Sunday, 6 March 2016

Bolt Action.Net Season 3 Tournament Rules are Good.

We are preparing to play in the Operation C.O.D. Bolt Action tournament to be held at the Company Of Dice club on 2 April. In all our Bolt Action Boot Camps we have used the standard rules so that all our new players understood how the game worked - with the only exception of our extended building rules so we could properly take advantage of all of our large buildings.
This tournament is using the Bolt Action Alliance Format Season 3 rules.
These small changes are an attempt made by lovers of Bolt Action to correct some of the balance issues with as minimal an impact as possible. I have been watching from the sidelines until now that we need to use them.
The major differences we saw are:

  • LMGs are 5 points
  • You can't Recce if you have already moved
  • Recce can trigger an ambush
  • One Man Turret failing moral can still fire and move with an additional -1 penalty
  • Fixed Weapons can rotate up to 90 degrees with an advance order and offer -1 penalty
  • Infantry MMGs are now 6 rate of fire and Germans get 7.
  • Armoured transports can fire one weapon while empty.

There are a few more changes contained in the linked PDF, but these are the ones we experienced.
Thinking back over the game we give these changes the thumbs up.

The LMG points now are a reasonable match to their effectiveness. The MMG rate of fire also is a simple balancing of points. After all, a Regular infantry MMG is 50 points. A Veteran Renault FT with MMG is 43 points. A Motorcycle sidecar with MMG is 40 points. Now that Infantry MMGs fire 6 dice (Germans are 7) while mounted MMGs remain at 4, the points make more sense.
The impact was that infantry MMGs were much more of a threat, consistent with their points.
The halftrack we faced was empty and fired it's LMG, killing one of the Howitzer spotters. Fair enough. Unfortunately, the Howitzer was able to see the halftrack directly and fired overhead needing a 6, getting it and destroying the halftrack in a burst of HE goodness.
But, without these small changes we wouldn't have seen the halftrack at all. And MMG teams would not have made the impact they did. And the LMG point change more accurately reflected the fire effect of the infantry squad.
Here is the impact of the LMG point change for our French army - nicknamed The French Horde:
2 x First Lieutenant plus minion with rifle - 85 pts each
3 x Inexperienced infantry (LMG, Pistol, 9 rifles) - 79 pts each
1 x Inexperienced infantry (LMG, Pistol, 9 rifles) - Free (French bonus)
1 x Regular Medic with minion - 33 pts
2 x Regular infantry (7 rifles, LMG) - 85 pts each
1 x Veteran Renault FT (MMG) - 43 pts
1 x Medium Howitzer - 75 pts
1 x Medium Howitzer - Free (French bonus)
2 x spotters - 10 pts each
Total = 747 pts - 12 order dice.
Using standard points this would be 837 points. (6 LMGs @ 15 pts = 90 pts difference)

Well done to the Bolt Action Alliance fellows for their dedication and extended testing and discussion over such a long time. It has been worth it.
We will be using these rule amendments in all our Boot Camps in future as they correct many oddities in the game, making Bolt Action even better.


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