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"Maori Wars - which one to game?...figures to use?" Topic

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Happy Wanderer21 May 2016 4:48 a.m. PST


I'm interested in opinions on which of the New Zealand Maori Wars offers the best gaming potential and which figures are usable for them?

Obviously the Empress NZ Wars range is great as are the new Eureka Maoris. Are the Colonial forces of the 1840s usable in the 1860s?….and the Maori for that matter? What changed if anything?

Whilst the idea of trenches and Pa attacks sounds good I suspect these offer the least interesting games.

Any info on the best gaming potential and figures to use would be appreciated.


Happy W

Personal logo chicklewis Supporting Member of TMP21 May 2016 6:42 a.m. PST

Might want to check out the threads at the Maoriwars Yahoo group. If you ask the same question there, guys with large Maori Wars collections of figures will chime in. Easy and free to join:


Personal logo The Virtual Armchair General Sponsoring Member of TMP21 May 2016 12:31 p.m. PST

If you'd like some useful information on the Maori's from a gaming perspective, and especially if you might be interested in using "The Sword And The Flame" as your basic rules system, allow me to recommend the "Maori Wars" supplement PDF.

Sixteen pages with color illustrations of weapons, fortifications, and detailed description of Maori tactics and organization, with full rules additions for use with TSATF, it's available for $5.00 USD and sent post free via E-mail directly to you--you can have it for a great read today! And you will learn things you did not know--I can guarantee it--that will make you want to try your hand at the Maori Wars ASAP.

If interested, you may pay for it simply by sending payment to my PayPal address via and I'll send it as soon as I know you've done it.

And in any case, the best of luck to you--I don't think you'll be disappointed with the subject.


iceaxe21 May 2016 9:39 p.m. PST

A really basic answer – 1840's wars the Brits were in red, many Indian Mutiny & Crimean figures would suit. The Maori had more 'natural' clothing and tattoos. 1860's, the Brits were in the dark blue service dress and you have more militia & rangers. The Maori now were appearing more in the European clothing including the kilt look of blankets wrapped around the waist and stripped/checked patterns (as did the milita, rangers, police). And the tattoo had gone out of fashion.

Nick Stern Supporting Member of TMP22 May 2016 4:26 p.m. PST

But the Gate Pa was in 1860's! I game the later period using a mix of figures from OG, Eureka, Foundry and Empress. Empress make the best Maoris, but they never followed up their 1940's British and colonial figures with figures from the 1860's. I have used TSATF and Muskets and Tomahawks, but I am still looking for a set of rules that really capture the flavor of this unique conflict where the Maori refused to break the Sabbath and fight on Sunday, performed ritual cannibalism and would risk their lives to save British wounded.

The Wargames Room22 May 2016 10:15 p.m. PST

Don't forget the Inter-Iwi Wars which raged the length of the country between 1790 and 1840. This includes New Zealand's largest battle, the Battle of Hingakaka.

The battles after 1800 until 1840 between the tribes are generally called the Musket Wars.

Happy Wanderer24 May 2016 4:59 a.m. PST

Thank you all gents. Lots of very good suggestions. Much appreciated.

…this gets me going.



NKL AeroTom30 Aug 2016 1:09 p.m. PST

We recently released a NZwars Ruleset that is quick and simple, but detailed enough to really capture the feeling of the period:


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