TANK RANK AXIS ALLIES – PART 3: HUNGARY

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Whether bad things come to an end or not is never specified. Either way, it’s time to bring this sub series of tank rank articles to an end and finally cover the Hungarians. But fear not, because much like a film adaptation of a long book, I have decided to split this article into two parts. I’ll let you decide if this is my Dune, my Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows or my whatever the last Twilight book is called – I’m not even going to lower myself to Googling that. The only thing I know about the Twilight Saga is it’s about a woman deciding if she would rather have a boyfriend with excessive body hair or one that’s dead.

The entire plot of Twilight in one image – probably

Gathering the Fellowship

Anyway, I think that’s enough semi humorous pre waffle, time to get onto the main waffle. You know how it works by now; I’ll list the tanks in the Axis Allies Hungarian section, and then rant about each one in turn, then at the end I’ll rank them in a vague order of usefulness which will probably have no bearing on the actual game. Basically, if you’re looking for sound tactical advice, you’re in the wrong place.
In the Finnish and Romanian articles (shameless plug alert) I included the Mid War entries in the list as well, but seeing as the Hungarians have so much stuff, I’m going to do their Mid War entries in a separate article, which I guess means that will be part 3. So maybe this is actually my Lord of the Rings or Hobbit.

“Come Toldi Baggins, we most journey to Stalingrad”

Turan I and II

We have to start somewhere, and I’ve found that’s its generally best to start with a well-rounded medium tank so you can compare the other tanks to it.  As such, I was going to start with the Panzer IV, but this is a Hungarian tank rank, so I feel obliged to start with an actually Hungarian designed and built tank.

The Turan is a reasonable, if not exceptional, medium tank for 1942ish. Sadly, however, the Turan got stuck in development hell for a couple of years and didn’t actually see service until 1944, hence why it’s in this Late War tank rank, (although I’m personally hoping it makes an appearance as a Mid-War “monster” in the forth coming Mid War Eastern Front book).

Not bad……. for 1942

This means it’s under gunned and under armoured. We will discuss the latter first.
The armour on this thing is 5/2/1, which will only be of any real use if your opponent is using any of the lighter Late War anti-tank weaponry. Technically you can survive a shot to the front from a T-34/85 at long range if you roll a 6 on the armour save. This would merely bail the tank rather than blowing it up into thousands of tiny tiny pieces, but the crew would still almost certainly need a change of underwear. The side armour of 2 just means you’re not at risk of getting bailed by machinegun fire, which is situational at best.

As for offensive capability, the tank actually comes in two flavours; the Turan 1 has a 40mm gun, whereas the Turan II comes with a 75mm gun. The 40mm gun of the Turan 1 is AT 7 and with a 4+ firepower, so will only be useful against light tanks, armoured cars and transports, although if you’re fighting against Hungary’s greatest frenemy in the form of Romania, then you can run amok through the horde of T-38s. The 75mm gun of the Turan II is far more useful, and with AT9 and HEAT might be just about useful versus medium tanks.

The Turan does have decent speed, with a tactical of 10” and a cross country dash of 20”, so on par with the Panzer IV. It also has a Cross rating of 2+, which could come in handy. Like any tank that’s massively out of its depth, the Turan is at least relatively cheap; you can get five Turan I for about the cost of a Tiger, and three Turan IIs are slightly cheaper still. It is worth pointing out that whilst you can field the Turan I in units of 5, the Turan II can only be fielded in units of 3.

It might also be worth discussing the Hungarian soft stats before we get to far into the article. The standard Hungarian stats are:
Hit on 4+
Motivation – Confident 4+, with a Follow Me boost to 3+
Skill – Trained 4+.

I’ll point out anything that’s different to that, such as that Turans get Protected Ammo, giving them a remount of 3+.

Panzer III

The Panzer III version in question here is the one with the long 5cm gun, and it’s very similar to a Turan II in several ways. Some things are slightly better and some things are slightly worse.

More range, less boom

For a start, the armour is 6/3/1, so you might, just might, bounce that long range shot to the front from a T-34/85, although I suspect that similar to the Turan, the crew would need a change of underwear. Side armour 3 is a bit meh, probably not going to be that much more use than side armour 2. Like the Turan, it’s got a Remount of 3+, which will help that slightly soiled crew get back in the tank so they can try and run away from that T-34/85.

It’s gun is AT 9, but with a 4+ firepower and no HEAT. On the other hand, it is range 28”, which is four more inches then the Turan II had, and you never know when four more inches might be needed, (stop sniggering at the back). It also has a slightly slower cross-country dash than the Turan at 18”. The Cross rating is also marginally worse at 4+.

So overall you get slightly better armour for a slightly slower speed, and a slightly less powerful gun for slightly more range. It also only comes in units of three or four. A unit of three is only one point cheaper than three Turan IIs, so it really does just come down to if you want the better boom and speed, or greater range and armour.

Panzer IV

Ah finally, an actually decent tank, (spoiler alert). This is a proper Late War medium tank. Well, when I say decent, I should probably say acceptable.

German gave them out like sweets, just not to the Italians

Its armour is 6/3/1, so everything I said about the Panzer III armour still applies, although I’m not going to talk about pooping crew anymore as I feel that I have squeezed all the humour out of that joke now, so now I need to wash my hands of it.

I’ve already mentioned the speed of the Panzer IV, as it’s the same as the Turan, although with a cross of 3+, which isn’t too bad. Where the Panzer IV really shines is its main gun, which is range 32”, AT 11, and a 3+ firepower, so it can go toe to toe with other nations medium tanks.

