CoE Elections for 2023-2025

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thorondor
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CoE Elections for 2023-2025

Post by thorondor »

After an almost 2 year´s hiatus we finally would like to announce the long overdue election of a new Council for the 2023 to 2025 term.

On January 22nd, 2023 the poll will be started here in the COE forum. The voting process will be up for 2 weeks then.

Now, we would very much like to invite any of you who thinks he or she could add something in order to support the game and it´s community.
Right now there are 4 areas defined, where expertise is needed:

Rules Oversight Committee (ROC)
Game Promoting & Public Relations Committee (GPPRC)
Dream Cards Committee (DCC)
Web Initiatives Committee (WIC)

You will find more detailled information in the Charter of the COE: https://councilofelrond.org/charter-2/

If you want to be a candidate, please tell us a few things about yourself, your involvement with MECCG and how you would like to contribute as a COE member.

Feel free to ask any questions here or via PM.

List of candidates so far (more are welcome till January 21st, 2023):

Manuel Cabezalí "manuel"
"kodi"
Ethan "DamienX207"
"Mordakai"
Felipe Silva "fisilva1"
Marc Sarzi "Sarma72"
Nicolai Willinek "Vastor Pereshil"
Khamul the Easterling
rezwits
Marcos
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Manuel
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Re: CoE Elections for 2023-2025

Post by Manuel »

Well, someone had to be the first to answer the call, so here it is:

My name is Manuel Cabezalí and I've been playing MECCG on and off since 1998. I've played a lot of other games too, but at some point, I've always come back to this game because it's my favorite card game ever. Almost 25 years later I still get to see new deck ideas here and there, it's amazing!

I am currently a member of the Council of Rivendel, the body in charge of all things related to MECCG in Spain and Latin America. We refurbished the council in 2020 and since then, we have seen the biggest player base growth in our community since ICE lost the license long ago. Some of our achievements as a team are:

- We have developed a new website www.meccg.es, with extensive deck archives, rulings, a powerful search engine for both cards and rulings, and many more features.
- We have worked on and recently released a remastered version of all the cards, with errata and updated text included, and better images, both in English and Spanish.
- Various video tutorials teaching players different alignments, timing rules, etc.
- We organize team tournaments that serve as an entrance to the different alignments for beginners. We've had 40 players playing Hero, 28 playing Minion, and 28 playing Fallen Wizard, distributed in equal teams of veteran and new players, so the veterans can help the newcomers build and refine their decks and strategies. And of course, we also have our own competitive 2-deck general opponent tournament, called Copa Imladris. It is being played right now, with 30 players inscribed.
-Every year we hold one or two beginner's exclusive tournaments, the next one will start next month and we already have 18 players in. Most of them have never played in a tournament before.
-We have a big WhatsApp general group (250 players/collectors and growing) of Spanish and Latin American players, and another exclusive for rules and strategy questions with 112 members as we speak. Lots of activity going on there!

***

And now you may think: why am I giving you all this information about the Council of Rivendell?

During the past year, Sergio Martínez "Kodi" and I have repeatedly asked ourselves the same question: "if we've been able to make the Spanish community grow in such a healthy way, what could happen if we also extended our work to the international community?" And that's the reason I'm here. I'd like to help my favorite game thrive. I think a strong, active Council, is important to gather players under the same banner.

If I get to be elected, my goals/principles as a future CoE member would be (in no special order):

1 – Constituting a new NetRep team that can answer questions about rules officially.
2 – Getting the Annual Rulings Vote's ball rolling again. It's a great initiative and I really liked the results of the 2018 edition.
3 – Promoting organized play, both offline and online. We already host online tournaments for the Spanish and Latinamerican people, so why not extend some of them to the non-Spanish players as well?
4 – Creating online video content in both Spanish and English, showing the beauty of this game to the world.
5 – Strong moderation of the forums and different channels of communication. This is an essential part of my program and I'd like to be very upfront about it. The House of Elrond should be a place of love and respect for each other, and there must be room for everyone to speak and feel at home, without being attacked, patronized, mocked, or belittled.

