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Exploring Mid War Hungarian Infantry Formations

Exploring Mid War Hungarian Infantry Formations
with John Lee
With the release of Hungarian Steel, I was asked to explore the Mid War Hungarian Infantry Formations like the article I wrote for the Bagration: Axis Allies launch (Click here for the article).  Looking at the booklet and command cards, there are five infantry formations in total you can take.  We will explore each one and what some of the command cards can be applied to either the formation itself or unit(s) within the formation.  So, let us explore the core Motorised Rifle formation first, then look at the Motorised Recon, Rifle, Assault Pioneer Formations as well as the Huszar Squadron (Yeah Cavalry!).


Exploring Mid War Hungarian Infantry Formations

The Hungarian infantry are rated Confident Careful Trained and have the special rule “Huszar” which allows each unit to do a “Follow Me” movement order on a 3+ (Exception are the two Anti-tank platoons which do not have this ability in the formation). The HQ platoon comprises of two 39M SMG teams for 3pts or two 31M rilfe teams for 2pts. This is the basic HQ.

Exploring Mid War Hungarian Infantry Formations

With the motorised rifle platoons, you have several options to optimise how you want the makeup of these platoons to look. Seven 31M rifle and 31M MG teams for 6pts or ten teams for 9pts. You can also beef up the platoons by adding a 7/31M HMG team for +1pt, a 50mm mortar team for +1pt and a 20mm 36M anti-tank rifle team for +1pt. I like to take the HMG team if I have the points. If the platoon gets pinned, then you need that extra dice defending in assaults.  The 50mm mortar team can be useful to dig out infantry teams and having the anti-tank rifle helps ward off an armoured car platoon wandering too close for comfort. If you take the ten-team option, adding at least 2 of the optional weapon teams gives you the ability to absorb 8 hits instead of 5 for the pin by direct fire having a large platoon of 12+ teams.

The next platoon to look at is the 7/31M Machine-Gun platoon where you can have two of these teams for 2pts or three for 3pts. Something to consider taking, especially if you do not take them in the infantry platoons. Adds another platoon for the formation count. I do not always take these but can be useful to bolster defending an objective.  

Exploring Mid War Hungarian Infantry Formations

Up next is the 81mm Mortar Platoon – I think one of the best buys in the formation with two for 2pts or four for 3pts. This is an absolute no brainer – range of 40” and can fire a smoke bombardment. This is one of my core units for this formation.

Next up are the Anti-Tank platoons. The first up is the 40mm Anti-tank Platoon which has two guns for 5pts or four guns for 12pts.  Useful AT7 FP4+ with a range out to 24”. For +1pt for two guns or +3pts for four guns, you can upgrade to the Kerngranate option. This gives your guns the ability to fire AT12 FP5+ out to 12”. The 50mm Anti-tank Platoon has two guns for 7pts or four for 15pts.  AT9 FP4+ with a range out to 28”. Great little units to provide some decent AT support for defending assaults or keep your opponent’s armoured elements honest and provide another unit for the formation break.
Exploring Mid War Hungarian Infantry Formations
The first command card to look at which applies to infantry is “Pancelvadasz” for 2pts per unit.  The rule for this card is “Discard this card to give Infantry Teams in this Unit Anti-tank 3 and firepower 1+ against Top Armour in Assaults until the end of this turn”. Very useful and in most cases an auto-include for infantry platoons.

The second command card to look at which applies to all Infantry formations is “Storm Over the Don”. This card allows all infantry units in the formation to dig in on 3+ for 2pts for the formation. This is a useful card to have as your infantry is either Green or Trained.

 For Mid War you need some AT12 at a minimum to deal with most big threats and if you have AT14 even better.  The Hungarians are blessed in that they have not one but TWO AT12 options they can take in their support diagram. First is the Marder II Tank Hunter Platoon allowing you to take 2-4 Marder II (7.5cm) mobile gun platforms – absolutely no brainer for me – auto include ambush unit in every list. Four for 18pts – Done! The second option is taking Motorised 75mm Anti-tank platoon. Four guns for 19pts. This is another good option as an ambush unit – ambush with these and bring the Marders on from reserve. If you want the certainty of AT14 then you can also take allied German Panthers or Tigers. I feel though that with the infantry formation, you may not even need AT14, you still need some AT12.  Let us look at two lists – one with allies and one without. Lists will be based on 105pts.

Exploring Mid War Hungarian Infantry Formations

The formation has five platoons for the formation break. The two infantry platoons have twelve teams for the 8 hits for the pin.  You can defend both objectives with the anti-tank guns and infantry and some armoured cars for either spearhead or to run interference with your opponent, and there is one template from the mortars. If you have reserves, then the Marders and Panzer IVs are your mobile options. If you are attacking, then you have two large infantry blobs to get the attack in supported by tanks and guns and mortars.

Let’s look at taking some allied Panthers to complement our force as well as Italian allied mobile artillery/anti-tank support (yes – that’s right! You can take either a German and/or Italian allied formation and/or German and Italian allied units).

