Cuba: The Splendid Little War

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Quick Overview

Two-player simulation of the third War of Cuban Independence (1895-1898).

Front cover

  • Front cover
  • Back cover
  • Map
  • Counters (front)
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Details

Named one of the Top Ten Games of All Time by iSlaytheDragon's Jason Meyer!

Based on a design by VPG first-timer Javier Garcia de Gabiola, Cuba: The Splendid Little War puts you in the shoes of either the Spanish Empire, fighting to retain your dominion over Cuba, or the rebellious Cubans, looking to throw off the shackles of Spanish dominion. Lurking in the background is a rough-and-ready United States, pondering whether or not to intervene. If Hearst and his newspapers have their way, they will!

While US intervention means the odds fall in favor of the Cubans, if US entry occurs, the best the rebels can do is achieve a solid draw – they've traded one hegemony for another. As such, the Spanish player may find that the surest way to avoid defeat is to encourage a US intervention! Deciding how close to the line to go with US intervention, and if or when to cross that line, is just one factor both players need to be mindful of throughout the game.

As the Spanish player, can you maintain control of the island and keep the economy going? Or, as the Cubans, can you stop the Spanish efforts and gain your independence? Play Cuba: The Splendid Little War and find out!

Polybag Game Components:


•   One 12-page, full-color Rulebook
•   One 11" x 17" cardstock game map
•   One Set-up card and seven History cards
•   67 Action cards
•   39 information markers
•   43 unit pieces
•   One two-sided player aid

What's In The Box?:


•   One 12-page, full-color Rulebook
•   One 11" x 17" cardstock game map
•   One Set-up card and seven History cards
•   67 Action cards
•   39 information markers
•   43 unit pieces
•   One two-sided player aid
•   Four six-sided dice
•   One 11" x 17" mounted, jigsaw-cut game map
•   One bright red, 9" x 11 7/8" Deluxe cardboard VPG game box
•   One beautiful box cover sleeve
•   One "Wipes-A-Lot" napkin
•   One charcoal desiccant packet

Credits:


Game Design and Historical Notes: Javier Garcia de Gabiola
Docs & Development: Bryan Armor, Kevin Fortuna, Eric Nyquist
Map Art: Tim Allen
Cover Art: Brett Mitchell
Graphic Design: Tim Allen, Bryan Armor
Playtesting: Mark Goss, Robert Nielsen, Nik Knight, Robert Long
Proofreading: Mark Goss, Robert Nielsen, Rick Partin, Ian Wakeham, Karen Wolterman

Game Resources

(Rules require a PDF viewer installed in your browser, or right-click to download and open with a PDF reader)

Game Data

Number of Players 2
Age 13+
Playing Time Approximately 120 minutes
Difficulty 5
Solitaire Suitability 6
Designer Javier Garcia de Gabiola
Developer Kevin Fortuna

Reviews

VPG’s Other Side of the Story by Mister Nizz (Third Point of Singularity)
I really like this design – it’s a challenge to play either side and I’d say it’s relatively balanced. It plays fast, has several elegant elements that play off against each other well and most importantly there’s more than one way to win. Hard core wargamers might find it a little simple for their tastes – I wouldn’t. Cuba: A Splendid Little War is more of a history game that involves war than a wargame, but I’m glad it was published – it’s a real pleasure to discover a game on a somewhat obscure historical subject with so much historical flavor. I strongly recommend Cuba: A Splendid Little War.
We’re Havana Good Time by Jason Meyers (iSlaytheDragon)
Cuba: The Splendid Little War is more than a splendid little title. A war game not just for hardcore armchair generals, players get to dabble in the conflict’s political, economic, and even cultural milieus. It’s appropriately detailed to immerse you in its theme, but doesn’t bog you down in a quagmire of minutiae. It’s historically meticulous, without constraining you to follow a strict chronological formula. With great variety, immense replayability, and an interesting mix of luck and strategy, Cuba is superbly engrossing, yet still playable within a couple of hours or less – that all adds up to a splendid little session of gaming. (9/10)
Cuba: The Splendid Little War by Doug Adams (BoardGameGeek)
The game has a breezy, seat-of-the-pants, feel to it. I can see this playing out quite differently from game to game, mainly due to the deck of cards. Some appear to be game shakers, which can really mix things up. A good thing I think, and considering you should be able to get through a game in 90 minutes, all the better.

A splendid little game.
With the Pearl of the Antilles in the Balance by Jeff McAleer (The Gaming Gang)
I like the design because each time you play, the experience is sure to be different; a plan of action which leads to victory in one game may turn out to be completely ineffective the next. C:TSLW also provides a good historical feel without resorting to the usual design trappings which normally leaves a predetermined, plotted taste in one’s mouth.

For gamers looking for a title on a subject which hasn’t been gamed to death, provides a different situation every time you play, and can handle a good deal of randomness tossed into the mix, Cuba: The Splendid Little War is a solid game to add to your collection. (8.7/10)