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Second Te Ngutu o te Manu!
Trevor's Colonial Wargames Page
(Right: The map for the battle sized to fit a 5 ft x 6 ft. table)
For the rules this scenario is based on, see the Rules
For battlefield photos, see the Maori Wars Battlefields Page.
It is a wintry drizzling night. On a lonely isolated redoubt, the closest New Zealand government outpost to Titokowaru’s stronghold of Te Nutu o te Manu, a sleepy quiet is observed. Though this bit of newly-confiscated land in Taranaki has been at relative peace for the past year, there have been a few militia sentries murdered (tomahawked) at the nearby Waihi redoubt, acts attributed to Titokowaru’s Ngaruahine Hauhau followers. Turuturu-Mokai, a much smaller outpost, lies in the middle of a big, ancient and long abandoned Maori pa named after a bloody intertribal battle that occurred hundreds of years ago. Turuturu-Mokai translates roughly as “the place of heads impaled on stakes.”
The pakeha redoubt, built during the Waikato War by the British Army, has been abandoned and falling apart for some time. With the recent murders and ominous portents from Te Ngutu o te Manu, the redoubt has been re-garrisoned by 27 Armed Constabulary and Military Settlers, who are in the process of refurbishing it. Since the 15-yards-square redoubt is a cramped space to sleep in, Captain Ross has set up a whare for himself and a storage whare some distance outside the walls, with several men pitching tents outside as well. The whole redoubt is overlooked by the old pa some 150 yards away. Only the two-man guard remains awake at 5:30 am, Constables Lacey and Johnston. The planked floor of the redoubt is slippery from the rain and has been deemed too treacherous to walk at night, so the guards have received permission to make their rounds outside. Though garrisons on the frontier are supposed to be roused at 3:00 am every morning, the men are tired from their hard day's work digging at the redoubt and the so the sentries have neglected to sound the reveille this morning. The sheep of the canteen remain asleep nearby.
All this laxness has not been lost on Titokowaru, who is indeed planning a revolt. Accordingly, he is despatching a 60-man hapu under his lieutenant Hauwhenua to surprise the sentries and attack the redoubt. The more he can show that the pakeha is not invincible through a speedy victory, the more his mana will increase and the more followers will rally to his banner.
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The Colonial Government:
Captain Ross’ party
Patrolling outside of redoubt:
1 Constable (European regular), single-shot breechloading carbines
Capt. Ross’s whare:
1 Armed Constabulary leader
Captain Frederick Ross, revolver, saber
In temporary whare, 2 Constables, single-shot breechloading carbines:
In outside tents, 2 Military Settlers, rifled muskets
In canteen whare, one civilian settler (settler militia), revolver:
Lennon, the canteen-keeper
16 Armed Constabulary ORs (European Regulars), single-shot breechloading carbines
Lance Corporal Cobbe
Constable Alexander Beamish
Constable John G. Beamish
Constable Shields (medical orderly)
5 Military Settlers (Settler Militia), rifled muskets
Major Von Tempsky’s relief force
Coming on 3rd turn after first messenger or fleeing soldier after the alarm is raised exits the board and survives. As soon as the figure exits the board, a D6 is rolled to see if he survives the Hauhau pickets. On a 4,5,or 6 he gets away. Otherwise he is killed in the pursuit.
1 Armed Constabulary Leader (Major Von Tempsky), revolver, saber
19 Constables, single-shot breechloading carbines
May start hidden anywhere outside 18” of the redoubt and outbuildings that provides cover.
1 principal chief
Hauwhenua, single-shot breechloading carbine
2 subsidiary chiefs
Tautahi Ariki single-shot breechloading carbine
Charles Kane (British Army deserter), breechloading shotgun
12 Warriors, Enfield rifled muskets.
20 Warriors, breechloading shotguns
15 Warriors, muskets
10 Warriors, melee weapons only
(Weapons proportions conjectural save for chiefs and the men with Enfields)
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It is in the small hours of the morning, drizzling slightly, so visibility is limited. Visibility is rolled for every turn. The base distance starts on turn one as 12” and 3” is added on each subsequent turn. Added to this is 1D6” rolled for every turn.
