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!

The Trial of Charles Star

Edit: This post was part of the 2022 April Fools’ Day gag.

Charges

The Defendant, Charles Star, is charged with the following crimes:

  • Mutiny and Sedition
  • Theft of a Starship
  • Disreputable Behavior
  • Verbal Abuse
  • Unauthorized Shuttle Parking in Disabled Shuttlebay
  • Harassment
  • Discrimination
  • Sabotage of a Starship
  • False Statements
  • Dematerialization of a Beagle
  • Hacking
  • Crude Behavior
  • Terrorism

Facts of the Case

Charles Star was removed from command at 11:59 PM EST, March 31st, 2022. Charges were brought by Grand Admiral Ken Gillis.

The Defendant was contacted by carrier pigeon to appear. Since the pigeon did not arrive, the assumption was made that the Defendant was waiving his right to a trial by a tribunal and confessing to all above crimes.

Ruling

Presiding over the case were Judge Advocate General Joseph Carroll, Commodore Meadows, and Admiral Satie.

By unanimous vote, the tribunal has declared Charles Star GUILTY of ALL CHARGES prescribed above.

Sentence

Charles Star is hereby stripped of all rank, awards, and honors, and shall further be BANISHED from Imperial Defense Fleet for ALL TIME.

Change in Leadership/Rebranding

Edit: This post was part of the 2022 April Fools’ Day gag.

Today is a momentous day in the history of IDF! We are evolving beyond the organization we created over 20 years ago, and making way into a more glorious future! As of today, IDF will no longer stand for Independence Fleet (poor acronym anyway, where’s the D? In the middle of the first word?). No, it will now stand for:

Imperial Defense Fleet

Imperial Defense Fleet will be boasting a command structure, effective immediately! First of all, Charles Star is no longer in command of IDF. Star is stripped of all rank and privileges of his station.

In his place, I have taken command, as Grand Admiral. I will bring a new era of glory to IDF.

Joining me is Admiral Joseph Carroll, who will be taking up his new position as Magistrate in our newly formed Judge Advocate General Corps.

More to come as the day progresses.

Long Live IDF! Long Live the Empire!

Monthly Awards: January 2022

I apologize for the delay on getting the January awards out. I promise it was Admiral Star’s fault! Regardless, here are your January winners.

Admiral Star edit: Unfortunately, that’s true.

Best Post (Single Author)

Lieutenant Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell
Computer Systems Specialist
USS Sunfire

For “Can you see me daddy?”

Wow! A fantastic piece of writing! It kept me super engaged and was emotionally fulfilling to boot. Well done!


Best Post (Joint Post)

Captain Akeno Misaki & Lieutenant Ileah & Lieutenant Raelyn Mckenzie & Lieutenant JG Torvin Anor
CO / Yeoman / CSTO / CEO
USS Wayfarer

For “Junior Emerges”

A very nice post with tense writing with a pleasing cliffhanger. Well done again!


Funniest Post

Ensign Laurel Zatara
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Albion

For “Get out of there! Get out!”

Not a laugh out loud post, but funny given the context.


Genesis

Captain Shran dh’Klar
Commanding Officer
USS Washington

For “A Needed Rest”

You don’t see a lot of detailed posts like this kicking off shore leave. I like it!


MVP

Ensign Laurel Zatara
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Albion

Ens. Zatara joined during January and immediately finished second on the ship in posting. Even better than that, her posts were always excellent, driving the plot forward while giving other players a chance to get in on the action, and best of all, they were usually pretty funny–which is par for the course on the Albion.


Most Posts

Lieutenant Shoniara T’ghann Dex
Assistant Chief Medical Officer
USS Washington

For writing 25 posts.


Most Improved

Lieutenant JG Torvin Anor
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Wayfarer

Lt. jg. Torvin joined the Wayfarer as an engineering officer and was initially mainly in the background. However, after the recent mission he really stepped up and into place of a CEO both in and out of character. He is a pleasure to write with.


Rookie of the Month

None this month.


Recruitment

None this month.


Thanks for a great start to 2022. Keep the excellent posting coming!

Monthly Awards: July 2021

Last month may have been the earliest we’ve ever gotten the monthly awards out. This month, well, may be the latest. My apologies!

Speaking of last month, I want to offer my sincere thanks to Admirals Charles Star and Ken Gillis for all the hard work they put into our epic 20th anniversary. They hosted two really excellent events: the Science Fiction Trivia Day & Special Webcast, both which had real prizes… unlike these awards!

