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W:ET - How to use the Mortar


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Let's begin. Here are the basics:


Select the mortar from the soldier class. When you spawn, you will find yourself holding a large cumbersome tube. The mortar is useless unless it is set up properly. It will slow you down when you carry it and will leave you defenseless if you stumble into the enemy, so switch to your secondary weapon (hit "2") while you are walking around.


When you are in your "firing position" (the place on the map you want to fire from), switch to the mortar by hitting "3" and then right-click. You will then crouch and the mortar will set itself up in front of you. You fire the mortar by left-clicking the mouse. When you want to get back up, simply right-click, then hit "2" to switch to your secondary weapon for protection.


After you fire the mortar, hit "G" to see the command map. You should see a tiny bullseye appear on the map where the shell landed. By moving the mortar up, down, left, and right you can fire all over the map. Never fire straight up (90) or the shell will come down and hit you.


When you set up the mortar, you will see a vertical numbered axis and a horizontal numbered axis on your screen. The vertical axis is the "altitude", or the angle at which the mortar will be launched. The horizontal axis is the "azimuth", or the compass bearing you are pointed at. The altitude and azimuth are used to aim the mortar. Lists of these numbers are called "firing tables".


Here is what the mortar should look like. Note the altitude and azimuth.



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Now let's examine the command map.


Each player is represented by a blue (allies) or red (axis) circle. The player with the yellow circle around them is you. Inside each circle is an icon that shows what class the player is (medic=cross, fops=bullet, eng=hammer and wrench, soldier=helmet, covie=crosshair). There is also a triangle next to each circle that shows the direction that player is facing. As a mortar, you can use this arrow to get a rough idea of what direction your shell will travel.


In the map below, I have just fired a test shot in the general direction of the Old City on Oasis. The bullseye in the bottom left side of grid D1 is where the shell landed. I could fire my mortar again slightly to the right and a little farther out, and land the next shell in the yard of the Old City where the axis will come out of spawn.


On this map, the grey areas are buildings, the different shades of yellow and orange indicate the height of the terrain, and the grey dashed lines indicate tunnels. You can't hit players in tunnels or inside most buildings, and high terrain will block your mortar shell if you fire at a low angle.


The map has white paths that show the common paths used by the players. By firing at these paths, ahead of where the enemy players are moving (look at their arrows), you can hit them anywhere on the map. It usually takes 2-4 seconds for the shell to land, so you should always do a test fire at the beginning of the map to see the delay between when you click the mouse and when the bullseye appears. Then use this time to predict when to fire at the players moving on the paths or running out of their spawn.




Medics usually run fastest since they aren't as afraid to get shot, while a soldier may move slowly if he is carrying a panzer or mg-42. Covies often sit in the same spot while they snipe. It's fun to land a mortar on a well-hidden covie who thinks he is safe because he is behind a wall or on a building. Players tend to bunch up by ammo and health cabinets, and at the front where the two teams fight. Shooting at players by tanks that need to be moved or by objectives can delay the enemy tremendously.


When you hit the enemy at the front, you are wasting more of their time than if you hit them at their spawn area. It takes more skill to pick off a moving target at the front with a mortar. Less skilled players often get weeded out before they get to the front, so when you hit a pack of enemies at the front you are often hitting their most effective players, which is a better use of your limited ammo.

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Real soldiers use "firing tables" to aim their mortars. This is what a real US Army firing table looks like:





A table like this helps to save your limited ammo and makes aiming faster. I use a notebook and have a separate page for each map. I use my own shorthand, which tells me when to fire, where to hide, what direction to point in, and what angle to fire at. For example, "S-2.0 @ 77.5" means an azimuth of South, minus 2.0 compass divisions, and an altitude of 77.5 degrees. This will hit Axis Spawn 2 while sitting on the cart by Allied Spawn 2.


This is what a page from mine looks like:



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Taking screenshots (F11) is a great way of documenting good firing positions without having to write things down. You can just use the screenshots themselves as a "firing table" if you want. Just take one screenshot of your aim and then one of the command map (since the command map moves the compass off the screen when you hit "G").


