There are three types of combat: physical (using hands, daggers, swords), mental (using your mental agility and strength) and ranged (using bow and arrow... or Manticore spikes if you are playing with the Spells & Spell Casters expansion.) All combat uses statistics, plus bonuses, plus some sort of randomizer (the roll of 1 or more dice.) High number wins. Fairly simple. Here's some additional detail:
Each form of combat gives the potential to raise a statistic through experience. Physical combat may raise Strength, Mental may raise Intelligence and Ranged may raise Dexterity.
Of course the payoff for winning a combat is usually a small pile of treasure. The larger the creature, the larger the treasure horde. The larger the treasure horde, the better chance there is some magic in it... and a magic object is always good!
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