The redoubt walls are twelve feet high and made of earth with a firing step on the inside and a ditch on the outside. Figures inside the redoubt are not visible to those outside unless viewed from the hill and vice versa. If a figure steps onto the firing step however, he can be seen from the outside, and can be shot at taking the penalty for earthworks. If however, he decides to shoot down into the ditch, as there are no firing loops, he has to lean out and is exposed above the waist, taking only the normal cover modifier.
A sentry moves back and forth or in a circle along a fixed path chosen by the Captain Ross player. He continues to do so until he spots an enemy. He can see within a 180-degree arc to his front, and rolls every move to see if he turns his head to face left or right, facing left on a 5 and a right on a 6 on a D6. If he can see anything, he either just sees it or makes a spotting check as per the original rules. He may fire a shot into the air to sound the alarm, and the whole garrison should wake up on the 2nd turn after the shot was fired.
He can be ambushed as per the original rules, counting as surprised. On a 5 or 6 he raises the alarm if contacted from behind. Otherwise he falls silently.
Setting Fire to Buildings and Tents:
As mentioned before, the action was fought on a wet, drizzling night, and Titokowaru’s men carried no fuel. In order to set a structure alight, a warrior has to actually enter the structure and light it up with whatever he can find inside. This is done by spending a full turn inside the building doing nothing else (i.e. not in melee and not shooting) and rolling a 6 on a D6, with a modifier of +1 for every turn after the first. Thus on the first turn, you would need a 6, second a 5 or 6, third a 4,5, or 6, and so on. Note: whares are more valuable to burn than tents or the guard hut, as they have supplies in them, as in the victory conditions.
In the real battle, after Captain Ross and the canteen keeper Lennon were killed, each had his heart hacked out and singed it with a match by one of the assailing warriors as part of a gruesome Pai Marire ritual. This was a mana-enhancing act and is part of the victory conditions of this scenario.
To ritually disembowel a figure, have two warriors (one to hold the body, one to do the hacking) in base-to-base contact with the dead officer for 1D6 -1 turns, for a minimum of one turn. If the disemboweled figure is an officer, any pakeha trooper who can see the act performed has to take a morale check at the end of it, bolting on a “6” on a figure-by-figure basis. If the disemboweled figure is a ranker, this only applies within 6.”
Digging at the Walls:
To dig a breach through the earth wall, five Maori figures must dig at the wall for 6 turns or ten for 4 turns.
When figures up on the hill near the redoubt shoot at figures in the redoubt other than those on the near wall, the men in the redoubt lose their cover advantage from the earthworks. (The tents pose no obstacle to bullets unless the target figure is completely hidden behind one of them, in which case he is not visible.)
Within the redoubt, figures the Turuturu-Mokai garrison can move to any point in the redoubt in one turn, so there is no need to roll for movement. All other figures move as far as the normal rules permit.
Captain Ross’ party have their own set of morale rules. Instead of taking a morale check for the entire unit, it is done with individual figures.
Every time a figure dies, each friendly figure within 1” of it if a ranker, or 2” if an officer, rolls 1D6 to see if it bolts. On a 6 the adjacent trooper immediately starts running towards Waihi Redoubt off the far edge of the table at Route rate, avoiding any enemies along the way. Officers do not run away in this fashion. Every time an officer is ritually disembowelled, any figures who can see it happen have to test.
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This system of victory conditions is modified, but only slightly, from Ian Croxall’s excellent Red Shadow system from the scenario “Tukulor Ghosts.”
The Government player is not told the victory conditions prior to the start of the game. His mission is self-evident. To defuse the situation by maintaining credibility, protecting pakeha lives and interests, and generally avoiding a disaster to be harped on by superior officers and the Wellington press.
The Maori are also not told of what specific things they need to do to inspire a largescale revolt and an uprising against the pakeha – their mission is simply to cause death and mayhem for the pakeha at minimum cost to themselves. The idea is to increase Titokowaru's mana enough that warriors will flock to his cause.
Method of victory calculation:
The Government starts the game with 100% credibility in the region. Loss of lives and the redoubt would reduce credibility from 100%.
If credibility remained higher than 75%, this action would be an outstanding success for the Pakeha.
If that credibility at the game was at 75% or less, it was a minor Government Victory.
If credibility dropped to 50% or less, it was considered a notable Maori success. Another Government disaster with more followers to Titokowaru.
