A new Freespace dogfight game… for tabletop. Maybe. If you Kickstart it.

A ship engages its warp drive and leaves in Freespace

If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably been lighting candles for a new Freespace game for the last ten years. It’s a toss-up between Freespace 2 and TIE Fighter was to which is the greatest space dogfighting game of fall time (sorry, Wing Commander), the game that brought an entire genre to its pinnacle before it disappeared forever.

So my eyes lit up when I got an email about a new Freespace game. But I have to admit, a board game on Kickstarter is not what I had in mind.

I’m honestly not sure what I think of this Kickstarter for Freespace Tactics. Designer Chris Taylor certainly has a pedigree that stretches back a ways, and tabletop dogfighting can be pretty excellent, as the X-Wing Miniatures Game so ably demonstrates. And deck-building and hand-management are a favorite mechanics of mine (in the weird world of boardgaming, it’s totally normal to become a fan of individual mechanics). The idea of a fast-paced dogfighting game, where each pilot has special abilities that lets him or her execute unique moves, seems kind of interesting.

But I find myself leery of just about everything that involves Interplay at this point, or anyone who was involved with the Black Isle crowdfunding debacle from two years ago. That was about the least credible funding attempt this side of Areal, and it’s the kind of thing that makes me worry about entrusting the same people with my money for a much more modest project.

So on the one hand I want to be open-minded about this, and I know this might be totally my kind of game. On the other hand, this seems like a chancy bet. I’m also a little surprised that the Kickstarter goal is $75,000, which seems a little steep, even for a minis game.

On the other hand, this thing will never be sold in stores. The only way to get a copy of Freespace tactics is to back the Kickstarter, so maybe the goal has to be steeper for a limited print run like this.

Anyway, go check out the pitch yourself and decide for yourself. Me, I might just wait and see what happens here and, in the meantime, there’s always Freespace 2 on GOG.