Free Rules

This is a page where I will post FREE online rules or tweaks for existing rules for your enjoyment.

The pages covers:
  1. Death in the Desert
  2. Seminole Wars - tbd
  3. Taiping Rebellion (Piquet) - tbd
  4. Maximilian (Piquet) - tbd


Death In The Desert

By Eric Burgess
Copyrigtht 1995
(Free On-line Rules)
 The rules are designed to have the Legion defending some type of fortification against large numbers of Arabs. We have fought open field battles with these rules also. Figures are mounted individually and the rules were written for 15mm figures.

Organizing your Forces
French Foreign Legion -
Infantry Squad = 10 figures including one officer or NCO.
Machine Gun Section = One machine gun with one or two crew.
Foreign Legion Cavalry Section = 6 cavalry figures.
Cannon Unit = One 4 pounder with 4 crew.
Colonel = one mounted officer.
Algerian Turcos Squad = 12 figures including one sergeant

Bedouin Arabs -
Rifle Tribe = 20 figures including one leader.
Warrior Tribe = 20 figures armed w/ melee weapons including one leader.
Fanatic Warrior Tribe = 20 melee armed figures with leader (1 unit only)
Cavalry Tribe = 12 Arabs armed with rifles. Includes one leader.
Tauregs -
Rifle Tribe = 20 figures including one leader.
Warrior Tribe = 20 figures including one leader.
Cavalry Tribe = 12 Tauregs armed with rifles including one leader.

Rating Your Troop's Quality:
Roll for your troops qualities the first time the attempt to do one of these actions. This modifier applies for the entire game. Roll for each catagory separately. You can have great firing skills, but poor melee skills. Apply all modifiers to the die roll(1d10).

Firing Skill: 1,2 = Poor (-1) 3 - 8 = Average (0) 9,0 = Great (+1)
Melee Skill: 1,2 = Poor (-2) 3 - 8 = Average (0) 9,0 = Great (+2)
Fire Modifiers
+2 if Legionaire
+1 if Taureg
Melee Modifiers
+1 to die roll if Legionaire
+3 if Arab fanatic

Bedouin Arab Warrior Tribe
Bedouin Tribe 01.jpg (36558 bytes)

Initiative & Sequence of Play

Each side rolls a D10 for initiative.High die chooses whether to take one action or allow the enemy to take one action. Legion units can split actions amoung a command. Actions are done on a unit by unit basis. Once the action is completed roll the D10 initiative die again until all units have taken an action.

French Foreign Legion Squad with Commander

FFL Squad and Commander.jpg (31274 bytes)


Possible Actions

Immediate Fire & no move
Move & fire similtanously
Charge & No fire
Sequence of Play
Immediate Fire (casualties removed before next unit's action)
Movement (including charges)
Fire Simultainously
Morale checks


Each unit rolls the appropriate number of dice and moves up to the number of inches rolled. Movement is by initiative.
On foot in sand = Arabs 3d6 inches, Legion 2d6 inches, crawl 1d6
On horseback in sand = 6d6 inches
Moving in a fort = 2d6 inches
on road = 3d6 inches

Movement Modifiers and Rules
  • Moving in rocks/rough terrrian, crossing low walls - Lose high die.
  • Charging an enemy adds one die to movement.
  • Arab units can move and place a assault ladder in the same turn, but they may not charge and place ladders. Legionaire may attempt to push the ladder over on an 8,9 or 10 on a d10 instead of immediately firing. The Legionaire cannot fire if he attempts to dislodge the ladder. If there are no Arabs on the ladder then the Legionaire can either knock the ladder down or pull it up and over the wall without checking for success.
  • 5 Arabs can climb a ladder in one turn if unopposed. If a Legionaire is defending access point to the wall then the arabs must fight their way onto the wall. Only the first two Arabs can attack on a ladder per turn.
  • Using a grappling hook to scale the wall. It takes one turn to throw the grapple and one turn to scale the wall. You need to roll 1D10 to see if you can scale the wall. On a 7,8,9,0 you have made it over the wall. You cannot fire your weapons and fight in melee at a -1 on you die roll on the turn you climb the wall. French can cut the grappling hook rope on 3-10 on a d10.
  • You may move around friendly troops on a wall unless there is a melee then you cannot pass.
Rifle Fire Rules
  • MG cannot fire at target within 2 hexes/inches (blind spot) of the Fortress wall when the MG is firing from a tower or fort wall. If the machine gunner is killed any other French figure can man the machine gun.
  • When an Arab unit is hit you must check to see if any of the officer have been struck. Roll 1d10 or 1d20, depending on the original stregth of the unit, if the roll is a 10 or 20 the officer or chiefton is hit.
  • Fire control: roll d6 for each hit scored with up to six rolls per group. Any dice with same number are multiple hits on the same target.
  • If a unit doesn’t move then it fires first. These casualties are removed immediately. All moving fire is simultanious.
  • It takes one turn to reload a pistol. Each pistol has 6 rounds.
  • Machine guns have a 180 degree arc of fire.
  • If your firing at a mounted unit, and hit, then you determine if you hit the horse or the rider. Roll a 1D10, 1-6 is the horse, 7-0 is the rider. If the horse is hit it is killed. If the rider recieves a serious wound the he may be knocked out of the sadle. Roll 1D10, 1-5 he is blown out of the sadle.
FFL Machine Gunner.jpg (21184 bytes)
French Foreign Legion Machine Gunner