****

My main areas of expertise are probably organized play, rules questions, and, in general, contributing and/or directing projects that require different people to work as a team. However, there is one concept that I'd like to point out as an important part of my philosophy, which is the Council of Rivendel philosophy, too: A Council doesn't need to do all things personally; you don't need to be a member to help. A Council is a body in charge of supervising and organizing that those things get done in the best possible way, normally assigning tasks to both members and non-members. We believe that any Council should watch out for the wellness of the community, and this can be done visibly or invisibly sometimes.

Thanks for reading,

Manuel
www.manuelcabezali.com
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kodi
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Re: CoE Elections for 2023-2025

Post by kodi »

Hello friends!

I'm Kodi and I would like to put my time and experience at the service of this great community. In recent years the CoE has been very little active but I think that with new blood it can once again be a meeting place for all the people who love this great game.

As Manuel explained, we are convinced that the following initiatives could be decisive for the future of the community:

- Creation of video tutorials in English
- Coordination of international online tournaments
- Organization of the rules
- Clarification of pending rulings
- Support community initiatives
- Improve the website and current forum of the CoE
- Recover the prestige and respect for the work of the CoE
- Recover a common place for the different communities

The spanish community knows me well because I am a very active person there. Maybe some of you know me from Lure and the Worlds. For those who don't know me, here are some personal achievements:

- Creation of the meccg.es site with detailed information: card search engine, deck file, rules, maps, collectibles, etc.
- Remastered Cards in English and Spanish
- Use of the web to promote the whatsapp group of the spanish community and invite 230 people
- Creation of tutorials in Spanish to teach how to play from scratch with the different alignments.
- Recovery of the GCCG to play online, which had been abandoned. Re-style with remastered cards
- Google player's map
- Organization of the rules and CRFs of the web
- Publishing the ICE digests on the web that were forgotten by most players, formatting them and creating an advanced search system (with the help of Pedro Mellado)
- Refoundation and member of the Council of Rivendell
- Current member of the CoE NetRep Team (although we haven't been able to do anything yet)
- 2021 World Champion

Personally, I really enjoy playing and building decks, so I would like to be able to play online with people from all over the world, in tournaments organized by the CoE, and without doubts about the rules.

Thanks for your time ;)
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CDavis7M
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Re: CoE Elections for 2023-2025

Post by CDavis7M »

     
Last edited by CDavis7M on Wed Jan 25, 2023 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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DamienX207
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Re: CoE Elections for 2023-2025

Post by DamienX207 »

Hello, friends -

In my native tongue, my name is Ethan, though most in the community know me as DamienX207, which is both my handle here on the forum as well as on the Discord channel. I would like to formally offer my candidacy for the Council of Elrond's next term.

---

My background -

I have been playing MECCG for the past 25 years or so, and have been a forum member for the past 5 or so years. I recently discovered the Discord channel, and just finished running a global player tournament on there. I'm probably best known for the maps that I've designed over the years to serve as player guides, which I hope indicates my passion and commitment to fostering the accessibility and longevity of MECCG. I work in the audio-visual realm professionally, and have been a freelance website designer for many years, as well. Finally, I would mention that I have served on non-profit Boards of Directors in real life and thus have a good sense of how a 'council' like this should optimally be run. For these reasons and more, I believe that my presence on the Council would be greatly beneficial to the community and the game.

