Hey thanks for the honest feedback! Really appreciate it! Sorry for the late response too, I thought I already answered this post.
You are right in that the game really doesn't explain the combat. I think this is something I should really change, but so far I wanted to avoid blatant immersion breaking tutorials, that's why there are only vague explanations like the wounded guy you mentioned.
The tip to 'guard whenever you suspect danger' is actually pretty big tip. Because that is the way to avoid most of the coin toss moves. You said you tried to guard against them and nothing happened? This might be a bug, but you have to guard on the exact turn the coin toss move occurs, otherwise it doesn't work. Also the game is really at its most unfairest in the beginning sections. As you get further you actually get more and more chances to save and the one-hit kills become more rare too.
There are not many ailments that affect your hit percentages actually. It's mostly set on around 97% hit chances, except if you try hitting something like head, which is very difficult to hit because it kills the enemy instantly in most cases. You can affect the percentages by cutting the legs of the enemy for example which makes the enemy less agile. The game does mention this, but only after you've actually cut the legs. So it does require the player to stumble upon this, which can be seen a bit problematic...
It's true that the first impressions can leave really unfair taste in the mouth of the player and this can drive many people away. But the way I also see it is that the first impressions can create a really unfair and hopeless feeling and this carries over to the sections that are otherwise more pleasant to the player. In other words I think the hopeless opening hours of the game are really important for the overall atmosphere of the game. It's a double edged sword for sure and I'm not saying the balance is perfect as it is. But it's something I keep experimenting with. It's not to disrespect the players, because every new map you manage to advance to means tons of effort from my part too.
Again thanks for the constructive criticism. The game has been constantly evolving because of similar detailed experiences. It really helps me create better experiences in the future :)