New openings for the Modern Variant

The Egyptian Openings

Report on Egypt
Opening Statistics
  • Modern Games in Progress
  • Finished Games
  • Openings List
  • Coastal Fortress
  • Jihad
  • Sinai Defense
  • More Player Comments about Egypt
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    Report on Egypt

    Number of wins:1
    Number of 3-way draws:4
    Number of 4-way draws:0
    Number of 5-way draws:1
    Number of eliminations:12

    Most Used Opening:The Sphinx, Naval Variant10 times
    Second Most Used Opening:Middle-East Trident9 times

    Egypt has had a surprisingly low number of eliminations in Modern. Meanwhile, it also has one of the best records, only surpassed by Italy and Turkey. Perhaps this is the power to play for those who want the greatest chance of playing for into the mid and endgames?

    Unlike Britain, there is a much bigger diversity of openings used for Egypt in Modern. None is a clear-cut popularity winner among players, though to date the Sphinx (Naval V) has had the most success. It has produced 3 draws for Egypt and only one elimination. Time will tell if this was just a fluke or not.

    Opening Statistics

    Here is an updated list of games and openings used by Egypt:

    Modern Games in Progress

    GameOpening UsedYear# SCsPlacement
    SpadesSouthern Steamroller2002161st
    MilanThe Sphinx (Naval V)2013251st tied
    Academy4Desert Lion2009221st tied
    NatoMiddle-East Trident2006152nd
    ModernMediterranean Offensive2000112nd
    Izmir2Desert Lion2001102nd
    OoSouthern Steamroller199992nd
    ThisthatThe Sphinx (Naval V)200492nd
    HamburgMiddle-East Trident2001122nd tied
    FrontlinTunisian Gambit2002143rd
    OdessaMiddle-East Trident2019143rd
    AuroraThe Sphinx (Naval V)200663rd
    Euro96Jihad2006123rd tied
    EricMiddle-East Trident199773rd tied
    Modern5The Sphinx (Naval V)199873rd tied
    ModgameMiddle-East Defense199984th
    ModsquadThe Sphinx (Naval V)200864th
    Modt97aMiddle-East Trident200174th tied
    Norm7Desert Lion200064th tied
    NorwayDesert Lion199664th tied
    Gun1994Mediterranean Offensive200725th
    Norm11Middle-East Defense199965th tied
    Euro97Middle-East Defense 199766th tied
    Spring96The Sphinx (Naval V)199966th tied
    MilosMediterranean Offensive199856th tied
    Taunt3Mediterranean Offensive200167th
    SardMiddle-East Trident200657th
    Modhof96Tunisian Gambit199918th
    Modt97bMiddle-East Defense 199948th tied
    Asterix Le GauloisThe Sphinx (Naval V)199538th tied
    HryvnaMediterranean Gambit199538th tied
    RenardThe Sphinx (Naval V)199538th tied
    DetailsMediterranean Offensive2014-elim.
    GdanskThe Sphinx (Naval V)2010-elim.
    MinskSouthern Steamroller2014-elim.
    PerotSinai Defense2006-elim.

    Finished Games

    GameOpening UsedYear# SCsPlacement
    Euro95Mediterranean OffensiveERT 2023193rd
    BLITZZThe Sphinx (Naval V)BEP 2017153rd
    BuchananThe Sphinx (Naval V)BEPSU 202254th tied
    SevilleMediterranean GambitI 2014112nd
    SpartikuTunisian GambitP 2004112nd
    Day2dayMiddle-East TridentR 200754th
    CairoSouthern SteamrollerSPIT 2010-elim.
    DesireSouthern SteamrollerGSTU 2008-elim.
    DespairCoastal FortressFIR 2012-elim.
    KatrasSouthern SteamrollerBIPT 2012-elim.
    LiarliarSouthern SteamrollerT 2007-elim.
    Lie2meSouthern SteamrollerT 2007-elim.
    LyonMiddle-East TridentBPST 2011-elim.
    RostovDesert LionI 2015-elim.

