On page 7 of the PSZ rulebook says that:
"Initiative determines the number of actions the survivor can take each turn."
This shoud read:
"Initiative determines the number of actions the survivor can take each phase."
To attack an opponent, a survivor must alocate sufficient actions to do so. But when a survivor is attacked in an opponent's phase, he gets his full action allotment to use when fighting back.
This is not clearly stated anywhere in the rules. but I have the author's word for it; Stephen Danes run a Yahoo group for his Father Tilly rules, and I asked about how actions work in close combat, and this was his answer:
I'm happy to answer PSZ questions here -
'attacks'; attribute is the maximum number of attacks that the
survivor can have each round of combat. Each weapon requires the player to spend
a certain number of actions when delivering an attack - for example, one action
to strike with an infantry sword, two actions when using a two-handed axe. This
means that the survivor can only use their maximum number of attacks if enough
actions are used to allow this to happen. A survivor that has a sword and can
deliver four attacks per turn would have to allocate four actions that turn to
get those attacks. If the survivor moves into contact range with a zombie and
has no actions remaining, the survivor will not be able to use an attack that
turn - but the zombie will! So its obviously a good idea to move into contact
only when you have sufficient actions for combat. During the zombies phase, any
survivors that are in contact with zombies will get all of their actions to use
in close combat.
I hope this clears it up a bit. If you have any further
questions - let me know.