This isn’t the first time I’ve discussed this; one of my first blog posts went into way more depth and complexity on this subject; you can find it HERE.
The elegance of splitting the offensive bonus (OB) into attack and defense has been a hallmark of RM since it’s first publication. It’s intuitive and hands more agency to players during combat. However, I’ve always felt there was 1 piece missing that took this a step further: allowing OB to be split into 3 parts. Attack/Defense/Initiative. This also feels intuitive and we’ve been using this system for years (if not decades now). I’ve played around with the conversion figures depending on the initiative system I was using and testing, but it’s always felt “right”.
Not only does it create 3-dimensionality to combat decisions, but it brings in weapon type choices that go beyond their ability to deal damage or inflict a critical. As we all know, striking first can be the real advantage in Rolemaster!