Algeria is a game simulating the conflict between the Front de Liberation Nationale (FLN) Arab nationalist guerrillas and the French government from 1954 to 1962. During the game, the FLN Player tries to erode the authority of the French colonial authorities and replace their governing structures with his own, to the point that Algeria makes the transition to national independence.
The game contains the following: 140 counters, one 17x22" area movement map of Algeria and area, these rules, and several pages of Charts and Tables. You will also need several six-sided dice. In the game, the abbreviation '?d6' refers to the sum of the roll of one or more dice, where ? is the number to roll, and DRM means Die Roll Modifier: add or subtract the required amount to the die or dice rolled. Unless otherwise stated, all DRM are cumulative.
Most of the 140 counters in the game represent small or large military or paramilitary formations. Units are also differentiated between static (FLN Fronts and Government Police: represented by icons) and mobile (FLN Cadres, Bands and Faileks, all Government regular, elite and Algerian units: represented by the "box" NATO symbology system) types. Mobile units have their Evasion (for FLN) or Contact (for Government) rating printed to the left of the symbol box, while the Firepower rating is printed underneath the symbol box. Static units have one number, which is their Firepower and Contact or Evasion rating, printed underneath their icon. See the Unit Identification Table for more details.
The map is an abstracted representation of Algeria, divided into areas. Urban areas (large cities) are named; all non-urban areas have the name of a large town and a number code to correspond with the wilaya or zone system the FLN command structure used (so area V-1 is the first sector in wilaya 5). Each area has a set of boxes to hold units.
There are several other non-area areas shown on the map:
Here are explanations of several administrative and political concepts represented in the game:
PSLs are measured in Political Support Points (PSP) and change constantly during the course of the game depending on events. Consult the PSL Adjustments Summary in the Charts and Tables to see why, and when, and by how much. The highest level is 99 and the lowest is 0. If either player's PSL reaches 0 at any point in the game, he is deemed to have reached the point of political collapse for his side and the game ends (historically, this was in early 1962 when the two sides reached a ceasefire and plan for Algerian independence under the Evian Accords). See 12.0.
Players begin by picking a scenario to play (1954, 1958, or 1960). They then set up units and set markers as directed; play begins with the Random Events Phase of the first turn.
Each turn represents an indeterminate period of time: usually several months or more. Each turn, the Sequence of Play is as follows:
The structure of the rules follows this scheme.
One player (doesn't matter who) rolls 1d6 twice in succession and treats the first roll as the 'tens' number, and the second as the 'ones' (so a roll of 4 followed by a 6 would mean random event 46). He consults the Random Events Table and applies the result as directed.
In this phase, the FLN player gathers AP from various sources, and expends some of them to Build and Augment his units. The Government player expends PSP to mobilize and/or activate static or mobile units. The Government player goes first in this phase: however, to save time and by mutual agreement it may be conducted simultaneously.
The FLN player gets AP from several sources:
The FLN player may build new Cadres or Bands by spending the AP cost and placing them in the UG box of any area which contains a non-Neutralized Front (note that this requires the presence of a Front). New units may be given missions in the Operations Phase that turn. The FLN player may also Convert a Cadre to a Front or Band, or a Band to a Failek, by spending the indicated cost in AP and swapping the unit for the old. Fronts may not be created in Remote areas (not enough people) and there may be only one Front per area. Fronts may also convert themselves to Cadres at no cost, but no recovery of AP either. A newly converted Front will allow new Cadres or Bands to be built there in the same Reinforcement Phase.
The Government player pays a varying amount of PSP to enter new units from those not currently on the map, to activate units that are already there, and to acquire greater numbers of combat assets, represented by Points (Air, Helicopter, and Naval). See the Mobilization / Activation Table (round up any odd totals of PSP).
Newly mobilized mobile units are placed in the OPS box of any Area, and may be given missions that turn. They do not have to be separately activated (6.32). Newly mobilized Police units are placed in the PTL box of any Area. The Government player may also remove Police units in this Phase (though he does not recover any PSP) and may immediately re-mobilize them (for the stated cost in PSP) in another Area. New Points are recorded on the Record Track.
French mobile units and the Border Zone Track have to be Activated each turn in order for them to conduct missions in the Operations Phase or to interfere with FLN operations. If the Government player does not pay the activation cost for a given unit, it is placed in the OC box of its current area. A unit that was mobilized just this turn does not also have to be activated.
