I've just had some of my answer poached by a user here. This is what the source of the post now reads:

Unfortunately you are not allowed to mix-and-match with units from different Codices any which way.  The different books are tuned somewhat to have different strengths and weaknesses.  What's acceptable in 'normal' play is of course up to the people you play with!  If it's something fun and flavourful, most people will probably allow it.  If you pick and choose the best unit in each slot from each Codex, don't expect anyone will allow it.

However, as of the publication of the 6th edition rulebook in July 2012 an army may have an 'Ally Detachment' containing a limited number of selections from another codex.  An army based on one the Space Marine Codex can include these others as allies:

**Battle Brothers:**

 - [Black Templars][2]
 - [Blood Angels][2]
 - [Dark Angels][3]
 - [Space Wolves][4]

**Allies of Convenience**

 - [Grey Knights][5]

  [1]: http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Black_Templars
  [2]: http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Blood_angels
  [3]: http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Dark_Angels
  [4]: http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Space_Wolves
  [5]: http://wh40k.lexicanum.com/wiki/Grey_Knight

Of course you can paint your models any way you like and have a mix of units from different 'Chapters' as long as the actual rules in use form a legal army.

Editing in content from comments:
There has in the past been a ruling in the Grand Tournament FAQs that if you use an 'official' paint scheme, the army must use the corresponding Codex or the 'vanilla' Codex: Space Marines.  e.g., no Red Marines with blood drops on their shoulders "counting-as" Black Templars.  But red marines with blood drops counting as plain old vanilla codex marines are ok.

Edit: adding content provided by purefeet so that the answer accepted by OP is up to date

You can see where part of my answer has been copy-pasted wholesale, the citations floating part way down the answer.

Had I wanted to merely update the accepted answer I could have done so. This whole thing has left a bad taste in my mouth.

Is this acceptable behaviour?

  • 1
    It doesn't bother me so much when people "steal" my answers. It does bother me when they steal answers and don't bother to upvote mine. I'm sorry, but if it was good enough to incorporate into your own answer, it clearly meets upvote criteria of "This answer is useful". It's not so much that the rep matters as the principle of the thing, ya know?
    – corsiKa
    Commented Oct 1, 2012 at 20:56

5 Answers 5


This is quite a complicated gray area. There have been a few previous discussions on the subject of answer reproduction/incorporation (see the references at the end). In fact, way back in 2009, I even asked this question myself.

The broad consensus is that, in general, this kind of behaviour is positive, if done in a respectful way:

  • Legally, the CC license under which your contributions are made allows reuse, as long as attribution is provided.
  • In terms of etiquette, clearly explaining that an answer makes use of another, and giving full credit to the source is usually sufficient. Both answers will probably accrue votes.
  • There is value to having a single, up-to-date answer which collates all aspects of the problem, and presents it in a consistent way.
  • However, ripping off other people's answers wholesale and presenting them as your own is not ok.
  • Stealing content from other people within the first few minutes of a post, when answers are jostling for position, is not acceptable, but unfortunately often hard to prove.

In this particular example, the new content has arisen because of the introduction of 6th ed Warhammer rules. It's reasonable for the top answer to be revisited to deal with that. The author did cite you, but in my opinion could have made it much clearer that he was quoting you verbatim. After your edit, I think this answer is fine.

In terms of sportsmanship, consider also that there is a badge specifically for upvoting good competing answers. So objectively, if you think the other answer has good content - vote it up!


  • 1
    This was a really excellent response, and I think it covered all the important parts. :)
    – Aarthi
    Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 19:09

I apologize for spelling your name incorrectly, thank you for fixing the original post.

The purpose of the site is to provide correct answers. When the question already has an accepted answer that becomes out of date, it is important and does improve the quality of the site for future googlers that the accepted answer contain up to date content. The likelihood that the OP is going to come back and change the accepted answer is extremely low, so the accepted answer should be made correct.

  • I agree in the purpose of the site, and I don't begrudge your for reflecting that in your original edit, however it's the way in which you did it that rubbed me up the wrong way. It felt that you'd been more concerned with quickly grabbing my content + formatting and inserting it into your answer than citing correctly. I would also counter I've definitely seen an OP come back and change the accepted answer before, so I don't see that as an excuse.... but I'm more than happy though with your answer as it is. Enjoy my +1 :) Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 21:31
  • 1
    There isn't anything special about an accepted answer - remember that accepting an answer is optional (mods and the system will never force acceptance) and that other answers can still be voted up even after another answer has been accepted. If the accepted answer is also the best answer, and a few changes are all that's needed to make it up-to-date, then I think it's fine to make them. If there's a more comprehensive answer that needs those changes, edit that one, and if the changes are significant, there's nothing wrong with making a new answer yourself. Commented Oct 2, 2012 at 17:58

Copying is fine, lack of attribution is not. Copying is specifically allowed by the CC license as others have pointed out. Affe adding your correction to the accepted answer does improve the Internet, because now the accepted answer includes the correct information.

Your post reminded me that I had an answer that was poached (my answer was linked, but also not attributed), so I have gone back to correct the oversight. At the time I was slightly miffed (I was too focused on perceived loss of reputation points), but realized that stealing other people's work is what great people do.

What does protection mean?

What does protection from [quality] do?

I have taken this opportunity to generalize the question, correct a small error in AlexP's answer, and hopefully the questions can be consolidated to reduce the need of having two identical answers to the same question (this could be 4 questions with the same answer if we aren't careful).

  • I've merged the questions, in the future feel free to "flag" for moderator attention in case of a suspected dupe. The earlier we catch 'em the better. Thanks for everything!
    – Pat Ludwig Mod
    Commented Sep 29, 2012 at 0:29

I've done this before, but when I realised how badly recieved it can be, I removed the text I'd copied, linked to the answer and correctly spelled the attributee's name when I cited them. I also putthe name and link in the main body, not just at the end

Just copy pasting someone elses answer without altering it or improving on it is no better than copying from some other CC licensed sources like wikipedia without summarising or improving on them.

As the user in question took >50% of my answer, and copied it without any alteration, and made my answer essentially redundant, I would consider this bad form regardless of anyone getting rep either way.


Yes, it is acceptable, provided that proper attribution is given.

What to do when people take your arguments and use them in their answers?

Remember, we're here to provide the best information possible. Don't get too hung up about reputation, things like this end up having very little impact in the grand scheme.

  • I'm less concerned about reputation, than I am that a negligable amount of effort was made to integrate my text it into the answer. If they had done, they would have improved on it, but in my opinion they didn't. From your link: Pekka commented on your question, unless the text is verbatim off your answer, you can't be certain the poster didn't come up with the content themselves (and even if it is verbatim, this can be coincidence, in particular for short code samples and widely used phrases). I don't think that's the case here. Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 14:37
  • Is his answer better because he incorporated your information? If so, great, mission accomplished. You've helped someone, and the internet is a better place.
    – bwarner
    Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 14:42
  • Is his answer better? Yes. Is the sum of answer quality improved? No. Then the internet is not a better place. Commented Sep 28, 2012 at 15:05

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