The New Racecourse Scenario

Bagration: Axis Allies

The New Racecourse Scenario

During the fighting for Budapest the Germans and Hungarians attempted to take back the temporary airfield on the racecourse on 7 January 1945 after it had been closed by Soviet artillery fire. Advancing Red Army troops threatened to overrun it and an immediate counterattack was ordered. A mixed force of German and Hungarian troops was pulled from the defensive line and sent to retake the racecourse.

The Racecourse Battle

On 6 January the Soviets captured the Pest suburbs Köbánya and Rákosfalva, which allowed them to keep the emergency airfield on the racecourse closed by bombarding it from the north and south.


The Soviets advance before the counterattack

The following day the Germans and Hungarians started fierce counterattacks to regain the racecourse. The Hungarian 10th Assault Gun Battalion and a mixed German/Hungarian Combat Group were positioned behind the wooden fence of a grandstand. Soon after the position was taken up, and before any attack could be launched, Soviet infantry approached, singing, arm-in-arm and drunk. 

Soviet Strelkovy
Budapest Racecourse Grandstand

Hungarian assault gun commander Captain Sándor Hanák ordered his men to fire. They kicked down the fence and fired on the approaching Soviet riflemen. The Soviets broke for the stands to take cover, but the assault guns fired into the rows of seats taking a terrible toll. Reports put the Soviet dead at about 800.

Left: The Grandstand today.

The Axis attack advances

The German II Bataillon/66. Panzergrenadierregiment and the Hungarian assault guns continued their attack, making it to the far side of the racecourse, but the advance was halted by intense Soviet artillery fire. The reconnaissance infantry  of the German 13. Aufklarungsabteilung also joined the attack, but also met strong resistance and made little forward progress. 
Zrinyi assault howitzer
Racecourse today, as seen from Google Earth The Panzergrenadiers and Hungarian assault guns could not hold the far side of the racecourse. By nightfall the Germans and Hungarians had an incomplete defensive line running across the racecourse, stands and stables. A lack of infantry meant the attack could not continue, and though they had a foot-hold on the racecourse, it could not be reopened as an airfield due to the continuing Soviet artillery bombardments.

The New Racecourse scenario

The New Racecourse scenario uses the Meeting Engagement, Immediate Reserves, Drunk and Nowhere to Hide special rules.

Your Orders

German and Hungarian
You must take back the racecourse airfield so supplies into Budapest can continue. You must push the Soviets out and seize the far side of the racecourse.

Your troops have taken the suburbs around one of the enemy’s last supply airfields. Take it and you shut down his flow of ammunition and provisions.

Scenario Map. Played on a 3'/90cm x 4"/120cm table
Zrinyi assault howitzer

Setting Up
1. Set up terrain using the map as your guide. The size of the table is 48”/120cm x 36”/90cm.
2. Place the three objectives as identified on the map.
1. The Soviet Defender then deploys one Rifle Company in the Soviet deployment area. The rest of the force is held in reserve.
2. The German and Hungarian player deploys his forces in the German and Hungarian deployment area.
3. The Soviet player has the first turn.

Winning the Game

A player wins if either:
• The German and Hungarian player ends their turn holding one of the Objectives in the Soviet deployment area, or
• The Soviet player ends their turn holding one of the Objectives in the German and Hungarian deployment area, or
• The Soviet player ends a turn on or after sixth turn with no German or Hungarian teams within 8”/20cm of both objectives in their deployment area.

13. Panzerdivision troops in Budapest


The battle is fought across the Budapest New Racecourse. The terrain is flat with some cover from buildings, fences and woods. However, the race track and racecourse centre are flat and any teams in it are effected by the Nowhere to Hide special rule.
The picket fence on the outside of the race track is provides Concealment, but does not block Line of Sight. The track fence on the inside of the racetrack provides no concealment at all. Both are only lightly constructed and provide no obstacle to vehicles, but do obstruct Infantry and Gun teams who cross them.
The grandstand is a building with an open facing towards the racetrack. It is like any other building when shot at from the three sides not facing the race track, but on the race track side it only provides Concealment to any teams inside it.

Special Rules

As the Germans and Hungarians were preparing for their attack across the racecourse they were surprised to see Soviet riflemen marching towards them. They were in close ranks, walking arm-in-arm and heartily singing. They also seemed quite drunk, obviously having overindulged in some liquid courage.

The Rifle Company deployed on the table is Drunk at the start of the game. While Drunk they are rated Motivation Fearless 3+, but are Hit On Reckless 2+ and re-roll failed Rally and Counterattack tests. However, they cannot re-roll the test to sober-up.

At the start of the second Soviet turn roll a Motivation Test before rolling to Rally to sober-up for the Rifle Company.

If the test is successful they come to their wits are no-longer Drunk. They return to being rated Confident 4+ and Hit On 3+ for the rest of the game and do not re-roll Motivation tests.

If not they remain Drunk for that turn.

They attempt to sober-up by making a Motivation Test at the beginning each turn until they are no-longer Drunk.

Nowhere to Hide
The centre of the racecourse and the track itself are very flat and offer no cover at all for advancing infantry.

Infantry teams cannot be Concealed in the Open where the No Where to Hide special rule applies, even if the infantry teams have Gone to Ground.

Scenario Forces

Hungarian and German

1. Üteg,
1. Rohamtüzérosztály

(1st Battery, 1st Assault Gun Battalion)

Zrínyi Assault Gun Battery
(Axis Allies: Bagration page 58)

Százados Sándor Hanák

Zrínyi Assault Gun Battery HQ (LH112)
1x Zrínyi (105mm)
Sándor Hanák command card

1st Platoon, 1. Üteg

Zrínyi Assault Gun Platoon (LH113)
3x Zrínyi (105mm)

2nd Platoon, 1. Üteg

Zrínyi Assault Gun Platoon (LH113)
3x Zrínyi (105mm)

Puskás Platoon, Combat Group

Rifle Platoon (LH120)
10x 31M MG & 95M rifle team with Panzerfaust

Supported by II Bataillon,
66. Panzergrenadierregiment 
(II Battalion, 66th Motorised Infantry Regiment)

(German: Bagration page 55)
Panzergrenadier Platoon

Panzergrenadier Platoon (LG255)
7x MG42 team with Panzerfaust

Panzergrenadier Platoon

Panzergrenadier Platoon (LG255)
7x MG42 team with Panzerfaust


18ya Strelkovy Korpus, 

317ya Strelkovy Diviziya

Rifle Battalion
(Page 36 of Bagration: Soviet)

571ya Strelkovy Polk

Rifle Battalion HQ (LS169)
2x PPSh SMG team

1ya Strelkovy Batalon

Rifle Company (LS170)
22x DP MG & M1891 rifle team, 1x Komissar team

2ya Strelkovy Batalon Rifle Company (LS170)
22x DP MG & M1891 rifle team, 1x Komissar team
Legkiy Samokhodnaya Artelleria Polk, 1ya Rota

SU-76 Light SP Battery (LS141)
5x SU-76

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Last Updated On Wednesday, December 14, 2022 by Wayne at Battlefront