Last year on Ongoing Worlds, we hosted a role playing game show called The Simming Endeavor. The concept was simple: Bring 13 different role players together into a single game, allow them to compete each week to write the best post on a particular topic, and then have them vote each other out until there’s only one left. As host, it was tons of fun–some of my best all-time memories of role playing.
Our very own Bolak (aka Largehobbit) was one of the contestants. I’ll save you the spoiler and not tell you how he did! James “Rook” Mirtoh and James D. West both served as special guests (episodes 3 and 8, respectively). And finally, our former Director of Art, Sadie Stanton (aka Bella), created all the graphics for the show.
The purpose of this post isn’t to shameless promote our prior work. Well, at least not entirely. One of last year’s contestants, Messenger of Heaven, is looking to host and produce a second season of the show this fall. If you’re interested in serving as a contestant, please contact me on discord or through email. Believe me, it will be a unique experience you can’t recreate elsewhere.
Or if you just want to read the episodes, we’ve posted links below. We recommend starting with episode 1, obviously.
In unrelated IDF news, Captain Aurther Winters has relieved Captain Grover vonMcCormick as Commanding Officer of the USS Chuck Norris, and Captain Dick Sprague has relieved Captain Michael Meezo as Commanding Officer of the USS Wayfarer. Both turnovers are dated to September 1st.
It’s not often that we accept outside games into IDF, but Starbase 80 is one of a kind. Dating back to the 1990s, Starbase 80 is set within a region they call The Dark Frontier. It connects all sorts of different themes and concepts together in a very novel way.
That’s right, the August expansion continues with the USS Liberty‘s first post on the 15th. August is a fitting month for the latest incarnation of this historic game as the original USS Liberty launched in August 2001.
This Liberty is led by one of the most successful–if not the most successful–IDF sim Commanding Officers of all time: Captain Rhenora Kaylen. Check out this Sovereign class vessel as she defends the Federation from all threats.
Our fleet continues to grow as we launched our 6th active sim earlier this month: the USS Wayfarer. Her first post came on August 4th! If the name sounds familiar, you have a good eye. The Wayfarer tradition goes way back in IDF history.
For this version, Captain Michael Meezo leads this Intrepid-class vessel in the exploration of the unknown after the Dominion War.
The original USS Sunfire (NCC-3935) was launched in old Utopia Fleet on February 16, 2000 under the command of Commodore Jay “Robbie” Robertson. However, Robertson retired a few months later and James D. West took over. West then commanded two more versions of the Sunfire (NCC-3935-A and NCC-3001) in Utopia Fleet and as an independent sim before Independence Fleet came to be on July 4, 2001. Indeed, the crew of Sunfire was split into three to serve as the backbone for IDF’s original sims: the USS Sunfire (NCC-3001-A), USS Avalon (NCC-3002), and USS Washington (NCC-11988).
In the many years since, we’ve seen three more versions of the Sunfire (NCC-3001-B/C/D). She was awarded the 2010 Simming Prize and took home awards in both the 2011 and 2012 Tournament of Simulations. The Sunny is also where Sunfire script and the concept of open role playing developed. Dozens of future Captains began their careers there. In short, if someone were to make a list of the top five or ten sims in the history of role playing, the Sunfire would have to be on it.
That’s right, she’s back. Captain Thomas Devoe leads his crew in this continuing adventure. Join the sim where legends are born.
Today, on our club’s 19th anniversary, it is my great privilege to formally introduce the Independence Fleet Hall of Fame Class of 2020. Induction into our Hall of Fame is the highest honor within this fleet. The requirements and process can be found in the Hall of Fame Charter (pdf).
The newest members of the Independence Fleet Hall of Fame are hereby announced:
Inducted by Election:
Commander Chameleon “Cam” Circuit
of the USS Washington
One of the most unqiue characters in IDF’s history, no one ever forgot Cam Circuit. His interactions with other crewmembers on the USS Washington ranged from deeply meaningful to downright hilarious. He knew how to make the most of every situation and how to bring out the best in people. Circuit won the Rookie of the Month Award and later captured Most Improved and the now defunct Outstanding Simmer Award.