To Hit Table

Weapon Hits
on a
Rate of Fire Short Range Long Range Notes Fire Modifiers
Foreign Legion Rifle 6,7,8,9,0 1d10/fig

12 - 24

Firing Skill -1/0/+1
Pistol 8,9,10 2d10/fig

5 - 10

six shots Firer Mounted -1
MG 7,8,9,0 4d10/MG

16 - 32

Jams 1 turn on 3 tens of 4 die. Breaks if you roll four 10s. Cover (i.e. walls, rocks, dunes) -1
Artillery 6,7,8,9,0 1d10/fig

24 - 48

Long Range -1
Bedouin Arab Rifle 8,9,0 1d10/fig

8 - 16

Target Prone -1
Spears 9,0 1d10/fig

2 -6

+1 to die at close range Target Mounted +1
Taureg Arab Rifle 7,8,9,0 1d10/fig

8 - 16

German Infantry Rifle 6,7,8,9,0 1d10/fig

12 - 24

Algerian Turcos Rifle 7,8,9,0 1d10/fig

10 - 20

Ranges are all in inches


Melee combat is simple and straight forward. Both sides roll two six sided dice (2d6) apply any modifiers and the high roll wins. The loser dies. If there is a tie then the figures are locked in melee until next turn. For each additional attacker add another six sided die to each of the new attacker's die rolls. (i.e - Two Arabs attack one French soldier. The first Arab rolls 2d6 and gets a 7. The Frenchmen rolls 2d6 and gets an 8. The Arab dies. The second Arab then rolls 3d6, not 2d6, getting an 13. The Frenchman cannot possibly get a 13 on a 2d6, therefor he dies.) When someone is victorious in melee they kill their opponent, no saves.
-2 Attacked from behind
-4 Fighting from a ladder
? unit's rating

  • If troops are charged they can opportunity fire at the attacking figures starting more than six inches away provided they are facing the enemy. This fire is at a -1 to the die roll.
  • No more than three figures can attack one figure at a time.
Saving Throws

Only the Legion gets saves. Lightly wounded Legionarire should be marked with a yellow marker and this marker is removed after one turn. Seriously wounded soldiers are marked with a red marker. The soldier can be carried by another soldier to a different part of the complex. Roll 1d6 for that movement.
1 - 3Light wound, out one turn for medical treatment. Melees at -1
4 - 6Serious wound, must be carried to move, fire at -1/ Melees at -2
7 - 10Dead as a doornail!

If a figure receives two serious wounds then he is dead.

Taureg Tribe 01.jpg (27587 bytes)

Taureg Rifle Tribe


Naturally, the legion never tests morale. The Arabs, except for Fanatics, test at the end of the turn if they have taken additional casualties this turn. Arab 20 man units throws 1d20 ... Arab 10 man units throw 1d10. The score on the die must exceed the number of total casualties of the unit to pass. Units failing to pass will move out of sight/rifle range, half strength units will leave the field. When the unit fails morale it is moved the distance necessary immediately and counts as the movement for the next turn. The Arab units rally automatically after one turn.
Morale Modifiers
+2 Leader still present
+4 Shiek within 12"
+5 Arab Unit has breached the Fort walls

Reconstitution of Arab Units

When an Arab unit is destroyed or routed from the table they can be reconstituted. In other words, the Arab player(s) can bring the entire unit back to full stregth. Once a unit can be reconstituted the Arab side rolls 1d6. This is the number of Arab units that can be reconstituted. Any rolls of 1 are treated as two. Hence, the Arab side can always reconstitute at least two units. The number of available reconstituted units must be hidden from the French player.
  • It takes one full turn to reconstitute the Arab unit. If the unit is destroyed on turn two then it may return to the table at the beginning of turn 4.
  • Fanatics cannot be reconstituted.
Units are reconstituted in the order in which they are destroyed or routed. Reconstituted units can return/start on any edge of the board. Reconstituted units get their ladders back.
Fanatic Tribe 01.jpg (23730 bytes)
Fanatic Arab Tribe

Additional Rules
  • Unlocking/locking doors - French or Arab player may lock/unlock tower doors, bastion gate, tower trap doors by moving into or on to the door. All locks can only be locked from the inside except trap doors which can be locked from the top or bottom. A figure can move and lock a door. Troops may bash open doors or trap doors. A door can be bashed open on a 7+ on a D10. The figure that is bashing the door does so in the movement phase and cannot perform any other action during the turn(i.e. moving).
  • If you are climbing a ladder you cannot fire your rifle or throw a spear.
  • Arab units carry ladders by default. Arab pure rifle units carry 2 ladders while all other arab units carry 3 ladders.