Game Length: 45 minutes
Best enjoyed: With 2 players who enjoy trying to second-guess each other
BattleCon: Devastation of Indines is a two-player board game styled after fighting video games such as Soul Calibur and Street Fighter. There are options to play with a range of players from 1 to 5, but it is primarily a two player game and using the other options is reserved for those already familiar with the base game.
The game is played on a seven-space-long board. Each player decides what their actions will be, then simultaneously reveals their choices. If you have successfully out-thought your opponent, you may score a hit first – and may even stun your opponent, preventing retaliation! However, if you make an error, you could leave yourself open to a brutal counterattack. The first player to reduce the other to 0 life wins – or if the game goes for 15 turns, the player with the most life left wins.
At the heart of BattleCon: Devastation of Indines is the Battle Connection system. In this system, each action you perform on a turn is a combination of two cards – a Base card and Style card. Both players have access to the same Bases, whereas each character in the game has a different set of Style cards. With a massive 30 characters in the game, each of which has unique Style cards and gameplay mechanics, there is a huge amount of variety. The name of the Base and Style cards combine to form the name of the attack being performed – such as Burning Strike or Jugular Drive.
The first time you play the game, expect to be a little intimidated – there’s a lot of text on each card and the strategy can be difficult to get your head around at first. However, the more you play, the more you are rewarded – as you start to come to grips with the rules and your character, positioning yourself and out-manoeuvering your opponent will start to become second nature. Much like in fighting video games, complexity emerges the more you play against a particular player, and the more you use a particular character.
An enormous amount of content is included with BattleCon: Devastation of Indines, something the designers are aware can be intimidating for people dipping their toes into the game. To help with this, the characters are divided into five ‘difficulty levels’, with the idea being that players can be introduced to characters with simpler, more straightforward strategies before looking into the much more complex characters where victory requires intimate knowledge of the rules. Also included are other multiplayer options, such as many-versus-one boss fights and cooperative dungeon crawls, however these are sideshows compared to the main one-on-one combat.
BattleCon: Devastation of Indines is excellent if you enjoy two player perfect information games – there are no dice-rolls or random card draws to be found anywhere in the game. The massive amount of content will keep you seeing new things for months down the line, and if you enjoy the game, other box sets such as War of Indines and the upcoming Fate of Indines provide extra characters.
Print and Play version of BattleCon: Devastation of Indines (that’s right – you can print out your own copy of this game for free right now!)