The Why? of Combat Veteran:
- I put all of the "isn't shocked by combat" elements together into one package, price out as Combat Veteran. The logic here is that these elements all represent how a trained combat professional would react. It's not necessarily faster on the draw or more likely to get out of the way of a bullet, but less shock and surprise from combat, and better overall ability (hence the +2 to Battle skill, from earlier editions of Mass Combat.) This is priced at 8 points because 7 seemed inelegant. Cost was totally eyeballed, which is consistent with the origin of Combat Reflexes as a Man-to-Man advantage.
- I coupled the +1 to Fast-Draw skills and the +1 to Defenses together in a "reacts quickly" package. This is for folks whose experience has also translated into quicker reactions overall. The improved bonus to initiative at this level is because you react just a little bit quicker, and therefore your whole side is more likely to get off to the jump first. This is priced at 7 points just because Combat Veteran is priced at 8. This is a steep discount compared to Enhanced Defenses, but I accept that those prices assume you're stacking them onto Combat Reflexes, and thus are an increased cost for +2 and beyond to a specific defense. You're supposed to buy CR before ED, and it's extra to get beyond a +1.
I did like the split in practice. I could make mid-grade experienced enemy troops that were harder to shock and surprise but who didn't get improved defenses. I could have PCs who reacted coolly without reacting necessarily faster.
It was a good and effective split in play. As I said elsewhere, I didn't allow this in my current DF game, despite the request of my players. A starting DF guy has 250 points, -50 in disads, and 5 quirks, for 305 points to spend. I wasn't really concerned that the lack of 7 points to get Combat Reflexes was an issue, and I wanted to make people choose - do I spend 15 points, or risk surprise?