Alternative rules for determining initiative order in conflict.
Order by Alertness
This is the default rule; highest Alertness goes first, then second highest, etc.
Instead of simply using Alertness order, roll it to add some randomness and spice to the order, enable the use of aspects so characters can have some control, and add more oomph to the initiative stunts. Also, a character with high defense will spread their spin around in different combats.
Order by Active Skill
The GM calls out ladder-levels in descending order. Any character can use a skill at that ladder level or better. Any actions are the same skill level happen simultaneously. Thus, a high-Academics professor can make declarations early in the initiative order. Note that this essentially provides the effects of Lightning Hands for free (Guns as Alertness for Initiative). It does make it easy for initiative to change in interesting ways every Exchange.
Order by Advantage
Action is based on the principle of Advantage. A character has Advantage over anyone lower in the initiative list than they. If no one has greater Advantage than a character, that character may take action. The GM determines the starting Advantage order by whatever means he chooses (all of the above options are appropriate). There may be no ties in Advantage.
Whenever someone with Advantage acts, they lose all Advantage and move to the bottom of the list. Whenever someone is injured or moved (posture change counts as movement i.e. having a "Knocked Down" Aspect applied) they lose Advantage and move to the bottom of the list AFTER the attacker does.
Example: Joe has Advantage over Bill and Fred. Bill has Advantage over Fred.
Joe attacks Bill and loses Advantage. (He is now third in the list)
If Bill defends, he stays in place. (He now has Advantage over Fred and Joe. It is his action next.)
If Bill is hit, he loses Advantage. (He is now third in the list, because Joe's attack moved him to third before Bill did. It is now Fred's turn to take action.)
A special note about Full Defense in this system: Whenever you are not acting, you may declare a Full Defense maneuver at the expense of sacrificing all of your existing Advantage. The +2 to all defenses lasts until you are able to act again. You cannot take multiple Full Defense actions to gain larger bonuses than +2.