We also released two incredible products, a 20-page anniversary almanac & a congratulatory video message from Jonathan Frakes. What other fleet does that for its members?? That’s right, none! If you haven’t checked them out yet, do yourself a favor and do so now.

As we embark this month on our second 20 years, I think back to my earliest days in IDF. I wasn’t there for the fleet’s launch, but I joined soon after in October 2001 on the USS Washington. “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times…” I had no idea back then what I was getting myself into, but golly has it been fun! Enough on me, time for the awards:

Best Post (Single Author)

Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell
Computer Systems Specialist
USS Sunfire

For “Except for Monday”

Nice recap of events and a good bit of character development to boot!

Best Post (Joint Post)

Capt. Shran dh’Klar & Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson & Cmdr. Samantha Howard & Ens. James Phoenix
CO / XO / CMO / TO
USS Washington

For “Boom Town”

Lots of action, lots of emotion, and some all around great Trek. Very good integration between contributions makes this seem like seamless writing as opposed to lots of different people tacking on to each other’s posts.


Funniest Post

Lt. Dean House & Capt. Rhenora Kaylen & Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell & Lt. JG Avarak
CTO / CO / CSS / CSO
USS Sunfire

For “Weapons Go Boom! Pt 2”

Tactical map that looks like it was drawn by a three year old? Awesome.


Genesis

None this month.


MVP

Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell
Computer Systems Specialist
USS Sunfire

Another great month for the Sunfire, in no small part the work of Lt. Durnell, who took an idea and wrapped it into a myriad of stories that encompass every other member of the crew. The result: extremely well written collaborative stories.


Most Posts

Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell
Computer Systems Specialist
USS Sunfire

For writing 31 posts.


Most Improved

Lieutenant Aurora Vali
Chief Counselor
USS Sunfire

A great month for Lt. Vali. She doubled her posts from the previous month and added some absolutely stellar additions to some joint posts.


Rookie of the Month

Master Chief Petty Officer Alake Van Der Luan
Master-at-Arms
USS Eminence

The Eminence’s new Master at Arms introduced himself to the rest of the crew and set himself up well for his upcoming first full month on the ship.


Recruitment

None this month.


… and the Adventure continues…

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.

9/9/2022 CORRECTION: Aurther Winters actually stole the mug from himself, and then selected the Badge & Lapel set.

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!

Monthly Awards: January 2021

I hope your new year is off to a good start! And if it’s not, I trust simming with us here in IDF is giving you a good creative outlet.

If you remember from last month’s announcement, we are now presenting two Best Post awards, one for a single author post and one for a joint author post.

Without further ado, here are your January award winners:

Best Post (Single Author)

Chief Petty Officer Remal Kajun
Counselor
USS Liberty

For “Stumped”

Fine piece of writing here! Quiet and introspective, a solid juxtaposition to the excitement of life aboard a starship.

Best Post (Joint Post)

Capt. Rhenora Kaylen & Crewman Ronson Mitchell & Cmdr. Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Lt. Dean House & Lt. Aurora Vali
CO / Yeoman / XO / ASTO / CC
USS Liberty

For “Survival of the Fittest Pt 3”

Fantastic writing with an interesting setting!


Funniest Post

 CPO Sapphire & Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell
Master at Arms / Computer Systems Specialist
USS Liberty

For “Green With Envy, Red in the Face, Blue All Over”

Lots of good jokes in here, along with a mighty fine piece of role playing.


Genesis

Capt. Rhenora Kaylen & Cmdr. Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen
CO / XO
USS Liberty

For “The Jungle”

Great opening with a cliffhanger of an ending. Well done!


MVP

Cmdr. Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen
Executive Officer
USS Liberty

What an exceptional month of role playing! He not only led the fleet in posting, but also crafted a fabulous idea for the Liberty’s new mission and encouraged some new players as they got their footing.


Most Posts

Cmdr. Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen
Executive Officer
USS Liberty

For writing 30 posts.


Most Improved

Lt. Michael Stonebridge
Chief Intelligence Officer
USS Washington

His posting consistently pulled the crew in and kept the story moving and fresh. He also worked behind the scenes on several collaborations.


Rookie of the Month

Lt. Dean House
Assistant Security/Tactical Officer
USS Liberty

Lt. House jumped into the Liberty’s plot with gusto, with an impressive 12 posts in only two weeks. He also helped organize the Liberty’s discord and became a main character in the current series of posts.


Recruitment

Lt. Cmdr. Emmalyn Marcus
Executive Officer
USS Montana

The XO recruited one new player and continues to give the Montana a good presence elsewhere on the web.


Congratulations to all of our winners! Congratulations is also due to our very own Charles Star and former Director of Art Sadie Stanton as they won the prestigious Simming Prize due to their work producing The Simming Endeavor game show back on 2019. Well done to all!

Admiralty’s Role in IDF

Greetings, officers!

I wanted to take a moment to address a topic that continues to come up regularly. I feel that we have failed in communicating the fleet structure, and how the Admiralty fits into all of this.

First of all, being an Admiral in IDF is just a special title for “fleet staff”. We have jobs that are important to the administration of the fleet outside of the sims, and traditionally we are named Admirals. However, we aren’t going to hop onto your sim as an admiral and start roleplaying, or commanding you around.

In IDF, COs are the “kings” or “queens” of their sims. This means they maintain the storyline, they maintain their rosters, and they decide the rules of the sim. There are a few minor exceptions, which are outlined in the Command agreement we make with each CO. But, our involvement in the management of the sim is limited to the placement of the CO.

This means, if a CO decides that they are going to run a sim about a Warship Intrepid with phaser cannons and transphasic torps, it is not the purview of the Admiralty to tell them otherwise. It is up to the individual members if they wish to remain a part of the sim.

To be clear: your recourse for a disagreement in how the sim is managed is twofold. First, you discuss with your CO. Second, if you don’t come to an agreement, and you don’t wish to RP there anymore, you may leave.

The Admiralty will be happy to mediate any such talks, but we will not use our authority to modify how the sim is run, with some very specific exceptions.

As far as the “political” structure of IDF is concerned, there really isn’t one. We don’t have a council, we don’t vote on things. The best description for the structure of IDF is a fan club/not for profit business. IDF is owned by Admiral Star and myself. There’s really not much more to it than that. We of course will ask for the opinion of our COs when making changes that will affect them, and individual CO’s may at times ask their crews for their opinion on a matter. But, at the end of the day, Charles and I have the final say in the administration of the fleet organization, and the COs have the final say in the administration of their sim (once again, some specific exceptions apply).

At the core of it all, we are striving to create a fleet structure that exists purely to support the sims. We provide certain services: central Discord server, community events, IT infrastructure, tech support, fleet awards, etc. Everything else is up to the COs and their crews.

Thank you,
Admiral Ken Gillis
Fleet Executive Officer
Chief of Technology

James D. West Signing Off

Click here for a pdf copy of Fleet Admiral West’s message.

My fellow colleagues and simmers:

I am sure no one thought this day would come so soon. Even I am in disbelief that it is already here. But after conferring with members of the Admiralty and others in our simming community, it is with a heavy heart that I announce my retirement as Fleet Admiral/CinC of Independence Fleet, effective 0000 hours EST USA, Wednesday July 1st 2020.

It’s been an amazing journey since July 4th, 2001. I remember starting IDF with three ships and a handful of very dedicated simmers, most of which originated (like myself) from an older, defunct simming fleet. We made it work. And today it has grown into one of the premier online role playing communities on the web.

This wouldn’t have been possible without the tireless hard work and dedication by the Admiralty and Captains, as well as the simmers themselves who really make this happen. Without the talented writers in this group, there would be no community.

After my retirement I can think of no better officer than Charles Star to lead this fleet into the future as Commander-in-Chief. I have known Charles for over 20 years. We served on an old incarnation of the USS Sunfire; he as CMO and me as XO. This friendship would lead us to where we all are now.

Admiral Star has made this fleet his life’s work. When the rest of us had real-life issues keeping us from the simming world, Charles pressed on. He was there during all the difficult times and kept pressing forward, never losing sight of the future for our fleet.

Admiral Star will make one hell of a Commander-in-Chief, and will assume command of Independence Fleet at 0001 hours EST USA, Wednesday July 1st 2020.

As for me, I will continue simming in a non-administrative capacity, as a low-key but active character on one of our great Sims. This is not a retirement from simming. It is a retirement of the Admiralty, and leaving that aspect of our community in Admiral Starts capable hands.

Again, what an amazing journey it’s been.

My best,

Fleet Admiral James D. West