Darkest Hour: Europe '44-'45 is a modification for Red Orchestra. It focuses on the western European front during WWII from Operation Overlord to the end of combat operations on May 9, 1945. Darkest Hour covers a multitude of combined arms and mechanized infantry engagements ranging through Normandy, Belgium, Holland, and Germany.

Darkest Hour can be downloaded from Steam here, and our active community forum is welcome to all players for their respected input and suggestions.


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76mm GMC M18 "Hellcat" Jagdpanzer IV Kurz 8cm Granatwerfer 42
Blog RSS Feed Report abuse Latest News: Improving Mortars

4 comments by cmbasnett on Sep 27th, 2014

To me, nothing in our game more terrifying than being pinned down by machine-gun fire while the whistle and thundering explosions of incoming mortars draws ever closer. And nothing is more satisfying than working with teammates to land the perfect mortar round right on top of the enemy’s head. Our mortars are a system that’s unique to Darkest Hour, and one that’s dear to my heart as I was the developer that took most of the responsibility in designing and developing the system.

While the mortars have been generally well received, there are a number of problems that I feel the system currently suffers from. I want to take the time to discuss some of these concerns and offer solutions that could help alleviate them.

My intention is to spark debate and discussion so that we can, together, make a fun and satisfying teamwork-oriented system that’s as much fun to be on the giving end as it is to be on the receiving end!

Few players want to be a mortar observer

The Problem

While many teamwork-oriented players enjoy (or at least tolerate) taking on the role of a mortar observer, the average player shies away from this role.

For the average player, the issue seems to stem from a lack of incentive in taking the role. Right out of the gate it is an unattractive role, since most observer roles are outfitted with a bare bones loadout usually consisting of a standard issue rifle with no extra bells or whistles (or even grenades). The thinking behind this kind of loadout was to make the role a less effective combat unit than an ordinary rifleman, drawing the player’s in-game attention instead to his role as the mortar observer. While this has certainly worked in dissuading less combat oriented players from taking the role, it harms the team as a whole when no one wants to be the observer!

The Solution

The proposed solution is to outfit mortar observers with at least the same type of equipment the standard rifleman recieves. This makes the observer role no less attractive than a rifleman role based purely on equipment alone. In fact, it makes it slightly more attractive since they are also given some nice shiny binoculars as well.

Being a mortar observer is often frustrating

The Problem

Most of the frustration of being an observer appears to arise from the fact that marked mortar targets disappear upon death. This behavior was meant to act as an abstraction for the observer no longer being able to relay corrections to the mortar operator. While it fulfills that idea, it has created a fairly major issue.

The issue is that the mortar observer (if he’s behaving “correctly”) has virtually no incentive to willingly enter combat. This effectively takes that player out of the fight, usually marking a target and hiding as far away from the bullets and grenades as possible. This sort of thing just isn’t fun!
This is also doubly frustrating for the mortar operator, since he will routinely and without warning stop getting any feedback on where his rounds are landing.

The Solution

The proposed solution is to allow marked mortar targets to persist through death. This relegates the mortar observer’s responsibilities to that of a spotter marking targets of opportunity, rather than tying the player down with the added burden of avoiding combat. This will allow the observer to be an effective combat soldier despite his additional responsibilities.

Dude, where’s my round?

The Problems

New and veteran players alike often have a very hard time figuring out where their rounds are landing. There a couple underlying problems here.

The first problem is that, currently, a mortar needs to land within 100 meters of the marked target for the impact to show on the operator’s map. Aside from this being completely arbitrary and not scaling for map size, this becomes a huge issue for some players who are perhaps less skilled with the mortars in that they will likely get zero feedback as to where their rounds are landing on their first outings. This sort of system is one that forces teamwork rather than one that encourages it.

The second problem is that the operator has no indication of the distance to the target. In reality, there would be a team of operators who would have a firing chart available to them and could translate target grid vectors into headings and distances. In game, this sort of support is frustratingly absent.

The Solutions

I believe the solution to the first problem is to eliminate this 100 meter restriction outright. Removing this extra constraint won’t sacrifice teamwork, as effective use of the mortar still requires a dedicated observer to mark and update targets of opportunity as the battle progresses. Another solution being considered is to simply increase the 100 meter restriction as well as offering the motar operator a range table sheet in-game.

A proposed solution to the second problem is to display (perhaps with some sort of delay) the approximate distance to the marked target to within 25 meters. This will allow the operator to have a good mental starting point for firing off the initial round, resulting in more accurate fire and less frustration.

What do you think?

We want to hear from our players! Have your own ideas? Let us know!

As always, don't forget to like us on our Facebook page!

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Darkest Hour June 6th 2008 Trailer

Darkest Hour June 6th 2008 Trailer

Jun 4, 2008 Trailers 1 comment

A trailer showing off many of the new features, units and weapons of the upcoming Darkest Hour Beta 1.0

Darkest Hour Beta 1.0 Manual

Darkest Hour Beta 1.0 Manual

May 30, 2008 Guides 2 comments

The Darkest Hour Beta 1.0 Manual explains installing DH, how to set up the sdk, server and several new gameplay features.

Darkest Hour Feature Trailer

Darkest Hour Feature Trailer

Apr 11, 2008 Trailers 2 comments

The DH feature trailer....look here to learn more about our parachute and portable radio man systems. Release in May 2008

Christmas 2007 Teaser Trailer

Christmas 2007 Teaser Trailer

Dec 23, 2007 Trailers 1 comment

The Christmas 2007 Teaser Trailer for Darkest Hour.

Dog Green Teaser Trailer

Dog Green Teaser Trailer

May 11, 2007 Trailers 1 comment

The Darkest Hour Dog Green Trailer. Enjoy 5 minutes of action packed footage (which only shows 50% of the entire map) as well as numerous other features...enjoy...

Post comment Comments  (30 - 40 of 298)
BonKerz Dec 31 2010, 8:42am says:

are there still live servers for this mod? I don't think I've seen any in a long time.. I'd like to play it though!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Zookerman Aug 28 2011, 3:56am replied:

I've joined a server with 71 players in it today. This game blows my mind.it just feels like you're in a real battle. It's so much better than the console crap I've been playing (Modern Warfare 2,Battlefield Bad company 2,etc). Graphics don't mean s*** when the game is this good. Because I've played this mod,I'm going to cancel my Battlefield 3 preorder.

+1 vote     reply to comment
tman29th Jan 3 2011, 6:00am replied:

There's still 2-3 full at any given time, good days 4-6. For US, EU and Aussies.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Elizabeth_Lestrad Dec 12 2010, 4:55pm says:

Hope you get a Omaha Beach or Point DuHoc map in at some point. The Dog Green and Juno Beach maps are kinda disappointing, lacking the high cliff walls and seemingly impenetrable defences that Omaha and DuHoc had as shown in these photographs:





I found the Dog Green map especially odd though, considering the bunkers were kinda pointless as none of them were facing outward onto the beach.

-2 votes     reply to comment
SnakeTheFox Mar 10 2011, 1:49am replied:

There's already like 3 beach maps, including an Omaha Beach map with cliffs, isn't that enough? It's a terrible game premise anyway, and (just like in reality) it's a horrible unfun meatgrinder for the allies as you die, respawn, move up, die, respawn, move up, and repeat.

Dear Sperglord WW2 gaming community,


People with taste in map design.

+5 votes     reply to comment
JonathanPL Dec 11 2010, 5:51am says:

I wish Darkest Hour would be finally polished (example? US Paras uniforms, visible from 3 kilometers, almost like a "light in the dark" in the night maps, like Carentan Causeway) and the few older maps would come back (I can't give the names, I forgot, but it was Pegasus Bridge for example, I think). Also, US Weapons were harder to handle then German ones (maybe it's just me), german tanks required many hits from bazooka even from the back\side.

I wish this mod would be just... more polished, maybe more balanced and finally - back with shitload of players. I'd install it again for sure, because other than that... mod was just awesome, and I prefer western front instead of the eastern one.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ShadowFear Dec 11 2010, 9:55pm replied:

How about you play again since you speak like the last time you played was 2 years ago. Evidently you don't see the 29th ID servers in your server browser.

+1 vote     reply to comment
JonathanPL Dec 12 2010, 2:44am replied:

not really that much, last time I tried it was more like half a year.

But I'll give it a go if You say so. (even tho the postng hour makes You an American most probably, and US servers aren't that comfortable to play from Europe)

I just hope the update fix that damn uniforms.

+2 votes     reply to comment
BlueSunsleader Dec 4 2010, 12:53am says:

cool keep it up

+1 vote     reply to comment
Kraetzer Dec 2 2010, 6:25pm says:

Would love it if the texture would get more love :p

+2 votes     reply to comment
Shadow85 Dec 2 2010, 4:17pm says:

When will the AI improve for singleplayer?

0 votes     reply to comment
FuriousBystander Dec 2 2010, 8:29pm replied:

There is no real single player in RO/DH/MN/CC. It's a complete waste of developer time adding bots to the maps when 99% of people want to play this game online against real humans.

+3 votes     reply to comment
JonathanPL Dec 11 2010, 5:53am replied:

tho again, I agree UT bots suck in everything that's anyhow realism-related.

+2 votes     reply to comment
JonathanPL Dec 11 2010, 5:44am replied:

not true, I want bots so I can play with high number of players while most of the Europe is sleeping. Or to play with friends. Or to fulfill server unless we have many players. And theres many more like me, because...

...this game "died" some time ago (most players abandoned the game). At least in the middle of Europe, throughout the day, I couldn't find a decent ping\player number server (there were 2 tank servers, 1 normal with not enough players... and RO have many, many of them). And it's not because my net sucks, because it does not (I can compare with many other games I play), so You can just forget this answer.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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Released Jun 4, 2008
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