Call To Arms 1: Māori vs British

Call To Arms is the annual wargames show held by the Wellington Warlords.  I’m not a member of Warlords, because although I work in Wellington, I live too far away to return for games in the weekend.  But most years I’m involved in a demo game of some sort at Call To Arms.

This year I actually went one better, and put on not one, but two demo games.  Well, to be exact, I put up two demo tables, as they weren’t games that were actually played, but static displays.

Over the next couple of postings, I’ll put up some photos of each of the displays.  Today’s posting is on my colonial New Zealand Wars game.  As always, click on the photos to see them in all their glory.

IMG_3276_aAlthough the table was small, it included several separate vignettes displaying typical events of the colonial New Zealand Wars.

I draped the front of the table with the flags of Britain and the Confederation of United Tribes.

IMG_3244_aAt one corner of the tables, the doughty old chief Kawiti defends his fortified pa against a British attack.  His warriors shoot through loop-holes cut in the bottom of the palisades, protected by banks of earth.

IMG_3265_bColonial militiamen acting as sappers lead the British lines as they attack uphill towards Kawiti’s pa.  The sappers’ task was to attempt to pull down or scale the palisades.

IMG_3258_aA couple of sharp-shooters from the 58th Regiment of Foot support the attack on Kawiti’s pa.

IMG_3261_aA huge naval 32-pounder has been dragged miles through the rugged bush, and is now set up on a rough wooden platform, ready to pound the Māori defences.

IMG_3247_aElsewhere a family defend their homestead against a Māori raid.  This vignette includes one of my favourite Empress Miniatures figures, the young girl flinching as she shoots her pistol at an oncoming warrior.

IMG_3270_aBehind the farmhouse, the British encampment looks peaceful enough, but …

IMG_3257_a… the bugler suddenly blows the alarum as his sergeant spots a war-party fording the nearby river intent on attacking the British forward post.

IMG_3264_bOn top of a ridge, Chief Hone Heke (wearing the sailor’s cap) exhorts his warriors to fight off a British attack.  Behind the warriors, a cloaked sub-chieftain does a fierce haka, or wardance.

IMG_3253_bA party of Royal Navy sailors ford the stream at the foot of the Māori-held ridgeline.

IMG_3256_aMeanwhile, colonial militia escorting a supply column are surprised by a Māori war-party suddenly emerging from the thick bush on the side of the road.

IMG_3263_aColonial militia defend a churchyard from a Māori attack on two sides.

IMG_3246_aWell, this young fellow was certainly inspired by my display!

In my second Call To Arms posting, take a look at the next game I put on using almost the same terrain, but resulting in a totally different setting.

9 thoughts on “Call To Arms 1: Māori vs British

  1. Fantastic looking game, I had wandered off the path into FIW but back now fully inspired on the path of the Maori and the 58th 🙂

  2. Hi Roly, long time no chat! I am now back onto my one New Zealand wars project and busy painting away but, I thought you might be able to help with a querry I have regardingthe militia. Empress produce two types of Militia, the more regimented in blue with the groovy hats and the more ‘settler’ type; some of which seem very well equiped for armed settlers. So, were there two levels of militia or should I be mixing everything together? I do want to create a unit of settlers based around the family Empress produce but have been somewhat confused by the figures. Oh, and I assume that the militia will have British officers as there are none made for them…any thoughts? Your games looked bloody good by the way! Alan

  3. Hi Alan

    Militia were usually uniformed, but I like to mix in the occasional settler type to make the unit look a little ragged (especially the settler figures in the latest set who still carry the British army equipment).

    You could also have a unit of just the armed civilian settlers (no uniforms), who could form something like the Civic Guard at Kororareka.

    Re officers for militia, I use a British officer, still in his red jacket. I don’t know if militia officers had a specific militia uniform, but some of them did come from British regiments. So I’m assuming they kept their own uniforms, which I think is a fair assumption.



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