It was quite a slog to work through, to get it all painted, though worth it in the end.
Since then I have steadily added various platoons to the force to cover many options, across many companies, for my growing Wehrmacht forces. However, the idea of painting up another infantry platoon was still a little off putting...
But in my recent infantry company based Breville Gap campaign against Paul, it became apparent that another infantry platoon was going to be desirable, and specifically that being a pioneer platoon.
The Pioneers are highly versatile force, and also quite a large platoon, at least by German standards. Most German Infantry platoons have 7 teams whereas the pioneers have 10, giving them more staying power. However in a regular grenadier force they are still just Rifle teams, and not the Rifle/MG or MG teams of the rest of the company.
|German pioneers, flamethrowers lead the way.|
Pioneers, also have a higher anti-tank rating in assaults than regular grenadiers, thanks to the mines etc. they carry, which can make tank platoons think twice about assaulting their positions. Also if you equip the pioneers with a supply vehicle then you have the option of deploying barbed wire or a minefield as part of your deployment, making this platoon very useful on the defensive.
|Characterful models with lots of varied equipment|
They can also have up to 3 flamethrower teams as part of the platoon, giving them a lethal close range effect. The great thing about flamethrowers is that they ignore cover and there is no save against their effect! They also instantly pin down any platoon they hit, making the following assault easier for the pioneers or other platoons they are supporting. However this comes at a cost as the flamethrower is a one shot weapon and once used the team is removed from play, though does not count as a casualty.
Pioneers are also the best troops to have for getting through enemy field fortifications including barbed wire and minefields.
Another option for the pioneers is to equip one team with a Goliath. A Goliath is a remote controlled tracked bomb. This can be sent at the enemy with varying chances of success depending on the chosen target, but it is best, I have found, against dug in enemy gun teams, which include HMGs and AT guns. Again, this is a one shot weapon so you want to send it after something you know you are going to destroy...
|Pioneer team equipped with Goliath|
Finally, as part of the same order that I placed for the pioneers, I grabbed a Panzerschrek, to add to an odd one I had left from a prior order. This allowed me to complete a Panzerschrek team, part of the HQ of varying infantry based companies. I now have three of these teams , allowing me to field three of these tank killers at once, for example in a Sturmkompanie, from "Grey Wolf"; the late war eastern front supplement.
|"Kommen hier kleine Panzer"|