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"Least Popular WWII Army?" Topic

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Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian08 Oct 2021 12:08 p.m. PST

Which army is just not popular on the tabletop, in your observation?

* French
* Italians
* Chinese

advocate08 Oct 2021 12:17 p.m. PST

Chinese. Never seen them. Fought from 1937 to 1945. Arguably the first to fight (yes, I know about the Spanish Civil War, but there was a definite disconnect between that and the European war; not so much with the Sino-Japanese War).

advocate08 Oct 2021 12:18 p.m. PST

Personally, while you need baddies, the SS is pretty unpopular with me.

Frederick Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2021 12:25 p.m. PST

Bad and evil – SS

Least popular to game – Chinese

emckinney08 Oct 2021 1:30 p.m. PST


Personal logo Mserafin Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2021 1:34 p.m. PST

I've seen a game featuring the Thai navy vs the French in 1941. Based on an actual historical battle. But I've never seen the Thai army in a WW2 game.

Micman Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2021 2:25 p.m. PST

One of our group has Chinese troops with the German gear. Fighting the Japanese.

My choice would be some force that did not engage in any combat in that time frame. Some South America army perhaps?

Legionarius08 Oct 2021 2:43 p.m. PST

Speaking of South American Armies, Brazil sent a Forca Expedicionaria Brasileira (FEB) to Italy. It was the equivalent of a US Infantry Division with US equipment.
In 15mm or 20mm you could use US figures. Note however that the Brazilian Army was not segregated so include plenty of dark and medium skin tones. The Brazilians performed creditably so they should be classed as regulars with normal morale.

Wargamer Blue08 Oct 2021 3:33 p.m. PST


Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2021 3:51 p.m. PST


Col Durnford08 Oct 2021 4:37 p.m. PST

A lot of turns ago I was looking at some 20mm WWII figures from a vendor at historicon. I asked him if he had any Romanians and his response was that "We don't do any loser armies"! I pointed to his Italians and ask what about them.

As far as the original question goes, I would have to go with the Chinese as well.

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Oct 2021 5:06 p.m. PST

WRT the SS not being popular on the tabletop, when I was a kid in the last 70's and early 80's and went to go play WWII wargames, some of my relatvies who lived through the Eastern theater of WWII asked, "You're going to go do what?" I replied, "I'm going play pretend killing Nazis." "Oh … have fun!" That's a kind of popular, isn't it?

I've seen Second Sino-Japanese War battles on the tabletop occasionally. Never played in one. I think the Chinese officially count the start as the Invasion of Manchuria in '31.

I've played Vichy forces, not not your standard WWII battles. Resistance skirmish events. Never seen them otherwise.

I've never seen WWII Albanian, Kenyan, or Eritrean battles. I think I've seen some Albanian forces in WWII battles in Greece. Maybe not.

My votes Vichy, Kenya, Eritria, Albania

Personal logo Doctor X Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2021 5:20 p.m. PST


Levi the Ox08 Oct 2021 7:17 p.m. PST

I've played Vichy French in naval games, and plan to do Romanians and the Brazilian Expeditionary Force. There isn't much, or any, Pacific Theater played around here, so a Chinese army is pretty unlikely. I've never heard of *anyone* doing Slovaks or Yugoslavians, though.

cabin4clw08 Oct 2021 7:21 p.m. PST


SaveGordon Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2021 8:17 p.m. PST

Eureka has a '100 Club' WW2 Chinese project in the works, so perhaps Chinese will soon be more often seen on the table top.

emckinney08 Oct 2021 8:19 p.m. PST

"Eritria, Albania"

Oddly, Avalanche Press has modules for both in its Panzergrenadier hex 'n' counter system.

Maha Bandula08 Oct 2021 10:44 p.m. PST

All of the ones named above I've seen on the internet if not in person. The one army I have never seen anyone game are the Iranians.

Maha Bandula08 Oct 2021 10:45 p.m. PST

Eureka has a '100 Club' WW2 Chinese project in the works, so perhaps Chinese will soon be more often seen on the table top.

FWIW, I have always thought the ones Paul Hicks did for Brigade Games stellar.

Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2021 11:10 p.m. PST

For me, any army that has a PaK 40. I hate them.

Martin Rapier09 Oct 2021 1:33 a.m. PST

I cant say I've seen any Bulgarians. I've gamed with Chinese though.

SS? I play a lot of Brits in Normandy and Market Garden. Impossible to do without SS.

CCollins09 Oct 2021 3:11 a.m. PST

Indian National army.

