Duelling Pip Die
The following variant is derived from an idea posted to the Fanaticus Forum by Charlie (a.k.a. Thorfin), which is appended below.
In the duelling pip die variant, rather than alternating bounds with each player rolling a 1D6 die for pips, both players roll 1D6. Whoever has the higher die, holds initiative for that bound and can allocate a number of pips equal to the difference between his higher roll and the opponent's lower roll. For example, if Player A rolls 5 and Player B rolls 2, then Player A has initiative with 3 PIPs. Players reroll on tie results.
This variant has two interesting attributes. The odds of having more than 2-3 PIPS to expend are fairly low, which means more emphasis on groups and incremental moves. However, there is a reasonably good chance that a player will occasionally win initiative in sequential bounds, so that you can string together 6, 8, 10 or more pips of movement before your opponent can respond. Talk about the tide of battle shifting.
If a potential PIP range of 1-5 is deemed too restrictive, then you could use a D8 for pips, giving you a 1-7 range.
Charlie (a.k.a. Thorfin): In larger battles, i.e. over 12 elements I often use another variant where opposing commanders throw their respective command die (d6 for poor, d8 for average, d10 for good) and the winner takes the difference as his pips. This allows for sweeping maneouvres (sometimes double or triple moves if one side continues to win the initiative), but you never know when your opponent is going to grasp the initiative.
Last Updated: Oct. 5, 2000
Comments and suggestions welcome. Send them to Chris Brantley, IamFanaticus@gmail.com.