Ansell attended Nottingham Boys High School and People's College.
Bryan Ansell was the founder of and designer for Asgard Miniatures.:45 He had also ran a fanzine entitled Trollcrusher. In 1979, Games Workshop formed a partnership with Ansell to found a new company called Citadel Miniatures.:45 Ansell designed Warhammer Fantasy Battle (1983) with Rick Priestley and Richard Halliwell.:47 In 1985, Ansell was appointed the Managing Director of Games Workshop.:47 Along with Rick Priestley, Alan and Michael Perry, Richard Halliwell, John Blanche, Jervis Johnson, and Alan Merrett, Ansell was responsible for the Warhammer (later Warhammer Fantasy Battle) boom of the mid-to-late 1980s.
The contents page of White Dwarf #77 (May 1986) contained a coded message by the then editor Ian Marsh, who made the description of each item spell out "S O D O F F B R Y A N A N S E L L".:48 This was a protest against the changes Ansell had demanded of the magazine.
He later sold Games Workshop to Tom Kirby, and left to concentrate on Wargames Foundry. Wargames Foundry creates historical miniature ranges, originally sculpted by the Perry Twins for Citadel Miniatures, but no longer sold as part of the Games Workshop fantasy ranges.
Ansell took a number of figure molds used for historical and fantasy figures under Citadel Miniatures and Games Workshop, and they have become part of the Wargames Foundry range. Wargames Foundry continues to sell a range of metal figures for historical, sci-fi and fantasy war gaming.
- Laserburn (1980) Sci-fi tabletop rules
- Imperial Commander (1981) expanded rules and background material for Laserburn, an influence on Warhammer 40,000
- Warhammer Fantasy Battle (1983) Author
- Forces of Fantasy for Warhammer Fantasy Battle (1983)
- Statue of the Sorcerer, The (Call of Cthulhu) (1986) Chaosium
- Vanishing Conjurer, The (Call of Cthulhu) (1986)
- Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay (1986) Games Workshop Additional Material
- Green and Pleasant Land supplement to Call of Cthulhu for adventuring in the British Isles (1987) published by Games Workshop Managing Director
- Titan Legions (1994)
- Street Violence (2003)
- Rules With No Name Bryan Ansell, Editor Keith Pinfold, Foundry Books, 2009, ISBN 978-1-901543-17-9
- Foundry Miniatures Painting & Modeling Guide, Kevin Dallimore, Bryan Ansell, Foundry Books, 2006, ISBN 978-1-901543-13-1
- Vector Magazine: Freedom in an Owned World
- Steve Jackson Interview rpgvault.ign.com
- Shannon Appelcline (2011). Designers & Dragons. Mongoose Publishing. ISBN 978-1-907702-58-7.
- White Dwarf #77, May 1986 (UK) ISSN 0266-8712