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"Occupying buildings in Trenton." Topic

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582 hits since 21 Apr 2017
©1994-2017 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP21 Apr 2017 11:58 a.m. PST

Any of you who have done Trenton. Do you allow units to occupy houses? Seems like that would bog down the game.

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP21 Apr 2017 12:26 p.m. PST

For me I use buildings for line of sight, scenery, and a place where a unit can come from

cavcrazy21 Apr 2017 2:22 p.m. PST

When our group gamed Trenton, The Hessians came out to meet the Americans.Nobody fought from the buildings because it was understood that the town was inhabited.

oldnorthstate21 Apr 2017 5:27 p.m. PST

I would let the rifle units occupy the buildings but not regular units.

Glenn Pearce22 Apr 2017 6:52 a.m. PST

Hello Rallynow!

We have played Trenton a number of times. It's one of our favourites. It's hard to deny the option to occupy some of the buildings as the fighting took place all over the town. This battle is a slam dunk for the Americans. If you want the Hessians to have any chance they need every option they can get. We put a time limit of two hours on the game. Once ended whoever claims the most kills wins. Otherwise there is no point to the game as the American force is overwhelming.

We have had a number of funny moments as various forces fight over certain buildings while others avoid them. It just puts another dynamic into the game that is missing from a lot of other games.

Best regards,


Early morning writer23 Apr 2017 10:31 p.m. PST

Considering that houses were used to dry powder by the Americans (by my readings), not using the houses for troops takes away some of the proper action of the event.

Never did Trenton, played Princeton – and got GW killed in battle! Oh, the horror. (And pipe down SM! : ) )

Supercilius Maximus24 Apr 2017 11:19 p.m. PST

Actually, I rather like GW. Not the greatest battlefield tactician, but he got better; a decent strategist; certainly not short of personal courage; and loyal to his subordinates.

One might even say, a true Englishman.

I wonder if part of the reason for not using the houses was their construction? I know that the better known surviving buildings tend to be stone, but clapboard houses can be death traps against artillery, and European commanders would have been well aware of this (Lee thinks about putting La Fayette's troops into the houses of Freehold during the morning half of the Monmouth battle, then changes his mind when he sees the buildings are all wooden).

Another would be that Trenton was not prepared for defence; the troops may have been billeted in the houses, but they all went outside to "assemble" believing that being formed up in the open would give them an advantage over the Americans (as it had in all the battles up to that point and bear in mind that the Germans thought they had saved the British Regulars' bacon at Haarlem Heights).

A third point to bear in mind is that a lot of Hessian officers were quite old at the start of the campaign – certainly older than their British counterparts – and had either fallen ill, or actually died, by this point. A shortage of regimental officers would have made it difficult for the HC rank-and-file to respond to the attack other than by assembling "en masse" outside, where the few officers remaining could control them.

dantheman Supporting Member of TMP25 Apr 2017 8:07 a.m. PST

Definitely agree with the second. It all happened very quickly.

historygamer Supporting Member of TMP25 Apr 2017 9:30 a.m. PST

I would also suggest that the Germans had beat "to arms" or "assembly" so their orders were to assemble, not take cover in buildings.

The Americans were on the offensive, so taking cover was not part of their orders (think brigade orders of assault in BG).

Normal Guy25 Apr 2017 12:27 p.m. PST

I prefer to use town sectors with a few buildings upon them to reflect built up areas. In my mind, most buildings are way out of scale anyway so the concept of built up areas plays about right.

AICUSV17 May 2017 9:09 p.m. PST

It has been years since I gamed Trenton. We always started the game with the Hessians being unformed and required to form up before they could take any other action. May I suggest that you allow the Hessian to use the building, but only after they have formed and are under control of their officers.

Rallynow Supporting Member of TMP18 May 2017 7:52 a.m. PST

Thanks guys! Very helpful.

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