Kharkov follows its predecessor Salerno (link) as the second installment of the Variable Combat Series (VCS). It covers the failed Soviet offensive to recapture that city and the subsequent German counterattack during the spring of 1942, which produced the last great pocket of Soviet prisoners. The game is based primarily on Kharkov 1942: Anatomy of a Military Disaster by David Glantz, with some order of battle enhancement by George Nafziger, and maps based on post-war USGS surveys (themselves taken from wartime Soviet surveys). Players conduct operations as either Soviet commander Semyon Timoshenko or German commander Fedor von Bock. The Second Battle of Kharkov is the perfect gaming situation to entice players into the world of strength chits. It's a battle not often covered by other titles, and features actions where both sides were attacker and defender. Game scale is 3 miles per hex and one day per turn. Units are primarily German regiments and Soviet divisions. Components include two 22 inch x 34 inch maps and 700 1/2 inch counters, including over 350 units.