Why Must We Fight Tribe Against Tribe?
Miniature Rules for Maori Intertribal Wars c. AD 1600-1872 and
Eastern North American Indian Intertribal Wars c. AD 1400-1816
Maori-Pakeha Wars c. 1845-72
Settler-North American Indian Wars c. 1600-1860

By Trevor Brabyn

Download Why Must We Fight Tribe Against Tribe? as a Microsoft Word file
Download Why Must We Fight Tribe Against Tribe? Quick Reference Sheets as a Microsoft Word file
        (Courtesy of Tim Greene)
See the scenario generator for these rules, The Forest is Vast by Tim Greene

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I. Table of Contents
I. Table of Contents 
II. Introduction 
III. Organization 
        Maori and Woodland Indians 
IV. Turn Sequence 
        To be Resolved before the game starts 
            Planning for allied Maori hapu / Amerindian war parties 
            Chief Personality 
        Sequece of game play 
V. Phase 1: Rally 
        Maori and Woodland Indians 
VI. Phase 2: Declaring Charges 
VII. Visibility 
        Impenetrable obstacles 
        Partial obstacles and hiding 
        Spotting Checks 
        Open Terrain 
VIII: Phase 3: Movement 
        Maori and Woodland Indians 
        Movement Distances 
            Crossing Palisades 
        Special Moves 
            Mock Rout 
            Pursuit Checks 
            Canoe Movement
IX: Phase 4: Resolving Charges 
        Contact Checks 
X: Phase 5: Projectile Weapons 
        Figures that may not shoot 
            Retrieving thrown weapons 
            Weapon ranges 
            Shooting procedure 
        Casualties from shooting 
        Poisoned Arrows 
XI: Phase 6: Duels 
XII: Phase 7: Melee 
        Melee resolution 
        Results of melee 
        Further nuances of melee 
            Ladder combat 
            Breaches, corridors, trenches 
XIII: Phase 8: Morale 
        Maori and Woodland Indians 
XIV: Appendices 
        Europeans fighting inside a Maori battle pa 
        Distinguishing figures of different tribes/bands 
        Notes of problems yet unsolved
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II. Introduction
What follows is a set of fast skirmish-level rules for fighting internal conflicts among the Maori tribes of New Zealand and those among Eastern Woodland Indian bands in North America before and during the age of the musket. The idea is to fight the average sort of tribal battle, which took place in dense bush more often than not, involved very small numbers of men, and was very confused and disorganized by western standards, there being no rigid sense of command and discipline. Each player will play a chief, either primary (the main chief who organized the expedition) or subsidiary (helpers to the main chief). The job of the chiefs is not so much to firmly command their men at all points in the battle, but to lead by example, guiding their men to the destination. One way or another, the chiefs of a particular war party must accomplish their objective for the scenario or break the enemy command by bringing it to half strength to win the game. In addition, the earlier "Why Must We Fight Tribe Against Settler?" variant for conflicts involving Europeans has now been merged back into the original rules set, the better to avoid constant flipping back and forth between the two.

The game is intended for use with 25mm figures, mounted individually on ¾” to 1” bases. The figure-to-man scale is roughly 1:2, to fit with the average war party of 100-200 men. The ground scale is 1 inch = 2 yards, based on the principle that the average base of a figure could hold two men if scaled to real life. The general idea is that the terrain should fit well with the figures’ height. The average battle might have about 50-100 figures representing 100-200 real men to a side at this scale, maybe more or less. The scale such that one could do everything on a 1:1 figure scale, depending on the scenario. Games usually last only about two or three hours, but can drag longer depending on the scenario.

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III. Organization

Maori and Woodland Indians
It is assumed that the only real unit on the table is the hapu, or war party of a single sub-tribe. There can be more than one hapu on each side, but the second hapu is an allied tribe’s and acts completely independently of the first.

Each hapu should have 1 principal chief and 2 or 3 subsidiary chiefs to help lead men on his behalf. The rest of the warriors, say 50-100 in number, shoot and fight melees as individual figures. For movement, the figures follow the nearest leader if within the command radius and otherwise towards or away from the nearest enemy. For charges and morale there is usually 1 check, by the nearest leader within range. A subsidiary chief can lead however many figures within a 9” radius of himself (12” for a principal chief) that will follow him. This number is determined by a die roll. If there are figures out of range of a leader, or ones in his radius who do not do as he says, they roll for charges and morale as groups of figures within 2” of each other, as if they had a leader, albeit at reduced effect. If the leader radii overlap, the higher ranking leader controls the ones in-between. If both leaders are subsidiary chiefs, the figures are split between them at players’ discretion. Thus there are no fixed units below the hapu, just a lot of individual figures who follow their nearest leader (if they want to!).

