M2 60mm Mortar Team
|Role||Infantry-mobile Light Artillery Team|
|Men per Squad||3|
|Upkeep per Minute||
-2.4 (per man)|
-7.2 (full squad)
|Produced By||Weapons Support Center|
|Cost to Reinforce||
|Health per Man||
55 (per crewman)
1x M2 60mm Mortar|
1x M1 Carbine Rifle
|Open Weapon Slots||0|
|Max. Speed||3 m/s|
The M2 60mm Mortar Team (or just Mortar Team for short) is a 3-man light artillery infantry squad, fielded by the American Army in Company of Heroes. With its long range and explosive shells, the Mortar Team can provide support fire for offensive operations, easily destroying enemy infantry hiding behind cover or inside buildings, causing damage to vehicles, and reducing Defensive Structures to rubble. This unit is not meant to engage the enemy in face-to-face combat, as it will surely lose such engagements.
American combat tactics often rely on engaging an enemy with Riflemen Squads in order to keep him busy while other units move to flanking positions, with the Riflemen sacrificing themselves to allow other units to destroy the enemy. These "pinning-down" maneuvers often keep the enemy rushing for cover, or hiding inside buildings. This ties in well with the use of light artillery in the form of the Mortar Team, who can then take advantage of this to bombard the enemy's position.
The Mortar Team is a 3-man infantry squad, created at the Weapons Support Center for the cost of 280, 3. This squad is armed with an M2 60mm Mortar, which is operated by two of the men, and a third man carrying an M1 Carbine Semi-Automatic Rifle for covering fire.
The M2 60mm Mortar can lob shells at high trajectory to distances up to 75 meters away. This allows the team to provide fire from a considerable distance, which means it does not need to expose itself to the enemy's return-fire. This is very important, because the Mortar Team (and the mortar itself) is very fragile, and incapable of defending itself in combat.
It takes 2.4 seconds to set up the mortar, and 2.8 seconds to dismantle it for moving. This means that it is difficult to engage a large number of targets coming from different directions. In addition, the Mortar Team fires very slowly, taking about 8–10 seconds between shells, and the shells have a high trajectory which means a long delay between firing and impact - requiring targets to remain stationary for quite a while to make this weapon useful.
The player can "commit" the unit to a barrage of 4 rapid shells all fired at one specific area. This cuts down the time enemy units have to realize that they're being accurately bombarded and escape the impact zone. The Mortar Team can also be told to fire a salvo of 6 smoke shells, which will cover an entire area with a thick cloud of smoke. This can be used in several different ways - usually to protect units from enemy attacks or allow them to advance without exposing themselves to enemy fire.
The Mortar Team can be ordered to hold its fire, in order to avoid hitting friendly units or exposing itself to enemy counter-artillery bombardment. Artillery is by far the greatest danger to a Mortar Team.
Damage received by this unit can go independently to any crewmen, but can also strike the mortar itself. If the mortar is destroyed, the entire team will die instantly. If either of the mortar's gunners is killed, the third member of the squad will replace him. However, if any two members of the squad are killed, the remaining man will die instantly regardless of how healthy he is. This may result in the weapon becoming abandoned, in which case may be captured by any friendly or enemy infantry squad containing at least 2 men (this can only occur if the mortar was set up at the time).
The Mortar Team is equipped with an M2 60mm Mortar, a light artillery weapon with good range and firepower, but a slow firing rate. Two squad members are tasked with operating this weapon.
One additional squad-member is armed with an M1 .30 Cal Carbine Semi-Automatic Rifle, intended for defending the unit against enemy troops. Unfortunately, this is very poor firepower, and will rarely (if ever) save the unit from being destroyed in direct combat.
M2 60mm Mortar Edit
The M2 60mm Mortar is a light-artillery, high-trajectory shell launcher. It is a good weapon that can cause some serious damage to its targets, but is unfortunately very slow, and requires the target to remain motionless while being fired upon.
The M2 60mm Mortar can fire at targets up to 75 meters away. This allows the unit to remain further behind an attacking or defending force, thus protecting it from enemy return-fire. There's also a minimum range for mortar fire: 15 meters. Note that the closer the target, the better the accuracy of this weapon.
