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Monthly Awards: June 2022

Congratulations to those who won some real prizes at our annual gift drawing earlier this month. Here’s the first group to place their names on the big wheel for next year…

Best Post (Single Author)

Commander Samantha Howard
Chief Medical Officer
USS Washington

For “Progress”

Writing for doctors can be difficult, without constantly employing a deus ex machina to solve a problem. Spending time writing about the thinking process and coming up with a creative solution is sometimes the best kind of medical post. Love this one!


Best Post (Joint Post)

Capt. Rhenora Kaylen & Lt. Cmdr. Dean House & Lt. Ashlesha 4827/A & Ens. Kitiuas Thenis
CO / 2O / COO / SO
USS Sunfire

For “Bridge Crew”

This is a very interesting subject, not seen often in Trek posts, which kept me engaged. Well written, seamless even though multiple folks contributed, and just the right mix of personal interactions with technical jargon. Well done!


Funniest Post

Lieutenant Nerex
Flight Control Chief
USS Eminence

For “Fun During Downtime”

Ok, intentionally flying a shuttle into a black hole and dying over and over again is inherently funny!


Genesis

Captain Shran dh’Klar
Commanding Officer
USS Washington

For “Unexpected Adventure”

Unexpected, yes, and a perfect way to get the crew going.


MVP

Lieutenant JG Luna Eclipse of the House of Martok
Flight Control Officer
USS Wayfarer

Lt. jg. Luna has really developed her character in a short amount of time. She expertly writes the clash of the Human/Klingon slides while easily incorporating it into the mission with the rest of the crew. A great teammate!


Most Posts

Lieutenant Anna Thesia
Chief Medical Officer
USS Sunfire

For writing 10 posts.


Most Improved

Lieutenant Ashlesha 4827/A
Chief Operations Officer
USS Sunfire

Still relatively new to the Sunfire, Lt. Ashlesha continues to involve herself in all matters of the mission and consistently offers great ideas and well written posts. She is also super easy to work with, which is always a plus.


Rookie of the Month

None this month


Recruitment

None this month


It’s hard to believe this crazy group we call IDF has now been around for 21 whole years. Here’s to 21 more!

Our 21st Birthday

It’s going to be near impossible to top last year’s Day of Trivia, Webcast, and special edition Message & Almanac. And that’s for good reason: 20th anniversaries are a big deal in role playing! But 21st birthdays are important too. Indeed, if Independence Fleet (IDF) was a humanoid (living in the United States), the 21st would be even more important. I’m quickly getting off track…

What did we decide to do? For our 21 years together, here are 21 facts about IDF, Star Trek and/or other topics that might change your perception of time. Modeled after two articles from Buzzfeed (here and here), we hope you enjoy the list.

But before we do that, here is a special message for this year’s anniversary:

