This list covers Melanesian armies of the Pacific Islands; more specifically, armies of the inhabitants of Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia, Papua New Guinea and some of the islands in South-Eastern Indonesia, but not Fiji which is represented by list 3/IV/12a.
Note that there is a degree of cultural and genetic continuum with neighbouring populations; all Polynesian peoples have some degree of Melanesian heritage as a result of mixing, and the list could be used to represent armies from some archipelagos in South-Eastern Indonesia. Physically, Melanesians are characterised by dark skin, thick curly hair, facial hair (depending on the particular insular culture), elaborate body decoration and a small fraction of the population having developed blonde hair independently from the European mutation.
The start date is arbitrary (and chosen to coincide with the start date of other Pacific armies) and the end date extends to the introduction of firearms and European influence.
A Melanesian army can double as a Fijian army (3/IV/12a) and vice versa with no conversion.
|IV/12c Other Melanesian||3Bd||4Ax||3Ax/3Pk||Ps|
|General with picked warriors||1||1|
|Archers or slingers||
Note: warrior elements must be either all 3Ax or all 3Pk
Melanesians' dress and weaponry differ from Polynesian counterparts in a few important points:
- The main close combat weapons are the spear (typically without point, but with numerous elaborate barbed carvings) and the war mace (straight or curved, from simple to very ornate, with different shapes and designs, some of them with a head resembling a war pick or an axe) made out of hardwood in one solid piece. Typical Polynesian weapons such as shark tooth clubs, fencing sticks, strangulation and tripping cords or daggers are absent from traditional Melanesian panoplies except as artifacts of Polynesian origin.
- Unlike in Polynesian armies, bows is used alongside javelins and slings as skirmish weapons.
- Also unlike Polynesians, oval or tall and thin rectangular shields are sometimes used depending on the particular culture.
Broadly speaking, longer spears and more shields are used on Papua New Guinea, while islander nations favour shorter spears and maces. Players have an option to depict spear-armed Melanesians as either 3Ax or 3Pk depending on tactical assumptions.
Camps can be represented with loose fencing and/or with war canoes (smaller than the Polynesians').
Buildings include V-shaped or round huts and large gathering halls, all thatched with dry long grass; each island or tribal group has some characteristic communal building styles.
- 15mm :
- 28mm :