The Musket Smoke Classic, 1.55 update has two big things to keep in mind. Your overall Naarden strategy and your Mini Matches will be different with the new Light Mortar.
In the Naarden Campaign two of the battles have swapped place. So Campaigns now start with “Winter Keep” and “The Breach” is now the 5th battle. This means that Winter Keep will get played a lot more and being first it also means both sides will always have the exact same units. It will be a grand first contest featuring all the unit types and will give Commanders the right kind of environment to grow and really get a quick overview feel of the Campaign.
However, there are side effects to this change that will make battle 5 (The Breach) tricky and put more weight on needing to win battles 2 (and 4) or more weight towards taking out SF units. Mainly, the Mortar unit won from second battle “Howitzer Bridge” will certainly influence the wall battle. Likewise, an extra ‘Siege Cannon’ won from ‘Cannon Showdown’ will also have an impact. So you probably don’t want to lose both those battles and have 2 Mortars and 2 Siege Cannons on the other side of that wall. However, if that does happen don’t forget that Leader units can damage the Keep as well – very effectively. If you have 1 or 2 extra leader units that could help, but really you don’t have to worry ‘that’ much. With your losses you will have extra elite pikemen which if you play defensively can still keep you in the fight. Plus don’t forget if 3 mortars are active on this map all the smoke will reduce the siege cannons options. With an extra siege cannon on one side the wall breaches will happen faster so be prepared for that and don’t forget that a whole in the wall is a ‘two way street’.
I actually think it would be an exciting situation to face double artillery on the other side of the wall. This would be an excellent opportunity to take out those SF units (with all the smoke and wall holes) they will likely be a bit more vulnerable. An opponent with an extra artillery advantage will likely be over confident and will have less patience than you. In this underdog position my Commander will probably focus on killing these elite units over going for a battle win. Just make sure you have time to stretch out the battle, that means you need to put your single mortar behind your keep and let the opponent try and breach your side first (so you can quickly reduce his army size). Remember you have more men on the ground so as long as you can keep your Keep protected with thick smoke your larger army can wear away at the enemy and will have a good chance at a victorious outcome.
The second major change with the update is the new ‘Light Mortar’ unit added to the Mini Matches. This low damage, non-random mortar will allow you to accurately paint the battlefield grey with thick smoke that will instantly interrupt ranged weapons from aiming at targets. Just remember to look at the wind indicator as that will tell you which direction your smoke will float to when it’s your opponents turn. If you are using it to protect units from ranged fire remember that units on the inside edge of the thick smoke are still targetable. You need at least 1 full hex of smoke between you and the shooter to prevent direct targeting.
The damage is only 2 for a direct mortar hit and 1 for splash damage, but if the target is locked the damage is double. So this means it will create a gore pile if the target locked. Another thing to note is that even the 1 splash damage will cause a morale hit to low confidence units that are upon gore piles.
You can see an example of mortar causing a gore pile rout here.
Note: the 1.55 update is still processing in the app store. It should be out any day now.