For 25 points you can turn 5 rifle teams of the Piechoty companies into Pioneer Rifle teams. Given their higher anti-tank rating and ability to gap obstacles, I decided to do this option in both of my infantry groups.
However, how should these pioneer teams be represented? Pioneers in my eyes are engineering teams who build and destroy things. However, 10 teams modelled building barricades would be pretty dull (and hard to model!).
I then considered what the Home Army would use pioneers for. There is an osprey illustration of a group of AK soldiers trying to disable a Goliath demolition carrier and this sparked my interest. They are armed with a panzerfaust, wire cutters and small arms: they’re pioneer teams.
However, very few 15mm figures are appropriately armed, BF are the only major manufacturer who produces anything similar in the form of the Winter Finnish Close Defence Teams.
The pack contains some excellent pioneer figures but due to Battlefront’s chronic stock problems it took a while to find them for a reasonable price in the UK.
I eventually got the Finnish Tank Hunters and Hungarian Pioneers to raid for the engineer figures, to supplement the extra Panzerfausts that make up so much of the Volkssturm pack.
Between these 3 sources, there should be enough to produce the 40 figures required, with any gaps filled by NCOs and assaulting riflemen.