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!

The Captain’s Chair: Emmalyn Marcus

Welcome to the Captain’s Chair, Captain Marcus. Please input your details into the data pad before we begin...

Name: Emmalyn Marcus

Rank: Captain

Position: Commanding Officer

Fleet Sim: USS Montana

Thank you, Captain. So let’s get started with your favorite Captain. Whose chair are you sitting in today?

Obviously James T. Kirk’s. I think that Kirk is the very embodiment of human nature.  He is compassionate towards others, something few humans have mastered.  Second, he’s reckless, but again that’s a human thing.

Very interesting. Does that make The Original Series your favourite or is there another?

Yes, that it is my all-time favorite.  However, I also love Star Trek Discovery as well. 

Do you have a favourite episode?

As of right now it’s Miri, s1e8, believe.

How about the movies, which is the best one?

Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home.  

And the worst?

Generations… Kirk falling off a rock, come on!

How’s your Captain’s chair by the way? Comfortable?

It’s great.  Very Comfy.

Good, good. How about the ship? Are we on the Montana or would you prefer another? You can have anything you like, we have a huge imaginary budget.

I enjoy it, lol.  Honestly I like the style of the ships from the 60’s. 

Absolutely! When did you start simming?

A little over a year ago. 

And what was your first sim?

USS Chuck Norris

What keeps you interested?

Complex plots.

What about real life? What else do you enjoy doing?

Being lazy, writing, video games. Oh, and being lazy.

I take it you’re a Montana fan given the ship we’re on. What else are you into besides that and Star Trek?

I love Sci-Fi. I also love U.S. history, specifically WW II. 

And at the Movies?

Back to the Future, Tron, Jurassic Park, Star Wars, anything with Tim Allen, James Bond movies, and the Mission Impossible series. 

Time for the quick fire round now before go to warp. Are you ready?

Always.

Favorite book? The Giver

Favorite video game? Super Mario Bros. 3

Favorite musician or band? David Bowie

Favorite superhero? Doctor Strange 

If you could have any super power, what would it be? Duh Magic.

Favorite sport? Basketball 

Favorite team? Utah Jazz

Favorite food? Sushi

Coke or Pepsi? Coke

Lennon or McCartney? Lennon

Star Trek or Star Wars? Trek, obviously.

Jordan or Lebron? Jordan

Excellent! Thank you for sitting in the Captain’s Chair. It’s been a pleasure to get to know a little more about you today. Emmalyn Marcus (aka John Wyatt of the USS Chuck Norris & Spivick of the USS Albion), everyone!

Monthly Awards: March 2021

Sorry for the delay, but your IDF March winners are below:

Best Post (Single Author)

Lt. Sheeraashaa Genno
Chief Security Tactical Officer
USS Albion

For “The Short Straw”

Interesting format, and an even more interesting mystery to solve! Well done!

Best Post (Joint Post)

Capt. Rhenora Kaylen & CPO Remal Kajun
CO / C
USS Liberty

For “Contemplation”

Nice work here. Great turns of phrase, good character development, and excellent dialog. Captains are humans too, after all.


Funniest Post

 Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell & Lt. Anna These & CPO Sapphire
CSS / CMO / MaA
USS Liberty

For “I am Blue Sasha Fierce pt1”

You had me at backwards Klingon poetry…


Genesis

Capt. Aurther Winters
Commanding Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For “Truth and Consequences”

Great opening, and lots of directions to take this!


MVP

Lt.jg. Awal Kronnelti
Assistant Security/Tactical Officer
USS Chuck Norris

Lt.jg. Kronnelti was consistently excellent all month, coordinating joint posts, keeping the story moving, and leading the way in wrapping up our last mission. He nailed it!


Most Posts

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

For writing 23 posts.


Most Improved

Lt.jg. Djon Zyngh
Chief Science Officer
USS Chuck Norris

Coming off his rookie month, Lt.jg. Zyngh took his writing and role playing to the next level, showing improved coordination with others and introducing several curveballs in the plot.


Rookie of the Month

Lt.jg. Steven McCloud
Chief Medical Officer
USS Chuck Norris

Joining mid-month, Lt.jg. McCloud is already simming like a veteran… it’s as is he’s been role playing for years!


Recruitment

None this month!


In other news, Captain Emmalyn Marcus assumed command of the USS Montana from Captain RS Harrison on April 1st. A special thanks to Captain Harrison for helping us get this sim off the ground, and best of of luck to Captain Marcus as she guides the ship to new heights! Marcus was the Montana’s XO prior to becoming CO.

2020 ToS Winners Announced

The 2020 Tournament of Simulations (ToS) winners were announced yesterday at Ongoing Worlds. We were fortunate enough to have four of our sims listed among the 23 that won prizes.

Congratulations to the USS Wayfarer, USS Ganymede, Starbase 80, and the USS Liberty! We already knew that all of our sims are fantastic, but it’s still great to get this type of acknowledgement from the community. Well done, IDF!

Outstanding Star Trek:

Star Trek Gameplay:

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).

