I painted these guys almost by accident.

Well, maybe not quite an accident (it’s not like I spilled a bottle of field grey paint and there they were) but it certainly wasn’t part of the master plan. They’ve sat in my “to paint” box for waaaay too long (look, here they are unpainted back in Jul 2014!) and I actually reviewed the Warlord Games German Pioneers box set back in 2014, too. But I recently had to paint up some German gun crews (Pak 40 and Flak 38) so while I had the German colours out I decided on a whim that I’d throw some paint onto these pioneers and get them done. Finally.

I actually painted the flamethrower and a couple of the squaddies a while back, but this now brings my dastardly huns up to the full complement of pioneers for Chain of Command games. To those who are not already lovers of CoC, engineering support comes in three-man teams. You can get mine clearance, demolitions, wire cutting or flamethrower teams. You can also get a squad made up of two teams plus an NCO; crucially this allows you to pick their exact equipment load after the enemy places his obstacles. Very handy.

Like most people I’ve gone for one man with the representative equipment, and a couple of more generically equipped guys to escort him. All these troops do have the nice pioneer backpacks that come as metal parts in the Warlord kit. The minimum you need to cover all bases is an NCO, one of each of the equipment types, and four meat shields to accompany them.

How much use will I get out of these guys? Well, I’ve been playing CoC for the last two years and haven’t needed them yet! Hmm. In truth, the main reason that’s been the case is that we’ve played back-to-back campaigns, and the Germans have been solidly on the defensive. Off the top of my head none of the campaigns we’ve played (5 Platoon – Breaking Through to Frost at Arnhem, Kampfgruppe von Luck, Operation Martlet) have had any engineering support available to the Germans. I actually think the way CoC handles obstacles and breaching them is really good for a platoon-scale game. They’re useful, without being overpowered.

Still, when you’ve had something sitting around waiting to get painted that long it’s nice to just get ’em done!