Graviteam Tactics: Operation Star is a sequel to Achtung Panzer: Kharkov 1943. It’s an Eastern Front war game with solid graphics and sprawling battlefields that really emphasizes the scope of WWII tank combat. Want to step into the role of a commander in the very heart of Kharkov’s defense?
User reviews: Very Positive (175 reviews) - 87% of the 175 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Mar 22, 2012

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Recommended By Curators

"Essentially Combat Mission. This is two servings heavy of world war tactical turn base experience. Steep learning curve and patience required. Also DLC!"

Recent updates View all (8)

July 17

New patch - July 2015

  • Fixed a bug with the wrong type of special effect when hit into the vehicles and landscape objects.
  • Fixed a bug with blocking artillery support at the end of any type of projectiles.
  • Fixed a critical bug when the acceleration time is on on some configurations.
  • Fixed a bug with incorrect work of the roataion mechanisms of the Chieftain tank.
  • Adjusted L11 HESH projectile for the L11A5 gun.
  • Fixed incorrect distribution for vehicles in the formation (offset to the left) within a mixed formation.
  • Fixed offset to +1 for company code, in the numeric/alphabetic coding mode.

9 comments Read more

June 13

Hotfix - June 13th 2015

Small graphical fix for some machines.

1 comments Read more


“...“Why can’t more games have campaign systems like Achtung Panzer Operation Star?”. Where most wargames blindfold you, bundle you into the back of truck and drive you miles to a new unfamiliar battlefield, after every victory or defeat, this one forces you to push on, and confront the sometimes-grim consequences of previous actions...”
Rock Paper Shotgun

“Achtung Panzer: Operation Star really is a gem, especially for the addicted wargamer.”
The Wargamer

About This Game

Graviteam Tactics: Operation Star is a sequel to Achtung Panzer: Kharkov 1943. It’s an Eastern Front war game with solid graphics and sprawling battlefields that really emphasizes the scope of WWII tank combat.
Want to step into the role of a commander in the very heart of Kharkov’s defense? You'll have everything the officers had back then: tanks, guns, and fearless soldiers. The success of each opposing force hangs in the balance every day. Your decisions will determine who wins the Battle of Kharkov.

  • 8 operations for the Red Army and Wehrmacht.
  • More than 60 detailed units of the Soviet Union, Germany and UK, including Pz IV "Tiger", MkII "Matilda" and KV-1 with various modifications.
  • Huge realistic landscapes (over 260 sq km), reconstructed by the topographic maps and photo.
  • Quick battle anywhere in the operation areas.
  • Mod utility set and campaign editor.

  • High replayability and flexible AI. It chooses the best strategy based on behavior rather than a script. Scenarios can be replayed using different tactics, as though playing against a human opponent.
  • Real soldier behavior: every soldier has several basic parameters, such as experience level, fatigue, and morale, which affect their behavior and effectiveness.
  • Detailed recreation of weapons and realistic ballistics: bullets and projectiles follow accurate trajectories.
  • Comprehensive vehicle damage system: engine, suspension, weapons, and aiming mechanisms can all be damaged separately, affecting the combat capabilities of the vehicle.
  • Destructible environment: nearly everything can be blasted and destroyed, from ground terrain to houses and enemy defenses. All traces of previous battles remain on the battlefield.
  • Dynamic day, night and weather effects, all of which affect combat through terrain traversability, battlefield visibility, hidden force capabilities, and more, smoke screens, light flares e.t.c.
  • Military encyclopedia with 3D model viewer and detailed data on all units, describing their historical and in-game characteristics.

System Requirements

    • OS: Windows XP SP2 / Vista
    • Processor: AMD Athlon x2 4200+ / Intel Pentium D 3GHz or Better
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: ATI Radeon x1600 256MB / Vidia GeForce 7600 256 MB video card or better
    • Hard Drive: 3 GB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX 8 compatible sound card
Helpful customer reviews
30 of 33 people (91%) found this review helpful
89.8 hrs on record
Posted: May 9
Like probably all the other reviewers out there this game ♥♥♥♥♥♥ me off and seemingly sucked at first. I'd try playing it, get angry and quit for a day or a few hours then i'd try playing/learning it again, rinse and repeat. Finally I looked up a tutorial, got a bit of bearings going, and while I still suck at the game, I am improving and when you understand the mechanics and facets of the game it becomes probably the closest thing to actual WW2 battlefield simulation you can find. Sit your troops in a spot for a while and they will dig trenches, add a Artillery Spotter or Air Support Spotter to a platoon and give them a little more oomph, replace dead troops in a squad or vehicle by getting them to a conscript unit and refill their ammo by sending them to a supply group and replace any busted vehicles and fix any that can be repaired. You can order your troops to do things but theres so many variables that can hinder their progress or cause them to not achieve their directive. Of all the things that make this game hard to get into at first i'd say this is the largest. I STILL have a very hard time getting my tanks, soldiers, vehicles and ESPECIALLY MY GOD DAMN ARTILLERY GUNS to do what I tell them. The mortars seem to work fine, but even when I keep commanders from my Arty unit spread out to relay orders and spot land for fire missions they still often just sit there with their thumbs up their asses. The other problem is that about 60% of the time my troops will not target the targets I pick out for them. When i desperately need a tank to be killed and even when my AT guns/Tanks have clear lines of sight they sometimes just will screw around a lot more than actually do something productive. It causes me to panic and usually makes my troops far less effective in combat than the AI's. The odd thing is, i'm not even sure if it is an ACTUAL problem or just my units acting unpredictably, as would happen in real life. There's so many different outcomes to even the smallest scenarios that it could just be circumstances and the game is doing exactly what it should. I just can't quite figure out whats going on, but its really the only major complaint I have, however, and its concerning an important part of the game so It needed mentioned. My only other really big complaint is that there isn't very many units. All the units are authentic to the time period and are extremely detailed, I just really wanted to see some Panthers and T-34/85s and IS-2s and other awesome late war tanks.