  1. IDF’s launch (July 4, 2001) was closer to the release of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (June 4, 1982) than it is to today: 19 years, 1 month vs. 21 years.
  2. Ditto for the North America release of the Nintendo Entertainment System (October 18, 1985): 15 years, 8 months, 16 days.
  3. And for the release of Windows 1.0 (November 20, 1985): 15 years, 7 months, 14 days.
  4. And also for the release of the world’s very first website (December 20, 1990): 10 years, 6 months, 14 days.
  5. The time from IDF’s launch on Angelfire to the registry of its first URL (July 4, 2001 – February 26, 2005) was longer than the entire run of Star Trek: The Original Series (September 8, 1966 – June 3, 1969): 3 years, 7 months, 22 days vs. 2 years, 8 months, 26 days.
  6. The time from the registry of IDF’s first URL to officially moving to its current URL (February 26, 2005 – February 29, 2020) was longer than the entire run of the TNG/DSN/VOY television series era from the premiere of Star Trek: The Next Generation to the finale of Star Trek: Voyager (September 8, 1987 – May 23, 2001): 15 years, 3 days vs. 13 years, 7 months, 25 days.
  7. The time from moving to IDF’s current URL to today (2 years, 4 months, 5 days) is shorter than all but three periods between Star Trek movies: The Wrath of Khan to The Search for Spock (1 year, 11 months, 28 days), Generations to First Contact (2 years, 4 days), and First Contact to Insurrection (2 years, 19 days).
  8. However, it’s longer than the time from Utopia Fleet’s founding (April 7, 1999) to IDF’s founding: 2 years, 2 months, 27 days.
  9. Utopia Fleet’s founding was closer to the North America release of the Atari 2600 (September 11, 1977) than it is to today: 21 years, 6 months, 27 days vs. 23 years, 2 months, 27 days.
  10. Ditto for the release of the original Star Wars movie (May 25, 1977): 21 years, 10 months, 13 days.
  11. The time from the launch of the original USS Sunfire NCC-3935 (February 16, 2000) to IDF’s launch was longer than the entire run of Star Trek: The Animated Series (September 8, 1973 – October 12, 1974): 1 year, 4 months, 18 days vs. 1 year, 1 month, 4 days
  12. The launch of the award-winning USS Sunfire NCC-3001-D (October 10, 2010) was closer to IDF’s founding than it is to today: 9 years, 3 months, 6 days vs. 11 years, 8 months, 24 days).
  13. The launch of the USS Chuck Norris NCC-4005 (January 2, 2012) was closer to the first Chuck Norris facts appearing on the Internet (sometime in early 2005) than it is to today: ~7 years vs. 10 years, 6 months, 2 days.
  14. IDF is older than the iPod (October 23, 2001),
  15. Facebook (February 4, 2004),
  16. YouTube (February 14, 2005),
  17. the Microsoft Xbox (November 15, 2001),
  18. commercially available Blu-ray Discs (June 20, 2006),
  19. and NBA All-Star LaMelo Ball (August 22, 2001).
  20. At IDF’s launch, Tom Brady had zero Super Bowl rings. In fact, he had only completed 1 NFL pass.
  21. The time from IDF’s launch to today is longer than the time from The Original Series finale to The Next Generation premiere (June 3, 1969 – September 28, 1987): 21 years vs. 18 years, 3 months, 25 days.

And for a bonus, something to look forward to next year: On our 22nd Anniversary, we will be further removed from the premiere of the 2009 Star Trek film (May 8, 2009) than IDF’s launch was from the premiere of The Next Generation (September 28, 1987): 14 years, 1 month, 26 days vs. 13 years, 9 months, 6 days.

Until then, let’s keep role playing!

Oh, I almost forgot: We have another video message for this year:

And in case you missed it, here’s a recap of our 21st Anniversary Webcast that was held on Saturday.

2022 Hall of Fame Inductees

One of my greatest privileges as Independence Fleet’s Commander-in-Chief is to announce the newest members of the Hall of Fame each July. These are the best of the best from throughout our history–those with exemplary service or extraordinary contributions to the fleet, according to the Hall of Fame Charter (pdf). For those who attended our 21st Anniversary Webcast on Saturday, you already know who is being inducted this year. For everyone else, it is now my great pleasure to formally introduce our Hall of Fame Class of 2022:

Inducted by Election:

Commander McGregor Blaine

of the USS Excalibur

A longtime member of the Excalibur, McGregor Blaine still managed to stand out despite being a part of arguably the greatest crew of all time. Finding his niche, he excelled in multiple areas, including writing, leadership, and recruiting. Blaine’s great breadth of contributions led to him earning five total awards, with all five being of different categories: Rookie of the Month, Recruitment, MVP, and two Post awards.

Commander Dusty Redroi

of the USS Excalibur

A member of the Excalibur, Dusty Redroi still managed to stand out despite being a part of arguably the greatest crew of all time. Making his mark with a rare combination of excellently crafted posts involving other characters and high quantity, he was instrumental to the sim’s long-term success. He won four awards over the course of his career, including Funniest Post and two Most Posts.