Each shell fired by this mortar inflicts a basic 20 points of damage - not a serious amount. However, this is doubled to 40 points of damage to infantry units - about 2/3 of an infantryman's health. On the upside, the explosion radius of the shells is 6 meters, and infantrymen within the first 3 meters will likely suffer significant damage. The weapon also has about a 50% chance of killing any infantryman caught in the 6-meter blast radius who is already wounded.
Damage to armored vehicles is dramatically lower, but with some small chance of destroying a vehicle's secondary weapon (if it has any) and/or damaging its engine.
Normally, when allowed to automatically fire at enemy units within range, this weapon fires only once every 8–10 seconds. The shells can also take some time to reach their target. This renders the mortar useless against fast-moving targets. For this reason, it is often best to drive the enemy into cover, or into a building, in order to increase the likelihood of hitting that target. Note that mortars have an increased chance of hitting buildings - and a massive damage bonus against Wehrmacht Bunkers!
It is possible to increase firing speed temporarily by activating the 60mm Mortar Bombardment ability, which fires 4 shells at intervals of 4 seconds. However, since a ground target must be selected, this again requires the target units to remain motionless.
The mortar can only fire at targets directly in front of it. To fire at another target, it must reorient itself first. Any reorientation of 20° or less is almost instant, but larger turns require dismantling the mortar (2.8 seconds) and setting it up again in the desired direction (2.4 seconds).
M1 Carbine .30 Cal Semi-Automatic Rifle Edit
The M1 Carbine is a semi-automatic magazine-fed rifle. It is a standard-issue weapon for American airborne and mechanized infantry.
When compared to other semi-automatic or bolt-action rifles, the M1 Carbine's only real advantage is speed: it has a higher firing rate, and can fire more bullets before having to reload. This makes it better for mid-range encounters (15 meters) than other rifles, but it loses in damage output and accuracy at long range.
One infantrymen in the Mortar Team carries this weapon, for purposes of defending the mortar from enemy flanking attacks. However, one rifle is hardly enough to truly pose any danger to enemy units.
Note that if the original crew of a Mortar Team are killed and the weapon re-captured by another infantry unit, the new team-members will not be equipped with M1 Carbines. They'll use the "standard" weapons dictated by their default unit properties. For example, if an Engineer Squad acquires an abandoned M2 60mm Mortar, the man not operating the mortar will use an M3 SMG.
The Mortar Team can employ two abilities directly related to its attacks. The first ability, 60mm Mortar Bombardment, allows a quick 4-round salvo at a specified ground target. The second is a 6-round smoke salvo, which will cover a large area with concealing smoke.
Furthermore, this unit can be told to hold its fire, in which case it will not automatically engage enemy units detected within its firing range. This prevents the Mortar Team from disclosing its position prematurely, or firing on friendly troops.
60mm Mortar Bombardment Edit
- Costs nothing
- Activation: Select Ground (at least 15 meters away)
- Cooldown: 30 seconds
When this ability is activated, select a point on the ground at least 15 meters away from the Mortar Team's current position. The team will move to within 75 meters of the target point, and fire a rapid salvo of 4 shells at this target.
The benefit to using this ability is speed: the team will fire one shell every 4 seconds, instead of the normal 8–10 seconds. This will blast the target area rapidly, allowing little time for enemy units to escape once they realize they're being bombarded, and generally cuts down on this unit's normally long attack duration.
Of course, since this ability is targeted at a ground point, you'll need to make sure that the target remains motionless to begin with. Remember that the high-trajectory shells will still take some time to reach their target, especially if it is further away. You don't want to fire at a point already abandoned by enemy units.
The cooldown period is 30 seconds, though the salvo usually takes about 20–25 seconds to complete, meaning that the ability will usually become available again shortly after the team finishes firing the salvo. This means you can repeatedly use this ability to attack the same target, or a different nearby target, with little delay.
Smoke Barrage Edit
- Costs nothing
- Activation: Select Ground (at least 15 meters away)
- Cooldown: 30 seconds
When this ability is activated, select a point on the ground at least 15 meters away from the Mortar Team's current position. The team will move to within 75 meters of the target point, and fire a rapid salvo of 6 smoke shells at this target.
The smoke shells don't deliver any damage, but instead will each create a large cloud of smoke, lasting 30 seconds. With 6 shells in the salvo, the resulting smoke cloud will be very large, often covering an area at least 25 meters in diameter. This smoke cloud will act to break line-of-sight between enemy units on either side of it. As a result, units on both sides will have a hard time hitting each other.
