3.1 Combat Tactics

In the next several sections we have provided a list of various combat tactics that super heroes and super villains often use. Feel free to use them at your next opportunity.

Non-Adjacent Weapon Combat: In most cases, two characters must be next to each other in order to engage in Slugfest combat, though an exception is noted if the character has a weapon that will reach.

Super-strong opponents are always grabbing lampposts, columns. and buses to smash one another For this type of combat. the attacker and target do not have to be adjacent. but should be within 1 area of each other (unless the attackeris using something massive like the Concorde to strike his or her opponent). The attacker must be able to lift the object he is using, and if the target's material strength or Body Armor is higher, the weapon may be shattered and the item useless.

Holding One's Fire: If a player has initiative, his character may hold off hisattack until an opponent is within the best possible range. In other words, the opponent (loser of initiative) may move according to his plans, but the attacker does not have to attack until the opponent is about to strike. (A good example is a character defending against a Charging opponent. That character chooses to hold his attack until the opponent is right on top of him. then lets loose.)

Pulling Punches: This has been covered above but bears repeating: It is possible to inflict less damage than maximum for some attacks, and it is possible to select a lower effect than the color rolled for other attacks. Attack forms where reduced damage is available are Blunt Attacks, Throwing Blunt, Energy Powers, Force Powers, and Grappling. and any farm of attack that uses the magic code phrase "inflicts up to a certain level of damage." Attack forms where it is possible to have lesser effects than found on the Battle Effects Table (for example, lessening a Stun to a Slam) are Blunt Attacks. Force Powers, Energy Powers, Grappling, and Charging. Multiple Targets: A character may affect multiple targets by making a single attack that will affect multiple targets, or by making separate attacks against the attackers.

Single Roll option: Under certain circumstances a character may affect a number of adjacent foes. All targets must be adjacent to the character in question.

Attack forms that may use this type of attack are Blunt Slugfest, Escaping, and Energy and Force Powers. A single roll is made to affect all the individuals in the area at a - 4CS. Those results are applied to all in that area. Multiple Combat Actions: Occasionally heroes may make more than one attack in the same round, attacking the same target or different targets. Any character can make multiple attacks, provided that character makes a Fighting FEAT roll in the Pre-Action roll. The intensity of the FEAT depends on the number of attacks desired: Making 2 attacks in the same round - Remarkable Intensity FEAT Making 3 attacks in the same round - Amazing Intensity FEAT All multiple attacks are made at -1CS to hit. If the Fighting FEAT fails, only one attack is made at -3CS.

The above applies to Slugfest attacks and Shooting only. Certain Powers may permit multiple attacks as Power Stunts without invoking this rule.

Entangling Weapons: There are a number of bolos, nets, and webbing designed as weapons to entangle a foe. These hit with an Agility FEAT, but if they hit, the target must make an Agility FEAT against the material strength of the net, webbing, etc. Failure indicates the target is enmeshed and may escape by breaking bonds as a Strength FEAT, or slipping the bonds, if the character has applicable abilities.

Groundstrike: The Groundstrike is a tactic used by individuals with Energy Powers to inflict concussive damage to a target without fear of instant death.The idea is to use the Power to bowl over an opponent and do damage with the rock and earth brought up by the attack. If the material strength is less thanthe damage inflicted, the target will take damage equal to the material strength. In addition. if the material is relatively thin, the strike may opena hole, causing the target to fall through (Agility FEAT to avoid). The chief function of the Groundstrike is that damage is inflicted on the Force Power Table. It's disadvantage is that it is hard on the surrounding territory.

Shooting to Neutralize: It's often a good idea to try to shoot a weapon out ofa miscreant's hand. This requires a Bullseye result, and while it inflicts damage. a Kill result is treated as a Bullseye as well. This is one of the few cases where a Kill result may be reduced. It may be used only to knock an opponent's weapon out of his hand. Shooting to Stun: A trick shot, involving grazing the target in such a way as to knock him out. This is a Bullseye resultfor Shooting combat. A Bullseye result is treated as a Stun, but a Kill is still a Kill result.

Combined Attack: A single character may be unable to pierce an enemy's Force Field or Body Armor, but two or more individuals striking at the same spot may be able to affect the foe. As with combined material Strength FEATs, the two must inflict damage within in points of each other. The higher total is raised to the next rank of damage, at the lowest point (88 for Unearthly, etc.) providing the individual with the lower damage ability makes an Agility FEAT (the one with the higher FEAT must score a normal hit). This applies to Slugfest, Charging, and Energy and Force Powers.

Double-Teaming: A form of combined attack where one attacker holds the target and the other hits him. The first attacker must get a Hold or Partial Hold on the target. The second attacker then gets a +1CS on attacks (but a miss on the target may hit the Grappling attacker — make a second roll as if attacking that character).

Fastball Special: A special form of Charging attack developed by Messrs. Logan and Rasputin of Westchester County. New York, which involves the more powerful of the two using the less powerful as a Missile weapon. The attack supposes the throwing character can lift and throw the thrown character. The attack uses the thrower's Agility to hit, or the thrown's Fighting ability. whicheverthe players involved choose. Damage is done by the thrown character as determined by Endurance, or by a normal Slugfest attack, with the thrown character gaining benefits as for a Charging attack. (Plusses for Speed.)

Shockwave: A version of the Groundstrike used by those with Edged or Blunt Slugfest attacks. The attacker must have a Strength at least two ranks higher than the material he is standing on; he then strikes at the ground with fists,legs, etc.. setting up a shockwave that will travel up to 2 areas away in any direction. Those in the path of the Shockwave are attacked by as if by a Charge of the attacker's Strength. No damage is done by a Shockwave attack (though incidental damage may be inflicted by damaged buildings, bridges falling down, etc.) but targets may be stunned or slammed if these results are rolled.

