Wow. Some really informative and helpful replies. Thanks.
-There is a downloadable 3rd edition rulebook on the AAWC site…it is under ‘Other options’ under downloads. You need Winzip to open it.
I downloaded that–thanks for the link–and it is the .PDF of the manual for the game. It explains the “Third Edition” rule changes, but isn’t what I’d consider an actual new edition of the rulebook.
If there never was a full rulebook that was included with any print runs of the board game, or available for download/purchase to owners of the board game, that makes it more understandable that the non-CD-ROM-based A&A crowd pretty much universally sticks to Second or Fourth Edition rules.
Also, it would take some creativity with the bits to bring the Marines and Destroyers from Iron Blitz over to the board game. If I were Hasbro, I would’ve prepared a “Third Edition/Iron Blitz Expansion Pack” to sell in stores with a shiny new rulebook, and pieces for the two new unit types, when Iron Blitz came out. But that would’ve required the project as a whole to have been much better-conceived than it actually was, I guess.
(For instance, how incompetent do you have to be to print way, way too few copies of even a poorly executed computer implementation like A&A: Iron Blitz, and never press any fresh CDs even when used copies turn up on eBay for $100-plus? Was there some reason they left money sitting on the table like that?)