SPIR608 Political Simulations and Gaming/2011/Fight for Libya!



Fight For Libya! Is an Avalon Hill-inspired war game that models the 2011 Libyan Uprising. Players take the side of either Muammar Gadafi’s Libyan Army or the rebel forces of the Libyan People’s Army. Players fight gain control of Libya.




  • 6 Militia pieces in Benghazi
  • 6 Militia pieces in Tobruk


  • 5 Militia & 4 Army pieces in Tripoli
  • 5 Militia & 3 Army pieces in Ghadamis
  • 5 Militia & 1 Army piece in Adiri



The game contains two different kind of pieces that represent different kinds of soldiers: Army pieces and Militia pieces

Army Pieces


Army pieces represent the highly-trained, loyalist fighting forces of Gaddafi’s army. They are “regular army”, professional soldiers rather than conscripted help. They also have access to tanks, heavy weaponry, and artillery. As a result of their higher training and access to more powerful weaponry, Army pieces have a far greater attacking power than the other pieces on the board. Each Army piece has an attack power of 4. However, their use of larges weapons makes these units slower and therefore, each of these pieces can only move 3 hexes per turn.

Militia Pieces


Militia pieces make up the entirety of the Rebel army and a significant part of Gaddafi’s army. They are poorly trained, without strong leadership, and don’t have access to the powerful weapons that Army pieces do. These defects cause them to have a much smaller attack power than Army pieces – only 2. However, because heavy weapons and large battalions do not hamper them, these pieces can move slightly faster than army pieces – each militia piece moves 4 hexes per turn.



Because militia pieces are not loyal members of Gaddafi’s army, militia pieces that serve in his army have the ability to “defect” to the rebel side. At the end of each of his turn, the Gaddafi player must role a die and compare the roll to the combat results table to determine how many militia pieces defect to the other side. Additionally, if rebel forces defeat a faction of Gaddafi’s militia forces in battle that are not lead by an Army faction, or that Army faction is destroyed in the battle, those militia troops automatically defect to the rebel side rather than be destroyed.



Each player receives five moves per turn and can use these moves to move any faction or group of factions any number of hexes, up to its maximum move value.



In order to attack, factions must occupy the same hex as the factions they wish to attack. Each player much add up the total attacking power of their factions involved in the battle to determine the attack ratio. The attacking player than roles one die and looks in the appropriate column of the Combat Results Table to determine the result.


Rebel forces wish to attack Gaddafi’s Army at Sirt. The total attack power of the Rebel forces is 20. The total attack power of Gaddafi’s forces is only 6. Since the attack power of the Rebels is more than 3x the attack power of Gaddafi’s, but not quite 4x, the Attack Ratio for this attack is 3-1.

Air Strikes


In addition to ground forces, Gaddafi’s army is supplemented by air forces that can deliver one Air Strike per turn. The Gaddafi player simply needs to announce where they would like to attack with this Air Strike, roll the dice, and compare the results to the Air Strike column of on the Combat Results Table.

UN-Imposed No-Fly Zone


If the Gaddafi player at any point has more than 75 victory points or the combined total rebel forces becomes 20 or less, NATO forces backed by the UN intervene in Libya to stop Gaddafi from slaughtering his own people. NATO forces impose a no-fly zone over Libya, which prevents Gaddafi from performing Air Strikes for the rest of the game.



Each player gets reinforcements before their 5th turn. Rebels get 5 militia pieces in any city they control. Gaddafi gets 5 army pieces and 5 militia pieces in any city they control.

Victory Points and Winning the Game


Each city on the board contains a certain number of victory points. A player receives the victory points for a city by occupying the hex that contains it. Below is a list of the cities and their corresponding Victory Point values

The game ends after 10 turns. If at this time Rebel forces have at least 25 more victory points than Gaddafi’s forces than the rebels win. If the Rebels are not able to achieve this, than Gaddafi wins. Cities that, at the end of 10 turns, contain both Rebel and Gaddafi forces give all of their victory points to the Rebels.

Background Paper


Fight For Libya is an Avalon Hill-inspired war game that models the 2011 Libyan Uprising. Players take the side of either Muammar Gaddafi’s Libyan Army or the rebel forces of the Libyan People’s Army. Players fight gain control of the Libyan government. The game includes ground troops of two different kinds, simulated air strikes, and conditions that simulate the imposition of a NATO no-fly zone over Libya. This game is most inspired by the Avalon Hill war game 1776. Fight For Libya is our attempt to bring the revolutionary war aspects of 1776 into a modern context through a simulation of a more recent conflict, as well as an attempt to improve some of the its noted flaws – namely, to make Fight For Libya a simulation that is specific to the Libyan uprising and not just a set of game mechanics that could be applied to any martial conflict. The two games utilize many of the same game mechanics, including dice rolling with combat results tables, hex-and-counter movement, and variable player powers.

The hex-and-counter game board was chosen because it allows players to move in almost every direction at the same speed. Whereas a board with square markers only allows pieces to move equally in four different directions – or unequally in eight directions if diagonal movement is allowed, since pieces move faster when traveling on a diagonal than they do while moving in rank and file – the hex grid allows pieces to move at equal speeds in six of the eight possible directions. While still not perfect, this provides a compromise between the equal four directions and unequal eight directions of a square grid board. The use of dice to determine the outcomes of battles and other situations in the game was chosen to provide an element of chance and randomness into the game. By adding combat results tables to the use of dice, more powerful players are provided with a statistical advantage over weaker players, while still allowing for a certain amount of chance. Finally, variable player powers were chosen to provide differentiation between the two armies in the game. Gaddafi’s army is much more powerful, with loyal, trained regular army troops and the ability to perform air strikes. However the less loyal and relatively untrained militia members of his army can defect quite easily to the rebel army, giving the rebels a much larger but much weaker and less trained fighting force.

The most helpful things that came out of play-testing Fight For Libya were improved differentiation between the two different armies and clearer, streamlined rules. In the first design of the game, each arm contained three different kinds of pieces – infantry, artillery and planes. After playing through this version of the game several times, it was decided that the two armies were too similar to each other and did not accurately reflect the differences between the two armies in the conflict that was being simulated. It was at this time that the decision was made to have only two types of troops – trained and untrained – as well as the inclusion of a mechanism for troops to defect to the other side. Play testing also helped to streamline and improve the mechanisms for air strikes and the imposition of the NATO no-fly zone.