The Government player will progressively mobilize the Border Zone during the game. He initially mobilizes the Border Zone by paying the indicated PSP cost and placing the Status marker on the "0" box of the Track. Each turn thereafter he may pay additional PSP to improve the DRM that will apply against FLN units attempting to Move across the border with Morocco or Tunisia.
The Government player must also pay each turn to activate the Border Zone. If he does not pay the activation cost for the Border Zone, the Status marker is flipped over to show "Inactive". If the Border Zone is not activated, its DRM will not apply to FLN units moving across the international border.
Both players decide what they will do during the upcoming Operations Phase. The Government player goes first.
In the Operations Phase players can conduct any mission except Patrol. At the beginning of the Phase, and after any player performs a mission, the FLN player may:
When the Government player is told to perform a mission, or if the FLN player passes, the Government player may either perform a mission or pass. If both players pass in succession, start the Turn Interphase. (Note: the Government player always has a chance to React (9.25) to a FLN player mission, and only that mission, just after the FLN player implements the result from that mission and before the players move on to any other mission.)
Procedures and requirements for different missions are explained below. Not all missions are available to all players. In general, when a player has an opportunity to conduct a mission, the player:
See chart for cost in AP and the number/type of units needed to perform the mission.
The FLN player designates the moving unit and rolls on the Mission Success Table. If the unit is not eliminated by the roll on the Table, it is placed in the OC box of the area moved to. (Note that the die roll is modified by the number of Government units on Patrol in the area moved to, not from. Also, if the Government player has not activated the Border Zone that turn, its DRM will not apply to FLN units attempting to move across the border with Morocco or Tunisia.)
To conduct the mission, the FLN may 'fire' on the Combat Results Table (CRT) at any 1 Government unit (mobile or static) in the same area. The FLN player designates the unit(s) to do the mission and rolls on the CRT. The Government unit fired upon may fire back at HALF its Firepower Rating (round fractions up). If the FLN unit(s) survived the return fire, place it in the Operations Completed (OC) box.
Note that one or both player's PSLs will be affected by units being hit, reduced or eliminated; see the PSL Adjustments Summary. Also note that Government units are never eliminated, only potentially Neutralized.
See chart for cost in PSP and the number/type of units needed to perform the mission.
Airmobilized units (see 11.12) may travel any distance to join or conduct a Flush, but only if one or both of the two conditions above are satisfied.
Total the Contact Ratings of Government units participating in the mission. The Government player rolls to contact each FLN unit that is currently in the OPS or OC boxes by rolling equal to or less than this number, moving contacted units to one side. (DRM: +1 if target unit has an Evasion rating higher than the total Contact ratings involved, or Flush is in a Remote area, or if a Terror marker is present; -1 if Flush is in an Urban area). Contacted FLN units then fire on the Combat Results Table, and the Government units return fire. After taking any combat results, all remaining involved units are placed in the OC box.
The Government player designates which mobile units in the OPS or PTL box are Reacting. Multiple units may be selected for the mission if and only if:
Airmobilized units (see 11.12) may travel any distance to join or conduct a React, but only if one or both of the two conditions above are satisfied.
The FLN unit or units that conducted the mission are automatically Contacted, but the FLN player has a chance to evade to the UG box. Units roll 1d6 individually, and move to the UG box if they roll equal to or less than their Evasion Rating. Units that did not evade then fire on the Combat Results Table, and the Government units return fire. After taking any combat results, all remaining involved units are placed in the OC box.
This represents moving large numbers of peasants out of their traditional villages and into government-controlled 'strategic hamlets' where they can be more easily controlled. This does clear portions of the countryside, thus denying the FLN player a source of supplies and recruits, but it also creates a logistical, economic and political strain as the displaced people must be supported in the camps or seek shelter in the larger towns and cities. Therefore, the Government player incurs a PSL penalty each turn afterwards. Historically, the French resettled over 2 million people, almost a quarter of the Muslim population of Algeria.
During the Turn Interphase, the following events occur in sequence:
Both players examine each area on the map and determine which areas are Controlled and which are Contested. Control of an area is adjudged anew each turn as follows: 3 Control Points for each FLN Front or Dispersed mode French division, and 1 point for each other unit present in an area. Government units do not have to be activated. Neutralized units do not count.
If one side has twice as many or more Control Points than the other, then it gets Control and an appropriate marker is placed in the area. If one side has less than twice as many Points, take the difference of the two totals. Both sides then roll 1d6 trying to get equal to or less than that number. If one side succeeds, then he gets Control. If both or neither succeed, then the area remains Contested and no marker is placed. A side that gets Control of an area keeps it until the beginning of the next Control/Depreciation Phase.
