As you learn to read your technique tables, experiment with different weapons and styles and explore the combat system in depth, you will probably find yourself asking more questions.
Some techniques are marked with a special character in the tables and in the performed commands list in your score: '*' (asterisk) means the technique requires you to act within a limited time frame (such as when jumping, or after catching an opponent's blade with your own), '-' (dash) signifies a move you can perform when falling (e.g. recovery moves that make you land back on your feet), '_' (underscore) is automatically added whenever you fall onto the ground and '#' (hash) whenever you are entangled by something (for example a net).
Many of the techniques also have special side effects. Among these are sweeps, which will knock your opponent off their feet, recovery moves, which allow you to regain your balance before you hit the ground if you get swept, counterattacks (defensive techniques that hit your opponent when you successfully defend against their blow), entangles, which work in a similar way as sweeps (but take one more move to recover from) or disarming moves that you can perform with certain weapons, such as swordbreakers or tiger claws, to disarm or break your opponent's weapon. Some techniques can even be used to cut off an opponent's hand, crippling them and preventing them from using their weapon.
The technique names are also colour coded depending on their source. Highlighted techniques are granted by your current fighting style, cyan techniques are available because of the weapon in your other hand, and highlighted cyan means both. Yellow indicates a technique specific to your encumbrance level (or because you're mounted), while green represents a combination of yellow and cyan. Purple means a technique available because of a talent you possess.
Each technique grants you bonuses to attack, defence and damage. These are also colour coded, depending on what type of attacks they can defend against, or what kind of defence they can be blocked with. Take a look at 'help defence' and 'help attack' for an explanation of the colour codes.
|Note:||Technique bonuses are typically higher if you wield a weapon in both hands, and the assisting hand also grants you a bonus to your base combat stats. If you are assisting with your left hand, type 'l?' to see the exact percentage of the bonus.|
There are different ways to heal in combat. The most commonly available one is eating (see 'help eat') You can take bread and eggs from the store, or you can eat limbs and bodyparts that you collect from your opponents, and you can even pick up and eat small creatures like rats. You can also use wands from the store, or spells and regeneration powers granted by certain talents.
Mounted combat can be a bit hard to get used to at first, since you will need to learn how to manage two different targets, one for movement (your mount's target, or 'mtarget') and one for attacking (your regular 'target'). It has its advantages, though: separate targets can be very helpful for ranged combat, whether you attack with bows or spells, and being mounted also allows you to joust, using a lance.
For jousting you will need to be mounted, wield a lance in one hand and hold a small shield (buckler or target shield) in your other hand. Ride away from your target, until it is out of range, and raise your lance (using the 'r' move) to lock it against your shield. Use coordinates to set your mtarget behind the target you're attacking, and you will hit them when they come within your range. The natural damage bonus of the lance at the moment of impact is doubled when riding at a canter, and tripled at a gallop.
|Note:||Spears have a 'ddp' technique, which can be used to counter mounted attackers. This technique will brace the spear against your foot and impale the rider as soon as they come within range.|
For ranged combat, you can cast spells, shoot bows or throw knives and daggers (or other items, but most of them won't do much damage). If you want to try archery, wield a bow with one hand, assist, and use the combat table of your assisting hand to load, aim and fire. You will also need to wear a quiver (or a case of bolts, if you are using a crossbow). To throw a knife, you will need to flip it first.
|Note:||Since your offhand has typically a longer delay than your main hand, you may want to wield the bow in your offhand and assist with your main. To do this, 'swap' your wielded weapon(s).|
Other specialised ways of fighting are based off of techniques granted by your talents. For example, the 'Assassin Training' talent gives you access to backstab and throatslit moves, which can be used on an opponent that is facing away from you. If you have the talent, you will see their name in red when that is the case.