Colour of the Gods posts video review of Warhammer 40k 3rd edition

By Polar_Bear
In 40K
Oct 7th, 2013

Colour of the Gods has been taking a nostalgic romp through old versions of the 40k rulebook and have posted up their video for the 3rd edition of the rules.

Small editorial: I personally started the game in 2nd edition (Orks) and almost never won a game. I once lost a game during deployment.
Then 3rd came out and personally, it’s my favorite version of 40k that’s ever come out. Note: I’m not saying it was a perfect game by any stretch, but of the versions I’ve played, I found it to be the best to play. No, it didn’t have all the “funniness” of 2nd edition, but hey… I won most of my games in 3rd.
Feel free to discuss your favorite version of the game below.


From the video:

My third video in my ongoing series of reviews on the Warhammer 40,000 main rule books.
This is where I started wargaming.
In third edition, the rules, feel and layout of the game very much “plateaus” and makes the final transition into what we can now identify with as “modern” WH 40K.
Innocence is lost, and the monster that we know today is birthed at last from that colourful, primordial soup known as the 90s.

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  • 4tonmantis

    I don’t know that I was playing right.. because well.. I really don’t know… but with the 3rd edition sweeping advance I had Kharn assault and kill most of my opponent’s army while my berserkers chased around Land Speeders..

  • zeno

    The edition that ruined the game. Really dumbing it down. Removing the Movement stat was a crime.
    Some things went from better to worse from this edition, but the game was/is still poor.

  • The Beast Rampant


  • Haibane


    Removing ability to run, overwatch & hide really cut down on a player’s options in the game. Severe limitations to basic weapons’ ability to fire on the move encouraged battles which were too static.

    It’s taken another three editions to get back to where we were in 2nd.

  • You see, I liked it in part because it was no longer HeroHammer. I don’t know how many times I would look across the board and see a Swooping Hawk Exarch with Bright Lance, Fast Shot, Crack Shot and Displacer Field. Turn 1: Fly High. Turn 2: Land and blow away my general without really any chance to have done anything at all with him.

    Now, as I mentioned, there were certainly things I greatly enjoyed about 2nd edition. It was a race: Could you blow up my army before I blew up my army. I bet I would win.

    But that’s part of it… my army was mostly a joke. Only rarely did I win (like the one game against an all Wolf Guard army in Terminator Armor when my Shokk Attack gun hit directly on top of the 6 of them (which was 2000 points worth) and a whole unit of Snotlings went all Ridley Scott on them) and as I mentioned, I once lost in deployment (virus outbreak). 3rd edition, though, I felt the game became a very playable game where I could win games now with my army (even against the much-beloved Space Marines).

    There are things I certainly liked about both 2nd and 3rd edition and trust me, if I could find a group that played using either of those rules sets, I might get my Orks back out of deep storage (where they’ve been for the last decade) and play again.

    • odinsgrandson

      Now that’s the problem with 2nd ed Eldar players- they were so overpowered that they never really learned to take advantage of all of their cool options.

      That swooping hawk exarch really should have had blind grenades and a pair of vortex grenades. After wiping out your best tank/general/large creature, he could then be completely out of sight then do it again the next turn.

      On a similar note, I don’t understand why I never saw a Howling Banshee Exarch riding a Jetbike (as it made her immune to enemy charges, but allowed her to charge huge distances- and she could take pretty much anything on the charge).

      Now, I find it impressive that you only once lost during deployment- my opponent seemed to draw virus outbreak 50% of the time when I played Imperial Guard.

      (On a side note, I felt that winning with my Imperial Guard was like winning Bloodbowl with a halflings team- mostly because no one else I knew could do it).

      So I started in 2nd, and I picked up 3rd for a little while and I had some trouble with it, but do believe it made mostly a change for the better, but I didn’t like that it seemed to lack the variety and character that 2nd had.

      For me, early 4th was the best. Mostly because at least for a little while there, they were making rules to really play custom forces. It mattered what Chaos Space Marine or Space Marine chapter you were playing, and Imperial Guard could do loads of different things.

      It wasn’t all that well balance then, and isn’t now either (ok, better than 2nd). But that’s the edition that I liked best.

    • 4tonmantis

      2nd edition was a shining moment for Orks.

      • It certainly was a fun time, even though I lost. Making an army was fun with all the prerequisites. “One Bad Doc + One Bad Moons Squad = One Dreadnaught” and so forth. Also, it was just fun and flavorful. Loved my Shokk Attack Gun, Zzap Gun, Pulsa-Rokkits, Lifta-droppas and so forth.

  • Haibane

    Sure, but then they could just as easily kept the same core rules for 3rd edition and toned down the super characters.

  • Marauder

    Have to say 3rd was the edition I played the most.

    I got into 2nd right at the tail end, and if I hadn’t been playing my cheese-ridden ‘nids for the most of it, I never would have won many battles. 2nd was won by very silly combos of wargear or just stupidly powerful things. I was glad to see it go.

    3rd simplified a lot of things, and got rid of huge amounts of cheese wargear – but then of course had its own brand of cheese added back in. It also, in general, allowed for larger games to be played. Had a lot of fun with it back in the day.


  • cybogoblin

    I remember being so excited when this came out. I snuck out of school and headed into the GW store in town to pick up 3rd Ed. I managed to get back to school before my next class, though had to hide the box so I didn’t get found out before I could take it home.

    I also remember being rather disappointed at how poorly the Land Speeder went together, and the Dark Eldar hairstyle that looked like it had been inspired by Jem and the Holograms. Yikes.

  • Bartek

    I think 40k 3rd 40k is the best (playable) incarnation, it’s Epic counterpart Epic 40K is also the most playable version in my opinion.
    At that time Andy Chambers really knew what it took to make a fun, engaging game. The entire design studio was really on top of their game.

    Never quite understand why the majority (or most vocal?) find more complex (boggy) versions so compelling.

    3rd is dead cheap on Ebay, if you have a gaming group willing to give it a go it is an affordable and accessible option to the world of 40k.