Front Roads: Kharkov 1943 Demochka

The makers of my favourite simulation of 2008 may, fingers-crossed, be about to unleash my favourite wargame of 2009. The demo of ЛИНИЯ ФРОНТА: БИТВА ЗА ХАРЬКОВ is disappointingly nocturnal and only available in Russian right now, but I reckon there’s enough Close Combat-calibre tactical action and Combat Mission: Campaigns-style meta-game discernible, to warrant incautious optimism.

In between bouts of confusion, I’ve witnessed my gallant Ivans Molotov passing halftracks, flee  warehouses set ablaze by flammpanzers, and perish under the tracks of predatory Pz. IIIs. More significantly, I’ve been able to fiddle with an intriguing turn-based ops layer that looks certain to give Front Roads skirmishes rare rootedness. However skilled a scenario author and well-paced a campaign sequence, nothing beats the thrill of the unforeseen unintended engagement.


  1. Frankie The Patrician[PF] says:

    “nothing beats the thrill of the unforeseen unintended engagement.”
    – Are you still speaking of the game, right? Right? :D

  2. Fenchurch says:

    I must admit it absolutely had me until I saw the T34 and the Panzer kind of nose-to-nose in the middle of the battlefield x-D

    But any chance to live a Close Combat III kind of thrill in such glorious 3D is verrrry tempting!

  3. Tim Stone says:

    @ Fenchurch. Yes, that scene worried me too. In the demo I haven’t figured out how to deploy T-34s yet, but the Panzers do seem to behave fairly sensibly, standing-off to suppress/neutralise spotted infantry etc.

  4. Subject 706 says:

    Now please, please, please give us a game like this with ANOTHER SETTING than WW2!

  5. Fenchurch says:

    @Tim Stone

    I almost wrote Time Stone there, surely a lost adventure game from the mid 90s? =-P

    I must admit that my current money cannon is only loaded with enough grapeshot to pepper the standard of Paradox, as Hearts of Iron III is out in less than a fortnight, so I shall have to await judgement on an English version of Kharkov.

  6. Dodomaster says:

    @Subject 706

    Nah, ww2 is still fun!

  7. Weylund says:

    @Subject 706 – have you checked out Combat Mission: Shock Force?

    On topic… this looks interesting. Loved Close Combat.

  8. Subject 706 says:

    Sure, but the setting is getting really tired.

    Haven’t really dared yet. Heard a lot of bad things about it. Is there a demo?

  9. lack_26 says:

    @Subject 706,

    there is a Combat Mission: Shock Force (patched to 1.2, pretty much fixed) + Marines + British modules demo out. The game is actually pretty damn good now.

  10. Rob Zacny says:

    Please do keep us posted, Tim. I’d never heard of this, but it looks and sounds excellent. Certainly it’s been a long time since I played anything as dramatic as Close Combat (sorry, gents, but Combat Mission never involved me emotionally). I hope an English version is en route.

    And can we stop complaining about World War II as a setting? I’m worried that good games are getting ignored because it’s the fashion to dismiss the setting. Nobody seemed while Call of Duty and Medal of Honor exploited it into the ground.

  11. Lack_26 says:

    Yeah, I never felt for my men in Combat Mission the same way I did in Close Combat.

  12. Mad Doc MacRae says:

    3D Close Combat? Yes please!

  13. Vinraith says:

    Anything that follows in the (all too neglected) footsteps of Close Combat is a good thing. Will this have the kind of continuity and strategic context of the CC games? That is, will what I lost on map 1 affect what I get on map 2?

  14. Sam C. says:

    Yikes, I tried the demo for the first game, and that was a little intimidating. I guess I wasn’t really expecting a tank sim with no tutorial, and the translation is a little questionable. Might have to give it another go once I’ve steeled up for it.

  15. leeder krenon says:

    wwii is the only war worth simulating, both real and otherwise. hope this gets an english release!

  16. Redjac says:

    Looking forward to this game and all its sequels. I would like to see some pictures of troops occupying and fighting from buildings.