The turn-based combat in Battle Chasers is inspired by the great JRPGs of years past, with three major features: the Dual Mana system; an Active Initiative Bar with random buffs and debuffs; and momentum-shifting super attacks called Battle Surges.
Abilities are unlocked when a hero levels up. Each can eventually unlock more abilities than there are slots to equip them, so choosing can be difficult.
Blue and Red Mana
There are no basic attacks in Nightwar. All abilities either consume mana, or generate red mana. Blue mana is the core resource pool, with red mana acting as a backup or bonus pool.
If a hero runs out of blue mana, they can generate red mana as a way to perform their most powerful attacks. But red mana can take time to generate, and is lost at the end of a battle. Using it carefully can preserve the core blue mana pool or allow a spent hero to continue fighting.
Each hero reacts to red mana use in a unique way. Garrison's abilities are more effective when using red mana, so building it is encouraged (though his base mana pool is much smaller). Knolan is better off using blue mana and suffers penalties for using red. Calibretto is healed slightly when using red mana.
This is the primary strategy of resource management in Battle Chasers: Nightwar.
Key to survival is managing position on the initiative bar. Initiative determines order, but the slots can also appear with randomized effects which activate when a hero performs an action in that slot. These can be beneficial or harmful, and even be based on the environment you're in. Deep swamp? Beware the poisoned gas debuff that may appear on slots.
Abilities have different speeds which affect initiative position, making it possible to strategically position yourself (or your enemy) into a slot that's helpful. This is most important in the highest dungeon difficulties.