In this episode, we're covering the first weapon in the launcher category - the M72 LAW.
It's a single shot weapon unlocked as part of one of the default classes from level 2.
An American weapon, the M72 was originally developed by the Hesse Eastern Company and later manufactured by Nammo Raufoss under license.
The patent for the weapon was filed in 1963 and was adopted by the US Army as their primary anti-tank weapon the same year.
The LAW was designed as a replacement for the earlier Bazooka series of anti-armour weapons, and could tackle correspondingly more modern armoured threats.
Designed to be as lightweight as possible without sacrificing penetration power, the M72 used a disposable telescoping tube which came with the rocket pre-loaded for ease of use and rapid deployment, similar to the AT4, which replaced the M72 in recent years.
This means that the M72 can't be reloaded, and so with each you only get a single launch.
The rocket fired is a 66 millimetre High Explosive, Anti-Tank round, with folding fins that deploy after launch for increased in-flight stability.
In-game, the lethal radius is 3.8 metres - although be advised that Flak Jacket will render the missile near useless, requiring a direct impact to kill an uninjured foe.
Performance is more consistent against Air Support, with just one rocket impact required to down any target.
The Launchers are slow weapons to handle - when equipped you'll move at 80 percent of maximum speed.
Aim speed is also slower than any other weapon class, at half a second - although given that you only get one shot it's wise to take the aiming process slowly.
Reload - or rather, the discard and draw of a new launcher - is slow too, taking 3 seconds, meaning that the launchers certainly aren't suited to faster-paced enagements.
Although deviant from the real-life weapon, the LAW is capable of locking onto an aerial target in Black Ops - to do so just hold your aim on target until the sequence of beeps indicates a lock has been attained, then launch as normal.
Spy Planes, Counter Spy Planes and the airdrop Chinooks are all vulnerable to a single rocket, whereas the attack helicopter, chopper gunner and gunship normally require at least two launched rockets.
The only thing protecting the attack helicopters are their flare countermeasures, granting them one chance to divert a missile before they're left vulnerable.
Given that the M72 doesn't have to be locked onto a target, it is possible to bypass the flares by launching an unguided rocket - although your chances of missing the target are high.
The M72 is surprisingly effective against emplaced equipment - turrets can be easily taken out safely with an aimed rocket. Any claymores, jammers - or even RC-XDs if you're quick enough - can be taken out with the blast too.
It can be difficult to employ the launchers -directly- against the enemy, given that there's an effective counter to the M72 in Flak Jacket.
Generally speaking, you want to place the rocket accurately so that the impact is as close to your opponent as possible.
The best way to ensure this is to aim at the feet of your foe - otherwise there's a risk the rocket will sail harmlessly past them and detonate some distance behind.
Given the relatively small lethal radius the risk of rocket-induced suicide is minimal, so the LAW can be used up close to some effect.
There is still the element of risk - so be wary of potential obstacles between you and your target - including teammates.
No other weapon does quite as much as the LAW is able; From quickly downing air support to taking out clusters of enemies in a single shot, no secondary is as versatile.
Of course, it's not without its downsides - if you plan on using the M72 in a serious anti-aircraft role you need scavenger for the additional rocket, otherwise you'll be relying on teammates all too often. The Strela-3 is a better choice for this purpose, as it doesn't need Scavenger to take on the higher killstreaks.
The M72 is unlocked first though, and is a more than sufficient stopgap to fill in until you unlock the later launchers.
In an infantry role Flak Jacket renders it all but useless, and compared to the RPG-7's maximum 3 rockets or the China Lake's 4 grenades, the ammunition supply is scant.
There exist better weapons for both anti-air and anti-personnel roles. But if you're in need of a versatile support weapon, capable of both, it might just be time ... to lay down the LAW.