Portuguese Empire Crumbles

Portuguese Empire CrumblesPortuguese Empire Crumbles


Portugal was the last European power to abandon her major colonial possessions in Africa. While admitted to NATO, Portugal was ruled by dictatorship under Antonio Salazar, who felt that colonial possessions would preserve Portugal’s place in the community of nations. Nevertheless, the repression of nationalist insurgencies brought criticism both from newly independent nations, as well as Portugal’s NATO allies. Finally, with a democratic government in place, Portugal renounced its claims. Shortly thereafter, Portugal’s former colonies of Angola and Mozambique descended into civil war and became major flash points for East and West on the continent of Africa.

Time: Mid War
Side: USSR
Ops: 2
Removed after event: Yes


If you hadn’t drawn De-Stalinization or Decolonization, then Portuguese Empire Crumbles and South African Unrest are your primary non-coup ways to get into Africa.  The event can also sometimes flip Angola, but most US players will overcontrol 1-stability battlegrounds anyway (so you can’t just flip it with a 3 Ops).  And if you’re under Red Purge, the event’s text suddenly looks a lot better when the alternative is just 1 Op.

Outside of these situations I rarely play Portuguese Empire Crumbles for the event.  It’s the Angola influence that really matters, and if you needed 2 influence there you could just use the card’s Ops and keep the event in the deck.


Drawing Portuguese Empire Crumbles is not much of a problem.  The 2 Ops can easily be used to repair Angola, and who really cares about SE African States.  If the USSR isn’t in Africa, then I will consider spacing it, but if that’s the case then you should also be able to use the card’s Ops and control of Zaire/South Africa/Botswana to realign the Angola influence out.

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10 Responses to Portuguese Empire Crumbles

  1. Anonymous says:

    There´s two “isn´t” at the end which confuses the point.

  2. John says:

    “Outside of these situations I rarely play Portuguese Empire Crumbles for the Ops.”

    Did you mean the event?

  3. ddddddd says:

    Otherwise it’s a good post, though! This is an annoyance for whoever draws it. As USSR, I’d always rather that the US had been forced to play it, and as US I’d always rather the USSR had it and just played it for two Ops as opposed to giving him the influence in Africa. Not much to it other than what’s written above!

  4. JGH says:

    I think one shouldn’t just ignore the fact that SE african state is an open door to some cheap (and often more stable) countries in Eastern Africa. Most players hesitate to coup in Eastern Africa since the countries are so far away from BGs, meaning that those countries you take might allow you to avoid a domination scoring by country count. Compared to taking Cameroon, which is a critical Africa country for it’s realign possibility, the four countries south of Ethiopia can make a real difference come scoring and are very, very rarely coup’ed.

    Furthermore, not only does it give you the two Angola influence, but, in a critical scoring situation, you’re getting one extra country, and re-gaining the initiative. Also, SE African states also gives you access to Zimbabwe, which is a critical country for Zaire realignments (and often is the country that makes the +1 difference)

    In sum, I’ll play it for the event in Africa if in mid-war or late-war before Africa scoring unless I have Africa locked down tight (my usual test is whether I control Cameroon, Zaire, Angola, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa, which is usually enough to realign all successful coups)

    (As a note: Theory, I’ve been reading your site for a while, and, really, you’re doing a wonderful job. Thanks.)

    • ddddddd says:

      Good point! Last game I played, I had Africa Domination locked down, and my opponent used this (or SA Unrest) to access lots of cheap non BGs, which nearly denied me a domination. (I got a lucky realignment roll and took control instead, which decided the whole game).

  5. Ioan76_TM says:

    In situations when Angola is overcontrolled by me or controlled already by USSR player I used this card when DEFCON is on 2 as an event and after used its OPs to coup SE African states in order to fulfill my MilOps.
    Maybe not the best possible usage – but as an ideea … 🙂

  6. Jack Rudd says:

    Sometimes worth playing this for the event as the USSR if your opponent is Quagmired, and you can follow up with Africa Scoring for Domination. (If he’s not Quagmired, it’s not so hot, because he’s got a Coup target in SE African States.)

  7. Anonymous says:

    Another possible use as the US is getting a non-BG country to be able to coup for Mil Ops. Maybe it’s just our group, but the USSR players generally wait as long as possible to take non-BG’s.

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