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=][= Rules of the NRBA =][=


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#1
Brother Tyler

Brother Tyler

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As normal, the rules of the Bolter & Chainsword apply within the News, Rumors, and Board Announcements (NRBA) forum. In addition, the following rules apply within this forum (and generally apply to similar "news," "rumor," and "announcement" type discussions elsewhere within the B&C):

RELEVANT CONTENT

All content posted in this forum, whether products, theoretical discussions, services, images, or otherwise, must be relevant to the basic subject matter of the Bolter & Chainsword - the Warhammer 40,000 hobby. Essentially, anything that applies to the games and lore set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe (which includes back through the Great Crusade and Horus Heresy) or to the general tabletop wargaming hobby is fair game. We don't discuss the Warhammer Fantasy Battles (Old World/Age of Sigmar) setting, the Lord of the Rings setting, or other non-WH40K settings supported at any time by Games Workshop/Citadel Miniatures (e.g., Rogue Trooper, Stormbringer, etc.) or other companies and other Intellectual Properties.

Some leeway might be allowed for miniatures/models that might be used in the Warhammer 40,000 setting (e.g., converting an AoS model for use in WH40K). Judgment is required in this and it may be determined that discussion of such products is more appropriate in another forum .

A subset of this guidance, and one that is already covered in the basic forum rules but which requires emphasis in this forum, is staying on topic. Far too often, discussions stray wildly off topic as members begin to discuss issues that are only tangentially related to the subject at hand. This becomes distracting and far too often becomes disruptive. It's far better to create a new discussion in a different forum to discuss those tangential issues. This leaves the discussions in this forum freedom to focus on the actual news, rumor, or announcement.

In addition to discussing an upcoming/newly-released product here in NRBA, it's perfectly acceptable to also have parallel discussions in other relevant forums. For example, an upcoming Black Library novel featuring the Alpha Legion during the Horus Heresy might have similar discussions in NRBA, the Alpha Legion sub-forum, the Age of Darkness forum and the Black Library forum. That was a deliberately broad example to demonstrate how a single product might be relevant in multiple forums. Ideally, each such discussion will have a slightly different focus - the discussion in NRBA should be focused on news about the product's release; the discussion in the Alpha Legion sub-forum should be focused on the portrayal of the Alpha Legion and how it meshes with the body of lore; the discussion in the Age of Darkness forum should focus on how the story works within the larger Horus Heresy storyline and body of lore; and the discussion in the Black Library forum should focus on the literary qualities of the novel. In reality, there will be a lot of overlap in such parallel discussions.

Content that is off topic or isn't relevant to the WH40K setting and which is not directly related to the discussion will be edited or removed by the staff.

LIMITED PRODUCTS PER DISCUSSION

As a general rule, discussions about products should be limited to one product per discussion. The purpose of this limitation is three-fold:
  • Makes it easy for members to find a discussion about a product (the product name should be part of the topic title).
  • Keeps the discussion focused, making it easy to know what anyone is (or should be) discussing.
  • When the product is released the discussion can be closed or moved into another forum without hindering discussion about some other product that hasn't been released yet.
Multiple products that are announced together and which are closely related (e.g., the initial announcement of the bladeguard veterans and bladeguard captain) might share a discussion. Be forward-thinking before creating a single topic for multiple products, however. In most cases, there is likely to be more in-depth subsequent information and discussion on each product. For example, multiple codex supplements might be announced together, but we know that there are likely to be separate rules previews for each. In cases like this, it's better to create a separate discussion for each individual product.

RE-POSTS FROM EXTERNAL SITES

When reposting content that originated at an external site (e.g., Warhammer Community), in most cases the original article shouldn't appear in its entirety. Instead, a brief summary or introduction should be posted along with a link to the original site. The brief summary/introduction should be sufficient to provide a decent understanding of the original content and (hopefully) create interest, while the link ensures that the original site remains the main provider of the content. We don't want other sites poaching our content, nor do we want to poach content from other sites.

The primary exception to this is if you own the external site or are the creator of the content. In those cases, the content may be posted in full (if you choose).

Re-posts from external sites shouldn't simply be a link to the external site. There should be sufficient information to provide hobbyists with a basic idea of where the link leads and the content it will provide, preventing clickbait tactics and unethical monetization by click.

CONTENTIOUS ISSUES

The B&C is a haven for members to better understand and enjoy the hobby away from political/religious discussion. 
 
When posting or replying to news about an issue that is likely to be contentious, especially if it has significant political/religious implications, posts should remain neutral and non-partisan, otherwise expect such topics to be edited, closed, or removed to prevent political/religious replies and the divisiveness that such discussion inevitably creates.

