BattleCON, short for Battle Connection, is actually the name of the system used in the board game; the game proper is called War of Indines (pronounced In-deans). In BattleCON, players have a set of "bases", or fundamental tactics common to each character, and "styles", modifier cards that "connect" to bases (hence the name of the game) that are unique to each character. Every round (or "beat"), players lay down a style and base, double blind, and reveal them at the same time, and the beat is resolved with each player activating effects on their card as necessary. Players play beats until one player falls or the timer runs out.
The actual backstory of War of Indines is on the publisher's website, found here. The game also has its own wikia, here A digital version called BattleCON: Online also exists and can be played for free.
Round 1, fight! This game provides examples of:
- Arbitrary Minimum Range: Burst misses at range 1, but it makes you move back first to compensate. Some characters' Styles also add minimum range.
- Boring, but Practical:
- The 'Pulse' and 'Cancel' special actions. The overdrive finishers may be sexier and more decisive, but many of them are difficult to land and can backfire on the user - burning your special action card to reliably cut down your opponents' options is usually the wiser choice.
- The Force Gauge mechanic. One could save the resource linked to that mechanic to execute an overdrive finisher a bit earlier than usual, but it is almost always more effective to regularly spend said resource to gain a temporary bonus to Power, Priority or Stun Guard.
- Exact Words: Something that can trip up newcomers is the wording "Push/Pull X spaces" on some cards. If, for example, you are on space 5, the opponent is on space 6, and you activate the effect "Push 2 spaces", the opponent won't be moved at all because there's only one space behind them, so you can't push them 2 spaces. You'd need the effect "Push up to 2 spaces" or "Push 2 spaces or as far as possible" to only push the opponent that one space.
- EX Special Attack: Force Antes let you spend part of your Force Gauge (which is also used for your Limit Break) to apply small boosts to your attacks.
- Guide Dang It!: Unlocking the secret character's Print and Play for Devastation, the War Remaster and Fates. Really, unlockable characters in a card game. The developers want it to not be too blatant, so for your hint, study the Epilogue section of Devastation's BattleQUEST rule book carefully.
- Limit Break: Once a fighter's hit points drop to 1/3 of their starting hp, they gain the ability to use a finisher, a unique and powerful move that replaces the attack pair on the turn it is used. Later editions change the rules so that the fighter must spend Force equal to their remaining life.
- Loads and Loads of Characters: And how! There are 18 in War of Indines, 30 more in Devastation of Indines, 10 in Fates of Indines and another 10 in Trials of Indines for a staggering amount of 68 playable and tournament-legal characters. That doesn't include the large number of supporting characters—including a handful of promo characters and guest characters.
- Mechanically Unusual Fighter: Everyone, really. Some characters stand out as being really different, but each character has an unique ability you have to adapt to in order to play the character properly.
- Morton's Fork: The community refers to this as "card lock" - where all of your good responses to a given attack are unusable, leaving you with only bad options. Use of the cancel special action or deliberate clashing can make this more likely., but getting a temporay bonus (or multiple of these) for a beat using the Force Gauge makes it easier to deal with said card lock.
- Sword of Damocles: The main use of Finishers. The majority of the time, your opponent will have a way to move out of its range, but they must use these moves, or they risk being hit and probably lose. This means Finishers are best used to scare your opponent into using sub-optimal strategies rather than to actually attack.
- Tactical RockPaperScissors: The bases have this kind of relationship. Grasp will put a strike out of hit range, but will whiff against the start of beat retreat of a burst, which in turn will be countered by a drive's forward movement and so on. Of course, the style and unique ability a base is used with can completely change how it relates to other attacks.
The game's setting and story provide examples of:
- Klingon Scientists Get No Respect: A citizen of Willat who cannot use magic will find themselves 'directed' towards menial labor jobs, and can say goodbye to higher pay or advancement in society.
- Lovecraft Lite: There are definitely horrors beyond the dimensional gate, but Oriana seems more of an intergalactic conquerer than an all-destroying monstrosity.
- Ignored Expert: Runika's warning about the return of the dragon king is ignored by everyone but Eligor.
- Our Dragons Are Different: Standard huge, ruthless lizards. Used to rule the world until humanity overthrew them thousands of years before the series is set. They have powerful magical abilities and Voluntary Shapeshifting powers, allowing some to survive into the present day disguised as humans.
- The Bad Guy Wins: Hepzibah Heketch and Demitrias successfully revive Rexan in the storyline of War.
- The Magocracy: The Magocracy of Willat, a small but highly advanced nation siutuated in the northern mountains. Majority of the population consists of elves, and most citizens are capable of using magic to some degree.
- The Theocracy: The desert nation of Sanghalim.
- Überwald: The Empire of Gesselheim, known as Lesion before its unification by the Dark Overlord Rexan. A barren land in the south, populated by undead, beastmen, barbarian tribes, and monsters who are able to live in conditions that would not support human life. The largest and most populous of the nations on the continent of Indines, but also the poorest.
- The 'Verse: The characters of The World of Indines also show up in other Level 99 games such as Pixel Tactics and Sellswords.