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Stoklomolvi's Unofficial and non-TWI Guide to Japanese Light Mortar Class in Rising Storm
This guide gives an overview and analysis of the Japanese Type 89 Grenade Discharger as it is used in Tripwire Interactive's Rising Storm. It is not endorsed by any official party and is solely the viewpoint of the Rising Storm player Stoklomolvi.
This guide provides an overview of how I normally use the Japanese Light Mortarman class when playing Rising Storm. I do not profess to be the best light mortar, nor do I proclaim to be the most knowledgeable about the class or the game. However, I am reasonably competent with the mortar, and I seek to improve the gameplay of other light mortarmen by sharing my own experiences. Alternatively, if you do not regularly play as a light mortarman (herein referred to as "mortar" or "mortarman"), note that this guide will still not save you from a mortar's wrath. All images used within this guide are produced by Stoklomolvi (and depict scenes from TWI's game, which is not by Stoklomolvi) and are featured at actual screen resolution.
This guide is intended for the intermediate to the experienced Rising Storm player. If you are reading this guide, please possess some knowledge of the following:
Bullet physics (in-game)
Explosive physics (in-game)
Sounds and how to react to them
Volumetric flamethrower physics (in-game)
Possibly other topics
Type 89 Grenade Discharger
For those unfamiliar with the light mortar, here is a short description from Wikipedia. Link to full article.[en.wikipedia.org]
Originally posted by Wikipedia:
The Type 89 Grenade Discharger (八九式重擲弾筒 Hachikyū-shiki jū-tekidantō), inaccurately and colloquially known as a knee mortar by Allied forces, is a Japanese grenade launcher or light mortar that was widely used in the Pacific Ocean theatre of World War II.
Forgotten Weapons had a fantastic video providing an overview of the weapon, as well.
Light Mortarman Equipment
Let us begin with an examination of the starting loadout of the mortar class. I took the statistics from this Google spreadsheet.
Arisaka Type 38
The most basic weapon a starting mortarman will receive is the Japanese Arisaka Type 38 bolt-action rifle, which uses the 6.5x50mm Arisaka cartridge. It is a very accurate rifle that features high muzzle velocity and minimal bullet drop, making it ideal for long range engagement. Link to full Wikipedia article.[en.wikipedia.org]
Like all other Japanese bolt-action rifles, it comes equipped with the Type 30 bayonet. The bayonet will be the mortarman's weapon of choice later on, as I will explain later.
This weapon is only available to a mortar hero. As far as I'm concerned, this weapon is an oversized pistol with the only positive aspect being its semi-automatic rate of fire. Its low damage output means an enemy must be hit multiple times before he will go down, but the high rate of fire somewhat compensates for this shortcoming. It is better than the Type 38 in short to mid-range engagements but it is garbage at distance. Link to full Wikipedia article.[en.wikipedia.org]
The M1 Carbine comes equipped with an M4 bayonet at Level 50. This bayonet is probably the most useful feature of the carbine, as far as a mortarman is concerned.
This weapon is only available to a mortar hero. The sights on this weapon make it slightly harder to use than either the Type 38 or the Type 99, in my own opinion. Statistically, it is slightly superior to the Type 99 in terms of performance, but matches it in terms of stopping power. However, the M1903A1 is only available to the mortarman on maps that do not have the M1 Garand; the picture depicted shows a mortarman holding the rifle on the map Guadalcanal. Link to full Wikipedia article.[en.wikipedia.org]
The M1903A1 comes equipped with the M1 10-inch bayonet at level 25, and the M1905 16-inch bayonet at Level 50. Like for the other two weapons, the bayonet is very useful to a mortarman.
Nambu Type 14
Affectionally referred to as the "pop gun" by many players in Rising Storm, this pistol is standard equipment for all Japanese troops. For a mortarman, this weapon is effectively useless, as distance engagements are best served by the mortar, medium distance (and when no mortar ammo is left) is best served by the Type 38, and close distance is best served by the bayonet (again, I will explain this later). Closest of distances is actually best served by the mortar, making the Nambu pistol a deadweight for the mortarman. Link to full Wikipedia article.[en.wikipedia.org]
The Nambu pistol is not, however, a useless sidearm; it is almost statistically equivalent to the M1911 pistol and actually has a number of advantages, such as increased magazine capacity (8+1 vs 7+1), higher muzzle velocity (in-game 335 m/s vs 253 m/s), and higher penetrative power. For a regular infantryman, it is very useful for close engagements.
Type 91 Grenade
In-game, the grenade has a fuze of exactly 8.0 seconds and the fuze is always 100% reliable, as far as I can tell. Therefore, it is prudent to pull the pin and strike the percussion cap and then wait for about 5 seconds before throwing the grenade. Alternatively, strike the cap, wait 6 seconds, and then charge into a room full of enemies, if that is what the situation requires. Its very long fuze delay makes it useful as an impromptu long-distance grenade mine. Link to full Wikipedia article.[en.wikipedia.org]
It is best used as a booby trap for the mortarman since booby traps in Rising Storm have no fuze delay (even though in real life you would need to replace the fuze from a burn fuze to an instantaneous fuze), and well-placed traps will guarantee kills.
Basic Firing Procedures
In my experience, there are two basic ways to fire the mortar, and in any particular engagement, they are mutually exclusive. However, they can be combined over the life of the mortarman, assuming the mortarman survives for more than one engagement.
The most annoying and irritating mortarman is the distance mortarman. These mortarmen are the ones who sit around distant ammo crates and in the Japanese spawn to fire off their mortar rounds, safe from any American soldier who seeks to kill them mid-barrage. The basic firing procedure for these mortarmen is usually to fire all of their rounds (4 shells for level 0 mortarman, 6 shells for level 5 mortarman), reload at an ammo crate, and fire off all of their rounds again. Personally, I fire 11 shells at the start; 6 shells, reload, then 5 shells, saving my last shell for myself. I will get into this in the reloading segment.
Here I am on the roof of the Peleliu C building, demonstrating the variable firing range of the mortar. The closest indirect fire distance is 50m, while the furthest indirect fire distance is 190m; these indirect ranges increase at 10m intervals. Note that these ranges are very general, and the actual distance may range anywhere between -10m to 220m depending on the angling of the tube itself. In general, the tube should be angled at 45° for the provided range markers to be accurate.
The best friend of the distance mortar is his map.
Here I am on Peleliu, showing off the all-important tool for the mortar that is the map. For demonstration and ease of reproduction, I started up a local game with no bots, meaning I can't demonstrate the use of recon here.
Using the mouse wheel, I can scroll in and out of the map, which is very important for precision mortaring. Let's say that I know an enemy is sitting on the truck in the distance, as marked on the map below.
Now, how I know he is there is irrelevant. What is relevant is that there is an enemy on the truck, and that he must be eliminated. Note that here, I chose the truck because I couldn't figure out a reliable way to get a third person camera (later I found I could use a bot to simulate a camera, but I had already finished this section by that point). Either way, on the truck, in front of the truck, behind the truck are effectively all the same for a skilled mortarman.
I have a visual on the truck to make watching for hits a bit easier. In an actual game, this is very bad; if you can see him, he can and will see you, and your indirect fire mortar will take longer to reach him than his bullets. Therefore, your view will more likely than not just be a wall.
While I initially chose the truck randomly (it was the biggest thing visible from the position I was in, and I was as far into the American spawn as I could get without spawn protection killing me), it turns out that it was in a far more convenient spot than I initially realised. On the tactical screen, note that objective B is 90m away from my position. I adjust my mortar to 90m.
For the mortarman, the flow of the game is unimportant. What is important to him is positioning and...
Drawing circles! Now, you may ask, what on earth am I talking about?
This, my friend, is what I am talking about. Now, coincidentally (everything in this guide just so happened to work out the way it did; I did not plan for this at all), objective A was also exactly 90m away, so I was able to mentally draw a circle with a radius of exactly 90m from my position that went through the centre points of both objective A and objective B. As if graced by the heavens, the truck also was exactly 90m away!
As you can see, my mortar range is 90m, my distance to the objectives is 90m, and my target is 90m away. With this circle drawn from a guaranteed measurement, I now know exactly how far and where to shoot. There is a note I must make here, however.
The mortar's indirect fire range is slightly inaccurate; all shells fired at the given range will either land slightly short or slightly distant depending on angle and elevation. In this case, my mortar was raised relative to my target, a test shot revealed that I would be unable to kill a target on the truck using the range as-is. Therefore, I tilted my mortar back somewhat to decrease the range (not so much to be equivalent to the 80m range), and I was able to hit my target.
(Yes, I know this next picture is direct fire; I couldn't get a snazzy picture of indirect fire that didn't look like I was just sitting there.)
Seconds later, the mortar round hit where I wanted it to.
Any soldier on the truck would be dead. Any soldier behind the truck would also be dead if I tilted my mortar forward just a little bit. And naturally, any soldier in front of the truck would be dead if my mortar missed (someone would just shoot them), and dead if my mortar hit (for obvious reasons).
That is my basic indirect mortar firing procedure. If a target is not exactly on a well-placed circle, then I enlarge or shrink the circle; I will cover this in a more advanced firing procedure that covers exactly how I accomplish this task.
The mortar is capable of direct fire, and while it is not its primary purpose, it can be quite effective in certain scenarios. Generally, direct firing the mortar will not have the same psychological effect as indirect fire, since the enemy may see where you're firing from and curse their slow reaction time rather than curse the heavens. However, there is a way to use the mortar in direct fire mode to instill the same sense of dread as a flamethrower: clearing rooms.
This way of using the mortar may seem obvious; one runs to a door with the mortar, fires a round inside, and expects at least one or two kills with a high probability of killing oneself in the process. While this method is almost guaranteed to obtain kills, it is not the optimal way to use the mortar as the mortar may be dropped and stolen by an enemy (unless the mortar only had one shell left, which case this method is fine). The best way to use direct fire mortar is to sit about 50-70m away from the target and fire through windows, doorways, and bunker slits to hit the roofs and walls of rooms. The closed nature of these rooms will mean the explosion will be close enough to enemy troops that they will almost always end up in pieces.
Advanced Indirect Firing Procedures
I mentioned earlier that the flow of the game is unimportant to a mortarman.
Originally posted by Anonymous viewer:
The above is something you might say. But bear with me here; I will demonstrate exactly why this is unimportant.
Advanced Direct Firing Procedures
All players who have fought on the Japanese team know how annoying it is to be sitting at a bunker only to suddenly end up in flames. Now, by firing into a bunker from a great distance, the same effect can be achieved only the user is in no risk of retaliation.
[Pic 3: shoot a mortar at some guy in a tower, e.g. Kwajalein or Hanto]
You can even accurately shoot down enemies in difficult to reach areas like towers.
Mortar Tips and Tricks
Use walls to hit enemies Use trees to hit enemies Use windowframes to hit enemies Use rocks to hit enemies Use bamboo to hit enemies Use enemies to hit enemies Use bunker frames to hit enemies Use towers to hit enemies