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Blindly running towards the enemies and just whacking at them does not seem to be a promising tactic in the Witcher 2. After a few deaths I decided to start blocking enemy attacks, which in theory should lead to me dying less often.

Often this works pretty well, and I'm able to block the incoming attacks, but sometimes the enemy attack goes through even though I'm blocking. I thought at first it was only because they attacked me somewhat from the side, but also direct frontal attacks occasionally hurt me.

What are the requirements for blocking an enemy attack? When can attacks be blocked and when does that not work?

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up vote 7 down vote accepted

Parrying on lower levels works only when you are facing the enemy.

The Level 1 of the Parrying ability from the Training tree unlocks the ability to parry blows from all directions, not just the one you are facing.

Regardless of this, timing and sufficient Vigor points are prerequisites for parrying.

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To elaborate a bit: 1. you can take small amounts of damage even when you successfully parry/block (until you unlock improved parrying abilities) 2. Each successful block/parry consumes Vigor 3. When in doubt dodge/roll - double-tap the direction you want to roll. Saves Vigor, gives you some space, and fairly fool proof at avoiding damage regardless of stats/abilities. –  Damien Stark May 24 '11 at 19:35
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You must have enough energy (vigor) to block an attack. Vigor is used for both, casting signs and blocking/parrying attacks.

I use hit&run tactics mostly, blocking seems to be useful only in 1vs1 battles.

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