Death From Above

This article is about the combat maneuver. For the show or other uses, see Death From Above (Show) and Death From Above (disambiguation).

Death from Above (DFA) is a maneuver in which the attacking 'Mech engages its jump jets to jump and then land on its target.

Although the exact rules differ depending on the overall ruleset, Death from Above is invariably a risky and difficult maneuver that inflicts a great deal of damage to the target and usually also some damage to the attacker. It cannot be performed by 'Mechs without jump jets.

When performed by a Highlander 'Mech, it is sometimes referred to as a "Highlander Burial". The Northwind Highlanders were specialized in this class of attack. In fact, the Battlemech was redesigned specially to perform it.[1][2].

Notable casualties[edit]

Game Rules[edit]

Under standard BattleTech (board game) rules, Death from Above is a physical attack maneuver, i.e. it is resolved after the weapons attack phase and thus damage suffered from weapon attacks in the same game round may make the attack more difficult or even impossible.

Under Alpha Strike rules, Death from Above is a physical attack that deals damage to both the target and the attacker.

In the MechWarrior: Dark Age and MechWarrior: Age of Destruction games, the Death from Above maneuver is a special attack that brings a +2 to the 'Mech damage modifier, at the cost of an attack malus.

In the BattleTech CCG, Death from Above is a mission card which has a chance of failing and dealing damage to your 'Mech, or succeeding and dealing equal amounts of damage to an opposing 'Mech as well as your 'Mech. The damage is increased if the jumping 'Mech weighs 60 tons or more.

Death from Above can be performed in many entries in the MechWarrior series of games, and it does deal additional damage, though it is fairly difficult to pull off against a moving target. Some bugs were reported in graphically enhanced versions of MechWarrior 2, where Death from Above maneuvers were impossible.

In the turn-based BattleTech computer game, Death from Above is a melee attack that deals extreme amounts of damage but also damages the attacker, especially in the legs.
  1. Technical Readout: 2750, pp. 52-53, "HGN-732 Highlander 'Mech Profile"
  2. Combat manual Mercenaries p. 58
  3. A Splinter of Hope-The Anvil p. 126
  4. Warrior: Riposte, pp. 253-254 - Prince Hanse Davion is debriefed on the battle of St. Andre.