    Openings List

    You can read about Egyptian openings in my previous article on Egypt, Alexandria Rises Again. Of those, the Turkish Offensive, the Sphinx (Desert V), the Pyramid and the Sea Lion have never been used. Openings not mentioned in the article are given below.

    Coastal Fortress

    Egypt: Army Aswan -> Eastern Sahara.
    Egypt: Fleet Cairo -> Israel.
    Egypt: Fleet Alexandria HOLD.

    This opening defends Egypt's north coast as well as possible while taking Israel and not threatening Turkey. Meanwhile, unless Italy is foregoes Tunisia, Egypt will take Libya with the army and be sure of getting two builds. If Turkey did not open to the Eastern Med, Egypt can launch a supported attack on it in the fall, or even wait til the following spring, when 3 or 4 of its fleets will be bordering it.

    The Coastal Fortress can be countered if Turkey opens to the Eastern Med and supports Israel back to Cairo, or if it moves Adana to Syria and then supports the Eastern Med fleet to Israel. With Turkey having to worry about Ukraine and Russia to its north, this is not likely to happen.


    Egypt: Army Aswan -> Cairo.
    Egypt: Fleet Cairo -> Israel.
    Egypt: Fleet Alexandria -> Eastern Mediterranean.

    "The army does not move west. Why tempt a war with Italy over a center that does Egypt no good since the unit it provides must attend to its defense? With any luck, Italy will use the extra center to build an anti-turkish unit.

    All units will begin toward Turkey. This will not result in drawing Turkish blood unless Ukraine is swooping down from the north, but hopefully Turkey will be distracted enough to allow Egypt to pick up Saudi Arabia in 1996."

    - Rob Serandos

    Sinai Defense

    Egypt: Army Aswan -> Cairo.
    Egypt: Fleet Cairo -> Israel.
    Egypt: Fleet Alexandria -> Libyan Sea.

    Egypt takes Israel, and by moving to Cairo, makes sure it keeps it, while keeping all its SCs bordering the Eastern Med well defended. If Turkey moves to the Eastern Med, Egypt can move back to Alexandria from the Libyan Sea or self-bounce there if Israel is not in danger. Otherwise, Libya can still be taken, letting Egypt grow to five SCs, while sending the army to Sinai on its way to Saudi Arabia. Egypt could also try taking the Eastern Med while moving the army to Israel, though this would probably antagonize Turkey without gaining any clear advantage.

    More Player Comments about Egypt:

    "I read the stuff concerning Egypt. Only two openings in a no-press game seem sensible, the Middle-East Defense (Asw-Cai, Ale-Eme, Cai-Red) and the Turkish Offensive (Asw-Cai, Ale S Cai-Eme, Cai-Eme).

    Basically, if you lose Eastern Med you die. It takes on the same importance as the English Channel or the Black Sea. Going to Libya is nice but since your growth has to come at Turkey's expense you have to go to him. I don't like Cairo-Red, but if it gets to Saudi Arabia, and Iran, then it's not bad. The supported move into Eastern Med guarantees it to you but also telegraphs your move. If you go in without support you may get a Turkey who will look the other way while you slip into Adana."

    - Dean Gordon

    "One thing that bothers me when reading about Egypt is why no one has talked anything about the possibility to open F CAI -> ISR!? Is this not allowed or what? Or is it considered suicide?"

    - Klas Forsberg

    Those openings were not used in the first games and I overlooked them as well. Both the Jihad and the Sinai Defense described above used the Fleet Cairo to Israel move. While Egypt was not too successful to date in the games which used this opening, they seem quite reasonable moves to make.

    "I don't know if you are up to modifying old treatises - such as on Egypt ... I have to admit the nation is a favorite of mine ...

    I was just reading the article and noted that it was said:
    Simon Withers notes that "Egypt has to go through Turkey if Egypt is to get to any SCs" and Stephen Breininger adds: "you know that Egypt and Turkey will be at war soon enough."

    I find that a long-term Turkish / Egyptian alliance offers strength to both nations. It requires a weak and divided Italy to make this possible and expansion via Italy onto the continent and through Spain into the west."

    - Craig Thomson

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    Vincent Mous-Harboesgaard
    ([email protected])

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