Korsun Pocket05 Jun 2003 0
The Strategic Studies Group ("SSG") should be a name familiar to many grognard wargamers. The Australian developer created and released The Ardennes Offensive through Strategic Simulations, Inc. and The Ardennes Offensive 2, the non-commercial 100% free sequel which also managed to win The Wargamer's coveted Award for Excellence. That same game is actually still available for free download and play from The Wargamer's dedicated section, Wacht am Rheim. The 1997 and 1999 releases of this operational-level, hex-based wargame have since spurned the next game in the franchise, once again being developed by SSG but this time to be published by Matrix Games. It's name? Korsun Pocket.
Korsun Pocket marks the return of the Decisive Battles system, one which provides an integrated move/combat-based system for classic turn-based play. The system places heavy emphasis on deep data storage, as units can even "remember" the outcome of previous battles, which will in turn affect their play. Played at the operational-level, Korsun Pocket's hyper-realistic presentation of pre- and post-battle information is one of its strongest suits, much like The Ardennes Offensive. Finally, SSG has once again incorporated its unique AI, one which our previous reviews noted: "the AI in The Ardennes Offensive was given its own bill of rights from the start." However, since few details have been released regarding SSG's Korsun Pocket AI, it's unclear how exactly the developers will approach this always challenging gameplay aspect.
As history buffs might have guessed, Korsun Pocket relives the German vs. Soviet battles of early 1944 in which a retreating German army, beaten back after Stalingrad, found themselves encircled by four separate Soviet armies in the southern Soviet town of Korsun. Although partially supported by relief and supply lines, the Germans quickly found themselves in a "pocket," surrounded by the Soviet armies. Realizing their army could not hold the town, they organized a break out of the "pocket," only to be crushed by the Soviet army. More details, presented in the game's native format, are available on the Korsun Pocket official web site.
SSG's Decisive Battles of World War II: Korsun Pocket will be released in mid-June. Plenty of information and additional features are available on The Wargamer's Wacht am Rheim game section.
Pentium II 350 MHz
64 MB RAM
8 MB video card (DirectX 8 compatible)
Sound card (DirectX 8 compatible)