My impression from watching Bolt Action was pretty much what I had imagined, a rather "casual" WW2 game and a lot of "basic" mechanics that I had already experienced in other games, such as Secrets of the Third Reich a few years ago before I finally swapped 28mm WW2 for 15mm WW2 gaming in Flames of War.
The rules seemed to have simplified a few things more than I would have liked. Close combat lasts one round, unless it is a draw. In case of a winner in close combat (player who dealt most wounds) the opposing unit is destroyed. The rules for terrain are half-baked and Johan had already come up with a couple of his own fixes, such as utilizing "area terrain" over "true line of sight" so that tree lines and such could actually be used for proper cover. Movement through fields was also amended to better reflect reality.
You hit enemy units on a specific D6 result depending on their training, and weapons carried by infantry (small arms such as pistols, rifles, smg's) kill on on 5+. Heavy caliber machineguns, sniper rifles, mortars and AT weapons firing HE have an easier time to kill those that are hit. Other than that the game use a lot of D6 rolling with modifiers for short/long range, cover, prone and everything else you would expect. In case you can't hit on a 6 you can always hit on 7+ (which for some reason isn't rolling a 6 followed by rolling 4+, but by rolling a 6 as your second roll instead).
AT values and armor is classed in ways familiar to those playing many other games, such as Victory Decision, Secrets of the Third Reich etc. The order system was quite OK, using special dice is probably also a decent solution as you can combine 6 different tokens/order onto a single D6 which in turn reduces the amount of markers you need to have. Activating units by randomly picking dice from a bag also works as an added twist to regular "alternate activation".
Overall I personally wasn't too impressed with what I saw or heard, on the other hand I could not find anything that was a plain disaster either. It's simply a "game" game, meaning it's more concerned about having a set of rules to move around your WW2 miniatures than to provide an in depth WW2 experience/feeling. You could easily use these rules for any other alternative setting and you would probably not notice that it was a WW2 game in the beginning. This may sound harsh, and it is a game that fulfills its purpose. It's just nothing that really appeals to me as I would have liked something more advanced.
I want to give the game a try myself before I have a final opinion though. I realized I have some Armia Krajowa/1944 Warsaw Uprising Polish resistance fighters in 28mm left in my collection which I could pit against Johan's late war Germans.
If that happens I'll post another report and my final thoughts.
I will however give the Bolt Action series of rulebooks/army manuals one BIG thumbs up for actually taking the time and effort dividing troops, vehicles and equipment by front/campaign/year. Finally! If you pay for an armybook that covers most if not all units used by a nation it should come divided and not be a big mess - leaving it up to the consumer to figure out the historical aspects on his own. This may sound rather obvious but not every company does this - and instead leaves it up to the players to fumble in the dark about their OoB composition. This creates a low brow competitive atmosphere of min/maxing ahistorical army configurations to beat your opponent instead of playing with the proper equipment and take that as a historical challenge.
All the miniatures and terrain in these pictures belong to Johan. I really liked the 4Ground buildings, they look a lot better IRL than I could have imagined, especially the "ruins" since they have a lot of tiny bits and pieces littering the interiors and in general look very good. The only downside is that the edges of the buildings show the joints of the laser cut pieces. These could easily be masked by painting them with grey paint to make it look like regular corner stone’s instead.