Monday, January 19, 2015

Battle of Trenton Game Report - Part 1

Brigades of Sterling, Stephens and Fermoy advance along the Pennington Rd to Trenton
I refought the Battle of Trenton this weekend as a solo game and reached a definitive conclusion by Turn 8. The after action report will be posted here in installments. So here is Part 1, which takes us from Washington's opening attack early in the morning of December 26, 1776. Washington had divided his army into two wings once he had crossed the Delaware. Sullivan's division advanced along the western side of the table, parallel to the Delaware River, on the River Road. Greene's division, to which Washington accompanied, advanced along the eastern side of the table on the Pennington Road.

The picture at the top of this page depicts the opening advance of Greene's division along the Pennington Road

Sterling's brigade pushes the jager outpost aside and continues its advance on the Pennington Road. In the middle to the top of the picture you can see Mercer's Brigade in the field, St. Clair's brigade marching on the River Road, and Sargent''s and Glover's brigades at the very top of the picture will attempt to cross Assunpink Creek and cut off any Hessian retreat to the south on the Bordentown Road.

Sullivan's division attacks Trenton along the western edge of the town, easily brushing past a piquet of jagers. The American army gets the initiative on Turn 1 and again on Turn 2. Rall's grenadiers automatically activate on Turn 2 since they can hear the sound of musket fire within 24 inches of the town. The von Lossberg and von Knyphausen fusilier regiments can only activate on a roll of "3" or less on a D6 die. Both fail to activate on Turn 2.

St Clair brushes aside a Hessian piquet of Jagers, who do manage to get off some warning shots, but inflict no casualties.

Ground level view of the Jagers and St Clair.

Sargent (left) and Glover's (right) brigades of Sullivan's division.

The von Lossberg fusilier regiment tries to form up at the base of King Street. Colonel Rall's headquarters were in the stone house on the left.

Once firing is heard, the Hessians have one chance to wake up Colonel Rall and have him order the dragoons to ride south on the Bordentown Road to secure help from Colonel von Donop's command. A roll of "3" or less is required to send the orders. The Hessians roll a "1", so off go the dragoons, as seen below. We roll another D6 to determine how many turns it will take for von Donop's reinforcements to arrive. I use the number of pips on a thrown D6 and add "3". The Hessian player rolled a "6" so it would take until Turn 9 for von Donop to arrive. Neither side knows if or when von Donop will arrive. Only the game judge is privy to this intelligence.

A pair of British 16th Light Dragoons gallop off to Bordentown to get help from Colonel von Donop.

The Rall grenadier regiment was already on duty that morning, so they easily form up and are ready for action on Turnn 2.

The Hessians win the initiative on Turn 3, so Colonel Rall orders his grenadiers to attack the American infantry and artillery at the head of King Steet and Queen Street.

Mercer and St. Clair are advancing into the town on the River Road, where they get into a firefight with the two companies of von Lossberg who are blocking the road.

On the eastern side of town, Hamilton is deploying his 6-pounders - one on each of King and Queen streets so that they can rake both streets with cannister. They are supported by Stephens' brigade. Fermoy's brigade continues its march east on the Pennington Road, heading for Princeton, so as to cut off any Hessian retreat in that sector. Sterling's brigade advances down King Street to take on the 3 companies of von Lossberg and its regimental 3-pounder.

To the west of town, Sullivan sends Sargent's and Glover's brigades across Assunpink Creek in order to cut off any Hessian retreat to the south along the Bordentown Road.

Sargent and Glover cross Assunpink Creek to cut off any Hessian retreat.

Von Lossberg is activated on King Street. Three companies and the regimental 3-pdr face down the advance of Sterling's brigade up King Street. Two more companies hive off to block the entry of Mercer's brigade into the town.

The Rall Grenadier regiment (center) advances towards the American position along the Pennington Road.

Alexander Hamilton's New York battery deploys on a slight rise facing down King Street . A second section of the battery is limbered  and moving off to the left to deploy in front of Queen Street. Stephens and Fermoy's brigade provide infantry support for the battery. General Washington and his guard (Philadelphia Light Horse) supervise the deployment of troops in this sector of the battlefield.
 The Hessians win the initiative on Turn 4 and continue to attack towards the east (Greene's division). The von Knyphausen fusilier regiment marches down Queen Street, forcing Fermoy to halt his flanking march and deploy facing Queen Street. Fermoy is supported by a section of Hamilton's battery. Stephens deploys into line along the Pennington Road and finds itself in a fire fight with the Rall grenadier regiment (see below):

Overhead view of Fermoy's brigade (left), a secton of Hamilton's battery (center) and Stephens' brigade (right) deploy for the fight. You can see the von Knyphausen fusilier regiment marching down Queen Street to support the Rall Grenadier regiment, deployed in line behind the fence.

So by the end of Turn 4, Colonel Rall has managed to set up a battle line  facing east, where it engages Greene's division (Fermoy, Stephens, Sterling brigades and Hamilton's artillery battery). His line has the von Knyphausen fusiliers on the right in Queen Street, the Rall grenadiers in the center, and 3 companies of the von Lossberg fusilier regiment on his left in King Street. His rear area is protected only by two companies of von Lossberg, who face off against two of Sullivan's division (St Clair and Mercer's brigades). Sullivan's other two brigades (Sargent and Glover) are crossing over Assunpink Creek to its west bank. Their objective is to control the two bridges that cross the creek to the west and south of Trenton.

Part 2 will be posted tomorrow and take us through Turns 5 through 8 and the game's conclusion.


  1. First rate. Top notch. Just the ticket.

  2. Wonderful photos and great account. Looking forward to the next instalment. Now where did I put my winter cloth...?

  3. Fantastic. The layout is perfect. Keep it up.

  4. VERY sweet! I look forward to trying the scenario with my gaming group and our rules!

    I think those troopers from the 16th are lost, they seem to be heading to Leuthen... ;)

  5. Yep! Just the thing for a MOnday morning. Great account so far, plus amazing figures and terrain. You should consider doing your own AWI book in the John Ray vein.

    Best Regards,


  6. Stokes: it is something that I would be interested in, but I don't have any contacts in the publishing interest.

  7. Jim,

    Do not waste your time. I think Stokes considered some years ago a publication of his works but rightly took a wide berth.

    It is easy to get carried away in blogger world that you have a greater audience.

    With all that is available on the internet you have to offer something really different or a product that the customer base follows.

    It took 8 years to accumulate the material for AMG. The AWI was never enough, a reason to add European Wars and the Russian/Ottoman War.

    Figures/terrain are not enough.

    If you need any help, more than happy to help.


  8. That is a real treat, Jim, well done! It looks to have been a fun game as well as an eyeful.

    Thanks for positing the photos and reports.