MOVEMENT/CLOSURE OF TOPICS & CONTENT REMOVAL

Topics in NRBA will typically be locked once a product is released. If there is a discussion in the relevant (sub-)faction forum, the closure may include a link to that topic. If there isn't an existing discussion in the relevant (sub-)faction forum, the NRBA discussion may instead be moved into the relevant (sub-)faction forum, depending on the length and content of the NRBA topic (this will generally happen if the discussion was short and productive, without significant problems).

Posts/content that are not directly relevant to the news/rumor/announcement may be removed by the staff. This may include editing of posts to remove inappropriate/off topic content.
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#2
Brother Tyler

Brother Tyler

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The above is codification of the rules for this forum. For the most part, they describe our approach to the forum for the last several years. There are several aspects of these rules that have developed more recently as we've tried to keep pace with trends in the hobby and social media. For example, Games Workshop's infamous "You Will Not Be Missed" social media post, some of their subsequent actions, and hobbyists' reactions to those events prompted us to consider how we might allow such lightning rod events to be covered here (hopefully we've found an acceptable balance between keeping the community informed and avoiding political divisiveness). Many of the elements of the rules have been discussed in the past via suggestions from the community, notably:There were other suggestions that are relevant, but which weren't significant to include in the list above (e.g., one to require images to be included in rumors topics).

In developing and codifying this guidance, we've considered the appeals on either end of the spectrum. On one end is a strict news-only method where the only posts are updates about products/services/concepts. On the other end is free-form discussion with much less control than is exercised elsewhere on the B&C. Proponents of each of those views represent sometimes vocal minorities. The NRBA forum is the most-viewed forum on the B&C, however. There is a core of members that are highly active therein, and they are joined by many other members that post to discussions in a very limited manner. The majority of viewers, however, participate very little or not at all in the discussions, benefiting simply by reading the discussions. It's difficult to gauge an exact consensus of what everyone would like to see, so we've drawn towards the middle. The concepts draw upon our basic concepts of the information architecture/content management applied here at the B&C, though they give a little room for slightly less rigidity than elsewhere. I'm preparing an article to explain those information architecture/content management concepts in a bit more detail (and because I'm a visual person, the article will include graphics and other eye-candy).

Overall, it's important to understand that certain elements of these rules are more descriptive than prescriptive, allowing for a level of judgment to be used by both the members as well as the staff. The basic intent should be clear, though we've allowed for a little bit of fuzziness where a hard line would normally be. If you're unsure of whether or not something you're considering will be allowed, feel free to contact the mods/admins via PM.

We know that these rules won't make everyone happy, especially those that would prefer one of the more extreme options. There are basic counters for the extremes, however:
  • For those that push for more free-form discussions (less regulation), the inherent fault in the argument is that the B&C is not a medium for synchronous in-person discussion. The B&C has numerous capabilities that enable asynchronous discussion and participation in multiple discussions "simultaneously" with the ability to link between them. It takes only a modicum of time and effort to utilize these capabilities properly in order to enable the finding of relevant information effectively and efficiently. It's not as easy as just posting whatever comes to mind in a discussion, but that practice only satisfies immediate and limited compulsions rather than long term (sometimes perpetual) information needs.
  • For those that push for very limited discussions (more regulation), the inherent fault in the argument is that human nature is important and developing information and feedback on products, services, and concepts has to be allowed.
As a quick primer and example of how we view issues, here's an edited* excerpt from a PM chain I had with one of the mods:
 

A side project of mine is articulating our information architecture, content management, and what is on/off topic. An example I'm using is a group of discussions in the Aeldari forums. That group started with Karandras possibly created Drazhar. A member drifted from that topic, so I split the drifting replies into a separate topic that explored the question of How are Phoenix Lords made? That prompted a line of thought for which I created a separate topic asking Are other types of Phoenix Lords possible? and then another discussing members' Thoughts on minor/additional aspects. If you review those topics, you'll see a few places where I cross-link within them (here, here, here, and here). Four of the greatest tools we have are the abilities to link, split, merge, and move topics/posts. Granted, it takes time and effort to do this, and it can get exhausting if we try to impose such changes on each and every post (human nature being what it is, it's natural for discussions to drift). Usually, however, "off topic" posts are still relevant to what we discuss; so I'd rather take the time to move topics to appropriate forums and split off topic posts into their own discussions.


Important: While the mods and admins can split, move, merge, and link posts, your plan shouldn't be to leave this level of effort to the staff. Each of you is fully capable of determining whether or not the idea you have is directly relevant to the discussion you are currently viewing and taking the appropriate action. If you don't take the time to post to a new/different discussion (instead of posting something off topic into a discussion), we are just as likely to simply remove your post instead of splitting it.

Findability

The ease with which information contained on a website can be found, both from outside the website (using search engines and the like) and by users already on the website. Although findability has relevance outside the World Wide Web, the term is usually used in that context.


