Bolt Action: Third Edition Rulebook

Bolt Action: Third Edition is coming! In partnership with our good friends at Osprey Games, we’re delighted to present this awesome update to our flagship World War II wargame. With a passionate, dedicated community of wargamers and nearly 16 years of existence, it’s time for Bolt Action to keep moving forward with the lessons learned from thousands upon thousands of games, and of course all of your feedback!

Written by renowned games designer (and veteran of previous editions) Alessio Cavatore, Bolt Action: Third Edition features a whole host of revised and updated rules to provide the most enjoyable games possible, while maintaining the essential ‘spirit’ of Bolt Action that we all know and love – here’s what Alessio has to say about it:

“Working on this new edition of Bolt Action has been a treat, but also a challenge. I saw my mission as trying to make my favourite game an even better experience for the players. For me, there’s always one goal in mind – continuing my quest for a truly ‘seamless’ set of wargame rules – in other words, the Holy Grail of a rules system where the players are always thinking about their next moves on the table, and not about the rules of the game! I think Bolt Action: Third Edition is definitely a big step in that direction, and I’m sure you’ll agree with me!” 

So, what can you expect from Bolt Action: Third Edition, and from Warlord Games over the coming months? Well, first off, the game will be out in late September of this year – definitely a month to circle in your calendars! Bolt Action veterans can expect to find a game that’s very recognisably the one they know and love, with many core mechanics intact, but one that’s been refined, updated, and tuned to provide even smoother gameplay, while new players will be welcomed to a system that’s easy to pick up and learn. A brand-new, completely reworked army list selection system provides fantastic new opportunities for fielding truly unique forces, while the new scenario generator brings fun, challenging new missions to the tabletop.

We’ll soon begin showing off all the new features in earnest and taking pre-orders! We know you’ll have questions, of course, and we’ve prepared a few bits of info that we’re certain you’ll want to know right away:

Can I still use my current models and armies?
Absolutely! We put a lot of work into ensuring that the majority of Second Edition armies fit into the new force selection system with minimal additions. You’ll likely find, however, that you’ll want to invest in some units that you might not have considered in the current edition, as there have been widespread changes to points costs and individual unit rules!

What about my rulebooks?
The Bolt Action: Third Edition rulebook will immediately supersede the Bolt Action: Second Edition rulebook, and all existing Armies of… books. Contained within the main rulebook will be five ‘starter’ army lists allowing you to construct forces for Great Britain, the USA, the USSR, Germany, and Imperial Japan, while other nations will have similar lists available as PDF downloads. These will allow you to start playing right away, and will be familiar to Second Edition players, but each will be replaced by a regular, ongoing series of releases of Third Edition Armies of… books.

Campaign and Theatre books will remain valid, as the background and scenarios are still very much relevant, but the vast majority of the units contained therein will be updated and addressed in the new Armies of… books. We’ve taken the opportunity of Bolt Action: Third Edition to completely overhaul unit profiles, special rules, and points from across the dozens of sources from the first two editions, and collate them, making it easier than ever for players to field their chosen armies.

Do I need any different dice, tokens, or templates?
Nope! Bolt Action: Third Edition still uses all the Bolt Action staples we know and love – d6, Pin markers, our multi-function templates, and of course the iconic Order Dice activation system – it wouldn’t be Bolt Action without it, after all!

Will there be any further books or FAQs released for Second Edition?
At this stage, it’s all hands on deck for Bolt Action: Third Edition, so there are no more Second Edition book releases planned. Similarly, the FAQ currently available on the website is the final one for that edition – however, if you have any rules questions regarding Second Edition, you can always continue to email them to and we’ll answer them on an as-needed basis. Please note, our award-winning Customer Service team won’t be able to give you any more information about Third Edition at the moment – it’s strictly Top Secret!

Is there anything else I should know right now?
Just that the best way to get all of your Warlord Games news (including Bolt Action updates which will start in earnest in July) is to sign up to our twice-weekly newsletter, if you haven’t already!

You can also follow us on your favourite social media platforms:

We’ll leave the last word to Warlord Games founder and CEO, John Stallard:

“We’re all incredibly proud of this new edition of Bolt Action. It’s amazing to see how far the game and community have come, and it really makes all the hard work that goes into it worthwhile. We absolutely love Bolt Action: Third Edition, and we’re sure that you will too. To the Bolt Action veterans – thank you for your continued support and dedication. To the people just joining us in time for Third Edition – welcome to the Warlord Games family! Ours is the greatest hobby there is, and it’s an honour and a pleasure to share it with you all!”

You May Also Like