In December 1956, paroled rebel Fidel Castro returned to Cuba to launch his revolution with virtually no political base and—after a disastrous initial encounter with government forces—a total of just 12 men. Two years later, through masterful propaganda and factional maneuver, Castro, his brother Raúl, and iconic revolutionary Che Guevara had united disparate guerrillas and exploited Cubans’ deep opposition to their dictator Fulgencio Batista y Zaldívar. Castro’s takeover of the country became a model for Leftist insurgency.
Following up on GMT Games’ Andean Abyss about insurgency in modern Colombia, the next volume in the COIN Series, Cuba Libre, takes 1 to 4 players into the Cuban Revolution. Castro’s “26 July Movement” must expand from its bases in the Sierra Maestra mountains to fight its way to Havana. Meanwhile, anti-communist student groups, urban guerrillas, and expatriates try to de-stabilize the Batista regime from inside and out, while trying not to pave the way for a new dictatorship under Castro. Batista’s Government must maintain steam to counter the twin insurgency, while managing two benefactors: its fragile US Alliance and its corrupting Syndicate skim. And in the midst of the turmoil, Meyer Lansky and his Syndicate bosses will jockey to keep their Cuban gangster paradise alive.
Cuba Libre (English first edition, third printing) will be easy to learn for Andean Abyss players—both volumes share the same innovative Series: COIN (GMT) system. Like Volume I, Cuba Libre is equally playable solitaire or by multiple players up to 4—and with a shorter time to completion than Andean Abyss. But Cuba Libre’s situation and strategic challenges will be new. A deck of 48 fresh events brings 1950s Cuba to life and includes …
• The Twelve: The first wave’s escape to the Sierra Maestra—inspirational legend or harbinger of defeat?
• El Che and Raúl: Brilliant in the field, or bungling hostage-takers?
• Operation Fisherman: Can the rebels pull off a second invasion?
• General Strike: Urban disruption or rebel embarrassment?
• Radio Rebelde: Are the masses tuning in, or just the Army direction finders?
• Pact of Caracas: Can the rebels unite?
• Armored Cars: Mobile striking power, but in whose hands?
• Rolando Masferrer: Brutal pro-government tactics—will they help or hurt?
• Fat Butcher: Can the Mob’s enforcer protect its casinos?
• Sinatra: Frankie’s Havana show a boom or bust, and who collects?
… and much more.
*Cover art does not reflect version.