Caribbean Fury #5 – Caribbean Cruise, 1994
AAR by mikerohan Oct 2021
I wanted to try this one before applying the latest patch and moving to Red Tide.
Like all the other "Fury" scenarios that I have played, it has been fun and challenging. Each one in its own different way.
This scenario has no CVN group, no Awacs, no Phoenixes… You have a bunch of mostly outdated ships and lots of square miles of sea to cover. Not to forget the Venezuelan effort to invade several islands off their coast.
I set several ASW patrols that payed off during the game. I managed to sink more soviet subs than I had expected: both because I was not sure I would be able to detect them and for the fact that there were more than Intelligence suggested.
On the east I sent TG Dale to try to cover Trinidad. They did not get there in time for the first wave, but they were for the second one. They themselves attracted some attacks from bomb-carrying Mirages (no big deal) and from Exocet-carrying Mirages (this more serious). TG Dale was able to shot-down lots of missiles but one of them hit USS Coontz and damaged the propulsion. When it seemed that there were no more bombers coming, USS Dale stayed in the area to help with any further raids and USS Coontz started a slow trip to port. She managed to get to Grenada and will probably be able to repair part of the damage.
On the West, my CAPs had to fight several battles against fighters and
bombers and had to try to shoot down recon and ELINT aircrafts. Some ABC
islands got hit by bombers but damage was not that terrible and more
important, not a single plane/helo was surprised on land. Ships coming
to help were trying to avoid long range Otomats. ARC Aldas managed to
sneak in undetected and sunk two PGM Crafts. A-4s tried to attack other
crafts and some Lupos with mixed results. Harpoons from P3s sunk one LST
and damaged another that sunk several hours later.
By this time TG Albany was getting close, so close that, although I thought that it was a little over the range of some Lupos, it got attacked by Otomats. Some were shoot down by CAPs, but those Talos missiles are worthless against sea skimming missiles. Albany got hit and had to turn back. She can make it to port if she does not encounter a sub on the return trip. This also left me with an hour long gap in my CAP that one C-130 used to get to Bonaire. I was fearing that it would be an all-out invasion but it seems they were only a group of SpecOps that were going to support the landings from the LSTs.
Meanwhile, USS Greenling was able to sink the remaining two LSTs and three Lupos. Air superiority meant that any helo sent in her general direction was dealt with before it could be a problem. By now she was almost out of torpedoes so was ordered to patrol near ABC islands and not venture further.
TG Long Beach that was arriving to replace TG Albany got a hint, with help from a MPA, of an underwater contact and dispatched a helo. It was identified as a SSK and was sunk with torpedoes. It probably was a Venezuelan SSK that was surprised when trying to recharge or when trying to use the periscope. The last few hours were mostly spent protecting the convoys that were being assembled, while searching for a Victor III that Intelligence was sure was lurking somewhere and at least another Venezuelan sub that was not found. A CAP was sent to Trinidad to avoid further bombing runs from bandits. This pushed my tankers to the limit but with USS Dale almost out of SAMs it was the right thing.
Managed to get a triumph but felt more like a victory. I'm proud that not a single convoy was lost and that more subs than expected where sunk. ABC local authorities now have to search for a possible group of Venezuelan SpecOps. USS Coontz and USS Albany survived but it was a mission kill as far as the scenario goes. I probably rushed TG Albany a little to much. Should have been more cautious. And lost several A-4s trying to bomb what I knew were well defended targets.
Thanks for these really fun scenarios!