All the figures are basically all the same, irregular warriors on foot, but there are several different types of weapons: melee weapons, darts, thrown tomahawks and spears, short Indian bows, muskets, and double-barrel shotguns (tupara). Muskets are used in New Zealand from the 1810s onwards in varying numbers, depending on the tribe and the time, and shotguns from the 1850s onwards. On the Eastern seaboard of North America, muskets appear around 1640 in small numbers, increasing as the years go by. The pere, or Maori throwing-dart carved from manuka-wood or whalebone propelled by a throwing stick (kotaha)- is generally only found in pa, or native forts, where large numbers of them were stockpiled to drive off attackers in the case of a siege. Those warriors not armed with projectile weapons have traditional or iron/steel trade melee weapons only.

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Note that by Europeans I generally mean drilled Europeans, such as army regulars or part-time militiamen. For disorganized civilian settlers or woodsmen, it might be better to use the Maori/Amerindian classification or some other scenario-specific mechanic.

To reflect their more rigid concept of command and discipline, such trained Europeans have fixed units of 12 to 50 men (the average is expected to be about 20). These include one Captain, and one musician or standard bearer (for regular army units) with the rest being rankers. European artillery come in batteries of one to four guns, with a leader and 4-16 gunners. Two or more units require a commanding officer, who may be on horseback.

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IV. Turn Sequence

To Be Resolved Before the Game Starts:

Planning for allied Maori hapu / Amerindian war parties:
The principal chiefs (head player) of the different hapu or war parties in an allied Maori or Amerindian force can confer on a plan at the beginning of the game but after that do not contact each other. The exception to this rule is that if both principal chiefs stop commanding men temporarily and visit each other by moving the two figures to within 6” of one another. During the game they have no obligation whatever to do what the other says and there is no overall CinC.

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Chief Personality:
At the beginning of the game, one should determine the personality or charisma of each Maori or Indian chief. If not already dictated by the scenario, the chief’s personality can be decided by rolling one D6 for each chief. The chief’s personality either helps, harms, or has no effect on his fighting potential in rally attempts, duels, pursuit checks, and contact checks.
6  = Bold leader +1
2-5 = Average leader, no modifier
1  = Poor leader -1

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Sequence of Game Play:
The turn sequence is “I go, You go.” Each side in the battle, whether one hapu or more, moves on one turn, then the other side moves, then the first side again and so on. During any one side’s move, follow the below procedure:

1. Rally
2. Declare any charges
3. Move
4. Charge Resolution
5. Shoot any projectile weapons
6. Duels (skip if using firearms)
7. Melee
8. Morale for both sides at once

Repeat the process for the other side in turn. Each player’s turn has a Morale Phase at the end which counts for everybody.

Actions Out of Turn:
To clarify, these actions take place immediately, and thus may happen during an enemy’s turn.
1. Defenders’ Results of Contact Checks –
a. Pass -  Stay in place and may fire on chargers: If a group being charged or otherwise contacted by enemies without charging, it gets a free shot at the attackers during the firing phase before the melee if it has loaded weapons.
b. Fail: Retreat ½ a normal move. If the attackers have enough movement to keep up, the attackers may follow them so the melee happens anyway.
2. Results of Melee
a. Winners – May occupy the defenders’ positions, stay in place, or use any unused movement to disengage and retreat, with captives if any, at the end of the Melee phase of whoever’s turn the melee took place in.
b. Losers – Must Retreat a full route move at the end of the same melee phase.
c. Second Round Indecisive – Attacker retreats half a normal move. Defender remains in position.

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V. Phase I: Rally
During this phase, any routing Maori/Amerindian groups within a chief’s command radius or routing European units may attempt to Rally.

Maori or Woodland Indian Rallying:
The chief rolls a die. A principal chief needs a 3,4,5, or 6 to rally, and a subsidiary chief a 4,5, or 6 modified with his personality. He can attempt this for two turns on the same figures. Figures that a chief has attempted to rally twice without success are routed permanently and are removed from the table. If a group of figures rally they can behave and fight normally this move. This means they can turn to face any pursuers and fight without the routing modifier.

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European Rallying:
Rallying is harder for Europeans than for natives. A unit may attempt to rally every turn until the unit leaves the board. If a group of figures rally they can behave and fight normally. This means they can turn to face any pursuers and fight without the routing modifier.

European regulars need:     4-6
Settler Militia and Rangers need:   5-6

+1 if the commanding officer (general) is present

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VI. Phase 2: Declaring charges
Any troops who wish to charge the enemy must declare they will do so now.

Figures outside all command radii who rolled a 6 on their control check must charge, as must pursuing figures.

Who Can Charge:
1. Figures that must charge the nearest enemy from a command check
2. Chiefs, with all the figures inside their command radii
3. Figures choosing or forced to pursue.

Note that you declare the charge without knowing how many warriors will follow you. However, if you do declare a charge, more men are likely to do what you say or charge. If during the movement phase it turns out that less than ten warriors will do as the charging chief wishes, he has the option of calling off the charge, having realized that it will be hopeless, and waiting for a better turn. Once he has done this, the figures who did follow him count as “commanded” and may not move this turn. It is up to the scenario designer whether he will penalize chiefs who have to resort to calling off charges using victory conditions.

