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Shuffling the Deck (Tactic #4) - Avoidance of Rear Mortar Attack
By: INT SuiCyco

INTRODUCTION: If you've played against a rear mortar thrower, you'll know how frustrating it is to watch them peel off into the sunset, unable to follow -- unless you want to get hit in the face with a batch of Wiley Pete grenades... But every once in a while, for whatever reason, people take their chances tailing the rear mortar equipped, hoping for that lucky hit that will cripple their enemy and send 'em to hell.

Too bad it doesn't end up that way. Usually, the guy with the rear mortar also has an oil dropper, and once that stuff hits the floor, watch out! It's spin city for the pursuer, followed by an encore of explosive death, mortar-style. So how do you save your ass after a botched attempt vs. rear mortar man? Well I'll show you how, after all these years of holding out with a few select others, on a trick only the very skilled know and are unwilling to share. I'm probably going to lose alot of easy kills this way, but here goes... :)

Shuffling the Deck?: Sure... think of a deck of cards, and how when you shuffle them each half they bend towards one another. This is the necessary movement for the attacker and pursuer to follow. Sooner or later the rear mortar car will begin an arc in his driving path as he tries to shake you while dropping oil and rear mortars all around you. Mirror his turning arc. I developed this tactic a few years ago, and I can say with all honesty that this is the only way I can gaurantee you will get out of this dance of death without suffering catastrophic damage!

Do I need to Draw You a Map?: Fair enough, because to be honest, the above explaination seemed kind of confusing to me too after I read it over. But first, let's take a look at the rear mortar car and his aggressive opponent so we can get a better grasp of the situation..

ABX AMZ - The car being pursued, equipped with Rear Mortar and Oil. The driver is baiting his opponent for 12 O'clock attacks.
Picard Jackrabbit - Frontal weapons only, aggressive driver, looking for a quick kill. The AMZ looks easy enough...

As you can see, our example cars are completely different animals with totally different strengths and weaknesses, but this tactic (shuffling the deck) will apply to nearly any dissimilar or similar combat situation. Now, onto the battle maps...

figure 1
figure 2
figure 3
fig.1 -
Our chase begins with a relatively straight forward pursuit. The AMZ driver, however, has decided his enemy has come too close for comfort, and feels he is now within range to do serious damage! To counter this, AMZ beings to drop large amounts of oil dropper, setting himself up for some easy mortar shots on the enemy J-rabbit.
fig.2 -
The J-rabbit pilot, seeing the oil and mortars begin to fly towards him, has one of two choices, to either continue the pursuit and begin to launch weapons of his own, as he is now so close to being in range... or to back off.
fig.3 -
The choice here is to back off!!! Driving into the oil is almost suicidal. Once the AMZ pilot begins to pick a direction to turn in to, the J-rabbits best course of action is to mirror-image the AMZs turn. Trying to turn inside the AMZs turn is risky, as the AMZer can either turn away and score mortar hits, or lasso the J-rabbit in a circle of oil slicks. Ugh.

Some last notes before you head out...: There are many subtleties to this maneuver, so do not expect to escape unscathed each and every time! Every opponent is different and every terrain you drive over will have its own characteristics, but this tactic is one of the most valuable and has kept me alive more than once in some serious duels. You can make it work for you, too. You know you have realized its potential when you hear mortars thumping all over the place as you begin your mirror arc, and take a quick glance at you damage meter, and everything seems fine... Remember, however, that there are counter-measures to this move, and there are counter-counter measures to nix them, too, and so on, but isn't that what keeps us all coming back for more? ;)

-INT SuiCyco