20 Years in Star Army
While 2021 turned out to be the year of the anniversary, we haven’t run out of anniversaries quite yet. Indeed, our friends at Star Army celebrated a big one earlier in 2022. Depending on how you count it, they were founded in either June or November 2002. Regardless, it’s still an incredible 20 years!
Like many other clubs that originated in that earlier era, the exact details of Star Army’s founding remain murky. YE 21 of Star Army lore is believed to have begun on June 5, 2002, although it is unconfirmed. However, Star Army gives its official start date as November 8, 2022 with the beginning of YE 22 and founder Wes Davis’s printing of the first user manual. Their forums went online later that month.
“Star Army’s founding came in stages, and kind of snowballed. At first I created this scifi anime catgirl character, Yui, and I made a site for her in 2000, and when I finished military training in 2001 I got back into the RP scene in Yahoo chat and developed a backstory for Yui with a genetics corporation called PNUgen and additional characters. People liked what I was doing and started joining my RP group playing PNUgen people. My passion was always sci-fi and as the backstory grew PNUgen became part of a vast universe that became Yamatai (which was also briefly operating as a functional micronation with a senate and everything). Yui was recruited into the Star Army of Yamatai and became its top admiral. Star Army’s forums originally were on Network54, then we moved to ezBoard circa 2002 and we had a website by then. Later we started self-hosting in 2003 and migrated to phpBB2. In 2005, we added our wiki, which has grown to host over 13,000 articles including over 600 locations and 2500 characters, and more handguns than any character will ever need.”Wes Davis, Star Army founder
And so began one of the highest quality sim groups ever to exist. Chas Hammer later referred to Star Army’s games as “art,” a term he’s not recorded to have used in reference to any other club, including his own. Indeed, Star Army, its sims, and its members are regularly recognized for their simming excellence. Using an original universe and theme, they also manage to both stand out and stand within a community dominated by Star Trek.
Star Army has had quite the run over the years. Here are a few of the highlights:
- Won an award in a record nine different Tournaments of Simulations, all consecutive (2012-20)
- Won a Squiddie in the inaugural year of the award.
- Won the 2013 Simming Prize
- Its YSS Kaiyo sim won the 2017 Simming Prize
- Co-hosted the 2018 SciWorld Online Convention
Here’s more from founder Wes Davis:
“Star Army is a fleet-like community where many GMs run long-term plots (typically set on starships such as the YSS Resurgence) that share a common universe, which we use the wiki to document so everyone’s on the same page in terms of lore. Star Army has a fully original lore filled with familiar scifi tropes and concept. In surveys players consistently cite the “sense of history” as the strongest factor in why they roleplay on Star Army because it makes the universe feel more real, followed by the sense of community and reliability. Every article’s first subheading is a history section that includes the origins and backstory of that part of the universe, often including RPed events and links to past threads. Star Army is also known for artwork, and has 13,000 media files to illustrate its wiki, most of which are originals or commissioned. Because Star Army bans using art without permission, and uses bespoke art, this gives the site a distinctive look not found anywhere else.”
Congratulations, Star Army. Here’s to 20 more years!