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VII. Visibility
There are three types of visual obstacles in this game: impenetrable obstacles, partial obstacles, and open terrain.

Impenetrable Obstacles:
These figures cannot be seen at all and do not need to be placed on the table until they are seen by enemies or move into view of them. Instead, they can be represented with a marker, or plotted on a map of the table by the GM.

- Figures protected by 12” of forest or thick bush
- Figures in or behind buildings
- Figures completely concealed behind hills
- Figures in trenches
- Figures in a pa outside 6” of

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Partial Obstacles and Hiding:
Partial obstacles are objects that figures can opt to “hide” behind. If the figure is not hiding, the obstacle counts as open terrain. The bases of trees, bushes, rocks, tree stumps, and tall grass count as partial obstacles. A figure can hide behind a tree when already in the woods.

Figures can opt to “hide” at the beginning of a move. This means they are prone, ducking behind a partial obstacle, so as not to be seen. Mark the figure(s) with a stone, bush, fern, whatever to denote that they are hiding. Hiding figures may not shoot or move so long as they are hiding. In return, enemy figures/groups cannot see the hiding figures unless they are within 4” or within 24” and pass their spotting check.

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Spotting checks:
Roll 1D6 to see hiding enemies when between 24” and 6”.
Scouts need a 5,6.
Non-scouts need a 6.

+1 if the hiding figures are armed with matchlocks

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Open Terrain:
Any figure not in an impenetrable obstacle and not hiding in a partial obstacle is considered to be in the open, and is spotted automatically.

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Each hapu can designate up to 6 figures as scouts, with a minimum of 2 scouts, who search ahead of the main body of the hapu in case of ambushes. They can spot enemies who are not hiding normally, but to spot enemies who are hiding each scout must be within 24” and take a spotting check. If the scout is within 6”, he can automatically see a hiding figure. Non-scouts can also take spotting checks, at a disadvantage. All the scouts act as a group, as if led by a chief. They do not count towards the break point of the hapu. Scouts otherwise act normally.

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Figures can hide in anticipation of an ambush. When enemy figures are within range, the hiding figures may move into melee, not getting the charge bonus but with the enemy also surprised.

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VIII. Phase 3: Movement

Maori/Amerindian Movement:

Figures on land who cannot be seen or who cannot see any enemies always follow their nearest leader. Once they have seen an enemy, they are “engaged” and fight as normal. To be “disengaged,” the rule of thumb is that “if it looks safe enough to pitch your tent, start a cooking fire, and have a nap, you are disengaged.” (See special rules under canoes for figures in canoes.) When enemies come into view, the figures suddenly become very hard to control. This reflects the fact that Maori and American Indian warriors tended to stick together and do what their leader said when nothing was happening, but did almost whatever they wanted once the fighting started.

At the beginning of the Movement phase each chief whose followers can see any enemies or who have seen any during the game rolls to see how many warriors within his command radius who are (12” for principal chiefs, 9” for subsidiary chiefs) do what he says. Principal chiefs have 3D6 worth of followers and subsidiary chiefs have 2D6. The chiefs move with any of the warriors who have decided to do what he says, and the rest of the warriors are grouped into units of figures that happen to be 2” or less away from each other. Every turn before movement each unit of clustered figures takes a control check.

Notes: Each group must complete all movement before the next group checks activation or control. Once the next group checks, the previous group’s movement cannot be changed. Every chief must check for activation and complete movement before any uncommanded group checks for control.

Control check:
Roll a D6 for each group of figures 2” or less from each other outside all command radii. (“Two inches or less from one another” means that for any one figure in the group, there has to be at least one other figure in the group within two inches.) In any of these results the figures in question can shoot or reload.
5,6 = Do as the nearest chief desires
4 = Move full toward the nearest enemy (stay in position if in earthworks)
3 = Spread out away from the nearest chief maintaining the same distance from enemy, or reload.
1,2 = Move full to the rear

+1 if within 9” of a subsidiary chief at the beginning of the movement phase
+2 if within 12” of a principal chief at the beginning of the movement phase
+1 if nearest chief has declared a charge
+1 if aboard a leaderless canoe
Don’t have to roll in a canoe with a chief

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European  Movement:
European soldiers or militia move all together and generally follow their officers absolutely, so there is no rolling to see how many men “follow the leader,” or worrying about command radii. If the unit loses its leader, it rolls a special control check to move at the beginning of each turn:

European Leaderless Control Check - Roll 1D6:
Troop type: Roll to pass:
European regulars 2-6
Rangers 3-6
Settler Militia 4-6
If the leaderless men pass, they can move as the Commanding Officer wishes. If not, they just stay in place, but can shoot or reload.

Inside a Maori pa, the European Leaderless Control Check must be taken every turn, regardless of whether the unit has a leader or not.

