Friday, May 10, 2013

German Pioneers - FoW

When I first started collecting a German force for Flames of War, I started off with a boxed 'Festungkompanie', which contained 3 Infantry platoons and all the bells and whistles that came with it.

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
I can see the pioneers being a regular part of my forces from now on, and also with the addition of some 'Stuka-zu-Fuss' rocket launching half tracks, will add some extra punch to my Armoured panzergrenadier force.

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.

Panzerschrek team

"Kommen hier kleine Panzer"

22 comments:

  1. Nice work Scott, I will be adding some pioneers to my fallschirmjager for similar reasons

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    1. Definitely a useful force addition to any german infantry

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  2. Nice job Scott. Love the Goliath :D

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    1. Many thanks :-) sadly it was useless in tonights game. In desperation sent it at the barbed wire to try and blow it, but I was alerady in woodland and it bogged on a 1... its was about my luck for the night, so I gave it up and came home early for a vino with the Mrs...

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  3. Great stuff. I like the style of your Germans. I haven't picked up a paint brush for a few weeks, and I need to get going on some FOW I have waiting for me. I can feel the motivation growing so stay tuned for some new work of mine.

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    1. Many thanks, I look forward to what you get up to. What are you planning?

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  4. Nice pioneers Scott. 10 pioneer teams in a platoon is scary. I've never played a pioneer in LW due to the high cost but EW airborne pioneers are crazy fun. Crazy expensive but fun :)

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    1. Many thanks. Of the three games I have used them so far (first two proxied with card tokens)... they have been a bit hit and miss. Did little in tonights game, but I just couldnt get them past the wire... too much covering fire which my supporting platoons were hopeless at getting rid of... I got a fair number of hits, but Paul's was rolling saves like a God and when he did fail one I fluffed the FP roll... it got a bit demoralising...

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    2. I've found playing my pioneers similar to your experience. Either they did very well or failed miserably due to low team count per platoon. As for the dice roll....try straightening up and clicking your heels before you roll ;) This has helped me numerous times :)

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    3. LOL, thanks I'll try that next time!

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  5. Dab hand at painting, aye? These are well done. Do you use washes on the skin sections?

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    1. Cheers. Yes after base colours I wash the whole model in a dark brown wash, then work up the mid tones again, flesh included. I dont bother with highlights at this scale...

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  6. Great work there Scott. Very very nice!

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  7. What a wonderfully versatile unit; have you considered adding flames to the flamethrowers?

    Although not flames this might give you some ideas:

    http://falklandsctg317.blogspot.co.uk/2013/04/landing-right-hook.html

    All the best,

    Michael

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    1. Thanks. Nice idea. We often lay down 'smoke and flames' as we fire them for the photos for the battle reports we do over on Kapitifowgamers on blogger...
      There is the counter point of course... if I model them with flames my opponents are always going to know they are there and which ones they are... without them, there is that chance of cunning concealment, and thus unleashing them unexpected... ;-)

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  8. It seems you have been busy Scott! Nice work!

    Christopher

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  9. German camo pattern in 15mm!! I cant even begin to imagine how anyone can manage that but manage you most certainly have, great stuff.

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