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Crossing the Delaware is the fourth scenario of Act I: Fire in Age of Empires III: The WarChiefs. The scenario is based on the Battle of Trenton in 1776, in which Washington led the Continental Army in a successful surprise attack against the Hessian mercenaries.


The scenario starts out with the cinematic "Washington" where Amelia Black narrates how after George Washington takes command, a series of defeats drives the colonials back across the Delaware River, where they are joined by Nathaniel Black. Nathaniel and Washington lead a small force to attack the Hessian winter quarters across the Delaware River.

The scenario is very similar to Raid in Delhi in that the player will have a very limited amount of forces provided and must try to avoid enemy patrols at all costs. Likewise, both scenarios are fighting against the British. The terrain of the scenario will feature tundra as this is set in winter season during Christmas, with snow capped trees and terrain as well as the frigid cold river being frozen in certain sections.


Primary objectives[]

  • Cross the Delaware and destroy the Hessian tents
  • Light a signal fire at the two flagged locations
  • Destroy Cornwallis' rear guard stationed in Princeton
  • Destroy Cornwallis' Capitol in Trenton

Secondary objectives[]

  • Destroy the British prison ships (500 XP)
  • Capture the cannon at the Hessian Garrison (500 XP)



Colonials (United States flag revolt DE Black Family Estate) - Starts with a small force of 11 Colonial Militia, Nathaniel Black, General Washington, and 3 Flat-bottomed boats on the west side of the Delaware river. Receives reinforcements once Nathaniel begins building campfires.


Americans (Flag BritishDE British) - Controls Trenton before the British occupy it, as well as Princeton before it comes under the player's control. Also has a Falconet in a Hessian encampment on the west side of the river that can be captured by the player, as well as several Settlers which watch for the British attacks on Princeton for the player.


Hessians (Flag GermanDE Germans) - Starts with 10 tents guarded by a patrol of Grenadiers. Once the first half of the scenario is completed, the Grenadiers disappear and are replaced by a large force of Jaegers, Musketeers, and a few cannons. Also has a few Outposts and Grenadiers, as well as an encampment on the west side of the river.

British (Flag BritishDE British) - Forces are lead by General Cornwallis, troops will consist mainly of Musketeers and Skirmishers, as well as Falconets and a small number of Jaeger mercenaries. Also begins with a few Musketeers and attack-less ships to the south of Trenton, along with the garrison in Princeton.


Players start out on the western bank of the Delaware River with Nathaniel, Washington, and 9 Revolutionaries provided. 3 Flat-bottomed Boats will also be provided to the player and will help with scouting the river as well as transporting the forces across the frigid river. Immediately, the player can board the forces onto the boat and transport them to the Hessian garrison in the town of Trenton just east across the river, the player can then carefully place them on Trenton where the Hessian tents are located. There will be 10 tents scattered throughout the town and the player can carefully proceed to raze them. There will be an enemy Hessian patrol marching clockwise and the player must avoid fighting it at all costs. While razing tents, individual Hessian Grenadiers will attempt to defend but the player can take them out with Nathaniel's special ability.

At the bottom of the map, 2 British galleons holding prisoners (guarded by some British musketeers) can be destroyed to free the captured Colonial Militias, who will join your side. There is a Huron settlement at the bottom of the map, a Coureur des Bois in need of rescue, several crates of supplies and easy treasures. Additional forces can be built from them.

After all 10 Hessian tents are destroyed, George Washington will want Nathaniel to build 2 signal fires to trick general Cornwallis into thinking the colonials made camp for the night. The signal fires will be built by Nathaniel and must be started at the two flagged locations. At this point the Hessian guards aren't present, and the player can go anywhere for the most part in the town without being bothered. While Nathaniel is starting the signal fire, reinforcements of 8 Colonial Militia and 1 Surgeon will arrive at the western river bank and the player can transport them across the river to merge with the rest of the forces with the Flat-bottomed boats.

As soon as both signal fires are lit, Cornwallis' very powerful army will come south from the Princeton with powerful Falconets, Musketeers, and Skirmishers to retake the town. There will a smaller and weaker rear guard stationed at Princeton consisting of Musketeers and the player can begin to head northeast with their forces to take out the rear guard. The rear guard will take down a few troops before being defeated. As soon as the rear guard are defeated, the colonists of Princeton will help with the cause and join the player's side. A small band of 4 British Jaegers will shortly after attack the settlement, apparently aware of Washington's whereabouts and the band must be quickly defeated before further damage is resulted.

