This major new update includes nearly twenty significant improvements to the Kharkov game system. Among others, it adds variant units with differences in strength and OOB to the Mystery Variant system and allows entirely new “what if” formations like the 3rd Guards Rifle Corps to be part of the scenario variants. Also, the rules to refit a unit have changed to an explicit action by the player using a new refit button. Finally, the update comes with restrictions on viewing enemy OB screens have been implemented to prevent giving away the new variant unit information, along with more new features, rule tweaks, and several bug fixes.
As part of this update, SSG has also announced its future development plans, to provide a roadmap for what scenario designers and wargamers can expect in the future. Specifically, SSG plans to updates its older battles to the new game system on which Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets is based. This system, called Decisive Battles on the Eastern Front: 1941-1945, will initially accommodate a remake and update of Across the Dnepr to this new system. There are also plans to release Operation Husky, Operation Avalanche, and Operation Shingle from Battles in Italy as free scenarios based on this new game system.
David Heath, Director of Operations at Matrix Games, said “SSG has some ambitious plans for the new year and we know wargamers will be excited to see what they have in store. Decisive Battles on the Eastern Front: 1941-1945 is a very solid and realistic new operational wargame system that will grow more engrossing and rich with each subsequent release and the planned free scenarios.”
Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets is the latest strategy title from the award-winning team at Strategic Studies Group. A synthesis of the very best elements of two critically acclaimed and top-rated game systems, Decisive Battles and Battlefront, and a successor to both, the new Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets brings to life a campaign of epic scale and dynamic battles on the Eastern Front of World War II.
Command the Soviet forces, newly confident after stopping and throwing back the Barbarossa offensive, or try the elite and seasoned German army now reconstituted after winter losses and ready to regain the initiative. Two separate forces prepared offensives in the same area in the Spring of 1942. When the dust had cleared the Germans had managed a great victory that opened the doors to the drive on Stalingrad. But the outcome was far from certain and in Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets, history is yours to rewrite.
This new system allows both regimental and battalion level combat, while incorporating many innovative features such as off-map reinforcement decisions and on-map historical areas of operation with mystery variants to increase replayability and limit the effect of hindsight. Along with the substantially improved and simplified supply and movement systems, a new bonus and advantage system for headquarters effects, simplified direct fire and better combat tables, an improved strong points system and the ability to create hedgehog defenses make this the most advanced and realistic SSG design to date.
Perhaps the most innovative new feature of Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets is the on-map area of operation and mystery variant system. This new system takes away the advantage of hindsight by restricting mass unit relocation while allowing the areas to change as you achieve your objectives, with mystery variants keeping the opponent from predicting your limits. These new rules represent a realistic modeling of historical command restrictions and add a new and fascinating layer to each side’s decision-making.
- Successor to the highly popular and award winning Decisive Battles and Battlefront engines, combining the best elements of both
- An innovative and fun area of operation system which limits unrealistic redeployments for both players, with changes triggered as local objectives are achieved and based on mystery variants to keep the enemy guessing
- Improved and simplified supply, movement and direct combat systems
- Improved combat tables that better model diminishing returns and new HQ bonuses that can affect Direct and Indirect Fire
- Improved strong points and new hedgehog rules
- Models both battalion and regimental combat
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