It’s finally here: The 20th anniversary of the founding of this great club. Who knew back on July 4, 2001 that this group, launched with humble beginnings on Angelfire and YahooGroups, would not only still be around today, but standing among the titans of simming?
Independence Fleet has seen good times, bad times, and everything in between. Throughout it all, we’ve endured to create some of the best Star Trek role playing the Internet has ever witnessed. With that in mind, we have an important message from a very special guest:
Whether you’ve been a member for one day or all 20 years, this legacy belongs to you! On behalf of the entire IDF Admiralty, we hope you thoroughly enjoy today’s message, almanac, and everything this fleet offers.
It is my great privilege to formally induct the newest members of the Independence Fleet Hall of Fame. For those who attended our 20th Anniversary Webcast yesterday, you got a sneak peak at the class of 2021. Induction into our Hall of Fame is the highest honor within this fleet. The criteria, requirements, and process can be found in the Hall of Fame Charter (pdf).
The following individuals are hereby inducted into the Independence Fleet Hall of Fame:
Inducted by Election:
Admiral Joseph “Stealth” Carroll
of the USS Washington
One of the most colorful characters in fleet history, Joseph “Stealth” Carroll has done it all. He joined the USS Washington during the fleet’s first month, then rose through the ranks and earned his first command on the USS Liberty, winning a posting title in his first month. He also served in numerous Admiralty roles up through 2020, most notably Fleet Inspector General. A contributor at every level, Carroll’s loyalty is unmatched.
Captain Wesley Chase
of the USS Avalon
A longtime Captain during IDF’s late renaissance period, Wesley Chase led many original adventures on his two commands, the USS Avalon and USS Archimedes, including during a three month stint as Commanding Officer of both. He knew how to push the boundaries while staying true to the best ideals of both Trek and simming. Chase tallied two posting titles and 2.33 Genesis awards.
Vice Admiral Caroline Marion
no sim selection
A member of the Admiralty through much of IDF’s history, from the late early years up through 2020, Caroline Marion is best known as the genius behind the fleet logos developed circa 2004-06. Building on earlier fleet emblems, the graphics received rave reviews from players and were highly influential on subsequent club artwork. Indeed, the theme and feel from Marion’s work remains today.
Fleet Admiral James D. West
of the USS Sunfire
One of the club’s three founders and instrumental throughout its history, James D. West has left an incalculable mark. He coined the Independence Fleet name, created the first bell & wings logo, and served as the first, third & sixth fleet Commanding Officer. He additionally created four sims and returned in 2020 when the fleet was teetering on collapse. Without West’s many contributions, we wouldn’t be celebrating today.
Fleet Admiral AJ Wheeler
no sim selection
The third and final individual to achieve the Fleet Admiral rank, AJ Wheeler was also the longest serving fleet Commanding Officer, a position held for more than nine years. While the fleet saw many ups and downs during Wheeler’s tenure, it was noted for its extreme growth and many contributions to the greater simming universe, including hosting and sponsoring major community events.
Inducted by the Veterans Committee:
Commander George Ruiken
of the USS Sunfire
A champion simmer from IDF’s late early period, George Ruiken was a go-to player who know how to push the plot forward and make it entertaining for all. He quickly rose through the ranks to Commander, and is still in the top 20 all-time with 6 total awards, including 2 MVPs and 2 Funniest Posts. Ruiken’s posts were always imaginative and provided many opportunities for others to get involved.
Congratulations to all six of our 2021 inductees! Well done, and thank you for providing an example for us still role playing to follow. You will forever be remembered for your extraordinary contributions to Independence Fleet. There are now 33 total members of this most exclusive club.
In a stunning coincidence, the three sims represented this year are the USS Sunfire (x2), USS Avalon, and USS Washington–identical to our original fleet line-up on July 4th, 2001.
Speaking of that, stay tuned for more news regarding our 20th anniversary today…
Wow, what a 20th Anniversary Webcast! It was so awesome that I think we have a new tradition here in this fleet. Our very own Admiral Ken Gillis hosted the event, where he introduced the Hall of Fame class of 2021 and awarded prizes to three people from among our monthly award winners. If you missed it, you’ll have to wait until tomorrow to see the Hall of Fame inductees. However, I can give a quick recap of the prize drawing.
First, here are the prizes:
Next, the names of the monthly award winners were added to the big wheel. Players received a spot on the wheel for each award they won dating back to March 2020 (award fractions were rounded up):
Congratulations to all three! And thank you again to Ken for hosting and putting this on. Bravo!
Please stay tuned for more anniversary news tomorrow…
EDIT: Due to our current embargo on shipping goods to Canada, Aurther Winters will instead be getting a Tim Hortons gift card as a consolation. Also, Remal Kajun has offered to donate his prize. As such, we drew two more winners: Lieutenant Dean House of the USS Sunfire & Lt. Cmdr. T’Ponga Shemara of the USS Montana. Enjoy the prizes!
Join us this Saturday, June 12th, at 11:30 AM EDT (-4) / 4:30 pm BST (+1) for the 2021 SciWorld Online Convention. Chair Aurther Winters, Fleet XO Ken Gillis, and many others have put in a lot of hours to make this an extra special event this year. After the 11:30 opening ceremony, we have seven hours of provocative discussions, interactive trivia games, and live role playing planned.
This will be the 19th SciWorld, and the third hosted by IDF. The first SciWorld was held all the way back in 1999. And just to see how far we’ve come over the years, here’s the opening video from the first modern SciWorld, which we hosted in 2011:
We know this is crazy, but basically the crews are trading ships: USS Sunfire CO Captain Sandy “Ghost” Shannon & crew and USS Liberty CO Captain Rhenora Kaylen & crew are permanently swapping ships.
