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60mm Mortars:Dominant or no?


jwatts
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Personally I am going with dominant. I think this might be why I am such a fan of US infantry companies in game. First off you have the 60mm mortar platoon. The mortars themselves are about as quick as the other light mortars in the game (45mm, 2inch, 50mm) but have amazing range, something along the lines of 1800 meters, and pack a wallop! Sure, the heavier mortars have longer ranges, but are hard to move and you generally get fewer of them. The 60mm is pretty easy to keep up with the rest of the company, and formed into a platoon are amazingly effective. Now, getting off topic, sort of, you have the MGs organic to a US infantry company. The .30 cal MMGs seem pretty darm good to me, not MG42 quality but pretty good nonetheless. And then the creme de la creme of the MGs, the .50 cal HMG. There's nothing quite like deploying an infantry company all on its lonesome knowing that any light AFVs can be taken out at 200-300 meters reasonably easy, and any guns or concentrations of infantry can be hammered with pretty big mortars with decent ammo loads. Who here will dispute the dominance of the US weapon platoons?!

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Originally posted by Other Means:

Meh. Heavy woods and Russian 12 man SMG squads would cream them. German squads can take out full AFV's and have MG42 LMG's.

What was the question again?

Soviet SMG squads are overrated. They are too 1 dimensional. Now dont get me wrong - they own their little 50m of covered terrain. But even russian SMG squads in heavy woods dont do you much good when they are pinned by the 60m mortar and then close assaulted - and american M1 rifles have the best 40m FP of any rifle.

But i think the question is about weapons teams.

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Yeh, I've had Soviet SMG squads routed by a depeated German infantry team with nothing but bolt-action Mausers simply because the Russians weren't able to close to within lethal range. But you don't want to charge into a large Russian building if there's a SMG squad sitting unseen at the back. That's what they were made for.

Oh yeh, this is CMAK - about U.S. 60mm mortars. I've found they have great 'potential' but after spending much effort maneuvering them into place to attack that pesky HMG on the treeline your mortar round supply's usually used up before the job's done! :mad: An 81mm mortar is much more unwieldy but its more likely to finish the job it started, and have rounds left over to do more.

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The 60mm mortar is a fine weapon, and you don't know how good until fighting under conditions in which you can't see well enough to use it. Range is ~3x

that of the German Gw 36 5 cm mortar, and it hits harder with its markedly heavier round (nearly 3 lbs. vs. 2). It pins nicely, is really nasty when massed with one or more siblings (was massed under central control and used as artillery in the Pacific jungle fighting because there was no way to move field artillery), has considerable kill potential vs. OT AFVs (ask my ROW opponents) and can definitely force AFVs to button, possibly popping the TC in the process.

Unless the mortar team is of poor quality, I don't see why an HMG in a treeline should be all that hard to neutralize if already fully IDed. In the future, if mortar team quality isn't great but an HQ with a combat bonus is available, putting said HQ in command radius of the mortar team will considerably improve the timeliness and accuracy of the shoot.

Regards,

John Kettler

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Originally posted by John Kettler:

Range is ~3x that of the German Gw 36 5 cm mortar,

John, since you and jwatts mentioned range I figured I would pipe in again. Personally, I dont see it as much of a benefit.

The main range number I look at for mortar teams is minimum range - not max range. Mortars can use a lot of ammo getting on target at long range - especially mortars smaller than 81mm. But even green mortars can quickly get on target at 100m or less.

In a desperate situation, I will use a 60m mortar to take out a gun at long range. But other than that, they pretty much stay by my inf platoons and look for targets under 300m or so.

(Note for anybody who doesnt know - experience has a BIG affect on mortar accuracy).

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Originally posted by David Chapuis:

</font><blockquote>quote:</font><hr />Originally posted by Other Means:

Meh. Heavy woods and Russian 12 man SMG squads would cream them. German squads can take out full AFV's and have MG42 LMG's.

What was the question again?

Soviet SMG squads are overrated. They are too 1 dimensional. Now dont get me wrong - they own their little 50m of covered terrain. But even russian SMG squads in heavy woods dont do you much good when they are pinned by the 60m mortar and then close assaulted - and american M1 rifles have the best 40m FP of any rifle.

But i think the question is about weapons teams. </font>

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I'll take a 3"/2" mortar mix any day. The 2" can run, so it is fast enough to keep up with the infantry, and it doesn't have a minimum range so it's still useful when the fighting gets up close and personal.

