In World War Two, mines, booby traps and demolitions were extensively used. The troops specialized in placing or removing the above explosive devices were a valuable asset to a field commander.
In ordinary WW2 reenactments, pyrotechnic simulators are being used to simulate mines and booby traps, but, as of yet, they are not used in sufficient numbers and ways that significantly change tactics.
In WW2 combat simulation, sappers/Pioniers can have a crucial role in scenarios. Mines and booby traps influence combat in a more realistic way, and can be a considerable obstacle to enemy troop movements. Demolition charges are also utilized to destroy enemy assets. Sappers/Pioniers are useful types of soldiers to have at a commander's disposal.
Numbers, Description and Equipment:
Each side is allowed a certain number of sappers/Pioniers according to the scenario; this number may not necessarily be the same for both sides. Each individual sapper/Pionier will be issued a card which must carried in the field at all times. The wearing of authentic insignia and carrying accessories peculiar to sappers/Pioniers is not required but it can score Authenticity Points. Each side may have more personnel in sapper/Pionier units than the allotted number, but only the bearers of sapper/Pionier Cards may remove enemy mines or booby traps or place and detonate demolition charges.
Deployment, Use and Conditions:
Although sappers/Pioniers will carry infantry weapons, their principal use should not be to add to the infantry's firepower but to place and remove mines and booby traps. They are the only troops that can clear roads of mines and obstacles or open up assault lanes through enemy minefields for attacks. They are the only troops that can place mines and booby traps to hinder the enemy once the scenario has begun.
Sappers and Pioniers are a limited asset in that there are only so many allowed and they have a limited number of "lives." Each time a sapper or Pionier is killed, a referee will punch out a "life" box on his Sapper/Pionier Card. When the "lives" are used up, the cardholder may not function as a sapper or Pionier for the rest of the scenario. (They may stay with their unit and continue to fight as an infantryman.)
For the exact means of deploying and removing mines and booby traps, see the section "How Mines, Minefields and Booby Traps Work."
Scoring function in Combat Simulation:
Sappers/Pioniers can gain Combat Points for their side as follows: