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Essequibo Crisis, January 2024. Hypothetical Scenario.

Essequibo Crisis, January 2024. Hypothetical Scenario.


A Harpoon Commander's Edition scenario for EC2003 Battle for the Caribbean Basin Battleset and the HCDB2-170909 (or later) 1980-2025 era Platform Database. This scenario is designed with Advanced Scenario Editor and to be run with HCE 2015.008+ or later.


This scenario is designed to be played from the Blue/UK-Allied side or from the Red/Venezuela side. You should play a few times first the Blue/UK-Allied side to avoid spoilers, and only later play the Red/Venezuela side.

Image: HMS Queen Elizabeth (R08) with some 617 Squadron RAF "Dambusters" F-35B on deck (And perhaps some others USMC VMFA-211 "Wake Island Avengers" F-35B out of sight) during Carrier Strike Group 21 (CSG21), the ship first operational deployment, September 22, 2021. A work by UK government file is licensed under the Open Government Licence version 1.0 and took from Wikipedia Commons.

At the end of the very convulse 2023, with the almost two years long Russian invasion of Ukraine, the new Israel-Palestine crisis started on October 7, and before the current Houthis attacks on the civilian traffic in the near seas, another latent crisis exploded.

The Maduro's socialist regime of Venezuela, almost a puppet of Cuba and with increasing bonds with Iran, attempts to overcome its usual internal crisis with the very usual move of search an external enemy.

In this case the victim is its neighbour Guyana and the frontier Essequibo region.

The terrain is impassable and Brazil supports Guyana, and the question probably will be resolved in international justice courts, too long to be explained here.

But in this hypothetical scenario Guyana requested aid from the United Kingdom, materialized in a carrier strike group steaming and showing flag in the Venezuela EEZ, keeping presence for deterrent of the Maduro's pretensions over Essequibo.

The carrier strike group is limited by the lack of Royal Navy escorts (many in the Horn of Africa) and the low availability of F-35B and pilots (because the Eastern Europe Russian invasion of Ukraine), and the Venezuelan side is tempted of prevent its passage on its EEZ. Also, US refuses to support UK in this operation because the low risks and other commercial interests.

Alea jacta est.


Enrique Mas, January 21, 2024.


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SPOILER ALERT !!! Some sources:
















Some sources:




Probably any Type 45 available for this operation in January 2024:





Airports in Guyana (90% very simple and 600-700 meters strips, most not represented in the scenario):


The most infamous Guyana airport:



Three Dutch Reaper UAVs were based in Hato/Curacao from February 2022 to 12 January 2024, not depicted in the scenario because victory conditions:






Iranian Peykaap-class PTG in Venezuelan service, at least four from summer 2023:


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SPOILER ALERT !!! Notes in some platforms:















Notes in some platforms, Blue side:

- F-35B (UK) are not yet equipped with Brimstone 2 missiles and it's not a schedule for its integration, they can attack enemy ships only with Paveway IV at current times its only air-to-ground ordnance. 32 delivered to December 2023/January 2024 (Three in US, for training and tests, and one lost), but with probably only 30 pilots. Also, the Ukrainian crisis should limit its deployment in great numbers on HMS Queen Elizabeth. At this time are equipped with AIM-120C-5 and AIM-132 ASRAAM, AIM-120D are probably two years in the future (The recent Harpoon Annex Commonwealth Aircraft says have AIM-120C-7, but I don't find any other reference, per SIPRI UK has only AIM-120C-5, https://armstrade.sipri.org/armstrade/page/trade_register.php ).

- South Korean Wildcat represents RN Wildcat, and its Spike NLOS missiles represent Martlet or Sea Venom missiles (in service from 2021 the first one and apparently 2023 the second type). Also, apparently RN Wildcats are equipped with torpedoes, but not with ASW sensors!

- Brazilian OPV Amazonas-class represents RN OPV River-class Batch 2.

- HMS Somerset has NSM (Naval Strike Missile) from December 2023.



Notes on some platforms, Red side:

- INTL PC-9 represents Venezuelan Embraer EMB312 Tucano.

- Israeli F-16A represents Venezuelan F-16A (armed with 54xPython 4 acquired from 2004).

- Israeli B200T represents Venezuelan C-16B Metroliner III with EO ball.

- Russian An-12BP represents Venezuelan Chinese derivative Y-8F-200W

- Israeli C-130H represents Venezuelan C-130HV

- Chinese JL-8 (K-8) represents Venezuelan K-8VV.

- Japanese King Air B200T with the correspondent APS-128 radar represents Venezuelan C-212MP.

- Very probably are remaining in Venezuelan service in 2024 only one or two Mariscal Sucre-class frigates.

- US RQ-2A Pioneer UAV represents Iranian Mohajer-2 UAV and derivatives.

- Venezuelan VF-5A were retired 2010, and very probably not in use, but both Military Balance and Flight International's World Air Forces Directory insist six are on use. In fact are added only for flavour.

- Venezuelan Falcon 20C Prometeo (With Elisra AES-210/E ESM gear) were probably deleted near 2020, but keep for sake of playability.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Enrique, very well researched, as usual for you, :)

I did find it hard to resist taking out a few sam installation while waiting for the time to tick past, but a sneaky sub that I never got an ID for was lurking about and detected presence every now and again.

And I love sinking ships with paveway so no Brimstone was fine until I decided to judge that the current deterioration in the situation warranted taking out some of the long range sam. I hope I convince the court marshal board ;)

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7 hours ago, donaldseadog said:

Well, I'm not providing any detail to spoil your fun but I've been playing the Red side and actually having even more fun than playing Blue.

It's still early hours but I think the Britts are in big trouble :D


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Don, I lost the link of your original question!


Oh, yes, I see, good point and good eye!

Just the victory conditions slow me a lot on this scenario built, and probably confused me on this simple point.

The Blue Side on station condition not is accomplished ever, only sometimes, and that after hours and hours of testing a "clean" scenario, almost without Red Side units (file added here):


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  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/27/2024 at 6:08 AM, broncepulido said:

An interesting boat considering the described situation. I would have thought one small naval gun would be of more use than two missiles. 

It's nice and fast though, I'd guess that's essential considering smuggling

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