2014

Excellence in Creativity:


2013

Best Star Trek sim:

USS Victory


2012

Outstanding Star Trek Sim:

USS Chirikov

USS Victory

Excellence in Creativity:

Excellence in Character Development:

Excellence in Readability:

USS Rioja


2011

Best Star Trek Sim:

Most Creative Sim:

Which of our sims are going to win for 2021? It’s anyone’s game!

Monthly Awards: February 2021

Another month in the books, another set of fleet awards presented.

Congratulations to all of our February winners below:

Best Post (Single Author)

Lt.jg. T’Ponga Shemara
Chief Engineering Officer
USS Montana

For “A New Posting”

Great character development, brushing the exterior of being half Human and half Vulcan.

Best Post (Joint Post)

Cmdr. Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen & Capt. Rhenora Kaylen & Lt. Dean House & Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell & Lt. Aurora Vali & Lt.jg. Sarah Wilson & CPO Remal Kajun & Crewman Ronson Mitchell
XO / CO / ASTO / CSS / CC / MO / C / Y
USS Liberty

For “The Needs of the …….”

What a nice post! Well integrated with meaningful dialog: proof that concepts of machismo are not limited to time and space. Well done!


Funniest Post

 Lt. Sheeraashaa Genno
Chief Security Tactical Officer
USS Albion

For “On the Loose”

Is this Star Trek or Galaxy Quest?


Genesis

Capt. Dick Sprague
Commanding Officer
USS Albion

For “Nebulous”

Simple, but completely open ended for the crew mold the story in the spirit of open role playing.


MVP

Lt. John Wyatt
Chief Intelligence Officer
USS Chuck Norris

Lt. Wyatt created a whole different universe with a complex storyline that he perfectly weaved into the main plot in small segments.


Most Posts

Ens. Mack
Science Officer
USS Albion

For writing 28 posts.


Most Improved

Lt.jg. Steven Wright
Encryption Specialist
USS Chuck Norris

After being MIA for a bit due to real life, he came back strong at the end of month leading several joint posts that helped the crew drive the plot forward in a big way.


Rookie of the Month

Ens. Mack
Science Officer
USS Albion

Brand new to simming, Ensign Mack started with the rest of the Albion crew mid-month and still managed to produce a fleet-leading 28 posts! Even more than that, he integrated well into the game and learned how to include his character while also writing for others.


Recruitment

Ens. Robert Lee
Tactical Officer
USS Wayfarer

He started a conversation with someone that led to that individual joining another IDF sim. That’s how you recruit!


Well done to all! Keep role playing!

One Year Ago…

One year ago today, we launched IDF’s new website and URL. Or was it yesterday? I’m not really sure! Regardless, what a ride it’s been.

On behalf of the Admiralty, thank you to everyone who has been a part of the journey and for making our 10 Star Trek sims as great as they are today. If you’re not currently a member of any of them, feel free to give one a try by clicking their link in the “Join!” column of the table below.

FormatTypeEraClassJoin!
ScriptOpenTNG/DSN/VOYGalaxyAlbion
BothOpenTNG/DSN/VOYDefiantChuck Norris
ProseTraditionalStar Trek: PicardSaberEminence
BothTraditionalPost-Dominion WarLunaGanymede
ProseTraditionalPost-Dominion WarSovereignLiberty
ProseTraditionalTOS MoviesMirandaMontana
BothOpenPost-Dominion WarAkiraSunfire
ProseOpenPost-Dominion WarSovereignWashington
BothTraditionalPost-Dominion WarIntrepidWayfarer
ProseTraditionalPost-Dominion WarN/AStarbase 80

Prose = typical language of a novel or short story
Script = role playing syntax similar to a movie script (see this Ongoing Worlds article)
Both = uses Prose & Script formats

Traditional = players only write for their own characters (this is how most role plays work)
Open = all players write for all characters (see this Ongoing Worlds article)

We’ll see you onboard!

Monthly Awards: December 2020

What a great way to close out a dreadful year: with monthly awards! Before we reveal the winners, I want to announce a change for next month’s awards:

Starting in January, we will be awarding two Best Posts each month: One for a single author post and one for a joint post. Sim Commanding Officers will be eligible for the joint post version. This is a result of your feedback and several discussions over the last few months. We heard you!

Now, on to the the December winners:

Best Post

Lt. Cmdr. Tyroh Vantic
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Liberty

For “Cultural Exchange pt.2”

While there were multiple excellent submissions for Best Post this month, it’s clear that this writer is very familiar with the post’s subject matter: martial arts. It’s one of those rare posts that truly develops a character, providing a great baseline to be used in future missions.


Funniest Post

 Lt. Anna Thesia & Lt. Bonnie “Bon-Bon” Durnell
Chief Medical Officer / Computer Systems Specialist
USS Liberty

For “Cocoa”

A woman dressed like a tree and wearing [EDITED]less chaps… hard to beat this post for straight up humor.


Genesis

Captain Abe Polto
Commanding Officer
USS Eminence

For “Briefing”

New crew, new captain, and a traditional Genesis post: Solid all around.


MVP

Lt. Anna Thesia
Chief Medical Officer
USS Liberty

The Liberty’s intrepid Doctor built upon her Rookie award last month and has engaged every player onboard for a joint post, drawing the already tight crew even closer together. She is motivating, engaging, and a lovely person to write with.


Most Posts

Lt. Anna Thesia
Chief Medical Officer
USS Liberty

For writing 26 posts.


Most Improved

Lt. Cmdr. Tyroh Vantic
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Liberty

Vantic returned from a leave of absence with a delightful 4 posts, jumping straight into the organic and detailed storyline without hesitation. A seasoned player from the old days of IDF, it is an honor to have him back onboard.


Rookie of the Month

Lieutenant JG Steven Wright
Encryption Specialist
USS Chuck Norris

Joining at the beginning of December, Wright made a great impression with both Captain and crew through his posts and shows great promise for future growth.


Recruitment

None this month!


Thanks again for another great month, and don’t forget about the change with Best Post for January. You can read more about all of the awards here.

Monthly Awards: November 2020

This may be the earliest we’ve gotten the awards out this year. Congratulations to all of the winners!

Best Post

Cmdr. Samantha Howard & Lt.jg. Carolyn Fredrickson & Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson
CMO / EO / XO
USS Washington

For “Ground Zero”


Funniest Post

 Lt. Cmdr. Balen Pibb
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For “My Stick”


Genesis

Captain Aurther Winters
Commanding Officer
USS Chuck Norris

For “Not Where I Belong”


MVP

Lt. Anna Thesia
Chief Medical Officer
USS Liberty

Although brand new to the Liberty, Dr. Thesia threw herself into the current mission and established a fantastic report with the crew. She has posted both solo and joint posts and is very active on Discord.


Most Posts

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

For writing 18 posts.


Most Improved

Lt. Cmdr. Balen Pibb
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Chuck Norris

After having communication issues with others, Pibb came back into the fray with increasing post quantity and quality.


Rookie of the Month

Lt. Anna Thesia
Chief Medical Officer
USS Liberty

Dr. Thesia came onboard the Liberty with a bang, throwing herself into the mix with an amazing 8 posts within her first 10 days. She is an amazingly talented writer who motivates and encourages others to participate.


Recruitment

Lt. J’goss Yass G’odoss
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Chuck Norris

He recruited two new crewmembers to the ship in November, and continues to put the good name of the Chuck Norris out there on the Interwebs.


Congratulations to everyone again and have a great holiday season.

So You Wanna Be a Captain?

Over the last month, we’ve received quite a few inquiries about being a sim Commanding Officer (CO) in Independence Fleet. So, what are we looking for in sim COs? Before I answer, I’d like to tell the story of two:

Jimmy Rogers

Hall of Famer Jimmy Rogers joined his first sim in December 2010: the USS Liberty, which we were just relaunching. It all clicked. He ran away with the MVP award that month, and became CO of the Liberty on January 1, 2011 after only a single month of simming. Yes, you read that right: one month of simming.

The rest, as they say, is history! Rogers commanded the Liberty for 19 months, winning 2.33 Genesis awards, capturing 3 posting titles, and leading the ship to an incredible 315-post month in September 2011, which is still tied for 9th all-time. Beyond the numbers, he led amazing stories and mentored dozens of role players.

Aurther Winters

Aurther Winters began simming in 2003 after seeing an ad on a college message board. As James Sullivan, he slowly rose from Ensign to Commander on the USS Dragon in a Hall of Fame career that ended with seven monthly awards, still good for a tie at 11th place all-time. Then life happened and he drifted away from simming.

He returned to role playing on the USS Chuck Norris in 2012 as Aurther Winters. Winters picked up his 10th monthly award in August–one of only four people in IDF history to hit double digits. As with Sullivan before, Winter rose through the engineering ranks to eventually become XO of the Chuck Norris under two different Captains. He was the type of XO who just made the Captain’s job easy. Winters became CO of the Chuck Norris this month.

That’s right–James Sullivan/Aurther Winter simmed for the first time about 17 years before he became a CO, while Jimmy Rogers simmed for one month before becoming a CO. Both are in the Hall of Fame, and both are incredible Captains. Every career is different, and every route to CO is different.

Show Me the Money!

One of the most basic principles of good wring is show, don’t tell. Let the reader experience the story through thoughts, actions, feelings, dialog, etc. instead of saying what happened. The same with being a sim CO: Telling us you want to be a CO is great, but you know what’s even better? Showing us you want to be a CO! How do you do that? Like this:

  • Post! Quality & Quantity
  • Get others involved in the story
  • Recruit new players
  • Mentor younger players
  • Help solve and de-escalate disputes
  • Engage at the fleet level on Discord, Facebook, and Twitter
  • To sum it up: Lead by example!

Do you have what it takes to be a sim CO in IDF? Show us! Make the ship you’re already on great. Make your crew great. Make your Captain look great! It’s not necessarily easy, but then again command isn’t for everyone.