Captain Zingela

of the USS Washington

The personification of the team player, Zingela did all the little things to foster a cohesive and productive crew. He worked well with players of all types and styles that led to some truly great role playing. He worked his way up the chain, eventually commanding the Washington out of necessity rather than ambition. Zingela tallied five total awards, including three different Post awards and two MVPs.

Inducted by the Veterans Committee:

Admiral Savai N’gellin

of the USS Patriot

A longtime member of the Patriot, Savai N’gellin’s career spanned from IDF’s early period through the middle years. As a crewmember, he earned seven total awards, which still ranks within the top 20 all-time. N’gellin eventually joined the Admiralty and severed for several years, most notably as Director of Fleet Intelligence & Security, during some of the fleet’s most productive periods.

Captain K’lar Rasmehlier

of the USS Conqueror

A true shooting star, the late K’lar Rasmehlier commanded the Conqueror for only nine months. However, it was a nine months for the ages as he led his sim to win the fleet posting title in all nine months with consistently high numbers not seen before or since. In addition to the quantity, he led his crew on imaginative missions that allowed each player collaboratively fulfil their potential.


Congratulations to all five of our 2022 inductees! Well done, and thank you for providing a timeless example for us still role playing to follow. You will hereby forever be remembered for your extraordinary service to Independence Fleet. There are now 38 total members of this most exclusive club.

Harking back to our early history, four of the five inductees represent sims that aren’t currently in our line-up. The two from the Excalibur bring that early-era sim’s record total up to seven inductees. Incredibly, all seven simmed together on the same crew!

21st Anniversary Webcast Recap

First, thank you to our very own Ken Gillis for hosting the anniversary webcast yesterday. An outstanding show, just like last year! He introduced our Hall of Fame class of 2022 and played two special videos. Unfortunately, those who missed it will have to wait until our official anniversary blog post tomorrow. However, we can now share who the winners of our annual prize drawing were. Here’s how it worked:

Everyone who won a monthly award over the last year had their name added to the big wheel. 1 award = 1 entry. All award fractions were rounded up. Then time to spin the wheel!

The three winners were:

  1. Lieutenant JG Hank Solomon of the USS Eminence
  2. Captain Akeno Misaki of the USS Wayfarer
  3. Lieutenant JG Patra Rommel of the USS Wayfarer

In order, they will have their choice from among the following three prizes:

From left to right: Runabout from Deep Space Nine, Horga’hn (3D print by Admiral Gillis), Phaser from The Next Generation

Congratulations to all three! Should anyone not be able to provide a US mailing address, they will be given a gift certificate for their country of residence and we’ll draw a replacement winner.

April Fools’ 2022: Imperial Defense Fleet

With a long a illustrious history in the simming community, Independence Fleet has been a bedrock for quality Star Trek role playing for over twenty years. Although IDF’s leadership works hard to ensure our members have several games to suit their role playing needs, we also know how to have fun, and what better day to enjoy our brand of humor than on April’s Fools’ Day. For those of you who have been part of IDF for a while, you know that April Fools’ Day jokes have become a pretty big tradition around here.  We’ve done World Wide Sims, the classic 1990s simming website, and Super Space Command 3000.  Actually, we’ve done Super Space Command 3000 three different times–no one said we were original!  For those of you new to IDF this year, your introduction was our, er, rebranding where we took on a new menacing moniker.

Additionally, what we included for our humorous 2022 was the spectacular trial and banishment of our fleet CO–this is simming after all!  And then added for good measure, a good ole’ useless administrative burden for sim COs, complete with threats of facing JAG.  All in good humor, but these whimsical jokes mirror the real-life history of dozens of simming fleets (sadly including even this one at times), fleet XO Ken Gillis overthrew fleet CO Charles Star and installed Joseph “Stealth” Carroll as his JAG Magistrate…  just in case you missed it! These were all great ‘Easter eggs’ for those of you who have been around the community and witnessed some of the ludicrous events that have unfolded in past years outside of IDF.

Here are some of actual statements Admiral Star received in response to the gag:

  • “Loving this year’s prank by the way! I was hoping Super Space Command 3000 would have made a come back.”
  • “Were you kicked out of Independence fleet?” 
  •  “Are you really in trouble?”
  • “Hahaha you got me.”
  • “Let me know if you need any help.”
  • “Apparently I was fooled by Ken on April fools day. He got me good!”
  • “What happened?”
  • “I just remembered what day it is. April 1st.”

And here are a few of the quotes from our Discord server:

  • “Qapla!”
  • “Wrong Empire, but you got the spirit!”
  • Long live the Empire…”
  • “I see we have a new Grand Admiral. I guess it was going to happen eventually.”
  • “JAG got more positions [open], or just the Director?
  • “I am always looking for Inquisitors.”
  • “Long Live the new IDF Empire!! I expect sims that post less than 300 posts a month will be immediately shut down and mothballed? Right?”
  • “You had me going for a while there.”
  • “I was around IDF in 2003 when Federal Appeals Court Judge, Lance Stiffler, had ruled that due to copyright law IDF could no longer be affiliated with ‘Star Trek’ and so had to change its name to Super Space Command 3000. I can’t believe that joke is almost 20 years old now!”

Thank you again to Ken Gillis for planning and organizing this year’s joke, and a special thanks to Charles Star and Joseph “Stealth” Carroll for playing along and being great sports. On behalf of the Imperial Defense Fleet, I hope everyone else enjoyed it! I can’t wait to see what tomfoolery that is in store for 2023 and remember: “Forget the ring! The ring is bupkis! I found it in a Cracker Jack box!

21st Anniversary Webcast: July 2nd at Noon Eastern

After the rave reviews following last year’s 20th Anniversary Webcast, we decided to do it again this year. Admiral Ken Gillis will return as host, and yes, it will again include prizes!

Join us on July 2nd at 12:00 PM ET (-4) / 5:00 PM BST (+1) in the fleet watch party channel of our Discord server. We’ll be announcing the newest members of the Hall of Fame, drawing names from among our monthly award winners over the last year for some real-world prizes, and we may also have a surprise or two.

See you there!

Monthly Awards: May 2022

Congratulations to our May award winners. We have some new faces this month!

Best Post (Single Author)

Ensign James Phoenix
Tactical Officer
USS Washington

For “Off to the Drift Races”

Well put together post about ancient history… nice writing!


Best Post (Joint Post)

Lieutenant Deanna Celes & Commander Jonathan Grayson & Petty Officer 1st Class Amethyst Reece
Operations Officer / Executive Officer / Counselor’s Aide
USS Washington

For “Eclectic Surprise”

Really well written and blends well together, despite being a joint post. This is a very solid Trek plot, I love it.


Funniest Post

Lieutenant Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell & Lieutenant Commander Dean House
Computer Systems Specialist / Chief Tactical Officer
USS Sunfire

For “Feels like the first time ptII”

How better to get to know your superior officer than to introduce him to your wolf pack?


Genesis

Captain Rhenora Kaylen
Commanding Officer
USS Sunfire

For “Genesis – New Harrington”

Ahh, classic genesis post, distress calls are the best!


MVP

Lieutenant JG Patra Rommel
Structural/Environmental Specialist
USS Wayfarer

Since joining as a non-senior staff in Engineering, Rommel has done a fantastic job of getting onto the ship and story and finding things to do in the field.


Most Posts

Lieutenant Anna Thesia
Chief Medical Officer
USS Sunfire

For writing 7 posts.


Most Improved

Lieutenant Thriss Kla’ren
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Sunfire

The Sunfire’s Chief Engineer has really stepped up the past month, encouraging other players to work on joint posts and moving the story along nicely.


Rookie of the Month

Ensign T’Plana-hath
Intelligence Officer
USS Washington

The Washington’s new Intelligence Officer joined late in the month, but still managed to post and have an immediate impact to the current mission that was already well developed, showing that she will be a great addition to the crew.


Recruitment

None this month


Congratulations again and have a great summer of role playing!

