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The History of the INAT FAQ

an article by: yakface

Why isn't the INAT FAQ called the AdeptiCon FAQ?

To really answer this question, you have to know why and how the INAT FAQ (Independent National Warhammer 40,000 Tournament FAQ) originally came to be. Over four years ago, before the INAT was introduced as the FAQ AdeptiCon would use, there used to be a specific AdeptiCon FAQ, which was produced by some of the head organizers of AdeptiCon. In their efforts to make the AdeptiCon FAQ as comprehensive as possible, they came upon Dakka and the Dakka FAQ project I had been working on there.

The Dakka FAQ

Before I was an owner of Dakka, I was just a forum member who enjoyed visiting the rules discussion forum. Anyone who has ever spent enough time in a 40K rules discussion forum knows that the same rules questions tended to get asked over and over and over again. Every now and then, someone would post: “why doesn’t someone put together a comprehensive list of these questions that keep getting asked and send it in to Games Workshop so they can answer them?” The answer was always: “It’s too much work. I’m not going do it, but I wish someone would!”

I eventually got tired of that mentality and decided that it might as well be me! So I began collecting a list of these commonly asked questions into a Dakka FAQ (with no answers included), with the idea that if GW ever wanted a comprehensive list of 40K rules questions to answer, they’d have one.

The problem is, if you read any of GW’s FAQs that contain answers to fan-submitted questions, you quickly realize that it is far too easy for the writer to miss the situational context for the question and end up giving an answer that doesn’t actually address the whole point of the question!

Because of this, I was determined to make sure that a writer at GW answering these questions would absolutely know the ramifications of any answer I imagined they would give. So the questions in the Dakka FAQ tended to be really, really, really long-winded, often with multiple-choice answer suggestions and additional questions based each multiple-choice possibility. That’s really the problem with just writing a list of questions for 40K rules ambiguities; the rules are often so complex that any answer given then begs several more questions.

The crew making the AdeptiCon FAQ found the Dakka FAQ online and started trying to put those long-winded questions into their FAQ and answer them. This had the unfortunate effect of making the AdeptiCon FAQ really difficult to read because you had to wade the really complex questions just to find out what the heck was being asked.

The yakFAQ

The funny thing was, while the AdeptiCon guys were taking the Dakka FAQ and using its questions in their FAQ, I had actually started work on a new FAQ project on Dakka. Because while the Dakka FAQ was a great compilation of questions, GW still wasn’t answering most of them in their official FAQs, and more and more people started posting: “That list of questions is great and all, but why doesn’t someone actually answer them?” This concept turned into the yakFAQ, which took all the questions from the Dakka FAQ and answered them based on my own personal opinion of the rules. I also took the opportunity to make the wording used in the yakFAQ much more clean and concise than the Dakka FAQ because I obviously knew the context behind why the questions were being asked (as I was the one asking them).

When I attended AdeptiCon that year, I bumped into some of the head-honchos of the convention (Jeff Chua and Hank Edley) and I brought up the fact that they were taking questions from the Dakka FAQ and using them in their AdeptiCon FAQ. While I was totally fine (and flattered) with them doing that, I mentioned it wasn’t the best solution to use the Dakka FAQ questions as-is because of how they are written in that hyper-detailed manner. Instead, I suggested that next year they should take the concise versions of the questions from my new yakFAQ and just replace my answers with whatever rulings would work for AdeptiCon. Much to my surprise, they suggested that instead of wasting the time converting my FAQ into something else, they felt my FAQ should become the FAQ for AdeptiCon!

While I really wanted to help them out (I love AdeptiCon after all), I really had no interest in putting a bunch of time and effort into creating a FAQ that was only for one (albeit fantastic) event. Because my whole goal with writing the yakFAQ was to create a totally fan-made general 40K FAQ that anyone, be it gaming clubs, tournament organizers, etc, could use as a basis for their own FAQ by changing the rulings in the yakFAQ to match their own personal needs (or just use the document as-is if they liked my rulings).

The INAT FAQ is Born

But it wasn’t to be an issue, because they were actually thinking along the same lines: have me write a generic independent FAQ that could then be used by AdeptiCon (and any other events that liked it too). The final piece of the puzzle was to gather together a collection of people to vote on all the rulings for the document (which initially consisted mainly of AdeptiCon tournament organizers) and with that the Independent National Tournament Warhammer 40,000 FAQ (INAT FAQ for short) was born!

The point never has (and never will be) to create some sort of world domination where every event has to use our rulings. The reason the INAT is named the INAT is because I want everyone to know that this isn’t a FAQ created specifically for one event only, but rather something that is worked on and updated on a year-round basis and will work for just about any type of 40K tournament that chooses to use it as a comprehensive set of clarifications for their players and judges.

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