[Runequest] strick ranks continued

Styopa styopa1 at gmail.com
Wed Aug 19 05:07:22 EST 2009

On Tue, Aug 18, 2009 at 1:49 PM, John Haverkamp <magbhitu at yahoo.com> wrote:

> "Aside from the minor ability to kill/disable someone before they can
> reply."
> So you're slow and always hit last - get yourself a spear or pike, that's
> why those weapons were invented. This emphasizes the importance of combined
> arms and missile weapons.
Right, so walking into a fight, someone KNOWS with absolute, utter certainty
that they'll be able to punch the other guy before he can reply, because he
did it a few seconds ago?  Seems rather unreal to me.

You did see where I very specifically said that I preferred initiatives with
a random ELEMENT - not purely random, but with at least some element of
randomness to them.

In canon RQ3 combat, IIRC, a called shot makes you wait until the end of the
round, then attack at half.  By that logic, whoever is slightly slower might
as well always do a called shot, because he's penalized only the 50%, and
he's always going 2nd anyway.  The delay wouldn't affect him at all?

And yes, I've played a number of wargames with initiative rolls.  Usually
they are modified by the commander's efficacy or elan or something like
that.  What ends up happening is that the 'better' commanded force usually
can expect to go first, or last, or whatever's beneficial...USUALLY, and
that's the key word.  The fact that it's uncertain forces both sides to be
more conservative and not 'game' the turn order, which is itself only a
bookeeping/wargaming construct to simulate nearly-simultaneous events

Fixed initiative systems allow players to game them ("aha, i'll be able to
move 4 squares, stab him, and jump over the railing to safety before he can
even swing!"), which is why I don't like them.  D'Artagnan might have been
pretty sure he could have pulled that off, but he would never have been
certain, and that's the difference.

YGMV, of course.
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