Example: in Mostaganem the FLN has 1 Front and 2 Cadres. The Government has 1 Police and 2 French Army brigades. Control Point totals are therefore 5 and 3 respectively, and the difference is 2. Both sides roll 1d6 trying to score 2 or less.
The Government player must roll to see if any of his Air or Helicopter points are lost due to depreciation (roll once for each category, against the Maximum value for each type of point), then the FLN player rolls for depreciation of any unused AP he may have had left over after the Operations Phase. (This represents inertia, pilfering, losses in transit, capture, sabotage, wear and tear on equipment, and apathy on the part of the population - all the things Clausewitz termed 'friction').
Example: if the FLN player had 17 AP squirreled away, the Loss Number is 4. He will lose 4 AP if he rolls this number or less on 1d6.
All neutralized units may attempt to Recover by rolling individually on the Recovery Table. Terrorized areas may possibly spontaneously recover in this Segment also (the Government player makes the rolls to check if this happens).
The FLN player returns all his units in a given area to its UG box. The Government player returns all his mobile units in a given area from the OC or PTL boxes to its OPS box. The Government player flips all his Airmobilized units (11.1) back to their front sides and resets his Air and Helicopter Points Available markers to the same boxes as his Air and Helicopter Maximum markers.
First, the Government player must check for a coup d'etat if his PSL is less than 30 (see 11.4). Then both sides adjust their PSL as directed in the PSL Adjustments Summary for this Phase.
The Government player may mobilize Air and Helicopter Points. Each point represents a varying number of aircraft of various types. He keeps track of these points on the Record Track: each point mobilized adds one to the Air (or Helicopter) Point Maximum. The Air (or Helicopter) Point Available marker will help him to remember how many points have not been used so far in the turn.
An Air Point may be used any time the Government player rolls on the Combat Results Table. Each Air Point used adds +1d6 to the total Firepower rating of the Government units firing. Any number of Air Points (up to the amount available) may be used in one combat, but once used they are not recovered until the Redeployment Segment. Air Points cannot be used in Urban areas.
Helicopter Points may be used to 'airmobilize' mobile units. One point may airmobilize one Elite brigade; two will airmobilize a regular French or Algerian infantry brigade; divisions may not be airmobilized. The point or points can be 'attached' to the unit at any time during the turn (so reducing the 'Helo Pts Aval' marker on the Record Track), and they 'stay' with the airmobilized unit until the Redeployment Segment. Flip the unit over to show its "HELO" side (and note its Contact rating has gone up!).
An airmobilized unit may travel any distance to participate in a Flush or React Mission if it is an Elite unit, or if a Division in either mode is present in the area where the mission is occurring.
Under normal circumstances, units of both players may not enter other countries except as noted below.
These two countries are given their independence from France in a random event that occurs during the game (or this will occur some time in the first 6 turns, if using optional rules). When these countries are granted independence, both the FLN and Government PSL are raised by 2d6 (players roll separately, and this happens only once). From that point forward:
No side ever actually controls France. The Government player may not deploy units to France (although that is technically where his units are coming from) except the OAS marker, if he controls it. The FLN player may maintain a maximum of 1 Cadre marker in France (he may place it there in the Deployment Phase, from any Area where there is a Front unit not considered an Urban area so any PSP gained or lost in the mission are not doubled), where it may perform 1 Propaganda mission per turn (clarification: though there are lots of cafes there, France is not considered an Urban area so any PSP gained or lost are not doubled). The Government player may not React to this mission. In the Deployment Phase, the Cadre unit may be deployed to any Area where there is a Front unit.
The Organization d'Armee Secrete (OAS) was a terrorist organization made up of right-wing white Algerian colonists, army deserters, and other hard cases. The OAS is automatically activated in the Reinforcement Phase of any turn when the Government PSL is 30 or less. When this event occurs, roll one die to see who controls it: on a 1-3 the FLN player, on a 4-6 the Government. In subsequent Random Events Phases, roll to see who controls the OAS for that turn. There is a Government PSP penalty applied at the end of the turn, depending on where the OAS is placed.
In the Reinforcement Phase, the controlling player places the OAS marker in any urban area of Algeria or in France.
The OAS marker may be removed in the Reinforcement Phase of any turn when the Government PSL is more than 70. This is the only way to get rid of it: however, it will reappear if the Government PSL goes below 30 at a later time.
