Ver Versão Completa : Meet the Mortar

05/11/2008, 16:38
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The US mortar team is trained from the Weapon Support Center, and the Airborne Doctrine's Supply Drop also provides a (crew-less) mortar tube. For 280 Manpower, you get a three man squad carrying the M2 60mm mortar and one M1 Carbine. In order for the mortar to fire, it must first be set up. If one of the squad members manning the mortar is killed, the third member will drop his carbine and crew the mortar. When the mortar is deployed and two members are killed, the last member will also die automatically, but the mortar can still be recrewed. If two squad members are killed while moving the mortar, the mortar will not drop and thus will not be recrewable. The mortar itself can also be destroyed by explosives and heavy weapons, and if the mortar is destroyed, the crew will die with it.

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What does the mortar do?

The mortar can fire via four different orders - attack, attack ground, 60mm Mortar Barrage, and 60mm Smoke Barrage. Usually, the best way to fire is to by using the 60mm barrage to manually target an area. This fire mode has an increased rate of fire and improved accuracy relative to the other firing methods; however, this ability only fires a limited number of rounds, after which it must be given a new barrage order. If you are attacking a bunker and performing a flank on the other side of the map, it may be easier to use attack ground to have the mortar fire at a point continuously (albeit at at a slower rate.)

The mortar smoke barrage is one of the most underused abilities in the game, though it has some key situational uses. The smoke generated by this type of mortar barrage massively reduces the accuracy of units firing into or out of the cloud. Thus, the smoke can protect your units that are moving through it from incoming fire, although they will not be dealing effective damage either. However, mortar smoke can be used effectively combination with flamethrower-equipped units (like upgraded Engineers and the Crocodile flame tank,) since smoke doesn't reduce the accuracy or damage of these types of weapons. Therefore, when assaulting a garrisoned MG, you can use a smoke barrage to create cover for your flamethrower Engineers to safely move in and assault the MG. Sturmtruppen (the man behind CoH Stats (http://www.coh-stats.com/)) has also done tests showing that smoke reduces accuracy on projectiles passing through the cloud, meaning that a well-placed smoke barrage can protect your heavily damaged tank from a PaK 38 or Panzerschrecks while it retreats to safety.

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The mortar can also work in a defensive role, protecting your strategic points. Units capturing points have the same incoming accuracy modifiers as units in red cover, meaning that they take extra damage. While the mortar's long range can allow it to barrage distant points this way, it's poor accuracy at those ranges means it is not always reliable at deterring the enemy from capturing those points. By using shot-blocking terrain features (such as hedgerows and houses,) you can situate your mortar closer to those points (making it more accurate and thus more effective at killing troops trying to capture those points) while still keeping it out of harm's way.

Anti-vehicle usage

One interesting property of mortars is that a direct hit to a light vehicle, such as a Puma, will cause an Engine Damage critical. If you suspect your opponent has temporarily stopped one of his light vehicles somewhere within your range (for example, if it is parked for repairs,) try barraging it so it will be unable to escape your AT weapons and ineffective at pursuing your troops.

When to use it?

The mortar's job is to provide indirect fire, meaning it can shoot from behind the natural cover of a building or hedgerow and lay down fire on masses of infantry or buildings and bunkers. It works equally well in both offensive and defensive roles. As an offensive unit, its barrages can force MG42 teams to leave their garrisons or risk being killed, take out bunkers and anyone surrounding them, or take down clustered masses of infantry. As a side note, the 60mm Mortar has a lot of negative modifiers against the Panzer Elite, meaning that the US mortar does poorly against Panzer Grenadiers and other Panzer Elite infantry units.

As a defensive weapon, the mortar is great for supporting your .30 cal MGs and Riflemen - your MGs and infantry can wait inside buildings or behind cover and keep the attacker away and/or suppressed while the mortar is deals the real damage. Constantly repositioning your mortar is a must - if you suspect that your enemy has a Nebelwerfer, his own mortar, Walking Stukas, (or any other artillery for that matter,) it's important to stay on the move. If you use your mortar correctly, dealing damage safely from a distance, it will really frustrate your opponent and make him do irrational and stupid things to take it out.

What to watch out for?

The most obvious thing to watch for is counter-battery fire from other mortars. The Wehrmacht mortar has a slightly longer range than yours and is therefore a big threat to your mortar. However, if you are constantly on the move, you can remove his initial range advantage and counter his counter-mortar by repositioning slightly closer to him so that you are inside his range. Keep in mind that one lucky direct hit can kill the entire mortar crew, so it's vital to reposition after just a few shots so that you leave nothing up to chance. Against the Panzer Elite, a mortar is usually a bad choice, since the superior mobility and health of their Mortar Halftrack will beat out your mortar every time.

When you have your mortar deployed behind shot-blocking cover, such as hedgerows, watch out for Grenadiers on the other side of that cover. Grenades thrown over hedgerows can quickly mean a dead mortar crew. It's also important to watch out for infantry trying to rush your mortar, or snipers trying to pick it off from afar. Try to always have some of your own units nearby to support your mortar at all times.

Make use of scout units to ensure an accurate and deadly barrage. Cloaked snipers and Jeeps are the units of choice for this role. Keep your mortar out of the line of fire and have a safe retreat path ready in case you have to bail, as the crew is very vulnerable while on the move (remember that the squad instantly dies as soon as it drops to one member.) If you think you are about to be overrun, get the mortar out of there early and save the 280MP.

Summary - so, should I build the mortar?

It's very situational, but it can have a big impact on the game. If your opponent is using a T2 Medic bunker centered strategy, the 60mm mortar can be really effective as long as you scout properly and watch for the enemies' counter-mortar fire. It's also very useful if you can get a mortar quickly and use it to force MG42s out of buildings, giving you more flexibility as to where your troops, which can provide the upper hand in battle. If you practice using your mortar and keep it moving between barrages, this unit can frustrate your opponent and win you the game. It can also be a waste of 280MP if you don't use it correctly and just leave it in one spot for the whole match.

Against the Panzer Elite, I don't recommend getting it at all. It does very little damage to their infantry and is hard-countered by their very mobile Mortar Halftrack.

Mortar veterancy table

Vet 1 (8 XP)

Accuracy increased by 15%
Received accuracy reduced by 20%

Vet 2 (16 XP)

Cool-down between shots reduced by 25%
Received suppression reduced by 25%
Received damage reduced by 15%

Vet 3 (32 XP)

Accuracy increased by 20%
Damage increased by 50%

by chi3f

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