Pioneers in Combat

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rim66
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Re: Pioneers in Combat

Post by rim66 » Sun Jan 14, 2018 2:20 pm

Just to reinforce what everyone says, attachments to your platoon usually come with a mission and a command state. The most common in these circumstances in NATO would be TACOM - that allows you to task in accordance with their mission. For engineers, the mission is usually either mobility support i.e. clearing obstacles, or counter mobility support - making obstacles. So you can tell mobility engineers to clear that road block, make a gap in that minefield, but ask them to do anything different like lay mines and you'll be told no way. Arty ammo aside, engineer stores are one of the biggest drags on logistics and there are also never enough engineers. Supplies go where they are needed, there aren't great piles lying around for engineers to pick from and they just don't have the capacity to carry everything for every task - stuff is normally pre dumped for them at the site. You normally have them for a set time to do a set group of tasks and then they are gone, usually to help someone else with similar challenges. The same actually applies to things like ATG - their mission is to destroy armour, so you can task them to shoot at tank A before tank B but not to fight as infantrymen. They will defend themselves if caught, although you would have some explaining to do about why such a precious asset was exposed in such a way. The rules reflect this reality - your engineers are there to be engineers and that's it. As stated, in some cases, engineers can behave as assault troops and there are some lists for this or they can be selected as support. In that case, their mission is to support the assault and so they can be tasked to do that, but they won't be bringing boxes of mines with them just in case. In short, when you get them, they are a one trick pony despite being generally extremely skilled and versatile more generally.

Hope this helps,

Kind regards,

Richard aka Monty Lardo

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Arlequín
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Re: Pioneers in Combat

Post by Arlequín » Sun Jan 14, 2018 3:39 pm

"We'll need the wire cutters for this. They're in the toolbox in the back of the truck. Climb over the flamethrowers and bales of barbed wire, shift the boxes of mines and satchel charges, you'll see the box under the mine detection gear, picks and shovels..."

Seems legit to me. ;)

Eclaireur
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Re: Pioneers in Combat

Post by Eclaireur » Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:32 pm

Thanks again Peeps

Archdukek - thanks for page ref and further explanations. Elite Pioneer Squad as an 8 point support choice seems fair enough to me, and yes it's right that it be an 'expensive' option given the training required. I note also your answer to Istvan about the LMGs and SMGs in tank hunting teams. So the guys laying a mine for the tank can get fire support from other members of their team but not those cutting wire? ...curious.

TT - you're right I should have searched previous threads more carefully so I accept the implied bollocking ;-) the thread you've pointed up is indeed useful. And yes, I take your point about the scarcity of highly trained specialists. As John (Archdukek) has said, they should come pricey. But equally in a game where the historical scenario (Sevastopol defences battle, for example ...) dictates combat engineering tasks should loom large, then part of balancing the high cost of the assault engineers might be a stipulation that the defender would have to deploy a certain number of points as minefields, obstacles, trenches or what have you.

Arlequin - I agree the platoon commander would be in a world of hurt if he got his attached pioneer squad or section wiped out. but what we're talking about primarily here is the suggestion in the rules that engineer teams carry no weapons and therefore cannot fire, even in self defence. whether we stick to the current dispensation or allow them to shoot, the enemy is still going to try killing them I imagine, and your platoon commander in equally hot water if the enemy succeeds.

rim66 - yes I think it's fair enough to stipulate before a game that your engineer squad must be made up of task orientated teams. the example you use of 'mobility support' is a good one since it suggests a group of men who might be cutting wire, lifting mines, clearing an obstacle or maybe even making good a small section of damaged bridge. If you look at the personal load out of US D-Day assault troops or German pioneers they were equipped within even quite small sub-units to deal with a variety of 'mobility support' tasks. To have one 'mobility support team' in an engineer squad and one LMG team would seem eminently reasonable to me, and in line with WW2 combat practice in the German or US army. But I'd still allow that 'mobility support' team to shoot in its own defence + once it had accomplished its primary (engineer) tasks.
EC
Last edited by Eclaireur on Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:24 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Munin
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Re: Pioneers in Combat

Post by Munin » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:28 pm

If I were to do a scenario that included a Pionere platoon involved in a combat role (as some certainly were, especially in heavy urban fighting) I'd simply run each section/squad as three 3-man teams and a JL, with each team being one of: rifle team, LMG team, wire-cutter team, mine-clearing team, demo team, or flamethrower team - with the proviso that no single section can double up on any single type of team. Each team has an associated cost based on its FP (e.g. flamethrower or LMG teams are more expensive than rifle or wire-cutting teams). This would represent troops with specialist capabilities engaged in a combat role where their squadmates were manning an LMG or firing rifles to cover their work. It's a little "gamey," but I think it captures the idea that people have for assault engineers undertaking combat operations.

ocollens
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Re: Pioneers in Combat

Post by ocollens » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:34 pm

My impression is that quite frequently in urban fighting the assault engineers were the core troops and infantry, guns and tanks supported them. Russian storm groups varied widely in size and so are perhaps not the best models for CoC platoons but here is an example from the battle for Posen 1945:
6 storm groups were tasked with attacking a large industrial building, each consisted of about 10 sappers supported by 5 infantry and two infantry guns. The sappers were a mixture of flame thrower men, men with demolition charges and men with grenades - especially smoke grenades.The infantry and guns were there to keep the defenders heads down. https://topwar.ru/47928-shturmovye-grup ... oznan.html is my source.
Incidently sappers were the first to be trained as storm troops in the World War I German army.
And on that subject - is there any provision for specialist grenadiers (not rifle-grenadiers) but blokes festooned with grenades who don't wait for a JL to tell them to throw them?

Archdukek
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Re: Pioneers in Combat

Post by Archdukek » Sun Jan 14, 2018 9:33 pm

ocollens,
There are no rules for using specialist grenadiers in CoC, but there are rules for using bombers in the WW1 variant in the Christmas 2014 Special. Basically bombers can throw their grenades whenever their squad is activated and they gain extra dice in Close Combat.

John

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Seret
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Re: Pioneers in Combat

Post by Seret » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:50 am

Eclaireur wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:32 pm
I'd still allow that 'mobility support' team to shoot in its own defence + once it had accomplished its primary (engineer) tasks.
Which I think is fine as a house rule if you are being sensible about it. But I think Rich's default decision of "engineers only do engineering stuff" is a really sensible one if you're writing rules for general consumption. You know what wargamers are like, we've had endless discussions on here with people asking "Can I buy a tank hunter or engineer team and just use them as extra infantry if my opponent doesn't pick tanks or obstacles". Because if you let them, they will and before you know it you've got medics leading charges on MG nests.

poiter50
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Re: Pioneers in Combat

Post by poiter50 » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:53 am

Or holding objectives?!
Seret wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:50 am
Eclaireur wrote:
Sun Jan 14, 2018 4:32 pm
I'd still allow that 'mobility support' team to shoot in its own defence + once it had accomplished its primary (engineer) tasks.
Because if you let them, they will and before you know it you've got medics leading charges on MG nests.

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oozeboss
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Re: Pioneers in Combat

Post by oozeboss » Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:59 am

I have a gung ho killer gruppe of "Sturmpioniers" - all smg armed and maxed out to be as deadly as - collected and painted up for use in that Other Game, where their deployment is simply meant to be as an assault squad du jour.

But as I now find myself only playing Our Game these days and as I am in complete agreement with the rules concerning the uses and deployment of Pioneers, I am quite happy to have that hopelessly gamey unit consigned to the sidelines for the foreseeable future.
"We are all worms.
But I do believe that I am a glow-worm."

Winston Churchill

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oozeboss
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Re: Pioneers in Combat

Post by oozeboss » Mon Jan 15, 2018 9:01 am

Seret wrote:
Mon Jan 15, 2018 8:50 am
Because if you let them, they will and before you know it you've got medics leading charges on MG nests.
... or being taken in order to get an extra order dice cheaply, and to crew a vehicle's machine guns!

:shock:

(Or am I mixing my games up again?)

;)
"We are all worms.
But I do believe that I am a glow-worm."

Winston Churchill

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