(Source: Wikipedia)
In essence, participating in discussions at the B&C isn't a race. It's also not a real time conversation. There are plenty of capabilities that allow for meaningful discussions while maximizing subsequent findability of information, requiring only a little extra time and effort for better overall results.

* It was edited because I referred to a "trio" of posts in the message, but then listed four topics (five minutes in the pain glove for my poor math).
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#3
Joe

Joe

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Quick query on one specific comment.

 

Some leeway might be allowed for miniatures/models that might be used in the Warhammer 40,000 setting (e.g., converting an AoS model for use in WH40K). Judgment is required in this and it may be determined that discussion of such products is more appropriate in another forum.

 

Say we've found miniatures that are being produced for another historical period / system that are clearly suitable for Warhammer 40,000 with some conversion work, ala the Wargames Atlantic thread - is it reasonably kosher if we can provide a written suggestion / example of how they might apply to the setting, and how they relate to an existing in-game faction? 

 

Third-party stuff is still a bit of a grey area in this regard, beyond the usual "this is blatantly done as an alternative / supplementary product."

 

Thank you for all the work on better clarifying these things, Tyler - it's helping to reign the NRBA in from being as much of a wild west as it used to be. \o


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#4
Brother Tyler

Brother Tyler

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  • +++ADMINISTRATUM+++
  • 22,727 posts
  • Location:The Temple of Oaths
  • Faction: VIIth Legion
Sorry I didn't see this before (I'm not sure how I missed it, though).
 

Say we've found miniatures that are being produced for another historical period / system that are clearly suitable for Warhammer 40,000 with some conversion work, ala the Wargames Atlantic thread - is it reasonably kosher if we can provide a written suggestion / example of how they might apply to the setting, and how they relate to an existing in-game faction? 
 
Third-party stuff is still a bit of a grey area in this regard, beyond the usual "this is blatantly done as an alternative / supplementary product."

Products for non-sci-fi settings don't belong in the NRBA. It's perfectly acceptable to start a discussion about them in either the Forge or the relevant (sub-)faction forum in terms of how they might be converted for use in WH40K. The Imperium is a big place and there are lots of fashions and technology levels in the various pockets of Humanity, so showing how one is using them is perfectly acceptable. If they're not designed for use in the WH40K setting, however, they aren't appropriate in this forum (NRBA).

Models for sci-fi/science-fantasy settings are a bit more blurry. Many third party models are obviously meant to be suitable for the WH40K setting, and these are allowed in NRBA. This generally applies to those third party manufacturers that are toeing the line (e.g., the not Primarchs, not Orks, not Aeldari, etc.). The Astra Militarum are a bit more fuzzy since they have such diversity in terms of their equipment and appearance; and models that work for this range or similar (sub-)factions (such as Enforcers/Adeptus Arbites and Voidsmen) are generally safe in NRBA. Other models that are more questionable should not be discussed in NRBA. For example, the models in Zombicide: Invader have a very sci-fi feel, but their aesthetic isn't clearly aligned with the official GW miniatures; nevertheless, they might be suitable for a variety of mercenary forces, xenos, abhumans, etc. (I'm using some for my Rogue Trader warband). In this, it's perfectly acceptable to discuss how one is converting/painting such non-WH40K miniatures to fit in the WH40K setting; but we don't need to be discussing them here in NRBA. A degree of judgment is involved.

And once we get the blog functionality back, blogs will remain a perfect place to discuss how one is using non-WH40K models in the WH40K setting.
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#5
Brother Tyler

Brother Tyler

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A member spammed a question the answer to which I know has been discussed before, but I've included what I hope is a more clear answer in the rules above. It's the second to last paragraph in the first section (Relevant Content). I'm quoting it below so that you don't have to go hunting for it:
 

In addition to discussing an upcoming/newly-released product here in NRBA, it's perfectly acceptable to also have parallel discussions in other relevant forums. For example, an upcoming Black Library novel featuring the Alpha Legion during the Horus Heresy might have similar discussions in NRBA, the Alpha Legion sub-forum, the Age of Darkness forum and the Black Library forum. That was a deliberately broad example to demonstrate how a single product might be relevant in multiple forums. Ideally, each such discussion will have a slightly different focus - the discussion in NRBA should be focused on news about the product's release; the discussion in the Alpha Legion sub-forum should be focused on the portrayal of the Alpha Legion and how it meshes with the body of lore; the discussion in the Age of Darkness forum should focus on how the story works within the larger Horus Heresy storyline and body of lore; and the discussion in the Black Library forum should focus on the literary qualities of the novel. In reality, there will be a lot of overlap in such parallel discussions.


The spam questions have been removed from the discussions in which they were posted.
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