Ian, Matt and I had our first game of Bolt Action on 6 July, using our growing forces of new figures. Ian brought along his Fallschirmjagers, Matt his first squad of Yanks and I used my British. We played about 570 points a side, using scenario 1 in the rulebook. As this was our first time with the rules, we played it a bit by committee.
It was a great game. Ian chose to be the attacker, with the objective of getting units into our deployment zone or off the table. Matt and I deployed with a strong concentration on a hill at our right rear, from which our MMG had a good field of fire over the centre and along our baseline. We left the centre clear and placed two squads in woods and behind a wall on our left. Ian came on in the first turn, concentrating all his force opposite the Allied Right. To cut a long story short, Ian's frontal attack on our hill battered hard against a British section in woods. This section barely fired a shot as it spent most of the game ducked down to survive Ian's assault rifles. It ultimately lost seven men but held on grimly while our two left wing sections took Ian's force in the flank. As time ran out for Ian to get his troops forward, we managed to knock out his right hand squad, scoring 2 VPs that were enough to win us the scenario. We were helped by a lucky morale test and the only medic-induced save of the game, which allowed our officer to hang on and share his morale bonus when it mattered. We agreed that it was a tough scenario for an attacker without transports to win.
We picked up the rules pretty quickly. It's not an original comment but the 40K pedigree is very evident. The key difference for me is the downgrade in lethality compared to 40k, making pinning the enemy as important or even more so than killing figures. The activation system was really easy and created some tense moments. Although I suspect Chain of Command may produce a more realistic simulation of small unit tactics, I know I'm more likely to be playing Bolt Action for a clean and fast moving game system that supplies plenty of excitement.
We are about to place our next order. I am still tempted by a Carrier section, although I do like the boxy functionality of the Cromwell. But why have one tank when you can have three?