The wonderful thing about our North Star 1672 range is that the figures will do for many different nations armies in the period 1665-1680. This is  because it is a time just before uniforms, and the figures are all dressed in the fashions common amongst soldiers throughout Western Europe.  
This of course includes Britain.  The years covered by our range is called the Restoration Period in  Britain as it was the time the monarchy, represented by Charles II,   was restored after the English Civil War.   It was also the genesis of the British Army. Britain, tired of soldiers  and war, had disbanded much of it’s forces after the Civil War and  Oliver Cromwell’s reign. With the return of Charles II to England in  1660, the units still under arms swore allegiance to the King and  became the senior units of the British Army. Some of the infantry regiments:  Coldstream Guards Grenadier Guards Scots Guards 1st Regiment (Royal Scots) 2nd Regiment (The Queen’s) 3rd Regiment (The Buffs) st
Colour.
known tale, the king had ordered every man who went to work  in the South African mines to steal a diamond or a nugget of  gold and bring it home with him as tribute. The treasure was  locked away in two steel safes purchased from the white men.  In 1893, when he realised that defeat was imminent,  Lobengula ordered the safes to be taken from Bulawayo by ox  cart and hidden in a secret cave in the hills. Apart from the  king himself, the only people who knew exactly where it was  were the men who had hidden it, and they were all killed on  Lobengula's orders by an "impi" stationed at the bottom of the hill. Then, because these men still had at least a vague idea of  the location, they too were massacred on their return to the  capital. Many years later a white treasure-hunter located a  survivor, a very old "induna" who had somehow escaped the  slaughter, but, the story goes, he was by then too senile to  remember where he had been! Of course the whole tale is full  of holes. How easy was it to steal from the mines in the first  place, and how many Matabele would not have simply stayed  where they were with their loot? And could Lobengula really  afford to murder his own soldiers wholesale while he was  facing a life and death struggle for his country? In reality he  had once had a fair bit of cash, but had spent the bulk of it on  guns, some was lost when the whites burnt his kraal at  Bulawayo, and most of the rest was offered as a bribe to stop  the whites pursuing him after the Battle of Bembesi, and  promptly stolen by a couple of BSAC troopers. So by the time  he would have been thinking about hiding his safes they were  probably already empty. All the same, as wargamers we need  not let the facts spoil a good story, and the search for this  treasure would be an ideal scenario for a roleplaying or  skirmish game. 
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North Stars Matabele Just as exciting as the arrival of North Star’s Matabele figures is  the announcement that they are beginning to release a range of  British South Africa Police (eventually, I understand, to include  mounted versions, plus wagons for the inevitable “attack on a  laager” scenarios). But of course the Matabele spent most of  their time fighting against various fellow Africans, of whom the  Tswana, Ila, Ngoni, Chikunda and Barotse are all covered in the  "Death in the Dark Continent" army lists. For the Tsonga, and  the Shona who remained outside Matabele control, use the  Generic Villager list. The Tswana were equipped rather like the  Sotho (or Basutos) further south, many of them armed with  muskets and riding horses; naturally they had the advantage  over the Matabele in open country, but suffered some severe  defeats when they allowed themselves to be caught in the bush  or trapped against a lake or other obstacle. The Ngoni fought in  a similar style to the Matabele, but were generally less well  disciplined and never got the hang of guns. The Barotse had  once been ruled by the Kololo, another group of warlike  refugees from the Zulus, and still fought with Zulu-style shields  and throwing assegais, though they seem to have preferred  knobkerries to the stabbing version. Their warriors were usually  outclassed by the Matabele, but they had acquired plenty of  guns, which helped to even the odds. They sometimes joined  with the Tswana in a formidable "trans-Zambezi alliance". The  Ila were cattle herders who specialised in skirmishing on foot  with spears; they were no match for the Matabele in a stand-up  fight, but excelled at ambushes and destroyed several exploring  expeditions over the years. Altogether, then, a Matabele army provides countless  opportunities for colonial and intertribal battles. Far more than  just a poor man’s Zulu, its combination of warrior ferocity with  Zulu-style discipline and reasonable firepower should make it a  deadly opponent as well as a distinctive looking army on the  wargames table.  Some Useful Sources G. L. Dodds, “The Zulus and Matabele, Warrior Nations”, London, 1998. Ian Knight, “Queen Victoria’s Enemies 1 – Southern Africa”, Osprey Men-at-Arms no.212, 1989. R. Moffat, “Missionary Labours and Scenes in South Africa”, London, 1842. C. L. Norris-Newman, “Matabeleland and How We Got It”, London, 1895. M. Poland, D. Hammond-Tooke & L. Voigt, “The Abundant Herds”, Fernwood Press, Simons Town, 2003. F. C. Selous, “Travel and Adventure in South-east Africa”, London, 1893. R. Summers & C. W. Pagden, “The Warriors”, Cape Town, 1870.