Optional Rules 

The following three Sections are additional rules for The Desert Fox.
They may be used individually, or together. The first Section was
designed by Eric Sven Ristad, the second by J Matisse Enzer, and the
third by Richard Berg. 

[16.0] Operation Herkules 


The effects of logistics was of paramount importance in the North
African campaign, and the island of Malta was crucial to the war of
supply. The island dominated the Axis supply and communications lines,
oftentimes to deadly effect. 

A plan was proposed for the invasion of Malta as early as April, 1941.
Although the plan was accepted as feasible and considered at several
points during the war, it was never implemented. The plan for the
invasion was code-named Operation Herkules, and was scheduled for
mid-1942. Airborne and amphibious forces consisting of the Italian
"marines," the Folgore Glider Infantry Division, and the German Ramcke
Heavy Airborne Infantry Division were to assault the island, supportedby
elements of the Italian Navy. Amphibious landing craft were prepared in
Italy, and in March of 1942 Kesselring's Sicilian Luftwaffe intensified
its bombing raids on Malta, destroying planes on the ground, and
preventing supply ships from reaching the island. In April alone, nearly
7,000 tons of bombs were dropped. 

Churchill realized that Malta was in deep trouble, and ordered a major
offensive in North Africa to seize the airfields in western Cyrenaica
and enable the Desert Air Force to come within range of Malta and
provide the island with air support. Reluctant and ill-prepared,
Auchinleck, the British commander in the desert, promised a June
offensive. At the same time, Rommel decided to throw the British out of
eastern Cyrenaica. The Gazala campaign ensued. 

After Gazala, when the British army seemed to have been completely
demolished and the way to the Nile delta open, Rommel decided to use the
forces slotted for Herkules (the Sicilian Luftwaffe in particular) in
his drive on Egypt. The Malta invasion was scrapped, despite the
overwhelming opposition of the German General Staff. Malta recovered,
and its deleterious effect on Axis supply lines grew. Within a few
months, more than a third of the Axis materiel which took ship for
Africa was falling prey to Allied interdiction. 

If Operation Herkules had taken place as scheduled, Malta would almost
surely have fallen, Axis supply lines would have remained open, and the
course of the war in the desert might have been drastically altered. The
following rule gives the Axis player the option to go through with the
assault on Malta. 


During the Air Allocation Phase of his PlayerTurn on Game-Turns 15, 16,
or 17, the Axis player may announce that he is launching an invasion of
Malta. Depending on the forces allocated to the invasion, Malta will
either stand or fall. If the island stands, Axis supply will continue to
be interdicted. If the island falls, the Axis player will almost
immediately begin to profit in the way of increased materiel and


After the Axis player has declared that he will launch the invasion, he
states what units will be committed to the assault. The Assault Index is
determined by Case 16.3. The die is rolled, and the effects of the
invasion are assessed. 



[16.11] The Axis player must commit one or both of the following units
to the Malta invasion: Folgore Glider Infantry (Italian) and Ramcke
Heavy Infantry (German). A unit committed to the assault never arrives
as a reinforcement, regardless of the success of the invasion. Which
units he assigns to the invasion is up to Axis player, but this decision
will affect the chances of the assault (16.3). 

[16.12] The invasion may not be launched before the Axis Air Allocation
Phase of Game-Turn 15, nor after that Phase of Game-Turn 17. 

[16.13] The Axis player may not initiate a raid on Malta (6.3) during
the turn of an invasion. He may commit Air Points in exactly the same
manner as is described in 6.3 (expending supply units as normal), but
their effects are determined differently (see 16.3). 

[16.14 If an invasion is attempted, the Axis player must permanently
expend one Air Point, in addition to Air Points assigned per 16.13. No
assault may be attempted unless this one Air Point is available to be

[16.15] No more than one invasion maybe launched during the course of a


No more than one Air Point may be transferred to Malta during a given
Air Allocation Phase if no Commonwealth unit is in General Supply in a
hex west of Lxx23. This rule supercedes 6.31, and is applicable
throughout the entire course of the game, regardless of whether or not
an invasion is ever attempted. 


The Assault Index for an invasion is calculated as follows: 


2 if Ramcke Heavy Airborne Infantry is committed 

1 if Folgore Glider Infantry is committed 

1 for each Axis Air Point committed (16.13) 


1 for each Commonwealth Air Point at Malta 

2 if any Commonwealth unit is in General Supply and west of Lxx23 

The Assault Index is totalled, and the die is rolled. If the roll is
less than or equal to the Assault Index, the invasion succeeds and the
provisions of 16.4 apply. If the roll is greater than the Assault Index,
the assault fails. There are no specific penalties to a failed invasion.

[16.4] SUCCESS 

If the invasion succeeds (per 16.3), the following provisions apply: 

1. Subtract 3 from all future rolls on the Axis Convoy Arrival Table
(supercedes 7.55). 

2. The Axis player receives one additional Refit Point of each
nationality each Reinforcement Phase following the invasion. 

3. Any Commonwealth Air Points assigned to Malta are eliminated. No Air
Points may ever be assigned to Malta in the future. 



In some circumstances, a player will want to delay a hostile advance
without sacrificing an entire regiment to do so. In such a situation,
the player may detach small formations from his units. These detachments
function as any other units friendly to the owning player, within the
provisions of the following Cases. 


A player may announce his intention to form a detachment during any
friendly Movement Phase by declaring from which unit the detachment will
come. A detachment counter is placed with the friendly unit, and a die
is rolled to determine if the friendly unit is depleted as a result of
the formation. The detachment may then move (but not attack) until the
beginning of the next friendly Reinforcement Phase, at which point it is



[17.11 Detachments may only be formed during a friendly Movement Phase.

