The strategy bar is a feature of the user interface. To use tactics in a battle, you must allocate them to slots on the strategy bar, limiting the number of tactics you can have active at any one time. Some tactics take up more than one slot. See the article about tactics for more information on the number of slots available and what can be put in them.
For a new, level 1 character the strategy bar looks like this:
Tactic Slots Edit
At higher levels additional career and renown tactics slots are added.
Getting Started Edit
- The first Tactic your character can gain is a Renown Tactic (generally at level 4 or 5).
- Next, a Career Tactic is gained at level 11.
- Finally, Tome Tactics are available starting at level 15 or so, but you will have to work deliberately to unlock each one.