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Okay, I have to be missing something critical here since I've just started SF so please tell me what's up and correct me.

  • Base movement speed is 30 for everyone.

  • Heavy armor reduces your movement speed (in most cases by at least 5).

  • Melee requires you to (in a vast majority of cases) be next to your target.

  • The only feat that increases movement speed is for no/light armor.

Doesn't this mean that in a lot of cases, especially at lower levels, that the enemy can literally just move around the melee player and shoot them until they go down? Melee can't touch them since they move slower then the enemy. I cannot believe that they would miss this giant oversight when designing melee. I know Blitz Soldiers get the increased movement speed, but they're the only ones I know of that could actually manage melee combat in Heavy Armor. They wouldn't make it so that half the combat system could only be used by one specialization of one class if you wear HA. What am I missing?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I reworded your title to be a little more descriptive and a little less rant-y; if you don't like the change, feel free to re-edit or rollback the change \$\endgroup\$ – Ifusaso Jun 14 '18 at 11:20
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Just as in Pathfinder and D&D 3.x before it, if someone wants to pepper you from afar and then move around, they have to spend an action to shoot at you and an action to retreat.

Meanwhile, the melee fighter can spend both actions to rush in melee range. Once the ranged character has been engaged, getting far from the melee character gets harder.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ But then all the melee character gets is an op-attack. I suppose that's better than nothing, but that still seems a bit of a weak playstyle. OHHHH!!! So it's more about full actions? I think I get it now. You can use the Charge full action? Its not about moving to the enemy then attacking, it's about using combat maneuvers and other (less basic) stuff. That's it. Okay, I'm dumb. Thank you! \$\endgroup\$ – Zethren527 May 20 '18 at 15:09
  • \$\begingroup\$ On the first turn he gets near, it's an opportunity attack. In later rounds it finally gets better. \$\endgroup\$ – Zachiel May 20 '18 at 20:37
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Install Jump Jets or a Jetpack

Assuming this is even a problem, say you are so slowed that your movement speed is under half of your opponent, allowing them to kite you in combat, you can always install mods on your armor to increase your mobility, most notably: Jump Jets and Jet Packs.

Jump Jets

Capacity 20; Usage 2/action

You can activate jump jets as part of a move action in order to fly during your movement. You can fly up to 30 feet (average maneuverability) with a maximum height of 10 feet, or you can fly up to 20 feet straight up. You must land at the end of your move action. Jump jets can’t lift you if you’re encumbered.

Jetpack

Capacity 40; Usage 2/round

You gain a fly speed of 30 feet (average maneuverability). You can use this for “cruising flight” at a usage of only 1 charge per minute, but you are flat-footed and off-target while doing so. Changing from normal flight to cruising flight or vice versa is a standard action. A jetpack can’t lift you if you’re encumbered.

Both consume a single armor mod slot, and are available early on, 3rd level item for Jump Jets, 5th level item for Jetpack. They are fairly cheap too, 1000 credits for Jump Jets and 3100 credits for a Jetpack.

A Jump Jet mod was literally the very first thing I bought when the GM said that 3rd level items were available for my vesk mechanic that had a sad 20-ft movement in heavy armor. I did not regret it at all, it helped my mobility in combat, it helped me to get through some obstacles (cliffs, pits, walls) and it looks cool in combat when I declare that I jump over my enemies and land on the other side of the battle.

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In addition to armor modifications, specifically Jump Jets and Jetpacks, which were covered very well in ShadowKras's post; if you're looking for things that don't require charges, there are also the speed suspension augmentations that increase your speed by 10ft(mk1) 20ft(mk2) and 30ft(mk3) for 1900 credits, 8800 credits, and 32900 credits respectively (available at lvls 4, 8, and 12.)(core rulebook pg 209/2011)

You can also use a forcepack in palce of jump jets or jetpacks at lvl 9 for 13,100 credits, which gives you a fly speed of 60 for 2 charges per round (core rulebook pg 205)

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There's actually a LOT of viable solutions for this at low level. Some of them have already been explained by others, but I was going to put it into a list to show how easy it is.

  • Blitz Soldier at level 1 Soldier (+4 Initiative and +10 foot movement)
  • Speed Suspension Augment (+10 foot movement)
  • Fleet feat (+10 foot movement)
  • Improved Initiative (+4 Initiative)
  • Solarian Stellar Rush Revelation at Level 2 Solarian (Charge as a Standard Action)

What this mainly means is that, in even the bulkiest of heavy armor, a level 3-5 Solarian/Soldier mix can move up to 40-50 ft as a move action. And with Stellar rush, you can charge as a standard action, giving you your move action back. And since a charge is always double your speed, you can move 120-150 ft to a target if they're in a straight line. And with the extra move action, you can move through your friends and around targets if you want to charge after that. Better heavy armor is going to increase the movement by five feet, giving you another 15 feet of movement. And that's with only money dropped into armor and the speed suspension. All before getting everything to fully optimize a melee build. And, honestly, getting there is half the battle.

Since this question is just about getting there, I've solved that problem for you. And you don't have to take everything I've listed here to make all of that viable. You can pick and choose and STILL have enough range to a target, even out at 100 feet. And if not, that's what your heavy armor is for! Remember, the only reason a heavy melee should be getting in range is to take those hits. You have to be OK with soaking up a hit or two with your armor, stamina, potential resistance or DR, and then keep that train going. They can move a single movement and shoot at you once. You can move TRIPLE with either charge ability (from Blitz or Stellar Rush) and then engage. And then laugh as they try to move away with things like Step Up and Step Up and Strike.

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For closing longer distances, don't overlook Jet Dash

Benefit: When running, you move six times your land speed.

Whenever you jump, double the height and distance you can jump. While running, you don’t gain the flat-footed condition.

It combines well with Fleet and Blitz as the base run speed increase is multiplied as well, potentially giving you as much as 300ft of movement in a single turn, without dropping your defenses.

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