Why? Several reasons. This way allows for greater consistency; now every winner is judged by the same criteria and held to the same standard. We used to see some sims and players dominate in TFs with fewer games, and while those still have an advantage in that they’re more likely to be nominated, they still have to prove themselves best in the Fleet, not the biggest fish in a small pond. These awards should also be examples to inspire others, with robust explanations and justifications of just why these sims and players are worthy. Finally, there have been no polls to select any winner; the Office of the Chief of Staff has looked at the quality of the recommendation from TFSS, and examined the nominees’ work wherever possible to reach their own advised and informed judgement.
So now all these old monthly awards are gone, and in their place two new ones: Bravo Fleet Sim of the Month and Bravo Fleet Simmer of the Month. Post of the Month is gone completely; there are so many different kinds of writing in the Fleet that acclaiming just sim posts felt off. We might see a return to match the new model, but we’ll make the change when we know what we want to reward and how we want to find it. In the meantime, we are continuing our tradition of monthly awards for explicitly sim-based activity.
So, without further ado…
Simmer of the Month
Captain Kudred Valyn of Starbase 38, Task Force 38
Christopher was the driving force for the reimagining of Starbase 38 after the original CO went inactive, prompting it to be developed into a real hub for Task Force 38 and a driver of that task force’s canon. In addition, he has been mentoring the GM of the Adelphi for its entire run, helping make sure that canon is being applied consistently across the task force as its TFCoS. He stepped up into this role with only a month or so under his belt in the fleet, but has proven to be incredibly thoughtful and engaged on canon issues and has shouldered much of the load for his TFCO during this time.
Sim of the Month
USS Hyperion, Task Force 72
The Hyperion is something that’s truly rare: a simple, yet original concept, done well. Where Bravo Fleet has seen many ships make various transitions from 2389 to 2399 and the new canon, Hyperion has built this journey into its fabric, its first season aiming to ambitiously tell the journey of a ship and crew over 10 years. In April the game has hit the ground running, with good crew numbers and solid activity. Concepts like this can often trip up in execution, but the GM team for Hyperion appear to have a plan, commitment, and a solid playerbase behind them. It’s a game to watch.
It’s also that special time in awards season: time for the quarterly awards. These will be the last of their ilk, too, as I draw nominees for Sim and Simmer of the Quarter from the pools of winners in January, February, and March from all TFs. Going forward, we’re going to see the quarterly award nominees drawn from the Fleet-wide winners of Sim and Simmer of the Month. But this last occasion has made for a highly competitive pool, and it’s been fun and engaging to see which truly deserves acclaim, not just for one flash in the pan moment but for, above all, consistency in quality and commitment over the period. I haven’t just picked who looked strongest on any single month. There have been no polls asking staff members in a completely different Task Force to have an informed opinion about a player they’ve never heard of or a sim they’ve never paid attention to. I’ve spoken to GMs and TFSS, and looked at games and posts myself to find what I believe are worthy winners in each category.
Simmer of the Quarter
Commander Roy Tanner of USS Apollo, Task Force 38
Mark has been one of the most active and engaged members of Bravo Fleet during the first quarter of 2020, stepping up in major roles on two games and as Task Force 38’s TFXO, where he was invaluable in helping make the launch of the new model a success. At the micro scale, he is consistently engaged and interested, writing multiple characters and participating in both main plots and sub plots, while at the macro scale he’s proven himself to be highly capable of managing both canon and membership issues.
Sim of the Quarter
Endeavour, Task Force 64
Endeavour is one of those games whose name constantly crosses my desk in the Office of the Chief of Staff. Taking a closer look for the Quarterly awards, I’ve seen a game committed to the unique setting of the NX Era and the Romulan War, properly engaging with the aesthetics, confines, and opportunities of the period. Looking at the game’s history, I saw a strong burst of activity in its start, followed by a quiet period; incredibly common in sims, and the death of most of them. Not so for Endeavour. That it overcame this lag with fresh crew and fresh ideas at the beginning of the quarter and came back stronger than ever is worthy of acclaim. This momentum has stuck around, and Bravo Fleet’s most active NX game deserves attention.
And that’s all from us this month! Keep your eyes peeled for some upcoming announcements from the Office of the Chief of Staff. In the meantime, huge congratulations to our four winners, and keep on writing!