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Bulletpoint

How to use mortar halftracks?

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1: When I select the mortar halftrack vehicle, I can draw a target line, but the mortar won't fire. However, when I select the mortar inside the halftrack, I can fire it.

But that means I cannot order first a move and then to fire at the end of the mortar halftrack's movement order. Because the mortar can only be ordered to fire from the location where the halftrack starts its turn. Any way to do this?

2: I can't seem to choose between target and target light. Mortars outside the halftrack can either use Target, to fire as fast as possible, or Target light, which means to fire at a slow rate of fire. But inside the halftrack, the mortar can only use "Target". However, the rate of fire is actually slow like "Target light"!

Am I doing some kind of mistake here?

 

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IIRC the mortar can be dismounted.  It is a passenger.  So, you have to select the weapon not the vehicle.  Am assuming that since it takes time to reset the mortar the vehicle cannot move and the mortar fire in the same turn(??)

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8 hours ago, Erwin said:

Am assuming that since it takes time to reset the mortar the vehicle cannot move and the mortar fire in the same turn(??)

That's plausible. Has anybody tried giving the vehicle a pause, say of 30 seconds, before it moves, and also giving the mortar a fire order to see if it shoots before the vehicle moves? I've done that with tanks, i.e. give them a Target Brief command and a Pause command before a movement order.

Michael

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7 hours ago, Michael Emrys said:

That's plausible. Has anybody tried giving the vehicle a pause, say of 30 seconds, before it moves, and also giving the mortar a fire order to see if it shoots before the vehicle moves? I've done that with tanks, i.e. give them a Target Brief command and a Pause command before a movement order.

Michael

The problem is not that the mortar can't fire before the vehicle moves. It's the other way around: I want to drive the mortar up to just behind a crest and then immediately start to fire on a target only visible from there.

This is possible when the mortar team is on foot, but not while they are in the halftrack.

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8 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

The problem is not that the mortar can't fire before the vehicle moves. It's the other way around: I want to drive the mortar up to just behind a crest and then immediately start to fire on a target only visible from there.

This is possible when the mortar team is on foot, but not while they are in the halftrack.

Well, that still sounds challenging to me. You are talking about “Artillery” not Assault Guns....

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1 minute ago, StieliAlpha said:

Well, that still sounds challenging to me. You are talking about “Artillery” not Assault Guns....

Not sure why they'd not be able to fire quite quickly after reaching their destination though. Obviously with the dismounted mortars, there's a setup time, but that time is spent physically assembling the mortar again..

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Posted (edited)

They have to recalculate their trajectories at the new position, if the ground is not flat & level (it never is) the tubes need to be realigned and so on.....Fairly confident there are several guys here who could explain the procedure much more thoroughly.  @Combatintman  @TheForwardObserver

IMHO direct firing with mortar-tracks is just asking for trouble, much safer to park them at the bottom of the slope and use a forward observer or their platoon HQ to call in their fire.

Edited by Sgt.Squarehead

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31 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

They have to recalculate their trajectories at the new position, if the ground is not flat & level (it never is) the tubes need to be realigned and so on.....Fairly confident there are several guys here who could explain the procedure much more thoroughly.  @Combatintman  @TheForwardObserver

IMHO direct firing with mortar-tracks is just asking for trouble, much safer to park them at the bottom of the slope and use a forward observer or their platoon HQ to call in their fire.

Thanks, mate. My explanation would have been more “engineer like”: It’s like trying to align a microscope with a sledgehammer.

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38 minutes ago, Sgt.Squarehead said:

Did/do you do artillery for a living too? 

Nope, I am in pretty heavy mechanical engineering.  The motto being: If you can‘t repair it with a sledgehammer or a torch, it‘s rubbish. 😎

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Posted (edited)

Bulletpoint,

In order to engage a target, the mortar must either be in direct lay, where someone can eyeball the target from the mortar position and, with or without a map, figure out the range, the appropriate charge, then begin  adjustment firing until the bracket is achieved and FFE can commence. In order to conduct indierect fire, an FO or somebody else has to pass the coordinates to the mortar team, the team must have a pretty good own location in order to be able to shoot effectively, and adjustments have to be made based on spotting the impacts before the shoot proper can begin. What you want to do is run up (not necessarily Fast) on a piece of ground which may or may not be level and start firing. Won't work because the mortar could easily be out of alignment in both traverse and elevation after that, not to mention cant, all of which must first be sorted out; the range isn't known, the crew's been likely subjected to jostling. The ammunition is still in racks, too. Therefore, no charge bags can be added until the rounds are removed from their shipping tubes (or is it boxes?). Nor can the right charge be applied until the range is called. All in all, you're looking at an evolution which may, likely will,  take longer than for infantry to deploy the mortar in the usual way. Realistically, I don't see how you could move up the mortar track and do all the other needed things in a mere minute. Could I be wrong? Sure. But I don't believe I am. Am not familiar with the mortar halftrack in CMFB, but I do know that many pointed rearward for quick escape. This says the M4 type, the first model, which used the M2 halftrack, fired aft, but the M3 based M21 fired forward. If that's the case, then you also have to factor turning around and reversing into position for the M4, which makes things worse. Consequently, taking the various factors in aggregate,  I find it eminently reasonable you can't do what you want to in a single turn. FM 17-27 81-MM MORTAR SQUAD and PLATOON is here. It is the complete how to for the M4 series and is from 1942.