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Move Distances in inches:
Roll for each chief (all figures within his command radius move the same as the chief), and once for each group or clump of figures outside all command radii whose members' bases are 2” or less from each another. A European unit counts as such a group too.

Open terrain or on paths 
(+1D6 if charging, routing or pursuing 
Rough going 
(steep slopes, woods, dense scrub, rocks, etc.) 
(+1D6 if charging, routing or pursuing) 
Extremely Rough Going 
(rain forest, extremely steep slopes, soft sand) 
(+1D6 if charging, routing or pursuing)
Maoris/Indians 4D6 3D6 2D6
European Rangers 3D6 3D6 2D6
European Regulars or settler militia open order 3D6 4D6 - high die 3D6 – high die
European Regulars or settler militia close order 3D6 3D6 – high die 2D6 – high die
Horsemen of any sort 6D6 3D6  2D6 – high die
European Artillery limbered 4D6 2D6 Never enter
European artillery manhandled 2D6 2D6 – high die Never enter
Pack animals, wagons, etc. 3D6 Never enter Never enter
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Impediments / Obstacles:
Linear obstacles like river fords, creeks, and earthworks are crossed at ½ rate.
Vines are climbed in single file at ½ rate vertically.
Palisades and canoes are dealt with later in this section.

To dismount from horseback, roll the foot rate and subtract the highest die.
To limber or unlimber a gun, stay in place for a full movement phase.
European regulars are unaffected by mock routs and do not have to roll to pursue. However, they may pursue a routing force if they choose to.

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Crossing palisades:
 There are two kinds of palisade:

1. A Light palisade:

a. To wiggle through a palisade without dismantling it takes one figure one full turn, but only 1 figure may pass through for every 1” of palisade per turn.

b. To dismantle a palisade it takes two figures a full turn to dismantle 1”.

c. Neither of the above actions can be performed if the palisade is defended. In this case, a melee must be fought with the defending figures using the “defending light palisade” modifier first, instead of the less substantial “defending an obstacle” modifier. On a subsequent turn, you can cross the palisade as normal.

2. A Strong palisade:
There are five ways to cross Strong palisades:
a. Find an entrance. If the entrance has a closed gate, treat it as a light palisade. If it is open or there is no gate, treat it as a breach for combat.

b. Bolt-holes. If there is no obvious entrance to a pa, or there is an obvious entrance and your figures are outside 12” of palisade of it, send two brave figures on a scouting mission to look for bolt holes. These are small entrances used by the garrison of a pa or fortified village to escape. The figures must be actually in contact with the palisade. The figures roll 1D6 inches per turn along the palisade and move and roll as one. They CAN be shot at or charged while they are performing this task. At the end of the movement phase they (together) roll another D6. On a 6 they find a bolt hole 1 figure base wide. On any subsequent turn, friendly figures may enter the pa through this hole. Figures exiting or entering their own fortification can do so at any point, as long as any one group only has one hole. A bolt-hole cannot be entered at all if defended by enemies.

c. Use a ladder. Figures move at half rate but in single file up and down ladders, using the length of the ladder as a guide. Ladders take two figures to carry, which cannot shoot or charge while still carrying the ladder.

d. Chop a hole in the palisade (not recommended). To make a 3” gap takes 10 figures a D6 +1 of turns of doing nothing else. Figures must have suitable tools (adzes, trade hatchets, etc.). Ordinary clubs and spears do not cut it. The figures can quit at any time, leaving the work partially finished.

e. Try to pull down the palisade with a rou (rope and bar). This techique is specific to New Zealand although Samuel de Champlain suggested a similar device to his Algoquin and Montagnais allies for their assault on an Iroquois palisaded fort in Canada in 1610, which they employed to good effect. The rou method functions a bit like a grappling iron at sea. It requires 15 men, and a strong rope tied to a wooden log. First, one figure within 2” of the palisade must throw the rou over the palisade, taking a full turn to do so. Roll 1D6, and if the result is 4,5, or 6, the rou catches. If it catches, the defenders may use two figures on that part of the palisade on any subsequent (defender’s) turn the rou is up may attempt to cut the rope on a 5 or 6 on 1D6, taking a full turn to do so. (That means the defenders have to walk up to the rou on one turn, then attempt to cut it on the next, assuming no defenders were present in the first place.)

Assuming the rou is not cut, if 15 attackers pull on the rope doing nothing else, it takes 2 turns of pulling after the initial throw to pull the palisade down. One rou can pull down a section of palisade 3” long. It then functions as a breach.

Note: It is a good idea for the attackers to keep the defenders away from the rou with musketry or thrown spears and tomahawks so that they never have a chance to cut it.


The above drawing is from:
Best, Elsdon. The Pa Maori. 1927. Hong Kong: Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, 1995.

If unopposed, figures can get an unlimited number of men through the hole or over the ladder in a turn that have enough movement to do it.

If opposed, a melee is fought and the number of figures that can get through is given in the Ladder Combat and Breach Storming sections under Melee. If a bolt-hole entrance is opposed, no figures may enter, and no melee may be fought in the bolt-hole.

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Special Moves:

Mock Rout:
During the movement phase a group of figures in the command radius of a chief that has taken casualties on the previous turn can make a mock rout, provided they are not surrounded. The group retires in disorder directly away from the enemy at the rout movement rate, as though they were routing, which forces any enemy figures within 9” of them to take a check to see if they pursue (see Pursuit Checks). Unlike a rout, however, a mock rout means that at any turn after the rout the unit can make an about turn and countercharge its pursuers. European Regulars are not affected by Maori/Indian figures performing a Mock Rout, and but may go pursue them if they so choose. Settler Militia and Rangers, however, are and test just like natives.

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Any figure or group of figures that failed a morale check on the previous Morale Phase or failed to rally on this turn must rout this turn 4D6 inches, regardless of terrain (except linear obstacles), away from the enemy, usually in the direction from which the hapu came. Two attempts may be made to rally routing figures. If both attempts fail, the figures are removed from the board permanently. If they move off the edge of the table, the same results. Figures are not routing unless they have failed a morale check.

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Pursuit occurs on the pursuing side’s turn at the beginning of its movement phase in response to something that has happened during the opposing side’s last move (on its turn, the previous turn).

This is when an enemy formation routs or feigns a rout on its (the previous) turn from a position within 9” of “your” side’s group (either within the command radius of a chief or outside but with a 2” or less gap between figures). “Your” group (not routing) must roll to see if it has the option of not pursuing. (If the group wants to pursue, don’t bother to roll.) Only European Regulars are immune to pursuit checks - Settler Militia and Rangers must roll, same as natives.

Roll a D6 for the highest-ranking figure in the group. The base required to have the option of not pursuing is a 5 or greater. The roll is subject to the following modifiers:

Pursuit Checks:
Figure rolling is a principal chief / European commanding officer:
Figure rolling is a subsidiary chief / European unit commander:
Figure rolling is an ordinary warrior / European militiaman or ranger:
Figure rolling is a Bold chief (see Personality under Turn Sequence)
Figure rolling is a Poor chief (see Personality under Turn Sequence)
Group rolling has won a melee with the routing unit on the previous turn:
Group rolling is in a pa or other fortification:
If the group fails the roll, it pursues automatically. If not, it can decide to stay where it is or move in any direction the chief likes. If the group decides or is forced to pursue, it moves 4D6 inches regardless of terrain (except linear obstacles) in the direction of the routers, attempting to melee them as for a charge.

If the group fails the roll, it pursues automatically. If not, it can decide to stay where it is or move in any direction the chief likes. If the group decides or is forced to pursue, it moves 4D6 inches regardless of terrain (except linear obstacles) in the direction of the routers, attempting to melee them as for a charge.

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Canoes up to 10” long move 2D6 per 5 rowers. Canoes over 10” long move 1D6 per 5 rowers. To count as rowers, figures cannot be moving on their own and cannot be shooting or fighting a melee. They can at any time however give up their job as rowers and act normally, in which case they do not benefit the movement of the canoe. If there are no rowers, the canoe stops. Canoes can be dragged onto a beach or swamp by the entire crew of the canoe in a move, or tied up at a tree or rock on the  shore (if there is one) 3” or less from the water by 1 figure taking a movement phase. Conversely, dragging a canoe into the water and untying  a canoe from a tree or rock cost the same as doing the opposite. Boarding and disembarking from a canoe costs nothing in movement.

To clarify a point that has come up in a play-test, you paddle up to the shore one move, and then next move tie it up or beach it, or if they are not occupied mooring the canoe, figures may walk off it that move instead. Same for boarding and launching one: 2 moves.

Control Checks aboard Canoes:
Maori or Indian figures in a canoe always follow the most senior chief aboard the canoe. If there are no chiefs in the canoe, the canoe crew rolls as a group every turn as though it were a group on land, but with a +1 modifier for being in a canoe. Other modifiers still apply. Moving means paddling.

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IX. Phase 4: Charge Resolution

Charges first have to be resolved before an actual melee occurs. Pursuing figures close automatically, but all other chargers must see if they charge home and see if the charged figures stand or retreat. Both the chargers and the charged must make a contact check.

Contact checks:
Roll a D6 for each group of figures:

3,4,5,6 = Attackers charge home if charging, defenders  stand fast and may shoot this firing phase if able.
1,2  = Remain 1” from the enemy if charging, otherwise run away ½ a normal move ending up facing the enemy

+1 if there is a bold chief with the group
-1 if there is a poor chief with the group
-1 if there is no officer or chief with the group.
+1 if attacking the rear of an enemy group
-1 if the unit is outnumbered up to 2:1 by total opponents in charge range
-3 if the group rolling is outnumbered 2:1 or more
+1 for European Regulars

Defenders who fail must fall back immediately, and may be followed up by chargers who have sufficient movement. Defenders who pass stay where they are and get a free shot, provided they have loaded weapons, during this next firing phase, simultaneously with the side whose turn it is.