Overall a fantastic WW2 RTS/Simulator

-Very detailed environment, map and units
-Authentic everything. Map layout, terrain, units available its all authentic.
-Pretty nice graphics in my opinion. Nothing amazing but very solid.
-Really realistic reactions from soldiers and units to the various situations. A squad that suddenly loses 3 or 4 men from a mortar could easily be panicked.
-A ton of strategic depth
-Play as germans or russians of course
-Custom battles
-Very specific and in depth settings for difficulty and gameplay
-Runs fine and no crashes in the 30 hours i've played
-Completely dynamic map and battlegrounds. Where your troops are on the strategic map is where a battle will take place in the RTS portion. Its very dynamic but i can't think of a good way to describe it.
-Varied time periods in the DLC expansions

-Not very many units to choose from even though they're all authentic
-Only a single strategic map. The map is huge and has quite a few different areas but still theres only 1 and it'd be nice to have at least 1 or 2 more. **EDIT** (I don't know if i missed them or if its because I bought some DLC on the recent sale but theres more maps to choose from than 1. I know for a fact some of them are exclusive to the DLC but I believe I was wrong in assuming the base game only has 1 map, at least for quick battles. Its still only 2 or 3 at the most so its staying on the cons list)
-Relatively large learning curve combined with a ho-hum tutorial.
-Overpriced and stupid Hi-Res textures DLC
-DLC Doesn't seem to add very many WW2 units, if any, and just adds a new battle area/battle map
-Confusing UI and difficulty getting units to always follow orders.

Overall, worth getting especially if you like detailed and realistic WW2 games. This is the pinnacle of WW2 strategy when it comes to realism and authenticity, its better than Men of War in that aspect. Its got some quirks but something about it keeps me coming back even when the AI kicks my ♥♥♥ and I rage quit I still find myself coming back to it.
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17 of 19 people (89%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
23.4 hrs on record
Posted: May 24
best RTS game wat i play befor. more realism than company heros more challenge than total war more interesting campaign example africa war also china vs russian in DLC

DLC is good value becase is complete new campaign with new map new soldier new experiance is like evry DLC is new game like a sequal

is vary complicat game i dont understand ervythings about but i dont care this, i enjoy to lose this game becase AI deserve, vary clever AI vs vary stupid me : D but most best thing about this game is atomsphere.

i give for this game 9/10 and if you like to do a war and be like general control army and try to win in vary dificult battle and you dont mcare to have hard lesson and lose many time plese make purchase you dont regetting : D

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16 of 19 people (84%) found this review helpful
211.1 hrs on record
Posted: April 12
Simply put, the best tactical wargame around, cardboard or PC. It's not all that difficult to learn, nor is it loaded with tedious micromanagement, so don't be indimidated thinking this is the land version of Harpoon/Command:MNAO. However, it is time consuming and the slower pace will likely bore those without a serious interest in Eastern Front military history. The manual/tutorials are not very helpful but the UI is really quite simple to pick up with some experimentation. If you've played less realistic games like the Wargame series, World in Conflict, or Theatre of War you should feel some familiarity. As far as subject matter, it's primarily WWII eastern front, but DLC operations are available to expand it into some hypothetical cold war-era conflicts as well as the rarely covered Angolan Civil War.

