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!

February Command Updates

Two changes of command to report:

  • Captain Emmalyn Marcus has resigned as Commanding Officer of the USS Montana and will be replaced by Captain Jackson Adams. We thank Captain Marcus for all of the hard work and great simming since April 2021.
  • As a result, Captain Adams’s other character, Captain John Wells, will be resigning as Commanding Officer of the USS Eminence and will be replaced by Captain Alex Shepard. We thank Captain Wells for all the hard work and great simming since June 2021.

Captain Adams and Captain Shepard will both assume command on February 1st. Congratulations and best of luck, Captains!

Monthly Awards: December 2021

Happy new year! As we close out 2021, I think of all the many great things that happened in this fleet over the last 12 months. There’s not enough room here for it all! But we do have room for our final batch of 2021 award winners…

Best Post (Single Author)

Lieutenant Aiko Kato
Flight Control Officer
USS Washington

For “Puzzle Pieces”

Lt. Kato wins for an incredible third month in a row with an excellent character introspective that distills information into direction for the rest of the crew. Well done!

Best Post (Joint Post)

 Lt. Callie Raven-Grayson & Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson & Lt. Shoniara T’ghann Dex
CC / XO / ACMO
USS Washington

For “Late night visitor”

A gripping read with Callie under mind control, but trying desperately to break free. Excellent!


Funniest Post

 Commander Samantha Howard & Lieutenant Shoniara T’ghann Dex
CMO / ACMO
USS Washington

For “The Morning After the Night Before”

Oh boy, things got complicated!


Genesis

None this month.


MVP

Commander Jenna Ramthorne
Chief Flight Control Officer
USS Sunfire

Cmdr. Ramthorne returns to action! She’s a brilliant writer and an incredible asset to the ship and fleet, always willing to lend a hand or an ear to whoever needs it.


Most Posts

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

For writing 22 posts.


Most Improved

Lieutenant Brakon Ryal
Executive Officer
USS Eminence

Lt. Ryal really stepped up his game, driving the story forward and helping organize posts.


Rookie of the Month

Ensign Zack Ravencroft
Security Officer
USS Washington

The W’s new security officer jumped aboard with phasers blazing. He showed an ability to adapt quickly and push the story forward, all while developing his own character and working with others.


Recruitment

 Lt. Callie Raven-Grayson
Chief Counselor
USS Washington

For recruiting a new player who was immediately able to jump into the game and is already simming like a veteran. Recruitment is the key to success!


Congratulations to our December award winners. Here’s to many more great things in 2022!

My Favorite Trek: Heather Meadows

Not only is this the latest edition of My Favorite Trek, but it’s also announcement time: Commodore Heather Meadows hereby joins us today as our new Director of Media. Her main responsibilities will be My Favorite Trek interviews and other blog & media content. She has a long and distinguished simming career, frequently filling roles similar to this, that goes back two decades now. Without any further ado, let’s meet Commodore Heather Meadows…

Name: Heather Meadows
Rank: Commodore
Sim: N/A
Position: Director of Media
Other Characters: Lieutenant Tosh Tarkin of the USS Eminence

Favorite Star Trek episode? It is incredibly difficult to narrow Star Trek down to one favorite episode. However, I will go with “Measure of a Man” from Star Trek: The Next Generation’s second season.
Why? The writer of this episode is Melinda Snodgrass, an accomplished science fiction author, but has a background in law. She earned her Juris Doctor from University of Mexico School of Law. Snodgrass’ knowledge of law applied to the science fiction setting of Gene Rodenberry’s 24th century brings about a thorough discussion of morality, ethics, and what constitutes sentient life.
Favorite Star Trek series? Alas, a continuation of a predicament that places a fan in a tug-of-war within a wonderful franchise. Star Trek: The Next Generation has the best cast, but my personal favorite is Star Trek: Voyager.
Why? When measuring each series and comparing/contrasting them, Star Trek: Voyager edges out the others for me on a personal level because the premise was good, the pilot was interesting, and the first season was solid. Where other series needed time to grow and develop (surpassing Voyager even), Voyager as a series did not need to go through the same growing pains.
Favorite Star Trek film? This would be Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home for me.
Why? This is probably one of the more divisive films because of the plot and humor. I, however, greatly enjoy both the plot and the infusion of humor throughout the movie. The 1980s was a quirky time and having Kirk and the crew travel back to this period of time in Earth’s history worked out well because the actors were contemporary during the time. This made for sharper writing than having them sent back to say the 1880s. Environmental conversation is also something that is very important to me, and that is essentially at the core of this film.
Favorite Star Trek Captain? Most people have the ongoing battle of Kirk or Picard, but mine is actually a struggle between Picard or Janeway. Any given day, it could go either way for me, but I will go with Captain Kathryn Janeway. She adjusted to the situation that she found herself in, and part of that adjustment meant being more than just the Captain – Janeway had to become softer and more integrated with her crew, especially because there’s a huge difference between a Galaxy class starship and an Intrepid class.

