The Iron Lady

The Iron Lady

1979 – 1990

In many ways presaging the “Reagan revolution” in the United States, Margaret Thatcher led a rejuvenation of the conservative movement in the United Kingdom. An ardent anti-communist, Thatcher received the moniker “Iron Lady” from the Soviet newspaper, “The Red Star.” Thatcher provided the perfect partner for Ronald Reagan, and together, they renewed the “special relationship” that formed the lynchpin of the post-war Atlantic Alliance. Thatcher’s finest moment may have been her vigorous defense of Britain’s colonial outpost in the Falkland Islands. The military junta ruling Argentina launched an invasion of what they referred to as the Malvinas Islands. In a sharp, short military action, the UK expelled the Argentinian forces, and restored some small luster to Britain’s former imperial pretensions. Thatcher reigned through the close of the Cold War, and is Britain’s longest serving prime minister.

Time: Late War
Side: US
Ops: 3
Removed after event: Yes


Along with Five Year Plan and Duck and Cover, a great US event for the USSR.  The Iron Lady is more explicitly and unconditionally favorable to the USSR, and a great choice for an AR1 Argentina coup.  Even if you have no intention of attacking Argentina, it’s a good source of initiative by creating a small threat for the US while you do something else with the 3 Ops.  The VP loss is minimal, the UK influence loss is laughable, and the only real consequence is that you can’t play Socialist Governments any more.  Which is unfortunate (since a Socialist Governments headline + AR1 Europe Scoring remains one of the best sources of VP for the USSR), but it’s a speculative cost, and at least you have Pershing II Deployed to substitute in its place.

Rules clarification: you may not trigger The Iron Lady, then play influence adjacent to Argentina if you did not previously have access to those countries.  This is because the influence placement rules restrict you to placing influence in countries adjacent to your existing influence at the beginning of the Action Round.


Better known in our gaming group as “Thatcher the Betrayer”, there is very little point to playing The Iron Lady for the event.  The usual caveats about being at +19 or -19 apply, but even in the Late War, it is very dubious indeed to trade 3 Ops and potential loss of a critical battleground for 1 VP, a speculative Socialist Governments block, and the elimination of USSR UK influence (usually 0).

If the USSR already controls Argentina, then the Socialist Governments block / 1 VP begins to look a little more attractive, but on the whole I don’t think I’ve ever seen the US play this for the event.

This entry was posted in Late War, US Events and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to The Iron Lady

  1. Stephen says:

    I noticed while playing online I couldn’t play this as a Soviet then place influence in Argentina (where I had none, or was neighboring). The statement above says that what the rules say. But what about the exception:
    6.1.1 Influence markers are placed one at a time. However, all
    markers must be placed with, or adjacent to, friendly markers that
    were in place at the start of the phasing player’s Action Round.
    Exception: markers placed when required by an Event are not
    subject to this restriction, unless specifically stated otherwise on
    the card
    — Wouldn’t this card fall into the exception? It is not stated in the card.

  2. Richard says:

    Ding dong, the witch is dead.

  3. Zosete says:

    6.1.1 “influence at the beginning of the AR” seems to apply only to adjacent countries and not countries with influence markers themselves. Even if this was a deliberate misread of the rules, it still conflicts with another cases. What would you do here? It’s the same question in reversal:

  4. This card is made slightly better if you are in with a shout of controlling Europe and have the scoring card.

  5. haytil says:

    Small addendum: Your description explains that the USSR cannot trigger The Iron Lady and then play influence adjacent to Argentina if they did not previously have access to those countries. However, as it’s worded, it’s implied by your description that this does not necessarily apply to Argentina itself (as you only mention adjacent countries).

    So, to be clear, the USSR cannot also use this event to flip Argentina (triggering the event, then placing 3 influence in Argentina), unless they already had influence in or adjacent to Argentina.

  6. Johannes says:

    I recently played a game as USSR where I somehow got control over UK relatively early in the game (with 7/2), which helped me gain a foot in canada and control NORAD. If it had come to the Late War, this would’ve been devastating.

    • Michael Franck says:

      The Soviets never control NORAD even if they somehow get control of Canada. The NORAD card is unbelievably clear: “If the US controls Canada, the US may…”

    • Chipboard says:

      Regardless, controlling the UK as USSR is an astonishing waste of resources. Drop one in to access Canada, sure, but there are many better places those other 6 ops could’ve been used.

  7. “you may not trigger The Iron Lady, then play influence adjacent to Argentina if you did not previously have access to those countries”

    I’ve seen people do exactly that on Steam and I lost Argentina this way because I didn’t bother to overprotect given what I read on here.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s