The combat rules in Recon don’t have a way to determine the “order of actions” for characters, be they players or NPCs. In a lot of situations, this makes sense: Recons realistic combat rules mean that often, a “fight” is really one side ambushing the other! However, in many cases it is important to know who acts first in a situation.
For example, what if a PC decides to snipe a suspected VC scout and his squad mate tries to stop him, as he’s noticed that this “scout” is actually an unarmed civilian? Or what if two characters are facing off in Close Combat, and one decides “screw this” and instead reaches to draw their sidearm?
Some have suggested using Alertness or Agility to resolve these situations, but the following are my optional homebrew rules for resolving such issues, as well as a minor revamping of how turn order works in combat.
New Minor Attribute:
Initiative (IN) is a new Minor Attribute that determines how quickly a character can take action in combat.
To determine Initiative, add the character’s unmodified Alertness (AL) and Morale (MO) and divide the result by 10 (round down), with a minimum of 1.
At the MD’s discretion, you may apply the following modifiers based on how long they’ve served in combat-active military duty:
- Character is fresh from the world (less than 2 months in): -2
- Character is experienced (more than 6 months in): +1
- Character is seasoned (more than a year in): +2
- Character is a “lifer” (more than two years in): +3
Additionally, if the character is already part of an “elite force” such as SEALs, Special Forces, etc. then the MD may allow an additional +1 or +2 (on top of any applicable modifiers above) to reflect the extra experience and training that they have likely received.
Initiative is not recalculated if/when a character raises their Alertness or Morale. Instead, it may be increased by Experience Points like Major Attributes, but at a cost of +1 per 200 Experience Points spent.
Under these new rules, Initiative helps determine the order that characters participating in combat (on both sides) may take action.
At the start of every combat round, each character rolls 1D10 and adds the result to their Initiative; the total is their Initiative Value. The round then proceeds with participants taking action in order of Initiative Value, with the highest going first and the lowers last.
If more than one character has the same Initiative Value, the one with the higher Agility (AG) acts first.
Note that this order only applies to opposing forces when all characters are in a ‘Stand-Up War’. When the situation is a ‘Turkey Shoot’ or ‘Ambush’, all attackers get to take action first (in Initiative order), followed by the unprepared defenders (again, in order of Initiative).