Death From Above
- This article is about the combat maneuver. For the show or other uses, see Death From Above (disambiguation).
- Highlander Burial and Jump-Kick redirect here.
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.
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; particularly the Wasp 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.
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 is crushed and literally buried into the earth by the Highlander's impact. In fact, the Highlander was redesigned specially to perform it. 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.
- Jasek Kelswa-Steiner, leader of Stormhammers, was killed in this way by a Clan Jade Falcon commander during the battle of Coventry in 3148.
- Colonel Fiona Cochraine, commanding officer of Cochraine's Goliaths, was killed by Andrew Redburn in the battle of St. Andre at the beginning of Fourth Succession War in 3028.
Royal Black Watch Highlander realizing a DFA attack during the Amaris Civil War
- Technical Readout 3025 p. 36
- Technical Readout: 3025, p. 10
- Technical Readout: 2750, p. 52
- Technical Readout: 2750, pp. 52-53, "HGN-732 Highlander 'Mech Profile"
- Combat Manual Mercenaries, p. 58
- Hour of the Wolf, p. 278
- A Splinter of Hope/The Anvil, p. 126
- Warrior: Riposte, pp. 253-254 - Prince Hanse Davion is debriefed on the battle of St. Andre.