My usual games club (Hampton Games Club) is currently shut down for the holidays so I invited the guys to come around yesterday afternoon for a few games, a BBQ and some fun. My old mate Dave dropped by with a few starter armies of Brits and Germans and he talked me through a game (there is always a big difference between reading the rules and playing them).
Since I am well into assembling a German army I opted to use them and Dave got to use his Scot's guard and Veteran Commando force. We set up in the ruins of a bombed out town and I had to take two of Dave's three objectives in six or more turns (in this way it felt a lot like 40K).
I had a four squads of Veteran guys with a mix of weapons (SMG's, Assault rifles, rifles, occasional panzerfausts), a tiger (YEAH BOOOOY!!!), a couple of small half tracks, a command section, a flamer thrower and a panzer shreck (a rocket launcher).
Dave had very similar stuff... lots of dudes on foot, an anti tank gun, a tank, a flame thrower, a sniper, and observer, and a few machine gun carriers.
Basically we tried to incorporate lots of different types of toys to push around the table.
The first two turns were very slow and we went through the rules and nothing seemed to be dying. Dave explained that since we were both playing veteran forces they were very sturdy. When he plays against another Hampton member Greg and his Russians (inexperienced troops), Greg has loads more dudes on the table but they die like crazy. I suppose that reflects the large difference of points between these troops (the better options for more elite troops weapons wise is nice too).
After we got into the swing though it played easily and was lots of fun.
A few random thoughts:
Assaults are vicious! You win or loose HUGE! You loose, you die!
Assault rifles are AMAZING! They are expensive to give to your troops and only expensive elite troops can take lots of them BUT wow are they great. Shooting, assaulting, everything. AMAZING!
Tanks are fun to use but honestly they didn't do much in our game until the very last turn when I parked my tiger on top of one of his platoons on an objective to win! (Have I mentioned I LOVE the idea of the tiger? Big, ugly and tough!) Sooo much fun! Stupidly expensive but lots of fun!
Flame throwers are ridiculous at clearing infantry and kicking them out of buildings! So good!
I like the option to go on overwatch. I feel it really fits with the random nature of game turns.
It was a little weird to not pre measure everything (after playing lots of the last two editions of 40K and Fantasy) but that was definitely not the end of the world.
Overall I loved playing Bolt Action and playing has inspired me to get my Germans up and running (and to get out and buy a flame thrower team!). Is it going to be my next gaming love... Well, I will have to play more to see and see how it works in organised tournament play. Will I play enough to see. Definitely!