[17.12] Detachments may only be formed from a friendly unit of one of
the following types: infantry, mechanized infantry, armor, motorized
infantry, heavy weapons, heavy infantry, heavy airborne infantry. 

[17.13] A unit may not be used to form a detachment if it is depleted,
disrupted, has a Morale Rating of 3 or 4, or is out of General Supply. 

[17.14] No more than two detachments may be formed by a player in a
Player-Turn, and no more than one detachment may be formed from a given
unit in a Player-Turn. 

[17.15] The unit from which a detachment is formed loses 2 Movement
Points during the Phase in which the detachment is placed on the map
(i.e., if a detachment is formed from a unit with a Movement Allowance
of 22, the unit would have a Movement Allowance of 20 for that Phase).

[17.16] Whenever a detachment is formed from a unit, the owning player
immediately rolls a die: on a 1 or 2, the unit is immediately depleted;
on a 3, 4, 5, or 6, the unit suffers no disability. 


In order to use detachments, it will be necessary to make the following

[17.21] Detachments may move as any other unit friendly to their owning
player. They may never force march, however. 

[17.22] Detachments have no supply requirements. They are always
considered to be in both General and Combat Supply. 

[17.23] Detachments exert no ZOC's into adjacent hexes. Instead, they
exert a ZOC into the hex they occupy. This ZOC is subject to
infiltration (10.3). Except for this ZOC and 17.27, enemy detachments
may be completely ignored. 

[17.24] Detachments may never attack, be attacked, or be overrun. Their
only effect is to impede the passage of enemy units. 

[17.25] Detachments are removed at the end of any Phase in which they
are stacked with any enemy combat unit (including enemy detachments), or
at the beginning of the first friendly Reinforcement Phase following
their placement (whichever comes first). 

[17.26] There is no additional effect to having two detachments in the
same hex. Similarly, a detachment stacked with any other friendly unit
is treated as if it were not there. It is not affected by any attacks
against the friendly unit, nor is it affected if the friendly unit is
overrun (although the overrunning unit would have to pay an extra
Movement Point to conduct the overrun because of the detachment's ZOC in
the hex, as per the normal rules for overrun). 

[17.27] No roads or railroads (not trails) leading into or out of a hex
occupied by an enemy detachment may be used. For example, if a road led
across a ridge hexside into a rough hex occupied by a detachment, it
would cost an enemy motorized unit 8 Movement Points (3 for the ridge, 4
for the rough hex, and 1 for the detachment's ZOC) to enter the hex. If
the unit moved on to another rough hex, it would only cost 4 Movement
Points to do so, as the detachment exerts no ZOC into the surrounding

[17.28] Each detachment has a Movement Allowance of 14, regardless of
the unit from which it was formed. 

[17.29] A detachment may never enter an enemy ZOC, nor may it ever enter
a hex occupied by ail enemy unit. 



Certain reconnaissance units may be converted into desert patrol units.
Desert patrols have increased movement and supply capabilities, but no
combat ability, Historically, they were used to conduct raids against
rear area supply lines. In essence, these units represent the
Commonwealth Long Range Desert Group and Special Air Service Brigade, as
well as the German Sonderkommando Almasy, admittedly on a somewhat
abstract level. 


The following counters must be produced before desert patrols may be

During any friendly Reinforcement Phase. a player may announce that he
is converting a friendly recomaissance unit meeting certain
requirements (see 18.1) into a desert patrol. During the Refit Phase of
that Player-Turn, the reconnaissance unit's counter is replaced by the
appropriate desert patrol counter. 



[18.11] The following reconnaissance units may be converted to desert
patrols: German 33 and 580; Commonwealth CIH, Royals, and 12 Lanc. 

[18.12] A unit may only be converted to a desert patrol if it occupies
L0701 (Axis) or Alexandria (Commonwealth), is undisrupted, and is not in
a depleted state. 

[18.13] A unit may not move or attack during the Player-Turn in which it
is converted into a desert patrol. 

[18.14] If a desert patrol is eliminated, and is eligible to be rebuilt
(13.1), the appropriate reconnaissance unit is put in the Refit Box in
its place. 

[18.15] A desert patrol may be returned to reconnaissance status by
following the exact same procedure for conversion to desert patrol
status; i.e., it must spend an entire Player-Turn in L0701 or Alexandria
without moving or attacking. 

[18.16] No more than one Axis desert patrol may ever be on the map or in
the process of being formed at a given moment. No more than two
Conimonwealth desert patrols may ever be on the map or in the process of
being formed at a given moment during the game. 


Desert patrols function exactly as any other combat units with
parenthesized Combat Strengths, with a few exceptions, as listed in the
following Cases. 

[18.21] Desert patrols never need supply of any kind. They always are
considered to be in both General and Combat Supply. 

[18.22] Desert patrols may never force march. 

[18.23] Desert patrols may conduct supply overruns. They are considered
to have a Combat Strength of 4 for purposes of supply overrun (only). If
a desert patrol succeeds in a supply overrun against an enemy supply
unit, the results of the overrun are treated differently. If the overrun
would normally have resulted in the supply unit's capture, the supply
unit is destroyed instead. Any other result has no effect. 

[18.24] Disrupted or depleted desert patrols may no attempt supply
overrun. Disrupted desert patrols may recover normally from their
disruption. Alternatively, the owning player may roll the die during any
friendly Refit Phase. On a 1, 2, or 3, the desert patrol is undisrupted
where it stands; on a 4, 5, or 6, the desert patrol may not he
undisrupted that Phase. Depleted desert patrols must return to L0701
(Axis) or Alexandria (Commonwealth) to be refit. One Refit Point is all
that is required to undeplete a desert patrol.

NB submitted by John Kula ([email protected])
on behalf of the Strategy Gaming Society
originally collected by Andrew Webber 
([email protected])