Mortar Rules

We have simplified the Mortar rules that were used last year. The 2013 ones make it easier to call for a mortar strike.

Simulated Mortar Fire

This is a simple set of rules to simulate Mortar attacks for Rionegro Escalation. It needs a minimum of technical equipment and only a small amount of instruction for the players. It is based on the idea that most artillery fire is intended for suppression. The intent here is to get players on the receiving end to get their heads down during an attack rather than to cause casualties.


  • Mortar Marshal (MM) – the marshal present at the target area who will bring the NOISE, and if needed call hits.
  • Forward Observers (FO) – player(s) responsible for calling in and targeting the fire mission.
  • Fire Direction Centre (FDC) – group who the FO liaise with to direct the fire mission. They will be Embedded or Control Marshals. This will usually be the Mortar Marshal.


  • A large site map with detailed target grid.
  • Laminated cards with the procedure to call a Fire Mission.
  • One or more FOs for each faction that will call for Mortar Strikes. These players will have been briefed on the correct procedures and they will need site maps and radios or phones to contact the FDC.
  • Noise simulation for the strike – a boom-box with a recording of an mortar strike – provided it can be made LOUD! MP3 available here:
  • PMR channel 1-1 has been reserved for ATGM and mortar use. FOs may also need a phone number for the MM in case they cannot communicate by radio.

How this works

There are three parts to a simulated mortar fire mission:

  1. Request a fire mission – The Faction Commander is told what mortar support is available, and given the contact details of the Fire Direction Centre for their FO.
  2. Direct Fire Mission – The FO calls for fire from the FDC.
  3. Determine Fire effects – The MM simulates the strike with noise and pyros, and checks on casualties if any.

1. Request a Fire Mission

For the Rionegro Escalation game the only source of mortar fire missions for factions is Battalion Support. Each faction has a battalion mortar unit off site who can be called upon for support. Ammo restrictions, and other priorities mean they are limited in the fire missions they can provide. Embedded marshals will notify the Faction Commander when a fire mission becomes available. There will usually be a time window for it to be used or lost. e.g. “Between 14:00 and 15:30 you can call on 1 mortar strike with 30 minutes notice”. The EM will provide the call sign of the FDC, and will confirm the radio channel (usually 1-1) or mobile number to contact them on. The Faction Commander then picks the FO responsible and the FO then has to contact the FDC to arrange the fire mission.

2. Direct the Fire Mission

Based on this article:

There are two parts to directing the fire, and the FO is responsible for both. These are:

  • Call for Fire – FO contacts the FDC, and identifies where and when the fire mission is to occur. This happens 15-30 minutes before the mission to allow the MM to get in position.

  • Adjust fire – is an optional improvement of accuracy just before the mission happens.

The procedure of calls is given below, but these will also be given to the player as a laminated card. The FDC/MM can decide to refuse to deliver a fire mission if the call is done incorrectly.

Call for Fire

This should happen at least 15-30 minutes before the fire mission is required. The FO contacts the FDC and has to provide the following information:

  • Time for the strike – the time when the strike is required. Please bear in mind the requirement for the MM to get to the target location.

  • Location of the strike – grid reference of the target location.

  • Whether there will be a fire adjustment – just prior to the strike the FO can refine the targeting if they wish.

The MM will then go to the coordinates provided by the FO. They should arrive at the target area just in time for the strike to occur so there is a minimum of notice to players there.

Adjust Fire

Once the MM is at the target area, and if the FO is observing them, then the FO can give an Adjust Fire order. This allows them to refine the targeting of the strike. They can do this once. The MM should be discreet in acknowledging these orders and getting into position.

  • The FO contacts the MM on the agreed radion channel or phone number.

  • They FO says “Adjust Fire”.

  • They can then direct the MM to move in a particular direction to maximise the effect of the strike. e.g. “Move north 30m”

The targeted players will probably realise a strike is imminent. But in a real life situation they would get a some forewarning from a spotting round.

3. Determine Fire Effects

Partially taken from:

The main intent of mortar fire is to suppress players in an area for a time, rather than to cause casualties. Players are expected to know these rules and call their own hits. The marshal will supervise to ensure there is no cheating.

 The procedure is:

  • The Mortar Marshal goes to the target area as identified by the FO. They will have a boom-box with a mortar strike sound recording.

  • Everything within 20m-40m radius of where the marshal stands is in the target area. This will vary depending on the cover in the area. More open ground should have a larger target area. The principle being that opposing players just outside the target area should not be able to pick off people trying to take cover with gunfire.

  • The MM plays the mortar sound effects. This starts with an incoming round whistle, and players should take cover immediately (while shouting “Incoming”).

  • Casualties happen according to the “Head Up” rule. Players are responsible for calling their own hits depending on their stance when they hear a mortar explosion as follows:

Upright in the open (standing, running, crouching).Killed instantly.Remain in place for 5mins to be searched.
In cover or prone with head up and/or firing gun.Hit and begin to bleed out.To be prone hips should be in contact with the ground.
In cover or prone with head down.No injury.The player should be prone or in 360 degree cover - ditch, foxhole, building. Their head should not be exposed or should be in contact with the ground.

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