Blindsiding: A character who is taken by surprise has a greater chance of being affected by an attack than one who is expecting it. A Blindsiding attack gains a +2CS to hit. and the character hit by a Blindsiding attack may not add Karma to any die rolls to determine if the attack Slams, Stuns, or Kills. The Judge has final say on Blindsiding, but guidelines are:

if the character is taken unaware from behind, the character is distracted, the attacker is playing possum (the target does not anticipate an attack), the attack comes from an unsuspected quarter (an ally or supposed friend makes the attack). Characters with extraordinary senses (like Daredevil) or danger senses (like Rogue, Franklin Richards, and Spider-Man) cannot be Blindsided
in normal circumstances. Under special circumstances, though, Blindsiding these characters can be possible. Spider- Man was once Blindsided by Aunt May, as his vaunted spider-sense did not recognize the dear sweet lady with the lead pipe as a threat — let this be a lesson to us all…

Shielding: This tactic involves putting something between the target and the attacker, usually an inanimate abject but sometimes, in the case of hero leaping into the fray to stop an attack on another individual, a character himself.

In the first case, the hero may decide to use something as a shield as an initial action or as a changed action after initiative is rolled. if it is an initial action, the hero may perform another action in addition to the action.

If a changed action, the hero may perform no other action that round than shielding. In either case, all other FEATs attempted in that round, including combat are -2CS unless the object used as a shield is a device or object commonly used by the hero in that way (the hero is comfortable using the device defensively). The material strength of the item is used as a form of Body Armor against the attack (if a garbage can lid is used as a shield, it will provide Poor (4) protection). This applies only to physical attacks and similar attacks that may be deflected in this manner. This form of defense may be used against Slugfest, Throwing, Shooting, and Charging attacks, but not Grappling and Grabbing attacks. The hero may also provide a form of shielding to other targets within the same area (or within a half-area for ranged movement) by putting his own body in the way of an attack directed against another. The hero may make this decision only in the decision section of the turn,and then if the hero is closer to the target than the attacker (therefore it is only useful against Shooting, Throwing, and Charging attacks). The hero (or an object the hero is carrying, as in the first section) interposes himself in the line of fire and is considered the target instead of the intended target.

Example: Spider-Man is standing next to the Mayor when he sees the barrel of a sniper rifle sticking out of a window. Spidey acts to shield the Mayor, making himself the target of the attack. Were Captain America standing next to the Mayor in this situation, then he could bring up his shield (a common object used for this purpose) to protect the Mayor and himself (the attack is considered to be against Captain America, but his shield may deflect it).

Flight and Fight: A few additional rules apply to characters engaged in combatwhile in Flight:

  • A character in flight can be slammed regardless of the character's comparative Endurance. This is because the character is not moored to anything.
  • A character in flight may Charge with normal limitations. If the flying character is engaged in a Power dive (dropping straight down), the character can gain a column shift of +4CS (with resulting possible damage for self as well). This applies only to flying characters intent on diving at the target, not to characters leaping, jumping, or falling from high distances (they receive the +3 CS maximum).

Firing at a Moving Target: A character who is moving is harder to hit. A - 1CSapplies to any target moving up to five areas that round; a -2CS applies to those against targets moving up to 10 areas that turn, and -4CS to those moving faster. The exception to this is attack on a character who is Charging directly at the firer — other than the target getting rapidly larger, there is no difference in location.

Ambush: OK, how many times have you seen this in the comics — the bad guy is right around the corner, pistol drawn, waiting for Moon Knight to come aroundthe corner and… Blam! The Ambush is an attack set up against a certain location. As soon as any character enters that location, the attack occurs. Karma is spent when the attack is set up, not made. An Ambush gains a + 1CS to hit.

Aiming (Optional): This form of attack is for use with Shooting, Throwing, and Powers, in situations where the attacker has the luxury of spending a turn aiming his weapon without firing. A character Aiming for a turn gains a +1CS to hit.

Point Blank Range: There are sometimes cases where a firer would have to be really trying to miss — you know, repulsor up against the bad guy's head, etc. A Shooting character who is adjacent to a nonfighting opponent gains a +3CS to hit that opponent. If the opponent is fighting, or engaged in Slugfestor wrestling, there is a - 3CS to hit with Missile weapons. Whether or not a target is fighting is determined when the attacker fires. If the attackergets initiative in the round the opponent tries to escape, the attacker has a +3CS - otherwise, he has a -3CS.

Luring: Luring is a tactic by which the character makes himself a target in order to encourage his opponent into attacking him, whether to keep the opponent from attacking others, lead the character into an uninhabited area, or to persuade the opponent to throw a punch or make a charge, only to jump out of the way at the last moment. A character trying to Lure states so. The opponent gets a +2CS on attacks, but at the moment of attack, the defender can pull a defensive move of his or her choice. If the attack misses, the lured character will hit whatever was directly behind the luring character (the character's choice).

Using Karma in Combat: Karma is delved into deeply in the next chapter, but since it has an important effect on combat it should be mentioned here. Karmais used to manipulate the die rolls on the Universal Table. When a character decides to spend Karma, the player simply announces it. You automatically spend 10 Karma points by saying that simple phrase. You can spend more, but 10 points is the requirement for making the statement. On the die roll you are modifying (always the one immediately after the announcement), you add the number of points equal to the amount of Karma you spend (at least 10, theamount you spent to start with). Other uses of Karma are described in the Karma section.

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