Strategically Thematic: BattleCON

November 22, 2017

Strategically Thematic is a segment featured on The Dice Tower's bi-weekly Throat Punch Lunch videos about games where the theme and mechanics go together really well.

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Hi! This is Ambie from Board Game Blitz, and this is Strategically Thematic, a segment where I talk about theme in different strategic games. This time, I’m talking about BattleCON: Devastation of Indines.

BattleCON is a two player dueling card game that’s basically like Street Fighter in a board game. Each player chooses a character to play, and the characters each have different abilities and specialties. Gameplay is done with a set of cards that represent the movement, attack range and power, and special abilities of your character. There are a ton of characters to choose from in BattleCON: Devastation of Indines, and the characters are also compatible with other BattleCON games! So far I’ve only played Devastation, since it has plenty of awesome characters.

Your characters move around on a seven-space long board, and players simultaneously choose what their character will do each turn, mimicking the real-time aspect of fighting video games. If you’ve played Street Fighter or another similar game, you may know that there are a few special moves that characters can do when you perform the correct combination of actions. BattleCON also has unique special moves for every character, and every time you do an action, you’re combining two cards - a base and a style, to perform an attack. Numbers on the cards sum up to get the attack’s final Power, Range, and Priority, and everything together defines what the attack will be. Once you’ve done an attack, your cards go into a cooldown queue, so you can’t spam the same attack over and over again, but you’ll be able to reuse it later in the round.

What’s really neat is that there’s no randomness - all the cards and possible moves are known to your opponents, so there are a lot of mind games in trying to predict what type of attack your opponent will try to make and how to counter it effectively. You also want to make sure you can hit your attack - whoever has a higher Priority has an advantage and can go first. Also, if you hit the opponent, you have a chance of stunning them, which makes them unable to attack back!

There are also a few super powerful moves that you can use once per round. Each character has a special card that is removed when it’s used, and depending on what you combine it with, you can have different powerful effects. One of these is a Finishing Move that’s specific to the character. The Finishing Moves are also very powerful, but you cannot use them until your health is lowered, so you have to plan carefully to make sure you can land your hit when you finally execute your Finishing Move.

Just like in fighting video games, there are multiple game modes to BattleCON. The main one is 1-on-1 fighting, where you try to bring your opponent’s life down to zero. But there is also an adventure mode where you can play alone or cooperatively against automated enemies and boss-type characters.

BattleCON really feels like Street Fighter on a table. There are so many different characters and game modes in the box, and it’s really exciting to go all out in a head-to-head battle with your opponent, trying to outwit them and counter their attacks. The special abilities of all the characters are unique and make them play very differently, so every game is a new experience. Thanks for watching Strategically Thematic! Let me know what you think in the comments below.
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