There are several tactical uses for a Smoke Barrage. For one, it can be used to end a battle prematurely, by suddenly concealing your units from enemy fire. Use this time to withdraw or relocate. Alternately, you can rain down smoke on an enemy position to effectively disable any accurate fire coming from that position, buying time for your units to surround it safely and then begin a powerful attack once the smoke clears. This can be particularly effective at preventing an 88mm Flak 36 AT/AA gun from destroying any unit coming to kill it, especially if they intend to kill the crew and take over the gun.
Disable Free-Fire [H] Edit
- Costs nothing
- Activation: Immediate
- Permanent until deactivated
- Cooldown: 3 seconds (activate/deactivate)
When this ability is activated, the Mortar Team will cease firing of its own volition at visible enemy targets. It will only fire upon receiving direct orders to do so (both normal "attack" orders and special-ability orders), and only at the designated target.
Use this ability to prevent the Mortar Team from revealing its position to the enemy. Remember that when your shells strike an enemy unit, the Mortar Team becomes visible for a short duration, even in the fog-of-war. This allows the enemy to come looking for it, or worse yet - counter-attack it with artillery fire.
You can also use this ability to prevent your mortar from automatically firing into a close-combat situation, where Riflemen Squads or other infantry are mixing it up with enemy units at close range. In such situations, even an accurate a mortar shell landing right on top of an enemy squad can accidentally take out your own infantry, not to mention a shell that misses its designated target.
Don't forget to reactivate free-fire by clicking on the ability button again, when you wish the mortar to resume normal firing operations.
Like all other American units, the Mortar Team obtains Veterancy points by killing enemy units. It receives 100% of the experience value of each unit it kills. Once it has accumulated a sufficient number of Veterancy points, it will automatically advance to the next level, gaining the related bonuses immediately.
American units do not share Veterancy points with one another. To receive points, the unit must personally kill an enemy unit.
At each Veterancy level, the Mortar Team gains a specific set of bonuses as listed below. These bonuses are cumulative with each other.
|Level 1 Veterancy:
|Level 2 Veterancy:
|Level 3 Veterancy:
Note that these modifiers apply both to the mortar and to its crew. Therefore, this also affects the additional third crewmen, who is armed with an M1 Carbine (and thus receives the above bonuses for his own weapons).
If the M2 60mm Mortar is abandoned and recaptured by another infantry unit it will reset to Veterancy Level 0, losing any Veterancy bonuses it had previously acquired. It can then resume acquiring Veterancy as normal.
The Mortar Team is one of the simpler tools in the American arsenal - having one basic and encompassing ability: bombarding targets from afar. Nonetheless, properly positioning a Mortar Team and correct use of its firepower can change the outcome of combat radically.
The one important rule to remember regarding Mortar Team use is this: keep your target immobile. This should be easy when the target is a building or Defensive Structure, but keeping a mobile enemy unit in one place, to be accurately bombarded by the slow mortar shells, requires good coordination with other units.
A Mortar Team is almost entirely useless on its own. For one, a lone Mortar Team is exposed to enemies. It can be hunted down by enemy light vehicles, and can be bombarded by the enemy's own artillery. Furthermore, as explained above, other units need to keep the Mortar's targets stationary. The only time a Mortar Team would be able to work on its own is when bombarding enemy fortifications - especially Bunkers which are its favourite target. Still, if the Mortar is too exposed, enemy units may come looking for it.
Keeping the Enemy Stationary Edit
The Mortar Team fits very well into American combat tactics. In American Riflemen Squads generally initiate combat by simply walking up to the enemy and starting a firefight - often at long or medium range. They are expected to take cover and return fire at the enemy, surviving through sheer numbers and attrition rather than fancy maneuvers. When maneuvers do take place, they often still rely on one unit's ability to keep the enemy busy while others move to flanking positions. In any case, the idea is always to keep the enemy stationary and occupied.
This is obviously where the Mortar Team comes in, because a stationary target is like candy for the taking. With the enemy taking cover - whether behind Heavy Cover or inside buildings, their lack of movement makes them a good target for a slow-firing area-effect weapon like the mortar. If you spot a unit that's attempting to utilize cover to their advantage, immediately begin a 60mm Mortar Bombardment of their location. The shells will likely kill or hurt the target, and will usually also destroy cover in the process, exposing the remaining soldiers to whatever fire they are already under.
