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Thoughts on how to improve mortar troops

gxe1134

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I WANT to love mortar troops, and I've been trying for a while to figure out a way to incorporate them into my build (I even have nearly max university for them as part of my experiments). But, there are a number of problems with them, and hopefully in the future they can be improved:

1. I like their current damage + splash + range compared to howitzers. Especially after you finish the university and library research (which increases their range to match howitzers). They're weaker, but they do spread damage. And they take up less troop space than howitzers. I like that tradeoff, and I think that works well.

2. I don't like their targeting. I wish they would target further troops and/or buildings. Maybe like the silo, they can have an inner minimum range? The problem with their current targeting is they will frequently attack something close which gets destroyed in the meantime. (I like to use bazookas). The problem is their slow rate of fire, plus the targeting of close troops means they end up being useless. Howitzers avoid this issue by only targeting buildings, so they work better in that mix.

3. They seem to have a problem with walls. An actual bug. Sometimes, the stupid guys will ignore other holes in the wall and try and make their own. But their low damage means they will never be able to break through stronger walls. I think either the AI needs to be fixed OR they get some strong buff where they can blow up walls more easily.

4. Related to that: Their splash damage against walls is completely useless. Let's say their regular damage is 800 per shot: My guess is that it does 100 against local walls (which my rough math would suggest is like .3%). It's useless.


I still think there is a lot of potential in this unit, but right now it's still useless. Or at least in a world where we have bazooka, HT, helicopters, and howitzers, there's no compelling use-case for them as of right now.

I'm curious what others think on how to improve them?
 

No Angel

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Lmfao #3! Yes annoying, even shooters do that stupid thing! There's a free way yet they're shooting walls 😩 omg wasted.

I was a fan of mortar men before, not so long after I got to IA, all my troops only consisted of shooters, artilleries and planes.
I think they would be an alternative. However, having splash damage with that passive movement doesn't seem to help. How about a lot more damages to buildings instead?
 

Exiliado

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I’ve been using mortars in Enlightenment, Industrial, and now Global ages. Originally I used two of them to diversify targeting and shot-timing in a classic artillery-based configuration.

They have problems as you have noted, some of which are shared with other troops. Yet in Global age I feel that they are more useful in a post-rebalance composition (especially if fully researched in Library and University). I now use four mortars with seven tanks, eight bazookas, four planes and two healers.

Global age may be special in this regard. We have bazookas, but not attack helicopters or APC’s. French and Greek tanks really shine here if properly boosted with research and artifacts, and bazookas take on buildings and defending tanks with greater efficiency than the classic duo of shooters and howitzers (and with tanks dominating the field, bazookas actually survive!). Planes with boosts are powerful yet without the dominance seen in later ages.

That leaves a niche for mortars, which are tough enough to survive in a combo that takes a lot of damage, provide reach over walls with a range of five, splash damage against defending infantry, and damage that is competitive with howitzers given the ability to switch between defenders and buildings on an as-needed basis (that multi-function aspect is perhaps a bit underappreciated … but for a support unit, it works).

How would I improve mortars? Enabling them to disengage from buildings when attacked by defenders would help. I might also bring their troop space down a little bit to match bazookas. After all, they’re both carrying a steel tube, just aiming it differently. Why should one take more space than the other?

And goodness, do howitzers need help nowadays. They used to dominate the field. I spent months in University just so that my howitzers could one-shot more buildings. Now they can barely make a scratch in most buildings and using them is like wading through wet cement. They’re meant to be primary damage-dealers! If any troop needs a buff to regain some semblance of usefulness following the rebalance, it’s howitzers.
 

Manifesto

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The best way to improve your combo with mortars is to use shooters instead.
 
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