Saturday, January 31, 2015

Battle of Trenton 1776 game report & scenario

I have been wanting to play Trenton for a long time and after quite a while of painting and building the hardware was ready and I was left with the challenge to write an interesting game scenario for this extremely lop-sided battle. 

Because, whether you believe the Hessians to have been sober and vigiliant on Christmas morning 1776 or stumbling drunk and hung-over, fact remains that Washington's army not only surprised them but outnumbered them about 4 to 1 as well. In reality, as soon as Rall decided to stand and fight to reclaim his lost cannon, his fate was sealed. 

So I had to come up with something more interesting. I chose Black Powder for a ruleset and started out with troop sizes in somewhat historical proportions. So Washington would outnumber Rall about 4-5 to 1 from the outset. Rall only had his three regiments, a small unit of Jaeger and a small unit of dismounted Dragoons, besides his two guns. Washington would approach Trenton in 4 columns that approach Trenton from four predetermined sides. simultaneously, just like he did in reality. From that point on I slipped in a number of what-ifs. Roll a D8 om the following tables for each player before starting the game: 

  1. Washington: Column Mercer fails to cross
  2. Washington: Column Sullivan fails to cross
  3. Washington: Column St Clair fails to cross
  4. Washington: Column Mercer arrives D6 turns later
  5. Washington: Column Sullivan arrives D6 turns later
  6. Washington: Column St Clair arrives D6 turns later
  7. Washington: Knox' Artillery fails to cross
  8. Roll two times. Ignore another 8.  

  1. Rall: Donop's garrison arrives in turn D6.
  2. Rall: Rowdy Christmas Eve. Hangovers result in -1 Command roll first 2 turns
  3. Rall has 1 fortification built
  4. Rall has 2 fortifications built
  5. Rall has 3 fortifications built
  6. Rall: Morning patrol does not leave town but waits in Trenton
  7. Rall has D3 platoons of Jaeger
  8. Roll two times. Ignore another 8. 

I decided to forego all rules for bad weather and visibility and such.  The Hessians were dispersed in the houses of Trenton: 1 stand (= small unit) per house and 4 units to a regiment. The stands could either act as a small unit or could try to awake and regroup on a command roll of 8 or less. Two stands would still be a small unit. Only the Knyphausen regiment was awake and on their morning patrol on the far side of the table, marching away from Trenton. 

As it turned out this resulted in a fast scenario in which the Hessians usually try various ways to escape the Americans in time to prevent being destroyed. Some of the what-ifs shoud even tempt them to defend Trenton, like a combination of 1 and 5, given the fact that Donop's command is also 3 regiments and a gun strong. 

Some impressions of today's Ducosim con:

OOB as used in the game:


Major Von Rall. Leadership 9
Grenadiers Von Rall L8: 1 regiment, +1 Morale & combat die, stamina 4, First fire, steady
Von Knyphausen L8: 1 regiment, First fire
Lossberg L8: 1 regiment, First fire
Jaegers: Small unit, Sharp shooters, marauders
Light Dragoons: Marauders (may mount)
2 guns

Optional: Donop L9
1, grenadier regiment, 2 Line regiments, 1 gun.


George Washington: Leadership 10

Greene's L8 Column:
- Knox' artillery 4 guns
- 4 regiments: First Fire
- riflemen: small unit, sharpshooters

Mercer's L9 Column
- 4 regiments: First Fire
- riflemen: small unit, sharpshooters

Sullivan's L9 column
- 3 regiments: First Fire
- riflemen: small unit, sharpshooters

St. Clair's L8 column
- 3 regiments: First Fire
- riflemen: small unit, sharpshooters

Wednesday, January 28, 2015