Another 1st Place Finish!
Annoyingly, a few days after sending in my entry, I came across a game who's gimmick is frighteningly similar. Holes in cards, that when faced against another card, damage numbers appear in your holes. It's over on the Cheapass Games Webpage.
Anyway, here it is for my records, and posterity.
Fighting in the Secret Underground Meat Locker Fighting Club
For ages 6 and up
Each player selects a Meat Locker Fighter. Each Fighter has a Hit Point window, and two Fist windows. Player can spin discs that are attached behind each window to keep track of Hit Points, and to select Punches. An additional Special Move window and may be available on some Fighters (see below).
The game is played in rounds. Each round, the players secretly select their Punches by spinning the discs for each Fist. When selecting a Punch, they are moving Punch Strength numbers, special Punch icons, cut out windows, and blank Blocks (white cardboard that isn't cut out and has no icons on it) in the Fist window. In general, the more powerful a Punch, or special icon is, the less Blocks there are surrounding it, and more cut out windows.
After selecting their Punches, both Fighters are placed face to face. Each player can now look at the back of their Fighter. The cut out windows from their Punch discs may reveal Punch Strength or special icons from their opponent (if they weren't Blocked, of course). These are punches that the opponent has landed!
Add up the numbers you can see, this is your damage total. Each player takes back their Fighters, and subtracts their damage from their Hit Points by spinning the Hit Point disc. And a new round starts with player selecting their Punches again.
The game is over when a Fighter goes below 1 Hit Point. He has been defeated!
Fighters will have special icons to designate Special Moves. Rollo, the Fighter shown in the example illustrations, has a Blue XX icon on one fist. If this icon makes it through unblocked, then any damage scored by the other fist on the same round is multiplied by 3!
Other Boxers may have a fourth window and disc on the bottom to keep track of variable Special Moves.
Vinnie the Vamp, scores no Hit Points with his Punches. However, if Punches from both fists are unblocked, he can do a Drain Move, taking X Hit Points from his opponent, and adding X Hit Points to himself. The first time he does this, there is 1 Hit Point transferred, the second time, 2 Hit Points are transferred, etc. The Special Move disc keeps track of this.
Laos can unleash a Palm of Death (a high-damage Punch, if unblocked), but only if he has had a successful unblocked Punch in three prior successive Rounds. The Special Move disc can keep track of "hits in a row".
I don't claim Rollo to be balanced. He's just an example.
In real life, there probably would be 5 or 6 visible spaces on the fists.
Balance between characters can be achieved not only by Punch Strengths, Blocked/Cut out windows, and Special Moves, but also by different Hit Point maximums (some powerful characters could have much lower Hit Point starts).
I'm sure someone would bring this up (even though it should outside the scope of the contest), I don't think this would be sold as a CCG (even though it could); my inclination would be themed sets of 8 Boxers a piece.