Tuesday, December 13, 2022

AWI Trenton Part Deux and Rules Updates

After we played Trenton the other weekend my brain went into overdrive.  I really liked how the Live Free or Die rules played during the game. That being said, I spent the week tuning the rules to suit more what our group is used too.

My tuning really came down to the following:
  • Making combat more deadly.
  • Adjusting the turn sequence.
  • Clarifying some obscurities.
  • Aligning orders of battle to my collection.
What I describe above might sound like a lot - but it really isn't. After making the changes I reset the Trenton table, adjusted the OOB slightly and we played it again this past Sunday.  I'll cover the changes I made to the rules and OOB first below, then I'll cover the refight of the battle with some pictures.

You can download my rule reference here.  Note the ranges are all for using 28mm miniatures since that is what my collection is - but the original rules are written for 15mm miniatures (which meant I had to make my own QRS anyways so I could adjust ranges).

The rules reference incorporates all my changes and covers essentially everything you'll need to know when playing the game.  I highly recommend purchasing the PDF or physical copy of the original rules to "fill in the gaps" in preparing for the game, organization, etc.

Let's go through the changes I made:
  • Units suffer a casualty (base removal) after taking 6 DMZ (originally 5).
  • Artillery has 3D6 base for shooting, with a +3D6 for shooting at a column.  Field guns roll 5D6 base at 20" or less.
  • Muskets are 12", rifles 18".  Skirmishers roll 1D6 per base.  Formed infantry that volley use 3D6 per base, or 2D6 per base for hasty fire.
  • Artillery bounce through allows 1/2 dice to be rolled, needing 6's, against a unit within 6" behind the original artillery target.
  • In melee, base dice are 1D6 per base (versus 1D6 per 2 bases).  Only skirmishers generate 1D6 per 2 bases when fighting against non-skirmishers.
  • Charge bonus is for any infantry, +1D6 per base - or +2D6 per base if cavalry.  The other melee modifiers increased slightly.
  • Combat results are the same, just with slightly increased losses (DMZ).
  • It takes 3 CP to charge - no other CP is needed.
  • Closing fire is always hasty fire for formed infantry.
  • Infantry charge 4D6", cavalry 6D6" (going from 15mm to 28mm).
  • Charges and movement are done in the same Orders Phase (charges then movement, in initiative order). Shooting is moved to the Combat Phase (shooting then melee).
  • Reforming costs 1/2 your movement.
  • A unit can volley if they move 1/2 their movement or less.
  • Redress the ranks is any unit 24" or farther from enemy can recover D3 DMZ.
That's really it.  Everything else is essentially the same, just with clarifications added.

I'm happy to report that the refight went very well.  The Americans pulled out a last second victory over the Hessians by securing 2 of the 3 town sections along with road Z.  Both sides rolled a different set of random events - with the Hessians getting a British field gun and regiment for reinforcements from Princeton.  Washington survived unscathed this time, but Sullivan was gunned down leading a charge.

You can see the initial deployment and positions below ...

I adjusted the OOB for the scenario slightly - mostly breaking out units that had been combined in the original OOB as most of my collection is units of 4 or 5 bases.


Colonel Rall (Leader, 4 CP, 2 stars)

Rall's Brigade
  • Grenadier Regt. Rall, 2nd Class, 5 bases
  • Grenadier Regt. Rall II, 3rd Class, 5 bases
  • Regt. Von Lossberg, 2nd Class, 5 bases
  • Regt. Von Knyphausen, 2nd Class, 5 bases
  • Regt. Von Knyphausen II, 2nd Class, 5 bases
  • Jagers, 1st Class, 2 bases (SK)
  • 3 pounder, 2nd Class, 1 light gun
  • Queen's Dragoons, 2nd Class, 1 base
The Hessians rolled and got reinforcements from Princeton:
  • Cornwallis (Leader, 4 CPs, 2 stars)
  • 17th Foot, 2nd Class, 5 bases
  • 6 pounder, 2nd Class, 1 field gun


Washington (Leader, 5 CP, 3 stars)
Greene (Lieutenant, 3 stars)

Stephen's Brigade
  • 4th VA, 3rd Class, 4 bases
  • 5th VA, 3rd Class, 4 bases
  • 6th VA, 3rd Class, 3 bases
Stirling's Brigade
  • 1st VA, 3rd Class, 4 bases
  • 3rd VA, 3rd Class, 4 bases
  • 1st PA Rifles, 2nd Class, 4 bases (SK)
Mercer's Brigade
  • 20th CT, 3rd Class, 6 bases
  • 1st MD, 2nd Class, 4 bases
  • 5th MA/CT Militia, 4th Class, 5 bases
Fermoy's Brigade
  • German Regt., 3rd Class, 4 bases
  • German Regt. II, 3rd Class, 4 bases
  • 1st PA, 3rd Class, 4 bases
3 pounder, 2nd Class, 1 light gun
6 pounder, 2nd Class, 1 field gun

Sullivan (Lieutenant, 3 stars)

St. Clair's Brigade
  • 5th Continentals, 2nd Class, 3 bases
  • 2nd Continentals, 2nd Class, 4 bases
  • 8th Continentals, 2nd Class, 4 bases
Sargent's Brigade is unchanged from the original OOB.

Pictures below of the game.

Another fun game and close fought battle.  The rules changes worked out really well.  We'll be sticking with these rules for AWI moving forward.


  1. Thanks for the report. I particularly enjoyed the close ups of the snowy scenery and the smart Hessians.

  2. Nicely done thanks for your OOB👍

  3. Jay, I have downloaded your 2 rules pages & plan on using most of your changes. I will keep the original ranges as I game in 15mm. How did you handle regiments located in the town blocks as far as movement, firing & melee? Inspired by your product I have set up a Trenton game in snow scape. Plan on hosting a game either right before or after Christmas. Thanks for all you do!

    1. Oh excellent! I divided Trenton into three sections ... deliniated by the road. I applied no movement penalty for moving through the town or buildings, but treat buildings like interpenetrating a unit ... you can't stop on top of it and you take a DMZ for interpenetration unless you have a leader attached. The side with the higer number of infantry and artillery bases in the section control.it. Skirmishers and leaders/lieutentants don't count for control. I also gave the units located in a town section cover, so shooting needed 6's to hit. The "hedgerow" technically is marking a frozen creek (just don't have one) so doesn't offer any cover or block LOS ... it reduces movement by 3" (for 28mm). I think that about covers it.

  4. Howdy Jay, first thanks for stopping by my blog and checking out MESB. Been struggling keeping up with blogging, but I am still here.

    Love the pictures. A while back when those rules first came out my group picked them up, and we weren't sold on them. I don't remember why now, but I have to dig through my pile of rulebooks and find it and revisit it with your changes. Thanks for sharing!


    1. Hey Kevin! Nice to see you caught the Middle Earth bug :-) I think the most jarring thing from the rules as written is shooting before movement. We just struggled with that as it is just not how any of the rules we play or have played work so it really screwed with our sense of the turn sequence, which meant less shooting due to troops being out of position. So you have to think about shooting for the next turn when you move in the current turn or you'll be shooting at nothing or an unintentional target because that is all that is in range or can be seen. Fixed that. With my changes I really enjoy the rules.