The Oddly Versatile Nation-Egypt

So, I’m doing some of my usual Command scenario editor fooling around, looking at orders of battle, and I see a country that somehow fits the bill for many kinds of Command scenarios without too many forced contrivances. This was confirmed by me playing the community scenario¬†The King’s Hand,¬†which actually features the country in question as the antagonist.

The country in question is Egypt. And I’m astounded at how well it works. Not (just) for the historical Arab-Israeli wars, but for near-contemporary scenarios.

So why Egypt?

  • First, it’s been largely underutilized in existing Command scenarios.
  • Second, it has a large, if problem-prone military.
  • Third, it exists in the Middle East.

So, it can easily be used for a low-end regional conflict like its 2015 airstrikes in Libya. Yet it’s so big that it can serve as a punching bag for a superior opponent that nonetheless needs a few metaphorical punches to bring down. And Egypt’s (over)militarization means that hypothetical force additions can be added without that much suspension of disbelief. And, at least as of now, it’s fairly novel.

I see it this way-as a protagonist, it’s like any other overlooked regional power. As a small scale antagonist, it’s the same. As a large-scale antagonist, it’s like a politically “fresh” equivalent to 1991 Iraq. That its arsenal is a varied legacy of bet-hedging politics (Rafales, rumored MiG-29s, and aid from both sides of the Cold War) only adds to the appeal.

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