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As I kid I used to love arcade places and I'm pretty sure you did too! I want to take advantage of my nostalgia and recreate some of their coolness, by having a special game mode that allows anyone to just dive in, no matter if having a game account or not, while money also being an optional factor, avoiding silly game design elements such as "pay-to-win" on the premise of the well known "Winners don't use drugs!" arcade games ad campaign.

Meant to be played 1vs1 or 2vs2, in combat mode only, having matches ranging from 30 minutes to about 2 hours. The overall emphasis is being equal to your opponents in order to have a fair fight. The combat field is hexagon tile based, having 9 rows, the odd ones being composed of 15 hexagons, while the even ones being 16. All players start with a Dark Priest, which allows materializing units. Unlike Chess, the first turn advantage flaw is basically inexistent, as you're not enforced to using the same units as your opponent(s), but in fact you can actually counter the units they summoned if you wish or know how, while trying to copycat them would have you at a dissadvantage, as duplicate units always act slower. Dark Priests posses an unique resource called plasma, which can be used for both defense, by powering your plasma shield and avoiding harm and for offense, materializing units in order to defeat your foe(s); you can of course make units and use them defensively, as meat shields, since most ranged attacks only hit the first encountered unit.

All the players (2 or 4) have a shared unit inventory they can choose from, so first come, first served, each unit being able to get materialized just once on the combat field, being unique, so no copy-cat tactics and it can be trickier to obtain your wanted unit combos or to counter your foe(s), but you can always anticipate and grab certain units before other players do, kinda like in a game of Tic-Tac-Toe.

//brainstorm: the card pack idea could go perfectly with this mode, being able to mix logged in players and annonymous ones, the ones having cards would have more options plus being able to get new cards, while the annonymous players would be adviced to login or even register when they win in order to collect cards; if a logged in player doesn't have enough cards, there are always a lot of free units to use
you kill a non-free unit, you get it; but what's the deal with playing vs annonymous player? easier win but no gain? or experience and wins? Random cards offered at the end of the game? free packs at certain levels? bonuses and drawbacks only if all players are logged in!
//the unit viewer could show a top owners for each unit and self amount if logged in (could be a fun thing, especially if allowing unit trading), though it would motivate players not to use certain units (in order to save them and hoard the most possible); clicking on a player will show you his profile, being able to send him specific units; not having units of that type and being logged in could basically advertise buying a card pack, hopefully getting some of those units
//on the other hand, could also show the best summoners using that specific unit, based on gameplay stats from this game mode alone (number of kills, amount of damage or materialization times) //numer of kills / uses / owned/hoarded

In this game mode each player chooses a realm and all the units from that realm are instantly materialized, prioritized from low to high level, so unit count restriction can still apply.
//dark priests are initially white and forced to pick a realm during their turns in the first round, if there's a turn limit, the player will random; a sin will be able to be picked by different players only when multiple sets will eventually be available.

// does not require money, but players need to donate bitcoins to a certain address otherwise, so the registered players with btc in their account have things simpler and can also earn more bitcoins provided they check out their earning less often in order to reduce the network's mandatory process fee. //tickets or tokens
//card packs
//wheel of fortune with gumble (daily bonus, increasing)
//mmr (like in chess / dota2), diminishing returns if fighting the same player within a certain amount of time; bonus points for winning against higher mmr players and reduced points for winning against lower mmr players; need to come up with formula, needs to have certain caps //world champion (?) //tops

This is the only game mode that will have a fair pay-to-win element, allowing players to purchase unit packs in order to acquire random units that can be collected or used to battle other players, providing each player with more materialization choices during duels. Plasma is being replenished each match for free, but the battles (pvp only) are hardcore otherwise, meaning that your units die, resulting in card loses and fewer units, but at the same time you can capture enemy units from the players you defeat in order to increase your army and options. In case a player has under 7 different unit cards, he will be granted up to 10 different random cards per day in order to be able to keep playing and hopefully win himself some enemy cards. Free cards cannot be captured in order to avoid cheating. //could be done for bitcoin as well, default value being 0 though; other values could be shown when the game is not played through the store launches, as it's against their ToS