Bolt Action, Gaming & Collecting, Getting Started

Interested in starting Bolt Action?

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If you’re interested or new to the world of Bolt Action and Historical gaming we’ve put together this bundle of essential resources especially for you!


Every day, we see more and more new players taking up Bolt Action – we receive messages from all across the globe – and we see posts on forums and Social Media sites from fresh recruits looking for advice on where to start…

Historical wargaming can be a daunting prospect for newcomers – which force should I collect? What do I need to get started? What colours should I paint my models? We’ve gathered together a bundle of essential resources which should help to break down some of the barriers, and help any new players with some of the basics!

The first place to look would be – a website which we specifically designed for newcomers to the game – this site breaks down all of the different stages in getting started with the game, and provides a concise starter guide!


Visit the Site!

Further Reading

To get more of a feel for the game, and for a more tactile demonstration of the core game mechanics, there are some fantastic resources online – we’d recommend taking a look at the following two…

First – The Bolt Action articles page of the Warlord Games website is your first port of call – from here, you can see the latest releases, and all of the latest articles – hobby and painting guides, historical articles, and much more…

BA Hub

Then – to give you more of an impression of the game mechanics, we’ve put together a Battle Report which walks you through the game:


Bolt Action Battle Report

And – our good friends over at Beasts of War have an excellent two-part video Battle Report with Alessio at the helm –


Initial Purchases

The options are near-endless, but the best place to start is of course the Bolt Action Rulebook, which contains all of the rules, a timeline of WWII events, sample Army Lists for the German, US, Soviet and British forces… and is packed with stunning photographs of our studio models, along with exceptional illustrations from renowned artist Peter Dennis.


View in Store

…of course, we have the Rulebook in digital form for those of you who are that way inclined!

If you’re keen to dive in, and want to start your collection with a BANG! – then you need to pick-up a copy of our ‘D-Day Firefight’ Starter Set

View in Store

However, if you’ve already decided upon which army you’d like to collect, we have created a series of specific Starter Sets – which cover all of the core units you’ll need to get started playing Bolt Action – along with a few extra deadly additions to add some extra firepower!

Alternatively, check out the Army Deals section – which is home to 500, 1000 and 2000pt Army Deals for all of the core forces represented in Bolt Action. We’ve carefully chosen the lists to ensure that all are competitive, and fun to play – the deals have been put-together by the Warlord staff – a crack team of the most experienced Bolt Action players!

Which Army Should I Collect?

Every player has a different reason for collecting their army of choice… for some players, it’s because they want to recreate the actions of a specific historical unit, maybe they want to play out the events from a Hollywood war film…. some players maybe like a specific tank, and collect an army based around that… others perhaps have a relative who served in a specific unit, and want to recreate that upon the tabletop battlefield… or perhaps it’s a simple matter that they like a specific model, or a particular series of models…

So why not re-watch your favourite war film, look back through your family tree, or pore over a few documentaries to see what sparks your imagination?

On the Warlord Games website, there is an ever-expanding library of articles – from hobby guides, historical accounts, and battle reports… dive-in, take a look, and see if we can’t sway your decision!

We’ve also handily separated them by country, so that you can look at – for example –

– all of the articles on the British forces
– all of the articles on the Finnish forces
– all of the articles on the French forces
– all of the articles on the German forces
– all of the articles on the Italian forces
– all of the articles on the Japanese forces
– all of the articles on the Polish forces
– all of the articles on the Soviet forces
– all of the articles on the US forces

Adding Reinforcements

Once you’ve decided which force you’d like to collect, it’s time to call in the reinforcements – head over to the Warlord webstore and muster more manpower!

Keep a particular eye on the Deals section of the website… we regularly add new themed bundles and offers to coincide with the latest releases, offering great value – so if you’re looking to add a whole new chunk to your army, it’s the place to look!


In particular – we’ve put together the Bolt Action ‘Getting Started‘ Bundle – which has been specially created to provide new players with a full, competitive 1,000pt Army, their accompanying ‘Armies of…’ Sourcebook, and a set of Order Dice – just add the Bolt Action Rulebook, and you’ve got everything you’ll need to begin playing!

Getting Started Bundle

Plus, there’s always our ‘Wheels of Steel’ deal – which is a fantastic deal for anyone looking to add some armoured reinforcements to their armour, or to get started in Tank War!


Wheels of Steel works for everyone – simply buy 3 or more Bolt Action vehicles (any vehicles!) and you will receive a 10% discount off of all three! The discount is automatically taken care of in your shopping cart so all you have to do is pick three or more vehicles.

With lots of people starting out in Bolt Action for the first time, we thought this is a good way to help people get started. It also works out pretty well for all of you building Armoured Platoons too.

This discount applies across all our vehicles both resin and plastic and is an affordable way to build mechanised armies for playing Tank War.
Should you already have your army book, and feel comfortable at writing your own army list, then make use of the fantastic build an army option, giving you a choice of units and topped off with a free tank!



View Deals

What Colours Should I Use to Paint my Models?

You may feel that one of the biggest barriers to historical wargaming is the paint schemes… specific forces would wear very specific camouflage patterns, and/or uniforms of very specific colours…

However – there is a wealth of reference material online, and it should always be remembered that uniforms would be dirtied quickly, colours would fade with time, and uniforms would often be made in a number of different factories, so variation was commonplace…


Painting Guides

That being said – we have created a number of Painting Guides (with more on the way!) which should help new players to get started!


View in Store

Again – if you take a look through the Bolt Action articles, we often feature articles showing suggested paint schemes for some more specific or obscure schemes.

How to Paint

Starter Paint Sets

We’ve also put-together Paint Sets – which contain all of the key colours required to recreate the uniforms of all of the major forces represented in Bolt Action

Model Colour

View Paint Sets

The Bolt Action Community

If you’re looking to chat with fellow Bolt Action hobbyists, if you have hobby questions – be it about modelling and painting, rules questions, or historical queries – the Warlord Games forums are packed with enthusiastic, knowledgeable fellow hobbyists – so it’s well worth a look…

If you’re starting out, and you’re looking for opponents and fellow Bolt Action hobbyists in the local area, we’ve set up the Bolt Action Opponent Finder subforum – take a look, see if there’s anyone in your area, and post a quick thread to introduce yourself!


Find a Foe!

There’s also a fantastic Facebook Group – which provides a near-constant stream of photographs of Bolt Action hobby projects around the world… if you’re ever short of hobby inspiration, it’s a perpetual source of information and great photographs that are sure to replenish your modelling mojo!

Updates, Erratas, and Additional Rules Packs

Alongside the Army Lists, Scenarios, and Theatre Selectors which we publish in the Rulebook, ‘Armies of..’ books, and Theatre Books, we also regularly publish additional rules online – if we hear the community make a specific interesting request for new units or scenarios for Bolt Action, we are always keen to put writer Alessio Cavatore to work…

BA-additional-units-coverKeep watching the ‘Official Updates and FAQs‘ section of the website to ensure you’re up-to-date with the latest updates!


We can sum up the introduction to Bolt Action with the games designer Rick Priestley, Welcome to Bolt Action & see you soon:


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