Combat is broken up into two categories: Melee combat and Ranged Combat. Melee combat is any kind of combat where the characters involved are with-in a few feet of each other, regardless of whether they are using their hands, a knife or a gun. Ranged combat is any kind of combat that happens when the participants are more than a few feet away from each other, or when using arranged weapon like a gun. Ranged Combat can only be done with a weapon that can travel the distance between the participants. Both Melee combat and Ranged Combat get their own Action Boxes and can receive Ability Bonuses and Weapon Modifiers.
Many players have Actions that function as Ranged special attacks. These actions can occur as either Melee combat or Ranged Combat, using the particular power’s Action Box. (You do not use melee Combat or Ranged Combat when using these types of powers.)
Attacks can either be direct attacks or Area attacks. In a Direct attack, the attack Energy are directed at one or more specific targets and allocated precisely at each one. If it were a Melee Combat attack with 6 Energy, you could direct all 6 at one target, or 3 Energy are 2 targets, or 2 Energy at 3 targets, etc. Direct attacks tend to be less powerful but more precise then Area attacks.
An Area attack means that everything in the target area is hit by all the Energy of the Action. So an 8-energy hurricane would hit everyone in the area (area 8=1500 feet) for 8 Energy. Area attacks tend to be more powerful then direct attacks. Because of that they are more expensive to buy during character creation.
Finally, combat may also involve vehicles like cars, tanks or airplanes. These attacks still break down into the same categories as mentioned above: Melee combat and Ranged Combat, Direct Attack and Area Attack.
In Melee combat, if you choose to run away while your attacker chooses to attack, and you go first in the Event order, then you should be able to get away. Simply put as much Energy into your Speed as passable, combine it with an Action that aids your escape if possible, and you should be able to break contact. Unless your attacker read your mind and also put her Energy into pursuing you, she’ll be left fighting air. If your attacker goes first, then the attack occurs first: If you survive, you can get away.
It’s a little trickier when running from a ranged attacker. In that case, if you put as much Energy into defense as you can while looking for cover, you’ll have your best chance of getting away. How you allocate Energy could matter to the Game maser, who may apply situational modifiers to your choices. You can put all your Energy into speed, in which case you’re limited to your top speed. Of you can add energy from points already allocated to Speed into your defense, alone with Energy from some other Action, which may slow you down a little, but make you harder to hit.
Finally, as a last resort, at any point during play you may also escape by spending 3 health and forfeiting any energy you were planning to spend.
What you do next is up to you. You can run away, hide, jump into a vehicle and drive away. Your attacker would need to catch you again to attack you with Melee combat. For ranged Combat, your attacker may attack you again if they have a clear shot and your with-in range.
Depending upon your situation, you may decide that it is wise to place some of your Energy into defense. On every CAD is a Defense Area. A player may put into her Defense as much Energy as she chooses out of the Energy she has already allocated into her Actions or directly from an ability. There may also be one or more Defensive Modifiers. Defensive Modifiers add additional energy for free (from the General Pool) to your Defense Area. Modifiers include Armor, toughness and Reflexive Dodge.
The Total of this energy is referred to as a player’s Defensive energy.
Where your defensive energy comes from is just as important as to how much you’re using. If you pulled your defense energy from melee combat then your defense is mostly considered to be dodges and blocks. While your defense comes from Acrobatics it can be considered to be jumping, flipping and making distance from your opponent (see escaping).
Each and every attack is compared to the target’s defensive energy. If a character is attacked three times in a single sequence his defensive energy counts against each attack independently. Only the amount of energy that exceeds the targets defensive energy gets to do damage.
If you attack someone who is unaware of your attack, he will not have time to have allocated any Energy for Defense. The GM may also decide that, depending upon the situation, such as the type of attack and your Action number, you may also ignore his Defensive Armor or other Modifiers. These are no special “Ambush” rules. With all attacks being resolved as they occur, unless someone has actively put energy into his defense, the only defense he has will be Modifiers that are always on. Modifiers like that can include toughness of Reflexive Dodge. Even if you have the drop on someone, it doesn’t mean your victory is automatic.
For characters that do not have Defense Modifiers such as toughness or Reflexive Dodge, we suggest keeping a minimal amount of energy in your defense area during times when you may be at risk. That way, if you are attacked, you will be on your guard and able to avoid being the victim in an Unopposed Attack. A good rule of thumb is to only use as much energy from your reserve as your recover every sequence. Also, defensive energy must come from either an Action or Ability, so keep that in mind when using your flavor text, as it can change the situation.