As I mentioned in a previous post, I am putting on a colonial New Zealand Wars demonstration game at the Paraparaumu Public Library on Saturday 28 October to help mark our National Day of Commemoration of the New Zealand Wars.
Today I started gathering together the resources I’ll need for a game set in 1846, using Dan Mersey’s The Men Who Would Be Kings colonial wargaming rules.
The Māori warriors
Obviously one of the first essentials will be a force of Māori warriors. These are the beautiful 28mm metal figures produced by Empress Miniatures in the United Kingdom, and painted by yours truly.
At this stage I’m still not sure if I’ll have them grouped as three 16-figures as prescribed in the rules for ‘Tribal Infantry’, or if they will be regrouped into four 12-man units to be classed as ‘Irregular Infantry’. It is a bit of a conundrum as historically the Māori warrior fell somewhere between these two types.
The rules call for forces to usually total 24 points, so if I do use the 16-man ‘Tribal Infantry’ units at 3-4 points a unit, I’ll have nowhere near enough figures.
You’ll see my Māori force also has a carronade available if we choose to use it in the game. This model is based on the famous ‘Kawiti’s Carronade’ used in the Northern War, and which can still be seen at Ruapekapeka Pā to this day.
The British and colonial troops
I have far more figures for this side than I do for the Māori – an imbalance I must address in due course. So not all these troops will take part in the game. These are again figures by Empress Miniatures.
The force consists of two units of the 58th (Rutlandshire) Regiment of Foot, who are ‘Regular Infantry’ under the rules. They are accompanied by a unit of colonial militia, whom I am going to class as inferior to the regulars.
There’s also a unit of Royal Navy sailors, who will be classed as ‘Irregular Infantry’, but with good fighting skills – sailors could almost be regarded as the ‘shock troops’ of this period. The sailors have two pieces of artillery that might or might not be used in the game – a Congreve rocket tube and a massive 32-pounder cannon.
Finally, there’s a pair of officers and a pair of marksmen. I don’t think they’ll play a part in the game, but might still appear on the table as vignettes.
An essential part of any game set in the New Zealand is the archetypal bush that covers much of the country. I’ve gathered quite a selection of trees and shrubs from a variety of sources, mostly via cheap eBay stores. The latest find are the palm trees on the right.
What is missing of course are the large fern shrubs that should cover the ground, as well as the huge tree-ferns you often find in the New Zealand bush. I haven’t found a good source for these as yet.
As mentioned, I’ll be using Dan Mersey’s The Men Who Would be Kings rules. These are generic rules for the entire ‘colonial’ period (thus the above cover illustration that has nothing to do with the New Zealand Wars!).
As we’ll all be newbies to using these rules, I’ve put together a Quick Reference Sheet that includes all the basic things we’ll need to refer to often. But it only lists the actual troop types and weapons applicable to our game, so for instance you won’t see any cavalry listed on my QRS.
I’m still tinkering with the various abilities and points values, so the QRS shown here may not yet be the final. If any TMWWBK players have any thoughts or suggestions, please let me know.