The flight of Invaders conducted reconnaissance, detected elements of the Cuban 3rd Brigade, and attacked with only minimal success. CVBG Essex launched a flight of four Skyhawks for Close Air Support to attack the 1st company. They scored hits, but lost two in the effort. The infantry company was capable of sustaining 500 damage points. In ANW, an attacker has to deliver a significant amount of damage in a short interval in order to overwhelm a ground unit. Otherwise, the unit miraculously regenerates totally! Therefore, I had to gather every surviving A-26K Invader and load them with the most potent ordnance: Mk82 bombs and Mk77 napalm (a.k.a. Snake and Nape)
A flight of 14 Invaders was launched. This had the potential to deliver 700 points of damage. Hopefully, it would be sufficient to overwhelm the infantry company. On their approach, they flew over a gunboat Jose Moran! Compared to the virtually unarmed landing ships, this was like a dreadnought. Therefore, it had to be taken out!
The flight leader immediately led an attack on the gunboat. As before, they reserved the heavy ordnance for the ground units and dove for a strafing run. The amount of firepower delivered was tremendous with the massed .50 cal machine guns, but the gunboat fought back bravely under the assault. The gunboat exploded, but not before killing one of her attackers.
The surviving Invaders pummeled the hapless infantry and then took out two defending AAA sites and a Watchtower on their egress.
The landing ships made their approach to the beach only to come under fire from hidden shore batteries. Marope took serious damage as they all turned to flee. Marope did not get out of range quickly enough and fires aboard consumed her. The flotilla thought it had escaped the coastal defences when another ship started taking fire. They ran, again. Another ship died by fire while a third sustained significant damage.
The Invaders re-armed and returned to sweep the beaches, again. This time, they located a heavy flak unit, an artillery group, and two platoons of T-55 main battle tanks. The deadliest units were the flak and artillery batteries. They died first under a flurry of bombs and napalm. The enemy armour was hammered into submission through strafing attacks.
Once clear of apparent opposition, the landing ships re-entered the bay and completed their landing operations. Victory was granted. It was a close-run operation as the loss of one more vessel would have doomed the invasion.
Many thanks to The AlaskanBiker for a fine match and to Freek Schepers for writing such a fine scenario.
For those fans who enjoy a visual AAR format, a new video for "Bay Of Pigs" has been added the YouTube Harpoon for Dummies
channel to help Harpoon players navigate the complexities of the game and to deliver the best possible playing experience.
You can watch Bay Of Pigs [MP]