Back to News Listing Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets Announced!

Posted: Thursday, May 01, 2008 by Sean Drummy

Type: News

The New Successor to SSG’s Award-Winning Wargames!

Matrix Games and Strategic Studies Group (www.ssg.com.au) are excited to announce a new World War II operational strategy game, designed to be the successor to both the award winning Decisive Battles and Battlefront designs… Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets!

David Heath, Director of Operations at Matrix Games, said “Strategic Studies Group has a new masterpiece on its hands with Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets. Not only does this expertly designed and meticulously balanced title give gamers the ability to experience the solid gameplay found in both the Battlefront and its predecessor, the Decisive Battles series, but it brings some truly unique, innovative and fun gameplay elements to one of the epic battles of World War II!”


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.


Features include:

  • 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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Kharkov: Disaster on the Donets

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