Note: While fighting the rear guard, make sure to move the Surgeon out of combat, as he will become easy prey for the rear guard to kill.

The Princeton Villagers will gather large cords of food, wood, and coin. Another primary objective will be revealed entailing to destroy Cornwallis' capitol in Trenton. The player should spend all the resources gathered on training 15-20 Tomahawks from the War Hut as they are cheap and can be trained in the masses. With the remaining resources, the player should train 4 Falconets from the Artillery Foundry. The resources will be depleted at this point and the player shouldn't bother tasking Villagers to gather resources but instead should send them to Community Plaza to do the War Ceremony. The player can then use the shipments provided to solely spend on reinforcements of Colonial Militia and Kanya Horsemen.

Note: The war party should consist of at least 10 Kanya Horsmen, 6-7 Militia, 15-20 Tomahawks, and 4 Falconets. If there is less than this, the player should wait and train more reinforcements

After the player's massive war party has been assembled, they have more than enough needed to destroy the capitol building in Trenton. The player should keep a group of 5 Kanya Horsemen at Princeton to hold off a British attack for a short amount of time. Meanwhile, the player can advance the war party directly south towards Trenton. They will have to traverse through a shallow branch of river and head directly west to the British capitol in the building. The player can then directly raze the Capitol with the Kanya Horsemen, Tomahawks, and Militia. There will be enemy Hessian forces attempting to defend the capitol but they can be ignored as the objective is to destroy the Capitol. With a few fires from the Falconets, the Capitol will be destroyed in no time and the scenario will be completed.


  • This battle, although small, symbolized a great increase in Patriot morale, since it demonstrated that the British could be defeated in the future.
  • The Delaware Crossing was immortalized in a painting that is known as one of the best-known American paintings.


Campaigns in Age of Empires III
3Icon48px Age of Empires III
TutorialMaster the Basics · Try a Game
Act I: BloodBreakout · Into the Caves · Pirates! · The Ottoman Fort · Temples of the Aztec · A Pirate's Help · Spanish Treasure Fleet · The Fountain of Youth?
Act II: IceDefend the Colony · Strange Alliances · The Rescue · The Seven Years' War · The Great Lakes · Respect · Warwick's Stronghold · Bring Down the Mountain
Act III: SteelRace for the Rails · Hold the Fort · The Boneguard's Lair · The Lost Spanish Gold · Bolivar's Revolt · Journey Through the Andes · Last City of the Inca · Last Stand of the Boneguard
3WCIcon48px The WarChiefs
Act I: FireWar Dance (War Ceremony· The Rescue · Breed's Hill · Crossing the Delaware · Saratoga · Valley Forge · The Battle of Morristown · The Battle of Yorktown
Act II: ShadowThe Bozeman Trail · Red Cloud's War (A Reckoning· Claims · Ambushed! (Urgent News· Turning Point (To Stop a War· Trust · Battle of the Little Bighorn (Battle of the Greasy Grass)
3ADIcon48px The Asian Dynasties
Act I: JapanThe Siege of Osaka · Uprising! · Clearing the Road · Last Stand at Fushimi · The Battle of Sekigahara
Act II: ChinaTo Finish a Fleet · Storming the Beaches · Lost Ships · A Rescue in the Wilderness · No Empire Lasts Forever
Act III: IndiaInto the Punjab · Fires of Calcutta · Resist! · Raid in Delhi · Company Confrontation
Age3DE Icon Definitive Edition
Historical BattlesAlgiers · Christopher da Gama's Expedition · Chuvash Cape · Raid on the Caribbean · Fort Duquesne · Battle of New Orleans · The Burning of USS Philadelphia · Grito de Dolores · Battle of Queenston Heights
The Art of WarEarly Economy · Treasures · Home City Shipments · Booming · Build Orders · Early Defense · Early Offense · Land Battle · Naval Battle · Artillery
Event scenariosBombard Brawl
Age3DE Icon The African Royals
Historical BattlesThe Battle of the Three Kings · Fall of the Hausa · The Era of the Princes
Names in brackets are the scenario's name in the Definitive Edition.