As my regular readers will have noticed, the phrase Bolt Action seems to be cropping up a little bit recently, I have now got a hold of a copy of the rules for Bolt Action and to say they are slightly different is an understatement, the reason I am going to have a brief look at them now is because it is looking more likely that The Gates of Antares will run on a very similar system to bolt action, although the actual dice rolls will be made with D10 rather than the usual D6 dice.
In a conversation with someone from Warlord HQ we were talking about who wrote the rules for Bolt Action, it seems that its a bit off a colaberation between Rick Priestley and Alessio Cavatore, now while I am unsure as to who wrote the core rules, who polished and who padded out the rules, one thing must be said very clearly from the start. They work great! So thank you!
So you sit down to play your first game both sides are matched evenly and you both for arguements sake have five units each. Now in Games Workshop games you decide who goes first and move everything, in mantic you move some pass over to the opposition then move some more unitl all units have been activated.
Well forget both off them and try this (yes I am thinking of trying it in other games) take a coloured dice for each unit, one side is one colour the other side a different colour, throw all these dice in a bag or some container that can be shaken but not see through, then pick a dice out. that player can activate a unit, rinse and repeat until your container is empty. Thats how the activations are worked in Bolt Action, now the devious player is thinking I could get all my activations in first, the nervous player is thinking I could get wiped out before even getting a turn, the rest should be thinking wow thats awesome. When a unit is destroyed you loose its dice, so each turn is an ever evolving situation, totally different from the last turn.
It sounds really odd until you give it a go and you see just how random the dice bag can be, for a few turns I acted as the official dice drawer for a game, and the order the dice came out of the bag led to an almost real cinematic feel to the game as it developed, you could see one side preparing a solid advance, then the opposition got a few dice out in a row and made actions that changed the original plan. its that l;evel of unpredictability that lends itself to some cinematic deserving moments.
Next time I will look at Pin Markers and see how they make a difference to the game.