---

My current concerns -

I'm going to be very, very honest in my assessment: from my perspective, as well as the perspective of most of the community members to whom I've spoken in the past year, the Council of Elrond has abjectly failed in its mission to be a worldwide coordinating body of MECCG. We have gone literally years without any council business posted to the forum, literally no movement on any initiatives aside from Dream Cards and Cardnum (neither of which I would really consider CoE official business as much as giving credit to the DC team and Rezwits respectively). Most of us had the highest of hopes when my good friend Jabberwock renewed the push for a functioning Council, but sadly he's disappeared into the void himself, and since then we've seen virtually no community engagement, no events, no nothing - just a community-wide rules vote without any actual Rules Wizards giving input to help guide things, and then after 2 years of radio silence, suddenly a new 'NetRep' is appointed without any dialogue and the community's subsequently expressed concerns are ignored and denigrated. It's also worth noting that this all coincided with a global pandemic which gave way to massive interested in dead CCGs, and yet the CoE didn't capitalize on any of that momentum whatsoever. I don't see how anyone could argue that this past Council hasn't been a failure on seemingly every level.

Now, with that said: the world has been in a pandemic. I get that real life gets in the way; I'm sure that it has for Jabberwock, and presumably most of the rest of the previous councilmembers. That is totally understandable, and we should respect and support those who feel like they no longer have the time to commit to a side project like MECCG when so many other important things are happening in the world around us.

But -- this *should* be a time commitment. If a councilmember doesn't have time to commit to being an active member of the CoE, then they shouldn't run for it (when Jabberwock asked if I wanted to run for the last term, I declined given my concerns about a potential time commitment); and if someone runs and then later finds that they no longer have time, they should be making that known so that an emergency election can be held if necessary, or so that at the least alternative plans can be made and the CoE doesn't disappear like a wight in the sun for years on end. There needs to be a level of individual commitment, and also transparency to that commitment, that has not been previously upheld.

I would encourage those who are running for this new term to think long and hard about whether they actually have time to commit to improving the global state of MECCG in 2023-2025, or if this just seems like a fun thing to say that they did but they have no real time to invest in following through on their promises.

I would also posit that, in 2022, the active MECCG community is truly on Discord, not on the forum, and anyone who isn't at least somewhat active on Discord is probably not going to be active to the extent that the Council needs. Finally, I would vote against anyone who was on the previous Council continuing with the Council for another term, aside from DC and Cardnum reps as mentioned. The failures are too significant, and unforgiveable at this point. We need new energy, clearly.

---

My thoughts on moving forward -

Let me preface the following by stating that I consider myself to be as open-minded as one can be. I am a firm opponent to ideology of any kind, and am 100% open to reconsidering opinions when offered new information or counter-considerations. So while I do have thoughts, I also want to stress that I am not dead-set in any of these, and would like to work with the other councilmembers as well as the community at large to ensure that any and all actions moving forward are fully and fairly debated. With that said ...

1) Council Operations

I would propose that the CoE should be run more like an actual Board of Directors for a non-profit organization. There should be a commitment to quarterly in-person meetings (e.g. on Zoom/Discord) to discuss the current state of initiatives and assign new tasks for the coming quarter. There should also be an expected commitment of 25+ hours per year (minimum!) spent in the service of MECCG and the CoE. Members who are unable to meet these requirements should be replaced. The CoE should never again be allowed to fall into its current state of disrepair.

2) Formal Rules Overhaul

MECCG was designed to tell a story. It was both created and discontinued at the height of the 90's CCG era, long before the inherent problems with imprecise, story-focused language had fully manifested for the industry (for reference, Magic's 'Sixth Edition Rules' were released a full year after MECGG had already gone out of print). Presumably, the MECCG designers did their best to build a rules system that could support the story-focused language of their templating, but also foresaw that local playgroups could just institute ad hoc rulings at their own 'kitchen tables'--and lacking a better alternative, that's what most of us did. In the nearly 25 years since, however, the lack of a cohesive, robust rules system has only grown heavier as a burden, particularly when any remaining players have mostly coalesced online. Whose 'kitchen table' rules will be used in a new game? Who makes new rulings (and more importantly, what if they're wrong)? How can new players even begin to understand the rules when they're spread over thousands of webpages and forum posts without any clues as to what supercedes what? And how can an online 'community' be fostered when never-ending rules confusion overshadows any novel appeal of shuffling up and just having fun?

