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Continuing Committee Begins Operations!

by Charlie Plaine, Chairman

7th January 2008

I can't remember who said it, but there's a quote about the Star Trek: Customizable Card Game that has always stuck with me: "This is the greatest game you've never played." I can't think of anything that's more true. When the end was announced, I knew that steps must be taken to preserve the outstanding gameplay and community of this greatest game. I honored to present to you The Continuing Committee, the end result of months of effort and the hard work of dozens of volunteers.

The Continuing Committee (TCC) is dedicated to not only maintaining the community and the levels of competition, but exceeding them in scope and in quality. But it's a long journey and we're going to start small. This website - for now - is very simple. But it is designed entirely using Cascading Style Sheets - which means that the formatting is separate from the content. This means that the site can radically change design without having to redo each and every page. You'll notice steady improvements in the appearance of the site as we move forward - so please don't mind the mess.

You've found the 9th Bar of Latinum!

In order to maintain the outstanding community, we've built a new Message Board to enhance communication. Please, if you're a collector, a player, or just a Star Trek fan, sign up for the fourm and join the discussions.

TCC is dedicated to ensuring not only a fun play environment, but a healthy play environment. To that end, we've taken over the issuance of the Current Rulings Document and will continue to do so moving forward. This document will be updated on the first Monday of each month as necessary. In addition, we're now providing a Virtual Errata File which contains updated versions of each of the cards that has received an erratum. Feel free to print out these cards, slip them into a sleeve in front of a physical card, and use them in your decks.

In addition to the CRD, we have started a massive undertaking - revising, updating, and re-releasing the official rulebook. The current rulebook is over four years old and is in desperate need of an update. The new version will be in a better, more user-friendly format and will include all of the changes made since September of 2003. We expect this rulebook update to be released in concert with the first virtual card set later this year.

Speaking of virtual cards... we're proud to announce that the first virtual set, and the 15th Second Edition set, is in development. TCC is looking for playtesters to join the team, so if you have a good mind for games and a group you can regularly play with, please download the application and apply.

Judge Certification

The Department of Organized Play and the Department of Rules Enforcement have decided to implement something that has long been requested: an official judge program for Second Edition. TCC will be putting a certification program [PDF] into place in order to qualify judges. TCC will also maintain a list of offical judges [PDF] for reference.

If you're interested in becoming a certified judge, you can download the Level 1 Judge Test [Excel] and begin the process at once. As we move forward throughout the year, we will have tests for Level 2, 3 and 4 judges.

Organized Play

We've got big plans for this year's championship season. Starting this year, we're returning to a regional system and replacing TOCs with Regionals. The Regional Championship Series will run from Saturday, March 1st, 2008 through Sunday, May 30th, 2008. More information on these events, and how to apply for and run an event, is coming soon.

In addition, we're adding a National Championship Series of events that will run through May and June. This new level of competition allows players an additional chance to flex their competitive muscles without having to make international trips.

In July, TCC will sponsor three Continental Championships: Australia, Europe, and North America. The European Continental Championship will be put on by the fantastic Organized Play team that ran the amazingly-successful 2007 event. More details about the Australian and North American Continental Championships will be forthcoming as well.

For the 2008 World Championship, go ahead and book your trips to GenCon in Indianapolis, Indiana in August. The details still need to be ironed out, but the pinnacle of competitive play will be at GenCon in 2008.

Moving Forward

As we move forward, we have big plans - but our immediate goal is to get established, ensure a home for the community, and to run the 2008 Championship season. Once we've secured those basic goals, it's time to expand and develop the organization and the community, and we've got some grand ideas.

Coming in March will be our premium website - an expanded version of our standard website that requires a small monthy or annual fee. We don't plan on charging any more than a small fee, but plan to offer significantly-expanded content. Premium members will get a small discount on any and all merchandise purchased. Players with a premium account will notice considerably more information and features on their player profiles. All of this is designed to support the community and generate some income - income that will be used to pay for servers, fees, and to provide prizes and support for the community.

The Continuing Committee will be introducing its Certified Trading Program starting later this year. The Certified Trading Program will provide a comprehensive online trading system that will allow collectors to search for cards they need and find other collectors that have them. Trades can be proposed based on each player's opinion of the value of a card. Finally, TCC will offer an international escrow service for a small fee.

The card list and the card database will return shortly and far more powerful than you could ever imagine. (Sorry, slipped in a Star Wars reference. My bad.) Not only will you be able to view and search for specific cards, but you'll see information about a card's utility and popularity. For example, if you search for Hard Time, you might see that the card appears in 83% of decks and 92% of "Tier 1" decks. You can even search for cards based on these popularity and utility figures. In addition, you'll be able to see cards that are for trade and cards that have received an erratum. The database will also integrate strategy articles, suggested card combos, current rulings and frequently asked questions.

After the 2008 World Championship, we'll be analyzing the data based on player groups and introducing changes to the play environment. Leagues, monthly theme tournaments, new sanctioned formats... all will offer new incentives and variations on the existing game to promote different challenges.

In September, we will hold our first series of elections to allow the community to choose the members of The Continuing Committee. This will happen each and every year, and elected officials will serve one-year terms. There will be no limit on the number of terms that can be served. More details on this will be revealed as the time approaches.

Conclusion

In "The Inner Light," Captain Picard lives a lifetime in just twenty-five minutes. At the end, he learns that his experiences are all that remains of a proud and wonderful community that faced destruction. He is told, by his wife, "If you remember what we were, and how we lived... then we'll have found life again." I think this applies to our community and the road ahead. We could have folded and walked away when the end of our game was announced, but we did not and we will not. While Hamlet thought The Undiscovered Country was death, like Chancellor Gorkon, I believe it to be the future. I hope you will explore it with us.

Charlie Plaine
Chairman, The Continuing Committee
cplaine@gmail.com


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