When Brazil invaded Uruguay in 1864, no one could have foreseen that this act would spark the largest conflict in the history of South America. Paraguay entered the war in defense of Uruguay while Argentina allied with Brazil. Uruguay itself, once conquered, switched sides and declared war on Paraguay. Thus was born the Triple Alliance. Despite having a small population, little territory, and few resources, the Paraguayans fought with unexpected tenacity.
First, they embarked on daring offensives, then they were forced to fight massive defensive battles, taking an unsustainable number of losses. After seven years of arduous fighting, the Paraguayan army participated in its last battle at Cerro Corá, the only town left to be conquered by the Alliance. At the last stage of that desperate battle, Paraguayan President Solano López committed suicide while cornered by Brazilian soldiers. Material and human losses were astronomical on both sides. It is said that more than 90% of the male population in Paraguay died during that colossal war. Even the victorious countries were brought to the brink of exhaustion – to such an extent that Brazil is, to this day, still in debt.
Surprisingly, this war has never been represented in a game of its own. It is high time to bring this conflict to the forefront of the wargaming scene, not only so that fans of the genre can have the chance to recreate this conflict and explore different strategies, but also so that the general public can become more informed about such an important historical event in a simple way. For this reason, War of the Triple Alliance prides itself on two basic principles: historical depth and simple rules.
The War of the Triple Alliance confronts the players with the dilemmas faced by the generals of the opposing sides. Paraguay starts with a strong army that can advance into Argentine and Brazilian territory, but does not have enough replacements to sustain a war of attrition. The allies (Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay) must contain the Paraguayan onslaught and gain time by giving as little ground as possible, because as time goes by their armies will be more and more numerous, and they will be able to present battle.
There is a moment when the strategy for both sides change completely: when the allied player accumulates enough troops to outnumber the Paraguayans, he begins a race to conquer Asunción and other important cities before the end of the game, while the Paraguayan player will try to slow down his advance or perhaps even stop it by relying on the fortifications that protect the ascent up the river.
The game incorporates cards to make room for events that, while not strictly military, influenced the course of the war. Players must decide whether to gain immediate benefits in the form of new combat units, or whether to plan their strategy for the long term and prefer to put victory point cards into play or to modify the duration of the game. This increases the variability and excitement of the game, as well as enriching it by adding historical depth. Players have a more detailed explanation of card events in the rulebook.
The winner of the game will be the one who economizes his forces better, uses his cards better and has been able to manage the timing of the game more wisely.
The War of the Triple Alliance is a perfect game to enter the world of wargames. The rules are simple and intuitive, specifically designed to avoid tedious intermissions and the battles are resolved in a patterned way so that in each round the players are clear about their options. However, this apparent simplicity does not prevent players from having to make decisions on the edge, and experienced players will find the game very challenging: will the Paraguayan player launch himself southwards, trying to reach the strategic cities of Brazil or Argentina, or will he prefer to send his armies to Mato Grosso in the north, with the aim of completely eliminating a front and getting a good handful of cards that will shorten the game in his favor? Likewise, the Allied player has many decisions to make: Will he have enough temperance to avoid entering a decisive battle before accumulating enough troops? Will he advance along the most direct path to Asunción, storming the fearsome fortifications on the Paraguay River, or will he prefer to bypass them and begin a long campaign of conquest?
- 1 double sided (English/ Spanish) 25.6” x 19.6” game board (mounted)
- 54 cards
- 2 starting cards
- 73 Paraguayan unit counters (including leaders)
- 89 Allied unit counters (including leaders)
- 4 Capital markers
- 3 fortress markers
- 4 victory point markers
- 54 control markers
- 3 red dice, 2 green dice, 2 blue dice
- 1 Battlefield Display
- 1 Rulebook English
- 1 Rulebook Spanish
- 1 Playbook English
- 1 Playbook Spanish
- It only takes 2 hours to recreate this massive conflict.
- Simple rules make the game’s concepts easy to grasp for all types of players.
- The game’s card selection system forces each player to make interesting choices.
- Quick and intense games with special attention paid to the details of the map and illustrations of the armies.
- Historical accuracy. Includes a playbook that provides a detailed summary of the outbreak of the war, how it developed, and its aftermath.
- Players Min.
- Players Max.
- Playing Time
- 90 min
- Full edition bilingual in English and Spanish. All the components are in both languages.