40k Flashback! 2001: A Chapter Approved Odyssey



Come along on a trip in the cat-tub time machine! Today, we’re going deep, in the annals of history to bring you another 40k Flashback!

The Chapter Approved book was a very interesting book because it was sorta the foundation that cemented the bridge between 2nd and 3rd edition which was a much bigger game and the rules needed a tweak.

Games Workshop was very responsive back then with the game as there was 3.5, 4th edition, and vehicle trial rules, which all went away when 5th edition came out. It sorta seems like we’re seeing this all happening again with the new FAQ’s and people whispering that we may see a 7.5 edition or 8th edition in the near future. I think we can all agree today’s game is clunky and needs some tidying up.


Chapter Approved was collected by Andy Chambers; this is the second book of the Astronomicom. A lot of the rules, FAQ’s, and letters to the editor where wrapped up in this book. It shows the dedication of the team to keep track of everything.


You’ll notice the Sisters of Battle and the Necrons,

071016-ChapterApproved-193 071016-ChapterApproved-192



And yes, Sisters have always been the red headed step-child of GW, it’s not new lol.

Death Company, which was really rough and competitive list, and an IG Armored Company which let you bring a lot of armor with a lot of Strength 10 and that was boogey man back then; you weren’t playing around if you brought that list; Jervis Johnson wrote this and it still gives me nightmares.


They also had a bit in here about the Crux Terminates. In the transition between 2nd and 3rd a lot of people stopped taking Terminators because they weren’t very durable so they needed to added in a 5++ save which they did via the Crux Terminatus and this book (collected from a White Dwarf). There’s a lot of different things in here like smoke grenades which actually provided line of sight blocking.

I really like this color page which showed us all the books there were in print and I really like the little ad for nostalgic reasons.


They had plenty of rules clarifications for lots of models like the Land Raider.


They also came out with a bunch of Dark Eldar upgrades for them because the rules team realized they weren’t punching at their weight.



Even the graphics, like this one for the last chancers, had rules!



Here’s Ancient Helevectis that you could get with the Skulls program and he was pretty cool.



Chaplain Cassius and Captain Invictus was also in here and had some neat rules.



For even more, some cat-shenanigans and a siri-apperance, check out of the video!

2001 a Chapter Approved Odyssey – 40k Flashback RETRO


  • euansmith

    2001… bah, that were but yesteryear come next Michaelmas Thursday! I remember when this were all Rogue Trader %D Roll Tables as far as the eye could see!

  • Randy Randalman

    I love when the same people who reminisce about Chapter Approved complained about having to carry the extra book of rules around back then.

    They now complain when they have to spend $4 to get extra rules from a White Dwarf, but then talk about how White Dwarf used to be so awesome because it came with extra rules…

    RT through second edition was a laughably bad time for 40k. 3rd and 4th it became a real game. 5th was an absolute abomination of nothing but Rhinos and melta guns, and only now does it finally have a bright heading on the way.

    • zeno666

      Yeah 2nd edition had some really horrible rules, but some actually made the armies feel more different.
      The removal of the Movement-stat was a horrible decision IMO.
      Terminators walking 4″ made them feel like terminators and Howling Banshees walking 7″ made them feel like the kind of assault troop they are.
      And making running and such random… Yesh.
      All just poor and lazy design.

      • Djbz

        Yeah, I didn’t start until 3rd edition and I’d have to agree that removing the movement stat was one of the worst decisions GW has ever made 40k wise.
        Especially as they then add multiple rules to simulate something that could have been done with just the movement stat (Jump, Beast and Cavalry unit types/Dunestrider/Fleet/ etc)

        • zeno666

          Indeed, lots of workarounds with randomness involved. Its just a mess.

      • Boltstein

        I find it strange to find all these “2nd edition was a clunky mess” posts. I starkly remember reading forums during 4th edition and many agreed that it was a golden era for 40k. I guess everyone looks at this hobby with rose colored glasses.

        I got into the hobby right as the 3rd edition box set hit (dark eldar/space marines). 4th edition definitely made things better and had some of the best codex’s in my opinion. 5th edition pushed me out of the hobby for 2 solid years. It seems like things have steadily improved since then. I think malestrom mission are some of the best games of 40k I’ve played.

        • ZeeLobby

          Wow, you’re “steadily improved” is “thrown down the toiled” for me. I think 2nd-5th were all pretty solid. 6th/7th introduced fliers, battle brothers, formations, detachments, decurians, random movement, true line of sight, GMCs, SHs, points for free, bonuses at no cost, etc. All things that made the core game a confusing mess.

          I do agree that maelstrom is the greatest balancing factor in 40K right now, but balancing through randomization is never good game design.

          • Boltstein

            Don’t get me wrong, I loved 3rd and 4th edition. I just think 5th was an all time low for the game. It had the worst rules for close combat gw has ever written. It was also the downfall of many army’s that we are still stuck with (Tyrands and Chaos come to mind. Even Tau was a bottom feeder army at that time). I think a big appeal of Horus Heresy is the supplements make the game play more like 3rd/4th edition 40k.

            Some of the things you mentioned about 6th/7th I do no like, but I have played plenty of games over the past few years without detachments, fliers, battle brothers, free transports, ect…. Depends on how you and your friends want to play the game I guess.

          • LEGION3000

            I agree with everything you said. GWs only way to “balance” is by making things random because if it sucks for you, well then it sucks for everybody equally. And they don’t have to actually fix anything.

        • Loki Nahat

          agreed, 2nd was the best.

      • ZeeLobby

        Totally agree, random movement is just horrible.

    • LEGION3000

      Clearly you are joking. 5th edition had the MOST cohesive and updated rules the game has ever known. Very few contradictions, and a relatively small FAQ. It also had the most up to date codexes in that all major codexes were brought up to 5th edition.Something that had never been before. The entire game was playable in pocket edition. 7th is an unholy mess of rulebooks, data sheets, contradictory codexes, objective cards, Insane unbalance, terrible FAQs, whole rulebooks that get ignored, and a wanton proliferation of rerolls. The game played better when there was literally HALF the rules there are now.

  • OolonColluphid

    Just like than, Terminators are hardly used now in 40k.

    • Bryan Ruhe

      From early comments I’ve seen on the new Deathwatch Codex, I think we may see some pretty powerful DW Termies on the tabletop now. Interesting indeed.

  • JayBiga

    I would just like to point out that the Forge World Baneblade you see in one the pics, is mine. I built and painted that in 1999 I think.

    • CatachanCommissar

      That’s cool, I have that chapter approved and was just looking though it. You’re a part of history!

      • JayBiga

        Haha, I feel old enough!
        That same tank is also in the original Imperial Armour book. Back then I worked for GW and I was close with the guys that ran FW. They liked what I did with the model, so they asked to take pics of it. Who’d say no to that?
        Hardly possible to see, but I did some extra detailing, like adding padlocks to the stowage bin on the turret, and other stuff.

        • LEGION3000

          Remember when GW books and magazines printed pictures of people’s models and conversions that DIDN’T come from their own box covers. Even the 4th ed BRB had non GW paint schemes in it.

  • Bryan Ruhe

    Hey, Rob! It’s “The Book of the Astronomican,” not “Astronomicom!”