Interview with “Regional Manager” Johannes Klarhauser | openCards

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Interview with “Regional Manager” Johannes Klarhauser

    Long-Small-BannerimagePart of the coverage for the Big-Event "Regionals 2008".

    This Interview with KaiserK was hold by openCards user Tribble.

    In our second introduction interview of the TCC-era Organized Play Europe volunteers we have the pleasure to talk to Johannes Klarhauser.

    Q: Hi Johannes. Let us start with something provocative. Someone who deemed himself fluent in the German language explained to me that “Schmarrn” is something used in Bavaria (which is something like the Texas of Germany, only with Lederhosen) to describe more or less “bullshit”, making your TCC-handle “Kaiserschmarrn” the “emperor of bullshit”. Is that translation valid?

    A: No, not really. You can tell your friend that his German is not as fluent as he might think. Kaiserschmarrn is not a nickname of mine, but simply the title of my website. Actually, Kaiserschmarrn is a kind of food, but your friend's right in a way, Schmarrn can also mean something like nonsense or BS. In this context it translates roughly to Kaiser’s Mindless Ramblings, which I think is an accurate description of the contents of my blog.

    Q: Okay, that should explain that strange title to all our non-German readers. I understand it that you have been “crowned” “Regional Manager” for Germany & Poland. Is the “regional” part of this title referring only to the “regionals” (i. e. a short season) or more to your general territory throughout the year?

    A: It refers to the territory. Each of the four European regions will have its own Regional Manager. I am responsible for central Europe, the other RMs include James Hoskin from the United Kingdom and Julius Mehlhardt from Austria. Our most important task during the initial stage is to take care of the organization and coordination of the Regional tournaments in our respective areas, but we are also responsible for other forms of Organized Play, for example, running National Championships and similar big events. Most of this was handled by Thorsten Wanek in the past; Thorsten will still be supervising everything as Organized Play Coordinator for Europe, but in the future the RMs will assist him in his efforts.

    My other tasks include the recruitment and support of tournament directors, as well as putting the plans of The Continuing Committee into action. Also, the other RMs and I will be busy identifying and developing new OP concepts in order to provide the best environment for tournaments for our players. In short, if players have any questions, suggestions, concerns or criticisms about Organized Play, they should not hesitate to contact me.

    Q: I assume “Germany & Poland” will be renamed (as part of your title) as soon as this part of the STCCG (or TCC) map of the world has found his new gamma quadrant name. Any suggestions how the “Kaiser” would name his territories?

    A: I will start a poll on to let the players decide on this. Since TCC put us into the gamma quadrant, maybe “Omarion Nebula” might fit. After all, that’s where the homeworld of the Founders is, and I for one will be infiltrating the World Championship in the alpha quadrant later this year, so I think that’s appropriate. Of course, I’m open to other suggestions – Central Europe, the Black Hole, anything goes. If you have an idea, just let me know.

    Q: Personally I would have gone for “piwo planet” or “bier planet”, but - of course - priorities differ. In our last interview your colleague Thomas Vorwerk showed himself quite satisfied with The Continuing Committee's work so far, but saw the danger of too much bureaucracy with the TD-tests and similar organisational issues. What is your opinion on this, as you’re directly involved in the organisation of the Regionals?

    A: So far, I think TCC has been doing a great job. They did what was most important, that is, keep the ball rolling right after Decipher announced the end of STCCG in December. For example, to my knowledge the community of Lord of the Rings TCG, a game that had many more players than Trek ever did, fell apart completely after it was officially discontinued. We are very lucky to have Charlie Plaine and his crew, who stepped up immediately and won the support of the entire community. It’s only natural that some of the things they’re working on take a couple of months to be fully operational, but I think we can agree that during the first three months of 2008 we have seen a lot more positive things than during the latter days of the Decipher era.

    As for the bureaucracy and organisational issues you mentioned, I do not share those concerns. For the regular players, nothing really changes. The only people who will have to worry about these things are the tournament directors, and even for them the changes are not too dramatic. In the past, TDs had to sign up with Decipher, have a credit card, and pay tournament fees. Now, all they have to do is create an account at and pass the Level 1 test. The L1 test is actually very basic, and everybody who has judged a tournament in the past should be able to pass the test without much trouble. Keep in mind that even in the Decipher/DGMA days, TDs were always required to be familiar with the tournament resources (Code of Conduct, Organized Play Guide, Current Rulings Document), and to have a decent knowledge of tournament procedures and the general principles of the game.

    For Level 2 and above, the tests will of course be more demanding, but again, an experienced tournament director who is familiar with all the resources provided by TCC should be able to pass those tests. However, a Level 2 certificate is only necessary for people who have to judge a Regional anyway, so the average local tournament director does not have to worry about additional qualifications above Level 1, as they usually won’t need them. In our Region, we already have two certified Level 2 judges, and we will probably have a third one by the beginning of May. That should be enough to cover all parts of our Region. Again, only a very small percentage of players has to worry about anything above Level 1; for the vast majority, nothing really changes. People who want to run tournaments have to fill in a form and answer a couple of very basic question, but as I said before, the tournament directors have always been expected to put in a little extra effort for the community.

    Please don't think of this as some evil plan by TCC to make life hard for the players; it's more a way to make sure that every tournament is run by someone who is actually qualified to do so.

    Q: But what if there is nobody in my area who can be bothered to take the L1 test, or nobody manages to pass the test?

    A: Even if you do not have a certified judge in your area, you can still run so-called Level 0 events. These events will not appear in TCC tournament system, but they ensure that everybody has the opportunity to host a tournament. By the way, the Regional Managers will be happy to offer their assistance to anyone trying to obtain that Level 1 certificate. If you don’t understand rulings or tournament procedures, feel free to contact us!

    Q: What do you see as the best (and worst) changes since TCC has taken over from Decipher?

    A: There are so many things that have changed for the better. To name only a few, we now have a dedicated website with regular updates (CRD, strategy articles,…), an improved international organized play structure, improved communication between the powers that be and the players, and at the moment we can observe the implementation of a new ranking system.

    I do not think anything has changed for the worse. Remember, TCC is a non-profit organization, run by the players for the players. With that in mind, I think they are doing a bloody good job compared to what we have seen at some stages of the Decipher era.

    If there’s one thing that left a bit of bad taste in my mouth, it would be TCC’s initial requirement to have deck checks at Level 2 events; but this issue was addressed immediately, and apparently the OP crew realized that the players have a much more relaxed attitude towards organized play than TCC thought.

    Q: Did you encounter any post-WYLB tactics in recent tournaments and games that you expect to show up at the regionals?

    A: I have only played one tournament with WYLB cards, so I cannot say too much about it. Almost all the decks at that tournament, mine included, had a couple of WYLB cards in them, but I haven’t seen a completely new deck type built around the new cards. That being said, in the live matches played on TCC message boards there were some very promising ideas, e.g., the Orion Girls thief deck. New cards that appeared in almost any deck are the new dilemmas, for example, Chula: The Chandra, The Clown: Guillotine, etc.

    Q: Which other WYLB card(s) have you used so far?

    A: In my Borg deck, I ran the new Borg Data. He’s great when combined with Regeneration Alcoves, as long as you remember to return him to your hand (or as long as your opponent does not ;-) ). Chancellor Gorkon, General Chang and Governor Worf made it into my Klingon Diplomacy deck, as did the Kla’Diyus and the Qel’poh. I’ve also used the Federation version of the Qel’poh and Five-Year Mission in my TOS deck.

    Q: Alright, this nice little talk should have introduced you, your new “mission” and opinions in satisfying way. Let’s hope for a successful Regional season. Thank you for this interview.