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What do you do with Limited Ammo Mortars?


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I've been playing the Canadians in several battles and as part of many infantry formations, one receives light mortars. They have only 12 HE rounds each. I'm at a loss as to how to use them effectively with such limited ammo.

What do you guys use them for, or how do you make them useful?

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With such low ammo loads, I use them as dedicated HMG/ATG/AA/mortar hunters. Any other sort of small scale "thorn in my side".

 

12 rounds is enough to dial in and land 4-6 on the enemy position.

Ok, that makes sense. I've used them for harassment fire to get an enemy to displace but so that's very much along the same line as your suggestion, as opposed to using them to soften enemy positions in a more serious way.

Thanks!

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What small arms are they equipped with?

 

I usually use teams that have run out of mortar ammo as close assault teams. Five guys with M1 Carbines can spit a whole lot of lead in a very short time.

 

 

No 4 rifles. And these teams are three men only. I did use them as auxiliary infantry in one battle but they are not that impressive, but are weighed down by the mortar. :(

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Bud_B,

Since you're talking CW forces, you must be talking the 2-Inch Mortar. Did you miss this post on that very topic? It very much addresses what you're asking about.

Regards,

John Kettler

Hi John,

No I didn't miss that post. Given that the mortars there are armed only with smoke ammo, and I'm discussing HE in limited quantity I thought I'd ask my own question to not divert the focus of the other thread. :)

Edited by Bud_B
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Bud_B,

 

Paulus said his mortars had smoke, but womble replied the Bren carriers have HE and opined that Paulus likely picked up some boom (HE) as a result. Thus, there's more to the discussion than is initially apparent. I've had HE ammo myself for the 2-Inch Mortar and found it useful for killing a point target.  As the video in the other thread showed, the British still are/until recently were using the modern version to deliver HE pain.

 

SLIM,

 

CW troops don't have M1 carbines, but I do agree they would smart if employed as described. 

 

Regards,

 

John Kettler

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Limited ammo means limited use; restricting them to effective fire on only one or two targets, often, especially if you change targets/displace and have to "waste" another two ranging shots.

 

Using them on Target Light can extend their usefulness if you're aiming for suppression/denial. If you get lucky when you're trying to score kills and achieve your goal with an early round, Target Light can also save ammo; not so useful when you care only about getting rid of the asset you're shooting at ASAP.

 

2" mortars can often be reloaded from vehicles.

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SLIM,

 

CW troops don't have M1 carbines, but I do agree they would smart if employed as described.

 

Yeah, I was thinking of the U.S. 60mm mortar teams, I missed the part about Canadians in the O.P.

 

I've played as the Canadians a couple of times, mostly I just had the mortars run around like an extra rifle team, and shoot at whatever they wanted. Every bomb they place on target means a couple of bad guys won't bother you any more.

I never developed a particular SOP with them because of the limited ammo, and the fact they're not particularly accurate. I just see them as a bit of extra firepower on the line, like any supporting weapon.

Edited by SLIM
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One thing these little mortars can do, like any mortar, is drop a shell into a foxhole, trench, or depression, where bullets can't reach. The possibility of treebursts is an advantage too. If you're facing these kinds of cover, you can save the 2in mortars for that. 

With a bit of luck they pack a punch as well- I've had complete four man teams wiped out by a single 2 inch shell hit. 

Edited by A co
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One thing these little mortars can do, like any mortar, is drop a shell into a foxhole, trench, or depression, where bullets can't reach. The possibility of treebursts is an advantage too. If you're facing these kinds of cover, you can save the 2in mortars for that. 

With a bit of luck they pack a punch as well- I've had complete four man teams wiped out by a single 2 inch shell hit. 

 

Small mortars are very weak against targets in forests. Efficiency is down to about 1/3 according to some testing I did. They are also weak against foxholes. You're better off saving the mortars for targets in the open behind cover such as bocage or low walls.

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One thing these little mortars can do, like any mortar, is drop a shell into a foxhole, trench, or depression, where bullets can't reach. The possibility of treebursts is an advantage too. If you're facing these kinds of cover, you can save the 2in mortars for that. 

With a bit of luck they pack a punch as well- I've had complete four man teams wiped out by a single 2 inch shell hit.

That's helpful, thanks!

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Small mortars are very weak against targets in forests. Efficiency is down to about 1/3 according to some testing I did. They are also weak against foxholes. You're better off saving the mortars for targets in the open behind cover such as bocage or low walls.

So far I've used them for harassing because I didn't have the confidence they would be able to spot and hit effectively with such limited ammo, but I'll try this.

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Bud,

  Target briefly is the command I use unless I find a good target.  I've greatly extended my limited mortar shells with that command.  Even target lightly tends to run through the ammo rather quickly.

 

 

Heinrich505

I have to explore that idea, Heinrich, thank you. I always thought with only 12 rounds that target briefly would barely fire a spotting round and then stop, missing the target.

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Bud,

  Target briefly is the command I use unless I find a good target.  I've greatly extended my limited mortar shells with that command.  Even target lightly tends to run through the ammo rather quickly.

 

 

Heinrich505

Do you mean "Target Light"? Interested to know that you get shots on target with Target Briefly... or do you use long Target Briefly orders (it can go on pretty much forever) to limit the fire mission duration so you don't forget to cancel it (like I've been known to forget with my mortars...)?

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Womble,

  I should have noted that I am talking about direct mortar fire.  I've found that the small number of rounds they get off are enough to keep the enemy heads down or stop them from rushing.  I don't really use this to try and drop a round into a trench or something requiring accuracy.  I've dropped a few rounds into a second story enemy MG location to give my guys a chance to move from cover to cover. 

 

  Target Light works well but with a really small loadout, like 12 rounds, they can go through those 12 in a couple of turns. 

 

  I would use the Target briefly command as they seem to only launch 1-2 in that 15 second window.  Accuracy depends a good deal on if you have their officer nearby, his + modifier, and the experience of the crew.  

 

  If you want them to shoot more, then you could click on Target Briefly again to add another 30 seconds. 

 

  I had no idea you could increase the 15 second time in 15 second intervals until I saw it noted in another thread. 

 

 

Heinrich505 

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Womble,

  I should have noted that I am talking about direct mortar fire. 

That was clear. Direct lay fire. Not using a spotter, since the no-deploy light mortars can't be used in that mode anyway.

 

  Target Light works well but with a really small loadout, like 12 rounds, they can go through those 12 in a couple of turns. 

 

 

Not really. Target Light holds the RoF down to 3 (maybe 4) rounds a minute.

 

 

  I would use the Target briefly command as they seem to only launch 1-2 in that 15 second window.  

And IME, both those would be wasted shots, since they'd be trying to range in on the target. If you're lucky, one of them might be close enough for effect, but the set-in-iron procedure for all direct lay mortar fire is "one over, one under, then FFE", so your two shots wouldn't be expected to be close enough to have much effect. I have a suspicion that your observation regarding the effect of officers might be observation bias, though I'd the experience of the mortar crew is certainly a big factor in whether your ranging shots get lucky and probably a factor in general accuracy/dispersion pattern. Subsequent "Target Briefly" at the same (or a "close") target would, AIUI, get the benefit of any previous ranging shots from the same (or a "near") position (I don't know how short a distance "close" or "near" are, nor whether they're considered together or separately when determining if your mortar needs to re-zero itself).

 

 

  If you want them to shoot more, then you could click on Target Briefly again to add another 30 seconds. 

 

Possibly useful when you want effect "...right the heck now!" but even a 30s "Brief" shoot uses more ammo than an entire turn of "Light".

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I'd always been under the impression that target light went through their rounds fairly quickly, but to be honest, I never really watched them all that closely.  Now that you mention it, I do seem to recall that it was around 3-4 rounds per minute.  That means that your loadout of 12 rounds will be gone in around 3 minutes if you don't remember to shut the lads down after a turn, which has happened to me often and I find myself with a small infantry squad that is lugging around an empty tube. 

 

I've found that the one or two errant rounds at target briefly do tend to make the enemy drop for cover, although I mainly play against AI and this might not work well in H2H. 

 

Agreed.  The one over-one under-let 'em have it means that you might use 4 rounds to actually drop one just about where you wanted it, so Target Light would be the most effective. 

 

As for the officers, you are probably right.  I usually keep them close to the mortars in case I want to use indirect, but I've never run tests to see if their presence close to their mortar crews enhanced the mortar crew performance.  The experience of the crew seems to matter though.  Again, just from observations and not actual tests. 

 

Heinrich505

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I'd always been under the impression that target light went through their rounds fairly quickly, but to be honest, I never really watched them all that closely. ...

Target Light fires at a rate determined by the range, really - they fire each round only after observing the fall of the previous round - so the further away the target, the longer it takes for each round to land ( this can be observed more readily with larger calibre mortars since they have greater range - it can be as low as 1 or 2 rounds per turn in these cases ).

 

It comes in extremely useful, especially since the delay between rounds is often just enough for the enemy to be picking themselves up from the last "bang" :)

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