Hammer and Sickle follows StalinÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Onslaught and focuses on the Soviet units carrying out the second phase of Operation Bagration, the exploitation of the Shock ArmiesÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ breakthrough of the German defences.
These highly mobile corps launched through gaps created in the Germans lines and immediately rushed deep into German held territory heading directly for Minsk and its lines of supply.
Highlighting the northern and southern spearheads (the Hammer and Sickle) and their associated corps brings some interesting tank and equipment options.
To counter what seems to be an almost unstoppable Soviet Juggernaut are the improvised defensive forces of the Germans that opposed the onslaught of the Hammer and Sickle.
Various Kampfgruppen (battle groups) and Sperrverbanden (blocking forces) were organised in response to the Soviet breakthrough. Essentially, out of desperation, the Germans sent anything (Sicherungs, Ersatz Engineers, WalkÃƒÂ¼re) and everyone (HQ, Schools, replacements) to the front in hopes of holding back the Red tide.
The best results were achieved by intermixing the best available and experience personnel into Sperrverband. These were then tied to arriving armoured formations (5. Panzer and 12. Panzer divisions and the 505. Schwere Panzerabteilung formed into Kampfgruppen). This combination of defensive infantry and counterattacking panzers began to slow the Soviet offensive.
The German companies in Hammer and Sickle are designed around these concepts. They give you the flavour and feel of the blocking forces. You can build a defence and counterattack force against Soviet armour and mechanised formations that will force the Soviets to redirect their attack.