As an avid miniatures painter, and a fan of small press and indie games, I'm always interested in the new products available from the smaller miniatures manufacturers.
Those who appreciate fine figures will probably be familiar with the work of Freebooter miniatures already, with beautifully sculpted and delicate miniatures that are a joy to paint.
But in the last few months, Freebooter has released their own game system, Freebooter's Fate.
It's a card based system, rather than dice (so that gets my seal of approval). But the use of cards is really clever. So much so, that I'm thinking of using a similar system in a game of my own.
Characters have attack scores and defence scores, they also have areas of the body where they can be hit. The areas of the body are identified by cards (Head, Torso, Abdomen, Right Arm, Left Arm, Legs), and an attacking character plays a number of these cards equal to their attack score, while a defender plays a number of these cards equal to their defence score. The cards are revealed and if the attacker has played a card that the defender hasn't, a hit is scored on that party of the body. It's elegant, it makes sense.
If an attacker hits two or more areas that the defender hasn't blocked, they choose which area to hit and they score a critical hit.
Then you do other stuff to calculate the amount of damage based on weapon strength, armour toughness and a random card...but the essence of the hit mechanism is so simple and beautiful that I wonder why someone hadn't thought of it earlier...maybe they have and I just haven't seen it.
I haven't actually played a game yet, I like to paint my figures before they hit the table. I'll post a play report once I've actually had a chance to indulge my pirate ways.