  • What year did you start simming? I started simming in 2002 which does indeed feel like a million years ago because things were different back then.
  • What sim was it? It was Dowding Station, a space station sim and it was not part of a fleet. I actually spent about eight or nine years, strictly on the independent scene before setting foot in a fleet.
  • What keeps you simming today? I actually don’t write (simming) as much these days, but I do keep involved with the simming community. I stay involved because I like being a mentor and helping new COs (Game Managers) find their confidence and get into their groove.
  • Favorite non-simming hobby? I actually am a bit Neelix myself. I enjoy cooking and baking (hate the cleaning) and experimenting with recipes.
  • Favorite non-Trek series? That would probably be Buffy the Vampire Slayer because it’s a relatively timeless piece that has embedded itself into pop culture, and it is a series that any writer, director, or producer could learn a lot from.
  • Favorite non-Trek film? North by Northwest because I love James Bond, and though this is not a ‘Bond Film’ it still has the feel of one, and it is a well written film. It certainly is rightfully a classic.
  • Favorite book (fiction or non)? I’m going to give a quick shoutout to Nightshade, a Star Trek novel by Laurell K. Hamilton because Star Trek books do not get enough attention. However, because I am a literary geek, Frankenstein by Marry Shelly is my favorite book.
  • Favorite video game? I really don’t do gamming aside from auto racing games and such. Though I thoroughly enjoyed the Uncharted series and Star Wars: Jedi Fallen Order.
  • Favorite musician or band? The Cranberries (Yes, the band known for “Linger” and “Zombie”) as I loved the Singer (she passed away a few years ago) and the band had a lot of gems of songs that weren’t hits or singles.
  • Favorite superhero? Nightcrawler from the X-Men.
  • If you could have any super power, what would it be? I would take telepathy though it would literally be a headache. The ability to know what people are truly thinking is alluring as you’d get them in their truest form.
  • Favorite sport? I’m an auto racing and motorsports person. Be that Formula 1, IndyCar, or NASCAR.
  • Favorite team? Team Penske
  • Favorite food? Pretty much all of it though I am fond of Tacos, Pide, and Malai Kofta.
  • Coke or Pepsi? I reject your binary cola thinking and insert my own. Royal Crown (RC Cola). However, I am less of a ‘cola’ person and more of a: Moxie, Dr. Pepper, birch beer, root beer, sarsaparilla, and cream soda person.
  • Lennon or McCartney? Let’s just say I am not a Beatles person.
  • Jordan or LeBron? Basketball – Nope.
  • Star Trek or Star Wars? Star Trek because it was less action and more philosophical.

Rank the Trek TV shows from best to worst. VOY / TNG / DSN / ENT / TOS / PIC / DSC
Rank the Trek movies from best to worst. TVH / FC / TUC / TWOK / I / G / TSFS / N / TFF / ID / B / TMP / ST (2009)
Was this too many questions? Not at all. It was a nice opportunity for people to get dome insight into me from a Trek perspective. I welcome any questions they may have.

Let’s all give Commodore Meadows a warm welcome!

Monthly Awards: October 2021

Awards time, October style!

Best Post (Single Author)

Lieutenant Aiko Kato
Flight Control Officer
USS Washington

For “Through the Looking Glass of Time”

Very well written bit of backstory, with a great perspective established in the “Previously On” section.

Best Post (Joint Post)

Lt. Cmdr. Trevor Andrews & Capt. John Wells & Cmdr. Yadira Tristan House Kilrah & Lt. Cmdr. Timber Wolf & Lt. Nerex & Lt. JG Hank Solomon & MCPO Alake Van Der Luan
ACEO / CO / CEO / XO / FCC / CSO / MaA
USS Eminence

For “The Lionheart (Part One)”

It’s been a while since I’ve read a good old fashioned time travel post, and this one didn’t disappoint. Great character interactions, and the authors didn’t skip over the gravity of someone discovering they’re out of tine. Kudos also for the transporter room scene. Well done!


Funniest Post

Lt. Sheeraashaa Genno
Chief Security/Tactical Officer
USS Albion

For “Steady as She Goes”

LOL. I can almost hear the funny light music in the background on this one. Very Orville-esque. Love it!


Genesis

Captain Dick Sprague
Commanding Officer
USS Albion

For “Consult the Anomaly”

As is typical for the Albion, the odd title is indicative of the goofy mission to follow, with plenty of opportunities to be taken in many directions.


MVP

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

What more can I say about this powerhouse simmer? A rock-solid team-first player and sounding bound for the Captain, there’s nothing Durnell can’t and doesn’t do.


Most Posts

Lieutenant Callie Raven-Grayson
Chief Counselor
USS Washington

For writing 8 posts.


Most Improved

Harper McGinnis
Chef
USS Sunfire

The Sunfire’s new Chef joined in October, showed exceptional improvement over the course of the month, and blended in nicely with the experienced crew.


Rookie of the Month

Lieutenant Callie Raven-Grayson
Chief Counselor
USS Washington

The Washington’s new Counselor immediately brought excitement and creativity to the sim, and has been a joy to the rest of the crew.


Recruitment

Commander Jonathan Grayson
Executive Officer
USS Washington

For recruiting a new player who turned out to be a game changer.


Congratulations to everyone who took home hardware this month. I’ll see you in November!

Monthly Awards: September 2021

Congratulations to all of our award winners for September:

Best Post (Single Author)

Commander Savar cha’Salik hei-Surak Talek-sen-deen
Executive Officer
USS Sunfire

For “Through The Looking Glass”

Some feel a vision from the prophets is a tired old hat, but this was nicely written an left me wanting more. Great work!

Best Post (Joint Post)

Cmdr. Samantha Howard & Cmdr. Jonathan Grayson & Lt. Aiko Kato & Ens. James Phoenix
CMO / XO / FCO / TO
USS Washington

For “To Go Forth….Again”

Good writing from a team that is used to working together getting it done. Not all Trek posts need action sequences to be good, and this one hits the mark with the threat of violence without actually getting into it. Had me on the edge of my seat!


Funniest Post

Commander Jackson Andrews
Executive Officer
USS Albion

For “Back on the Command Track, Well Sorta Pt.1”

Lol, he was made a Yeoman? So awesome.


Genesis

Lieutenant JG Djon Zyngh & Captain Aurther Winters
CSO / CO
USS Chuck Norris

For “Death’s Triangle”

Nice intro and good tags all around on this one. Well done!


MVP

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

What a player! From creating well crafted posts to encouraging engaging joint efforts, Durnell also acts as the Captain’s counsel to bounce suggestions and ideas off of.


Most Posts

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

For writing 15 posts.


Most Improved

Lieutenant Aiko Kato
Flight Control Officer
USS Washington

The Washington’s young pilot really worked to get involved with the crew and to become more integrated, creating some excellent contributions along the way.


Rookie of the Month

Lieutenant Trevor Andrews
Assistant Chief Engineering Officer
USS Eminence

Don’t let the rank fool you, Andrews arrived on the Eminence and hit the ground running. A great addition to the sim!


Recruitment

None this month. Get recruiting!


It’s been a while since we’ve had 5 sims represented within the awards in a single month, well done! Keep all the great posts coming, and maybe we’ll see a few more next month.

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…

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

May News Updates

All, here are three command news items to keep everyone up to date:

  • An audit of our blog revealed that we never announced both of these October 1, 2020 changes of command in this forum: Captain Akeno Misaki of the USS Wayfarer and Captain T’Brei Sheridan of the USS Sunfire.
  • Captain Sandy “Ghost” Shannon assumed command of the USS Sunfire on May 1, 2021. A special thanks to Captain Sheridan for leading the Sunfire for seven months.
  • Captain John Wells will assume command of the USS Eminence on June 1, 2021. A special thanks to Captain Polto for leading the Eminence over the last 11 months.

Congratulations, Captains!

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!