Fishguard 1797 Scenario No.1: Ambush at Carnwnda, 23-24 February

This, the first of our hypothetical scenarios, starts with the historical situation of the evening of 23rd February: Lord Cawdor, determined to attack the enemy position at Carnwnda despite the gathering darkness, is rashly advancing in a straggling column, up the steep and narrow lane from Goodwick.  In reality, Captain Nisbett’s scouts sniffed out the ambush that the French grenadiers had set for them, allowing Cawdor to safely withdraw to Fishguard.  However, our scenario diverges from history as the French grenadiers successfully mount their ambush on the head of Cawdor’s column…

Scenario No.1 (Part 1): The French Ambush

Deploy the troops roughly as shown on the map.  The table should measure approximately 5×6 feet when using 28mm figures.  The French occupy the crown of Carnwnda, with ‘refused’ wings on either side.  Some companies may be held back as reserves – perhaps occupying Llanwnda village.  The grenadiers are deployed forward at the hedge-line and may form an independent formation commanded by one of the ADCs.

The British meanwhile, must be deployed in column of march along the narrow, hedged lane from Bwlch-y-Rhos to Carngowil, though skirmishers may be deployed out on the flanks, as shown on the map.  The order of march may be decided by the British player, though the Fishguard & Newport volunteers must be deployed at the rear of the column (except for the skirmishers, which may be deployed on the flanks of the column’s head) and the Royal Navy guns will be off-table at this stage.  Any troops that can’t be fitted onto the table will be brought on at the rear of the column when space allows.  The leading formed unit of the column MUST be deployed with the head of the column on the T-junction, immediately in front of the French grenadiers’ ambush and within close range of both grenadier companies.

The French will automatically have the initiative in this scenario, which effectively starts with the French Firing Phase, as the Grenadiers ambush the head of the column.

The orders of battle are as detailed in the recent articles on the French and British Forces at Fishguard.  However, the Loyal Haverfordwest Volunteers will not be present at the start of this scenario and Henry Whiteside’s Solva & St David’s Volunteers may appear as a Random Event (see below).

The British player must roll a D6 to determine which unit is forming the head of the column:
1-3: Yeomanry
4-5: Cardiganshire Militia
6: Pembroke Volunteers

Neither side may declare charges in Turn 1.

The French Grenadiers will have an additional +1 bonus for firing at the head of the column in Turn 1.  This simulates the shock and surprise effect of the ambush, as well as a volley of grenades lobbed from behind the hedge.  The grenadiers will continue to have the Grenade special rules for the duration of the scenario, as detailed in the order of battle notes.

No long-range firing is permitted due to the gathering darkness and charges may only be declared on targets within 6 inches.

Part 1 of this scenario will end at the end of Turn 4.  Both sides will then withdraw to lick their wounds for the night.  The French Grenadiers will pull back to the safety of the main position at Carnwnda (though they may leave a skirmish line at the hedgerow), while the British will retire to Carngowil.

Scenario No.1 (Part 2): The British Attack

This part of the scenario assumes that Lord Cawdor, his pride hurt by the previous evening’s ambush, has not fallen back to Fishguard and is determined to carry out a deliberate, dawn attack on the Carnwnda position and drive the invaders into the sea, no matter the cost!  Alternatively, the British player may opt to retire to Fishguard, in which case go straight to Scenario No.2b.

The British player may deploy his forces, minus the previous evening’s casualties, anywhere south of line A-B, in any formation.  His objective is to destroy all enemy units or drive them off the slopes of Carnwnda and from Llanwnda village.  The naval guns have by now managed to negotiate the narrow lanes and are deployed, ready to fire.

At the start of each turn, the British player should roll a D6: On a roll of 6 the Loyal Haverfordwest Volunteers will arrive at Bwlch-y-Rhos.

The French are deployed as before on Carnwnda, minus the previous evening’s casualties.  However, the Grenadiers have been withdrawn to the main position.  A skirmish screen may remain in position along the hedge-line.  The French objective is to hold their ground at all costs and retain possession of the Carnwnda Heights and Llanwnda village.

Any units that were dispersed during the previous evening’s fighting may be returned to the table at 50% of their original strength.  Units that were routed off table may return at the strength they were at when they left the table.

Part 2 of the scenario lasts for 20 turns or until the British victory conditions have been met or until the British player concedes the field to the French player.  If the British player concedes or the end of Turn 20 is reached, all routing or retreating British units are immediately dispersed and the game progresses to Scenario No.2b: The French Attack.

Optional Random Events

If any unmodified double is rolled during a player’s Initiative roll, that player should roll again and refer to the tables below to see what happens next.  Each random event may only occur once.

Henry Whiteside’s Solva & St David’s Volunteers get stuck in!

French Random Events Table

Die Roll – Event

 1 – A stash of booze is discovered!  A French unit occupying a building will immediately suffer 3 DPs (these become casualties over 3 DPs).  If more than one unit is occupying a building, dice to see which is affected.  Ignore if no units are occupying buildings.

2 – A horse is captured!  Roll again: Evens means that poor Dobbin becomes Viande Chevaline, while Odds means that one lucky French officer (of the player’s choice) may move at normal mounted officer rate.

3 – The French grenadiers have run out of grenades and no longer gain that benefit.

4 – One skirmisher unit has been set upon by angry local civilians!  The unit suffers 1 DP or casualty.

5 – A local Baptist preacher and Republican sympathizer gives you information on the British strength and movements.  You automatically win the initiative for this turn.

6 – By a stroke of luck, your men have managed to recover 4pdr battalion guns from the boat which sank at Carregwastad.  Roll again: 1-4 = 1 gun and 5-6 = 2 guns.  The artillery arrive anywhere on the French table edge and must be manhandled forward.  If the artillery arrives on Day 1 it may start Day 2 deployed anywhere within the French deployment area.

British Random Events Table

Die Roll – Event

 1 – Lt Col Knox has fallen out with Lord Cawdor again!  His brigade immediately reverts to ‘Hold’ orders.  The British player may not attempt to change his orders again until the following turn.

2 – View Haloo!”  Proving their mettle as upper-class twits, the Yeomanry will launch a charge against the nearest enemy unit during the Charge Phase.  If no unit is within charge range, they will move a full move directly toward the nearest enemy.

3 – This is how we did it in America” – Thomas Nisbett’s skirmishers become 2nd Line and may roll one Skirmish die per two figures instead of one die per three figures.

4 – “Who will come with me to fight the French?!” – Henry Whiteside’s Solva and St Davids Volunteers appear as reinforcements.  They will arrive on the left-hand table edge in Scenario No.1 or on the French table edge in Scenario No.2.  If they arrive early in the campaign and survive, they may then be attached to Cawdor’s main army for the subsequent battles.

5 – The remaining 8 figures from the Newport Division of the Fishguard & Newport Volunteer Infantry arrive as reinforcements (at Bwlch-y-Rhos in Scenario No.1 or at Fishguard Fort in Scenario No.2).  They may be added to the strength of the Newport Division (when they reach its location) or may function as a separate skirmisher unit.

6 – ‘Jemima Fawr!’ – Jemima Nicholas will arrive on table at Bwlch-y-Rhos in Scenario No.1 or in the centre of Fishguard in Scenario No.2.  She will then move at skirmisher speed.  Upon contact with any French skirmisher unit, she will immediately take 1 full skirmisher base prisoner and will march them back to her starting location.  She will then return during the following turn to do it again!  Like a senior officer, she may not be directly targeted, though may fall victim to a Double-Six, as for officers.

 

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