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Artillery System

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HE bolts from Mortar Freerunner

When First Strike 1.2 was released, it added long-range artillery in the form of the Mortar Freerunner. In order for the Freerunner to accurately lay down fire over long distances, she is equipped with a built-in tracking system that shows the gunner how far away each bolt travels until it impacts, which means that all the gunner has to do in order to accurately hit a control point is to aim in its general direction correct fire until the bolts appear to travel the right distance. If you can't see the control point markers, hit ALT to turn the 3D map on.

1.2 also added the ability to place distance markers. This is done by pointing your electro-binoculars at the target you want hit, for then to 'fire' (def. Left Mouse Button) the binoculars. The markers can only be placed on buildings, vegetation and terrain, not on vehicles. Once placed, the marker is visible to everyone on the team, and can be used by Mortar Freerunner crews just like CP markers. Note that if you've disabled Auto-Reload in your Options menu, you will need to 'reload' your electro-binoculars after placing a distance marker (def. R).

When placing an artillery marker, you must remember that doing so does not automatically notify the artillery that a marker has been placed, so be sure to alert your artillery by saying, for example, "Tank marked near Harbour CP", or "Infantry marked south of West Entrance CP". You should also direct the artillery while it is firing, reporting where bolts hit so that fire can be laid down more accurately.

48px-Emblem-important-yellow.svgNote: As of 1.4, a bug prevents anyone but the person firing the Mortar Freerunner from seeing or hearing the rounds or their impact effects.

Sample Artillery ScenarioEdit

Mortar Freerunner Firing

A Mortar Freerunner, with distinct heavy mortar and red markings, fires a volley of HE bolts

Artillery Marker

An Artillery Distance Marker (the red cross with the cyan distance indicator), seen through the binoculars of a rebel trooper

Shots Tracking

HE bolts with distance indicators seen from the Mortar Freerunner that fired them.

During a round of Rhen Var Ice Plains, a player makes a squad called MORTAR and, once five players have joined, orders them to man the three Mortar Freerunners. Once the Mortar Freerunners have driven to within range of the enemy, the SL and two of his squad members - a Medic for healing and reviving and a sniper rifle-carrying Trooper to help spot targets, hop out and head for a good vantage point of the middle CP, which is being attacked by Imperial tanks. Once at the vantage point, the SL and his two men have a clear view of the middle CP and the Imperials trying to break through from the north. There is fighting going on at another point on the map, too, but the SL, after a quick look at the strategic situation, determines that the middle CP should get the artillery support.

The SL places a distance marker ahead of the Firehawke tanks and uses VOIP to tell his mortar battery, or 'gun line', that he has spotted Firehawke tanks and a few infantry units. The gun line opens fire, one bolt at a time, and as their shots impact, the SL does his best to tell them how they need to adjust their fire to keep hitting. Once the gun line knows where its shots are hitting, the SL gives the order to start shooting for real. The gun line starts 'firing for effect', launching full three-shot volleys at the enemy. To counteract the time it takes to reload after firing, the gunners take turns shooting, one mortar shooting while the other two reloads, making for a steady stream of bolts on the enemy. The SL stays in touch with his gun battery throughout the bombardment, correcting fire so that the bolts remain deadly accurate, and the Imperial attack is soon repulsed.

A word of adviceEdit

Note that when it's used effectively, the Mortar Freerunner, like the Packered Mortar Gun, tends to do a very good job at making the enemy mad. The reason for this is not hard to understand - no one likes to be subjected to a deadly rain of bolts without being able to strike back effectively. This means, in effect, that whenever you use the PMG or Mortar Freerunner, you should be prepared to come under determined attack. The chance of this attack goes down when you're firing from afar, and a trio of Mortar Freerunners is able to dish out some damage when attacked directly, especially against infantry, but their weak armour means you shouldn't be afraid to pop smoke and retreat if faced with overwhelming enemies.

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