These are my rough initial thoughts on wargaming scenarios for the New Zealand Wars. They are nominally for my DBA Variant for the New Zealand Wars , although if I had a go at them myself I’d try my variant of Crossfire instead. I haven’t played any of them yet, as I haven’t resolved the challenges of wargaming the New Zealand wars. None the less you might find these useful. If you have any bright ideas, then please contact me.
The protagonists in the New Zealand Wars had differing strategic aims and objectives. I’ve summarised those from Hone Heke’s War of 1845-46. The three protagonist groups in this war were the Government, the resisting Maori and the collaborating Maori. Maori on both sides of the conflict were from the Ngapuhi tribe and this had an impact on their conduct of the war.
Here is my Kororeka scenario for my DBA New Zealand Wars variant. I have assumed one element represents 20 men (rounded up to the next whole element), except the unarmed settlers where each represents 50 men, women and children. Some Naval Brigade and and Civic Guard are manning the gun batteries. Although there were four guns available I’ve lumped the three old cannon together as one battery.
Kororareka was a major trading and ship provisioning centre. Located in the Bay Islands it had been the original capital of New Zealand. Although it had suffered a decline in trade it was still the fifth largest town in the colony. On 11 March 1845 Maori under Hone Heke and Kawiti defeated a defending British force and sacked the town.
In a sharp battle the pro-government Maori under Tamati Waka Nene defeat the anti-government Maori under Hone Heke at Pukenui outside Te Ahuahu Pa (Buick, 1926). This was very much a civil war as the majority of men on both sides were Nga Puhi.
The attack on Ruapekapeka Pa (‘The Bat’s Nest’) was the last engagement of Hone Heki’s War.
In another futile attack on entrenched Maori the British lost 39 killed and 70 wounded.
On 8 May 1845, at Puketutu Pa on the shores of Lake Omapere, a small Maori force under Hone Heke repulsed a British assault with heavy losses.
Attempting to wargame the Battle for Ohaeawai Pa brings you face to face with the Challenges of Wargaming the New Zealand Wars, even more than the Battle for Puketutu Pa does. A relatively tiny group of entrenched Maori bloodily repulses a large number of European attackers. How to make that possible? How to make that a good game?