Mortar Math for Dummies

Too many players have become completely reliant on the Squad Calculator to target mortars. The end result is usually a mortar targeting a valuable area on the map and then dumping 25-30 shells right on that exact point.  This is a complete waste of what is one of the most amazing and valuable weapon systems Squad has to offer.

While I won’t go into much detail in employment of the mortar systems in this article let’s focus on some of the math and you as the user and forward observer can use your creativity to employ the system in a more effective manner.

Three measurements are important when it comes to mortars, the lateral angle in degrees, the vertical angle in mils and the size of your mortar.  Well, the size of your mortar isn’t particularly important but the phallic nature and massive Russian tube is surely some sign of dominance right?

Degrees vs Mils

Both of these are angles of differing amounts.  There are 360 degrees in one full circle which introduces some inherent inaccuracy, especially at range.  There are 6400 mills in one full circle which is vastly more accurate.  Divide a full circle of mils into a full circle of degrees and you see that mils are 18 times more accurate – 6400 / 360 = 18.  That’s a big deal and here’s why.  The angle represented by the measurement 1 mil equals 1 meter at 1,000 meters.

Pretend you are acting as a Forward Observer calling in mortars on an enemy Squad who are lined up on a hill 1,000 meters from the tube.  You spin up Squad Calc and fire 3 rounds at the enemy Squad.  Impacts hit the dirt on the left side of that enemy Squad.  Now what?  You tell the mortar operator to go right some?  You pray to the Squad gods that they decide to run into the explosions like flies to light?  No.  You immediately alt-tab and feverishly slam out into your browser and reread Rooster’s Mortar Math for Dummies article to refresh yourself.  Armed with your newfound knowledge you quickly alt-tab back into borderless full-screen and tell your tube stroker to adjust a half degree right and drop 3.  Then you do it two more times.

Let’s break down the mayhem that is about unfold on this enemy Squad.

3 mortars first hit the left side of the Squad.  You adjusted the mortar a half degree right which is equal to 9 meters at 1,000 meters.  Roughly 9 meters right, another 3 hit.  Then another 9 and 3… and another 9 and 3.  Congratulations, you just murdered a linear target that is 36 meters wide plus the excess width and depth from the inherent inaccuracy and explosion radius of the mortar.

If 1 degree = 18 meters at 1,000 meters then you have to consider it is 12 meters at 700, 6 meters at 300 and everything in between.  Use these measurements in your linear adjustments and remember there is some circular motion since you are traversing from a fixed point.  The circular motion does naturally become more pronounced the shorter the distance from mortar to target.

Now let’s talk about adjusting the depth of a target.

This is much simpler with one caveat.  If you look at the mils between 50 meter ranges in view of the mortar emplacement you will see its 20ish mils to move 50 meters.  When it comes to adjusting mortar impacts you should either assume 1 mil adjustment in elevation equals 2 or 2.5 meters, whatever floats your boat.  The caveat formerly stated is you have to drop mils in order to increase range or add mils to reduce range from the emplacement.  While that isn’t rocket science it is easy to accidentally add mils because you need to add range…  Nearby teammates are generally not appreciative of poor adjustments.  Not sure why they keep yelling so much but I will update the article once they get back to me.

While this is far from an all-inclusive mortar guide hopefully this gets people to start being more proactive with mortar adjustments instead of destroying a fixed point into oblivion while the enemy team sits there and laughs at your impacts that never move. There’s way more skill cap to mortars than we are seeing in Squad right now.


  1. Great article.
    However, It is not really the calculator that is the issue. I employ the a similar way to spread the barrage, but I do use the calculator to get an accurate point to start from. From there you employ spacing of 5mil/0.5 degrees for each round at normal firing distances.
    I haven’t found a good way to accurately obtain the mils on the go in any other way than having a forward spotter (which essentially doubles the time for effective fire).
    Also worth mentioning a lot of maps that have large height differences require you to adjust the mils to compensate for drop/rise. (i.e. highest to lowest point on Kohat offsets your barrage 15mils at least.)

    If you have a effective way of determining distance without using a third party app I’d love to hear about it. (calculator/notes/etc. excluded)

    1. I use a long sheet of receipt paper and use the corner as origin, and use it to essentially draw a line, then line that up with the grid on the same zoom. takes a quarter of the time of a calculator.

  2. Kylen I have to say the reliance on the calculator is the issue. That is the first line in the article. I have not actually stated the calculator is the problem and I personally use the app because its great for the first volley. It is the users who choose not to learn the weapon system which is fine. It is a game and if that does not fancy you then don’t. For competitive Squad that is less of an ok way to go about things though:P

    There are a couple of ways to obtain distance. The first obviously being the calculator. If I don’t have time to do the calculator (which isn’t long with practice) I use my handy dandy secret weapon, cotton twine. I have a piece of twine that sides below my monitor with the ends knotted. I zoom my map all the way in until I have the target and the mortar emplacement as large as possible then straighten the twine against both of them with one thumb on each target then I straighten it up against the grid squares and achieve a distance within 20 meters. This works very well.

    On your last point for Kohat, it depends on the distance you are firing at. When you fire at max range you are lobbing mortars. If you are firing under…. 700ish, the angle of fire is very high and you will have only mild distance considerations to fire. I do take into account the altitude difference of targets as well and that is a good point. I have a TON more to say about mortars as noted in the article “While this is far from an all-inclusive mortar guide” this was meant to be a fairly intermediate guide for the curious mind and fellow mortards.

  3. Ah. Sorry about the first part then. You are right that the unwillingness to learn the parts about continiously adjusting your barrage properly is what makes players use mortars unsuccessfully.

    I’ve tried using the string metod but i find it is slower and not as accurate in the end. (Using 2 screens helps a lot.)

    One method i forgot mentioning is writing down the mils for reference points like the middle of a flag. That way i can just glance at the note when adjusting back to the area around the target later. Dagger markers give the horizontal degrees
    Would very much like to see a comprehensive guide written by you, Im sure there is much to learn!

  4. Thanks for the kind words.

    I would suggest you work at the string, it should only take 3 seconds or so to get an accurate range. Just grab the string with your thumbs together and slide them outwards to the mortar. Saves time fidgeting with the string and getting it taut and accurate.

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