with cancer.
Dereck Juden didn't come on the PP boards much, so many of you won't know him. But he was a person in the local game groups.
We met in High School and bonded over the usual geeky stuff. Voltron, D&D, computer games... the usual stuff. He had all these little inch-tall soldiers (I had previously flirted a little with Battletech and Car Wars, but cardboard standups were good enough for me for them...) for some weird game called "Fourty-kay" or something. Eventually, reading through the books, I fell in love of the weird, dark, distopian world they were describing. So I asked, and he said "Well, they are coming out with a new version next month. Why don't you go in with me on the box? They'll have all sorts of miniatures in there. So we did and I started playing Orks. That was 2nd ed...
Years later, during the 3.x boom, he got a unusual book of monsters that was completely unlike any of the splatbooks out there. Funky folio-looking, first person narrative, steampunk skeletons and creepy dark fairies. I fell very hard for the first Monsternomicon, and our group played Iron Kingdoms for years straight. Years later, when we found out they were putting out a miniatures game, we were delighted, and once we got the game more or less straight, pretty much shelved our 'Fourty-kay' armies.
Dereck had a massive Cygnar army that he never quite got to work right. He had a smaller Circle army that routinely slapped mine around. He did painting work at our local game stores, and was well known for being a nice, funny, wacky guy with a set of really beautiful miniatures.
Thank you, Dereck. You were awesome. You will be missed.