Thailand as a player? Official HBG color for them?



  • I’ve never tried playing with Thailand as a player, even in a satellite role, though HBG’s selling of a “Thailand set” in some sort of pinkish color and addition of its roundels in its “Axis Minor” roundel set indicates that at least some have tried it, perhaps as a part of GW1939 or some other similar variant.  So, for those of you who have tried it or contemplated it…

    1. If you tried it: What did you think of them as a playable nation?  How did this work?
    2. If you haven’t tried it but contemplate it, how would you envision this working?
    3. Since HBG’s new Axis minor set isn’t molded in the same color as the Thai painted set, is there one particular color among those he’s made available that is the new replacement for the previous pink that you guys at HBG recomend for them?


  • Customizer

    As I understand it, Coach is making the Japanese sets in 3 colors: Burnt Orange to work with our current OOB Japanese pieces, Red to match the Japanese from Pacific 2001, and a Yellow-Gold color that can be used for either Veteran Japanese units or Thai military units. I guess the rose color of his painted units is simply being replaced.
    Also, I think it would be better to use the Yellow-Gold Japanese units for Thai pieces because the units in HBGs current Axis Minors sets are European/German units and really wouldn’t fit well for Thailand.

    As for whether or not making Thailand as a seperate power allied to the Axis/Japan, I’m not really sure. I imagine it would be the same kind of situation where some people are making Finland, Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria their own powers allied with Germany and Italy. For one thing, whatever IPCs Thailand is worth would be taken away from Japan’s income. After that, what would you do with them? I don’t imagine they would have a very high income or strong military compared to the powers around them (UK/India, China). Personally, I feel the same way about making the European Axis Minors seperate from Germany. I mean, is Romania or Finland going to invade USSR on their own? I just don’t see what any of these small countries can accomplish on their own. Then again, maybe if there were a lot of little Allied Minor countries, perhaps all the little countries could squabble amongst themselves while the big guys like Germany and Italy take on England and France.
    Well, I think it adds a lot of extra complexity, but some people like that. I guess you have to make that decision yourself.


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    As far as the color for Thailand, I agree with knp. I think the yellow-gold Japanese would work best for Thai pieces. If you prefer to save those for veteran units, just get some painted Thai units instead and call it a day. You wouldn’t need many.

    For why we do it… The concept behind splitting up all the Axis Minors and such is two-fold. First, HBG likes to emphasize historical accuracy and concepts in the games we offer. By displaying each of these nations as their own, it adds a lot to the flavor of the game and allows each of these important countries to be represented on a global scale. Second, it makes playing certain powers more interesting. Notably Germany, but others as well. Remember, the Minors do not take their own turn separate from Germany. They all work together. But this gives the Minors their own economy while still helping Germany with income and combat strength at the same time. Each country may choose purchases and place new units in their country. Need extra infantry or do you want to save up for a tank or a fighter? I think it’s cool, but it does add complexity. Like knp said, it’s up to you to decide if you want the added complexity or not. You can always play GW39 without them too.


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    Historically, Thailand was in a very odd position in WWII.  It had some of the characteristics of a co-belligerent (like Finland), some of a collaborationist state (like Vichy France), and some of an occupied country (Japan moved into/through Thailand to attack Burma, and remained there afterwards).  The government had pro-Japan leanings, but there was significant pro-Allied activity (such as providing intelligence) by internal opposition groups.  The Allies themselves treated Thailand as a special case; if I remember correctly, the U.S. in particular did not regard Thailand as a belligerent nation.

    My own opinion on how to regard Thailand in A&A games has flip-flopped over the years.  I finally settled on treating it as an Axis co-belligerent, on the grounds that in October 1940 (over a year before Japanese forces moved into Thailand as part of their drive into Burma) Thailand launched a war against Vichy-controlled Indochina (which had already consented to allow Japan to set up bases there) to re-acquire some territories Thailand had lost to French Indochina during the second half of the 19th century.  Also, I like having a minor Axis-aligned state in the Asia/Pacific side of the war, since there were minor Axis-aligned states (Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria, the Slovak Republic and Finland) on the European side too.



  • I’m interested in seeing the Japanese pieces in the yellow gold color simply so that they can be used with the original units from back in the day.  I’ve been playing A&A since 1984 and I have always loved the original Japanese color.  It’s just the perfect color to me and I really want to see it continued.