This has been a long expected journey, going back to *at least* the infamous 'Open Letter' that was posted by Frodo in 2008. That was 10 years after the game went out of print, and it's been almost 15 years again since, and seemingly little headway has been made at solving this fundamental challenge (though some have valiantly tried)--but understandably so, as it is a colossal task beyond even getting the One Ring to Mount Doom. Furthermore, I would argue that this is the starting point for the community angst about the out-of-nowhere NetRep appointment; when it's very easy to ask rules questions on Discord and get nearly instant answers, the community and game doesn't need a 'NetRep' for random questions as much as an accurate and comprehensives reference document at large.

Several months ago, I decided that I can't sit around complaining about how nobody else will tackle this if I'm not willing to do it myself, and so I've have been working with various Rules Wizards to create a cohesive, robust rules system that can be used for rulings by tournament organizers or anybody else--or at least, attempting to create one as a thought experiment to see if legalistic rules are even draftable for such a story-focused game. My ideological approach has been to change nothing, or the bare minimum, from the original ICE design, and merely to instill as much clarity and precision as possible (while also taking into account subsequent rulings over the decades since--but if most of us can agree that a posthumous ruling is wrong, I don't personally see why those can't be fixed now, too). This is a beautiful, rich game, and I'm not personally interested in 'improving' it.

With that said, I've never thought of this as 'my' project; I've done a lot of the groundwork because somebody needed to do it, but my hope is that this can be a project for our entire community, a chance to unite around a common cause and create a new 'edition' of the rules that would make the designers proud and with which we can all be happy (or at least satisfied). And I would like to work with the rest of the CoE, and the community at large, to make this obviously much-needed vision a reality.

3) Website Update

As mentioned, I have been a freelance website designer for many years, and the current CoE website needs a *lot* of help, from better organization, clearer resources, and general SEO. I would be more than happy to tackle this, as well.

4) Tournament Organization

As the worldwide coordinating body for MECCG, the CoE should be taking initiatives to foster regular tournaments, particularly online tournaments e.g. on Discord/Cardnum/etc where, as mentioned, the active community actually is. Going back to (2), I believe that a fixed rules document is needed to make tournament play feasible.

---

I, like many members of the community, have a lot of misgivings about the CoE as an institution given so many years of inaction, ruling mistakes, and general opposition to actually representing the best interests of the community. But MECCG has provided countless benefits to my own life in the decades that I've played the game, and so despite my concerns about the past, I would honor the opportunity to have my presence on the upcoming Council be a benefit to our game's future.

Your humble community member,
DamienX
Kjeld
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Re: CoE Elections for 2023-2025

Post by Kjeld »

I barely get a chance to play the game anymore (two young kids and a demanding job will do that!), though I lurk on the forums and hope to get back into the game more one day. With that caveat, I want to chime in to encourage any prospective council members to examine the player councils, committees or equivalent of other 'dead' CCG communities that have been successful in engaging and building a lively player base. There is much that could be learned from their examples!

In particular, I think that the Star Wars CCG Player Committee is something of a "gold standard" in this regard. Not only is the game going very strong in person and online (they have a fully automated online gaming site, GEMP: https://gemp.starwarsccg.org/gemp-swccg/), but they also regularly release "virtual sets" (like our DC sets in MECCG) and have extensive custom swag (deck boxes, foil/AI slips, etc) given out as prizes, incentives, and for donating $$ to the PC. Just look at what they've done with the rules for a similarly complex, story-driven game: https://res.starwarsccg.org/wp/wp-conte ... lebook.pdf. Would that we had something even 1/10th as nice for MECCG!
marcos
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Re: CoE Elections for 2023-2025

Post by marcos »

Kjeld wrote: Sun Dec 04, 2022 1:40 am I barely get a chance to play the game anymore (two young kids and a demanding job will do that!), though I lurk on the forums and hope to get back into the game more one day. With that caveat, I want to chime in to encourage any prospective council members to examine the player councils, committees or equivalent of other 'dead' CCG communities that have been successful in engaging and building a lively player base. There is much that could be learned from their examples!

