Task Force Shuffle
Since the current BFA has come into office, one of our major goals – one of my major goals – has been to see what has been working and what has not been working in Bravo Fleet in the most recent past and currently by garnering feedback from as many sources as possible. Emily and I are often in discussion with the BFA as a whole, or BFAers and their specific oversight, trying to see what we can do to improve our product for the membership as a whole. One of those points of contention for a while now has been Task Force 9. Ever since Sean took over TF9 he has been giving it his all to stay the course but had made it clear from the beginning that TF9 was hit hard by events earlier in the year. In the five months since, with a thorough consultation with the COs in TF9, discussion by the BFA, and follow-ups upon follow-ups, I have decided to fold Task Force 9. A large part of the feedback has been that essentially TF9 was operating on a small corner of the DS9 mythos, and people just weren’t as engaged as there wasn’t much source lore to go on other than “Dominion evil!”.
Right around this same time, AJ informed Emily and I of his intention to resign as TFCO of Task Force 38. Task Force 38 has long been a hot-bed of ups and downs spanning back at least 15 years, and I’m glad to say that during AJ’s tenure as TFCO it was certainly an upward trend and I thank him for stepping up to the plate to be 38CO during and after the transition. In his place, the BFA has decided to use the opportunity with TF9 closing to swap Sean over to the position as TFCO of TF38. Sean is, in fact, a former TFCO of 38 and has already been working with the 38XO, David, as well as Emily and I on a clear vision of what TF38 should look like regarding its place in Voyager canon, accessibility, and story-telling. I’ll let Sean go wild on describing more than that, but with a little retcon here, and a little shift there, TF38 is more than ready to use 7 years of Voyager canon (yes, all 7!) at its disposal.
The former sims in TF9 will be shifting over to TF25, where I will be taking up command of the new task force (just for now!) and Sean will be continuing to help in the construction of canon there. I will be deploying a Task Group 9 for any sim who wishes to remain in the Gamma Quadrant operations side of things, as while there may not be enough there to operate an entire task force anymore, there is certainly a home for people who wish to do those things!
Bravo Fleet & Picard, Take 2 (The Time Jump Explanation!)
Those that don’t time jump, depending on the number of sims, will likely end up as their own task group in TF99 as they’ll then be in an “alternate universe” from BF Main. They’ll be free to craft and do their canon as they see fit, but as with all sims in TF99, won’t be under the direct purview of the Loremaster and all that entails and/or benefits.
This will be in conjunction with a move Bravo Fleet is making model-wise to not be as sim-centric once the new BFMS is launched. Sims will still be a strong part of what we do, but not the only thing we do. Task Force 64 and 99 will remain sim-only, as we feel those task forces require the specific attention to help craft their stories and lore and the TFCOs should focus on that. The other task forces will comprise what has largely and always been known as “BF Main” which will follow the 2399 timeline, have a shared, cohesive canon, and focus more on storytelling and activities than specifically the “simming” format. Every member of the fleet will be in one of those task forces, even if they run sims in 64 or 99, and every member of the fleet will need to be signed up on the BFMS and in one of those task forces to be considered a member.
Now, before we hit the panic button, remember that this is just a very broad stroke, vague description of something that is still at least months away. More details will pour out as we get closer to the rebirth. But also remember something else that the BFA has been 100% on board with since we took over a few months ago: simming as we know it, and all of the Trek simming groups, have been on a slow decline for at least the last decade through really no one’s fault. Some of us were around and can remember the days when task forces were 40+ sims each, and there were over 10 in Bravo Fleet. Times have changed, as they say. For a lot of us we got older, got jobs, started families, time quickly crunched a bit. Star Trek was off the air. How people on the internet interacted has changed. Simming is a large commitment for a lot of people, especially on an internet filled with people who only desire something more casual to fill their voids. The BFA has agreed that we want to try something, anything to keep Bravo Fleet alive and sustainable, and feel that moving towards a new model where simming is just one of the many things we offer is the way to do that. Might it blow up in our faces and not work? Sure. But we want to try something; many of us spent time away from Bravo Fleet and were able to take a step back and see the slow decline of our hobby, and we want to make sure that Bravo Fleet doesn’t keep on that slide. We just hope that you will all stick with us and enjoy the ride.