Combat Combinations and Tactics


Advice


Here are a few I have seen employed that greatly increase party effectiveness:

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- Coordinated Assault -
Combination Required:

1 Melee Combatant
1 Envoy

Party we did it with:

1 Heavy Armored Melee Solarian
1 Envoy
1 Ranged Soldier
1 Ranged Exocortex Mechanic
1 Mystic

Rounds to set up: 1

Melee (with Coordinated Shot feat) closes with the target staying out of the Line of Fire (LoF) of his team mates while Envoy uses, "Get 'em!"

Result:
All the pew-pew'ers gain +2 to strike, the Melee'er gets +1 to strike.

Rate of effectiveness: High.

Minimum Level Needed to Accomplish This: 1st

How can it get better?

If the Solarian has a decent Charisma and Bluff Score they can, if they have it, use improved feint as a Move Action before using Stellar Rush to charge in as a Standard Action. If they are able to position from this way they can self-inflict Flat Footed on the target.

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So what other non-traditional combat have you come up with?


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Minor tweak: have the melee tank use a reach weapon. Threaten more foes, easier to stay out of the line of fire, maybe gain periodic attacks of opportunity as foes try to get closer or run away.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber

Mechanic using his drone for cover. If it gets blown up, who cares? Just rebuild it.
Better than before. Stronger, faster, ..., the six million credit drone! Actually, doesn't even cost you a penny.

More popular than using your fellow party members for cover.

Add in Overcharge for the Mechanic's attacks and the drone's attacks. Fellow party members might like getting in on that action. Maybe even throw in a Barricade providing cover for the drone/party member.

Then the ever popular move into position, drop prone behind partial cover and start an exchange of ranged fire with someone standing in the open.

Or just enjoy the Ghost Operative's +4 to Stealth for Trick Attacks while it lasts.

Selective use of cheap smoke grenades to block laser fire or line of sight (divide and conquer) or play peek-a-boo melee in the smoke with Blind-Fight giving you an edge. Or just use a Targeting Computer armor upgrade to be one with the smoke.

Keep a backup area of effect weapon for those times you run across a cluster of foes just begging to be carpet bombed. Or Dragon Gland.

Strength fighters with a pair of Returning Starknives. Strength to hit and damage. Assuming you start with one in each hand, I don't think you need Quick Draw to Full Attack. Can still move and throw if you want, just don't try throw and move. Also counts as magic for incorporeal creatures and the like.

Technomantic Dabbler for access to Spell Gems. Or use a spell fusion.

Prosthetic limb in case someone chops off your arm mid-session. Don't want to be stuck unable to use your two-handed weapons. Some quick field surgery and you're good to go.


4th level tactics:

Envoy:
Take Get 'Em and Clever Attack. Move action to Get 'Em, Clever attack to make them flat footed for the party and still attack. Spend a resolve point to make it stick if necessary. Take Bluff as one of your Expertise skills.

Solarian: Wield a Tactical Pike with an Entangling Fusion. Standard action to Stellar Rush. Activate the fusion on the attack. If you hit, the enemy takes -2 to hit, -2 to AC, -2 to Reflex Saves, -2 to Initiative (this is important actually), and halved speed for 1d4 rounds. Alternatively, if a non-reach enemy charges you, you can stop the charge if you hit successfully with your AoO. As you level up, buy a spare and swap weapons each fight to have multiple uses.

Use your remaining move action to ready an action to maintain your 10 foot reach distance if the target tries to move squares. If they try to guarded step out to shoot, you move adjacent before they move and still have an AoO to hit them when they shoot. If they guarded step in, you move away before they are adjacent. If your initiative modifier is higher than theirs, you still get to go before them next round (as your initiative becomes equal to theirs). And then do it again. Improved Initiative and a high Dexterity is useful here.

Those 2 characters provide: +6 to hit for ranged allies, 2 attacks, and a possibility for a melee AoO or negate an enemy's attack outright.


Have an Envoy in the party and a lot of fun tactics open up. Some of my favorite theoretical ones:
Close Range:
Its great when you have plenty of room to shoot but sometimes enemies will get in your face. Use Clever Attack and, unless I misunderstand how it works, ranged attacks from the party won't provoke if you succeed*.

Offensive Retreat:
Use Hurry on the main frontliner when fighting an melee-focused enemy. Each turn they can full attack and guarded step back, while the for has to forgo any extra attacks to keep up the offense.

Ranged Tank: Combine Not the Face, Draw Fire, and Watch Out to give the enemy a -4 on attacks against basically the whole party, and give a friend a +4 to AC. Extra fun if your allies have Kip Up so that falling prone isn't as big a deal. If you are willing to multi class, take a level in Soldier for Heavy Armor, and swap Watch Out for Bodyguard/In Harms Way to take hits for the party. You want the heavy armor so you can afford to take hits. Inspiring Boost/Quick might be of use here, as enemies won't always be ranged and so the bonus stamina will help more.

Of course, these are more cool things envoys can do than coordinated party tactics.

For less class-bound tactics, using a smoke grenade and armor you can get some solid hiding spots setup for if you need to retreat suddenly.

*The attack provokes, but the feinted for is incapable of taking reactions against attacks. It's not ideal for fighting a lot of things in a tight space, but if nothing else it saves from one attack.


