Home Forums Horse and Musket 18th Century Looking for Trenton scenario ideas

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    I have developed the ambition to play Trenton this Christmas. Table and figures are coming along nicely, but the battle scenario is something of a challenge. The Hessians were gravely outnumbered in reality and the question is whether hey ever did stand a chance. And I’d like an interesting game.

    Now I got handed some interesting ideas for the game (and thought one up for myself) but I would be interested in other people’s take on Washington’s raid on Trenton. How did (or would) you approach it?


    Steve BurtSteve Burt

    Maybe have all the players on the same side, with the Hessians run by the umpire. The player who takes the most prisoners wins.

    Brendan Morrissey

    I think that’s a nice idea, but I’d turn it on its head and have the players represent the Hessians, as this gives a number of variables – eg the state each different unit is in (in terms of fatigue from the previous two months’ campaigning), how responsive they are (which can be a factor of how well-led), and how many American units they have to deal with.

    Umpire-controlled Rebels allow a greater element of unpredictability (and evil deployment by the umpire).  You could also have a rule that Hessian unit leaders have to meet “on the table” in order to share information, or adopt a joint plan of action.  You can follow up the game with a role-play exercise, in which each player has to represent a court official back in Hesse-Cassel, who has to argue his “battle persona’s” corner in terms of not getting the blame for what happened – by making sure someone else does, of course!

    If you have enough figures and tables, you could perhaps arrange the players in a square, all looking outwards (so that none can see the others) each with just his unit on a small table in front of him, and American units appearing “out of the blue” on the edges (this represents the confusion, limited lines of sight due to the village layout, and smoke/fog).  As the fighting progresses, you can bring the tables together (as appropriate) when you deem players can see, or have moved onto, another table.

    Glenn Pearce

    Hello Pijlie!


    This is one of our club favorites. Our rules have a running total of cohesion points loss (army morale) and figures removed. However, you can use any system you want. The key element we use is time. We put a two hour limit on the game which for us is not enough time for the Americans to overwhelm the Hessians. The side that has the greater points and fewer losses wins. What happens is the Americans really scramble to try and bring their numbers to bear before the time runs out and the Hessians do everything they can to delay the outcome. It really creates a pressure cooker for both sides. If time permits we start the game over again and the teams switch sides. We then combine the totals from both games to see who actually got the best scores. Whenever we play Trenton the game table is full of players. All you need to do is figure out what totals work for you and how long should your game be in relation to the scale of your game.


    Best regards,




    Interesting takes on this game. Thank you all!


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