When Amazon leaked the 2 edition of Bolt Action, Warlord was quick to respond to the public stating they were just updating the rules with the FAQ's. Now that we are getting closer to the release date we know that a lot of the rules have been changed and it will be a new game. Many of the podcasts that I listen too have advance copies of the rules and they have outlined a lot of these changes.
When Bolt Action first came out it was very much a beer and pretzel kind of game. The rules were simple and not much separated the different armies. The game was referred to as "Flat Soda" by one of my friends. Now with all the updated the rules the game might have more depth and might be compared to a "Shaken Can of Soda".
The last few days were slow at work and I listen to a panel of podcasters that had the rules and they spent three hours discussing the rule changes. So let me list some of the changes they talked about and we can all get excited about what we will see in the coming weeks.
Bases: We now have defined rules about basing the models and infantry go on 25mm rounds or 25mm by 50mm ovals. This rule is important with the introduction of Templates that will be discussed later. This will create some issues with my armies because I have put multiple models on one base. The rules do address this by saying just image the models on a 25mm round base. Something else discussed about basing with with larger guns like artillery. The crews must be within 2 inches of the breach and 1 inch of each other.
Order Test: Lots of changes with the order test and these will change the game.
At Full Strength: This will allow you to reroll your order test if your unit is at full strength of 10 plus models.
Incredible Courage: If you roll double ones on an order test you can now remove D6 pin markers.
Down: You will now be a -2 when down and if you stay down you can remove D3 pin markers. The rule book has a miss print in the book in the introduction saying it is only a -1.
Rally: This is a big change in the game. Now if you rally you don't count your pin markers when making the orders test. If if you pass you remove D6 pins.
Ambush: Now you cans shot at any type of movement and at the end of the turn if you are still on ambush you can roll to see if you shot on a +4. This will make the ambush order a bit more useful in the game.
Movement: This change will now allow fixed weapon teams to move with a run order. Both fixed weapons and artillery will be allow to pivot with an advance order taking a -1 to shooting. I will have to wait and get the rules in my hands to get a better understanding of how this will all work on the table.
Terrain: We now have what is being called dense terrain. This is not a new concept in gaming and simply means you cant see through dense terrain. If units are in dense terrain they can still shot out of it and you can shot into it with a penalty.
Weapons: Many of the weapons have been changed and should make the game much more interesting.
LMG will not have range 36 inches and all Machine guns will receive an extra shot.
If you fire a gun that is pintle mounted the vehicle that fired it will be considered open topped for the rest of the turn.
Assault Rifles now only have a range of 18 inches but still have two shots.
Assault weapons can still take tough fighter but this rule will not longer give the model two attacks in close combat. Now you will get rerolls for successful wounds and add any additional hits.
Shape Charges will no longer have a -1 to hit so they will be a bit more useful on the table.
Flame Throwers now need to roll to hit and will suffer the same penalties as shooting. The range for vehicle has been increased to 12 inches and they both run out of fuel on a roll of a 1.
Templates: This is a big change to the game for HE weapons. Now you will target a unit and if you hit a template will be used to determine the number of hits. You will place the template over the unit to maximize the number of hits. This might clip another unit and it that is the case that unit will take pins and wounds all the same.
Weapons that were D2/3 will use a 1 inch template
D6 will use a 2 inch templatehe
2D6 will use a 3 inch template
3D6 will use a 4 inch template
There are also more rules for templates and will be a new element in the game that will take time to get use to using.
Assaults: The biggest change I already discussed with the though fighter rule. Another change with assaults is you don't remove your pins when going into an assault. This is going to make assaults a bit more interesting and might make assaults less attractive.
Officers: Another big change to the game is how the officer work in the game. Basically when you activate an officer depending on the type of officer you have you can active additional units.
1st Lt can activate 2 units
2nd Lt can activate 1 unit
Majors can activate 4 units and their command range increased to 12 inches
Captains can activate 3 units and their command range increased to 12 inches
This officer ability can't be used while in a vehicle but they can give their command value to units in the vehicle they are in. Also, this new officer rule can only be used if the officer is on the table.
Air Strikes: A lot of changes to air strikes and this might see less forward air observers on the table. Now planes can be shot down with flak and only require 3 hits instead of 6. Flak units with HE will multiple the hits based on the size template it uses. Also flak weapons don't have to burn an order dice to shot their flak and hit on a 5 or 6. This is another change that I will need to have the rule book in my hand to better understand.
Forward Artillery Observer: Now on an roll of a 1 the hit is only moved 24 inches and will be using templates.
Medics: Can no longer hold objectives and can't shoot or assault unless shot at or assaulted. Snipers: Can no longer move and shoot and can't use the sniper ability within 12 inches. Gun Shields: Now only give you a +1 to the unit quality.
Artillery: We now measure from the breach of the gun and HE will no longer have a -1 at long range.
Vehicles: We now measure from the haul of the model and not the barrel.
Howitzers and Mortars: They can all now fire smoke.
Soft Skin Vehicles: They can still be shot at with small arms but now have to roll on the penetration chart for the result. If the vehicle is destroyed it is not removed from the table and will become terrain.
Transports: Empty transports can fire one weapon when empty.
Reconnaissances Vehicles: Now can only use their rules if they have not been issued an order.
Now I am sure I missed a lot of the rules during the podcast but what I took away from it is Bolt Action will be a new game. These changes to the rules will give the game a lot more depth and more interesting to play on the table. The new rule book should be on the shelves of our local game store by the end of the month and I can't wait to get my hands on it. I am excited about these new rules and hope it ignites some excitement for the game at the local shops.