Rabbit Punches and Tyger Stripes
Indirect tends to add extra dimensions to combat when there is a wide variation on defensive maneuvers. If a character can interfere with a missile by shooting it down, for instance, then indirect can be used to create high range modifiers on the in-between segments of the attack’s effect. Moreover, the place of indirect in creating surprise attacks becomes more important when so many mechs have extra speed allocated just for dodging.
The following rules apply to the Indirect Advantage.
An attack with an altered course can alter that course up to the maximum range of the power. It takes its range modifiers based on the full length of that journey. In the case of attacks that have a delay and the physical manifestation limitation (attacks that are flying through the air between segments). They should be at a place on the map related to the distance they mean to travel divided by the number of segments the attack takes. For example, an attack moves 1500" towards its target and will take an extra segment to land. At the end of the phase in which the attack is launched, it should be 750" away from the attacker and 750" away from the defender. It need not travel in a straight line, and might curve so as to maximize the defender’s range modifiers against shooting the attack down.
An attack with an altered course that is manipulable automatically avoids any detrimental zones that it might reasonably avoid (damage shields, constant area affects, change environments, etc.).
Indirect attacks that alter course do not, automatically, gain a bonus for surprise maneuvers. They can, however, choose to move in a random pattern so as to gain a surprise bonus of +3 by multiplying the distance traveled by x1 1/2. This bonus is in addition to any other bonuses gained by surprise maneuvers (especially from altered source or acrobatics).
An attack that is initiated from an altered source normally gains a bonus to OCV because of Surprise. Depending on the source, and how surprising that an attack might come from it, it might prevent the use of defensive maneuvers (especially block and, therefore, deflection or reflection). This bonus is, more often than not, a one time effect. Once people realize that lasers are coming from the sky, they’re likely to look up once in a while.