Lt. Cmdr. Laria Jorel
of the USS Sunfire
One of the leaders on the most successful ship of her era, Laria Jorel helped take the USS Sunfire to new heights. Conquering both quality and quantity, the Sunfire became well known beyond IDF with the entire community. To this day, Jorel still ranks fifth all-time with 8.83 total awards, which includes 3.33 Best Posts and 2 MVPs. Jorel was a master of involving others and taking the story in unexpected directions.
Captain Ena Robi
of the USS Constellation
One of the leading Captains of IDF’s renaissance era, Ena Robi’s USS Constellation crew told some of the most interesting and compelling stories of all-time. Forging their own path forward, they seemlessly integrated the Star Trek universe into their own unique lore. She also totaled 5.5 awards, including 2.5 Genesis Awards. Making this even more impressive, Robi took command in only her third month of simming.
Captain Jimmy Rogers
of the USS Liberty
A Captain with unlimited hosting talent, Jimmy Rogers led the USS Liberty to become one of the top sims of the day. His crewmembers regularly won awards and the Liberty captured three posting titles, including a monster 315-post month that still stands in the top 10 all-time. Rogers won the MVP Award in his first month of simming, took command in his second month, and then later captured 2.33 Genesis Awards.
Admiral Landon Wakeland
of the USS Pioneer
A selfless leader on all fronts, Landon Wakeland improved IDF in nearly every way possible. He enhanced our social media footprint, improved relations with other fleets, and most importantly, launched 10 new sims and welcomed another outside sim into the fleet. He was the force that made IDF go during his era. Best of all, Wakeland was able to implement these changes while still keeping everyone happy.
Inducted by the Veterans Committee:
of the USS Raptor
Serving as an Executive Officer for two new sims, Gorath eventually got his shot at command with the USS Raptor. He didn’t disappoint as he won the fleet posting title in his first month. He was a natural leader who kept everyone moving forward whether he was an XO or Captain. Unfortunately, the records of his later exploits remain lost to history. Gorath totaled 5.5 awards, including two Recruitment Awards.
Commander James Sullivan
of the USS Dragon
One of the top simmers of his era, James Sullivan helped make a name for the USS Dragon. A natural Executive Officer, he expertly managed his crew while still implementing the Captain’s vision. He kept everyone engaged by using creative plot twists to provide ways for others to participate and write. Winters is still tied for 11th all-time with seven total awards, including three Most Posts.
Congratulations to all seven inductees! Well done! You will now forever be remembered for your extraordinary contributions to Independence Fleet. Thank you for continuing to provide an example to follow for all of us still role playing today. There are now 27 members of this most exclusive club.
On an administrative note, we have discovered documents indicating that 2012 inductee Airika Calhoun’s final/highest rank was not Lieutenant, but Commander. As such, the record has been updated to reflect her rank as Commander. Commander Calhoun hails from the USS Excalibur.
I can only begin to imagine the day when many of our current simmers receive this same honor. Until, let’s role play and have fun!
Tomorrow is obviously a big day. Not only is it our 19-year anniversary, but we’ll also officially enshrine our 2020 Hall of Fame Class. However, before we get to that, I think we need to honor two extraordinary individuals who helped get us where we are today.
Awarded to Fleet Admiral AJ Wheeler for his service as Commander-in-Chief from 2010 to 2020. Fleet Admiral Wheeler led this fleet for more than nine years, a record by far for the position. Wheeler guided the club with passion and saw many ups and downs during his time. He was a steadying force throughout and remains one of the all-time greats.
Awarded to Fleet Admiral James D. West for his service as Commander-in-Chief in 2020. Fleet Admiral West wasted no time in saving the fleet from almost certain demise and energetically led the fleet back to again being one of the leaders of the community. A hero from both our beginnings and today, he is the very embodiment of Independence Fleet.
With Fleet Admiral West’s retirement and my move into the role of Commander-in-Chief, I’ll need to make a few shifts of fleet leadership. The following changes are to take effect immediately:
I have reluctantly accepted Rear-Admiral Sadie Stanton’s resignation as Director of Art due to her real life time constraints. We thank Rear-Admiral Stanton from the bottom of our hearts for the outstanding work she’s done to give IDF a unique look to fill our niche within the community. She was recently awarded the Distinguished Service Medal for her service.
