A FAQ is said to be “official” when it has been issued by the game’s designer or publisher. There are many unofficial FAQs compiled and maintained by fans, on public websites and forums.
FAQs should not be confused with living rules, even if they are similarly kept current, numbered and dated. They are not the same as errata and clarifications either, but are likely to contain some. Good FAQs are among essential playing material and player’s aids for more complex games.
FAQs for a game are primarily found on the publisher’s website or in the “Files” or “Downloads” tab of the game’s page on Boardgamegeek. Some FAQs are more developed and have their own forums or wikis.
Most FAQs are separate documents that are compiled and distributed after a game’s release. But, following the role playing and miniature games tradition, a FAQ section tends to become a regular feature in board game rulebooks. Such FAQs do not always contain frequent questions; indeed some do not even contain questions at all, but are simply rule reminders, clarifications, exceptions or edge cases loosely put together. This practice is often criticized as sloppy rulebook writing. Moreover, a dense and long FAQ is often seen as a sign that the original rule set—or even the design itself—has problems.
References and Further Browsing
- FAQ, on Wikipedia
- FAQs, Fiddliness, Redundancy, and Hierarchy, on the League of GameMakers
- FAQs about FAQs
- List of game FAQs, on Boardgamegeek