Pinning a unit down can be done with many different weapons besides the Riflemen Squad. Heavy Machine Gun Teams can pin an enemy infantry unit down fairly rapidly, as can Machine Gun Emplacements. Maxson-Mount-upgraded M3 Halftracks will also do the trick. Of course, such heavy weapons may kill the target before the shells even begin to land on top of it, but that's not a drawback of course.
Area Coverage Edit
There's little need to recruit more than one or two Mortar Teams. Thanks to their range, each team can cover a relatively large amount of territory with their weapons.
On the defensive, a single Mortar Team can often provide light artillery support to several nearby sectors, attacking whichever sector the enemy is approaching through at the time. On the offensive, a Mortar Team can provide support fire to two advancing groups, whichever one manages to pin down its opposition first.
Preliminary Bombardment Edit
It is often a good idea to soften up an enemy position before attempting to overrun it. Mortar Teams are very good for this task.
When performing Preliminary Bombardment, there are many targets you may wish to attack. Enemy Bunkers tend to be the prime target, as they are expensive and powerful, and easy to destroy thanks to a massive damage bonus the M2 60mm Mortar has against them. Other Active Defenses, like the Panzer Elite Flak 36 or Flakvierling 38, make good targets as well because their crews are often exposed (and thus can be killed easily, potentially allowing your own infantry to then capture the abandoned gun). Finally, always consider bombarding an Observation Post, to allow your infantry to capture the sector quicker once their attack is complete.
Another important target to consider are Minefields. The large area damage caused by the 60mm Mortar Shells will ensure detonation of a minefield, clearing a road or a passageway to allow your units through. This will generally work against any type of mines except Teller Mines, which are much sturdier. Other Passive Defenses, like Barbed Wire and Tank Traps, can also be breached with mortar fire, though this may take a little longer and thus may alert the enemy about your intended point of entry.
Finally, always consider subversion. You can try to convince the enemy that you intend to attack in a particular sector by bombarding its defenses - and then direct your attack forces to a completely different sector. The enemy, responding to the barrage, will leave his other flank exposed!
Use of Smoke Edit
As explained earlier in this article, Smoke Barrages have many different uses you can try, both defensive and offensive.
Defensive use consists of blanketing your own forces with a smoke barrage to facilitate an orderly retreat. While covered in smoke, a unit is much harder to hit, and thus can retreat carefully instead of just turning tail and running. This can save a unit, or a whole group of units, from annihilation. Use this when your attack has come up against unexpectedly heavy opposition. You can also use this to facilitate very effective hit-and-run attacks: charging in to do as much damage as possible, before covering your troops in smoke and retreating with few or no losses!
Offensive use of smoke is intended to prevent the enemy from reacting to an invasion in a timely manner. Bombard the enemy position with smoke, and then advance your units quickly to surround the enemy entirely. You have 30 seconds to do this - plenty of time - before the smoke clears. Once it's gone, the enemy position is flanked and already under attack by your entire force. Again, this is thanks to smoke reducing hit probabilities for any unit shooting through it. By blanketing the enemy with smoke, you ensure that none of them can effectively target your approaching units until it's already too late.
The Mortar Team is one of the most defenseless units in the game. It lacks any real weapons for attacking units in close combat, and therefore will be overrun by any unit that comes close. Note that the mortar has a minimum attack range of 15 meters, so any unit coming within that range can simply destroy the mortar team with no hassle. Keep the Mortar Team well back, and have other units ready nearby to respond to any flanking unexpected maneuvers by the enemy.
Sniper fire is another serious danger, as Snipers can often come close enough to kill the mortar gunners one by one. The mortar may not even have time to fire back at the sniper before its crew are killed.
Of course, the worst danger is always enemy artillery counter-battery fire. Enemy mortars and heavy artillery pieces will jump on the chance to hit your Mortar Team whenever possible. For this reason, when dealing with artillery-capable enemies, it's important to keep your Mortar Team mobile. Never leave it too long in one place, especially after making your own barrage - which exposes your unit's position to the enemy for a short while.
Finally, remember that if two of the mortar's crewmen are killed, the weapon itself will become "abandoned", and can be captured by enemy units. If an M2 60mm Mortar is abandoned, either re-capture it with your own infantry quickly, or attack it with some high-explosive weapon to destroy it entirely, denying it to the enemy.
When issued with attack-move order:
When selecting squad under attack:
when issuing order for squad, under attack: