So you want to rain steel down on your enemies, and you want to do it safely (not team-killing) and accurately (blow the guy’s nose off from a 1000m away? Well this Artillery Bible will teach you how to do just that in Squad. The focus of this guide is to define how a proper FOB that is using mortars should run, what each person in the squad will do, and how to do it.
The First section will cover a crash course in Mortar usage in Squad, everything after that is just for your entertainment or if you want to learn more about proper Mortar usage.
The Quick & Easy Version (With pictures for non-military)
Fire Direction Controlman (Squad Leader)
You will use the Artillery Calculator 100% of the time to get an accuracy of about 20m on target.
If you can't, or the enemy is moving often/fast, then you may drop down a Attack Marker (the sword icon) for your Guns to get fire on the enemy within at least 80m.
Using the Range Estimation marker (the little yellow flag that displays when an Attack Marker is down on the Compass) is exactly that, an Estimator. It is not accurate whatsoever. So obviously this isn't the best way, just learn the Calculator and be quick with it. You need to give your Guns an Azimuth and Elevation in order to fire, so either way you use, you'll need those numbers in order to shoot.
Scroll down to the Gunners portion to see their image if you're curious why Azimuth and Elevation are important as well as what your Attack Marker shows up as on their Compass.
The picture immediately below shows the difference that 80m and 20m actually is. The Red circle is approx. 80m radius; meaning your rounds would land Somewhere in there when using the Attack Marker. The Green circle is approx. 20m radius, and your rounds will land Somwhere in there when using the Artillery Calculator. The small Blue speck in the middle is the approx size of a single player.
You call the target's approximate location in. If you're really good you can adjust fire by estimating the range from the Gun.
If the rounds are landing short, tell your Gun to go DOWN on the Elevation. If the rounds are overshooting the Target, tell the Gun to go UP on the Elevation.
If they are going left or right, adjust according to THEIR Azimuth, not your own; in other words, tell them 2 mils to the left or 3 mills to the right, DON'T tell them whatever random Azimuth you have on your screen.
If your target is Near 10 degrees (ACCORDING TO THE MORTAR NOT YOU) , but you're not sure, and you notice the rounds are hitting left, tell them to move 2 degrees to 12 degrees (in orther words they'll start aiming to the right), and see if you get closer, and so on.
The image below shows how you can imagine a compass and the degrees you would use to adjust a mortar in the middle of Sumari.
On this image, you can see that Adding to your Elevation will bring the round closer to the Gun, or "Firing Shorter". By Subtracting from the Elevation, your round will land farther from the Gun, or "Firing Longer".
You are basically just Waiting for someone to give you an Azimuth and an Elevation. Nothing else.
Once you've got it, unload however many rounds your FDC tells you to, and keep an eye on how much ammo your FOB has.
Each "salvo" (or magazine if you think of it in rifle terms) is 3 rounds before you have to "reload".
Each reload takes 90 ammo from your FOB ammo count, so that means 36 rounds (because the FOB max ammo count is 1000) for a single mortar Without a logistics truck doing runs.
Also keep in mind you firing can be heard for half a kilometer away, so ground troops WILL come find you if you fire non-stop or at stupid things.
Want to know about this in More Detail? Read Below
1. Roles in the ABFOB
- 1.1 One Fire Direction Controlman (FDC) – This is 100% the Squad Leader as they can communicate with other SLs to receive Fire Missions and command the Guns.
- 1.2 One or Two Guns – these are one or two mortars and a corresponding squad member to them, which are your Gunners.
- 1.3 One or More Forward Observer – this will usually be any other SL. If they are too busy to handle the Call for Fire or listen to the Message to Observer (MTO) , or you simply don’t trust their ability to mark targets accurately, then you may have a squad member attached to a different squad (Have them follow them around but still listed in your squad), and they will be your FO.
- 2.1 The Fire Direction Controlman will ALWAYS have an artillery calculator open, preferably one that works point-to-point, meaning you input grids and it outputs azimuths and elevations for your Guns. (You can use one open on your phone or another alt-tab window. Personally I have a crappy laptop open next to me so I can stay in-game, but it’s up to you.) The FDC must also have their map own You are the master of controlled chaos; you manage Fire Missions (you can only run so many at a time and you need to prioritize them), Logistical runs to keep your Guns supplied, and Security of your ABFOB.
--- 2.1.1 Fire Missions are handled by priority. If you have one FO with a Call for Fire on a squad of infantry, but another FO has a Call for Fire on two APCs, which one do you pick to run as a Fire Mission to your Guns? You must learn to weigh those types of decisions.
------ 220.127.116.11 Keep in mind Round Count (number of mortar shells). If you’re shooting at Armor then you’ll probably unload both Guns 3 rounds for a total “6 round Fire Mission” onto the target or more once they reload. If you’re firing on infantry, you could shoot a 6 round Fire Mission, but you could also shot a single round from one or both guns, and immediately switch to a new Target and/or Fire Mission if you are trying to prioritize.
------ 18.104.22.168 Once you have received a Call for Fire, it is your responsibility to give the back an MTO to the FO so they know to get the hell out of the way or to simply Observe the rounds. The MTO consists of Round Count, Time of Flight, and if the missions is Danger Close (if it isn’t then you don’t have to say that at all.) meaning that you are pretty sure you’ll be telling the Guns to drop rounds nearby friendlies. Danger Close is rarely ever used unless the position is already going to be lost
------ 22.214.171.124 Adjust Fire is given by the FO to the FDC if the rounds landed off Target. For example, if the rounds were shot and the Time of Flight or TOF (Number of seconds from the rounds leaving the mortar tube to the time they impact on the Target.) was so long that the Target had moved and as a result “dodged” the shells, then Adjust Fire is given, and a new grid and round count is sent back to the FDC so more rounds can once again try to eliminate the Target.
------ 126.96.36.199 Repeat is used if the Target was hit, but the effects on the Target was not enough. For example, if the FO called for 2-rounds and the Target was in a bunker, they 2 rounds may or may not be enough. If they are not, then the FO can call Repeat over the radio to the FDC, and the FDC should know to shoot the Exact Same Fire Mission, grids and round count and all, IMMEDIATELY. (You will get used to talking over the radio with “Say Again” if you didn’t hear someone speaking and you want to hear what they said again. This is good, and idiots who say “repeat” over the radio should annoy you as the FDC because that could be misunderstood as shooting the same mission and potentially killing friendlies who moved in on a previously nuked spot.)
------ 188.8.131.52 Once all that is complete, the FO should give you End of Mission (EOM). This means that the Target was destroyed and the FDC is “released” from control during that Fire Mission. No more Adjust Fire or Repeat can be given for that Target, and the FDC is free to accept other Calls for Fire from other FOs.
-- 2.1.2 Logistics keep an ABFOB alive with ammo to destroy the enemy. You need to keep your location in mind when building because you need a safe route for Logistic truck(s) that is also very fast. You may be dry on Fire Missions at one point in the fight, and other times, you may be running a mission for each Gun and still need more ammo.
-- 2.1.3 Security keeps the personnel of an ABFOB alive. Any unused personnel must have 360° security in case an enemy squad decides they want to take down your deadly steel rain machine. It is also important to keep you as the FDC and your Gunners focused on your tasks and not wondering if you’re going to be shot or sniped.
- 2.2 The Guns or Gunners are in charge of the Guns and that’s it. They may move the guns around in the FOB area if instructed by the FDC, but for the most part the bulk of your game will be glued on the mortar’s interface. You make sure that you keep your Gun reloaded and aiming in the direction where most of your Fire Missions have been.
--- 2.2.1 Reload any time you have decent “white space”. If there is no Fire Missions you’re shooting, and your FDC hasn’t given you new data in a minute or so, then go ahead and reload. Your Round Count comes from the FDC so always assume your next Fire Mission might be a 3-round one, and you can’t waste time reloading, there are grunts dying out there.
- 2.3 The Forward Observer is very fluid when it comes to who it is, but their function will always be the same. (Personally I would prefer that it be squad member who knows how to orientate themselves on a map, but good luck finding anyone in an online game who can do that on the fly accurately. The reason for this is that most SL are already overworked as it is without learning these ABFOB bible commands, and a squad member FO can go into prone while being defended by the squad they are “attached” to so they don’t have much other responsibility.) They are responsible for the Call for Fire; getting ahold of the FDC and requesting rounds on a Target. They are then responsible for relaying the MTO to any nearby friendlies so they don’t get caught in the explosions if it is Danger Close, and either giving Repeat, Adjust Fire, or End of Mission. They must be able to understand how to read a military map, and give the FDC 6 digit grids in the Call for Fire.
--- 2.3.1 Forward Observers must be mobile and pretty much “mutated” grunts. Able to defend themselves and shoot in CQB engagements as well as medium range fights. All while looking for a chance to spot a Target and turn them into a parking lot via Calls for Fire back to their FDC.
--- 2.3.2 An FO must know all the Fire Missions commands by heart, just like the FDC, because that is your way of quickly and efficiently communicating fire on the Target without explaining like an old person. Fire Mission, Repeat, Adjust Fire, and End of Mission should be pretty much the only words out of your mouth over the radio.
3. Fire Mission Process
Resources (And Special Thanks)
Knowledge: I actually serve in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Fire Direction Controlman, and have gained this knowledge over 6 years in. Sgt E-5, 0844.