Cost wise, the Panzer IV is only a point per tank more than a Turan II, and can be fielded in units of 4 so, as long as you don’t really need those 3 points elsewhere, you’re probably better off with the Panzer IV.

Formation wise, you can mix units of Panzer IVs and IIIs in the same formation, but Turans are a separate formation, so you do need to pick which you would prefer, unless you run two formations or do some black box support shenanigans.

Tiger

Ah the Tiger, (although if you’re an Allied tanker, that should probably be “arggggghhhhh the Tiger), one of the quintessential German tanks. It’s got a big gun and beefy armour, but is it any good? Short answer is yes, yes it is, but the more important question for this article should be is a Tiger full of Hungarians any good?

By that question I of course mean a Tiger tank crewed by Hungarians, not an actual tiger that has escaped from a zoo in Budapest and started eating people – that would not be good.

It wont end well

The Tiger tank is a beefy beast with armour 9/8/2, and the Allies will need their biggest can openers on hand to reliably deal with it. That being said, this is Late War and there’s plenty of AT 12 kicking about, so it can’t just swan around the board with impunity anymore. It has an AT 14 main gun with a 40-inch reach, so that will go straight through any Allied medium. It will also be squeaky bum time for most of the heavies as well. It’s not even that slow for a heavy tank-it’s faster cross county than a Pershing and can run rings round a Churchill. Yep, the Tiger has it all.

Whose the Daddy? Clue – not Ferdinand Porsche

Now the one questionable point of the Hungarian Tiger is that you do lose all special Tiger Ace rules that the German version gets, like a Remount and Last Stand of 2+. The Hungarian version just have the same bog standard ratings as the other Hungarian tanks. This of course means that Hungarian Tigers are slightly cheaper-a formation of a HQ tank and two platoons of 3 will set you back 75 points, whereas the same German formation would be 86 points – the difference of 11 points means the Hungarians could add a unit of Turan IIs in as the third platoon in the unit.

However, it’s not quite that simple; with German Tigers you could confidently field them in pairs, relying on your special rules to stop you failing a formation morale test.  With the Hungarian ones, you really need to field them in units of 3, so the enemy has to destroy 2 before you take a morale test.

So short answer to the question about Hungarian Tigers, they are good, but not quite as good as the German ones, so if you just want one unit you might be better off having an Allied German unit of 2.

Panther

Nope I’m not doing it, I’m not going to talk about the Panther again. You can’t make me!

This is a no Panther Zone

Toldi

Let’s talk about something Hungarian instead, how about the Toldi? It’s the Hungarians cute little scout tank.

Excellent by Romanian standards

The Toldi comes in two flavours in Late War; the Toldi II which is your basic model and has armour 1/1/1 and a range 20”, AT 5 fire power 5+ gun, and the Toldi IIa which has been upgraded to 3/1/1 and has the same main gun of the Turan I. This means that the Toldi II is only bullet proof at long range, and its main gun will only be good for keeping other scouting units honest . The main gun on the Toldi IIa means it might actually be able to do something useful if it can get into the sides of some medium tanks, and its beefed-up front armour means it’s more likely to actually get into the sides. Although it’s the same speed as a Turan, so it won’t exactly speed across the table, it does have the Scout and Spearhead special rules to help with that. The points difference between the II and IIa is minuscule, so it really is a no brainer between the two of them. But either way, it’s still a scout tank at the end of the day, so don’t expect much from it. Also, it’s worth noting that its Motivation and Assault ratings are only 5+, so don’t go charging them at the enemy.

Side rant here; in the Mid War Hungarian booklet, the Toldi II, (or Toldi as it’s just called there,) has the same 20mm AT 5 main gun, but in Mid War its Rate of Fire is 3/2, compared to 2/1 in Late War. I’ve no idea why this is, but in Late War it would make the Toldi II more of an option if it had that Rate of Fire.

Panther [yes, I can make you – Lee]

Urghhhh, do I really need to talk about the Panther? Fine! But first, if you’ve not read my German Bagration Tank Rank article you should. Don’t worry, I’ll wait here for you. Go on, off you go.

Read it? Good. Now you’ll know how much I HATE the Panther.
Maybe hate isn’t the right word, I loathe the Panther.

I despise it.

If one magically appeared in my garage, I’d take great pleasure in whacking it with a big hammer, (and then I’d sell it to a tank museum to be rid of it). My hatred is of course completely unrelated to the fact I once got tabled by a Mid War army consisting of nothing more than 8 Panthers back in 2nd edition.
No, I’ll tell you why it’s such a terrible tank:

It’s ugly and it smells funny.

Just Ew

Okay, being (semi) sensible for a moment, the biggest issue with the Panther is that it’s not a Tiger. It has the same big gun, but its armour is only 9/5/1, so it can take a hit to the front, but if any Late War medium tanks get into the side, it’s in for a whole lot of grief. It is marginally faster than the Tiger, but how often will an extra 4 inches of Road Dash really come in useful? This wouldn’t be such a bad issue if it was priced more competitively, but the Panther is one 1 point cheaper per tank than a Tiger, so you are just better of taking the Tiger.

Plus, it really is hideous.

Breaking the fellowship

That concludes part 1, and for the first time it means I’ve actually written a Tank Rank Article that only includes actual tanks!

Next up, the imaginatively entitled part 2, which contains everything that is definitely not a tank.

Wait does this mean that the Panzer IV is Faramir?

Category: Eastern FrontFlames of WarHungariansLate WarTank RankV4

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Article by: Andy Thompson