Monthly Awards: April 2022

It’s time to announce our April award winners:

Best Post (Single Author)

Lieutenant Ashlesha 4827/A
Chief Operations Officer
USS Sunfire

For “Cooling Her Heels”

A wonderfully crafted post inside the mind of the character.


Best Post (Joint Post)

Capt. Akeno Misaki & Lt. Cmdr. Jonathan Miller & Lt. Ileah & Lt. Torvin Anor & Lt. Raelyn Mckenzie & Lt. Rania Bhatti & Lt. Mark Johnson & Ens. Magnum Rhodes
CO / XO / Yeoman / CEO / CSTO / CC / CMO / FCO
USS Wayfarer

For “Going ‘down'”

I love this post! It’s very well integrated and an exciting atmospheric entry and landing.


Funniest Post

Lt. Ayana Hillis & Lt. Deanna Celes & Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson & Cmdr. Samantha Howard & Lt. Aiko Kato & Lt. Shoniara T’ghann-Travis & PO1 Class Amethyst Reece
TO / OO / XO / CMO / FCO / ACMO / CA
USS Washington

For “Medical Mystery”

I dunno why but sleepy Starfleet officers are funny.


Genesis

None this month


MVP

Lieutenant Commander Michael Murphy
Executive Officer
USS Montana

What a great officer and role player! With the Captain away, he steps right up and leads the sim without missing a beat. First class in all respects.


Most Posts

Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson & Cmdr. Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen
Executive Officer / Executive Officer
USS Washington & USS Sunfire

For writing 9 posts.


Most Improved

Lieutenant Commander Dean House
Second Officer
USS Sunfire

Stepping up for both the CO and XO, he flawlessly ran the sim, and as always, continues to be a great sounding board for the rest of the crew.


Rookie of the Month

None this month


Recruitment

None this month


I think we can call this the XO month! Happy role playing, IDF!

Wordle: Independence Fleet Style

Wordle. I don’t need to say much more as you’ve almost certainly heard of it. You’ve probably even played it! But on the outside chance that you don’t know anything about it, I’ll quote from Wikipedia:


Wordle is a web-based word game created and developed by Welsh software engineer Josh Wardle, and owned and published by The New York Times Company since 2022. Players have six attempts to guess a five-letter word, with feedback given for each guess in the form of colored tiles indicating when letters match or occupy the correct position.”

-Wikipedia entry for Wordle

I also happened to stumble upon this website that allows you to create your own Wordle games. So why not create a few for Independence Fleet? Well, here they are, 10 Wordles on words or topics related to Independence Fleet:

  1. https://mywordle.strivemath.com/?word=bzvhe
  2. https://mywordle.strivemath.com/?word=yvlfv
  3. https://mywordle.strivemath.com/?word=fodhd
  4. https://mywordle.strivemath.com/?word=odrfp
  5. https://mywordle.strivemath.com/?word=yvzhq
  6. https://mywordle.strivemath.com/?word=sfzwp
  7. https://mywordle.strivemath.com/?word=ohfuj
  8. https://mywordle.strivemath.com/?word=wkruo
  9. https://mywordle.strivemath.com/?word=aarlw
  10. https://mywordle.strivemath.com/?word=uoyrz

I’ve also created a similar article for the intersimming organization Ongoing Worlds if you’re interested. Warning: words #6 through #10 are the same on both lists. Regardless, enjoy! Or go create your own Wordle puzzles.

2021 WarGames Winners Announced

The 2021 WarGames Competition winners were announced earlier this week at Ongoing Worlds, and we are lucky enough to count three sims from within our ranks among those honored for their excellence. They are the USS Washington, USS Wayfarer, and USS Eminence. Congratulations to all three Captains and crews, and well done!

In case you were wondering, WarGames was simply a one-time rebranding of the annual Tournament of Simulations, which we have had a lot of success at over the years.

Excellent Star Trek:

Great Star Trek:

Star Trek Gameplay:

I can’t wait to see who wins for 2022. Until then, keep up all the great role playing!