Hello Bravo Fleet!
While most of our COs already know about this, we (the TF38 staff) wanted to make an official announcement about the changes in our Task Force canon that are underway. This will be a little long, and there will be more in the link at the bottom, but the core point of these changes is to make TF38 more accessible to people who aren’t familiar with the “fanon” lore that has long been associated with TF38, such as the Round Table, the Epatha Gateway, etc. We want folks who just love Star Trek to be able to jump right into the action without a lot of background reading, especially since our Area of Operations is the only quadrant that has seven years of on-screen canon to draw from.
Things that are (largely) staying the same:
- The Gradin Belt. In terms of its political situation and the races around it, the Gradin Belt will largely be unchanged. This is because it was already made to be a representation of the last few seasons of Voyager and because that’s where the majority of active ships in the Delta Quadrant have been stationed.
Things that are going away:
- The Round Table. It’s been destroyed twice now already (by means of at least one prior retcon), but now it’s destroyed for good. We’re not deleting any of the wiki content related to TRT so as to preserve its past history, but we’re taking it out of the canon category for TF38.
- Bases and colonies in the Delta Quadrant. To bring more of a Star Trek: Voyager feel to the Task Force, there will no longer be bases or colonies in the Delta Quadrant. Any that were established before the Battle of the Round Table are being retconned to have been evacuated and any that were established after are being retconned away. It just doesn’t fit with the vision of the Delta Quadrant being truly the furthest, least-explored frontier in the galaxy if the space version of a gas station is always right around the corner.
- The Epatha Gateway. We’re replacing this with the Barzan Wormhole, but that’ll be covered in the next section.
- Any ‘big bads’ like the Voth or the Borg. The quadrant itself is our big bad, the thing we’re striving against, and the thing most likely to defeat us. (These two races will obviously still exist until Picard says otherwise, but they won’t be a main focus of our story.)
Things that are being added:
- Task Force 38 will join Task Force 25 as one of the first two Task Forces to operate in 2399! More on that in the “why now” section down below.
- We will now have four possible areas of operation, covering all seven seasons of Star Trek: Voyager, starting with two available now and two coming up as expansion options once we see how this model works out. Each area will have its own Task Group, which have been renamed after their areas. These areas are generally distant from one another, the closest two being the Nacene Reach and the Nekrit Expanse, so reinforcements will be hard to come by. More on how one gets to the Delta Quadrant in the next bullet.
- Available now:
- The Gradin Belt. As mentioned before, this area is largely unchanged from its original iteration and represents the areas encountered by Voyager in its last few seasons. If you’re playing here, you’re playing with races that are just as powerful (and in some cases more powerful) than the Federation, like the Hirogen, Devore, Malon, and Hierarchy. Approximately 40,000 light-years from Federation space.
- The Nacene Reach. That’s what we’re calling the area of space that Voyager originally entered the Delta Quadrant, named after the Caretaker’s species. If you’re playing here, you’re one of the first ships back in the region since 2372 and you’ll be dealing with races that are dangerous, but much less advanced than the Federation, such as the Kazon and Vidiians, while also uncovering the fate of the Ocampa, the Talaxians, and other one-hit-wonder planets that Voyager passed by in seasons 1-3. Approximately 70,000 light-years from Federation space, and 30,000 light-years from the Gradin Belt.
- Expansion options:
- The Nekrit Expanse. In the show, the Nekrit expanse is portrayed as being inhospitable and vast–serving as a natural barrier that keeps races like the Borg, the Krenim, and the Hirogen from venturing into the Nacene Reach, but Voyager barely spent any time here. What mysteries can be discovered here? What races might be living on its borders? This represents approximately Season 4 of Voyager, and would be akin (in some ways) to the ‘Star Desert’ that was part of the round table. It is between The Swarm and The Borg.
- The Swallow Nebula. On the other side of Borg space from the Nekrit expanse there’s a large area that gives us the name of our last area. This area includes what we’re calling “medium” powers, a group of races where no one individual power has control or dominance. Races like the Krenim, the Hirogen, the B’Omar, and the Alsurans live here. The Alsurans were wiped out through time travel by the Krenim, but with that undone they are an entirely blank slate to be explored! This area is separated from the Gradin Belt by the Void, putting it 2,500 light-years away from the nearest way into the Delta Quadrant (more on that later), so this is the most remote region in the Task Force.
- Available now:
- The Barzan Wormhole is our new way in and out of the Delta Quadrant. Located near Ferengi space, Barzan II is a toxic world with a wormhole. You might remember from TNG and VOY that it was unstable, but thanks to the magic of 2389 science, we’ve managed to stabilize it with a fixed verteron array–woo, magic! Errr… science! This is to simply our relation to canon; it’s easier to explain this than the Epatha Gateway, though it works in a similar way: the wormhole connects every 91 days from the Alpha Quadrant to two spots in the Delta Quadrant for 30 minutes each, one in the Gradin Belt, and one between the Nacene Reach and the Nekrit expanse. This makes travel and contact between the two quadrants possible, but preserves the feeling of isolation we have as a Task Force.
- Starbase 38 is now located in orbit of Barzan II and will be a new Guardian-class starbase.
So, what does this mean for me?
Task Force 38 is striving for a cohesive canon between its writing groups. Does this mean that we’re going to police your sites and wag our fingers at you? No! Does it mean that we need to treat the canon environment in a collaborative and thoughtful way? Yeah, absolutely. For instance, you can do all of the missions you want with the Kazon, but them unifying around a single leader and conquering the quadrant is something you’d want to talk about with the TFSS first about. Things like that. We’re also hoping that Task Groups will interact somewhat organically–we’re going to be keeping a list of NPC ships assigned to each TG, so use one of those rather than a random ship for your next mission. Or better yet, have a joint-mission with another sim! In a remote quadrant, ships would need to help each other and pool resources to survive.
What we are going to be doing is keeping a list of who has interacted with what race and summarizing those interactions on that race’s wiki entry, which can give other people story ideas and recognize the cool contributions you’re making to canon! Once we’ve tried this model for a while, we can think about overarching plots, but for now what we want to provide is a robust canon drawing directly from what has been established on TV for you to explore and experiment with.
We feel that these changes are going to be very good for our Task Force, as it has consistently been one of the smallest in the fleet, due in no small part to the amount of fanon (we feel) rather than canon backstory.
Why now, though?
When we had a leadership change in TF38, the task force had some pretty low numbers, in terms of groups and activity, so we felt that it was a good time to change gears. Plus, with Star Trek: Picard looming on the horizon, we wanted to focus on the Delta Quadrant (which we hope won’t be majorly affected by the new show), so that the fleet can focus on the necessary changes to other Task Forces, come the Spring. We decided to jump to 2399 a.) to make the Barzan stabilization and Starbase 38 construction timeline make sense, but also b.) because we didn’t want to have to have dozens and dozens of characters plus several writing groups completely reinvent themselves in just a few months.
TL;DR: Task Force 38 is now back to Voyager’s canon!
Please bear with us as we get this all on the wiki, but you can find much more detail on these topics, here: https://wiki.bravofleet.com/index.php?title=Task_Force_38
If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to the Task Force Senior Staff or your local game manager.