First, this is what you gave me which had the Forums in originally no?
and third, that was the second part of the rule that moved all forum links to forum www. links. We were originally straight url but when we adapted Google Pagespeed service, it had to be www.
Oh and yes...alot to learn but, as you probably know, true expertise is an impossible thing to find. I am by no means cheap but spent a month with the forums down while several people told me they couldnt be fixed.
... and you did not answer my (indirect) question about a test forum.
Are you doing this experimenting on a live forum and not a test forum?
Live forum....learn as I go.
---------- Post updated at 06:36 PM ---------- Previous update was at 06:31 PM ----------
I am sorry but I don't understand rewrite base at all. Not educated and have recieved so much bad advise (other than yours) that I am learning as i go....was hoping there was just a simple rewrite code to go from the VBSEO structure of 567.htm to showthread.php?t=567
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...OK, I think you should set up a test forum and learn the basics of mod_rewrite first before you "hack away" with mod_rewrite on your live forum.
You should just mirror your forum and then you can "hack away" and experiment with mod_rewrite and sent it links that are 404 in the main forum log file and watch the 301s in the test forum log file without doing this on your live forum (where Google is indexing you all time time).
You don't want to be experimenting on a live forum unless you are very well versed at mod_rewrite because Google, Bing, etc are indexing you in real time, and they will get more errors and bogus 301s if you are experimenting on the live forum.
What I would do if I were you is:
Set up a test forum that mirrors your live forum.
Look at the access.log in your live forum for 404 errors.
Take those 404s and feed them to your test forum.
Experiment with rewrite rules on the test forum until you are happy.