The 3" has better blast and better ammo load than any 81mm mortar in game, but it is a fair bit more expensive. Bought with the carrier and it's very mobile. (but even more expensive)

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Hey everyone who started talking CMBB and getting off topic: shaddup! Ah I keed! Yes, soviet SMG squads are pretty fun in close in fighting, but since I rarely use the Russians and then dont usually play scenarios that are exactly close quarters, I don't find them too useful. The ammo depletion is just too quick! two minutes fighting (damned fine fighting to be sure) and they are kaput, and useful for not much more than guarding prisoners, suicide charges, and holding flags far to the rear. However, since my main posting was on the topic of weapons teams on the company level, I'll stick for the most part to responding to that. Mr Chapuis, I personally find your tactics for 60mms useless, at least per my tactics. I like to set up overwatch and probe in stregnth, something like a platoon spread out looking for good routes, with the other two following a short distance behind (remember, this is comany level actions). In such an advance plan keeping the mortars with individual platoons is not the best idea. Too often I have tried this and sorely missed the 15 rounds the dead guy on the mortar team dropped. KOing guns is great, but mostly I use the light stuff on MGs, etc. while I move up my infantry to engage. A minute or so of 60mm fire will pin most units, then MMG fire can keep that pin until my grunts get within grenade range. Lastly, to MikeyD, yeah sure, 81mms are obviously powerful and more effective, but I find the difficulty of moving them outweigh the benefits you can get. Mind you, I'd prefer gobs of 105mm spotters to neutralize guns and MGs, but this is a discussion of small, company level actions, and how to best use the company support weapons.

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Originally posted by jwatts:

Mr Chapuis, I personally find your tactics for 60mms useless, at least per my tactics. I like to set up overwatch and probe in stregnth, something like a platoon spread out looking for good routes, with the other two following a short distance behind (remember, this is comany level actions). In such an advance plan keeping the mortars with individual platoons is not the best idea. Too often I have tried this and sorely missed the 15 rounds the dead guy on the mortar team dropped.

I have to disagree with you. The point is to maximize mortar effectiveness. This is done with mortar shells on target. On most CM maps, leaving mortars over 1000m away will limit what they can target just because of LOS issues. Add to that inaccuracy because of range, and you are not getting best use of mortars.

Here is an example (against mixed soviet rifles and SMG squads).

mortars5le.th.jpg

Just to give you a little background. This is a 3000 point mechanized QB (no tanks). I rushed two squads & a flamer to the woods at the bottom of the screen. All the crater holes are from his 82mm mortar barrage before he drove a couple half squads out of the woods that he now has 18 units in. You can see the SMG squad id - he also has some rifles in there.

At the very top of the screen you can see part of a HT. It is going to pick up a couple of MG42s. that is what I call overwatch, a range of 600 to 1000m. They dont have LOS to this spot. If my mortars were back there with those MGs, all they could do is shoot at some pesky russian MGs that will try to pin my men in the open during counter-attack.

What will have LOS where I need it is my 6 mortar teams (circled in blue). Two are in the highlighted HT, and are being moved up to the front with the closest mortar for the counter-attack - 100m range. Another is with the platoon in the middle that will be counter-attacking - 200m. And two more at 350m, that are really intended to support some other platoons, but could be used if necessary.

So the end result - I owned those woods and more. Below is a picture of same woods, but from the opposite facing a few turns later.

theblitzresults9qz.th.jpg

Now this was with 81mm, but the point - which is it is not useless to move mortars with platoons, but actually more effective - is even more pronounced when you are dealing with smaller mortars because they are faster and have worse accuracy at long range.

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And that was against a pretty good opponent too.

I dunno about "dominant", but I would certainly put them in the category of "bloody useful".

The 2/3 inch combo is ok, but the 2 inch mortars don't have enough HE ammo, and their smoke ammo, which might with different smoke modelling be very very useful...easy to see why they liked it in "real life", isn't useful in CM at all really.

A US infantry coy is often a good pick, specially in 1945 with the 2xBAR per squad.

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Dave, please don't take that statement out of context, as it wasn't meant to be insulting. I was merely saying that the strategy of moving mortars up with my platoons never seems to work for me personally. I'm sure someone with more game experience can do it, the buggers just seem to always get pinned from an unseen MG and become worthless when I try. Your point about the innefectiveness at range, but I don't usually play maps where I need to engage something more than 6-700 meters with my mortar platoons. Of course, whenever I get the small (50mm, 2inch) I bring them up, as they're pretty useless at range.

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When I'm moving my units forward I try to keep my platoon leader somewhat behind the infantry but still in command, with mortars and bazookas and the like well behind him, hopefully staying in cover. Mortar men do not respond well to being initial casualties when you stumble on the enemy, best to use someone else to 'take point'. :D

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Originally posted by jwatts:

Dave, please don't take that statement out of context, as it wasn't meant to be insulting. I was merely saying that the strategy of moving mortars up with my platoons never seems to work for me personally.

I didnt take it too personal. ;) Part of my post was to clarify what I said earlier, i.e. dont use mortars "on point". Part was to justify my stance that increased max range inst that big of a deal to me (although it could be useful to take out a pesky gun if needed). And part was just because I was extremely bored trying to find a tcp/ip game and I thought it made for a good reason to show-off a victory. :D

The biggest problem with CM is that you cant ever relive your great CM moments since it is just 1 v 1. When you execute a great game, the only other person who cares is the guy you beat, and he probably doesnt want to talk about it.

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60s are fine and the medium speed is nice, but they run out of ammo rapidly.

The 30 cals are lousy firepower and ammo. It takes two of them together to do the job of one real MG.

The 50 cals are useful against halftracks and such, but do not have the ammo depth to work well as a main battle MG.

Americans get decent medium range fighting ability from the squads and their ammo depth and M-1s. The support weapons are adequate supplements but not a long suit. They do have decent ability to keep up, their best feature, and particularly useful on the attack in hilly terrain (where LOS from the start line is limited etc).

The German support weapons are much harder hitting. Yes they are slow speed. The HMGs can ride tanks, though, 2 per. And 2 HMG 42s have a lot of firepower and ammo depth. In fact they are as strong as a typical full platoon in the medium range window. Add a single 81mm, which will pin anything it hits in a minute flat, and you have an excellent weapons platoon. Just longer on the infantry firepower and therefore more suited to defense of open areas, while the US set is more adapted to the attack.

81ms can't ride tanks but 2 or 1 and an HMG or HQ will fit in a single SPW. Or you can take the 251/2, with a huge ammo load, enough to replace 2 foot mortars, and the easiest repositioning imaginable.

As for the Russians, their MGs are weak and slow. Barely adequate on defense if you have a lot of them, and better supplemented by towed guns firing direct. The 50mm mortars are weak and need to be used in pairs, but do have great ammo depth (they can also ride 2 to a tank). 82mm are much superior as hitters. But with 7 men and slow speed and transport class 3, they need a halftrack to get around much.

Brits have excellent 3 inch mortars and carriers to move them, and passable MGs that make up for modest firepower by great ammo depth. Key to using both are carriers repositioning them in dead ground. The 2 inches are lightweights, but their smoke is frequently useful against single enemy shooters.

To me the Germans clearly have the best of the heavy weapons matchups.

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Ah, now there's the kind of posts by Jason I like to read! I haven't the experience of so many tests as you have, so I defer to your judgement about the firepower rating and range issues of the 1919MMG. I do however, love the 7-man MMG teams and my personal favorite, the 1917 water cooled HMG. As to the US set being better suited for advance, I'd assume that is true. However, I am unable to play human opponents, so I rarely if ever play as the defender. Against the AI it's maddeningly boring and unsatisfying. So for my style of play (ie playing only attack vs AI), MMGs are perfect. Lastly, you point out that 2 MG42 can ride tanks. True, but personally I don't like using tanks as battle taxis (gun damaged being the exception). I either get fired on by a distant MG and get my heavy weapons pinned in the open or have a tank delivering a peice of equipment at the exact moment he is needed on the other side of the map. In conclusion, I know a lot of the so-called "rules of the game", but I am unfortunately lacking in the skill to successfully execute them. I am of course hoping this will all change once my internet is fixed and I get my copy of the Mac verision of the bundle pack.

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Coe, I have no idea about the ammo loads, but it might be to reflect better supply of ammo? In many battle accounts I have read there are mentions of ammo bearers caming up in the middle of a battle. Might this be the reason why, or maybe something I haven't thought of?

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jwatts,

Since you specifically mentioned a Mac version of the bundle pack, please make sure that your Mac can boot in OS 9 not just Classic. Macs which can't boot in OS 9 will run only CMBO, and that in slow software emulation. If you need further info, please head over to the Tech Support Forum. There've been lots of threads on the whole CM Mac compatibility issue. Good luck on your Internet situation! Been there myself. Repeatedly!

Regards,

John Kettler

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