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Hey everyone! This week's Indines In-Depth was chosen by fans in our BattleCON Skype chat. I hope you're all having a great Thanksgiving, and please check out our upcoming Black Friday Sale if you're interested in getting a copy of BattleCON!


“I fear there may be no room for anything but monsters left in this world. It seems you’ve already decided where to draw the lines of civilization and humanity.” 

“August wanted more arms, twelve eyes, insect wings… and of course she could have all these things but father always said ‘no’. August never understood why she shouldn’t take a more efficient and capable form than the one she was born with, but I understood, somehow. This body is an anchor. If I change my face, I lose my self. August changed herself so much that she forgot who she was… that’s the fate I fear the most.”

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 This week, I’m writing from BGG.con! I’ll be getting to more of the suggested characters next week, so please leave your suggestions in the comments! Speaking of BGG.con, if you’re here over the next few days, I would love to meet you! Come by and see me in the exhibitor’s hall!


“The day my heart was split open by the Breach, I thought the world had ended. But beyond that gate, I see opportunity where I once saw disaster.”

“The Will and Power of Indines are manifest in you. I am but a voice for this land, you, its heroes, are its hands.”


Elementals are creatures of nature and magic. Born from the latent energies of the land to act as its guardians and protectors, they are innately tied to the places they inhabit. 

Iaxus awoke and began life as an elemental the day the Breach opened. A puncture between dimensions tore open in northern Jeffreys, unleashing all manner of planar terrors upon the land and soaking the earth with alien magics. This mixing of the natural magic of Indines and the unknown forces of the planes gave rise to an elemental with powers unlike anything seen before.

Bound by his innate, elemental duty to defend Indines, Iaxus gathered together knights from around the realm, and founded the first order of Indines Dimensional Knights, then called the Planebinders, as their duty was to contain the breach and its fallout.

Five centuries later, he still watches over the Breach and trains new dimensional knights, as well as being a formidable line of defense for Indines himself. Iaxus holds no formal rank in the Planestalkers, but he is respected and revered by the members of the order, and acts as a direct advisor the Grand Marshal on matters of the defense of Indines.

Plot During BattleCON: Devastation

As the founder and advisor to the modern Planestalkers, Iaxus is well aware of the potential threats that lurk beyond the breach. He aids Kaitlyn, Luc, Khadath, and the other members of the order from the background, only getting involved when Oriana or her minions encroach onto Indines soil. Iaxus is an effective guardian, and is probably the sole reason that Oriana seeks alternate routes for the invasion of Indines.

Later Adventures

When Oriana captures Cherri and creates a new Breach, Iaxus is powerless to stop the new avenue of her invasion of the planes. Now it falls to the knights and rangers that he has trained to defend Indines against their most dangerous threat yet. Oriana’s reach is still limited, and her ultimate goal is to capture the Breach so that she can use it as a landing point for a larger invasion. Thus, Iaxus’s ancient duty continues as he guards the land against outside threats.

10 Facts about Iaxus

  1. He is generally very suspicious of extraplanar members of the Planestalkers, including Arret and Welsie, and especially of Iri.
  2. Though he awoke only five hundred years ago, Iaxus’s memory stretches back much further, and this is not the first age he has awoken to serve in.
  3. His elemental heritage is reflected in the rocky portions of his body, and is fairly common for earth elementals. He can use magic to suppress or enhance these traits, becoming more humanlike or more rocklike as he wishes.
  4. The energy of the Breach manifests in him because his body is a reflection of the land surrounding it. This energy takes the form of a glowing left eye crackling with strange energies.
  5. When Iaxus focuses his planar eye, he is able to ‘tune’ the Breach and create a portal to specific other places. Before the planebinders built their massive Tuning Fork was to control the Breach, Iaxus’s primary duty was to control and focus it.
  6. Because he is an elemental, Iaxus is bound to Indines and can never travel between planes.
  7. The previous Grand Marshal, Horace Ans-Van, always told Iaxus that he worried too much about things. The new Grand Marshal, Kaitlyn Van Sorrel, has taken his cautionary advice much more seriously, and this has set an entirely different tone to the operations of the Planestalkers.
  8. Iaxus was good friends with Luc during the Centennial Wars 300 years ago. After Luc traveled forward in time, the first thing he did was seek out Iaxus to learn what had transpired in the three centuries he had missed.
  9. When he is not defending the world of Indines from extraplanar invasions, Iaxus plants trees to extend the forests and sows herbs and grasses. He’s a skilled horticulturist, which is rare in elementals.
  10. The first time Iaxus awoke to serve the land, he used the name Chell. Because of his ancient stewardship, Chell is now the name of the region around the Breach. When awakening this time, Iaxus chose a new name, to avoid confusion in conversation with his new allies.
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Good game design is not enough–in order to build a good game, the designer must also think about the agents that will interact with the system he or she has created, the players. Players are the most important and integral component to your design, and you need to think about how they will interact with what you’re building as well.

I started thinking about this problem when we designed early versions of Millennium Blades. The game was fun, but after only 2 hours it was exhausting. Players felt mentally stretched and fatigued by the amount of information they had to store and process at once. I started thinking about why that could be, and what could be done from a designer perspective to account for it.

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Interested in running a tournament or other organized play type event? This series of articles has a bunch of info on tournament play, and is updated weekly-to-bi-weekly with new tips and events. Get involved in your local gaming scene and play!


