Sacré bleu! Collaborateur!

Yes, that's right folks, Colonel Scipio is a collaborator!

No, no, put away the lynch ropes and pitchforks.  I don't mean the sort of collaborator who turns James Donald into the Germans, I mean a wargaming collaborator.  Over the last few weeks I've been getting involved in projects with other gamers and bloggers, and I thought I'd share with you some of my thoughts on it.

Collaboration, in this context, is basically working together on a joint wargaming project.  It's a great way to add some variety to your army, tackle painting something new without starting a new army, as well as getting to know a few of your fellow bloggers a bit better.


Liaison Officers

Player A paints some of his models in Player B's colours, and uses them in his army (and vice versa)

This is the simplest, cheapest, easiest way to do a joint project - Lord Gordon and I did this a few months back. Basically, the idea is that in the fluff some of your men are on a kind of exchange programme.  You get to each build/paint some models in the other player's colours.

This is obviously cheaper and, because you make the models yourself, cuts out the risks in sending precious minis through the post, but on the other hand it's not quite as 'collaborative' - you're just using someone else's colour scheme.  I find this is best (for Imperial Guard) to make liaison officers and advisors.  These are the sorts of people who do exchange and attaché jobs and can easily be incorporated into your gaming Command Squad as a 'bodyguard' or even one of the Regimental Advisors.  The picture is of Lt Rhyn, an officer of the Delihan Army on a posting to the Palladian Guard.  You can see Lord Gordon's work here, Lt Gen Agrippa of the Palladian Guard.

Model Swaps

Player A sends Player B some models.  B builds/paints them up in his own colours, and sends them back to A who uses them in his army (like a detachment).

This is the next level of collaborating.  You can post models out to people to build and/or paint for you, and they send them back.  I'm in the middle of doing just such a project for Zzzzz over at Devos IV, putting together a command squad.  It generally involves a bit more planning, because it involves posting stuff out and getting it sent back - but the end result is an extra squad in your army that someone else has put their stamp on, and you can use them as a sort of allied detachment. 

It's a good compromise between the Liaison Officers - which are easy but not very 'collaborative', and the Joint Projects, which are the opposite.

Joint Projects

Players A & B get together, and work on a squad jointly - or A builds and posts them off to B to paint.

Although this is probably what most of you thought when you realised this was a post about collaborations, in my experience it's the least common.  Mainly because it involves the most communicating back and forth, and at the end you have to decide who gets to use the squad.  These sorts of projects are less common in the blogosphere but very commonplace amongst mates who game together at a club, as most of the communication problems are solved there and then.

Me and Headologist are just starting to think of doing a diorama on these lines - he builds it, then I get to paint it up.  These projects are great if you can find someone close by to do it with, but probably not for many bloggers.

One slightly thorny issue that all this brings up is that of money and motivation.  Less so for the Exchange Officer projects, but for the other two - when you're investing a lot of time and effort for something you may never use/see again - why would you do that?

Well, most 'normals' (ie non-wargamers) would expect some kind of fee I suppose.  But I've found that most of the time, amongst bloggers, this isn't really the case.  Most people I know are more than happy just to have the chance to be a part of someone else's army.  You probably shouldn't just assume that people will be willing to paint up some models for you and post them back for free but I certainly wouldn't mind doing it, just for the satisfaction (and getting to follow their progress in future batreps!)

For me, collaboration sums up the best about blogging and wargaming.  Like-minded people, sharing a common interest, doing something for the sheer fun of it and to help someone out.  Precious little of that nowadays.  So, let me know what you think about these sorts of projects in the comments.  How many other people have tried them?  What sort of projects were they?

(Sorry for the wordy post and lack of updates - I'm currently in a windswept house on the English coast on my 'holiday', which involves 6am swims in the North Sea and no modelling for a week :( when I get back there will be piccys galore, I promise).

Thanks for reading,

The Colonel


  1. 6am swim's in the North Sea??? Are you loony!? O_o

    All three of these options sound interesting. I think it would be fun to get involved in either of them.

    Hope the holiday is the rest I assume was required? :)

  2. Enjoy the break (and the bracing dips). Whereabouts are you - any seals?

    My only - sparse - hobby focus at the moment(he says, typing one-fingered whilst literally holding a week-old infant in his left hand) is the work on the squad for Zzzzzz. And the joy it's bringing me is IMMENSE!

  3. Mon dieu! :)

    I love this idea - I've been looking into the awesome Victoria miniatures (especially now that they're running the free shipping), I may have to get a unit of her Mordian-lookalikes and paint them up in your dress greens to add to my force!

    Good stuff, man!

  4. Ultimately, my aim with collaborations of all sorts is for Mrs Zzzzz to bugger off for the weekend (in a nice way, one that will make her happy and possibly spend lots) and allow me to fill the garage with grown men playing with toy soldiers.

    During the meanwhilst, I am spotting synergies amongst bloggers armies and their possible opponents; I may start asking people to play games for me and use the results to inform and build a more complete picture of the Devos IV Campaign. Now some of these will be unbalanced games designed to drive the narrative, so much depends on building relationships over the internet (now that sentance will show up on police search engines !) which may or may not one day end up in face to face meetings.

    Blogwars sounds great and would be a good chance to meet folks, but its not on a good weekend this year. And in all honesty I am more interested in building the Devos IV conflict up to a series of campaigns, perhaps. Unlike a commercial project, however, this is one that cannot make demands of participants (who are generally people I cold call to spend their own resources, especially time) or have deadlines (not least because Mrs Zzzzz has different proirities). So it fits with the 'hobby' idea very well.

    End of ramble.

  5. Superb stuff, something that we've talked about doing for a while is a "global campaign," and with slightly less participants than GW we could tailor the fluff a little more closely to the participants...

  6. I love this idea of collaborative projects. If you're ever looking to make this an international affair keep me in mind. I don't mind the occasional postal fee and I've got loads of everything, plus I can be pretty mean with a brush when necessary. Also you've won a Liebster Award, check my blog for details.

  7. Thanks for your comments guys! Sorry for the delay, but...

    @Dai: I am slightly mental. Actually now I'm here I realise it's still dark at six, so it's more like 7:30. Well, as Headologist suggested below we might look at doing a mini-global campaign seeing as there are a good six/seven of us seem to be interested, watch this space!

    @Drax: Will do - I'm in Alnwick, Northumberland and no seals yet (although this is seal country). Congratulations on being able to do any hobby work at all!

    @Mordian7th: Sounds good! (Stand by for that email...) Victoria miniatures are great and I'm stocking up as well now they're free shipping.

    @Zzzzz: Good ramble! As you may know me and Headologist are looking at a global campaign with a few of our crowd as participants, maybe you might be just the person to do the setting since the Devos IV is probably the deepest setting we have! As I mentioned to Dai, watch this space...

    @Headologist: Yep, sounds good - a proper Eye of Terror affair!

    @Chris: Internationalism all the way! The stuff with Lord Gordon involved a bit of overseas stuff so that sounds good. As I've mentioned a few times in these comments we might look to do a Global Campaign. Ooooh, a Liebster! Thanks for the nomination, and congratulations for yours!


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