It seems to me like most strategy questions could be considered subjective and broad in scope, as many people will have different answers based on their own play styles. However, when tailored to specific situations or rules, these are quite healthy, as it provides a resource to learn about optimum play. Should we write out guidelines for strategy questions so that we receive more constructive questions and fewer "What's a good strategy for x?" questions?

3 Answers 3


I was drawn to this particular community because of the strategy discussions. As a newcomer to both Stack Exchange and the specific Board and Card games community, I noticed a disconnect between the questions FAQ and the actual most popular questions - specifically in regard to strategy. The FAQ roughly says:

"You should only ask practical, answerable questions . . . [not] open-ended questions . . . Your questions should be reasonably scoped."

Yet for Settlers of Catan, among the top 10 most popular questions are 5 strategy questions that are very open ended.

My attempt to create my first question, a strategy question for Ticket to Ride, always resulted in "The question you're asking appears subjective and is likely to be closed." Eventually I decided to word the question almost identically to a popular Settlers of Catan question and ignored the warning.

At the very least, the FAQ should be changed to indicate that certain types of strategy questions are okay. Perhaps examples of good and bad questions could be given. The current community seems to like moderately scoped questions like "In Settlers of Catan, how do you overcome bad initial settlement placement?"

But I'm guessing you don't want questions like "What are some good Go strategies."

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    I really appreciate the input from you as a new user! I think you're right, we have some work to do on the FAQ. The portion you noted (and everything below it) is standard boilerplate for all SE sites and can't be edited. We could do more to encourage strategy questions above that though.
    – Pat Ludwig Mod
    Commented Jan 5, 2012 at 18:52
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    The two things that all new users should do is 1) ask their questions...whatever they want and 2) don't get annoyed when some get closed. Don't self-limit, just ask away. I'll bet most are cool and we'll work with you on the rest. "Closed" is not the name I would pick for that state, something like "Time Out" would be better, but I can't change that :) Some questions just aren't good fits for a Q&A site, but a lot are.
    – Pat Ludwig Mod
    Commented Jan 5, 2012 at 18:55
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    Thanks for your clarifying comments. In the lest than 2 hours I've spent so far, I'm very impressed with the system stack exchange has developed and think it has great potential to amass a huge and useful information repository. This particular meta discussion is especially interesting because it is suggesting that what works for one domain (stack overflow - very specific questions) doesn't necessarily apply to all domains (board games - reasonably scoped strategy questions are arguably the most interesting content).
    – Joe Golton
    Commented Jan 5, 2012 at 19:07
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    The key for me is that strategy answers can be evaluated. People who like that game can read them and intelligently judge the best strategies and vote them up. Even if you haven't played a particular game you can usually suss out who has actually played a game 100 times by reading their answer. :) There aren't likely to be 30 viable strategies for many games so the number of answers to any one question stays reasonable.
    – Pat Ludwig Mod
    Commented Jan 5, 2012 at 20:17

Strategy questions are the main traffic driver to this site so I don't want to take drastic action to limit them.

However, I think we can do better. My preference is to nudge people in the right direction. We don't really want 20 questions about the basic strategy for a game. Dominion is kinda getting that way currently.

Check my recent answer to When should I start collecting Victory Points in Dominion?

At the time, I didn't think the question was an exact dupe but wanted to point the questioner at other questions that probably will go a long way towards getting the answers he is looking for. Then he can (hopefully) ask more specific questions.

As opposed to this one Which exchange of money is best? that I thought was a duplicate.

As the number of strategy questions build, I think it will be to our advantage to keep them linking to one another so that newcomers are encouraged to experience more of what we have to offer. Hopefully they will like it, and stick around!


One way to focus strategy questions might be to suggest to the asker to consider putting forth a strategy and asking about the strengths and weaknesses of it, i.e instead of

What are some good initial placement strategies for Settlers of Catan


What are the strengths and weaknesses of employing a strategy of amassing the highest possible production probabilities while completely forgoing any consideration for road placement and settlement spacing

This may nudge the player toward taking the first step and also give others something to jump from in terms of having something very specifically answerable.

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