Sunday, August 14, 2011

Initiative in a One on One Combat with a +1 Bonus

What is the impact of an initiative bonus on combat?  I'll start to answer this question using the same sorts of observations I made previously. Assuming a +1 bonus, the initiative matrix looks like this:

Figure 1:  Initiative Outcomes Assuming a +1 Bonus to the Elf
The PC elf now has an appreciable advantage in the intiative phase.  P(Elf Wins) = 21/36 = 58.33%, which is a pretty substantial edge if you can maintain the advantage through the later phases of combat round.  It is, by no means decisive.

Figure 2: Elf Wins Initiative 58.33% of the Time with a +1 Bonus
The advantage would be even more substantial if the elf enjoyed further combat advantages enabling good survivability in the event of tied initiative.

Figure 3: Elf Wins Ties Initiative 13.89% of the Time with a +1 Bonus

Does a +1 bonus enable a serious "first strike" advantage?  Probably not.  But over several combat rounds would the cumulative effect become noticable?  You'd notice it. particularly if you were strong enough to withstand a tied round now and then.  If that was the case, then it'd be pretty decisive.   

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