First off, this is a guide to playing a fighter like the one I have played, this is NOT the guide to the "perfect fighter" - there is none. Each person will have a different idea of what the perfect fighter is..and they are correct. What this is, is a guide to creating a fighter like my perfect fighter. If something seems to be unnecessary, don't do it. This is just a guide, not a rule book. With that said, here is my guide to creating a great fighter. A note: disarm and outflank are VERY useful!! type "help outflank" and "help disarm" to learn more...they are of great importance.
The first thing I did was think about what skills I wanted to learn. Since mastery in skills is what the fighter excels at, I wanted to learn ALL the skills I could, as long as they were useful. The skills I chose were: Axe, 2-Handed Axe, Club, Marksmanship (MMS), Polearm, Spear and Unarmed. I did not choose any sword or knife type skills because I was bored of them and they are more Paladin or Rogue skills instead of fighters skills (to me). I was making my fighter an orc, so I wanted weapons that felt like orc weapons. By choosing a wide spread of skills, I was insuring that I would always have a weapon I could use well. The Marksmanship (MMS) skill I used with barbed darts and Boomerangs, as they will lower a monsters's dex when they hit, making the monster easier. The rest of the skills I raised evenly, with the execption of 2-Handed Axe, which I would only raise once my character was around level 10, as I would not really need a true bashing weapon until then.
For your Character's Race I recommend Dwarf or Orc for a Basher (A character that hides behind a tank and does massive damage), and an Elf for a rapier wielding fencing-swordsmaster. I don't recommend a Human as a fighter really as the averageness of them doesn't really pay off, in my opinion. I tried an unusual method for leveling my character with Kulgar, and it works VERY well. What I did was concentrate more on skills than on experience, trying to build a solid base rather than a fast-as-possible character. First off, you should know that the highest a skill can be, using this formula: (Char. Lvl x 5) +5 = Maximum Skill for that Level. That means at level 1, you character can have a maximum of 10 Axe skill, 10 Club skill and so on. At level 2 its 15, level 3 its 20, always increasing by 5.
Noting that Zhou will train you ONLY if your current skill is less than 15, I decided to advance my character as fast as possible to level four (using CX runs and exploring the Dragon Playground). Once I was level four, all my skills could advance to no higher than 25. Thats ok, as I was only going to raise them to 14 for the time being. I raised each skill to 14 with Zhou, then stopped. This is excluding MMS and Unarmed, unarmed waiting to be increased when I had level 8 brawl, MMS for when I could use barbed darts and boomerangs. As soon as each skill hit 14, I would train each one for the last time, and try to get it as high as possible on Zhou's "training time". I soon (well, somewhat soon) had a level 4 character with over 20 in Axe, Club, Polearm, Rapier and Spear and Unarmed (once I got 8 brawl). He was so good that his only weakness was not enough life...He could slaughter almost anything. I then went around to all the places a low level character can go, and explored them all. I now will increase two of the skills to level 25 (the max for a level 4 character) and then level up, maxing the stats for each level first. At that point I will choose one or two skills to increase to 100. Yes, it took a very long time to raise the various skills to where they are today, but the upside is that during this entire process, I could always sleep to heal in the haunted manor. It really improved the gameplay in my opinion.
What else is left to say...Use the "disarm (monster) command whenever possible, as a monster without weapons is a monster about to die. And, as a low level fighter sps are pretty much unused, so its a great wy to use them up constructively. For armour, simply use the best you possibly can, eval each piece you get. For your defense, I would suggest using Bersek when you are being a basher, using dodge when you as fighter monsters with a low dex, and none when dodging gets you badly hurt. None of the weapon skill I chose are great for parrying, so I would not recommend using parry or riposte. That is all I can think of, this should help to get an understanding of the fighter, and then come up with your own strategies.