Vice-Admiral Ken Gillis is hereby promoted to Admiral and will take on an updated title: Chief of Technology. This new rank and role reflect technology’s ever-growing importance in fleet operations. Tech is the backbone of our fleet, and it’s all been Admiral Gillis. He was also awarded the Distinguished Service Medal last month.
The Chief of Fleet Operations position that I vacated will remain unfilled. Since our fleet is still small, all sims will continue to report directly to me. Rear-Admiral Bolak and Rear-Admiral James “Rook” Mirtoh will also continue to report to me.
IDF has traditionally not had an official Executive Officer (XO) position. Instead, usually a Deputy Commander-in-Chief or Chief of Fleet Operations fills the role as a de-facto fleet XO. Given the rise of technology’s importance as outlined earlier, Admiral Gillis will fill this position in his Chief of Technology role.
Captain Abe Polto officially assumed command of the USS Eminence on July 1st after Captain Caymen Greener’s resignation. We thank Captain Greener for helping us create this wonderful game and look forward to the new adventures Captain Polto will lead.
Starbase Mikia has left the fleet. Their final post was on May 1st.
In administrivia news, as of August 1st, all prior fleet bans and censures will be officially overturned. The third and ninth censures are hereby overturned immediately. While such lists served their purpose in the past, they are simply no longer needed today. Individual sim membership will be left to the sim COs.
I often think back to my original time in IDF, the fleet’s classical era in the 2000s. I remember them as the good ole’ days. The same for the renaissance period of the early 2010s. In reality, I was only a member of the fleet for about two and a half years during my first stint, and then I was Chief of Fleet Operations for less than a year and a half 2010-12. They both were fleeting moments, but I recall them much differently. No pun intended.
To quote Andy Bernard from the finale episode of The Office: “I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”
So it is with IDF: These are the good ole’ days! Over the last few months, we’ve rebuilt our community, reestablished our Star Trek lore, and even played the old Super Space Command 3000 joke again. What a time it is! We’re right in the middle of the good ole’ days and our best years are yet to come. Cherish the moments we have now to write Trek with our fellow crewmembers. The future is limited only by our own imaginations.
On that note, I would like to bid a happy retirement to Fleet Admiral James D. West. Without him, there would be no IDF: He was one of our three founders and has been instrumental in leading our rebuild this year. To me, he’s been a mentor, a rival, a friend, and much more. To everyone else, he’s one of the all-time greats, not just within IDF, but for the entire simming and online role playing community.
In that light, I accept the authority and responsibility as Independence Fleet’s Commander-in-Chief and General Executive Director. As my first official act, I hereby permanently retire the Fleet Admiral rank. No one else can ever fill West’s shoes, so no one else will ever wear his rank either. Furthermore, Fleet Admiral West will always be the most senior historical member of this club.
A recent review of our records revealed something very interesting: Captain Shran dh’Klar of the USS Washington is currently in his 90th month of command in Independence Fleet. This breaks the previous tie of 89 months with Steven MayTa Death for the fleet’s all-time lead. You read that right–Captain dh’Klar is now the longest serving sim Commanding Officer in the history of Independence Fleet. A quick recap of his command career:
December 2010 – May 2012: USS Washington (18 months)
December 2012 – August 2013: USS Archimedes (9)
April 2015 – current: USS Washington (63)
Let’s put the 90 months into perspective: That’s 7.5 years of command! Wow! As of June 1st, that includes 1,320 total posts and a tie with Rhenora Kaylen for first place all-time with 26 monthly posting titles.*
I still remember when Captain dh’Klar first took command of the Washington. I had just returned to IDF as Chief of Fleet Operations and we were re-launching several historical sims. I really wanted him to be one of our Captains and offered him whichever command he wanted. I was very happy when he selected the Washington, which at the time was already one of our most storied games. Captain dh’Klar has since taken the Washington to even greater heights, creating a nearly unparalleled legacy.
Captain, thanks again for your service and we’re looking forward to the next 90 months!
* IDF does not have sim records from January 2004 to September 2010 and is missing posting totals for September – October 2018 and December 2018 to May 2019.