Thanks for the input guys, I made some adjustments and changes, and will republish a new version with some updates based on your suggestions as I integrate them.
BEF: I agree that putting them in London is easy. I think those two UK pieces on Paris are some of the fluffiest on the entire board, yet they are always killed on turn 1. I wanted there to be a flexible choice; keep the pieces in france and make taking france a bit harder (thus altering the basis of the G1 opener), or put some pieces somewhere else to keep them guessing. This is different than a bid because part of the purpose is to make France a bit riskier to take, and to make a new reason for Germany/Italy to want to kill it quickly even though there are 4 UK units there. Also, UK can counterattack Paris on UK1…
French Guiana; a friend mentioned this; I added the concept that they can place naval units offshore. However, I didn’t want to give the French the ability to place infantry there because I don’t want them to be able to simply walk to brazil and take it over.
New Hebrides; isn’t a territory. New Caledonia is. I wanted FIC and new Caledonia to be potential new places to put a small French thorn in Axis’ side
Cruiser vs Fighter; Great point; 12 is pretty much their entire budget. I didn’t think it was very apt to give them fighters, because armor, fighters and tacticals are bread and butter offensive units. I wanted to make France more like China, where its choices are limited and it cannot build an attack stack in the same manner as a regular power. If we permit the French to have fighters, we would have to come up with a different explanation of why they get them (not assorted naval forces but secret aircraft factories?) and they are extremely gamey (fighters do a lot. adding them in means that I would choose them over anything else. Id buy fighters wherever I was allowed to and send them on desperate defensives and sorties).
Part of my thinking here is that France already has 2 cruisers, which occasionally live. This and the single fighter from UK would be their only “3” attacks, and then only during an amphib, and therefore be the only offensive contribution france could make. I didn’t want to give the French the full range of choices because I like the idea of them remaining a nerfed power, but one that could raise a force of infantry and even transports, but not much more punch or mobility than that allows.
Thanks for the discussion and please continue. Taam.