When one group contacts several enemy groups in one phase, the one group only makes one contact check.

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X. Phase 5: Projectile Weapons
All figures can shoot every turn with the following exceptions:

Figures that may not shoot:
1. Warriors armed with only melee weapons
2. Warriors who are charging this turn
3. Warriors who are reloading
4. Warriors who are routing, feigning a rout, or pursuing
5. Warriors who cannot see any enemies, or are out of range
6. Warriors who are hiding
7. Warriors who are rowing a canoe

Figures always shoot at the closest enemy figure, or whichever is easiest to shoot at.

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Reloading guns is an order, as opposed to firing, which is free, so if warriors with unloaded muskets don’t get the “do as the nearest chief desires” or the “spread out or reload” result from their command check, then they don’t reload that turn.

Reloading Procedures:
Weapon Reloading procedure
Matchlock Muskets (Tim Greene) Spend a full turn reloading, and roll 1D6. On a 4,5,6 spend another full turn reloading. You reload for a maximum of two turns altogether.
Flintlock or cap-lock Muskets, rifled muskets, old pistols Spend a full turn reloading every shot
Muzzle-loading shotguns Spend a turn reloading every shot. May reload twice  (2 turns reloading) and fire one or both barrels in one firing phase.
Bows Fire once every turn
Breech-loading shotguns Fire one or both barrels every turn but every time both barrels are empty, give up a firing phase to reload.
Single-shot breechloading rifles Fire once every turn
Repeating rifles Fire up to twice per turn until magazine runs out, then spend a firing phase reloading.
Revolvers Fire as many times as you want every turn until magazine runs out. Then spend a firing phase reloading.
Muzzle-loading artillery Spend 3 turns reloading every shot
Breech-loading artillery Spend 2 turns reloading every shot
Throwing Spears, tomahawks, etc. Throw once every turn until weapons run out.
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Retrieving Weapons:
Figures with only spears or tomahawks who opt to throw them may retrieve their weapons by passing over the spot of their intended target and using up two inches of movement. However, this cannot be done while routing or pursuing.

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Weapon ranges:
Thrown tomahawk
Darts/Throwing Spears 
Short Bows
Rifled Muskets:
Breechloading rifles/carbines Dismounted
Breechloading rifles/carbines Mounted
Artillery of any sort
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Shooting Procedure:
Roll: 1D12 per figure shooting small arms.
         3D12 per artillery crewman at long range
         6D12 per artillery crewman at short range

Since it may matter in some situations, an artillery piece’s muzzle can be pointing anywhere within 60° of its target. Thus it can shoot at targets 30° to either side of the direction it faces.

Need the following die rolls to hit:
Weapon Roll to Hit
Dart/Throwing Spear/Tomahawk 1-4
Dart/Throwing Spear/Tomahawk against figures with armor 1-2
Bow long or against armored figures 1
Bow short 1-2
Musket or rifle long 1-2
Musket or rifle short 1-4
Pistol long 1
Pistol short 1-2
Shotgun 1 barrel long  1
Shotgun 1 barrel short  1-5
Shotgun 2 barrels long 1-2
Shotgun 2 barrels short 1-6
Artillery 1-7
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½ casualties for targets behind soft cover (bush, Indian huts, thin palisades)
½ casualties for targets in open order (at least a base width between each figure)
¼ casualties for targets in hard cover (trees, fallen tree trunks, rocks, thick palisades, earthworks etc.).

The effect of these limitations is cumulative, so for example targets in open order behind soft cover shot at by muskets would suffer ¼ casualties. Left over fractions like ¼ and ½ are rolled for, with that probability for a casualty. All non-leaders are assumed dead.

If a leader is with a group of figures that took casualties and is within range, roll 2D6 and on an 11, the leader is wounded, on a 12 the leader is dead. If the leader is killed and he is the main chief, the entire hapu must take a morale check, on that turn and every turn afterwards. If he is a subsidiary leader only the figures within his command radius take a morale check. If the principal chief is dead or wounded, he MUST be carried off the field of battle by the nearest available figure. If he is in enemy hands, an immediate counterattack must be launched to save him. The carrying figure may not shoot or participate in melee while he is carrying the chief.

A wounded leader is basically incapacitated for the game. No morale check is made, but the warriors no longer benefit by his example. Still, their side MUST make some credible attempt to rescue him if he has been captured or is in any conceivable danger of being captured or killed at the earliest available opportunity. As to what is “credible,” that is a GM’s decision, or if there is no GM, players’ consensus. Think of the wounded chief as a victory objective, not a player.

