The long version...Before Asking a Rules Question
Before you ask a rules question on the message boards, please take the following steps. I provide answers to rules questions here on the boards in my free time. You can save me time (and save yourself the wait time) if you follow these steps before asking a question:
1) Consult the Rulebook and Rulebook Glossary
[INDENT]If you haven't already done so, Read the whole rulebook, including the entire glossary. You certainly don't need to do this every time you have a rules question, but you definitely should have done it before asking your first rules question. (I'm always surprised by the number of people who haven't actually read the rulebook.)[/INDENT]
[INDENT]When you have a rules question after that, check the table of contents to find an applicable section; if you have a question about -- for example -- how Force points work, start with the Force Points and Force Powers chapter of the rulebook. Make sure you look in the glossary, too; it contains expanded explanations for lots of special abilities, keywords, and other terms. Grab the downloadable version of the rulebook, which is in PDF format; use the Find function in your PDF reader to search for what you are looking for.[/INDENT]
[INDENT]Please don't use, "I don't have my rulebook handy" as an excuse. If you have the capability to post on the message boards, you almost certainly have the capability to download and open the online rulebook.[/INDENT]
[INDENT]You can download an electronic copy of the rulebook from the RULES
link on the left sidebar:[/INDENT]
2) Consult the FAQ and Errata
[INDENT]I recommend either paging through it to look for relevant sections, or using the Find function in your browser to search for relevant terms. The FAQ and Errata
can be found on the RULES page.
Just as with the rulebook, you should read the entire FAQ if you haven't already. You'll probably learn a few things from it that you didn't even know you had a question about.[/INDENT]
3) Consult the Rules Issues Hot List & Mini-FAQs
[INDENT]This is where Q&As for new sets appear before I put them into the FAQ. Use the Rules Issues Hot List
the same way you use the FAQ. [/INDENT]
4) Consult the DCI Star Wars Miniatures Floor Rules
[INDENT]If you have a question about how some detail of DCI sanctioned play works, consult the various DCI Star Wars Miniatures Floor Rules
. Many people use this standardized set of tournament rules even outside of DCI play and there are some significant differences from how the rulebook describes basic play.[/INDENT]Asking a Rules Question
If all of the above steps fail, and you can't find an answer to your rules question, feel free to ask your question on the message boards. Put your question in a new thread. For example, if you have a question about the timing of the Impulsive Shot ability, use a title like this: "When does Impulsive Shot happen?" Put your full question in the body of the message.
Don't use titles like "A Few Questions" or "Help Me". Proper titles make it easier for others to look for interesting rulings either by manual browsing or by searching.
Put unrelated questions in seperate threads. You aren't "saving space" by putting a bunch of questions in one thread. You're increasing the odds of confusion when people start discussing different stuff in followup posts, and you're making it more difficult for people using Search to find relevent answers on that topic.
There are many veteran players who can give correct answers more quickly than I can get to every thread. But I still read every thread and will comment if there is an incorrect answer given. But if you want me to post a confirmation in your thread even if you already have several correct answers from other players, put [NickName] at the beginning of the thread title. I will always post an answer in such a thread.
If you need to make a diagram to go along with your question, you have several options. You can use Vassal to set up the situation and then use Vassal's screenshot feature to save it as a png file that you can put online someplace. Alternatively, you can draw an image using your favorite image creation program. Another option is using text to represent the diagram. If you use text, use code tags to get a monospaced font for your diagram. Look for the first instance of the word "monospaced" on this page for how to use code tags:http://boards1.wizards.com/misc.php?do=bbcode
Don't use spaces to make your text diagram line up right (unless you use code tags). Your diagram will not end up looking the way it looked when you typed it. I will probably be unable to answer your question unless you make a diagram that looks right.Answering a Rules QuestionWhen I answer a question in my official capacity, I will answer it in blue text like this sentence.
When I'm just chatting about something, or thinking out loud about possible ruling options I won't use the blue text. This should make it easy to pick out official rulings in a thread.
Though part of my job as Net Rep is to answer rules question on the message boards, there are lots of other smart people here who can answer questions too. If you would like answer someone's question, try to follow these guidelines:
1) Don't use blue text, even as a joke. It's been done before. It remains unfunny, and undermines the whole idea of using the blue text to allow people to easily pick out official rulings.
2) Provide a direct reference to the answer if it already exists someplace. If it's answered by the rulebook, provide a page and section. If it's answered by the FAQ, Errata, or Min-FAQ, post a link to the appropriate page and mention the section to look at. This is important because a player may need to show something official to a judge at a tournament.
3) Don't answer the question unless you are sure that your answer is correct. Giving an incorrect answer is troublesome because it may mislead the person who asked the question, and it creates more work for me because I have to explain why the incorrect answer is wrong.
4) Use the correct terminology and spelling. Don't say "round" when you mean "turn", or vice-versa. Say "character" instead of "unit", and so on. Someone may want to use the glossary to look up the terms you use to find out more info. Additionally, terminology can be very important in the game; "attacks" work differently from "special abilities," and using the wrong term can result in your answer being incorrect.
5) Avoid copying and pasting the answer from the rulebook, FAQ, or Mini-FAQ. It's better to provide a link or reference to it because it empowers the person who asked the question; they will learn how to use the resources more fully. (Bring a man a fish, vs. teach a man to fish...)