Over the last week, each crewmember added their character to the other sim. Then today, the two Captains published joint genesis posts on each sim: Here’s the Sunfire’s & here’s the Liberty’s. Crewmembers are free to participate on both sims for the remainder of the missions, which will be wrapped up before the end of the month. At that time, legacy Liberty members will have their characters deactivated as they continue on the Sunfire, and legacy Sunfire members will have their characters deactivated as they continue on the Liberty.
Why do this?
Both sims have tremendous histories here at IDF. In fact, IDF was born out of the original Sunfire, and it was one of our three launch sims back in July 2001. Shortly thereafter, the Liberty was our first expansion sim on August 1, 2001. The current registry numbers hark back to those early days. When we relaunched both sims last year, circumstances led to the Liberty crew largely consisting of players from the last incarnation of the Sunfire. They’re simply going home now. And fortunately, the crew of the Sunfire are good enough sports to play along.
How will these joint missions turn out?
I have no idea, but they’re sure to be wild as we’ve never attempted anything like this before!
With that said, as of today, Captain Rhenora Kaylen is now the Commanding Officer of the USS Sunfire, and Captain Sandy “Ghost” Shannon is now the Commanding Officer of the USS Liberty. Congratulations, Captains! May you continue to lead your sims to new heights!
All, here are three command news items to keep everyone up to date:
An audit of our blog revealed that we never announced both of these October 1, 2020 changes of command in this forum: Captain Akeno Misaki of the USS Wayfarer and Captain T’Brei Sheridan of the USS Sunfire.
Captain Sandy “Ghost” Shannon assumed command of the USS Sunfire on May 1, 2021. A special thanks to Captain Sheridan for leading the Sunfire for seven months.
Captain John Wells will assume command of the USS Eminence on June 1, 2021. A special thanks to Captain Polto for leading the Eminence over the last 11 months.
We’re less than two months away from our 20th Anniversary this summer on July 4th. As part of the ongoing celebrations this year, we held a 20th Anniversary Trivia Day this past Saturday. In addition to giving away six “fantastic” prizes to our winners, we were able to cap the evening off with a Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan watch party. For those who were unable to attend, here’s the summary:
Description (estimated retail value)
Independence Fleet mug ($15)
Micro Machines Star Trek Generations set ($16)
A Happy Birthday message from John de Lancie ($150)
Star Trek TOS VHS signed by IDF co-founder James D. West ($0.99)
Star Trek TNG Badge & Lapel set ($17)
Spock Vehicle Decal ($25)
Aurther Winters won Star Trek: TOS Season 1 and selected the IDF mug
Galaxis won Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and selected the John de Lancie birthday message
Aurther Winters won Star Trek Round Robin and selected the Badge & Lapel set
LuckyFan won Doctor Who and stole the Badge & Lapel set; Aurther Winters selected the signed VHS tape
NisaMage won Supernatural and selected the Spock Vehicle decal
NisaMage won Star Wars Original Trilogy and selected the Micro Machines set
Beyond the prizes above, we will also be sending a small token to each person who correctly answered at least one question at any point during the day. Finally, we thank our event hosts for helping make it a truly special occasion: Shran dh’Klar, Trident, Angelus, Emmalyn Marcus, and yours truly.
All-in-all, it was a fantastic experience. Thank you again to all who were able to take part.
In honor of our club’s 20th anniversary later this summer, we’re hosting a day of trivia in our fleet Discord’s general discussion chat room on May 8th. All are invited to partake: current members, former members, and non-members.
We have six one-hour sessions on a variety of Star Trek and science fiction topics planned. Feel free to pop in and out for the ones that most interest you.
Schedule of Events
Star Trek: TOS Season 1
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine
Star Trek Round-Robin
Star Wars Original Trilogy
Yes, prizes! We have six fantastic prizes to distribute to the six trivia winners. Here’s how it’ll work: The winner of the first event will get to pick one of the six prizes below. The next winner can then choose to take one of the remaining five prizes or to steal the first prize selected. Same thing for the next winner, all the way down to the final winner, who will have their pick of the entire lot. Anytime someone has their prize stolen, they have to take one of the unselected prizes–no back-to-back steals. You might recognize these rules as similar to a white elephant gift routine. And you’re right!
Independence Fleet mug
Micro Machines Star Trek Generations set
A Happy Birthday message from John de Lancie to you or a friend Must be used within 1 year
Star Trek TOS S1E17: The Squire of Gothos VHS tape signed by IDF co-founder James D. West Not guaranteed to work
Star Trek TNG Badge & Lapel set
Spock Vehicle Decal
Finally, please also join us after trivia at 8 pm Eastern in Discord for a watch party of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
If you stumbled across our website last Thursday, you might have seen something a bit peculiar. In case you missed it, we’ve archived it here.
The prototypical 1990s simming webpage, complete with animated gifs, a repeating background, and way too many Admirals was the brainchild of our Fleet XO and Chief of Technology Ken Gillis. As most of you know, IDF didn’t actually exist back then as it was founded in 2001. However, some of our members today got their starts back in the 90’s.
Independence Fleet actually has a long history of winning at ToS. Our first awards came in 2011 with the USS Liberty and USS Sunfire. 2012 was a monster year with five winners: USS Chirikov, USS Liberty, USS Rioja, USS Sunfire, and USS Victory. We then had one winner apiece in 2013 (USS Victory) and 2014 (USS Chuck Norris).
Excellence in Creativity:
Best Star Trek sim:
Outstanding Star Trek Sim:
Excellence in Creativity:
Excellence in Character Development:
Excellence in Readability:
Best Star Trek Sim:
Most Creative Sim:
Which of our sims are going to win for 2021? It’s anyone’s game!