As a Player, I greatly enjoy immersing myself into the settings and the scenarios. Investigation and problem solving are my favorite activities, but I don't shy from a fight. I make use of Skills and Talents and Combat Actions in such a way as to make combat seem more involved, more like a cinematic scene than a contest of dice rolling, turning the act of combat (in my mind, at least) into a swashbuckling encounter.
As a GM, I attempt to present combat situations from the same perspective. The Kill Team that I run are quite good at maximizing their abilities to face down foes in combat encounters, but I rarely see Combat Actions such as Maneuver, Knock-Back, Guarded Attack, etc. Many times it boils down to an Action being preferred only in game mechanic perspective, meaning if it doesn't provide the max bonus to a Skill Test it's not an option. As a Player, I've used Maneuver to make opponents fall into nearby fighting pits, freeing myself to advance from engagements with mooks to confronting the big nasty. (Can one Maneuver a Horde?) I've used Take Down to render opponents non-combative long enough to shackle them (arrest them). As a GM, it's more difficult to do these things, simply because they put the opponents I pit against the Players at a disadvantageous footing, meaning they do not optimize bonuses/buffs, and any further attempts to do these things have been quashed (by me) because a cinematic scene just ends up being a slice-and-dice massacre.
My question to the forum is: do other GMs see this occurring in their games, as well? I'm not griping, mind you. A combat encounter certainly can be nothing but a back-and-forth trade of Standard, Swift, Lightning, Semi-Auto, and Full Auto Attacks, and it reaches the same conclusion. The lack of "interesting" Combat Action use doesn't truly concern me, or affect the story, as long as the Players are enjoying themselves. But I get the feeling that, in general, many Combat Actions are…superfluous.
The reason I bring this question is because Swirling Ranged and Melee encounters actually aren't mobile, and I would like them to be. PCs and NPCs Dodging Ranged Attacks could be moved slightly (1 meter/1"…more in the case of Dodging AoE Attacks) to represent their new placement after attempting to Dodge an Attack. Foes that are Charged could be forced back by the same degree to represent temporary yet ultimately cinematic back footing, etc. Combat encounters sometimes remind me of playing Eye of the Beholder; everything is static, with clangs and grunts, until something dies with a croak of UUUUUGHH!