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The best miniature WW2 game gets a brand new edition

A new edition of Bolt Action, the go-to tabletop wargame for intense battles between the Axis and Allies, is coming later this year.

A wrecked tank burns, while an infantryman hiding behind a stone wall aims a bazooka

Warlord Games’ flagship WW2 game Bolt Action will receive a “revised and updated third edition” later this year. The firm announced the new edition of its “best-selling” miniature wargame on Wednesday, promising a “big step” towards game rules so seamless that players hardly have to think about them at all.

For those unfamiliar with this particular WW2 game, Bolt Action is a miniature wargame that uses 28mm scale figures to recreate the many different eras and theatres of the conflict, from the beaches of Normandy to the jungles of the Pacific. Players can build armies ranging from “standard rifle platoons to heavily armoured tank forces, fast-moving reconnaissance patrols, and even artillery units”.

Bolt Action - Soviet forces advanced through the runs of a rural settlement in winter

Whether your interest in World War Two comes from studying history, watching films like Saving Private Ryan or Fury, or playing Call of Duty, you’ll find something in Bolt Action – and Warlord Games’ model kits – that you recognise.

The Bolt Action rules are written by Alessio Cavatore, a former Games Workshop designer. The way the game handles turns is worth noting. Instead of activating their whole force one at a time, or alternately activating models, the order that players get to activate units is randomised by drawing colored dice from a bag. It means you’re never certain when you’ll next get to activate a unit, reflecting the chaotic fog of war.

Bolt Action - a soviet tank colum is blocked by a passing truck convoy

So far there are no specific details about how the game will change. Warlord Games promises “refined and updated rules and starter army lists to get new players straight into the action”, plus “new tactical depth in the detailed force composition mechanics and a wide variety of fresh challenges in the scenario generation system” to entertain returning players.

The press release states that review copies should be available in July or August, suggesting a release date late this summer. If you want to understand a bit more about how the current edition of Bolt Action players, YouTubers MiniWarGaming have a great introductory video, embedded below:

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2024 is looking like a great year for fans of WW2 gaming. We’ve already had lots of fun in our Classified ‘44 review – think “XCOM in WW2” – and Warlord Games has released a dedicated tank battling wargame called Achtung! Panzer that editor Alex Evans is testing. If you’d prefer a hit of WW2 gaming that’s a little more self-contained, check out our guide to WW2 board games.