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Poisoned Arrows (where applicable):
Same as ordinary bows but a morale check is inflicted after only 1/6 casualties rather than 1/4.

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XI. Phase 6: Duels

In games involving firearms in any number, there are no duels so skip the Duel Phase. Otherwise, when two forces meet in the open, i.e. not in cover or rough going of any sort, a chief can challenge an enemy chief to a duel. The opposite chief can decline, in which case the cowardly chief goes down one personality grade. If he is already a poor chief, his warriors overthrow him and he reverts to the status of an ordinary warrior, the group now being leaderless. The leaderless group does not take a morale check, but the chief who suggested a duel may declare an immediate charge with all his warriors, which is resolved in the Melee Phase.

If the chief accepts the challenge, both groups move to within 12” of one another, while the chiefs fight it out. Fight a melee between the single figures of the two chiefs. Fight a normal melee between the two chiefs, using the rank and duels won modifiers, in addition to the personality modifier below:

Bold leader +1
Average leader, no modifier
Poor leader, -1

The higher score wins. The loser dies, and his group has to take an immediate morale check just as if it had lost its chief from firing. The winning group does not pursue the losing group if it routs.

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XII. Phase 7: Melee

Melee resolution:
The melee system is somewhat similar to the system in With MacDuff to the Frontier by Ross MacFarlane.

All figures within 4" of the initially contacted figures may join a melee. Pair up each pair of opponents 1 to 1. If there is more of one side than the other, the larger group may evenly allocate figures in line behind each lead warrior.

Each player rolls 1 D6 for each pair of opponents, applying the appropriate modifiers listed below. After rolling for the initial fight with the lead warrior in a pair-up, any supporting figures may also roll, with the lone enemy rolling for each of these subsequent combats as well.
Condition Modifier
Figure is genuinely routing: -1
Figure is surprised (countercharged, ambushed, GM decides): -2
Figure is charging, pursuing, or countercharging: +1
Figure is defending an obstacle (earthwork, house, ditch, or steep slope): +1
Figure is defending a light palisade (use instead of obstacle modifier): +2
Europeans in close order: +1
Europeans in Maori pa: -2
Figure is armed with non-steel weapons and is facing an opponent 
with steel weapons:
Figure has a shield (American Indians): +1
Figure is Mounted with saber: +2
Figure is a principal chief: +4
Figure is a subsidiary chief / European commanding officer: +3
Figure is a European unit commander: +1
Figure has won a duel in the past: +1
If one figure beats another enemy figure by 2 or more then the enemy figure is killed. If a leader loses, roll a D6: 1,2,3 kills, 4,5,6 wounds. If the leader is a casualty, follow the rules outlined in the section on Casualties, under Projectile Weapons. The group with the highest casualties from shooting and melee combined loses the melee and has to take a morale check.

Multiple-round melees:
If the original fight is a tie, fight again immediately with neither side counting as charging or surprised. If there is no result after a second round, the charger must retreat half a move in good order facing the enemy. This does not mean that the defender gets to pursue, as the attacker is not routing.

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Results of Melee:

The Winners:
The winners may either occupy the losers’ previous position, remain in place, or use any remaining charge movement to disengage and retreat, with prisoners if any. This is done immediately.

If the attackers lost a chief killed during the fight, they must take a morale check during the Morale Phase this turn.

Finally, if the losers fail their morale check and route, the winners take a pursuit check on the winners’ next turn as per the pursuit rules under Movement.

The Losers:
Must Retreat a full route move immediately (see under movement distances). Then, during the Morale phase of this turn, they must take a morale check for losing the melee, and another one if they lost a chief killed.

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Nuances of Melee:

Prisoners (Courtesy of Tim Greene):
Many American Indian groups commonly took prisoners, and in some instances so did the Maori. So in these games, if you beat a figure in melee by 4 or more, you have the option of taking the opposing figure captive instead of killing him.

Captives have to be guarded.  1 figure can guard up to 4 captives if he doesn't fight or fire his weapon.  Maori or Indians can kill captives for free at any time.

Maoris/Indians, European Settler Militia, and Rangers may kill prisoners, but European Regulars may not.

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Ladder Combat:
When climbing up a ladder, as up a wall opposed by another figure on the other side of the wall, the following rules apply:

1. Only one man at a time can melee at the top of the ladder

2. If the attacker wins the melee, he gains a foothold. In the next round of movement role 1 D6 and the result is the number of attackers who can advance over the ramparts

3. Defenders can attempt to push ladders off the walls. Immediately after it is raised the defender rolls 1 D6 if he has a man within 4" of the ladder. On a roll of 6, the ladder is pushed down and the attacker must wait another turn to raise the ladder again. If the ladder is not pushed off, the melee happens in the same turn the ladder is raised.

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Storming Breaches and Fighting in Corridors and Trenches
This applies any time figures fight at a breach, entrance, or other break in a wall, building, palisade, or earthwork 3” wide or less. It is much the same as for ladders.

