This meta states that these questions are off topic, but I was wondering how I should flag these questions when they crop up. I have seen them be closed as primarily opinion based, too broad, and as off topic in different cases. However, looking at the reasons to close for off topic, none of them really fit. This is about the closest reason, but it still doesn't really fit.

  • Questions that ask for recommendations of games, software, or hardware are off topic.

They aren't asking for a game recommendation, but rather a strategy. When I see them, I generally flag them as primarily opinion based, or too broad. Is this the correct practice? Also, as a related problem, if there are old questions of this form, is it bad practice to flag them as too broad or primarily opinion based when they are still open and have an accepted answer, like this one?

Note: This is not a duplicate of this meta, I understand that they are off topic, my question is how to flag them, which is not addressed at all in this question.

  • 1
    Possible duplicate of Should "how do I attack this base?" questions be considered off-topic? Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 15:11
  • @JonathanDrapeau how is this a dup of that question? I am asking for a way to deal with these questions, specifically for people with less than 3k rep who cannot put a vote to close for a custom off topic reason. I am not asking whether they are off topic or not.
    – Dragonrage Mod
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 16:44
  • The answers provide, not in crystal clear words I agree with you, the close reasons that can be used. This kind of question applies only to the original poster. and the second answer pretty much nail it on "primarily opinion-based". No answer will provide a definitive answer and that will change depending on who answers. Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 17:07
  • @JonathanDrapeau so you see the problem. I am asking which way to flag would be best. I know there are several different options, and I've seen all of them used. It seems like we should have a standard way of dealing with them, as opposed to just picking a random one that could work.
    – Dragonrage Mod
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 17:12

2 Answers 2


N.B.: I haven't played Clash of Clans, and I have only the vaguest familiarity with the genre as a whole; however, I think this is representative of a larger set of overly specific and situational questions that are generally unique to multiplayer or procedural games of this nature, without clearly defined content, and this answer should serve as a broad based way of approaching problem questions of this sort.

I'd Close them as Unclear What You Are Asking.

"But the question is perfectly clear, he's asking how to attack that base!!"

To use a tortured analogy, this is essentially equivalent to posting a big block of code on StackOverflow and saying "PLZ DEBUG". The question does not offer any real answerable question, but rather a situation, with the vague intimation that there is somehow a problem. As the highest voted answer on our previous question on the subject notes, often lurking underneath these questions are good, answerable, and specific challenges that need to be overcome. We should encourage users who ask these sorts of questions to identify what specifically is preventing them from reaching their objective, and to ask specifically about how to overcome that challenge or counter the specific plays that have them hung up.

This has the added advantage of creating an actual knowledge base that can be referred to, as future questions can be properly duplicated, and better yet, people can find that information via The Googles.

