Flight adds a different and dynamic element to combat, though, at its heart the mechanics are the same – skills are used to make attack, defend, and move actions during a combat turn. The big difference is that during flighted combat, characters are continuously in motion, and this movement must be accounted for during each round. Tactics and actions taken will vary greatly depending on whether the combat is Flight-to-Ground or Flight-to-Flight, and this sections deals with the former.
Tactically, there are two basic principals that govern this type of combat, speed and range. With the exception of hovering, which is really just ranged combat, combatants in flight must account for continuous movement, typically by remaining at a distance to make ranged attacks or by plunging towards the ground to make melee attacks. With this in mind, flighted attack and defend actions revolve around two combat maneuvers, Circling and Diving.
Before moving into the details of these combat maneuvers, it is important for players to announce their flight speed in combat – this is the number of yards that character continually moves per action. While normal flight speed is maintained with a free action, changing speed requires a number of actions depending on the method of flight.
Acceleration: 1 action per 4 speed increase
Deceleration: 1 action per 8 speed decrease
*may be affected by atmospheric conditions
Acceleration: 1 action per 6 speed increase
Deceleration: 1 action per 6 speed decrease
*may vary by the type of vehicle
A standard combat maneuver that can be used with attack, defend, or move skills. It is used to remain over a field of combat while maintaining a specific altitude, without requiring the use of actions. Flighted characters provide the general distance from the field of combat in yards, which is used to determine range modifiers for all combatants. Attempting a combat maneuver or making any change of of altitude that is significant to combat in the round will require a minimum of one action.
Attacking – so long as the maintained altitude is within range of the weapon, the character may use the Mobile Combat Shoot or Throw skills to attack without penalty.
Defending – while Circling, characters are able to use the Mobile Combat Evasive Action skill to avoid a single attack with one action. Optionally, they can choose to spend two actions to make a series of random movements while in flight, giving opponents a negative modifier to hit equal to the number of skill points in Mobile Combat.
Moving – outside of attempting specific combat maneuvers, those who are circling can make two additional types of movements.
Slow spiral allows the character to increase or decrease their altitude by up to one yard per skill point in Mobile Combat per round at the cost of a free action.
Edging is the act of circling into and out of combat during the round to avoid ranged attacks. The character provides two distances in yards from the field of combat – two actions for the round are spent at each distance for purposes of range modifiers. Depending on initiative, opponents may ready actions to counter this move.
This versatile Combat Maneuver can be used with attack, defend, or move based skills. The basis of the maneuver is a rapid change in altitude – ascending or descending – a number of yards equal to the flight speed at a steep or near vertical angle. So long as the character is already in motion, the maneuver itself doesn’t require an action, though the distance covered does. This means that if the character takes no actions during the decent/ascent, an action is spent on the flight move rate, if, however, an attack, defend, or other move skill is used, the flight move rate is rolled into the skill action.
Attacking – the character may use the Mobile Combat Shoot or Throw skills during the maneuver with no penalty, or perform a melee attack with Swoop skill, assuming the attack falls within the flight move rate for that action. Due to the speed at which the character is moving, unless a Quick Landing is attempted, only one melee attack action is allowed per target. Depending on the initiative, opponents may ready actions to make simultaneous attacks.
Defending – during the maneuver, characters are able to use the Mobile Combat Evasive Action skill to avoid to avoid a single attack with one action, if the maneuver takes at least two actions to reach the target location, they can choose to spend two actions to make a series of random movements while in motion, giving opponents a negative modifier to hit equal to the number of skill points in Mobile Combat.
Moving – after reaching the target location and any attack or defend actions are resolved, the flighted movement continues, typically with one three related maneuvers.
Tactical Pitch – similar to the parent Chute, this maneuver is used to make a rapid altitude change, typically pulling away from the field of combat at an angle and direction of the character’s choosing. Although a Mobile Combat Combat Maneuvers skill check is required, so long as the character is in motion, it may be accomplished with a free action.
Quick Land – once any attack or defend actions have been resolved, the character can choose to come to rest on a surface. Because it is a break fall, the character is required to spend an action and make a Mobile Combat Combat Maneuvers skill check to land safely.
Skim – rather than pulling away from the field of combat, the character can choose to remain in melee range while moving, allowing for additional melee attack runs. Although a Mobile Combat Combat Maneuvers skill check is required, so long as the character is in motion, it may be accomplished with a free action. Additional turns or changes in pitch will require the character to make additional skill checks and actions.