You can find your screenshots here:

C:\Program Files\Wolfenstein - Enemy Territory\jaymod\screenshots


Look through the pix and rename the ones you like. I use names like "venice-axis-ledge-aim 1.jpg" for the screenshot that shows me how to aim. In my firing table shorthand, I call this aim setting "W-0.3 @ 50.0". This means west minus 0.3 compass divisions, with an altitude of 50.0. But with the picture alone you can see this without writing things down:




The picture of the command map would be named "venice-axis-ledge-map 1.jpg". The map picture shows where I am sitting and where the shells are landing:




Each additional pair of pictures can be numbered or named for its target area. You could have one pair for the tank, one pair for allied spawn, and maybe another pair for the stairs on Venice. Switching from one target to another with pinpoint accuracy keeps the enemy guessing where to go and demoralizes them.


Move these pictures to a folder somewhere named "Venice" and you have an easy way to look up your favorite firing positions. You can then print them out, open them up on a separate monitor (if you have dual monitors), another computer, or use ET minimizer to minimize ET and open up the pix while you are playing.


You can find ET minimizer here: (http://www.filefront.com/2978493/etmin18.zip) there are probably other download sites available if this one doesn't work anymore or is spammed out.

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Your worst enemy as a mortar is the mortar hopper. This is a teammate who decides to get you to kill yourself by jumping on you when you fire the mortar. This makes your shell blow up and kill you, while he receives no damage.


The best way to prevent mortar hopping is to position yourself so you are against a wall or, better yet, in a corner, where it is hard for them to sneak up behind you and jump on you as you fire the mortar. When you get backhopped it can be very difficult to identify who did it, which is why they do it that way. Watching your command map will let you see if someone from your team is behind you.


Some mortar hoppers will just walk up to you from the front and wait for you to hit them. Just take a screenshot and report them here on our forums if someone does that. Tell the in-game admin and they should warn or kick the douchebag.


Another danger is the mortar nader. He will throw a grenade at you as you fire the mortar to move you towards a wall where your shell will explode and kill you. If you are firing over a nearby wall, your shell will hit it and explode, often killing you but not injuring the mortar nader. Mortar nading is also kickable.


Some players spawn as a mortar but do not use it, or use it ineffectively. Often they are trying the mortar out and deserve some patience. But if they won't use the mortar at all and just use their mp-40 or thompson, they should be asked to relinquish the weapon so someone else can use it.

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It's pretty easy:


1) Join pub server with 30+ players.

2) Shoot mortar in front of enemy choke point, remember the game time when you hit 2-3 people.

3) Taking that time and the enemy spawn interval into account, fire 2 rounds when appropriate.

4) Grab ammo off the racks, or if there are no racks, kill out and repeat.

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If you know how to use Excel, you can make a really nice firing table for your favorite positions. Within Excel, you can just use the "autofilter" feature to display the rows for the map you are on. Or you can print it out and have a nice one page firing table instead of a notebook to flip through.


I use ET minimizer and I can minimize ET anytime (ctrl + Z) and then look at my Firing Table in Excel. Then use ctrl + z + shift to open ET again and I'm ready to get yet another spree.


Here is what my Excel firing table looks like:



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  • 3 months later...

Here is a short script you can add to your autoexec.cfg file to keep the command map open when you are playing mortar:


//map toggle

unbind g

bind g "vstr map"

set map "vstr mapon"

set mapon "+mapexpand; set map vstr mapoff"

set mapoff "-mapexpand; set map vstr mapon"



And here is a short script that allows you to use the * button as an extra "attack" button. This way, once you have your mortar aimed, you don't have to touch your mouse again and risk moving it off target. You could do this in the ET menu too. Obviously, you could use any other keyboard button you want. I like the * because it looks like a bomb going off.


//mortar attack

bind * "+attack"



This next code allows you to increase or decrease your compass map (in the upper right corner) so you can see if anyone is sneaking up on you. As a mortar, you are extremely vulnerable to enemies and your own teammates and need to see when ANYONE is getting close to you, especially from behind. Sometimes people don't show up in the command map, or you may not have it opened yet. This code uses the mousewheel to expand or contract the compass map:




bind MWHEELUP "mapzoomin"


bind MWHEELDOWN "mapzoomout"

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  • 3 years later...

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