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.

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.

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!

20th Anniversary Message & Almanac

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:

In honor of this historic and momentous occasion, we hereby publish the Independence Fleet 20th Anniversary Almanac. It’s 20 pages of history, games, perspectives from the fleet, and more:

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.

Let’s continue to tell our story…

EDIT (July 14, 2021): Anniversary Almanac Answers

Awards… For Monthly Awards!

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):

The three winners were…

Captain Aurther Winters of the USS Chuck Norris

Lieutenant J’goss Yass G’odoss, also of the USS Chuck Norris

and Chief Petty Officer Remal Kajun of the USS Sunfire

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!

20th Anniversary Webcast

On July 4th, 2021, Independence Fleet celebrates its 20th anniversary, having been founded on July 4th, 2001. In honor of this event, we will be holding a webcast in the fleet watch party voice channel of the fleet’s Discord server at 12:00 PM ET (-4) / 5:00 PM BST (+1) on July 3rd (in order to allow members to enjoy the holiday with their families).

We will honor our past by announcing the new members to be inducted into the IDF Hall of Fame, and there will also be prizes! Make sure to mark your calendars to tune in to our Discord server on July 3rd!

Admiral Ken Gillis
Chief of Technology
Independence Fleet

Trivia Day Results

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:

Prizes

  • 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)

Results

  1. Aurther Winters won Star Trek: TOS Season 1 and selected the IDF mug
  2. Galaxis won Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and selected the John de Lancie birthday message
  3. Aurther Winters won Star Trek Round Robin and selected the Badge & Lapel set
  4. LuckyFan won Doctor Who and stole the Badge & Lapel set; Aurther Winters selected the signed VHS tape
  5. NisaMage won Supernatural and selected the Spock Vehicle decal
  6. 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.

20th Anniversary Trivia Day: May 8th

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.

Join the Discord server here

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

EDT (-4)BST (+1)TopicHost
10:00 am3:00 pmStar Trek: TOS Season 1Charles Star
11:00 am4:00 pmStar Trek: Deep Space NineShran dh’Klar
12:00 pm5:00 pmStar Trek Round-RobinYou!
1:00 pm6:00 pmDoctor WhoTrident
2:00 pm7:00 pmSupernaturalAngelus
3:00 pm8:00 pmStar Wars Original TrilogyMarcus

Prizes!

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!

ImagePrizeRetail Value
Independence Fleet mug$15
Micro Machines Star Trek Generations set$16
A Happy Birthday message from John de Lancie to you or a friend
Must be used within 1 year
$150
Star Trek TOS S1E17: The Squire of Gothos VHS tape
signed by IDF co-founder James D. West
Not guaranteed to work
$0.99
Star Trek TNG Badge & Lapel set$17
Spock Vehicle Decal$25

Watch Party!

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.

Until then, good luck and enjoy!

The Good Ole Days: Right Now

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.

Farewell, Fleet Admiral!

P.S.–Yes, I do need a new signature block.