The consensus seems to have clearly formed around a reasonable cost reduction. It would definitely make the unit more accessible since all of the doctrines that include the 120mm mortar also have other manpower heavy call-ins like shocks, guards, dushkas and peashooter AT guns. In addition, when made more affordable players can call it in more often hopefully making it easier to evaluate its performance from the Allied and Axis point of view.
I never paid much attention to it but the popcap of the 120mm is definitely inconsistent with other artillery units at whopping 10 popcap a piece. Using several of these mortars would tie a heavy tanks worth of popcap into 2 units and considering the current performance that is quite ridiculous.
For comparison late game artillery like the panzerwerfer cost 12 popcap while early game options like the Soviet standard mortar costs 6 popcap and the USF pack howizer costs 8 popcap.
I'd argue the popcap reduction is also warranted either from the balance point of view or from the perspective of making the popcap of early game indirect fire consistent.
120mm should work like a *looks around* Pack Howitzer.
Let me explain. This thing has high damage, low rate of fire and an abysmal set up time.
A directional set up, weapon arc included, would reward positioning and avoid unwanted refacings. Rate of fire should be tweaked a bit considering its damage and blast radius.
The unit itself works fine, only hampered by its clumsyness and cost
I've been using it lately and it has reap great results in the form of wipes against low health ostheer units clumped behind cover or by damaging okw static units so they can't fight mine.
This is a great point. I wonder how much of the potential DPS of the 120mm mortar is lost during the constant refacing and setting up. I think most mortars are a bit clumsy especially regarding their smoke barrages which can take ages to activate but the issue is definitely highlighted in the 120mm.
(also especially the USF mortar seems to be prone to being completely broken when using the smoke barrage and after that it becomes unresponsive but that is another topic for another day)
Other ways to change the unit could be an increase in utility or an increase in doctrine synergy. For example one of the 120mm mortar doctrines - shock army tactics I believe - also includes shocks and PPSH conscripts.
I think the CQC nature of the commander would benefit if the 120mm mortar smoke barraged was replaced with the creeping smoke barrage of the British mortar pit. That would enable shocks and cons to traverse the battlefield under the cover of smoke reducing manpower bleed on advance. In addition the Creeping smoke barrage would require coordination and good timing while not being an outright damage buff for the mortar.