Free Attacks and Aerial Combatants

Just got your book, can't find a copy, have a cool adventure idea or story? Chat about it here.

Moderators: PEG Jodi, The Moderators

User avatar
Posts: 99
Joined: Wed Dec 03, 2008 10:14 am
Location: Boston area, MA

Free Attacks and Aerial Combatants

#1 Postby DanOrc » Fri Dec 05, 2008 1:00 pm

Hey all,

I had asked Clint a few questions about a thread in the Core Rules Forum about aerial combat versus ground-limited creatures, and thought I'd share it here for public usage. Should've posted here to begin with probably, but hey, I still am new here. Day three, woo!

Anyway, here's Clint's reply. My original message is entirely contained within it in quotes, I think.

DanOrc wrote:
I had a thought re:, but I can't post there of course.

While I have no idea what a "flying leatherwing" is, it seems like there's two great options for the creatures to employ to avoid the free attack drawback and give the aerial creatures the superiority it seems that such a situation would logically grant.

The easiest would be to simply give them reach weapons, should the creatures be capable of wielding such things, like a spear or lance. This way they could simply swoop down within reach without provoking a free attack, since they are not adjacent (if I'm reading what you wrote at ... ree+attack) correctly. An aerial Charge with a lance would be deadly indeed.

Yep, it would be. You are correct, since they aren't entering Close Combat (adjacent), no free attack would occur.

But in this case the below would be more appropriate as leatherwings are creatures (kind of like pterodactyls I guess).

DanOrc wrote:
If a flying leatherwing was more batlike or what have you and unable or unlikely to wield such weapons, what about an Edge something like

Air Superiority: Withdrawal from melee combat versus non-flying opponents does not enable the ground-based opponent to make a free attack.

If this Edge is too overpowering, it could perhaps be limited by only succeeding on an opposed roll of some kind (fighting or agi perhaps), or require the aerial combatant to make a Fighting roll versus the standard TN of 4, perhaps at a penalty, to withdraw without the attack, etc....

That would be very powerful since the ground-based target loses the one minor advantage it has against the aerial attacker. Instead of removing that attack or making a roll to see if another roll would be allowed, another option would be to just increase the aerial attacker's Parry. It's still just one roll, only less likely to succeed (which is the same end result).

Something like...

Dive!: If the flier can move at least 6" before the attack, he gains a +2 to his Parry until his next action.

Course, keep in mind that the system does have something like this already; there is a rule (in the vehicle section) that every full 10" of movement inflicts a -1 penalty to hit a target. So a leatherwing that would be flying at least 10" as part of its action could be run as -1 to be hit already.

Anyway, just some things to consider.

How has anyone else handled this? I'm new to the system too, so I don't yet have an intuitive full feel for the advisability and effectiveness of various tactics in practice.

It seems like the free attack is a severe disadvantage for a flying attacker. Although, clearly, vastly superior movement rates and the ability to ignore terrain modifiers are huge, and they could presumably Charge, which would give a good amount of damage bonus right there. However, having to expose one's self to a free melee attack, in addition to a potential Hold attack (not to mention First Strike Edges), actually seems to me to end up putting an aerial attacker without Reach at a draw or a disadvantage even. The lack of a set "height advantage" (aside from bypassing cover, which isn't really applicable in this situation) also compounds things.

Am I missing something in my mental tactical simulation here?

User avatar
Posts: 2959
Joined: Thu Jul 08, 2004 8:34 am
Location: Hither and Yon

#2 Postby razorwise » Fri Dec 05, 2008 2:00 pm

Hello and welcome to the boards!

Clint knows his stuff. I'd run it with the speed penalty, alternately I'd just FIAT

When you say leatherwing, I'm hearing RunePunk, so I understand what you're saying. Keep in mind, air-to-air as well as air-to-ground combat can come up quite regularly in scenarios, as a number of Malakar, the gargoyles, are winged.

Returning to leatherwings, one thing that these creatures do have, that offsets that free attack, is that they are Hardy which makes them particularly difficult to kill as one has to exceed their Toughness by 4 with a single hit to down them, otherwise they are Shaken.

If you have any setting specific questions, just track me down.

Take care,


Return to “SW General Chat & Game Stories”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests