Suez Crisis

Suez CrisisSuez Crisis


An embarrassment among allies, the Suez Crisis ended any remaining doubt that the old system of Great Power imperialism was dead. Threatened by Nasser’s nationalization of the Suez Canal, Israel, France and the United Kingdom conspired to alter Egyptian policy at bayonet point. They failed to appreciate Eisenhower’s aggravation at their unannounced initiative. Though initially militarily successful, the three powers were compelled to withdraw under American pressure.

Time: Early War
Side: USSR
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes


One of the five great Turn 1 USSR headlines.  If you combine it with a successful Iran coup, then you have eliminated the US from the Middle East entirely, and they will have a very difficult time getting back in until the Mid War.  I will therefore almost always headline Suez Crisis on Turn 1 if I draw it, even ahead of Red Scare/Purge.

After your Iran coup on AR1, if the US doesn’t expand out of Israel, then you can use Suez Crisis on AR2 for the same effect.  A good US player will make sure to expand into Lebanon or Jordan quickly, however, and then Suez Crisis is not that great of an event.

On later turns, you can headline Suez as a pseudo-De Gaulle or Socialist Governments.  You can follow up a Suez Crisis headline with any number of plays: taking over France, playing Special Relationship without triggering it, or scoring Europe on undeservedly advantageous terms.  It is otherwise just a 3 Ops card.


This is rarely a problem card, even if you are under Red Scare.  Although it removes 4 influence and you only have 3 Ops to repair the damage, 3 Ops are usually more than enough to restore the important influence:

  • Israel is no big deal, so long as you expand out of Israel first.  Since you probably aren’t interested in taking Israel in the Early War, the only threat is losing access in the Middle East.
  • The UK is relevant only for European domination and Special Relationship.  (Suez Crisis is in fact the main reason you’d ever lose influence in the UK.)  Accordingly I will stick a Marshall Plan influence into the UK, and if I sense that Special Relationship will be triggered I will try to recontrol the UK eventually.  But otherwise you can safely ignore the loss of influence in the UK until you have Ops to spare.
  • France is hopefully empty when you play this card.  If it isn’t, since the other countries are not that important, you can use the 3 Ops of this card to repair the 2-influence damage done in France.

Depending on the situation, Suez Crisis may sometimes be an empty Action Round, but even if it is I will always play it for Ops rather then sending it to Space.  Being able to get it out of the deck is much preferable to allowing the USSR the possibility of headline shenanigans.

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4 Responses to Suez Crisis

  1. Pingback: Strategy Corner: Opening Moves in Twilight Struggle - Muskegon Area Gamers

  2. pakore says:

    It says that it is one of the 5 great USSR turn 1 headlines but in it says ” Red Scare/Purge, Suez Crisis, Arab-Israeli War, Socialist Governments, and Vietnam Revolts”. Just saying :).

  3. D says:

    Assuming the US is playing with extra starting influence, and is not holding Suez or Arab War in starting hand, do you think there is merit in placing 1 starting influence in Turkey for ME access in anticipation of a USSR anti-ME headline? It’s also a Mediterranean country of course so the influence is somewhat useful even if the worst doesn’t happen – you’d likely want to play into Turkey at some point anyway. And you could use the extra starting influence to place the vital 3rd influence in Italy that would otherwise be put there – achieving the same effect as if the extra influence were directly spent in Turkey.

    Spending all of your extra starting ops in Iran or Italy means you are more likely to have your entire advantage wiped out in 1 coup (perhaps if US+3 and no Suez or Arab in starting hand then extra influence could be 2 in Iran 1 in Turkey, or 1 Iran, 1 Italy and 1 Turkey).

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