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I'm new to IG, and I've fielded a HW team of mortars under the old codex several times with little success.
Browsing these forums, alot of people mention how great mortar HW teams are now. What am I missing? Besides the indirect fire and the (negligible) chance of pinning, what makes them so great?
5th edition improved them by removing rolling to hit for partials, and in the new dex they got 20 pts cheaper for a mortar squad. Statistically they should outperform heavy bolters at killing many types of infantry due to getting more hits.
On average at BS3:
3 heavy bolters: 1 marine or 3 ork kills.
3 mortars (assuming 6 hits): 1 marine kill or 3 ork kills.
So if you can get more than 6 hits then they become both cheaper and better than heavy bolters. That said they are still pretty trashy, but you get what you pay for at 60 points.
I saw a player use them recently and he kept them out of LOS, denying him the -3 to his scatter due to firing indirectly. Remember that you can fire directly with them and chances are, nobody is going to bother shooting them since they have more important things to worry about...
It's not that they are great, it's just pleasing for some people that mortars are finally useable at all.
In the new dex they're troops so they're scoring. That combined with indirect fire forces the enemy to come to you in order to deny your objective
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also keep in mind that they forces pinning tests, they always have.. but as muukip said the kills are more reliable now.. Also if used with the PBS it's a cheap way to pin units that might be troublesome.. although most armies are either stubborn or fearless these days..
Yup. They pretty much said it all. The HWS can provide a fairly cheap anti-infantry option that can hide behind cover, out of LOS. It can be at least as effective as a heavy bolter squad with the bonus of possibly causing pinning and being less likely to receive return fire. Plus since they score now, you can camp them on an objective and let them fire away.
Some people like to give a mortar to their command squad as well if it's gonna be a orders/leadership type of squad too.
Formerly known as SimulatedSnowman