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Yesterday I proposed a site for the Advanced Squad Leader tactical board game rules (rules specifically), which was closed within 8 hours by the statement that it fell under the category "Board and Card games" and would draw members from that site.

This puzzles me because:

  • While it's a board game, it's really not like Monopoly or something. There is quite a lot being asked about 100-150 pages of rules.
  • Currently, very lively discussions are in progress about the rules on an existing forum for years (see ASL Rules forum).
  • When I search the "Board and Card games" site for Advanced Squad Leader, no question about it pops up. So why would the site draw public from this one?

Next to that, why are the following sites not considered duplicates?

  • Game recommendations - Gaming
  • Poker - Board and Card games
  • Game of Go - Board and Card games
  • Web Design - Web Development and design
  • etc.

I find this not really consistent and the argumentation for closing a, in my opinion, good and relevant site proposal is very thin.

Please, anyone, enlighten me on this. Thanks.

BTW. I understand that scoping and preventing duplicates is important, but I really feel this overshoots.

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Does no-one involved in closing down area51 proposals has any clarification on this? It seems kind of fundamental. Most people starting a site are prepared to put work in it and do not like seeing them getting closed. Especially when it seems (by the above examples) to be done quite arbitrarily. –  Rogier Apr 6 '11 at 19:43
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Hmm. I tend to vote in favour of the OP here: If this game has a community strong enough to stand on its own, it deserves a chance. If that doesn't work out, it should be merged. –  Pëkka Apr 7 '11 at 0:33
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Must this discussion come up every single time a proposal gets closed as a duplicate? The rationale is right there in the FAQ. If I had a nickel for every time somebody said "Oh, but we're different"... –  Aarobot Apr 7 '11 at 0:51
    
I think the discussion is relevant because Area51 is about the birth of sites. So a discussion about its (premature) closure is quite fundamental in my opinion. And the rationale is clear, but maybe a discussion on breadth might be relevant, although it's a complex and subjective one. –  Rogier Apr 7 '11 at 7:55
    
Related: meta.stackexchange.com/questions/86431/… –  Lance Roberts Apr 7 '11 at 16:32
    
If you think B&CG is about games like Monopoly, you didn't even visit the site. That site is about games with complex rules and strategies, just like ASL. –  Charles Boyung Apr 14 '11 at 15:26
    
@Charles Boyung: I did visit the site beforehand, which led me to the conclusion that a separate ASL site might be better. –  Rogier Apr 14 '11 at 15:39
    
@Rogier - if you did visit the site, what led you to believe it had anything to do with games like Monopoly? I don't know how you could even begin to have gotten that impression. –  Charles Boyung Apr 14 '11 at 16:18
    
@Charles: I used Monopoly as an indicator for the complexity of the rules. If there are games on B&CG with rules that have a similar complexity as ASL, I think it would be better to give them their own place too btw. –  Rogier Apr 14 '11 at 16:31
    
@Rogier - you are missing the point then. It isn't about the complexity of the rules, it's about having enough volume while still having enough focus to have a sustainable site. Having ASL on B&CG does not make it too broad of a focus. ASL having its own site would be way too narrow of a focus to be sustainable both because there really aren't that many people that play that game (certainly not enough to sustain a dedicated commercial site) and because even with a huge ruleset, there will be a finite set of questions that are going to get asked about it. –  Charles Boyung Apr 14 '11 at 18:23
    
@Rogier - Even though we all have our favorite games that we think everyone should be playing, that really isn't the case. And very few (if any) individual games have anything near the player base large enough to sustain an active Q&A community. Poker does, chess might, as might Magic: The Gathering (I agree with merging into B&CG wholeheartedly for "Go"). ASL, as great of a game it may be, has a very small (but loyal) player base. I would say that it is smaller than just about every game on B&CG that right now gets as few as 5 questions a month. –  Charles Boyung Apr 14 '11 at 18:28
    
@Rogier - oh, and as for the complexity of games, I don't know how you think complex games don't work on a single merged site - just look at Pat's answer regarding that. Several of those games have as much in the way of rules as ASL (M:TG and 40K definitely do) and all of them are very advanced in terms of strategy, which is where most questions are going to come from (as opposed to basic rules questions). –  Charles Boyung Apr 14 '11 at 18:33
    
@Charles: You might be right, but why not just give it the chance to prove otherwise. Now we are both just assuming. –  Rogier Apr 14 '11 at 18:55
    