In particular, I think that the Star Wars CCG Player Committee is something of a "gold standard" in this regard. Not only is the game going very strong in person and online (they have a fully automated online gaming site, GEMP: https://gemp.starwarsccg.org/gemp-swccg/), but they also regularly release "virtual sets" (like our DC sets in MECCG) and have extensive custom swag (deck boxes, foil/AI slips, etc) given out as prizes, incentives, and for donating $$ to the PC. Just look at what they've done with the rules for a similarly complex, story-driven game: https://res.starwarsccg.org/wp/wp-conte ... lebook.pdf. Would that we had something even 1/10th as nice for MECCG!
virtual cards was already a project in meccg back in the late 2000's and early 2010's. One set was officially released by the CoE (the Road goes ever on), and 2 sets were unnofficially released on GCCG. Somehow it didn't catch enough attention on the players (even though they were played at a few real life tournaments and some online tournaments as well). I would be glad if such project could resurface. VC's as opposed to DCs didn't add many new rules, it was closer and truthful to the original game.
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Mordakai
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Re: CoE Elections for 2023-2025

Post by Mordakai »

Hello everyone:

Mordakai here. I started playing this wonderful game back in 1998, left it for some years due to intense work needs, and came back to it in 2012, with a total of around 20 years of experience on it.

I'm kind of an experimental player, and competitive decks are not my jam. My best ranking ever was third place in Worlds 2013, so you will not probably know me in person.

At present time I'm part of the Council of Rivendel, (I will not bother you with details, Manuel Cabezali already posted our work in the last two years), my summary of this period would be that due to hard work we managed to regenerate the passion for the game in our influence area (Spanish speaking countries) and got rolling the tournaments aspect of the game, using online tools. The community has evolved from some (few) hardcore players to a lot of newcomers (and old players returned from beyond the Doors of Night), and also a lot of collectors.

I worked in the remaster of MECCG cards both in English and Spanish with Kodi.

I also have a quite humble YouTube channel (https://www.youtube.com/@satmmeccgcartas2138) in where I post online games (some of them with the real audio among the players, some others speeded up and commented by me and a few with no sound), some rules explainings and tutorials about GCCG use.

Regarding the Council of Elrond, my intentions are:

- Keep creating online content in Spanish, and start doing it in English. It has proven to be a very good way to ease the arrival of new players, by their own feedback.
- Supporting the initiatives from the individuals that can provide benefit to the whole community.
- Returning the CoE forum to the place where it was some years ago. We need it to be a place of meeting and discussion to all people, not just for the English speakers but for all players. Right now it is the only place where the different communities can touch each other, but it seems quite deserted.
- Promoting offline an online play.
C'mon, not the Elves of Lindon AGAIN...
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CDavis7M
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Re: CoE Elections for 2023-2025

Post by CDavis7M »

   
Last edited by CDavis7M on Wed Jan 25, 2023 9:02 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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DamienX207
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Re: CoE Elections for 2023-2025

Post by DamienX207 »

If I might be so bold as to reply to CDavis: thank you for your post. I sympathize with your concerns, and appreciate your research in the interest of accountability.

Though I haven't been on previous iterations of the CoE, my impression is that they have generally, abjectly failed because they were not run like an actual Non-Profit Board. Having been on those kind of boards myself, I can assure you that a bunch of individuals all haphazardly doing their own thing won't accomplish much (or yes, even bother to elect a chair), as you've shown. But although the CoE isn't technically a 501(c)(3), for most intents and purposes, that's essentially its function - a group of volunteers responsible for stewarding a larger body into the future, and simultaneously being accountable to the larger body for that directive - at least in an ideal world!

