Battles: Win or Lose is a well-developed card game incorporating elements of standard table-top role-playing games. Although dice are used, generally speaking the play centers on cards. The play surface is divided into four Zones for each player, called Portal, Umbra, Stage, and Mausoleum. In addition, there is a Rank Slot. Cards are played into Zones with different combinations of abilities being available in each. Many cards represent characters, when active they are called Mobs. Play proceeds in Turns comprising Rounds.
The game typically is distributed as a ZIP archive, with the rule book, some print-and-play components, and a layout document.