The point of Combat in any system is to approximate drama, challenge, skill, and fun. It’s always been an equal, in my eyes, to roleplay, or moderated non-combat scenes in which dice rolls are important, and adventuring.
Characters have to grow, learn, adapt, improve, and survive. This should be the point of any system in a game, in my honest opinion. Everything is situational, and combat is much the same. The questions a player should ask during Combat is: 1.) Should I move now? 2.) How offense or defensive should I be in this round? 3.) Should I go all out in either direction? In other words, what are my risks and what are the possible rewards?
Without offering too much yet about the system, Combat is developed around this central idea of risk versus reward. If you choose to go all out offense, you’re opening yourself up to attack. Whereas if you completely defend your person, then attacking is far more difficult. Neither presume success, merely the intention of action. Again, using Rome as an example, take the idea of the Roman soldier versus the Goth raider one on one. The Roman, trained in defense (which is truly another type of offense), holds back with shield in main hand, gladius in their off while the Goth moves around their target, their weapon of choice typically a tool they also use for farming or hunting (the axe, spear, hammer, &c). We know that the Goth will attempt to end the fight quickly and effectively whereas the Roman, who’s intentions are the same, can persist with their armour, defense, and middling strikes.
That’s what Cultura wants to represent. Not always that battle per say, but something similar. Now, how we’ll do that will come with the sample of the system. *evil grin*