One of our projects here at The ScrapYardArmory is to create a system to calculate a Battle Value for RPG characters for use in tactical infantry games. This only takes into account skills, abilities, and attributes that are directly or semi-related to what happens in combat situations. For starters, Initiative is an important factor and in order to better understand what affect modifying a character’s initiative has, a fancy pants graph was made to visualize it.
First a little about how we do personal initiative… The standard initiative is 2d6. Combat Sense makes it 3d6 and ignore the MINimum (or lowest) roll. Combat Paralysis makes it 3d6 and ignore the MAXimum (or highest) roll. (Max and Min is sort of habit from working in LibreOffice’s Calc and Excel.) Furthermore the Tactics/Infantry skill is added to the roll up to a maximum of +6. The resulting number is displayed using two 6 sided dice adjacent to the character on the map. The highest initiative a character can have is 12. The Reflex Attribute breaks ties and where Reflex is the same, the characters act simultaneously (appropriately conducted by the GM).
To see what affect Combat Sense, Combat Paralysis, and the Tactics/Infantry skill have, an analysis was conducted. The average roll for each was calculated and represented by a bar on the graph below. The Combat Sense, Combat Paralysis, and standard initiatives are colored differently so you can see their relationship. Ignore Max is Combat Paralysis while Ignore Min is Combat Sense. Then every individual roll’s winning percentage against other rolls was calculated and averaged together to get an average Win % vs 2d6 OR Win % vs All. Win %’s are the blueish shapes and labeled on the right side of the graph. The +0 to +6 mods are from the Tactics/Infantry skill bonus to initiative. The rolls were then ordered by their Average Roll where you can see the standard initiative 2d6+0 averages to 7 as expected.
What I didn’t expect was that only 2 of the Combat Paralysis rolls were lower than 2d6+0, and not really a whole lot lower. But, the Win % drops off swiftly at the low end. (Note that 2d6 only wins against itself 44.4% because ties don’t count.)
If you look closely, you will notice that while the Average Roll increases from left to right, the Win % doesn’t always increase. Ignore Max+3 has an Average Roll a only few hundredths more than Ignore Min+0, but has a slightly lower Win %. I believe this is due to an increased number of ties (Remember that only wins were counted and a tie is not a win). You can see this happens again closer to the right, but really neither matters a whole lot since the numbers are still so very close.
You may also have noticed that the colors of the bars are symmetric left to right with Combat Paralysis tending to the left and Combat Sense to the right.
Not too many characters probably end up too far on the right side with high Tactics/Infantry skills, but you can see how they are much more likely to get a high initiative hitting the maximum of 12 more and more often. With Combat Sense they’ll tend to the right pretty quickly though. How does this affect our Battle Value? We’re still not sure as we try to estimate the value of initiative vs other things like weapons, health, etc.
This post is really just meant to share our findings with you so you have a better understanding of the effect your character creation has on Initiative.Posted under Articles