The Government player will lose PSP in the Final PSL Adjustment Segment of each turn, depending on where the OAS is located at the time. See the PSL Adjustments Summary.
One of the perils of a low Government PSL is the chance that the elite units in the French Army will intervene in domestic politics, in hopes of installing a regime more amenable to their wishes. If, at the beginning of the Final PSL Adjustment Segment of a turn, the Government PSL is less than 30, the Army may attempt a coup. The Government player must roll 1d6 and there is an attempted coup on an adjusted "6". The Government player then rolls 2d6 on the Coup Table and applies the result. If the OAS marker is currently in France, there is a +1 DRM to both rolls. If the result requires the Government player to remove Elite units, they must be removed from the game immediately and completely (they have been disbanded and may not be rebuilt). He chooses which ones to remove from among those that are already mobilized and on the map; there is no additional penalty if the Coup Table result calls for more elite units to be removed than are actually available.
Terror markers may be placed in areas as a side-effect of Raid, Suppression and Resettlement Missions. There may be only 1 Terror marker in an area at a time. When a Terror marker is in an Area, it generally makes things more difficult for either side: the FLN player gets fewer AP from an area in the Reinforcement Phase, and there are unfavorable DRM for Propaganda, Strike, Flush and Intelligence missions. Terrorized areas may recover as a result of successful Civil Affairs missions (9.25), or in the Recovery Segment (see the Recovery Table).
The Government player will lose 1 PSP in the Final PSL Adjustment Segment of each turn for each terrorized Area, no matter who caused the terror. See the PSL Adjustments Summary.
The Government player may mobilize Naval points. Note the number of points present on the Record Track. The effect of Naval points is to interdict FLN AP arriving from abroad: deduct the current number of Naval Points from the AP gained by the FLN's current PSL in the Reinforcement Phase, and when the "Foreign Arms Shipment" random event occurs. (clarification: unlike Air and Helicopter points, Naval points do not depreciate (10.11)).
The Government player has a number of division-size units (with a unit size indicator of XX). They are always in one of two modes:
Divisions change mode in the Deployment Phase: flip the counter to show whatever mode it happens to be in (the unit type of the Division in Concentrated mode does not matter; it's included only for historical verisimilitude). A neutralized division may change mode, if you think it necessary for some reason.
The Government and FLN players maintain Political Support Levels (PSL) independently of each other. These levels change constantly during the game: see the Charts and Tables for exactly when and by how much.
There are certain advantages and disadvantages to having a particularly high or low PSL: see the DRM summaries in the Charts and Tables.
If a player's PSL rises to above 99 during the game due to various events, any such "excess" PSP gained for that player are not lost: instead they are SUBTRACTED from the other player's PSL.
>Example: the FLN PSL is currently 98 and the Government player conducts a Population Resettlement mission (9.26). The FLN player rolls 3d6 and scores 10 PSP. He raises his PSL by one to 99, which is as high as it can go, and deducts 9 PSP from the Government PSL.
The game has no pre-set length. If, at any time, either player's PSL is reduced to 0 or less, then the game immediately ends and the other player is declared the winner. The scale of that player's victory is determined by his PSL at the moment the game ends:
This rule is for the 1954 scenario only. It is optional but is highly suggested, once players have learned the game. Historically, the French authorities were slow to perceive and react to the threat posed by the initial FLN actions in November 1954 (the point at which the game begins). They were also slow to adopt more effective tactics. Therefore, until the first Reinforcement Phase in which the FLN PSL exceeds the Government PSL, these restrictions apply to the Government player:
Instead of waiting for a random event to make Morocco and Tunisia independent, assume that this will happen some time in the first 6 turns of the 1954 scenario. Each Random Events Phase, roll 1d6; if the number rolled is less than or equal to the number of the current turn, the two countries immediately become independent.
Counterinsurgencies can take a long time to conclude: the Algerian War, at about 8 years, was of less than average length. Players can agree to an open-ended game, checking their respective PSLs every 6 turns, at the end of the Turn Interphase. If one player would "win" with at least a Substantial Victory (that is, his PSL is 26 or more points ahead of the other player's) two checks running, the game ends at that point and he wins the game with the level of victory he enjoyed at that moment. However, the game would end if at any point a player's PSL is reduced to 0.
Design: Brian Train
Development: Brian Train
Graphics: Brian Train and Mischa Untaga
Playtesting: Bruce Geryk
Rally the Troops! module: Mischa Untaga
v. 2.1-140, 28 August 2015 (edits 23 Dec 2015)