I consider Graviteam Tactics to be the first honest-to-goodness tactical land combat sim, sort of like the squad-level version of Command Ops. No gimmics, no turn-based time segmentation, no motivational speaker leaders rallying troops on to heroic feats; just cold hard weapons statistics. Graviteam is also renonwn for their tank sims so every weapon and ammunition type is individually and accurately modelled against every type and section of armor (yep that's hull, superstructure, and turret!) for range, ballistics, penetration, etc. It's also the first game on a small unit scale to seriously model communications and command & control: issuing orders requires a level of 'command', which is increased by such factors as being near the commanding officer, squads operating together as a platoon/company, and the presence of comms units. Your units will not always follow your orders, or enact them the way you planned, and once a squad becomes engaged, it can often be very difficult to modify it's orders. Other vital soft factors are accounted for as well with very granular systems for morale, supression, and fatigue.

I can find little wrong with the core tactical system, it just works. The only major flaw is that close quarters combat can get a bit wonky, soldiers often ignore enemies a few feet in front of them and often rush into hilarious melee combat.(alternately exchanging rigidly animated kicks and rifle butt strikes) I'd also like to see a more fleshed out orders system with more control over unit frontages, support weapon usage, line of advance, etc., or the AI's performance in those regards be improved. Some more hotkeys would also be nice.

The operational system serves primarily to generate skirmishes, but there is some nice detail in the way of fatigue from moving on the operational map carrying over to skirmishes and supply lines for fuel & ammo. I'm a bit baffled why a square grid was chosen for this though as it has the tendency to generate odd engagements (with all units within a square area being drawn into battle)and encourage some gamey tactics as far as unit positioning. A hex grid would have worked far better imo. It doesn't detract all that much from the game, the heart of which is in the tactical mode, but it can cause frustration at times.

You really have to play the game to realize the level of ambition here. Just astounding. Blows every other squad-level tactical wargame out of the water.
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12 of 14 people (86%) found this review helpful
402.3 hrs on record
Posted: May 16
If you are a fan of strategy games buy this, you need it in your life. Similar to total war series where there is the turn based phase (called operation phase) and the real time phase (called tactical battle phase). So think total war but WWII and this is the game. However the scale is much smaller as you are fighting for a single city municipality region instead of an entire country. Also no base building but you do get reinforcements. The AI does a fair enough job, although you will wish they made this game multiplayer. This is a slow strategy game like sins of a solar empire where patience pays off. My only gripe is on the line of sight system, I swear to all things explodie that I should be able to shoot something but yet my guys are like nope can't do boss. Also pro-tip wait for sales as otherwise $15 per DLC is kinda a rip....All in all Great Game 8.5/10
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9 of 10 people (90%) found this review helpful
862.2 hrs on record
Posted: June 14
Ever played a game where you hid your troops in an unforgiving, winter wasteland with no real cover except for maybe a shellhole from some battle before (when your group was at full-strength and chock full of ammo) or among some skinny trees? Oh, did I mention they're short of ammo, at half-strength, and their Commander was killed in the previous engagement four hours ago?

Well, here you are, a young German soldier swallowed up in Mother Russia in 1943 manning a hill with 5 combat effective infantry units left out of the twelve you started with and it's 3 a.m. and blizzarding and the Popovs are coming hell bent on a suicidal charge to knock you out of some hard-earned ground. Hope to God they don't have armor because your Engineer Squad got decimated and the Pak gun you have won't penetrate what they've been rolling out. Well, at least you have some mortar support to call in but those rounds are few to spare so be careful in calling it in because if it's just a probe and you waste your rounds, well....

...Soviets show up, In force. No one is dug in. You call in what few mortars you have left to break up and hopefully stop their assault because if you can survive till reinforcements arrive then maybe, just maybe there's a chance because the half-tracks you rolled into this winter hell in are either smoking ruins or immobilized and you're damned lucky to have survived with anything. Now is usually when the praying starts.

Mortars fall heavy in their midst but it's so sporadic because the spotting is off that it kills no one except 3 men of yours because the ♥♥♥♥ing mess fell short and they run off screaming into the night ablaze [that is not drama folks; your troops will burn, and they will scream, and you will try to block it out after a while].

Then the mortars finally hit spot on and after watching your enemy suffer a bit as they burn and scream and run off into the frozen landscape to satisfy your revenge, you call off the bombardment early to salve your last sense of humaity. And you relax. The battle's almost over, you may just hold this worthless piece of real-estate. Time to call for a Cease-Fire and hope Ivan is as tired and spent as you are. Resupply is on the way...just survive this turn.

Then, without warning, an uncannily accurate artillery bombardment rakes your position and destroys a large chunk of the men you have left...

Because YOU called off the mortars before his forward artillery observers were killed. Live with it.
And are those advancing tank engines you hear in the distance...? Sheisse !

Welcome to GraviTeam Tactics kids.

This is not a nice guy's wargame.

[There's my drama laden review. With 700+ hours and counting on this game, it's safe to assume I recommend it enthusiastically, but only if you're willing to learn it's daunting rule schematic. For you old wargame grognards, it's like "Squad Leader" come to life. Nuff said]
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