  • 1
    interesting thoughts, I can see the parallel, although I think a more accurate analogy would be the equivalent of posting a hw problem and saying write the code for this please. would the same close reason also apply to old questions like the one i linked?
    – Dragonrage Mod
    Commented Dec 9, 2015 at 21:54
  • Isn't there already a generic 'General Strategy for attacking a Clash of Clans Base' question we could dupe these to?
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 3:52
  • 1
    @Robotnik there might be, but you're somewhat missing my point if you're hung up on that detail. Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 3:53
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz - I've no idea about Clash of Clans either. Are there specific common defensive layouts/strategies that pose a problem? Are there specific solutions to defeating them, such that a battle always becomes 1+2+3=Win? The solution requires the Clash of Clans experts to write these specific 'offense strategy' canonical questions and answers that we can point to. That's why I thought we already had a 'General Strategy' type question - I thought they'd already been created. If not, then it's an expertise that we're lacking.
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 4:09
  • 2
    @Robotnik no. What I'm proposing doesn't require that at all. What I'm proposing is that someone asking "how do I attack this base" needs to refine and clarify their question to tell us what problem they need to overcome in order to successfully do so. Over time, that will result in a body of knowledge organically. Which is the whole point. Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 4:10
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz - Fair enough, except that it should probably have already happened by this stage. CoC 'help attack base plz' questions were a problem way before we decided to ban them on that earlier meta. If we want to see good, knowledgeable, properly answered CoC strategy questions, then what is currently happening (closure), and what was previously happening pre-ban (leaving alone to grow organically), hasn't worked.
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 4:20
  • 2
    @Robotnik sure. Because most of the people asking them vomit their screenshot onto the page and never come back. Not much to be done about that. But this question was about what close reason to use. And I'd argue that the close reason which most accurately reflects what is actually wrong with these questions and, more specifically, how they could be changed to be worth reopening and getting answers, is Unclear What You're Asking. Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 4:22
  • @LessPop_MoreFizz - Well, at the very least we can give it another try I suppose. It would be nice to hear from some CoC players as well, as I would think they would have a firmer grasp on what level of effort would be required to get enough info out of the question OPs to form a valid (and generic to more than one situation) answer. Very well, +1
    – Robotnik Mod
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 4:30
  • 1
    @Robotnik I play CoC regularly, and while there are some popular base layouts, most base layouts are unique and created by that player. Thus there isn't really a generic way to deal with any given base that will help anyone but the person attacking that specific base. Also there are not any given attack strategies that will guarantee a 1, 2, or 3 star victory. There are some attack strategies that if done well are more likely to give a certain amount of stars, and thus are labeled as a "X star attack", however every attack and defense is a unique problem as it depends mostly on user execution.
    – Dragonrage Mod
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 16:52
  • 1
    @Robotnik at best, an experienced player can only give advice on what may help, but that would only be my opinion based on what attack strategies I am good with. Someone else may have an equally good attack strategy using completely different troops. Also, if they are not as experienced at attacking as the person giving advice, then they may not be able to execute the attack well, based on the advice given, and then the question didnt really help anyone. how to attack a base is an extremely subjective question.
    – Dragonrage Mod
    Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 16:58
  • 1
    I'm much more inclined to go with opinion based answers as different people will use different ways to defeat a base. It's pretty clear what they are asking, I feel that close reason to not fit at all. Commented Dec 10, 2015 at 17:08
  • 1
    @Jonathan No. No no no no no no no no. That is not what Primarily Opinion Based is for at all. The existence of multiple correct answers does not make a question opinion based. Rather, the lack of any correct answer does. Consider a maze. There are 8 paths. 3 lead out of the maze. 5 do not. "Which path gets me out of this maze" is not a matter of opinion. There are three correct answers. There might be subjective reasons to choose among those three, but they are all correct. The question is not primarily opinion based. Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 0:23
  • 2
    The answers are opinion based (I prefer this path... I prefer this other one but a maze question doesn't work well to compare with the questions we're debating), not the question. The question is crystal clear on the other hand. Unclear what you're asking is not a good reason. They'll attract answers which will refer to the answerer current setup or preferences. Why haven't we a reason similar to Too localized of SO? That would fit perfectly well. Commented Dec 11, 2015 at 13:21

Note: This was was proposed as a but never got off the ground, hence the acceptance of the other answer.

Personally, I feel we don't have a good close reason for those type of questions. I won't debate that in this answer, instead I propose we add a new close reason to cover those type of questions.

What I'll like to be able to choose, is a reason similar to the Too localized SO once had, which is now reworded, but worked out for Arqade.

The wording could be this :

Title for the selection : One time question

This question is about a situation only the asker is facing and would be hard to reproduce by another player (like a base setup, exact number of troops, etc). The answers to this question would not be of any help to other players. These questions should be changed to be more about strategies to adopt.

The title is pretty clear, it would be for questions that wouldn't benefit anyone but the asker.

We're mainly facing Clash of clans question that would fit this but there's many other games for which a question would be about a specific, asker-only, problem.

  • 3
    I have a sinking feeling we may be headed to modded minecraft crashes 2.0 with this thing. Please don't let this become a second game-specific close reason, everyone, and focus on the specific problem.
    – Unionhawk Mod
    Commented Dec 30, 2015 at 12:35

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .