I like making home-brew worlds and I've struggled along with 4E or Pathfinder for a few years now. Both systems are great but the magic Christmas tree effect has sapped all my energy
and combat in both systems is involved. I am very happy to have finally bought Fantasy Craft!
From reviews I read, I got the impression that the game requires a battlemap but the rules state it isn't "required". I think the review on Gnome Stew (I do like that site a lot) said the mat was required.
All I see in the rules that really screams the need for a map might be flanking. I'm thinking about just arranging three cards with the three ranges on each and have the party and monsters placed there. Can flank if you outnumber the enemy or with an Acrobatics check. Does anyone play without a battlemap?
Also, I didn't realize FC got rid of iterative attacks and AoO or OA and the need for lots of magic items. I really feel like these two points should be trumpeted a lot more; many people are looking for non-battlemap, less complicated combat, and reduced need for magic item D20 fantasy. I had no idea FC had all these things in from the reviews I've read.
After I've played a game or two (in Nov) I'll do a review and be sure to mention these points. I might have bought FC months ago if I'd known!