The Hand Mortar has a high ranged resistance and it complements it with a bonus against artillery. They also out-range most artillery, with exception of the Mortar, Morutaru, and the Culverin (which has equal range), and most other units. It is a relatively weak artillery unit and deals a base damage of 5 points per shot, but has large multipliers against buildings, ships and artillery.
The Hand Mortar is ineffective against all forms of infantry and cavalry, and should not be left exposed. However, it is difficult to destroy by shelling, and with its low cost, it is an effective "meat shield" to protect the Chinese army, which is usually massed in large numbers, from enemy artillery fire. Due to its mediocre range compared to other mortars, it should be positioned outside a city's fortifications and attached to a Territorial or Old Han Army.
The Hand Mortar is best used in massed numbers against buildings, ships or other artillery. When positioned at the flanks, the Hand Mortar should be guarded by infantry or cavalry.
“The earliest use of exploding bombs dates back to 1044, when bombs were encased in paper and generally used to create a distraction, or to startle soldiers and cavalry horses. The first Chinese hand mortar used specifically for firing iron-cased bombs was found in 1413. During the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the hand-thrown bomb became more common in battle, and eventually the Chinese began to use it as mortar ammunition, replacing spherical stones as the projectile of choice.
The hand mortar was highly mobile and its fuse could be shortened and lengthened in accordance with the kind of bomb it was firing. Because of the diversity of bombs developed by Chinese and Korean armies, a hand mortar could cause a wide variety of effects, making it a very adaptable, and very dangerous, siege weapon.”