There are a a great many possibilities with the various equipment offered in the game, but here are some examples of styles of combat based on weapon usage.
The brawling system will use a variety of unarmed attacks such as jabs and kicks when you use attack or battle. They will be linked together to form combos. You can perform individual attacks such as jab or kick by themselves, or use the combo command to limit your maximum strikes in combat.
- +2 Max Strikes if both hands are empty
- +1 Max Strikes if your brawling skill is >= 300
- +1 Max Strikes if your brawling skill is >= 1000
Single Weapon, Free Off-Hand
You get the full offensive benefits from the weapon you're wielding, most importantly multiple strikes per attack (examine a weapon to see how many strikes it can land). This applies to both one-handed and two-handed weapons (for instance, the staff is a two-handed weapon with multiple strikes easily possible per attack). A good weapon style for weapons that 'flare' or have other special effects upon striking, since it has a chance of occurring on each additional strike. A purely offensive combat style.
Weapon and Shield
A more defensive combat style. Shields are an excellent way to add to your defense, and unlike parrying, shields can block bolt attacks (fireballs, arrows, etcetera). Shield users will be the ones who live the longest, but will have trouble dishing as much damage if they pick a lighter weapon to accompany their defense. There will be a chance to shield bash on attacks, based on shield skill and they can also utilize the shove command to knock their foes down.
Wielding a weapon in each hand - a good mix of offense and defense. You will only get multiple strikes from small, light weapons, but you are nearly guaranteed at least 2 strikes per attack (one for each weapon) and you also get extra parry chance for holding the second weapon in your off-hand. Note that you cannot parry bolt attacks (fireballs, arrows, etc.) and will have to rely on dodging such attacks instead. This style is good for heavier and less-well-balanced one-handed weapons such as handaxes, since it's difficult to land multiple strikes with them individually, and holding two of them almost guarantees two strikes per attack even if your parrying will suffer greatly. It is also good for smaller weapons, since you will get many strikes in a single round.
Note, you will not get extra attacks from your offhand weapon while in Parry or Dodge Tactics.
Wielding ranged weapons or casting spells has the advantage of being able to attack from the 'ranged' position, granting you a chance to outright avoid melee attacks. If you get struck by a melee attack, you will be pulled into the 'engage' position, however. Bows require being at 'ranged' position to fire, and firing will automatically attempt to move you back out to range. Another excellent advantage to ranged combat is the ability to snipe from hiding without revealing yourself (based on your stealth skill).