The Herald Bulletin

Overnight Update

Rick's Rec Room

December 16, 2012

War of Indines takes combat to new level

Video game staple comes alive on tabletop


So now we come to one of the many beauties of the BattleCON system in general and War of Indines in particular. Each attack has two elements, two cards that are combined to present fully what the attack does. Half of the attack comes from bases that each of the 18 characters that come in the game uses. The other half are styles that are unique to each character.

That means that there are 13 cards in hand from which to plan and execute attacks.

This brings up, for me, what makes this game not only the best fighting game, not only one of the best games released in the past year or so but also one of the best games ever released.

Luck is completely missing in the game. How well or how poorly a character fares in this game is strictly based on the abilities or that character, how well the player makes use of them and how the opponent does with those same options and abilities.

There are no dice. There is no deck from which to introduce luck-of-the-draw elements. It is a real strength of the game that at the end of a duel, the loser will really only have one thing to blame the defeat upon – himself.

The duel play quite quickly, especially once the gameplay is mastered. Each duel should take 10-15 minutes. A game is comprised of best-of-three duels, so that means a game takes 20 to 45 minutes.

Another strength of the game is how different each of the characters feel. That is owed to the style cards, a unique finisher card and each character's special ability.

Getting the characters to look, act and play differently was no easy task. “(It is) harder than you might think,” said Talton. “There was no metagame and the rules weren't very clear in the early stages of the game. In fact, unique mechanics weren't even a part of the game at this point--there were just styles and bases. It was while playing BlazBlue (a console fighting game) one afternoon that I realized how much a truly unique ability could bring to each character. I started searching through other games (both fighting games and board games) to find mechanics that I could convert into unique abilities.”

The work was definitely worthwhile.

Each turn is called a “beat.” Talton explains, “A 'beat' is a term in acting (and fighting games, surprisingly enough to me) that signifies a complete exchange. Since the turns actually happen within the beat, 'turn' wouldn't have been a very good term. Plus, fighting games have always invented their own terminology, so I wanted to be part of that tradition as well.”

So a beat consists of picking the attack pair (base and style), then using ante tokens (mostly as part of a character's special abilities), revealing the pair executing attacks and recycle.

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