If credibility dropped to 25% or less, Titokowaru’s mana has reached dizzying heights, the Pakeha is crushed and a major uprising starts in South Taranaki.
The Pakeha's Mana:
|Each whare burned (includes guard hut)||-3%|
|Each tent burned||-2%|
|Each pakeha officer killed (or routed off-table)||-8%|
|Each pakeha officer killed and ritually disemboweled||-12%|
|Each pakeha trooper killed (or routed off-table)||-2%|
|Each pakeha trooper killed and ritually disemboweled||-3%|
|Each Maori killed (routing doesn’t count)||+1%|
What Really Happened:
In the actual skirmish, the lone sentry, Constable Lacey, helped by some disturbed sheep, noticed the warriors in the bush just as the attack started and set off a shot raising the alarm. Captain Ross, Johnston and Milmoe escaped accross the bridge into the redoubt, Ross in his nightshirt. Lennon remained in the Canteen getting dressed, and Lacey was wounded in the fern. Cowper and Hamilton thought themselves cut off and ran to hide in the bush, where they remained for the rest of the action. Lennon was tomahawked and disembowelled, and the outbuildings and outside tents burned. The dozen Maori with Enfields moved to the high ground and started shooting the men in the redoubt below, but were hampeered by the light that constantly flared and faded and could not get many accurate shots through
Contrary to Titokowaru's explicit instructions, the young warriors stormed the gate. Captain Ross discharged his pistol several times but was shot while reloading by a Hauhau named Taruhae, and disemboweled on the spot. Taruhae then tried to run off with the heart, but was shot first. Five troopers then panicked and ran away towards the Waihi redoubt, two of whom were shot on the way out, one killed and one wounded. Two Maori and five pakeha constables were also killed in the fight around the gate. Several more rushes were made at the gate and three more constables were killed. Still the gateway held.
At this stage, Hauwhenua switched tactics to digging at the earth wall with tomahawks, while being shot at by men leaning over the wall and by six troopers leaning from the northwest bastion. As the sun starts to rise, Hauwhenua’s sharpshooters on the hill were able to pick off three and wound three more. With six men left standing, the wall sagging towards collapse, and daylight upon them, Von Tempsky’s relief force finally came to their aid. Von Tempsky had taken a circuitous route thinking the men in the redoubt were dead, judging by the stories of the deserters, and hoping to cut off their retreat. The the Maori finally broke off the assault. In effect, this disaster gained more followers for Titokowaru and signaled the beginning of a prolonged campaign in South Taranaki, with the Militia Colonel McDonnell swearing vengeance, ultimately leading to his ruin at Te Ngutu o te Manu.
Government dead or mortally wounded (including those shot while
Capt. Ross (disemboweled), Sgt. McFayden, Cpl. Blake, A. Beamish, R. Ross, Shields, Holden, Swords, Gaynor, Lennon (disemboweled).
J. G. Beamish, Lacey, Flanagan, O’Connor, Kershaw, Tuffin
Government fled (successfully):
L. Cpl. Cobbe, Wilkie, Burrows, Cowper, Hamilton
Government unwounded defenders:
Johnston, Gill, Milmoe, O’Brian, Stewart, McLean
Taruhae, Uruwhero, Paipai
(Titokowaru’s men suffered no incapacitating wounds so far as is recorded. If they did, they carried their wounded from the field during the night before any pakeha observer could see them.)
In terms of victory conditions, the Maoris had burned the outside tents and whares (-13%), killed and disemboweled one officer (-12%), killed and disemboweled one OR (-3%), killed, incapacitated or routed 19 other troopers (-38%), and lost three men (+3%). This reduced government prestige to 37%, resulting in a notable success for Titokowaru.
For battlefield photos, see the Maori Wars Battlefields Page.
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Brabyn, Trevor A. Visits to Turuturu-Mokai battle site, June 2000.
Cowan, James. New Zealand Wars and the Pioneering Period, The. Government Printer, Wellington, 1922.
Finlay, Niell. Sacred Soil: Images and Stories of the New Zealand Wars. Random House New Zealand, Ltd., Auckland, 1998.
Gibson, Tom. The Maori Wars. Leo Cooper Ltd., London 1974.
Maxwell, Peter. Frontier: The Battle for the North Island of New Zealand, 1860 - 1872. Celebrity Books, Auckland, 2000.
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