Death From Above

(Redirected from Death from Above)
This article is about the combat maneuver. For the show or other uses, see Death From Above (disambiguation).
"DFA" redirects here on the assumption that it refers to Death From Above. You may be looking for Degenerative Feedback Anomaly instead.
Highlander Burial and Jump-Kick redirect here.

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


Although the details 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 but usually also some damage to the attacker. It cannot be performed by 'Mechs without jump jets. Many MechWarriors consider this tactic reckless, but admit it gives a strong advantage to BattleMechs equipped with jump jets.[1]


Death from Above seems to be a tactic as old as jump jets, first fielded on the Wasp which entered service in 2464.

It was pioneered by BattleMechs like the Wasp during the Reunification War. As the war got underway, light and medium 'Mech pilots often found themselves confronted by heavier opponents against whom their standard weapon payloads were insufficient. Searching for a way to inflict greater damage on their opponents, these pilots began using their jump jets to launch their 'Mechs into the air and smashing their legs into the enemy's head or chest in what was then dubbed the Jump-Kick maneuver. While gaining some popularity among light 'Mech pilots, the designers had never foreseen this use of their 'Mechs and so had never built the machines around this function. The end result was that, after just one or two good jump-kicks, a 'Mech's lower leg assemblies would actually be torn off from their bodies, leaving them dangerously immobilized; the Wasp in particular suffered from this. The problem was solved when the designers replaced the stress bars along the actuator paths with monomolecular stress-resistant material, and by 2610 nearly all light 'Mechs had been updated with this fix.[2]

When performed by a Highlander BattleMech (or possibly any assault class 'Mech), this attack is sometimes referred to as a "Highlander Burial", because a light 'Mech can be crushed and literally buried into the earth by the Highlander's impact.[3] In fact, the Highlander was redesigned specially to perform it better.[4][5] The Northwind Highlanders were specialized in this type of attack.

During the Dark Age, Clan Jade Falcon's followers of the Mongol Doctrine chose DFA as one of their main tactics. For the conquest of Terra, Clan Wolf created a BattleMech, the Amarok, with a defense system specifically designed to counter and deflect DFA attacks. The system saw a short live use, though it was a great help during the IlClan Trial.[6]

Notable casualties[edit]



  1. Technical Readout 3025 p. 36
  2. Technical Readout: 3025, p. 10
  3. Technical Readout: 2750, p. 52
  4. Technical Readout: 2750, pp. 52-53, "HGN-732 Highlander 'Mech Profile"
  5. Combat Manual Mercenaries, p. 58
  6. Hour of the Wolf, p. 278
  7. Warrior: Riposte, pp. 253-254 - Prince Hanse Davion is debriefed on the battle of St. Andre.
  8. Wolf's Dragoons, p. 40: "Glenmora"
  9. A Splinter of Hope/The Anvil, p. 126