Their distinctive attributes are a high BTS of 6, a BS of 13, and a combination of Veteran L1 and Bioimmunity, and a contained cost.
This combination of attributes is less focused and harder to wield than the rest of PanOceania's Medium Infantry, who come equipped with a selection of Multispectral Visors, AD capabilities, and/or Mimetism, but can still find niche applications.
With BS13, the Bolts are able to engage basic troops reliably. Against things with Mimetism/Camouflage that are in cover, Bolts are going to hit 50% of their Combi Rifle shots (before factoring in FtF rolls) while in good range with their weapons. However, they are held back by their low MOV. This tends to be a problem due to most of their weapons being closer range. With the PanOceanian standard WIP 12 and only two specialist profiles, this makes them limited in choosing said profiles.
Outside of this, they do have some interesting features in their loadouts. Examining the basic Combi+Light Shotgun that carries a Drop Bear, Bolts can be used to move up the field and lock down a point. The other loadout of interest in vanilla is the Board Shotgun with E/M grenades, and possibly its Hacker variant, to counter opposing HIs, TAG and link teams.
Sporting Bioimmunity, Bolts are able to go into unconscious from shock or viral ammunition instead of straight to dead. This said, they sport no other abilities in terms of survivablity such as Dogged or NWI so it does make Bioimmunity weaker on Bolts. Veteran L1 means they are able to ignore the effects of Isolation and retreat, while providing a regular order during retreat and loss of lieutenant. While it can give you the option to play your lieutenant more aggressively, keep in mind the rest of your list will still only generate irregular orders.
Outside of this, Bolts sport a standard ARM 2 on Medium Infantry while having high BTS compared to most options in Vanilla PanOceania and NCA, and the ability from Bioimmunity to make saves against Shock ammo using that high BTS. A Bolt in cover has an effective ARM 9 against Shock and things that damage BTS. In Firetime Core if playing NCA, they can deliver a whopping B2 +9 BS shot with their Light Shotguns in good range, making short work of revealed camo skirmishers and ODD by brute force. Hence in a link team they make a scary prospect to approach directly after the active turn of pushing up.
+As mentioned before, Bolts do have access to E/M grenades and Drop Bears on their profiles. Both of these options can give the Bolts the ability to play Board Control. Drop Bears are used more to lock down an objective while E/M grenades can be used to immobilize HIs or break up link teams.
+Bolts are best used in Link Team. While they have competition against the Fusiliers in NCA, they have a potential place in limited insertion lists. As mentioned before, they can still generate orders in loss of lieutenant.
+Against a Haqqislam player who is running Ghazis, Bolts are able to ignore their Jammers and E/Marats due to being able to ignore the effects of Isolation. While they might come up against their Chain Rifles, a Bolt can shoot them down or put them into V:Dogged before going down or dodge in general.
While Bioimmunity and Veteran L1 are definite roadblocks, Bolts still suffer the downsides of being MIs. If you have the first turn, they are definitely easier to outmaneuver and sit on the objective before they come in. Since they only have ARM 2 they still go down easily with concentrated fire, as long as they can't use their BTS against it. While having no NWI or dogged, Bolts have a high enough BTS to deal with Plasma or other weapons that target BTS. Keeping this in mind, Normal ammunition is often better in dealing with Bolts.
When building a list that includes Bolts, they are best used as an attack element that can help play board control afterwards. In vanilla, this amounts to taking either the Boarding Shotgun/E/M Grenade profile at 19 points or the Combi+Light Shotgun with Drop Bears at 25 points. While you take the two for either the grenades or Drop Bears, their primary weapons are good for deterring camo units or anyone else from getting too close to the middle of the board. In Vanilla PanOceania, their other profiles lose out to other units that include MSV or other special rules such as Mimetism. Hence Bolts are seldom seen in vanilla lists due to strong competition with other choices, especially Nisses.
Neoterran Capitaline Army Lists
When playing in NCA, the Bolts shine more, although they do have strong competition from the cheaper Fusilier link team. With this in mind, they run better in a limited insertion, where their orders matter more. With Veteran Level 1, if put into loss of lieutenant a full link team of Bolts can provide 5 regular orders and keep the link team intact to act with impunity as the player sees fit. With regards to the composition of the Bolt Fire Team, you can include either two SWC weapons or one. Two of course means you are putting 3 SWC into one basket, which may not appeal to some players. The main weapon to include in the link team is the Spitfire, considering that the Bolts want to be more of a close-range attacker. A hacker in the link team is good for having a specialist, but also gives access to AP shotgun ammo and E/M grenades to inflict the immobilized/isolated state on vulnerable targets.
Due to their slow speed, Bolts want to deploy up close as possible. The trick is finding a position with total cover that can cover their approach. As well, you want to have your Bolt be able to make the dash towards the objective to lay down a few Drop Bears or set up in position to throw some E/M grenades depending on loadout. Ideally, they should only spend 2-3 orders in order to get up towards the middle without having to deal with AROs; the second order of which is to get close to the objective to lock it down.
When running the Link team in NCA, you want to ideally have the Spitfire up front in order to start going on the offensive. Close up to the front is either your Drop Bear/E/M Grenade Bolts/Specialists with the back being your long-range ARO weapon if taken.
Active Turn Role
As stated before, their place in the active turn is throwing up Drop Bears to hold off a point or break up link teams via E/M Grenades. The latter is also good in locking down hackers or HIs in immobilized-1 to be able to pick them apart while they need to reset in order to do anything. This does change if they are in link team in NCA, in which focuses more on being an aggressive link team. During the active turn, the Spitfire should be on point to start hitting the opponent at medium range. Near the end of your turn, have your other troopers with combi-rifles and light shotguns to take position around the objective and holding it down.
Once moving up the board to either throw down Drop Bears or put some of the opponent's models in the isolated state, he does have the option to go into suppression with the combi-rifle or hold down a lane in close range with the boarding shotgun. While it may not take down any large targets, it can deter most specialists from trying to get close to the objective. Bolts of course can throw their Drop Bears and E/M grenades in ARO, which can lead to some interesting results if your model does live.
Playing NCA and if the Bolts are in a link team, their combo of Combi-rifle and light shotgun is good for Camo tokens attempting to get close to your link team (also the bonuses in link team as mentioned before). Once they get into the 8-inch range, usually there modifiers are going to be negated. Due to a lack of a FO profile, they do lose out on the ability to flash pulse to potentially stop their active turn model from attacking that turn.