So I've played with .77 a bit and the initiative system still seems to need some work.
What I think is breaking the system comes down to 2 things:
1. All initiative costs are fixed.
2. There is no initiative modifier for moving (or it's too small).
For example, the great fireball caster issue. I can (and I'm sure everyone else has) created a caster that can get fireball of before anyone else even moves. Now, if you changed the spell initiative system so that the caster must act after *every other* piece on the board after charging fireball, that would make charge spells quite crap.
What I propose is the following:
1. Spell casts cost a *percentage* of the caster's initiative, including the charge time. This still makes initiative attractive to casters, to get first go, while reducing the silliness of initiative stacking. Stupid high initiative values will still get their cast off before some others move, but you should still have time for a counterspell if you have one.
2. Weapons have an initiative cost to swing rather than giving bonus initiative. This reduces casters' reliance on daggers, while still allowing daggers and other fast weapons to do their job of fast attacking.
3. Movement in a turn costs initiative. For this to be justified, you have to think of initiative as less a 'who goes first' mechanic a la RPGs, and more of an 'army C&C' mechanic, like a tactical wargame. For example, once your knights charge, they have to spend time reorganising for the next attack etc.
4. Initiative should be based on a stat. Troops are currently gimped because they have *very few* ways of increasing their initiative, resulting in OP heroes murdering them before they get one go. If you base it on a stat, then you can aim for that stat (or combination of stats) to get your troops more actions.
I hope you all like my first post.