  • Making all the little minor nation each a country isnt good. they will each have like 2 ipcs, 3 Units on the board. They should be one country. (Slovakia, Hungary, Romania, Finland, and Siam would be their territories)


  • Customizer

    Yeah, that’s another problem I see with Axis Minors countries and Allied Minors countries. None of them would be likely to get more than 2-3 IPCs per round. So the only way they could ever buy anything other than infantry is to not buy anything for 2 or 3 rounds. If they wanted to buy a fighter, that would cost them even more rounds. Unless the IPC value of all territories were increased, but then you would have the big boys like Germany and Russia able to buy HUGE amounts of units.

    I kind of understand how they play in the game. At least the way most people do it is Axis Minors move along with Germany on the same turn, Example: Romanian forces attack the same time as German forces, etc. What I don’t understand is how you divide up the IPCs of conquered territories. Obviously Germany is going to have the most units in any attack while any Axis Minor nations forces will simply be a little extra support. I would think the territory would be under German control and thus the IPCs would go to Germany. So, how are the Minor nations supposed to increase their economies?
    OR, is the whole Axis economy one lump sum and Germany has to allocate a portion to each Minor nation? Like if Germany has 30 IPCs, he doesn’t just buy 5 German tanks, he buys 3 German tanks, 1 Romanian tank and 1 Finnish tank.
    Or would the minor nations simply be outlets for Germany’s production? Like if he wanted to deploy all units in Germany, they could be all German units but if he wanted to put a new unit in a Minor country, the unit must be in the Minor Country’s color?
    Sorry for all the questions. I’ve never tried HBG’s 1939 game yet (the biggest game I’ve played so far is Global 1940). Therefore, while I just LOVE all the Minor and Neutral units that HBG is putting out, I haven’t really had the chance to use them. All the minor nations rules are confusing to me but I am also very interested if learning them.



  • see the minors more as a ‘fun factor’ addition. Give them their basic IPC’s + another amount that the big player, for example Germany that can give to Romania, gives. Every territory conquered will just go to the German IPC count but as the Germans can give them away to the Romanians, it wouldn’t really make a difference. At least that’s how we play it (offcourse we limit the amount of units that can be bought each turn for the minors and we also limit the amount of IPC’s germany can transfer to the minors, it’s silly having Romania take over Russia by itself).


  • 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 '14 Customizer '13 '12 '11 '10

    @Rhey:

    see the minors more as a ‘fun factor’ addition.

    Yes, that’s a good way to see them.  And they can be useful in spin-off games.  A Stalingrad game, for example, could make use of the fact that (if I recall correctly) the front north and south of the city (on the German side of the Volga) was being held by Romanian, Hungarian and Bulgarian forces – the locations where the Russians eventually attacked to start the pincer movement that trapped the Germans who were in the city.


  • '12

    I was thinking each minor could build 1 unit per turn, and be subsidized by the major power they are paired with (Germany, Italy [happened with Iraq] or Japan).  If they want a fighter, it can be done in one turn, with the major power covering the rest.  No BB’s, CV’s, CA’s or Strategic bombers for minors.

    They must still be built in a factory.  The factory must be in or adjacent to their home country (or Malaya for Thailand if Japan prefers it to Indo China. Finland may build in Novgorod/Leningrad, if the Germans control it). I’m using HBG orange for Thailand.

    The limit of 1 per turn came from a game where a major Germany factory was built in Romania.  10 Romanian units per turn was obviously not right.  So we decided that factory could produce 1 unit each for Romaina, and adjacent Hungary and Bulgaria.  The other 7 had to be German. The 1 per turn limit is per nation, not per applicable factory (but if the minor power contains a factory, it must build its units there). The money all comes from the same place, and major powers on both sides of the war provided aid to minor allies so it all works out (it’s also all purely cosmetic anyway and not remotely affecting mechanics, as the units count 100% as German, Italian or Japanese for movement and combat).  In the spirit of the rules though, on most turns the minors should be building 1 inf.  If it becomes a problem, maybe adding a ratio rule is in order.  2/3 of their combat units must be inf?

    On the subject of mechanics, the scale of the game does not (IMO) require any rules for keeping Hungarian and Romanian units apart from each other, as found in many smaller scale games.  The only change we contemplated was with Bulgaria.  Bulgaria refused to declare war on the Soviet Union, so we considered not allowing them into Russia unless Russia declares war on Bulgaria.  We haven’t gone with this yet as it is a game of ‘what ifs’, and much of its charm is its simplicity.

    Sorry for getting off topic, I guess I just should have said “I use HBG orange for Thailand”  😄



  • @moralecheck:

    I was thinking each minor could build 1 unit per turn, and be subsidized by the major power they are paired with (Germany, Italy [happened with Iraq] or Japan).  If they want a fighter, it can be done in one turn, with the major power covering the rest.  No BB’s, CV’s, CA’s or Strategic bombers for minors.

    They must still be built in a factory.  The factory must be in or adjacent to their home country (or Malaya for Thailand if Japan prefers it to Indo China).  I’m using HBG orange for Thailand.

    The limit of 1 per turn came from a game where a major Germany factory was built in Romania.  10 Romanian units per turn was obviously not right.  So we decided that factory could produce 1 unit each for Romaina, and adjacent Hungary and Bulgaria.  The other 7 had to be German. The 1 per turn limit is per nation, not per applicable factory (but if the minor power contains a factory, it must build its units there). The money all comes from the same place, and major powers on both sides of the war provided aid to minor allies so it all works out (it’s also all purely cosmetic anyway and not remotely affecting mechanics, as the units count 100% as German, Italian or Japanese for movement and combat).  In the spirit of the rules though, on most turns the minors should be building 1 inf.  If it becomes a problem, maybe adding a ratio rule is in order.  2/3 of their combat units must be inf?

    On the subject of mechanics, the scale of the game does not (IMO) require any rules for keeping Hungarian and Romanian units apart from each other, as found in many smaller scale games.  The only change we contemplated was with Bulgaria.  Bulgaria refused to declare war on the Soviet Union, so we considered not allowing them into Russia unless Russia declares war on Bulgaria.  We haven’t gone with this yet as it is a game of ‘what ifs’, and much of its charm is its simplicity.

    Sorry for gettig off topic, I guess I just should have said "I use HBG orange for Thailand"  😄

    Not at all, by all means, I’m glad you went into detail.  That’s helpful stuff.  For those who are primarily interested in things like game balance (especially the tournament players out there) I can see how the use of minors probably complicates things too much.  My main goal, however, is semi-educational: I use games as a fun way to teach students about history, and I’m building an AA variant for a tournament for my students this summer.  I still don’t know how many there are going to be who are interested in our “1st Annual WW2 Camp,” but if the # is significantly more than 5, I’m thinking about finding a way to add minors into the game… so all this is very helpful.


  • Customizer

    Hey moralecheck,
    Thanks for explaining that to me. So basically all the money is controlled by Germany, they just purchase a minor unit for each minor nation and the rest are German units, even if they deploy at a factory in one of the minor countries. That makes sense. Also, I understand what you mean about making a ratio of infantry to other units. It would be kind of silly if, say, Hungary got a new fighter every turn and no infantry. So this is basically something to add some color to the board.

    Hey DrLarsen,
    Thank you for allowing us to hijack your thread to discuss this.


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    This is directly from the GW39 rulebook which you can download here ( http://boardgamegeek.com/filepage/79208/global-war-1939-rules )for the rest of the rules. Basically, each minor has it’s own fixed income to spend, plus it provides IPCs back to Germany.

    • Minor Axis powers have a fixed income that they begin collecting on the turn they are activated by Germany.
    • Minor Axis powers are limited to producing a maximum of 3 units per turn in their original territories. They may begin building on the round following activation.
    • Germany is allowed to build a minor or major industrial complex on any Minor Axis territory that meets the requirements (2 Production value for a minor IC, 3 Production value for a major IC).
    • Minor Axis powers build, attack, and move at the same time as Germany.
    • All Production generated from territories captured by Minor Axis forces go to Germany.
    • If a Minor Axis capitol is captured all of its Production Certificates are plundered by the capturing power.
    • Minor Axis countries can be represented with German units as an optional rule.



  • @knp7765:

    Hey DrLarsen,
    Thank you for allowing us to hijack your thread to discuss this.

    Not at all, K! Helpful and interesting stuff all…  The primarily educational focus that I have means I’m quite interested in looking into all reasonable ways to get more “players” into the game.


  • '12

    I was refering to fitting them into G40. � I need to pick up G39 from HBG.

    Forgot to add that that during setup, the German units in Hungary and Romania should be switched to minors.

    The controlling axis players may purchase only their own units in the purchase phase, if they wish.  They can decide in the Place New Units Phase which ones the minors will get.

    As an afterthought, Hungary and Romania were larger contributers.  Maybe they can build 2 units per turn as long as at least one is an infantry.

    And for the rule lawyers:  If the minor is building in a factory outside its home territory, their home territory must have been friendly at the start of the player turn. � I.e. , no building Bulgarian units in Romania if Bulgaria is held by the allies. Bessarabia and Vyborg do not count as home territories of Romania and Finland for this rule.

    Thanks for the kind words guys.  🙂


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