1. Only the figures that can physically contact an enemy figure may fight.

2. If the attackers win the melee, they gain a foothold. In the next round of movement role 1 D6 per inch of breach and the result is the number of attackers who can get through the breach.

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XIII. Phase 8: Morale Phase

In this phase, the last in each side’s turn, morale checks are taken for eligible groups on both sides.

Maori or Woodland Indian Morale:
Morale checks in for Maori and Indians game are fairly serious because the instances in which they are employed are also fairly serious. These are:

- When a leader dies

- When a group loses 1/4 or more of its strength in a single turn or more than 1/6 if hit by poisoned arrows. A hit is a shot that went through and resulted in either a casualty or a runaway

- When a melee is lost.

When a principal chief dies, all the groups in the hapu have to take morale checks. They also have to take checks on all turns after the principal leader dies. When a subsidiary chief dies, only those within his command radius of 9” have to check.

Morale is done, like charges, on a group by group basis. A group is a group of figures within 9” of a subsidiary chief or 12” of a principal chief, or if outside all command radii, a group of figures 2” from one another.

Maori/Amerindian Morale checks:
To pass and fight as normal, the group must roll a 5, or 6 on 1D6, subject to the following modifiers:

+2 Group has a bold chief
+1 Group has an average chief
+1 Enemy directly ahead is fleeing

Otherwise the group routs next turn and will rout every turn until they are rallied or are unsuccessfully rallied twice.

The 50% Break Point Rule (Optional):
If 50% of a hapu are lost, either due to casualties from shooting, duels, and melees, or to routs, then the rest of the hapu flees off the edge of the table and is removed. 50% is the break point.

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European Morale:
For Europeans, morale checks happen:

-Whenever a European unit is reduced to below 1/3 of its original compliment because of casualties, and every turn in which it takes casualties after that.

-When a melee is lost.

-When the Commanding Officer dies within sight of a unit

 …but always during the Morale Phase.

European Morale checks:
Roll 1D6:
European regulars and rangers pass on:  3-6
Settler Militia pass on:    4-6

Otherwise the group routs next turn and will rout every turn until they are rallied or are unsuccessfully rallied twice.

No 50% Break point rule for Europeans

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XIV. Appendices

1. Europeans Fighting inside a Maori battle Pa:
I have thought of two methods to simulate the surprise Europeans experience of navigating the unfamiliar labyrinth of trenches a battle pa like the Gate Pa in 1864. What tended to happen was that the attackers would become disoriented and lost, and would stumble upon the enemy (literally around every corner) at very close range and get shot to pieces.

This was not so much a problem in Maori intertribal wars, because pa were usually scouted beforehand.

1. Use a grid of 1 ½” to 2” square blocks for the earth on the inside of the palisade or outside ramparts. Missing blocks can be used to represent trenches. All the blocks will be in place to begin with, but the defenders will have a map of the interior, knowing which are really trenches and rifle pits and which are just ordinary level ground. When the enemy figures enter the trenches, they can see a distance of one block to the front, left, right, and rear, and may only move through empty squares. As they move about, blocks will be removed as appropriate to the layout of the pa. If they go “over the top” outside a trench but inside the pa, which cost 2” of movement, they can see a distance of 2 blocks or 2 block lengths in all directions, provided there are no buildings blocking their view. Firing and cover is the same as always within these constraints. Movement is at the Rough Going Rate.

2. Disregard the interior features of the pa, except that huts and fences block line of sight and give their usual cover modifiers.
- Visibility is 4” inside the pa otherwise, with no opportunities to spot figures at any range beyond that, unless climbing up onto palisades.
- Maoris move at Rough Going rate
- Europeans move at the Extremely Rough Going rate
- No Charges but you may advance to contact.
- No cover modifier for firing inside the pa.

In either case, the following two features apply.
- Europeans take Leaderless Control Checks every turn
- Europeans are -2 in Melee for being inside a pa.

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2. Distinguishing figures of different tribes/bands:

One problem with this period is that Maoris in traditional dress look almost the same from any tribe. Amerindians are usually more distinctive, but proper figures lacking, it often becomes just as difficult to distinguish figures. There are several ways of dealing with this.

1. You could use figures that are meant for specific tribes (works well for American Indians) (Tim Greene).
2. You could convert figures so that they show tribal distinctions (Tim Greene).
3. You could paint the figures from different tribes with different skin tones.
4. You could put a colored marker, like a piece of paper on the base of each figure to denote different hapu.
5. You could number the bases
6. You could base the figures with different materials
7. You could use different-shaped bases
8. You could use figures from different manufacturers
9. You could mark or number the bottoms of the bases.
10. You could have a different person paint each hapu.

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3. Notes of problems yet unsolved:

- For Pre-European American Indians, need special rules for fighting in an open field, where Indians keep at long range and fire with bows at minimal effect.

- Need rules for “Young Braves” eager to win glory by picking fights

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