Bolt Action, Scenarios & Additional Rules

Bolt Action Scenario: Watch out! Ambush!

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Warlorder apprentice JoshB has dived right into Bolt Action & brings forth a different style of scenario he’s been playing for you guys to try out!


Many engagements during war have started with brutal ambushes, with the Zip Crack of shots out of no where or a barrage of firepower being delivered down on a singular point, in the end, the ambush will always end in a grim result. This made every solider stay on their toes, experienced or not. I wanted to represent that with a scenario I designed, where, as it did many times during war, went wrong and both sides found themselves in a brutal firefight.

Any additional rules found in this scenario do not count as official rules, just merely experimentation with something I hope you’ll have a good time trying out on your own battlefields. JoshB


Defenders in this scenario are preparing an ambush for an invading force. They can use a standard reinforced platoon or a theatre selector but cannot choose a heavy/super heavy tank. Using the buildings/terrain as cover, completely concealing themselves from any form of reconnaissance, they lie in wait in the alleyways waiting for their enemy. Additionally their total must be no more than 750 points (or at least 25% less than the attackers).

The attackers can use the reinforced platoon or any theatre selector and must total 1000 points (or at last 25% more than the defenders).


The players decide amongst themselves who is the attacker and who is the defender (you could swap sides after the battle and play again to see who has the best tactics/luck). The table should be set up in a specific manner to represent a small town. You can adjust the battlefield as you see fit but just be prepared to adjust the rules accordingly so that the game runs smoothly.

The attackers set up 12″ from the board edge but must be 8″ away from any building that counts as apart of the town.

The defenders are obviously hidden and do not need to set up like normal.

The Terrain

Like the map above, I recommend a minimum of 8 buildings with a reasonable gap (6 inches ~ish) however you can decide with your opponent how many buildings you realistically want as it can depend on the point size of the game. For the rest of the map you can cover it however you desire, forests, hills, farmland, ruined grassland etc.


The overall objective is to ultimately take/keep control of the town, this is represented by the number of units within the town. Any unit, apart from transports with no combat capability (i.e no weapons or no one inside of the transport), within 3″ of a building counts as a scoring unit.

Game Duration

Keep a count of the numbers of turns elapsed. At the end of turn 5, roll a die, on a 1 or a 2 the game ends, on a 3+ the game proceeds for one more turn.


At the end of the game, tally up the number of units on both sides that are within 3″ of a building that counts as being a part of the town. Attacking units count as a single point, whilst defending units count as two points. The side with the most points wins, if it is a tie, then tally up total points of units killed and the side with the highest total wins.

Special Rules

The rule Urban Ambush is only for this scenario and is NOT an official rule, its simply something I’ve experimented with and it acts as follows:

  • All defenders start in the Urban Ambush stance, but once they have revealed themselves with an action, they cannot go back into it, even if they’ve destroyed their target.
  • Draw a simple map to represent the battlefield and note accordingly where each defending unit is and what each unit is.
  • When the defender reveals the Ambush (or if the Ambush is triggered by enemy proximity) they place the unit anywhere within the buildings or gaps between the buildings/terrain relevant to their position on the pre-game map (no cheating now…).
  • Once an enemy unit approaches to 6″ of a marked defenders position, the defending unit must trigger its ambush as a Fire Order.
  • The ambushed unit must end it’s movement no closer than 1″ away from the defending unit that initiated the Ambush.

Notes about Urban Ambush

  • The triggering can happen at any point in the movement of the enemy unit.
  • If the enemy unit ends up being 6″ of multiple defending units, all ambushes must be triggered simultaneously.
  • If it feels more appropriate to you, you can follow the same rules but have the defending units inside the buildings instead. But rather than the trigger zone to be 6″ away from the alleyway, have it so the trigger zone is the alleyway itself. To compensate, attackers can’t fire at buildings randomly as they don’t know if there are civilians inside of it.
  • Defenders shouldn’t use artillery (mainly guns with a minimal range) as their practicality in short range scenarios are very limited, but these can opt to start in the centre of town and act like a normal unit as per normal rules.
  • Any defending units that wish not to use the Urban Ambush set-up for whatever reason, must set-up first as the defending force, the enemy of course has knowledge of them.

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