Well.. I'm definitely glad that I got to try the demo with an experienced player as my thoughts on several things have changed since the game. Previously, I had played with people that were relatively new to Blitz so they didn't know the ins/outs of the proper game let alone my house rules so it was nice to play against someone who knew what the proper game plays like. That said, some things ended up surprising me to say the least.
The big thing that I noticed is that the game played more statically than I expected. Part of it was due to my choice of demo armies that both included a Fire Support fire team whose job it is to just stay put waaaay back and fire but I don't think that was the only contributor to the camping we both did. Another was the rolls and choice of offensive objectives dependent on killing the enemy (which encourage taking shots over positioning) as well as a small 3x4 map that is known as a killing field apparently in playtesting circles. Finally, my opponent made an interesting observation in that my smaller combat groups tended to weed out the chaff that usually ends up running up and providing flanking shots to the upgraded gun models. Without them, the gunners tended to just hand back and shoot instead. This was also true of my upgrading the CGLs in half the fireteams to effectively gunners instead of commanders (both I and my opponent prefer to run lean CGLs in Blitz which wasn't the case here in Flash!).
I'm really not sure what to do with this frankly. I *want* to be able to play with smaller squads that still feel like the bigger ones but the only things I can see to change are to get rid of the veteran slot granting yet another option you wouldn't otherwise get. A second choice would be to give players the option of adding back in those remaining two gears that are "missing" from the squad as the second part of the fireteam before allowing a second CGL led fire team to be taken. Basically, you'd get the fireteam as is right now but wouldn't be able to take another until you took that second group of two models cut from the squad. It would effectively be a complicated version of the blitz subcombat group rule in the Field Manual.
On the game rules side (as opposed to army construction as detailed above), two changes I made had unintended side effects when combined. The removal of a bonus to shooting at models out in the open combined with an increase overall in range bonuses meant that both I and my opponent measured out some risky top speed moves that positioned us better for the next turn but ended up just staying put and taking combat or stationary shots in cover instead because there was no relative reward. Zooming up at top speed for a better next turn position that grants you an in the open shot at optimal that counteracts the top speed firing penalty does encourage more movement from that safe suboptimal range at combat/stationary speed shot. I'll likely be rolling back those changes in the blog and see how it goes instead.
One benefit to camping was that we gave the new cover/concealment and lock rules a fairly thorough go. Despite the really wacky rolls (like my Blitz Jaeger failing his 2+ active lock check two turns in a row with 1's), it did seem to work with one caveat. Some across the entire board active locks from one camping corner to another with unoptimized gears (like a simple Jaeger) made me think that the active lock check system doesn't account for cover enough. I don't want to complicate it much more (especially not with measurements) but it does need to account for active locking a target model behind a house versus a target model behind a house, a hill, and a ruined building. I think that I'll modify the rules to instead say that the TN of an active lock check is 4 +1 per piece of terrain crossed after the first (as opposed to just the flat TN4).
As always, feel free to comment about the above.