Regards,

John Kettler

Edited by John Kettler

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Posted (edited)

I think you guys are over-thinking this. I'm not asking for super-fast accurate fire. I'm asking why the mortar halftrack can't be ordered to a position and then to open fire from there.

Every other unit in the game can do this. Not sure why the mortar halftrack can't. It's a game interface issue, not a realism thing.

I'd be happy if I could plot a movement order, then draw a targeting line from there, and the mortar halftrack would move, then say "deploying" for a realistic amount of time, and then start to fire.

 

Edited by Bulletpoint

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4 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

I'd be happy if I could plot a movement order, then draw a targeting line from there, and the mortar halftrack would move, then say "deploying" for a realistic amount of time, and then start to fire.

 

Am wondering... Since one can only have one target from a waypoint. the game engine allows that for the primary unit - in this case the vehicle to fire from that waypoint.  IIRC the mortar carrier (German?) may not have a weapon.  In this case perhaps the game system cannot switch to allowing the passenger to have a target order unless the passenger has a waypoint itself.  So, can the onboard mortar be dismounted and moved?  If so, then maybe its waypoint (after dismounting) can then have a target order.   Otherwise, it may simply be an engine limitation.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

I'd be happy if I could plot a movement order, then draw a targeting line from there, and the mortar halftrack would move, then say "deploying" for a realistic amount of time, and then start to fire.

Yeah, we can issue 'Target' Orders at different Waypoints with Armor/Inf in same turn, but it seems not for Mortars...Maybe a Game Limitation ?

Edited by JoMc67

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2 hours ago, Bulletpoint said:

I think it's supposed to work, because the halftract itself can be issued a fire order - even though it does not have any weapons!

That's beginning to look like a bug or game limitation that you have discovered.

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32 minutes ago, Erwin said:

That's beginning to look like a bug or game limitation that you have discovered.

I think so too. Compare with the MG armed halftracks, where you issue a fire order to the vehicle itself, but then a passenger steps up to man the gun and fire, if there's no dedicated gunner crewmember available.

In the case of the mortar halftrack, it seems there's a link missing somehow, that doesn't tell the mortar passengers they should fire.

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On 13.3.2018 at 8:05 PM, Bulletpoint said:

I think so too. Compare with the MG armed halftracks, where you issue a fire order to the vehicle itself, but then a passenger steps up to man the gun and fire, if there's no dedicated gunner crewmember available.

In the case of the mortar halftrack, it seems there's a link missing somehow, that doesn't tell the mortar passengers they should fire.

Honestly, I am surprised that the mortar is a passenger, anyway. I always thought, they were fixed or semi-fixed to the half track.

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I just did some quick Wikipedia reading. As always in life, things are not too simple. Early versions of the M4 mortar halftracks, e.g. were not really designed to fire,  the mortar from them. The late war M21,  on the other hand, had the mortar mounted fixed on a turn table.

I.e., one question would be: What half Track are you talking about?

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17 minutes ago, StieliAlpha said:

I just did some quick Wikipedia reading. As always in life, things are not too simple. Early versions of the M4 mortar halftracks, e.g. were not really designed to fire,  the mortar from them. The late war M21,  on the other hand, had the mortar mounted fixed on a turn table.

I.e., one question would be: What half Track are you talking about?

Since this is CMFB, it's most certainly the M21 Mortar HT (even in CMBN).

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10 hours ago, StieliAlpha said:

I just did some quick Wikipedia reading. As always in life, things are not too simple. Early versions of the M4 mortar halftracks, e.g. were not really designed to fire,  the mortar from them. The late war M21,  on the other hand, had the mortar mounted fixed on a turn table.

I.e., one question would be: What half Track are you talking about?

This not correct.

https://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/ref/FM/PDFs/FM17-27.PDF

"It may be moved rapidly into position and fired either from the vehicle or the ground. It will usually be fired from the carrier."

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10 hours ago, StieliAlpha said:

I.e., one question would be: What half Track are you talking about?

In this case I'm talking about the German halftrack, so Sonderkraftfahrzeug 251/2. Haven't tested out the American equivalent, but I'm assuming it's the same thing.

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@akd I think you're a beta tester or otherwise close to Battlefront. What's your take on this? Is the mortar halftrack working as intended or did I stumble on some issues with it?

(The issues of not being able to fire from the destination waypoint, and not being able to fire fast)

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