Mister Tibbles09 Oct 2021 6:20 a.m. PST

I agree with Martin. If one wants to be historically accurate, US and UK had to fight SS a lot in Normandy. No big deal to me.

I'll play any army in a game. I grew up playing Soviets in Cold War because no one else would play them. Someone had to play them!

khanscom09 Oct 2021 6:20 a.m. PST

Greek? A friend wanted to do a force for CDIII, but I don't think that he ever got started.

Personal logo ColCampbell Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2021 7:27 a.m. PST

I do have Chinese forces in 28mm but they are primarily for the "Back of Beyond" games although they could easily be used for Sino-Japanese WW2 games as well.




Mortar team leader enjoying his bowl of rice


One of my Chinese infantry sections

[Camera over emphasizes the "shine" on the figures.]


Griefbringer09 Oct 2021 7:59 a.m. PST

Danish army does not tend to get much attention, though I may have seen a post about them on TMP once upon a time.

This may not be particularly surprising, as the German takeover of the country in spring 1940 was extremely rapid. The longer Norwegian campaign that followed immediately tends to get more attention (not necessarily on the tabletop).

Particularly interesting piece of equipment in the Danish army is the Nimbus motorcycle mounting a 20 mm autocannon in the sidecar! Not supposed to be fired on the move, mind you. I have no idea what happened to these vehicles after the German invastion – though apparently the Jerries were not impressed enough to copy the concept.


Deucey Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2021 8:24 a.m. PST

A lot is based on what is (isn't actually) made!

Personal logo deadhead Supporting Member of TMP09 Oct 2021 4:33 p.m. PST

Irish Army needs a mention. Basically wearing WWI US army uniform, but with the WWI German helmet, at least early on anyway.

Much written about what kind of resistance they could possibly have put up against any invader, from either side. There are those who feel that de Valera's version of neutrality was a shameful episode in Irish history. Not to mention the Fascist Blue Shirt movement.

Maha Bandula09 Oct 2021 5:42 p.m. PST

Danish army does not tend to get much attention, though I may have seen a post about them on TMP once upon a time.

Thanks for reminding me of this! Great game, awesome job, as Tim and Eric would have said.

TMP link

Andy ONeill10 Oct 2021 5:35 a.m. PST

Can't ever recall seeing Etheopians played.

foxbat10 Oct 2021 8:34 a.m. PST

I'll cast my vote for the Chinese : given the importance of the pairt they played in the war, it's astonishing bordering on scandalous to see how rarely, if ever, they feature in games…

Which gives me an idea. If Mr Editor agrees, wouldn't it be the occasion to use the "winner" of the poll for a – friendly and not serious – painting competition on the site?

Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP10 Oct 2021 11:28 a.m. PST

I'm not sure that socio-political importance is what gets forces on the table for a battle. i think it's more that there are tactically interesting battles.

Uncle Goblin10 Oct 2021 11:59 a.m. PST

KNIL Royal Netherlands East Indies Army. I still have to find figures for it (in 28mm at least).

But for an underrepresented army of importance that should have more figures available, chinese, both communist and nationals.

Blutarski10 Oct 2021 5:14 p.m. PST

Re the "Chinese Army", a distinction should be made between the "Kuomintang army" of Chiang-kai-shek, which fought doggedly against the Japanese throughout the war versus the "People's Liberation Army" of Mao Tse Tung, which basically did nothing against the IJA and sat out the war in the mountains waiting for the KMT to exhaust itself against the Japanese.


Blutarski10 Oct 2021 5:17 p.m. PST

Another army that IMO does not get its due the Romanians. Check out their performance under Manstein fighting the Soviets in the Crimea. Tough guys, but I've never seen any on a wargame table.


advocate11 Oct 2021 10:43 a.m. PST

The Irish were neutral, so really don't count as being involved in WW2.

Personal logo John the Greater Supporting Member of TMP11 Oct 2021 11:56 a.m. PST

How about the Chetnik army. They pretty much embodied every bad trait a WW II army can have.

uglyfatbloke12 Oct 2021 6:32 a.m. PST

Sometimes an army just does not suit you – I've got a lovely 28mm KMT army which has been pretty successful, but I don't find it much fun really….if anyone is interested…..

Uesugi Kenshin Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2021 8:21 p.m. PST

Spanish Blue Division.

Personal logo Old Contemptible Supporting Member of TMP12 Oct 2021 11:15 p.m. PST

We have a guy in our group that does have a Romanian Army for Bolt Action. He does pretty well with them.

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