End of Empire
The Santiago Campaign, July 1898
The Battle of Santiago.
The Spanish American war of 1898 has been regarded traditionally
as a conflict decided from the outcome, given the disparity of resources between
both sides. However, the Spanish defeat was not a foregone conclusion, and
surely the final result could had been different had the Spaniards used its
resources more intelligently. There is also authors that affirm that the Spanish
government provoked a "honorable defeat" that would allow him to
leave the Cuban quagmire without loss of prestige for the monarchy.
The Santiago campaign pitted the army of a declining empire but well armed
against the army of the young republic that, after consolidating its control
of North America, was looking for a "place under the sun" among
a military point of view, the Santiago campaign was a classical example of
a conventional army (The
Spanish) forced to fight both a guerrilla and
a conventional army. If the conventional army concentrates to fight the conventional
enemy, the guerrillas will sever its lines of communication. And it the conventional
army tries to be everywhere to defend the territory against the guerrillas,
the conventional army will destroy him piecemeal. And the East of Cuba was
the area where the Spanish garrison was smaller and the Rebel activity was
higher because of the characteristics of the terrain.
Santiago 1898: The Simulation.
Published in issue 9 of Soldados y Estrategia magazine, Santiago
1898 is a simulation of the campaign that culminated with the surrender of
the Spanish forces of the Santiago de Cuba province.
During the game, the US player has a limited number of turns to land, advance
on to Santiago and take a minumum number of hexes surrounding the city, in
order to force the surrender of the Spanish garrison. It must do so without
suffering too casulties in the process. If the US casualties are too hight,
the US Congress could force the withdrawal of the Cuban expedition. To defend
Santiago from the powerful US 5th Corps and the ubiquitous Cuban guerrillas,
the Spanish player has few but solid units, veterans of three years of counter
guerrilla warfare in a tropical environment. Time is also on his side, because
the Yellow Fever season is looming.
Santiago 1898 Map
[Click on the images to see
a larger file]
* 200 cut and paste counters and markers.
* 1 DIN A3 map
* 1 Play Aid Sheet.
* 10 pages of rules.
* Historical Commentary by Eduardo Moral.