Exploring Mid War Hungarian Infantry Formations

Nothing has changed in the formation – all I have changed out is the support. Gone are the 75mm anti-tank platoon and armoured car platoon and I have dropped one Marder II to gain a two tank Panther platoon and a four-vehicle platoon of Allied Italian Semoventes. The Panthers provide that additional AT14 with a range of 40” to go with the Marder IIs and the Semoventes provide some AT8 for light/medium AT duty as well as a second artillery template. If you don’t like platoons of two tanks, then you could add a third panther by removing the Semoventes and anti-tank rifles from both infantry platoons. If you want a Tiger instead, you could add one for 29pts and remove the two panthers and frees up another 7pts where you could add a 4th Marder II, armoured car platoon and a 1pt command card such as “Diversionary Tactics” or “Pure Luck”.


The second formation is the Motorised Recon Company. This is a limited command card formation which is like the formation above except instead of heavy weapons and anti-tank guns, you can have armoured cars and light tanks as part of the formation.

The infantry component is the same above except that you only need to take one infantry platoon as mandatory instead of two.  Looking at the Csaba Armoured Car Platoon first, it has the Scout and Spearhead rules.  Being Scouts, they have worse ratings such as 5+ Last Stand and Assault with 6 for Counterattack.  You take three for 2pts and is equipped with a 20mm AT5 FP5+ gun and MG and has a cross check of 4+.

The Toldi Tank Platoon has the Huszar, Spearhead and Armoured Reserve rules.  The Armoured Reserve rule essentially treats units with this rule as Tanks having FA3 or more for missions with Deep Reserves.  Take three for 5pts, four for 7pts or five for 9pts.  Each tank has FA1 SA1 TA1 with a 4+ cross check and equipped with 20mm AT5 FP5+ gun and MG. 

Exploring Mid War Hungarian Infantry Formations

The advantage this formation has is the ability to spearhead built into the formation itself. The disadvantage is you lose the mortars, machine-guns, and anti-tank guns as part of the formation.  There is also a command card that allows a Motorised Rifle Platoon or HQ to upgrade to Motorcycles for +2pts (This would apply to platoons in both Motorised Rifle and Motorised Recon formations). The rule is “Infantry Teams from this Unit become Unarmoured Tank Teams with a Save of 4+ and the movement and special rules below. Discard this card at the start of any Movement Step to revert them to Infantry Teams”. So, no tactical movement, terrain dash of 10”, 16” Cross Country, 40” road dash with a 4+ cross check.  Also being unarmoured, teams cannot charge into contact and must break off if assaulted.  Having said all that, they can take advantage of the Huszar rule. With a 3+ follow me ability, you could advance quickly down the board – especially if you get a spearhead bubble. This means you can get infantry quickly down the end of the table to get to that far mission objective. 

You wouldn’t need to equip all your platoons in the formation – one platoon would do the trick. Depending on your playstyle, you may want to take some form of artillery as well as high end AT or you could just take more mobile support or even another formation!

Exploring Mid War Hungarian Infantry Formations

We have maxed out the units for formation to take advantage of six units for the formation break. One large platoon that will have motorcycles and two smaller platoons to defend the objectives or to provide backup for the assault. The two armoured car platoons provide the spearhead and screen the large platoon whilst it goes after the objective. The Marder IIs provide the heavy AT, allied Semoventes the main artillery template with that dual purpose AT and the Panzer IVs all round medium AT. Stukas to provide secondary artillery template to either pin the enemy holding the objective or go tank hunting!


The third formation is the Rifle Company.  This is in the booklet and represent the second line infantry formations (Light Divisions).  They have a similar composition to the Motorised Rifle Company with the addition of an 80mm Regimental Gun Platoon and extra Machine-Gun Platoon.

Exploring Mid War Hungarian Infantry Formations

The units in this formation are rated Confident Aggressive Trained but retain the special rule “Huszar” (Exception are the two Anti-tank platoons and Regimental Gun Platoon which do not have this ability in the formation). The HQ platoon comprises of two 39M SMG teams for 2pts or two 31M rilfe teams for 1pt. This is the basic HQ.

With the rifle platoons they are also different in that they only have rifle teams instead of rifle and MG teams. This means of ROF of 1 whether stationary or moving. Seven 31M rifle teams for 3pts or ten teams for 5pts. Like the Motorised Rifle Platoons, you can also beef up the platoons by adding a 7/31M HMG team, a 50mm mortar team, and a 20mm 36M anti-tank rifle team for +1pt each. With the platoons being cheap, I would max these out to 10+ team platoons.

The 7/31M Machine-Gun platoon can only take three teams for 2pts. Worth taking here to bolster your rifle platoons with extra 18 dice! And adds another platoon for the formation count. As you can take two of these platoons, you could pair it with an infantry platoon to give it added firepower. 

The 81mm Mortar Platoon can only take four for 2pts. This is an absolute no brainer – range of 40” and can fire a smoke bombardment.They are green which means ranging in on a 5 or 6 but for 2pts is bargain – especially if you can pre range in with the selected mission.

The 40mm Anti-tank Platoon has two guns for 3pts or four guns for 7pts.  If you upgrade to the Kerngranate option, it will cost +1pt for two guns or +2pts for four guns.  The 50mm Anti-tank Platoon has two guns for 5pts or four for 11pts.

The platoon specific to this formation is the 80mm Regimental Gun Platoon.  Featuring two 80mm field guns for 4pts, it has the ability to fire an artillery and smoke bombardment out to 64” with AT2 FP4+.  Useful direct fire range out to 20” with ROF 2 AT8 FP3+ and smoke stats.  A useful unit to bolster your formation as an additional dual-purpose artillery/AT unit.

There are two command cards that apply specifically to the Rifle Company and Units. The first is “Pioneer Company”. This card allows all infantry units in your formation to cross minefields safely on a 4+ and dig in on a 4+ for 2pts for the formation.

An alternative option for “Storm Over the Don” card for Rifle Companies along with the second card “Scout Ahead” which applies to Rifle Platoons – “Teams can remain Gone to Ground while moving for 2pts per Rifle Platoon”.

Exploring Mid War Hungarian Infantry Formations

Seven units for the formation break. Maxed out two platoons, each with “Pancelvadasz” and “Scout Ahead” cards and “Storm Over the Don” for the formation. Gives them ability to take on tanks in assaults and with Scout ability makes them harder to hit when moving through cover up to attack (which will mitigate being hit on 3s to now 5s moving under cover).  If they need to dig in, they can now do so on a 3+. Supported by two in-formation artillery templates plus close defence AT. High end AT covered off by Marders and Pak 40s (soft skin transports if you need to move them to support your attack).  Armoured Cars for Spearhead and Panzer IVs to help screen your assault and to perform medium AT work.

The second to last formation is the Assault Pioneer Company which is found in the Command Cards. 

The HQ is taken from the Motorised Rifle Company and the core platoons are taken from the Assault Pioneer Platoon found in the Support diagram. So, all units are Confident Careful Trained with the Huszar rule as well as the Pioneer rule which allows all units in the formation to dig in on a 3+.

The Assault Pioneer Platoon is made up of two types of teams.  The usual 31M rifle & 31M MG teams as well as Flame-thrower teams.  The Flame-thrower teams have a 6” range with ROF 2 AT2 AUTO FP.  Get these guys into assault range and get them to vaporise some teams before the unit goes in to rout the enemy!  Six 31M rifle & 31M MG teams and one Flame-thrower team for 7pts or Eight 31M rifle & 31M MG teams and two Flame-thrower team for 10pts.  

You will want to maximise out this formation with all three core platoons and the HQ for the formation break. This is an assault force, and you will want to be attacking with them.

Exploring Mid War Hungarian Infantry Formations

Exploring Mid War Hungarian Infantry Formations

All Assault Pioneer Platoons have the “Pancevadasz” card for assaulting tanks if required.  Supported by Marders and Pak 40s for heavy AT work and 80mm field guns for a template to pin your opponent as your Assault Pioneers get into assaulting range. Panzer IVs to screen the infantry and provide medium AT support.


The last formation now and one of the most exciting is the Huszar Squadron!  This formation is in the booklet and the units that make up this formation are:

Exploring Mid War Hungarian Infantry Formations

All units are Confident Careful Trained, and the cavalry units have the Huszar rule. The cavalry units can either be mounted or dismounted.  You can start mounted and dismount anytime at the start of your movement.  Once dismounted, the unit will remain dismounted for the rest of the game. The HQ comprises of two 31M rifle team for 2pts.

Exploring Mid War Hungarian Infantry Formations

The Huszar troops are made up of five 31m rifle and 31M MG team for 7pts or seven teams for 9pts. They have the same stats as the Motorised Infantry platoons with the option of also being mounted. Add one 7/31M HMG team for +1pt. There is also a specific command card titled “Hack Them Down” for the Huszar Troop. This card allows the unit to Counterattack on a 3+ for 3pts per unit.

The 75mm Huszar Battery is made up of either two 75mm mountain guns for 6pts or four guns for 12pts. They have an artillery and smoke bombardment range of 64” and a AT2 FP4+ template or AT5 FP3+ with a range of 16” for direct fire and smoke. Note it also has a 4” tactical move and a 3+ cross check, and being trained, range in on a 4+ (or 5+ in terrain).

Exploring Mid War Hungarian Infantry Formations

Maxing out the formation gives you three mounted platoons, an artillery template in the formation along with anti-tank guns that can provide close defence AT for assaults or use them to support your attack. Having the option to have the cavalry mounted vs dismounted helps to make decisions on what force you may face and the table terrain you may need to navigate. If you have reserves in a mission, you could have one or two troops come and possibly straight into assaulting infantry off the objective. Supported by Marders for heavy AT work, armoured cars for spearhead and extra MG dice. T-38 platoon for extra MG dice and to help screen your cavalry. Nimrod Autocannon Platoon to provide some light/medium AT capability.

So, there you have it – five infantry formation options to choose from. Hungarian Infantry have some uniqueness about them with Cavalry, Recon, Assault Pioneers that you can exploit in your games. I hope this has been of some help. Huszar!
~John


Last Updated On Friday, October 8, 2021 by Luke at Battlefront