As mentioned, if elected, I will strongly push to fix the operations of the Council itself, to both better function as a governing body and to impose the accountability that we all expect. There MUST be quarterly, (virtually) in-person meetings where councilmembers meet and discuss progress on currently assigned tasks and assign new tasks for the coming quarter; and minutes need to be kept of those meetings which are then posted to the forum/website, so that the council's business is publicly accountable and not "hidden in darkness". Darkness fosters inaction, as we've seen (or haven't!). I personally want as much of a spotlight on the CoE as possible, and my impression is that the vast majority of our community feels the same way. [-me_ha-]
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CDavis7M
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Re: CoE Elections for 2023-2025

Post by CDavis7M »

Last edited by CDavis7M on Wed Jan 25, 2023 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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fisilva1
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Re: CoE Elections for 2023-2025

Post by fisilva1 »

Hello everyone:

Mi name is Felipe Silva. I'm an old player from Santiago, Chile. I'm 39 years old, I'm a father of two wonderful kids (8 & 6 years) and I work in a hospital in my country as a psychiatrist.

During pandemic I reasume playing meccg, after many years of stall, and I was glad to find many folks still interested in this beautiful game. It was a bliss.

I want to candidate myself as a member of the CoE, because I want to help the game to stay alive and well, and available for new players in the future. Maybe even my own kids would like to learn how to play it some day :D

I do not have any direct experience on the CoE affairs, but I'm enthusiastic, hard-working and I learn quickly.
I can offer general assistance to all future members of the CoE in the various tasks required.

Felipe Silva
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sarma72
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Re: CoE Elections for 2023-2025

Post by sarma72 »

Dear all,

after a few consultations and direct requests, I have decided to also take the plunge and volunteer to help our little MECCG community. I don't have much to say for myself in terms of MECCG experience except that I've been always in love with this game and that since rediscovering the pleasure of on-line gaming during lockdown I have consistently tried to help our sparse community by running on-line tournaments and in tutoring new players as they came along. I am far from a rule expert and I don't know much of the past CoE politics, although I clearly intend to put my time to remedy this shortcoming should I be elected.

So what can I bring to the CoE? Mostly, I can add the managing experience and diplomatic approach that I matured in my academic and research work environment, which has striking similarities to the MECCG community both of terms of size and attitudes. They indeed say that leading a group of Astronomers is like herding cats, and that in world of Astronomy (which counts only a few 1,000s professional researchers) it is certainly the case that "you always meet twice". So I think I should feel somewhat proud that in 20+ years of experience I have made no enemies in my field.

In practical terms I agree with most if not all the points raised earlier in this discussion and about the issued the CoE will need to focus on. To me, however, the most important point will be to commit to meeting on-line in person on a regular basis (I'd say every 3 months), since first and foremost we will have to come together as a team and agree on the direction we want to take. Having had personal conversations with a few candidates here I'm confident that we could make a good start.

Best wishes,
Marc Sarzi, aka as Sarma72
“The wide world is all about you: you can fence yourselves in, but you cannot forever fence it out.”
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CDavis7M
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Re: CoE Elections for 2023-2025

Post by CDavis7M »

Last edited by CDavis7M on Wed Jan 25, 2023 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Vastor Peredhil
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Re: CoE Elections for 2023-2025

Post by Vastor Peredhil »

After some pondering,

I decided to put myself on the ballot as Council Member again, if need be I was asked to fill the seat of the Chairman, but I rather not see myself in this roll,

Vastor a Aerfaroth is my nick everywhere, but Nicolai Willinek in RL, I am admin on the FB and gatekeeper on discord (insight joke) ...
I have been accussed of belonging to the Old Guard, but hey I started out young & never got into rules discussions...

so what you get from me
Dream cards sets and DC support (decks, intros, hints) etc

Social media active member, admin to old (meccg.net site) to see it does not fall of a cliff, but I really like some effort to make it part of our 1 council site (which could also be the spanish site for me)

FB admin and defender of spoon feeding answers

I can be diplomatic and know most of the active players around the globe ...

not sure much more is needed

I am trying to keep doing what I am doing also to help the council along with other aspects of the game, so far DC & ARDA is like the only thing actually moving these last 20 years . I made substantiable commitments to both

yours Nicolai aka Vastor
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