Wargaming Rules for the New Zealand Wars

I have several set of rules for the New Zealand Wars. I’m not convinced by any of them so far, but I’ve put most thought into my own DBA variant and associated scenarios, and I favour my Crossfire variant.

I written up most of these, with a brief description and full references if you want to track down them down.

Tupara: A Crossfire Variant for the New Zealand Colonial Wars

Source:

Crossfire variant – one of mine.

Scale of figures:

  • 15mm by default, but it doesn’t really matter.

Scale of game:

  • A stand of 3 figures (in 15mm) represents 8-12 men.
  • Ground scale is variable but could be anything from 1:300 through to 1:1700.

Orders of Battle:

  • None provided.

Distinctive/interesting features:

  • Based on Crossfire
  • Crossfire is quite free form by comparison to other rules.
  • No rulers.
  • No fixed time scale.
  • Initiative based player turns.
  • I love Crossfire – it is fast and fun.

Comments and oddities:

  • Had to add some extra rules for aspects of the colonial wars, e.g. hidden Maori.
  • Not play tested yet.

New Zealand Colonial Wars:  A DBA Variant

Source:

DBA variant – one of mine.

Scale of figures:

  • 15mm by default, but could be anything.

Scale of game:

  • Depending on the campaign being recreated, a stand can represent anywhere from 3 to 128 men.
  • Similarly ground scale varies by campaign from 10 to 50 paces per inch on the table.

Orders of Battle:

  • None specified.

Distinctive/interesting features:

  • It is DBA, what more do I say.

Comments and oddities:

  • In DBA numbers tell, and the British will always have numbers.

Facing the Maoris: The New Zealand Land Wars

Source:

Traves, A. (1994). Facing the Maoris: The New Zealand Land Wars. The Colonial Age: Wargames rules for the period of European Expansion, volume 1. Australia: Author.

Scale of figures:

  • 15mm by default.

Scale of game:

  • Typically Maori forces of 200-400 warriors facing a larger number of Europeans.
  • The range of Musket/Rifle fire is between 10 and 20 inches depending on who is shooting.
  • Foot move between 4 and 6 inches in the open depending on who they are.

Orders of Battle:

  • Rough and ready. Forces are organised into units (4 stands for Europeans and 6 stands for Maori), and the Europeans should outnumber the Maori.

Distinctive/interesting features:

  • Almost all Maori start off table simulating the fact they are hidden.
  • Europeans can search for Maori.
  • Maori can reappear in terrain that has already been searched.
  • Attempts to provide general rules that cover various types of scenarios including attacks on Pa, relieving outposts, and the protection of convoys and homesteads.

Comments and oddities:

  • The Maori can not plan a strategy but must react to European actions.
    • Aside from two bands which are optionally deployed at the start of the game there is no planned deployment by the Maori.
    • Maori bands and fortifications are deployed randomly as the Europeans search for them and the Maori player has no choice about this. The only restriction is that once all the available Maori have been found then no more are deployed.
    • As an example, the Europeans can suddenly discover a Pa sitting underneath them. The curious thing is that not only would this surprise the European player but it would also surprise the Maori player.
  • Says it is based on DBA but has strong hints of Armati as well, for example, it uses units of multiple stands, has morale etc.
  • Maori units (bands) are bigger than European units!! Europeans have 4 stands and Maori 6, although they both use 12 figures.

Wargaming the Maori Wars

Source:

Callan, A. (Sept. 1983). Wargaming the Maori Wars. Military Modelling, 654-655.

Scale of figures:

  • The author uses 15mm but it doesn’t really matter.

Scale of game:

  • Focuses on British assaults of Maori Pa, so the forces are up to about 400 men.
  • Foot movement is between 1 and 7 inches in the open (I think).

Orders of Battle:

  • Rough and ready, e.g. Maoris 4-5 bands of 5 figures.

Distinctive/interesting features:

  • It is the assault only so the artillery is assumed to have already caused a breach
  • That also mean the British support troops are not represented.
  • British forces start at their camp.
  • The Maori get to design their Pa (although internal layout is abstracted).
  • Maori have trench parties outside the Pa who are hidden until they shoot.
  • Movement distance is controlled by die rolls unless a leader is present.

Comments and oddities:

  • Very simple but covers movement, firing, melee, morale all on two sides of a sheet of paper including photos and long introduction.
  • Although featured in Military Modelling the modelling demonstrated in the pictures was very rough – bitchy I know, but I couldn’t help mentioning it.

Te Riri Pakeha: The White Man’s Anger

Source:

Clapson, C. (1992). Te Riri Pakeha: The White Man’s Anger. Wargames Illustrated, 63, 21-22.

Scale of figures:

  • 25mm is mentioned.

Scale of game:

  • Focuses on British assaults of Maori Pa, so the forces are up to about 400 men.
  • Small arms fire 36″ on table and artillery can fire anywhere.
  • Foot movement is between 1/2″ and 18″ in the open, depending on die roll and troop type.

Orders of Battle:

  • Abstract. Units of 5 figures. One officer for 2 or 3 units (or one chief for all Maori).

Distinctive/interesting features:

  • I like the name.
  • Based on Callan (1983) – see above.
  • The British artillery is assumed to have already caused a breach
  • Pa and trenches are hidden at the start of the battle.
  • British forces start at their camp (48″ from Pa).
  • Movement distance is controlled by die rolls.
  • Effect of fire is Suppressed, Light Wound, Serious Wound, Death.

Comments and oddities:

  • Very simple but covers movement, firing, melee, morale all on two sides of a sheet of paper including photos and long introduction.
  • The artillery is assumed to have already caused a breach yet the Pa starts hidden.
  • Talks about units but also has “wounds” for individual figures.
  • Incredible variation in movement rates.

Why We Must Fight Tribe Against Tribe

Source:

Scale of figures:

  • 25mm by default, but could be anything.

Scale of game:

  • 1 figure is 2 men.
  • 1″ = 2 yards.

Orders of Battle:

  • Sort of. Maori is warbands of 50-100 under a chief. Europeans in units of about 20 under a captain.

Distinctive/interesting features:

  • Skirmish rules; everything is designed for individual figures
  • Includes specific rules for a Rou (think grappling iron but with a log and rope).
  • Has scouting rules and scouts are compulsory for Maori.
  • Random movement distances, e.g. Maori in open roll 4d6, cavalry 6d6, regulars in open 3d6.

Comments and oddities:

  • Sequence of play: Rally, Charge Declaration, Move, Charge Resolution, Shooting, Duels, Melee, Morale.
  • I’m not a fan of individual figures.
  • Has all sorts of weapons listed including four types of shotgun!

Fire in the Fern: A PBI 2 Variant (by Peter Clarke)

In 2002 Peter Clarke sent me his PBI (RFCM) Variant for the Maori Wars called “Fire in the Fern”.

Darkest Waikato: A Heart of Africa Variant (by Martin Craig)

In 2003 Martin Craig sent me his Heart of Africa (Foundry) variant called Darkest Waikato.

The New Zealand Wars: Smooth & Rifled

A variant of Smooth & Rifled by Bjoern Cordes and Lorenzo Sartori

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