@Rogier - when something is pretty close to another proposal, all "giving it the chance to prove otherwise" does is take away potential traffic from that existing proposal. We may both be assuming, but in reality, some assumptions are better than others. And at least for me personally, I based my assumption on traffic at a well-established board gaming site - BoardGameGeek. ASL has ~2800 listed owners. A game like Dominion (as Pat mentions, the top game on B&CG right now) has ~20000 (7 times more owners). –  Charles Boyung Apr 14 '11 at 19:18
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@Rogier - And Dominion alone would not be able to sustain a SE site. I know that the stats don't always match up, but you will find a pretty consistent corollary between the two sites, I'm quite sure. Why take away from a site that meets the needs of your proposal exactly (Q&A for a board game) by splitting off your much more narrow proposal? Makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. –  Charles Boyung Apr 14 '11 at 19:21
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3 Answers

up vote 5 down vote accepted

Rogier,

First, I'm not going to get into the way some proposals duplicate other sites and proposals, because two wrongs don't make a right. If you want to ask about particular overlaps, there's a better place for that discussion.

Yes, it is true that there are currently no Advanced Squad Leader questions on Board & Card Games. But BCG has plenty of questions about war games, and based on the discussions on BCG's Meta, they're fine with getting more.

Just to make sure, though, I've opened a new question there, Are wargame questions welcome?, which asks about ASL in particular.

If they agree that your ASL questions are welcome, try asking a few!

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and, point people from the forum to BCG! (Great answer) –  NickC Apr 7 '11 at 0:37
    
Dori, thank you for your answer. I had no doubt that ASL questions could be asked in B&CG, but thanks for the effort of asking. I still think that assessing sites on being too broad is as important as preventing duplicates. Sites with similar content can me merged eventually. However, separating a site with too broad a scope is difficult. I'll accept your answer. –  Rogier Apr 7 '11 at 8:21
    
BTW, I think it would be a useful to introduce some Area51 feature that makes it able to vote about closures as an integral part of the site creation process. A nice side effect is that it would prevent those discussions ending up on the meta site. –  Rogier Apr 7 '11 at 8:22
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While I think Advanced Squad Leader would a great candidate for having it's own site, it may be easier to grow it in the Boardgames site context. I think what we need is a mechanism or metric for deciding when a Tag can breakout of a SE site.

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+1 "Tag breakout". –  user150068 Apr 7 '11 at 15:49
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The more I browse through non-closed site proposals, the more I feel ASL DOES deserve its own site from the start. Having said that, I think a more careful 'duplication determination' process when a site is created, would reduce the need of tag-breakout beforehand. For instance, ASL was determined a duplicate of RPG Games. –  Rogier Apr 7 '11 at 18:40
    
@Rogier - It looks to me like it was closed as a duplicate of Board and Card Games, not RPG Games. Did that get changed somewhere? I don't see any history of it being changed. –  Charles Boyung Apr 14 '11 at 18:30
    
@Charles: You are right. Originally (at the time of my writing) it said "Board and Card Games and RPG Games". I guess that got corrected, but I can't find any history either. –  Rogier Apr 14 '11 at 18:45
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Advanced Squad Leader would be very welcome at the Board & Card Game Stackexchange.

While it's true that we currently do not have any questions on ASL, it is also true of most games that came out before 1990. I think the main reason for this is that we are still a small site. Personally I would love to see more questions about the older Avalon Hill and SPI games.

My ASL experience is at least 20 years old, but I'll bet there are at least a couple current regular members that could weigh in on your ASL questions. Why not stop by and try it out before dismissing B&CG?

Just a few examples of older games and current, more complex games to show you our breadth. We cover much more than just mainstream games like Monopoly.

  • Magic the Gathering
  • Warhammer 40k
  • Axis & Allies
  • Diplomacy
  • 18xx
  • Advanced Civilization
  • Battletech
  • Dominion

Dominion is currently our most popular game and we get a lot of folks showing up through Google to see them. I believe that if some ASL questions were asked, or better yet, if a core group started to use the site that the public (via Google) would follow.

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Thank you for the answer and the invitation. I will certainly keep it in mind. Eventually, ASL players might be drawn in numbers to B&CG, only thing is that I think it would take less time with a site that has a more narrow scope. –  Rogier Apr 7 '11 at 8:02
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