Hiruma Kai said wrote:
Use your remaining move action to ready an action to maintain your 10 foot reach distance if the target tries to move squares. If they try to guarded step out to shoot, you move adjacent before they move and still have an AoO to hit them when they shoot. If they guarded step in, you move away before they are adjacent. If your initiative modifier is higher than theirs, you still get to go before them next round (as your initiative becomes equal to theirs). And then do it again. Improved Initiative and a high Dexterity is useful here.

Can you actually do this? My understanding was the readied actions took place after the triggering action, so you would be moving after they have moved. I don't think this would be a problem with ranged opponents, but with a melee opponent to are giving them a free AoO...


Peter Halvorson said wrote:
Technomantic Dabbler for access to Spell Gems.

I know whether or not you can do this and to what degree has been debated. Do you have a source saying this is legal? I'm so hopeful that you do. :D


HWalsh said wrote:

How can it get better?

If the Solarian has a decent Charisma and Bluff Score they can, if they have it, use improved feint as a Move Action before using Stellar Rush to charge in as a Standard Action. If they are able to position from this way they can self-inflict Flat Footed on the target.

Another good point to using stellar rush is the opportunity to use bull rush without penalties to reposition your opponent if needed. This could open up a lot of other angles of approach which will leave the opponent open to the party's pew-pew-ing


baggageboy wrote:
Hiruma Kai said wrote:
Use your remaining move action to ready an action to maintain your 10 foot reach distance if the target tries to move squares. If they try to guarded step out to shoot, you move adjacent before they move and still have an AoO to hit them when they shoot. If they guarded step in, you move away before they are adjacent. If your initiative modifier is higher than theirs, you still get to go before them next round (as your initiative becomes equal to theirs). And then do it again. Improved Initiative and a high Dexterity is useful here.
Can you actually do this? My understanding was the readied actions took place after the triggering action, so you would be moving after they have moved. I don't think this would be a problem with ranged opponents, but with a melee opponent to are giving them a free AoO...
CRB, page 249 wrote:
If your readied action is purely defensive, such as choosing the total defense action if a foe you are facing shoots at you, it occurs just before the event that triggered it. If the readied action is not a purely defensive action, such as shooting a foe if he shoots at you, it takes place immediately after the triggering event.

Is moving a defensive or offensive action? Does it depend on whether they are moving in to attack you (so moving becomes defensive, to avoid being hit)? Does it become offensive when you're trying to keep the enemy in range for an AoO?

Best to talk it over with your GM, but there is the argument to be made that you get the best of both worlds. Its purely defensive when you are using the move to avoid being made adjacent by a melee enemy, and so happens before. Its possibly offensive when you're trying to prevent an enemy from getting away from you, and so happens after they move (and know which square they moved to).


That is awesome! and if you combined it with a character that has reach and a reach weapon you could even do this against opponents with reach weapons. Definitely going to make a note of this.

Grand Lodge

baggageboy wrote:
That is awesome! and if you combined it with a character that has reach and a reach weapon you could even do this against opponents with reach weapons. Definitely going to make a note of this.

Remember readying any type of action is a Standard action, regardless of what you're readying. So yes you could ready an action to take a Guarded Step towards an opponent and get a "free" AoO, but you're giving up your attack that turn to do it.

If you thought you'd Standard to attack and then Ready a Guarded Step it doesn't work like that.


Peat wrote:
baggageboy wrote:
That is awesome! and if you combined it with a character that has reach and a reach weapon you could even do this against opponents with reach weapons. Definitely going to make a note of this.

Remember readying any type of action is a Standard action, regardless of what you're readying. So yes you could ready an action to take a Guarded Step towards an opponent and get a "free" AoO, but you're giving up your attack that turn to do it.

If you thought you'd Standard to attack and then Ready a Guarded Step it doesn't work like that.

Whoops your right. I missed that clause. At best you can move into melee reach range with a move action, and use your standard to maintain a 10 foot distance. Which still has some potentially interesting uses when "tanking", but less generally useful. Thanks for pointing that out.


Pathfinder Lost Omens, Rulebook Subscriber
baggageboy wrote:
Peter Halvorson said wrote:
Technomantic Dabbler for access to Spell Gems.
I know whether or not you can do this and to what degree has been debated. Do you have a source saying this is legal? I'm so hopeful that you do. :D

CRB p224 "Only spellcasters are capable of using spell gems—if you aren’t a spellcaster, you’re unable to make use of the knowledge that the gem unlocks. You don’t need to know the spell within a spell gem to use it, but the spell must be on your class’s spell list".

Technomantic Dabbler lets you cast spells. You select spells from the Technomancer spell list. And you have a caster level equal to your level.

To me, that's good enough. The spell gem bit doesn't say anything about restricting to specific classes. It just ties it to being a spellcaster, which I take to mean someone who can cast a spell. Some themes also grant the ability to cast a spell at higher levels.

The one gotcha is the reference to "your class's spell list". But since the feat gives you access to the Technomancer's spell list I'd say good enough. It's not like saving some money on first level spell gems is super powerful, just makes the feat a little more worth it.

Requirements for using Spell Chips are the same as Spell Gems, plus access to the computer (CRB p216).

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