Melee combat in Cantus Deorum is designed to be able to properly simulate real-world combat, without being unintuitive, with that being said, CD's combat is more complicated than FATE core's built-in combat system, so it is important to pay attention to the changes.
Parts of the Fight
In CD, melee combat encounters are broken up into three parts, the onset, the fight, and the withdrawal. The onset and the fight represent different distances between fighters and the withdrawal represents a return from the fight to the onset.
In the onset, both combatants are outside of each other's range; neither combatant is close enough to hit his opposition with melee techniques. Combatants enter the onset when they are close enough to an opponent to move into an adjacent space and attack in the same turn. Characters in an adjacent space who have not yet declared a physical attack are also in the onset. From the onset, characters are free to attempt to use the Create an Advantage action in whatever way they deem fit, such as using intimidate to weaken an opponent's resolve, deceive, to bait an opponent into an attack you are prepared for and so on. A character in the onset can declare an attack and this will move them into the fight. Characters that employ ranged attacks can also use them in the onset, though their target will be able to respond with melee defenses, this also moves the combatants into the fight.
The fight is the stage in which the bulk of combat takes place. Combatants in the fight must first deal with any existing range differences as is outlined in the description of the Overcome action later on this page. Once any range difference has been dealt with, characters in the fight are able to engage in attacking, blocking, and counter-attacking. Mechanical functions on these actions will be described in the Four Actions section on this page. The character who attacked takes the lead on all actions, is able to attack and is also able to use the Create and Advantage action. The character who is attacked is able to block, and dodge as well as counter-attack. Attacks and Create an Advantage actions can be chained once for each level that the attacker has in their respective combat skill before being forced to withdraw, while a defender can block/counter-attack once for each level they have in their respective combat skill before being forced to withdraw or give a boost for each additional action to their opponent. Any boosts acquired in this way will expire once either character successfully exits the fight stage of combat. A defending character can choose to dodge as well. A successful dodge will immediately end the fight stage and any chain being performed, and can move a character out of the fight and out of the onset. Otherwise, the fight stage will revert back into the onset when either character successfully withdraws.
The withdrawal is the stage in combat in which a character chooses to remove himself from the fight and return to the onset. If both characters have reached the end of their attack/defend chains, no roll needs to be made. If either character attempts to withdraw before the other's potential chain has ended, the character who's chain is not yet exhausted may choose to roll an attack, which the withdrawing character must respond to either with a block, counter-attack or dodge. These actions can be performed by either party, regardless of who initiated the fight stage and actions performed by the one who is entering the withdrawal that exceed their chain limit do not grant the exceed boost granted in the fight stage, these moves do get applied to the attacker's chain limit, however. Failure to successfully block/counter/dodge a chasing move will require that the withdrawing individual attempt to withdraw again. A successful withdraw returns the combatants to the onset stage.