Why dual-wield? Am I missing something?


I'm trying to figure out why one would dual wield as opposed to "sword and board"?

You still get the extra Combat Action, but you gain no offensive bonus for using two weapons, and your parry is much weaker than someone using a shield (i.e. parrying with a hoplite shield vs. a dagger).

Am I missing something?!?! :|
I think its designed to be fairly realistic in that most warriors indeed found Sword and Board a more effective combination, both in H-t-H and to given them an effective defense against missile weapons.

Thinking about duel wielding in history - most of the time it would be against opponents without shields? So thinking about Samuari, Duelists etc?

If you use the house rule about having to use the "off hand" action with the "off hand" weapon /object then it does becoem a little more useful in that you could get more sword attacks but not very often.

Arguably it looks cooler and that is likely enough for some ;)
Only the possibility of using the off-hand weapon to do things like Risposte when getting a CM on a parry and having a spare if your weapon gets fumbled away or broken.
Purely game mechanics/system wise it will always be better to be using a one handed weapon and shield for duel wielding. Setting wise is where the role play is, if your game was set in a renaissance style world, then duel wielders would more than likely use sword and parrying dagger, or sword and buckler or other setting appropriate styles, where if your setting was more standard fantasy (what ever that may be) than most would use 'sword and board'.
The one advantage i am aware of though, is if one was using say, axe and sword in duel style, one could still impale with the sword, leave it in the victim, and still have a dangerous weapon in their hands.
Because in many settings (my examples are from Elric) there are cultural combat styles like (Melnibonean) Noble House and Ilmioran Noble Style which give skill to use twin blades, but which don't give skill to shield.

Besides there's plenty of combat styles which give you access just to 1h weapon without second weapon or shield. Gameplay wise dual weapon styles are much better than single 1h weapon styles. However I admit that no munchkin is ever going to pick any of these styles and they will always select the one which gives them skill to shields. But IMHO short sword and dagger or two daggers are more suitable weapons for cat burglar/assassin/thief character than longsword and hoplite shield.

EDIT: I might also add that if there are city laws etc. in the setting which make it illegal to carry weapons and shields openly in public, then two concealed blades or cudgels are superior weapons compared to shield which you can't hide.
What about cases where you're facing an opponent with a double handed or other long weapon? You could parry with your sword so as not get too much damage through, and then maneuvre / close in to stab with you dagger, making the long weapon a disadvantage to the opponent? That is, if I recall the rules correctly, I am getting a bit rusty...

That plus sword breakers/catchers which can be handy in certain situations?
Daggers or small swords are also a lot easier to carry around than a big shield. Encumberance could become an issue, then using 2 weapons makes some sense.