So you've decided to run a tournament, but you don't know the first thing about tournament organization. Or maybe you do know the first thing, but not the second thing. Well, today I'll give you a quick primer on three common tournament types.

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Note: While working on the World of Indines Visual Novel and RPG, I've decided to put together some of the lore that I've compiled and share it with all of you! This article is part of a new series of lore articles called "Indines In-Depth" that will be showing up every Wednesday on Level 99 Games! Learn more about your favorite fighters and their backstories by checking them out below, and leave me a comment to let me know what characters you want to see next! :)


"Motion, Power, Clarity, Purpose--to fight is to experience the thrill of living!"

“When you strike with the fire style, you just want to barely touch the target with the tips of your fingers. With your hand as a wedge, you inject the flame forcefully into the target’. Fire doesn’t need the help of your strength to be destructive, just the guidance of your will to find its destination.”


Hikaru is a free-spirited seeker of adventure who travels the world in search of new challenges and experiences. Treasure and fame hold no value for him. Instead, he searches for sights unseen and to test the limits of his own skills. He is good-natured and with a strong sense of personal justice, though he sometimes lacks patience and often lacks due caution. He throws himself body and spirit into whatever the task at hand is, without looking back or hesitating.

As student of geomancy--the magic of elements--who has some elemental heritage of his own, Hikaru is a fighter who utilizes the power of the world around him to aid his strength in battle. After graduating from university, Hikaru traveled around Indines and undertook many different self-directed adventures in his quest to discover his own limits and perfect an original martial arts style. 

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Since we're drawing to a close for the EXCEED Kickstarter this week, here's an overview of the Normal Attacks (those that are shared among all the fighters) and how they interact with one another.

Building up the selection of Normal Attacks in EXCEED was one of the most challenging parts of designing the game. Normals are the cards shared by every fighter, and which form the foundation of the ongoing metagame that takes place during a battle. We spent many versions going back and forth over these cards, trying to figure out the optimal combination of Attacks and Boost effects to make the game play smoothly.

In order to balance the effects of the Normals, we divided them up into four different groups: Fast, Utility, Anchor, and Safety.

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Over here at Level 99, we're getting prepared and excited for BGG.con 2015, taking place November 18-22 in DFW.

At the show, we're going to debuting Pixel Tactics 1 through 5 (second editions of 1,2, and 3) as well as Pixel Tactics Deluxe!

We've also got two brand-new playmats that we've created for Pixel Tactics, and for general gaming, which will be available in very limited quantity at BGG. We'll be releasing only 10 of each of these mats each day, so make sure you get yours!

I (D. Brad Talton Jr.) will be at the Level 99 booth from 1-4pm every day, and I'm looking forward to chatting with you about our current and upcoming games. Whether you're a reviewer, a backer of our projects, or just a curious fellow gamer, I'm excited to meet and talk with you. If you want to schedule something official with me and sit down to talk in a quieter setting, I'm available for booking! Just email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and we'll set something up!

Besides just me, we'll have Nicole Kline and Anthony Amato, the designers of RESISTOR_, and Trey Chambers, the designer of Argent, at our booth at various times over the weekend, and they'll be available for interviews, signings, and discussion of their future projects. Come by and say hello!

If you missed out on some of our past promotional items, BGG.con is a great place to grab them! We'll have assorted promos for Argent, BattleCON, and Pixel Tactics, as well as our Mage Wars crossover promos featuring Eligor and Gerard!

Finally, if you want to see some games from the future, I'll be showing off Millennium Blades and EXCEED at various times during the show! Come by and meet me there, and we'll figure out a time to play! :D 

I look forward to seeing you guys there, and Happy Halloween!!!

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In our strategy corner last week, we talked about Unlimited Format tournaments. This week, I'd like to share some thoughts on composing your team in a Standard Tournament.

There's more to selecting your roster than just picking your three most capable fighters–it's important to think about how those fighters' matchups will cover one another.

For those who haven't played standard yet, a quick overview. Players bring a team of 3 fighters, the opponent chooses one of those to ban, and then the player who can defeat both of his opponent's fighters first is declared the winner. 

For this reason, an ideal team has at least 2 fighters who can deal with each possible rival fighter. Your one ban is useful here–you can get rid of at least one fighter who isn't favored against your team.

To get the best matchup coverage, select a group of fighters that can cover each others' weaknesses, and who have no glaring weaknesses to exploit. A good well-rounded fighter like Hikaru, Pendros, Thessala, Vanaah, Joal, Zaamassal, or Karin can form the core of your team and cover a wide variety of matchups. 

With a good all-rounder, you can bring in a specialist, such as Rukyuk, ARIA, Tanis, Adjenna, Heketch, or Malandrax to force dangerous matchups on your opponent. This should be the character in this category that you feel best with, and think is most likely to get banned by your opponent. If your opponent bans one of your other fighters, then you can use your specialist to exploit weaknesses in the rival team.

After selecting your first two members, you may want to consider bringing a second specialist (if you're really confident in your play of these characters) but more commonly you'll want an off-main. Fighters like Baenvier, César, Alexian, Cadenza, Rexan, and Clive are excellent at foiling matchups which may be a little tough for your main all-rounder.

With your team composed, the best thing to do is find some friends and practice! If you're looking for other BattleCON fans in your area, check out the Organized Play Guide, and use your event as an opportunity to build your local BattleCON Community!

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